Monthly Archives: July 2007

The Cottage Chronicles (part 1)

I woke up this morning to the sound of cars on the busy road behind our house, not the voice of a little three year old wanting to go downstairs and definitely not the sound of boats or water splashing against the dock. We arrived home last night after ten fabulous days; the weather was beautiful (only one rainy day), the company was excellent as was the food, the setting restful and the activities loads of fun.

So, at the risk of boring you with details, I will spend a few days posting some photos and stories. I’m sure it will help with my lake withdrawal too.


This is the view from the dock and yes, it did look like this 90% of the time we were there. Below is the view looking back from the water to the cottage.img_3133crop.jpg The cottage is over 100 years old and my friend N has been coming here for summer holidays ever since she was a child. She is definitely what is known as a “laker” as are her children P and H. Her husband is a “married in” and we, her friends are “non lakers”. Believe me there is a definite hierachy at the lake!

What makes this lake rather special as far as I can tell and as the “lakers” confirm is the full program provided for club members. The club, which is celebrating its centenary this year, is not attended by all those with cottages on the lake, but many have been members for years as their parents and grandparents were. Swimming lessons, regattas, bi-lake and tri-lake swim meets all occur in the lanes between the docks down below the club. Tot’s craft and story time, movie night, craft night, games night, teen and pre-teen night also happen in the club. For the adults there are bands who visit, a ladies luncheon, dances and social events. One of the highlights of the club for the kids is the canteen which operates during any of the scheduled events.


Most of our days started with one or other of the girls hurrying their mother along in order to be at swimming lessons on time. It wasn’t so much that they wanted to be there, when they had friends visiting, it was more that they didn’t want to be given 30 extra laps by their swim coach. After lessons were over they returned home and settled into one of the many activities available to us all. Games of chess, swimming, canoeing and paddleboating, Narnia recitations, blueberry picking and braiding of each others’ hair are just some of the things that went on.

More tomorrow.

Cottage time

We are off to visit friends for a week so I will not be writing for a while.  When I return I hope to have photos and stories to share.   Our friends’ cottage is on a lake which has run the same summer programs for decades.  My daughters’ friends have their swimming lessons off the same island as their mother did thirty years ago.  There are movie nights, games nights, luncheons and concerts in the same clubhouse.  We will go to church in the same chapel that my friend’s grandfather preached in many years ago.  Last year we were there on the weekend of the swim regatta and the children are looking forward to competing again this year.

Once we arrive at the village we park the car and are taken by boat to the cottage and go every where by boat.  It really is a most relaxing location.  So that’s what we will be doing: relaxing.   I hope you get a chance to do the same.

Quote for the day

Yesterday my dad sent me this:

Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia.
Charles M. Schulz

We have become fairly good at dealing with the time difference. I don’t think we call people in the middle of the night. Years ago, one of my friends traveled to North America for two weeks and lost a day returning. It was her birthday!

A gallery of sorts

I have another place for you to visit. It is a gallery for my cards and paper creations. For quite a while I have wanted to display them somehow and I was inspired by other stamper’s blogs to do it this way. When I do workshops or stampers’ clubs I am often asked where I get my ideas from. Some come right out of my own head, others are inspired by someone else’s designs. Now my work, original and copied will be on display also.

Summer days are for:

img_2936quiltcrop.jpgWashing the quilts and blankets
Planting a herb garden (that is mine in the tubs)
Reading books
Visiting friends
Entertaining friends
Long slow meals
Listening to music
Sleeping in (occasionally)
Scrapbooking and card making
Visiting a cottage (that’s next week)
Making chutney, jam, salsa
Cleaning, sorting, organising
Throwing things away

Birthday report#3

I know the birthday report is running a little late but we having been busy living our life here, and not taking time to write about it! The following is an interview with the birthday girl, A11.

H: How did your birthday begin?

A11: I started the day by looking at the rearranging my sister L12 had done in the doll house. I found some streamers, and in the dining room my dolls had presents and cake.

H: What did you have for breakfast?

A11: Waffles, cream and fruit.

H: Did you open any presents?

A11: Oui.

H: And…

A11: My sister gave me some body wash, which I thought was food, some flip flops and a tshirt.

H: I see you are wearing the tshirt now, it looks very nice.

A11: Thankyou.

H: Would you like to tell us about any other presents?

A11: Next were some bubbles, then a pair of binoculars (eagerly hoped for), a bedroom setting for the dollhouse, a personalised drink bottle and bracelet and a spotty wallet.

H: Did you stay home and enjoy using your new gifts?

A11: No, I went to camp, where it was raining.

H: Did that spoil your day?

A11: Not at all, it stopped raining soon after I arrived. While at camp I went swimming, played Mafia, and other activities. Just before I lunch the girls in my group sung Happy Birthday and then I was invited to the little boys group and they sung Happy Birthday

H: What did you do after camp?

A11: I came home and used my binoculars to watch the birds in the backyard. I installed the new furniture in the doll house and moved my money into the new wallet.

H: Did you choose the birthday dinner?

A11: Yes, we had bbq chicken, potatoes and salad with ice cream sandwiches for dessert.

