Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Weirdo parades, wild puppies + a refashioned vintage bathing suit

So let's just talk about this past weekend.
John and I headed "up north" to my family's cabin for the weekend. I say "up north" in quotes because I'm learning that it's a Michigan thing to use that term and all of you other wonderful people are like, "whhaa?"
We say that all the time here. It's a really loose term and applies to most cities in Michigan an hour or more north of where one lives. Feel free to chime in with your personal definition of "up north".
Anyway- the trip was awesome and I've blogged about this place before. My mom said that we're the 5th generation to be on this lake in our family. That is so incredible. I always tear up when we first arrive and get all nostalgic, walking from room to room, telling John the exact same family stories every time. But there is something incredible about having a family place like that, passed on from generation to generation. There's something about a room that my great grandparents, grandparents and parents have slept in. And now we're sleeping in it.
Sentimental goodness aside, there was so.much.blog.fodder. Every five minutes something bizarre was happening. Of course, it has to be shared. So let's recap, shall we?
Have you ever done a puzzle before? Good for you. I have, too. Once. Last week. It was a little 100 piece children's puzzle that I helped put together. It was fun. So, I decided that clearly we should take a puzzle up with us to do in case of rain (which was good since it rained... a lot). And also, that puzzle had to be pretty. And on sale. 
We found one that met both criteria, and guess what? It was 1000 pieces. No big deal for a puzzle pro like me.
Do you know how many HOURS it took to assemble that stinking thing?! I nearly cried taking it apart. I still can't talk about it. My back and neck have permanent muscle damage from bending over. I'm a premature hunch back. 
But we finished it. And guess what? We're going to do it again. I'm turning that stinking thing into art. Tutorial to come.
Do you see how gorgeous this place is? I love this lake. It's exceptionally clear and the only lake I'll swim in. You can see straight to the bottom for a long, long time. The water just becomes more blue and beautiful the further you walk out. The little stairway down to the lake has delighted me for as long as I've been walking. 
You see these bad boys? They're a dime/dozen in these waters. And I love them. I won't tell you the tortures they endured at my hands as a child. Peta would destroy me. But I will tell you that it's still insanely fun to collect them in a bucket every day... and then chuck 'em back into the lake every night! Don't hate ;)
Have you ever seen an Elk? They like to live "up north", apparently. I've never seen one loose (thankfully...), but we always drive up to the Elk Farm and peek through the (heavy, abnormally large, double layered...) gate at them. There were lots of little babies this year, and here they are!
I love dogs. Dogs are the best. They're smart, fun, cuddly, energetic, appreciative... what's not to love about a dog?
I hate this dog.
So, there we were, enjoying the final hour of vacation in the lake. Well, John was by the shore. But I was *determined* to stay in that lake as long as humanly possible. Didn't care how stinking cold it was. I was just tromping back and forth for the sake of tromping. When all of the sudden, this little black creature came running along our little dock area. And when I say running... I mean... buck wild insane running. This dog was off the charts. I've never seen anything like it. Back and forth, over and over again. He was really putting a nail in the "will auna ever have a puppy" coffin. I have never seen my very calm husband so stirred up. Ever.
Then suddenly the dog lunged into the water and came BOUNDING at me! Whoa! This dog was not swimming. I am used to swimming dogs. And for the record- "my dog" at my parent's house is nearly 150 pounds. I am not afraid of dogs. But a wild, insane, crazed-eyed dog who is BOUNDING through the water (I don't even know what to say or how to describe it, it was an entirely new experience) is extremely disconcerting. I reasoned. I begged. I pleaded. I held up hands and screamed, "STOP!!" at the dog, but still he came for me. In the end, he wasn't trying to be vicious (but who would know??) though he did scratch me and my bathing suit up a bit. He kept repeating this though, John would get him out of the water, only for the dog to turn around and come at me again. 
So I got out. That stinking dog made me get out of my beloved lake.
There are no words.
And then we called his owners, who informed us that he often runs off (...) and waited by the road for an hour until someone finally came to pick him up. I will not describe how difficult it was to contain a dog of that temperament without a leash for an hour.
At one point, he was loosed and just DESTROYED the landscaping of my great-aunt who lives next door. Thrashing through flowers and bushes. Rolling in them. Pooping in her fountain.
By the way, I watched him clear (multiple times) four foot stone walls. Wonder dog. Only evil. Instead of harnessing his power to do good, he used it to destroy our last remnants of vacation.
I was very, very glad when a black truck finally pulled up to claim him. 
I am never glad to part with dogs.
Here, however, is another equally feisty animal. However, she is too small to do nearly as much damage as the pup. Our little Odette went with us, of course, and helped drive some of the way. Then she got hot and took a bath in her water dish. Look at all that fluffin!
We had PILES of these rafts as kids. Tons. There were various sizes, too. This was the smallest size and is the only surviving raft. I'm not surprised. We wreaked havoc on those things, piling them up and playing king of the hill, diving, jumping... everything. We often scratched our names or little sentences into them, too. I never dreamed they could be used for something as calm as floating down the lake. It took over 20 years, but I think I finally found the best use for them on this little vacation. 
Though, if we're being honest, we did attempt to do all of those things on this sole surviving raft this year as well...
Oh hey. That's my favorite person in the whole world right there. What a sweet husband I have. I'm so proud of him. We just stopped into a little diner to feed our wifi need more than our hunger need. Mini hot dogs for me + ice cream? They were just a gateway to something even more delicious.
Facebook, email, twitter, pinterest... we missed you.
Every year we take a picture like this by the lake. It always turns out fuzzy like this, too, the second time we take it. I have no idea why. It just happens that way.
I hope you found something fun to do this past weekend. If not- get out and try again this time around! There are so few beautiful weekends left before fall. Though I adore fall and consider it the best of seasons... the much despised winter will follow. And once winter descends on northerners, it's hard to believe the sun will ever shine again! So enjoy the warmth while it lasts. Get geared up, I'm itching to do some refashions! Normally I don't show myself in beach attire for the blog, but this one piece didn't seem immodest at all. And hey... it's a refashion that I'll be sharing with you really soon! Then you can DIY your own "vintage suit" for the remainder of the summer OR next year!
Have a great night, people! All the best, and as always, thanks for reading!
*** STOP!*** I forgot to tell you about the weirdo parade! WHAT?! How. No idea.
Ok, so we're floating along on the raft. We're all peaceful and romantic and happy. And then suddenly there's this odd whirring noise.
What is this noise disturbing our bliss?
We looked up to see a 50-something year old with a remote control speed boat. Little tiny thing. Just zooming around.
28" Blazingly Fast Victory EP Racing RC Boat EP777
At this point, I was thinking that it's an odd thing for a man of his age to have. You know, it seemed perfect for a child. Especially the two girls I care for. Let me just tell you. If we stuck a barbie doll in that thing and loosed it in their pool, they would be on cloud nine.
For real.
But I just couldn't figure out what a man of his age was doing with one? So he's sitting there using it and we're ignoring it... until he basically started doing FIGURE EIGHTS around our raft with the thing!
What?! Stick to your own side, man!
Then he decides this is not enough. Clearly we should be paying attention to his super cool toy and NOT each other. (back off, man. Can't you see that we're "so in love". Geez.) ... sooo he starts heading our way. With the toy. Zooming around us. And talking to us.
And then his family decides to join him. It's time for the parade! Who is this family? Well. A child was involved. Finally a reason for the remote speed boat! Yes. It is justified. But wait... he doesn't like it, has no interest in it and is instead hollering to us about our marital arrangements in life.
Odd chatter from a 10 year old.
But now he has passed us and is moving on... because now we see that the father intends to zip his remote control boat all around the entire lake.
All zillion miles of lake front.
That is one determined dude.
And look-- here comes mom! Poor mom had the hardest job. She was pushing an inner tube full of a weeks' worth of rations along the lake behind them all, desperately trying to keep up, in her teeeeensy tiny Americana string bikini. Bold choice. I admire her. I sincerely hope she made it around the lake without a wardrobe malfunction.
I am, however, doubtful. 
But still admiring her.
And that is all.


