We're going to be leaving for the cottage again at the end of this week, and I still haven't blogged about our weekend there last week. Or was it the week before?
Sad, I know.
Before I get into the crux of the weekend, I should give you a quick low-down on our family cottage. The cottage is not a typical Muskoka cottage (ie. summer home bigger than our current house). Nope. Ours is a cabin really. It was once a rental cabin, which was purchased by my mum's dad (known to Beth and I as Pappa). My mum spent a lot of her summers there. My mum and her sister inherited it after my Pappa died in 1979 and a few years ago my mum bought out her sister's share. Being that my mum died in 2005, my dad now owns it. For Beth and I especially, it is a childhood home of sorts and because several years ago now my parents moved away from the house we grew up in, it is certainly a place where we have deep sentimental attachment and memories. In a word, it is magic. The eye of the beholder is not objective, however. Here it is in all its glory (just look beyond Emily's giant orb):
The weekend was really an "opening up" weekend, which generally entails a lot of cleaning, specifically, cleaning up mouse poop. A lot of mouse poop. I washed most of the pots, pans, dishes and bakeware, all the countertops, we swept and mopped, got rid of a wasps' nest inside the cottage, cut the grass, got all the beds made, got rid of some clutter, you know.... the usual kind of stuff.
We arrived on Thursday and that night Emily and John witnessed a mouse run across the kitchen floor. Seems the little critters decided not to vacate this year. I guess they didn't get the memo about vacating the premises when the trees got their leaves. Like all the other animals. I guess we got the dumb mice this year. As there was no food left in the cottage, they spent their winter eating soap. I should have taken a photo of the soap sculpture that is sitting by the kitchen sink now.
I set a trap. One mouse caught. Unfortunately not the mouse spotted the previous night. Reset the trip. Caught another mouse. Still not the mouse we saw. Seems that there is a leader who is the brains of the operation and I caught his two blundering sidekicks. There could be a movie about all of this. It wouldn't be very good though.
Apart from the cleaning and killing, we swam a lot. The water was very warm for June as a result of all the hot weather we've been having. I showed Emily how to play bakery on the beach. Beth and I spent hours playing sand bakery when we were kids. Passing these things onto Emily lets me relive it all over again. Watching her there, seeing her learn how to play there, discovering all the magic herself, well, although I didn't know it at the time, this why I wanted these kids.
We explored the nooks and crannies around the cottage. There were lots of wildflowers to look at, lots of critters, the sun and wind on our faces. We made some great discoveries, like these wild irises growing on the beach:
We saw lots of wildlife. The first morning there was a snapping turtle trying to lay her eggs on our road. We're unsure if she was successful but being that she chose smack in the middle of the road, we're thinking chances of hatching are not so good this year. We saw lots of deer and a porcupine. And of course the resident groundhogs. Through all of this I only caught one critter on film:
I'm expecting a call from National Geographic any day now.
We also went into Port Sydney for ice cream. Emily chose to wear it instead of eat it.
John and I were unsure of how Hope would do at the cottage. The first summer of Emily's life we spent almost two full weeks there. Two full weeks of hell. It was brutally hot. We had only one fan (obviously there is no air conditioning at the cottage). The lake water wasn't even refreshing. Emily had terrible prickly heat and sleeping was a no-show. She wasn't crawling much so didn't really enjoy exploring. In a word or two, it sucked. We were afraid of a repeat but, aside from some super-sized bug bites, Hope seemed to love it all. She even slept better than she does at home. Maybe I just need to move up there permanently. I mean, wouldn't you like to stare at this all day?
We leave again at the end of this week for a full week there. Beth and Graeme and Fetal Texan will be there too which means FUN TIMES! And some serious bocce ball me hopes. I'll be better with the camera, I promise, and will have some (better) blog posts when I return.
Keep tuned in this week though for such gems as "We go to the park" and "We go to the library" and maybe even "We go shopping for baby shower items." I know, I'm all a-quiver, too.