Saturday, March 18, 2017

Happy St Paddy's Day!

On St Patrick's Day we had a very green and glorious party!  Cheryl and Mary were the primary cooks, but Leslie helped all afternoon and Joan came to help right when help was needed.  We had a corned beef appetizer, Irish pork stew, colcannon, Irish soda bread, Irish pub salad, Irish whiskey chocolate cake, and Baileys Irish Cream cheesecake.  AND Guinness of course (which was also in the stew).  Besides feasting, we listened to Irish music, told Irish jokes and sang a few Irish songs.  Carl led us in a song he used to sing with kids when he taught school (I think we caught on, but maybe not as quickly as the kids would have). We also welcomed our newest member, Anna Misner, who moved in this week on the coldest, windiest March day in years.  Welcome Anna!!!

Delicious dinner!

Hart and our newest Elderberry member, Anna Misner

Miles in his grandma's St Paddy's day garb

Hart and Bill checking out the stew

Cheryl and Mary enjoying the Baileys Irish Cream that didn't go into the cheesecake

Leslie, who did a ton of prep work - thank you!

Graham, Becky and Michael serving up colcannon and stew

Karolyn and Cheryl - aren't they just so cute?!

The dinner crowd!

Instead of saying "Dick look up!" We should have said "Dick - look up and SMILE!"

Jim and Miles had a great time at the white board.  



Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Beautiful White Oak

Several years ago when we were planning where homes would go at Elderberry, we had to take down a grand old white oak tree that was not looking too healthy.  The base of the oak was about 5' in diameter - pretty big tree!!  We saved a log from the tree that was a little over 3' in diameter, hoping to slice it into boards or rounds to use as furniture for the common house.  At first we found a sawyer who could do it, but we could not find a way to get the huge log transferred to his mill.  So it sat.  And sat.  Finally, we put an ad on Craigslist to find someone with a big ass chain saw who could slice through it.  We found a super nice sawyer/arborist/woodworker who came out this week with a 48" chainsaw and make pretty quick work of slicing several rounds.  Some of the log was rotten in the middle, so what is left will become firewood.  And someday, we will hopefully figure out how to make tables out of these very cool white oak slabs!

This photo was taken several years ago when Cecil initially cut the tree.  He is skilled at this!

TJ - cutting the rounds with his biiiiiig chainsaw
 The slabs are beautiful there is a lot of red coloration, which TJ said is a sign that water had gotten into the tree.  After several more slices, we found that the tree had a hollow spot.  It's amazing how disease and bugs can make wood more beautiful!
 TJ agreed to load the slabs - he estimated they each weighed about 150lbs.  So Mary got Zeke (Dick's Kawasaki mule) and a trailer, and recruited Dave and Richard, and we hauled the slabs to a shelter at Mary's house where they can be stored.

Hauling the slabs even a very short ways was a bit more trouble than we expected.  On our last trip we got a flat tire on the trailer.  After dropping it off, we went to take Zeke back to his barn and saw that one of the slabs had fallen off the trailer in transit!  So we picked it up off the road, got it into Zeke, and took it to the storage are.  We think these slabs are MORE than 150lbs!