09.28.13 No more awful Saturdays! – 1 or 2 days left!

At last, our Saturday’s that I’ve  called Hell Week rolled into one day have come to an end.  The ladies closed the last two cabins and the lodge/store today.  We emptied the van and golf cart of all our supplies and put them away for the winter. We just found out that if we all get certain things finished tomorrow we can leave on Monday instead of Tuesday!!   13


The other co-workers, managers and owners went out tonight for dinner but we stayed in to rest and watch LSU play football and the Braves play baseball.


The men removed the last of the docks from the water and moved the last of the exterior chairs, tables and grills inside.

5 6  11

Our tomatoes that were planted in early May that we didn’t think would ever get red have just now started to turn. We found some brown paper sacks to put them in when we leave hoping to help them along with the getting red part. Whatever stage they are in when we leave is how they will get picked!

Beth made an egg casserole for everyone for breakfast this morning and it was delicious.  We each had a generous serving along with the homemade biscuts that Hazel made.

7 8

The leaves continue to change colors and are more beautiful every day! The pictures I posted a couple of days ago look pitiful, compared to how it all looks now.

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09.27.13 God’s glorious colors – 3 days left till departure!

Something went wrong with the post I uploaded yesterday so I am posting it again.  Sorry for confusion this caused.  I am happy to share that I will be getting a new digital camera before too long so that hopefully the beauty I get to see will be better seen in the pictures I take. I took over 50 pictures yesterday, yet only 10 (the one below) showed even a smidge of what it actually looks like.  Ya’ll enjoy!

The two mile dirt winding road leading up to Northern Lights Resort has many trees with changing colors.  The Christmas tree pines don’t change colors and make a beautiful contrast to the yellows, oranges and reds of other trees.  Hazel and I too a ride down the road today after we finished our work and snapped several pictures showing just some of the beauty.  The air is crisp and cool and we had fun riding the golf cart down the road for this little outing!  I don’t know what beautiful colors lay outside our little wilderness area but I will take more pictures as we get on the road to travel next Tuesday morning!  Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

leaves and golf cart  leaves 10 leaves 9 leaves 8 leaves 7

09.24.13 Contract on our rental house!!! Our last Tuesday here! 6 days left till departure

Yesterday us girls closed up the biggest cabin, Fireside.  It took almost six hours but we were all happy to check that one off the list!  The last guests there left a huge Stuffer’s lasagna, garlic/cheese toast and lettuce/spinach in a bag.  A full meal for eight people! I cooked them in our RV this morning for everyone to enjoy at lunch today.  I love it when guests bring too much and don’t feel like hauling it home!

The fireside moose I groomed when e opened the cabin in May!
The fireside elk I groomed when we opened the cabin in may!
This is a tree with hue pinkish red berries outside of Fireside. Anyone know what it is and if it is edible?
If you ever feel like this, come to Northern Lights Resort. We are out in the middle of the wilderness, have great cabins and all have wifi!

Today is my day off and the other three girls closed down Bear and Northern this morning.  Now there are only two more left to close, Yellowstone and Muskie, and those cabins are occupied until Saturday.  Woodside has just been rented for a few days after we leave so we will be cleaning it Saturday instead of closing I.  The owners will close that one down themselves.

Now for the best news of all, we have a contract on our rental house for full price and it’s a cash sale and the buyer is paying all her closing costs.  This is such a huge blessing from God.  Our fabulous Queen of Real Estate, Jamie Johnson with Keller Williams didn’t even have it listed when she showed it to our buyer!  Roy and I are so happy and really believe that if we had originally listed our home on Wardline Road with her we would have sold it long ago instead of renting it.  We do know not to count our chickens before they hatch or in real estate terms don’t count on the sale until the money is in our bank account.  However, a cash sale for full price is worthy of sharing with everyone.  She wants the closing to be on or before October 15th so that chapter in our lives will be over with!   I’ve said before how much we appreciate the work our family and friends did to get this house ready to sell.  We could not have done it from 1500 miles away with our you special folks!

brenda drive back deck
The back decking at Brenda Drive which has been re-stained since this picture.

