Friday, January 02, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to everyone! We had a great time at the lodge. There were just over 100 people for dinner, about 30 showed up at the bonfire and then about 30 were in the Bistro for midnight champagne.

The house is quiet today. Robert, Miranda and Zach left for home about 5:30 a.m. Ever since they arrived on the 26th, things have been hopping in here. On his first day Zach went sledding down our driveway, took a dog sled ride, fed the deer and reacquainted himself with the staff at the lodge. Here is a picture of Zach and Carter sledding.

The expressions on their faces tell how much fun it was.

The best picture of Zach feeding the deer happened about 5:30 one night. Here he is.

You can tell that the deer have no fear. We have had up to 14 deer in at one time. There is a growing list of food that they eat. This week we added the rinds from cantaloupe. Of course the birds will eat almost anything the deer leave.

Most of our bucks have lost their antlers already. This morning we saw one that still has antlers. It’s a ten-pointer and does he look majestic. No one else was allowed into the yard as long as he was there. Dave at the front desk says this buck has been around for about 8 years. No one has spotted him during hunting season nor does anyone know where he goes. Now that the season is over, he is back to come into our feeding areas.

Another of Zach’s activities was cross country skiing. He went around the Big Pine Trail twice one day and loved it. Not too bad for a Missouri boy. He also learned a lesson that day about keeping your ears covered. When his ears started to hurt, he complained to his mother. Miranda warmed them up with her hands and pulled his cap down until the ears were completely covered. Frost bite is nothing to mess around with.

Our forest has appeared in the lake just off the dock area. As you may remember from last winter, we freeze small pine trees into the lake in an upright position. They act as hitching posts for the dog teams when rides are given on the lake. We used to use 4x4’s but they kept getting buried in the snow or snowmobiles ran them over. Ten foot trees work lots better.

Another project of Zach’s was to help in the dining room one morning. I was doing dishes and noticed that suddenly the front desk was filled with people and another bunch was looking for clean tables to eat breakfast at. I called Bruce down from his office to help at the front desk. Miranda and Zach went out to clear and re-set dining room tables. Then Zach came in back to help me do dishes. Mandy and Mark, who were waiting tables that morning, gave Zach $10 for his help. Did his eyes light up with that! I asked him if was going to tell his class at school about doing dishes.

Last night Zach fixed dinner for us. Well, he and Miranda and Robert did it together. For Christmas Zach had asked for a cast-iron Dutch oven which was what we gave him. He had learned how to cook a boneless pork loin in it so that was a main entre at our dinner last night. He and his father put a metal garbage can on the screened porch just outside our kitchen. The garbage can lid was put on upside down. Charcoal was lite and put on the lid. The Dutch oven went on next with the pork loin and some apple cider. The lid went on and them some burning charcoal on top of the lid. In a very short time we could hear the cider boiling. About half an hour before it was done, some cinnamon-covered apples were added. It made a great dinner along with everything else Miranda fixed. We ate way too much.

In fact, Bruce and I have been eating too much throughout the holiday season. This morning reality entered with our breakfast – cold cereal with bananas and an orange. My excuse for this weight gain was that when children come home, you get requests for their favorite meals and you try to make them all. In this home that includes making eight kinds of Christmas cookies and fudge. As soon as everyone had a good portion, the cookies were put out for the guests at the lodge. So, Bruce and I are back to reasonable meals again but we also have to shed a few pounds.

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