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I built the base and made my first attempt in 2016. I wrote about it here. While the base is a little wonky, it is strong and survived even though the first oven did not. I built it too late in the season and there were freezing temperatures at night. So the water never evaporated, it froze and then when I warmed it up, probably too quickly, it melted and the whole thing collapsed. The project was like childbirth. It took me a couple of years before I was ready to try it again. But I waited for the hottest day of the year and tackled it again, with a few modifications. But the sun pointed to my mound of sand and told me it was time to start.

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Tim built a beautiful roof. Now it is protected from rain and snow and provides shelter for the chef and a place to bang your head for the pizza oven builder. Rather than dig the sand and clay again, I bought it. And I added cement, I don’t think I could bear to see the whole thing crumble again.

I began with relaying the fire bricks that make up the floor in a bed of sand. Then I built a mound of sand on top, 22″ diameter, 16″ high in the back and 10″ in the front. Next I covered the sand with wet newspaper. Very much like paper mache’ projects. In theory, once the oven dries around the mound, I will be able to scoop out the sand and paper and be left with a pizza oven.

The recipe was 1.5 parts Portland cement; 2 parts Hawthorne Clay from Sheffield pottery; 2 parts silica; and 2 parts wood shavings that had been soaked in water. It was from delftclay.co.nz

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I made it in small batches so I could adjust if it was too wet or dry. I mixed the dry ingredients, sprinkled some water and then kneaded with my hands. I probably made at least 30 batches!! I’m a little broken today. But I digress.

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This is probably a project best done with a crowd that likes to make mud pies. If I have to do it again, I will buy an oven. But, for now I will have to wait and see. Anticipation!

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It’s almost summer in the Adirondacks and my calendar is full. I’ve been here, there and will be everywhere.

This wool rug came off the loom just in time for warm weather. It was woven in double width and then unfolded.  It’s sort of mind blowing. You weave part of the top later, the bottom, then the top again and it’s connected on one side. I hope the obvious middle becomes less so over time.

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I sewed this baby quilt for a dear friend’s new grand daughter.

2E0D0B60-78F5-4D50-88B2-93B6A416877CAll while finally getting to spend time outdoors. I’ve been walking to work, in the woods, and hiking with friends and family. Summer is a glorious time at home.

F9F14C3D-6896-40D1-A69C-03E551FC03A5 But I won’t be here much.

I traveled to NYC to see Bruce Springsteen in his Broadway show. I think he was singing and talking directly to me. Wonderful!

A88C78BF-91B1-44D0-816D-9FD5EC256CAD16A8DBCF-C88C-4370-AB85-F8579F7D0F8BWe came across these Lady’s Slippers in the woods and hiked around and to the top of this waterfall.

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557F06EE-E55F-491D-8ECB-A46B5545A6A4And enjoyed ice cream from one of the many stands that open for summer.

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Next I’m headed downstate to babysit grand children for a bit, then off to North Carolina to visit that dear friend, then canoe camping with more grandchildren, traveling to Guatemala, weaving camp in New Hampshire and back to Seguin Lighthouse in the fall. What have I done?? My head is spinning.

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We traveled for 20 hours on Wednesday and are gradually recovering from jet leg.   Spring is just on the brink of arriving. A strong storm blow through yesterday, with wind, thunder and lightning.  Our Davis Weather Station reported the highest wind since we’ve lived here: 42 mph. Lots of power outages.

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Our county is the one where hardly anyone has power. I was happy to use my Coleman lantern and candles last night, while we read and knit. This is the Forest Path stole I began the plane to Ireland. It’s too complicated to put down and I’ll keep knitting it. At the airport security check, they asked me if I had knitting needles in my bag.  I said I did, with two weeks worth of knitting that they could not have. They laughed, confirmed I had knitting needles and let me pass.

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We set up the generator and all is well.   Today is glorious and sunny.  Lots of birds singing,. and the woodpeckers are hammering away.  It was a long winter indoors. What I love most about our travel and caretaking lifestyle is the opportunity to spend long stretches outdoors.

But Tim needed his headlamp to play the piano today.

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And apparently we’re having company!

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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.

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

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Spring is almost in the air.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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