Why, hello there, my friends.
Sorry I haven't written lately. The first few days, I was about getting ready to go to the cottage. Kept putting it off for various reasons. Finally, a week ago Tuesday, the 2nd of August, I went off there by myself. I took with me a big battery charger, a new lawn tractor battery we had just acquired, my laptop, some reading material, some food, some reading material. I got there mid-afternoon and hoped (hoped!) that I could mow the lawn down there. Due to Covid, and other factors, we had not been able to get there yet.
No such luck.
The battery I took down there was the wrong one. The positive thingy was on the left and it had to be on the right, as the wires in the lawn tractor work that way, and were too short to "cross". There was already a battery at the cottage with the correct polarity, but it turned out to be as dead as a doornail. The large charger didn't seem to work. Not sure why. But the lowly trickle charger we have had for several years down there worked fine. It was a slow process, running from about 7pm Tuesday until sometime in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.
I got up early last Wednesday and noted that the trickle charger had charged and conditioned the battery, saving me a trip to the local hardware store to get a proper new battery. Carried it out to the shed where the lawn tractor lives. Installed the battery, tightening the screws with a small wrench we keep out there, and was very pleased that the lawn tractor started up perfectly.
It took me hours to mow the lawn, from 9 in the morning until 2:30 in the afternoon, with a few short breaks along the way. When it was done, I decided to treat myself to dinner in the town of Pictou, so that is where I went, ended up at the Marina Bar and Grill, a pretty decent surf and turf restaurant along the waterfront.
I had fish and chips. The fish was lightly battered, and not gross at all, like so many fish and chips are these days. The fries were delicious. That, and a Caesar salad for an appetizer, and I was happy, and very full. That did not stop me from driving to the local Acripole Pizza place and ordering two large pizzas. We finished eating that pizza here yesterday.
That may strike you as a strange thing to do, but I did not feel like making a special trip into town to get a Pictou County pizza. There is something special about PC pizza. They use a brown pizza sauce, made of God knows what, which totally changes the taste and even the texture of pizza parlour pizzas.
People swear by this pizza place or that pizza place while in Pictou County. Acripole is good. The town of Pictou used to have another place, next to Karla MacFarlane's constituency office. Frigged if I can remember the name of the place. But Mammy's Pizza in River John was our fave, by a lot. The place closed last year, but there is an update. Keep reading.
Other towns in Pictou County have their own version of PC pizza. Some heretics eschew the brown sauce for a traditional red sauce in a vainglorious effort to produce something they deem to be special, a gourmet pizza if you will. While those pizza places have their... place, it is not PC pizza, which is supposed to have a brown sauce, made of God knows what. You can have variations of the brown sauce, made of variations of God knows what, but anything else made with variations of brown sauce, made of variations of God knows what, is simply not Pictou County pizza. Period.
Due to its popularity, some people in Halifax try to make Pictou County pizza, never with any degree of success or quality. Sobeys carries Pictou County pizza in the frozen pizza section of local stores, but it is barely more than competent. For some reason, you have to buy PC pizza in actual PC. I think that if a local pizza place made actual PC pizza and did it right, it would do smashingly well in Halifax.
So, anyway, after my sojourn into Pictou for dinner and pizza, I returned to the cottage and turned in early. Being jostled and shaken and my testicles being nearly ripped out of my scrotum all while sitting on the lawn tractor for hours on end is tiring to a person, and almost literally emasculating to boot. That type of exhaustion carried over through Thursday, when I had to take naps just to get some strength back. Even my CPAP machine was telling me to stop sleeping so much, you're embarrassing yourself.
By Friday I was feeling more like myself, so in the afternoon I went to River John and drove around a bit. I ended up at the library and browsed and got to know the new librarian. Margaret retired a couple of years ago and Stephanie is there now. Margaret was wonderful. In 2010, my mother went to the cottage with Patricia. One night, Patricia wanted to go to the book club at the library and dragged Mom with her. Margaret waited on Mom hand and foot for the better part of two hours while the book club went on. She fetched Mom all the magazines and newspapers she wanted to read and had a wonderful time. Mom had the wonderful time. Maybe not so much Margaret.
