Monday, May 25, 2009

Three small Pine trees

Memorial weekend is three day weekend and the beginning of summer for most folks in Minnesota. We took an additional day off and made it a 4 day weekend leaving the cities on Thursday night early before traffic so we would be at the lake Friday morning. Of course we had a load of stuff in the jeep headed for the north woods. ( Margaret likes to carry stuff!)

So the first thing Friday morning after a trip to town for miscellaneous supplies (read “supplies” as: Out of Beer!) Margaret’s out in the yard planting her flowers for the year.

While I supervise from the deck with the newly purchased supplies. Oh! and check out my new socks they were a bargain! 2 dollars! Margaret loves my new socks!

Speaking of footwear I also got some cool new red thingies for 4 dollars and this orange shirt free from an avid reader of our blogs. I’m a regular bargain hunter! They almost match by orange shirt! Besides being thrifty I’m color coordinated. Who knew?

After consuming the supplies it was time to get the boat out of winter hibernation and put it in the water for the year. I suspected that the battery might be dead, but after charging it for a couple of hours while I cleaned the boat it started right up!

After hooking the boat to the new jeep for the first time and grabbing Margaret for the ride to the boat launch I snapped a picture of the Rig. Nice! its color coordinated too!

Putting this boat in the water is easy. Margaret drove the jeep back to the lot and I took the boat for the short trip across the lake to boat lift I put in last weekend.

Now if I can just get the canopy on the lift we will be in great shape for the summer.

Last weekend when we put in the dock and lift the humming birds were buzzing around looking for food. Unfortunately I had forgotten hummingbird food so I couldn’t put up the feeder. So on one of our supply runs to Walker this weekend we stopped in the Ace hardware store where they sell humming bird food to get some, but they were sold out. Not to be deterred I read the label on the Baltimore Oriole food box label and low and behold its made of sucrose dextrose! (sugar for the chemically disinclined) This will work!

So that explains why our humming bird feeder is orange. But guess what? the Hummers don’t care! They like orange sucrose dextrose just as well as red sucrose dextrose. (See the little bird sitting on the feeder slurping away!)

After that menu change for the hummers its off to move one of the water spigots to the big post in the yard.

The next morning when I got up as I was stumbling to the breakfast table I looked out the from coach window to see this bird on the branch outside the window. A little out of focus, I haven’t had my coffee yet, but cool!) Its a Baltimore Oriole.

You suppose this has anything to do with the orange Baltimore Oriole food in the Hummers feeder? Well now I’ll have to go back to town to get a Baltimore Oriole feeder!

Here you see the Orange sucrose dextrose being carefully transferred to the appropriate Bird feeding hardware that the orange color requires. While we ere getting the Baltimore Oriole feeder we found the right colored Humming bird feed as well. Not that those greedy little hummers cared about the color!

Now we have both a humming bird feeder and a Baltimore Oriole feeder. Lets just hope we don’t have 2 squirrel feeders.

My that was a lot of work. Time to rest in the sunbeam and plan our next adventure!

After an exhausting hour of planning I came up with a good idea! Lets have happy hour! We made big plans we moved the lawn chairs out into the sun made drinks and invited the neighbors for snacks!

Snacks with the neighbors is kind of a one way conversation and they don’t stay around long so we decided to have dinner. Steaks and bake potatoes.

The next morning Margaret promised me she would be happy if I would just moved 1 little pine tree for her. Knowing how these things work I wanted to know how long she would be happy for if I moved only 1 small pine tree? She didn’t tell me so I figure 7 years sounds like a good amount of time for 1 small pine tree.

So I moved 3 small pine trees just to be sure she would be happy. Now Margaret has to be happy for 21 consecutives years. I figure I’ve gotten it covered!

She didn’t say anything about happiness and cleaning the gutters.

So if three small pine trees doesn't cover it I guess she will just have to be……

Monday, May 18, 2009

Almost Summer time

This weekend is coming and we are going up to the Lake. Since we are leaving from work a little early ( to beat the traffic) and it is out of our way to come back to the apartment we have to load the Jeep with whatever is going up north Thursday night. There is a load going this time. Margaret has the spare bedroom full of stuff headed for the Coach. Including the Basement refrigerator you see below along with a portable ice maker and assorted dishes, pot, pans, and other paraphernalia.

