Too Many Mosquitos for Photos

Pretty much had the day to play today so, while Dave was off on the bike, I took the Wee Beastie out for a bit of a run.

I headed out to Cass Lake, which is indeed a lake and a town.  Located in Cass County, MN, the town is within the boundaries of the Leech Lake Indian Reservation, the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. I stopped at the rest area just on the other side of Cass Lake (the town) that overlooks Cass Lake (the lake) and, although I could have gotten a couple of good photos from viewing points there, I didn’t.  Why?  Well, because as soon as I parked, the car was pretty much swarmed by mosquitos and what appeared to be smallish mayflies.  Yep, you get that out by the lakes in Spring/Summer here. 

Cass Lake (the lake) is rather picturesque, as seen from U.S. Hwy 2.

Today has been the first day we’ve had sunshine in … well … quite a few days, and the high was in the mid (?) 60s.  Nice!  This was the first time I’ve had Wee Beastie out on a highway, and I’m pleased with WB’s performance.  I even opened the solid cover of the sunroof and enjoyed the sunshine. 

Next time out, I think I’ll take that same route to Cass Lake, a bit more down Hwy 2 to Scenic Hwy 39 North, through Chippewa National Forest up to Blackduck (a town), and then head back home via US-71.  That should make a nice loop.

Still, I enjoyed my wee road trip and finally got to see what Wee Beastie will do performance-wise.

Once back in town, I stopped off at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore to see what they have.  Still looking for the odd bit of furniture, etc.  Never know what’s going to show up in a secondhand place and prowling through is always fun.  Didn’t come across anything, but at least I’ve been there.  I kept missing the days/hours they are open lately, and it was a fun stop.

With all the rain and the trees doing their annual “dusting dance,” Wee Beastie needed a bath. 

Car wash 05242017

Sort of patriotic with the red, white and blue

The truck was so big I always hand washed it, so I hadn’t been in a car wash in close to 10 years.  What a hoot! 

We opted not to attend the community fish fry, enjoying a chicken stir-fry here at home.  We can see the big tent set up for the event from our front porch and, in fact, had been commenting on that for a couple of days.  It finally dawned on me yesterday it is over by the Paul Bunyan Communications building (which we can see from here but I didn’t realize it until now) and that’s what it is!

Fish fry 05242017

If you really look, you can see cars parked along the road across from the big white tent.

Small town, yes?  That, along with the fact that we’re on this side of town and there’s really no obstructions to our views.

Tomorrow we’re back to work, so we’re just enjoying the last evening of our weekend.

Thanks for stopping by!  Be safe out there, okay?

“Friendship between two persons depends upon the patience of one.”  –  Native American proverb

 

 

 

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Officially Minnesotan

I can’t say that I have anything earth-shattering to share today.   We continue to give our new life a few tweaks here and there. 

I’m officially an Minnesota resident!  Woot-woot!  Last week I got myself down to the driver’s license exam office, took and passed my written exam.  That’s one more thing accomplished.  It was a bit nerve-wracking.  I mean, after all, I’ve been driving 40+ years, have driven coast-to-coast, north-to-south borders, in major cities like LA, Houston, Atlanta, etc., and towed our RV for 7 years with no mishaps.  Well, ya do what ya gotta do, so I just went and did it. 

Living room evening

The drapery hardware over the window on the left was not working properly, but one of the maintenance guys brought a replacement.  Now we can actually open and close the drapes on that window.  Yay!  Thank goodness for that. 

Lake by Sanford Center 05102017

We stopped by the South Shore area of Lake Bemidji last weekend while out toodling around.  Yes, it was pretty darn chilly and windy.  There’s a concession building of some sort behind us which you can’t see; I think it will be opening pretty soon, as the official start of the fishing season was this past Saturday.   This is down by the Sanford Center, which is our civic center here.   What you also can’t see in the photo is the bike station off to the left.  The station has an air pump and some of the stations have tool kits.  Cycling is huge here in Minnesota. 

