Tuesday, April 28, 2015

March into April...almost May!

     Oh my....where did the months go?  Life at a resort gets busy sometimes!  Life anywhere gets busy!  Perhaps we had nothing exciting to report?  Well...now we do!    The resort season will begin in 10 days and there's a lot going on these days....
     We had 4 visitors for a week before Easter...and we put them to work!  Is this child labor?  We hope not!  We just had a few acres of leaves to be raked...they were slow but we got it done!

     Resort work was going along pretty well until this hit last week....
We slowed down a little...and the snow didn't last long!  Guess we put the patio furniture out a little too early!
We continued our work inside and got the lodge cleaned and ready for the season... 
 Once the fryer is moved back into the kitchen, cooking in the lodge can't be far away!

One of our spring duties involves walking a 2 mile section and picking up the ditches....now this involves 3 different days of walking up and down and into the ditch to pick up all the litter dropped by crazy people!  Scary, but most of the litter picked up is beer cans!  Calvin came along on the last night and we did a nice job of getting his allergies flared but good!  He survived and we all had a good time!

Guests...take note of this new store open in Bemidji!  Believe it or not, I have only been there once...but I'll do my best to scout it out for all of you!

We celebrated Calvin's birthday last weekend...he's 11 and not the oldest grandchild!

Here he is with his oldest cousin...Will...before their big concert in Bemidji...I even got to go...the Newsboys...it was an awesome concert!
We were on our feet most of the night jumping, swaying, clapping and hands in the air...praising God with this amazing group!  Thanks for taking me, boys!

Progress continues at the resort on the Cedar Rapids Lodge mansion in the woods!  It's a little big for the two of us...and we're a couple of years from inhabiting it...but it will be fun!
Here's the view out the master bedroom to the lake...

Here's a peek at the master shower...pretty fancy!

 Kurt thought we needed some timber beams in the great room...and they are really cool!

 Here's a view of the road side...front of the house.  It can easily sleep 15 if needed!

Here's a lakeside view of the house & garage...still waiting for the deck and grading in the yard!

It was a beautiful evening tonight...we sat on the dock and watched a pair of loons coming into the shallows...a relaxing end to a busy day!

 Another view of the sunset tonight!

 In just 10 short days, we will greet our first guests and open the doors of the resort for the 2015 season!  We are excited...again...for our 28th year at this beautiful place!  We look forward to summer days like this...

And we love fish pictures!  This is my Dad several years ago with his big bass!  He had so much fun catching it...I miss this guy something terrible!  His birthday is next month...he's been gone 14 years and it doesn't seem possible!  I know he would have loved all our grandkids and they would have loved him!
 Memories....that's what we're famous for at the resort!  In 28 years, we have so many memories...and we look forward to another year of memories...with wonderful friends and family who will come and share their vacation with us this year!
Don't you need a vacation??


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Mid-Winter Highlights

February is almost over...not much news in the winter...but here's some updated photos of the house and other projects we're working on this winter!
The siding is done on 3 sides of the house...this is an evening photo with scaffolding set while the drywall was finished...

The kitchen area with drywall up...the ceiling and the triangle will be pine...

The living room area...wood ceiling and wood wall of windows...rest of room is drywall.

Basement with stairway...large dorm room behind the stairs...should hold 6-8 twin beds!

Windows in basement on lakeside...will be pine...rest of room is drywall.

This area is opposite the windows and will be a second kitchen area.

Our resort association had a second sign-painting class in February...lots of creative juices flowing for a day...here's some of the fun stuff we made...

 Our church ladies had a baby shower for our pastor's daughter...she lives in Iowa and could not be there, so we made do...we used a baby doll, wrapped it up and taped a picture of Baby Grace on the doll...pretty good, huh?  A fun day!  Here's grandma holding her "granddaughter"!!

And here's a couple of blankies I made for the occasion!

I've also been sewing infinity scarves for summer sales in the lodge!  They are so cozy!

The new clothes are starting to arrive...my handsome, skinny son-in-law is modeling the new hooded pullover with camouflage lettering and trim...
More clothes coming soon!

We drove to IL in January to visit Steve's Dad and our siblings...we took John & Steve's sister to the Chanticleer for dinner one night...a blast from the past!  We lived near this restaurant for 13 years in IL and loved these onion rings!
Oh my...a real diet buster, but probably had not eaten them since 1987!!

