we have moved!

Steven, Asia & Chloe 
paddling home from Lucas Boatworks to our new home on the Braden River.
Steven is using one of the gorgeous paddles he made at Lucas Boatworks : )

we are tired, happy, unpacking tons of boxes, and settling in! 
xo lenna

If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.
  ~ Katharine Hepburn

happy October 25th

On this day six years ago when I was separated and not yet divorced from my husband who had left me, I called my old friend Steven Deming at work. We have know each other since 1972. I had learned recently from our good friend Garth that Steven was divorced (much the same circumstances as me). This was news to me, as we had not spoken for some time! Three and a half weeks after I called him on October 25th, Steven & I simply knew we were going to get married. It was amazing. We were always just friends before. My divorce was final in April and in June, Steven & I tied the knot. Today we celebrated October 25th!

Happy anniversary, Steven! Dinner out and a canoe trip, what more could we ask for?!
moon & star my dad carved on the canoe he made
The electric motor works well even on the peterborough canoe!!

The Manatee River, Bradenton, FL

Happy anniversary of that amazing day, october 25th!
We are still thanking our lucky stars.

paddle to snead island

Steven did this trip solo, as it was a bit longer than I would typically do with him; 5 nautical miles. But I enjoyed his photos so much, I thought I would share them here with you. He put in his canoe at the 59th street boat ramp which is just down the street from us now. This is not just any canoe! The canoe he was using is what he calls, "his Jeep"; the 11 ft long wee lassie cedar strip/fiberglass single man canoe my father made for him in 2006. This canoe is beautiful, strong, and only weighs about 25 pounds. Effortless for Steven to get around in by himself. Mind you, we have 3 other gorgeous canoes and a strip built sprit rig sailboat dad handcrafted in our backyard right now. Not to mention the 15 1/2 ft 'beach crusin' cat catch rig sailboat steven & my dad rebuilt recently. I guess I should not even mention the closed canoe and 'squirt' boat Steven still has from his whitewater days . . . .  :  ^  ) It is no wonder I call him things like water rat and boaty boy!  -Click on any photo for a larger version.

He is travelling on the Manatee river

Herons are a common sight for us here

the great white heron

a rest in the shade

yes, we live in paradise now!
This is De Soto National Park where we often walk along the shore.
We'll be going there later this afternoon!

Steven at De Soto national park - he paddled in, instead of walked in!

The orange line is the map of his route, 5 nautical miles.

paddling to Gilligan's island

This was my view from under the shade of mangrove trees yesterday, when we stopped for a rest from paddling. After weeks of packing, moving and now, unpacking and organizing, I told Steven I was ready for a break! The conditions have to be good for paddling one of our canoes around here, so I requested the next time the wind and the tides were right, for Steven to take me out with him. He said, "I know, we can paddle to Gilligan's island." That sounded like fun! This is a deserted island in the Perico Bayou, not far from our new home. We left the shore around 2 pm and returned around 4pm, so it was not too hard a paddle.

I find the Florida sky amazing . . .  click on any photo for more detail.
the water is beautiful, and the fish are literally jumping!
The cormorants were drying their wings after diving under water -wild!
This is Gilligan's island!!
My dad's handmade boat is beautiful and serves us very well.

We made it to the island, and then promptly went swiming! 

* happy paddlers *

white egret: a common sight for me now.
Trailering the beautiful boat back home . . . 
Till next time!

a sunny day

mmmmm . . . the weather cooperated and we finally made the time to take the larger of the 2 canoes we have that are hand made by my dad, out for a spin. Steven took me down to Groton, on the Connecticut shore where he had been by himself exploring last year. He found a protected area off of the New London Sound, next to Bluff Point State Park and a public boat ramp with a good put in.
I don't know if we got more comments on my dad's beautiful wooden boat and his workmanship or on the 2 dogs sitting in the middle of the canoe while steven & I paddled away . . . both are quite a sight! (smile) Coming back the current was a little strong because of the tides but Steven knows his stuff from his years of whitewater so I got good instructions, and paddled strong with a gorgeous hand made paddle, and so enjoyed. The places we stopped along the way were beautiful little coves and hot sandy beaches. Amazing sites after all this rain we've had! I've put a small slide show of our trip to your left at the top of the page. Here are a couple of my favorite photos I took:
- love that palm tree! Quite a "boaty" crowd here . . . my dad always etches in a moon & star to the boats he makes, it is the logo of a business-men's club he is a member of and where steven & I got married - The Canoe Club!
a beautiful little cove where we went ashore . . .
steven with dad's hand built canoe . . . with room for 2 people and two dogs!

a beautiful summer day!

my Florida visit : 0 )

I had a great visit with my mom & Dad in Bradenton, Florida recently. I am showing them here in a photo-op with their good friends from the UK, Roger & Pat James! That's Roger on the left, next to him - my mom, then Pat, and then my Dad. Doesn't he look great? : 0 ) Dad made a wonderful handmade canoe paddle for Steven and gave it to him last March when we both were visiting, and then Dad went ahead and made a special canoe paddle for me, which he gave me last Friday. I am amazed at his workmanship. He made the handle out of apple wood; he carved it himself just for me.

