Sunday, June 24, 2018

We're still here......

even his hair is dripping.....

It's raining - raining straight down, all day long.  This is probably a good thing because we need it, our grass is starting to look like it does mid-August, and  I haven't stayed inside to do a blog....or do laundry.    So guess what I'm doing today?

Once again we've been busy but not with anything extremely exciting.   Nothing new and beautiful and unexpected or awe inspiring like when we're on the road.  Most of our time is pleasant and we're content.    Doctor's appointments are clicking buy without anything unexpected - a good thing.   

the web of a spider on drugs....what other explanation could there be?

a gratuitous picture of Lewis trying to sneak out the sliding door.....

On Father's Day we had old friends Cindy and Norm over for dinner.   Their daughter lives in Virginia and Jesse is in Denver so both father's were without child that day.   It was very very hot but we had a nice time, drank chilled Rose, ate and talked and enjoyed a cheery evening fire in the chimmanea.   I took no pictures of our visit or of dinner.   But.....I did manage to take a picture of Dave's  Father's Day lunch - a special request.

Dave's requested lunch......
Wardynski's Polish Sausage on rye and hard boiled egg

Beluga is back home again.   She had a rather expensive physical and is now sporting a new turbo charger and exhaust manifold.  She also had a complete valve adjustment, a NYS inspection, new belts, oil change and analysis,  transmission fluid and filter service, and her shift sequence was reprogrammed.
She was pronounced ready to go another 100,000 miles!    Now the question is, will we?

She arrived home just in time.   My (actually, our) friend Judi came for a few day's visit and Beluga is her guest suite.    We had dinner at our favorite restaurant, the Rabbit Room, one night and cooked home the next evening.

Judi gives Dave grilling instuctions

Dave is thrilled with his new Copper grilling mat -
Thanks Lisa!

Beluga has a new (and by "new" I mean "old" but don't tell her) friend beside her in the driveway.

Mrs. Rinker asked that we don't photograph her too closely -
she feels her best days are behind her....

A boat!    We call her Mrs. Rinker and she came to us from just down the road.   Her owner's no longer wanted her, they had a new party boat to enjoy so they let us have her for a relatively nominal fee.    She's rather an old girl and needs some TLC and freshening before she moves to her new home alongside our dock.

Dave has been cleaning her carpets (she endured years of scattered mothballs in an effort to repel the inevitable winter mouse invasion), reinforcing her seat bottoms (she's embarrassed by this, so don't mention it to her), cleaning and polishing, tuning her engine (she sputters a bit) and getting her a spanking new cover to keep her dry and warm in the rain.     He's also been sanding her very nasty and neglected teak trim pieces.   They may be beyond his help, but we won't tell her.

She came to us just as we had firmly decided against looking for a boat.
We'd been going back and forth about it for awhile.      When we sold the farm and went on the road we sold our boat, boat hoist, sailboat, and canoe - we wouldn't need them in Beluga and they were just more things to store.
   But, now that we've come back to the area for summer, we've both been missing being able to get out on the water.

We were sitting out on the dock, enjoying second cup together, dangling our feet in the water when we made the final decision NOT to look for a boat.   It wasn't in the budget....Beluga had just cost us about $7000 and we do have to eat for the rest of the summer!

Ah well, best laid plans.   Life is to short we said.    We really want a simple boat and why shouldn't we have it!    Mrs. Rinker was really cheap, boat, motor and trailer....she was just down the street.....if we don't come back to the lake next summer we won't feel bad leaving her there, she was (shhhhh) cheap. 
So that very afternoon we dragged her home.      Dave is enjoying his project, he's out there in the rain as we speak!

Last week our friend JoAnn's daughter and husband, came for lunch and a little lake fun.   JoAnn was also to join us but she felt ill at the last minute so it was just the four of us.

Beth tries out the SUP while Von encourages from the kayak


That's about it from us.   I can't believe it's almost the 4th of July already.   We're looking forward to our annual Ring of Fire party on the 3rd, our visit from Pam and John later that week and the Pond's arrival for a week in August.   The summer is flying by.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

A week already

We've been at the lake for one week today.   Not much excitement, but plenty of pleasure.

Dave fishes, Lewis holds the net

oof, oof, oof

the ivy under the Copper Beech is always cool on a hot day

The weather has swung from the low 90's with equal humidity to the 50s, brilliant sun and puffy clouds to pouring rain and scudding clouds.    Lewis has been having a ball "fishing" with Dave, peeing whenever the mood strikes him, ooffing at the bass boats plying the cove's waters, helping Dave outside and entertaining company.

Lewis helps pile the tree trimmings on the bonfire pile

Lisa massages Lew at Happy Hour

Lew escorts Nancy Jo

The only problem he has in this cottage is he isn't able to watch us both at the same time.    In Beluga keeping track of us is easy but here he has to be a little creative to keep an eye on both of us.

keeping an eye on me while he tries to rest on the couch

one of us is in the bathroom, one is in the kitchen....tough to find just the right
spot to watch us both

one on the deck, the other down on the grass....where should a guy sit?

