Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Firefly Festival II

I still think it's appropriate to call our second annual firefly cookout the Firefly Festival since we had so many festivities.  Friends, family, games, good eats, cool drinks, kites, zip-line, volley ball, a camper, and tents sound like a festival to me.  Plus, the party lasted well into the next day.  Someone told me that a festival isn't really a festival unless you have some live music.  Now we know what to add for next year!  

Brandon and I made a list of things to get done before the party, and did our best to check them all off in the days before the big day.  Everything was cleaned, mowed, trimmed, and spruced up the best we could, and I was proud to show our place to the friends who had never seen it before, or hadn't been there since it was mostly a construction zone.  Even though the weatherman was threatening us with rain, the clouds cooperated with us, and the weather was perfect.

The backyard and designated parking area were filled with cars and trucks.  Only one van got stuck in the mud hole the pigs conveniently rooted out, and we had to round up a crew to push it out.  The mud made deciding where to park Byron's new camper easy too, since once it was stuck it got to stay right there!

I made giant batches of coleslaw, potato salad, and baked beans, and folks brought enough delicious snacks, pies, cakes, cookies, and desserts to keep us all well fed.  We fired up the smoker with a beef brisket and chicken, and I baked a turkey in the oven.  All the meat came from Joe's farm, and the only thing left by the end was some turkey.  

I had a hard enough time keeping up with my beverage during the party, so I didn't even attempt to keep my phone camera at the ready.  Ashley shared this picture she took of me showing off the brisket.  

So many games of corn hole were played that there were bald spots in the grass!  

I never played a game the whole day, but no matter where I was I could hear the thumps of the corn bags on the wooden boards and hear the everyone's cheers and laughter as they played or watched the games.  Brandon tells me he needs to practice before the next party since there is some stiff competition.  

The zip line was lots of fun.  There were thirteen kids in attendance, and eleven of them were under the age of ten.  I get such a kick out of watching the kids run like wildlings around the place.  Between the zip-line, the climbing tree, chicken feeding, guinea chasing, volley ball playing, and walki-talki games, the kids stayed busy, and those that stayed overnight in tents had no trouble sleeping that night either.  I doled out a few band aids and an ice pack, but we only had one kid get temporarily "lost" from his parents.  One out of dozen isn't bad, right? 

We moved our campfire location for the party, and used the top of the metal barrel that we cut when we built the rocket mass stove to make a fire ring, like they have at campgrounds.   We enjoyed the evening hours with the fireflies and set up the tents and made sure everyone had a place to sleep.  Since I started the party with two, or maybe three, of mom's potent but delicious home made strawberry daiquiris, stayed hydrated through the day with a few cold beers, and if my memory serves me, was teased about my low quality tequila when dishing out shots, by the time I settled in around the campfire and took a sip of somebody's moonshine, I realized it was time for me to go to bed! 

Look at the size of that omelet!  Our family has this giant cast iron skillet that I've never seen in action, so I was excited to find that it fits over our new fire ring perfectly.  I asked my friend if he had ever seen a skillet that big and he said only in cartoons.  I was up early the next morning with some of the kids who had a wish to color.  You want to color?  At seven thirty in the morning?  No problem!  We breakfasted on milk, coffee, cake, and banana bread while we colored and everyone began to stir and break up camp.  For brunch we scrambled some onions, peppers, brats, hot dogs, and three dozen eggs from my parents chickens!  It was delicious, and the skillet worked like a charm.  

The fireflies did show up to the party, but they weren't as spectacular as they were last year and the year before.  After two years in a row of fantastic fireflies, I thought maybe they were always like that.  No one seemed disappointed in a normal amount of fireflies though.  I'm already looking forward to the next party!

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