When I woke up on Saturday morning, I checked on the patio and found two more inches of rain in the gauge. That means a total of 2 1/2 inches of rain from this storm!
I made a cup of instant coffee, rather than a whole pot, then went to shave and shower. I got dressed and then headed out on an errand run. First stop was the gas station. I filled up the car and the lawnmower gas can. Then I went to Westborn to buy some red onions and an English cucumber.
Back home, I got the mail and found a funny Father's Day card from my daughter, Melissa (thanks, Babe!) Then, I started making my Radish Salad. You see, I had bought a beautiful bunch of radishes on Friday (purely an impulse buy) and I got to thinking last night my Mom might like to try that salad. When I went to the recipes section in this website, I found I also needed a red onion and an English (or seedless) cucumber. Since I had to go out for gas anyway, I made a quick trip to Westborn.
I cut up the radishes, the peeled cucumber and the red onion. I put the apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper in a saucepan to boil, and then added the vegetable oil. Then I poured the hot dressing over the veggies, mixed it well and let it cool down. I put it into a Glad container for the trip.
Then I loaded up the cooler: the pasta salad, the radish salad, a package of Ballpark skinless all-beef hot dogs, a package of the Dearborn natural casing hot dogs, a package of Johnsonville smoked brats and the refrigerated clam chowder. Then I added some frozen bean soup, frozen chicken noodle and finally the frozen clam chowder. The cooler went onto the back seat of the car.
Next I loaded up a laundry basket with three packages of hot dog buns, and the new condiments (I never know what is out at the cottage and what is not, so I over-prepare). I bought some Hunt's catsup, some yellow mustard, some Dijon mustard, a jar of sweet pickle relish and a jar of dill pickle relish. I also added two cups of diced Vidalia onions I'd cut up this morning. Why a laundry basket? I find it's easier to carry a solid thing like the basket up those dreaded stairs.
Then I hit the road.
I got to the cottage without incident at 11:45 AM. It was later than I'd planned (the last minute radish salad set me back a bit), but it was okay. No one was there yet (except Mom and Cora, of course) and Mom was taking a nap. So, I unpacked everything, told Cora what soups I was putting in the freezer and that I had lunch for Mom made whenever it was time.
Mom got up and I went out on the porch and visited a while with her. Then Amy and young Carl showed up, with Fran and Jim. After all our greetings, Fran and Jim left and Amy and Carl got down to a day at the cottage: Amy made coffee and Carl went fishing. Fran had brought a tuna noodle salad (which went into the fridge) and a plate of brownies (which went on the table).
Rather than making this a 14 page epistle, I'll just give you the highlights:
Mom, Cora, Amy and young Carl were joined (in the following order) by my brother Carl and his grandson, Tariq; Jake and Carla; Laura, Austin and her new baby, Anna.
It was very, very windy, hot and humid, BTW.
I did make the soup for Mom's lunch (I served it topped with a pat of butter and some diced fresh parsley). My brother Carl asked for a small bowl and then my grandson Carl asked to try it. They both liked it. We also ate my pasta salad, Fran's tuna noodle salad (which was great, BTW) and had the brownies (well, not me, of course) for dessert. I completely forgot to get out the radish salad (I am my Mother's son, after all).
After lunch, I sprayed the ant spray around every inside wall in the cottage. My Brother Jim had instructed my Brother Carl to buy it, but told him to "delegate" the actual work to me. We both questioned why the two crips were supposed to do this, rather than hire a real exterminator, but we did it.
Carl called my brother Jim to ask him where the Comcast guy was (they are hooking up the cottage so Mom and Cora can watch TV). He checked and said they were on the way.
A local photographer knocked on the door and Amy thought he was Jeremy (well, they both had dark hair and a beard). It seems that he had taken a photo of the cottage at night (he showed me the photo on his iPod, but it was hard to see) and a service wanted to offer it as a stock photo. But, he needed a release. So, I said I'd fill it in and Carl asked that we be given four copies. He said he'd come back, so I filled it all in and signed it and left it with Cora.
