G’day, mate !

Continuing our “colors” series, today we’re featuring “Yellow.” It’s been called the color of sunshine, hope, and happiness… and now we’re adding “hotness” to the list. We hope these dudes bring you sunshine and happiness!

Hello. It’s Alex – and my first effort at “tagging on” to a post.
Ben and David asked me to tell you about Ty And Damien’s new “cabin.” I’m happy to do that. But before I do, I want to tell you an amazing thing about Chance. He’s had his cochlear implant for a little over three months, and lately we’ve noticed that from time-to-time, a distinct “Aussie” accent has been showing up when he talks. I mentioned it to one of his doctors and she said it was extraordinary. The fact that he not only hears words – but detects different vocal inflections is more than we could ever have hoped for.
As Chance would say, “G’day, mate” 🙂
Lately, I’ve been thinking about our lake properties in terms of cars. It’s as if the rest of our cabins (and Jim and Carol’s home) are Hondas. Great cars – comfortable and dependable and we love ‘em. But then there’s this new Porsche Carrera in the neighborhood. It’s sleek and beautiful and unlike anything we’ve ever seen at Table Rock.
Building the “cabin” took architects, hydraulic engineers, electrical engineers, talented craftsmen and hundreds of hours on my part. It’s 1906 sq. ft. and has a huge “great room”, two master bedrooms with private baths and a separate bath for guests. It’s built of structural stainless steel, rough cut cedar and lots of glass. It faces W-SW and the roof is a solar array with battery storage capable of supplying the cabin’s electrical requirements.
The cabin’s most dramatic feature is a waterfall on the back wall of the great room. As we’ve told you, when excavating for the foundation we encountered a large underground spring. We had the water tested and found it safe for drinking. I came up with the idea of the waterfall and the architects and engineers made it happen. Essentially, the spring water is captured in a large underground potable water storage tank, or “cistern.” It’s then pumped into the cabin for household use and to the waterfall. The neat part is that the water from the waterfall flows down through a 4 foot wide by 4 foot tall limestone chase with a glass top level with the greatroom floor. It then runs downhill to a holding pond – and eventually the excess flows into Table Rock lake. The pond is stocked with rainbow trout. The trout swim upstream toward the waterfall and you can watch them through the glass floor. The kids think it’s the greatest thing ever and spend hours and hours watching them.
I could go on and on but by now you’re probably getting the idea. It’s spectacular and Ty, Damien and Austin are thrilled with it. I was continuously concerned about “costs” while we were building, but Ty just kept saying “Don’t worry about it. It’s money from my father’s estate and since he never cared enough to meet my husband or son, it’s the least he could do.”
Te deseo sol y felicidad
xoxo Alex

An update on Labor Day weekend… and a bunch of other stuff.

