It always seems
like I did a journal just yesterday until I sit down to do a new one and
find out that is has been several days. Not a whole lot new has been
going on. The atmosphere across the US has been "constipated" and
we have had about the same weather since Monday. Well, maybe not
quite as hot it was on Monday, but upper 80's and low 90's with lots of
humidity is very unusual for this place and that is what we have had all
week. It has not been bad for me and the hounds, with the air conditioners
keeping us cool and comfortable. However, because such hot and humid
conditions are so rare up here and even when they do occur, usually only
last for a day or so, very few people have air conditioning. So there
has been a lot of people suffering. The nights have been the worst,
especially early in the week, when temps were in the 70's, with the humidity
too. Lots of restless nights were had. Even the heat lover,
Julie, was uncomfortable, but did NOT complain. The hounds and I
slept in comfort, literally, with me under the my down comforter!
Tonight will be the last night of sticky sleeping up here. Cooler
air is coming tomorrow and looks to last for at least a week, maybe more.
We may even see some lows in the 30's by the end of next week if the current
forecast holds. For those of you sticking to the sheets elsewhere
in the Midwest, hang in there, your relief is coming next week too.
With my two air conditioners
going, my whole house has been comfortable. Working has really been
nice as well. Last year in our little heat waves, the one air conditioner
was not enough, and my office was really hot with all the computers and
monitors kicking out their heat. Even the
hounds find my office comfortable. That was taken the other morning
while I was working on my morning stuff. What a joy it is to be able
to have them with me 24-7-365! I seriously doubt that I could ever
take a job that did not allow me to be with them as much as I wanted.
I have really gotten spoiled being able to work at home. I am going
to use that photo next time one of them is pretending like they don't love
the other one. There is no doubt in that shot that they love each
As I was typing the
last paragraph, Julie came in to hurry me up (we rented a movie and she
is anxious to start it). Burt was already laying at my feet, and
as I showed her the last picture I posted, Baileys pulled up and laid down
next to him so she snapped another shot of the
hounds at their daddy's feet.
With the heat, there
has really been only one way to give the dogs some exercise and that is
to go swummin.
Baileys has never really been to hip about going in past her chest.
She fell off the pier twice when she was just a few months old and she
still thinks that she will sink. So she spends a lot of time basking
in the shallows. I was able to coax her out into a little bit
water. She even does do in over her head and swims fine, she
just looks like she is in a panic is all.
We have been going
over the the beach at the Lake Linden Village park. We (mostly Julie)
have been busy picking up stuff that could cause an injury. Some
glass, rocks and even some wood pieces. I have to say that we are
not going to the swim beach, that area is already clean. We are going
off about 300 yards so that the dogs will not bother or be bothered by
people swimming. So now we have our own little private swim beach.
It is also nice because the bottom drops off rather quickly. It is
sandy where we go, but in this picture
taken right next to our beach, it does from about a foot deep to over
4 feet deep very quickly. That way Burt can get to swimming sooner
and I don't have to worry as much about him cutting his paw again.
The Village's camping
area has been filling up as we get closer to the 4th of July holiday.
The 4th is the traditional start to tourism season up here. There
are visitors who start showing up as early as Memorial day, but I think
that most think that they are safe, weather wise, if they hold off until
the 4th. I guess that is pretty good thinking, but in reality, you
are never safe up here. I have heard that it has snowed up here in
every month. I believe it.
It is really neat to
see how pumped up all the small towns and villages up here get about the
4th. Especially Lake Linden. I guess that because we have the
premiere fireworks show, they like to really deck the town. There
are flags flying
on every light pole and even some of the homes
are as decked out as any get for the Christmas holiday. I love
it. Really makes me feel proud to be part of this little village
and to be an American. I should have a link to a MP3 of John Mellencamp's
"Small Town" or something.
Some other happenings
up here is that berry season has started. Specifically strawberries.
The grocery stores are all carrying them and Julie even found some wild
strawberries growing over at the village park. I am looking forward
to blueberry and then raspberry season. It looks like I will even
have some raspberries from the bushes that Julie gave me for my birthday.
Now if we can just tame down the bugs a bit, this place will be just perfect.