We’re spending today pulling up and cleaning the big black and white mat our rockers sit on outside, removing and cleaning the tire covers for storage, filing all the tires with air, getting my plants in pots, cleaned up and ready to travel.  Roy has actually done most of this while I pulled up my garden decorations d lights and got them cleaned for travel and ready for our next stop! Both of our bicycles are mounted behind Dora. We’ve had additional freezer space available to us while we were here but will be back to just our RV freezer so a good clean out and organization of what’s going with us in the freezer was done today.  I plan tomorrow to go through all our clothes and get the closet in travel order.  Things move around in a moving house and a travel closet is quite different from a sitting still for 5 months closet!

We’re grilling tonight for the last time here and the grill will be put in its storage space for travel. We’ve invited everyone over this evening for probably the last campfire to use the last of our wood up.  I have loved having discovered the giant marshmallows for our campfires.

There are several food events planned for this last week. Pat and Tom, the owners, have invited us al to dinner Thursday, Beth is making a baked egg casserole for Saturday breakfast and the work campers are hosting a chili dinner in honor of our managers Rick and Debbie for being such great leaders. Lots of good times this week to wrap up our stay here in Northern Minnesota.  Things were exciting and new to us when we arrived up here at Northern Lights Resort.  It’s getting exciting again as we go through all these last things and prepare to experience others parts of our country in our travels.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

09.22.13 Weekend of beautiful weather and hard work – 8 days left till departure!


The trees have more reds, oranges and bright yellows on them now but my pictures don’t seem to pick up the beauty of the colors.  The cool crisp weather is just perfect with a nice breeze making it feel great to be working outside.

c hanging trees 1 changing trees 2 changing trees

I got my share of outside work today when I worked with the men for several hours to stain the exterior of Bear cabin.   The cabin looks great and I’m kind of proud I had a little part in sprucing it up. The beautiful cool weather makes it so easy to work outside.  Except that now my back and feet are hurting but while we were working it was very pleasant. Roy worked with me part of the time and I always enjoy working with him so that was fun.  We closed a cabin today and two yesterday so we’re up to 6 closed with 6 still to go!

The cabin below is the Loft which we closed today and is the only one I opened all by myself back in May and I wrote about the opening then. The things on the windows are not curtains they are sheets nailed up to keep the light from coming in over the winter. Thought you’d like to see it all closed up and ready for winter.

closing loft (2) closing loft

Fall is in full swing here and all of the things below can be found going on somewhere up here.  I’ve enjoyed the weather the very most of everything in Minnesota.  Without having the heat of a Southern summer I’ve felt more alive and better than I have in a long time.


We’re closing the biggest cabin, Fireside, tomorrow which should take us most of the day but that will be a big one to have over with!  This is the one that I helped open with the moose and caribou heads that I got to clean!!  We’ll just be bagging them now so no more animal cleaning for me!

The guys will be bringing in more docks, more pressure washing and staining and finally winterizing all the plumbing which requires a trip under each cabin which I’ve been told is quite unpleasant.  Have I told ya’ll there are no poisonous snakes up here?  I’ve found that quite comforting while treking through the forests and the wilderness that surrounds us.  We’ve been deep in the woods several times and not a snake was seen!  A very good point in favor of life in Minnesota!

We went to church for the last time at Kabetogama United Methodist Church and were able to say goodbye to the friends we made there.  We’ve enjoyed going there and have learned much about the Lord’s Prayer through the series of sermons the pastor preached this summer.  We are all required to work next Sunday so today had to be the goodbye Sunday!

We AGAIN were not able to get the New Orleans Saints game.  We thought we were going to get it but they changed the game to a Packers game since I guess for some strange reason folks up here like to see them play.  Go figure!  Had tokeep up with the Saints game through a friend’s facebook feed and sneaking into the lodge to see the score when it came up at the bottom of the screen.  This has to rate at the very top of the short list of things I do not like about living on the road.  Not being able to see every single Saints game.

