2017 Northwoods Journal

11/04/17:

My heart is heavy as we learned earlier this evening that our friend and long time guest Jean Haas passed away unexpectedly. Our thoughts are prayers are with her husband Ardie, her family and friends.  Heaven is one star brighter tonight.

10/27/17:

First significant snow of the season has arrived.  Roads are messy.  It sure is beautiful--stay warm and safe out there!

You probably know that I have a thing for snowmen and I love a good scary movie.  Has anyone see the movie trailer where the killer puts his victim’s heads inside the snowball of his snowman’s head?  I think I’ll have to skip this movie because I’ll never be able to look at a snowman the same way if I watch this!

10/24/17:

Earlier today 4 swans flew over the tree tops honking as they passed by.  Yesterday morning I saw 3 swans fly over the back bay, circle once, honk and head out across the lake. Skies are clear tonight with a bright crescent moon and there is a pack of wolves howling just across the bay! It sounds like there might be a couple of pups with the pack.

Weather forecast says snow starting again in 75 minutes but we still have clear skies right now.

10/05/17:

Congratulations to Jeremy and Jade who are expecting their first child in November!

10/01/17:

That’s a wrap on the 2017 summer season—the seasonal cabins are closed until fishing opener.  2017 was a blast and the weeks just flew by.  Northern Lights has the sweetest and kindest guests—Wayne and Barb, thank you for the “Fish On” art piece for Cabin #2;  Jim regularly spoils us with his homemade wines and I am especially fond of his honey!  Everyone is so talented—Angie we love your knitted throw and Joyce crafted a beautiful pair of earrings.  I’m especially envious of everyone’s green thumb:  sweet corn from Dale and Jeff, tomatoes from Sue, Debbie and Nancy, zucchini from Dan, Pat and Mary, and green beans from Becky.  Thank you all!

09/21/17:

The fall colors are starting to peak here at the resort-the maples are red.  Bella and I have made several trips out the driveway the last few days.  I think I’m obsessed with the smells of the autumn season.

09/20/17:

It took us nearly 3 years but our persistence and patience paid off! We see their tracks all the time right here in the Resort. Look who finally posed for the trail cam!  A nice young bull moose, you’ll see his spikes if you look.

 09/18/17:

Gary is taking advantage of the fall season and hoping for a repeat of last year—he has dug in to a remodeling project for Cabin #1:  deck, windows, door, siding, lighting and kitchen cabinets.  I don’t expect that we’ll get it all finished before the snow flies next month but every little bit helps.

07/01/17:

This past week it rained off and on--it felt like all the time!  The rain gauge reads nearly 4".  Most who ventured out onto Bear Island Lake were rewarded with a Walleye--Mike P. reported a 24" one.  Everyone made the best of the week and there have been smiles and cheer all around.  Our pace was slower this week and we enjoyed the extra time we were able to spend with everyone.  Gary enjoyed a sampling Pat and Ann G's home brew (strong, tasty and beautiful color) at their happy hour gathering--he told me that it was a good thing that I did not has I might have been "under the table".  I especially enjoyed our weekly craft activity with the Corrine and Ansley and our new art activity with Joan, Jean, Ann and Colleen!  Pat G. discovered my "Pat's Place" addition to our Gnome collection--not quite what Pat had in mind but fun none the less.

My favorite story of the week is Jean and Ardie's "Bobber Bug"!  I'll have to share this one with you face to face.  Pat G. was quicker than I was and gifted Ardie with a "Bobber Bug" yesterday - love it!

Thanks for the fun week and memories everyone!

06/26/17:

What a week it's been!

Almost all of our guests arrive at the Resort via automobile and over the years we've even had a few guests fly in on a float plane but I've never had a guest arrive via an inner tube!  Last week a very weather weary Steve C. came ashore at the beach after floating his inner tube from Bear Head Lake, down the Beaver River and across Bear Island Lake.  Steve rested here for two days (warmed up!) and enjoyed the incredible hospitality of our guests who shared evening meals and breakfast with with Steve.  Many of our guests contributed non-perishable staples and supplies to restock Steve for the rest of his tubing journey down the Bear Island River to One Pine Lake and his final destination of White Iron Lake.  On Saturday, Steve set off on the rest of journey from the Marina--happy tubing Steve.  Only in Ely!

On Monday morning our neighbor here on Bear Island unintentionally rode his lawn mower backwards down into the lake while cutting his grass.  Guests Pat and Ann G. were at home at Cabin #1 and Timber Wolf guests had just set out in their boat so folks were close at hand and quickly offered aid and assistance.  Fortunately, injuries were not life threatening.

Northern Lights Lodge guests ROCK--rescuing inner tube Steve and lawn mower Stan!

