Friday, July 31, 2009

A Walk In The Rain

Thursday July 30, 2009 Big Balsam Camp and Resort

Mike made a hearty breakfast for us this morning, bacon, eggs, hashbrowns and toast.   It was so god and so not good for you.  Sandy and I took a 2 1/2 mile walk in the morning to burn off some of the fat and calories. 

Half way thru our walk it started to rain not much just a little.  Pretty soon it was like a monsoon, the sky opened up and just a downpour the rest of the way back.  I tried to keep my cast from getting to wet.  It did get a little soggy but dried out in no time.  Not much fun walking in the rain, but we laughed and had a good time.  Our clothes went into the dryer when we arrived back at the MH, we were pretty dripping wet.

Mike is still working in the bathroom in cabin 6.  P1040245  P1040246


All the plumbing is under the cabin, not easy to get at.  For an old guy this was pretty much work.  He hopes to have it done on Friday, as it is rented for the weekend.  


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Best Friend and Vegetables

Big Balsam Camp and Resort

Sandy Weis, my friend and neighbor for over 30 years needed a mini vacation, so she came to visit for a several days.  We sat by the campfire, talked and had lots of laughs.  When it became chilly, we headed to the MH and played Farckle, our favorite dice game.   


Al, our neighbor here at the lake has a huge vegetable garden, and he shares his produce with us. 

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Al gave us some potatoes, carrots, beets and broccoli.  Besides tasting delicious they make a pretty picture.  I made cream of cauliflower soup for dinner with some of the veggies Al gave us, but it was pretty bland.  If anyone has a good recipe let me know, I would like to try it again.   

Mike is still working on the bathroom, he is now redoing on the plumbing, replacing the plastic pipes with copper.  I pretty much just hung out with the vegetables.  Vegged most of the day.

Four more days and I get the cast off.  I’m going to ride home with Sandy on Sunday.  Mike will be staying at the lake and taking care of the resort, Gordy and Jackie have business in the cities, on Monday also. 


Mike’s sunset picture for the day.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Gutting The Bathroom

Big Balsam Camp and Resort

Mike finished gutting (what a horrible word) the bathroom in cabin 6. He put down the new flooring yesterday and is installing the new shower today.  Gordy is painting the walls, which should have been my job, but my arm just is not up to it.

If anyone needs a bathroom remodel don’t call Mike unless you have a million dollars to pay him, then I will see that he does it.  Not his favorite job.

Jackie, Gordy and Al stopped over after dinner for a glass of wine, and the Turkey Buzzards showed up.  I think they were looking for Stormy, either that or they were looking for Gordy.  He feeds them the fish guts every day.  Guess they were hungry

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Today started out cloudy and windy, the sun did come out in the afternoon.

P1040229Monday nights sunset.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

This Is What Retirement Looks Like

Sunday July 26 2009. Big Balsam Camp and Resort

Mike is tearing into another bathroom, his favorite room to work on.  If you follow our blog you know last year he remolded another bathroom in one of the cabins.  This spring he redid the bathroom in our house, a job that took 3 weeks longer then it should have.  Nothing went right and to many obstacles in an old house.  But he got it done and it looks really good, I almost wanted to move back into the house.



I think Mike is praying to the bathroom Gods for Devine intervention on this job.  He has to be finished by Saturday as the cabin is rented. 

My left arm that I had the surgery on is doing great, my right arm with the torn rotator cuff is getting much worse.  I have to use it for everything and boy is it sore.  In fact I’m using the left arm now, and typing with just the left hand is very difficult for me.  My post surgery appointment on the 3rd of August is also when the doctor will decide what to do with the rotator cuff, surgery or cortisone shot.   I will be very thankful when everything has been repaired and in working order. 

It was a perfect day at the lake, the sun was shinning and the fish were biting.  The guest were coming in with some pretty good size fish.  I started a new book and visited with our neighbor Carol.  She has lots of hobbies and enjoys reading, we always have something to talk about.   


Roll Over Day At The Resort

Saturday July 25th 2009 Big Balsam Camp and Resort

I had the day off from cleaning cabins, my arm is still not up to work.  Hopefully next week I will carry my share of the load.  I feel so bad when someone else has to do my job.  My parents brought me up with a pretty good work ethic, unlike many young people these days.  I like to do my job and do it well.  

