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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

Sleep's Over-Rated. Really.

Sleep's overrated.  Really.  At least, that's what I've been trying to tell myself!  I got in about 4 1/2 hours last night, thanks to the weather.  And, speaking of the weather, does any part of the country / world have normal weather anymore?  Is this just the 48 contiguous states?  Or North America?  Or is it more widespread?  The weather now is just a series of extremes.

Case in point, that break in the weather I wrote about a couple of days ago (oh, to think I was wearing a SWEATER!) lasted somewhere more in the vicinity of hours than days.  And then, the outdoor sauna of heat and humidity returned.  With a vengeance.  I'm HOPING we've seen the worst (i.e. hottest) of the summer weather now and that it's behind us:  it's been in the 90s with humidity readings in the 70, 80, 90 percentiles.  And, remember, BECAUSE we live in northern Minnesota, no one has air conditioning.

For some strange reason, I was smacked upside the head by a massive tear-everything-apart cleaning bug over the weekend and tore into the master bath upstairs and the library (of course, nearly giving myself heat stroke in the process).  Neither are finished, but I've made good progress - especially in the bathroom.  Because the walls surrounding the tub & shower are still 2x4s with insulation, the walls are covered in top-of-the-line / super-classy clear plastic.  Over time, the plastic gets all gunky and gross near the bottom.  So, this particular cleaning even included cutting the bottom 1/3 of "the walls" off and re-plastic-ing them.  Nuthin' but class around here, nuthin' but class!  ;)

The heat was so bad on Saturday, the day the guys made all the progress on P-Diddy & C's cabin, that I couldn't even hug her brother B when he came for dinner that night.  NO ONE wanted to be touched, and we all had sweat running down our faces.  And, me not hugging him was HUGE since it was the first real time I'd had with him since he and his bride had returned from their home in (are you ready?) Honduras!  (Actually, an insanely beautiful island off the northern coast in the Caribbean.)  But, my point is . . . wait, what was it?!  Oh, I guess that it was . . . hot.

So, yesterday about noon, I got a call from Bundle of Joy's mama.  It was so miserable out (or, to her, "fantastically beautiful" - weirdo!) that they were going to head up to the big lake north of me for a couple of hours.  Did I want to meet them?  Now, normally (and this is not a good thing - I need to learn to relax more) I'd beg off, citing my To Do list.  Yesterday, I replied, "Well, I have taxes to work on and finishing the deep cleaning of the bathroom . . . but twist my arm."  She did, and I started throwing things together.

On a day so hot, we couldn't be so lucky as to have the small beach to ourselves, but, after a few groups left after the first hour or so, we had the place to just ourselves and the family of one of our chiropractors in town.

I have such fond memories of that lake from being a wee lass.  ;)  This is the same infamous lake over which Mama and Papa Pea and I and the family we shared so many holidays with skied over that one bitterly cold Thanksgiving . . . when I fell out of the sled and was unknowingly left on the lake for the polar bears.  (Okay, okay, no polar bears.)  Here's the link to that story.

Then, in the summers, a particular local ('local' in the perspective of the few, widely-dispersed families living in the area at the time) mom would bring us kids (her two plus the two from the family mentioned above and me) up to this lake to go swimming.  It probably only happened a handful of times, but those lake visits really stuck for me . . . in no small amount thanks to Dr. Pepper!  Yep, Dr. Pepper.  And a little Sunkist.  All in the ice-cold, condensation-covered glass bottles of yore (geez, I wish pop was still bottled that way!).  

See, I wasn't allowed pop growing up.  Only on the most very special of occasions.  And Mrs. H ALWAYS had pop in their cooler:  and plenty to share!  And, it was almost always Dr. Pepper.  So, I can't remember this lake without thinking of those wonderful wintertime getaways to S's cabin nor the summertime visits with Dr. Pepper, courtesy of Mrs. H!

