It has been a long, cold winter. Much of the early season had temperatures too cold, for me, to comfortably play. The mid part had some nice snow and we were able to ski right from the front door. Then there was a melt and freeze, late in the season, which turned all our walkways into skating rinks.  That’s when I keep my micro spikes on my crocs so I can get to the hot tub without breaking a hip.

This week had a glimpse of things to come. The temperature rose to the 50’s for one day and the river’s ice melted,  happily without flooding our road. Here’s the view upstream.


Then we had a sun filled day, which warmed my heart.  A mackerel sky predicted the next day’s warm weather and rain/snow.


Spring is almost in the air.


Sweater stretch

I’ve been on a knitting tear since the summer on Protection Island. I think I made four adult sweaters since April.  I started the Dublin Pullover in August. I knit it with Jamieson’s Shetland spindrift yarn, which turned out much softer than expected and will definitely use again. It took me about 5 months to knit and a week to sew in all the ends. Here’s one night’s waste yarn.


I needed a wooly board to block it and found plans online. You can buy one for $150 or spend $8 on material and have fun in the process. Mine can block sweaters from 32″ to 48″. I will warn you however, dowels in the hardware store are WEAK! They snapped in seconds on my first attempt to stretch a sweater. I perused the hardware section (one of my pet pleasures) and found an alternative, a 1/4″ metal something or other.


I initially hang the sweater in the boiler room, because there’s a drain in the floor,  then move to the wood stove where it dries in 1/2 a day. The stretcher doesn’t stand on its own but balances nicely.

This is the Dublin pullover.


It fits Tim much better than me so he wins.

This vest had gradually gotten smaller and shorter. Now it fits again! I’m pretty sure it was the sweater shrinking, not me getting larger, although I’ve been a little lazy this winter.


In contrast, this last sweater, knit in Lopi bulky yarn, took one week to knit! It was a little big so I purposely shrunk it but went a bit too small. The wooly board let me stretch it to a proper size. The neck remains a little wonky and I have to do something about that. Back to planning and looking for more sweaters to knit and stretch.






And so it is Christmas


We celebrated early with the family away and never brought a tree into the house. My geranium, salvaged from Seguin Island several years ago, brings holiday color to the room.

This year’s family craft project was paper cutting animal snowflakes.


Be careful, it’s another worm hole to fall into. We used the book, 100 Amazing Paper Animal Snowflakes by Marion T. Nichols. For some reason, the templates are available online on this website if you feel the urge.

My work area looked like a warehouse from Thanksgiving until now. I knit, wove and wove. I finished my final ? project yesterday but didn’t take a photograph it yet. I made tablet woven tiebacks for the log cabin’s curtains.  Tim also received a wool rag rug for the cabin in the white elephant fiber exchange. The cabin may be complete – never.



There were hats, scarves, slippers, rugs, bath and hand towels to name what I can remember.

We sneaked a quick trip in to Montreal to listen to a choir perform in the Notre Dame Basilica. Despite the slush and the Montreal shuffle it demands, it is a beautiful city in the winter.  Our new NEXUS passes let us sail across the border.


My fair isle sweater is almost complete. It’s knit but there about a million ends to weave in. I built a wooly board yesterday from plans I found online to block it. The pattern was for a man and it fits a little wonky. I hope the stretcher will help. For now, it looks just as nice inside out.

FCC9AF5C-F8D4-48E6-93DD-9F16030E60A4Today is a lovely snowy day to sit by the wood stove and finish this task. After I use the snow blower to clear the driveway.


Why do we ever leave?

It’s hard to say because where we live is so beautiful and peaceful. Our county has the second lowest population density in New York, so we aren’t driven away by the crowds. We have mountains and lakes and a hand built log cabin. I’ve been following the current Maatsuyker caretakers on Instagram and they summed it up quite well. It’s for the simple life unhindered by schedules. A typical day includes lots of time to create: music; weaving; knitting; and food. There’s always plenty of time and energy to exercise. And time to read and reflect on nature, seascapes, and sunsets. We try to maintain it at home but it’s much harder. I work a few days a week, as beautiful as our home is, we live far from family and travel to see them. Life gets in the way of life?

