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Our steps look like someone ate too many frank & beans. None of it’s my fault but that I did it. I’m completely innocent here but for a few troubling facts and reality. And you can’t avoid the crappy view if you intend to reach the lake from our place without taking a long hike to the Sherman steps. Thing is, in the end of it, there’s nothing good to say about this job’s outcome. The minute I started I knew it was coming out all wrong.

Getting to the bottom of this is the only end. Here’s the deal; I need a lawyer and so does Thompson seal PR, labeling people and promoting thingamajigs. Why? In the world I come from words have meaning and one of those words is,’Transparent.’  Transparent to me means something like, unlike a brick wall, and not now you see me, now you don’t. Transparent means the opposite of you can’t see thru it. Okay, to be clear, transparent means just that—it means see thru, a non-cloaking invisible coating of sorts you don’t see.  So what’s up with this product?

(Okay, I love the 200 font bold Caps  ‘Transparent’ signage in contrasting color verses the zero font white script Cedar wording and script lettering. Sure, there’s a bar graph below all that but I stopped reading at, ‘Transparent!)”

Imagine yourself in my world of rushing to three stores while on vaca to buy this product in order to get nine cans of it, enough to do the job. Then, hold a hand over your left eye, the one I don’t see well out of and grab yourself three cans of transparent waterproofing stain along with brushes, sprayers, masks and ice cream…of course. See? That’s why I wondered why this sealer looked a bit off as I poured it in my sprayer. “Who knows, products these days….”

It’s amazing how a six hour job can go down the toilet in one minute. I’d gotten the pressure right in the sprayer so my first blast covered the top two steps at once.  There’s just nothin’ like seeing dark brown paint come out of your clear coat sprayer. “What the heck?” is not at all what I said. “Well, it’s only the top two steps!” Nope, I never said that ,either! “I could leave just these two steps dark and get the clear(really transparent) stuff for the rest/”…..hmmmm….

The thing about having the top two steps a zillion times darker than the 26 others is if you miss the first two steps at night, you’re going all the way down.

So, I finished the top 28 steps in the not transparent ‘Transparent’ brown coat and then brushed them as I would the, ‘I really am transparent,’ stuff we always use. There’s a funny idea, right? It seems about the worst thing a person can do is try to brush this brown sealer unless, that is, you like the frank & bean look. (Trust me-this will never catch on)

(Click the pic for a much worse view.)

It’s sorta looks like someone on the dock below couldn’t get up the steps in time; they just got pooped out running up and it all went down hill from there.

Wrap those two problems up and the whole mess could be wiped cleaner than a roll of toilet paper—they are clean, right? Now, I’m wondering when that toilet paper study will come out stating that cave men were right to use their left hand or non-poisonous leaves. Forget this, the bright news is they call me glitter boy at work because I have used lots of glitter in displays over the years at our library(trust me-this is the only reason) and miraculously the Transparent really clear coat seemed to come out with glitter in it! So, yeah, I’ve never had glitter form in the clear coat after more than 30 years of doing this job!

Glitter everywhere.

I had to laugh; we have poop color or glitter coat? I’m stickin’ with the glitter and dumping the frank & bean steps next year…

Cheers from our steps, and don’t slip!

Franque23

 

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(Click the pic for larger view)

Have you ever noticed the Jimmy Durante* size nose on the front of your dog’s snout?

That dog nose has it all over your nose; a dog can smell perfume from two miles away!

But what has this to do with Lake Bonaparte dog days? Well, it’s true I’ve bragged plenty about the time three years ago when my dog, Shadow, leaped 28 feet off our dock for a ball!

This is the moment; a twenty-eight foot leap that we measured.

But I think this year Shadow took being a dog at the lake to a whole new level. Actually, it’s scary. I mean he turned my four grandsons into dogs with a simple flick of his tail.

I’ve got them just where I want them….Shadow.

