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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

Cheap Labor

I'll tell ya right now . . . if you read both this blog & Mama Pea's, you're gonna see some repetition.  Matter of fact, you're even gonna see some of the same exact pictures.  Between both of our cameras, we were snapping pictures all day long.  But, how many images do you think were on mine when I downloaded them tonight?  One.  Yep, one.  (Obviously, I kept grabbing yours, Mom!)

Anyway . . . .

At some point in the busyness of the last couple of weeks, my folks and I set up today as a day they would come out to Swamp River Ridge to help with some miscellaneous chores, etc.  (Although, I noticed that Mom was foolish enough to actually bring her knitting along.  Silly, silly woman!)

They helped me put Christmas decorations (yes, I know!) away and take Easter decorations down.  (And, yes, Mom TOTALLY staged this photo.  Would Dad think to pick up the digital camera to document such a moment?  Uh, no.  To further illustrate my point, I said to him as we were crawling out from underneath the '77 Suburban after having checked out the transmission leak, "You do realize she's gonna make us crawl back under here so she can get her shot?"  Fortunately, Mom was too busy breaking glassware in my kitchen to notice she'd missed a photo opp.  And, I guess that's the price I pay for making her prepare dinner on top of all the free labor she & Dad were providing!)

Somehow, we ended up going thru a good portion of the upstairs (read 'disaster area') of the garage.  And that wasn't even on the To Do list!  I found the box of Halloween costumes and vamped it up for the camera.  (And WHY did you post the picture of me on your blog with my arm looking the size of a ham hock, Mother?!)  

Mom readily offered Dad's muscle to move the deck furniture from that upstairs storage area down to the large deck on the far side of the house . . . .  Do you see how there is almost no snow left?!  In-SANE!!!

Dad repaired the outside light off the utility room.  The fact that Tom had had to take the lamp off during the winter was the result of poor planning on my part.  I'd chosen a large fixture for this spot, but I didn't realize that the snow sliding off the kitchen roof would get hung up ON said large fixture.  And, the power of heavy snow is pretty impressive.  Impressive enough to twist the fixture nearly out of its socket.  So, we'd pulled it off before anything broke or shorted out.  And, yes, I do realize that I'll have to change that before next winter.  But, for now, I have my most-used outside light back . . . which is really nice!

Finally, I took this shot out the front door a week ago yesterday:

I took this one yesterday (and there was much less snow today!):

I don't know WHEN we've had such an early spring in northeastern Minnesota!
Is it too good to be true?  Only time will tell . . . !



  1. I can't believe the lack of snow there! I hope this means an early spring for you. Love that mom was busy inside breaking glassware and boozing it up, (LOL, just kidding MamaPea!!) but that did make me laugh! Good point on that fixture, the snow load thing would have slipped my mind, too, there are so many other bigger things to think about when building! Looks like a productive day...

  2. Isn't it great to have such awesome parents? It seems like no matter how old we get, we still need mom and dad. I'm glad you're so blessed with such loving family who's there for you when you need it most.

  3. Sure I asked Dad to take that picture of us sticking stuff up in the storage area but if it had been a female taking the picture, she would have kindly suggested I turn slightly sideways so we didn't get such a full-on shot of my butt! (Just for the record, my hips measure a trim 34" rather than the 46-1/2" as it looks in the picture. Yeah, uh-huh, sure.)

  4. Crazy early Spring here in Maine, too. I heard the first woodcock three days ago--over a month earlier than normal. We had snowdrops blooming in late February, and we usually don't see them before April. It's all so strange... but the hardest part is the absolute upheaval in my seasonal mindset. The landscape appears to be saying, "plant everything now! The soil is ready!" But I have NO idea if my current enthusiasm will be smashed by some sneaky hard frosts later on...or if some other gardeners will get a full-month jump on me and have market goods ready much earlier because they dared to jump the gun!

    On a completely different topic, Your place looks beautiful, even in the depressing snowmelt time of year, thanks to all the lovely stonework. I wish our landscape had such lovely bones, though I know full well how much work they must have taken for you!


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