Monday, August 31, 2009

A Beautiful Day At The Lake

Sunday August 30th 2009  Big Balsam Lake and Resort

Can you guess what Mike did today, yep worked on the bathroom in cabin 7.  He did get some fishing in after dinner.  He didn’t bring home dinner for tomorrow night, so he gets chicken.

I worked on a new hardanger project today.  Carol and I sat in the sun and did our needle work most of the afternoon. 

We had some visitors today.  We heard this horrible noise coming from the hill in front of the MH.  We all got up to find out what it was, and this is what we saw.

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Two young bald eagles, what a nice surprise.  They sure do make a commotion.  We had no idea what was happening, the sound was like nothing we had heard before, lots of screeching, 


Stormy has a new friend, Sidney, Carol and Augies, dog.  A mix of Rottweiler and Beagle.  A very friendly dog, and Stormy likes him about as much as any cat likes a dog.  The hair stands up on her back whenever Sidney comes to visit.  Sidney tries to get Stormy to play with her ball, but like any cat she pretty much ignores the dog.


Mike relaxing after a hard day of working on the bathroom.   This bathroom is also a complete remodel from floor to ceiling.  The bathroom is stripped clean right now.  He is removing all the plastic plumbing and replacing it with copper.  What a job, to bad he is good at it. 

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Furnace Is Turned On

Sunday August 30, 2009  Big Balsam Camp and Resort

The weather has turned chilly in the evenings.  It has been in the low 40s the last couple of nights.  The days are still enjoyable, warm and sunny.  Some the leaves have started to change up here and things are looking a lot like fall.  

Mike is working on 2 more bathrooms, one in cabin 7 and the other is another men's bathroom and shower for the campground.  He finished and opened the men’s room he had been working on. 

I had a couple of really good days.  Mike is great he always thinks my birthday is the 28th of August.  So he tells Gordy and Jackie and Jackie has a small party with wine, appetizers and strawberry short cake Friday night.  Carol and Augie were invited to the gathering also.

Mike can’t get away with the wrong day, so we also had to celebrate on the 29th my actual Birthday.  We went to dinner at the Pines Restaurant, with Carol and Augie.  We ate and had a few drinks, returned to the resort and sat around the campfire for an evening of telling stories.  Another perfect  day. P1040508

The humming birds have been eating like crazy getting ready to head south for the winter.  Most of the male hummers started their migration south last week, just the juvenile and females are feeding.  A frenzy of feeding, if you walk past the feeders you may get dive bombed by a couple of hummers.  I fell the feeders everyday now and for the next week or so will be trying to keep up with them. 

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My hardanger lessons have been coming along.  I really enjoy this art form, and it really is an art form if you get good at it like Carol.  She gave me one of her finished pieces for my birthday, plus fabric and thread to keep working.


In return of her teaching me hardanger, I’m helping her make a beaded bracelet.  She has picked up beading faster then I did with the hardanger.  If nothing else we sure have a good time working on our projects together.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A One Day Trip And Mike Saves A Life

Wednesday August 28th 2009 Big Balsam Camp and Resort

The one day trip back to the cities (450 miles round trip)was exhausting, but everything was okay.  The doctor removed the stitches and checked to be sure I didn’t do anything harmful to my arm when I fell.  I just have lost of physical therapy ahead of me.  I don’t have to see the doctor for 6 weeks, for check up.  That will be nice no doctors for awhile.

We stopped for lunch and ran into Mikes old boss of 25 years, Al Webster, sure was nice to visit with him for a short time.  He and his wife own a beautiful home in AZ, not from Tucson.  We have been there for dinner and hope to see them again this year. 

Mike did save a life, we had to stop by the house to pick up a few things, and we just about ran into this.  It takes years for a turtle to get this big, and I would just hate for someone to make a game out of killing it. 



Of course I had Mike stop to move him out of the middle of the road.  I know someone would just love to run it over then brag about to all their friends.  Mike borrowed a shovel from a MNDot worker who was sitting in his truck just watching the mud turtle.  First Mike tried to move it with his foot, but he was afraid he was going to loose that leg. 

Not the biggest turtle we have seen in the area, but still a nice size.  We also get plenty of snappers, some twice the size of this mud turtle.  There are a few swamps and ponds in our area, so we have lots of wildlife to watch over.


Monday, August 24, 2009

A Little Set Back

Monday August 24th 2009  Big Balsam Camp and Resort

I had a little accident Sunday, I tripped on the top step going into the MH and fell.  Caught myself with my right arm, and jammed my shoulder, oh boy did that hurt.  Seems to be doing better today.  All the progress I was making with movement in that shoulder is shot, it’s like starting from scratch.  I had been off the pain meds for a few days, but started taking some after the fall, hopefully only for a day or two. 