WOW! If you look closely - click on the photo below, you can see how he specially burned my nickname, 'Lenna Pie' into the handle of the paddle! This is what his mother - my Nonie, used to call me, along with everyone else in my family! Well, actually, my parents do still call me Lenna Pie sometimes!!!!

Dad is doing so well with his liver cancer and is presently in remission. He really looked the best I have seen him in a long while (a year and a half) and my mom looked really good too. Both of them helped me to scout out a few homes this weekend and we found some possibilities . . . now Steven & I have to sell our home here in CT first, and then we'll be making an offer and moving down there!!

The apple does not fall far from the tree!

I have a number of posts that I want to write and not quite enough time lately to pull it together . . . but, this one I am pushing through!
In the photo to your left (click for more detail) are 4 lovely little handmade wooden spoons my dad made for me recently. I was visiting my parents in Florida last week and while I was there, I noticed my dad had ordered a work bench, drill press and a band saw for the work area in his garage. Now, mind you, my dad has a wonderful, very professional woodworking workshop at his home in CT - but because of my dad's health issues, my parents did not make it back to CT this past summer. So, I think my dad was itching to do some creative woodworking again! He has made many beautiful wooden boats and he plans to make a custom canoe paddle for my husband Steven, hopefully by the time we come to visit them again in late December - as there is a handmade Dale Andrews canoe down there already!

When I was talking to my dad on the phone about his various Doctors appointments the other day, he slyly told me near the end of our conversation that he had sent me a present. What? With all that you have going on, you sent ME a present?? Yes, he said, I thought you deserved a present for coming down to see me - ha! I was so happy to visit my parents! Well, I did not know what the present was, nor did he tell me what it was. Maybe some oranges, I said to Steven? My dad has sent me those from Florida before, usually Mineolas, yummy! Yesterday, his package arrived. It was these 4 spoons and this note:


The 1st project from my new workshop. Your mom always enjoyed the stir-ers I did a couple of years ago. I hope you like them. I had a small piece of Tiger Maple left over from a boat model I did.


What a treat! I absolutely love these little spoons he made and I am so glad my dad sent them to me! The first project from his new FL workshop too, that is so great. My mom always says that I got all my creative genes from my dad . . . well, I am not sure about that, as my mom is very arty and creative too, but it is a really wonderful thing to be his daughter. My dad has always been a shining example for me and he is continuing to be that for me through his cancer diagnosis. My mom too. Both of my parents are concentrating on taking things one step at a time, which I truly believe is the only way to get through anything like this that seems really too overwhelming to think about. As I told my friend Carla, I aspire to be as grounded as they are in the face of such news. With much love, lenna

It's beautiful outside . . . scroll down to see!

This past Saturday, Steven and I took one of my dad's own handmade cedar strip canoes down to the Farmington River in Tarriffville, Connecticut. We took the 2 person Peterborough model he made. That day, there was a gathering of members of the Farmington River Club later in the afternoon. The idea was you could go for a paddle on the river first (most of the members are kayakers) and meet up later to celebrate a birthday. So we opted for the paddle first and I was reminded of just how beautiful the natural world is and how very much I enjoy going out canoeing like this. Steven is an awesome paddler; he's still very strong and quite expert from all his years of kayaking & canoeing. I do keep up pretty well and he tells me I am a very strong paddler. I am glad I can help, using one of my dad's handmade paddles.

We put the canoe in at a little sandy beach in Tarriffville that Steven knew of. After shoving off, we paddled upstream for about 40 minutes. I told Steven I did not want to go too far, our first time out this season, so after we went a wee bit farther to satisfy him, we turned around and really zipped back to our starting point in just about 20-25 minutes! So much faster going downstream, not fighting the current. No matter that we did not spend hours & hours doing this - I loved relaxing surrounded by nature's beauty and simply enjoying big billowy clouds, the green leaves and the many flowering trees we passed. The reflection of all of this in the water really spoke to me, once again.

The dogs really have no quams about going into the boat with us. Often Asia simply lies downs and goes to sleep! We get lots of comments from other paddlers or people enjoying the river because of: A) the beautiful handmade boat and B) our dogs riding along with us! Enjoy this slide show of the day . . . a direct link to the slide show in case it is not showing up here on my blog is here -just click on the title: Canoeing the Farmington River. This will take you to the site where I created it!