It has been a long dry spell in the quilting arena here, which is why I was so ridiculously excited to sit down and create even one block. The first of many? I sure hope so.
Recently I hosted the first of our new, monthly Quilt Nights at my house!
Ok, there are no other people in these pictures, so you’ll just have to trust me that three of us sat around chatting about quilts (and other things, naturally), planning my friend Tiana’s first quilting project, and digging through my insane stacks of fabric. Only one of us was organized to actually begin cutting fabrics; I admit that I didn’t cut or stitch a single piece this first night. But I did gather fabrics for a project, and for the first time in a long, stitch-less dry spell, my inspiration is running strong…
Fruit seasons are moving on, almost faster than I can keep up with them. I scrambled this year to get in some blueberries and peaches. The blueberries are easy, of course: pick and freeze, as simple as that. They’re the only fruit that we actually ran out of last year.
Peaches are more involved, but they are so worth it. Best new recipe this year: peach fruit leather. It tastes much like the peach fruit leather of my childhood, which I adored. And it’s incredibly simple to make.
And of course, we’ve started a batch of peach wine. We’re going to make this one light, no added sugar to up the alcohol — we envision an off-dry, mild drink that we can enjoy as fall creeps in, a last golden taste of summer. That’s the theory, anyway. We’ll see if the yeast agree.
We’ve tried Nathan on bikes before. He liked the one he rode at a friend’s house, but he didn’t like the one I found at Goodwill, even though it seemed about the right size. Lately he’s expressed more than a casual interest, so we bit the bullet and got an actual, brand-new bike for him.
He’s so ready. We’ve been going for rides together — granted, at this point that involves me being in my lowest gear and trying hard not to tip over from lack of momentum, but it’s cool even so. Eventually we’ll be doing more serious rides together, ones where Ryan can’t keep up with us by trotting alongside.
It’s hardly fair to refer to the Meighan reunion as “the other lake,” since for most of my life Diamond Lake has been The Lake to me. But what can I say? We were at Coeur d’Alene first this year.
Where Coeur d’Alene is a relatively quiet experience for us, Diamond Lake in the midst of the Meighan reunion is all activity. Nathan and Ryan each had their favorite activities. For Nathan, it was definitely riding in the motor boat. He got to do that for hours on end, as skiers, kneeboarders, and tubers took their turns. Dave pointed out that, where Ryan has been talking about Marybeth for the last year, Nathan has more often talked about Marybeth’s boat.
Ryan sought out his Uncle Bob, less frequently his cousin Andrew, and occasionally one of the other new friends he made. Then he attached himself to that person like glue. He was happy as the proverbial clam hanging around someone, even if that person was currently ignoring him. Sometimes I would take pity on his
victim friend and try to distract Ryan by offering one of the activities that I’d expected us to do together — swimming or kayaking, for example. No dice. I was clearly old news, and he had new and exciting social terrain to explore.
So Dave and I mainly kicked back, chatted with family, accepted any drink offered, and watched whatever entertainment came along.
Often when I neglect the blog for a long time, it’s because I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with other things, or under the weather, or something along those lines. Not this time — this time it’s because I was on vacation, and came back from that vacation totally recharged and ready to go, and have been going pretty much ever since.
This was our second time as Tom and Marybeth’s guests, and it was awesome again. We did a bit of everything at the lake this year. There was lots of swimming, of course, especially for me — I’ve decided that a first-thing-in-the-morning swim is about as good as it gets. Nathan and Ryan were both pretty hesitant in the water at first, but Nathan started doing more toward the end of the week, and since then has been impatient for excursions to our local pool. We also did some hikes, especially Nathan and Dave; we took a boat ride over to another town and rode bikes along a trail for a while; and we took another boat ride over to a restaurant on our last night, and came back under the stars.
Arguably one of the highlights for me was when Marybeth’s friend Beth came over with two paddleboards, and we got to try them out. I cannot express how much fun that was. Yes, I took a dip once, but hey, how bad is it to immerse in sweet lake water? Most of the time it was smooth and fun and I came out of it with my entire body feeling great.
I have no pictures of the actual paddling, only of the on-board yoga we tried at the end. Beth expressed a desire not to be pictured, which is a pity, because she looked amazing doing yoga on her board — strong and sure and calm. I managed about three poses, with far less grace.
Beth made a huge impression on Ryan as well. “I like you, Mommy,” he told me just the other day (two weeks after we’d gotten back), and then added, “and I like Beth.”
And Marybeth was able to schedule our trip to coincide with the Meighan family reunion, which meant that we spent a couple of days there. Those pictures soon…