What's New?! (Wordless Wednesday)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010
The only thing busier than humans in northern Minnesota in the summer? Everything else!

Blueberries as of last Friday.

Little tomatoes and peppers in the garden.

A piliated woodpecker


Look the dock fixed itself! (Thanks Andy.)

More later . . .
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Canning Roughing It

Sunday, June 27, 2010
Over the past couple weeks, I’ve become a pretty persistent wild strawberry picker. I wouldn’t normally devote much time to picking these teeny little berries that are usually few and far apart, but this summer I’ve found a couple fruitful strawberry patches where the fruit is fairly concentrated and the berries are bigger than I’ve ever seen a wild strawberry before: about the size of a Gobstopper. On an average evening of picking, I come home with about a cup of berries. Still, picking wild strawberries involves a fair amount of ditch diving – that is, squatting along the side of gravel roads, pawing through strawberry foliage – before you’ve gathered enough berries to amount to anything.

I read a local cookbook this spring that put the crazy idea of making wild strawberry jam into my head and I’ve been diligently gathering strawberries to make a batch. Then, at some point this week, the magic berry switch must have been flicked. Suddenly ripe raspberries and blueberries are popping up all over to join the strawberries. By Friday it was becoming apparent that it was time to finish up with the my putzy wild strawberry jam project so I could devote my full attention to the raspberries and blueberries (aka, the big guns).

Yes, I realize that making wild strawberry jam sounds pretty idealistic when you live in a cabin in the woods. Since today I headed into town to use my mother’s canning equipment to make my strawberry jam, I thought I’d share how you too can make strawberry jam.

Step 1) Pick as many wild strawberries as you possibly can. This is a project to spread out over several days as you’ll probably spend more time searching for berries than actually picking. (I froze my berries while I waited to accumulate enough for jam.)

Step 2) Once you've got a big bag full, mash up all your wild strawberries and see what it amounts to. (As of last night I had a 3 ½ cups of mashed wild strawberries. I needed 5 cups for a batch of cooked strawberry jam.)

Step 3) Go to the grocery store and buy a couple pints of strawberries. After all, you have a full time job and a grand opening at work in a week. And if you keep squatting on the side of the road with a berry basket, soon or later, you’ll get hit. And are you really sure you haven’t been picking berries on private property?!

Step 4) Cook your jam according to the Sure-Jell package directions.

Step 5) Admire your rows of jam.

So maybe not totally “Little House in the Big Woods” style, but still, homemade jam is homemade jam, even if my wild strawberry jam is slightly domesticated.

Don’t worry, I do have some standards. After I finished up with the strawberry jam this afternoon, I chopped up all the homegrown rhubarb that’s been hanging out in our fridge to make a batch of rhubarb marmalade.

Of course, the secret ingredient to make rhubarb marmalade set is Strawberry Jell-O.

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Bake or Buy: Be Happy

Friday, June 25, 2010
By all intents and purposes, the females of my generation – the Millennials – and of my socioeconomic and racial profile – middle class, Caucasian – came into this world a pretty privileged lot. Women had gotten the vote 65 years before I was born and by the time I was toddling around, the Feminist movement was on its last legs (be that good or bad). In fact, females my age sometimes take the idea of “equal opportunity” so for granted that we often treat the word “feminist” like a profanity. We didn’t have a whole lot to prove: we were accepted for who we were.

But as the first generation of women who have basically gotten whatever we wanted, we might be just a tad spoiled. We forget how hard other women fought to get us where we are today. We forget that at its heart, feminism is about equality. More than that, we forget that equality and getting whatever you want are two different things entirely. And we forget that we have feminism to thank for several general ideals we use to navigate through life.

Ideals? Well, like the fact that we can do whatever we want to do, but with that comes an obligation to find some sense of purpose in life and to live up to your full potential. It’s fine to have kids, if you want them, but we were taught that being a mother is meant to be a small part of a larger context. And also, you better be really, really into being a homemaker if that’s the path you decide to head down, young lady.

Often it seems as though I’m in a strange power struggle with feminism. I never know who’s winning and I don’t understand why we can’t just be friends. Try as I might, my inner career woman is always picking battles with my inner homemaker.

Which is why I threw a fit when I discovered we were out of bread yesterday morning. (We’ve been out of butter for ages too.)

