Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mille Lacs Cabin

After a tad of research and some inquires, we found and reserved a cabin to rent. My little brother Adam and his fiancee Ari planned to visit us and we all thought it would be fun to get out of the city.  This cabin is on Camp Lake in Garrison, MN. It's a small, quiet lake 15 minutes from the larger and very popular Mille Lacs Lake.

The cabin was built by hand and the family who owns it was now renting it out to make sure they could maintain and keep it in their family. It was very unique.

This was our view for four days.

We swam in the lake.

We hung out.
We took a canoe out a couple times. Harriet was a fan of picking some lily pad flowers.

We just missed the wild rice being ready to harvest. The majority of the shoreline was covered in it.

Pretty much all around was lake or marsh land.

The markers and crafts we brought along were all put to good use. In fact, I'm pretty sure we all ended up wearing a mask Harriet made at some point or another.

CABIN BABY! Eloise was really on the move. She started climbing stairs and generally wanted to play, smile and hang out with everyone. This was fine, except when she should have been sleeping.

S'mores were a hit! Adam and I discovered the wonderfulness that is Reese's peanut butter cup s'mores.

Seriously, this baby was really happy! Meal time was one of her favorite. We ate dinner on the outside porch every night overlooking the lake. Eloise even got her first haircut on the porch!

I haven't fished more than a few times since I was in middle school and high school. But after the first night with some live bait I was quickly reminded of how much I enjoy fishing. Here I am really excited I caught a northern. We stayed on the dock and utilized the pontoon anchored next to it for seating and a bit more space. Adam enjoyed coming out as well, especially as the sun was setting and you couldn't keep bait on the hook because of how many fish wanted a nibble.

The last evening, Harriet (with some assistance) caught a bluegill and northern. We're not entirely sure if she hooked the blue gill and the northern took that as bait as Adam netted them -or- perhaps she caught the northern and the bluegill was just swimming into the net. Either way, it was a heck of a first catch for Harriet. She was really proud!

Speaking of big fish, one afternoon we took a drive to see some sights. Basically it became an afternoon taking photos in front of giant creatures. A walleye on the shores of Lake Mille Lacs. 

We ended up driving up to Brainerd. Here Harriet is having a drink in front of the local Brainerd Lion's Club.

Babe, the Blue Ox, in the parking lot out front of Brainerd's Paul Bunyan Land. We decided against paying to see Paul himself.

We tried to find some activities around town, but unless you want to hit Grand Casino you're options are slim to none. We did check out the Mille Lacs trading post. Eloise and a buffalo head. Need I say more?

Another afternoon we went out to Mille Lacs Kathio State Park. The girls seemed to really enjoy the DNR learning center. Especially the eagle's nest.

Harriet, Adam, and Ari swam in this man-made pond in the park. Beautiful weather the entire weekend.

Pretty close to a perfect little vacation.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Best of the worst

Back in the spring, Eloise participated in a study at the U of M and we were given a coupon for a photo shoot at JC Penney, so we gave it a go. Only three pictures from a recent photo shoot were not terrible. Not the fault of the photographer, who was very patient, but both Eloise and Harriet were just not cooperative. 

Friday, August 01, 2014

Art car parade 2014

Quite a few cars that were new to me in the parade this year. The parade in pictures below. Harriet's favorite car is above, my favorite is just below. "Love is a shiny penny" is written in pennies. Many other crazy things were on there.

Above are the wacky trophies for the participants. 

This car wasn't in the parade, but I always see it in our neighborhood and appreciate it.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Pollinator Party: a celebration of bees

Last Thursday we went to the Pollinator Party put on by the U of M, just east of the rose garden at Lake Harriet. It was such a fun event! There was honey sunflower ice cream, beehive demos, games, crafts and activities for kids. Here are some pictures from the event: 

We made this tissue flower at the Art Institute booth. 
Coloring with human bees.

We are in the belly of the beast. this moving polar bear was in the art car parade a couple days later, but goes to different events throughout the summer. 

It moves by people pedaling together. You can pull different levers to move the mouth, the head and the tail.

Our beekeeper in an enclosed booth doing a bee demo as Harriet asked lots questions.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Midsummer garden

Last Thursday we were on our neighborhood's garden tour. The garden is in its prime right now and everything looks so lush from all the rain we have had up until now. I love this time of year. No filter on the coneflower above, so brightly colored!

The veggies have taken off!  Everything is doing great for the most part, except Steve's pepper plants are looking a little tough since it has been so wet and the temps have been unseasonably low. 

 Honey bee at the borage plant. There are tons of bees on this plant all throughout the day.

We have had some bug issues this year, particularly on our brussel sprouts and kale.  

This is a cabbage looper (highlighted in red). Chris the beekeeper showed me what their eggs look like (a tiny white grain on sand on the underside of the leaf) and I have made it a daily ritual to go out smash their eggs. It is a neverending task, but kind of fun. One benefit to the holes in the leaves is that it stresses out the plant and makes the plant more nutrient dense.

These milkweed beetles have been destroying the plant's leaves.

 Same with these little beetles.