I do have an appointment with the surgeon tomorrow afternoon.  We are just taking the truck back to the cities, and coming back here right after I see the doctor. 

Mike is finishing up on the men’s bathroom today.  Then he gets to start on another one.  He is very excited.  

The weather has improved greatly the sun is out and it has warmed up.  Sure hope it stays this way for the next 2 weeks. 

A childhood neighbor, Joe Kelly came to the resort Saturday.  His family lived next door to us when we were all in grade school.  They spent a few summers up here at the resort also.  He was checking the place out and is thinking of renting the lodge for a vacation next year.  I was sorry I missed him, as I was napping.  I did see him and his family in 2000 for a short time at his mother’s memorial service.  Maybe next summer, we will see him here at the lake.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

More Bad Weather

Friday August 21st 2009 Big Balsam Camp and Resort

The weather has not been very nice.  It rained all the way to the lake, 5 hours of soggy weather.  We left the cities just in time, they had a few tornadoes in the area, some not far from Maplewood.  We drove thru the town of North Branch, MN were a tornado moved the roof of the school.  This happened about 2 hours after we passed by on the freeway. 

We arrived at the lake and it was still raining, rained all day Wednesday and Thursday.  Friday we woke up to clouds and rain again., it did clear up in the afternoon and the sun came out.   

My arm is healing nicely.  I don’t want it to freeze up and have to spend time in physical therapy.  Most of the pain is gone, just some soreness.  I have a very small range of motion with it, but the simple exercises should help with that.  

Mike has not finished the bathroom, but it is getting close. 


Our neighbors here at the lake, Carol and Augie, had us, Gordy and Jackie, and Al for a prime rib dinner.  The best prime rib I ever ate. 


We had baked potatoes, popcorn salad and a green salad.  I ate way to much, I think we all did.


It’s nice to have such wonderful friends where ever we travel.  We have met some of the nicest people since we started our traveling adventure almost to years ago, and it’s great when our old friends visit.  We enjoy going home to visit family and friends as often as we can.  We are very blessed to be living our gypsy life, as Mike calls it. 

Only a couple more weeks left here at the lake, then off to more adventures.  We are thinking the Black Hills, Mike has never been, and it have been 35 years since I last visited the area. 


Stormy has a bug cornered.  Oh boy her afternoon snack.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Arm Is Fixed

Surgery was Monday morning, everything went as expected.  I had a nerve block on my right side, that was something new for me.  What a horrible feeling, the right side of my body from the waist up was completely numb, no feeling what so ever.  It made the right side of face look like I had a stroke, my eye and mouth sagged, in fact I could not open my right eye.  My vocal cords were paralyzed,  no talking for almost 18 hours.  Mike thought that was okay.  My throat was sore from the tube in it during surgery, and I was pretty sick to my stomach from the antistatic.  I hate being put under.  Other then all that it was a piece of cake. 

I have been sleeping in my recliner, the doctor recommends it for the fist week, so you don’t roll over on the arm, and do some damage. 

We will be having breakfast this morning with the breakfast club, then heading back to the lake.  We do have to come back down in a week to see the doctor for my post op visit. 


The Big One

Saturday August 15th 2009 Big Balsam Camp and Resort


Mike was fishing with Mike Schilling on Saturday, and Mike snagged a nice northern.  There was a time Mike would not fish for, clean or eat a northern, but now he is a big game fisherman.  He will even eat them if fixed right.  I would rather fish for crappies and sunfish. 

It is still very hot and humid.  I’m not doing to well in this weather, melting a little everyday.  The kids are loving it perfect for swimming. 

We will be leaving on Sunday morning to head back to the cities for my shoulder surgery on Monday.  I want this over with, it will be nice to have 2 working arms again. 


Oh yes, Mike’s Saturday evening sunset picture.


We Are Having To Much Fun

Thursday August 13, 2009 Big Balsam Camp and Resort

Our friends showed up Thursday afternoon, we love having our neighbors from the cities come to spend time at the resort.

Ken and Lee Ann have been coming to Balsam for almost 20 years.  I remember the first time they came, must have been 16 of us staying in the lodge.  Oh youth, the more the merrier.  Now we go for comfort. 


Mike, Mike Schilling, Lee Ann Chevrette, Jan Schilling, and Ken Chevrette.


Mike and Jan’s granddaughters, Eve and Faith.  Ken and Lee Ann’s grandsons Conrad and Carson.  The kids had a blast over the weekend.  swimming, fishing, building tents and just running around.

This was Mike and Jan’s first time at Balsam, hope they had a good time, I know we sure did.  Ate way to much, Lee Ann and Jan are great cooks, we shared some wonderful meals.

