Up North

Mushrooms Everywhere

It has been really rainy this summer up north -- and especially in the last month or so.  The lake level is higher now that it was earlier this summer (which never happens).  The mosquitoes are out of control.  And there are mushrooms growing everywhere in the woods.

Here are three mushrooms that I found particularly impressive this week . . . 

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I love the colors and shapes and textures of the mushrooms.  (The mosquitoes?  Not so much.)

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Be sure to pop over to Carole's today . . . for more Three on Thursday fun.

 


Letting Go

We're back up north for a few days.  While it's always nice to get away, this trip is bittersweet.

Sure . . . it's still plenty warm. The leaves haven't started to turn.  The lake is the perfect temperature for swimming.  It's quiet now that the kids are back at school.  Things are very peaceful.    

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But change is coming.  The days are shorter.  Acorns are raining from the trees.  It's time . . . to bring the dock in.  And move the pontoon to dry land for the season.  Because the distance between "plenty of time" and "we waited too long" is really short up here.

We enjoyed our last pontoon ride of the season yesterday.  Later today, we'll bring in the dock.  It's time to bid the lake adieu for the summer (although we won't totally close down the cabin for another 6 weeks or so).

I'm a little sad.  Because I like summer -- and I especially like summer on the lake.  But it's time for me to . . . give in.  Let go.  Because fall?  It's nice, too!

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How about YOU?  What signifies the true end of summer for you?

 


So Many Ways to Unravel

Not your typical Unraveled post . . . but unraveled all the same!

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Early in the evening last night, a severe thunderstorm moved through . . . wreaking havoc in our up north neighborhood.  It is so scary to be in the woods during strong winds and storms -- to see the wind whipping those trees around, to hear all the branches falling onto your roof and against your windows, and especially to hear the THUD of a giant tree hitting the ground.*

We lost power.  We tried to make the best of it by playing Scrabble by candlelight.  (And taking selfies while wearing our headlamps.  Because what else are you going to do?)

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But after continuing thunderstorms through the night - and the sound of more trees falling - we knew power restoration wouldn't be simple or quick.  (When we lose power up north, it's not just electricity that we lose.  It's also water-- because the pump on our well is electric.)  

So our lovely end-of-summer week up north unraveled a few days early.  We packed up . . . and headed home.

(But that's okay.)  (Our toilets flush at home!)

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  • While many trees came down all around us, our little cottage was spared any damage.

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Be sure to visit Kat today, for Unraveled posts that are likely MUCH more relevant to the world of knitting, stitching, and reading than this one!


Morning Surprise

I usually check the weather forecast for the next day before I go to bed at night.  You know - just to plan my day.  (Can I kayak in the morning? Are my car windows open? Should I bring in the towels tonight?  )  

Last night, I checked.  

Cloudy, it said.  
Chance of rain, it said.  
(I'll sleep in, I said.)
(But the towels will wait, I said.)

So I was kind of surprised to wake up and see this . . . 

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Sunshine.  

Come to the lake, it said.  
(Let me get my coffee, I said.)

And it was a glorious morning, to be sure.

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Peaceful.  Quiet.  Serene.

And hardly a cloud in the sky!  Just those few . . . out there on the horizon.

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(Take THAT, weather forecast! I said.)  
(I WILL be able to fit in one more paddle this morning, I said.)

But, alas.  The weather forecast gets the last word.
HA! It said.

Because it's raining now.   Just an hour later. 
Talk about a morning surprise.  
(And too bad about those towels.)

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Enjoy the weekend!

 


C'mon Along . . . Paddle with Me

The past couple of mornings have been perfect for long kayak paddles on the lake.  (So perfect, in fact, that I have blisters on top of blisters.)  I thought you might like to join me . . . for a paddle around the lake!

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Such a great way to relax, hang out on the water, and get a little exercise, too!  
(Hope you didn't get any blisters. . .)


Dog Days

In a couple of hours, we'll be packing up and heading home.  I'm beginning to switch gears . . . starting to think about what's waiting for me at home instead of what I'm going to read down on the dock this afternoon.  Bittersweet, but I'll be back in a couple of weeks.

The dogs make the transition between "home" and "lake" without much trouble.  Jenny can always sense that we're "on the move" and she gets a little clingy when we're packing.  JoJo is clueless about all that, but she still has trouble in the car and needs to take carsick meds.  They much prefer being "settled" in one location or the other, but they pretty much roll with it all.

