Monday, August 19, 2013

The BSL Legacy of Don Van't Hof

Don's flannel shirt
with serious wear and tear.

Don's fishing vest.
Definitely not a Simms.

Don's fishing tackle and net.
Probably from Al & Bob's (or Meijer).

Don's catch .... back in the day.

A hundred times a day up here we think
"Man, Dad woulda got a kick out of that."

(photo credit: LiesRosema, all rights reserved)
 Romans 1:20  
Ever since the creation of the world 
His invisible nature,
namely, His eternal power and deity,
has been clearly perceived in the things
that have been made.

Some semi-interesting quotes to ponder:

"Look at where Jesus went to pick people.  
He didn't go to the colleges;
He got guys off the fishing docks."
Jeff Foxworthy

"I've had some amazing people 
in my life.  Look at my father -
he came from a small fishing village
of five hundred people and at six foot four
with giant ears and a very odd expression, 
thought he could be a movie star.
So go figure, you know?"
Kiefer Sutherland

and for the high-brow among you ....

"Everyone should believe in something;
I believe I'll go fishing."
Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Mystery of the Enchanted Schoolhouse

 Okay.  So.
 We were just driving along
minding our own business
thinking we'd go to the Amish store
because it was a rainy day
when we happened upon this old schoolhouse
looking like it was straight out of an
Alfred Hitchcock movie.
And no lie, after we snuck in the window
which was ALREADY broken,
we saw this and knew it was a sign
from the Ghosts of Schoolchildren Past.

 Or maybe it was a sign from ELIJAH
who scrawled his name quite prominently
on the blackboard.

 That dinnerware! The teacher definitely registered at
the Nook in the Woods!
(See blogpost May 28, 2011)

 So weird that someone literally up and left
in the middle of the routines of everyday life.
Were they scared by a Bigfoot sighting?
Was the teacher mean and evil 
ala Miss Trunchbull in Matilda?
Did she lock her pupils in the "chokey"? 
And ....
will we ever know who won this bingo game?

 Such mysteries!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Batter Up

So, first of all, pretend you're reading this in early August
and not 4 months later in December.

As the great and glorious Oz famously said,
"Pay no attention to that date at the top of the blog entry!"

To bring the whole trans-generational 
Big Star Lake Dutch experience 
 full circle
we attempted to make some Olie Bollen,
also known as Vet Bollen.
This project was one of several that we decided to pursue
 this summer; more updates will follow (maybe).

Olie Bollen or Vet Bollen are oily balls
that make you fat, or, eventually, dead,
much like our American donuts.
In fact, they're basically giant donut holes
without all the bother of bending them into circles
like a Krispy Kreme.

And we owe this "circley" theme to Epke Zonderland 
because he seemingly came out of nowhere 
(okay ... Heerenveen,Vriesland!!)
and did this incredible THING at the London Summer Olympics
the night before our bake-fest
(Spoiler Alert ... it involves a lot of circles):

(Notice the American gymnast Danell Leyva 
in the grey warm up jacket, lower left,
copy the moves with Epke and then,
unable to contain himself ,
stand up at the 30 second mark to witness this knock out feat.)

The next day, our Dutch creative juices were really cranking
and we felt it appropriate to honor Epke in all his oranje boven greatness.
We cleansed the residual blue gill fishy taste 
from Dave's Fry Daddy,
filled it to the brim with a bunch of vein-clogging oil,
plugged it into an exterior outlet to prevent
Eau de Greasy Spoon aroma in the BSL chateau,
and then commenced to mixing up the ingredients.

Placement in the Fry Daddy was tricky, sticky and flesh-meltingly splashy.

Judy individually tossed each bollen in the sugar
even though she's missing a thumb and a pinky finger
(just KIDDING)

Then we had to carefully separate the raisin bollens from the non-raisins
because certain people have certain issues
and that's all we're going to say about that.

So eet smakkelijk y'all,
which is Nederlands for lip-smackin' good.