We arrived around 6:00PM and unloaded all our stuff. We had happy hour along with a dinner of cold chicken procured from Cub foods on the way out of the cities. The weather was cool and Saturday was suppose to be cool, but Sunday promised to be warm and sunny. Things are looking good.
Saturday morning was a bit brisk. There was a film of ice on the water in the bucket by the deck. So we headed into Park Rapids after breakfast to check out the Walmart. We needed some storage chests for the basement of the coach and we ran out of coffee this morning.
The first trip to Walmart procured a couple of nice gray tubs for storage of things in the basement of the coach however due to a minor miscalculation they were a bit tall and didn’t fit. The second trip back to Walmart to exchange the tubs for some shorter ones provided a much better fit. This time we got 4 clear tubs with top. 2 for under the middle section below.

And 2 more smaller ones for the back of the big slide out trays.

With all the stuff finally stored in the basement where it belongs Margaret started to take inventory of here purchased items over the winter for the coach. She laid them all out for pictures. ( a post from her to come in the future)

Since I hate to see something going to waste it seemed like we should make use of the items sitting on the lawn for something other than pictures, so I hopped into one of the chairs for some sun.

After the rest in the sunbeam I was ready for some work so I proceeded to put in the dock. The first section of the dock is easy. You don’t even have to get wet. Just bolt the two sections together and push it into the lake. After that it gets serious and you have to put the wet suit on because I’m going to have to get wet and while it looks sunny and nice its about 45 degrees out and the water is just a bit chilly!

Once suited up the big wide end section of the dock has to be rolled into the lake and positioned at the end of the firsts two sections and bolted in.
Once bolted in and leveled up its time to get out of the wet rubber suit and put the deck top on the aluminum framework.

Some times when its a bright sunny day and you are enjoying yourself you just have to do the dance.
After the dock was in the day was winding down and we wandered around the lot checking out the plants and trees. Margaret’s daffodils are up and smiling at the world. They will be deer chow shortly.

One of the purchases this winter for the Coach was a portable ice maker. Just plug it in, add water and 15 minutes later you have ice. No self respecting camper should be without! That would be just too primitive. Happy hour without ice in your drinks unheard of!

Notice the perfectly formed cubes of ice in the colorful drinks. What an icemaker!

Early the next morning the wind had died down and Margaret could start her fire. She’s lost unless she can burn a fire.

Sunday was shaping up to be a beautiful day sunny and 70 degrees at the lake. We might as well get the lawn mowed and fertilized. So while Margaret mowed the lawn I fertilized then started to put in the boat lift.

Back into the rubber suit. The water has not warmed up much since yesterday. The blue and red jugs are floatation devices that help float the lift out to the end of the dock.

The hard part of the dock and lift is the lift. Its big and heavy, but its much easier to put in than take out. The end of the year is always much worse, but now we have the summer to look forward to and putting in the dock and the lift is always enjoyable.
With the lift in position the top has to go on. The day has warmed up nicely and it must be 75 degrees down by the lake so off comes the warm cloths while we assemble the top.

Once the top is on its time to sit on the terrace and enjoy the sunshine. The rest of the day is for enjoyment!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mothers Day

Here is a mothers day thought copyright belongs somewhere else unknown, but its good enough to repeat. My choices are underlined. Happy Mothers Day!

Mothers are Important!

In the maelstrom of organizational details - big and little - that besiege most mothers, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and taken for granted. Restore your perspective by reading the thoughts of some elementary school children about their moms. It may remind you why you are so very, very important.

Why did you get your mother and not another mother?

  • God knew she liked me a lot more than other peoples moms like me.
  • Were related.

What was your mom like when she was little?

  • My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
  • I don’t know because I wasn’t there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
  • They say she used to be nice.

If you could change one thing about your Mom what would it be?

