Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas

The lake froze over today. We have been waiting about a week for the last of the east end to freeze. Everyone holds their breath until the entire lake is frozen. Otherwise a wind from the correct direction can just take the ice out. Now we need some cold, clear nights to make ice.

Sheryl has gotten herself a new camera. As she is practicing with it, I have been the recipient of a bunch of pictures. It is a good time to share some of them with you.

One of the bucks that is hanging around has lost just one antler. The other one is still on his head. It has been this way for about 7-10 days. The other morning Sheryl caught his head perfectly framed so you can see it.

Yesterday Sheryl was out driving. The next picture is her view of Gunflint and Magnetic beyond it. The white is, of course, snow that is sticking to the lake. The darker color is clear blue ice with no snow on top.

Finally we had a wolf crossing in front of the lodge during managers’ lunch today. It was out a couple blocks from the shore moving from the east to the west. We could just barely see it and this was the best enlargement that Sheryl could get. There were some deer on the patio. Even with very little wind, their ears perked up and they looked directly at the wolf. They were all keeping close track of where this wolf was.

Our lives seem to revolve around the actions of nature in the woods around us. With the ice offering such a large area to see game, animals come into view much more than during the summer. Even though Bruce and I have lived here for a long time, we find ourselves enchanted by the animals more every year.

This Christmas season the Gunflint family comes together with your families to offer those who are suffering our support and love. It is a time when we truly know how blessed we are.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Rarely do we comment on national events but this seems to express our feelings on Newtown.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The News from Gunflint

It is deer season again at Gunflint. Sheryl took this picture today of Mandy feeding the deer. Even now they are so tame that she gets them to eat out of her hand. It is fun to watch.

Don’t let the ice on the lake on the webcam fool you. Half of Gunflint is still open water. We need a cold night with clear skies and no wind. Today will not be the day. It is overcast and 34 degrees. We are supposed to get snow but the temperature will have to drop a bit first.

We are taking carry of Lee and Eva’s dog, Tucker, while they go to her folks for Christmas. It is a joy to have a dog in the house again but we are still not ready to get one. Tucker is really good for me. We just finished a mile walk. Of course, Tucker is now taking a nap while I am at the computer. What is wrong with this picture?

On the ride home Thursday night we saw a moose and a wolf. It almost looked like the wolf was harassing the moose. All these things go by so fast that it is hard to tell what is really happening. We were glad to see the moose. Now all I need is to see one in the daylight when I have my camera available so I can take a picture and send it to Mae and Grant. The stars will really have to be lined up for that to happen.

The lodge is dressed (as the English say) for Christmas and it is beautiful. Somehow Bruce managed to slip in some more Santas and outside Christmas trees. On one of our trips the wish list contained thirty strings of 150 lights each. It is a good thing that these are all LED lights. There is only one problem with all this. When you take the decorations down, the lodge looks horribly dull. Then we have to wait for spring flowers to come.

My daughter-in-law, Eva, had a terrible problem last week. I let them run out of homemade jam and she had to buy some in the grocery store. Luckily a new case of jam came down from Gunflint quickly. This summer I will be almost out of jam and will need to work hard at putting up a stock pile. Robert and Lee knew they were abused children if we ran out of homemade jam in April.

This year I made up for some of the jam lapse by bringing them Christmas cookies. There are about nine cookies that I only make at Christmas. They all have to be made with butter and real vanilla. Because they only come at Christmas, you can eat all you want and not get fat.

Another Christmas favorite that I occasionally make is fruit cake. I see most of you making a face but this recipe is exceptional. Bruce got it when he was in school at Cornell. The students made it in the labs for the dean of the school to send to CEO’s of hotels.

My final Christmas favorite is Robert’s. Years ago my mother gave me a recipe for a frozen cranberry salad. It has cranberries, apples, crushed pineapple, walnuts and miniature marshmallows. All of it is held together by whipped cream. You just take is out of the freezer a bit before dinner to soften it up. We refreeze leftovers for future use until there is not a mouthful left.

Frozen Cranberry Salad

4 cups cranberries (1 package)

6 medium apples

1 ¼ cups sugar

1 12-oz can crushed pineapple

1 – 10 ½ oz package miniature marshmallows

½ cup chopped nuts

2 cups whipping

Grind apples and cranberries. Combine with sugar, undrained pineapple and marshmallows. Let stand for 15 minutes. Add chopped nuts. Whip cream until stiff and combine with fruit mixture. Put into molds and freeze. Before serving unmold and thaw slightly.