-E.B. White

Monday, December 10, 2012

We had a reprieve - that is until late Saturday

Since my last post we had a reprieve with the weather.  Temps back into the 40's and 50's allowed us to get a few more outdoor projects completed.  Izzy also had another opportunity to pheasant hunt, she just can't seem to get enough of it.  Check out Izzy's hunting duds - not her favorite, but her mean mom makes her wear it.

Izzy and Colby Rautenberg (grandson of Rick's good friend Bob) with their days work.  Both of them are naturals at working the field.  

This fall when we returned home from Broulee - the top to the teak bench came back to Minnesota with us.  Rick is attempting to repair the rotted portion and replace the old dried up caulk.  And on a warmer day -

the project moved outside for the sanding portion.  The final touches will be done when we get back to the boat.

  Fun day at the Christmas tree farm - we tagged along to help the kids pick out the perfect tree.    

Georgia & Cooper - perfect place for our precious little monsters.

Becoming one with the tree.
Job well done junior Smiths!

Our neighbors house on the west end of the lake - come on, really?

Then the weather people said we were going to get some snow - they started out saying three to four inches.  Then maybe five to six - it started late Saturday night and snowed all day Sunday - 16 inches later we are still digging out.

Sooo pretty, until the shoveling starts.  They call this "widow maker" snow - the stuff of heart attacks.  Wet and heavy - perfect for building snowmen, but a killer for trying to move it out of the driveway and off sidewalks.

Time to get out of Dodge - got the snow thing out of our system and will be heading to warmer climes this week  However, we have had a slight change in plans and will be spending Christmas and New Years in Arizona with Deb's parents, at the "wrinkle ranch".  More on that adventure to follow.

Fun video of Izzy looking for her tennis ball in the snow.

 Happy 62nd Anniversary, Mom & Dad
December 9th, 1950

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Rude awakening

We have been lucky, but afraid no longer.  Just past midnight Thanksgiving morning we reached a high of 60 degrees, by 1:00pm temps started dropping and by 5:00pm we had wind and snow. The morning after Thanksgiving the temp was 19 degrees.  Today the morning temp was 10 with an expected high of 30 - it's time to make plans for heading to Broulee and points south.    

Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving - 57 degrees.

At least we were ready -  the docks and lift are out.

Izzy and Rick had another good hunt last Sunday with some help from her sister Kelly and neighbor Mike.

and this is what we woke up to Friday morning.  Not that much snow, but brutal temperatures.

Just a few ducks hanging around - time for all of us to get south.

Well at least no more raking.
And it's a wrap for fall.

Time to enjoy the beauty of winter

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving - we sure did!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Happy Veterans Day


Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Hunting We Will Go

Pics from our annual, family hunting day, this past Sunday.  The temps were perfect - 50 degrees and some cloud cover.  We opted for the afternoon shoot (1:00 till dusk) at Forest Ridge Hunt Club in Glenwood City, WI.  We had requested six birds to be put out and headed  to the field.  We decided to run Izzy a bit before heading into the field were they had placed the birds - just needed to get rid of some of her hyper energy.  Last year we had quite a bit of snow cover, so the grass was laying down - this year was a bit of a challenge tromping thru the waist high brush (well for Cooper, neck high).  The grandkids were troopers, hanging in there for the entire four hours and no complaints, and Izzy was amazing - she worked the field like a pro.  We got our six birds plus a straggler for a total of seven (four hens and three roosters).

  It was a great family sharing kind of day!

The night before our big hunting day, we were graced with a visit from our Granddaughter Meg - she is now 15 and visits are few and far between.  It was great to see her and hope we don't have to wait another year before the next visit.

Izzy and Cooper, chomping at the bit to get started.

Georgia getting lost in the cornfields and

enjoying some nature time (no she is not texting).

I was also enjoying nature time - milkweed pods bursting open everywhere.

Rick insisting Izzy take a break - good luck - she could hardly wait to get back out in the field.

Cooper thought it might be a good idea to carry a very tall weed so we could easily spot him in the tall grass and corn rows.