The next thing I knew, the boys were crawling around inside and out as if they were dogs! They were rolling around on the lawn, on all fours, barking and pointing like a bird dog…(Shadow, as a  Catahoula Leopard dog, is 1/4 blue tick hound).

I’ll teach them my pointing tail trick...What happened to their tails, anyway?

I’m hoping they omitted the butt sniffing thingy dogs do—not sure, I mean these are boys!

Shadow is about 100% of the time guarding us, or is he keeping us in place?

Does Shadow imagine he’s going to church?!?!

Who’s the real captain of this boat?

I’ve got them reading…..

Okay, timeout for a hug…..

Wait, Isaiah’s got it! Time to hug AND read!!! Shadow, the Great.

It can be tiring training four boys to be dogs.

 

Okay, this is my, ‘They are really screwed up,’ tail…..Shadow.

There’s this magic allure that emanates from dogs even when they’re drooling for your hot dog. Shadow is our dog, but sometimes I really have to wonder. Heck, he’s got me scratching his belly night and day and holding doors open for him whenever he wants. I panic if his water bowl gets low and I’ve about sold my soul for all natural dog treats and food.

You are now under my power…like forever, dude. Shadow

I only carry your socks in my mouth because you think it’s cute.

Guess how many times I’ve absolutely decided that this time, THIS TIME, I was going to drive away on an errand without him and then changed my mind?

Nope, your guess was waaay off…Start thinking about the figures in America’s National debt and you’re getting close.

Orange you gonna take me? Dude, I’m going with you, now get the keys…

Sure, I sleep in some days…when Shadow lets me. Who can sleep with a cold nose on your cheek? Unfortunately, I thought it was funny the first time I didn’t budge from bed once awake and Shadow hiked up on the bed to trample my face. Now, I’ve got two choices in the morning—either I lie comatose in bed without opening an eye, keeping my breathing pattern sleep-like while daring not wiggling a toe the slightest bit OR I get face-dog-paw trampled until I get up.

I’m not gonna admit to being in the rain while walking Shadow or waiting for him to come back home. I know that person looked a lot like me, your honor, but it’s a case of mistaken dog food, no, I mean identity.(Am I low on dog food?)

I do think dogs love to stick their heads out a moving car window for the rush or air, but they also are taking in an entire universe of smells as we speed along.  The book, Nubs,** is one of many amazing true stories about dogs who traveled unreal distances to reunite with their loved people—dogs have a uncanny sense about direction and life in general.

Of course, there’s more…..

“Interactions between people and dogs can be beneficial for both species. Increases in β-endorphin (beta-endorphin), oxytocin and dopamine—neurochemicals associated with positive feelings and bonding—have been observed in both dogs and people after enjoyable interactions like petting,”https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-the-gaze-from-those-big-puppy-eyes-the-look-of-your-doggie-s-love/

Maybe one more doggie fact for those lake lovers who follow their dogs around…

“Accordingly, behavioral studies of dog cognition have revealed similarities of dog behavioral traits to humans. Dogs have been found to engage in gaze following similarly to human babies , exhibit selective imitation  similarly to human infants, (Dogs)….observe photos of faces roughly similarly to human adults and to link photos of objects to objects themselves .

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3641087/

This last finding in bold is why we have Shadow’s picture on a magnet on the refrigerator at his eye level…I thought this picture made him happy when I first put it up and now I know it does.

There’s no place like the lake for Bonaparte dogs, so I guess ‘us people’ followed?

Cheers

Franque23

*Jimmy Durante

*

How do you like me, now?

Bonus picture of us building the dock about 10 years ago…Sherman cool dock in background

**https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6557929-nubs


It’s impossible to miss the beauty. It was more than the three day drive up to the lake that split my head open as I looked at the lake during our first moment getting there. The colors of the lake displayed a vibrancy seldom seen in any urban center or sprawl. The  sky paled above the lake’s deepest blue waters; the green landscape never appeared so inviting. The warming earth beneath my felt felt like home.