I fell a little behind on my posting, I will try to catch up this week.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hot and Humid

Wednesday August 12, 2009 Big Balsam Camp and Resort

Sandy left early this morning after one of Mikes delicious breakfast.  It’s always a fun time when she visits. 

The resort has been supper busy this week.  Every cabin is rented and it’s all one family.  Lots of relatives.  Last night they put on a talent show, it was really pretty good.  Kids and adults all participated.   Very talented family.

Mike is still working on the bathroom.  I feel so bad for him the temp was in the low 90s yesterday and very humid.  I think they are almost done with bathroom one.  The other one will have to wait until we get back.  My shoulder surgery is scheduled for Monday morning.  We hope to be gone only a few days. 

Friends and neighbors are coming Thursday with their MH for a few days.  Ken and Lee Ann make the trip up a couple of times a year.  They will have friends with that have never been to the resort.  Oh boy more farkel! 

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Farkel And More Farkel

Tuesday Aug 11, 2009  Big Balsam Camp and Resort

Mike made Sandy and I french toast and maple link sausages for breakfast. Very good, the guy has a knack for cooking breakfast.

Sharon and Bob Thell stopped back this morning about 9:30 ready for more farkel.   We stopped playing about 1pm for lunch.  We had a fish fry, some crappies and sun fish that Mike and Sandy had caught the last couple of nights.  I made potato salad to go with the fish. 

We finished lunch, cleared the table and back to a couple more hours of farkel.  Sharon and Bob left about 4, they are headed to Canada for a few days. It was nice to spend some time with them, it had been years.  I think I’m farkeled out for a few days or weeks.  I won’t even tell you how much I lost. 

Mike is still working on the bathrooms.  He did take some breaks to play a little farkel with us.  His luck was as bad as mine.  Lucky we still own the MH.  

I did have some time in the evening to work on my Hardanger embroidery project.  I take out as many stitches as I put in.  It’s going to be a long project at this rate.


No sunset picture today, just Mike and Stormy relaxing after a hard day at the office. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

We Found The Lost 40

Monday August 13th Big Balsam Camp and Resort

We headed out early today to do some hiking, and to find the lost 40, which is really the lost 114 acres of 300-400 year old Red and White Pine trees.

We headed north to Big Fork MN. and stopped at Edge of Wilderness Scenic Byway monument.  We got a little history lesson for the day. 

P1040345 P1040355 The inside of a early house boat.

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The outside of the house boat. 

The Edge Of The Wilderness has more then 1,000 lakes and one mighty river nearby.  It is the classic northwoods, fishing camping, trails, winter sports and much more.   It also contains the lost 40 our main purpose for the day.

The lost 40 is considered a unique area in the Chippewa National Forest.  Today less than 2 percent of Minnesota’s forested land is considered old growth. Due to a surveying error back in 1882 this section of forest never was cut.  It originates back to when the pilgrims came to America. 

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Mike’s always trying to be funny.  In the lost 40 there is a very nice hiking trail just over a mile. We did have one problem on the hike, the horse flies.  They were so big they could have carried a human off.  Lots of flora and fauna.  I would love to post more pictures of the greenery, but I will let you off easy just a few.

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It was a long ride and we just had to stop for refreshments on the way home.  The restaurant (bar) had a humming bird feeder outside and  had to get a shot.

We arrived back at the MH about 2 pm and our neighbor Carol came over to give me a lesson on Hardanger Embroidery, something I have always wanted to do.  Now I have my chance.  She had all the supplies for my first project.



Shortly after Carol left we got company.  Sandy’s sister Sharon and brother-in-law Bob Thell.  Sharon and Bob were neighbors of ours for many years.  They now spend most of their time in the Florida Keys where they have a home.  What a surprise when they pulled up.  We had dinner together and after dinner we played farkel our favorite dice game.  I think I was the big loser for the night, I lost about 4 bucks.   Sharon and Bob left about 8:30 but will be back tomorrow for lunch and more farkel. 


Sharon and Bob Thell

What a day, very busy but full of fun and surprises.  

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Day To Relax

Sandy made it to the lake about 6pm. She ran into road construction on the freeway just out side the cities. She was stuck in the back up for 1 1/2 hours, not a fun thing when your starting a vacation.

She and I went to Grand Rapids today to do some shopping. Just spent our time at Walmart then headed back to the lake. We tried her new GPS and took all the back roads to town, not a wrong turn there or back.

Not much happening today. Just read and sat in the shade. The temperature kept fluctuating between cool and down right warm. I would put on a shirt and take take it off. About 5pm it just plain stayed hot.

