Thursday, May 23, 2013

Anticipating a crafty cottage summer

This whole business of owing the cottage is still quite strange to me: the place belonged to my aunt and uncle for 40 years, and there is still so much of them in it, it's hard to remember it's now ours to play with and, more to the point, take care of.

(especially after we found the Harry Belafonte Calypso record and got it onto the player: did I mention the main room is plenty big enough for dancing?)

Fortunately we got enough done last year that I was able to come home again from the spring checkup with a very manageable list of fun things to do.  Near the top: buying some cheery new mugs to add to the existing inventory, because a lot of hot beverages get drunk up there, morning and night.  (summer = hot chocolate season, if you are also roasting marshmallows.)

I really tried to choose some that were a bit more manly, but it was an effort, and I think some of those stripes are pink.  My apologies to any men who visit, but in good news, there are a lot of manly ones still in good kit in the cabinets there.

Check out all the different kinds of handles! Everybody likes something that fits their own hand nicely, and I aims to please.

There is a strawberry mug at the cottage that is looking a little worse for wear just now, so I picked a strawberry one as an homage to it.  How sweet is this little strawberry on the inside of the rim?

Just picture these cups on a pretty tablecloth sharing space with a freshly baked Gateau Basque, a recipe for which I just found on NPR, by Dorie Greenspan.  YUM.  (I've become a bit obsessed with this cake after stumbling across it at one of my local bakeries - it's edible pretty much any time of day, can be mixed days in advance, and doesn't look too fussy to make.  Perfect for cottage living, yes?)

The message on the teapot cup says "Life is like a teapot: what you get out depends on what you put in."  Which I think is very good advice, and what I intend to go on putting in - at the cottage especially - is lots of knitting and spinning, and maybe some weaving but don't quote me because I'm not sure I'm speaking to my loom right now.

Mostly on this run we were focused on the new well, which needed to be flushed of the chemicals that get put in at first.  That took hours, and we're not sure it's sufficiently complete even now for us to do the second step of testing the water to see if it's safe to drink.

We also checked for mice, and Yay! there were practically no signs of any.  We know they got in - the back of one dresser got a bit chewed - but it appears they did not stay.  Definitely, they didn't get into anyplace where I stored stuff.  All those hours of mouseproofing last summer paid off, and now I just have to find that elusive entry point.

Less Yay!

Pete was back and forth from the car to the kitchen door I don't know how many times before he looked up:

Notice anything odd?  Something like, I don't know, this?

It's possible that tree is coming down just to the right of the guest bedroom, but I'm not 100% sure and I wasn't going to stand outside with the blackflies to find out.  Fortunately there is an amazing tree guy in the area who trained in Russia (no cables for climbing, even!) and who can do pretty much anything with tree maintenance.  Next time we go north it will all have been dealt with.

All in all: it's going to be a great summer with, hopefully, great photo opportunities for Hugs.  We had a moment of inspiration on the way in and stopped at the cute shop that sells outdoor furniture, whereupon we bought a seating/table combo to be delivered later, and left an order for a picnic table for the deck - when the bugs go around mid-July, we'll have all kinds of places to sit out and chat, be yarny, read, or do whatever else one does at a cottage when one is not busily mouseproofing it.

What about you?  are you thinking of summer yet?

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