Lately, it’s seemed like the gears are finally turning and I’m starting to slowly chug down the tracks towards my career goals. It’s exciting and fun and it means long hours and having to eat store bread while your house falls into an increasingly chaotic mess. In general, I try to keep homemade bread on hand – when there’s time -- but that’s not to say that we don’t eat a fair amount of store bread too. For the last month, we’ve been buying a loaf of bread every now and then to tide us through until I have time to bake. But instead of me finding time to make bread, mostly we’ve just been running out of bread on a pretty consistent basis.

Yesterday, when I opened the fridge door to grab the sandwich makings for my bag lunch and spied only a flat bread bag holding a single crust of bread, I felt as though something in the big scheme of things had failed me. After all: does having it all mean we’re so busy we don’t have time to stock basic food stuffs?

So today I made Betty Friedan roll over in her grave. I baked bread and brownies and attempted to make sense of the piles of crap that had accumulated around the cabin. I realized what a lot of work it is to be a homemaker. For sure, it’s a full time job (I’m exhausted), yet we largely poo-poo homemaking because we fear the great merit of homemaking – comfort – is synonymous with complacency. That’s not really fair.

Maybe the secret to being a female in 2010 is to stop feeling like you’re letting someone down. I don’t want to have to eat store bread just because I have a busy work life. I don’t want to feel like Betty Friedan is glaring at me every time I take a loaf of bread out of the oven either.

I have yet to strike the perfect balance between, well, everything. It’s tricky business determining how to best live life as a privileged female, without squandering or taking our advantages for granted. And at its heart, being a female in 2010 isn’t really about choosing one way to live your life. Rather it’s about mixing together all the life lessons from previous generations of women who taught us to be independent and determined and who reminded us that baking should be a pleasure, not a stressful obligation

So the moral of the story is this: Bake your bread when there’s time. Buy enough to last when there isn’t. Above all else, be happy. After all, we’re a pretty spoiled lot.

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What in the World?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010
We can officially put productivity aside: berry season is upon us. As I headed out this evening for my daily gander for strawberries, I spotted something blue.

A berry that's blue? A blueberry?! On June 22nd? Unbelievable!
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How Many Hands Does It Take To Put Up Siding?

Monday, June 21, 2010
Apparently six.

By the middle of last week, Andy’d reached the point in the shed project that it was time to deal with the siding. The floors were in. The walls were up and square. And according the carpentry expert down the road, it made the best sense to put up the siding before dealing with the roof.

So Andy and I headed out back to hang some siding. The only issue was that T1-11 siding is really much heavier than it appears. Also, when you have a short ladder that just barely allows you to peep over the top of the wall, it doesn’t work so well to have someone peeping over the top attempting to see if the piece of siding is square while the other person crouches on the ground, turning red in the face, trying to support the piece of siding and make the necessary adjustments to get the siding on straight. There was complaining, bickering, frustration, and in the end, defeat.

What to do . . . . what to do?
The good thing about staying in your hometown is that there’s usually an extra pair of hands around. Yesterday, Andy’s cousin came over and between the three of us, we got two walls done. Only two more walls, a window, a door and a roof and we’ll have a shed!
Happy Solstice! We had the most exquisite long summer day yesterday: blue skies, a touch of breeze, no humidity. The garden loved it!

Today, the official kickoff of summer as far as the calendar’s concerned, is overcast and humid. Rain seems imminent and although the rain will keep from weeding the garden, it also means we won’t have to water.

In truth, as another blogger pointed out this morning, it’s not really the start of summer: it’s midsummer. It does feel much more like the middle of summer. Yesterday, after the siding success, we sat on the deck talking for a bit and realized that July 4th, that unofficial mark of summer’s halfway point, is nearly upon us. That’s not necessarily a bad thing: July 4th is the grand opening at work. The next two weeks will be the last big push there while the second half of summer this year promises to be more orderly and relaxed.

I put in a half day at work today, which got me home and fed before three. It’s going to be a busy week on the work front and I’m trying to avoid overtime. I may have to head over to work every day this week, but at least that means I have a little more time at home each day too.

I should do dishes, but I think I’m off to hunt for wild strawberries before the rain reaches us.
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Baby Animal Photos and a Mighty Storm

Friday, June 18, 2010
It wasn’t exactly the most extreme weather we’ve ever seen in these parts, nor did we experience any of the tornados the rest of the state got yesterday, but last night we had a ton of lightning and got more than an inch of rain in just one hour. I’m hopeful that this means our humid spell has snapped. Now if we could have a stretch of 75 degree days with sunshine, the squash plants would be ever so grateful. . . .

