Are encouraged and taught to acquire, accumulate, own and collect. As a result of this we often become slaves to our possessions. As a person ages they will often see the folly of their ways and begin to divest themselves of all but their most meaningful possessions. The aging baby boom population reaching this juncture in their lives are thus resonant with the “if it doesn’t bring you joy – get rid of it” movement. It makes sense.
Having said that I wanted to post some pictures of my favorite things – I could have started the blog with a “rain drops on roses and thick woolen mittens….” Sound of Music thing but I didn’t want to burden anyone with that brain worm. Oops sorry that screwed the pooch there.
This post was prompted to some degree by Mary Colombi’s favorite wooden spatula being left here last year and the appearance of a really nice plastic laundry hamper at the dump.
Mary’s spatula was identified and pulled from the cabin for safe keeping and later brandished in a zoom meeting with them tauntingly.
The cherished well used implement is pictured above. Its pretty nice but most people wouldn’t say this is a cherished possession. They have never met Mary Colombi Gourmet Chef! And all great artisans have their favorite tools!
As mentioned above a really nice plastic laundry hamper appeared at the dump and our old one was examined for replacement….
As you can see its painted wicker with a light wooden dowel frame. The lid was lost during the Tunguska cross riff event in the late 1800’s. Other than that it is in pretty good state – ratty but still sturdy. Here’s the thing though it was my Grandma Iva’s and she had it when she lived in an apartment on Richelieu Ave when I was say… 6 years old. So that makes the hamper greater than 60 years old! Talk about tenacious staying power! Joan probably remembers it too. So here was the dilemma, new snappy utilitarian light plastic hamper with a lid and carrying handles that Janet could manage or the old heavy wicker one with provenance? It was up to me – I thought what would my beloved Grandma Iva say? She was a pragmatic sort and she whispered in my ear “Get rid of that ugly old thing! I didn’t like it when it was new, that’s why I painted the damn thing!” So off to the dump the relic went. But not without fond memories – that I still have.
Another of my favorite things that in some ways has taken advantage of my love is the Piscarious. After my spring assessment (the year before last) revealed some major structural flaws that could be an existential threat to the boat as well as its occupants I had to cogitate as to whether I should fix it yet again (If I listed all the things I’ve replaced or shored up in the past it would be a multi-entry blog-a-thon) or let it go? The stumbling point was last year was busy (sort of a counter point to this summer) and I was not sure if I could devise a fix that would be durable, strong and yet esthetically pleasing. I know, I expect way too much from my meager skills. So it wasn’t fixed last year. However the time over winter wasn’t spent without reason – I came up with a relatively easy fix that satisfied all my requirements.
The problem was that age and a lifetime of stressful wave breaking had cracked 5 of the white oak hoops that back the cedar strips between the first and second seats. Right where the waves are cut at warp speed. So I put hardwood stop blocks up at the inside of the splash rail connection line and cut strips of tight yet strong luan plywood (from the dump) to a length that would be placed under compression between the keel and the block. When the strips were pressed into place they conformed tightly to the inside hull of the Pisarious. I then propped the boat on it’s side so that the fiberglass resin I poured and worked into the system would permeate the plywood as well as bond it directly to the underlaying cedar strips. I did the sides on successive days then put a hardwood strip over each of the lines of stops and painted it. As The Evil One said “If you squint your eyes without your glasses and don’t look for the fix you’d not know it’s there.” High praise from the Evil One. I also put a pillar under the front seat to the keel. This added the strength of all the seat boards to keeping the keel from moving. Looking over the fix I am satisfied – It passes the “stronger than when it was new” test. Light, strong, unobtrusive, and elegant if I do say so my self. But the summer draws to a close here and Firth lake temps are below 60F so I think the old girl will have to wait till next year to fly on the azure waves of Firth Lake again. So the Piscarious is still bringing me joy and remains the most beautiful fishing boat on earth..
I have not just been drinking here all summer (but it sounds tempting) so I endeavored to display another of my favorite collections —- The vaunted Firth Lake Scotch Library. It has built over the many years of owning the camp and has resided on many disparate shelves around the lodge and almost never revealed itself in its entirety to the public. Sort of like the Vatican archives. Generally just appearing as specific selections to illustrate scotch types to tickle the palate of fellow connoisseurs. But They needed a proper home…
Pretty cool Eh? The Evil One posits that it will only promote more tasting and I counter – that is what what a library is supposed to do. Janet likes to point out to people walking into the store and seeing the Library for the first time that “Jack hasn’t bought one of them!” That isn’t true – I purchased the latest iteration of Highland Park 18yo!
Another of my favorite things is the Chateau Frontenac pink floribunda subzero rose that has survived for 10 years out front of the lodge. Its not too showy has no fragrance and the form of the blossoms is sloppy but it blooms like a trooper in the fall right up till it’s knocked down by a really hard frost! It is sort of like the one eyed man being king in the land of the blind or some one with an IQ of 60 at a GOP convention.
Joan, the whip lady, wasn’t here this summer so corn shocks have been employed to mulch the area around the rose.
So much for favorite things – I went fishing for a couple hours the other day with the lake temp hovering around 60F and caught an 18 1/2 inch bass. Good fight and lots of fun but that was the only bite. It was a very windy day so not the best of conditions.
