Sandy Points Blog

Zuca Cart For Sale

(Thursday, 16 March 2017) by Michele Cozzens

Brand New Covert Bag/GREEN frame Zuca Cart Ready to Ship
Includes: Disc Golf Bundle
--Accessory pouch
--Quick Release Wheel Kit
--Two-tiered Disc Golf Rack

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$295
FREE SHIPPING





EXTRAS ALSO AVAILABLE:
Blue or BLACK Zuca Saddlebags
(Please specify)
$70 FREE SHIPPING


Blue or BLACK Zuca Putter Pouch
(Please specify color)
$40 FREE SHIPPING

 

 

 

 

   

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Quilt Pieces Log Cabin Earrings

(Thursday, 02 March 2017) by Michele Cozzens

Attention quilt lovers: I found these beautiful quilt piece beads at the Tucson Bead Show in February. It's a combination of my two favorite arts, quilting and jewerly making.
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QUILT PIECES--LOG CABIN EARRINGS
Available for $42, shipped.

The mini tourquoise, brown, amber quilt piece beads are 1/2" wide.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

End-of-Year Zuca Sale

(Thursday, 29 December 2016) by Michele Cozzens


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We have these four color combos in stock right now, which are ready for immediate shipping.

$295.00 with FREE SHIPPING
Includes choice of Seat Cover


Don't like these colors? We will have any color combo sent to you directly from Zuca.

Call us toll free:
888-588-3233
or contact:
Mike@sandypt.com


Additional Zuca items for sale:


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Putter Pouch $35 FREE SHIPPING

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


saddlebags.jpgSaddle Bags   $70 FREE SHIPPING

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

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Rain Cover    $25  FREE SHIPPING


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Microputt Mini Disc Golf Basket

(Wednesday, 01 June 2016) by Michele Cozzens

GOOD NEWS:

Back by popular demand, the Microputt Mini Baskets are now a Sandy Point Exclusive.
Makes a great cake topper, a fun quarter game, trophy or the perfect novelty item for the disc golf enthusiast in your life.

Dimensions: 5-3/4" high x 2-5/8" wide
Weighs 11 ounces (316 grams).
Very well made out of heavy duty aluminum

Choose from RED, BLACK or SILVER Microputt logo on top.

$45 SHIPPED TO U.S.A.

LOGO COLOR

 
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Reflections

(Tuesday, 10 November 2015) by Michele Cozzens

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2015 has been a big year of changes for us here at Sandy Point Resort. For the first time in 18 years we, Michele and Mike, have stayed on property through the fall season. It has been an unseasonably warm autumn and we are grateful that nature has allowed us this transition time.

Our daughter, Camille, graduated from Sabino High School in Tucson, AZ last May and with her sister, Willow, in her third year at UW-Madison, we decided to sell our Tucson home and reside full time at Sandy Point. It was by no means an impromptu decision. We had planned to do this for several years. It's just that we didn't expect the time to go by so quickly. Who ever does?

With the big move behind us, we still remain mired in the task of unpacking, remodeling and redecorating, trying to make our home here both accommodating and comfortable. Life and business keep getting in the way and it's taking a lot longer than we had hoped. But from what we remember about our first five years here in the woods as full time residents, winters are long. It's good to have projects.

 

 

Change in Policy

(Wednesday, 04 June 2014) by Michele Cozzens

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY: There will be a 3% convenience fee charged to all guests who wish to pay for the balance of cabin accommodations with a credit card. This does not apply to telephone reservation deposits, retail (pro shop) sales or motor rentals. 

 

 

Go Jump in the Lake

(Thursday, 11 July 2013) by Michele Cozzens

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Headless Bear in the Big House

(Monday, 03 September 2012) by Michele Cozzens

Who stole the bear head from the cookie jar?

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It was a question we asked one Saturday in July when during our weekly cabin turnover we discovered the head of our bear cookie jar, a fixture in this cabin since it was built in 2000, was missing.

The cookie jar had been a gift from our sister-in-law, Sue Cozzens, who gave us a whole collection of fun, Northwood’s tchotchkes and decorations shortly after we purchased Sandy Point Resort some 20 years ago. I think Eddie Bauer had a popular lodge look line at the time and she took full advantage of it. Since she and her family regularly stayed in The Big House, we thought the bear cookie jar should live there.

And live there it did for 12 years.

We’re not sure how long it took us to notice the head was gone, so we can’t pinpoint which renters were responsible. We do know, however, that the cookie jar was in tact during spring-cleaning—so it had only been a matter of weeks.

Alas, none of our guests came clean. There was no note, no apology, and no attempt to replace the head of our cookie jar bear, which we assume was somehow broken. There wasn't even a ransom note!

 

 

 

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Items get broken every week. Drinking glasses, coffee cups, wine glasses, plates—you name it—if it’s in the cabin used by renters it’s subject to damage/breakage. It’s the nature of the business and we accept this. And nearly every week we find notes from guests informing us of a broken glass or whatever.

But the bear head remains a mystery. And the body of the cookie jar will remain headless forever. We did manage to find a replacement bear cookie jar for The Big House. This one is far kitschier than the first, and he appears to be feeding on fish rather than cookies.

We can only hope future guests don’t use it to store fish guts.  

(I wish I could say I was joking).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Northwoods Open September 1-2, 2012

(Friday, 24 August 2012) by Michele Cozzens

PRESS RELEASE

LAC DU FLAMBEAU—The 18th Annual Northwoods Open Disc Golf Tournament takes place at Sandy Point Resort and Disc Golf Ranch in Lac du Flambeau over Labor Day weekend. Tournament Director and resort owner, Mike Cozzens, expects a full capacity field of some 220 golfers to descend upon his world-renowned, 27-hole course.

“The Northwoods Open continues to be one of the most popular disc golf tournaments in the state,” said Cozzens. “Every year we have players on a waiting list—particularly in the professional and advanced divisions.”

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Professional golfer, Jon Drummond, PDGA #7350, of Bloomington, MN putts on hole 27 during the 2012 Sandy Point Team Invitational. Drummond will return for the Northwoods Open over Labor Day weekend.

Competition takes place over two days and players are grouped according to skill or division. Divisions range from Open (Professional) to Advanced, Intermediate, Recreational and Junior. Divisions are further designated by age and gender considerations.

“We’re expecting some big names in the sport,” Cozzens said, “including the current women’s world champion, Sarah Hokom, who took the crown in July.”

This year Cozzens is delighted to see a lot more local golfers signed up for the event. He attributes this to the increased popularity of the sport due in part to the 18-hole course at Brandy Park in Woodruff. “Throughout the summer Lakeland area kids and families have told us they played for the first time at Brandy, and like most eventual enthusiasts, when they learn about the Sandy Point course and our extensive pro shop, they find their way out to Squaw Lake.”

 

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Tournament Director, Mike Cozzens, PDGA #3168, is the owner of Sandy Point Resort and Disc Golf Ranch in Lac du Flambeau. The Sandy Point course was the sixth course to establish in the state of Wisconsin. Today there are 161 courses in Wisconsin and 3115 in the United States.


The Northwoods Open is a PDGA (Professional Disc Golf Association)-sanction B-tier event. Entry fees range from $25 - $75 per person. All amateur division competitors will receive a tournament custom-stamped golf disc and a player package.

Cozzens says the Sandy Point course will be closed to the public for recreational play during the competition rounds on Saturday, Sept. 1 and Sunday, Sept. 2, but spectators are welcome.

Everyone is invited to attend the annual off-the-raft hole-in-one contest that takes place at the beach at Sandy Point on Saturday afternoon from 5:30-7:30pm. And a pick-your-partner doubles 18-hole GLOW round is also open to the public on Saturday evening. Sign-ups are at 8:30p.m. The cost is $20 per team. Bring your own partner or a partner will be assigned to you.

For more information about the Northwoods Open and Sandy Point Resort and Disc Golf Ranch, visit www.sandypt.com or phone the resort at 715-588-3233.

 

 

The Beach

(Sunday, 25 March 2012) by Michele Cozzens

REPOSTED BY POPULAR DEMAND:

We're called "Sandy Point" for a reason. It's all about the beach. We take pride in offering our guests one of the best beaches in the Northwoods and throughout the summer season, we maintain and groom it on a daily basis. With over 500 ft. of shoreline, we have lots of grassy picnic and recreational space, as well as a lakeside sand volleyball court, and plenty of space for the little ones to build sand castles and other creations.

The sandy bottom around our docks and to the swim rafts (and RAVE trampoline) makes for a fantasic swimming area. The lakefront also includes picnic tables/chairs and a wooden tree swing, along with a firepit, a screened-in gazebo, and a screened-in fish-cleaning house with electricity.

 

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Its Not Getting Easier

(Wednesday, 14 March 2012) by Michele Cozzens

Twenty Years. The traditional symbols for 20-year wedding anniversaries are china and platinum. The gemstone is emerald, the flower is day lily.

We, however, are not celebrating 20 years of marriage. We passed that marker in 2009. We are celebrating 20 years of owning/operating our business, Sandy Point Resort and Disc Golf Ranch. So, using the traditional symbols, perhaps it might be appropriate to take a china plate and throw it like a Frisbee toward a disc golf basket made of platinum. We could do it in the midst of a full-growth, emerald green summer shortly after the day lilies all around the property are in full bloom.

 

In spite of our 20 years at Sandy Point, we’ve only been going back-and-forth between the Northwoods and the desert for 15 years. We started this yo-yo lifestyle when expecting our youngest daughter, Camille, who will celebrate her 15th birthday this summer. When she and her sister, Willow, were babies we definitely had an ideal plan for the ideal lifestyle. Yes, we moved twice per year; however, we had a solid six months in each location.

That was a time when people said we had “the best of both worlds,” and we nodded our heads in agreement. Now we nod our heads and grimace. How naïve were we to believe going back-and-forth would get easier instead of more difficult?

Let me illustrate just two items putting a damper on our best-of-both worlds scenario these days:

#1. Airlines are a business suffering in this economy like any other. We currently cannot find flights from Tucson to Rhinelander (45 minutes from our resort). The closest we could get at Christmas was Minneapolis/St. Paul (four hours from our resort). This May we can get to the Central Wisconsin Airport, which is an hour-and-a-half drive. We used to get flights for $300-something. Now they’re more like $700-something. Multiply that times three, and then figure the astronomical cost of gas for Mike to drive back three weeks ahead of us. Ouch.

#2. The Tucson Unified School District recently informed the community that the 2012-13 school year would begin on AUGUST 2. Smack dab in the middle of a Sonoran summer, our kids will be plucked from their Wisconsin lake-home paradise and dropped into the scorching desert to cut short their much-needed (and well-deserved) summer vacation. And we will lose 50% of our cleaning staff while facing an entire month of a full house at the resort. Mom and Pop can’t leave the mom-and-pop operation, so, I’m currently wondering, who is going to take care of our kids in Tucson while we’re trying to keep the business going?

 

Yes, indeed, it’s the best of both worlds. What an AWESOME plan we had 15 years ago. Even then, I don’t think anyone told us it would be easy. But I honestly didn’t believe it would get this hard.

 

 

Christmas for the Cozzens

(Sunday, 01 January 2012) by Michele Cozzens

One Never Knows Who Is Going To Roll Into Our Shop

(Tuesday, 16 August 2011) by Michele Cozzens

It’s that time of year where I have the full-time duty of running things in our pro shop. My backups are back in Tucson so between 10-5, I greet every person who rolls up Sandy Point Lane.  And we’ve had our share of colorful characters.

It is I who spends most of the time behind the counter anyway; however, it’s especially pronounced during these dog days of summer. And August has been busy.

We’ve had a lot of first-timers on the course in the past few weeks and this is always fun. I love watching disc golfers’ reactions to a true disc golf pro shop, with more discs in one place than they’ve ever seen. And I don’t mind explaining the layout and policies of the course—even if I have already done it a dozen times that day.

 

Today we had several large groups, including one family with six kids. After paying green fees and listening to my instructions, the dad asked if one in his group could hang around the pro shop and grounds while they played, because she was in a wheelchair and wouldn’t be able to maneuver the course. Of course, that was not a problem for me.

dani.jpgAs I tended to other customers, visitors and resort guests, I saw the wheelchair stationed on the front porch, and in it sat a young woman with a book in her lap. Then finally, when things cleared out a little in the shop she ventured inside and struck up a conversation with me.

“It was getting hot out there,” she said.

It was getting hot inside, too. I felt the humidity levels rising all afternoon.

She parked next to my chair by the counter and asked a few questions typical of most visitors, and I assured her I had no problem with her hanging around.  She was very pretty, with auburn hair and brown eyes, and she had an absolute confidence about her that immediately impressed me. I couldn’t help but notice the strength in her arms and shoulders and scanned down to her contrarily underdeveloped legs.

“What, may I ask, is your disability? I hope you don’t mind . . .”

“No, not at all,” she said without hesitation. “I was born with spina bifida . . . it’s a developmental disorder . . .”

I stopped her. “Yes, I know what it is. I’ve had two children. And learning about it was part of the process.”

 

Her name is Danielle, and she goes by Dani. When I told her my name was Michele, she said that was her mom’s name. “One L or two?” I asked.

“One,” she said.

“Me too!” High five.

She’s 16 and about to start her junior year of high school, just like my daughter, Willow. Again, high five. And like Willow, Dani is quite an athlete.

 

dani1.jpgIn addition to playing club basketball where she travels from state-to-state for tournaments, she also races for her high school track team and has records in the 400 and 800-meter wheelchair races. She is considering throwing shot put in her next season, and has aspirations to race in the Paralympic games.

Dani told me she has never been able to walk on her own, although at one point she did have braces that enabled her walk. Ultimately, however, they became too cumbersome, so she opted for the chair.

She has a few chairs—each with a purpose—including racing, basketball, everyday use, etc.).

We talked about swimming and scuba diving and I told her about my freshman year of college when I lived in a community that was heavily populated with students in wheelchairs. “We called them “Wheelies,” I said. And she smiled and nodded. “It was a real learning experience for me to find out that kids in wheelchairs were just like me except that they couldn’t walk.”

Dani then told me that one of things she dislikes the most is when people feel sorry for her. She said since she was born with the disability, it’s all she’s ever known. And it was very clear to me that she has not allowed it to be a “handicap.” Clearly, she has found a way to assimilate and thrive.

 

On a day where many people came and went, Danielle was by far, my most interesting visitor today. At first I wished our disc golf course was a more wheelchair-friendly, so she could have enjoyed the experience with her family; however, what a reward it was for me to get to spend a little time getting to know her.

 

 

 

Big Bear . . . Big, Big Bear!

(Friday, 22 July 2011) by Michele Cozzens

greatoutdoors_poster.jpgTwenty years ago when Mike’s brother, Jeff, learned we had closed the deal on buying Sandy Point Resort, he sent a videotape to us via Federal Express. The tape was “The Great Outdoors,” a comedy classic starring John Candy and Dan Aykroyd.

“In twenty years, the resort owners in this movie will be you two,” he wrote.

We popped in the tape, and for the first time, watched a movie that would soon become one of our annual favorites. And twenty years later, we're not quite as gray and crinkly as the depicted characters, but we're getting close. Meanwhile, we’ve seen “The Great Outdoors” so many times, we can quote nearly every line.

For example: “What a gas!”; “Lips and assholes;” “I see trees;” “You don’t know how local I am;” “Put a cork in it honey, I’m talkin’ business;” and, of course the line relating to today’s subject . . . “Big bear . . . big, big bear!”

 

danglebear.jpgLast night, Mike and I were on East Squaw Lake Rd. shortly after 9PM. We were driving to town to pick up our daughter and her friend from the Lumberjack Show. Just as we approached Hwy. 70, we spotted a big bear . . . big, big bear . . . on the side of the road.

We stopped, hoping to get a better look at what was probably the biggest, blackest bear we’ve ever seen in the Northwoods; however, it quickly scurried into the brush and then deep into the woods.

Wow. I’ve always contended that the bears around here are relatively small. To me they resemble large dogs rather than a bear in Grizzly Adams or even the bald-headed bear in “The Great Outdoors.” But this one was monstrous.

 

bigbear.jpgAnd it turns out, strong. We have to believe the very same bear was the culprit who trashed our dumpster overnight. It’s a large, cast-iron container with an iron rod that normally secures the lid.

This morning we found it overturned with the iron rod dislodged and bent. Three bags of garbage were strewn about. Thank goodness it wasn’t a Saturday or Sunday, the days we fill it between guests and before the collection truck comes on Monday, or we would have had a much bigger mess.