So.....that's how Lewis has used his first week.    We've been getting caught up with laundry, taking care of some necessary appointments, enjoying second cup and happy hour outside (when it's not raining), supervising the dock installation, doing a little entertaining and filling some crocks and planters with summer color.   

I tend to lose Dave when we're in a Garden Center.   I start talking to him, asking his opinion about this or that, and then I realize he's not with me.....

Our niece Lisa came over for dinner on Dave's birthday.   His birthday cake was, as always, a strawberry/rhubarb pie.   This year I didn't make the pie personally.  We bought one at the Julian Pie Company  (Julian, California) in January and we've been dragging it all over the country (in the freezer of course) til the big day.   He'd been trying every trick in the book to get me to bake it before his birthday, but I remained steadfast.   Delayed gratification is good for you I kept telling him.     I have no pictures, it was gone too fast.

Lisa and Dave contemplate the world

Last night we enjoyed a visit from our much loved (and recently, sadly deceased) friend and ex neighbor Carm's daughter, Nancy Jo.   Carm lived in Tucson for the last years of her life and Nancy Jo lives in Amsterdam so we haven't seen much of her over the years.   She was a young girl when we first moved in next door to them and we've kept up with each others lives through Carm.   Nancy Jo is in the U.S. visiting with friends and we had such a lovely evening together.  The time flew by, literally and figuratively.

Beluga is in the shop for a check up and some routine stuff.   I feel oddly unsettled not being able to look out the window and see her.   Seems like part of the house is gone.    Hopefully she'll be back in a day or so and I'll be much happier.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Back where we started

We've been keeping an eye on the rain and wind thrown off by Alberto as it moves north, away from the Gulf.    We had planned on stopping in McKean, Pennsylvania tonight and then drive the rest of the way to the lake tomorrow but made a last minute correction and came directly here while the skies were blue.

So, we're here.    We left last October and have had a wonderful fall, winter and spring exploring the west.     Summers at the lake are beautiful and we're looking forward to a lovely season visiting with friends and chilling lakeside before we head out again. 

our sweet, quiet little welcome wagon lady

Lewis is thrilled to have his giant water bowl back!

our shore is lined with the most fragrant Black Locust trees!

Lew is a big help opening up the cottage

wet feet are the norm 


Sunday, May 27, 2018

Casey, Illinois

We've been at the Casey (CAY zee), Illinois KOA since Friday afternoon.   We stopped here last fall, on our way west and remembered it as a small, green, quiet campground with all the necessary services and not too far from the interstate for ease of continued travel.   It is surrounded by enormous farm fields of corn or soybeans.

site 4

It's still that.....but this weekend it is bulging at the seams.   Kids, bicycles, dogs, tents, campfires, corn hole games, flags, heat and humidity, bugs.     Everyone is having a ball and, surprisingly, we're not having such a bad time.   Just a different time than everyone else.   

People must think us odd.   I guess we are, but that's how we roll.    We have no flags flying, no chairs outside around the campfire, no fishing poles leaning on the tree, no bright table cloth on the picnic table, no barking dog tied outside, no pool towels hanging from the awning.   No awning out for that matter!

We're enjoying a respite from driving miles on the interstate each day.   We're enjoying our heavenly air conditioning, our pretty lake view (no one has put a tent or trailer there. much to our surprise and joy).    We're enjoying making and eating a few good dinners instead of just warming things in the microwave.  We're enjoying watching the Indianapolis 500 on television and we're enjoying not itching from the mosquito population just outside Beluga's door.

Lewis enjoys his spot directly under an air conditioning vent.

Yesterday we drove into Casey's downtown looking for the town's claim to fame.....8 Guiness Book of World Records certified, fully functional,World's Largest Things.

I don't think we actually saw all 8 but we saw enough to satisfy me.    Casey is a small town (less than 3000 people) that had fallen on hard times, as many small mid America towns have.   One of it's residents decided to design and build something to encourage people to stop for a bit on their way past on I-70.  He felt that if people stop to look at the "world's largest......" maybe they'd buy gas, ice cream, lunch, and perhaps even stay overnight.    He began creating.    Each one is placed next to or in front of, a local business.

World's Largest Mailbox
 (with an official USPS mail slot inside, a door that opens and closes and
a flag that goes up)

this colorful birdie keeps a clean cage!

World's Largest Golf Tee sits on the town's golf course.
There are plans to put a giant golf ball on top......

World's Largest pitchfork beside a restaurant inside a beautiful old barn

World's Largest Windchimes

giant replica of the builder's Grandmother's Rocker
We did see the World's Largest knitting needles and crochet hook through the window of the town's Yarn Shoppe, but didn't go inside to photograph them.   We also noticed the fabric actually produced by those giant implements lying next to them.    All these things must be actually usable, the rocker must rock, the knitting needles must knit, the wind chime must make noise, etc.

The town is exceptionally neat and clean, Disney-esque almost.   Each attraction is set upon beautiful and perfect landscaping.   Dave even noticed that the decorative rocks and stones had been lacquered.     Another thing we noticed everywhere were religious symbols and/or bible verses, especially evident on the World's Largest things.      Hmmmm.

We leave here in the morning, refreshed and ready for the final leg of our trip.