Up North

Even Up North

A couple of month ago, I shared a post proclaiming my love (and Tom's too) of bulletin boards. (You can read it here in case you missed it.) This morning, I realized that my love of the humble bulletin board extends to our up north cabin!

Here's the view of our back hallway (back hallway? HA! What am I talking about? I mean THE hallway!) . . . 

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What's on it?
Certainly not as much "stuff" as we have on our bulletin boards at home. But an interesting collection all the same!

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Something to make you laugh. Some phone numbers. The complete rules to horseshoes. And a spare "head net" for when the bugs are just TOO buggy. (One size fits all.)

For Tom and I . . . there is no escaping the blank canvas of a bulletin board!
Even Up North.

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My view from the pontoon yesterday . . . 

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Heavenly!

Hope your week is going well. We're heading back home this afternoon. There is excitement afoot . . . 

 


Into the Woods

"And into the forest I go to lose my mind and find my soul."
            --- John Muir

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My morning view . . . 

Yep. I'm up north this week. It's my first time this season (Tom's been up here several times already . . . to open things up, replace our water heater, and - really - to fish). It's always a whirlwind of activity up here, that first "real" week of the season. There's a lot to do, and none of it is particularly fun. We need to get the docks in and the boats in the water. (And by "we" I mean Tom, really. Brian is going to help with the docks later today, and our "boat guy" LeRoy will help get the pontoon out of our front yard and back into the water.) There is an amazing amount of prep work to be done before that can even happen (power washing . . . and a lot motor "stuff," mainly). Besides that, there are paths to rake and a bathroom to scrub. Dust and cobwebs to tackle. Our Sonos system needs an update (priorities, y'know). I need to take inventory . . . what do we need, what did we forget, what did we want last year that we forget about over the winter. Do the laundry. Make all the beds. That kind of stuff.

The fun comes . . . later.
After we get set up and settled in again for another season.

And it will be totally worth it!

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Here's to a great week for all of us.

 


A Never Before

In all our years up north . . . 

In all this time of having a cabin . . . 

I have never, ever "gardened."

Not even a little bit. Mostly because . . . who needs to garden when you're in deep woods? The woods provide their own landscaping magic, after all. But there's also the practical and logistical side of things. Our up north schedule is erratic most years, with our time at the cabin competing with other summer plans.

This year, though? Not so much.

So back in May, I brought up a flat of impatiens and I planted them on our porch rail.

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We've been up here enough this year that they've done well. I can keep them watered so they thrive between our visits (although our neighbors helped once during a particularly dry/hot spell when we were back home).

The flowers add a nice, welcoming touch to our little cabin in the woods. A bright spot!

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The pandemic has brought me many opportunities to say "never before" . . .
but this one is a nice "never before!"

 


In Progress

We're having "work days" here at our cottage this week. Deep cleaning. Household tasks. Putting in the docks. "Lumberjacking." (Taking care of felled trees and clearning out some space at our "beach" -- now non-existent due to rising lake levels.)

Not much time for fun and games. 

Or knitting.

But my watercolor class still meets via Zoom on Tuesday nights! We're working on still life compositions right now. Mine . . . has a definite up north feel . . . 

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In progress. . . coming along.
(Bonus points if you can tell what it is.)

What are you working on these days?

 

 


Listen to John Muir

I'm up north this week.  

Usually, I don't come up to our little cabin this early in the season (although Tom does, regularly, to fish).  Spring comes slowly here in Michigan, generally.  But it comes even s-l-o-w-e-r up north.  It's hard to take a big step backward when it comes to springtime, y'know? So I usually skip these May trips.

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But this year? Things are different. (Oh. So. Different.) And I decided to come along this week.  Bare trees and all!

And even though it WAS kind of shocking to see how far spring is lagging behind up here . . . it's been refreshing, in a way, too.  

Yesterday (a day, mind you, that started with bright blue skies and a temperature of 21 degrees F), I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes: 

"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."         
                                                --- John Muir

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When JoJo and I set out for our daily walk, I didn't expect much; I wasn't really seeking anything.  Just some exercise.  And a chance to get outside for both of us.

But I received far more than that!

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Our time in the trees . . . kind of hit a RESET button in my soul.  I enjoyed the gifts of sunshine and cool breezes.  I marveled at the emerging leaves.  I took big breaths of fresh forest air.  I felt myself relax.  I sunk into spring emerging all around me.  And I realized how lucky I am to be able to watch spring unfold for a second time this year! 

These are challenging times.  The world seems a very confused, scary, and incredibly frustrating place right now.  After yesterday, my advice to you . . . is to get outside!  
Spend some time in nature.  
Allow the magic to happen.  
Listen to John Muir!  

You'll receive far more than you seek!


Mornings at the Lake

I haven't been up to our lake cottage "up north" yet this season.  Between crappy weather and a busy schedule, I've opted to stay at home so far -- while Tom has traveled up for frequent fishing trips.

But I'm here now!

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It's such a treat to work from my office-in-the-woods -- outside on the back deck, surrounded by trees and bird song and a gentle breeze.  (And, thankfully, no mosquitoes at the moment.)

I love being up here!  Life is slower.  There isn't anywhere for me to go or anthing I need to rush off to take care of.  No appointments.  No gym.  No garden to weed.  (But still plenty of chores.  Always with the chores.)  I'm looking forward to a few days of quiet re-freshing.  (Until the Fourth of July crowd arrives.  Then we'll head home again.)  Reading.  Thinking.  Knitting. Sitting around the campfire with Tom.  And enjoying the lake in the morning!

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When I wake up, I always take my coffee out on the deck.  That sunrise over the lake usually beckons -- and before long, I'm heading down the steps to the lake, where I can just sit on the dock and enjoy the peace of the lake in the morning.

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Most mornings, it's still and quiet, the water like glass.  Usually there's mist, rising from the surface of the water.  Some mornings there are a few folks fishing, but not today.  (Plenty of fish rising, though!

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This morning, when I turned around to head back up to the cottage, I noticed how very l-o-n-g my shadow was!

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See my legs on the dock?  And my head . . . way over on the shore?  (And in between, the lake -- perfectly reflecting the trees overhead).

Mornings at the lake. . . a pretty great way to start the day!


Up North . . . But Different

Yesterday, I piled the dogs in the car and headed up to our little cabin . . . where we met Tom (already up there) to finish up a few shutting-down-for-the-season tasks.

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Same lake.  Same view.  But different.

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Same deck rail.  Same trees.  But different.

Here are three things that are REALLY different about being up north in the fall:

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1 - The docks and boats are out of the water for the winter.

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2 - I'm wearing the hand knits both outside and inside.

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3 - And . . . I'm wearing socks and shoes!  (Truth be told, I had my flip flops on when I was getting in the car.  And then I thought about all the sh*% Tom would give me if I showed up at the cabin - where it wasn't even 40 degrees F - in my flip flops . . . and opted for shoes.)  (It was the right choice.)

It's lovely to be up here in the fall.  But very different!  

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

 

 


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.