06/20/17:

It's here!  We retired our much enjoyed and well used 20' water trampoline and replaced it with a new HUGE 25' water trampoline this week.  Of course, the weather has cooled off (significantly) this week but that hasn't kept many of our guests from enjoying the beach and the new trampoline.

06/16/17:

It's been a pretty good fishing week for most of the guests--many were able to go home with a walleye limit.  Rick C. spotted a bear while walking the driveway one afternoon.  Gary and I finished construction of another dock for the Marina last week  - this one replaces the "t" dock that was damaged beyond repair during the winter.  Gary also rearranged the docks at the Marina and the new dock is going to be used by our guests and it's home to the pedal boats.  The pontoon boat and dock were relocated to service as our "gas dock" at the Marina.

06/08/17:

Gary and I have been hard at work this week on a new dock for the Marina (replacing the "T" dock) but our week has not been without some natural entertainment.  There have been River Otters at the Marina all week playing, swimming and diving around the docks and at times practically at our feet.  A doe has come to the water's edge across the way and I have seen a very young fawn behind her.  Two Eagles have soared overhead almost daily.  MN DNR Conservation Officer Anthony has been busy on Bear Island Lake inspecting boats and canoes alike.  Today, the two Eagles returned.  One perched atop a tree while the other circled the far shoreline--all of a sudden the Eagle coasted and landed behind some shoreline trees/scruff and I heard a panicked cry and then silence.  Within seconds I heard a thrashing in bushes and a flickering of white (the doe's tail).  Next thing I saw was the doe (tail high) rush away up the hill followed by a smaller figure and a tiny flash of white--the fawn in pursuit.  It was several seconds before the Eagle launched back into the air.  I can only deduce that the Eagle attempted to snatch the fawn, the doe quickly came to her fawn's rescue and she may have dazed the Eagle considering how long it took the Eagle to surface and fly away.

05/29/17:

Thank you for your service to our country and for the freedom we cherish.

It has been a much cooler and wet weekend here on Bear Island Lake but everyone has made the most of every burst of sunshine!  Trying to find the silver lining, I had the thought yesterday that it was nice to see the grounds all lush and green and not ablaze with the yellow heads of dandelions!  Fishing reports have been positive, not too many Walleyes but plenty of Crappies, Northerns and Smallies have been netted.

05/26/17:

Critter Alert or should I say Critters.  There is a lot of wildlife moving through the area and being spotted, I'm enjoying it immensely.  I noticed several Long Tailed Weasels recently--they are very curious and pretty entertaining to watch.  The deer's winter coats are starting to look rough as if they are trying to hurry up and get their beautiful summer coats.  The snowshoes still have a bit of their winter white fur.  They seem to be EVERYWHERE this spring hopping up on the decks as they play an intense game of tag.  The birds are everywhere--6 Rose Breasted Grossbeaks on one feeder, 14 Bluejays on another feeder, Finches, Sparrows and Warblers.  I even saw a pair of Swans fly over the beach and land in the back bay--very cool.

05/24/17:

It's been a productive week here at the Resort.  Gary (JR) rebuilt the dock for Cabin #3 and set it out in Bear in it's new position.  He also worked on updating the campfire spot at the edge of the lake.  Gary (SR) has been working on a new driveway that he cut back to the shop-when completed it's intended use is for equipment, deliveries, etc.  The Pavilion (formerly known as the activity center) is all set up after last fall's remodel with a new roof, lighting and paint!

Bear!  We had a night time bear visit this past week--two nights in a row.  The first night it feasted on black sunflower seeds and emptied 3 bird feeders--only one feeder was left intact, another was smashed to pieces and the third feeder is no where to be found.  It returned the next night and was spotted on the deck of Cabin #3 by Bonnie K. and the bear left us with another feeder that needs to be replaced.

 05/17/17:

Our Cabin #4 remodeling project was completed just in time for this season's first guest-the bathroom is all new and feels larger with the new design and Gary's (JR) new deck looks great.  I had some extra knotty pine from the Cabin #4 project so I decided to use it in Cabin #2 next week.

05/02/17:

It's the beginning of May and many of us are experiencing one last dose of winter. Ready for summer? Here's a taste of summer at Northern Lights Lodge and Bear Island Lake--I love it! Click this link to our YouTube video:   Northern Lights Lodge video The video was created by James Medema at Surefoot Aerial. Enjoy and we'll see you this summer!

04/30/17:

Today marks the official start of our 17th year here at Northern Lights Lodge. Thanks for the memories. We're looking forward to another great year with you all and all of those special moments memories yet to come!

04/28/17:

A blazing sky tonight! Near 10:15pm I saw a large fireball streak across the sky over Bear Island Lake.  The fireball was a bright blaze of yellow and a light orange color and it never diminished in size or color as it traveled across the horizon and out of sight.  The fireball left a long glowing trail in its wake that stayed aglow for 3+ minutes.  According to the American Meteor Society site a few other people witnessed the same fireball.