I went golfing the other evening and if it were not for DEET, I would have
lost about a pint of blood to the mosquitos and black flies. Thankfully,
I only lost a few milliliters. I think that the warm weather we have
been having has really made the bug population explode. Maybe the
cooler temps coming will tame things a bit. Black flies always taper
off after the 4th. They don't totally go away but at least do not
Well, it is getting
late (at least for me!) and we still have a movie to watch, so I will sign
off for now.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
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which helps to make johndee.com
The enemy is
upon us! As I type, we have just risen into the 90's and the dewpoint
it in the low 70's. The good news is that inside my house, the temps
is a balmy 73 degrees, with low humidity. My feet are bare and my
toes are actually a bit chilly (but I'm not complaining!). Yesterday
evening, I actually grabbed for the blanket as I was laying on the couch
with Julie. She gave me this look, but then I explained that I was
right in the breeze from the AC. I needed to keep it on to keep the
house cool. The hounds and I had a great night's sleep so I can handle
this heat no-probby. Plus I guess I can handle it because it looks
to be over by this Friday when we will drop back into the 70's and get
rid of the humidity.
With the hot and humid
weather, the beach has been calling us. Yesterday, Julie, the hounds
and I went to Big Traverse to let the hounds have a little swim.
It is amazing how much cooler it is by the lake. Almost 20 degrees.
Of course the water temps are still in the 40's, so a swim is not really
advised. Unless you are a Labrador
Retriever like Burt. Here he in on
the way back. He just loves swimming out to get a stick or ball
thrown in the water. Baileys decided to keep to the beach and work
on her tan. All she needs is some shades and a beach hat.
Even Julie and I
braved the chilly waters of the big lake. Although that is about
as far as I went in and there were some cries of agony as by legs went
numb, posing for that picture. Here is one more shot of yours
truly at the beach. You sure can tell Julie had the camera most
of that outing, I would never bore you all with so many shots of me, even
if I had the capability of taking a picture of myself.
It is so nice to get
out and enjoy the area. A double bonus, the hounds have been so inactive
for the past 5-6 weeks that just that little bit of exercise did them in
and they slept soundly from about 6 pm on. I must admit, I to was
dosing off at about 8 and Julie fell asleep on the couch with me at about
Well, about 2 hours
has passed since I started this, not because of writers block, but because
Julie stopped by to take the hounds for a swim this afternoon. I
made the dreadful mistake to take us to the north shore by the Tamarack
Waterworks. Dreadful because the wind was off shore there and the
minute we all got out of the car were swarmed by flies. It was like
they were just waiting for us and the minute we became exposed a "fresh
meet!" call went out to hundreds of the little buggers. At one point,
both Burt and Baileys had over 50 of them on each one of them and I was
swarmed as well. Even wearing white. Needless to say we did
not even get to the beach. We jumped back into the car after about
40 seconds of that and headed off for plan 2. Plan 2 turned out to
be good old Lake Linden beach. Not really the beach were humans swim,
but off to the side about 300 yards. I was hesitant at first, as
that is where Burt cut his paw, but I knew of a place that we could go
where they would not run around as much and would not be at as much a risk
to step on something. It was the perfect place to go, as a southerly
wind of about 25 mph was blowing onshore and kept any bugs that wanted
to bother us from doing so. The wind also kept things from being
unbearingly hot. On my way through Calumet, the time/temp sign at
the gas company 101 and it was in the shade, so I might be close to accurate.
The airport is at 93, but that is away from the big heat island of Calumet
and Laurium. Even the water was fairly warm. I did not bring
my swimsuit so I just waded up to my knees, but would have gone all the
way in if I had my suit on. The southerly winds were blowing all
the warm surface water right up to the beach...So it was absolutely perfect.
I am so lucky to have such a great beach and park right in my hometown.
So we spent about an
hour or so there. The dogs had a blast, even Baileys did some swimming,
an exercise that the doctor said she could do as much of as she wants.
She is really doing great now. In two days we can take some short
walks around the block, but in reality, she is already getting that much
walking in with the stuff we do at the beaches.
So I guess that about
gets you caught up for now. I think that we have plans to go to the
Lake Linden beach tomorrow, so I'll try and remember the camera so you
can catch some of the action. Until next time...
Good night from the Keweenaw.
Well, this journal is coming to you from
Julie's house. I am actually writing it on her computer and am going
to send it to me via e mail and then post it to the site. The real
trick to this is going to be to try and remember the pictures that are
on the camera that were to go along with the next entry.