Our loon family has moved on to another corner of the lake, but we sure got a kick out of this little guy who hung around most of Wednesday.

The parents weren’t too bad looking either.

The outdoor world is teeming with babies right now and if you’re opposed to heart-wrenching stories about baby bunnies, don’t read Tuscarora Lodge's blog. On my walk home from work yesterday, I found a newly hatched turtle nest along the side of the road. I hope all these little turtles made it safely to the pond right next to the road.

















Andy reports that this year’s Mid-Trail fox kits have arrived in fluffy glory to mug for passersby on the side of the road. There are few things in life as cute as a line of baby foxes gamely watching you drive past. You get the distinct feeling that if they were human kids, they’d be making the signal for you to honk.

This fledgling flicker paused for a while on top of a birch tree at work. I’m so used to seeing flickers in flight that it took me a minute to determine what exactly it was!

No Bruno pictures. Of course I only run into large wildlife on the days I forget my camera at work.

I’m taking the day off and heading into town to work on another project. We’ve also reached the point with the grocery supply where we always seem to be missing some crucial ingredient to whatever I think I might want for supper, so it’s off the grocery store again, among other errands. One of the biggest problems is that we keep running out of bread. For some reason I’m convinced I’ll have time to bake, but other than little sweet after supper treats, the baking (especially yeast) just isn’t happening.

I’d be happy to stay home and tend to the garden and finish up Olive Kitteridge but since there’s a paycheck to deposit (and coincidentally, bills to pay) it’s jiggetty to town with me. Maybe I’ll see the baby foxes!
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Encounters with Bruno and the Quest for Wild Strawberry Jam

Thursday, June 17, 2010
You’d think with the days reaching their longest lengths of the year, it would seem like the days laze slowly passed this time of year. But it doesn’t feel like that at all. The days of June have gone by as though they were pages in a flipbook.

As we all run around like chickens’ with our heads cut off, there’s plenty to take pause over. The night before last, a couple of loons set to caterwauling in the bay. Yesterday morning, we discovered the reason behind the ruckus. They had a baby! It’s the first loon chick that’s been spot in the bay for a couple years and everyone’s pretty tickled by the little guy.

I helped a turtle across the road on my walk home yesterday. I know it’s probably not my place to interrupt the natural way things are done, but I’d hate to have turtle roadkill if I could have done something to prevent it. The turtle wasn’t thrilled with the helpful hand I leant (there were a couple twitches of his limbs), but he seemed all right once I set him down quietly on the far side of the road.

A little farther along on my walk, I ran into a black bear. The bear was pretty oblivious to my presence and at one point I thought the bear had wandered off in the woods, only to see him come meandering across the road headed the other way. When it became apparent that Mr. Bear had no intention of ceding the road over to me, I clapped my hands and yelled at him. He took off running, the pads of his feet smacking the pavement before he crashed into the woods. I definitely gave him a bigger scare than he gave me. It was a fairly large bear with a glossy full coat: looks as though our neighbors’ bird seed is treating him well!

This spring I read a cookbook that mentioned making a batch of wild strawberry jam. Last year I made wild blueberry and raspberry jam, but because wild strawberries are not particularly abundant and usually too small to justify the effort of picking them and certainly not worth the trouble of turning them into jam. But this year the wild strawberries are out in full force along the roadside and I thought, well, maybe I could gather enough for a batch of jam if I just go out for a little while each evening. Yes, berry season is officially upon us.

Are there better ways I could be spending my evening hours other than being crouched down in a berry patch? Probably. But, all the other ways I can think to spend that time don’t have nearly as delicious results.

I already have a cup and a 1/3 of wild strawberries in the freezer, right next to the container of rhubarb sauce. The summer harvest is starting to amass.

The three articles are written. Huzzah!

(P.S. I left my camera at work last night, but will post pictures when I get home today.)
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The Perpetual Busy-ness

Sunday, June 13, 2010
There’s no denying it’s been busy around here. Last night I turned the page in my day planner and realized all those things those obligations that seemed so hazily off in the distant future are actually pretty much today. Never mind that I also have three articles that need to be written in the next 36 hours and plenty of other freelance commitments that “seemed like a good idea” to contend with.

