Friday, July 24, 2009

As the pond turns

The lazy days of summer on Tulin Pond grow more interesting as the days shorten. Mama Duck Ariel saw her teenagers off a few weeks ago. Since then Ariel has been left to her own devices with no one to keep her company or entertain her. When Mama Belle brought her brood of babies to Tulin Pond for training sessions, Ariel thought to join and share her wisdom. As the little ducks paddled around the pond, plopping and plunking in the water, Ariel watched and Belle circled. Time to join- Ariel entered the pond only to be met with a loud series of commands from Belle, marshaling her troops and sending them immediately to her side. Our Ariel is not one to give up. She hung in the pond, keeping her distance as a quiet persistent presence. Belle did not relax her vigilance.

As the afternoon passed, Belle decided her babies were old enough for a parade to the tree. Following Mama Belle, the entire family marched out to the plum tree for a feast of fallen bird seed and the bugs. Everyone was having a great time until ...again...Ariel tried to join in the fun. Belle circled her family, keeping her face toward the intruder. When it was clear Ariel was in no mood for flying, Belle marched right up to stand in her face and started telling Areil which way was up in NO uncertain terms. ( I think she might have called her a female jerk!)

For the time being Ariel was chastened and sent on her way... but she'll be back. In her absence the neighbor cat takes up the watch from the ponds edge or from under the little fir tree. He thinks he is hidden, but Belle spots him immediately and gives her orders loud and clear, "Everyone into the pond! Stay in the middle and stay together. Do as I say and do it now!"

Will it ever be time for school to start again. Keeping these children safe and teaching them life skills is just too much trouble.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Not quite mom's clafouti's

But still delicious. This week's summer discovery was the refreshing sugary blitz of a ice cream soda. Besides the standard root beer float, I never really remember eating ice cream sodas. And I never liked much the crazy, crispy, almost bitter, foam of root beer floats. So as a break from beer/wine/margharitas, I decided to bring ginger ale, lime sherbert, and orange sherbert/vanilla, to a bbq last night. It was the best! As observed by one guest, just like a summer skittle. (perfect because in the olden, golden days, perhaps ice cream sodas bring the eater back to childhood. But anyone who knows me, knows that skittles are more likely to bring me back to childhood.)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ahead of the Curve

Yes - Anita has done it again. Erin and I both distinctly remember the afternoon trip with Grandma that led to the acquisition of these fine pieces of Americana, housed at the Lake or on sale now in Brooklyn, NY.

Brooklyn Kitsch I can deal with. I'll be really worried when the things I grew up with appear in the antique store!
One of many great moments of discovery and laughter from a weekend visiting Erin, Fern and my friend Laurie in NYC. (was sad that Jenni was out of town). Other highlights include:
  • OCD moment at the bar when, trying to make sure both upper and lower were aligned, I snapped off a coat hook accidentally

  • Making Jack drink white wine spritzers after a long day walking around the town. This was first (or maybe second) of the summer for me - and a crucial pick-me-up before cooking up a great chicken/cabbage salad - asian influenced with the great summer addition of an avocado.

  • seeing the receptionist from Ugly Betty at the amazing cookie / korean place

  • Delicious Italian-style Chickpeas. Psych. While these were indeed chickpeas, they were neither italian-style (we asked the right people to verify) nor delicious. But worth getting as a memento of the amazing italian streetfair that we ran into on the walk home (just like the one we found accidentally in Baltimore with mom last year). Here is another memento of the fair - we debated whether if was appropriate to take pictures at a place of worship, but that if they were willing to cover the Baby J with dollar bills, then taking pictures fell well above the bar.(click photo for a closer look)

  • And as a final selection from the italian festival - click here, NY excitement, to witness the deadpan riders of the up and down ride. Turn your head to the left.

That's the quick pictorial for now. As perfect as the 4th at the lake was, this was a perfect weekend-after. Relaxed, but with fun excursions, ice cream from the ice cream truck, reading in the park, coffee from wherever it could be found, and lots of time catching up with people I love.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Summer is REALLY here

The Fourth of July has come and gone with the sun still shining in Kingston. We had a great Fourth celebration on Twin Lakes; all the dock sitting, lake floating and margarita drinking the weekend expects. Luckily Dave Sullivan has some practice at that drink so everyone was kept happy. There were more boats on the lake than I have seen in many of 4th- all the warm weather reminded people how important it is to play while we can. I also think those Eastern Washington types now live in fear of the everlasting winter so are celebrating summer more than usual .

The boat made a couple of cocktail cruises . I even piloted through the Channel with the help of Kyrsa as my co-pilot. The lake level is fairly high but going down quickly with all the hot weather, still the water was just pleasantly refreshing for swimming and floating. Traditional vanilla ice cream topped with fresh blueberries and strawberries was symbolic of the holiday. Thankfully the neighbors again gave us a wonderful treat- a professionally engineered fireworks show that lasted more than 1/2 an hour. It was spectacular. I expect photos from Dave's new camera to make you even more envious. After the merry makers left Sunday evening, the lake was peaceful and quiet for the rest of us. The osprey are eyeballing those fish in even larger numbers. There are a couple of new nests and Cameron noted that 2 of the baby ducks were lost to baby osprey dinner. The "ducks" are red breasted mergansers I saw parading down the lake while I kayaked one morning. A large blue heron seems so have taken up residence somewhere near the lower swamp area. We have seen him fishing off the docks when visitors are gone. Cameron and Jacob are out for the summer and full of energy, as always. They are growing up quickly and before long will be too old to share stories with the old folk. For now they are still telling tales with their unique perspective and vocabulary.

Back in Kingston summer is all about harvest in the garden and enjoying time with friends. I did both this week. Marcia Adams, the creator of House Warps (a website for the sale of beautiful handwoven items for the home) was here for tea and cherry clafouti. We christened my new tea set and enjoyed catching up on each others' news. The time to visit in the warm sun with a good friend is the best of summer days. I have been working in a bike ride to town occasionally but still have not conquered the first hill without huffing and puffing. More practice I guess. Today is a beautiful Saturday so I am about to head out and pick a bowl of raspberries. I have 2 large bowls of pie cherries to pit some time soon. It will have to be after we return from Port Townsend. It is a great day to enjoy the Farmer's Market and walk on the beach at Chetzamoka Park.

I hope everyone is making time for fun this weekend. I know the East Coast is making summer activities a little more challenging but the spirit of Twin Lakes will lead you forward to fun and laughter this weekend on all through the summer. Go out and have fun!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Summer in the garden of laughter and forgetting

Just a wee greeting on a summer day. I started today on the deck with coffee and a book. Summer is really the best of times. I worked all day without a moment's pause getting things ready for our trip to the lake. We will only be there from Thursday to Tuesday but I was behind on dead-heading and wanted everything ready for July flowers to look their best. I am now dead tired but will power-on a few more minutes to pack things into the car. We are planning to leave in the morning on the 5:45 ferry so I can enjoy some dock reading time. I want to start the holiday off in the correct manner with a little kayak before all of the boats arrive. I know you are all jealous and I wish you could be there too. We will be toasting you with ice cream and cocktails! I know you will have much fun where you are, with friends and laughter.

Kyrsa and Dave will be at the lake with us. Kyrsa still can't ski because her foot is too tender to fit into the boot or handle the water pressure while skiing. Still they will enjoy relaxing after the last few weeks of remodeling projects. I will say good bye with a photo of the new windows on their home. I took the picture just 2 days after the installation. I hope they are still in place (joke). Happy sparklers and sunshine to you.

Mama Llama