and covid continues

Last Saturday afternoon we took George to Spokane, as he was going to spend the night near the airport and catch an early flight out the next morning.

On the way home we stopped at Kohl’s because I remembered I had a 30% off coupon, just in case anyone needed anything.  Well, the guys decided they needed boots and sneakers.  They wore masks, the store was fairly empty and we weren’t in there very long.  That was in Washington.

When we reached Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, we decided to grab something to eat.  Our choices boiled down to Taco Bell (drive thru) and a favorite pizza place (eat in the car).  After looking online at the flatbread menu at the pizza restaurant we decided to do that.  The parking lot was packed with cars, which was a surprise.  I went inside to order (it was so difficult to do by phone that we totally gave up) and was shocked to see that the place was filled with people.

The large restaurant was full, couples and families were waiting for tables, and the only people wearing masks were the servers.

It was pretty unnerving, especially after months of self-distancing and the occasional take-out meal.

I ordered and then escaped back to the car to wait.  When I retrieved our little pizzas the place was even busier.  It seemed so very strange, as if I’d entered a foreign country.

In the past week our county has been hit with the virus.  Visitors from out of town are descending on Sandpoint to enjoy the restaurants and bars and shops, but they have brought the virus with them.

So we are very happy to be in our quiet little cocoon here at the lake.  The guys have quarantined for two weeks and are, thankfully, healthy.

And they want to stay that way.

Campfires, kayaking, arrowhead-hunting, fishing and swimming are all part of our summer.  And Covid doesn’t affect any of that!

sunset 1

The view on our way home from Spokane.



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the ghost otter

I know my otter isn’t really a ghost, but for a week or so we really wondered if Will had actually seen what he thought he had.

A little gray head, the V of the water surrounding him, swimming away from our dock in the midst of calm morning water…well, that looked like an otter to Will.  And then it disappeared as Will ran to get a better view from a different window.

Uh, where did it go?

Then on Tuesday morning as I sat here at my desk looking at the bay, there was the otter.  Swimming towards the dock in the glassy water.  And then, as I raced to another window to follow its progress, it was gone.

I googled “otters”, of course.  River otters can hold their breath under water for eight minutes.  At the rate of speed they swim, they could travel a long way–way past our window range–in eight minutes.  In our years here at the lake, this was the first summer to see an otter.  We suspect he lives around the bend, in a quiet little Forest Service-owned part of the bay sandwiched between homeowners.  Has he been fishing for bass underneath our dock?

“Watching for the otter” is now on my morning to-do list, along with “watching for the geese” and “watching for the eagle” (who shocked me by flying just above the water between the dock and the beach on Monday morning–he was huge!).  And of course, there is always “listening for the osprey”.

As you can see, I am very busy.

Today is exciting because we are driving to Clark Fork this afternoon to pick up books at the library (open three days a week, masks required), go to the dump, and get ice cream at The Pantry (masks optional but always a good idea for my guys, who will wear them).

Such is quarantining at the lake.

It’s going to be a quiet summer.  And that’s just fine with us.



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they are out there somewhere

arrowheads (2)

Will has been renamed “The Hunter”.  He found these in one evening, the first evening he was on the beach in 2020.

Two are chips, of course.  But the one second from the left is the real thing.

We remain amazed.

He also caught a foot-long bass the first time he put a worm in the water.

We want him to buy a lottery ticket!

Sunday evening (when the light was right) I joined him on an arrowhead hunt.  We sorted through a lot of wet rocks, but didn’t come up with anything.  We could search all summer and not find another arrowhead on the beach so we will admire the one Will found for the rest of our time here.

But I will not stop looking.  We are going to develop a system and possibly a grid.  I’m psyched.

The sun has come out and summer weather has moved in, as of yesterday.  Oh, joy!

Time to take my coffee down to the dock…


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social distancing at its best


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saturday june 20 at the lake

Well, I just spent two hours trying to sync the photos on my phone to my new laptop.  I thought I’d done it, but…no.  There are pictures on the computer somewhere, but I can’t find them.  Excuse me while I scream.

So you will get no sunset or storm or geese pictures from me this afternoon.

Maybe tomorrow.

All is well, though.  We have quarantined and taken all necessary precautions.  Banjo Man’s quarantine ends on Tuesday, but he will still wear his mask in public.

Son Will has to wait another week, but so far he looks pretty darn healthy.

We have eaten a lot of pie from The Pantry.  I love the peach.  George loves the cherry.  Banjo Man likes it all, and Will declared the “Multi Berry” pie the best pie he’d ever had in his life.

We have played dominoes and cards each evening.  Outside the weeds have been whacked and all Trex surfaces power-washed.  The kayaks are on the beach, as are some chairs.

Arrowheads have been discovered.  Yes, already.  Will is some kind of miracle hunter.

Again…I can’t access the photos with which to impress you.

It is very relaxed here, and I don’t mean just on our little property.   The few people I’ve come in contact with are happy and smiling.  The stress of the past months is dissipating, at least for Banjo Man and me.  Will has been decompressing since leaving the heat (and virus and protesters) in Texas.  I’ve seen his mood alter daily and now he is his normal cheerful self.

