Home sweet home

We have internet! A big change from Deal Island.

After 45 hours of solid travel, we made it home. Our flight off the island was rough. It was windy and the pilot warned me my head might hit the ceiling. It didn’t and Tim managed to get a beautiful parting shot. One of my favorites. It shows the magnitude of the cliffs, the sea and the beautiful lighthouse, now partly painted.

We spent a day on lovely Flinders Island. It really is as beautiful as Deal Island, only with a few more people.

Next stop Launceston, Tasmania, where we visited old haunts: the Cataract Gorge, The Aquatic Center, Museum and the best hamburger joint around (twice). I also had my first flat white not made by me! So pretty.

Then our journey began. We flew to Sydney where we had a nine hour layover. We made good use of our time. We visited my favorite dumpling place and then we toured the Harbor. Never fails to delight.

Then 20 hours of flying…Followed by a six hour drive home. And we made it. After a week, I am beginning to adjust. And home is pretty sweet too.

Ihave hundreds of photos from Deal I was never able to upload. I will gradually get them online, until our next adventure.

So many new skills

I hardly have time to apply the old ones. My holiday crafting is officially over. Now I am only left with: a birthday quilt, with only a small amount of binding to be sewn; new baby and sibling gifts; a wedding afghan; leggings for painters; two bathing suits for me; and recover a set of boat cushions. Then it will all be about travel projects for out next trip to lovely Deal Island!

Tim gave me a refresher course in the chain saw and I have been cutting the wood down to size for the wood stove and splitting it. My only two compaints are the chainsaw is a little heavy and I need a girlie chainsaw helmet with ear protectors. Tim’s tends to slide down over my eyes. Could be a problem.

Next up are my mad plumbing skills. I replaced our kitchen faucet. Kohler boasts it should be a homeowner project easily completed in under an hour. I guess that would be the case if all the parts worked. But alas, I resorted to eBay and two parts were defective. How did I know this? After my first installation and trial, we had a fountain in the kitchen. At least the plants on the windowsill got watered. After many false starts – under the sink, turn the water off, try something else, turn on the water – drip, drip, drip, I identified the culprits. Luckily I still had the old parts and with them installed, the faucet now works beautifully. There may have been some cursing under the sink in the process.

Yesterday I got to use the snowblower because we had about 4 inches of snow. That got me thinking about organizing the garage. And go to the dump. When Tim mentioned his piano needed “voicing” I put my foot down. I’ve had a lot of days at home and about and have really enjoyed them. We went for a walk at Heaven Hill in Lake Placid. Lovely trails – with micro spikes – and beautiful views.

Here are some shots from closer to home. Iron mountain looked lovely down our road, covered in snow.

And my poor little pizza oven sits across the driveway, unused and looking lonely. I painted a face on the door so when I look at it, it looks back at me. Next summer…

Why do we ever leave?

It’s hard to say because where we live is so beautiful and peaceful. Our county has the second lowest population density in New York, so we aren’t driven away by the crowds. We have mountains and lakes and a hand built log cabin. I’ve been following the current Maatsuyker caretakers on Instagram and they summed it up quite well. It’s for the simple life unhindered by schedules. A typical day includes lots of time to create: music; weaving; knitting; and food. There’s always plenty of time and energy to exercise. And time to read and reflect on nature, seascapes, and sunsets. We try to maintain it at home but it’s much harder. I work a few days a week, as beautiful as our home is, we live far from family and travel to see them. Life gets in the way of life?

But here we are.

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Tim tears me away from my knitting and weaving to take walks, ride our bikes or swim.

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We visit family and friends.

657DA3B8-0F07-4AD0-B550-33470A6DD101A90358FB-0B21-4011-A804-A354DECE187BI find inspiration in our local color.

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The weather is mostly fine

As in, “Wasn’t yesterday’s weather just fine?”.  I think that is how they would describe it in Australia, sunny, pleasant temperature in the 60’s and, did I say, sunshine! Makes a world of difference. Today there is pea soup fog but it should lift before we plan to go ashore to see Sequim’s production of the play, The Gin Game. Quite a Sunday in store for us.