Our plans for what we’ll do and see when we get on the road again are coming into shape pretty nicely.  We’ve got a couple of caves to tour, a Subaru plant to tour, two confectionery factories to tour, and visits to a horse farm, an Amish village, Louisville Slugger baseball bat plant and a couple of wineries and distilleries  plus a cheese maker.  Two RV factories, Winnebego and Fleetwood, are on the plan and visits with a couple of friends along the way.  We’ve also decided that most likely February and March will be spend going down the Gulf of Mexico coastline in Florida to Miami and then up the Atlantic coastline.   I mostly want to sleep late and be a little lazy between all these visits!

One more day to work and then two days off to get everything ready with Dora and Boots for us to leave!

Hoping to see lots of ya’ll before too long, ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

09.17.13 Winding down and enjoying our last few days at Northern Lights Resort! – 13 days left till departure!

Today is Tuesday, September 17 and it is the first of our two days off. The weather is clear and cool and God has given us this gift of living in this absolutely beautiful part of our country for the summer.

Roy and I went out for lunch today to Bait and Bite, a place near here that is part bait store and part restaurant.  Roy got the Walleye on Hoagie bread and I got a swiss mushroom burger on a toasted bun. We were too very satisfied customers after that delicious meal.

a bait and bite

I dropped Roy off at Dora’s doorstep,  went out to do a little shopping at the local gift shop and some looking around on my own.  The gift shop is packed with beautiful northern decorations for sale and gift items.  I enjoyed the time to browse and see all their unique things.  Roy doesn’t do shopping in gift shops too well so it was a treat to get to look around on my own and take my time. I bought a crème de menthe truffle for me and a dark chocolate fudge truffle for Roy and headed out to see some of the neighboring resorts. The pictures are of the gift shop,  Pine Ridge.

a pine ridge a pine ridge sign a pine ridge from front a pine ridge 4 a pine ridge 3

The trees are changing, though not a whole lot yet, and the drive was wonderful. I found a Christian radio station, turned up the music, rolled down the windows and sang away.  I even saw two deer at one of the resorts right by the cabins.  We’ve seen dozens of deer up here but they never stand still for a picture, yet today they did.

a deer by road

Our time here is coming quickly to an end.  While we’ve both worked harder at times than we’ve wanted to, we both realize this is an amazing opportunity to live in a beautiful place like this.  People pay thousands of dollars to stay here for a week and we’ve gotten to live here all summer.  In our free time I’ve learned to sit still for long periods of time, rest, and appreciate life.  There are times during the day when we’re busy working but many times that we’re able to stop and ponder about life, God, and plan for the future.

My wonderful husband is enjoying his tiny remote control helicopter right now, flying it in the big open meadow by our RV.  We roasted marshmallows over the campfire yesterday evening and some of our co-workers came over to visit.  It wasn’t quite the same as when Russ and Annie were here but we had a nice time all the same.  If ya’ll read this, we miss you Russ and Annie and plan to make our way to Florida after Christmas to see ya’ll!

We are anticipating the last days here to be constant work so there might not be much time for blogging.  We don’t even know if we’ll have our last two days off next Tuesday and Wednesday.  But whatever it takes to close the resort down for the winter, the Chauvin’s will be right in the middle of it. Our managers have done a great job of planning the work necessary to close the resort down having to work around rain, wind, and people still checking in and out.

We hope to be able to attend church this Sunday and say goodbye to the fine Methodists we’ve met up here.  It’s been a nice church to attend, totally different from what we’re use to but it’s where we’ve gone to worship God and I’m thankful it’s here.

See ya’ll soon, ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

09.14.13 It’s some girl’s birthday!! – 16 days left till departure!

You say it’s your birthday
It’s my birthday too, yeah
They say it’s your birthday
We’re gonna have a good time
I’m glad it’s your birthday
Happy birthday to you.