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So, handy hubby broke out his trusted tools to mend the damage caused by big, big bear and the mess was quickly cleaned up. Meanwhile, we hope this was a one-time wanderer, disappointed by the lack of booty after his Herculean efforts to overturn the dumpster . . . and that he’ll move elsewhere in search of a bigger feast.

Bear Cartoon by Lloyd Dangle

 

 

 

 

Something Fishy

(Monday, 11 July 2011) by Michele Cozzens

When resort guests ask us the inevitable question, “how’s the fishing?” we generally have one thing to go by: the smell of the fish-cleaning house. And during the last three weeks, something truly fishy has been going on. Either resort guests are pulling out fish from Squaw Lake by the net full, or someone’s catching fish somewhere in the Northwoods and bringing them to our quaint, little cleaning shack.

I imagine it’s a combination of the two.

We’re not exactly sure of this building’s true age—it was here when we first arrived; however, it was unfinished. Our understanding is the previous owners (who had Sandy Point from 1984-1992) built it in the same chalet style as their home, using leftover materials.  Over the years we’ve given it a couple paint jobs, reinforced the screens for when disc golf hole #27 is in play, and last summer, lifted it back above ground after its original cinder block foundation made it sink and have an un-level, Batman’s foe-like slant to the floor.

We have photos of the fish-cleaning house in four phases.

 

Original, unfinished condition, 1993:

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First stage of paint: Hunter green with white trim, 1997:

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After the microburst storm of July, 2008 when the two whitepines flanking the building were uprooted and destroyed:

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Today, 2011:

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Air Your Dirty Laundry

(Thursday, 16 June 2011) by Michele Cozzens

laundry2.jpgDid you know Sandy Point now has laundry facilities for our guests? Two summers ago, we installed another septic system and cleared a small area just off hole #22 near the Recreation House and the playground to build a wash house. The right side is a public rest room, so all those who come to play our disc golf course have a place to wash their hands, get a drink of water and use facilities a bit more upscale than the former outhouse. The outhouse, by the way, has been moved to the course and is located near holes #17/18.

 

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A coin-operated washer and dryer are available for guest use, along with a laundry basket and a folding table. Satellite Internet service reaches the laundry house if you'd like to check your email or Facebook while waiting for your clothes to dry. Be assured your possessions are safe if you choose to leave and return to your cabin or other resort locations.

By the way, the t-shirt collection shows off an evolution of Sandy Point designs, which will continue to grow with time.

 


WASH HOUSE GAME

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This isn't something widely known or advertised; however, if you read this blog, you will know about a special game unique to our Wash House facility. It's called "Find George." Our carpenter/neighbor, Bryan, who is responsible for much of the building on property, had a little fun when building this structure. 

When you're here and you get the chance to play . . . if you find George, we have a little prize for you, which is worth a George. Find George, then find one of the Cozzens to point out your discovery. One prize per group and please, don't give it away :)

 

 

 

 

Cabin #1's ("Karibu") Diamond Jubilee

(Thursday, 09 June 2011) by Michele Cozzens

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This cabin has and has had many names. When we purchased Sandy Point nineteen years ago, it was simply called, "Cabin #1." It was not the first of the original five cabins built on this 40-acre site, but it was built the closest to the lake and next to a narrow inlet creek running the distance of the property and into Squaw Lake. Well, we not only gave a name to that creek ("Cozzens Creek") we also felt Cabin #1 had so much character and unique charm that it needed a unique name.

karibu_sign.jpgWe call it "Karibu." This is not a misspelling of the word caribou (an antlered, elk-like animal found far to the north of these Northwoods). This is the SWAHILI word for "welcome," and it's pronounced ka-REE-boo. Decorated with authentic African artifacts we like to think of it as the perfect dwelling for your Northwoods safari. The word "safari," by the way, simply means "journey" in Swahili.

After naming the cabin "Karibu," one of the former owners visited us and told us that during his tenure as owner (1950-1970) the cabin was called "Uneeda Rest." We believe that name was dubbed by the original owners, builders of Sandy Point, The Andersons.

We have guests, The Good Family, who we refer to as "our lumberjacks," who call this cabin "The Fishing Cabin." They rent several cabins from us each July (and come again in the fall to take care of our birch trees), and this summer, one of their ten children will occupy "the Fishing Cabin" while here.

 

Why the African Influence?
For those of you who've read my book, I'm Living Your Dream Life, you may recall that the idea for Mike and I to become innkeepers came during my first journey to Kenya. While traveling with my sister, Gayle, over a five week period we covered much of the country--from Nairobi to Mt. Kenya to Western Provence, Mombasa, the Masai Mara and through the Great Rift Valley to one of the most magical places I've ever been, Lake Baringo. Lake Baringo is located in the far north of the Great Rift Valley and it was a hot, dusty trek getting there. But waiting for us at the shore was a darling young couple who invited us aboard their banana boat and whisked us across the coffee-colored water to a place called "Island Camp ." Hugo and Antionette, the innkeepers, made Gayle and I feel very special and catered to all our "fancies," including an afternoon of waterskiing. "Mind the hippos!" called Antionette as we dove into the experience. Trust me, skiing in hippo and crocodile infested waters is not something one soon forgets. Island Camp was such a special place that I never wanted to leave. (Two years later, I returned there with Mike, as well as my parents).

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After leaving Island Camp on that first trip with Gayle, to my amazement, we went to another place that impressed me even more. Located in the shadow of Mt. Kenya, we were guests of the Craig family at a ranch/wild life conservancy called Lewa Downs . The Craigs were another young couple raising two small children. During our stay we slept in a beautiful, stone cottage, which was decorated with rugs handmade on the property by Kikuyu women, and took our meals at the main house, dining with the family. Daniel Craig, who explained the 45,000 acres property had been in his family since the 1920s, took us on a horseback safari and also a tour from the air on his private plane. And yes, I did feel like Meryl Streep's version of Karen Blixen in "Out of Africa."

Dining with the family and interacting with the young Craig children, I saw what an extraordinary life they had--and believed that having people come from all over the world to regale them with international tales and adventures provided a unique education. Innkeeping appeared to be . . . well, a dream life.


Gayle's First Visit To Sandy Point

africa_porch.jpgThe first time Gayle came to Sandy Point was in October, 1992, when she was back in the States for a brief visit between long-term stints in Kenya. It was during the inspection process and sale negotiation. There was no doubt that Cabin #1 was her favorite cabin. Of the five original cabins that were here when we purchased Sandy Point, it was in the best shape, which is probably the main reason why it still stands today.

Also, it's the closest to the water. And because it's so close to the running creek and zoning laws dictate much of what we can and can't do around here, we are not allowed to A: tear it down and rebuild another in its place; nor B: Make improvements worth more than 50% of its assessed value.

Anyway, Gayle walked into the screen porch, looked at the view and said "Karibu!" I knew from that moment that this special cabin had a new name.

Happy Birthday Karibu. May you stand for another 75 years!

 

 

 

New Artwork by Skeet Scienski

(Sunday, 22 May 2011) by Michele Cozzens

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Sandy Point is NOT for Sale

(Sunday, 15 May 2011) by Michele Cozzens

There’s a nice piece of lakefront property for sale just down the road from Sandy Point Resort. A cute 3BR lake home sits on 6.9 acres and has nearly 200 ft. of frontage. It’s available for what we think is a song, $229,000.

 

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If I had an extra quarter million, I’d buy it. Offered by Remax, Click HERE for the listing information:

We discovered this property was for sale when we got a call telling us there was a FOR SALE sign in front of the Sandy Point Resort sign. I understand why the realtor placed her sign where she did. (She’s not the first Minocqua-based realtor to stick signs by our sign). This woman was, no doubt, trying to capitalize on the visibility of this corner, East Squaw Lake Rd. and North Squaw Lake Lane. Clearly, however, it didn’t occur to her to ask for permission to place the sign on our property. Nor did it occur to her that passers by might think the resort was for sale rather than the little green lake house down the lane.

 

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And then again, maybe that’s exactly what she was thinking. I know enough about realtors to know they simply want their phones to ring.  It’s their way of getting their foot in the door of the next possible listing/client. That's why so many newspaper ads listing properties for sale don't include the price.

Well, we don’t want our phone ringing and having people asking us how much we expect to get for our sizable chunk of Northwoods heaven. We’re not ready to put a price tag on it and won't be any time soon.

So, to anyone who thought for even five minutes that we are selling Sandy Point . . . not true. This economy hasn’t driven us out of business just yet.

 

The Disc Golf Guy Interviews the NWO TD, Mike Cozzens

(Saturday, 04 September 2010) by Michele Cozzens

 

 

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(Friday, 11 December 2009) by Michele Cozzens



 

Lac du Flambeau Gets a Clue

(Tuesday, 08 December 2009) by Michele Cozzens

lac1.jpgYou don’t see THIS everyday in your morning crossword puzzle:

3. _____ du Flambeau, Wisc.

In all my years of doing puzzles, I’ve seen _____ du Lac, Wisc. about a hundred times and it never got me excited. Today, however, seeing a clue for our little remote corner of the Northwoods—home to the Lake Superior Band of Ojibwe Indians and Sandy Point Resort and Disc Golf Ranch—in the USAToday puzzle, gave me a bigger rush than a double dose of cappuccino.

Sandy Point Resort is outside the town limits of Lac duFlambeau, but it does carry a “Flambeau” mailing address. The town itself is located in Vilas County and is comprised of approx. 128 square miles, 260 lakes, 65 miles of lakes, streams and rivers and 24,000 acres of wetlands. People population at the last census was 3000. I can’t say what the fish population is; however, I can report that according to the Lac du Flambeau Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest sturgeon came out of Lake Pokegama and is currently housed in a Lac du Flambeau museum. This monster measured 7 feet,1 inch, weighed 195 pounds and 40 inches around.

That’s quite a catch. And this was a great piece of bait. I filled in every square of the crossword in record time.

 

Reservation Notices Go Out This Week

(Monday, 30 November 2009) by Michele Cozzens

The first week of December sneaks up on me every year. I suppose it's because we get so wrapped up in our Thanksgiving plans we fail to think about what follows it. Anyway, here it is Monday morning, and after a long weekend away I have come home to massive lists of work to accomplish this week. First on the agenda? Getting out reservation notices to our guests who've reserved cabins for next summer. The deposits we request, due January 20, enable us to pay the first half of the year property taxes. Pretty important stuff.

Once again we're going to make the request that anyone who knows they will NOT be confirming their reservation to please let us know immediately. We'd like to make those cabins available to those who are currently trying to get into Sandy Point Resort. THANK YOU. 

Necklace of the Day

(Saturday, 24 October 2009) by Michele Cozzens

 
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Autumn 2009 Designs

(Monday, 19 October 2009) by Michele Cozzens

Northwoods Open Weekend

(Saturday, 05 September 2009) by Michele Cozzens

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194 Competitors . . . And Counting

(Wednesday, 02 September 2009) by Michele Cozzens

 

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The Northwoods Open Disc Golf Tournament, coming up this Labor Day weekend, just keeps getting more and more popular. To date, we have 194 competitors registered in the pro, am, and recreational divisions. I’m pretty sure that’s a record.

The ultimate cap is fast approaching, so if you're interested in participating in this tournament, call the resort immediately. We hope to give everyone the opportunity to compete.

Please know that spectators ARE welcome; however, the course will be closed to recreational play on Saturday and Sunday during the morning and afternoon rounds. Everyone is also welcome to play in the Friday Doubles Tournament, the Saturday night Glow-in-the-dark doubles tournament, and the tournament on Monday morning. Check the DISC GOLF, NORTHWOODS OPEN link for more information.

Also note, for all of you who have called to ask about where to stay for the weekend, it turns out there IS space available for overnight accommodations at Sandy Point Resort in the EXCLUSIVE Lakeview Lodge. All you have to do is click on this EBAY link and bid on it.

Now I' think I've seen it all.

 

 

 

Fifteen Beds. One Woman.

(Tuesday, 25 August 2009) by Michele Cozzens

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Twins named Rob and Laura; a double sleigh; one woman’s California King, a kid’s queen and a Hilltop Queen with her double and bottom bunk ladies in waiting. They were followed by the Stickeen Queen, double and the harder of two bunks, the top; and finally, an Aerie top bunk, bottom bunk, queen and full house.

Yesterday I bed-hopped, making fifteen beds in all. And it wasn’t even a Saturday. This, I believe, makes me the undisputed bed-making queen of Sandy Point Resort. I Rock! I also roll and give great hospital corners. I fold my top sheets exactly 13-inches and make sure my dust ruffles are in tact. I spotted and treated unsightly stains and made sure everything was crisp and inviting.

Today’s agenda? Kitchens!

 

 

 

The Coldest Summer on Record

(Sunday, 23 August 2009) by Michele Cozzens

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One of Mark Twain's famous witticisms was: "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." Having spent a decade of summers in San Francisco, I understood that comment quite well. I missed wearing sundresses during those years when the afternoon fog came barreling through the Golden Gate and blanketed the hills in mist.

Well, I can't say I wore many sun dresses during the summer of '09 in Wisconsin either. It's going down as the coldest summer on record.

 

This morning I got up early, anticipating a nice long run before spending time sorting and folding sheets and wading through my paperwork. The heat was going in the house so I didn't notice how cold it had grown over night. I should have known, however, as last night from the hot tub, the unsullied ebony sky was awash with brilliant stars. And through my sunroom window, I noticed the lake was invisible because it was covered with fog. This led me to the thermometer, which indicated a 44° temperature.

So, just before looking for a fleece pullover, I decided to fold sheets and finish my paperwork before the run. It was worth the wait. The temperature climbed to a whopping 54° about an hour later and I had a fine run around this beautiful property. Somehow I still managed to break a healthy sweat.

Damn, I'm lucky.

 

 

 

Why I No Longer Run Disc Golf Tournaments

(Thursday, 20 August 2009) by Michele Cozzens

 

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Mike is a fantastic tournament director. He’s been running disc golf tournaments for some 25 years and they’ve ranged in size from a few people to hundreds. His ability to run a smooth, fun event is one of the reasons why the Northwoods Open is arguably the most popular disc golf event in the state of Wisconsin. He credits all the support he gets from the disc golf community, which includes a staff of experienced tournament directors and statisticians; however, I happen to know his success comes not only from experience, but also from his personality.

First of all, he’s a golfer and has been since 1974. He loves the sport, loves the discs, and loves most of the people who play. He’s got a strong voice, with stock-market-trained diaphragm projection, and he has created an amazing 27-hole course, literally carved out of the forest. Maintaining it is a top priority. It’s impossible not to notice all the thought and care that goes into the course at Sandy Point Disc Golf Ranch.

Also, he gives everyone who participates in the Northwoods Open a player package, Pros and Ams alike.


mikejoe.jpgThe subject of Pro players vs. Amateur players came up today in a phone conversation I had with a person who called to ask about the tournament. He wanted to participate, but hasn’t had any tournament experience—even though he insisted he and “his partner” were phenomenal players. I suggest he enter the “Intermediate” Division for men, as it’s the competitive division for players just getting started with PDGA competition. The entry fee for this division is $35, which is $70 less than the Open Pro Division. Also, because this is a PDGA-sanctioned event and players must be current dues-paying members to participate (or in the case of amateur and recreational divisions, pay a PDGA tax of $10), his total fee would be $45 for two days of competition.

After asking several questions about the format, scoring, the check-in procedure (which would be “impossible” for him because he works two jobs—blah-blah-blah—) he wanted to know about payout.

“Now, I don’t mean to be modest (?), dear, but I noticed there’s nothing on your website about payout,” he said.

“Well that’s because we have no way of knowing what the payout will be until we have a final figure on the number of competitors. But the payout will be in line for the requirements of a PDGA A-tier event for the pros and B-tier event for the amateurs.”

“What kind of cash are we talking?”

“Amateurs don’t receive cash awards in PDGA events. It would compromise their amateur status. Instead they receive merchandise vouchers that are redeemable in our pro shop.”

“Well, that’s not right,” he said.

22close.jpgWhat came out of his mouth next was a combination of an incredulous reaction to this ridiculous practice, and a lecture of how it wasn’t right to contribute $45 to an event and expect to get no cash in return.  “Let me put it to you this way, dear, how would you like to go to a competition, pay for it, win it and get nothing but a voucher in return?”

