Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Calm During- and After- the Storm

Hello again on another peaceful day on Aquidneck, where we live. The storm did not hit us all that hard here on Rhode Island, even though we were without power about 30 hours. We thank God that the storm passed easily and we had no flooding or breakage. Even though we knew things could have been much different, we have  seen Him bring us through much worse storms in N.C. when we lived there. And we trusted, no matter what He chose to do, He would bring us through.

The day after the  storm was very sunny and there was a chill in the air. There were hardly any cars on the bridge, after all why come here when there was no power? There were a few people at the dock putting their boats back in the water. Life was returning to normal. There was no thought of the Pres going to work, so we went for a long walk. During our shore-combing we found lots of old pottery shards and shells and starfish and sea glass to add to our collection. It was just a bit too chilly for the Pres and me to think of swimming, but that didn't stop Fidget. 

Sunday morning early, as the rain started to get heavy, I made King Arthur Flour's Simply Sinful Cinnamon Muffins. I was so glad I did later, as shortly after Fidget got up we lost power. She is determined to hate almost anything baked, but these still won her over, I am thrilled to say. I didn't make the topping because I didn't have pecans. And I'd read a reader's review saying it didn't need the topping. Maybe they were just slightly less sinful! Either way they were such a cheerful way to weather the storm together. I only wished I'd had a cup of hot tea with them.

 It warmed up as the day wore on. First thing in the morning though we all got out our home made socks to wear with long pants. But darn it, Fidget's socks had a hole. You may remember them, above.
Who would've thought they'd have a hole already, when I just made them in January? Anyone have any great ideas on how to darn things? I've never liked a pair of socks enough to fix them before.

During the storm, we kept busy playing Bananagrams, Scrabble Jr., reading a thousand and one library books, and knitting. The Pres kept up with his homework. Here's my current project. I was so happy to discover this yarn leftover from my dear friend Karen's project. And I had a pattern called Cafe Au Lait Mitts by Paula Mc Keever that I wanted to try. I love this pattern! The only bummer is that I have almost run out of this gorgeous Cascade 220 yarn. So I need to find a yarn shop before I start the second glove.

The power returned yesterday afternoon after our long walk. It was so peaceful to go in, sit down with a hot cup of tea, and knit away.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Calm Before the Storm

 We went biking and swimming first thing this morning. We're hearing the hurricane may be on its way and to brace ourselves for the storm. For now though it's days as usual and all is calm.

Our house is so close to this pier that we ride here several times a day and go swimming. We are calling the new house Harbor View. Fitting, don't you think? The Pres came up with it. I think this is the first house he's named. Though he wouldn't have given any suggestions if I hadn't asked, still, he's come a long way. Or, I'm wearing him down after all these years. :)
 Just beyond this pier is another water access park. Sometimes people jump off and swim pier to pier, or over to the beach area.
 I love this periwinkle wicker chair set that we pass every day. Such a luxurious, comfortable porch. I bet the owner would be surprised to come home and find us sitting up there! So far, we haven't succumbed to the urge.
 A side view of the Anglican church.
 A lovely old bed and breakfast.
 Rhode Island is big on hedges and historic fences.
 Front of the Anglican church which is almost always open. This morning we stopped in briefly.
 It has some gorgeous stained glass pieces in the front entry.

 A neighbor's gated hedge always intrigues me as we go by.
 We got to Rhode Island in time to see all the multi-colored hydrangeas blooming. They are past their prime now, but still  beautiful to look at as they dry on the bush. The one at Harbor View is green, not as flashy as some bright fuschia and deep purply-blue ones, the soft pink ones that turn to green and the pale blues that deepen over time.
We also have roses around the door, which sometimes dress up our dinner table. They are so cheering to come home to. Sometimes we get a chill, especially when the breeze cools us in our wet clothes on our way home from the afternoon and evening swims. Then it's the perfect time for a cup of tea.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wet Paint

Here is the peaceful scene I painted in last week. I don't know how Monet and those guys kept up that plein air (aka outside in the open air) painting all the time. Although there's nothing like being in the fresh air and the beauty of nature, there is so much to lug from the car! Then there's getting the wet canvas back home undisturbed. I can't imagine walking in from home or using a bicycle. 