This will be an unusual post because Labor Day weekend is “old news” – and because we have more than one person doing the narrative. Oh, well… sounds like fun.
Labor Day weekend was one of our best ever at the lake (at least until Dub’s appendectomy). The entire Northland gang plus the grands were there. Back when we first went to Table Rock, it was just our cabin and everyone “piled in” and we slept all over – mostly on the screened porch – and it was great… but it’s really nice to have three cabins so we can all spread out a bit.
We celebrated Bella’s birthday Friday evening with Pizza House pizza, hand crank ice cream and birthday cake (her choices). She’s a beautiful girl and is crazy about her little bro (Chance), her big bro (Dub) and her “other brothers” (Tra and Austin). Her friend “Kylie” was there for the party – but her Dad was coming to pick her up and take her home Saturday morning. It was a fun evening and a great party for Bella.
Saturday morning, we all gathered in the rock garden at Keon and Rick’s cabin for breakfast. Keon and I manned the omelette pans while everyone chose their own ingredients from an assortment of meats, veggies and cheeses. Jim and Carol brought over two big trays of home-made biscuits plus honey and fruit preserves. We were just getting started with breakfast when Kylie’s Dad arrived to take her home. We insisted he join us for breakfast and he finally agreed. I talked with him as we ate and he said “Kylie is pissed because she wanted to spend the weekend here with you guys… but her Mother said she could only come for Friday night if I’d agree to come get her this morning. My wife’s parents are coming in this afternoon from Scottsdale and will be spending two weeks with us. They don’t like me much and I don’t like them at all. Shit. I wish I could spend the weekend here with you. He and Kylie headed home shortly after breakfast.
While we were waiting for our food to digest a bit, we all walked over to look at the construction on Ty and Damien’s new “cabin.” Alex showed us the architect’s drawings and his sketches. They’ve had the water tested from the underground spring they ran into while excavating for the foundation – and it’s safe to drink… and will provide plenty of water for their household use. Damien says there’s enough water to take care of all our cabins should we ever need it. There’ll be a big “holding tank” and the “cabin” will feature a waterfall on the back wall of their “great room.” It’s going to be spectacular!
From RICK:
I want to tell you about something that happened on Saturday while we were at Table Rock. We’d been out on the boats most of the day and had come back to the cabin to shower and get ready for dinner over at Alex and Cal’s. Tra showered first – and after Keon and I finished getting cleaned up, I looked around and didn’t see him. I walked out to the rock garden and saw him standing very still, holding up his camera. I said something to him and he turned and put his finger to his lips to quiet me. He pointed to a chair and motioned for me to sit. So I sat down to watch. At first I didn’t see what he was photographing… but after a while I did. A huge king snake was leaving the rock garden and starting to climb the rock wall. It eventually made it up the wall and lay on the top to sun itself. Ty was absolutely transfixed. He finally quit photographing and headed into the cabin… motioning for me to follow him. When we got inside, he started jabbering about how beautiful the snake is… and we looked at the video he’d made. Keon saw what we were doing and just shook his head. He said “I don’t know how you could stand there taking pictures of that big ole snake. I’d have been getting my butt in the cabin where he couldn’t get to me!” Tra and I just laughed. When we got over to Alex and Cal’s cabin, Tra showed Pop-pops the video he’d made. He thought it was wonderful and volunteered to help edit it so Tra could show it at school. I swear, sometimes I just cannot believe what a cool little dude our son is!
From BEN:
There’s this place on Table Rock where people (mostly high school and college kids, we’re guessing) jump off a cliff into the lake. We ran across it one day… and now every time we go boating the kids want to go watch people jump off the cliff. We were getting ready to go to the Lake for the Labor Day holiday and Dub told us Austin had been telling everyone at school he was going to jump off the cliff next weekend. David asked him if he though Austin would really do it – and he said “Naw. It’s prolly just a bunch of talk.”
Saturday morning, after we’d had a big breakfast and gone over to look at the construction on Ty and Damien’s new cabin, we took both our boat and the pontoon boat and everyone went out on the lake. We rode around, swam, and the kids rode the wakeboards. Eventually, we rode over by the cliff and Dub asked Austin if he was going to jump. He hesitated… then said “I will if my Dads will let me.” Ty and Damien surprised us by saying it was o.k. with them if he really wanted to do it. A few minutes later, Austin, Dub, Chance, Travon, Alex, Chad and I were up on the cliff – Cal, Keon and Raef were in the water below – and Pop-pops and g-pa Matt were on the pontoon boat with cameras at the ready. It’s not a huge cliff but I’m guessing it’s maybe eight or ten foot down to the water. Anyway, we were standing up there and Chance grinned and signed something to Dub… and before we knew it, they both ran to the edge and jumped. We looked down and saw that Keon and Cal were swimming with them over to the pontoon boat. I asked Alex what Chance had signed and he said “I think it was ‘just do it”.” I smiled and said “That’d make a great Nike ad.” After Dub and Chance were safely in the boat, Tra, Austin, Chad and I all walked over to the edge and jumped.
Safely on board the boats, David asked the boys if they wanted to jump again. Dub said “Once is enough for me” and the other guys seemed to agree.
So that’s a wrap-up of our weekend at the Lake. I realize this is really long – so if you want to just look at the pics and skip the stories we’ll certainly understand 🙂

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Hey, guys. I’m doing this post on Thursday evening – and “pre-posting” it for Saturday. Hope the WordPress Gods co-operate. 🙂
David, Dub, the dogs and I will head to the lake Friday morning after the “closing ceremony” at school. Rick, Keon, Travon and Max are going down on Thursday and meeting Cal and Alex there to start planning renovations to the new cabin.
The week-end weather forecast for Table Rock is actually quite good. Saturday is supposed to be 90 degrees and sunny… Sunday warm with a few scattered thunderstorms… and Monday partly sunny and warm. We’ll take that! The entire gang will be there. Denise, Scott, Ty and Demien have condo reservations and the rest of us will pile into our cabins. Keon, Rick and Travon are planning to “rough it” in the new cabin even though they haven’t done any redecorating or anything yet. Dub, Austin and Travon are excited about wake boarding, which should be o.k. with a projected water temp of 75 degrees.
We hope all of you have healthy, happy, SAFE holiday weekends. Please join us in remembering the brave men and women who have sacrificed for our Country!
We’ll give you a full report when we get back home. xoxo Ben and David