But just when I was about to throw my hands in the air, I found a timely reminder imbedded in this week’s Funds for Writers’ newsletter, a quote from Sir Heneage Ogilvie: “The really idle man gets nowhere. The perpetually busy man does not get much farther.”

Molly over at the Snyder 5 has made taking on clutter in her house (and her inbox) her challenge for the last half year or so. Sir Ogilvie’s quote got me thinking of all the clutter we keep in our heads and on our calendars. The to-do lists, the things we worry about when we should be going to sleep, the overreaching. After all, if we allow ourselves to puppets at the mercy of our own schedule, we’re not really doing anything. We’re just spinning our wheels.

But I’ve never been especially good at saying “no,” even when I know I have plenty on my plate (which is why I always feel so sick after a good potluck) nor very good at shaking this sort of clutter. I let things get to me. I get overwhelmed, cranky, sometimes, rather unbearable.

And installing a gift shop at work has been, frankly, a disaster and the last three days have been little more than a data entry hell. We’re on the home stretch with that particular project (sort of): all the stuff is pretty well on the shelves and at least the clutter of cardboard and packing material is on its way to the recycling center.

Today was the third straight day of staring down invoices and trying to squeeze a ton of merchandise onto too small shelves. By midday, I was feeling pretty over the whole gift shop. And then my father and aunt and uncle showed up. They hung out at work for a while and then we came back to the cabin for tea. We didn’t worry about how much we were going to charge for this knick-knack or that. Instead we talked about canoe trips and baby mergansers.

After they left, I weeded the garden. I could have been working on those three articles, but digging in the dirt felt much, much better than staring at the computer for another hour or two. The garden isn’t doing much in this cool weather and I haven’t been doing much in the garden. So lucky me to find I have some help in the gardening department from some well meaning chipmunks or squirrels. One of them buried some sunflower seeds in the upper garden which have now sprouted. I moved them to a sunnier patch of grown where I hope they’ll grow tall.

The tomatoes are doing quite well too.The peppers are just put out by the cold.

I’m still working to strike that perfect balance between work and play so I can be free of the clutter of perpetual busy-ness. A little tea and gardening can only help.

I thought I’d end with some shameless self-promotion and a very blurry, dark picture of the baby mallards who spent last night on our dock.
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Bears, Berries, and Busy-ness

Friday, June 11, 2010
After a couple weeks of unseasonably warm weather in May, things took a turn for the chilly this June. A turn for the chilly and rainy. Considering the high fire danger we all worried ourselves sick about in May, we’re not about to wish away our current lot of somewhat gloomy weather. Still it can make things a little uncomfortable when you work in a stone building --I always wanted to know what it would be like to live in a castle! --and you try to walk to work everyday.

On Tuesday, I walked to work. About 1 in the afternoon, the rain started to really come down. I figured I’d wait it out: I had plenty of work to keep me busy before I had to make the 25 minute walk home. About 4 in the afternoon, I was wrapping the day’s projects. Outside, the rain still came down: cats and dogs. So I called Andy when he got home from work and had him pick me up.

Yesterday, a bit of drizzle fell down, but not so much rain to deter me walking home. So I was a little confused when Andy drove up as I was starting out towards home.

“Did want you to have to walk past the bear,” he said.

Just down the road, a bear had gotten in some garbage or bird feeder on a neighbor’s porch and the rest of the neighbors were scrambling to get their garbage tucked away before the bear could make a mess of it. This morning, when Andy drove to work, he say two full grown bears were on the same neighbor’s porch. I have yet to lay eyes on the bears, but other neighbors say there’s a cub in the area as well.

You’d think the bears would be forsaking their garbage smorgasbord for the berries that are starting to ripen in the woods. I’ve been meaning to head out with a little cup to gather some of the strawberries that peeping their red faces out from foliage along the roadside. But things like installing the gift shop at work have taken precedent.

As we get closer and closer the museum grand opening, an increasing sense of urgency has infused everything. But there’s something satisfying about getting everything in order, even if installing a gift shop means a lot of data entry and learning a new computer system. (Yesterday Andy and I had so much fun playing around with the museum’s point of sale system in practice mode that I fear he’ll eventually talk me into the small business owner’s life that I am so steadfastly against) Today, we got about halfway through pricing and entering the items, tomorrow I will get some work done by myself, and on Sunday we will make the final push to get everything in order.