That day I had a recalcitrant easel and I didn't have one of Monet's handy portable camp stools either so I had to set up on a rock where my easel could sit below and I could sit above. I painted one day on site and 2 back home where I had a comfy seat and a hot cup of tea at my side.
Here's the finished product. I was happy with how it came out. It was hard to give it away. It was fun to go to the Wet Paint show Saturday night and see all the wet work lining the walls. The bids were low from what we saw, including on mine, with just a few exceptions. We did not go back Sunday afternoon for the live auction they held for the work in which there was great interest (and high Friday night silent auction bidding). I am sure my painting was already gone by then. I hope it's in appreciative hands.

Even thought it was hard to give it away, it was good practice, and humbling to see the very low bids on it when we were there!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Welcome to Rhode Island!

 Hello from the cool North on a lovely summer's morning. We have been here about 2 weeks now. The Pres seemed to power through most of the boxes singlehanded, so our move went very well once we got here. 

Before we left River's Edge we had a last second surprise party for Fidget and right around that time I began itching all over. Turns out it was not the chlorine, it was an allergic reaction to Amoxicillin- something Fig and I have both had now. We will be steering clear of that from now on, thank you. Those itches lasted two solid weeks, during which we cleaned and painted our hearts out at the old home, and drove North in the 110-degree heat wave everyone experienced here on the East coast at that time. 

When we got here we had the heartbreak of unwrapping one of the Pres' paintings of Fidget, which was ruined with a foot-long gash in it (see top).  It was surprising since otherwise the packers had been very careful- nothing was missing, and we didn't lose many items to damage. We also had Fidget's Captain America birthday. Picture on the giant chocolate chip cookie in princess icing courtesy of the Pres. He can always be counted on to chip in. Fidget adored it.
 After these things we started to settle in to our new home, Harbor View. I got sufficiently well unpacked and organized to start a knitting project.

But it is hard to get anything done indoors when outside it is so pretty and Fidget just got out of training wheels. Suddenly she wants to be riding all the time! We ride first thing in the morning, at lunch, and even after dinner. It is such fun to ride down to the dock, jump in and swim, and ride home dripping wet. For now we share the docks with tourists, but already they're thinning out and soon the place will be all ours!

There's water just two blocks away from home. And no matter where you are around here, you aren't much more than 2 blocks away from water. 

We've explored the public water access docks and boat ramps, Boston for the day, beaches, and we've been to Fort Adams (above and below).

We've been to the Cliff Walk and the famous 40 Steps which end at these rocks. After this photo, a man and his dog ran down the steps, out onto the rocks, and dove in the water. I would have been afraid of sharks, for one thing, and of dashing myself to pieces on a rock. But either he and his dog got lucky or they knew what they were doing because last time we saw them they were swimming around down there having a ball.

There is lots of Colonial-era architecture around here. Many private homes are on the National Register of Historic Places. Even many that aren't have a plaque or sign outside with the year and the person who first lived there. This is the Pineapple House. There are also mansions open to the public for tours and a special topiary garden to see. How can we see everything in just one year?

Yesterday we went to Fort Adams again to start painting. There is a museum fundraiser called Wet Paint that Fidget and I have decided to enter. You paint a local scene, turn your painting in on Saturday, and all the art is auctioned off that night and the next.

Here is the scene I am attempting to paint.  The place was beautiful but the breeze kept messing with my paper palette so that by the time I left I was covered in paint. And the water kept calling to me. It was so refreshing. Fidget had so much fun swimming and making friends that she decided not to paint at all yesterday.Who could blame her?