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Little bit of paradise

What can I say, Hermit Island draws us back year after year,

A favorite view

We arrived Thursday at 5pm.  The sun was out, it was 15F cooler than home and the sea breeze was heavenly.

We were setup and settled by 6pm.  Traditional Tacos were served.

The campfire was lovely, and the fog settled in.  We were lulled to sleep by the sound of the crashing surf and the dong dong of the buoy as the tide went out.

I have to say the Hermit Island is seriously creepy on a dark new moon night with heavy fog.

I had checked the forecast and Friday was predicted to be partly cloudy (I interpret mostly sunny), so we headed to Popham Beach for the day with sandwiches, cold water and grapes packed.  There was a fog bank so we couldn’t see the rock, but the tide was heading out so I started walking the sandbar.  I found 4 sand dollars, one was complete but broken in half.  They ranged from a nickle size to an inch and a half in diameter and all with different markings.

Sand Dollars and Shells

The fog started burning off as we left around 4:30pm.

Home Sweet Home

Grilled Chicken Speidies, baked potatoes (loaded), salad, adult beverages.  Note:  This photo was taken before the canopy incident.

Another campfire with S’mores using marshmallows the size of a childs fist.

Saturday it was overcast but we decided to chance a hike along one of the few island trails.

Native

Along the cliffs

High point on the island before the rain started.

Along the path

The New Beach Hut

It started to rain, so we headed back.  We arrived back at the site soaking wet but the humidity was so high the cool rain and ocean breeze felt good. We decided to take early showers and get into dry clothes.

Played some Uno while it rained soft and steady, on and off.

A popup is good when it rains.

It finally let up enough for us to get a fire going to roast hotdogs then smother in chili for dinner.

The fog again rolled in for the night and again we were lulled to sleep with the sounds of the surf and steady dong dong of the buoy.

On Sunday I had to go into Bath early and we decided to go out for breakfast.  We found Mae’s Cafe and Bakery.  I highly recommend the Mae West Omelet (ham, onions, cheese – need I say more), sourdough toast, with homefries.  Grace recommends the Salmon Eggs Benedict.  Toasted english muffin, smear of chive cream cheese, smoked salmon, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce.  Mary liked her omelet a lot too.

Since it was again overcast and threatening to rain, we decided to head to Brunswick to check out the big flea market.  I did find one treasure, a big jug filled with buttons. The humidity was oppressive so we just wanted to get back to the site, rain or no rain, it was at least cooler by the water.

It was pretty ominous when we got back.  I decided to read nap with a book, and Grace decided to nap and Mary decided to chance a bike ride.

As I lay reading napping, I was vaguely aware of the pitter patter of a gentle rain.  Our site was pretty protected with trees.  I figured Mary would be back soon and would get up when I heard her arrive back, so I drifted back into sleep.

Suddenly I was rudely awakened by a huge crash.  Not knowing it the bed at the other end of the camper had given way.  I knew I hadn’t moved other than to bolt upright.  I saw the Grace was still sleeping and I heard Mary outside.  I ran to the door, but couldn’t get out because the canopy had collapsed with the weight of the water that had collected on it.  It took awhile for Mary to realize that she needed to pull the tarp up so I could get out to help.  We tried in vain to prop it up, but decided once we were soaked to the skin to just roll it up and out-of-the-way then grab the stuff and toss into the car or camper or toss under the picnic table.

Early showers and dry clothes early again.

But tonight we had ordered our traditional last supper.  Lobsters (hard-shell if they got ’em) and a mess ‘o long neck steamers.  They cook it and have it all ready when you arrive.  All we had to do was melt the butter and chill the beers, actually they will even chill the beers and/or wine for you.

Fortunately it only sprinkled slightly but we were able to eat outside, not wanting to have the eau d’ steamed clams and lobsters hanging inside the camper.

It eventually stopped raining as we finished licking the butter off our elbows.  It appeared that fog might settle in again as we got the fire going strong just as the sun fell off the horizon.  We sat by the fire, when Mary noticed that the sky had cleared and the stars were out.  Off we headed to the beach side to an open sky.  We found a sweat spot and turn off the flashlight.  WOW! Billions and Billions of stars.  Stuff you don’t get to see unless there is a new moon and zero light pollution.  The big dipper was so bright.  Brighter than I remembered it.  Then as we scanned a 360 scan, behind we beheld the milky way, stretching across the sky.  It was amazing.  Grace had gone to bed early so I walked back and made her get up to come see it.  She was very glad that I had.  I need to learn how to take night shots.