  • She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I’d get rid of that.
  • I’d make my Mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister that did it and not me.
  • I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

Is anything perfect about your Mom?

  • Her teeth are perfect, but she bought them from the dentist
  • Her casserole recipes. But we had them.
  • Just here children.

Mother’s Day at Moms breakfast & fixing her computer

Saturday, May 2, 2009

A rough 3 days at work

In the R&D portion of my job at work I occasionally end up attending conferences or shows at different convention centers around the country. One of the conferences that I have been involved with over the years revolves around the RFID industry and this year their show was in Orlando, Florida at the Swan And Dolphin convention center near Disney's Epcot.

Margaret likes Florida so she decided that she would take vacation and accompany me this year and hang out at the pool and boardwalk while I was slaving away in the convention center. We arrived at the Orlando International Airport, disembarked from the airplane and picked up our rental car. National rental allows you to pick the car you want from the available cars in the lot and Margaret picked the soon to be extinct PT Cruiser for our vehicle for the next few days.

The Swan and Dolphin Convention Center, part of the Epcot Resorts center is an older but still spectacular place to stay. Our room was on the 15th floor with a great view of the surrounding area. We could watch the fireworks every night from our room.

Located on a small chain of lakes and canals serviced by water taxies you can travel by boat or bus from the hotel to other parts of the Disney properties quickly and easily for free.

Just across the bridge from our hotel is another set of resorts around another lake, the Boardwalk, the Yacht Club, and the Beach Club. A beautiful walking path around the lake connects all these resorts and you can wander freely between them checking out all the facilities. (Margaret nearly wore a groove in the path around the lake from walking)

So starting Monday morning at 7:30 till 4:30 for the three days below you see what each of us did

If you have followed our blogs over time you have seen our Spring in Minnesota photos.

Here is a contrasting perspective of Spring in Florida.

So can someone remind me why we live in Minnesota again?
Sunday had some open time for me since the conference didn’t start until Monday morning so we went out exploring together. One of the things we wanted to see was the Disney campground Fort Wilderness. We may be taking the coach there some day.
We took the car to the gate at Fort Wilderness and the gate attendant allowed us in to park and explorer the campground. We walked from one end to the other. Its actually quite large over a mile from end to end with very large, nice sites with full hook ups and large paved parking spots. A bit expensive at 50 + dollars a night but it seemed like we may spend a week here sometime in the future.

Throughout Disney properties there are free busses and boat taxis that will take you to other parts of the park for free. At the north end of Fort Wilderness we caught a boat across the lake to the Wilderness Lodge which is right next to the Enchanted Kingdom.

Here are the Hotels in the enchanted Kingdom across the lake as viewed from the water taxi.

When we arrived at the Wilderness lodge we had lunch at an outdoor cafe near the pool area.

This is the only recorded instance in history where I have ever drank a Budweiser. It was all they had. At least it had lime in it. That sort of made it drinkable. (almost)

The duck joined us for lunch, but when we ignored him we thought he would leave, he wouldn’t take that for an answer and started pecking me in the leg to get my attention and a scrap of food.

After lunch we toured the inside of the Wilderness lodge. Its quite a place to see.

After the tour we headed out into the woods following an old sand road behind the “Cast only beyond here” sign looking for a way back to the campground and our car. The trail turned into a nice walk and far more interesting than the typical paths the crowds get to walk on.

More Cast only areas with Clydesdales!

Onward to Downtown Disney for a tour.

Margaret gets a new Eco drive Mouse watch that never needs batteries or winding. It runs on light! You charge it for a few hours in the sunshine and it runs for up to a year!

She didn't get to keep the Harley.

After lunch at the Ranglund Road Fish and chips shop Margaret poses in front of the Irish shop,

Back at the Swan and Dolphin relaxing in the pool area.

We found a nice quit spot under the trees to camp for a few hours with drinks and an occasional trip to the hot tub.

During a break from wearing a groove in the path around the lake Margaret made a couple of fuzzy little friends on the beach.

Well at least until the adults show up and heard them away into the underbrush.

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