Yes we’re going to a party party
Yes we’re going to a party party
Yes we’re going to a party party

I’ve been singing this Beatles song all day in my head!  We closed down Moose cabin and cleaned Bear cabin this morning and my manager Debbie baked me a birthday cake tat we enjoyed after lunch.  I’ve enjoyed calls from family and lots of birthday wishes on Facebook.   Kind of makes turning 59 not so bad!  Roy and I are going to a local steakhouse for dinner tonight to finish off the fun!  Thanks to everyone for the well wishes.

I’ve been asked what it is we do when we close down a cabin so I’ll explain.  I took some pictures when we closed down Teton cabin this week. All of the plates, glasses, utensils, pots and pans have to be removed from the drawers and cabinets, each one scrubbed clean and dried, inventoried and put in big bags where they remain over the winter. The cabin we closed today had around 20 place settings of dishes and utensils!


Since fabric softener sheets help keep mice away as well as adding a really nice scent they are placed inside every drawer and cabinet in the whole cabin, on top of every mattress (after it is taken off the bed and leaned against a wall), box springs, sofa cushion (that is leaned up also).  We make sure nothing is learning up against an outside wall since there can be a lot of snow here which would cause moisture to get through the walls and onto things like bedding.


All the pillow protectors, pillow cases, flat and fitted sheets, blankets and comforters are removed and bagged for the cleaners.  We had 7 bags about 4 feet tall each full from the cabin we cleaned today which is the 2nd biggest cabin.

All lamps, TVs and moose/deer antlers are covered with plastic bags.  Every electrical thing including refrigerators is unplugged and opened.  All decorations are taken down (which includes the forest of pine cones on top of the cabinets) and bagged.  All the blinds are closed and windows locked.  Any window that doesn’t have blinds gets a sheet over it.


It’s a bitter sweet site because closing down a cabin means we don’t have to clean it again (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) yet it looks kind of deserted and lonely which is a little sad 😦 . You do see many ! and only one :(, don’t you!  The guys have been cleaning and staining decks and taking all the water toys out o the lake, getting them cleaned for storage.


We’ve closed down 3 cabins including one of the largest ones and have 9 more.  The large one we closed had 12 beds in it and the largest one that still needs to be closed down has 16 beds.

That’s enough about closing down a cabin!  We’ve got a pretty good picture of what our travels will be between now and Summer 2014.  We will be traveling South and then East and then South from Minnesota to Iowa to Illinois to Indiana and then south through Kentucky to Tennessee to Mississippi and then either down though Mississippi to the coast or down through Louisiana to the coast.  We’ll spend 2 weeks at Abita Springs RV Resort in Louisiana and then go over to Pass Christian, MS to TLC Wolf River Resort for 2 weeks and maybe back to Abita Springs for a bit.  After we’ve rested a bit we’ll head over to Florida and travel down it as far as we want and then back up the other coast.  Once Florida is covered we’ll head up all the East Coast states as far as we can spending Summer 2014 up in the New England states.   Things may change but for now that’s the plan.   We don’t know how much time we’ll spend in each state, just depends on what we find when we get there!

It’s time for me to go outside with my Kindle and enjoy some of the beautiful weather today.  I just finished reading One Tuesday Morning (9/11 series) by Karen Kingsbury.  I would highly, highly recommend it to anyone who loves God or is curious about how God works in and through people’s lives.  It is a story about two families and what happened to them before, on 9/11/2001 and after.  Very powerful, intriguing book.  I could not put it down and it spoke very strongly to me about having faith in God.  I hope you’ll check it out!  Another book I read recently on the recommendation of a friend’s daughter Jaala was Saving CeeCee Honeycutt: A Novel by Beth Hoffman.  A wonderfully funny, touching, moving story of a young girl in the true South which made me want to visit Savannah, Georgia some day.  I would highly recommend that one and suggest that you pour yourself a tall glass of good ole’ Sweet Tea to drink while reading it!  Thanks Jaala for introducing me to that one! I’m starting on another John Gilstrap novel, Scott Free, now.