Every day, no, every hour up at the lake shakes out a different tone as the breeze rustles the trees. Each day features an ongoing exchange of wind and water that forces waves near and far to rise and fall or, at other times, and mostly at morning or night, flattens the lake’s surface to the look of a mirror. This is when reflections take the lake’s tapestry over and commands attention to every watery detail so neatly bound to the look of the shore.

Image may contain: cloud, sky, outdoor, water and nature

Thanks to Susan  for this picture…

A crane lazily cuts across the sky; a school of nipping brown trout dot our bay’s surface water as a darkened circle that moves left to right. A hawk whistles from above and turns my head up where I see the white wispy clouds streaming from the west are gaining size. The shoreline cedars blast scent and contrast to the whitest black and grey birch. The humming bird wings by to dot the, “Oh My!”

Aptly put, Lake Bonaparte is an onslaught of beauty to behold for the jumping young, strapping aged or the resting old. The lake is always game for the viewing. The sun-twinkled waters or rain laden storms that move across the lake spark the imagination and ignite an internal yearning to be closer to the nature of our life. The peace of the place seems all so easy to attain but so far away, and all at once. Do a cannon ball on that thought. I don’t care who you are—a cannon ball into the lake will do you good; it’ll put a smile upon your face.

We’re facing the sunset…taken her down. a nightly ritual.

This shot seemed to burn the camera lens!

Sometimes, I just have to laugh. How could I be so lucky to be at Lake Bonaparte? How could all of us who abide by these shores be so fortunate? Life is a weave and there’s a spin to it, a stitch of fate that sets us where we are. I’m so glad this thread is part of my life. For almost seventy years now via my parent’s or my own footfalls I’ve made it here.  There’s so much to be thankful for, right? There’s so much to take in.

This has to be one of my favorite shots of Bonaparte…and I don’t remember if I clipped this off another’s posting or not? Forget.

I love the light in the clouds above.

From a few years back….

There are endless postcards of Lake Bonaparte to send, right? And all of them are kept safe inside—there’s a comfort to this, trust me.

cheers

Franque23


(As always, click the pic for a larger view…)

If it weren’t for the traffic on Rt 3 the place would be paradise—it got so bad this year I think I saw several cars pass by on a single ten mile drive to town! And, I guess I should mention the loon racket at night, especially between 10ish and midnight; will they ever shut up! Then there’s the morning crows and chickadees, the afternoon blue jays, red wing black birds, those dang soaring eagles, cooing cranes, whistling hawks and late afternoon quackin’ ducks to spoil any days nap. When will a guy ever get some sleep!

Even the view can keep a guy up!

There’s a weird speed to time at the lake no one has yet to understand. It’s like a horror show. You’d call time fast to pass at the lake but, then again, it never lets go. Nope, the memories, smiles, talks and moments fly by like the wind but sit like a immovable block in your soul as well. You can think what you like, but I’m saying there’s no surgery that can take this massive thing out once it has seeped inside you. There’s a devious kinda magic to those waters and reflective sky at Bonaparte that mirrors deep by day and night in the Mind’s eye—it’s sorta like a strangle hold on your senses you can’t sue and win.

Lake friends last forever as well. Who has time for that?

The whole experience is torturous.

You catch a good fish a few years back and spend the next 7 trying to do it again….oh brother, what a bother…

It’s been a while for me, being so busy with raising a family for oh so long, since I’ve had real time to make new friends or see old ones while up at the lake. This year was different. I got to know Kim and Steve and their ten inch high killer dog, Lola. I’ve never been afraid of dogs, but now that’s over. I’ve struggled with our fireplace pull rods for over twenty years which is why having some strange guy named, Bill-the-Beatrus I think, fix the rods with a minutes’ thought and about ten minutes time is problematic. My sense of self worth is gone forever, it’s over, doctor, and those psychiatric bills won’t be cheap.

Time spent with Toni, the two Michelle’s, Forbes, Randy, Laura, Vicki and the Sherman’s is always fun, but who let them out of the loony bin? To boot, now there’s no cop on the lake. And now, with our Grandson making friends with our neighbors son pretty much any sense of normalcy that never existed here is entirely gone. Why keep dreaming about it?