The Comcast guy finally showed up. It was all quite amusing, BTW. Instead of the usual pristine white van with the company logo on it that I am used to, this guy had an old beater truck with no muffler. He seemed very confused by that fact that there was no cable already run and he would have to put it in himself. But Carl instructed him on how he wanted it installed. So, he finally went across the street, climbed the pole and got the wire hooked to the pole and laid out across the road.
He parked his truck on the inside lane of the road and recruited Jake to direct traffic around it. He also had Amy holding the wire, pulling out a drill, etc., which she said he owed her a dollar for (that's my girl!)
Finally he finished and hopefully, they have cable (the last screen I saw on the TV was blue and said, "This channel will be available shortly").
My Brother Carl's grandson and my grandson Carl had been swimming and fishing and fooling around on the dock all day. But, at one point, my Brother Carl's grandson Tariq pushed my grandson Carl into the water and his glasses flew off!
Then followed a tense hour or so. The wind made the surface of the water choppy, so it was difficult to see down in the water. And, from the dock, whenever you saw a straight line and thought it was the glasses, it would turn out to be a fish. We scoured the cottage, looking for some goggles, but couldn't find any. Austin got on his swimsuit and an inner tube and was floating around trying to spot them from the surface. Jake and Carla took off to go and buy some goggles.
About five minutes before they returned with the goggles, Austin found the glasses!
Amy had to leave early to attend a play directed by a friend. I asked her about it and she said she thought it was a comedy, based on a movie. I asked her the name of the movie and she said, "Train spotting". I said, "Um... I've actually seen that movie and its, well, not a comedy." She said, "Well, what is it then?" I said it was a movie about heroin addicts in England. She was aghast, but said she still should go. I told I understood, but to try not to laugh.
I tried to clean the grille with some rough sandpaper (couldn't find a brush). Amy suggested just using tinfoil, but when she checked she only found a piece about three inches wide. So, I scrubbed it as best I could, oiled it up with some vegetable oil and lit the charcoal (no mean feat in that damn wind!)
So, I grilled the hot dogs and brats. Just as they were about done, an ice cream guy rode by on a bicycle. I pointed him out to Amy (I'd never seen that kind of rig before), so she ran out to stop him and all the kids got some ice cream. So, I pulled off the grilled meat and took them upstairs. Dumb me, I was going to cover them with tinfoil to keep warm and then I remembered... So, I inverted bowls over them.
Since everyone was downstairs except Mom and Cora, I thought, well, we should just eat outside. So, I started carrying stuff downstairs. This being about the 30th time up and down those damn steep stairs, I stumbled on the top step. I caught myself, but was a bit ashamed that Jake had seen that. After that, he and Carla made all the trips. Carla took hot dogs up to Mom and Cora (catsup only for Cora, mustard only for Mom).
The idea of eating outside in that wind was insane, BTW. Paper plates kept blowing away, napkins were small kites and so on... But, anybody who was even a little hungry got some hot food.
About then, Fran and Jim came back to pick up Amy and young Carl and we all said our goodbyes. It was really nice to see them again!
Carla suggested quietly that I looked pretty beat and maybe I should go home. I thought about it for a minute and realized just how tired I was, so I agreed. I bagged up the leftover hot dogs and brats and stuck them in the fridge for Cora and Mom. I left the pasta and radish salads and told Cora I'd get the containers next time I was out (I did explain the radish salad should be served at room temperature.
Jake took the garbage bag downstairs and stuck it in my trunk.
I made my goodbyes and left at 5:45 PM. I got home about an hour later. I went to take out the garbage bag and saw I never took out the lawnmower gas can! So, my whole trunk was perfumed with gasoline!
I started filling in the Blog and then Luanne called to wish me Happy Father's Day. I passed along both Carl and Laura's comments that they wanted to buy some soap and she said she would email them.
I wasn't hungry, so I watched some TV, but turned in early. Both my legs were shot and my ankles all swollen, but, I had a GREAT day!