Week 27 – Heaven

Destruction – Construction

Over the years our house is bombarded with good weather and bad weather.  We have a covered deck and we have an open deck that is beaten up by the wind, the rain, the snow and the ice that comes down the lake and off the water.  The deck was replaced when we winterized the cottage in 2003.  Since then we have replaced a few boards and we have had it painted almost every summer.  This summer it was obvious that it needed a total replacement.  John built the railing to match the original railing that was with the house.  It took him forever to do it and it was a work of art and love on his part.  It took Troy, our wonderful contractor, about an hour to take it down with a chain saw.  He also took the deck itself down with a chain saw.  In fact, it took only a day to take down a rather large deck that has been there for 15 years.  Now the construction is taking place and I am amazed at how much work it is to rebuild.  This deck will outlive us.  It has a solid base and is going to be topped with something that looks like wood but isn’t, AZEC or TREX and it NEVER needs to be painted.  We have the frame and now we need the decking.  We have a deadline for the deck and that is a celebration party for our brides that is scheduled for the 13th of July.  Troy is on it and says he can get it done.  It remains to be seen but it won’t be because we didn’t try.  Otherwise, the party, for 40+ people will take place somewhere else, we don’t have enough lawn to have a party and the dock isn’t big enough either.  Am I relaxed, yup, it’s all going to be ok.  Stay tuned for updates!!!!!!

Heat Wave

It is absolutely heavenly being by the lake during what is a heat wave in Canada.  We don’t get them very often but when they do arrive they keep us sitting on the dock and in the water.  It is Canada Day here with all the fun and fireworks associated with that holiday.  Various parades are held throughout the Townships with the oldest one in the country being held in the neighboring town of Hatley.  We used to go every year when the children were small as they loved it.  Lots of horses and wagons, fire engines, floats with people throwing candy to the children on the side of the road, music from various bands, funny little cars and then the beautiful antique cars.  Once you were there you couldn’t leave until the parade was over.  I don’t miss it!  So this Canada Day, we are on the dock, in the lake and enjoying watching the boats and reading or just chatting.  It’s delightful.  We await the fireworks and hope that the storms stay away.

Holiday Food

From Blue Zones again.  The picture is from the Blue Zones website. Click Here to go to their website.

A Simple Greek Bruschetta

2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
1⁄4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted + chopped (optional)
1⁄4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 tbsp dried oregano (if fresh, chop)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
Pinch each sea salt + black pepper

1 white or wheat baguette, sliced into 3⁄4-inch slices (Ikarian-Style Sourdough would work for this recipe, as well)
1 tbsp olive oil, grape seed oil, or avocado oil
1 large clove garlic, halved

Add cherry tomatoes, olives (optional), basil, oregano, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper to mixing bowl. Toss to coat. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt, basil, or balsamic vinegar as desired.
Serve with toasted baguette slices. Store leftovers separate from bread, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 2 days, though best when fresh.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Arrange baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Take garlic clove and rub on both sides of slices for extra flavor. Arrange in single layer on baking sheet.
Bake baguette until just slightly golden brown—about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.


Walking and More

I walked a lot with my brother this week and one of our favorite walks is through a park here in the village.  We came upon a fallen tree.  Not to be undone, my brother took out his trusty Leatherman and he cut it up, right there.  I have to say I was very impressed.  We were able to clear the path for future walkers and continue on our way.  Both of us practice cleaning up when we walk.  Paul is better than I am about picking up things that others have left before but we both try, especially when we are walking on public land or on private property that we have permission to walk across.  This trip included picking up a diaper (not a dirty one) as well as the tree and, indeed, he picked up after a puppy owner who was not very responsible.  We both feel that it is a small price to pay for the right to walk on these beautiful trails and across our friends and relatives property.  Sometimes we come across some beautiful mushrooms and below is one we found on our excursions in the woods this week.  Don’t know what kind it is but it is very pretty.

A Surprise After Lunch

I went out to lunch with my brother and sister on a day that was full of meetings with all those involved in settling an estate.  We took a break and stopped at the Queen Elizabeth hotel bistro for a quick lunch.  I needed a little pick me up and so I order a decaf latte and look what I got.  Our waitress was so pleased with her surprise and needless to say, so was I, it was almost too good to drink.  For some reason I was very cold.  I think nerves perhaps, anyway, after seeing this and then drinking the hot beverage, I felt considerably better and was able to continue quite well with the rest of the day.  I’m not much of a meeting person but thanks to the Queen E, it all went well.

And They Are Off

After a fabulous dinner Monday night with cousins and aunt and uncle at Cafe Parvis in Montreal, we put the kids on a plane on Tuesday morning to spend the summer in Northern Ontario.  Grandson, Jack, is traveling for 40 days to the Arctic Ocean in a canoe with a super group of young men who love the outdoors.  They leave technology behind, except for a GoPro that films some of their adventures, and they reconnect with themselves and the natural world around them.  The director of the camp said “Your young ones are adventurers, they are courageous and joyful, helpful and proactive, generous with one another, and capable beyond belief. Watching how quickly they have come together into tight units within days of arrival at camp is a powerful testament and a predictor of incredible individual and group success this summer”.   Camp Wabun is a very special place.  We can’t wait to hear about his adventures.

Grand daughter, Libby, is now a Mattawa and will have at least three good long trips with her group.  We don’t know yet which rivers she will be paddling but we do know that the grin on her face is bigger than anything we see at any other time of the year.  It is in her blood to be up there with her crew.  She could hardly wait to go back.  Her first trip is a seven day trip in and around Lake Temagami.  Oh the stories she will have to tell when we see her in August.