Here are three things they love to do up north that they are not able to do back home:

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1 -- Fish

Jenny loves to watch the fish -- either in the water on her own or when she goes fishing with Tom on the lake.  She pays close attention to the water at all times, and is very aware of the sound fish make as they rise in the water.  When she fishes with Tom, she can tell if he's caught one by watching his line.  She is intrigued with all things fish-related.

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2 - Swim

JoJo much prefers swimming to fishing.  (In fact, I don't think she's ever noticed that there ARE fish in the lake.)  Jenny used to swim a lot more, but she is getting old now and tires quickly.  JoJo, on the other hand, swims like a little motorboat and loves to retrieve whatever we throw for her in the water.

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3 -- Boat

Both dogs LOVE to ride in the pontoon.  They love sniffing the air and feeling the lake breeze as we cruise around the lake.  They get very excited when they see loons on the water or turtles sunning themselves on docks -- and they especially like to greet other lake-dogs that they may see on land or in other boats (singing the song of their people, y'know . . . as dogs do).

We all have a great time up north. . . dog and human alike.

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Be sure to hop over to Carole's today to read other Three on Thursday posts.  And be sure to wish her and Dale a very happy anniversary while you're there!

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Also -- thanks for all your good wishes on the Ravelry thing.  Let me tell you  . . . that was a big surprise!  

 


Sometimes Mondays

. . . look like what the heck!

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Despite the fact that I have much to do at home.
And despite the fact that we have a big party coming up in less than 2 weeks.
And despite the fact that it rained all weekend long -- so hard that I couldn't work in the garden.
And despite the fact that the party . . . is going to be IN my garden in less than 2 weeks.

I am still heading north for the week.  

Because summer is sweet.  
But summer is short.

What the heck.

 

 

 


A Dose of Reality

I share my anticipation and excitement at returning to our cottage "up north" for the summer season with you each year.  And I show you photos of our little lake . . . and cozy bonfires . . . and happy dogs swimming.   And it all looks wonderful.  
Relaxing.  
Idyllic.  
Peaceful.

And it is all of that.

But there is . . . an underbelly, too.  Y'know?  The parts I don't share.  (Because it's not all fun and games up here.)  (At least, not all the time.)

Here's a dose of Up North Reality for you, Three-on-Thursday syle:

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1 -- It's a house.  A second house.  That we own.  And must maintain.  So while we may be dealing with . . . say, a broken air conditioner at House #1, we are also dealing with things . . . say, a roof that needs replacing (or severe woodpecker damage to the cedar siding) at House #2.  

In other words, we don't get a vacation from home maintenance just because we go "up north" for the season.  In fact, it doubles.

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2 -- It feels like going on vacation.  But we are not on vacation.  Because there are chores to do and toilets to scrub and dinners to plan and laundry to do and wood to chop.  Just like when we are at home.  Because we are at home.  Just a bit further north.  (Although Tom would be quick to point out that he doesn't do much "lumberjacking" at home.)  

In other words, there is no maid service. 

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3 -- Although we've built a pretty solid "inventory" of necessities at our cottage (dishes, glassware, cookware, cleaning supplies, tools, etc.), there are always things we need to drag between houses (reading material, computers, stitching projects, etc.).  It really can't be any other way -  because there are things we're currently working on or dealing with that are time-sensitive that we need to cart back and forth.  Which does make it feel kind of like packing-for-a-vacation each time we travel up.

In other words, it's really a drag when you pull out your latest Alabama Chanin project to stitch -- but realize you forgot to bring your needles.  (Gah!)

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So, yeah.  It's pretty great up here -- and I love it!  I am grateful for this space.  I am so very fortunate to be able to get away and come "up north" whenever I want to.  (I'm lucky.  Oh so lucky.  And I know this.)  I appreciate my time up here.

But I don't want you to think that I just hang out on the dock all day, watching the eagles and the loons and the cranes while I sip wine and read books.  

I mean . . . I DO that.  But between those idyllic, peaceful, down-times you'll find me scrubbing last year's spider webs and wood-detritus from my window sills, changing the bedding, facing down last night's dirty dishes, and lamenting the fact that I could be stitching (but forgot my needles).

Like most things in life, the good far outweighs the bad.  But sometimes . . . reality bites.

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Be sure to hop over to Carole's today, for more Three on Thursday posts.