Saturday, May 30, 2009

Our Day Off

Friday May 29th Big Balsam Camp, Grand Rapids, MN

We have no set days off at the resort, if there is something to do we do it, if not well we have a day off.

Mike fixed the awning on the slide for the MH, it got a little bent when he was taking the slide in the last time.  But you know Mike give him a hammer and a Q tip and he can fix anything.  He also did some monthly maintenance on the MH. 

In the afternoon we went to lunch at the Balsam Cafe, split a Friday special, fish and fries.  Did a little shopping at the Balsam store, milk and dish soap.  The Balsam store is a gas station convenience store, it is pretty pricey no major shopping.  Next week we will run into town and get the things we need. 

Before dinner we played a little gin, and after dinner we had planned to do some fishing, but the sky looked like rain and it became very windy.  We stayed in a watched TV in the evening.  A very enjoyable day. 

Saturday Gordy and Jackie are going to the cities for a family function and Mike and I will be in charge until Monday.   

Friday, May 29, 2009

A Change In The Weather

Thursday March 28th Big Balsam Lake, Grand Rapids, MN

The sun is shinning and the temps have warmed up nicely.  Everybody is happy here at the resort.  Mike had some work to do for Gordy today, running a water line from a small lake to the vegetable garden by the main house.  Al who also spends his summers here at the resort is a retired nursery owner.   He plants the garden and takes care of it, we all reap the benefits of his labor.

It was laundry day for me, as long as I had sunshine I decided to hang my clothes outside.  We do have dryers in the laundry room but I love the smell of fresh air, especially the clean sheets.  I got that done and it was time to rest.

I finished a very good book by Lisa Gardner, The Other Daughter.  Lisa is a mystery, suspense author with a little romance thrown in.  Her books are hit and miss with me, I really like some and others were a chore to get thru.

After dinner we were invited up to Gordy and Jackie’s (the owners of the resort) for dessert, she made a fresh rhubarb pie.  Mike has a very sweet tooth and pie is one of his favorite desserts.  Pie, Ice Cream and glass of wine, boy you can’t beat that for a snack before bed.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Still Cool And Cloudy

Wednesday March 27th Big Balsam Lake, Grand Rapids, MN

The weather man tells us it we be clearing and warming up, we will see. 

I helped Jackie clean cabin 12 today. There were 25 people staying in a two bedroom one bath cabin, lots of kids.  We thought it would be a mess but thank you very much they did a great job of cleaning it.  Only took us 1 1/2 to change bedding, clean the kitchen, bathroom, porch and living room.  

While we were working on the cabin, Gordy and Mike were mowing and raking the yard, pretty sure a few trees came on contact with a chain saw.  Cabin 12 is across the lake, I will have to get some pictures of it.  If you enjoy being by yourself this is the place for you, very secluded. 

I filled my hummingbird feeders in the afternoon.  You would not believe the number of Ruby Throated hummingbirds there are in this area.  Jackie at times has as many as 20- 25 hummers at her feeders by the main house.  I don’t have that many but some days I fill my feeder twice, those little buggers really can drink the nectar. 

The sun came out later in the afternoon, sure was nice to see it.  After dinner Mike cut the grass in front of the MH and I did dishes.  We finished our chores and relaxed outside with a glass of wine and the misquotes.  The misquotes are just horrible hungry animals this year.  




Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Cloudy Day At The Lake

Tuesday March 26th Big Balsam Lake, Grand Rapids, MN

The last of the friends have departed for home.  The campground is empty, but 4 of the cabins have people staying the week.  Then this weekend the cabins fill up again.  The Cabins are rented Sat to Sat.  Not sure about the campground, most people just show up for the weekend. 

It has been cloudy 2 days in a row, sure hope the sun comes out soon.  The temp only made it to 57.  Jackets are the order of the day I guess. 

Such a quiet place to be.  Mike and I went for a walk after dinner, and then sat on the dock and listened to the loons on the lake.  Tomorrow he plans to hook up the Direct TV, there goes our quiet evenings.  

I cleaned the laundry room and got that ready for guests.  Mike was on the roof of the boat house fixing a couple of vents.  That was about it for our chores for the day.  Should be busier Wednesday. 


I did get the house listed for rent on Craig's list last night.  Just have to wait for the phone to start ringing.  Having that rented will take a load off Mike, he worries about it sitting empty.  He would rather sell it, but that just is not an option right now, with the real-estate market the way it is. 

The fish still are not biting, just a few here and there.  I don’t care how many fish we catch, in fact I hope we catch a ton.  I’m out of the fish cleaning business for the next 24 years.  Mike has a lot of catching up to do. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day A Time To Remember

Monday May 25th Big Balsam Lake Grand Rapids, MN

Mike and I are thankful to all the men and women who have served in the military over the years.  Mike served in Vietnam, my dad, Merlin Mc Calla served in World War 2, Rich, our son and David, our son-in-law served during Desert Storm.  Our daughter Teresa was in the reserves during Desert Storm.  Please remember all the men and women who gave their lives and time for our freedom.