I get a little testy with Mike at times, he says I’m ripping on him and if he was a piece of paper he would be confetti.  I get very frustrated, there are things I want to do and just not able, and Mike gets the blunt of my frustrations.  

It rained on and off most of the day.  It would rain then the sun would come out and get very humid.  Even had a few rainbows late in the afternoon. 

Pretty laid back day.  Most of my day I spent reading.  I finished reading Echo Burning by Lee Child.  I have read other books of his and found them very enjoyable.  This one got a little to wordy, great story and his characters are believable, but he just repeated things to much in this book.

I would like to do some beading, I have a few projects to finish up, but they will just have to wait for 9 more days. 


Mike’s sunset picture for the day.

Mike went fishing again tonight.  No fish were caught, but he did get some pictures of the wildlife. The pictures are a bit out of focus he had the camera and was driving the boat.  Multi tasking can be difficult for Mike. 

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The deer had been swimming in the lake, but by the time Mike got the camera out and focused she was running away.  The Eagle could have been an awesome shot but again it’s hard to take pictures and handle the boat.  I think he got some pretty good shots under the circumstances.


This small channel connects our lake to a few other lakes.  Most of the wild life is spotted in the channels.  It’s better if you just sit and wait for them to show up.  

Friday, July 24, 2009

Blueberry Art Festival Ely MN

Friday July 24th 2009 Big Balsam Camp and Resort 

Click on any picture to enlarge.

Only 10 more days and I get the cast off my arm.  Mike has been doing dishes, but today I found if I put a one gallon zip lock bag over the arm and tighten with a rubber band I keep everything dry.  I will leave the rest of the cleaning to Mike, I don’t want to tear any of the stitches out by lifting or moving things around.

The one that didn’t get away.  Last night Mike went fishing for the first time since we returned.  He caught a 34 inch northern, and this time he had his camera with. He has pictures for proof.  A northern between 24 and 36 inches has to be released in Big Balsam Lake.  I would believe him even without pictures, maybe.



Highway 169 going to Ely. This was a first for us, never saw a do it yourself pet wash facility.  

Today we went to Ely for the 29th annual Blueberry Art Festival.  Years ago when we did art shows Ely was one that we participated in.  We saw many old friends that are still doing the show circuit, sure was nice visiting with everyone.

Ely is a little more then 100 miles northeast of where we are staying.  It is the entry point for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and is home of the International Wolf Center, and the North America Bear Center.  Dog sledding is also popular in the winter.  The cities main street is lined with canoe outfitter, outdoor clothing stores, and restaurants.  A very busy little town. 


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I love the architecture in the small towns in northern MN.  Do you believe this building is going to be condos soon.  What a waste of a beautiful structure.  


Downtown Ely

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Getting close to the Art festival, they have over 300 artists participating this year. 

The Festival is held in a beautiful park.  Lots of food vendors also participate.  You can buy all kinds of food products with blueberries in it, including beer brewed with blueberries.

In the winter it can get as cold as –40 in Ely.  It does warm up a little in the summer, but I don't think it ever gets really hot.  We did see a few people with winter jackets on. 

Another town we stopped in today was Chisholm, a mining town on the Misabi Iron Ore Range. 


Downtown Chisholm.

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Public Library                             City Hall


Former Major League baseball player Dr. Archibald “Moonlight” Graham played by Burt Lancaster in the movie Field of Dreams lived in Chisholm. 

Dr. Archibald  "Moonlight" Graham

It sure was a busy day, but lots of fun. 


Tonight's sunset picture.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mike Wants To Die

Thursday July 23 2009 Big Balsam Camp and Resort

The arm is doing great, very little pain, but that may have something to do with the pain meds I take every 4-6 hours.  Today I will start to take less and maybe by Friday or Saturday I will be done with them.  I’m sure I will fell even better off the medications.

I wanted to take a shower on Wednesday morning, so Mike tapped a bag over my arm.  He duck tapped it right to the skin all around the upper portion of my arm.  I wanted to kill him when he took it off.  Get the gun shoot the husband.  That was almost as much pain as the incisions.   That will never happen again.