Cycling the loop around Lake Bemidji is quite popular.  You can read about that here.

Some days we feel like we should pinch ourselves, that we’re really here.   At times during the dreaming/planning stages of this lifestyle change, we wondered if it were really going to be possible.  So far, we feel we made the right decision at the right time to make this jump.  I feel more that way about the car, the Wee Beastie,  (Ford Edge Sport) after having The Beast (Ford F-350) as part of our lives for so long.  The Beast sure was a great truck, but I am enjoying Wee Beastie.  Prowling around, exploring and parking are so much easier with WB, and it sure is a fun car to drive!

Our weekends now are relaxed.  There are no maintenance chores to be done, such as flushing the hot water heater, etc.  When the wind is howling, there are no slide toppers flapping accompanied by the concern that something might rip.  You get the idea. 

Seems like we have the time and energy to do a bit of exploring as above, to just chill out in our recliners watching a program on Netflix and to even doze a bit. 

Speaking of Netflix, we have been watching Shetland, and will wrap up the current series tonight.  It’s an excellent police drama, better than I expected.  Even if you’re not into the story, the scenery is worth taking a look at the program.

Lake 2 05172017

View of the lake today. How cool to be able to stop by the lake while out running an errand. Literally cool today again, in the 50s, misting rain and a bit breezy.  #smalltownlife #minnesotalife

Our communications company is a cooperative and next week is the annual meeting and Cooperative Celebration.  The fire department and a local grocery store are putting on a fish fry, and there will be entertainment for both young and old.  We’re contemplating attending, as we are members via having our internet service with the company.  Yeah, I know.  I can’t really believe it, either.  Us? At a community event?  We’ll see how things pan out, whether or not we go.

We’re still trying to get over to see my uncle, but either weather or colds (yeah, we’ve both got one) have been delaying that day trip.  It will be a nice run for the Wee Beastie and, who knows?  We might even sneak in a burger at the Thirsty Moose, which was a fave of ours when we lived in Hibbing.  Burger?  Pizza?  Decisions, decisions!  

Speaking of food, I want to make up some sausage kolaches and then it will be about time to put together the steak bridies for our dinner tonight.  The other nice thing about our life now is that it is cooler.  We’re running in the 50s-60s while Texas is heating up in the upper 80s-low 90s.  It’s cool enough here that cooking is actually a pleasure and, hence, I tend to think up more things to prepare – real meals again like when we were in Jersey.

My body really appreciates the cooler climate, and I feel much better. 

Ciao for now!

Thanks for stopping by!  Stay safe out there, okay?

“Let the person I serve express his thanks according to his own brining up and his sense of humor.” – Ohiyesa (Charles Eastman),Santee Sioux,1858-1939

A Month Ago …

A month ago, we were kickin’ back in a nice hotel in Fargo, ND for our last night on the road to our new home and town.  A month already!

Interesting how quickly one acclimates to not living in an RV.  There were a few times at first when taking a shower or at the kitchen sink, I’d have the fleeting thought, “Hmmm, maybe I better empty the tank.”  Crazy, eh? 

Transitioning from one lifestyle to another, any lifestyle, combined with making a life in a new town can leave one with a sense of displacement, if you will.  Thankfully, I’m not suffering from that feeling.  I do know there are friends in Texas I will never see again, and that tugs at my heart. 

I seem to have the ability to make wherever I am feel like home.  Perhaps it’s being exposed to the RV life beginning as a babe in arms.  Perhaps it’s having relocated several times during my adult years.  Heck, perhaps I’m good at “nesting.”  Perhaps wherever Dave and I am together, that’s home.

Tomorrow will be a month since our arrival, and it seems in some ways as if we’ve been here for years.  Doesn’t feel strange at all.  College Station was bewildering to me with so much traffic, so many businesses, endless buildings one after another … I hated going anywhere and, therefore, ventured out only when necessary.