Here is the recipe straight from the
"Pine Rest Sanitarium and Christian Psychopathic Hospital Cookbook"
contributed by Grandma Jennie Hofman:

Vet Bollen
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup raisins
--mix ingredients together
 --drop by spoonful in grease @ 365 degrees that covers balls
 --2 minutes per side
 --put sugar in paperbag, add balls, shake

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

In The Bleak BSL Midwinter

In the bleak midwinter,
frosty wind made moan,

Earth stood hard as iron,
water like a stone.

Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
snow on snow.
(Okay! We get it Christina!)

In the bleak midwinter,
long long ago.

Twenty more days until spring!!

Everyday we're shuffling!

(I actually had to Google this to come up with
a down home farmer's almanacky
when is spring ever happening
kind of number
and the website featured there
indicated 19 more days until spring
which thoroughly confused me
until I realized it was an Australian website
and remembered they're a day ahead of us.)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

We Are Waiting

.... we have not forgotten

A letter written by Grandma (Jennie) Hofman,
August 28, 1956:

"Dear All,
Greetings from 747 Fuller,

After spending 2 weeks at Big Star
we arrived home about 2:30 Saturday afternoon.
We had a nice time. The last week the weather was perfect, warm and sunny....
9 families left yesterday.
Marge said she doesn't remember ever so many going home at the same time...
Judy Kae is feeling better. I sure felt sorry for her,
she was sick most of the time.
Mildred got a shot out there too for a sore throat,
their Dr. bill was $24.00 ....
Don took the trailer and Ade's car back and also
got a cottage for when Don and those other fellows go deer hunting..."

Dave , Mickie & Judy Kae VH on the lawn of 747
with First PR church in the background.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Three Guesses

Seen from the street , we just had to investigate!

"If you come to a fork in the road, take it."
Yogi Berra


Hint #1:


Hint #2:


Hint #3:


The new BP (Hint #4, not British Petroleum).

And, another amazing then and now ....

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Which is YES!

"I thank you God for this most amazing day,
for the leaping greenly spirits of trees,
and for the blue dream of sky
and for everything which is natural,
which is infinite,
which is yes."

e e cummings

This is Bray Lake, a private lake near BSL,
and on this particular day, a day which seems to be
tailor-made for the cummings poem above,
we are on a search for some eagles and their nest
that's been previously spotted by DNR Dave.

Eagles eat a lot of small animals
including turtles and other little varmints.
Here we are under the tree that we think has the nest in it.
We're trying to find turtle shells and animal bones.
Della The Dog is off to the left, her head just above the ferns.
Della did ultra-helpful things like
her trade mark Tigger jump right on top of
perfectly formed turtle shells.

Unfortunately, this little guy
often winds-up like this ....

An empty turtle shell among the leaves ....
no time to reset the light meter due to
Della's aggressive interest in all things turtle.

Pat the Turtle Expert
shows off 2 untrampled shells.

Lookee yonder, I say.
I spy an eagle aerie.
But no, it was just a dead branch
caught in another branch.

Della with one of her many non-turtle finds.

We begin scanning the shoreline of the lake
in hopes of spotting the eagle or eagles
flying about or roosting somewhere.

The sunlight and colors were just amazing on this
late summer day.

Bingo! There he is near the top of a pine tree.

A little zoomage for a better look.

Such a gorgeous day, but someone will actually
have to get in a boat to see the nest
since there's too much foliage blocking the view.

We pick Dave and Liesy.
They set out in the canoe
as stealthy as Indians ....
(Indians with photographic equipment.)

"Give me of your bark, O Birch Tree!
Of your yellow bark, O Birch Tree!
Growing by the rushing river,
Tall and stately in the valley!
I, a light canoe will build me,
That shall float upon the river,
Like a yellow leaf in Autumn,
Like a yellow water lily!"


And there it is!
Kind of like a giant beaver dam in a tree!