We’ve been experiencing a plethora of small animals this year – mice, voles, shrews, frogs, toads, chipmunks, red squirrels, snow shoe hare, ground hogs and ruffed grouse. I have been trapping on average 3 mice a night! After loosing two tomatoes to chippies I deployed a trap and two bucket traps around the garden. I can tell you there has been no more damage and “the herd has been thinned!” I also got tired of hearing the grundsow under the lodge. So he was kidnapped!
Curiously his captors never issued ransom demands! His captors did deliver him to the Wapus landing and released him. He scurried to the edge of the bush then paused turned and raised his fist shouting “Grundsow Power Baby!” Then disappeared into the bush. Who knows what retribution he is planning?
Speaking of errant animals we have a lurking frog in the house! He hops around and is too quick for the scurrying old folks that live there. He’s very healthy and hangs out under the green couch.
This pic is presented for your “where’s Waldo” moment.
Another cool happening – as Kevin and i were doing our circuit of camp we heard the ominous honking of geese. We looked up and there were three huge wings of geese at high altitude booking south. I did a quick count/estimate and there were about 500 to 600 geese total! Very cool stuff – the Vees would deviate and reform with geese joining and reforming constantly. Quite a spectacle! Unfortunately this usually signals bad weather is coming.
Before I sign off I give you a Puzzler of the ornithological type. (Joan is forbidden to enter a guess) The winner will receive a chit entitling them to two tastings of the scotches of their choice at a later date!
Identify the bird that these feathers came from. The answer is obvious so its a very easy puzzle.
Along with the policy of leaving with a cute doggie pic it dove tails with the new business model for Sportsmen’s Camp. We’ve installed a boardwalk here at camp. Its going to have small games of skill and a freakshow (I figure it won’t cost a thing to run as we have new guests weekly and I could sell tickets to people off the highway) along it – for Sled to humble mere mortals with his ability to roll skiball and guess weight and squirt water into the mouths of plastic clowns. The money maker will be the casino! The building and capital expenditure will occur next summer. Here’s a pic of Kevin inspecting the first section of completed boardwalk.
And another of the span.
Kevin is not completely onboard with the plan.
Dammit did I leave the rock hammer in frame? I expected to have some google based answers the first day.
Glad to hear that you were able to repair the Piscarius! That boat is a classic. Eventually, it will be converted from a wooden boat to a fiberglass boat. Maybe you should try FlexSeal like they do in the commercial with the boat with a screen in the bottom, 😉 Janet’s comment reminds me of Elwood’s reply in Blues Brothers, when Jake asks him how often the train goes by his apartment: “So often, you won’t notice.”
I also battle the chipmunks. Every summer I take out 30 chipmunks from the back yard, whether it needs it or not, and there are still plenty. This summer I had 30 by the 4th of July.
Hard to identify the feathers for sure because there is not a good indication of size, but since you were talking about geese, it would be logical to say goose. But you wouldn’t make it that easy, so I will take a guess that it is some type of woodpecker.
You’re going to have to be more specific. Gee its a sort water bird or a bird that flies over water (this is classic ESP medium stuff – “I see the body near water..”)…. doesn’t cut it when we’re dealing with such high stakes!
Okay, you still have not given a size reference. But I will go a step further and say a red bellied woodpecker. We call the one that comes to Maria’s feeders “Elwood.” Elwood and his Mrs. had a young one this year and taught it to eat at the suet feeder. We call him “Gregory Peck.”
LOL I hope he doesn’t kill mockingbirds! Anyway the feathers are laying on the seat of the honda ATV. Its not a red bellied woodpecker though.
How about a pileated woodpecker?
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I love the pictures of your favorite things, and I can’t wait to take a stroll down the boardwalk next summer. Will there be refreshments? Thank you for retrieving the wooden spatula from its wintering quarters in the the kitchen drawer of Villa Colombi. Heat and fire have scarred its surface and now subzero temperatures have left their mark on its history. It’s truly one of my most treasured possessions!
Glad to hear from the bountiful north…hope to ride the new and improved Mother of Firth next year……dare I guess an Osprey??
Not an osprey or pileated woodpecker. A hint – the physical description of the feather(s) is in the name of the bird. Many people who know the name of this bird don’t realize the literality of the birds name.
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Nope on both tufted titmouse and barred owl. Second hint what is the most extraordinary feature of the feathers?
The yellow rachis.
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How long are the feathers, the size is still not obvious.
Is it a Black and white warbler?
not a warbler – the feathers are about 5 inches long. Yellow rachis is very close.
I haven’t been shafting you guys with bad clues and Jim is just a flicker away from it.
Northern Flicker yellow shafted.
I missed the yellow shaft originally. The measurement helped.
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The Evil One has suggested the next contest question — Who is buried in Grant’s tomb? No hints. LOL
If I remember correctly there is no one actually buried in Grants tomb, at least not US Grant. But that may be some other famous tomb.
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“The correct answer is that nobody is buried under the monument, Grant and his wife are, however, entombed there and are not six feet under. That is why it is Grant’s tomb, not Grant’s grave.”
Interesting that only the retired old farts participated in the contest… the only ones with time on their hands!