The weather has been
less than summer like for this "first day of summer". We have been
stuck in the 50's and it rained all morning. It has since stopped
raining, but the clouds have not departed yet. I almost had to turn
the heat on, but roughed it out. It is hard to believe that some
heat is coming in just a few days. I was at K Mart today picking
up a few things and they had an air
conditioner on sale so I decided to buy
it. I sure got some strange looks from people wearing their coats
as I went to the check out. Little do they know that we will be needing
the air conditioners by Sunday or Monday. Now all I have to do is
get them in and set up so that I will be ready to battle my arch enemy
- heat and humidity. I actually have not minded the cold weather.
Of course, 70's,
sunshine and low humidity would be better,
but I would rather have this weather than the 90's and humidity I was in
last week in Lake Geneva. Of course Julie is rolling her eyes at
this, but to each their own.
The hounds are doing
just great. Burt's paw is basically back to normal. He does
lick it a little, but not to the point where he is causing it any further
problems. He does not favor it and I can tell he is just chomping
at the bit to get into the woods or onto the beach. Baileys has stopped
all her crying which tells me she has either no pain, or such little pain
that it really does not bother her. She is back to eating just about
anything, anytime and it is all getting through her just fine. All
of this has really helped to eliminate the stress that I had while they
were ailing. In a week we will be able to take Baileys for short
(5-10 minute) walks and then increase the duration a little bit every week.
By about week 7 or 8 we will be up to 30 minute walks, about half our regular
In place of a walk
last night, Julie, the hounds and I went for a ride in the truck.
We took off down some roads that the Honda could not make it down and it
was fun. I must say that the mosquitos are out in full force.
I stepped out of the truck to snap a shot of the trail
we were going down and was almost eaten alive. Our venture last
night took us out on the east side of Rice Lake,
where we encountered a
local attempting to cross the road. It actually moved along pretty
quickly as I tried to take a picture of it. It would make a perfect
ringer for the turtle races at the Deja Vu bar on the north side of Chicago.
But I digress...
If I remember correctly,
I took a shot of Rice Lake...or not. (I got home and downloaded the
pics to find I had not taken a shot of Rice Lake, oops!). We continued
down the road until we came across an impassible spot. The road became
flooded and there was an entire tree stump in the middle of the road so
we had to turn around.
After that we headed
north a bit and I decided to show Julie Thayers
Lake. This is another place that she had never been to in her
whole life and thought it was beautiful. We were given a special
treat while out there. Off to our right about a 1/4 mile away was
a large deer. I did not even attempt to take a picture of it, as
it was too far away for the camera to show it very well, but it
was a big one. Most likely a large
buck. I doubt that doe grow that large.
From Thayers we hopped
over to Mohawk to see if Chris and Marlo were in, but again we missed them.
It was a ton of fun
to be out in the woods. I still prefer walking to riding in the truck,
I can see more walking and I like the laid back pace that a walk provides,
plus the exercise feels really good. I sure do sleep soundly on days
when we get lots of exercise. Those days are not far away at all.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
Home Sweet Home!
The trip back was very easy and we made it in good time. Baileys
had a little discomfort, but overall, it was a great drive with little
traffic once we left everyone heading up to the Dells, Minnesota or points
beyond. The trip back for me is always so much more enjoyable than
the trip down. I don't like to be in the car anymore than the next
person and about 3 hours into the drive I am starting to get a little fidgety.
Thankfully, that is when the scenery starts to get more and more beautiful
and by the time I am really sick of being in the car (about hour 5), we
are in the UP and things are absolutely beautiful. I can just feel
my energy levels rise as we driver further and further north. There
is no question that my home is in the northwoods and even more specific,
in the Keweenaw.
The weather even welcomed
us with my kind of summer weather. Temps about 70 and very low humidity.
My grass really needed cutting and after sitting in the car for 6 1/2 hours,
cutting it seemed like the thing to do. A actually had a great time
working out in the beautiful conditions. Then, last night...Oooh,
lows in the 40's! What a great sleeping night. I had the down
comforter pulled right up to my chin and I slept like a baby. Bailey's
has really turned the corner and she slept great as well. Today,
Baileys gave me the best present I could have every wanted for fathers
day. She started to eat with some vigor and also went poop.