H: Then I guess you hopped off to bed because you were so worn out.

A11: No, actually, I didn’t. I chatted on the phone to people who had called to wish me Happy Birthday, I played the Stuart Little computer game with B6 and then watched an episode of the Cosby show to end the night.

So there you have it, a simple but enjoyable birthday for the Queen of Bits and Pieces

Queen of bits and pieces

Tomorrow our ten year old turns eleven. When I first started calling her the Queen of Bits and Pieces she wasn’t very impressed. But it is so apt. Bits and pieces surround her when she is in her room, at her school desk, pottering and arranging things in the doll house. Creating things out of bits and pieces is one of her favourite pastimes. She is a talented queen, that is for certain.

In her doll house, the Villa Caprice, you will find all sorts of miniature food, peg dolls dressed in silks and satins, furniture, portraits and knick knacks all created with bits and pieces. Her desk holds drawings, sketches and paintings as she likes creating arty bits and pieces. She is generous with her bits and pieces, giving away little creations to others. Her knack for seeing something in what others would call scraps or even “garbage” often amazes me.

Her interests are many and varied. She can be found doing a bit of birdwatching or a piece of needlework, reading a bit of Tintin or writing a piece of poetry. She often spends a bit of time bike riding or much time practising a piece of music. I love watching her dream dreams and hatch plans.

Have a very Happy Birthday, Miss A.

One to a Hundred

Such uncontrolled and raucous laughter has not been heard around our dining table in a while. We have had some intense games of 1-100 in past months but none have been as loud as this one. Tonight we had the camp counselors here for dinner after their day at camp. Initially there was no sign of the rowdiness we were to see later. They were all quiet and polite; they planted themselves around A10’s doll house where they chatted and waited for the whole contingent to arrive.

Even when they were all present they stayed there and had their daily debriefing, ending with a prayer time. Next they gravitated to the kitchen, but still I saw only mild and helpful young adults chatting with each other and offering to help me. When the bbq was being consumed we began to see some enthusiastic eating from the young men, and some eagerness when I brought out the icecream sandwiches.

After dinner my suggestion of a game of 1-100 was met with blank looks. L12 and I gathered the supplies: piece of paper for everyone, a die and a pen. The rules are simple: everyone takes turns rolling the die, when anyone rolls a six they grab the pen and start writing consecutive numbers starting at one. Then next person to roll a six grabs the pen from the writer and begins (or continues) writing their own numbers. The first to one hundred is the winner.

Shouting, jungle type sounds, shrieks and groans were heard amidst much laughter. If you don’t believe me just try it. I think we saw the counselors true colours showing through! Seriously, though they are a great group and Andrew and I were happy to spend some time with them. They have committed their summer to giving many children (2 of ours this week) a safe, happy and fun packed time at camp, sharing Jesus’ love as they do.

Friends with pools

Summer is off to a good start. We have visited four back yard pools so far. Granted it rained the whole time we were at one so we didn’t go in. We have some wonderful friends with pools but none of them live within a 35 km range of us. Not that I’m complaining, we love to see them and to swim in their pools. And of course if we’re going that far we can’t just go for a short while can we?

L12 continued her Powerswim course today; she is still enjoying it and learning new things. Immediately after she finishes the pool has an hour for lap swimming so I swam my kilometre. I should be able to do that most days this week. B6 and A10 started attending the day camp at our church today and both gave positive reports when I picked them up.

Summer time

Summer time and the livin’ is easy.
Well not exactly easy, but different, refreshing and a little more relaxed. The house is getting a good “spring clean”?? The end of term became so busy during the days and evenings that the phrase, “I’ll get to that in the holidays” became common place for me.

Over the Canada Day long weekend we spent time with friends; I scrapbooked and Andrew and B6 were invited by B’s soccer coach and son to attend two of the FIFA U20 games. On Sunday we drove out into the country to one of the neatest, most ordered little farms I’ve ever seen. One of our friends, very near and dear to our girls, was getting baptised in the pool at the farm. Her church does not have a baptism tank so they hold their baptisms in the summer out at the farm of one of their members. Once again it was a delight and privilege to see a young lady we know and love proclaim her love for Christ and her commitment to follow Him always. Afterwards there was dessert and swimming for those who did not mind the chilly water.

I was taken on a little tour of the farm and I saw the huge vegetable garden with rows of flowers interspersed with the tomatoes, corn, rhubarb, peppers and other healthy looking vegies. At the end of the garden we could look out on the huge rolls of freshly cut hay and see the cows wandering in from the field in a row. The one in front mooed the whole way as if calling the others to follow. The last cow in stopped at the game and turned around to check all were in. We were sure she was going to shut the gate behind her.

I managed a little gardening at the beginning of the week, I have to do it in short bursts as my back is giving me trouble. At least I have all the herbs in. It would have been better if they had been in a month ago but I’m still hoping to be able to pick from my own basil, parsley, coriander, sage, oregano and thyme. Laura began her Power swim class today and has learnt racing turns and dives. Straight after her class we headed out to visit friends with the hope of swimming in their new pool but instead we watched the rain fall into it. Conveniently the rain stopped just as we began our softball game tonight, a good game but we lost.