04/21/17:

Welcome UMD Department of Geography, Urban, Environmental and Sustainability Studies (GUESS) students and professors.

04/19/17:

The Loons are back! I heard my first Loon this afternoon. Gary tells me they returned a couple of days ago but most of my time spent outdoors the last few days has been with my heavy duty ear protection while running the leaf blower or pressure washer.

04/18/17:

Happy 53rd Anniversary to Kenny and Shirley – missing you both!

04/15/17:

Another spring project is officially underway.  Today Gary demo’ d the bathroom in Cabin #4.  Now we begin the construction of the new deck and a complete remodel of the bathroom.

Our online Photo Gallery provider has been sold and I am now in the process of migrating the gallery to SmugMug.  The gallery may be down intermittently during this process.

Looks like exciting changes are taking place at Insula (the old Vertin’s building).  The restaurant is being remodeled and the changes looking quite appealing—an updated and modern design for sure.

 04/13/17:

As the sun was setting tonight I went down to Cabin #5 -- we have ice out on Bear Island Lake! Watched the beautiful spring sunset while I was there. Lots of ducks and geese in the water. No Loons yet. The Spring Peepers are in full chorus.

04/10/17:

We are sad to learn of the passing of a long time guest, Thor Iverson.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.  I’ll always think fondly of Thor with his deep suntan, a favorite cigar in his hand and one or two Gold Retrievers by his side.

04/01/17:

I was surfing through Pinterest boards yesterday and I got to thinking that Pinterest is more like a Wish List for me—lots of things I would love to make/design/craft but can’t make the time for.  Lots of recipes that I would love to try (I could feed an army) and probably never will because my guys will never eat more than half of the recipes that appeal to me—besides, Lord knows I don’t need the extra calories.  I enjoy baking and making confections but I don’t have a sweet tooth and hardly ever eat sweets.  Lots of great workout ideas and techniques that I swear I will start doing first thing every morning—but the next morning I find myself caught up at my desk for three hours as I finish paper work, bookwork, answering emails, etc. Oh well, there’s nothing wrong with a Wish List and who knows maybe someday I simply find a way to make the time and just do it all!

03/28/17:

Great photo of the northern lights shining over Ely early last night. Thankful for the photographers that share their work because once again I missed the show.....

03/20/17:

Happy Spring....with a snow/rain mix in the forecast for Friday....this is too true:  Henry Van Dyke said “The first day of Spring is one thing and the first Spring day is another.  The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month”.

03/17/17:

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  I’m not Irish but “May the road rise to meet you.  May the wind always be at your back.  May the sun shine warm upon your face, and the rains fall soft upon your fields.  And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand”. An Irish Blessing

Monopoly is making changes to our favorite game pieces:  the boot, wheelbarrow and thimble have been ousted and replaced with a duck, penguin and dinosaur.  I like the new pieces, especially the duck OF COURSE but I wish they had kept all of the old pieces in play.

03/12/17:

OMG – is everyone still standing?  The wind yesterday was fierce and at times it was almost a challenge for some to keep their feet on the ground….no worries, I’m well-grounded these days!

03/01/17:

I’m taking a break!  I was looking at my Bucket List the other day and schedules and calendars aligned.  I’ve signed myself up for a Watercolor Art Class series.  Something I’ve always wanted to do but never made time for.  Maybe next up will be a Bob Ross class series and I’ll learn how to make happy little trees.

02/18/17:

Oh happy day!  The 2016 taxes are all done, filed with the IRS/State and filed off my desk!

02/12/17

Life is good because of the people in your life!  To the Cartwrights, thanks for introducing us to Tucker (he’s beautiful).  Another nice long visit with David and Lori in front of the fire.  A visit with the Smiths, perhaps two of the happiest people ever.

02/07/17:

Ely’s annual Winter Festival is well underway.  The snow sculptures in Whiteside Park were completed over the weekend.  My personal favorite this year is the owl sculpture.  Thank you Jim and Becki for sharing your garden harvests and homemade wines—what a tasty variety!  The family enjoyed lasagna Sunday evening (I swap out the pasta with the spaghetti squash). Yum!

02/01/17:

Received an email today from a special someone who was checking in to see how I was feeling—and they were “complaining” that I had not mentioned anything here in the Journal.  As I’m not one to call attention to myself I have avoided the topic.  All in all, all things considered (considering the alternative) I am feeling fine.  The hardest part of this health and wellness journey is that for the first time in my life I feel my age and probably a few years extra.  From the outside there is very little evidence of the stroke or Bell’s Palsy.  The facial paralysis is mostly gone and the numbness in the right side limbs is diminishing slowly.  The physicians are still trying to find the right medications as I am probably having allergic reactions to them.  Some days I tire easily and the boys catch me taking a nap.  While I hope to never go through this again there is a bright side to it all:  the back pain from the July 2015 fall is gone!, tooth paste no longer makes me sick (something that started when I was pregnant with JR and never went away), my arteries and all clear and clean, I know that I don’t suffer from lymes disease, meningitis, Lupus, MS, and a litany of other ailments because the physicians ran all of these tests along with dozens of MRI, ultrasounds, scans etc. and that most of my aches and pains are because I have arthritis like someone who is 70.