Ya’ll come back now ya’ hear!

09.11.13 Beautiful plants, cold weather and 19 days left till departure!

After today we have 15 more work days plus 4 more days off = 19 days till our departure!  We’ve been busy getting things ready to travel.  It’s been 4 months since we pulled in here and Dora has not moved since then.  Roy took everything out of his “garage” which is actually the truck bed of his truck Boots, organized all his tools in there and it’s ready to roll.  I’ve been organizing the storage containers beneath the RV and have yet again gotten rid of a bunch of things we “thought” we’d need and haven’t used.

I was able to put together a storage container of craft type things for my grandchildren to enjoy from the left over Kid’s Quest items. I’m hoping my grandchildren will make lots of cute things with these things.  The container is neatly packed along away now for the trip South.

Our neighbors Glenn and Hazel have a beautiful Fuchsia plant.  I’ve never seen one and the pictures I took do nothing to show its beauty.  The flower’s petals look like soft cloth and are fuchsia, deep purple and deep blue all in one flower.   They have carried this plant with them all over and I’m very thankful it is blooming while they are our neighbors here in Minnesota!IMG_20130911_124556  IMG_20130911_124516

The weather here is changing and the trees are beginning to change colors.  Just beginning but you can see a lot of yellows and a little bit of reds coming out.  Tomorrow night there will be a freeze with the temperature dropping to between 27 and 30 degrees.  And it is only September!!!

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Our tomato bushes that Madisyn and I grew from seeds before we left Louisiana are absolutely huge.  Once we started fertilizing them they shot up and the stalks got really thick.  It’s taken all summer for them to produce tomatoes and even now not one has turned red.  The bushes were so thick that you couldn’t see the tomatoes and since we want them to get red before we leave here we cut back most of the plant leaving the limbs that had tomatoes on them.  We’re hoping this will allow the plant to put all its energy into ripening the tomatoes and not having to take care of the limbs and leaves.  Here’s some pictures of the mostly leafless bushes with the tomatoes we hope someday soon get ripe.

IMG_20130911_130615  IMG_20130911_130511 IMG_20130911_130500

A lot of beautiful flowers and bushes are blooming now around here but not for long since the freeze tomorrow night will probably mark the beginning of cold weather being the norm around here.  We’ve been told there could very well be snow before we leave here in just 19 days!

I got my Hip Hop Abs workout CDs today to start exercising with.  I’ve always been fascinated by Hip Hop and have tried to learn it from watching So You Think You Can Dance. I haven’t been successful so I’m hoping I’ll learn with this and get some fat off  to reveal the sculpted abs I know must be under there!

The guys have been staining the decks and outside stairways on the cabins to get them in first class shape before the resort closes down for the Winter.  Our first cabin has been closed down inside and out and now there are only 11 more!  Some of the cabins are rented till near the end of September so we’ll be hustling then to get the final ones closed down before we leave.  This picture was taken out the back of Yellowstone cabin after the guys stained the outside wood.  A huge flock of ducks were swimming by and since it really shows the beauty of this area I snapped a picture! IMG_20130905_153021

09.10.13 Great Saturday! 21 days left till departure!

Saturdays have always been the nicest day of the week for us but the last 3 months of Saturdays  have been anything but nice.  Finally today is our first Saturday without a Meet and Greet and only four cabins to clean and two to just strip bedding.  We got started at 8:30 this morning instead of our usual 7 am start.  We finished at noon and have had the rest of the day off to rest and enjoy the beautiful weather today.  Roy grilled hamburgers for our own little personal Meet and Greet and then we walked out to the lake and enjoyed sitting on the dock and listening to the quiet.   I was able to watch our Southeastern Lions play TCU on national television this afternoon and am ready to watch the LSU Tigers play in a few minutes.  All this living up north is nice and beautiful but we’ll always have pride in our Louisiana teams no matter where we go!

