Wally says “Happy Summer!”

If you’re a dog owner like us, summer is the best time of the year here in Minnesota. We love taking our ‘boys’ on walks around the lake, playing ‘catch’ and ‘tug-o-war’ in the back yard, and going for long rides in the car. Being outside is fun but there are a few simple precautions that we take that help protect our dogs and keep them cool in the heat.

Wally blog

Stay Hydrated. Bring extra water for your dog on any long walk. Drinking water is one of the ways dogs cool themselves. If they’re playing outside, make sure their water bowl is full.

Stay off Hot Pavement. Summer heat warms pavements just like a frying pan and, if the pavement gets too hot, it can burn your dog’s paws. You can check by pressing the back of your hand against the asphalt or concrete to see if it will be comfortable for your dog to walk on. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws!  Avoid these surfaces during the hot part of the day or consider putting protective booties (good luck with that) on your dog’s paws as added protection. Wally just walks on the grass as much as possible

Prevent sunburn. My bulldog Wally is mostly white, and white dogs tend to get sunburned more easily. Additionally, the tips of ears, bridge of the nose, around the eyes and abdomen are all sensitive areas on a dog’s skin. So, if you plan to be out in hot sun for a while, get your dog a sun protector or sunscreen made for dogs and, whenever possible, rest in the shade.

Keep up on ticks and fleas protection. Being outdoors is great, but wooded areas and long grasses are home for ticks and fleas.

Let’s go swimming! We keep a pool filled just in case one of my dogs wants to take a dip and cool off.

Wally blog pool

And of course…never, ever leave your pet in the car on a hot day.

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Summer in Minnesota!

Ahh Summertime! The sun is out, coffee drinks turn to cold brews and people just seem to smile more. I moved back to Minnesota after getting my DREAM job at EVINE Live in the dead of winter. I will tell you that was a doozy. I was coming from what felt like one of the hottest locations on earth – sunny Dothan, Alabama!

I spent a glorious amount of time in the South when I worked as a News Anchor. It’s amazing how quickly you can get used to the temperature of a place. It seemed to never really get cold. I tossed all my long sleeved shirts and pared down my wardrobe to shorts and tanks. On blissful weekends I would hop in my car and fill my beach bag singing at the top of my lungs as I drove the short distance to the beach. I was in the very lowermost corner of Alabama, which meant in a mere two hours I could be at Panama City Beach, Florida. There I would lay in the white sand beaches and it seemed all my cares melted away.

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Enjoying the evening at Panama City Beach, Florida!

One day as I was laying on a beach chair feeling I might just literally burn to a crisp with the hot sun beating down something crazy happened. My phone rang! Wow shocker you may be thinking! It was a Minnesota number and it was EVINE Live trying to schedule an interview! Yep, your life can really change that quickly.

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Before I came back home to Minnesota I decided to take a solo adventure to the beach. It was pure bliss. I spent the entire weekend enjoying my own company and reflecting on the past several years of my life. This is my view of the lovely waters of Panama City Beach at dusk.

 I said a bittersweet goodbye to the beach weekends and hot summer sun for a cold, misty day in October. It was the kind of cold that gets in your bones and shakes and rattles you. I am FROM Minnesota but have lived away from home for so many years I had forgotten how brazen that biting cold can get. For the first few months I never left my space heater and drank copious amounts of coffee for internal warmth.

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Enjoying a hot sunny day with my friends in Atlanta . . . love when sunshine and friendship comes together . . . it’s magic!

But nothing lasts for long and now it’s summer in Minnesota!  I am reminded why I love having four seasons and the warmer temperatures remind me again of times in good old Dothan, Alabama. I still have to remind myself I don’t have to grab a jacket when I head out to get in my car. Summer makes us all sing a little louder and play a bit harder. I hope you enjoy your summer and cannot wait to connect again soon!

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The lazy days of summer?

As a girl who was born in Scotland and raised in northern Minnesota, no one appreciates the beauty of summertime more than me.  However, I’ve noticed a few funny contradictions . . .

Lynne blog

I love the feeling of the warm sun on my skin and all of the benefits of Vitamin D it provides. I love the warm, beautiful, sun-kissed glow my skin will have by summer’s end and look forward to the spattering of freckles across my nose and cheeks.   But, at that summer’s end, I’ll look in the mirror and panic! I ‘ll immediately return to the serums and creams I’ve so religiously applied morning and night to eliminate the new sun damage I just created with the goal of looking like I’ve never spent a single minute in the sun.

The ‘lazy days of summer’ is a concept that my brain has never quite figured out. It implies that I’m supposed to be snoozing in a hammock, sipping ice tea, sunning by the beach, dining al fresco every night and being stress free without really not accomplishing much. While great in concept, this whole idea totally stresses me out. I am a consummate list maker and list crosser-offer. As long as I can keep doing that while sipping ice tea in a hammock on a beach somewhere, I’m good.

One of my biggest passions is gardening. In Minnesota, we really get to enjoy the fruits of our gardening labor for a short 5 months. In my excitement, I usually start way too early. Inevitably, an early frost arrives and I’m covering up my pots and window boxes with blankets and will always lose some of my beautiful new flowers to the cold. Also in my excitement, I’ll spend a small fortune on flowers for my gardens. My rationale is that summer is such a short season so I just have to spend . . .  with my husband’s rationale is being that, since summer is such a short season, I shouldn’t spend!

In the end, come Labor Day Weekend I’ll do what any good Minnesotan will do when it really kicks in just how glorious (but short) a Minnesota summer can be.   I’ll wish I had soaked up the more of the goodness of the sun, I’ll wish I had relaxed and chilled-out just a wee bit more, and I’ll wish I had designed another colorful and beautiful back-yard garden.

Cheers to making this summer the best one ever!

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Dreams come true . . .

My husband Noel and I embarked on the ‘adventure’ of rehabbing a small lake cabin several months ago.  Now, we could enjoy our free time near the water in Minnesota during the summer, but also in the spring and fall!

Kristine cabin1

Both of us being Minnesotan; we grew up in the land of 10,000 lakes (to be exact, we have 15,291!)  The state has over 90,000 miles of shoreline, which is more than California, Florida and Hawaii combined.  To take advantage of this, one out of every six people in Minnesota own a recreational boat.  So, it’s no surprise that I, like my fellow statesmen, love lake life and, like many . . . my husband and I have dreamt of owning a lake cabin ‘someday’. Well, that someday became a reality this past December!

Here’s how the dream started: we bought the smallest, most neglected, outdated cabin on the lake . . . but with 50 feet of shoreline line and a sandy bottom!  My husband said the cabin had ‘good bones, but no muscles’, so the work began.  As Noel is a general contractor, he took on the project over this past winter.  He started by bringing it down to the studs.  He then put tongue and groove on the walls and the ceilings, put in a shower (there was none before), carpeting, new windows . . . and the list goes on . . .  By the way, he did a fabulous job! I offered the much needed moral support and home décor talents, but that was it; he deserves all the praise!

Kristine cabin inside2

Seven months later, our little, 600 square foot cabin feels like our home away from home.  It’s 98% done and is already such a blessing.  We’re making new friends, creating new memories, and fishing every chance we get.

Kristine cabin kitchen

So, summertime 2016 means I’ll be by the water, on the water, or in the water . . .

Kristine boat

Here’s to cabin life, and making dreams come true!

What Dreams, or ‘someday’s’, do you wish for?  Please share, I’d love to know!

 

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