09.04.13 The hikers at Echo Bay Trail – 25 days left till departure!

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298087_509387402456576_928255323_nRoy and  I are not hikers. I enjoy reading, doing puzzles, cooking and making crafts and never thought of hiking as something I would add to that list.  We tried it out today by hiking  a 1.5 mile trail that goes by Echo Bay and found we enjoyed ourselves.  We did enjoy taking break from the walking while sitting on  big rock.  We took several pictures along the way and they are shown below.

I’m cooking a pot of chicken and andouille gumbo to round out our last day off this week.  The temperature is in the lower 60s today so it felt like a pot of gumbo day!

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Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear.

08.31.13 Beginning of the resort close down – 26 days left till departure!

Our new, less cabins occupied and semi close down the resort schedule is out and——-

For the first time that I can remember I will be working on Sunday afternoon and I worked on Labor Day.  We still get Sunday mornings off so we can attend church and we will have Tuesdays and Wednesdays off.   The only morning that we work is Friday!  That means lots of sleeping late and feeling sort of retired.

In 26 days we will be pulling out of here and headed south for more adventures.

We’ve had hot summer temperatures the last two weeks but now we’re back to calm 70s and 60s for a while and today’s high is 58 so I’m thinking the quickie Minnesota summer is over!

Our managers baked delicious cinnamon rolls for our breakfast on our last big Saturday.  They have done this before and we all really appreciate them filing up our little bellies before sending us our to conquer the resort!

saturday morning breakfast

One thing I really like about working here is that our home is within walking distance from the job. If I’m hungry or forgot to do something at home or don’t feel well and need medicine I can just go to the house and can be back to work within 5 minutes.  I’m working right now as a matter of fact when I wrote this part on Saturday).  I brought home a big container of sloppy joes to microwave it for our last Meet and Greet night.  While I’m waiting for it to heat I got some blogging time in!

My 3D butterfly puzzle is complete and is now crumbled up, put back in the box and returned to the cabin it came from.   I picked up some others to work on as time permits!

3d puzzle

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Stormy evening on the lake.

There are many signs around here that the resort close down has begun.  The big horse riding water toys have been removed from the water.  The slushie machine is emptied and turned off.  No more dozens and dozens of little children running in and out all day drinking the slushies before it was turned off.  The decks in empty cabins have been pressure washed and are ready for stain.  The RAVE is coming down as soon as the weather calms down(it stormed and hailed Saturday and Sunday it was really cold and high winds).  I’ve really enjoyed watching children and adults play on those things, especially the screams of excitement when they are launched off the water tower high into the air then splashing in the water.  I never did venture out there this summer after I learned there are leaches in the water and they would probably get all over me.  I decided to just enjoy watching everyone else.  By the time I finished writing this the RAVE  is out of the water being packed up for the winter which will arrive here in Minnesota in just a few days.

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Roy cleaning part of the RAVE getting it ready to box up for the winte
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Roy and Rick cleaning the RAVE on land after it came out of the water.
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The slushie machine half closed down and now totally closed down.
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The view of the lake with no RAVE out there!

Roy and I went to Itasca State Park to see the Mississippi Headwaters yesterday and I’ll write about that our next visit!  Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

08.26.13 Today is the DISLIKE RV day :(

I’ve written many many blogs about how much we love this RV life and we love living in the RV.  I’m sure people have wondered “Don’t they ever dislike it?”

Well today is the day I dislike it.

Everything about an RV is different than a house and especially our little tiny Splendide washer/dryer that I’ve raved about.  Today was the third time it’s had to come out of its tiny hole for repair but this was the first time that it came out of its hole, got moved through the tiny walkway between the bed and the dresser and into the Kitchen to be taken apart.  I don’t know how much it weighs but it’s absolutely way more than Roy and I together should be handling.

Moving it to the kitchen did make it easier for him to get to all parts of it to find out the problem but moving it around the RV in the tiny quarters was awful.  Getting it out was not as bad as putting it back in however it did have to be lifted over the bed going both ways and it weights a TON.  At one point Roy had me hold it precariously in place a tiny bit back into its hole while he got on his back under it  to ease it over a hump so it could slide the rest of the way back in.  There is a step up next to where he was underneath so the bottom half of Roy was on the upper stair area and the top half of him was underneath.  I tried once to be the person underneath while he held it but I couldn’t get in the position he had to get in.