The next morning we slept in, enjoying the cool ocean breeze and the sound of the surf, the dong dong of the buoy and the loud voices of little boys playing pretend across the way.

Finally most of the surrounding campers had headed off for the day so we got up and moving.  Breakfast of Chester Eggs – these are scrambled eggs with whatever was left and edible in the cooler.  Named after a friend named Chester who made them when we went camping when we were young and had great camping adventures.

We got our stuff together, clean clothes for showers but everything else readied to pack in the car or camper then just hook up and head out.

Packed sandwiches with the left overs, grabbed some chips and cold drinks from the Kelp Shed then headed to the beach.  The sun was out and life was good.

Gracie

Beach

The clouds and fog started heading in so we headed back to the site one more time to pack it up.

We were on the road by 5pm and home around 9pm.

A good time was had by all.

Miss Pickles seems very happy that we are home.

Oh good news!  When I got home I found out that I got a freebie booth for Grotonfest because I volunteered to do demos of spinning all day while hopefully selling my yarns and fibers.  Cindy is joining me for the day, so we get to hang out, enjoy a free concert (not sure who yet but if it’s as good as the past performances it will be good), lots of good food (the apple crisp is a must have) and hopefully sell our wares.  Save the date!

Saturday, September 11, (rain date 9/12) 10 AM to 4:30 PM Legion Common, Groton, MA


Memorial Day

It’s hard to believe it’s been two years since Dad passed away.

This past week, Mom and I drove down to Greene, NY to check the headstone and to put some flowers on Dad’s and my grandparents grave site.  It was a beautiful day.

We then headed down towards Binghamton.  (waving hi to Gayze as I passed her exit).

The ride from Afton to Chenango Bridge down Rte. 7 was spectacular.  The wild phlox (white and purple) we in full bloom everywhere!  We followed the lush, green ribbon of fertile farm land down the Susquehanna River.   Once again up over Beldon Hill where we spend the summer from hell in the Shasta trailer.  Poor MOM!  three kids, (me a teenager, my sister and my baby (toddler) brother, all of us living in this trailer on the top of Beldon Hill.  I still have nightmares.

We took a little detour drive through Hillcrest and by the house that we lived in when  I was between the ages of 4 to 6 or 7.

I had Mrs. Ames for kindergarten there and Miss Curley for 1st grade.  She wore the reddest lipstick!  The memories flooded back.

We then met up with some long time friends for dinner. SPEIDIES!!! and Lots of laughs and old stories.

The next day we headed home, but we did stop by the ‘extended’ family camp in Mount Upton on Buttermilk Creek.

Then we headed up I-88 towards home.  Mom and I talked about all the family secrets, disFUNction, and the entire cast of characters.

Oh ya knitting and spinning…

I finished knitting the Citron Shawl in the Alpaca lace from Peru 🙂  I am heading over to the studio later to dye it Lemon Drop Yellow.

I have been spinning – AND (exciting news!) making some gorgeous Batts – Black wool base, handpainted Faux Cashmere in lovely vibrant colors, and tossing in a bit O’Sparkle.  NICE and fun to spin.

-again no pics right now-

Off to do some dyeing in the studio today.  Don’t forget First Saturday Open Studio is going to happen next weekend (June 5th) – Stop by and check out the new stuff.

Another trip around the sun…

Is it me or are these trips around the sun faster than they used to be?

Now that the afterglow aftermath of the holidays is finally cleared away and all the crap that seems to pile up is getting sorted and put away, it’s time to do my annual stash cleaning and to really buckle down to finish the kimono.

New Years Eve was spent with a pizza, Myrna Loy and William Powell watching the Thin Man movies – I think I made through one and a half before falling asleep.   New Years Day I worked the phone queue for a few hours, then headed over to my sister’s to exchange gifts and indulge in Ebelskivers.  My niece loves to cook and bake and got a special Ebelskiver pan for Christmas.  These are very yummy stuffed Danish pancakes.  She stuffed some with scrambled eggs and bacon, jam, peanut butter chips and even mint chocolate chips.  They all were really good.

