Aug 27, 2015

Camping In August Sucks

8/27/2015 — cori
Six months ago some friends asked us to go camping with them Up North. We told them we'd love to but warned them of the Mallott Camping Rain Curse. They told us not to worry. They would cancel out our bad luck. They've been to this location every year for 8 years and it would be fine. They didn't seem to understand our incessant bad luck while camping here in Minnesota. Oh well, we figured we'll just wait and see. If you pick mid-August to go camping, you should be guaranteed heat and sun. Not in Minnesota.

A tiny little Arctic Blast decided to swoop it's way down on the exact day we headed out for our latest camping adventure. Imagine that?! We've had gorgeous weather the past several weeks, but on the third week of August, all beauty left and was replaced with Old Man Winter reaching his crooked, ugly claws into our highly anticipated camping weekend.

The day we left to drive the 3 hours north the expected high was 55. In August!!! I don't think it ever really made it to 55. Also, we had a 25 mile an hour wind gust to deal with. Oh, and it was a lovely shade of gray all day long. Windy, cold and gray just makes things feel even colder. I tried to stay optimistic, I really did. I even came up with a list of three things to be thankful about:

1. there are no mosquitos when it's this cold
2. sunsets are usually pretty with this much cloud cover
3. we're together

See...I tried. To make matters even worse, there wasn't even one teeny tiny hiking trail to be found. Not a one. We are hikers. Big time. *Big Sigh*. Oh well. After setting up camp, we walked over to our friend's campsite and all sat in their pop-up which had heat. Forget a campfire, we need propane!

Technically it was nicer the next day. The sun came out. Woo-hoo! But it wasn't necessarily warmer. And the wind was still going strong. This second day we planned to go out on the pontoon boat and fish. Actually, that was supposed to be the plan for the first day and the second day we were supposed to get a speed boat and water-ski. This was an activity I was especially looking forward to being that I've never been water-skiing. But the water apparently had just thawed out from this past winter and was un-swimmable unless you had on a wet suit or are native to this region.

COLD was the theme of this whole disastrous adventure. On the third day we woke up to 38 degrees. We don't have heat in our tents. Nor did we bring winter coats. However, as we packed up to go home, it was warming up nicely. By time we left it was a balmy 70 degrees out. We just have the worst luck ever.

Like I said, awesome sunset. There will be alot of these since I'm trying to stay positive.

I stayed on the dock for a long time soaking it all in. This was my happy place. 

All the cold seemed to melt as I stood here gazing at the heavens with a smile on my face.
There are another 30 sunset pictures on my camera. You're lucky I only posted 3.

The campsite. It was nice and large.

Chloe also took advantage of the sunset with me.

Bennett climbed a tree at sunset

Chloe and I took a selfie at sunset. 

Sitting around the campfire at sunset. (Notice the 'sunset' theme yet?)
Those with shorts on and short sleeves were just plain crazy.

Day Two on the pontoon

Gavin's first ever fish. No, he didn't catch it with his bare hands.
He used a fishing pole and bait. He says he'll never fish again though.

Bennett getting a lesson from Dad on how to cast.
He called his fishing pole his Fish Stick. Only Bennett.

Apparently his fish stick worked great because he caught the biggest fish of everyone.
He caught a Rock Bass. I guess you don't eat these fish because we threw everyone of them back.

Chloe's first ever fish. You can tell she's not so sure about it. She also said she'll 
probably never fish again. She feels bad about putting a hole in the fish's mouth.

The obligatory flower photo. I'm drawn to sunsets and flowers. I can't help it. I love beauty 
and this is where I find it. Unfortunately, I don't find fish beautiful.

Chuck and Gavin way up in the perfect climbing tree.

Finally Making Progress

8/27/2015 — cori
You would think we have been on hiatus from our bathroom remodel project being that I haven't posted nary a picture in over 3 months. And you would be correct. When the sun is out and it is hot, we are outside. All other priorities are trumped by the sun. We take advantage of any and all time we can get outdoors where we can feel hot or warmish because it is such a rarity.

However, all is not lost on the bathroom front. Luckily for the bathroom, we've had several rainy weekends and have been more or less forced in doors. Not that we haven't been working on it here or there over the summer, but it's just not anything to write home about. Who wants to see pictures of cement board being put up over studs? Who wants to see Chuck agonizing on the garage floor as he painstakingly cuts each board with a razor blade. There might be more appropriate tools to use to speed up this process.  If there were - we didn't know about them. So, since this part of the job was about as much fun as getting your wisdom teeth pulled out, we kinda procrastinated just a wee bit.

But alas, it is done and the water-proof material has been layered on top of that. Now the real fun has begun. But before we could do most of the real fun, we had to do alot of math. Think of our shower stall as one big jigsaw puzzle. It took so much measuring for us to figure out where to start the tiles and in what order. No one told us all this math would be necessary in order to have a beautiful bathroom. But we persevered and made it through to the other side.

Chuck is letting me do most of the tiling since his hand is still tired from cutting all the cement board. Plus, he realized I'm actually good at that. My days of only being the helper are apparently over. I'm a legitimate tiler now. I feel so much more accomplished rather than only being sent to get the tape measure or the level or tape off the doorway in plastic.

Chuck is more the details kind of guy. Therefore, he does the small stuff well. I'm more of a big picture kinda girl...thus, being allowed to do the big tiles and the overall design of the room suits me best. We're quite the team. At this rate, I bet we'll be done by October. Need I remind anyone that that is the original date I set for project completion? Ms. Big Picture forsaw the whole summer hiatus thing happening and adjusted her expectations accordingly. I'm just sayin'.

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