Not so when he arrived.

George returns home tomorrow, unfortunately.  But we’ve enjoyed our days together.

The weather has mostly been cool and cloudy but of course we don’t care.  I’m waiting for July, with sunshine and kayaking and days on the beach spent reading and watching the boats go by.

Photos soon, I promise!



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an anniversary

We are here at the lake!

I think I need to say that again:  We are here at the lake!!!


Flying from Providence to Spokane was easy and exhausting and just plain weird.  The airports were almost empty.  The few passengers wore masks.  The planes were about 1/4 full.  The flight attendants said, “Spread out!”

Finally in Las Vegas there was food.  A Burger King was open and we raced into the line like starving wildebeests.  I had brought three kinds of trail mix with me, but we all know it doesn’t take long to get sick of it unless you’re starving on a mountain hike.

We spent the night in Spokane and my wonderful brother-in-law George picked us up the next morning.  We headed to the lake.

Thank God.

This past year I had my doubts as to whether I would ever see it again.  There have been some pretty bad days, especially during the worst of the virus lockdown when travel was banned.  As we got closer to June 8th, I didn’t even want Banjo Man to drive to town for fear of accidents.  I have been a wreck and not even CBD oil could calm the anxiety.

The bright, shining, glorious news last month was having Covid antibodies and I am grateful.

Today is the year anniversary of my cancer surgery, when many people worked together  to save my life.  I remember getting a pink tote bag of gifts from a breast cancer organization and reluctantly taking it just to be polite.  I didn’t want to be part of the club and I didn’t want a damn pink bag!

I got over it.

I thank you all for reading about this Year of Cancer.  You sent loving comments and gifts and support and my heart needed all of that desperately.

You will never know how much.

I admit to crying a lot–I prefer to call it “leaking stress”—but it has been a long Spring and I have lost my mother and I miss my parents (most of you know how that goes) and the loneliness continues. I rarely cried at all during the months of cancer treatment as it was easier to be stoic in front of strangers, but I guess it had to come out sometime.

But on the bright side?  I went to the quilt store in town here and bought fabric.  No one wore masks and everyone talked to me and it was so lovely and normal that afterwards I sat in the car and sobbed with relief.

And son Will arrives tomorrow!!!  How wonderful is that!!!!

So no more blogging about breast cancer.  Tomorrow starts a new year.

My love to you all.


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the new normal

My friend Pat sent me this picture so I would be prepared for my flight this morning.

I’ll let you know how the trip goes.

social distance plane

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over and out

We’re packing.

Time is running out and the pressure is on, but that’s okay.  It happens every time, so we’re cranky and stressed but keeping our eye on the prize:  summer at the lake.

I haven’t blogged for a few days because with the state of the country the way it is, I’ve been either (a) glued to the news or (b) self-medicating by watching “Find My Lottery Dream Home” on HGTV.  There is something about watching happy people shopping for a home in which to be happy that serves as an excellent stress-reliever.

And I am still waiting for my anti-depressant to kick in.

It is raining paperwork here as I work with a very patient lawyer to settle my mother’s estate.  I’d hoped to have it done before I left but there is something from the town that won’t be finalized until after June 18 so I can no nothing more.  At least here in Rhode Island.

So now that I’ve signed more papers at the lawyer’s office, I will finish the rest of the laundry and return to cleaning my refrigerator.  It is hot and muggy today–welcome to summer in Rhode Island!–so I’m sure the recently-opened beaches are packed with very happy sun lovers.

I’m happy to home with my suitcases.

Today is the anniversary of D-Day.  I am filled with gratitude.



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playing games


The Funny Grandson and I enjoy a good game of UNO whenever we’re lucky enough to be together.  Complete with trash talk, victory laps and ice cream bars, it would never be described as a quiet activity.

So during the time of the Evil Virus Lockdown, we had to figure out a way to play.

Enter Face Time Uno!  We each have our own deck of cards, our own card shuffler, and access to Face Time.  We deal our own hands and hold each card to be played up to the camera.  We can see each other and we can yell with disgust or screech with joy.  The only things missing are the traditional victory laps around the living room and the ice cream bars.

We still have a good time, though the Funny Grandson’s father frequently admonishes him to “keep it down”.

How do you “keep it down” when Face Time UNO is so much fun???


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what’s going on


I have an owl who loves to sit on this tree branch outside of my living room window.  It must be a terrific perch from which to spot his prey.


Lobsters are on sale.  We bought four and made lobster rolls.


Yesterday I cooked a special “summer” breakfast.  It wasn’t quite June yet, but it was the end of yet another stressful month and absolutely time to celebrate the coming summer.


A local Mexican restaurant has solved the state’s indoor dining restrictions and has turned one side of their large parking lot into an impromptu patio.  Impressive!  Now I’m dying for a taco.

And one last note:  the hair salons open today!  I have a much-needed appointment with Sue on Wednesday.  Oh joy!!!

I think they should serve champagne.

When do salons open in your state?  Have you had your hair done yet?  


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