Happy Mothers Day to all the moms out there! I hope you all had an enjoyable and relaxing day! I think Nora enjoyed her day. I cooked breakfast and dinner and did so in a manner that left her with less dishes to wash than she normally has! Haha. Just kidding, I did the dishes too. My apologies for not writing the past two weeks, I just found myself busy Sunday evenings and also the past two Monday’s. I am very grateful to be able to say that it was not illness related and knock on wood, but this is the first time in around 5 years that I did not have some kind of medical situation land me in the hospital.

So not only is today Mothers Day, but it is also the 24th anniversary of me moving to the UP! I can still remember most of that day quite vividly. I drove the biggest U-Haul truck that you can, chock full of all my house and shop belongings. Baileys was in the truck with me and my dad followed us in my car, along with Burt in the back. I can remember loading the truck, taking off from their place in WI and then driving until the turn off for HWY 8. It was there that I stopped and checked to see how my dad and Burt were doing. We then stopped to fuel up at the Holiday station in Eagle River and then arrived in Houghton and picked up the keys to the Lake Linden home. Got to the home, unloaded EVERYTHING and then collapsed while having a pizza and went to bed soon after. I also remember letting the dogs out the next morning, smelling the fresh air, with a hint of pine from the pine trees on the north end of the back yard. It was then that it really hit me that I was living out my dream, living in the Keweenaw.

In some ways, it seems like that was forever ago and in some ways it seems like it was yesterday. I suppose that can be said for a lot of major moments in one’s live. I know the same can be said about the day I married Nora and the day Grace was born. Those three have to be the top three biggest moments in my life.

So what has been keeping me so busy the past two Sundays that I could not write. Well, I really cannot remember. Actually, I don’t think I was actually doing anything important on those evenings, but was very tired from my days activities. I do know that I really did want to write last week and even had the pics all ready for the entry, but just ran out of steam.

I know for the past few entries I had been talking about the cabinets that I was building for my office. They are not 100 percent finished, but are finished enough that I have put them into the office and they are being put to use. As you can see, I still need to make the top for them, as well as the doors for the uppers. Plus a keen eye might see that they are limiting the access to the bathroom in my office, but I am going to move the door to the other wall and then slide the cases flush against the wall that currently has the doorway in it. I also need to build the shelves for the uppers and one more drawer to put underneath the fridge, but most of those tasks will have to wait until I am done with the kitchen cabinets for the new home.

I have already picked up the wood that I will use to make the face frames for those cabinets and the sheet goods for the cases, as well as the hardwood for the drawers will be arriving at the lumberyard this Thursday. It will then be game-on! until I am finished with them. I am getting very excited to do them and have been getting the shop as ready as I can for the build. One thing I really wished I could have gotten done is to get my central dust collection system all hooked up, but I am going to be going with piping that is designed specifically for dust collection systems in woodshops and because of that, I need to design the system and order up the parts. I just have not had the time to take measurements and layout the design of the system, so I am just going to use a “portable” dust collector that I have, along with shop vacs for the smaller tools and sanders.

I did get the layout for the kitchen cabinets all done about a week ago. I was really putting in some hours on that, as they are going to be fully custom cabinets. Each cabinet will have a specific use and thus will have some special hardware like a lift for the mixer, special holders for our plates, bowls, silverware and cooking utensils. Like the cabinets for the home in Mohawk, I am going to be building them out of cherry. I just love the look of cherry and thankfully so does Nora. The countertops will be black quartz and all of our appliances are stainless. So it should be a pretty snazzy kitchen when it is finished. The plans that I showed you in the last pic were my drawings done on graph paper. I do that so that I can add all the details to the cabinets and then use a design software to work out all the cutlists for the cabinet parts. The software optimizes the best use of the sheet goods to that there is the least amount of waste. I’m not really sure I could do that by hand and even if I could I most certainly would not want to!

I have also been pretty busy the past few weeks making trips to Marquette to pick up things for the new house. Mainly appliances, but I also did pick up the vanities for the bathrooms. On my latest trip, which was Tuesday of last week, I drove past snow that was left over from the big storm a few weeks ago. That snow was all natural, not piled up by man and the pic was also a week after the storm had finished! The hamlet of Herman set a new state record for 24 hour snowfall. I forget the exact number, but I believe it was 27″! That’s a ton of snow for any time of the year, but to do it in May is crazy. I believe storm totals for Herman as well as some other high terrain spots between Marquette and L’Anse were over 3 feet! We here in Jake only got around 4-5 inches out of the storm and areas like Calumet got around 10-12 inches.

Speaking of snow still on the side of the roadway, the Laurium Glacier is still hanging in there. This is a picture of it taken on Wednesday of this last week. If you are panicking that you missed the opportunity to take part in the meltdown contest, worry not. I did not do it this year. I meant to get it started in the last half of March and kept forgetting and then we took our spring break and by the time we got back, I felt that it was just too late into the spring to start the contest. So we will have to wait until next year to do that!

Backing up to the first few days of May, Nora and I went to check on a friend/neighbors place on May 2nd. It was just as the big snow event in the UP was ending. We spotted a freighter taking shelter in Keweenaw Bay and I also thought it was cool that we could see some of the snow that had fallen in the higher terrain of Baraga county. As I mentioned, the storm did not bring much snow to Jackobsville, but we got a ton of rain. All told, we were over 3 inches of rain and melted snow. I was beginning to worry if we would go over budget on the house by having to build a bridge across the moat that we had! Believe it or not, all of that water is now gone and I spent a few hours this weekend, grading the dirt around the house, just to make it look a little better and to help it dry out even more. We look to be rain free until the second half of Thursday of this week, so hopefully the ground can just absorb it and we do not have any big mud holes again.

The crews are getting closer and closer to being done with their work on the new home. Just about all of the facia is done on the garage and front of the house. The west side and back side still need to be done. The trim arrived a few weeks ago and they got to painting much of it. The actual painting was done in the garage and then brought in to where that rack was setup to dry. We ran out of paint and so did the store we got it from, so we had to wait almost two weeks for the shipment to come in. Here is the pile of trim that still needs a finish coat. Most of that is actually for the base as well as the doors. The doors will be arriving in another week or two, but all of the windows have been trimmed out and I really like the design that I came up with. The doors will be similar, just a little less involved.

This past week they started to lay tile in the bathrooms. Initially, Nora and I said we would do the tile work, but life kept us busy enough that we just did not feel like we had the time to put into doing an A+ job. So we swallowed our pride and asked the contractor if they could and as you just saw, they said yes. The rest of the flooring also came in, so I suspect that this week they will be finishing up the tile work, laying the floor in the master and guest bedrooms and maybe framing in the fireplace or doing the rest of the facia. I suspect that what will keep us from moving in will not be that the home is not finished, but rather we will be waiting for the road restrictions to come off so that the power company can come and get the electricity to the house and/or the contractor being able to bring in the equipment and material needed to build the septic.

That just about covers it for this one. I will leave you with one last pic. It is of Grace posing with her three projects from metalworking class. I was so impressed with the work, especially the box. Every bend was perfectly square and the lid closed and opened with ease! I think it is so cool that they are able to take these classes in Jr High! The courses available to them as high schoolers is even more impressive. Things sure have changed since I was in middle and high school!

Good Night from the Keweenaw..