Mike and I have so much to be thankful for, family, friends, freedom and the wonderful life of traveling and seeing our great country and meeting new people.

Today was the end of the holiday weekend here at the lake.  Everybody went home except Ken, LeeAnn and their grandkids, Carson and Conrad they will leave Tuesday morning.


Here we are lining up for our yearly good bye picture.  Some will be back for the 4th of July celebration.  Always another good time.


The kids and grandkids, Natalie, Ryan, Clayton, Lizzy, Carson and Conrad.  A bunch of great kids.

Big Balsam Lake 20091

As you can tell it’s a bit chilly this morning, we all have jackets on, a far cry from yesterdays warm and sunny day.


We call them the lodge people.  

When Mike started coming up here with me 24 years ago we stayed here in the lodge with the kids, grandkids, and friends.  Since then it has been remolded, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a huge kitchen and living room.  A large porch to site on in the evenings.  24 years later our kids are still staying in the lodge.  Mike and I have not missed a year at the lake.  I started coming up here when I was 5 years old with my mom, dad and sister every summer.  I did miss quite a few years when my kids were growing up.  I have very fond memories of this place and the people who run it.  


Mike and I ready for another fun in the sun summer at the lake.

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Mike you lied to me, for 24 years he told me he never cleaned a fish.  I have doing all the fish cleaning, not that I minded, well I guess I did mind.  He would always watch me clean them and he would bag the fish up when I finished. 

Him and Ken came in from fishing Monday evening and he wanted the filet knife and off he went.  He said he watched me clean fish all those years and he picked it up, ya right. Just call me sucker. 

Thanks to everyone that spent the weekend at the lake with us, we had so much fun, hope you all did too.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Let The Games Begin

Sunday May 24th Big Balsam Lake, Grand Rapids, MN

Sunday Afternoon was game time, Cowboy Horseshoe.  Not sure if that’s the real name but it’s what we call it.  It is played with golf balls on a rope and PVC pipe glued together to make a ladder.


Here we are, just waiting for the first couple to start.  The tension is mounting, who will be the winners.  Eight, two person teams will be participating in the event.  Double elimination once you loose twice your out.  Well Mike and I only got to play 2 games and we lost them both.  P1030215

Grandson Ryan was partnered with his dad and Mike and I were partnered.     P1030219











Our Daughter Sherry and Granddaughter Lizzy were on opposite teams.

Big Balsam Lake 2009

This was a very intense afternoon, as the games progressed the pressure mounted.

Big Balsam Lake 2009-1  

They were close games it was hard to pick who was going to take it all.  The money was in my pocket to be handed to the winner.  I know I wasn’t in contention, Mike and I were bad, played 2 games and lost 2 games, I know pretty sad. 

And the winning team is














Lizzy and Natalie.  Pretty sure it was because they had a uniform, matchy matchy .  None of the other teams knew we were suppose dress alike.  Wait until next year girls.  They went home with the money.  The second place team was our grandson Ryan and son-in-law Mike.  To bad you had to lose to the girls.

Collages Let me tell you we  know how to party after the games we got pretty wild.  Celebrated a birthday, boy oh boy, what a time.  Cake and more cake.


Carson Chevrette grandson of Ken and LeeAnn Chevrette, friends and neighbors of ours for 30 years.


The birthday boy got hugs and kisses from the winners.

It was a great day had by all, lots of fun and laughs.  

Sunday, May 24, 2009

At The Lake With Family And Friends

It has been a busy few days here at the lake.  The weather has been perfect, warm sunny days and cool nights.  Cold nights really in the lower 30s.  

The fishing hasn’t been the best but enough to have a fish fry tonight.  We do have to supplement the fish with some hot dogs.  Usually we have tons of fish by Sunday night. 


A few of us at the beach watching the kids swim.  Not really warm enough, but they wanted to try.


Carson Clayton and Conrad.  P1030117

Carson and Conrad not real sure they want to do this swimming thing.


Nat “once your legs go numb from the cold it really is not to bad”.


Natalie and Lizzy.  Natalie is a friend of Lizzy’s, she has been coming to the lake with Liz the past 5 years.  Great friends.  They swim on the Woodbury High School Swim team together. 


Baby makes 21.  Shaina and Joe expecting their first baby June 30th.  One of my best friends daughter.


We celebrated a birthday, girl friend LeeAnn with her grandson who turned five today.  Cake and Ice cream after the fish fry tonight. 


Stormie pretty much stays away from Patch just a bit on the large side for her.  Patch wants to play but she will have nothing to do with him.  P1030133

Let me in that big dog is here again. 


The Bathroom

You should all be tired of hearing about the bathroom.  But I have a few more pictures of the near finished product. 



As you can tell from the pictures it is a small bathroom, and this is the largest one in the house.  Do your business and get out, no messing around in here. 


I promise no more bathroom post or pictures.  A two week job that has taken over a month to finish. 


Just thought I would throw this in, picture of our lilac bushes in bloom just before we left for the lake. 



Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Lots of Family And Friends

We have been having a great time when Mikes not working on the dreaded  bathroom.  Lots of visiting and fun with our family and friends.   Saturday morning we went to breakfast with dad and our son Rich and daughter-in-law Marion.  Saturday night Ken and LeeAnn and Sandy Weis stopped up to play farkle and what a good time we had lots of laughs.  Sunday night our son Rich and Daughter-In-Law Marion stopped over and we had a wonderful time with them. And in between grandson Ryan and his dad Mike stopped in for visits.  Our Granddaughter Amanda moved back home after living on campus at the University of MN. we went to visit her.  And our daughter Sherry stops in to clean her stuff out of the house and attic, she has just about finished the project.  

This week we will be getting ready to go to the lake.  Big Balsam Lake about 30 miles north of Grand Rapids MN..  Sure hope the weather cooperates.  There will be more than 20 of us, more family and friends.  We are so lucky to have such wonderful friends and family that wants to spend time with us. 

Up date on the bathroom, every time I think he is just about done, there are a hundred more things to do.  Will he really get it done?  I’m not sure he will.  Mike is a perfectionist when comes to work, every thing has to work out his way or not at all.  


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Dinner And Friends

Mike doesn’t spend all his time working on the bathroom, we do have some fun.  We went out to dinner with our friends Ken and LeeAnn Chevrette.  We went to a little neighborhood bar, ate and had a few drinks,  Ken was the DD he is taking medication so no alcohol.  


After dinner we came back to the MH and played Farckle, a dice game, and oh yes there is money involved.  Another neighbor showed up so we got to take his moving too.  Mike, LeeAnn, Ken, Gary. 

We were at my dad’s helping with a little yard work.


Mike and dad working on the lawn mower. 

Friday, May 15, 2009

Dogs and Elephants

I picked up my son and daughter-in-laws dog the other day, to have some fun with. They have an Italian Grey Hound, named Louie, who is just the nicest puppy, well not really a puppy he is 5 years old (I think). Louie loves coming to our house to play, we have over an acre for him to run around, and greyhounds love to run.

P1030038 Louie

It was an especially fun day for Louie, our neighbor has a new puppy a 2 1/2 month old black lab, named Lucy. Rick, her owner calls her Lacy but I like Lucy better and she acts like a Lucy. I dog sit Lucy everyday, I let her out a few times a day to do her thing.

P1030047 Lucy and Louie

Do you know how hard it is to get a picture of 2 dogs playing. Good things cameras are digital, I would have gone thru tons of film.


How fast can she run? To fast for me to chase her. P1030054

Finally she slowed down, for a few minutes anyway.


Stormy found a safe place to hide under the MH. Dogs are okay, but they can get a little to wild for her.

Now onto the Elephant


Our Grandson Ryan found an Elephant on the side of the road. The elephant is a little beat up, but he likes to ride in the back of the pickup. What young kids do these days. Good clean fun. By the way the elephant is stuffed, but it sure looks real.

Bathroom and Prom

Well the bathroom is coming along, the sheetrock is up taped and painted.  The tub is in, and the floor should be going in today, and hopefully the tile around the tub and shower will be done next week before we go up to the lake.

Saturday was the last day of the garage sale, we sold the rest of the furniture and the small items we still had.  The house is empty and ready to rent or sell which ever comes first.

Our granddaughter Elizabeth had her prom last Saturday.  She and her boyfriend Drew looked so cute.  The pictures were taken at our daughter Sherry’s house.  Sherry has some beautiful gardens a perfect place for prom pictures.




We hope to leave for the lake next Wednesday, looking so forward to having a fun summer of fishing and relaxing and some work.  Friends and family will be their for Memorial weekend, should be a good time. 

Friday, May 8, 2009

Working On The House

Friday May 8th

Mike is working on the bathroom, one step forward 2 back.  Mike had bought a new tub for his project. He installed it and put up some walls to make a shower enclosure.  Well the room ended up to small only a really skinny person would fit.  So out comes the new walls and the bathtub, which was larger then the old one, back in goes the old tub and no new walls. 

P1020982 P1020984


Two weeks into the project and not much is done.  Hopefully we have a plan now and everything will go accordingly.

While Mike is working on the bathroom I'm getting ready for our last garage sale.  The house is pretty cleaned out, but there is always the last few things that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep or let it go.   Our daughter Teresa volunteered to have a sale at her house, she lives in an area that is big on yard sales, most everything went the first day.

Back working at the compost site today.   I forgot how long a day can be when you work 10 hours.  P1030008


The inside of my office.  The window on the right in the middle of the picture is the drive up window.  We have Direct TV, a small Refrigerator, microwave, toaster, coffee pot, I guess we have everything a person would need to have a good day at the office.  Oh and it is air conditioned in the summer and heated for the spring and fall.


The unfinished compost, grass and leaves.  There are about a dozen wind rows couple hundred feet long of the unfinished compost.  Come summer it really smells ripe out here. 


A small pile of our finished compost.