It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood!

What a beautiful summer we are having on the lake!

Canadian Tiger Swallowtails were “puddling” in our yarn in June. This is a behavior that butterflies use in dry times to get moisture and some nutrients from wet spots in the yard. This is a small group but they’re sure fun to see!

Water activities include teaching cousin Jack to fish, watching the cousin Lili water follies on the t-rex, off the dock and swinging from the rope swing. Jack caught a beautiful specimen of a yellow perch which he also learned to fillet and cook. We have also had a few loon births now that it’s July. We have two pairs of loons who have had three chicks between them. What a wonderful miracle on our lake. Since loons can’t really walk way up on the shore, they nest very close to the water. We have had several loon nest failures over the past couple of years which means the eggs are washed out of the nest, typically by a boat’s wake. If out of the nest, the egg won’t survive.

The yard is abloom once again. The spring gardens have blossomed and wilted and the summer gardens are coming alive. The planters are planted and we’re starting to see the hydrangeas, hollyhocks and bee balm. We’ve also been enjoying pea season. We have shucked and eaten peas three times so far, in increasing amounts. First, 1 1/2 pounds, next 3 pounds and most recently 5 pounds. They’re so delicious! A Maine tradition starting around July 4th … and served with salmon.

Our hearts are full with wonderful and meaningful new connections and memories with family and dear friends. My aunt and cousins, my college roommate, my first friend, and our dear friends from Florida. Making memories is something we are both striving to do more of. We cherish time together and we honor and appreciate the time and money that our visitors expend in order to be here with us. We are so grateful for the efforts put forth to be here with us. Saying farewell is always difficult. This summer, in particular, all of our visits have ended too soon, leaving us wanting more time together.

I’ve been knitting and teaching and enjoying visitors to my knitting classes and to Yardgoods Center. I finished my Sunset Highway sweater after having to knit the body twice with two different yarns. The first colorway, while I loved it, didn’t look at all well with the colorwork yoke. So, frog it, I did. And re-knit it, I did. I am very happy with the new version and look forward to cooler weather so I can wear it. I’m working on several projects, one of which is the Sage Smudging Scarf for my friend and herbalist. It’s being knit in Manos “Allegria” in this beautiful golden curry or turmeric color. The scarf is a free pattern on Ravelry and there will be details on my Ravelry projects page (lindar). It’s a simple 4-row repeat and in some ways, it’s quite a boring knit but I think it’s going to be gorgeous when it’s blocked. And as the Maine Yarn Cruise continues into July, we are getting lots of fun visitors to the yarn shop. I work two days a week. I had a sibling group from Maine and Sweden who were just meeting for the first time and were sharing their love of yarn and knitting, new Colby College employees getting to know their new community, and so many visitors from all over the state and beyond. My knitting classes are on Friday and I had a very special visitor this past week. Little Piper is the daughter of Larissa. Piper is 8 weeks old now and simply edible! She’s such a sweet little nugget. I love babies and the other women in my classes do, too!

My sweet Littles are getting older and they’re having some health problems and aging challenges. Boq (left) has been diagnosed with heart disease. He’s on two medications for the inflammation and fluid on his lungs as well as a heart medication. We go back for a check up on Wednesday and I’m hoping for a good report. Lola (right) has no teeth left and her eyesight must be failing. She’s much more anxious than she used to be and she’s been barking at first light (um, hello! I don’t need to see 4:45 a.m. almost every day!) I am so grateful to them for helping me through some ugly and difficult life challenges and I hope we can continue to provide them with a safe and happy life for the rest of their days. I made them promise to live forever! (I’m only sort-of kidding!)

We are so blessed with a wonderful, full and healthy life! Gone knitting!

Family and the Power of Prayer

The Power of Prayer

Several months ago, I organized a Facebook “event”. It was a moment of prayer, asking those invited to say a prayer for a friend’s husband at a specific time. No matter where they were, just stop for a minute and say a prayer for healing after he’d suffered with debilitating “issues” for years. While I can’t say that he’s healed today and able to take his grandson fishing JUST because of the prayers that I asked for, I can’t help but believe that they did have some affect.

On Sunday my big brother had a health challenge and scared the heck out of us. When he arrived at the ER near his home, the doctors told my sister that she should get the kids there. Twenty-four hours later at the big hospital in New Orleans, the doctors told her that he wasn’t that sick. We all asked for prayers. We all got down on our knees and prayed ourselves. Today, he’s back home. The power of prayer? Or just great medicine being practiced? Maybe both? Whatever it is, it was the only thing I could do – and I’m so grateful for the prayers from all over the world for my big brother. I truly believe that he’s going to get the liver that he needs and that we’ll have many years to enjoy each other.

When people join together in a common purpose, with good in their hearts, good things happen.

Yesterday, we traveled to Marblehead, MA to see my California brother and visit with our Marblehead brother and his family. We arrived, settled our dogs and went out fishing. My eldest nephew was the Captain of the ship, his younger brother his First Mate. While I was knitting and taking pictures, the boys (my CA brother and my sweetie and my nephews) caught bait fish way out in the ocean …  pollack (“not good bait fish, they swim down too deep”) and mackerel, good bait fish – and beautiful creatures with green and black markings on their backs. You hook the mackerel with jigs that can catch five or six fish at one time. And they did. Beautiful glistening lines of wiggling fish brought out of the ocean and put into the live traps (boxes with running water that keep the fish alive.)

The “real” fishing happens back in near shore often in ten feet of water. Stripers like to hang out in and near the rocky shoreline. The boys collectively caught four fish, each was able to reel one in – two 32 inch, a 37 inch “breeder” that was released back to swim and breed another day, and a little one around 20 inches. We kept one 32 inch fish which my middle nephew humanely killed, thanking it for being good food. I’d never been on a successful deep sea fishing trip. This was a fun first foray – I will go again!

Cole & 32 inch Striped Bass – this is a keeper!

Will and his 32 inch striper













Biggest catch of the day – a 37inch striper and Rick

We had a wonderful time enjoying each other’s company and it was a gloriously beautiful day on the water. Even if there had been no fish, the trip would have been a success. My nephews may not know how blessed they are to grow up in a place where they can go out in a boat fishing for a few hours … but it was on my mind as they so competently drove the boat, caught bait, patiently waited for a fish to bite and knew exactly how to reel them in.

Spending time together with an eye on the prize (whether fish or just fun) is one of my very most favorite things to do! I’m so grateful for the opportunity to spend this time with my family. Life is so good!

Gone knitting.