I towed our rig all over the country and loved it, but going out in a bigger city … no thanks.

Here is completely different.  Landmarks are readily available.  Streets are laid out logically.  There’s not so much traffic that you can’t see around you.  You get the idea.

Back to nesting …

Living room 05062017

Front section of living room

The basics are in the living room, along with 3 bicycles that aren’t in the photo.  There’s some things still on the floor, awaiting acquisition of another bookcase/cabinet/whatever.  My hoop drums are in those bags; the drums will be hung on the walls, but just not sure where yet.  The bikes … well, the bikes will have to stay where they are until we get a garage.  We have the basics for now, and it’s rather cozy.  Area rug, perhaps a small sofa or loveseat at some point, some type of bookcase/cabinet, hanging pictures/whatever for that loooong wall the living room to the right in the photo … those things will come.

Walk 05040271

Walking road

Took my first walk a few days ago, along the road that we see from our porch.  That’s the hospital in the distance on the right, including the medivac chopper that just took off.  It has an excellent sidewalk; up and down 2.5 times and I’ve logged my 2 miles.  Not much traffic, and I walk right by the hospital in case I were to keel over for some reason. Ha!  Quite a few folks have the same idea, as this is a popular walking route.

Last Wednesday (our “Sunday”), we ventured forth to Mi Rancho, the (only) Mexican restaurant in town.  I hear you asking, “What?  You went to eat Mexican food in Minnesota??  I know, I know.  I, too, was skeptical.  Extremely skeptical.  They boast as serving “authentic” Mexican food.  Yeah, right.

All I can say is …

OH MY GOD.

This Texas gal had some of the best Mexican food she’s put a fork to!  Not exactly Tex-Mex, but leaning more towards the “authentic.”  I’ve had both, living throughout Texas, including El Paso, where I’ve enjoyed meals over the Juarez, albeit years ago.  I was totally surprised.  Cute décor, clean establishment, warm chips, excellent service, and food served on a “don’t touch it, it’s hot” plate at a decent price, especially when you have leftovers for a meal the next day.  We both gave it thumbs up, and we’ll go back.

Yeah, blew my mind, too.  Minnesota, of all places.  Northern Minnesota, at that.

We’re coming up on our weekend starting tomorrow with no concrete plans, although I do have a few errands to run sometime during our two days off.  The weather is looking good with highs in the mid to lower 60s, so I imagine Dave will get in some bike time.  We’re sure enjoying the relief of being out of the heat of Texas!

Thanks for stopping by!  Be safe out there, okay?

“It has come to me through the bushes that you are not yet all united; take time and become united.”  –  Big Bear

 

 

 

 

All Before Two in the Afternoon

If you know me, you know I’ve never been a morning person.  Well, only if I happen to wake up naturally.

My body seems to be happier here, and most mornings I feel pretty darn good.  Today was no exception, and I was out toodling around town well before noon.  I had a list of errands.  I was on a quest of sorts.

I’m still looking for a couple of things for our new place.  Okay, three things at the moment:  1) a bench – storage or not – for our entryway where we take off our shoes.  Right now one of our camp chairs has this duty, but we’d like to retire it to the porch and put something more fitting in its place.  2)  What I’m calling a shadowbox for my collection of healing rocks.  They were displayed this way on a wall in my Brenham home, and I’m waiting to take them out of their jewelry bag until I find just the right thing.  3)  A set of coasters.

So.  My errands accomplished in about 2 hours’ time were:  1) checked out the local meat market; 2) stopped by the liquor store for beer; 3) leisurely went through 2 resale shops downtown and then an antiques store I just happened upon; 4) Walmart; and 5) grocery store.

It’s grand to live in a place where there are places I actually want to check out and then to be able to get to them with ease and without directions and encounter minimal traffic.  Whereas I literally used to dread going even for groceries nearby in College Station, I look forward to getting out and exploring where we are now.