Yesterday’s patrol was a delight. Lots of seabirds, seals, and mountains. I politely shooed a fishing boat away that was too close to the island for the wildlife’s comfort, 200 yard buffer around the whole island. They pleaded ignorance, hmmm, and complied. We investigated an object with a very straight black vertical stripe. At first I thought it was a tent on the beach! We got closer, looked from different angles and because it was so straight. Tim finally reckoned it was a shadow cast by a log hanging over the top of the rock. Disaster averted.

 

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Loon


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Eagle lookout


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Rhinoceros auklet and tufted puffin

Things I would like to have in the kitchen but don’t are a rolling pin, pie plate, muffin tins and a baking sheet.  I am such a princess. A chilling bottle of wine always serves well as a rolling pin, thank you Malcolm and Margaret; we have a thin round baking sheet, which is likely to burn my cookies; I’ve been using a square pan with some good pie results, except the other night, when in a stupor I sprinkled baking soda instead of cornstarch over my apples; and muffin tins may be essential for popovers. Which of these are really essential. None really. I’ll see how my mood is when we are ashore. Skip the rolling pin for sure.

I’ve learned about another weird chemical reaction, I haven’t worked out the formulae but a have an inkling. Not for the weak of heart. We can’t drink the well water because it is very high in nitrates. It’s clear, doesn’t smell and is fine to wash dishes, shower, etc. That’s one compound in the formula.  The next is urochrome. You may not have heard of it but it’s the compound that makes pee (urine – uro) yellow and is from the breakdown of bile in our blood. I think an oxygen molecule from the nitrate latches on somewhere to urochrome and changes its structure. Well when the two mix, like in the toilet, urine magically turns clear. Very odd. How will I know if I am well hydrated or not? Lucky for you, I will not post a photo to illustrate this concept.

We got tired of using paper napkins so I wove two with cotton thread I had on hand and my 4 inch pin weave-it loom. Not ideal, but they work. They are the first pin loom weavings I have sewn together. As someone said, these little loom squares are like potato chips, you can’t just weave one. They are so cute and take about 15 minutes. What do I have but time?

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I took a walk before dinner to enjoy the views. There were two eagles and two northern harriers checking me out. I keep my glasses and hat on! And I have no intention of watching Hitchcock’s “The Birds” again until we leave her.  I was traumatized the first time I watched it because the next day I went out to sell Girl Scout cookies for my Brownie troop and birds were just waiting to attack me.

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Fiber ghosts

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My view as I ran an errand yesterday.

I have bought most of my weaving looms and sewing machines used, often directly from the previous fiber addict. It saddens me that I only met these women as they phase fiber arts out of their lives and sometimes moved away from this area.

I think of them as I use their tools. My wool carders have another woman’s name on them. My floor loom has stains where someone tried warp painting. A friend’s husband made my warping board – he’s passed away, I never met him but think of them both as I wind a warp.

Just yesterday I bought an 8 shaft Leclerc table loom from a weaver extraordinaire. Sadly her truck’s packed and she’s heading south after a few years here and our paths never crossed until now.

I am thinking of placing a personal ad.

Time to camp, reap and dye

Summer is almost over, the crowds have left and kids (and sorry, teachers) are back in school. So we took advantage of some time off and spent a few glorious days in the woods. We hiked to waterfalls, a gorge, lots of ponds and a mountain, with lots of swimming along the way.

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I packed light with a pair of shorts with zip on legs. However, one zipper was broken and my exposed leg was enjoyed by many mosquitos at dusk. Luckily we had a bandage in our pack and I taped the leg to the shorts but couldn’t make any fancy moves for fear of another mosquito feast.

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We returned to my bountiful garden where there is not much left to do except remember to harvest now and then.

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I’ve used some of my flowers to dye yarn with, so far, mildly disappointing results. I used colorful zinnias, dahlias and day lilies (with an alum mordant) all of which produced a yellow dye.

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I saw so many mushrooms during our hike, I want to learn about mycopigment. In the meantime, I’m soaking various lichen I have collected in ammonia to see what they produce. Early results are promising.

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Home work

Shirley was happy to see the hot tub was filled and warm.

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My little hat may be littler than intended but the colorwork is super cute.

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I missed tonight’s sunset but the sky and clouds were pretty nice.

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All was in order for the arrival of the princesses for a weekend of fun.

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