That may not seem like a big issue, but she just loves to eat and with
that action, the other soon follows. She had done neither for 6 days.
I would have called the vet in Madison if this had continued tomorrow.
She is getting around good and not doing much complaining. She is
starting to try and get at her stitches, but if that is the only thing
I have to be concerned for now, I'll take it.
Today was a beautiful
day, with temps near 70 and low humidity. Julie came down around
noon and watched the hounds while I went and did a little shopping down
in Houghton. After that we took a little drive around the valley
to see the sights. With all the rains and warmer temps, the wildflowers
are all in full bloom, painting the Keweenaw in colors only mother nature
can produce. I wanted to take Julie to see a patch of Lupins that
I had found in years past. Here is a shot of the
hounds and I posing in front of the Lupins at the bottom of Keranen's
hill. If you look close, you can see the area that they shaved on
Baileys right front leg where the IV went in and can see the back right
leg totally shaved. Here is a shot of the Lupin
patch without the human and canine distractions. Across the street
was a field all decked out in yellow, so I decided to frame
it by a few of the Lupins. They are really such a beautiful flower,
I took a close up
of them for you. The flowers grow wild all over the Keweenaw and
Julie and I plan to go to some not on public property (the shoulders of
the roads) and get seeds to plant so we can have them next year.
We continued on our
little drive and ended up in Mohawk and decided to stop in and see Chris
and Marlo at the White House Motel, but they were away so we headed back
south. I decided to take 41 on the way back down, but then took a
detour off to show Julie Bumbletown. What a sheltered life that city
slicker has lived, she has liver here all but 6 years of her life and had
never been to Bumbletown or the top of Bumbletown Hill. It is one
of the few places on the Keweenaw that you can see both shores of the Keweenaw.
Back in January we took a KSE
tour up there, here is the look
from today. The two towns in the foreground are Allouez and Copper
City and the one in the background is Mohawk. It would be a neat
place to do a panorama and I will have to get up there with the tripod
and camera. However, I may leave out about 30% of the 360,
as it would just show the building housing some FAA equipment and the array
of antennas. Of course, maybe that would be of interest as well,
so maybe I will leave it.
When I look back on
the past 24 hours, my only thought is that it is to great to be here, to
be home. The feeling just surrounds me and goes right through me
as well. I have never felt this way about anyplace ever and know
that I have found my souls home. I guess going back south is really
needed every once in a while, it really made me appreciate this place that
much more. I did have a great time seeing my parents and they were
great, spoiling me, Julie and the hounds all week, but like the lady said:
"There is no place like home".
Julie is chomping at
the bit to write some. Something about a chipmunk spotted in Lake
Linden. We had a little bet going that there were none in my neighborhood,
but today she proved me wrong and wants to tell the world.... Actually,
early in our relationship he claimed that, "There are no chipmunks in all
of Lake Linden." Of course being a natural born yooper, I knew there
had to be chippies in LL, but I hadn't seen any around his house - maybe
it could be that there are two big dogs living here...ahhh. Anyway,
I argued with him, but he has been adamant about it - downright stubborn
to tell the truth. Well, today we had a visit from John's lovely
neighbor Shirley Hall. She came to check in on her two favorite dogs
and they just love her. Baileys ran to her, limp and all. Shirley
and I were talking as I walked her out and she mentioned that she had chippies
in her yard that she feeds and they'll come right up to her hand.
I grabbed John's camera and went home with her. Here was my chance
to prove the hard headed city boy wrong. Here are the pictures of
the native Lake
Linden chipmunks. I took one shot of Shirley feeding one of her
3 little guys, but I think the camera's batteries went for crud.
to be home too and although it was a beautiful day today, last night got
down in the 40's and today barely topped out at 70. Just not warm
enough for me. I want the 90's of southern Wisconsin. Looks
like the upcoming week won't even be as warm as today. ARRRRG.
Isn't it June? Guess I can only hope for better. John loves
it and is figuring that June 21st, the first day of summer, means that
Fall is only 3 months away. Gimme a break. We drove down a
road that he takes a lot on his snowmobile and you could see the glint
in his eye. Oh brother. The snow'll come soon enough if you
John's gonna add some pictures of Lake Geneva. I took a couple of
doing the journal on his laptop on the deck. We sat out there
a lot. It was
shaded and had a perfect view of the lake. Folks also walked
or ran by on their way along the lake or to the association's beach.