Sigh. I looked at the clock and remained calm. “If you want to play for money," I said, “then you should play in the Open Pro Division.” I wanted to add: “But it’ll cost you even more, DEAR!” But I didn't.

As he blathered on with his complaints and his lecture, my cell phone rang with my husband’s personalized urgent-sounding ring, and I knew I had to end my call with the incredulous lecturer disguising himself as a disc golfer. I had already spent far too much time explaining things like foursomes, saying your score out loud after each hole, turning in your card and being responsible for the math. . . .

I’m happy to take entry fees over the phone and give lodging and local campground information, but I can’t conduct a player’s meeting on my dime when my other phone is ringing and I have a list of five other calls to return.

“I can’t have this conversation,” I said. “I have to go.” CLICK.


Any seasoned tournament director will tell you that there can be 200 wonderful people participating in a tournament, who help make the experience fun and exciting. But he’ll also tell you that there’s ALWAYS one a$$hole, who threatens to mar your positive efforts.

The trick is to not let him get to you.

Mike learned that a long time ago. I, on the other hand, crave an a$$hole-free existence and simply won’t tolerate a bully on any front. (Especially one that calls me “Dear” in every sentence he utters). This is why I’ll be back in Tucson during the 15th Annual Northwoods Open and Mike will be here, running what I’m sure will be another highly successful disc golf tournament.

Best of luck to all the great players who grace our Northwoods home each year. Have fun, and remember to LOOK UP!

 

 

Disc Golf Loses a Champion

(Sunday, 16 August 2009) by Michele Cozzens

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Tim Selinske, one of the founding partners of INNOVA-Champion Golf Discs, passed away after a long battle with Langerhans' Cell Histiocytosis. According to Innova, he had been undergoing treatment for the last eight months when his condition took a turn for the worse earlier last week. He died at 3am (California time) on Friday.

Tim and Mike had a 25-year relationship, which began in 1984 when Mike placed his first order for 100 discs with the infamous Berkeley Aquatic Park hot stamp. I don’t know specifically what the order included, but my guess is that the majority was those now highly coveted San Marino Rocs.

innova2.jpgI last saw Tim at the Rancho factory in the Spring of 08, and prior to that during the summer the Worlds were held near our resort in Northern Wisconsin. He helped make the Fly Mart, which for us was a great big disc golf reunion, even more fun.

Every time I saw Tim he greeted me with an enormous bear hug, and he never stopped smiling. He was someone who was always interested in what I had to say, whether the conversation was about golf discs or our kids. Tim is probably the main reason why our pro shop features Innova Champion products exclusively. He developed a great company with a fantastic product, and we simply enjoyed doing business with him.

His passing is a tremendous loss for the disc golf community, and a personal loss for Mike and me. Tim was a friend.


FROM THE INNOVA Website:
Beginning with his days with the International Frisbee Association, and until his untimely death, Tim was a tireless promoter of disc sports in general and Disc Golf in particular. Tim was one of the four founding partners of INNOVA-Champion Discs and served as the company General Manager and spokesman.

Tim was a loving and dedicated family man. Engaging, warm, lovable, affable, friendly, loving, smiling, affirming, funny, fun loving and kind are some of the words that best describe Tim. Most of Tim's energy went into making other people happy or feel good about themselves. Almost everyone liked Tim because he was so quick to give a smile and encouragement to them.
He was a joyous smiling presence who seemed to be able to brighten the spirits of anyone around him. His great good humor, generosity of spirit and his boundless enthusiasm for Disc Golf and life made knowing him an honor and a privilege.

As the voice and face of Innova over the years, Tim's affability gave us a warm friendly persona that we cannot replace. The Frisbee family will miss him. Disc Golf will miss him. We were all richer for having known him. We will all be poorer for his passing. All of us will miss him more than words can tell.

He is survived by his wife, Sue and children, Connor, Kimberly and Kyle and brothers Tom and Joe, sister Mary and his mother Kathy. Our thoughts are with them in this terribly sad time

Hwy. 70 Construction Update

(Friday, 14 August 2009) by Michele Cozzens

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Don't be afraid to take Hwy. 70 West of Minocqua. The major road construction project that has been clogging up traffic flow for most of the summer is nearly 100% complete and a fresh new surface is ready and waiting for your wheels. There's still a minor amount of shoulder work happening, but it causes only brief delays in maybe a spot or two.

There is a new project in Oneida county, east of Sandy Point and west of Minocqua, where they are rebuiding two bridges. This area is set off by stop lights and you are guaranted a brief wait for single-lane traffic flow. But I promise, it's only a very short stop.

roadarrows.jpgNow that the majority of the project is behind us, we can relax and enjoy the new, slick surface and stop cursing the D.O.T. for its poor planning and the resulting drop in our June revenues.

Hopefully next time the unthinking project managers will consider their timing and its affects on seasonal businesses. And at the very least, they'll remember that business exist not only ON Hwy. 70, but north and south of it as well. Our message to them is: READ THE ROAD ARROWS!

 

 

Wait Five Minutes for the Weather

(Monday, 03 August 2009) by Michele Cozzens

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There’s a saying here in the Northwoods that has never been more relevant than the summer of 2009: “If you don’t like the weather in Wisconsin, wait five minutes.”

For the past two weeks we’ve experienced a constantly changing weather scenario nearly every day: Sunny one moment, raining the next.

July has gone on record the coldest in decades. August appeared to be starting out with more of the same with a cold rainy, Saturday, August 1 turnover day. Today, however, according to local meteorologist, Luke Sampe, it actually reached 80° for the first time in 23 days.

My advice to vacationers heading North for their annual vacations remains the same: “Bring your sweatshirt, bring your swimsuit.”

Meanwhile, in our 17 years of experience here at Sandy Point Resort, June, July and August are all interchangeable when it comes to weather. The one difference we’ve noticed this summer is that the mosquitoes are finally making their nasty appearance known. Usually they peak at the Fourth of July. Not true of 2009. They’re peaking right now.

So, to that we say, bring your sweatshirt, your swimsuit, AND bring a bottle of DEET.

 

 

 

 

 

Watching the Kids Grow Up

(Wednesday, 29 July 2009) by Michele Cozzens

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My favorite thing about running Sandy Point Resort? Watching the kids grow up.

We are so fortunate to have many, many families return year after year. We've had generations come through this place and have had the delightful pleasure of watching children grow as well as the heartbreak of having grandparents pass on.

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Each spring when we return to the Northwoods, one of the first things we do is mark the height of Willow and Camille on our wall.

You know that wall . . . the one with all the family's growth records.

We are always amazed to see at least three inches of winter growth (and equally dismayed at our relative osteoporosis downsizing).

 

 

 

And while we marvel at the growth of the kids checking in each Saturday, our guests are equally amazed at the changes in our own daughters. Many, in fact, remember the summer I was pregnant with Camille--who arrived smack dab in the middle of 1997 (July 15).

I can't help but remember the summer of her birth and what it was like making bunk beds with an extra 30 pounds of tummy.

Featured in our photos today are Lily from Appleton and Autumn and Amber from East Troy, all of whom we've known since birth. What wonderful childhood memories they'll have from their summers at Sandy Point.

And we, of course, will never forget them.

 

 

 

 

Hollywood Spoils Little Bohemia

(Tuesday, 28 July 2009) by Michele Cozzens

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We saw Public Enemies last week, our one venture to the movies all summer. It was the 7:00 show and the theater was packed. It was also filthy. Spilled popcorn and snack wrappers littered the floor and clearly, the high traffic for this show had taken its smelly toll.

This made me wonder: Can the Northwoods handle Hollywood success?

Public Enemies, starring Johhny Depp, was not a winner for me. I had hoped it would be more of an inside look at the life of the notorious gangster, John Dillinger—particularly because of the talents of the man portraying him. But no. It wasn’t much more than two hours of machine guns blasting. And because all the trench coats and “Cagney” hats looked the same, I had a hard time distinguishing which characters were the public enemies and which were the public servants.

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In my uncomfortable seat, I spent most of my viewing time waiting for the scenes shot at Little Bohemia, a restaurant located in Manitowish Waters. I had eaten there many times prior to the release of the film on July 1, 2009, viewed the preserved bullet holes in the windows and read the yellowed newspaper articles about the shootout there in 1934. Last spring, “Little Bo’s” menu got an overhaul and I made the 45-minute drive there twice, just to eat the best walleye I’ve ever had in the Northwoods.

 

Being a resort owner, I am asked daily by our guests where they should go out to dinner. This year, without reservation, I have suggested they make the drive up to Little Bohemia, to experience the atmosphere and the fantastic food. I make the recommendation with such passion, that almost EVERYONE goes.

Last night, we took a visiting friend there, expecting a wonderful evening out. Unfortunately, Little Bohemia fell far short of our expectations.

First of all, our table wasn’t ready at our reservation time. And then, the surly hostess seated us right next to the constant swinging doors of the kitchen and the waiter’s station. We asked to be moved and it was as if we had asked for a free meal. They reluctantly moved us to a table across the room and then we were ignored. Wait and bus staff folded napkins and set tables all around us, but no waiter or waitress would even look in our direction. All the indifferent hostess had to say was, “Someone will be right with you,” and it would have been fine. But she couldn’t have cared less.

Finally, our waitress, who failed to give us her name OR smile, was highly unpleasant. The Coke’s were flat. Twice.  My salad tasted like Styrofoam and I was brought the wrong dressing. My daughter’s ‘medium rare’ steak was still “mooing” and had to be sent back.

The good news is that the walleye was still delicious. It was the best part of the experience—similar to Johnny Depp being the best part of Public Enemies.

 

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My guess is Little Bohemia is experiencing mid-season burnout. The wait staff seems to resent their success more than they appreciate it. Clearly, they’re tired of the onslaught of tourists, and even though it wasn’t particularly crowded when we got there, they had no desire to act the role of accommodating public servants.

In spite of how much business we’ve sent them week after week, we didn’t mention it, nor did we expect any special treatment. Regardless, we certainly didn’t expect to be treated like public enemies. We ended up doing research for the concierge portion of our job.

So, this morning when asked where to go out to dinner, I recommended the families staying in two of our cabins skip the drive up to Manitowish Waters and instead go to Mama’s Supper Club. It’s close by and ALWAYS a winner.

 

 

Piper in the Pro Shop

(Friday, 24 July 2009) by Michele Cozzens

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Musician, Dave Graham, Illinois resident and Sandy Point Guest for the past seven summers, treated the resort today with his bagpipe show. Decked in a jaunty Scottish tam, this year he left the kilt behind and first played at the beach, where it was a bit windy. He brought the pipes up to the cabin area and when he played, a large group of disc golfers stopped in their tracks, held onto their discs for a moment and listened. Soon, putting practice took on a ceremonial feel.

Friday is always a busy day on the course and today was no exception. So, Dave brought his pipes into the pro shop and gave me a personal performance. "It's going to be a lot louder in here than it is outside," he warned as he stepped inside and filled his lungs with air and his pipes with music.

It was a true treat from one of the nicest guests we are lucky enough to see each summer at Sandy Point. Dave is also known as Dave "Catfish" Graham. He is a member of The Salt Creek Boys, probably best described as a folk rock band, and regularly performs in venues around the Chicago area. He not only plays the bagpipes, but also guitar and dulcimer. For more information about the Salt Creek Boys, visit their website at: www.saltcreekboys.com. Meanwhile, check out the Pro Shop Performance:

 

 

 

Sushi in the Northwoods? Moo!

(Wednesday, 22 July 2009) by Michele Cozzens

Last week and for the past 20 years, anytime anyone mentioned “sushi” in the Northwoods, the word that most frequently followed was “bait.” It was similar to the asking the question,“Farms in Berkeley?” (the place from which we came) and hearing the answer, “Moo!” *

Being major sushi aficionados when we first moved here from Northern California, it wasn’t unusual for us to travel as far as Appleton or Madison with a cooler full of ice in order to transport a to-go package to fulfill our constant cravings for this raw fish, Japanese delicacy.

 

But that has changed. In the year 2009, sushi has finally found its way to the Island City of Minocqua,Wisconsin. We went there for the first time last Sunday and three days later, tonight, we went back. Yes, it’s a regular hamachi, unagi, maguro, caterpillar roll, dragon roll, white tuna, salmon, miso soup and edamame dinner. And, it’s fabulous.

The first time we were there it was odd eating something other than fried food, steak or grilled walleye here in the Northwoods. But not tonight. Tonight we sat right next to the Main Street window and watched the tourist show walk by. Meanwhile, every 10 minutes we saw someone we knew either dining at or passing by the restaurant—disc golf season pass holders, resort guests, even fans of my books.

So, when sushi hits a small town it tastes even more familiar.

Dōmo arigatō to the proprietors of Kobe Sushi, 519 Oneida Street, Minocqua, WI • 715-358-7983. We highly recommend it.

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* Berkeley Farms, a dairy company based in Northern California once used the slogan: “Farms in Berkeley? Moo!”

 

 

 

False Summer’s First Sunflower

(Sunday, 19 July 2009) by Michele Cozzens

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We haven’t seen the sun in four—count them 1, 2, 3, 4 days. And now, appropriately on SUNday, at last we have been graced by the light and warmth of this all-powerful orb. The sun makes an amazing difference in the life of a resort owner.

Last week with all its drab gray skies and low temps, our guests were mostly cabin bound. Each day as we ran through the beach area, it was foggy and serene . . . and deserted. We’re not sure what everyone was doing—no one came to rent a single movie or even put quarters in our famous Coke machine. From the unbelievable trash load we hauled away from the cabins, they were definitely consuming. And several were consuming an awfully large number of download megabytes, maxing out our satellite service and rendering us inoperable every other day.

I ask, how can one run a business—especially an ebay business—without the Internet?

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Which brings me back to focusing on the simpler things, like Mother Nature. In spite of the weather, I enjoyed every minute of my time outside. Not only do I have the opportunity to run with my husband on our beautiful disc golf course, I’m working with our daughters (Willow with soccer and Camille with volleyball) to get and/or keep them in shape for their upcoming seasons. I also have the opportunity to walk through my False Sunflower garden each time I step out the front door.

These prolific yellow flowers are typically mid summer bloomers, but without much sun to rise up to, they’ve been holding tight inside their buds. Until one day, just last week, POP! Hello first False Sunflower of the Season.

Now I wonder if we’ll have a real summer from this day forward. Soccer and volleyball are fun, but we miss swimming and skiing.

 

 

The Cost of Good Clean Family Fun

(Thursday, 16 July 2009) by Michele Cozzens

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Yesterday was Camille’s birthday—a family holiday to be sure. Each July 15 we all do minimum tasks at Sandy Point Resort and put the pro shop in the very capable hands of our man Stu, so we can spend the day celebrating our youngest member.

After watching her annual renewed membership in the Northwoods Birthday Club on NBC Channel 12, she opened her gifts and plastered a smile across her beautiful face that lasted the entire day. It doesn’t take much to please Camille. She could have opened a box of rubber bands and it would have made her happy. So, the iPod touch sent her soaring.

 

 In years past, we’ve gone to an indoor waterslide facility, a place called The Waters; however, last year her broken arm prevented that. This year she was looking for something “new.” I’m not sure who had the idea to go Go-Karting, but it was certainly in-line with all our thinking (particularly because we’ve seen the movie “The Great Outdoors” about a thousand times) that it’s a great—even classic— Northwoods family activity.

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And it was. 

The kids went on all three tracks, dad on two, I on one. The kart was a little kramped for me, but I accelerated around those curves and loved the feel of the wind in my face. It was a fun-filled five minutes of burning fossil fuels.

Total cost for 15 minutes of activity (45 if you add up all our individual five minute runs): $54 . . . plus six bucks for the ice cream, bringing us to $60. This means that while we were out gallivanting, our own business that tries to attract the family-activity crowd, needed to take in 12 green fees to pay for our expenses.

We might have had half that number.

 

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Something is wrong with this picture. Sandy Point Resort and Disc Golf Ranch offers a great family activity that costs five bucks a head and kids under 12 are FREE. Further, as compared to a Go-Kart run that lasts five minutes, a disc golf green fee is good for the entire day. With 25-27 holes on the course, an average round takes 1-1/2 to 2 hours; but you can play it twice, even three times. You can even leave and come back, and like some of our die-hard fanatics, play night golf til 3 AM.

Even if you don’t care for the game, no one can deny that the grounds are gorgeous, and walking with your friends or family while they play is a great outdoor exercise. There’s a picnic area and a lovely, clean public bathroom.