It’s times like this when days off just are opportunities to get other work done when you most appreciate a cup of herbal tea (is it bad that I now paw manically through the tea selection looking for the tea labeled “meditative time”?) and a good book. I’ve about 2/3s of the way through Olive Kitterage and really enjoying it, although my mother warns me it “doesn’t all come together like you think it should.”
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Night Owls vs. Early Birds

Tuesday, June 8, 2010
We’ve all heard that opposite attract. I always thought that statement meant extreme opposites. And if we’re talking extremes, Andy and I aren’t very opposite. We’re the same age, grew up in the same town, were in the same second grade class, and worked the same job one summer. And we both grew up eating tofu. How much more similar could it get?

But after a while, you realize that any relationship is made up of little opposing views and practices. Andy likes to have MPR, music, and maybe a movie all playing at the same time. He’s not too picky about what he eats or where stuff gets left around the cabin. I have a fairly low clutter tolerance for both noise and physical stuff. Andy seems to thrive in the very chaos I detest.

Over time, I’ve learned that a day is ruined by letting the dishes stack up or letting the dishes stack up. Of course, some differences we have yet to reconcile, like my unbridled hatred for Prairie Home Companion or Andy’s need to open a new jar of salsa every time he has tortilla chips.

Yet, by far the hardest difference we deal with every day is the fact that Andy wakes up feeling like this:
While I roll out of bed, looking like this:
By the time evening rolls around, I’m feeling much better:
But Andy’s fading fast:
I have read so many accounts from successful writers who get up at 4 or 5 in the morning so they can get a few hours of writing in before they head off to their day job or other obligations. I have tried to be the early bird writer and I’ve had some success with it, but I need so much coffee to get my eyes to focus at 5:30 am that it doesn’t seem worth the expense in coffee beans. So I take heart that Peter Bowerman say in his book The Well-Fed Writer that a big part of why he’s a freelance writer is so he can start his day at 10 in the morning. I’m not fond of sleeping entire mornings away and I like to get up and at ‘em at a decent hour. I generally have pretty productive mornings, but it’s the end of the day when I’m the most functional.

So when I’m getting my last punch of energy, Andy’s thinking it’s high time to turn in for the night. At an earlier stage in our relationship, it seemed as though our sleep schedules should be compatible. Now it seems silly for us to get up and go to bed at the same times. If one of us is awful in the mornings and the other is cranky and ineffectual in the evening, why would we choose to spend those precious moments together?

Now sometimes when Andy goes to bed, I stay up to read or get some knitting done. I like bringing the day to a quiet close after all the necessary tasks are completed. In the morning, Andy does his internet surfing and coffee making without me complaining (much) about the dirty dishes. Sometimes even the most compatible opposites need to beat to their own drummer.
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Behind the Resume

Sunday, June 6, 2010
Whenever one month draws to a close and another one begins, lately the radio airwaves go haywire with the latest reports on the economy and unemployment. “Good news on the economy,” they say, every month. Never mind that they’ve been telling us “good news” about the economy for at least a year now.

It’s becoming apparent that at long last, the job outlook is truly improving. For the first time in long time, employees who needed financial security and as a result kept their noses at the grindstone much longer than they originally intended are saying “I quit,” and heading off to the greener pastures of other employment opportunities. But here we are, smack dab in the middle of graduation season and the outlook for this year’s batch of B.A.s and B.S.s is grimmer than ever. How can this be?

Well, when I was in college, just a few years ago, it had become clear that a B.A. was the new high school diploma. Then I graduated and the economy tanked. Entry level jobs, besides ever ubiquitous administrative assistant positions, all but disappeared and the batch of new grads I belonged to were told to stay in school. We could pay off that buttload of loans once the economy turned around. In just three years, as my class played the ultimate waiting game, we turned a master’s degree into the new high school diploma. And a wave of highly educated young adults with very little work experience emerged to give today’s college graduates a run for their entry-level jobs.

Anymore, we all look good on paper. As Lawrence Wetherhold said in Smart People “Students used to be passionate about literature. Now the only thing students are passionate about is getting A’s.” *gulp* Yep, guilty.

I had an ex-boyfriend accuse me of being a teacher’s pet. This wasn’t particularly true, but I did chose a major field that while extremely interesting to me, wasn’t exactly a great intellectual stretch. I worked hard in college, but I’d be lying if I said my GPA didn’t provide part of my motivation.

