Posted by: tflana | June 22, 2018

The Summer Solstice

     This morning when we woke up, Ms. Pickles had not improved and if anything, she was a little wobblier and having a terrible time balancing. The goal was to be ready to leave the island for 8:30am to make sure we were at New England Veterinary Center for the 10am appointment. On good days, most people think a trip to the vet is just another task on their list, but when we need to take our dog to the vet it requires many modes of transportation and a prayer to the weather gods to keep the winds in our favor.

As a quick overview on what is going on with Pickles, on Wednesday morning she was a little off, didn’t want to eat and was acting like a drunken sailor. She has 3 legs and a bad knee so balancing for her is always an act of will power but with the head tilt and wobbliness, it involved many face plants and somersaults. By Wednesday afternoon, she was even worse. She was willing to eat turkey baby food mixed with water, but not that interested in people food, there is something wrong with her. A few of the possibilities that ran through my mind was an inner ear infection, old dog vestibular disease or lead poisoning. The lead poisoning would not have been a consideration if it wasn’t for the fact we have been scraping and sanding the sun parlor with her present the whole time, who knows if any of this paint was lead based.

Brian made sure we were at the animal hospital in plenty of time and I was the typical worried mom. My heart was breaking because on Tuesday, she was an absolute clown around the house and in the yard and now she can’t stand up and is whining. After her exam and some bloodwork, it appears to be old dog vestibular disease, which should right itself within the next 5-7 days, she may always have a head tilt and be off balance but most of the time, dogs have a full recovery. It is like a mini stroke in a human, unsure of the cause but time will heal her. For my piece of mind, we did request a blood lead level test to be done, lead poisoning is easily treated and should not be left undiagnosed. She is going to be taking a low dose of Dramamine to help her with her dizziness.

Pickles coming home

Pickles having to ride with the ice and groceries, she is not loving this new ride to her kingdom

As we were returning to the island, it occurred to us, today is the summer solstice, the most daylight of the year. In most cases, we try to get a sail in on this day, but a ride in the powerboat is our new norm and at least, we did get out on the water.

Nothing better than a newly cut lawn

There is nothing better than the view of the yard after we finish the grass cutting

Chores still awaited us when we got back at lunchtime. The lawn needed to be cut for the weekend guests arrival. Brian started with the weedwhacker and I climbed on the John Deer Tractor and off we went! This is the first time in my life I wore a respirator mask cutting the grass because it is so dry here on the island, as I cut some areas, a major dust bowl is stirred up. What used to take us 10-man hours to cut, we have down to 6 hours. This gave me a chance to investigate a trail we learned about yesterday from on of the volunteers, supposedly it runs the southwest border of the property and ends down at the beach. With a few hints from the volunteer and more from Annie Harris, I found what looked like an overgrown path. From what I understand, the path was cut by last years caretakers and they were concerned no one would find it and maintain it. I grabbed the second weedwhacker and started in, of course, I was lucky because the trailblazers were kind enough to mark areas with white paint to convince me I was on the right path. Brian joined me as I got closer to the beach, but we ran out of gas in the weedwhackers and we are at the point where we need loppers to cut through the beach roses to get to the cliffs, so much fun!


After dinner, we decided to celebrate the sunset at the top of the tower, again, this is a priceless gift we have as caretakers and one we never take lightly, the ability to witness the world high above with water as the backdrop. As we were talking about what projects we want to complete before leaving in July, Brian mentioned he wanted to clear around the old stone fireplace at the edge of the property. As we were looking out at it from the tower, we realized there is an outline of a trail from the fireplace to the northern cliffs, yep, we are going trail blazing this weekend between guest to see if it is a trail or not! In case anyone is wondering, we are kids using adult bodies to get around, it is always an adventure!


Another Possible trail seen from the tower

Another possible outline of a trail from the tower, will need further exploring


High tide: 6:28am
Low tide: 12:26pm
Sunrise: 5:05am
Sunset: 8:24pm
Man hours worked today: 8
Total man hours worked: 222

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