Sunday, January 11

Sunday Eve, Jan. 11th… An Angel looks over my shoulder a lot……

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The day is done… and so is the pile…This was a good day!! This is the day I have been waiting on since last spring. It needed to be a day just like today and I’ve waited and watched ever since I took the hot tub off the rear deck, if you remember seeing me do that way back when it was still posted on AOL Journals. The day I’ve been waiting on needed to be a snowy day…… with overcast skies, so the smoke didn’t worry anyone…… lots of snow needed to be on the ground, surrounding roofs and everything close to the wood pile. That way, we would not have to worry about the cinders blowing onto a neighbor’s roof, our roof, any of the outbuildings or the boat or campers.
We dragged the snow off the top of the wood pile, removed enough boards near the top to open a hole down through the pile, poured about a half gallon of diesel fuel and lamp oil down through the pile and touched her off. It burnt hot, quick and clean, except when the hot tub plastic and foam burnt, which sent a black whirl of smoke up for about ten minutes, then reverted back to clean burning, with little smoke at all. At last check, I found the pile to be cleanly burnt to the ground with little ashes. There are a bunch of little boards left around the outside perimeter of the pile, which had no fire under them to cause them to burn. We’ll have all those little boards saved this spring for the fire ring on the rear deck, which we burn in the evenings when we want to sit out there and sip wine and drinks with friends and chat. So, after today…… we no longer have a huge, ugly pile of scrap wood out there for everyone to see when they come into the driveway. Later in the spring, we are going to remove all of the high fence, where we refer to it as Fort Apache, and clean everything up so you can see the campers and out through the woods, which will be pretty and natural instead of looking like a dump concealing wall.
As I mentioned earlier today, Bill, Loraine and Andrew are coming up to visit over the Martin Luther King holiday, as they do every winter. This time we are going to shop a little and take in a live performance of Vick’s dad, Joe Drao, entertaining at the Villa Vosilla in Hunter, NY. That Saturday evening. Joe has entertained here in the Catskill resorts, since his early years when he entertained at Leeds, NY when he was twelve years old. Joe is well known by all those who vacationed in the Catskills throughout the 50’s and 60’s, and is still going strong. People come from the city and surrounding area to book rooms for the weekend, to see Joe and spend the days on the slopes of Hunter Mountain just as they’ve done for most of their lives. After Bill, Loraine and Andrew spend their weekend and head home, we will get ready for Robin, our friend from Georgia, who will be coming on the 26th to stay for eleven days. We can’t wait to see her, because Vick hasn’t seen her since the winter of 2005, when she flew up to New Jersey to spend a few days with Vicki and then take her father along back to Georgia to live with her. We plan to have a good time and show Robin the Catskill sights before she heads back down south.
This evening I made a meatloaf, just like my mom always made when she was alive. I made it while Vicki was making rice for her and I. First, I started off with a container (2.25 pounds) of ground beef, added a chopped onion about the size of a tennis ball, a whole sleeve of Saltine crackers, crushed up and two duck eggs……. needed and mixed all together and shaped into a loaf, placed in a roasting pan on a rack with just enough tin foil for it to rest on, so it didn’t sink down through the racks rails. Placed in the over at 350 degrees for about an hour and a half or until it reached 165 degrees inside the center of the loaf. Ooooooooooooh…… I think my mom was watching over my shoulder when I took the first bite, closed my eyes and reverted back to her kitchen when she was alive and made the last meat loaf I can remember. Mom smiled………so did I...... Vick thought it was pretty darned good too……… and not greasy! I wish Mom and Vick had met before she passed away.

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