Week 20 – Serenity, Bears and More

Mama Bear with babies

This is Mama bear leaning with her back to the tree nursing her two babies. The photo was taken by my neighbor and is part of a video she took. The babies were in the tree and they climbed down and on to her back and then she sat there very quietly and nursed them. It has been quite a week of bear sightings. She was in my back yard that same day and the noise my dogs made barking caused her twins to climb a tree in our back yard. They stayed there for a few hours which worried me. The dogs were inside the house and not outside but they made way too much noise and the windows were open. The New Hampshire Fish and Game folks told me not to worry that she would wait for as long as it took for them to be comfortable and come down, maybe even into the night, but she wouldn’t leave them. This was in fact true and eventually she did leave. She has been spotted by a number of neighbors and another single bear has also been spotted. We think he is a large male bear who is again not aggressive but very curious. Who would have thought it right in the middle of town really. Jim at Fish & Game seems to know her, he referred to her as a sow and a good mother who has a baby or babies every couple of years. I guess that made me feel more comfortable about her too.

Update on Jenny Lane

The vegetable garden

No inside work was done but a fair amount of outside work was accomplished. John spent days working on the vegetable garden rototilling it, cleaning out left over items, planting some dahlias around the edge then putting down plastic to help with weeks and finally beginning the planting. Tomatoes and basil are in as are lettuce and spinach and beet seeds. The rhubarb is looking good, the chive plants are huge and the onions and garlic have sprouted. It was a lot of work but things are in good shape for now. Some major work was done on the front garden that needed a back hoe so one came and removed the old rose bushes very efficiently. John worked on that garden removing large rocks and working on the soil. The stone wall will be rebuilt and then we will plant it. This coming week there should be more outside work done to prepare for painting the house. And, with any luck, maybe the cabinets and counters will get installed in the bathroom and laundry.

Canada Again

We came back up to the lake just in time for the hottest stretch of weather in a year. It was almost 90 for three days in a row. Very, very unusual for this time of the year up here. We are here for almost a month this time or maybe longer. Much was done while we were gone in getting the house back in order. Our team up here cleaned inside the house doing one floor at a time and the outside was wonderful. The wood pile had been split and stacked, the deck and stairs power washed, the inside porch floor had been scraped, sealed and painted. The place looked wonderful. I sighed with great contentment. There is always a lot to be done here and since John has a workshop that is where I will find him most of the time. He has been repairing our outside chairs and table. They had been neglected for almost three years so they needed some love.

Update on Lakeside Cottage

Not content to leave well enough alone I started a project when I was last here a few weeks ago. Painting the cabinets in the kitchen. It wasn’t enough to have everything clean but it had been a number of years since they were painted. They were all hand made by our Canadian builder for the renovation we did in 2004. Since then they were painted once, all white, and they really needed to be painted again. They are made from bead board and aren’t actually that easy to paint and they had awful (but back then they weren’t) enamel handles. So after three days of peace and quiet I decided to paint. Everything out of the drawers onto the counters. What a mess. Then I have to put everything back in the drawers once the paint is dry so I can paint the cabinets. I’m certifiably nuts. After living in chaos for the better part of three years at Jenny Lane I just couldn’t stand the peace and quiet. Yikes.

Our Artist in the Family

Our grand daughter, Libby, is quite an artist. She is doing an “installation” at school and this picture is of her working on it for Arts Day. It is pretty fantastic. I knew a little bit about her project but until I saw this picture I had no idea how large and detailed it was going to be. I love the creativity and the determination that has made this a reality. Congratulations Libby.

A Recipe to Share

We actually had a gathering with my brother and my sister and their spouses when we arrived in Canada. This is the first time the six of us have been together since the summer of 2019. We had dinner here and John and I shared the cooking task and my sister-in-law brought the Caesar Salad. We served short-ribs on a bed of cauliflower and the recipe for the cauliflower is wonderful (so are the short-ribs)

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower adapted from Half-Baked Harvest

Pink Himalayan salt
2 large heads of cauliflower, cored and separated into florets (about 6 cups)
4 garlic cloves, smashed
Lots of Gruyere cheese or Provolone – I used about 3 cups of Gruyere the recipe calls for 1/2 cup which is not enough in my humble opinion
4 tablespoons salted butter (about 1/2 stick)

These are my directions not hers:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the cauliflower and cook until tender. Drain and put half in the Cuisinart. Mash the cauliflower until it is really smooth adding the butter half way through and then the rest of the cauliflower. Makes it really creamy. Then add the cheese a handful at a time until you get the flavor you are looking for. Put it all in a casserole and warm it in the oven just before serving.

PS: My brother asked me the next day what it was.

This entry was posted on May 15, 2022, in journey.