James’ Journal

Welcome to my blog.
This is where I write about the cottage, and write about my travels. I just write, because that is what I do.

This Old Canoe

There it was, hanging from the rafters at the back of the garage.  It was an old wood and canvas canoe.  It was a vintage Minto, in fact, built in the same classic design as the Peterborough.  I re... Read More

The Nesting Season

Springtime can be a dangerous time. Not solely because spring is purported to be the season when “love is in the air,” though that remains a good reason to be on guard. No, what I mean is that thi... Read More

When a Pandemic has us Stuck at Home – We Go Looking for a Cool Adventure

Being stuck at home in Muskoka is not so bad. We can get outside and have the space to be alone in the great out-of-doors! There were cross country skis under our Christmas tree this year... Read More

A Winter’s Journey

It is the perfect place to isolate - at our island cottage on an ice-bound lake. It is a journey I have made before, a long time ago. This winter seemed the ideal time to repeat that winter's journe... Read More

Hello World!

This was my dad and I read this story at his memorial service. He was such a big part of our cottage lore. He passed away on May 1, 2019 - and now I have taken up his familiar cottage greeting, shoute... Read More

Move Over Dear Abby – Cottage Daze has Some Cottage Advice!

Move over Dear Abby, I decide to give some practical cottage advice. With apologies to the late John Prine (folk singer) and the late Dear Abby (advice columnist). “Dear Cottage Daze, Dear Cottage ... Read More

Boats and the Cottage

Boats are a big part of cottage life, for the experiences they allow and the memories they create. Our arrival at the lake follows a long-practiced routine. I jump out at the resort where our eighty ... Read More

An Evening Cruise

An evening cruise up the lake with the whole family has become a cottage tradition. Often after dinner, on a pleasant summer’s night, we like to jump onto the pontoon boat and head out for an eveni... Read More

“Out of my element and out of my clothes in the Dominican Republic!”

THE MELIA CARIBE TROPICAL, PUNTA CANA - The slippers didn’t fit. They were more like toe warmers on my size 12 flippers. My feet hung over the ends, heels dragging along the cool marble tiles as I... Read More

The Reading

I list the good, the bad and the ugly of doing a book reading at a busy downtown restaurant ... with a little help from Billy Joel's "The Piano Man." It's 9 o'clock on a Saturday... It’s two o’cl... Read More