Mike worked on the men's bathroom for 2 hours this morning and took the rest of the day off. Him and Sandy did a little fishing later in the day. That was about it for our fun.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Do You Believe Two More Bathrooms.

Saturday Aug. 8th 2009. Big Balsam Camp and Resort

Mike is working on two more bathrooms.  They are the campground restrooms.  One was the women's until Mike constructed a new women’s last year.  The other is the men’s room.  Not sure how long ago they were built, but they definitely needed upgrading.

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The first picture is of the men’s bathroom, the second is the old women’s bathroom, now being converted into another men’s room.  Both should be finished before we leave after Labor Day weekend.

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Mike finished the women’s campground bathroom and shower last year.  It turned out really nice.  The campers just love it.

I don’t think I ever posted pictures of the fish cleaning house and the laundry rooms, all very nice facilities.


Fish cleaning house.                Laundry room, 2 washers and dryers.

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There is a section in the laundry room were you can put together puzzles play cards or just wait until your wash is done.  Then there is a small book exchange area.


All the above facilities are contained in one building, the boat house.  This is also where the bait, minnows, worms, leeches and night crawlers are. 

We had a pretty good storm last night.  Not sure how much rain, but it was a good soaker.  A little thunder and lightning was happening too. 

Our son-in-law Mike sent some corn on the cob home with us, that he grows on a couple of acres in the cities.  It is just the best tasting corn.  We had it 3 nights in a row it is so good.  Sure are hoping he had more, and is sending it up with Sandy.   

My girlfriend Sandy is coming today to spend several days with us again.  Looking forward to some fun with her. 


I have to post one of Mike’s sunset pictures..


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Back At The Lake

Thursday Aug 6th 2009  Big Balsam Camp and Resort

Mike picked me up Wed. afternoon and drove me back up to the lake.  Nice to be back in my own bed. Glad to be back in the MH.

I want to thank my friend Sandy Weis for letting me stay at her house for the 5 days I was in town.  She also loaned me her car to get to my doctor appointments.

Monday morning the doctor removed the cast from my left arm, boy did that feel good.  Then Monday evening they scheduled an MRI on my right shoulder.  Wednesday I went back to the Orthopedic Surgeon, he had the results of the MRI and I have some damage to repair.  The Surgery is scheduled for Monday the 17th of August.  It will be done arthroscopy.  The recovery should only be 6 weeks with some physical therapy.  The Doctor injected Cortisone in the shoulder to help with the pain until surgery.  It has seemed to help some.

Pretty much most of my time was doing doctor appointments, but I did get in a few fun things.  I went to a corn feed with Sandy and Gary on Sunday in Burkhardt WI.  They served over 700 dozen ears of corn and I didn’t ask how many pounds of chicken but pretty sure it had to be in the thousands of pounds.  Ran into a group of friends there I hadn’t seen in some time, that was fun catching up. 

I also had breakfast  with my dad and the Saturday morning breakfast club.  It is such a fun group of people, we always have so much to talk about. 

Mike said it was pretty quiet at the lake, fishing was good and the weather was okay.  Mostly sunny, but a little rain on and off.

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Love this Airstream Travel Trailer, you enter it from the back.  The whole back opens and you can put a 4 wheeler in it, the bed folds up.  Besides the bed it has a sink and that's about it.  I believe it sells for about $24,000.  Sort of looks like a space ship.  It pulled into the campground Saturday just as Sandy and I were leaving.


A sunset Mike got a shot of while I was gone. 

A special note for Lisa and her husband.  Looking forward to meeting you, be sure to stop by and say hi. 


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Slow Learners and Catch Of The Day

Friday July 31, 2009 Big Balsam Camp and Resort

Mike made breakfast again this morning, French Toast, and sausages. Boy was it good, and of course I ate way to much.  But that’s okay Sandy and I are going for a walk after we eat.  It was a little cloudy when we left but I promised Sandy it wouldn’t rain.   Mike was being smart and asked if we were bringing our rain gear with, I just laughed at him.  Well guess what we got wet again, not as bad as yesterday, however we were pretty drenched by the time we arrived back at the MH.  We walked 3 miles today, so nice walking without traffic and road noise.

Al and Mike went fishing in the early afternoon for about 2 1/2 hours a came back with a great catch.

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Nice stringer of northern.  

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Sandy wishing she had been out fishing with them.  I talked her into going into town shopping, big mistake.  She would much rather have been fishing. 


Sandy’s having quite the time getting into the boat.  Her and Mike did a little fishing later in the evening.  They came back with 2 northern and a few sunfish. 

Sandy is leaving on Saturday, she has to work the midnight shift that night.  I will be traveling back to the cities with her.  Hope to be back here Monday or Tuesday.