Mike is back to cleaning out some of the storage sheds this week, and I have stared to clean the bathrooms for the campground.  Not sure if I will be up to cleaning cabins on Saturday.  It’s really hard doing anything with just one arm.  Maybe a really coordinated person would have an easier time then me. 

I mostly have been just relaxing and taking a lot of naps.  Last night was the first really good sleep I got since last week.  I woke up feeling really rested and ready to go. 

We had a little rain yesterday, other then that the weather has been really mild.  Just the way I like it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Cut And Run

Monday July 20th 2009.  Maplewood, MN

Today was the surgery on my  lower left arm and my left hand.  Everything went fine until I woke up.  I thought I would have a few band aids, and in a week I would just take the stitches out, or stop at the clinic near the resort and have the nurse remove the stitches.  Well guess not, I have a partial cast and the arm is wrapped from elbow to finger tips, and it is in a sling.  The Doctor said no one will do anything to it other then him.  So we will be back in 2 weeks to have the dressings and stitches removed.


I’m not in much pain, but then I’m taking lots of pain medication, and the arm is still pretty numb.  I could have been partially awake during the procedure, however I choose to be out.  No way did I want to know what was going on. 

We arrived at the surgery center at 10:30 and were home by 2:30.  I slept for a couple of hour before we went to our granddaughter Lizz'y’s 17th birthday party.  A nice celebration, dinner, cake and ice cream. 


Birthday girl with her boy friend Drew, they were trying to be cute.  Worked for me.

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The Skinner’s.  Our son-in law Dave, grandson Matt, granddaughter Amanda and daughter Teresa. 

Our daughter Sherry has beautiful gardens in her yard.  She really has a green thumb. 

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P1040096 P1040100 We call this small building Sherry’s doll house.

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We are headed back to the resort Tomorrow, and looking forward to it.  It was a busy week with doctor appointments.  We did have fun spending time with all our kids.

Boy it takes a long time to do the blog when you type one handed. 

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Last Day Of Vacation

Sunday July 19th 2009.  Nugget Lake County Park WI

Marion made blueberry pancakes, bacon, eggs, and hash for breakfast this morning.  Mike and I both love a good breakfast to start the day.

Rich and I did a little hiking after breakfast, we went on one of the shorter trails.  After all the walking yesterday we wanted something short and sweet.  Marion and Mike opted out of the morning walk, they just wanted to relax.  The rest of the day was spent reading and relaxing. 

Mike and I packed up and left about 3:00 to head home.  Rich and Marion are staying on more night.  We definitely will go back to Nugget Lake, hopefully in the fall. 


The rabbit we encountered on our walk this morning.  Cute as a bugs ear, as my dad would say.  

The Second Day Of Our Vacation

Saturday July 18th 2009.  Nugget Lake County Park, WI

What a busy day it was, I guess we just don’t know how to relax and sit back.  Just to much to see and do.

We started the morning with a breakfast of , eggs, sausage, hash browns, toast and orange juice.  We figured we would need the energy for the first part of the day. 

P1030980 Waiting for breakfast.  Louie thinks Mike will be an easy touch for treats.

After eating we started off on a hike, it was only going to be a mile and a half, but ended up being 4 miles or so.  The park has many hiking trails with wildflowers in abundance. 

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 Prairie Lilly                              Spotted Knapweed

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False Sunflower                 Hedge Bindweed, I know it as the Morning Glory

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                                                        Common Valerian

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     Robin’s Plantain                                      Cup Plant


Yellow Wood Sorrel

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Rich, Louie and Mike on the Trail.  There is always a hill to climb.  Marion working her way up the steps.

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The trail follows Plum Creek in many places.

After our two hour hike we all went to the small river village of Stockholm WI.  Population 92.  Although today the population swelled to a couple of thousand.  They were having an art fair along Lake Pepin.  Stockholm is a quaint Swedish village along the Mississippi river with lots of natural beauty.

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The four of us had a little lunch at one of the outdoor cafes.  The town is know for it’s small shops and gardens.  They had the most lovely gardens thru out the town. 

We had grilled shrimp and a pasta that Marion made for dinner, it was so good.  Mike and I were in bed by 9:30 and sleeping by 9:35, very busy fun day.