Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Week at the lake

image This year we planned a week at our lake place over the 4th of July. Arriving Friday before the 4th and leaving the weekend after we had 8 or nine days to hangout on the dock, work on projects and just enjoy the beautiful weather that summer in Minnesota can sometime deliver.
Indeed Minnesota delivered this year the weather was spectacular, sunny and warm daily highs in the mid 80s it was perfect to hang out at the lake. Early in the morning the weather was nice enough that we could sit on the deck and enjoy our breakfast and coffee while watching the deer troop through the yard.
One morning after breakfast we were sitting in the hot tub when a doe and her two fawns still with their spots on walked right by the window.
As it turns out the deer were on the other side of:
“The Great Flower Wars of 2010”
imageEvery year Margaret plants flowers around the yard and they do quit well. However this year with the dear strolling though there daily, and an enormous population of chipmunks scrambling over everything, the flowers suffered.
Not too many people know that chipmunks like to eat violets. When we lived in our condo in Edina we had a chipmunk who we caught more than once in the pot of flowers chowing down on Margaret’s pretty violets. This year with so many chipmunks on our property they have discovered the violets as well.
The real damage is however done by the deer on Margaret’s Hostas in the flower beds.
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Chewed down to the ground there is little left of the flowers other than this picture in Margaret’s imagination
This year we have no big projects planned as we did last year when we built the Garden house, but there are any number of smaller tasks that have been on our list for a while to get caught up on.
One of these has been Margaret’s goal of having a paddle boat to cruise around in on the lake. So after careful assessment of the paddleboat marketplace Margaret carefully selected a yellow Pelican from Reeds in Walker to ferry her around the lake
The Paddle Boat Arrives!
A incredibly powerful 2 horsepower people powered drive train has us skipping over the water in no time.
The crew of the Yellow Pelican hard at work:
How the crew gets paid after piloting the Yellow Pelican around the lake.
One of the beautiful summer days at the lake was spent on the roof of the coach. Every year you have to climb on the roof and inspect, clean and re-caulk the roof to keep it in good shape.
This year during this process I decided to repair the damaged air conditioner covers. When we bought the coach one of the covers was damaged by an apparent run in with a tree limb from the pervious owner. He tried to fix it but did a half ass job. He started to fiberglass the cracks and holes but never finished.
So after a trip to the hardware store in Walker to procure a fiberglass repair kit I’m out in front of the garage with the fiberglass resins and cloth bringing the old damaged covers back to life.
Once the holes and cracks are re-fiberglassed from the inside and hardened they need to be sanded smooth on the outside.
Then repainted so they now look like new instead of old and cracked
Another project that I had been putting off was taking apart the Fantastic Fans in the coach and cleaning them. The previous owner had neglected the fans because they have to be disassembled to clean. So early one morning I pulled them apart and cleaned them till they shined like new. (I can see why they never cleaned them before it was a bitch to do!)
After cleaning the fan and then Scott afterwards, we were off to Brainerd to sightsee and have lunch. We stopped in Pequot Lakes for lunch and a beer and Margaret had the best seat in the house.
“There is no rest for the wicked” they say and that must be the reason I find myself working all the time. Next on the list of projects was to repair the stuck awning over the door on the coach. It worked when we brought the coach home but stopped going out shortly after that.
It turns out after struggling with it for a couple of hours that water had leaked into the case around the motor and filled it up causing the lower motor bearing to rust. After pulling it apart and cleaning and greasing it, then drilling a hole in the plastic case for the water to drain in future, it functions again as intended
No vacation at the lake is complete without a water skiing trip around the lake in the sunshine, and here you see Margaret zipping handily around behind the boat enjoying the ride. (How did Scott get this picture if he was driving the boat?)
Afterwards celebrating the trip around the lake.
Even Margaret had some projects to take care of.
The payoff for a days hard work at the lake!
Back to the topic of no rest for the wicked. Because we have a well at the lake we seldom use the 12 volt pump on the coach. Testing all the systems on the coach this week revealed that the pump wasn’t working. So being the best & cheapest plumber that I know of I was the elected individual to repair the problem. Pulling the pump out of water bay of the coach and disassembling it to discover what was wrong was the order of the day.
Nothing really appeared to be wrong so after cleaning, reassembling and reinstalling the pump I was surprised to find it in perfect operating order. Whoa… am I good or what! I can fix things and I don’t even know what I did.
Over the years we have acquired a couple of ceramic dwarves that hang around our yard in the summer. Well to my surprise they appear to have been mating. Out of the blue another ceramic dwarf appeared on a rock near the deck one morning. (I’ll have to investigate birth control methods for dwarves)
One of the traditions of summer at the lake is the hammock. What you might not have known is how dangerous a hammock can be. Here you see demonstrated by a trained hammock professional how to enter or exit the hammock properly.
Here is the trained hammock professional’s response to my assistance or lack there of ,with the hammock (sorry I was busy taking a picture)
Summer at the lake is mostly about relaxing on the porch or the dock and enjoying the the day!
Pano from the Porch
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