We have made a journey into the past for two days.  We had a logging and lumber camp at our place and I got to be the Camp Cook!    Buffaloguy, retired, but antsy to do projects, harvested several old, huge ash trees while the ice was still on the river in March.  Now my high school classmate, Bob, brought his portable Australian-made lumber mill to our farm and the past two days have been devoted to sawing the huge logs into a great stack of ash planks of various sizes.  There is a significant sawdust pile, seen mostly at the Rollag Thresher Grounds each September.  We have another trailer load of lumber scraps which will be put to good use in the part of my garden where I want to lay down black garden cloth to prevent weeds in my vine crop garden.

In the Paul Bunyan book of legends I loved in grade school, one story was about the two camp cooks in Paul’s lumber camps….Hotbiscuit Slim and Creampuff Fatty.  I played their roles for two days and refuse to identify with Creampuff Fatty….but I am not exactly Hotbiscuit SLIM either.  There is a Gary Paulsen book (MN author) called THE COOKCAMP; I might have to check it out and compare the experiences of the cook at the camp in Paulsen’s book for young adults.  It is set in Minnesota in the days of Paulsen’s youth spent mostly in the northern MN areas near Bemidji and a small town near it.(Becida)

It was a new experience and everyone involved is tired out by it….I feel like I need a day of total rest but there are things to do and tomatoes to be set out and garden cloth to be laid and lawn edges to be trimmed with the small mower and weeds to be chopped down..and on and on.   There is no real rest for the  "Retired" when you live on a farm and want to keep it up to snuff at all times.  I better abandon the day of rest idea and get on the garden outfit (second hand store seer sucker pull-on slacks, black socks (Buffalo Guy’s) old shoes,old T shirt under an old blue denim shirt, sun hat and bandana tied around the forehead to soak up the sweat of honest labor.  With a few squirts of Deep Woods "Off" to discourage the ever present Buffalo gnats, I should be ready for another day of "Garden and Lawn" camp…. but tomorrow I get to make the awaited June 1 journey to Bergeson’s Nursery…always a joy and a way to celebrate a good friend’s birthdate. 

  Flowery Edenic Paradise, here we come!!!

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Kay Syvrud

I am a retired elementary "schoolmarm"..I was a school librarian/media director for nearly 25 years before I retired in 2004. Naturally one of my fondest things is reading! I also love reading aloud to young children, something I did for so many years with amazing results; every child wants to read the same book as the teacher read!!!! I also am fond of my gardens...both flower beds and vegetable plots. I love being outdoors....mowing the lawn after my husband has done so with a big lawn tractor...I trim with my small power mower! I have a rain barrel to collect rainwater for plants! I have an old fashioned "pedal" bike I love to ride. I enjoy going to a Silver Sneakers class at a community center about 20 miles from my country home on what I call the "Buffalo Bluff" which overlooks the Buffalo River and its valley below. I LOVE to write and am working on a book for my grandkids so they will always know more about Grandma when she was still "kickin" and "had all her marbles"!!!!