Wednesday, June 28, 2006

2 Days Till Cabin Party V…Lot’s of Preparation Still to Go

Cabin Party V starts on Friday!! Kristen and I will be driving up Friday morning with most of the stuff, and finish any of the remaining prep work. The folks are already at the cabin enjoying the great weather, which should stay through the 4th. Hopefully having the folks at the lake will reduce the amount of prep work for Kristen and I.

This evening, Frank and I are making a run to Costco in St. Louis Park, to pick up the majority of the food. Also tonight I need to make a run to Target to pick up Mosquito refill packs for the lanterns, another collapsible lawn chair, and possibly a run to Festival tomorrow morning for snacks.

My folks headed up on Tuesday afternoon. They got to the lake a little before seven after stopping in Detroit Lakes for some last minute supplies at the grocery store. They took the Richwood Road that runs through White Earth before getting to highway 113. Right now, the stretch of road near White Earth is being rerouted, and the road has been dug down to the roadbed, making motorists take a detour down a dirt road to get through White Earth. Already there is a large crowd gathering at the lake and probably more are to come including our expected 20-25 guests in attendance of Cabin Party V.

Last Saturday, Franky J and I made a quick trip into the depths of Wisconsin to pick up some entertainment from Phantom Fireworks. We weren’t alone, almost all of the cars in the lot were of people from Minnesota and the store was packed to the rafters with people and explosives. We mostly got rockets and an assortment pack that we can shoot off along with the rest of the lake on the 4th.

Tomorrow, I am picking up Kristen after work at the Employment Center of the State Fair, from there we are heading back to the BP, packing and making a caramel popcorn recipe from Kristen’s family to share with all the quests or just eat ourselves :-D.

2 Days to go, and still a lot left to do but we should be able to get it all done on time, Wish us Luck!!

Until next time, here’s to fun in the sun at Tulaby Lake…


Saturday, June 24, 2006

Exercises in Misery…Tarring and Staining

Thursday, my Dad and I worked on some tough projects around the house. First, we worked on tarring the driveway, filling in cracks, and getting tar everywhere. It took us about 2 hours, however, at the end we started to run out of sealer but were able to finish. As I mentioned, I got my hands all covered in tar so I had to dry and get it off using turpentine and heavy scrubbing. My hands felt raw and I stunk like chemicals.
Afterwards, my Dad and I enjoyed some lunch, ran some errands, and enjoyed a bike ride to the Coon Rapids Damn. My Dad cleaned my chain and did some work on my bike, and it ran a lot better. Hopefully we can get Kristen’s bike front wheel fixed in the next coming weeks as well.
Later in the evening, the three of us (my Dad, my Brother, and I) enjoyed a neat dish using chicken, peppers, and macaroni and cheese from a recipe my Dad found on the Kraft website that we’ll have to use again sometime in the future.
The last task of the evening was to attempt staining the deck. My Dad and I, earlier in the weekend, had acquired materials and stain to give the deck some TLC in the form of new lattice, new stain, and more storage space for things for the backyard. However, we worked on staining for about 2 hours on a segment, and when we were finished it still didn’t look like much. Covered in stain and once again reeking of chemicals, my Dad and I threw our hands up in the air and went inside defeated. We made some Sweet Martha’s cookies in the oven and watched some television.

Friday, Kristen and I spent the day together and went to the Science Museum of Minnesota in downtown St. Paul. This will be the topic of my next post.

Until next time,


Saturday, June 17, 2006

Noises in the Night…

This week, my Dad and I spent the majority of our time at the cabin on Tulaby Lake. Our task for the week was to bring up the 6 new Pella windows that will be installed along with the siding we plan on replacing hopefully in the next couple of weeks. Along with the new windows, we brought up my full size mattress to replace the mattress in the master bedroom that has seen better days and some leftover roofing supplies to eventually re-roof the “skunkhouse” (our shed).

The entire week it blew like a hurricane on our side of the lake and again we had to bury a large amount of dead sunfish. We were able to mow most of the yard Wednesday evening, however, we ran into some difficulty with the lawn tractor when it wouldn’t start. For dinner we had Spaghetti and meatballs and watched BATTLEGROUND: 21 Days on the Empire’s Edge, a documentary detailing the first days of the Iraq war.

