Sunday, July 27, 2014

New Homes on the North Shore

Last week I got to go out with a professional photographer to get some pics for a promotional wood products magazine. I've known Carrie for a few years and gotten to accompany her before. She is a married mother of three teens and is a capable volleyball player. This year she was taller than me until we got to the first building site when she changed into her sneakers. Then we were vertically equivalent. My job is to help her find the places using certain products and introduce her to the contractors/owners. She doesn't need a lot of introduction as the woman knows how to talk. I really don't need to say much, just pointing directions will do. At least it gets me out of the office for some fresh air.

The fun part is I get to see what my customers are doing with all the stuff they buy and generally get to give them a hard time about it. We get to have some fun verbal banter which is always good entertainment.

The first place we went to was a few blocks from the lumber yard by the Big Lake. It is a timber frame in process.

The nice thing was that it was about 65F at this site which was about 20 degrees cooler than it was a couple of miles inland.

The next place was right in town and the owners had only moved in about three weeks earlier. The had paper taped to their windows as temporary drapes and for some privacy. That is one of the downsides of living in town and a trade off for convenience. The 10" white pine ceiling is a nice touch.
The next place was up on the hill where things were hot. There is still some work going on outside of the house and the garage is being finished. It'll look terrific in the fall after the landscaping and cleanup are done. Here is the house.
 The garage is built to match the house.
The floor in the upstairs was just being finished.
Meanwhile, back in the main house, the living room was being lived in. I was told the Christmas tree would be stored in the garage when the garage was finished. Not all that unusual up here. Driving through town would reveal many Christmas wreaths that haven't been taken down yet.
The homeowners were very kind and gracious to let us share their space for a little while.

I am not sure how the building business is doing around the country, but up here it is fairly intense. Then again we have a very short building season. It gets very inefficient when the temperatures are below zero and the snow is up to your eyeballs.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Summer on the farm

Now that the rain has stopped falling several times a week and things are drying (relatively) out I can start mowing pastures. I'll put the bush hog on the tractor and get to it. As soon as the fog clears and the humidity drops below 96%. I'm not kidding! It should be raining, but it isn't. The actual air molecules are dripping water. Step out the door and you become instantly damp. If I put on a rain jacket I will be just as wet on the inside as the outside. No point in taking a shower as I will not dry off. I just hope no one shows up at the farm so they don't find me offensive. Maybe at the end if the day things will change so I don't have to be disgusting in front of another human being. Maybe.

Here is last weekend's chore.  

230 bales of Northern Minnesota's finest hay kept us busy for a bit. That's Stitch doing some stretching before the work begins. Good idea.

Summer is in full swing in town. Between the Art Festival, Wooden Boat show, Fisherman's Picnic  (Fisherman's Panic, as it is known locally), Unplugged and other things at North House Folk School, there is more than enough activity in Grand Marais. If you go through town before civilized people are awake it is pretty quiet, though.

We are just ten miles out of town so mornings here are a lot quieter. Here is one of the local residents saying good morning.

I actually have been able to get some reading time in lately. It often takes a week or two to get a book read as there is little time to do so, but I got one done in just a few days this week. Who needs sleep, anyway.  Dr. Fizzy has written another one to follow The Devil Wears Scrubs. 
It is called Suicide Med.

The Amazon review is this:

  There’s a reason Southside Medical School has been nicknamed “Suicide Med.” For the last six years, every year one student has taken his own life.

Except for last year. Last year was a murder-suicide.

The press has pointed to the heavy workload as the culprit in the high suicide rate. Some students believe that the school is cursed. And others believe that the deaths may not be suicides at all—that it’s no coincidence that Dr. Conlon, Southside’s quirky but beloved anatomy professor, joined the staff on the very year that the suicides began.

Either way, the same question echoes through the minds of every first year student at Suicide Med:

Who will be next to die?

Having lived with some med students at this time of their lives I can tell you that these characters are not far from the reality that I observed. Dr Fizzy (a.k.a. Freida Mcfadden) tells the story from each students viewpoint and weaves them together in such a way that I found it difficult to stop reading. If you are looking for an entertaining book that is different from what you usually read, this is a fun (but chilling) one to read.

I leave you with a quiet, yet overgrown (I'll fix that soon) paddock shot of summer on the farm.