Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Project Lis Neveer Ends

Sheryl sent me the two pictures above. As you can see, we have received our first snow of about 4-5 inches. It was wet and heavy and beautiful. It is interesting to me to look at these two pictures. Both are “in color” but there is not much color showing. The lake is really a slate gray and everything else seems to be in the same gray and white hues. I have to tell you that it really does look just like this today.
Of course, Sheryl sends me these pictures because she likes them. It is also a general reminder that it’s time to write another blog. So what is going on around here?
The dining rooms closed at noon on Sunday. They will open again on Thursday evening with the Red Paddle and Friday evening with Justine’s. We will now be serving meals in at least the Red Paddle until spring. Meanwhile, the kitchen is sparkling clean. A new two-door refrigerator has replaced one of the old ones. The cooks moved a little equipment around to make things flow more smoothly.
The work weekend guests last weekend did another awesome job finishing up projects. All the canoes and kayaks are up to the canoe yard for the winter. Skis and snowshoes are out in the outfitters ready for rental. Two of the women even helped Bonnie clean a needed cabin. They were nurses and knew how to make beds. All the wood piles got another hit. No matter how big the piles are, they will be down to nothing by spring.
Meanwhile everyone else is working to finish up their regular projects. Katie and Kaci at the front desk are inventorying the gift shop in between answering the telephone. Everyone from the kitchen is helping Bonnie with deep cleaning in cabins. Jason Merrill and Lance Huskey are building new steps leading up to the conference center. Justin has moved from the stable to the outside crew. He got his first baptism into shoveling snow the last few days. All the steps are done the old fashioned way with shovel. Think how many steps there are around the property.
Bruce and I have our projects too. He is busy laying out the lodge summer and outfitters rate sheets for 2011. Another job is to plan the marketing for next summer. Writing this blog is one of my jobs. I am also in charge of Christmas presents for the staff. They are all figured out but still need to be ordered. Another of my projects is organizing and cataloging all the pictures for the Gunflint Trail Historical Society. I have an Access program designed and about 300 pictures entered in. It is a drop in the bucket as I think there are 3000 pictures in our database.
Slowly we are all getting through our project lists as I imagine you are too. The lists only get longer as the Holidays get closer.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

More Fall Projects

We are still working on getting ready for winter. There always seems to be just one more task to do. The second picture shows Jason ready to push the smaller dock across the lake to its winter mooring spot. The large dock has been completely dismantled and sent to the dump. A new one will replace it next spring. It is always a toss up to replace the dock when you think it is worn out or to wait until is actually breaks up during a bad wind storm. This time we opted to be conservative and replace it before it broke apart.
The first picture shows the dock and porch area set for winter. The docks are gone. All the furniture is put away for another year. There is still one boat on a trailer. This is in case we need a boat and motor for an emergency. It will go into storage when the lake freezes in about a month.
This weekend was the first of our two fall work weekends. We had a great group of about 50 people who spent time Saturday helping us with chores. All the summer furniture was put away. The flowers beds were cleaned of dead annuals from last summer. A load of hay went into the stable storage. Firewood was split and hauled all over. An especially large amount was hauled for use in the lodge. The staff told everyone that “Bruce and Sue really like to burn a lot in the lodge fireplaces.” I admit we are both guilty. A fire in the fireplace raises more than just the temperature.
Even in our own home, we burn lots of wood. The other day Bruce came home about 4:00 p.m. to announce that we were going logging. Right about where he parks his truck in our yard was a dead, dead cedar tree. This type of cedar tree is his favorite for kindling. So out we went. He cut and I hauled into the truck. After the trunk had been cut, we broke off all the branches for more kindling. It was quite a nice addition to the firewood on the front porch.
Another part of the firewood is our garbage can filled with birch bark. This is used instead of newspaper to get stuff going. Bruce says that I use too much to start a fire. There is a huge pile of birch bark back by where the firewood is cut, split, and stacked for the lodge. I am the one who hauls that down to the house. So who cares how much I use?
We were talking with one of the kids this morning. As is often the case, they regularly have suggestions for us. Today’s suggestion was a name for a new package. Everyone knows how Bruce loves packages. The name was “Star Struck.” It resonated with both Bruce and I. Last night we had stepped outside the house after dark. Just above the northern tree tops was the Big Dipper perfectly outlined by a black sky. It was just glorious. Part of the thrill probably is because that’s the only constellation that I truly recognize. I often look for it when we are on vacation. Wherever it is, I’m home.
Justine’s and the Red Paddle are closed for several days. The kitchen staff is tearing apart the stoves, exhaust hoods, grills, and fryers for semi-annual deep cleaning. It is the kind of work that is hard to do when we are using the same equipment to cook meals. It will all be spick and span again in a couple of days.
With all the cleaning going on, I will have to try some at home.