Saturday, August 28, 2010

I'm Back!

We had a lovely time at Shell Cottage.  I was terribly sorry to leave so soon, but Norbert had an afternoon bat mitzvah to attend, so leave we did.

I suppose you'd like a little more info than that.  Let's see.  Monday was sort of an easy day.  Norbert slept in, but Myfanwe and I acted like adults and only slept an hour (me) or two (Myfanwe) later than usual.  We made a trip or two outside -- to the orchard for a big bag of peaches and a mess of corn -- but other than that, we were lazy.  We went to the library -- I checked out another Foxfire book and a book on calving for persons involved in bovine husbandry.  We had lunch in the village Saloon -- which we never would have done six months ago, but thanks to the new smoking ban in Michigan, we can and do avail ourselves of the vittles served up by our neighborhood publicans.  In the afternoon I knit more on the Eiffel Tower Shawl -- I'm nearing the end of the 2nd Chart and will then do a repeat of it to create a large shawl.  I sort of remember napping a lot, which must have been more tiring than it sounds, because I had to go to bed early!

Tuesday we kept to basically the same schedule.  I slept an hour later than usual, Myfanwe slept two, but Norbert only slept three hours later than usual because we were going on an adventure.  The three of us went kayaking on the Galien River.  (River does sound a bit than this body of water.  We were told that the return didn't take any longer because there was "zero current".)  Anyway, it was beautiful, peaceful, and a bit of a thrill.  I was a little worried I wouldn't be able to do it.  But I could!  And we saw a beautiful, big Blue Heron at pretty close range!  He flew out of the reads about 20 feet ahead of us and flew down the middle of the rive so we could get a really look.

Wednesday we drove to Shipshewana, Indiana for the Flea Market, the Antique Auction, and -- my favorite -- E & S Sales, the best Amish general store in the Midwest!  I bought stone-ground course whole wheat flour, unbleached all-purpose flour, and bread flour (all grown in Indiana by people the owner knows, milled locally, and all carrying kosher certification!), six pounds of SAF Instant Yeast, raw honey, beef ring bologna, and various pickled veggies.  We ate at the Auction House Restaurant -- we all ordered the chicken & noodles special and Norbert & I split a piece of peanut butter pie.  Michelle bought an old 12-light window with frosted panes which she is going to hang in our bedroom at the cottage and use to frame photos from our trip to Ireland.  She's going to mount one photo in each of the panes of glass, and hang it where she can look at it from bed.  (She really misses Ireland.)

Thursday we went to St. Joseph, Michigan to Silver Beach, possible the finest beach on a Great Lake.  It really is a stunning beach, clean, orderly, with benches in the shade along the periphery and a few shaded picnic tables for lunch.  Myfanwe had packed a picnic, so we availed ourselves of the shade.  It had warmed up nicely -- it was, for the first time all year, a little cooler than normal -- but warm air does not necessarily mean warm water.  When Myfanwe says it's cold, it's COLD!  After the beach we walked around downtown St. Joe, including and especially Kelwins's Ice Cream & Candy!  Yum!  I had two scoops -- 1 cappachino chocolate chip and the other toasted coconut.  I would like to go back every day for the rest of my life, please!  SO delicious!

Friday.  Hmm.  Norbert and I started off the day with another kayak excursion.  Myfanwe begged off.  The river was beautiful again -- though I can't move a quickly as Norbert can -- he flies!  We need to find another person to go with us who can move at the same speed so we aren't holding Norbert back.

We made another library crawl.  Norbert had to collect his prize.  He entered the summer reading contest which offered a prize to the top 5 readers and a Grand Prize for the reader who read the most minutes over the summer.  Noah felt a little handicapped, since he only had 3 weeks to read and keep track of time before he left for camp, and he was volunteering full time at his school's preschool during those weeks.  But he really focused on reading and keeping meticulous time records.  The outcome?  Norbert read 43 hours 15 minutes, besting his nearest competitor by 6 hours and some odd minutes.  His Grand Prize?  $50.

After that Myfanwe and Norbert went to the beach in New Buffalo while I went and had a visit with our friend Jaye, who was our realtor when we bought Shell Cottage.  I enjoy her very, very much, so that was a big treat.  When I left Jaye's office, I staked out a little bench on the main, boardwalky sort of street and sat in the shade and knit.  If there is a better way to spend an hour, I don't know what it is!

This morning I started off by going to a friend's to meet her new goat, Posie.  Posie is a real looker!  I'm completely smitten.  I thought she was so cute that I felt her up at the first opportunity!  Yes!  Me!  Milking a goat!  It isn't as easy as it looks, but I did it, and I plan to get better in the future.  Posie is a very patient young goat and forgiving by nature.

After I go home, we ran to the orchard again for more peaches and some apples this time.  I do love quality produce!  These are the last peaches we will have for the season, so I'm sorry to see them go, but with the end of the peaches we should also soon see the end of the heat, so I can start backing some apples pies and cakes!

I know there are no pictures.  And that's because I can't find my camera.  I took a whole bunch of pictures with my phone, but then my phone died a horrible death while kayaking.  At least it was quick, that's all I can say.  (And thank Bob our contract is up and we are all going to get new phones, maybe as early as tomorrow.)

Good night.  I'll write again soon.


Sinead said...

That was like a mini vacation for me, just reading through that. It just sounds so so idyllic. Aren't you just so glad that Shell Cottage is the holiday home that you ended up with - it was meant to be!
Mmmmmmm Peaches.........

Susan said...

Wow you ave been busy at
Sounds wonderful. The best peach pie I ever ate was baked by my Grandmother in HER mother's wood stove at the family cottage on a small island in Georgian Bay. Memories are made of this...

Nina said...

Glad to hear that your time at Shell Cottage was so wonderful. And it warms this librarian's heart that Noah did so well on his summer reading. And to top it all off, milking Posie. Couldn't be a better summer :*)