“Karhu kylkeänsä kääntää”

The bear rolls onto his other side. It’s a Finnish phrase used to mark the halfway point of winter. Sometimes I like to think of the winter version as a bear and not a sleeping/hibernating bear. In which case, it has rolled over and briefly awoken to see it is not yet time to break it’s summer slumber. However, in it’s subconscious, the thoughts of waking up and doing it’s thing are starting to become common.

We are only two weeks away from Labor Day weekend and three weeks away from what has become the traditional “first taste of the pending snowmobile season”, Haydays. I wish I could attend this year, but I will be traveling to Rochester on Labor Day for some tests and an appointment the next day to see if they can get my heart rhythm in better synch with med changes and not have to do an ablation. It really does not matter to me how my rhythm gets improved, I just would really like it to be improved. I am able to get around OK and even do mild physical activity, but things like going up more than one flight of stairs or backcountry snowmobiling are not really able to be done. So, because I will be in Rochester late Monday into Tuesday, I really do not feel like getting back home very late Tuesday or pre-dawn Wednesday, only to turn back around and do most of that drive all over again on Friday. I guess I will just have to learn about what Arctic Cat has instore for their next chassis platform, as well as anything else that gets revealed at the event.  

Last week I talked about how there were hints of autumn coming, but no big changes in things yet. That remained the same this past week. Still no real colors in the trees, the weather has remain quite summer-like, with the exception of the nights being cooler and dropping off into the 50’s almost every night. What did change for me was the desire for autumn weather to move in. I am not fully ready for that, but a few weeks ago I had no desire for the summer weather to go away and now there is at least some desire. I suppose some of that has to do with some of the work on my to-do list. There are a couple of trees that need to be taken down, cut up and move to a friends burn pile and that is not summer work! Also, I am looking forward to not having to dress for autumn in the early morning 50 degree temps, only to convert to summer clothes by late morning and the rest of the day when temps are in the upper 70’s and 80’s. All in good time!

The three main activities this week were to keep working on the apartment above the shop, travel to Hayward WI to pick up a new lawn mower for myself and Grace’s birthday party Friday afternoon into Saturday morning. The work at the apartment is still the flooring. It could have been done several weeks ago, but my knees and back do not allow me to work for much longer than an hour at a time before one or both body areas has me throwing in the towel. We still have a little more to do, which will probably take around 1 1/2 to 2 hours to complete. Then I will move onto the trim work, then finish up getting the kitchen all set up and then it will be all ready for occupancy. Once that is done, then all attention will focus on the shop and getting it finished. That includes setting up the central dust collection system, putting the wall material up and organizing the tools and fixtures that will hang on the walls. I have no idea when that will all get done, but I am hoping for sometime around Halloween.

The trip to and from Hayward was event free, except for picking up the mower. I decided to go with a make and model that will likely last me much of the rest of my mowing career and got the Ferris ISX2200. I have put it through its paces since arriving back home with it on Wednesday and so far I love it. The ride is probably and luxurious as it can get on a lawn mower, it handles wonderfully and cuts like a dream. It is almost making me wish I had more yard to cut! That will actually happen in the years to come, as I plan to expand our yards back into the woods a bit more than they are now.

The third main event, Grace’s birthday party, did happen 2 weeks after her actual birthdate, but this was the weekend in which it worked best to allow for a sleep over with some of her friends. The girls started the festivities with an axe throwing session at the Copper Axe in Calumet. It is a recently opened axe throwing facility and is a fun place to check out. You are allowed to bring in your own food and beverages (including alcohol if you are of legal age). It’s $20 for an hour’s worth of tossing and would make a fun pitstop for snowmobilers heading through Calumet.

The first couple of tosses had axes flying in all sorts of directions, but it did not take long before the girls were getting things dialed in and even getting some bullseyes. I gave it a try and did not fare a well as the girls. My first 10 tosses did not stick, but the 11th did and once I found my distance and other techniques, I was getting the axe to stick nearly every time. I did not partake in any of the games the girls were having, but did toss enough to realize that it would be a fun thing to do with some friends. So hopefully I can get some friends and take them there! The event ended with a photo of all the girls in front of the targets.

The rest of the party was spent down at our house. They swam in the pool, went to the beach, played some games, had some wrestling matches (yep, girls do that too these days). Even a game of nerf war was played Saturday morning after breakfast. At night, it was decided to pull an all-nighter and all but a couple did! By the time things ended around midday, they all had hit the wall and I am sure most of them were very quiet for their parents the rest of the day!

Yesterday evening, Nora and I had a party of our own to go to. It was a neighbors 70th birthday and her husband and daughter threw a little party for her. There was a local band playing music, catered food and beautiful weather for the event, including a stellar Keweenaw Sunset.

That about covers it for this one. Until next time…

Good Night from the Keweenaw..