Still, I don’t have a master’s. When I met up with a friend in NYC in April, we both commiserated about feeling like the whole “getting a master’s is the greatest idea ever” mentality was a falsehood being shoved down our throats. “I want to see how far I can get with a B.A.” she said. Me too! And in order to outshine recent college graduates and as well as prove my three years of post-college life experience as more edifying than working towards a master’s degree, I had to write an impressive resume.

Of course, in a world of staunch job competition, we’ve all learned how to produce resumes that make us look intellectual, creative and well-rounded. When jobs are few and far between, and often not especially intellectually stimulating, we spend a lot of time bemoaning the time we’re losing to use our “skills.” But when we’ve never really used the skills our resumes allude to, the pervading sense of over-qualification in all of our resumes is perhaps our greatest fictional achievement.

Today’s young adults might think of themselves as over-qualified. But in truth, our resumes are just us groveling on the ground asking for a chance to prove ourselves.

But what do we do when our resumes land us the job we wanted?

I have a new job with more responsibility than I’ve ever had before and those icky needles of self-doubt poke around in my stomach. I wonder if I’m working hard enough. I wonder if my competency was just an allusion that I sold to myself a long time ago. I wonder just exactly how I’m going to prove myself.

Most of all, I wonder where my confident, adventurous resume persona went. That girl was really good at stuff.
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Fluffy Duckies Like Rain

Friday, June 4, 2010
We’ve known for a while that things were going to get a little nutty this summer. The question was, when? But I’m happy to announce that we officially have an answer . . . now!

After a couple weeks of figuring out the whole new job thing (since it’s a brand new venture, we spend a good amount of time speculating on how things might work out) I’ve developed a somewhat rapid-fire to-do list that keeps me busy and my inbox full. On top of the new job, I have three (pretty low-key) article assignments to tackle and today I spent half the day in town piecing together the first radio commentary in a series of six.

Still, despite the everlasting work week that threatens to eat up summer in one big, blurred bite, we’re attempting to tuck little summer moments into our schedules. On Wednesday evening, we went to the end of the dock for a little laissez-faire fishing. Andy actually caught a couple small bass, although we didn’t keep them. I’m not catching anything: I’m still working to perfect my cast. Considering the fact that the highlight of my childhood fishing career was dropping my brother’s rod off a cliff (oh, the screams!), keeping the rod in my hands at all times remains my biggest priority. So far, so good.
After a nice soaking rain on Tuesday, we got another rainy day today. The garden’s very happy for the natural watering. The ducks are happy too. This family swam by this afternoon. They didn’t seem too interested in the bread I threw down the deck to them, but since they’d been making the rounds along the bay’s shore, I suspect they might have been rather full from other bay residents’ bread crumbs. I don't think I'll ever get over just how fluffy and cute little ducklings are. It probably behooves all of us to "make way from ducklings," in the spirit of Robert McCloskey's children's book classic.
These ducklings look rather big for the first week in June, but then everything seems about a month ahead of schedule. Maybe even this waterlily.
In truth, things always ahead of schedule in the summer. But it’s just the name of the game in this busy, warm season. If we don’t savor it as it flies by, it’ll be autumn before we know it.
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They're Killing Me!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010
At the end of the Sex and the City series, in the midst of a miserable move to Paris with her Russian lover, Carrie returns to some bad habits. She eats too much. She starts smoking again.

“I like the smoking,” the Russian says as he’s about to run off for work. “Very sexy.”

“It’s killing me!” Carrie yells after him.

I might not have a bad habit with quite so many bad health consequences as smoking, but there’s an ugly habit of mine that resurfaces every summer which I really need to kick.

Yup, flip-flops.

I’ve had crummy knees for a while. And there’s been a funny correlation between my knee pain and the summer months. I could never figure out why. Hmm . . . . Could it be the completely unsupportive shoes that require nearly constant toe clenching to stay on that are my go-to footwear during the summer months?

For the last couple days I’ve been running around almost exclusively in flip-flops. I love the freedom of my toes in the shoes and they’re so easy to quickly slip into when they’re sitting next to the door. But at the end of the days, my knees ache. Turns out the flip-flops are killing my knees.

I have no idea why.

There are other reasons for sturdier footwear. The cabin remains a construction zone as Andy continues with the shed. I’ve helped glue the floor down and get some walls (we have three now) up.
Andy saw a fledgling Northern Saw-whet owl when he swung into work this morning on our way to do laundry in town. What is it recently with seeing something you don’t see everyday . . . everyday?
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