Thursday we made a trip to the transfer station in Waubun to drop off the old mattress along with some assorted debris and cardboard from the garage. We also filled up all of the gas tanks with fresh gas. The weather cleared for a bit, then got real hot and muggy. We finished mowing the rest of the yard and I spent some time splitting more logs from the rounds that my folks cut down last fall. I was able to get 14 logs out of about 4 rounds through swinging of mauls and sledgehammers. For dinner, my Dad and I had chicken fajitas and later enjoyed some Mrs. Fields cookies while watching game 4 of the NBA Finals Miami vs. Dallas.

Around 10:30 PM, my Dad went to bed and I stayed awake reading my book, The Masters of Solitude, well into the night. Around 12:45 AM, I started feeling sleepy and was getting set to fall asleep…when I heard something, something that you usually don’t expect to hear at a lake cabin. At first I thought it was an animal or something, but then it started to get louder, and louder, and louder until I realized what I was hearing…The sound of a young couple in the heat of…passion. Because of the heat of the evening, all the windows in the cabin were open, including the window across from the cabin next to us. One of the daughters of the owners next door was up for the night with her lover for a quick romp. Tulaby Lake is only about 45 minutes from their place, allowing for a “quick escape.” Personally, I wish at times the cabin was a closer commute than four hours for the same reason. It kept me awake for most of the night, however, I was able to get to sleep eventually.

At one point before falling asleep, I was really tempted to use my new flashlight that Kristen’s Dad got me, and shine it in their window and yell: “Hey, Keep it down a noch huh?”…however, that would only have caused more trouble. In the morning, it made for an interesting conversation between my Dad and I. We then decided to head back for home, considering that we had accomplished a good number of the tasks including getting the cabin ready for company.

This week, my Uncle Bob and his family from Tennessee will be at the lake along with my grandparents and my Uncle Joe. Hopefully they’ll have better luck with fishing then we did. Just a few more weeks left until it is time for Cabin Party V. Until next time, keep listening for unusual noises!!


Monday, June 12, 2006

A Short Summer Update…

…maybe not. Well, we’re about two-three weeks into June and a lot has happened already this summer:

• Frank and I successfully moved out of the house @ Lindig and back into our folks’ house in the BP. We now await the return of our security deposits that should be coming (hopefully) shortly.
• I, with the help of my Mom and Franky J, cleaned up and organized the basement living room storing most of our junk, bringing “the Beast” (My PC) down and setting up a nice workstation for the living room, and hooking up and putting away most of the videogame systems and games.
• Kristen and I have made a couple of trips to the Wambach Tulaby Cabin with the folks (see previous posts). Built fires, watched Sopranos, tried our hand at some fishing, and enjoyed some tasty food.
• Kristen and I were able to catch a number of the summer blockbusters: Mission Impossible III, Over The Hedge (great family comedy), The Da Vinci Code with Tom Hanks, The Omen (son of the devil kills parents and rises to take over the world) which made me ask Kristen if I had to start going to Church, and recently the latest Pixar creation Cars staring Owen Wilson. Next we hope to catch A Prairie Home Companion.

Last week I had an interview with the Executive Director of the District Councils Collaborative of Saint Paul about a possible internship for this summer working with organizations involved with planning for the Central Corridor LRT line (a topic I haven’t written about in a while). However, the organization is relatively new to the scene and while they would like to have interns to help with research, the prospects are rather slim. I may do some free lance researching this summer, particularly about the planning that goes into station designs. For example, do designs exist already, do they have community comments on them, are there firms that exist in the corridor that could bid the project, could the resources of colleges in the corridor both private and public be used in the form of internships or grants, etc.
But I digress. The rest of the summer will be spent hopefully doing projects at the cabin helping out the Dad, getting set for Cabin Party V, exercising as much as I can, then flying out to Norway.
I’m glad to see that Erik or captain spaceman is still updating his blog, would like to know what everyone else’s summer is like, I know a few people are in other states for the summer, Facebook does a good job of keeping people informed I suppose.
Hopefully I’ll have a better topic for the next post, then again, Bloging seems to be losing its interest once again.

Until next time,


Monday, June 05, 2006

A Windy Weekend At Tulaby

Friday June 2nd, Started the day by mowing the lawn at the house on Edinbrook Terrace. The lawn was much more wet than the last time, but oh well. Afterwards, I quickly packed up a bunch of clothes, showered, and at around 12:20 I left for the Employment Center of the State Fair on Como and Cathline to pick up the Kristen. Kristen was able to get off work early around 1:00 PM. From there we picked up her stuff at the Chateau in Dinkeytown and then rushed home to BP. After all that rushing, My Mom, Kristen, and myself all piled into the New Explorer with all our stuff for the weekend and started heading towards ER (Elk River) to rendezvous with the Dad who was getting off of work at 2:30.