Izzy and Georgia checking out the catch of the day.  We normally do not shoot hens, but this is a game farm - what can we say.

The Happy Hunters

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Still hanging in here.

Although Sandy had us a little nervous it turns out Broulee did just fine.  The day before her winds and rain hit Norfolk we were lucky to hear, via e-mail, from a fellow Krogonite. They were tied to the face dock at AYB and things appeared to be just fine.  They did report that water had been let out of the river leaving about six inches under their keel all in anticipation of flooding.  After the worst had passed, the crew of Tapestry (Krogen 58ft), hiked to Shed #1 where Broulee is housed and checked her lines and fenders - all looked good.  Very happy to have dodged that bullet.  Garrison, New York (where Rick's sister lives) was spared as well.  However, a 200 year old spruce went down across their driveway and managed to rip the power lines down in the process - they are anticipating 10 days to two weeks without power.  Our prayers go out to all who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy.

So I am sure you are all hanging on wondering what our decision was for our fruit trees we had considered letting go this year.  Well the two smaller ones ended up back in the green house, but the big orange tree had a last minute stay of execution. Rick had called our local Horticultural Society and let them know we had a tree to offer, they said they would put the word out. In the11th hour (we were heading into a deep freeze the following evening) we received a call from a non profit organization that would be happy to take it off our hands - that is,  if we could deliver.

The day of the predicted frost/freeze warning we loaded her up and hoped she would survive the 15 or so mile trip to downtown Minneapolis.

  We planned our route via the back roads - a normal trip to Minneapolis might be about 20-30 minutes via the freeway - however, 40 MPH will probably be our max speed - hopefully we will not leave a trail of oranges along the way.

She lost a few oranges, but looks like it survived the trip.

Her new home is a company called Interact - a non profit organization that works with people with disabilities - open in Minneapolis since 1996 they have about 125 people ranging from age 22 to 94.
Taken from their website:

"Since 1996, Interact's mission has been to create art that challenges perceptions of disability and has opened doors for artists with disabilities and audiences eager to experience their work who might never have seen the arts as a life choice, but who now see the arts as essential to their humanity.  With over 125 artists working in theater and/or studio arts, Interact embraces the entire spectrum of disability labels."

We think she will like it here!  We have been invited to visit anytime and also to be special guests at their annual Christmas Theater Production.

Our pontoon has been hauled and winterized weeks ago, but on our last 70 degree evening of this year, our neighbors (the procrastinators) invited us out for one last pontoon boat ride for season 2012.

A beautiful fall sunset on Bald Eagle Lake

On a pontoon - out here in the open - party in slow motion -mmmmm  motorboatin! 
"Little Big Town" 


Last week, on the boulevard in front of our house, we had a "situation".  Two mature bald eagles became entwined in each other's talons mid-air and eventually tired and landed on the road (they are laying in front of the black SUV near the curb).  We were able to get the street blocked off with our vehicles, and then waited for our local raptor center people to arrive to try and separate them.  The entire ordeal played out over a 90 minute time frame.

Very hard to watch these two beautiful national treasurers struggling on the side of the road and not sure what to do other than call authorities.  The good news is they were able to get them separated and they flew off over the lake - there was some concern over one of the birds legs, but hoping for the best.

Video from our local paper:

After the "authorities left - the bystanders looked at each other and said - "we could have done that!"   Well 

maybe if Rick had been here, we would have known what to do.

  Happy (belated) Halloween

A cute dog costume.

Our grandkids (Creeper and Steve) aka Cooper and Georgia -  heading out for trick or treat.
You need to be into Minecraft to understand what this is all about - we are trying - take us to your leader!.

Temps are starting to drop - highs in the 50's - crazy coots in the bay on Platte Lake - rafting up for their venture south.  

Our son Brad and his annual fishing trip to Lake of the Woods.  
30-35 lb. Muskie - 47" long, caught on the Canadian side of the lake near Morson, Ontario.
Way to go B!

Izzy and Mr. Bill.  She fell in love with this toy at her cousins in New York.  We bought one for her birthday 
(her sister got one too) - Ohhhh, Nooooo - what were we thinking?????