My brother-in-law was playing with his new camera and managed to get this shot from an old family slide!

This is Cindy (my little sister) and me showing off Dad’s catch of the day.  I think this was taken outside our house on Franklin Ave, in Hillcrest, NY.  I think I was maybe 5 at the time.

In the mean time I have knit a number of tea cozies.

This is a freebie pattern from Ravelry and takes exactly one skein of Noro Kureyon.   I made a few changes to the original pattern,

After I finish the picot hem I purl one row then start the stockinette in the round – I like that it adds a little ‘bead’ look to the bottom of the cozy.

I also slip the first stitches when doing the opening for the handle when going back and forth – this makes the open edge around the handle-hole a little neater.

For the spout opening I added one more row of the double yarn over to make the hole slightly bigger, I also twist the knit and purl edge stitches around the spout hole before and after the YOs to tighten up the edge stitches and make them neater.

These are quick knits and lots of fun.

I also knit a sweater for my hottie (hot water bottle, not cute guy) since it’s been so cold I love having a nice warm hottie to keep my toes warm.

Another freebie from Ravelry – I knit this from one skein of Louet Riverstone Chunky.  I had scored a bunch of this for felting projects from Webs big after Christmas Sale.

Brian and I went to Webs for the sale on the day after Christmas.  I scored 2 bags of the Louet Riverstone Chunky, 9 skeins of  Cascade 220 all for felting projects, along with 2 skeins of Malabrigo Worsted that I couldn’t resist.

Brian and I had a delicious lunch at Paul and Elizabeth’s Natural Foods Restaurant, in Northampton to top a perfect day.

Last Saturday, my knitting buddy, Erica came to the studio and we spent the day dyeing fiber.  It was an open studio day, but being a holiday weekend and it was snowing all day it was pretty dead so we got a lot done and had lots of fun too.

I’ve been thinking about opening the studio on one Thursday evening a month for people to drop in to learn to spin, or just hang out and bring their knitting projects.   We will see how it pans out – I am still putting together ideas now.

Right now I am looking forward to Saint Distaff Day at the Westford Historical Museum on Sunday.  Then my birthday the following weekend  with a party at my friend Laurel’s (girls only and the hot tub).  Pretty soon (February) it will time to head to SPA!!!  I cannot wait!  It already seems like it’s been a long winter and it’s only the first week in January.  Not a good sign.  At least I don’t mind staying indoors with plenty of knitting and spinning projects to keep me busy.

There were no real resolutions this year either, well maybe one.  I am going to try harder to live greener this year.  I have reusable grocery bags – but don’t always remember to grab them on the way out.  I will try harder this year.

I am also cutting back on cleaning products and eventually eliminating them, especially the ones with chemicals that really aren’t good for me, the cat or the environment.  I actually bought myself a steam mop with reusable pads that you just toss into the wash after using.  I cannot believe how clean (and sanitized) my kitchen and bathroom floors are, just using water/steam!  Now I think I want to get one of those hand-held steamers to clean the rest of the kitchen and bathrooms.   I figure that they will pay for themselves within 6 months if I don’t have to buy chemical cleaners anymore.

Well that’s all for now…  I hope you all find this New Year brings you peace, harmony, health and prosperity!

It’s coming on Christmas…

… they’re cutting down trees.  River is one of my favorite Joni Mitchell songs.

I wasn’t going to decorate at all this year.  Since I wasn’t having any of the celebrations at my house, and it’s just me and the cat… why bother right?   So I was at the Christmas Tree Shop picking up stocking stuffers and found a pre-lit, pre-decorated, little tree that only needed to be plugged in and for the big $9 price tag – how could I not!

I give you my tree! (sorry for the bad cellphone pic and please don’t notice the messy bookcase in the background)

I even picked up an evergreen scented candle to enhance the effect.   I have finished my shopping.  Last night I finished my wrapping.  Now all that is left is the cooking.  Chicken Wings for the Holiday potluck at work this Friday,  something for another gathering Friday night.

Then its out for dinner on Sunday for Gracie’s Birthday.  I still cannot believe that she is going to be EIGHTEEN!!!  When did that happen?  On one hand it seemed to take forever, on the other it happened in a blink of an eye.  This is going to be an adjustment.