So if you’re looking for an inexpensive way to spend time with your family this summer OR if you want to bring out the kids for a birthday party, head out Hwy. 70, 20 minutes West of Minocqua. It's worth the drive and we’re open during the road construction. 

 

We've got a fabulous, unique shop too, and frankly, we could use the business. For one reason, we have to find a way to pay for that iPod.

 

 

 

Christmas in July

(Tuesday, 07 July 2009) by Michele Cozzens

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This Thursday the annual Christmas in July Arts and Crafts fair will take place in St. Germain, Wisconsin. This will be one of only two juried shows I will be participating in this summer. I will bring with me my traveling jewelry boards, showing off all the latest creations from Dream Life Designs.

This fair, St. Germain’s largest of the season, takes place between 9am and 3pm at St. Germain Community Park, just off Hwy. 70 East. For the first time I’m not bringing my tent with the colorful waving flags. They wanted me to set up on a dirt road and I didn’t want the jewelry to get dusty. Why I can’t manage to get the same tent site each year after doing this show for about seven or eight years is always puzzling; however, I’m happy to try out a site under the pavilion.

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Hopefully I’ll see many of my regular customers who always help make this show a success, and meet some new people as well. Of course, for those of you who can’t make it, the shop at Sandy Point is open every day between now and September and you may also want to check out our NEW online store: www.sandypointproshop.com.

And by the way, the weather forecast is 78° with a chance of late thunder storms. Far better than the 53° highs we had last week, when it truly felt like Christmas in July. 

POST SCRIPT:

The show was nearly a complete bust. Unfortunately I took in record low sales for ANY show I've done in the past eight years. According to the other crafters/vendors it's just been that kind of season.

The good news is: I got a hug from Santa. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mom's Birch Bark Factory

(Monday, 29 June 2009) by Michele Cozzens

I didn't bring my jewelry-making supplies with me to Sandy Point this summer. The plan was to use all my creative energy to continue writing a new novel, "Irish Twins." I was on a roll just prior to my return to Wisconsin and had high hopes for completing the manuscript with the serene beauty of the Northwoods as my office.

Unfortunately, I got side-tracked.

birchfactory.jpgOur SHOP website sandypointproshop.com, experienced a fatal blow when our webmaster simply gave up trying to make it work. He walked off the job, taking our development fees and all my hours of work uploading some 200 products with him. The short story is we had to pay someone an equal amount of money and I had to reconfigure and upload every product. One. At. A. Time. The new webmaster told us it would take 12 days on his end. I stopped counting actual days at 30 and that was about two weeks ago.

 

Don't you hate it when people tell you what they think you want to hear rather than the truth? As of this moment, we are still not officially LIVE.

switchplate1.jpgMeanwhile, creative as some of the product photography was, my creative ambitions would not rest. I couldn't focus enough to write fiction, but I could definitely strip several dead birch trees of their skin and then cut and hammer and sew.

I've already made enough six and eight inch birch bark canoe ornaments to fill a small Christmas tree and, tired of the pattern, moved on to making switch plate covers. I haven't made them for years--not since we outfitted our master suite with them (brightening the dark paneling). I also have a couple on display in the shop.

Soon they will be available for sale not only in our bricks and mortar shop at Sandy Point, but on our website. I can only hope that all this stripping, cutting and hammering--not to mention yammering--hasn't been in vain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Chihuahua and the Chipmunk

(Tuesday, 23 June 2009) by Michele Cozzens

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I missed this little event because I was in town; however, the girls (Willow, Camille and CINCO) had a visitor in the shop today. Apparently our friend, Chippy Chipmunk, came by. No doubt he/she was looking for a Snickers bar or perhaps some Peanut M&Ms.

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Cinco, who has been known to sit at the base of a tree for over an hour while staring down a chipmunk or a red squirrel, couldn't help but be fascinated by the chipmunk behind glass.

We are pleased to report, no one or nothing got hurt. Not even a candy bar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Stroll Down Sandy Point Lane

(Thursday, 18 June 2009) by Michele Cozzens

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When the girls were little, we looked forward to our daily stroll down Sandy Point Lane. Our blacktopped lane is about a quarter mile long. It leads to the mailbox. 

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But now that most of our mail is delivered electronically and my girls find ways to NOT spend time with me, I’ve found other reasons to travel Sandy Point Lane.

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The main reason? 

It’s beautiful.

 

The trip down Sandy Point Lane is the real start to everyone’s summer vacation. 

Welcome.

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How Many Resorts Still Allow Dogs?

(Thursday, 04 June 2009) by Michele Cozzens

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We have a dog. She’s a six-pound, longhaired Chihuahua. How do you spell A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E? If you’re a dog lover, it’s hard not to adore Cinco at first sight. If she further blesses you with a sniff and offers the opportunity to pet her, the word L-O-V-E may even form in your mind.

If Cinco doesn’t like you—say you’re another four-legged bitch threatening her family, or she just doesn’t fancy the smell of you—you may find her yappy bark quite annoying. We get it. No one loves their dogs more than their owners. Some dog owners love their pets SO much they’re simply blind to anything that may cause others to be annoyed.

 

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We used to live in the San Francisco Bay Area. At the time, in the city of Berkeley, there wasn’t a STOP sign in town that didn’t have an additional message spray-painted below it. “STOP War;” “STOP Abuse;” “STOP Racism;” etc. Because of this, I remember not being the least bit surprised about finding graffiti on nearly every public sign in the East Bay. One I remember particularly well was in a public park. The sign read: “ALL DOGS MUST BE ON LEASH.” And the spray paint below it read: This includes YOUR dog!”

So often people believe the rules don’t apply to them. Specifically in the case of dog owners, many are so sure their dog is the most well trained—the best-behaved dog ever—that a leash isn’t necessary. These are the same owners who simply don’t hear their dog barking incessantly at all hours of the day, whether they’re inside ignoring the barking, or away all day, neglecting the ‘best-behaved dog ever.’

As resort owners who happen to love dogs, we want to provide a facility that allows dogs. We’ve tried. Over the years, 17 to be exact, we’ve had to tweak the dog policy to make it work for us; however, I’ve come to believe no one reads policies in advance. They only read them after they leave, and only if they have a reason.

The reason would be, of course, because we kept the dog deposit.

 

We currently don’t charge for dogs. We only charge a deposit. The deposit is refundable, unless there are violations to our policy. I can count the number of times we’ve found it necessary to keep a dog deposit. Most—repeat MOST—owners are highly responsible in picking up after their pets. There is virtually no sign that a dog was on property, indoors or out, after they’ve left.

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Unfortunately, there are and will always be exceptions. And it’s the less responsible dog owners that ruin it for the rest. When the offending dog owner further proclaims we are completely unfair or unjustified in keeping the deposit and goes as far as to issue threats such as: We’re never coming back and we’re telling ALL our friends to never go to Sandy Point;” well, we have to put them in our “People Can be Jerks” file and move on.

But it also means we have to change the policy. We simply don’t like being put in the same awkward/difficult situation more than twice and being the kind of people who learn from our experiences, we once again find the need to change our dog policy.

Yesterday I searched for websites of other resorts that allow dogs and nearly every one I found charges a fee. It costs us $150 to fly with Cinco (and there’s NO clean-up required by placing her soft crate under the seat in front of us). Every hotel we stay at for weekend soccer tournaments that actually allows dogs has a fee as well.  So, our research has shown that Sandy Point is unique for two reasons: 1. It still allows pets and 2. It doesn’t charge a fee.

Time to get with the program.

We only allow dogs in the shoulder/off-seasons. This will still be the case. But now there will be a fee in ADDITION to the damage deposit. We don’t want owners to think just because they’re paying for the privilege of bringing their dog that they don’t have to clean up after their best friend as well.

And if we feel the need to keep the cleaning/damage deposit, I guarantee you, we are justified in doing so. If it means you’ll never come back to Sandy Point with your barking, shedding, clawing dogs . . . good.

 

Open During Construction

(Saturday, 30 May 2009) by Michele Cozzens

Project Managers of the Hwy. 70 construction project, employees of the Wisconsin D.O.T., paid us a personal visit today in response to the phone message Mike left asking how long Hwy. 70 would be closed to Thru Traffic. It was good of them to visit because we have a legitimate gripe. Our business is, more-or-less, inaccessible. Currently, the detour takes motorists so far out of the way to get to our resort and disc golf course, they may as well plan to spend the day at Mall of America in Minneapolis.

Thank goodness, many of the locals know the backroads and traffic picked up a little today on the disc golf course.

Here's what the D.O.T. field managers told us today: "It will be another two weeks before Hwy. 70 is open past Cty. Hwy. D and the detour will be in place until Fourth of July. That is, of course, only if the contractors meet their deadline. They may not finish in time and opt to take on the penalty. We have no way of knowing."

Not much comfort for a Mom and Pop operation like us.

We have an extremely limited number of weeks—14—to make our income for the year. When the D.O.T. makes our business impossible to access, that doesn't bode much hope for the bottom line. They claimed they contacted all the businesses along Hwy. 70 to give them ample warning to make detour signs and contact their customers. We, however, weren't contacted. The representatives admitted they failed to consider the idea of businesses exisiting North and South of the road. . . .     (Duh). "We'll know better next time," they said.

Next time being 15 years from now when a new road project occurs? Anyone want to place a bet that these two employees will still be working for the government D.O.T?

Nevertheless, there is a viable detour, for which it was suggested we supply our own signage. We'll do it; however, in case you actually check this blog or even the front page of our website, here are the details:

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From Minocqua, head north on Hwy. 51 to Hwy. 47 toward Lac du Flambeau.

Just before you reach downtown (the casino) turn south on Cty. D. Just outside of town, take a right on "Indian Village Rd." 

Take it to Chaquamegon Forest and make a left. It will turn into Mitten Lake Road. Mitten Lake Rd. dead-ends at Hwy. 70.

Make a right (west) and go about a block. You'll immediately see our freshly painted ROAD ARROWS, pointing you left on East Squaw Lake Road. From there go 3/4 mile and you'll see our sign at the corner of East Squaw and North Squaw, pointing you down Sandy Point Lane.

Eureka, you have found us. Five bucks for all day play of a World class, 27-hole disc golf course, including the use of our golf discs. Also, jewelry and books by Michele Cozzens.

 

 

 

Birch Trees Survive the Winter

(Saturday, 23 May 2009) by Michele Cozzens

 

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Blessed be the birch trees. After the trauma they experienced last July and the dramatic rescue we staged to save them, we are happy to report that our shoreline stand of paper white birch trees survived a particularly harsh Wisconsin Winter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Northwoods Splendor

(Saturday, 16 May 2009) by Michele Cozzens

Our annual spring transition is in gear. Mike's at the resort, hosting a full house this weekend. The girls and I are packing up the Tucson home and having emotional goodbyes. Both girls will be at new schools next year. I am EAGER to get out of this 100° desert heat and back to the splendor of the Northwoods. Meanwhile, this is what came in this morning's mail:

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From Mike: Taken about 10 minutes ago. Yes that is snow. UGH!!!! 

I can't wait to get to Sandy Point!

 

 

May Day! May Day!

(Monday, 27 April 2009) by Michele Cozzens

Opening weekend for the 2009 season is upon us. This Friday, May 1 is the official reopening of Sandy Point. Some of you have been playing golf since the snow got to less than a foot on the ground, but Season Passes officially go on sale beginning Friday, and will be good until November 1st.

We are still in Tucson; however, Stu has been working hard getting the cabins and the grounds ready. Mike returns on May 12 and the girls and I will follow shortly thereafter. We're all looking forward to our return. And as we say every year: It's going to be our best summer ever.

This year, we really mean it!

 

 

 

Photo Featured in Flying Disc Magazine

(Friday, 13 March 2009) by Michele Cozzens

dock_throw_2.jpgPhoto by Jay Yeti Reading at the 2008 Northwoods Open. Todd Kozlencer takes his best shot in the annual Off-the-Raft driving contest.

 

 

Current Disc Golf Ebay Listings

(Monday, 02 March 2009) by Michele Cozzens

Flexibility

(Sunday, 15 February 2009) by Michele Cozzens

Along with a cabin deposit check received in yesterday’smail, there was a note thanking us for “being so flexible.” I don’t often receive notes like this because I learned a long time ago that in running a small business, it rarely pays to be flexible.

As parents it’s our nature to be flexible. Raising kids is always a crapshoot and we often don’t know what’s going to hit us on a daily basis. Some rules, of course, will not be broken under this roof; however, sometimes we need to stretch the rules. For example, if one kid has a huge amount of homework and there's really no extra time to do the dishes, someone else can step in and take the chore.

The same holds true for running a Mom and Pop operation. Dealing with people who have varying degrees of expectations and experience with planning family vacations, I never truly know what to expect each time the phone rings. In seventeen years of operation, I have a pretty good guess. But one thing I’ve learned for certain is, if you stray from your policies, it’ll bite you in the ass.

We usually give guests the option of using a credit card to confirm their reservations, or a week’s time to get a check to us. If the check is mailed immediately from any state in the Union, we should receive it in a week. Sometimes, however, checks don’t get written or sent for a few days, and we all understand how paperwork can either build up or slip through the cracks of one’s desk.  If more than a week goes by and I fail to notice, that may seem flexible to some, but what actually results is a stray from the policy and potential consequences. A reservation not confirmed in the book can lead to a double booking.

This happened today for the FIRST time. And it was because of checks either not being sent or being delayed. It was my fault, but I have to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Looks like we’ll have to forgo the option of allowing deposits by check. If you make a reservation over the phone, we will require a credit card deposit to hold and confirm the reservation. This is how the big hotels do it and it’s gonna have to be the case now for Mom and Pop. Because our kids are pulling us in all directions and the calendar on the wall is stuffed with their activities, Mom can’t keep the resort calendar in her head anymore.

I always knew the day would come when I’d lose a bit of my flexibility. Better go stretch.

 

 

Real Life Designs

(Tuesday, 10 February 2009) by Michele Cozzens

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Each year I visit the various Gem Shows around Tucson and stock the necessary supplies to keep my Dream Life Designs jewelry business in business. I shop for semi-precious stones, crystals, copper and silver and other construction supplies.

Getting all the so-called necessities out the way, I usually make time to float around the aisles hoping for something unusual to jump out and inspire a new line.

Since I don’t have the budget to do that this year, my new line will simply focus on the ECONOMY for inspiration. I hereby announce 2009’s line to feature Economically Sensitive Designs.

Women will always look for a new necklace, bracelet, or pair of earrings to go with a certain outfit, and they’ll also continue buying birthday presents for their friends, sisters and daughters. I’ll just help make the process more affordable.

Dream Life Designs will now have a division called Real Life Designs. Look for photos very soon.

 

 

Get Your Groove On!

(Friday, 06 February 2009) by Michele Cozzens

trio2.jpgLast summer we asked friends and fans of Sandy Point Resort to get their LOON on! Our 2008 t-shirt features our most popular disc golf hotstamp, which was created by Randy Shukar, and the shirt design, oddly enough, came to me in a dream.

The hotstamp on the front was something I'd wanted to do for a while, but then our good friend JAKE-O came to me in a dream one night and said the words in his extra-low, DJ voice: "Get Your LOON On!" He followed this statement with a Yul Brynner laugh. I woke up with a smile and an idea.

 

You can still get your Loon On by clicking HERE.

 

d63f_1.jpg Now, here we are in the middle of winter and we want you to get something else on: Your GROOVE!

Mike has just received a shipment of the hottest new golf disc from Innova-Champion. It's a Speed 13 driver meant especially for beginner and intermediate golfers and it's called, you guessed it, the GROOVE.

Featuring an innovative groove in the rim, it enables slower arms to achieve greater speed and distance. So far, they are FLYING out of here. Don't miss out on these first run discs. Check out Mike's ebay listings by clicking HERE.

You'll be feeling groovy out on the disc golf course in no time! 

 

 

 

Free Advice

(Wednesday, 04 February 2009) by Michele Cozzens

Last night I received a letter from a man named Bill, who read I’m Living Your Dream Life while researching resort ownership. I’ve lost track of the number of letters like this I’ve received, but this one stands out because it’s been a while. I’ve since had three additional books published (on different subjects) and it has shifted my focus and the types of letters I receive.

Bill asks some specific questions regarding occupancy rates and how much staff it takes to operate a small resort, but he asks other questions that take me from the “how-to” expertise category to the “memoir” portion of the story. He asks: “Exactly how stressful is it” to own a resort, and “is the job hard to figure out?”

