Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Two Down and One To Go

Last week we finished a little painting project as we mentioned in the prior posting.  The second bedroom also got new carpeting, just like the first room.

This week we are back into the suburbs of Minneapolis getting a number of maintenance issues dealt with, both personal and mechanical. 

First the mechanical stuff: all 3 of our motor vehicles are having something done.  The new pickup got its own baseplate installed yesterday.  The supplemental braking system that we had used on the Saturn was saved and reinstalled as well, so the pickup is complete and ready to be “tow’d”.

The V-Strom got a new front tire, which was just finished this morning.  That’s how I got the title for today’s post.  The one yet to go is our motorhome which is in the shop to address a water leak around the windshield.  One half of our two-piece windshield had cracked last year, and the guys who replaced it thought the cause was from some rust on the steel frame that supports it.  We hope the shop is able to finish up and get it back to us by Thursday or Friday because, without it, we are homeless.  We are staying at Paige’s sister’s place until we get the call.

The personal maintenance we are having done this week is annual dental checkups for both of us.

This trip to the “big city” also allows us to catch up with some of the family.  We had dinner with David and Valentina Saturday night, and got a chance to see the damage caused by last week’s windstorm in Minneapolis and area.  Thousands of trees were blown down late last week during 2 days of rain and high winds.  Nearly 600,000 people were without power as a result.  By Tuesday morning the count was down to about 25,000 people still left in the dark.


Bob’s sister, Mary, was in town for a wedding last Saturday, and Becky, Denny and Diane’s daughter, was home from Utah, so it was a good time for brother Denny and his family to host a reunion on Sunday afternoon.  They also were able to update everyone regarding their mission trip that will take them to the Nevada area for 23 months starting in August.  A real adventure for them!


We also met up with our friends, KJ and Rob, which is always something we look forward to.  Lunch tomorrow is with Paige’s former co-worker, Nicolle, and her 2 children.  So it’s a good, busy week.

Brett and family are in Paris for their vacation.  We are hearing from them that they are having a great time and seeing a ton of stuff.  Technology sure helps to stay in touch on trips like this!  We’ll be anxious to catch up with them to get the girls’ stories and pictures on the trip.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Keeping Busy

Our last post mentioned frost and freeze warnings, but we avoided the worst.  Now that the calendar says mid-June, Spring is almost here (and we get by without jackets during mid-day).  We have had a lot of wind, with clouds and easterly winds, but the weather is getting better.  The trouble is…the warmer temps have brought out some fierce mosquito hordes.

Even here in the northwoods we have kept up our social life with at least 3 dinner outings: old family friends in Duluth, recent Nomad co-workers in Virginia, and cabin neighbors in Gilbert.

We’ve also been busy during our weekly visits to Duluth: Paige has helped her mother sell quite a bit of unused furniture on Craig’s List and we’ve loaded our new truck with a couple of loads of stuff for recycling.

Most of our cabin time has been spent with a little remodeling project in one of the bedrooms, which now has 2 new walls, a painted ceiling and new carpeting.  We will match this ceiling and floor in the other bedroom this coming week.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Just Checking In

Regular readers might be wondering where we are.  We have been in the north woods at the family cabin for over 2 weeks now, and there is no internet connection for us here.  We have been going into Duluth at least once per week, but we haven’t taken the time to update this blog until now.  Actually these thoughts are being written on a Sunday night, but might not get posted until mid-week.

We spent our first week here doing “spring (?) cleaning”: cobwebs, raking, and window cleaning.  Our first trip to Duluth involved Bob meeting with the Speech/Language therapists at St Luke’s Hospital.  This was an introductory meeting, but will become weekly to work on some voice issues.  We also had a field trip to Aurora so Paige could pick up some additional round paint brushes (her favorite for detail work).

Memorial Day weekend was spent driving: Friday to Duluth for the evening, Saturday an early start with Paige’s Mom to Grand Forks ND for a family wedding (Eric, the second son of cousin Steve), and Sunday returning to Duluth.  The wedding was a reunion, of sorts, for most of the Benson clan.

Our second week brought us 2 round trips to Duluth, the first for voice work and laundry on Tuesday, and a work project on Wednesday.  After killing Joyce’s front lawn last year (by using the wrong chemicals for weed killing) we re-worked it this year by renting a de-thatching machine, raking out the rough stuff, and spreading 3 yards of new black dirt, grass seed, and straw. 
We were glad to come back and have a non-working couple of days at the end of the month.

 This past weekend was pleasant since we had company: Brett and his 3 girls brought their Black Lab up for a last visit.  Zoe, the Lab, is 13 years old and not doing well anymore.  She spent a lot of time in the water over the years and a little time this weekend too.  We got the dock and the raft out so it almost looks like summer around here.

Looks are deceiving however, since there are frost and freeze warnings out for this area tonight.
We have also started a repair project inside the cabin - adding new studs inside an outside wall.  Here we are stripping the knotty pine tongue and groove paneling off.
Wish us well.