It’s back in its little home behind the louvered doors now and hopefully ready to wash again when needed.  They are wonderful little machines and probably not any harder to work on than a regular washer or dryer but getting to them and getting them in a place to do the work is near impossible.

But once again Roy Chauvin came through! Once again my hero!  Now that it’s back in and I’m using it again I’m back to loving the RV life – good thing the dislike didn’t last long!  Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!!

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The hole where IT lives!
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View of the insides from the top

08.26.13 Ashley Ingebrigtson’s blog post about Northern Lights Resort

One of our recent guests (a professional photographer) posted on her own blog about her stay at Northern Lights Resort along with some photographs she took here. I’m reblogging it below for ya’ll to enjoy.  The pictures look much better on her blog so click on the link below and you can look at hers instead if you want to.

http://ashleyedenphotography.com/blog/item/19-commercial-resort-photography-kabetogama-mn

Commercial Resort Photography Kabetogama, MN

Written by 

So, I took a shot at some commercial photography at a resort waaaaay up north. Like, Canada up north. Kabetogama is the name, and I dare you to say it three times fast. This resort is absolutely gorgeous, family friendly and a place you’d never want to leave! There’s endless activities to do on the lake: fishing, paddle boarding, canoeing, and jumping on big huge blow up thingies, just to name a few. If you’re more the laid back kind (like me) you might have the most peaceful cup of coffee you’ve ever sipped and enjoy hearing the sounds of the lake at night. The owners of Northern Lights Resort made us feel like family. Ice cream socials, tips on all the best fishing spots and friendly conversation among the employees and the guests were easy to come by. I only wish I could have stayed longer! Check out http://nlro.com/ if you’re interested in more details.

Commercial Resort Photography Kabetogama, MN

– See more at: http://ashleyedenphotography.com/blog/item/19-commercial-resort-photography-kabetogama-mn#sthash.v6fgoMx8.dpuf

08.25.13 Reviews of purchases for Dora our RV

999102_511469705603721_529031575_nWe’ve been living the “on the road RV life”” since April 29th of this year.  We lived the “off the road parked in our own driveway RV life” for 5 months prior to that and we’ve learned so much about this unique lifestyle we and millions have chosen to live.  We’ve made several RV specific purchases and thought I’d review some them in case someone else is thinking about purchasing one of these items and wants some user information.

For our outdoor cooking grill we chose the Weber Q 200 with the separate  rolling stand.  I read a lot from other RVers and product reviews on the web before we purchased it.  When it arrived I was able to put it together and I am very low on the mechanical ability poll.  Roy has often said how much he loves cooking on this grill.  He said it doesn’t flame up like others and it cooks very evenly.  It also folds up to fit very easily in a small part of the under RV storage.  I love the flavor of the food cooked off of it too!  We purchased ours from Camping World for $199 but they sell it lots of places.

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We purchased a two burner electric GE cook-top unit which lasted a little while but it was soooooo slow we started looking for an alternative.  I wouldn’t recommend spending money on that one unless you don’t mind really slow cooking and always just looking ugly after it was used for a while.  We found, again at Camping World, an electric induction cook-top and love it especially for it’s speed of cooking and ability to keep it clean.  It’s a Fagor induction. It came with a medium sized induction frying pan. The old two burner is now strapped in under the sink for those times that the induction skillet doesn’t work for a larger size pot, like maybe a pot of gumbo that you don’t mind cooking slow! I cook almost all our vegetables and pasta inside in it and Roy does all our frying outside in it.  In case you aren’t familiar with induction cooking I copied the details from the Camping World website.  The cost of this appliance was $89.

Safely use this Portable Induction Cooktop anywhere an outlet is available — now includes a 9 1/2″ induction-ready cast aluminum Skillet! Induction cooking technology warms only the food and pan – not the cooking surface! Energy produced by the cooktop is directly supplied to the cooking vessel by a magnetic field. There are no open flames or heating elements, so the glass surface remains cool to the touch. Energy-efficient cooktop uses 90% of energy produced. Self-adjusting burner detects the size of the cookware base and adjusts output automatically. Two independent zones allow for precise, immediate temperature adjustments. Food won’t stick to the safe, stay-cool surface, so it’s easy to wipe up even the messiest spills. Ideal for RV, boat, tailgating, dorm room, deck or patio—anywhere a 110-volt outlet is available. Included cast aluminum skillet features a non-stick surface and stay-cool ergonomic handle.