01/28/17:

Life is good because of the people in your life!  To the Cartwrights, thanks for introducing us to Tucker (he’s beautiful).  To Ann and the girls in Cabin #11, thanks for ALWAYS filling this weekend with winter and Packer’s fun.  To the Bermels who are truly fearless and not the least bit afraid of Big Foot.  To Jesse and Adam who celebrated their new life together with a winter honeymoon-congratulations.  See what I mean?

01/14/17:

Our resort project for this winter was the long overdue finishing of our lodge/office remodeling project.  Out with the 25 year old vinyl flooring and down with tile, out with some very old carpet and down with the new.  Gary (JR) finished the front desk with a new quartz front desk counter, desk drawers and his own handcrafted expanded information/brochure rack.  A few new doors, some new furniture and complementing light fixtures finished off the project.

01/06/17:

We have new neighbors, of the 4-legged variety.  There is a doe with twins sort of hanging out at the resort and twins seems to have an affection for Gary (JR)!  They follow him around (I'm pretty sure that they know he fills the bird feeders!) and the twins even approach his out stretched hand.  The doe is a bit shy and always stands off to the side watching.  The twins are similar in size although one is slightly smaller, perhaps a female and she's cute beyond words with her fur all fluffed up against the cold.  Without a doubt, Minnie is bigger and I've asked him to snap a picture if he can.

The new year brought us measurable snow accumulation, more cold weather moved in on Wednesday (-20) and it looks like it will hang on for a bit.  There has been little to no wind and sunny blue skies so that makes everything alright!  I'm hoping that this weekend we'll be able to finish our lodge/office remodeling project as the new counter top for the front desk has arrived.  I can't wait to see what Gary (JR) ordered--yes, this is his project and he designed this final phase of the project.

We enjoyed the holidays with friends from the past and quite a few new families.  Ironically, Minnesota was just recognized as the state with the "worst winter" weather and nearly half of our guests were from "warm weather" locations like Florida, Georgia, Texas and even a couple from across the pond!  Just after Christmas I was at the suite's cleaning and I heard a jingle of bells--no it wasn't Santa Clause or even someone's dog dressed for the holidays--it was a falconer and his hawk!  One of our guests had a trained Red Tail Hawk, a Vizsla puppy AND a baby!  What a magnificent bird, up close (or as close as I ventured) he was huge, the puppy was adorable and the baby was just the sweetest.  Oh, the people we meet!  I always say that this is why we do what we do here at Northern Lights Lodge.

01/01/17:

Happy New Year -- Hello 2017!

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The Life of a Resorter

When we first decided to make Northern Lights Lodge our home in January of 2001 we knew that life was going to be different.

What I never imagined when Gary convinced me to become a Resorter was the friendships--how so many of our guests would become family and each return visit is like having a family reunion!

I never expected to have so much fun and so I started Marie's Northwoods Journal. Keep in mind, that this was "way" back before anyone even knew what a blog was. I've not converted my journal to what you would now call a traditional "blog" because the format just doesn't work for me.

This journal is a bit like a good old fashioned letter to home or a scrapbook and it's become a way for me to keep in touch. The journal is a collection of my thoughts, a glimpse into our lives and a way for me to reflect upon life here at the Resort.

There are ALWAYS stories to tell, (some that I'll not ever Journal here!) and maybe someday I will heed your advice and attempt to write a book or if I wait long enough, my memoirs!

The years go by faster and faster and so I hope that you enjoy my journal and photo albums as much as I enjoy spending the time with you.

So, don't be a stranger, stay in touch.

Love,
Marie

Meet Minnie (DOB 02/2013)

Minnie Age 8 Weeks

Meet Bella (DOB 09/2011)

Bella Age 8 Weeks
Bella Age 6 Months

Daisy The Wonder Dog

Daisy Crossed the Rainbow Bridge
on July 31, 2015

Having a Great Dane

Having a Great Dane in your life means that there are just a few sayings that you learn to live with:

  • Look at the size of those feet!
  • That's the biggest dog I've ever seen.
  • Where's her saddle?
  • Who's walking who, anyway?
  • How much does she eat?
  • Where does she sleep?
  • Looks like you have your hands full!
  • How big is that thing?
  • That's a really big Dalmatian!
  • It's still a puppy? You're kidding, right?
  • Big poop piles?

No One Loves You
Like a Great Dane!

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