Well Bill, here are your answers. First, the specific:

dream-bookcover.jpgDuring 16 summers of operation, we’ve enjoyed ten prime weeks of summer occupancy rates at 100%. We base our entire operating budget on these ten weeks. This income pays for everything it takes to keep the place going: electricity, propane, trash collection, septic service, well and pump, building, grounds, and equipment maintenance, pest control, insurance, insurance and more insurance, real estate taxes, association fees and dues, advertising and marketing, licenses, housekeeping supplies, office supplies, telephone bills, legal and professional fees, guest amenities and staff.

During a good year all other income aside from this 10-week budget scenario is our profit. In other words what we earn from an additional four weeks of on-season rates and three months of off-season (also known as shoulder season) rates is what we use to feed our family. We have the added bonus of the disc golf course and retail operation, but that has separate budget criteria.

As far as staff, I know only one woman who operates a three-unit resort on her own. Most of the people I know in the local resort association are at least a couple or a family operation. My business partner (aka husband) and I each take on 50% of the responsibilities, bringing our particular talents to the table. At times we are required to step into one another’s arenas and we make that work. For example, I can change a ball cock on a toilet and relight a water heater if I must, and he can make hospital corners on a bed sheet and check-in guests rather well; however, we prefer to stay in our comfort zones.

Now that our daughters are old enough, they have taken on jobs as well and frankly, I don’t know how we managed without them. We also have a full time man, a caretaker, who we house on the property year-round, and he has 45-acres of work to keep him busy.


Regarding the more esoteric notions of how stressful the job may be or how hard it may be to learn, I can’t predict this for Bill. My first question was to ask if he was “handy.” By handy I mean whether or not he can fix things. Is he capable of determining what’s causing the toilet to run or the faucet to leak, or diagnosing what the smell is over in cabin #4? Can he repair a leaky roof; find out where the bats are getting in and plug the hole; rethread a pull cord on a motor when an overzealous weekend fisherman pulls it out? Can he fix a screen or replace a broken window? How many of him does it take to change a light bulb?

If he can do these things easily, he won’t be stressed when called to do them on a daily basis.

I just described the key elements of my husband’s job. Then there’s MY job. I am the CEO and bookkeeper, office manager, receptionist, booking agent, advertising executive, decorator, webmistress, hostess, housekeeping supervisor, maid, laundry room manager, concierge and Mother Superior. Most of the jobs came easily to me and those that didn’t, I bought books like
If You Can Read You Can Understand BookkeepingIdiots Guide to Running a Bed and Breakfast and So, You Want to be an Innkeeper. Once I learned how to do everything, I was not stressed.

These days I only stress out when there’s a bad storm and I have to wake up to see the damage and wonder how much time and money it’s going to cost me. The rotten guests no longer stress me, frankly because they don’t really exist. The people who come to our resort are genuinely lovely people and we are happy to share our dream life with them.

Even if it’s only for a week.
 
 

Six Letter Word for Resort Operation

(Thursday, 29 January 2009) by Michele Cozzens

crossword.jpgMerle Reagle’s crossword puzzle today offered the following clue for 46 DOWN: “Classic Beatles song on Revolver.” Can you name it? Can you?

Here’s a hint: It’s six letters, begins with a TAX and ends with a MAN.

I work a crossword puzzle nearly everyday, but Reagle’s, which comes in the Arizona Daily Star every Thursday, is always my favorite. It’s not five-star difficult like the NY Times puzzle can sometimes be and it’s not three-star fodder like the daily in USA Today. It’s baby bear’s just right porridge, just the right amount of brain stimulation to start my day. It’s every bit as good as a latte with chocolate sprinkles on top!

Today, however, it served as a reminder. With nearly 140 clues, there’s bound to be at least one that has a coincidental relevance to my daily life—business or personal—but I like to think the crosswords speak to me personally. So, after filling in the letters for “TAXMAN,” I went to my office and grabbed my property tax bills and my checkbook. They’re due on January 31, two days from now, which should give the US Postal service enough time to get my payment from the Southwest Desert to the great Northwoods, especially if one considers the five-day grace period. Gee, I hope there’s not an ice storm planning to hold things up.

Thanks to all of you who sent in your summer deposits. You made it possible for us to keep this resort going . . . at least until July.

 

 

Think Summer

(Friday, 23 January 2009) by Michele Cozzens

Now is the time to make plans for your summer vacation. When you look out your window right now, I know it's hard to imagine green grass and warm blue waves lapping a sandy shore. So have a look at this photo, then close your eyes and imagine the kids' squeals of delight as they plunge into the waters of Squaw Lake. Break out your calendar and compare it with our availability. Rent a cabin at Sandy Point this summer. You WON'T be disappointed.

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Now is Your Chance!

(Wednesday, 21 January 2009) by Michele Cozzens

cincomail.jpgLike many of the finest family-owned resorts in the Northwoods, Sandy Point books a majority of its accommodations a year in advance of the prime summer weeks (June, July, August). The summer of 2009 was no exception and if you check our availability calendar you’ll see two things: 1. Some weeks are fully booked by our faithful, long-term guests; 2. WE HAVE OPENINGS.

I must admit I was worried about whether or not the January deposits would show up in our mailbox. Since the New Year, each day when I heard the familiar squeak of Joe-the-mail-carrier’s delivery jeep, I called Cinco, and together we tiptoed to the mailbox to look for those treasured envelopes addressed to the Sandy Point Southwest Office. They were few and far in-between. Instead, it was my email inbox that carried cancellation message after cancellation message. This economy has had a brutal trickle-down effect on a lot of people and summer vacation plans have had to take a back seat for many. Happily we can still offer an affordable way to spend a relaxing week at the lake.

Some of these cancellations filled immediately, which brought in the deposits we so urgently need at this time of year.  Do all Wisconsin property owners have a tax payment due on January 31? But for those of you who have been patiently awaiting your opportunity to spend at week at this beautiful Northwoods resort, NOW IS YOUR CHANCE.


Call us today to book your summer vacation. 888-588-3233

 

 

What's the Weather in Wisconsin?

(Friday, 16 January 2009) by Michele Cozzens

therm.jpgSent today from Melissa Pecunia, a Sandy Point regular and dear friend, to illustrate the frrrrrrrrrrrreeeezing temperature in Wisconsin this morning. It's actually BELOW freezing — make that -20° — and that doesn't account for the windchill factor bringing it to -40°!

So for every person who calls the resort and asks me "what''s the weather in Wisconsin?" I now refer to this photo. Would you like to know what it's like in Tucson?

 

I didn't think so. 

 

 

Golf Disc Rescue

(Thursday, 08 January 2009) by Michele Cozzens

Winter in Wisconsin

This is a demonstration of the extreme measures disc golfers will take to retrieve their plastic. Features our good friend, Terry Miller, PDGA Wisconsin State Coordinator. WARNING: Some language not suitable for young children (!) 

Reservation Deposit Deadline

(Friday, 02 January 2009) by Michele Cozzens

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Music Video of our Dream Life

(Wednesday, 31 December 2008) by Michele Cozzens

Featuring the piano of Robin Meloy Goldsby playing her composition, "October Sky." This talented musician and author has CDs and her two books, Piano Girl and Rhythm, available for sale on Amazon.com. You won't be disappointed! 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas From The Cozzens

(Saturday, 27 December 2008) by Michele Cozzens

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Reservations Notices Are in the Mail

(Monday, 01 December 2008) by Michele Cozzens

December greetings to our Sandy Point guests. For those of you who are "regulars" you'll recognize our annual first-week-of-December mailer reminding you of the week and the cabin you have reserved next summer for your Northwoods vacation. You should expect to see it in your mailbox later this week. Remember, deposits are due by January 20, so this should give you plenty of time to organize your calendars or talk with your family members about vacation plans. If you're new to Sandy Point and this process, please keep in mind that the January 20 deadline is firm.

Also, and this is very important, if you do not plan on confirming your reservation, we'd be very grateful if you'd let us know as soon as possible. Our phone rings a lot over the holidays and we don't like to turn away people unnecessarily. I've just spent HOURS putting together this mailer, so if you ignore it and let the deadline pass without contacting me to either confirm or cancel, well frankly, I'm hurt. Don't hurt me. It's been a rough year.

Thanks,
Michele

 

Make Summer 2009 Reservations NOW

(Tuesday, 18 November 2008) by Michele Cozzens

Greetings from our Off Season Office. As the holidays approach and you're anticipating family gatherings, don't forget to plan ahead for your summer family vacation. I can't tell you how many calls I've received each spring during the months of March and April from potential resort guests looking for a summer rental, who believe they're calling EARLY. They're always surprised when they can't find an opening.

Sandy Point and well-established, well-maintained resorts like Sandy Point, start booking a year in advance. If you click to our availability page  you'll see how many cabins during June, July and August have already been reserved. The good news is that we still have several openings and NOW is the time to call our toll free number and talk to us about next year's summer vacation.

A week at the lake is STILL an affordable option for your family and believe me, you'll help create memories for your kids (and your grandkids) that they'll carry with them throughout their lives. Featured below are Jerry and Marge Hoffman of Menasha, WI, who've been Sandy Point guests with their grown children and grandchildren for the past fifteen years.

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Going to Sconsin'

(Tuesday, 16 September 2008) by Michele Cozzens

The St. Alban's Youth Group of Tucson, Arizona is planning a return trip to Sandy Point in the Spring of 2009. A couple of our talented youth group rappers, Joe Beck and Casey Borden, both alumni of the first trip, put together this video. Worth the watch!

 

 

You Can Put Lipstick on a Pig

(Saturday, 13 September 2008) by Michele Cozzens

sarah.jpgBut it's still a Webkinz.

 

 

  

The Dingo Got My Baby!

(Friday, 12 September 2008) by Michele Cozzens

cinco1.jpgI'm recovering from a tremendous scare. We had just returned home from a volleyball game and dropping the girls at piano. I went into my office to check email and heard our little chihuahua, Cinco, bark. In another second there were high-pitched, panicked SCREAMS. I popped out of my chair and wrestled with the door leading from my office to our yard. (The deadbolt was released but the handle lock was slippery and I was acting too quickly.) I got the door open, went outside and saw a coyote IN OUR BACKYARD with Cinco in its mouth!

Talk about animal instincts. Mine kicked in immediately. I screamed and ran toward them waving my arms and yelling “No! No! Get out of here! Get out!” The coyote tried to scale the wall with Cinco in its mouth, and as I continued screaming and got closer to them, this #@$*&! dropped her, bolted across the playground and climbed the wall, returning to the undeveloped desert surrounding our home. Cinco scurried to the opposite end of the yard.

She was not injured as far as we could tell. No cuts. No blood. But OMG the SMELL!!!! The saliva all over her was one of the foulest things I've ever smelt.

She had an immediate bath. I had a glass of wine. Actually, I think she recovered more quickly than I.

Shortly after it happened I contacted my girlfriend, Jeanine, a former college roommate and a ‘would-be’ wildlife biologist in another life, and related the above. She said coyotes not only carry away small dogs or critters, they will lead away larger dogs by using just one from the pack . . . and then the pack descends. Not a pretty Circle of Life.  She also said, “wildlife will succeed despite our moving into their places.”
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Yes, I’m quite sure the coyotes roamed this desert territory long before we came with our little domesticated dogs.

Jeanine lives in rural Colorado. She said a couple of years ago in Elbert, a guy went outside and saw a mountain lion near his dog pen, which contained a lab and a puppy. He went in to get his gun and when he came back the puppy was gone.  She related another story that happened recently near Denver. A couple was sleeping and their Lab was in their bedroom. The dog was taken by a lion and killed. She said the Division of Wildlife confirmed it was a lion that killed the dog and, in fact, used the dog's body to lure the lion back so it could be killed. (It was).
 
“You may need to install a large wire kennel or other dog walk with a top so Cinco can safely be in the yard without you,” said Jeanine. “Poor girl,” she added, “she probably needed a glass of wine too.”


It Just Ain't The Same

(Tuesday, 09 September 2008) by Michele Cozzens

dsc05545.jpgAnd so another summer season at Sandy Point comes to an end. Mike was on property to host the Northwoods Open over Labor Day weekend and stayed through the next weekend to help tend to a full house. Now he's back in Tucson with the kids and me, leaving behind the cabin-cleaning and pro shop-tending, and shifting focus to the carpool-driving and sports-spectating. Our girls, by the way, will bring home interim grading tomorrow. The first quarter of sixth and eighth grades is FLYING by.

We all leave behind Sandy Point with memories of the birch and pine and the beautiful reflections of Squaw Lake. What we have instead here in Tucson is a Caribbean blue swimming pool along with palm trees and cacti. It has its own beauty, of course, but it just ain't the same. 

The good news is my feet look better here in the Valley of the Dolls than they do in the wilds of the Northwoods. 

 

 

 

 

Barry Schultz Wins the NWO

(Monday, 01 September 2008) by Michele Cozzens

barry1.jpgA total field of 168 enjoyed PERFECT weather for this year's Northwoods Open. Bringing home the big prize ($1,000) once again, was two-time World Champion, three-time U.S. Champion, Barry Schultz. Barry shot an impressive -29 for the tournament, turning in a score of 64 on the classic course of 27 holes on Saturday. On Sunday, when the pins were moved to the long positions, he shot 69. The closest anyone came to that on the long course was a 71, posted by fourth place finisher Matt Oller.

In second place by five strokes was Chris Heeren, who took home $700. He bested third place finisher, Jason McKinney by three. Of note was the strong showing by three-time Women's World Champion and three-time U.S. Champion, Des Reading, who cashed in the Open Division, finishing at -10 and tied for 18th place. Her World Champion mixed-doubles partner, husband Jay Yeti Reading, came in sixth place, posting a -17 for the tournament. It's always an honor to have such wonderful ambassadors for the sport of disc golf on property at Disc Golf Heaven.

jdr.jpgCongratulations to all the players and kudos to Tournament Director, Mike Cozzens, for a job well done. Thanks to everyone who helped make this event a success, especially stat man Dennis Squires, our friends at Innova-Champion Discs, Gary Jacobson, Kelly Rems, Johnny Rumble Pecunia, Joe Weinshel, Bryan Nelson and Captain Stu Cook.


Other winners by Division:

Grand  Masters: Sammy Juisto (-8)
Advanced Men: Chad Inman (-19)
Advanced Women: Alicia Juisto (+9)
Advanced Masters: Charles Heiam (-3)
Advanced Grand Masters: Greg Schuh (+9)
Intermediate Men: Peter Leslie (-5)
Intermediate Women: Nadine Malm (+41)
Recreational: Dominic Sanfilippo (+8)
Juniors: Joe Multerer (+36)

For all tournament results click HERE

 

Northwoods Open Weekend

(Friday, 29 August 2008) by Michele Cozzens

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Once again it's time for Wisconsin's favorite disc golf tournament: The Northwoods Open. Activities get underway today, Friday, when over 150 competitors enter the hallowed grounds of "Disc Golf Heaven." All players must register by TONIGHT or have an agent check-in for him or her. Check the Northwoods Open Web Page for additional scheduling of this event.
 
Featured above is this year's Candy Fund Raiser (CFR) InnColor Disc from Innova-Champion. Our model is the "Stupendous" Stu Cook, who is responsible for the excellent condition of all 27 holes of this heavily wooded course. It's never been in better shape. These highly-collectible, limited-edition discs are available at the pro shop and on our website, and every penny collected has gone into making this tournament a professional A-tier event.
    
There are many golfers of note on property, but we're particularly delighted to have World Champions Des and Jay Reading and Wisconsin's favorite son, Barry Schultz, back again.
 
Good luck to all the players. Have fun. And remember to "LOOK UP!!!"
 
 
NOTE TO RECREATIONAL PLAYERS: The course is closed during tournament competition on Saturday and Sunday. Come by for the Off-the-Raft Hole in one contest on Saturday afternoon. The Pro Shop will remain open to the public and spectators are welcome.
 
 

Reflections on a Late Summer's Eve

(Monday, 18 August 2008) by Michele Cozzens

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It couldn’t have been more peaceful when I opted to grab my laptop and camera and head down to the lake for the rare quiet time afforded a resort owner. The sun had set in the west leaving butterscotch yellow and pink grapefruit afterglows around the puffy clouds, and the calm water of Squaw Lake looked like a reflecting pool.

