-E.B. White

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Polar Vortex returns!!!

After what turned out to be the second worst winter on record for Minnesota (thank goodness  we were not here) our summer has proven to be even more challenging. The month of June we received record amounts of rain causing major flooding; shutting down traffic on the Mississippi River and no wake zones enforced on the St. Croix River and Lake Minnetonka.  Now in the middle of July a blast of cold air from Canada "a summertime polar vortex" has hit the Twin Cities - catching many people arriving for the MLB All Star Game off guard - most of them had not planned on needing sweatshirts.

Our friends Ken & Kim invited us to visit their waterfront property on the St. Croix River - at Bayport.  The condos are built with this disaster in mind.  They had enough warning to move everything out of the garages, open the doors and install the netting that catches all the debris that comes with a flood.

   The inside of the garage

 and their adorable dog, Ali - can't believe they make a tennis ball that small.

The youngest grandkids are growing up too fast. These two live next door to us, but the older two we rarely see - hoping to hook up this summer. 

Georgia's passion continues to be riding.  Bringing Nina to the ring from the field.

Even though they have their own dog now - Cooper still manages to find some time for his favorite girl - Izzy and she loves every minute of it.

Attending the annual Kentucky Derby Party - Lord & Lady Smythe and their beautiful daughter-in-law Katherine.  Ohhhh those mint juleps are tasty.

Later we got into the hat bin and things got wild, crazy & fuzzy.

Memorial weekend found us in Kansas City for a Smith Wedding.  Rick with cousins Dave and Jon Smith at Grooms dinner.

Father's Day, we were surprised by the arrival of Erin (flying in from Washington D.C.) and Ali (flying in from Austin, TX).  Dad surrounded by the eight beautiful, amazing women in his life.

Wine making continues -  our Raspberry Wine was a huge hit.  We decided to try a wine kit and started with a Piesporter.  We got 28 bottles out of the kit - next picture is of Rick corking the bottles.  Lucky for us - friends Bob & Pam have agreed to let us turn their house into a winery. 

 All the wine we did last fall was bottled this spring when we got home.  Hardy Minnesota grapes have been a challenge for the guys - lots of acidity so they have been a work in progress - lots of tweaking and tasting - unfortunately you don't notice how much wine you are drinking when you are tweaking and testing.   

The 4th of July Annual Pontoon Boat Race - The Smith's finally take the trophy (the wooden fishing lure hanging from the bimini top). We came in 4th, but even then we may have cut a few corners. But they say we won on style - time to proudly add our name to that much sought after prize.

The Styling Smiths

Our gardens are flourishing - one good thing, with all the rain - as of July 17th we havn't had to turn on irrigation systems.  Also, cooler tems - no A/C needed.

A fellow boater sent this pic out the other day - it made me laugh.  

We have had a jam packed spring and summer and apologize for not posting.  Will try to do better, but no promises.