Living the Dream

This morning’s post begged Mother Nature to knock it off with the crazy weather. I ran to town late morning to drop off my recycling, wash my car and get coffee. It was crazy in town! Lots of cars and lots of people. (Weather kept them off the lake til after lunch) I decided it was best to lay low at home for the afternoon given the chaos.

Fast forward to 6pm. I had been looking forward to listing to a local group play at the brewery. Thus, I ventured back into town. The weather is gorgeous tonight. Patrons spill out onto the deck and the sidewalk. Locals being lawn chairs and pull up a seat in the street. Having a cold one and enjoying both the music and the scene.

This is what makes living in a tourist town worth it. Never mind the cussing earlier about the traffic – cars and pedestrians everywhere slowing things down. Now I want it to slow down – enjoy the weather, the food, the beer and the people watching.

I could use a few more days like this…but as time flies, tomorrow is Labor Day. The official end of summer.

Living Life

Small town living is different than the city life I lived for more than 40 years. First, when you want to go “out” you should plan on 30-60 minutes just for driving. Everything is spread out in small towns around lakes.

I’m used to a lively night life and you can always find something to do. Here is takes more effort to find things and you have to plan ahead. That being said there are many upsides – like the food and entertainment in the summer. I had a local draft brew with my pail of steamed muscles and crusty bread (for dipping my in the garlic butter sauce). Now I’m sitting on a bench enjoying live music outside the brewery.

Because we have such a high influx of tourists in the summer there is a lot of randomness – dancing in the street, couples on park benches enjoying ice cream, classic cars in the streets, shops and boutiques that close whenever the last customer steps out and that might be an hour later than what the sign says.

Loving the new pace of life!


I consider myself a little old school. I learned the values of hard work and you don’t get anything for free. I grew up in the “give them the shirt off your back” environment where everyone pitched in, rolled up their sleeves, and helped (in some way, shape, or form).

Fast forward to today’s fast moving world where you feel double booked all the time and everything requires a 30 minute drive to get there. Today I reflected on mediocrity. While I cringe at anything done half-assed there are times when “just enough” has to work just to keep things moving (and I hate that feeling). For example, I have had dishes in my sink for three days. I would put them in the dishwasher but that is full of clean dishes. The house needs to be vacuumed, lawn work to do, laundry to do, dusting for sure to do, wash jars for canning and more. However, the weather was fabulous last evening and perfect for laying stone. So what of those things got done? None of it. I laid stone. The available time I had left after that was spent scratching mud (have to let the mortar set up), showering and grabbing a bite to eat. Then it’s time to get some sleep and prepare for the next day at work. The cycle continues. For me just doing enough to get by in certain areas of life is becoming a regular part of my summer. Until this project is finished I have to be okay with just doing enough to get by. I can clean inside when it rains.


This spring I tried diligently to find a contractor willing to give me a quote for labor on a large shop project on our property. It is a DIY project that got sidetracked and our physical resources got allocated elsewhere. After much searching, calling and conversations I got a quote. It was a bit higher than I was looking to spend but in my mind worth it to advance our project along.

That was about two months ago and little has happened in the way of progress. At least until about a week ago when I awoke at 7am on a Sunday to noise outside only two find a couple snappy young fellas working on the roof. Apparently the contractor subbed out some of the work. Hmmm.

Fast forward a week. My roof is done (except for where Menards shorted me materials) and the fellas have now offered to the contractor that they could do the rest of the work. In the mean time I’ve asked the two boys for a few other project quotes. It looks like I could get lots more done than I had imagined. Suddenly things are moving along.

The stone work is still a DIY and we are also cruising thanks to really good weather. The look of progress this past week has come in many forms. The “lawn” is getting bailed, the inside of the shop can now stay dry and the stone is going on. I’m happy.


Some days there just isn’t enough coffee.

The weather has been interesting the past few months. It seems like we are dealing with the threat of severe weather about once a week. I haven’t lived in my home long enough to figure out all the sights and sounds and having as many windows as I do creates a certain amount of anxiety every time we have a weather warning. Each time we get an evening or late night thunderstorm warning I tend to not sleep well. The threat of high winds and hail creates a sense of uneasiness and the fear of broken glass and damage to my home.

Of course it never seems to occur on a Friday or Saturday night but on evenings before a work day. I am not a morning person at all and mornings are rough when you don’t get a good night sleep. I find myself stopping for caffeinated beverages most mornings and usually requesting an extra shot of espresso.

While this wouldn’t seem like that big of a deal the high influx of caffeine has also created some heartburn. That’s no fun. I am finding it tricky to strike a balance between total alertness and just fully functioning. I think I need more water…

Under Water

We struggled with wet weather last summer while trying to get our shop up. Now I am dealing with the same issue while trying to get it finished. We have not had a decent dry stretch of working weather for weeks. My driveway is a mud hole. The contractor I hired hasn’t even started although the mental effort is there. He started to bring out some of his equipment. Even my attempt to get stone laid on the front has been hampered by the weather. The only decent two days we had in the past few weeks had the heat index into the 100s. Not ideal for working outside in Minnesota.

We aren’t talking about an occasional shower either. I’ve been dumping my rain gauge each time at the inches mark (yes, plural). Last weekend I had 6″ in one 24 hour period. Yesterday was 1.75″ and it rained overnight and has continued now into midday. I’ll be checking it again shortly.

I guess that means I’m supposed to work on something else. I would rather be outside doing physical labor. I can’t possibly mow my lawn so today will be spent doing some sewing and hem repair on a few clothing items, cleaning bathrooms, washing sheets, meal prep for the week, and catching up on some work. I foresee vinyl records turning in my future.

Give me a break! #EnoughAlready