This is made even easier since we now have a much smaller vehicle.  There’s quite a big difference between parking the Edge and finding adequate parking for a 1-ton pickup!

I laughed at myself the other day as I was entering our community after running an errand.  My tunes were playing in the car ( not exactly quietly but the windows were rolled up), and I thought … “How funny to be listening to Lady Gaga as I arrive to my home in a senior community.”  Okay, I giggled at myself.  I don’t feel  like a senior citizen, but the birthdate on my driver’s license begs to differ.

No photos to share this time.  I’ve been up to my eyeballs with work, taking care of routine personal business and items related to our relocation.  We’re doing well, and enjoying the first day of our weekend this week.

Thanks for stopping by!

“We like our religion, and do not want another.”  –  Red Jacket (Sagoyewatha), Seneca, 1811

Blogland Seems Quieter …

When I started blogging about our adventures as full-time RVers, there were so many others out there.  Some were veterans and some were new to the life like us.  I was a pretty active contributor to “Blogland” for years, not only writing my own posts but following along with the lives of others doing the same.  One gets to feel you “know” others through reading their posts and mutual comments back and forth on each others’ sites. We even had the pleasure of meeting Phyllis and Leonard (My Own Highways in My Mind) while in New Jersey.  It does become a community of sorts, albeit mostly virtual.

The number of blogs I followed regularly has thinned out a bit, their voices becoming less frequent or altogether silent.  I know some have put down roots, either selling their RV as we did or using it for shorter journeys.  I have no idea what has happened to others; they simply stopped blogging.  I rarely posted from about 2014 until now; there really wasn’t anything to contribute with our being stationary in a park and with our life schedules.  

Anyhoo, my thoughts turn now and then to those who have drifted off into the mist of “Blogland.”

Sherry (In the Direction of Our Dreams), you asked about the garages here.

Detached garages

Some of the detached garages in our cul-de-sac

It’s not that we’re waiting for them to be built; we’re waiting for one to become vacant.  Most of the townhomes do not have a garage, but you can get one of these detached ones when they are available.  I mentioned in my last post, there was one when we put down our deposit (while still in Texas), but I didn’t anticipate downsizing our truck 2 days after our arrival.  Ha!  Silly me.  There are a few townhomes that have an attached garage, but the rent is quite a bit more and those naturally face into the parking lot.  We like our privacy, being on the back side of our 4-plex and overlooking the fields, etc.  Check back with me on that in January!

While we’re talking Minnesota, Winter, and living in both those …

Minnesota fire hydrant

 That stick is so the fire hydrant can be found in the snow.

Funny … we have relocated literally across this great nation of ours, leaving my native Texas where we had friends.  You might think I’d be “homesick” or feeling displaced a bit.  Not so at all.  This just feels like … home.  Home is not wood, mortar and bricks.  It’s … well … it’s wherever we choose to make our home.

A friend once remarked when visiting my hotel room during the solo trip I made years ago back to Texas from, interestingly, Minnesota – that I could be in a hotel room for 5 minutes and it looked like my home.  Yeah, I had a photo of me and Dave, etc.  Did the same thing during a hospital stay in New Jersey during 2012.  It was a scheduled stay, so I took my laptop, a fave blanket from a friend, and a couple of other things that give me comfort and strength.  The nurses said it looked like an apartment and not a hospital room.

It’s about having those wee things … that blanket from a friend, a special photo, or whatever … that bring a sense of grounding, peace, strength and comfort.

Well, I finished working a while ago and Dave is working late, so I’ve had this chance to visit with you a bit.  He’ll be heading home soon, so I’ll say ciao for now!

Thanks for stopping by!  Be safe out there!

“Together the two paths form a north-south road, the good Red Road.  This is your spiritual path, the one where you will be happiest.” – Medicine Hawk, Council Chief of the Shadowlight Medicine Clan