But, now here's the funny part (and Mom, can you confirm this?):  I remember the lake being shallow at the beach until a VERY serious drop-off, not too far out, that we were all (of course) warned of.  Here's the other funny thing (although I'm almost embarrassed to admit it):  I hadn't been back to swim in that lake until . . . yesterday!  25?  30 years?!  And not once in the 10 1/2 years of living back here!  And the shallow water?  Oh, my gosh:  it extends out for MILES!!!!  Okay, not miles, but WAY out!!!  It couldn't be more perfect for families and kids!  Case in point, it's shallow enough far enough out that pontoon boats were coming in, anchoring, and then 18-month olds getting into water that was only chest-high on them (knee-high on the rest of us)!  Could it BE a more perfect swimming beach??  (But, shhhh, it's a WELL-KEPT secret!!)

Anyway, it was a GLORIOUS afternoon, and I was hard-pressed to leave the comfort of lolling on the bottom on the lake with only my head and shoulders above water . . . half a football field's distance from shore!  Granted, having great friends with their 19-month old Bundle of Joy to play with made it 100% more appealing than had I been by myself.  ;)  I'd left the dogs at home because it WAS so hot, and I figured there'd be people there that I didn't want wet dogs bothering, but the next hot day (ha - today!) that I think it will be empty, the dogs and I will head on up:  it's fewer than 10 miles from the house (closer than my nearest year-round neighbor)!!

I came home with a sunburn and sand in my belly-button.  And, today I'm gonna go online to actually find a (gasp!) swimsuit:  I haven't owned one in YEARS!  So, see?  I can take summer just fine:  if I'm wallowing in warm water with minnows skittering around my toes!

And . . . hours later . . . I can't seem to upload photos this morning, so I will give up and post this much.  Photos to come later, I guess.


  1. Ha! No, m'dear, the shallowness of the lake always went out and out and out from shore. I think we adults/parents just might maybe have told you chillins not to go way out because there was a drop-off. Bad? Just a little white lie. I think we didn't want to have to gallop a football field's length out into the water for rescuing one of you should you trip and fall down face first in the water!

  2. That sounds so wonderful! We have been having extremes as well, although we have air conditioning (except at home, of course). And how have you NOT been to that lake? You definitely have to take some fun time, dear Chicken Mama. Dogs included.

  3. Oh, that lake sounds nice, in spite of the heat! Your friend probably wouldn't have minded a hug a bit, I have friends in Honduras and Guatemala and it's the most ungodly hot and humid place I can think of LOL. Guam was bad, too, blech! So glad you got to take advantage of the lake with friends day. How can you CLEAN in that heat? That's what it's like every day here, temps in the 90's heat index in low 100's and I just shut down completely, I hate it and will never get used to it! Hope things cool back down for ya!

  4. I have not been able to stay away-I just don't comment much anymore.You are too funny,besides you all cheer me up,I know my situation with hubby don't belong here with you guys all the cancer stuff ] but I will be back off and on for a visit-POLAR BEARS---TOO MUCH LOL

  5. :) That is a wonderful spot! I'm so glad you were reunited with it. :) We like camping at the campground on said lake, and spending time at the beach.

  6. Oh, thank Goodness for Large Bodies of Water! I worked with our two WWOOFers (farm volunteers) all morning, then we packed up and headed to a small out-of-the-way beach so we could all play in the ocean without fighting through the tourist hordes. I eased my way in s-l-o-w-l-y and happily indulged my Scots/Viking heritage by standing up to my waist in the Atlantic ocean for over an hour. It was glorious!!!

  7. judy - I know you don't have a blog but we can communicate with you through comments on our blogs. You're going through a really hard time right now. Please remember that we're here for you to lean on, scream and yell to or just chat. Sending hugs and strengthening thoughts to you.

  8. thank you momma pea-I will jump over to your page since I'm was really confused for a min there as to whose blog I was on


If you are familiar with me and where I live, please respect my right to retain some anonymity by not referring to me by anything other than Chicken Mama nor mentioning city/town/villages by place names. Thanks!