I loved it out there. Then, the first day we were there, we were
welcomed by a Blue
Heron. He/She was basking in the sun on the Dee's pier, but I
think I had to follow it down the way a bit. It was beautiful and
graceful. I think I also took a picture of one of the tour boats
that pass numerous times a day. We didn't take this
particular one, but it seemed to steam by most often. Just some
memories of my trip to LG. I was treated to wonderful, generous and
kind hospitality from John's folks. They are so nice and made me
feel welcome from the moment I arrived. We kind of turned their usually
quiet household upside down with all our stuff and medical stuff and they
took it all in stride and sure seemed very happy to have their son with
them. I hope we can go back again later this summer and I really
hope that all of John's family would come up to visit the Northwoods.
Bye for now...Julie.
Well, Julie sure did
take some liberties with the chipmunk story....I seem to remember me saying
something like I have never seen one in the neighborhood in all my walks,
but the way that she is moaning and groaning right now, I think that the
truth lies somewhere in between. Been waiting for 10 days to say
Good night from the Keweenaw.
Well, the week
is just about over. It has been a challenging one to say the least.
First it is always a challenge to take my business on the road. I
do some pretty intense computer work to get out my product every morning
and the morning report is fairly large (currently 8 pages). Needless
to say, I did not immediately arrive at such a detailed report, it grew
over time. I have a fairly well scripted process that was developed
over the past 11 years that I go through every morning in order to get
everything done by the time my clients want it (about 7 am central time).
Trying to get this process done away from the office is challenging to
say the least. Add to that challenge any simple little problem and
the whole process can become derailed very quickly. At my home I
have a high speed internet connection. That was the first hurdle
to get by this week. I download about 20 meg of data every morning
to get me the maps I need to forecast the weather around the world.
Using the dial up connection here added about 10-15 minutes to computer
to display the data. The laptop I brought down did an excellent job
of allowing me to jump from my display programs to my map producing programs
to my data analysis programs to my word processing programs to my desktop
publishing programs and back and forth. Plus it was a lot easier
packing the laptop than it was my two desktop computers. So for that
I am very grateful.
Other things which
were a challenge for work was poor little Baileys. On Monday everything
was business as usual, Tuesday and Wednesday she was in the hospital, but
Thursday and today she was home and needed some serious attention.
The surgery went well. She actually did not even have hip surgery
done. The vet said that her hips were not in good shape, but that her discomfort
was coming from a torn ACL in her knee. It is funny, because when
I first noticed her limping, that is what I thought it was. Burt
had both knees done with the same problem and my immediate thought was
that she was following his lead (they both had the same problems with their
elbows when they were about a year old). However, the vet in the
UP said that the knee looked fine and it was her hips. So anyway,
the vet at the UW-Madison is an expert in the field and maybe one of the
best in the nation, so when she said it was the knee, I did not argue with
her at all. So she had knee surgery, not hip. Only problem
is that her recovery has not been as smooth as Burt's. Burt had about
24 hours of discomfort and was then just favoring the leg and slowly started
to use it. Baileys has been in pain ever since we picked her up.
They did take great care of her in the hospital, giving her lots of pain
meds. They did send me home with some meds to give her, but I know
she is in pain. She has slept about 10 hours since getting home two
day's ago. That may not seem too bad, but in a normal day, she will
sleep about 10 hours in a single night, then spend about half the daytime
sleeping, so I figure that she sleeps about 15-18 hours a day. Another
sign that she does not feel very well is her lack of desire to eat.
To say that Baileys likes to eat would be an understatement. There
are not too many things that she will not eat and very few times that she
ever rejects food. Actually I cannot ever remember a time when she
rejected food. So for her to reject food for the better half of two
days after going without food for 2 days during the hospital stay is also
alarming to me. She has eaten a few tidbits both yesterday and today,
but by no means is she eating like her own self. Plus she spends
quite a bit of time crying, which is not good for her or me. I really
can't wait for her to be done with her pain, soon I hope.
So yesterday, I had to try and juggle taking care of Baileys while doing
my work. All after getting only about 3 1/2 hours of sleep.
