Sunday, May 31, 2020

Life here at the lake

Not much new.   Probably won't be much of interest for the rest of our summer.   No friends visiting, no exciting explorations, no new restaurants.  Sounds like I'm channeling Eeyore......  The weather in Western New York swings between downright cool and cloudy (today) and very warm and steamy (later this week).    Life is peaceful and calm here, not a bad thing, just not interesting and exciting to blog about.

We've been brightening up things with a few planted pots of summer flowers, watching boats go by, reading, and doing a few projects around the cottage.

part of Dave's waterfront woodshop

Dave built wooden valances over the windows in the living rooms to provide a bit of upward reflecting light in the evenings.

attaching the new lighting valance

It's hard to get a good photograph of the quality of light they provide in the evenings, but we're very happy with this little project.

Our bird feeding station has been a huge much so that the squirrels and chipmunks are stuffing themselves and we've even had nighttime raccoon raid. 

Mrs. Oriole savors the last bits of grape jelly 

 Our fly-in, seed eating friends become cross with each other when the seed levels drop dramatically.

bla bla bla bla bla

 Dave is trying a new, natural, method to try and discourage these greedy guys.    He's attached thorny wild rose bush canes on the staff - we'll see if that makes them think twice.

We've also been slowing working on turning one half of the lower level into a bedroom and bathroom.        Dave has moved his "work shop" to the other side and is now putting up walls.   I am, rather reluctantly, organizing, consolidating and making large "Good Will" piles.    Lewis supervises from the open doorway (while keeping an eye on the neighbor's new dog)

He keeps his distance lest we recruit his help.     One time we fooled him into coming in to help and then plopped him on the grooming table and mowed his wooly self.    Fool him once, shame on us, fool him twice, shame on him.

you calling me?

And then there are the "lake only" types of jobs such as vacuuming spiders from ceilings and windows and fishing out the huge Northern Pike that occasionally float up onto our little beach area. 

Dave and Lewis check out the fish's mouthful of sharp teeth

I've been cooking and baking a lot..    We figured out that I have made 73 dinners, in a row.   That doesn't count the lunches and baked goods.     I miss restaurants.

It's rhubarb season and Dave's favorite desserts revolve around all things rhubarb.    We used to grow a wonderful patch of it at the farm but since then I have had my sources nearby.    This year is different.    I resorted to buying some HUGE stalks at our local grocery store (which will remain nameless) a few weeks ago.   I should have known better but tis the season and Dave loves it so.

I made a crisp with it, no sense going through the trouble of constructing a pie when I pretty much knew how it was going to turnout.      Yep, the crisp part was decious but the rhubarb (cut into tiny pieces) remained as crisp and fiberous as if I'd made a celery crisp.   It went in the garbage.

But....dear friends came to the rescue with an armful of tender, freshly cut rhubarb and I made lots of goodies with it.    Crisps, upside down cake and strawberry rhubarb muffins.

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

Dave's birthday is tommorrow.....what new rhubarb creation can I come up with for his dinner?

So.....that's basically all I have for now.    Stay tuned (she says hopefully)...

spring color on our Copper Beech tree

last of spring's lilacs


Sunday, May 17, 2020

Friends - no masks required

Life is good at the lake.....After being on the road, it's just a little boring to sit in one an area we've lived in for close to 50 years.   I guess exciting and/or interesting isn't always necessary though.   Regular and familiar and peaceful are good too.

The Fantastic Fred stopped by right after we arrived home (he called first and arrived, mask on and social distancing) to present us with a welcome home gift.....a strawberry rhubarb pie and two hand sewn masks.      What did we do to deserve him.

Several others have dropped by to welcome us home.  Most of them have feathers and wings, some with masks, but we are delighted to see them all.     Dave has set up a "welcome" station for them and it is a busy place.

We have delicious seeds and nuts (in a feeder complete with a tail rest for our woodpecker/flicker friends), a nectar feeder, oranges and - of course - a large water feature. 

A pair of colorful Baltimore Orioles have enjoyed the orange halves so much that they moved over to the hummingbird feeder for sustenance until Dave refilled the empty rinds with jelly.    Now they're happy!

the bus boy refills the orange rinds with jelly

Now our super tiny Ruby Throated Hummingbird lady has the feeder all to herself, she appreciates it.  (No, her throat isn't ruby - her exhibitionist mate is the only one with that coloration.)

More and more friends come to say hello each day.    Some fly in, some jump.

Some swim up to check us out or rest on our breakwall after working hard to catch any flying bug.
They know how much I hate flying bugs.

Mr. and Mrs. Merganser work the waters in front of the cottage

families come to visit

a raft of young Buffleheads

we first saw a Spotted Sandpiper in Colorado City a few weeks ago
do you think he followed us?

Dave and Lewis have been doing a few "openning the cottage" jobs.    We pay a couple strong young men to put the docks in, that happened yesterday, but once the heavy work is done there are a few finishing touches left.

view from above
Lewis watches the dock guys from a safe distance

Dave does most of the work but Lewis does a fair job supervising and giving advice on where the chairs go, how he wants his sun umbrella positioned, etc.

He helps Dave reposition the large rocks we use for stairs into the water.    His attention comes and goes, (floating sticks are something he just cannot abide) but Dave knows what he wants done so it doesn't really matter. 

so many sticks to take out of the lake, so many sticks

If we go inside for some reason, even if it's only for a few minutes he hustles past all the windows, looking in for us.    He's a tough task master.   No rest for us, there are things he wants done before it's time to rest.

After all is said and done, we're happy to be able to sit outside, watch the birds, and enjoy Second Cup together.   At the end of our day we love a peaceful Happy Hour on the dock and the ritual after dinner fishing brings joy.