Raking continues - waiting for the last of the leaves to drop - Pheasant hunting is coming up next - stay tuned.

Please vote responsibly - lets not go backwards!  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

To Blog, or not to Blog - that is the question.

Can't believe it has been over a month since we have been home - and can't believe I haven't blogged about something. I guess we have been busy.  I actually started this blog on October 8th and here it is the 20th and I have still not posted it.

  Got home on the 7th of September after arranging for covered storage at Atlantic Yacht Basin in Chesapeake, VA.  Of, course we had to do the car shuffle thing before driving home.  We had left our car in Garrison, New York at Rick's sisters while boating in  New England. So we got a rental car and drove the 8 hours north timing our arrival to coincide with the closing of our nephew Brian's photography show and after party.

The show was a huge success - check out Brians' work and his blog - linked on our site.

Then it was  time to get back to Broulee and get her ready for our impending departure.  

Broulee tucked away in covered storage at AYB.  Just a heads up - Atlantic Yacht Basin now has a referral program.  If you refer someone who becomes a new storage customer for at least 3 months, both you and your friend will get up to the next two months of storage absolutely free.  Offer applies to new storage customers only and you need to mention our name when signing up.  

Packed up and ready to go.  We decided to bring the pilothouse cushions (strapped to the roof rack) home with us - hoping to get them recovered.  We will keep you posted on that project.

So now we have been home for over a month and you might question what have we been up to?  Well leaving the yard work for two months this summer has proven to be a problem.  Lots of garden cleanup was waiting for us.  No significant rain since July 15th an even bigger problem - lots of dead or dying things.    Boats needed hauling out and put to bed, along with docks and hoists.  Also needed to do a a trip up to the cabin to blow out water lines and close it up for the season.      

The beginning of the haul out process.    

Weekend trip up to the cabin on one of the last warm weekends in September. 
Sunset on Platte Lake.

Fall is my favorite time of year here - it just doesn't get any better.  All the baked goods are made with apples, pumpkins and cinnamon. Also, Chili and Booyah (a hardy midwestern stew made in huge booyah kettles - often requiring two days and multiple cooks to prepare) are a staple of the many fall festivals held this time of year.  Bonfires have become a must for neighborhood happy hours.  

We are now in the process of moving tropical  plants into our greenhouse and  buttoning up things at the homestead.  This year we are entertaining the idea of letting the big orange, lime and lemon trees freeze out.  It has become a huge hassle to drag them in and out of the greenhouse every year.  We are still on the fence on that one - will see what happens. 
The rainbow hibiscus survived the dry hot summer.  All of our potted plants are on a drip system so they all looked pretty good.

The lawn looked pretty good (it and the gardens are irrigated) but, trees and shrubs suffered the most because of the drought. The poor hydranga shrubs are toast!  

Thankfully,  the hardy mums and grasses don't take much to flourish.

September is one of our busiest birthday months - Grandson Cooper turned 9 on the 13th.  Granddaughter Meg turned 15 on the 23rd.  Deb's sister, Joni celebrated her birthday on the 26th and Izzy and her sister Kelly turned 4 on the 28th.

Kelly and Izzy at eight weeks old.  Happy Birthday Girls! Wow, can't believe it's been four years.

School days are the best days for Izzy - Cooper comes over before we head to the bus stop and Izzy gets a daily belly rub.

and, yes, it is still all about me, and my ball!  

It is great to be home - enjoying morning walks in the cool temps. The weather has been great, but we know it will be turning shortly.   Busy cleaning out closets, garages and tool sheds (why do we have so much crap?).  We will probably hang around here until mid December - or maybe not - we have learned not to make plans, we just have intentions.  It is nice to get a break from the boat - it makes us enjoy our time spent on her that much better.

 We are enjoying catching up with friends and family and will try to blog more (or not).

Beautiful Minnesota fall color photos for your enjoyment.

Beautiful fall color - looking out at Lake Superior.

A Walk In the Woods

Hiking the trails

  Love this time of year!