Taking Time Away
John just celebrated his 55th high school reunion. I wasn’t able to go with him to Hartford but we both joined six of his classmates on our neighboring lake, Memphremagog, for three days of R & R. Memphremagog is considerably bigger than our lake, it is 32 miles long, has many inlets and islands and a very long shoreline. It has Magog, Quebec at one end and Newport, Vermont at the other. There are many, many stories about crossing the border by boat which include having to stop at a small landing, pick up a phone and check in with Border Patrol that is now located in Hamilton, Ontario. The people in Hamilton have no idea what the lake looks like and most likely have never even been in Quebec. We have lived with the border crossings for all of our lives and love to hear the stories that people have about various amusing and not so amusing happenings. Our regular border was just recently written up in the New York Times talking about the border wall of petunias and the love that the people have for each other on both sides of the border. I hope things don’t change.
Our visit with friends was full of good food, conversation and boat rides or rather cocktail cruises on our hosts pontoon boat. John and I and the dogs were given one of the cottages on the property that was high up on a cliff overlooking the lake. The deck was in the treetops and the view was definitely a bird’s eye view. The first 24 hours I was there were pretty much ones of solitude for me. I went for a big long hike with the dogs exploring a good bit of the property passing gullies with waterfalls, saw a beautiful deer, listened to the birds and breathed deeply of the beautiful forest air. It was a very tranquil time. The next 24 hours were better and I felt more like socializing. We had a wonderful cocktail cruise with food catered by Owl’s Bread Boulangerie from Mansonville. Denis and his wife Aggie came with food for appetizers for our cruise and then dinner post cruise. The most fun was that they included us in the preparation and the serving of the food. This made it much more fun and interesting for everyone. The food was superb and all local sourced which I love and was so very pleased about. By the time 48 hours had passed I was feeling much more like myself and even managed to stay up past my usual bedtime of nine o’clock (Dataw midnight). We left the following day and I felt pretty darn good by then. Ran around making beds and helping with the clean up as the 14 of us departed for our various homes. Now to deal with the North Hatley house – I am still not unpacked and haven’t found all the items I put away when we left last fall, but that’s a story for another day.
Other than my Monday walk, the other walks this week have been shorter but with much more elevation change. In South Carolina there is about a 30 foot elevation, here it is 300 feet which is a lot more work. The puppy is exhausted when we finish and I try not to overdo the walking with her. She doesn’t know when to stop and has to keep up with her big brother who has much longer legs and is used to big long walks. We will slowly and surely add more mileage as the summer goes on. There are two great walking parks that have beautiful walking trails and bridges and rock outcroppings that meander through the woods. Neither one is very long but the trails really climb up the side of a hill and then come back down again. John did one with me this week and then my sister and daughter and granddaughter did the other with me at the end of the week. I am certainly happy to be back in the woods again. However, there is a caveat. Deer. We have run across a couple of them on our walks and Wyke seems to think he can catch them. I have been working very hard to get them to come when I blow the whistle and so far it has worked but I am a bit nervous so have ordered a training collar for him. When he is off leash, which he can be on a lot of the property we walk on, I want to be sure to get him back. A few years ago I experienced an awful time when my Border Terrier, Miss Q, took off and was gone for over eight hours. It was in a flash that she took off and I really wasn’t sure I would ever see her again. My brother and sister and I spent the whole time walking through the woods and calling her and telling people that she was lost. It was awful. As it turned out, she found my brother and came up behind him on one of the trails. She never ran away again. Now I have Bean, she does what Wyke does and I don’t want either of them to run away.
Birthdays and Birthday Cake
It is my sister’s birthday. The first one she has celebrated without my mother so she came out from the city to spend it here with us. Granddaughter Libby spent two days making her a cake from scratch and it was delicious. It was our favorite recipe from Ree Drummond and is called Epiphany Cake. We don’t put the trinkets in it but the rest is as she says to do it. Libby has come a long way in her cooking. It was only a few years ago she would help me in the kitchen and now she is in command of the kitchen. She looked the recipe up on her iPad, went shopping for the ingredients with her grandfather, and put it all together without any help or interference from us. There just isn’t anything better than a homemade from scratch cake. Granted, not as convenient as the cake mixes but oh so much better and more flavor. No preservatives or artificial ingredients. Look out, it’s going fast.
Recently I read that Bone Broth is not only a super food but it is also a super food for your pet. I’m all for eating healthy and clean and I want the same for my fur crowd. I make lots of vegetable broth and recently made chicken broth and have been feeding it to my pups with their supper. They certainly seem to enjoy it and it makes me feel good that I am giving them just a little something extra. Bone Broth is next on my list to try. Here is a link to an article about the benefits of bone broth and how to make it. 5 Bone Broth Benefits The real secret is how long you cook it to get all the goodness out of the bones. Maybe there is something to all those cans of consommé that my mother always had on her shelves!!!
This picture has nothing to do with Bone Broth but I love the picture. Bean discovered geese and couldn’t take her eyes off them. She didn’t try and chase them but when the mallard duck had the audacity to land on the dock, right in front of her face, she couldn’t help herself. She ran along the shore on the rocks chasing the duck until she slipped off one of the rocks and the next thing we knew she was swimming. It became very clear that she doesn’t like to swim, in fact, she doesn’t like getting wet when it rains.