I left the library and headed back to the car. Saw some guys working at the building next door to the library. One told me that they were going to open a bistro type place in the coming months and that the would serve... Mammy's Pizza pizza out of it. The business has been sold. Mammy would be like 90 now, so if she is still around, she is putting her feet up and enjoying life. I do so hope that they keep the recipes and at the same time spend some money on the business, as the building the shop ran out of was run down and decrepit. But I am thrilled that Mammy's will soon be back.
I drove down the road toward Tatamagouche and ended up at the Pork Shop, where I got a pound of bacon we are still eating and some beef jerky that I gnawed on that evening.
While at the cottage when I wasn't running the road and was awake, I watched some stuff on a media player we keep down there. Old tv shows on a hard drive can really keep you entertained when there are few other options around.
I decided to surprise Patricia by returning to Halifax Saturday morning. I hit the road just past seven ayem, and went into Pictou again for breakfast and to top up the gas tank. I left Pictou and drove for nearly the next two hours to return home just before 10. Patricia was surprised to see me. So was the guy who had stayed the night.
Ha ha. Just kidding. It was actually a woman.
Ha ha. Just wanted to see if you were paying attention.
We got caught up on the previous few days. I showered because I stank like a pole cat as my father used to say.
The last few days have been about resting except Tuesday, when a local company came by and pressure washed the front veranda and sprayed down the house and shed. The house had never been washed (not pressure washing, soft bristles) in all the years I have lived here, which is in the number of 20. The back end of the house was quite dirty. The soffits were quite unsightly from the upstairs bathroom and master bedroom. Now, they are sparkling clean, along with the outside of the house. It was a bit pricey, but worth it.
Add to that cost, the six cans of semi transparent stain I bought on Sunday, along with some brushes and rollers. The front veranda, just pressure washed, will be sanded down and stained from one end to the other. I figure I will need two cans of the stuff. The side steps, refurbished in 2020, will take one can. The back deck, now a year old, will need likely three cans of the stuff, once you take into account the privacy panel, my side and the side facing my neighbours.
It is possible I will have to buy another can for the front and back, but I am hoping that is not the case.
And, no, we will not hire someone to do the staining for us. We like to do the job in a certain way. That way may not fill someone's definition of "correct", but I am more concerned about functionality and laying on the stain "thick" in areas where there will be higher foot traffic. One time, I actually poured semi transparent stain on the front veranda from the front door, poking my head and torso through the screen window on the door and used the rest of a can of stain on the main entrance to the house. I brushed it out so it wasn't "goopy". And I also put lots extra, probably two more coats, on the front steps leading to the entrance as that is how we enter and leave the house and I wanted to make sure that when it rained, the wood would bead for a long time. Less-walked parts of the veranda could do with perhaps just one coat, and I only used one coat on the slats and posts. That's what I mean by doing it the way I want to do it. I am not sure if I hired someone to do this job that I would end up with things being done the way I wanted them done.
Also on Tuesday I produced a draft for my next cold case article for Frank. This one... well, you should read it for yourself. It was disturbing less for the content of the unsolved murder, and more for the way the papers discussed nearly all of the players in the story. I had to mention it and comment on it. We will see how much of it survives the editing process.
So, you are about caught up. Stargirl is back on the air, and we are happy for all the classic comics shout outs. Well, I am. I had to explain the "McNider" mailbox, and who Eclipso was, and who The Gentleman Ghost was, and why Green Lantern's daughter hanging around will not mean that Ryan Reynolds might make a cameo on the show. "Her father would have been the Alan Scott Green Lantern, dear, not the Hal Jordan Green Lantern. Hal Jordan was a member of the Justice League of America, and most definitely NOT the Justice Society of America. This is common knowledge and I am frankly disappointed you did not know this". Whereupon, a projectile mysteriously flew toward my head, and narrowly missed me. I guess The Gentleman Ghost was hanging around the house again.
America's Got Talent is fun, as alway. We did not watch it for several years, and it occupies a vast amount of real estate on the schedule and therefore fills up a PVR quickly if you are not diligent in watching it. But Katey Day being on the show got us interested and we are enjoying it a lot. I just wish a Canadian channel carried it so we could watch it at the cottage.
It is nearly 12:30am on Thursday. I think I should turn in. This was a 2000 word blog post, so it likely took you longer than two minutes to read it for a change. And it sure was nice to sit down and talk with you again. I missed you. Let's do this again, tomorrow.
See you then.