  1. I consider anything above Virginia "up north," but in Michigan, I'd think of the UP.

    1. Hah! Well, the UP is uncharted territory for me. I think we've only been there once?

  2. yeah, coming from MN when someone said they were going to "the lake" it meant they were going "up north" to their cabin. Now that I live in the burbs of Chicago I say "the lake" in that context and people look at you all weird. Cause "the lake" = Lake Michigan.

    ps when I read katie belle's comment I totally did NOT think it said Virginia. Good thing I wasn't drinking anything or it would have come out my nose.

    1. ahhahahah hahaha! It's gettin crazy up in here!!
      Yep- you Minnesota people are just as weird as Michiganders. And hey- I hope Chicago is treating you well. What a great place to live!!!

  3. "Up north" to me will always be Aunt Millie & Uncle Dick's farm house in Leland that we stayed in for our honeymoon. It reminds me a lot of your "up north" description, Auna :) Awesome memories

  4. Growing up in Minnesota, for me 'up north' means north of anywhere you're currently situated. And exact location is only specified if it actually has to be, but it frequently comes down to 'the lake' which doesn't mean anything to anyone but family members that know it means my grandpa's lakehouse.

    1. Yes, Molly! we do the same thing here with "the lake". There is rarely any specification given, that was the thing that freaked my husband out when he relocated here. I'm really thinking Minnesota and Michigan are kindred spirits in this whole Up North phenomenon.


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