I really can't believe that everything went as well as it did, but I got
out the morning reports ok and was able to see to Baileys. Last night,
Julie became my savior and took care of Baileys so that I could sleep.
I got a great night's sleep and then Julie even helped me take care of
Bailey's this morning so this morning's work went well.
Last but not least
on the challenge list was the weather. We drove down in beautiful
low 70's and low humidity. By Monday things were warm and humid and
by Wednesday, it was downright hot. Temps in the 90's and dewpoints
in the upper 60's. I think it is uncomfortable when the temps rise
above the mid 70's! The cool northwoods will be a welcome homecoming
for this cool weather fan.
So the week is over
now. Packing will be a breeze and hopefully the drive home will be
uneventful. I am really looking forward to getting back to the northwoods.
All the challenges I just mentioned have only made me appreciate my home
and life in the UP that much more. I was really glad to be see my
parents and spend the week with them. I am glad that Julie got to
see my old stomping grounds and have a week's "vacation", but I bet even
she is getting excited to head home. I am dreaming of having my windows
open tomorrow night, smelling the pines and feeling the crisp cool air.
47 is the anticipated low, how wonderful.
Burt's paw is finally
back to normal. He has been able to go swimming and when we get back
I will take him on walks in the woods and to the beach. Maybe I can
get a wagon for Baileys so she can come along as well.
I think that Julie
wanted to say a few words, so I will let her take over. Hey everyone
- Lake Geneva is still my new favorite place!! The weather has been
wonderful - to me anyway. John thinks it's been too hot, but I love
it when it's in the 90's. John and I have been able to go for
a few walks along the lake and the homes here are fantastic. Everyone's
property is perfectly groomed and all the white piers (I call them docks)
are beautiful and all house a beautiful boat - or 2. The lake is
divided into subdivisions and they all have formed associations so that
the folks with houses away from the lake can use the lake as each association
has a small beach and park area and also a pier with quite a few slips
for boats. It seems to work really well.
John's mom and
I took a boat tour around the lake this morning. The boat is actually
a mail delivery boat. As a home owner on the lake, you can put a
mail box on your pier and request that your mail be delivered by boat everyday.
It was really neat. There's a young girl who jumps the off the boat
while it's moving, runs to the mail box, throws the mail in and runs back
and jumps on the boat all while the boat keeps passing the pier.
It's pretty fun to watch. The other best part, of course, was seeing
all the houses from the lake. WOW. All of the homes are beautiful
and so well kept, but some are absolute mansions. Tough living.
The boat captain told us all about the original owners and most are very
famous business men from the Chicago area - Wrigley, Crane, Schwinn, etc.
Pretty neat. If we come back I'd love to rent a boat and take our
own tour. John's favorite house of course is a log home that would
definitely look right at home in the Northwoods.
I've also been
doing some shopping. It's really easy to get to downtown LG from
John's folks house. I'm really getting pretty acclimated - access
to shopping certainly helped! All this pretty amazing from a girl
who couldn't find her way out of a paper bag - small town girl. LG
is a pretty typical resort town - which I love. Lots of fun and cute
shops. Well, time to get to bed. Gotta drive home tomorrow.
I would love to stay longer and wish John didn't have to work everyday
so we could have done more exploring. Looking forward to getting
home too, but sure love this place. Would love to spend the summer
here, even though summers in Houghton/Hancock are really great too.
I'll get back and enjoy it and hope for some good weather - warm weather!
Keep your fingers crossed for us Keweenawites. Here's John to say
Well folks, thanks
for checking in, this will do it from the hot south!
Talk to you next time from the Keweenaw.
entry should not really be under "John Dee's Keweenaw Journal", for it
is not coming to you from the Keweenaw. Burt, Baileys, Julie and
I are at my parents house in Lake Geneva Wisconsin. It's Sunday,
tomorrow we take Baileys in to get her hip replaced. I am a bit on
edge about the whole thing. I am confident that all will go good
with the surgery, I am mostly just worried about her having to spend so
much time by herself. This has never happened before and she really
likes to be around me at all times. It will just be for a few days
and the end result will all be for the good, I just wish that I could be
with her the whole time.
We had a good trip
down, no traffic going in our southerly direction, but the other way had
lots of folks headed north. The trip back home next Saturday should
not be too bad either, as most of the vacationers should have gone up already,
at least I hope!
