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It’s Only Twelve Weeks Long…

Here in Minnesota we celebrate summer after the long winter.  The problem is how to pack as much as you can into the summer.  It was a few years ago when our kids were graduating from high school that we came to the realization that the summer is only 12 weeks long and everyone tries to pack everything into those 12 weekends.

It starts with Memorial Day weekend with the parades and local remembrance services and directly into the graduation parties for the recent graduates.  Now in a small town of 400 no one wants to miss each others parties so the last of the parties may well be into July.  Spring and summer are traditionally wedding seasons here as the brides hope for the perfect spring or summer day.

July brings the Fourth of July activities with parades and local town celebrations.  We are surrounded by several other small towns each having their own celebration and then our town celebration of Heritage Days is the second weekend of August each summer.  This year is the biggie, 100 years since our town was incorporated.

Summer is the traditional time for vacations and camping when the kids are out of school so those of us who don’t have kids in school or our kids are grown work while others take their vacation with their kids.  Its okay with me because I prefer to duck out of town in the middle of winter for a little warm weather elsewhere.

Before we know it the back to school shopping season is upon us and Labor Day.  The boats are off the lakes and put away and everyone wonders what happened to summer.

My response lately is that summer is only 12 weeks long.

That being said we have already packed so much into the spring/summer season already it feels like it should be done but I am delighted to realize that we are not half way through yet.

We’ve been up north to Two Harbors to work on my brother’s new land he purchased to develop into a rustic retreat.  We’ve been to San Francisco to celebrate our nephew’s wedding.  We’ve attended several graduation parties and helped host a family reunion for my mom’s family from all over the United States.

Our most exciting news is welcoming our first granddaughter to the family.  We’ve welcomed two more grandsons to the mix since I last blogged and will be adding a daughter-in-law to the family in January.  Life is good…but short…celebrate accordingly.

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Dad at His Best

Today is my Dad’s 76th birthday. This picture was taken this past summer on Big Birch Lake.  For as long as I can remember sailboats have been a part of my life. The first sailboat I remember was one that Mom gave Dad for a Christmas present and he built-in the dining room during the winter months after Christmas. They had to do some remodeling in the kitchen to get the boat out in the spring.

Next it was a bit larger version that he rebuilt in the backyard. It was an old wooden boat that needed much TLC. There were many trips to Johnson Boat Works that summer.  Dad had this boat when I was learning how to drive so I learned how to back the boat behind a large van down the boat ramp and into the water.  It’s a skill that my husband has come to appreciate over the years as we’ve launched our speedboat at the public access on our lake.

This sailboat we pulled on a trailer from Minnesota all the way to the South Padre Islands in Texas in the middle of winter so Dad could try sailing in the Gulf of Mexico.

After that it was the more adventurous stage in sailing when he bought a catamaran sailboat,  There were many wild rides on that boat. One ride in particular I remember well because it was the Fourth of July and we tipped the boat over and were bobbing in the lake for a while as boats passed us on all sides including the sheriff.

His current boat is the one in the picture. The past few years I haven’t gone sailing much but made a point to go one afternoon with Mom and Dad. Mom packed wine and cheese and crackers for our afternoon. A pleasant afternoon with many pleasant memories of past sailing adventures.

Happy Birthday Dad!

 

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2012 in Family, Reflections, Sailing

 

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Garden Party Hat on Black Friday

This morning before work I took a walk through my garden not expecting to find any color but surprised to find some blue. Even in the summer when I have a lot of flowers blooming I rarely have blue in the garden.

This photo is what is left of my Echinacea plants. The seeds have blown off the plant leaving only the stem and a few seeds. I love the beautiful blue color around the edges and the few seeds on top giving the look of a birthday party hat.

I love the texture where the seeds attached to the plant. It looks like a basket weave to me.

This morning I went out to take some pictures of an eagle perched in a tree down on our shore.Before I got to the lake the crows chased the eagle out of the tree. The eagle headed east back to the nest area from earlier this summer. It was fun to see the eagle still around the lake.

It was overcast but springlike weather this morning. I was hoping to maybe get a little flying time but the weather didn’t clear enough for safe VFR flying. I wasn’t tired this morning like so many others because I didn’t partake in the Black Friday madness. We came home yesterday after spending time with family on both sides of the family. Three out of four of our kids came back home last evening and spent the evening just visiting.

Much better than shopping any day of the week in my book.

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2011 in gardening, Nature, Photography

 

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Wrestling Bathtubs and Other Remodeling Moves

Tonight my husband and I went to help our oldest son with his latest home improvement project. He is finishing his basement into a family room, bedroom and bathroom. We are helping with the bedroom and bathroom.

On our way to his home we stopped at Home Depot to pick up some sheet rock, 2 X 4’s and a bathtub/shower combination for his bathroom. We managed to get in all in the pickup truck and secured for the last half hour to his home. He doesn’t own a pick up truck so we have hauled whatever he can’t fit in his Impala with the seats folded down. I’m amazed at what he can fit in his car.

After arriving at his home we unloaded the truck and decided it was time to tackle carrying the bathtub into the house. His home is a split level entry so we went in the front door and started down the steps to the basement. My husband was at the bottom and my son and I at the top.

