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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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cottage report

Delayed cottage report: Very relaxing. I slept most of the weekend and managed to get rid of my cold. In spite of the reports that moose were being driven out of the Algonquin Park forests by the blackflies and mosquitoes, I ended up with only three bug bites. Though I suppose this isn't TOO surprising with the two-inch layer of insect repellent and sunscreen I had on every inch of my body at all times. :-) I even got some paddling in. Jeff and I hope to go on a canoe trip later this summer, and I need to get in practice. I used to go camping with my family years ago, but have never been on an overnight canoe trip. Anyway, I dutifully practiced my J-stroke and bow draws, but still find it difficult to "single" (be the only person in the canoe) in windy weather. I need more practice, and also learn how to paddle on the left side as well as the right. Explanation of the term "J-stroke" for those who aren't familiar...if you use a certain type of stroke while paddling (looks sort of like a J, hence the name), you can effectively navigate/control a canoe whilst sitting only on one side...none of this flapping about first on the left, then on the right, then on the left, etc. It's a bit tricky at first, but Jeff's a good teacher (he has to be, considering how uncoordinated I am). I'm also hoping to get in some whitewater practice before next fall, when we're going on a canoe trip on the Nahanni (a river in the Northwest Territories). The trip's been booked, no backing out now. :-)

Many, many thanks to my friend Cathy Rutland, who taped the season finale episode of X-Files for Jeff and me on Sunday! I got the tape from her today and we're going to check it out tonight.

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