Thursday, July 28, 2011

Duck Weed and Dog Days

(The Cooking Channel just called tonight and will be at Pizza By The Pond  ONLY until 12:00pm
on  July 31st.!  We are VERY VERY bummed out because we wanted our customers to be part of this event. :-(    Evidently  the film crew was rerouted to another event  and had to be rescheduled for an earlier flight out.  "Pizza By The Pond" will be open at it's normal  hours of 2-8pm.  Please accept our apology for any inconvenience this may have caused you. The show (The Big Cheese) is due to be aired on the Cooking Channel in October
Relaxing on the Overlook, watching the Duck Weed grow.
No news to anyone, it's hot and muggy. The dogs know it, the livestock knows it, we know it, and the Duck Weed definitely  knows it! As is typical this time of year, the "Pond" has taken on a brilliant chartreuse green layer  of Duck Weed. Duck Weed is not to be confused with algae, rather, it is the smallest known flowering plant on the planet, it floats on top of the water and it has an amazing reproduction cycle in the warmer weather. It can regenerate itself every 16-24 hours under ideal conditions, which is evident on the "Pond". Not only is it prolific, but it is able to out compete soybean for protein, DW can produce  the same amount of protein as soybean in  one tenth the area!!!! Amazing!!! No wonder  the ducks love eating it!!!
Why arent the agricultural communities harvesting DW??? Perhaps it's because there is no money in selling the seed since it seems to "magically" appear?
Wouldnt it be  cool if we could figure out how to put "water wings" on the sheep so they could graze it as they float?

"Spanish Ranch Mastiff " pup, "Chubs"
 "Chubs" also agrees that the "Dog Days of Summer " are upon us. He is very good about conserving his energy during these warm days, so much so that you would swear that he is stuck in 1st gear, at least compared to the Border Collie pup, "Dice"

Dice, spinning circles around "Chubs"
No matter how  much taunting and pleading he does, "Dice" cant get  "Chubs" to play.
"Hey "Dice", you have some pretty cool moves, spin some more!"

As far as "Chubs" is concerned, "play" consists of just laying back and allowing "Dice" to entertain him  as he  spins circles around "Chubs"

"Dont leave "Dice",  come "chill with me!"

Unlike "Chubs", "Dice" does not have a 1st gear and is off to find a more willing play partner.....

Friday, July 15, 2011

Summer Retreat!

Hot humid  weather  is not really a big thing  when you can kick back and relax in a nice airconditioned house, but when you live in a 110 year old poorly insulated  testimony to Swedish stubborness, it can be a bit of a  creative  challenge.  We sleep with the windows open and at the first threat of sunny rays beating on the house, we hurridly run about closing them all. Losing our main shade tree  in the last storm  only  amplified the  necessity to upgrade our insulation (along with many other items!)
 During the past month we have come to really enjoy the "Grotto" down by "The Pond". It has become our own version of a summer kitchen, our own mini retreat center. Since the middle of May we have retreated to the "Grotto" to  celebrate  a high school graduation, three birthdays, Father's Day, Fourth of July, and many evening meals on a hot summer day. A nice refreshing breeze over the shaded pond always seems to cool and refresh us,  allowing us the luxury of enjoying  our own "air conditioning unit" northwoods style.
Join us this Sunday for an escape from the heat, a cool picnic under the shade trees is a quick and easy way to refresh and rejuvenate your sense of well being. If it rains, we all  gather under the shelter of the "Grotto",  enjoying the company of  each other for a spontaneous party while "The Pond " entertains us with it's backdrop of natural summer beauty. We have watched many  a storm pass overhead while tucked into the hillside  of the Grotto, knowing that if the storm did decide to become "very entertaining" we have a safe front row seat!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Did you hear the one about......

"Say, did you hear the one about the Chinese pig farmer, the Parisian business student, and the New York vegetarian????"
That's my son's  favorite phrase lately which sums up   a delightful assortment of  young adults  that are currently staying with us due to our  joining  a couple of different internship programs.

. The first to arrive was "Kevin", a bright and energetic young man from China, who LOVES raising pigs but wants to learn about sheep and how to work Border Collies.
The only  problem we have with this extremely well mannered fellow is that  he is, well...extremely well mannered! We are constantly  having to tell him to ease up on himself, he works too hard.

Kevin and "Dice"

Marine arrived a week after Kevin, wide eyed and extremely good natured, our student from Paris. She wants to live in a different culture for a month while she is  immersed in English in preparation for her business studies at the universtiy. She has spent her entire life in the city, and wants a new adventure. She likes the animals but really wants to learn how to  make pizza for her family. She also has a surprising sense of humor...

The day Lauren arrived in Minneapolis  from Syracuse she took a taxi straight from the airport over to the Kingfield Farmers market where Dave was selling cheese. She jumped right in and proceeded to amaze Dave with how comfortable she was at the cheese table,  it was immediately clear  that the customers really took a shine to her. How could they not? She has a smile the size of Lake Superior!! Lauren is contemplating majoring in mycology or possibly forest pathology.

Three amazing young adults, we are truly blessed with their presence for the next month!!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Pizza By The Pond Is Open on July 3rd, inspite of Friday's "Big Nasty"!!

Fourth of July weekend kicked of with a big nasty wind   and storm, Really??? I mean, was that REALLY  necessary???
Geeeez!! That super nasty"big evil wind' did not leave us unscathed, it did take down  one of our 150 year old maples and a few other trees, but hey, now we have some decent wood for the Pizza fire!
Thankfully the power is now back on and the roads are cleared, it's  time to count our blessings and  enjoy each other's company and great pizza! 
Besides, I did not  hand knead 90 lbs of pizza dough  (by candlelight) for nothing!!!
Weather forecast for Sunday promises  to be sunny and calm...we can use more of that around here !