If it were not for
the stress of Baileys surgery and the fact that I still have to do my regular
work duties this would be a vacation for me. Lake Geneva is a resort
area in southern WI. It is a beautiful lake, spring fed and with a sand
and gravel bottom, so it is also very clear. Usually by this time
of the year, it is warm enough to swim in without too much pain, but with
all the cold temps the past few weeks, it is still a bit too chilly for
this boy. Actually, it is warmer than Lake Superior ever gets, but
for some reason, swimming in 55-60 degree water in Lake Superior seems
more enjoyable than swimming in 65 degree water in Lake Geneva.
As I mentioned, it
is Sunday. It is also in the late afternoon, which means that all the weekend
warriors are headed back. The lake is quieting down an soon all will
be peaceful up here for the rest of the week. I am sitting out on
my parents deck, looking out over the lake, with a nice breeze keeping
me cool, writing to you on a new laptop. Julie just took a picture
of that, and if I remembered to bring the software to upload pictures,
you will be able to see how I am "roughing it".
Right now I am trying
to remember anything special that happened up north before we left.
The only thing that I can think of is that Julie gave me another birthday
present before we left. She gave me a bunch of raspberry bushes,
which we planted in my back yard. It gave me the bug to do more landscaping,
so maybe when I get back some more landscaping will be done. I don't
want to get too carried away, as I hope to buy land and build my dream
home some day so I should not pour too much money into the place I have
now. However, the place could benefit from some more trees, especially
in places where they will help to block the sun from cooking the inside
of my house. Even on cool day's up there my house get hot because
of the fact that is sits pretty much in the full sun. One of the
stores up there had some fairly large maples and oak trees for $50, so
I might get one or two of them when they go on sale in a week or so.
I'm kind out of things
to say, so I will sign off and let Julie write some. Well, I have
a million things to say as Lake Geneva is all new to me. To say that
it's fantastic is an understatement. This is definitely my new favorite
place. It is wonderfully warm being well into the 70's, but there
is always a cool breeze coming off the lake. The lake is much bigger
than I thought it would be and as John said, it's crystal clear.
I think it's pretty warm right now and may go for a swim later this week
if it gets hot enough. I will also have fun throwing sticks and balls
in the lake for Burtie while John is busy at work in the morning.
Although I think John's mom and I are going on a tour boat that is also
a mail boat on Wednesday. I hope that John brought the software that
allows him to download pictures. I'm sure I'll want to take lots
and can talk about them in future journals this week.
At this point
I really don't want to leave here and I'm glad we're staying till next
Saturday. The homes on the lake are absolutely gorgeous and huge
as are the others just off the lake and up the hill. It's a bit like
home (Houghton/Hancock) in that there is a nice lake and the land goes
up hill from the water. The folks with homes away from the lake still
have access and I'll take pictures and tell you how that works in a later
journal. I think it's a great system and seems to work perfectly.
John and I took
a ride through town this afternoon and it looks like there's a lot of great
shopping. I think I need to get back there sometime this week for
sure. Yesterday, John took me to a the bar where he used to work
(and play, I'm sure). It's called "Chuck's" and it's the most popular
bar on the lake and in town I think. It was pretty wide open as I
guess they get pretty crowded on the weekends and it's standing only.
It was a bit quiet when we got there but then started to get pretty busy.
I was all ready for a nice lunch until John took me up to the order window...pretty
much burgers and fries and non too gourmet. It was pretty good though
and it looked like it'd probably be a fun place to be on a Saturday night
but of course we had other plans. We watched the Stanley Cup Finals
and were pretty sad that the Devils lost. What a bummer. No
cup in the Keweenaw this summer. Maybe next year. I'm sure
Randy was very disappointed and would have loved to have been out there
with his team, win or lose. It was very cool that Ray Bourke got
to win it before he retired though. It's really too bad that there
had to be a loser between those two great teams. Anyway, Randy will
be able to get back up to the Copper Country a little earlier now and enjoy
his new house. Hopefully the weather will be nice this summer and
he can enjoy his boat and do lots of golfing.
I've had the
pleasure of meeting and getting to know John's parents. They are
terrific and have been wonderful hosts. They are enjoying have their
Son with them. I also met John's older brother, Ed. He's a
captain with Delta Airlines and also quite the martial artist. He's
really good and close to his black belt. He's also really funny.