It’s also possible to take really bad shots up at the lake..(does anyone have a flashlight)

Hear’s one of my thumb I took this year at the lake….perfect shot!

It’s great to see Bill again; meeting anyone my ancient age or older has a special zing to it. There’s like this on-going contest between the lake petrified folks to see who falls in the lake first and doesn’t get out. I can tell Bill is watching me closely as I age and our fifty-foot bluff gets closer to the house. Some may not know it, but Grady-of -the-lake(now deceased) had nine lives and he spent one of them running towards this very same bluff. There was no blue moon the night before or heralding of angels in the morning of the afternoon when Grady, Dave Morgan and I sat on our porch before this steep drop off. All of a sudden, Grady gets up and starts running full speed toward the bluff as though he might do a high dive into the lake! Only a lunging hand to his ankles stopped his forward movement and saved a grave digger the effort. Mind you, this run of Grady’s had nothing to do with beer(s), but rather the magical pull of our evil lake was at fault.

I’m telling ya, there’s more than the best pure air up at Bonaparte—it’s full of friendship forged through good time and bad. There’s nothing like building a dock, camp or boat house and have the ice take it out the next winter; there’s nothing like the bond of spending money like a drankin’ sailor on lake side repairs. There’s a saying; only buy a boat if you can afford to buy ten—maybe the Bonaparte camps are the same way.

But who cares when you’re young, free and without a care like about none of us.

Still, those losses and efforts all make for great stories shared between a laughing, here’s-to-the-lake crowd. (Beers help, too)The night sky is more than pay back for any expense. But, daytime swimming, soaking in the sun—did I fall asleep that long?—fishin’, kayaking, bird watching, boating, tubin’ ( I did see a skier), and even some sail boating also take the day to flight. The air is incredibly invigorating at the lake. Breathing there is sorta like breathing in an oxygen tent where ever you go. So, the loony’s on the loose, the evil lake stare, the crazy birds, the alluring sunsets, the mesmerizing night stars and stormy five-foot high waves that tear docks and boats apart are all worth it. Why do I think this? Well, I’m nuts like the rest of you.

Cheers from the archives of franque23 Lake Bonaparte insanity logs.

Franque23

 


(clicking pics gives larger view)

The day had no way of knowing, it started off so differently. I still sat at the breakfast table when our four grandchildren, without any prompting, opted to chill and read in the morning light.

.

After working in a library for the past twenty five years-just wow.

But I had a plan.

There’s nothing like a fishin’ trip to spark up day! We’d gathered with high spirits along with some pensive moments: what would happen; how would do; would we come home fishermen or boaters?

We headed down the steps on our way to the boat. (How about those fingers!)

We set course for  Mud Lake with broad smiling faces, multiple rods, bunches of hooks, buckets of smelly worms on board and soda’s in hand. Plus, we had Shadow who knows at five that boat rides rock up and down and all around.

We had attitude, baby.

Guard Shadow had our side covered…

What would happen? Would we have any luck? And, would Shadow dive in after the loons, ducks, beavers and or fish? No one knew?

Bingo!!! Fish up!Actually, more than 60 fish up. My right arm hurt at night from de-worming, and de-fish hooking for those a bit off on that. Hats keep most hooks out of heads, but fingers are hook magnets.

Okay, I’m not sure, but I think this is a ritual we will keep up after any successful fishing thingy.

Time to leave Mud Lake meant our sounder took position to safely lead our way.

We headed home a happy lot. We’d have fish for lunch and a bunch more books were waiting to be read. And, there was also yoga time.

But maybe showing off our catch to our new neighbor friends was the best of it all!

Then again, we’re all neighbors at the Lake! Thanks for enjoying  a dream come true: fishin’ time with the kids and doggie…Ya gotta love it!

Cheers from the lake with more to come!

Franque23

 

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