We made it through the front door with the beast but soon realized that we would have to change our plan of attack so it was back outside to turn the tub a different way and then back inside to try it again. We had to lift it high over the railing and head down the stairs.

We got to the bottom and got stuck. Back up the stairs to remove the hand railing to give us more room. Did I mention that the tub was made of fiber glass and by now we were itchy and had cuts on our hands from the fiber glass? Not fun.

Before we could remove the hand railing we set the tub down on the stairs only to wedge my son’s foot into a spot under the tub that we were having difficulty removing it from. He felt a little claustrophobic. We got it out and the railing off.

Back down the stairs with the tub. At the bottom of the stairs we needed to turn the tub 45 degrees to the left. Not enough room so we had to remove the packing feet from the tub. Still not enough room. My husband had to remove two studs from the wall at the bottom of the steps and the sheet rock from those spaces to negotiate the turn. We thought we were done with demolition last weekend.

After tonight we are taking tomorrow off from home improvement to take Dad’s sailboat out of the lake for the season. There may be large quantities of wine involved after tonight’s wrestling match. Then it will be back at home improvement on Saturday and Sunday. I hope we survive and his home.

 

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Afternoon Delight

Each spring we help my Mom and Dad put in their Catalina sailboat in the lake for the season and then in the fall we reverse the process.

Life has been full the past few years so we haven’t had time to actually go for a sailboat ride during the summer, just partake in the launching process.

This spring we vowed that this summer would be different we would actually go for a ride on the boat. Several years ago we went for a ride on Dad’s last sailboat, a catamaran. It was a beautiful Fourth of July weekend. We turtled the boat and ended up spending a bit of time floating in the lake with lots of boats zipping around us until another boat stopped to help us. We formulated a plan to upright the boat and were on our way again. I was hoping we wouldn’t have a repeat of the previous experience.

Summer has come and gone here in Minnesota and no sailboat ride until yesterday. While at a birthday party for my sister on Saturday evening my husband made plans with my Dad for our sailboat ride. Yesterday afternoon after church we headed over to Mom and Dad’s for our ride. It was just a quick ten minute ride to their home.

When we arrived Mom was already had treats ready for our ride, a bottle of wine, cheese and crackers. We walked down to the dock and started getting ready for the ride. we motored away from the dock and about a hundred feet from shore and Dad started putting up the sails. First the main sail then the jib and we were off.

We tacked back and forth across the lake with the sails full under clear blue skies. It was a perfect not too windy day. We could see seagulls gathered on the lake as well as the loons as we sailed with fishing boats here and there.

The afternoon brought back many wonderful memories of Dad at the helm and family times spent together on the boat.

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2011 in Fall, Family, Photography, Sailing

 

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To Clean or Not to Clean

This morning as I sit in my recliner marks the beginning of a new state in my life. Yesterday my daughter and grandson moved full-time into their apartment along with my other daughter. Today is the first day of classes in the fall semester at college for them.

As I was reading my emails this morning and looking around my all too quiet house I noticed the french doors for my sun room. They stand open from the livingroom inviting you to enter the sun room. At the angle they are open and where I am sitting I can see through the panes of glass. They are completely covered with tiny fingerprints and nose prints.

My grandson loves to play in the sun room. Most of his toys are in there. After he learned how to open and close the doors he would close one side and stand inside the porch and make faces at us through the glass as we sat in the livingroom. His version of Peek A Boo.

We had a great last couple of days with my daughter and grandson. We left Thursday evening for the race track where my husband was racing in a two-day event. My daughter and grandson came with us. It was a long two days for my daughter to entertain her son and figure out nap times and bed times away from home but she was good sport about it.

Thursday evening my husband won the “The King of Dirt” title in his division so he was pretty excited and my grandson was so excited about the trophy that he gave it a hug.

The second night of racing didn’t go as well with my husband being hit late in the race and spun into the wall. It will be the end of racing until some major repairs are made.

Yesterday morning I watched as my daughter loaded up her car to leave. Most of their things are already at the apartment but all the favorite last minute items were loaded last. We got our hugs and kisses goodbye and watched them leave to start a new chapter in their lives.

I think I will leave the window pane just as they are for a little while…..

 

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It Doesn’t Get Much Better

Friday evening my husband and I took our daughter and her son with us to the racetrack. My husband hasn’t raced much this summer but he had his truck ready to go and we went.

When we arrived at the track after an hour and a half drive first thing on our list was to unload the truck and get something to eat.

My grandson’s favorite is a corn dog which I knew they had at the food stand. And yes, that little guy did eat the whole thing although it took him awhile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After we unloaded the truck we headed over to the pit grandstand to watch a couple of heat races before my husband’s turn to race.  Jack didn’t take his eyes off the track for a minute and was concerned when they had to send a tow truck out to take a car off the track that had spun out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jack’s favorite movie is “Cars”.  This was like seeing “Cars” in person. He pointed at everything and talked in his two-year old jibberish about everything he saw and every other word that came out of his mouth was “race car”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Squeals of delight were heard as the racecars turned corner number four. Our night was cut short by storms rolling in. We ended up running to the truck in pouring rain and driving in torrential rains home. We will head back to the track on Thursday for  “King of the Dirt” night.  Hopefully he will get to see Grandpa race.

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2011 in Family, Photography, Stock car racing

 

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