And then came the teenagers barreling across the bay. Rub-a-dub-dub, three teens in a tub, who yelled at one another using every swear word they’ve ever learned. They were dismally unconscious of the mellow-harshing influence it had not only on me, but on my next door neighbors out enjoying their dock and the fishermen anchored over the sand bar just beyond our pier. All the yelling boys heard was the roar of their 9.5 hp outboard motor.

I DETEST being put in the position of Mother Superior, but I gave them a good “this is UNCOOL Dudes,” tongue-lashing . . . which was nothing compared to the one they got from their grandmother, who has been kind enough to put up with them for a week’s vacation. She heard them from her cabin, as I suspect did everyone else within a mile radius.  They’re good boys—just being boys—and if anything, tonight they learned a science lesson about how sound carries over water.

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This is a beautiful place and I love it here, but I miss my husband and my children, already back in Tucson for the school year that began August 7. I’m feeling nostalgic for another season gone by too quickly without enough time to enjoy the best part about sharing this small piece of heaven with the loons and eagles, the mallards and muskies. And yes, even the resort guests with too much testosterone.

It’s time for a vacation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

Gangsters in the Northwoods

(Thursday, 14 August 2008) by Michele Cozzens

sign.jpgOur neck of the woods has a fascinating gangster history, brought to the spotlight last spring when Johnny Depp was in town filming the story of the 1934 shootout at Little Bohemia in Manitowish Waters where John Dillinger and his gang were targeted by the FBI. I had dinner at Little Bohemia last night with my sister and brother-in-law. We took in the history and got a good look at the setting for Depp's movie, "Public Enemy," to be released in 2009.

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The shootout was actually a disaster for the FBI. Barking dogs tipped off the presence of the agents in the parking lot and when a group of innocent patrons of the lodge stepped outside, shots were fired and then everything went to hell. Dillinger's gang members, still inside, fired back and two innocent civilians and an FBI agent were shot. The entire Dillinger gang escaped, and according to some old-timers, Dillinger wasn't even there, but instead was at another lodge down the road.

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Gunshots in the windows at Little Bohemia have been preserved and I have to say, looking at them really gave me the creeps. The rest of the lodge is in fine shape and sports a fresh coat of paint and new asphalt in the parking lot and driveway. The grounds are well groomed and feature stately red pines. In addition to the Dillinger memorabilia, pictures of Johnny Depp are now proudly displayed.
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Because he eluded the FBI so many times, Dillinger, a notorious bank robber, was labeled "Public Enemy Number One," and the head of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, placed a $15,000 price on his head. He was finally brought down when betrayed by the infamous "woman in red," (Anna Sage), who identified him outside of a Chicago theater in July of 1934.

We picked up information about other gangster related sites in the Northwoods, which during prohibition and the Depression, was filled with gambling parlors and houses of ill repute. All dirt roads led to the Northwoods, an out-of-the-way hiding spot for the bad boys of Chicago.

 

 

 

They're Real. And They're Spectacular

(Sunday, 10 August 2008) by Michele Cozzens

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Time for some UPLIFTING news . . .

Each summer when we face a new season at Sandy Point, our little family gathers as a team. We put our hands together and declare that what's ahead of us will be "the BEST summer ever!"

I'm afraid this summer didn't qualify. It hasn't even come close to being the BEST.

It began with the unexpected death of a friend just four days before my arrival, included Camille's broken arm, the open heart surgery of a very close friend's son (he's doing very well); a motorcycle accident that has put my favorite cousin in a coma for the past six weeks (she's not doing very well, I'm afraid); the microburst storm that tore apart our lakefront; and then I learned of another death of a lovely woman in our Tucson community. During a few lower points of sadness I start to wonder if I have a sign on my back that reads: "HIT ME AGAIN." And I didn't even mention the lousy economy, the price of gas or the creepy stalker posting crap about me and my first novel on the Internet . . . considering all we've endured, that jerk was just like one more mosquito.

So here we go again. 

Many of you have seen and commented upon our YouTube video of how we attempted to save the birch trees on our shoreline, which were nearly leveled after the storm. That's where the uplifting news began. (BTW: The trees are STILL ALIVE.) Photographed here in what is probably not your mother's bra, is the cover of my new novel—JUST RELEASED—and available for your reading pleasure.

It's Not Your Mother's Bridge Club is about a group of women who play the dice game BUNKO. I wanted to use the word BUNKO in the title, but the World Bunco Association wanted 50% of the royalties for that "privledge," so the short story there is, I changed the title.

You can order the book through Amazon.com, my publisher's website; or if you'd like an autographed copy, visit the shop on our website at www.sandypointproshop.com.

If you enjoy it, let me know, because I'd sure like to start a string of uplifting news coming my way. Meanwhile, as my kids get ready to leave me for the summer and go off to school (they've already missed the first two days), we're all putting our hands together and saying: "BEST school year ever!" 

 

 

You Haven't Experienced the Northwoods Until You . . .

(Friday, 08 August 2008) by Michele Cozzens

loon.jpg . . . Get your photo taken next to the giant loon in Mercer, Wisconsin.

Yes, it is I who stands in front of the World's Third Largest loon known as "Claire d'Loon." Made of fiberglass, she weighs a whopping 2,000 pounds and stands 16 feet tall. When she arrived in Mercer in 1981, Claire was the world's largest talking loon; however, her voice box broke. She has also been shot several times, and recently the town of Mercer raised funds to repair her.

I saw no evidence of wounds when I stood next to her the other day, just after selling jewelry at the annual "Loon Day" event downtown. The loon wood sculpture I'm carrying is, by the way, to scale.

According to my sources the world's largest loon is a floating loon in Virginia, followed in size by a concrete loon in Minnesota. If Claire gets back her voice, she will once again be the world's largest talking loon. I'm not sure that's necessary given the number of loon-callers who participated in the annual loon-calling contest. It's amazing how many Northwoods residents can perfectly imitate the haunting hoots and yodels of this prehistoric creature.

 

 

Sunday Morning Sunflower

(Sunday, 03 August 2008) by Michele Cozzens

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Each day someone asks: “What kind of flowers are those?” The simple answer is: “False Sunflowers.” Here’s the more complicated answer:

Heliopsis helianthoides, False Sunflower or Oxeye Sunflower, is a hearty perennial with several two-to-three-inch golden flowers. It's a member of the daisy family. Native False Sunflower plants grow up to six feet tall in light shade to full sun. They attract nectar-seeking butterflies and birds enjoy the ripe seeds. This is an exceptionally long-blooming flower, (showing color throughout July and August) and the number of plants around our property has multiplied for about 14 years.

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Each summer I deadhead and spread seeds, and the results have given us a Fiesta of Yellow throughout our gardens. Along with the admirers they also attract hundreds of bees. We walk through a tunnel of these plants several times a day and the bees pay no attention to us. They KNOW what they’re doing.

Baby-sitting Service

(Thursday, 31 July 2008) by Michele Cozzens

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Last summer, the parents of the adorable children pictured here asked if Willow and Camille would be willing to baby-sit for them so they could have a nice dinner out. We agreed to let this happen and acted as backup if necessary, as we would for any of our neighbors. It worked out so well, they asked the girls to baby-sit a second night. This led Willow and Camille to establish an official baby-sitting service this summer and they placed fliers in the cabins announcing their business. Baby-sitting is in addition to their regular Wednesday night lemonade stand and it has been a nice little entrepreneurial business for our daughters. Pictured here are Willow and Camille with Elissa and Kyle, one year later in the Big House--just as adorable.

One of the best things about being at Sandy Point is watching all our children grow up summer after summer. Often when our regular guests pull up to the the office to register, I have to sit down when I see the kids, many of whom suddenly tower over me. And each May when we return to Wisconsin we head to the "growth wall" to measure our girls. I wonder, what family doesn't have a wall somewhere in the house where they measure the growth (or IQ???) of family members? Both Willow and Camille grew three inches from May, 2007 to May, 2008 and have both already grown an inch since we first measured this summer. (I had to cheat and check their measurements the other day because when I woke up one morning, they both seemed to have stretched over night).

It must be all the fresh air and lake water . . .

 

Yes! Yes! Yes!

(Tuesday, 22 July 2008) by Michele Cozzens

Ural in for a Treat

(Sunday, 20 July 2008) by Michele Cozzens

ural1.jpgOne of our regular disc golfers, a neighbor from Bill’s Lake by the name of Kurt Lange, who is pictured with the girls, often motors down Sandy Point Lane on his Ural Patrol, an olive green Russian motorcycle, complete with a sidecar, a machine gun (yes, a machine gun) and several bullet holes.

According to Kurt, this head-turner is a 1st place award winner in a show at Milwaukee’s House of Harley. It’s “not a replica,” he says, but a 2004 version of the M-72, a design first established in 1941 under Josef Stalin to supply the Russian Red Army with a combat motorcycle to use against the Germans.

Lange says the Russians actually stole German BMW technology and made it their own. The machines were built in a Siberian factory east of the Ural Mountains and are still manufactured there today.

   

 

 

ural2.jpgI don’t know much about the machine gun attached to the sidecar other than it wasn’t loaded, and it certainly didn’t produce the artistically rendered bullet holes decorating the fenders. Natasha, I mean Camille, happily grabbed hold of it while hanging out in the sidecar. After her adventures with Willow in the golf cart earlier this summer (which led to the broken arm not visible in photos) I wasn’t about to let them take it for a spin. But thanks to the very amiable and jocular Kurt Lange, they did learn a little bit about WWII history.

 

Can The Birch Trees Be Saved?

(Friday, 18 July 2008) by Michele Cozzens

birch1.jpgThe man who sold us Sandy Point Resort in 1992 told us all the birch trees would be gone in ten years. Looking around at what seemed like and probably were a thousand beautiful paper white birches on the property, we found that hard to believe. Well, more than 16 years have passed, and the birch trees are not extinct.

Unfortunately, however, they’ve been disappearing at an alarming rate.

In the fall of 2006 we had a lumberjack crew stay at the resort for the weekend. They took down some 200 dead birches around the cabin area and on the disc golf course.

These once beautiful trees are now cut and stacked and supply firewood for our guests at $5 per wheelbarrow load.

 

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The birch are affected by both a blight and a bore. Not seeing much evidence of a leaf blight (where the trees’ leaves turn yellow mid-summer and drop), I think it’s the Bronze Birch Borer that’s proven to be lethal to our trees. Our dying trees have all the symptoms including progressive thinning of the crowns starting at the top of the tree. The bore tunnels and weakens the tree trunks by reducing the flow of sap. Consequently, sections break off, fall to the ground and splatter like shredded wheat.


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And then we have Mother Nature’s tantrums in the form of microburst winds that simply uproot our beautiful birches.

Since the storm last Friday night, we’ve had a lot of folks suggest we simply pull these uprooted birch trees at the lakefront back into place. I took photos of the girls in front of them to show perspective on the size of the “simple” task at hand. I keep thinking we can get some strong straps and use the muscle boat to pull them into place, but Mike seems skeptical about this method.

Our lumberjacks return to Sandy Point on Saturday for a week’s vacation, part of which is in trade for past services. (They offer both tree services and faux painting). Surely they’ll have an idea about how to save these trees.

 

 

 

 

 

Bye-Bye Boat House

(Thursday, 17 July 2008) by Michele Cozzens

boathouse.jpgOur lakefront boat house, your basic barn-shaped shed, is now a part of the scrap heap. It's the only building that didn't survive last week's storm--the victim of not one but two trees that came to rest smack dab in the center of it. The good news is that Mike recycled some of the materials and used them to temporarily fix the floor of our waved-out Recreation House. Over the winter, the joists of the floor collapsed and the result was a major dip in the floor under the ping pong table. It sure added another dimension to the weekly ping pong tournaments going on in there!

We're still cleaning up from the storm; however, the floor of the rec house won't be replaired until after the busy summer season. We've learned to maintain this place one project at a time.

Storms have been all around us this week and each time the sky darkens and thunder rumbles, I can't help but hold my breath. I do believe we've seen the worst of it already. I HAVE to believe this, of course.

 

 

 

Friday Night Microburst

(Sunday, 13 July 2008) by Michele Cozzens

onesnap.jpgGiven the seemingly unending reports of inclement weather this summer, if a hurricane-force wind momentarily bursts through our property, takes out a few trees, rips apart furniture, boats, docks and boathouses, well so be it. It could have been a lot worse. The lake could have drained . . . or the tree that fell upon one of our cabins could have hurt someone or caused structural damage. These things didn’t happen. What did happen around 11:30 p.m. on July 11 is known as a “microburst.” And what happened on Saturday, July 12 (in addition to our usual full resort turnover) was a day filled with chainsaws, bobcats and wonderful volunteers helping to clean up the mess.

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A microburst is a strong downdraft, which is less than 2.5 miles in diameter. It’s a localized column of sinking air that produces both divergent and straight-line winds at the surface, or when the draft comes into contact with the ground. How it differs from a tornado is that it has divergent winds rather than convergent. Speeds can be from 60 to 120 m.p.h. I don't know the rate of speed, but when the force hit, it awoke me from a deep sleep.

 

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Assessing the damage it’s clear this wasn’t a traveling wind. It hit one area and that’s where all the damage occurred. The area: our lakefront. We’ve managed to retrieve all the boats out of the forest, but the playground structure is still buried among the trees and I think we located the slide. Shattered dock pieces will need to be replaced and one section of our upturned main dock (the section with the bench near the American flag) was salvageable. Both the American flag and the Wisconsin flag are history. Our crew removed the trees that fell upon the boathouse, but we’ve been unable to get inside and see if the equipment survived. The inner tubes are most likely deflated but I don’t know about my fancy water-ski. Good thing I already broke it out once this summer.

 

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The most disappointing loss is the two red pines flanking the fish-cleaning house. They lay like two wooden soldiers, parallel to the ground with their roots and turf exposed. And right on the shore, the small cluster of birch trees (the backdrop to many of my jewelry photos of Willow) are uprooted as well. I wonder if we can pull them back into place?

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We’re very grateful to those who came by to help (our neighbors Bryan and Kelly) and to some of our guests who stayed after checking-out of their cabins to pick up debris, the Wilson, Layer and Renn families.

Now I know about what Friday morning's ominous orange sky was warning.

Better get back to work. 

 

 

 

 

Orange Sky in the Morn

(Friday, 11 July 2008) by Michele Cozzens

cozzensvane.jpgMy dad spent World War II at sea, convoying the North Atlantic. I spent a good portion of my childhood listening to his stories about this time in his life. Through these stories, Dad taught me a lot about geography, history, star constellations and weather. The weather wasn't merely a conversation-filler for him. I believe he genuinely had an interest in daily barometric pressure and humidity readings.

Now having spent so many years in Wisconsin, I've learned that the weather is THE number one topic of conversation among vacationers. I know for a fact the number one question I'm asked by resort guests is: "What's the weather forecast for the week?" Anyone who knows me knows I won't quote the forecast. Why? Come to Wisconsin for a week and you'll find out why.  If you really want to know what the weather will be like, you should simply look to the sky in the west.

One saying every sailor (or child of a sailor) knows is: "Red sky at night, sailor's delight. Red sky in the morn, sailors be warned." So my answer to the question about the weather forecast for today is: I think there's a storm on the way.

I woke up at 5am this morning and there was an eerie red glow filling my bedroom windows. I thought I was dreaming. Quickly I threw on a robe and grabbed my trusty red camera. The shot featured here is of the weather vane on the front of our house and the sky behind it. I swear, the color hasn't been altered. A soft rain began just as I zoomed in on the copper heron, and as I type this, I hear low, rumbling thunder. The sky has since gone as colorless as ash. The birds are quiet and the air still. Anything can happen. Don't like the weather in Wisconsin? Wait five minutes.

This heron weather vane, by the way, was a gift from my father-in-law, Warren, and his wife, Jean. They gave it to us nearly a dozen years ago when they learned we were expecting our second child. Their little joke was that they called it a "stork." As I stood in the soft rain shower this morning and marveled at the unusual color of the sky, I thought of Warren and Jean, who have passed, and missed them.

They may be gone, but their little stork joke lives on . . .

 

Trophy Fish: Oh! What a Show!

(Sunday, 06 July 2008) by Michele Cozzens

 

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Check out the 40-inch prize muskie caught right out in front of our dock this morning (July 6, 2008). And we, Mike, Willow, a resort guest by the name of Sue and I, witnessed the entire catch.