We Left the BP at 2:05 PM, and as soon as we hit 610 to merge with highway 10, we called Dad and told him that we were on our way, he replied with a “should’ve left sooner” when we were doing the best we could. Traffic was pretty nuts through ER, lots of people heading North, eventually we met up with Frank Sr. just a little outside of downtown ER at one of the local Shell gas stations. Good thing we left when we did, even though the trip was pokey we still arrived at Tulaby by about 6:30 PM, and had we left any later we would have spent several hours in heavy traffic just trying to get out of the cities.

On the way up we stopped in Staples for Moo-lattes at the Dairy Queen, and at the BP station to fill the car up. Kristen, Dad, and I all had Mocha Moo-lattes while my Mom had the French Vanilla, I believe. Coffee + Ice Cream = Crazy Delicious, and was able to hold us all over until we reached the lake.

Lately we have been going through the DL (Detroit Lakes) instead of heading over on Highway 71 once we reach Wadena. It is a much more enjoyable ride, since there are 4 lanes instead of 2 lane blacktop that one must face on Highway 71. I suppose in the next few decades Highway 71 will have to be expanded as development continues to move outward and people want to continue to get to there lake cabins and seasonal homes in a timely fashion.

Anyway, upon our arrival we all got out and quickly decompressed from the long drive. Kristen, eager to begin fishing, quickly found herself a rod and began tossing off of the dock. Before dinner she caught two rock basses and we were hoping her luck would extend into the rest of the weekend. For dinner we all enjoyed some Ham and potato salad made fresh by Mom Friday morning.

Later into the evening My Dad and I put in my Grandpa’s boat and Kristen, Dad, and myself tried our hand at doing some fishing. Thank the maker we had the trolling motor on and working, because when we tried heading back to the dock, the motor wouldn’t start. Kristen was able to catch a good-sized perch, however, it spit the hook before she could set it and it nearly hit me in the eye on the way out. My Dad and I were skunked.

Kristen and I made another fire in the redesigned fire pit, and we took some pictures of the two of us enjoying the fire. The fire was really warm, and the pit of rocks allowed for a lot of the heat and oxygen to remain in, and did a good job of keeping the majority of the wind out. While Kristen and I were dinking around with the fire, the folks watched several episodes of Season 2 of The Sopranos. My Mom made some popcorn for everybody that was really delicious and made for a great snack.

Saturday started out with me mowing the back of the cabin in the woods using the lawn tractor. The four of us headed over to the access and put in My Dad’s boat, and I drove the new Explorer and the trailer back to the cabin. The 05 Explorer has a much more sensitive accelerator than the 96 Explorer and more difficult sightlines for backing up, however, a much more comfortable ride as a passenger. My Dad and I also buried over 22 dead sunfish in the woods that had washed up on our side of the lake. Saturday was very windy and the waves kept washing up dead sunfish. This strange mass “fish kill” puzzled us all to no end. The four of us went out in the boat and tried our hand at fishing, however, it was Dad and Kristen that were able to pull some fish in with dad catching a small pike, and Kristen catching yet another perch. I am starting to agree with my Dad, that the “dead sea” has us snake bitten and that we couldn’t catch a fish even if it jumped into the net.

Saturday evening, it was too windy for a fire; however, I did split some pine cuts that my Dad had saved from a tree they fell last fall. I tried using my Maul for a while, but the head kept jiggling loose. So instead of using the Maul, I used a wedge and the sledgehammer and was able to split a number of the pieces into several nice logs for burning.

We watched some Sopranos and Munich. My Dad and I made it through the entire film; however, Kristen and my Mom didn’t and went to bed without finishing. The movie was really long almost 3 hours and we started it too late. Early Saturday morning, about 3:30 Am, it started raining really hard and jolted me out of bed. I ran out to the kitchen and quickly closed the glass door to the porch, before more of the kitchen was flooded.

Sunday, all of s put the tarp on the boatlift and continued to count more and more dead sunfish washing up on shore. I counted about 60-71 before we left. The Raccoons and birds will enjoy eating those. We left the cabin at about 1:30 and arrived home at about 5:30 and enjoyed Nick and Willy’s pizza for dinner.

It was an enjoyable weekend, hopefully we can hit it again next week. Soon we’ll start all the planning for Cabin Party V happening June 30th thru July 4th.