But here we are.



Tim tears me away from my knitting and weaving to take walks, ride our bikes or swim.


We visit family and friends.

657DA3B8-0F07-4AD0-B550-33470A6DD101A90358FB-0B21-4011-A804-A354DECE187BI find inspiration in our local color.

IMG_4511IMG_4513And try to keep it simple.

IMG_4219We left Seguin Island in calm seas and pea soup fog. The first and only thing I was able to see during the three mile boat ride ashore was Fort Popham, at the very end of the trip! But we were in excellent hands.


Fort Popham from the road

The drive home was beautiful, especially when we saw the Adirondack Mountains.

IMG_4288But how quickly we got caught up in a whirlwind. I worked two days, arranged financing, bought a car, rented a house for the family vacation, and mostly unpacked. Tim lined up a Captain’s job on a schooner next summer and then we were invited for the crew’s end of year sail. It was perfect though; steady breeze, gorgeous sunset, mountain, and good company.



We feel like we didn’t even miss summer at home. It has been warm and sunny. No pea soup.

Island Sense

Photographs only show one aspect of island living. From the moment we arrived, I could hear the bell buoy ringing when the waves rocked it. Today I felt, rather than saw, the fog roll in. First the sun’s warmth disappeared and then a cool dampness followed. Happily I have nothing to report about smells or tastes.


Island work. When you can’t call a plumber, just make sure you have enough hose clamps on hand. I started the process of filling the cistern in the keeper’s quarters and found water in the pump house after I had started. Two pipes don’t quite fit together, so I adjusted things a bit and added another hose clamp to the gang.


The system is designed to be drained but this is a bit much. And the water has so much iron in it, I couldn’t wear my shoes back in the house for all the rust in the water I stood in.

But it was another beautiful day in paradise. Yesterday we mowed, I got to ride the crazy lawn mower without a steering wheel. It takes a little getting used to but can spin 360’s effortlessly, which makes it easier to avoid hitting rocks.


Rides sweet but is a royal pain to change the oil, which we did earlier this week. Definitely not mechanic friendly.

Look at how nice the lawn looks.


I bet the sun will set today despite the fog.



Island visitors

Human and others. Fall migration has begun. Seguin Island is loaded with Northern Flickers. They are kind of bashful and elude my camera. Here is one sitting on the sunset bench.


Monarch butterflies are starting to flutter through. I spotted a mink and my siting was confirmed by 3 young men in the know. Apparently it caught its own ferry here,  log, big wave? Some other critter nibbled on my bag of flax meal. The island has been without mice or rodents but at night, once the light is out, the kitchen fills with crickets. I had to go back in and turn on the light last night and had to dodge at least 15 crickets on the floor. Tim insists they ate my flax.  Hmmm.

Fair weather has also brought visitors and it is a delight to share this magical place with others. It brings joy to all who see it, especially us.

The bathtubs are shining by Seguin standards but you might dispute it if I posted a photo so just imagine pristine tubs. Being the good lighthouse keeper’s wife, I also deep, deep cleaned the refrigerator. On Tasmania, I took unusual pleasure in using the old floor waxer to polish up the linoleum.

Sunrise and sunset keeps happening. The sun is setting 18 minutes earlier than when we arrived 2 weeks ago. I can’t speak to the sunrise but I have caught it on at least a couple of occasions. Yesterday was one.


Looks like I have to deep clean some outside cobwebs.

This morning it rose behind the clouds.


Here are a few indirect sunset scenes.


Happy place.


This morning I am literally waiting for the grass to dry so I can hop aboard the Gravely mower and shear the lawn.


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