Pictured is Matt from Belvidere, IL visiting Squaw Lake this weekend, staying with our new neighbors. He'd never caught a muskie prior to this visit and this was his third. It was by far, we're told, the biggest of the three. First we saw his line go taut and watched as he patiently reeled it in while his partner, Loren, readied the net. This monster put up a splashy fight before succumbing to the catch, and when they held it up for us to view, first we gasped and then we all broke into spontaneous applause.

They kept it long enough to snap a few photos and hold it against the measuring stick before releasing it back into Squaw Lake for the next lucky fisherman.

I've seen a lot of fish caught in this lake; however, never have I witnessed a better show at such close range. And this was right after the bald eagle circled above us for five minutes . . .

Northwoods cinema. Who needs TV? 

Happy Independence Day

(Friday, 04 July 2008) by Michele Cozzens

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We have a saying in the Northwoods: There are two seasons, Winter and The Fourth of July. The latter is a quick 24 hours of tradition, which always includes a trip to the parade in downtown Lac du Flambeau. Except for when the 4th fell on a Saturday, we haven't missed it in 16 years. What was different about it this year is that our girls, Camille (left in photo) and Willow, didn't participate. It's not enough I had to face my daughter becoming a teenager this year, I also had to face that they're both now too old (or is it too sophisticated?) to participate in the kiddie bike parade that begins the festivities? Awwwww.

It's been a beautiful day here in the Northwoods. Perfect, in fact. Happy Birthday America.

After the parade, I sat on our front porch to read and keep an eye on the shop, when our guests from Lakeview Lodge happened by. A lovely woman named Joanie, who has come to the resort with her family for 11 years, came and sat with me for what we try to make a nice, annual conversation. This year we had a lot to talk about, including the death of her mother, Barbara, who was the person with whom I originally spoke and "sold" Sandy Point as a vacation destination for her family. Her mother had been ill for quite some time and Joanie was kind enough to phone me in April when they lost her to let me know. I'm grateful to our guests who do this--include me in the family news--rather than wait until they arrive and start out the vacation with bad news. Anyway, she told me that when they put photos together to display at her wake/funeral, they found very few photos of Barbara. All of them were of the kids, of course. Apparently Mom/Grandmom was behind the camera. Joanie encouraged me to make sure there were a few photos of myself available in the family archives so some day, my kids wouldn't face the same thing. Funny, just hours earlier at the parade, Mike grabbed the camera from me and said, "you're always taking the photos! We need one of you!" This is why I've opted to share this photo today.

And by the way, Joanie indicated that what photos they did find of her mother, were all taken "up North," both here at Sandy Point in her later years and in the earlier years they had spent at at resort in Hayward. Something about the Northwoods, I guess, brings out the need for us to record our happy memories and traditions.

 

New Public Wash House

(Tuesday, 01 July 2008) by Michele Cozzens

29.jpgWe interrupt this Sandy Point icon tour with a NEW development. First there was the outhouse/earth closet, now there is the new public rest room. Our new wash house, which we've already given a variety of names (and have yet to settle on one), features a flushing toilet, a sink, and one of those World Hand Dryer Corporation blowers from Berkeley, Illinois that we've seen in public rest rooms all over the world for our entire lives! Yesterday we had a drinking fountain installed out front.

This is great news for disc golfers visiting Sandy Point Resort. The outhouse featured in a previous blog is now located on the course, between holes #17 and #18--just in case you miss the outhouse experience. And, of course, the old two-holer "Ye Olde Rumbletown Dump" is still located on the front part of the course between holes #3 and #9. Meanwhile, we're excited about our new outbuilding. Would you like to hear about how it was supposed to be completed by last Labor Day weekend for the Northwoods Open and how the budget for construction DOUBLED? I doubt it. So let me just give more good news. And this is for our resort guests.laundry1.jpg

 

 

On the other side of the toilet facility is a coin-operated washer and dryer. Since only one of our rental homes offers a washer/dryer (Lakeview Lodge), this is an amenity we've long wanted to offer our guests. When we first built cabin #3-1/2, "The Marq," it had a washer/dryer; however, due to overuse and, yes, abuse, it caused a flood in one of the bedrooms and we had to remove it. So now, with its own septic system and everything, guests no longer have to head to town to the laundromat to wash (or dry) those towels! 

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The Earth Closet

(Monday, 30 June 2008) by Michele Cozzens

 

outhouse.jpgAn outhouse, also known as a netty, privy, dunny, thunderbox, kybo, biffy, jakes or jacks, longdrop, Johnny-on-the-spot, one-holer, two-holer (for the more affluent and effluent), $hit house or earth-closet, usually refers to a type of toilet in a small structure separate from the main building, which does not have a flush or sewer attached.

The term outhouse originally referred to an outbuilding, or any small structure away from a main building. for a variety of purposes, but mainly for activities not wanted in the main house.

The five original cabins at Sandy Point Resort didn’t have indoor plumbing. Instead, each had its own outhouse. Where our current garage and pro shop stand today, was a “wash house,” where guests went to shower. The outhouse featured here is not one of the originals, but rather, is one we built about five years ago to help “glamorize” the experience of using an outhouse. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve witnessed people’s refusal to use an outhouse. Even though it’s always clean, offers 2-ply toilet paper, hand sanitizer, a modern toilet seat, and even a quaint crescent moon window, some would rather walk around the disc golf course with full kidneys rather than subject themselves to an outhouse. I think you haven’t truly experienced the Northwoods if you haven’t used an “earth closet.”

 

 

Clean Your Fish Here

(Saturday, 28 June 2008) by Michele Cozzens

fishhouse.jpgThis is our vintage Fish Cleaning House, located on the Sandy Point shore of Squaw Lake and just next to the input creek known to us as "Cozzens' Creek." We can usually get a read on how the fish are biting each week by the amount of fish guts left behind in the disposal bins.

This brings up two issues. Recently we had more guts stored in this building than anyone of us (Mike, Michele or Stu, the guy who actually cleans it each week), has experienced in our tenure. Normally that would be good news. But the problem is, the guts came from fish NOT caught in this lake.

People! It's just bad form to bring fish caught in someone else's lake and leave the guts for us to clean up.iconfishhouse.jpg

Secondly: We have a sign hung in each cabin asking guests to only use the fish cleaning house for cleaning fish. In other words, don't clean fish in our cabins. I don't think anyone wants to hear about the amount of fish scales I had to clean out of the drains, sink bins, cabinets and drawers this week, but trust me, it wasn't pretty. It led me to make additional fluorescent signs for each cabin reading "DO NOT CLEAN FISH IN CABIN." I didn't even type the word "please." The only scales I want to deal with are scales on the piano.

Meanwhile, here it sits on the shorline, waiting for you to enter with your catch. This cute, A-roofed cleaning house is screen-in, and has everything you need to filet your fresh fish--as long as you BYOK (Bring Your Own Knife.) And remember, if it ain't caught near, don't clean here. 

Wink

 

 

"DRIVE SLOW"

(Friday, 27 June 2008) by Michele Cozzens

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One of the first signs we hung at the end of Sandy Point Lane. We mean it. Please drive slowly coming in and out of Sandy Point Resort. Don't let our speed bumps surprise you!
 
 
 
 

The Flag Hole

(Thursday, 26 June 2008) by Michele Cozzens

flag.jpgYou can't miss it. This giant flag hangs on the back of our Recreation House, which also is home to the Wisconsin Disc Golf Hall of Fame. That's disc golf basket #22 in front of it, hence the name of this hole, "The Flag Hole."

This isn't the orignal flag we had hung there. The original had 48 stars and is something we inherited from Mike's dad. Unfortunatley, the material from which it was made couldn't tolerate the severe Northwoods elements and it tattered to the point of being Unamerican. We replaced it with this 50-star version, measuring 9', 7" x 19', 1." 

Big Jim

(Wednesday, 25 June 2008) by Michele Cozzens

iconjim.jpgMeet Big Jim. He's a chainsaw-carved bear standing 4-foot, 7-inches and weighing, uh, a lot! Jim started working for us three years ago, and stands on the porch of our shop, greeting all who enter with a gnarly smile. We met him at the annual Spring Arts and Crafts fair at Torpy Park in Minocqua and couldn't take our eyes off him all weekend.

His creator is a woman named Dee, who lives just west of us near Squaw Creek. We've known Dee since we moved to the Northwoods, having first met her when she ran a coffee stand outside of Trig's Supermarket. This was long before Starbucks (which we still don't have in the Northwoods) became a household name. What I loved about Dee, aside from her always warm smile and tremendous laugh, was that she had a "word of the day" calendar on her coffee cart. Word freak that I've always been, I couldn't wait to accept the challenge of testing my vocabulary. I specifcally remember the word "subterfuge," and it brought me back to a boss I had in Berkeley that accused her employees of engaging in "subterfuge and gossip."

We were in town a lot the year Willow was born, going back and forth to Marshfield Clinic. Dee monitored my entire pregancy and now always looks forward to checking on Willow's growth progress when we see her each year at Torpy Park.

By the way, chainsaw carving is a craft that just came to Dee one day when she picked up a saw and starting creating amazing sculptures: Bears, Turtles, Frogs, Eagles, Acorns . . . truly definitive of Northwoods' icon material. Why does she do it? "Winters up here are really long."

A Musky Named George

(Tuesday, 24 June 2008) by Michele Cozzens

 

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 GEORGE: 36 pounds, 51 inches

Call it a Fishtale, but this musky, affectionately known as "George," has a story. He was caught in the root beer waters of Squaw lake on October 8, 1970 by Robert A. Wilson. Mr. Wilson and his family had been coming to Squaw Lake and Sandy Point Resort since the 1930s. When we took over in 1993, we were just one more new owner in a long string of caretakers of this special place. We had the privilege of his company during our first couple years here but he passed away. The next summer, his widow and his son, Mike, asked if they could "bring George home." They bestowed George upon us and we were delighted to display him, along with Mr. Wilson's photo and George's stats. He has found a home in our pro shop, just above the front door. Each spring when the Wilson family, Robert's son, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, come to continue the fishing tradition (they're looking for George's wife, "Georgette"), they salute old George and fondly remember the man who captured him.

Sadly, Robert's son, Mike, a dear friend to Sandy Point, passed away over the winter. He will be sorely missed. But now each time we look at George, we'll also be thinking of Mike.

Vintage Coke Machine

(Monday, 23 June 2008) by Michele Cozzens


iconcoke.jpgToday we begin a tour of some of your favorite Sandy Point icons--the things you expect to see when you arrive, and remember when you leave.

Probably our most popular feature is the first thing you see when you pull up to our pro shop / office. It's our vintage Coke machine. A constant source of maintenance for us is a constant pleasure for all our guests. There's nothing like an ice cold Coke right out of the bottle. Kids start jingling their quarters about half-way down Sandy Point Lane, ready to insert them into the slot, wait for the "Have a COKE" like to turn on, and then pull the bottle.

This machine was in the basement of our house when we first moved to Sandy Point in the winter of 1993. The previous owners told us they didn't want it because "it didn't work." Mike quickly put his electrical skills to use and we had an operating machine. Next it was a matter of getting the right coin changer, which we once again had to replace in May. One of our disc golfers supplied a new one and a spare, and to keep up with the rising costs of the Coca-Cola Distributers out of Rhinelander, we were able to raise the price from 75¢ to $1.00 in order to try and cover our costs. 

As always, we can hardly keep it filled! 

Follow-up on Broken Bones

(Friday, 20 June 2008) by Michele Cozzens

dsc04631.jpgOne week after Camille's bone setting surgery, she's recovering nicely. Thanks so much to all who've called and written inquiring about her progress. She came through the general anesthesia very well and for only a second in the recovery had a "Where Are We?" moment.

 Her hot pink cast above the elbow will be on until July 11 (just four days before her 11th birthday) and then she'll get a waterproof, below-the-elbow cast put on for two more weeks. We'll keep you posted, but I'll bet she'll be water-skiing with this new cast. As for now, she's found a way to enjoy the lake with broken bones, bless her heart.

One story that must be retold . . . when her five-year-old friend Nick, who is at the resort this week with his wonderful family, heard Camille had broken her arm, his first response to his mom was, "oh, is she DEAD?"

No, Camille is NOT dead and her broken arm is not much more than a HOT PINK trophy with hospital bills to come. Ugh. 

Rave Reviews!

(Thursday, 19 June 2008) by Michele Cozzens

rave.jpgAs we inch toward the summer solstice under mostly cloudy skies and temperatures that don't want to climb past the 60s, today was certainly the nicest day we've had at Sandy Point Resort this season. It was great to see the beach filled with children and their parents.

One group had a memorable experience when our RAVE trampoline swim raft broke loose from its anchor, and the kids atop floated off into the Squaw Lake horizon. They were easily rescued and the trampoline was brought to shore. It stayed there for about 24 hours and was never still.

Shown above is Willow and her friends, Andrew in the center and happily airborne, and Zac, taking advantage of every ray of sunshine. We're all ready to bounce into summer!

Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Drive Golf Carts

(Wednesday, 11 June 2008) by Michele Cozzens

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All day long I had the feeling something BAD was going to happen while watching the kids zip around the resort in our new golf cart. We kept the old cart and offer it to our guests who need a little assistance getting around, however, the girls didn't keep the old rules in place. They are supposed to ask permission to use the cart and NOT use it for joy-riding.

Well joy riding turned into pain riding when a sharp-turn near the lake caused a capsize. Willow, the driver, was fine, and so were two resort kids--thank GOD! But Camille's arm is broken in two spots and on Friday she has to return to the hospital where she was born in order to undergo surgery to set the bent bone. OUCH!

 Do you think they learned their lesson? 

Model Children

(Monday, 09 June 2008) by Michele Cozzens

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Willow and Camille have been earning their keep around Sandy Point Resort so far this season. Not only are they helping out in the shop and running messages--their usual chores--they're also making beds and cleaning bathrooms. For 13 years, I've wondered when this day would arrive.

When we first bought Sandy Point Resort, we didn't have children. I joked about hoping to give birth to a 16 year old boy in order to help out with all the chores. Turns out, teen-aged and adolescent girls are just as helpful. We just had to wait a few years.

At left Willow shows off another of her "skills," as a model for Dream Life Designs Jewelry. Featured is a four-strand turquoise nugget necklace. Available in the online shop. Willow and Camille have both been "model children." If you click on the menu bar where it reads SHOP and go to the jewelry department, you'll see our latest designs and their modeling efforts.

 

Have a gem of a week.

 

 

Johnny Rumble's Hole-in-One

(Wednesday, 04 June 2008) by Michele Cozzens

Johnny Rumble Pecunia, one of WIsconsin's favorite sons in the disc golf world, and certainly a master among men in the eyes of his fans at Sandy Point Disc Golf Ranch, is captured on film scoring an ACE during the off-the-raft hole-in-one contest, an annual event at Sandy Point's PDGA-sanctioned tournaments.

Sandy Point's Shop Doubles in Size

(Wednesday, 28 May 2008) by Michele Cozzens

We've seen a lot of jaws drop in the past week since the grand opening of our newly expanded shop at Sandy Point Resort. It happened in record time and we couldn't be happier with the results. We now have the front part of the shop dedicated almost completely to our disc golfers, where enthusiasts will find the largest and most diverse selection of Innova Champion discs in the region. We also carry golf bags, towels and a variety of items to enhance your disc golfing experience.

The back room is for all of you who come to the shop seeking unique jewelry. Dream Life Designs have never looked more beautiful. Always wholesale prices to the public, if you're looking for a statement piece or something casual, you'll find it at the shop at Sandy Point Resort.

Follow Me Back To the Northwoods

(Tuesday, 20 May 2008) by Michele Cozzens

Aren't They Beautiful?

(Wednesday, 16 April 2008) by Michele Cozzens

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Willow and Camille Cozzens, April, 2008 in Tucson, Arizona. Both girls (Willow, 13, left, Camille, 10, right) are counting the number of days before they get back to Sandy Point Resort. Willow keeps a white board in her room and updates it daily. We're looking at about a month to go. And it's a good thing. It's getting H-O-T here in the desert!

 

 

Steady Ed

(Wednesday, 26 March 2008) by Michele Cozzens

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From the archives:

Steady Ed Headrick, #001, paid a visit to Sandy Point Resort and Disc Golf Ranch in April, 1995 shortly after Willow was born. At this time he not only declared himself as Willow''s honorary grandfather, but he also declared Sandy Point a Disc Golf Sancutary. A certficate commemorating this event hangs in the Wisconsin Disc Golf Hall of Fame at Sandy Point Resort

Pictured left to right:
Joe Weinshel, Ed (holding Willow), Michele and Mike.

