Saturday, July 7, 2012

Hot, Hot, Hot!

So, is it hot enough for ya?

It was pushing 100' in southern Minnesota when Mark and I left to spend last weekend in the northern part of the state, just outside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. My college girlfriend's artisan-made log cabin is a mix of luxe and rough, with electricity but no running water, a heated floor but no bathroom (outhouse!) and an outdoor shower whose only source of hot water is what gets heated by the sun. No sun? Too bad, baby.

Did I mention there's no internet? As someone who finds it necessary to take occasional cold-turkey technology holidays, I was more than ready.

Here's the beautiful view from the deck to the dock. After breakfast, I took a bag containing my current work in progress, Julia Quinn's latest mass market paperback, my Kindle, my sunglasses, Coppertone SPF 50, and a bottle of diet green iced tea down to the dock. As you can see, I'm already wearing my reading hat. ;-)

 Hard at work on TEMPT ME, Underbelly Chronicles Book 3, whose manuscript is due Aug. 1 for a July 2013 release. My wrists are killing me, so it's a relief to work on paper for awhile.

 The view from the dock. (And that's such an attractive angle on my ghostly-white thighs. Thanks, honey!) That's a rowboat moored to the dock. Nope, I didn't touch it! Everyone else was quite sportive, but me? Nuh-uh. Whoever wanted to talk to me could find me on the dock. 

We DID take a hike to Kawishiwi Falls, which was overflowing its banks and kicking up a fuss.

Day Two: Lather, rinse repeat - literally. Sunday morning, I decided I'd brave the lake to wash my hair, using some environmentally safe shampoo that smelled like mint. Aah, clean at last! And no bloodsuckers hitched on to my ankles for the ride. 

More work on the manuscript. Moby and Ocea, my friend's Portugese Water Dogs, lent a helping hand.

Moby, the canine paperweight! (He's sitting on my manuscript.)  

We discovered we'd had an overnight visitor--hardly reassuring to think about, considering those middle-of-the-night trips to the outhouse! 

So, we had a great weekend at the cabin. It was a good 20' cooler there than here at home, and with no children requiring supervision, we all pretty much did what we pleased, when we pleased. Mark and I boarded the speedboat with cups of coffee, watching while our hosts, very active people who own one ski between them, worked off breakfast with some barefooting and sloloming. After lunch, they worked the dogs; Ocea and Moby compete in Obedience, Agility, Water Trials and Tracking, with several championships to their names. Mark manages to get in a little physical activity, kayaking and hiking, but me? I'm happiest reclining on a lawn chair, book or manuscript in my hand, hat pulled down over my eyes so I can steal a nap here and there without anyone being the wiser...not that anyone would care.

What about you? When you take a weekend getaway, where do you go, and what do you do? Are you the active type, or will you try to enjoy as much of the scenery as you can from your butt, like me? 

Tamara Hogan loathes cold and snow, but nonetheless lives near Minneapolis with her partner Mark and two naughty cats.  When she’s not telecommuting to Silicon Valley,  she enjoys writing edgy urban fantasy romance with a sci-fi twist. Tammy’s first book, TASTE ME, won a Daphne du Maurier Award for Mystery and Suspense, and was also nominated for the WisRWA, PRISM and the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart® Award. 

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“It’s sweet. It’s fun. It’s downright naughty.”  – Pure Textuality


  1. Sounds look you had a great time, Tamara!!! I love snorkeling with the rays or just plain colorful fish, hiking through caves, walking the beaches, taking cruises, pirate and cat kinds! And swimming! I'll work on a mss while everyone's still asleep or read a book at night before I drop off, but during the day, I want to see all I can and do everything I can!

  2. Sounds like a wonderful vacation, Tamara.

    I used to enjoy the outdoors much more than I do now. Now, it's buggy in the woods, hot at the beach, and hard, sweaty work to climb mountains.

    I guess I'm spoiled. I like to enjoy scenery from my convertable.

  3. Terry, I've snorkled in Hawaii and the Caribbean a couple of times now, and absolutely loved it - even if the locals thought I was nuts for putting on a full wet suit first. I get really cold, really fast.

  4. Oh, Ash...I hear ya on the bugs. The mosquitoes in northern MN are pterodactyl-sized! Can I call shotgun for a convertible ride? ;-)

  5. Hey, Tamara, I have to wear a long t-shirt. I've gotten so incredibly sunburned that it's just too risky not to cover up any more!

  6. LOVE the picture of you washing your hair in the creek! Looks like you had a great time. My idea of a weekend getaway a deck that opens right out onto the beach...sounds of the ocean and seagulls...and air conditioning and indoor plumbing when I go inside!

  7. Great pictures! Trying to stay cool here. Oh, what I would give to be by a lake right now. On our weekend jaunts I love to go to places I haven't been before and check out all the scenery. The mountains are my favorite.

  8. Great minds think alike, Carolyn!

  9. Chris, it was 102 F. in Minneapolis yesterday. One of my coworkers ever-so-helpfully informed me that it was hotter in MN than in Niger!

    One of my favorite driving trips was through the northern Rockies when I had an opportunity to go to Calgary on a business trip. Huge slabs of rock, jutting from the Earth, thousands of feet high...I felt really small, very young, in a very cool way.

  10. That looks fabulous. I just went to Vegas for a long weekend.

  11. Sadly, I am an armchair athlete, lol. I keep telling myself that I need to get up and exercise but it is so much easier to watch someone else do it. I don't know...outhouses and washing up in the stream...doesn't sound like my idea of fun but it does look beautiful! Thank you for sharing (from someone who also uses spf 50!)

  12. Shana, I've been to Vegas once, and even though I don't gamble, I loved it. There's just so much to do!

  13. Elf, in terms of roughing it (outhouses and lake baths), it's a great reminder that I can handle almost anything for a weekend, and it reminds me to feel thankful that I have other options!

  14. Looks like an awesome trip! I spent time at a water park this weekend - not quite as relaxing but a lot of fun. Now I need to get back to work!

  15. I am the human equivalent of a beta fish and always have been. When I exert--barn work, stacking hay, walking--I'm the slow, steady kind, not somebody who wants to keep up with the jocks and alphas.

    My weekend getaways are to Regency England or Caldwell, New York, and no great feats of exercise are expected of me in either location.

  16. Tamara, You're welcome in my convertible any time. We shouldn't need a shotgun though. OUr bugs aren't that big. LOL

  17. My dream, Tamara, is to go live in a cabin for months with only my manuscript to work on. I'm envious. ;}