We spent a lot of time with Steve's Dad and he is looking forward to coming up again this summer for an extended stay!
I think he's the easiest person in the world to live with!  He's 94 and so spunky!  He was so excited to go to dinner that he had to put on his tie!  Love him!

My Dad's sister, Aunt Pat, passed away while we were traveling to IL, so we were able to attend her funeral and visit with lots of cousins we had not seen for many years!  There were over 40 grandchildren in my Dad's family...and almost every family was represented!  3 of my siblings were there, so we had to take a pix!  Dave, me, Lisa and John...we had a great time celebrating Aunt Pat's life!

Our hometown of Washington, IL, was hit by a tornado in November 2013...the last house our parents lived in was destroyed and it was very comforting to see it rebuilt again!  A young family will call it home!

 My only sister lives in Mongolia...they were home on furlough for a few months, so we got to spend time together during our visit to IL!
We shopped, talked, had coffee, talked, cried...we don't like saying goodbye...so we sort of didn't!  She's back in Mongolia now and I'm back in Minnesota...we treasure the time we spend together!  I think our goal is to end up together in the same "home" in old age so we never have to say goodbye!!  She's the best!
She took me to Olive Garden for lunch one day...so I think of her and our fun times when I make this soup...
Zuppa Toscana soup...so good!  A comfort food and now a reminder of my fun visit with my sis!

We have lived with Minnesota winters for 27 years...every single year has been different!  Some winters we get 100"+ of snow...other winters half that much.  Some winters have been so cold that electric lines snap underground and we wait several hours for the power to go back on...this winter has been very cold with little snow...probably the least we can remember in previous years!  I hesitate to share this news...March is not here yet and it can be the snowiest month of the winter!  Bring it on!  I still have some sewing projects to finish before spring work!

About vacations in 2015....do you have one planned?  If not, we have some great cabins still open for the summer season!  Check out our website HERE, click on cabin availability and let us know if we can help you!  If you have kids or grandkids, they will have an awesome vacation...and you will have the best time watching them!  Our season begins in mid-May and ends in October, so come spend a week with us!  It could be the best vacation of 2015!!

The outdoor calendar says that wolf mating season is starting today(how do they know?)
Let the howling begin!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

2015...New Year....New House!

       So....this is the new project at Cedar Rapids Lodge!!  We started with a foundation in the summer of 2014 and now it's January 2015 and a lot has changed since the concrete trucks pulled in!  This is the view of the lakeside of the house...standing on the frozen shoreline!  There will be a deck off the main level and a patio on the ground floor/basement area.
        Our contractor and crew have worked...on and off...this fall and winter to reach our goal of completion by summer of 2015!  We think there might be a family group...or two...who are looking for a vacation spot for their family reunion in 2015.
       This is the front view of the garage...Kurt is a detail guy and really wanted this overhang on the garage...to break up the wall.  He's our carpenter for the resort...we knew him when he wasn't famous and so much in demand!  So now we have to share him and sometimes wait for him!!
        Here's some recent highlights in the house...it's a 4 bedroom, 3 1/2 bath, with a 4 season porch and a bonus room above the garage...dream sewing room!
The living room wall of windows overlooking the lake...this wall will be wood as well as the ceiling.
The other end of this room is the kitchen area...Steve and Mark are drawing up the cupboards...yes, I'm there supervising!
 This is the wall above the kitchen...it will be a wood wall with wood ceiling in the living area.
 This is the porch area off the living room...it will have wood whitewashed walls.
 We had the spray insulation put into the house wherever possible.  It will make a huge difference in heating and cooling the house!
The open stairway to the basement...I think I'll opt for a different railing!
This is the stairway from the basement view...going up to the main level.
 The "room" under the stairs...any ideas??  Reading nook?  Game area for kids?
 The basement dorm room that will hold 6-8 twin beds.
The loft room above the garage...600 square feet!
That's the progress thru mid-January 2015.  The guys have worked outside in -20 temps, putting up siding and trim...
The drywall is hung...the mud and taping guys will come in the next week or two...then we can start painting!
More pictures to come! 
We decided to drive out on the lake today to see what the house looked like from afar...sitting on public access, driving onto the lake...a first for me in the truck!!
And here's a view of the house from a snowy day on the lake!  Wow!
If you are coming this summer, we'll give you the grand tour while you're here.  If you know a family that might be interested in renting the house, share this with them!  
We still have some great cabins open for the spring, summer and fall...let us know if we can share your vacation with you!!  It's a vacation that will provide memories for many years to come!
Happy 2015!!