 

 

Sedona Collection Is Now Online

(Monday, 14 January 2008) by Michele Cozzens

Attention Jewelry Fans
I just got back from a trip to beautiful Sedona, Arizona, which has inspired my latest jewelry designs. Multi-strand necklaces include copper, turquoise, sterling, undyed onyx, and other surprises! Go to the shop today! Don't miss out on these one-of-a-kind pieces.

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Summer 2008 Deposits Due January 20

(Tuesday, 08 January 2008) by Michele Cozzens

Happy New Year

To all our wonderful returning guests and to those of you who have made a reservation for this summer, please don't forget to turn in your confirmation card and your deposit by January 20, 2008. This is a solid deadline and there are many camping on the availability page of this website to see what might open up on the morning of January 21.

If you have any questions or are afraid your deposit won't arrive at our Southwest Office on time, please don't hesitate to call our toll free line (888) 588-3233 and let us know your circumstances.

Thanks!

2008 Summer Reservation Notices in the Mail

(Tuesday, 04 December 2007) by Michele Cozzens

It's the first week of December, which means we have sent out our confirmation notices to all guests who booked cabins in 2008. Please look for them in your (snail) mailbox soon. Deposits are due by January 20, 2008.

If you know now that you won't be able to make your reservation, kindly contact us at your earliest convenience, so we can keep our availability calendar up to date. Call our toll free number, 888-588-3233 or e-mail us at: michele@sandypt.com.

Thanks and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Congratulations Northwoods Open Winners

(Saturday, 08 September 2007) by Michele Cozzens

Wisconsin's Favorite Son, Barry Schultz, returns to Sandy Point to capture the 2007 Northwoods Open title.

Congratulations to all the 2007 Northwoods Open Winners.

Open Division: Barry Schultz, -30

Pro Women: Kelly Rems, +13

Masters DIvision: Johnny Rumble Pecunia, -17

Grand Masters: Sammy Juisto, -10

Advanced Men: Mike Newhouse, -12

Advanced Women: Katriona Kozar, +22

Advanced Masters: Roger Vranak, -3

dv. Master Women: Chrissy Holton, +99

Adv. Grandmasters: Frank Grimes, +4

termediate Men: Carl Wanserski, =5

Intermediate Women: Lisa Callos, +17

Junior Boys: Jonathan Vue, +1 

Gone Swimmin'

(Thursday, 30 August 2007) by Michele Cozzens

We “flipped the fish,” our OPEN/CLOSED sign on the front of the shop, at 4:15, turned out all the lights, and headed for the lake. Mother Nature is having hot flashes these past couple of weeks and the Northwoods hasn’t been its usual cool retreat. It’s been sweltering.

Squaw Lake was like a warm bath and I sat in it for nearly two hours—long enough for my fingertips to wrinkle up like prunes. They tingle as I type. Although it wasn’t my first time in the water this season—I’ve water-skied a couple of times—it was my first swim. The kids were so excited to see me in my suit and in the water, they didn’t care that they’d already showered and put on clothes for the evening. They put on their still damp suits and splashed around me, begging me to rate their handstands, watch their somersaults and flips. Boy do I remember being their age and spending countless hours in the lake. Nothing gave me greater joy.

An eagle flew overhead at one point, so close we could see the details of his bright, yellow beak. Then, not thirty feet away, his talons opened and he scooped a 12-inch fish right out of the lake. It was such a smooth, quick move, and witnessing it made us all scream with delight. I’ve seen eagles do this before, but never at such close proximity. Talk about a feeling of great joy. Wow!

Last day of July . . . summer is going far too fast.

Fishing Freaks

(Monday, 27 August 2007) by Michele Cozzens

There are so many things to do at Sandy Point Resort, swimming, boating, water-skiing, playing disc golf, volleyball, basketball . . . and, of course, there’s fishing the waters of Squaw Lake. My girls, Willow and Camille, are now HOOKED.

Their favorite “cabin booty” (stuff left behind by the guests) has gone from frozen popsicles to refrigerated worms. They sniff out live bait like pigs hunting for truffles, and have learned to bait their own hooks and even, after too many trips to the dock by their dad, unhook their catch. Large mouth bass and small (smallies), perch, sunfish, and the occasional Northern have taken the bait. They believe they’ve dialed into all the lake’s hot spots. The best is just under one of our rafts, one close to shore known to them as the “white dock.” Our guests marvel at their skill, as they alternate between casting and diving in to cool off.

How do they go from barefoot, Northwoods fishergirls to fully-clothed, desert-dwelling schoolgirls in less than 24 hours? Our alarm will go off at 3AM and I’ll take them to the airport. A few hours later, their climate will change completely as they start school four days behind their classmates. I remain at the resort running things solo for eight days, before Mike and I switch positions. Never an easy time of year. And the most difficult thing? Watching my kids say good-bye to another wonderful summer at Sandy Point.

Off Season Rates Now Apply

(Sunday, 26 August 2007) by Michele Cozzens

Off Season Rates Now Apply

I'll Fix Your Flat Tire Merle

(Thursday, 02 August 2007) by Michele Cozzens

The 2007 Disc Golf Pro World Championships are in town. Well, not exactly “our” town . . . and not in any town, really. But the event is nearby—a little over an hour drive--and as near as it may ever be to our little neck of the Northwoods. Talk about old home week for Mike and me.

Mike and his good friend, Bob-o Montes from Oakland, CA, partnered in the Doubles event on Monday and Tuesday, and Joe Weinshel has taken residence in “Uncle Joe’s Room,” a space reserved for him during every tournament we host. Mike came home each evening and told me about all the old friends he had run into—primarily friends from our California shooting days, and various acquaintances who’ve been kind enough to visit Sandy Point for the tournaments we’ve hosted over the years. I had the chance to get hugs from many of them last night when I accompanied Mike to the Fly Mart and helped him sell discs. Mind you, I had spent all day in Arbor Vitae hawking Dream Life Designs jewelry at my fourth and final juried arts/crafts show of the summer. We packed up that show and then hustled back to the resort to unload jewelry and replace the cargo with golf discs. I washed a layer of dust off me, kissed the kids and scratched Cinco’s little head, then bolted off to a second vending opportunity.

Randy Schukar, the designer of our Loon disc, was in charge of the event and he—bless his heart—set us up with a primo spot at the entrance of the room (right across from the bar). Randy truly earned his new nickname “Mayor.” I’ve now got his “TOSS DISCS NOT BOMBS” mini displayed in our pro shop.

When the golfers trickled in, I saw the familiar beard of Hall-of-Fame inductee, Michael Travers, and the familiar faces of Jim Oates, Tom Schot, Merle Witvoet, Stancil Johnson, Tim Mackey, Dave Greenwell, Anni Kreml, Matt LaCourte, Barry Schultz, Jim Hagen, Duster Don Hoffman . . . I could go on and on. It was great to see John Ahart, Tim Selinski, Pad Timmons, Brian Sullivan, Lightning Lyle . . . my buddy, Johnny Rumble Pecunia, our fabulous Wisconsin State Coordinator, Terry Miller. The night felt like a class reunion. We didn’t get home until 1a.m.

But the best part was today when our new friend from Tucson, Jeff Homburg, brought Grand Master, Merle Witvoet, to visit Sandy Point. We didn’t think anyone would squeeze in a trip between the busy days of World’s competition. But Merle heard of a ride here this afternoon and found out why this place is known as Disc Golf Heaven. Merle was one of my most favorite California golfers. He got stuck with me as a doubles partner once in Santa Cruz during my early days of playing, after a local (who shall not be named) arranged for a new random draw when he drew me as a partner. Merle winked at me and said we were going to kick ass. And we did. I’ve loved him ever since.

One night during the NorCal Series finals in the early 1990s, I heard him play guitar in our hotel room. I nearly fell over. He’s one of THE finest classical guitarists I’ve ever heard play. How I wish my guitar were in Wisconsin rather than Tucson, because hearing him play next to the waters of Squaw Lake would have been a highlight of my life. As it was, Mike’s highlight was getting to play 13 holes of the Sandy Point course with him as a double’s partner. I joined them for the final hole and was reminded why we do indeed call this place “Disc Golf Heaven.”

Power's out

(Wednesday, 11 July 2007) by Michele Cozzens

Power’s Out
After 15 years of stormy weather in the Northwoods, power outages come with some degree of predictability. A tornado watch and high wind warnings have been in place all day and the sky has been a never changing palate of Doppler radar possibility. One minute it was clear blue—not a cloud in site. The next minute, ominous and bulbous gray puffs block light and made it look more like early evening than early afternoon. Rain drops the size of Kennedy half dollars fell for about two minutes and then, I’m not kidding, thirty seconds later, the asphalt of our driveway showed not one sign of moisture due to the sun’s unmitigated rays.

Earlier today we went around the property and checked the feasibility of all our generators, and since then, we’ve been waiting for the power to crap out. It happened, according to one of my old-fashioned electric clocks, 22 minutes ago.

The weather up here in the Northwoods can be an unpredictable neighbor. It’s always there—always a factor. Today high winds are wreaking havoc. After witnessing my husband gather up our tattered, wind-battered shore station cover this afternoon, for which he coincidentally ordered a replacement earlier today, I also helped him move the remnants of a giant poplar tree from our next-door neighbor’s property, an abandoned home currently on the market. Already dead, the four-foot trunk blew down and blocked the driveway to both our homes. A chainsaw will need to come in and do the rest of the work. Meanwhile, I sat in the hot tub at six, with a glass of wine and one of Victoria Houston’s Northwoods mysteries in hand, and kept one eye on a giant poplar tree swaying precariously in the wind. What, I wondered, would I do if I heard a snap and witnessed the top of the tree coming in my direction? Would I drop the paperback in the bubbling water and hurl my naked body over the side and toward shelter? Or would I freeze—deer in headlights style—and allow the rough branches to pin me to certain injury? Would the glass of wine spill into the bromine-laced stew of the tub? I even neurotically imagined my obituary: Northwoods Author Pinned By Popple, Naked and Smashed.

Aah, the familiar roar of the generator has just begun. My husband must believe we’re in for a long-haul outage, which could mean anywhere from an hour to four days. Soon our resort guests will stop coming over asking if they can flush their toilets or get hot water, as all the generators fill the air with the sound of the steady purr of a fleet of outboard motors. We’ll be making a few trips into town for gasoline, but we'll do it because we know what it takes to keep city-folk happy. And what's that?


Power.

The Dreaded Cancellation

(Tuesday, 03 July 2007) by Michele Cozzens

Fourth of July week is upon us, which means two things: non-stop fireworks and the grinding engines of rented jet skis churning up the waters of Squaw Lake. Both noises are equally annoying and drown out the peaceful music of our neighbors, the Birds. The good news about this week is that our resort is host to a family that’s been with us for some 13 years and we’ve come to know them, their children and grandchildren, as our Fourth of July family.

Each year we typically turn away 50-plus callers looking for accommodations for our nation’s birthday holiday. This is why it was a particularly sharp stab to the gut when on Friday morning I learned of a last minute cancellation in one of our cabins. Thankfully it was our least expensive cabin; however, a hit is a hit when you only have 14 weeks to make your income for the year. I went wild posting it on the Internet, using the front page of our website and resort association to which we belong. I sent out a mass e-mail to the association members indicating the cancellation. I'm happy to report my efforts paid off. We managed to rent the cabin to a young couple from Milwaukee looking for a last-minute escape. Whew!

Today, however, I’ve received a slew of e-mails from fellow resort owners advertising their cancellations for this month. One indicated three no-shows for this week. THIS WEEK—the most popular of the summer. Ugh! What is going on? One of our workers, a painting and staining expert who comes around whenever he’s in need of cash (knowing we’re always in need of a fresh coat of paint or stain), told me he once worked at a resort in New Mexico that charged guests full pop in advance for holiday weeks/weekends and had a no-refund policy. It was food for thought.

Ultimately, I wouldn’t feel right charging people for a stay they didn’t have. But “non-refundable deposit” means non-refundable deposit. I’ve always given guests the opportunity to reapply their deposits toward another stay, but after this second last-minute cancellation of the season, we’ve decided to rework our policy. Now we’ll only allow a reapplication of the deposit IF we’re able to rebook the cabin. And those who cancel less than two weeks in advance will forfeit the deposit entirely. I don’t want to go through another scramble like I did during the 24 hours of June 29-30.  The e-mail lashing I received from a too-little-too-late-to-get-the-available-cabin inquirer alone was worth the $150 deposit paid by the original potential guest. He insisted he “booked” the cabin when he called the first time to ask a few questions about the opening, when in actual fact, he asked us to “wait 10 minutes” while he spoke with his friends and said he would call back. We gave him half-an-hour before booking it with the next caller, who had a credit card in hand for the deposit. The first guy never called back. He did e-mail though. Boy, did he e-mail. It was just another case of people hearing only what they want to hear and accusing us of not knowing how to run our business. I’d bet a $150 deposit this dude has longer than 14 weeks to make enough money to stay afloat.

Whistle, light, pop! Another firework and I’m out.

Morning Before the Solstice

(Tuesday, 19 June 2007) by Michele Cozzens

It’s usually the birds that wake me up each morning at dawn, which is getting earlier each day as we approach the solstice. But this morning I awoke when it was still pitch black and the world outside my bedroom loft was still. I have no explanation other than the stroke of luck it was for me to arise, look out the window, and see a blanket of stars covering the sky. It looked just like the blue goldstone pendant I used to make a necklace in the shop just hours before.

I climbed back in my thousand thread-count sheets, the top sheet heavy as a blanket, and snoozed peacefully until 6:45. The temperature has dropped from the hot, humid days of last week and I’m wearing a sweater for the first time in two weeks. It’s a calm day at the resort—midweek—when guests are fully acclimated and into their routines of morning walks, coffee on the dock or quick trips to town to catch up on e-mail or feed their Internet addictions. We have wireless service available on our front porch, but few actually take advantage of it.

The girls and I have just returned from our daily walk to the mailbox and back. I walk. They ride circles around me on their bicycles. Cinco, our chihuahua, runs circles around all of us, her short little legs moving as fast as hummingbird wings. No good mail today--only a bill from the state for our business license. Better go write the check. It’s a $75 fine if it’s late.

Our Online Store Is Open

(Monday, 11 June 2007) by Michele Cozzens

Dream Life Designs Jewelry

Wood Carvings by Jerry Laueradorf

Specialty Golf Discs

Sandy Point Resort Souvenir Items

Books by Michele VanOrt Cozzens

VISIT NOW

Katie is Here!

(Friday, 24 June 2005) by Michele Cozzens

Katie is Here! Katie is Here!
Willow and Camille awoke early this morning, June 25, eagerly anticipating their friend’s visit. They dressed alike in long, denim shorts, and matching sweaters, and braided one another’s hair. Gathering their knitting projects and a DVD or two for the drive to Wausau, they hopped in the backseat of Daddy’s shopping mobile and headed south. Wausau, the home of Sam’s Club, Menard’s and Fleet Farm—the Big Three—is also the half-way point between Sandy Point and Madison.

Katie lives in Madison. She is the oldest of too many siblings to count—all boys—and her family has been vacationing at Sandy Point every summer since she had only two brothers. This year, unfortunately Katie’s family couldn’t make it. Her dad got a new job and a vacation up North wasn’t in the cards.

Breaking this terrible news to my daughters on a winter morning several months back was not easy. Tears rained off their cheeks and into their Cheerios while they insisted I couldn’t possibly understand how important Katie’s week at the resort was to them. (How funny it is when children think their parents haven’t lived long enough to experience a wide variety of disappointments.) For the past several years Katie, Camille, and Willow have been a trio tied at the hip during her time here. They dubbed themselves the “SPR Girls,” and each summer, they write new songs, come up with darling dance routines and creative costumes, and put on a performance for all the resort guests. These are the kind of kid performances that bring a lump to your throat and bumps to your skin because they are so incredibly precious. Each year I wonder how much longer these precious moments will last.

Katie’s going into high school. She’s a beautiful young woman—very polite and very sweet. She doesn’t mind hanging with the younger Willow and much younger Camille. Her mom and I worked together to find a way to get Katie up here for a visit, and we were so grateful that her parents were willing to not only let her come, but also agree to meet us half-way. Of all the friends who come and go each week of each summer in our revolving door lifestyle, she seems to be someone who will be a friend to my girls for life. I know it’ll be a great week with her here. Gee, I wonder where they are?

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