We had a great time. He's supposed to come back (he lives in Milwaukee)
later this week - sure hope he can make it or I might have to show him
a little Yooper karate technique. See ya soon Edwardson.
I'm going to
sign off now and let John finish. Talk to you later - Julie in Geneva.
P.S. 3 days till John's birthday
(June 13). He'll be the big 35. He says that he prefers cash
over any other gift....
Thanks Jules...I don't
have anything to add, so will sign off for now.
Good night from Lake Geneva!
I'm slipping again!
In my defense, I would not have had a lot to talk about. Julie, the
hounds and I have really been living a boring life lately. We have
basically been house bound, trying to get Burt's paw fully healed before
we head south. We will be staying at my parents house and they live
on a lake and Burt loves to play in the lake, so I want to get him ready
to be able to play down there. He seems to be doing much better now.
I took him in to see the vet last Wednesday because I thought he might
benefit from some more stitches and the vet agreed. He also gave
it a good wrapping and I think that was important too. I had been
wrapping it, but only to keep it clean. I think that because it was
not too protective it was not healing as well as it could have. I
have changed the dressing once since Wednesday and made sure to wrap it
up good too. Burt seems more comfortable too, as he is not trying
to pull the bandage off and hardly even licks it.
So that is the reason
why I have a lack of material. We have not taken a walk for almost
3 weeks, we do not go to the beach or even the park. It has really
been hard for us to stay so inactive, but I think that is best. Burt
should be good by next week, but then Baileys goes in for her hip replacement.
So we will be out of commission for a few more weeks. I may try and
get Burt out while Baileys is healing. The vets said that she will
feel good enough to play right away, but needs to stay quiet for a few
weeks while the hip replacement heals. At any rate, I will try and
figure out something to help this journal come a little more alive.
I have been feeling guilty about not writing.
The weather has really
been crummy for the past several weeks. I realize that much of the
Midwest has been sharing in our cold and damp weather, but this past weekend
it did not warm past 48 degrees. Add clouds, some light rain and
drizzle and even strong northerly winds and things are brutal. Julie
and I even had a fire Friday night and things were so nasty yesterday that
I did not even leave the house until 5 pm! I must say that I am not
a fan of the really hot and humid weather. I would be perfectly happy
with a high temp in the low to mid 70's and very low humidity. That
is the type of summer day we have a lot up here, but lately, it has felt
more like late fall than early summer. It does look like the pattern
will be changing soon and I may very well be complaining about it being
too hot rather than too cool. We'll see.
About the only other
big news up here, besides the weather, has been the Forest
Tent Caterpillar outbreak. They get their name from the tent
like structure that they emerge from . It is interesting though,
not all areas are hit as hard as others. Last year the Traprock Valley
(my home) was hit really hard, this year there are just a few out and about.
Yet, I drive down to Houghton and Hancock and the road from about Mason
to Dollar Bay is full of them. I must have run over about a million
of them as I drove down the road. Even the trees are almost completely
bare in those areas. However, it is not all the trees. It looks
like the Birch and Aspen have been hit the hardest. The maples almost
look untouched. The sad part is that they are not really feeding
anything up here. I have heard that the Birds do not like them and
we really do not have many other predators for them to be eaten by.
In Houghton and Hancock, they are so bad that some houses are just covered
by them. They do not do any damage to the house, but it is not too
pleasant to look at your house and see it covered by the fuzzy worm like
creatures. In a few more weeks they will turn into little white butterflies
and then we will be done with them until next year. I guess that
they have a cycle where for 3 years they are really numerous and then are
not as plentiful for some 10-15 years or so. They really don't bother
me too much, they don't bit, don't buzz around your head and don't even
make any noise. I really don't see what the big problem is, but I
did hear of someone going so far as to cut down their tree because it was
so infested and was grossing them out! Sheesh!
I think that the cool
temps have kept the misquitos and black flies at bay. I just finished
cutting my grass and was not bothered by either. We'll see, maybe
this year will be a good one to not be bothered by the bugs. Even
the horsefly's and deer flies are not too bad yet. Yet.
Well, this looks to
be the end of another journal. Maybe next time I can get Julie to
add a little content. She always seems to have some things to say.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
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