I also want to make candied fruit this weekend – probably just oranges and lemons but if I am feeling really adventurous I just might try my hand at candied ginger.   Once that is done, it’s just cruise on into Christmas.

On the knitting front, I am glad to be done with all the itty-bitty mitten decorations.  I still need to finish a scarf I started on before Thanksgiving that has languished in the backseat of my car.  And of course I really have to get my butt in gear on the kimono.  That deadline will be here faster than I expect.   Then there is the French Press Felted Slippers craze that I am was fighting.   Not that hard apparently, as I did purchase the pattern last night in a moment of weakness, and now I am plotting how to get to the yarn store between picking up groceries and getting to the Java Room for knit nite.   I might be a little late to knitting…

Thanksgiving

This year we were all very thankful to be able to take some extra time off and spend it with my brother and nephew.  They flew in from New Mexico early so we had time to take Jeffrey to his new favorite store to pick out his birthday present.

This is one happy kid and the bag was almost as big as he is.

Of course once the pieces are all put together there is nothing better than playing with the bag they came in.

My ‘other’ nephew, Eric and brother Jim – playing computer games after dinner.

Sister Cindy

Niece, Kristine home from UMass Amherst.

Don’t they look related?! LOL!

Busy time of the year.

Oh my goodness has it been busy.   Between open studios, and trying to get my holiday knitting done I haven’t had time to do much to keep in touch other than Facebook.

But here is proof that I have been knitting.

 

These are lovely lace cowls (pattern Stephanie’s Pretty Thing).  It’s a quick fun knit and the pattern is easy to memorize.  The green one (top) is knit from Springtide Farms lovely cashmere.  The grey one (middle) is knit with some lovely natural BFL that I spun and the bottom is a skein of sock (Bunny Sox) of merino/angora from Dye Dreams that I picked up at Rhinebeck.    I have a few more to knit up.  I love that you only need about a skein of nice luxury yarn for one of these.

Speaking of luxury yarn I just received two skeins of Great Northern Mink/Cashmere – I am thinking more neck warmers.

I have also been adapting patterns and knitting a bunch of fingerless gloves.

These are quick knits too and it’s fun to make up cables on the fly.  Especially thanks to Lucia who showed me how to do cables without a cable needle.  Easy Peasy now.

On the bad news side – I found some bugs-that-may-not-be-spoken in my bedroom.  So I pulled everything out (sealed what little stash I had in that room into bags with mothballs – fumigated with a bomb – vacuumed and sprayed the room with boric acid – which also meant removing all my clothing and the smaller pieces of furniture.  Everything is in isolation and is being washed with boric acid just in case.   It’s been over a week and I’ve seen nothing else and nothing has found its way to the pheromone trap either so I think I am in the clear.  That was quite a scare.  Fortunately all of my fleece and fibers are kept at the studio so there is no way for cross contamination.  But it was a major pain in the ass job but it had to be done.  I am not even sure they were clothing m*ths but I didn’t want to take a chance. Better safe than sorry.

Darling Daughter and I went so some friends for dinner last Saturday night.  On the way we had to pull over to capture a photo of the sunset.

There have been spectacular sunsets for several days now but I either didn’t have my camera, or couldn’t find a spot to pull over in time.   This time I did and got to share it with Gracie.

The next month is going to be crazy, but if you get a chance here is where I am going to be vending my wares.

Westford Parish Center for the Arts – Holiday Craft Show

Saturday, November 28th from 1pm until 5pm

This is right on the Westford, MA common and it’s easy to find.

Also on the first two weekends in December (5th and 6th and again on the 12th and 13th) from 11am until 5pm at Western Avenue Artist Studios is having their Holiday Open Studios, both days of both weekends.  It’s a great place to shop interesting and unique items for the holidays as well as supporting your local artists.  I will be there all four days and if you have never been or haven’t been to our new studio, we are in Studio #206 on the second floor – near the new cafe called The Space.

Hope to see you at one of these events.

I am also taking the entire week next week off from real work so I can get some things done before all the bru-ha-ha.  AND because my brother Jim, and my nephew Jeffrey are coming to spend the week of Thanksgiving with us too!  I cannot wait to see them!

I will try to be better with the posts.  I am sure I will have lots of photos to share next week.