Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Electric Train Set For Christmas


Instead of the standard gift exchange at Christmastime this year we’re considering one gift for the family.  Brad is the right age for the once in a life-time train set and the rest of us has good memories of other train sets of Christmases before.

Years ago, Elv’s mother picked up a train set and oddments pertaining thereto at a garage sale.  She was surprised with Elv’s delight.  He says, “She had no idea that I, at 17 years old, would set it up in the living room on the hardwood floor  of  the farmhouse where we lived.”  It’s the loss we regret the most from our house fire three months after we married. 

This morning I’ve been looking online at train sets.  I soon realized that I needed a 101 course on scale and gauge.  And how ever am I to know if a steel gauge on road bed means that the track is metal and will stay together without after market soldering?! And what serious train enthusiast wants a Harry Potter train set!  The passenger train sets are boring.  And do I want that new and popular scale Z? I doubt it. Can you imagine the guys’ big logger hands handling the tiny pieces without flying apart themselves? What we really would enjoy is going to cost just as much as all our gift buying combined ever did! How about a G scale  train…the cars are close to 7 inches high. They call it a garden scale train. I can just see a rail set up in the flower gardens with the little train choo-chooing in and out among the dahlias, marigolds, and shrubbery, can’t you?

I’m in the market for somone’s old castoff  boxes of trains and tracks sitting back there under the eaves in the attic.  The tracks have to be metal and the we prefer that the train is industrial with an engine or two, coal cars, log cars, box cars, and a veritable caboose. And of course, it should be powered by electricity. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

By The Shores of Gitche Gumee…


So I looked it up after one of you mentioned these lines…By the shining big sea water…  from the Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

By the shores of Gitche Gumee,
By the shining Big-Sea-Water,
Stood the wigwam of Nokomis,
Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis.
Dark behind it rose the forest,
Rose the black and gloomy pine-trees,
Rose the firs with cones upon them;
Bright before it beat the water,
Beat the clear and sunny water,
Beat the shining Big-Sea-Water.
There the wrinkled old Nokomis
Nursed the little Hiawatha,
Rocked him in his linden cradle,
Bedded soft in moss and rushes.
Safely bound with reindeer sinews;
Stilled his fretful wail by saying,
"Hush! the Naked Bear will hear thee!"
Lulled him into slumber, singing,
"Ewa-yea! my little owlet!
Who is this, that lights the wigwam?
With his great eyes lights the wigwam?
Ewa-yea! my little owlet!"


And this is only a very small portion of the whole story. But yes it is set on the shores of Lake Superior.  I like the repeating of the phrases throughout the poem, the repeating of the phrases to make the meter. :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Our Lake In Autumn



I spent a couple days by Lake Superior this week. I took a lot of pictures trying to capture a little what the lake is to me. It’s hard to explain what it is that gets my complete attention at any moment or during any activity.  I’d find myself standing in the middle of the room just gazing through the window watching the waves crashing the rocks…just the movement and color, maybe. 

Another part of the fascination is the fact that the lake is too big to just take a canoe and cross.  This lake is for ships (ore boats and grain carriers).  It’s deep and cold and capable of sinking ships in a storm.  That’s a bit intimidating.

So I settle for pictures and gazings and thanking God who created something that helps me think of His greatness and powers. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Stove Is In


DSC00006-3 DSC00011-2

Maybe some of you have an idea of how impressed and happy and pleased I am with the completion of this project!

Remember those old boards I was playing with last week?  Well here they are installed and making us happy.  Even Elv is convinced.

I’m dreaming of sitting around a snapping fire with the snow and wind howling around the corners of our house. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

More Fall Work

DSC00006-1 These old weathered boards are going to be on a wall in our house.

DSC00008 I planed and sanded them till they began to be clean, but still quite rustic. 

DSC00014-1 Most of these have two coats of water-based varnish on them.  And we think they’re beautiful.  I won’t speak for Elv.  He’s happy to let me play and create, but he can’t quite believe I’ll take these terrible boards and make something I want to have in our living room.  Trust me, this’ll be great when we’re done.

DSC00001-1 They’re going on that wall there behind the chair where the old “window” AC is now.  From floor to ceiling will be our rustic backing for the wood stove that will be there on that hearth where the chair and the stack of chimney boxes are now.

Where do we get this foolish courage…to put old boards and a woodstove in the living room?  I have been cleaning cabins and second homes for a few summers now and observing a few things about these houses.  Rule number one is that anything goes for walls and floors.  Rule number two is that if you can dream it; you can do it.  And the best thing about what I’ve noticed is that it doesn’t have to be expensive to be acceptable and nice.  Maybe that is because it’s just the cabin or the second home or just a lake house.  So be it, our house is just a cabin.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Improvements …

  Fall work has begun here now.  The new ceiling fan in the living room and the new hot water system in the basement are proofs of that.  We have planned how to install a fireplace in the living room.   We didn’t plan for a dead refrigerator.

I am kind of glad now that it’s over that the fridge did die.  It was big and white.  It was too deep and the contents just out of reach, always.  But it’s hard to accept the death of an expensive appliance that isn’t ten years old. So I don’t blame us for taking our time to process the facts before giving up.  Yesterday in Elv’s morning prayer he asked God to guide us and just admitted to God that we’d be just as happy with a good used fridge as the new one we had spotted on the Best Buy website.

One of my friends suggested I look on Craigslist to see if anyone had a used fridge for sale.  In the meantime I’d called both Best Buy stores in our area only to find out that they’d have to order and it would be a week before we could pick it up.  What do you know, someone had a fridge for 75 dollars listed just the day before. 

So last night Elv and I drove over to  the boonies near the Michigan border and found an old used side by side that fits our needs perfectly.  It’s tan and brown fitting right into our cabin scheme of things and it’s not too big, and I can see and reach in without bending over with my head cocked just so for  my bi-focals to work.  It’s an answer to prayer!

And we got a nice drive through the wilderness seeing a bear, two coyotes and a few deer.  The sky was a grand show complete with a falling star and moon rise around midnight. 

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