Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fall Fun, Food and Fellowship

Fall is definitely here and last week's full moon was just beautiful rising over the opposite shore. For three nights in a row we watched as this giant orb lifted from among the trees to shine almost like daylight and reflect off the lake with brilliance so awesome.

Then, as beautiful as the nights were, one morning God's handiwork was just amazing with a sky of dozens of colors bringing forth the sunrise. Poppy could not resist catching the wonder of it for us to enjoy on those drab, gray dark mornings to come.

As you can see, the wonderful colors reflected in the water making a lake of pinks and purples, calm and still as glass.

With the cold nights our leaves are quickly changing and our red maple we planted a few years back is a great example of the fall foliage.

Since this time of year brings a halt to the fun ON the lake, we must begin to make our fun in other ways. Thus, this weekend was the first of many social events. We partnered with our neighbors to hold a Chili Cook-off at Loon Lake Lodge, followed by a Barn Dance at Loon Lake Resort, which sits right next door to us.

In this photo you can see the festively decorated barn across the road where everyone migrated to as their bellies were filled with chili. But, first we all congregated in our new attached garage. The turn out was wonderful, with over 40 guests squeezing in to grab a sample of a DOZEN different pots of chili. We were not sure how many entries we would have in the chili cook-off and were so happy that many guests tried their culinary talents on pleasing the crowd. Each person had a small bowl of each of the twelve chili pots and recorded their impressions on a ballot sheet. Then, after they had sampled them all, they were to vote on their favorite. They were all good and it was fun to realize there are so many different ways to make chili taste just a little different than the next.

Here you see the one row of crock pots as everyone eagerly dipped in to get a helping.

Folks then found a spot to sit or kept eating on the run as they visited and went back for the next helping to sample.

We were blessed by a beautiful day yesterday after two days of almost solid rain. By evening it was getting a bit chilly and only a few braved sitting out on the driveway but the chili kept us warm from within.

Once all the votes were in and the ballots tallied, we were able to announce the winner. The winner received a hand made apron embellished with his status as 2009 Loon Lake Chili Cook-off #1. This culinary genius is also an auto mechanic and real estate agent. A true jack of all trades. He proudly wore his apron for the entire barn dance and said when he got home he would strip down for bed and maybe put it back on to wear all night. What a sight that would have been!

The barn dance was fun, but there was not a lot of dancing. A few square dances with just one square, a few more line dances with everyone trying to follow those who knew the steps. There was just one "belly rubbin" song as this couple likes to refer to slow dancing. Here "Stickman" and "Two Beers" strut their stuff. It was fun watching one couple as they did some fancy 2 stepping and appeared they had done it a lot together.

Today saw us back to work as usual. After sleeping in and a nice big breakfast, we got busy cleaning up the garage. Once that was back to normal, Poppy had me holding the ladder as he got on the roof to blow the eves clean of the leaves and he eventually hauled out the power washer to clean the north side of the siding from the scuz that builds up in the constant shade. All this green mold washed right off and it looks much better now.

He followed that up with a power wash job on the deck and then he planted some spirea bushes out front to begin our landscaping. Lastly he lit a bon fire and was burning up scrapes of wood and a few leaves he raked from the front yard. It is almost 7 pm and he FINALLY came inside for a shower and supper of leftover white chicken chili I made for yesterday. I have a large pan of apple crisp to pop in the oven for a warm, yummy dessert later while we watch The Amazing Race or the football game. It has been a great, full weekend and although I hate to see summer over, I do love this time of year. We have social events on the calendar for the next three Saturday nights, so we will be plenty busy with all our Loon Lake friends!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Buttoning Up Further For Winter

With autumn in full bloom we know how vital it is to finish all the things on our list that prepare us for winter's blast. So, last Sunday we got the rest of the siding hung on the front porch wall. It looks so nice and we can't wait to get the rest of the house sided next spring. Here you see Poppy relaxing with Sammy once we had all the mess cleaned up and were done.

Today we tackled the blow-in insulation in the attic area above the master bedroom. This was quite a messy job and I think I got the harder end of this job. Here you see Poppy as he directed the hose to distribute the insulation as it blew out.

Had to laugh when I saw him, check out the close up view. Then I went inside and saw myself in the mirror. I was just as bad, we both looked a bit like snowmen from the dust created by the fibers.

Then he caught me working very hard. I had to tear open each bag and pull it out chunk by chunk. It was firmly packed in there and my arms are sore tonight after separating and dumping 28 bags! This went into the hopper and the paddles further separated it and blew it through the hose to Poppy upstairs.

Did I mention how loud the hopper was? Should have ear plugs, but I endured it OK. My bandit-like look kept SOME of the dust from my nose and lungs, but don't think it worked quite as well as Poppy's mask. It was the last one and I generously let him wear it. Didn't know he was going to catch me on film!

Tomorrow we have two walls in the walk-in closet to drywall and one wall in the utility room. Then we can move my washer and dryer back where they belong so I can do some laundry. Then we can also hang the two florescent lights in the garage, probably a full day's work. We are making great progress and know every weekend brings us closer to completion. But, we also often wonder, will it ever be all done? We'll keep you posted on our progress, thanks for coming by to check in.