Monday, September 23, 2013

Recap: Lumberjack Days 2013!

Another successful celebration is in the books! We had perfect weather, a wonderful mix of family and friends, and just the right amount of fire, wood, and food.
The Kupzycks were the first to arrive. This was baby Bennett's first Lumberjack Days! He will be "one" in just a few weeks. Kevin, Sara and Bennett stayed all day and came back for a full day of fun on Sunday.
Eagle Scout Kevin took control of the first task: starting the big brush pile in the west yard on fire.
It just took a few minutes to really start burning. This pile was created mostly by trees cleared out for the new addition last summer.
The entire Brummet family joined us shortly after the fire started: Brenna, Amy, Tripp, and Monte.
The flames really went a little crazy there for a few minutes.Good thing we had a burn permit!
Members of my family began arriving in time for a hotdog lunch. Mark, Tyler, and Tim started feeding logs from another long-abandoned wood pile into the brush pile fire.
Scott and his chainsaw took out quite a few small, dead Chinese Elm trees.
Tripp loves trucks! He was content just to sit in the Ranger but really enjoyed it when someone would take him for a ride.
My nephew Nick and his family drove up from Lincoln. Brooke was excited to show off Allie and Maggie's matching bandana-themed outfits - perfect for Lumberjack Days!
Our nephew Tyler and Monica are expecting their first little lumberjill in December. We are so excited to have another great niece on the way!
Mark and LuAnn came up from Wamego, Kansas. LuAnn brought along some yummy dip, delicious iced coffee, and homemade apple crisp to share. She's so awesome!
Nature walks were also part of the day's fun. Our friend Meredith played tour guide for her mommy Leigh Anne, Mark, LuAnn, Allie and me along the west trail.
Allie was so intrigued by 9-year-old Meredith! They had a lot of fun hanging out together.
Yikes! It's my friend Megan! She is brandishing an old iron knife blade that Nick found in one of the wood piles.
Carl and Marita figure the knife blade was left here by Lewis and/or Clark back in 1805. It was so great to have Mom and Dad with us for the weekend!
Like father, like son. Tyler and Mark tried to relax and watch part of the Kansas State football game Saturday evening but the 'Cats didn't fare too well.
We had a (if I do say so myself) delicious dinner of pulled pork sandwiches, coleslaw, baked beans, and corn salad. It was the perfect end to a great day outdoors.
Sunday morning brunch started at about 10AM. My sister Karolyn and niece Chelsie were all smiles after spending their Saturday in Lincoln at the Husker game. Karolyn and her husband Alan are South Dakota State alumni so they had fun travelling from Colorado to see their Jackrabbits play in Memorial Stadium.
Dad and Tim got in the Ranger after breakfast and started searching for a tree to chop down. They found a dead stump that needed clearing. Mom and Dad spent the night with us Saturday after spending the day in Lincoln.
Amy brought Tripp and Brenna back for some fun on Sunday. Brooke and Allie entertained them with sidewalk chalk on the driveway.
The fun really began at 11 o'clock with the arrival of a sawmill! John G. (at right) is the proprietor of Pony Creek Mill and Woodworking in Lewis Township (near Council Bluffs.) He brought his friend Dave along to mill some of the logs we've been collecting. John determined that the 7 or 8 pine trunks would have to either be made into a log cabin (wait, what? Why would he suggest that to Scott?) or taken to a buzz saw for milling. Scott settled on having two locust and one Osage orange logs milled.
John backed his portable saw mill (a Timber King 1600) into position south of the barn.
Allie and Brenna had a lot of fun together on Sunday. Brenna will be five on November 5th so she's got some good experience in helping littler kids.
The crowd began assembling on the slope to watch the saw mill excitement.
Before getting started, John checked for hazards with a metal detector.
The first log was one part of the big locust tree that we removed at Lumberjack Days in June, 2012. John got some assistance from the boys to roll to log into position.
The orange legs at left cradle the log then lift and roll it into position on the mill.
 John controls the movements of the mill by using a series of levers.
Of course, Dad had to jump in with his chainsaw to lop off a branch knot that was sticking out too far. He's gained a lot of experience around saw mills from years of clearing trees on his own farms.
The slope southeast of the barn makes a great natural amphitheater. It was actually quite nice to sit on the grass and watch the action.
The saw blade is housed inside that tall orange contraption. It moved slowly from right to left (in this photo). John set the blade to cut 2-inch thick planks.
 Sawdust, anyone?
 Dad watches John watch the blade.
 Dave and Dad carry the first piece off the mill.
Dad, John, and Mark examine a piece of Locust. Scott had John cut one plank 4-inches thick which we will use to create a mantle for the great room fireplace. The wood must cure for up to two years before being used for any projects. But that will give you something to look forward to!
The Osage orange tree has a distinctive yellow color which turns deep orange as it dries. We hope to create a table out of this wood but it did have quite a few flaws and cracks.
Our nephew Clark and niece Karli visited on Sunday. We had other visitors that I neglected to photograph, including Clark and Karli's mom, our sister-in-law Teresa; our nephew Joe, our niece Lauren and her friend Rachel, our brother-in-law Alan, my mommy, our neighbors the Bextens and the Ruckmans, and our friends Christine and Kevin. We are so glad everyone visited!
 The newly-milled lumber was stacked in the barn. We'll have to wait and see what Scott creates!
I hope you enjoyed this recap of Lumberjack Days! Excuse me while I go take another nap; it may take a month or two to recover from my hostess duties.
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Party Prep

Scott and I have been planning for our annual celebration, "Lumberjack Days," for what seems like months now. In preparation, we wanted to have as many little tasks done as possible.
One long overdue task was the addition of screen doors to the big patio doors on the south wall of the great room. It was like old times, having them down on the table in the basement . . . me with a rag in my gloved hands and the smell of poly in the air.
After the usual finish of two-coats-stain, three-coats-poly, Scott tackled the installation.
Earlier in the week, upstairs in the master bath, Scott got started with the installation of the towel rings and tissue holder. After marking the screw holes and using the template, it was my job to spritz water as the diamond bit bore through the porcelain tile.
I love the style of our Kohler Margaux chrome fixtures! We still need to hang two towel bars and the robe hook but we have a good system in place so they should go up pretty quickly when we find a few extra hours.
The driveway and courtyard got a good cleaning Saturday morning. The power washer does a great job of blowing the cottonwood leaves off the concrete.
Thank goodness for Mama Marita! She spent a few hours with me Friday afternoon, helping get the salads and beans ready for Saturday.
And, of course, Leo was absolutely the worst helper! He lazed away the days in his usual fashion.
Final prep work on Saturday morning included hanging Lumberjack Days pennant banners on the east porch and the west wall of the barn. What's a celebration without some decor?
The south yard became the food and beverage headquarters. We were so lucky to have perfect 75-degree weather for the weekend's festivities!
I pulled the stainless table out of our office to use as a drink and cookie station. The vintage "Camp Cooler" was a thoughtful Christmas gift from my friend Marie and fit the theme beautifully. Thanks, Punky!
Let the Fun Begin!
Mr. Camp donned his official Lumberjack t-shirt for Saturday.
Stay Tuned for All the News of Lumberjack Days!