We’re hoping to have the rental house ready to go on the market mid week next week.  Chip’s pressure washed the exterior, trimmed the bushes and palm trees and is going to paint the front and rear doors, Kimberly and Madisyn cleaned up a lot of the inside, Mr. Fred’s coming to cut the grass early next week, Ashley and Micah Phares came yesterday and cleaned walls, baseboards and lots of other things and Mr. Jerry is coming Monday to clean the carpet.  Scott Morrow and Randy Stogner loaned us tools Chip needed and I’m sure there are others that helped that only Chip knows of.  We couldn’t have done all this from up here so we’re extremely appreciative of all those who were willing to help.  The address is 113 Brenda Drive, Hammond and we are asking $130,000.  If anyone is interested in seeing it let me know and I’ll get our agent Jamie Johnson to call you.

I’ve been working on notifying companies that need our permanent address to change it from Kabetogama, MN to 110 E. Center Street, #2301, Madison, SD 57042.  This is the address we will use from now on so please make a note of it if you need our address.  On October 1st when we leave here we will activate our Verizon phones and put the ATT go phones away until when or if they are needed in the future.

Our manager Debbie cooked us a big pot of DELICIOUS spaghetti sauce and we all gathered their place to enjoy it tonight.  Hazel made some delicious oatmeal and chocolate cookies.  Every last one of the cookies were eaten and everyone had two helpings of the spaghetti.  Glenn brought a copper pipe with holes in it and a rubber hose inside it and put it in the fire. I’ve never seen that before so in case you are as slow about this as I am what it does is make the flame different colors like blue pink or green.  What a wild sight that was. I took pictures but they don’t even come close to showing the colors correctly.

colored fire

I cleaned one cabin today all by myself and will be working on another tomorrow with Beth.  Tomorrow we’ll be down to 22 days till we depart.  We’ve really enjoyed getting to know this totally different part of America.  Not necessarily the work that came with us being here but this experience has been amazing and we’ve learned so much.

The little girl in the picture below was fascinated by the ducks and Roy got her some bread to feed them and they all came closer to her which she loved!  We’ve both really enjoyed interacting with the children this summer and now that they are all back in school it’s terribly quiet around here!

girl feeding ducks

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

09.04.13 Itasca State Park where the Mississippi River begins – 24 days left till departure!

The Mississippi River ends where it pours all its water out the mouth into the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana.  We’ve been there and now we can say we’ve also been to where the Mississippi River begins in Minnesota.  We drove around 3 hours to Itasca State Park  and enjoyed the beautiful scenery within the park on our way to the Mississippi Headwaters. 

It has its own Visitors Center, Gift Shop and Restaurant at the beginning of the path that leads to the headwaters.  We walked along through the scenic pathway until we came to a sign that tells this is the beginning of the Mississippi River.  It surely doesn’t look very Mighty at its beginning and today it was about 15 feet across.

Some little children and their parents were playing in the water and a couple of old folks had just crossed and were resting their feet on a bench.  The pebbles and rocks were slightly painful to walk on for too long and then we discovered a walkway over the river that was MUCH easier to walk on. 

On the way to Itasca State Park to see the headwaters we passed by this church that had a tiny church on a stand high up in the sky in front.  I thought it was cool!  It’s not leaning, just how the picture came out since I took it while passing by.

church in sky

On our way to Itasca we came across a river with a bridge across it.  We stopped there back in May but today the river was almost dry now whereas in May when we arrived and all the snow was melting the river was full and the water rushed by. What a change a few months make.

dry river bed
The dry river bed in September
My he man hubby!
The same river with all the melted snow water back in May

headwaters sign vc

mississippi source signheadwaters 800 feet signpath to headwaters

sign by water roy on walkway   rosie in river rosie across river rocks in river  miss river sign