Features:

  • Cooktop uses safe, efficient, flameless induction cooking technology
  • Lightweight and compact — only 11 3/4″W x 14″L x 2″H and weighs only 5 pounds
  • Crystal glass panel is easy to clean because it stays cool and food won’t stick
  • Display panel chart relates cooking levels to temperature and cooking function
  • Soft touch controls with 10 power settings from 140ºF to 430ºF
  • Shuts off automatically if no cookware is detected
  • Convenient built-in 150-minute digital timer

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We recently purchased and received a Garmin GPS model RV 760 LMT.  I can’t do a review on that yet since it just arrived and we aren’t on the road but this one is specifically designed for RVs but can be switched over to automotive mode.  Roy’s entered information into it about Dora and one of it’s features is that since it knows her height it will guide us away from overpasses that are two low for us to go through.  It also has a much larger screen than our telephone GPS which we previously used and had difficulty seeing since the screen was about 1/4 the size of the Garmin.  When we’ve  had a chance to use it we’ll review it.  Roy did a lot of research before he decided on this one.  It’s cost was $400 and it was purchased straight from Garmin.

One very small yet important purchase was the dozen or so little round plate like rubbery things that you put between the dishes and pans so they don’t rattle when driving. They are called Grip-It China and Dish Separators. Before we purchased those everything rattled up a storm when we’d go down the road.  Now it’s much quieter and are nerves are saved a lot of rattle too!

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I wrote about the satellite dish we recently purchased in a post at: https://rosalynandroy.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/satellite-dish-upgrade/.  We spent $761 off Ebay including delivery.  It would have cost $1400 new.  I would highly recommend this dish.  We never lose reception any longer and it’s always clear.  Big improvement over the other one.

We purchased a front window screen for when we’re parked and while I previously wrote about that I’ve copied it to here  and updated the information with new pictures in case you are interested.

siberiantigerscreen2 siberiantigerinsidescreenRoy ordered this front screen  from a company that makes sunscreens for Dora’s front window. It is used in place of closing the curtains since you can see out of it but no one can see into the RV except at night when the lights are on.  I like the curtains open most of the time but it gives you no privacy and this will. We picked out a design that is the face of a White Siberian Tiger.  It’s silver and black with blue eyes and will go perfectly with Dora’s black, silver and grey sides and now Dora has blue eyes like me!  If you’d like to look into getting one for your RV, the company’s website is www.heritageartltd.com.  They have lots of designs and other purposes you can use these for, like hanging one from the end of a patio so it’s not just for RVers.  Our managers, Rick and Debbie, have one which is where we first saw it.  Theirs is a Bengal Tiger and no they are not LSU fans, they picked it because the colors match their RV.  We’ve gotten several compliments about it and it works very well thought we don’t see through it as clearly as we hoped but still well enough to see what’s going on outside.

The table we use outside is a compact expandable aluminum table.  It also was purchased at Camping World for around $70.  We use it to eat on, fry food on, make crafts, work on plants and all sorts of things and it still looks brand new. It’s very easy to clean and still looks brand new even after frequent use these last few months.  It’s also very lightweight and easy to move around plus it can be smaller for normal use and expand if you need it to.  We always use it expanded since we’ve been here.  Camping World’s  website description is here:

This lightweight, versatile roll-top table offers two tabletop sizes: 28 1/2″L x 27 1/2″W or 48″L x 27 1/2″W.  The roll-top style table tops are constructed of heat-dissipating aluminum. The 28″ x 27″ top can be used with the un-telescoped frame to seat four people. Simply telescope the frame and add the additional table top piece for a 48″ x 27″ table top, which seats six people. The Compact Expandable Table features the double-duty Close-It Hold-It Strap System which tethers any handled trash bag to the side of the table while set up. When the table is folded, the Close-It Hold-It Strap System secures the table top dividers together for quick and easy packing. A telescoping table leg adjusts to uneven ground. Weighing only 12 lbs., the Compact Expandable Table supports 60 lbs. Includes a zippered carry bag with handle for transport and storage.
table That’s all the reviews I’ve got in me for today but all this kept me inside in the cool air conditioning while we’re experiencing the only summer we’ve had up here.  The highs the last few days have been in the 90s and I feel like I’m back in Louisiana when I open the door to the RV to walk outside!  Next week’s forecast shows it going back to mid 75s and before long the leaves will be changing and the Minnesota chill will be back in the air.  There are no air conditioners in the cabins and I’m quite thankful for my air conditioned RV now!
We only have one more horrible Saturday cabin turnover left to live through and in case I haven’t made it clear this is the day we’ve been waiting for many weeks and weeks.  Yesterday’s cabin cleanup was especially horrible with the high heat with no air conditioning and the fact that the two boys who have been making the beds the last few weeks had to start football practice so they couldn’t be here and we had to make all 65 beds plus clean all 12 cabins.  Yes our bed makers were football players!!!  After next Saturday we stop having children here since they are all in school and we begin having guests come in for shorter visits and less and less are rented each week before our final close down starting in mid September.
Well our Saints won today and I hope ya’ll will come back, ya’ hear!

08.19.13 Milestone, Roy’s staining and Kid’s Quest!

Today’s post is the 100th post I’ve made in this crazy documentation of the journey that Roy and I have taken into the RV life. I hope we’ve provided helpful information to those at the RV Dreamer stage and maybe even a new view of things for old timer RVers!  We’ve had visitors from all over the world and have received many compliments and comments over this last year.  I haven’t come close to using up my photo storage space so I’ll keep adding pictures where I can.

One of the things Roy and I love about this RV is the 5.1 surround sound system in it.  We had a 7.1 surround sound system in our bricks and sticks house and this is just a smaller version of that for our smaller house!  When living in our sticks and brick house we could turn the volume up to really get the benefit of the sound in a movie o football game.  Unfortunately for our neighbors yesterday evening we boomed them out while watching The Dark Knight with its many very loud car racing and crash scenes.  A thunderstorm came along here and we raised the TV volume so we could hear the people talk.  We didn’t know the rain stopped just when one of the loudest scenes came on.  Our neighbor had to knock on our door and ask us to turn it down. She was very nice about it but today we found out our other two neighbors could hear it in their RVs as well.  Twas a learning experience for us for sure.   Roy’s always believed that louder is better and as my ears have gotten older and deafer I find I need it too but we’ll have to have to save the loud action movies for when we’re parked in a pasture and the only thing we’ll disturb is a cow!

Before we close down the resort for the winter the exterior walls on the lodge and all of the decking around each cabin and the lodge need to be re-stained.  Roy started today on the lodge and worked several hours on this.

roy on ladder

My kid’s quest group of about 12 children (two groups of six children) were out and about finding their scavenger hunt items while Roy was staining making him being up on the ladder a tad bit risky.  I tried to stand near him to keep the children away from the ladder and took some pictures of their adventures.  It’s very hard for them to just walk from place to place which you can see in the pictures because they all try fast walking or skipping since I tell them they can’t run.  Next Monday will be our last Scavenger Hunt for the season and I have to say I really loved playing with the children each week and getting to know them.  However that does mean it’s one step closer to us leaving Minnesota and getting to see some more of this beautiful country that God has given us!

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Our son Chip had his little girl this weekend and one of the things they enjoyed together was a movie and another was going to church together Sunday morning.  Here’s two pictures of them enjoying heir time together.  When Chip has Madisyn we get to Skype with her and seeing her growing up through the computer is really great!
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Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear

08.16.13 A fishing we will go, current reading material and our post October 1st plans!

Roy and I decided to take advantage of one of the benefits of working at Northern Lights Resort.  That being able to use of one the resort’s boats for free!  We chose the 60 hp Crestliner.  All of our previous fishing experience has been in the Gulf of Mexico or Lake Ponchatrain or our own little fishing pond on Hinson Road.  There are huge rocks in the lakes up here that make navigating a little interesting to say the least.  We had none of that to deal with in the Louisiana waters.   While you can drive the boats up here at full speed some you have to be always aware of rock dangers which kept me a little on edge.    We went out a ways to some small islands and fished around them.  Roy caught two fish, a Northern Pike and a small mouthed bass.  I brought my kindle and finished up a really good book I’ve been reading and worked on my sun tan.  I’m tanner now than I can remember in years.  It’s so much cooler up here that it’s a pleasure to stay out in the sun so you tan easier. It was 75 degrees at 1 pm today which is perfect in my book!  We filled up the boat with gas when we returned and had only used .727 gallon so you can tell we didn’t go way far away but it was a nice few hours in the sun getting to enjoy God’s beautiful country up here.  Roy didn’t feel like cleaning his fish so he released them.  Before we left to go fishing we set out two big Northern’s to defrost from the freezer.  We enjoyed them and french fries when we returned home after fishing.  Kinda, sorta, a little like, maybe like eating our fresh caught fish.  Well they were delicious anyway.

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Roy catching a Northern Pike
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Roy and I all dressed up like Minnesota Fishermen!
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Roy’s little small mouth bass
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Roy fishing just off shore of Potato Island

I’m working on a 3D Butterfly puzzle right now in our downtime.  We’re heading to International Falls in a little bit to do some shopping and catch a movie.  A new author I’ve discovered is John Gilstrap.  The first books I read of his were the Jonathan Graves Thrillers.  I’d think these are books any guy would love but I found them fascinating and kept ordering them for my Kindle once each one was read. The Jonathan Graves Thrillers are about a privately owned Hostage Rescue Team with connections to the FBI Director and a brilliant computer operator.  They handle rescues that the government wouldn’t be able to because of rules and such governing their actions.  Each one is different and fascinating!  Gilstrap has other books I’ve read that are not part of that series and are fascinating also.

My retirement checks have finally started to come in, tiny as they are.  Beware Louisiana Retirees, if it seems to be taking a long time to get your retirement checks call and check on it.  I waited almost 4 months and it was only when I called did they catch a problem with my checks not being released.  They were very apologetic and made it okay quickly but I got the feeling if I had not called LASERS I would have continued to not get paid.

We now have 47 followers to our blog who get emails when something new is posted.  The blog has had as many as 167 views in one day and as little as 5 in another day!  It’s been enjoyable writing about our adventures and recently I started reading from the beginning of our adventures (all 98 posts).  I’m glad I did this because it’s been comforting to read the progress we’ve made and experience again the things we’ve done along the way.  We don’t plan to do to many other things during our time up here in Minnesota but our time driving back down south should be interesting and make for lots of blog posts!  We’re starting to lay out a driving map of where we want to go when we leave here and are open for suggestions of what to see along the way.  The plan right now is to go down into Iowa, then Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and not sure from there.  We have plans to tour the Winnebago and Fleetwood RV manufacturing plants in Iowa and Indiana but that’s all that’s definite so far.  We do plan to stay a while in each state but want to be near Louisiana for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  That gives us almost 2 months for traveling which should be fine.

Our work week kicks into gear big time tomorrow when most of ya’lls weekend is starting!  Ya’ll enjoy your weekend, and come back now, ya hear!!

08.10.13 Ladies in Pink, the Saints come marching in to Minnesota, Skyping with Madisyn and a dug flower garden!

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GIRLS IN PINK! Beth, Hazel and Rosalyn at our Saturday evening Meet and Greet

Three of us came to the Saturday evening Meet and Greet wearing our pink Northern Lights Resort t-shirts so I asked one of the guys to take our picture and here we are. Worn out and frazzled but we’ve got that smile on our faces!

 

The Saints played Friday evening and surprise, surprise we can’t get Saints games here in Minnesota. I was sitting outside Friday evening wrapped up in a blanket because it was so cold and our son Chip Skyped us on the computer. If you’re not familiar with Skype it is a free way to talk to and see someone on your computer or smart phone using a web camera. Our laptop has a web cam built in and Chip purchased one for his desktop computer. Chip mentioned that the Saints were on his TV and a very wonderful idea came to him. He unplugged his TV from where it was and moved it across the room to where the computer is and faced the TV towards the computer so I could see the TV screen. He found the Saints game and I got to sit outside and enjoy the game on his TV in Hammond thanks to Skype. It was a lot of fun seeing our guys in Black and Gold but as the temperature dropped outside I had to come inside. One of the highlights of the game was our entertainment during commercials provided by Chip’s girlfriend Kimberly’s little boy Braxton. He’s four months old and popped up on the screen giving us some precious entertainment!! You can see Braxton in one of the pictures below.

