Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Shack Happy

Every once in awhile I have someone ask me, "You two gettin' shack happy yet?"

I know... took me a second too. You know, there really should be a West coast/Midwest translation books. Maybe even one of those Rosetta Stone classes... anyway... the question relates to what is perhaps more commonly known as Cabin Fever.

Cabin fever is an idiomatic term for a claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a person or group is isolated and/or shut in, for an extended period. Symptoms include restlessness, irritability, forgetfulness, laughter, and excessive sleeping.

I must admit, whenever I think of cabin fever I think of the Muppet Treasure Island movie and the segment where the muppets and pirates sing about Cabin Fever.

I got such a kick out of that movie...
I mean who doesn't love the muppets for criminy sakes?!

I am pleased to report that no, we don't have cabin fever.

We usually keep pretty busy. Actually busier than we anticipated so far this winter. You may remember me mentioning my postmaster broke her leg so I have been covering mail duties for her for almost the two months now. Well, she is finally back! YAYYYY! That had me out of the house most of the days during the week. In addition to working, we have continue to paint, and polyurethane, and trim... you know... all the fun interior house stuff.

Also David is helping with the grooming of the MILES AND MILES of snowmobile trails in the area. Personally I think he just wanted to drive this thing:

However, we have always been able to find things to occupy ourselves. we are actually pretty spontaneous and if it weren't for the dogs we would be even more so.

The other day we walked out over the lake to Jerry's dark house (ice house) to check out the scene and do a little (very little) ice fishing.

Here is a view inside the dark house. Jerry had a heater in there,
his Coleman lantern, a stool to sit on, and had cut two fishing holes out:

Look at these dark houses in the picture below!

Those dark houses are set up on Lake Superior! People drive their snowmobiles... or sometimes their cars/trucks out there! There is a whole bunch of them out there... it is like a little city. Talk about your die hard fisherpeople! I took that picture on our way up to Houghton to see the Winter Festival and the ice sculptures. Every year the fraternities and sororities have an ice sculpture contest. The theme this year had something to do with ice and space...

However, when we really do start to get itchy we go find some grownup things to do. When we lived in N. Cali and we needed to get away we would make a run to Mendocino, Fort Bragg, or other various happening hot spots.

But here we might go have pizza and a beer down the road or go up to the Ojibwa Casino in Baraga to the Sports Bar. The casino is just a little past one of the freakier shrine/memorial things I have seen in a long time. It is the Father Baraga shrine and check it out...

Umm.. this thing is huge. The tipis are taller than a person so this thing is gigantic. The tipis I guess are supposed to represent the five missions this fellow founded. Up close you can see it is this giant priest guy they called the snowshoe priest hence the snowshoe in one hand. In his other hand he is using his cross like a weapon or something... warding off the native vampires I suppose.

Just as a side note, if you look through the trees in the Baraga memorial picture you can see the water. Just beyond those trees there is a hill sloping down to the freeway. Actually it is more like a cliff and at the bottom of the cliff is the highway. Then along the highway is the lake... Lake Superior... and that is the same area where I took the picture of all the ice houses earlier in the post. See how it is all woven together in a nice cohesive package?

Anyway, that spider-legged memorial thing really is pretty big and it towers wayyyyy over the top of you when you go see it in person. What is also kinda creepy is that you can see this thing looming through the trees from below on the freeway when you pass by. It looks like it is going to pull its legs up and start walking around. David said it reminded him of that monster/machine thing in the Wild Wild West movie remake.

Sorry, got off on a tangent there. Anyway, at the casino there is a bowling alley, live music, and great food... not to mention penny slots for the big time gamblers like me.

I have to admit though that is a pretty rare trip though.

We are very content just hanging around our little house working on this and that...
and all without a sign of cabin fever....



  1. The snowmobile/snowplow machine David has reminds me of the movie The Shining! Had to laugh!
    We westcoasters are learning a lot by reading your blog! You know just how to put things in perspective for us! Glad to hear you guys aren't shack happy!(first time I heard that too!)
    Take care,
    Cyndi Saunders (Ski's wife)

  2. I can't even imagine how cold it must be for you to have to wear that padded Carhartt outfit, but I guess it makes getting dressed simple. And you look darn cute in it, too!



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