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Roy taped the game off a satellite feed that came through around noon today so we’re watching it tonight and are quite proud to say The Saints Won!!! I know it’s only preseason but Sean Payton is back and it was wonderful to see the Saints in the Superdome with their Slap Ya Mama red zone or something like that image which was very New Orleans and we loved it!

We were able to Skype with Madisyn twice this weekend since she was staying with her daddy Chip in Hammond.  We enjoyed the face to face visits with her and even took her around the resort by way of the computer and let her meet people and watch kids get launched off the big Rave tower.  She loved that part.  Since it doesn’t look like she’ll get to come here to visit with us we wanted her to see where Grannie and Paw Paw now live.  Found out that she cut her hair recently which is exactly what her daddy Chip did when he was about her age.  He got a buzz cut and she got her hair shortened to fix it!madisyn black and white madisyn in pigtails

The guys are outside working on the septic pump right outside our RV.  It has a problem and along with not smelling so great outside right now unfortunately all of my plants and tomato plants were planted on top.  It’s a new pump so we figured we were safe but now that all the plants have filled out and the tomato bushes are huge and producing tomatoes we had to start digging.  We’ve been able to leave the tomato plants there since they were off to the side of the pump but are not sure they will be able to stay there.

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The garden after all the plants were dug up and the dirt and rocks were removed to get to the septic pump.
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The plants that were dug up and are now waiting for a new home.

Ya’ll come back now ya’ hear!

08.06.13 Ice fishing 2 bedroom houses, Glenn and Hazel, Happy Birthday Donna!

I met a lady today at the resort who lives in northern Minnesota.  She told me about what all they do up here during the winter and the snow is so deep and the lakes have three feet or more of ice on them.  I’ve seen in movies pictures of these little tiny shacks that are on top of the ice and the fisherman are huddled around a hole in the ice fishing. She said that she and her husband have a fishing house that has two full bedrooms with queen size beds in them, television (with a satellite dish) and a living room and kitchen that they keep in a lot by the lake and when the ice gets at least a foot deep they move it out on the lake and go there at least 4 days a week to fish and stay out there.  They have holes already cut into the floor and they just cut the hole in the ice directly below that.  She’s in an area with several other houses and one of the owners has a plane that he flies on the lake and lands the plane.  I had to share this because it goes so contrary to the ice fishing shack I saw in movies.

Our new co-workcampers are very nice and are settling in well.  Their names are Glenn and Hazel and they have been workcamping the last six summers and spending the winters at their home in Oklahoma.  In April they started RVing full time and I think they are around our age.  She was telling me today about  their workcamping jobs in Alaska that sounded pretty nice.  They have a Montana Fifth Wheeler that is parked next to us and they have a Chihuahua named Coco.  Their arrival allowed our work schedule to go back to working four shorter days and being off three days. While it was nice to be off four days the two 14 hour days were very tiring.  Also on Saturdays I don’t work 4-8 in the evening, just 4-7 and while that may not sound like much, I don’t have to do the clean up and it allowed me to be sound asleep at 9 pm and ready to head off to early Worship Service on Sundays without feeling like I was still in a coma from the hard work Saturdays.  It also helped us get finished the cabins faster on Saturday morning.  They hired two high school guys to come in and make all 65 beds before we clean each cabin and that saved us some time and a lot of stretching and working.  I really appreciate the extra help on Saturdays so the day isn’t quite as grueling as it was!  Hazel and I both work Monday and Tuesday and have some time that overlaps between our shifts and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know her and hearing about their travels and experiences.  They were going to the Methodist church we go to and are also Baptists.  How nice it is to have someone to talk to about God and the Bible!

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This is Hazel
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This is Glenn

Roy is out on the lake fishing on the hydro-bike right now.  Hope he brings home some fish for supper!

My amazingly wonderful ex-boss and dear friend Donna Methvien is celebrating her birthday today and I want to say a very big HAPPY BIRTHDAY DONNA! to her.  Birthdays in our office always meant the girls getting together to enjoy a special dessert or cookie cake in her office but this year they are celebrating without me 😦  I hope her day is as special as she is!

Ya’ll come back now ya’ hear!