It’s Monday, it’s officially Memorial Day, the last day of long weekend. You know when you work in an office, everyone wishes each other a restful relaxing weekend; Now I don’t really work in an office on a daily basis and no one wished me a R&R weekend and I wonder if someone had, would the weekend have been any different? With me, it’s hard to tell because as my husband will attest, I never sit down and read a book, I never stop moving and I’m ALWAYS working!
So this is how my Memorial Day weekend played out;
We arrived on Thursday afternoon and opened up the cottage. We are doing the Spring Flea Market next weekend so we brought LOTS of stuff down and it all needed to be wrapped or put in some sort of protective covering (most of this load was ephemera) so Peter started in doing that. It had been a glorious sunny day so about 6pm I strong-armed Peter into going for a walk on the boardwalk. After all I think it’s only appropriate that once in a while we visit the ocean just to make sure it’s still there and remind ourselves why we come here! And on our way back home, we stopped to say hi to Susan and Jim-small town you know! Oh yes, when we arrived we found an empty bird feeder, grass a foot high and both the rose bush and the peony plants in full bloom
The night before (at 10pm) I sauteed vegetables and chicken strips and packed them to bring along. Thank goodness, dinner was going to be easy-I added that mixture to some linguine and made a light sauce from some broth, pasta water, and olive oil and lots of cheese. Then I got a phone call from my friend Jane who owns one of the largest B&B’s in town. She had a funeral to go to on Friday and needed someone to babysit the Inn. And she needed someone to do so from noon to 10pm! Her cousin was coming to stay so it was agreed that her cousin would be in charge till 3 or 4pm and then it was my turn. That meant that the 10 errands I had to do on Friday had to start out pretty early! And I needed to go over there tonight to get a lesson on how to check in the guests.
- The LIlligaard Hotel
Friday morning; Racing around, breakfast, showers, feed the cats, make up the errand list and let’s get the hell out of the house and the phone rings – it’s Jane and her cousin hasn’t left her house yet and Jane has to leave in an hour!! I said I would be there but Jane knew I had hoped to get a lot done before we were relegated to the hotel. In the end, she put a note on the door saying Check In at 2pm. Hoping her cousin would arrive by then, I set off to run around. First we stopped at Rite Aid so I could pick up some vitamin supplements. Next it’s Habitats for Humanity to drop off 14 videos as a donation. Anyone who really knows me that this little act of removing 14 videos from my life or rather Peter’s was a major event. Of course he brought in about 8 so I really only subtracted 6…oh well! Then I dashed into Wegman’s and Peter went to their liquor store to get you know what! Wegman’s was having their annual flower and plant sale and once I saw this great large pot of deep purple petunias I knew it would be perfect next to the rose bush.
photo by Murray Head
We flew out of that plaza and went to the Pet Smart store to buy cat food and a new litter mat. Then over to Michael’s because I wanted to replace the ratty-looking bouquet on our bedroom porch. It’s possible that the Gemini in me was in high gear because it took me forever to decide on the color combination of the bouquet. In the end, bright yellow forsythia, turquoise and yellow gerber daisies, and a few white flowers made a colorful arrangement. Last stop before home was Starbucks because I needed fortification for my job. At the last moment Peter said he should pop into a thrift shop to buy a belt. In and out and no belt.
I called the hotel and there was no answer so I hit the panic button and insisted Peter drive me over even though we might lose the much-desired parking spot in front of the house! But when I got there, her cousin was there, she just wasn’t answering the phone!!! Well I went into the office and the first thing I noticed was that there was no paper in the fax machine, the computer was closed and where the hell was the registry book? My lesson from last night depended on these things. I found the book, snatched some paper from the printer to put in the fax machine which immediately started to spew forth MORE reservations. I have to say I did really well – assigned rooms, filed the paperwork and then said I would be back in a couple of hours.
We went to garage to get some bins out to price the items and for me to finish the list of things that belong to Laura that we are selling. The car just would NOT start! After a half hour, I sent Peter to stop in at our mechanic’s garage to see if he could help us start up the Met. Holiday weekend, Friday at 4pm – GONE, well what did we expect? So we pushed and pushed and got the car back into the garage – it was much easier getting it out. Let the wrapping begin! We did have a nice break in the work when Trish and Ron showed up. Just a neighborly visit and one of my favorite things about Ocean Grove, small town you know.
We had made dinner plans with Jim and Susan to dine al fresco on the front porch of the hotel, however the wind was whipping around and that didn’t seem like such a good idea after all. So when they arrived, I gave them a tour of the hotel and we opted to order pasta dishes from Luigi’s and eat in the tea room. Very nice to dine by ourselves in a quiet atmosphere in such lovely surroundings! I’m not going to go too too far into what turned out to be the lively dinner conversation; Seems that there was a big brouhaha over the Neptune H.S. graduation being held in the Great Auditorium because there was a movement to eliminate any religious songs or prayers since everyone is not Christian while they were at it, the ACLU and a certain grandmother thought the religious wording should be covered up as well as the big cross on the outside of the building. Covering the cross was the line in the sand that the Camp Meeting Association was not about to cross and initiate a secular precedent. Anyway, it certainly was a very interactive conversation.
Saturday morning dawned early for us as this was the morning of CMA flower and plant sale and the Historical Society’s antique auction. As I headed over to the plant sale, Peter got us seats for the auction and checked out the merchandise. I came back with geraniums and petunias in time to look over the items. Luckily there was nothing there I couldn’t live without, although Peter picked up a children’s teaching kit all about art. Interesting but dated. On the gorgeous day that Saturday was and opening day at the beach, I couldn’t stand being inside anymore so we left.
Saturday afternoon turned out to be yard clean up day! I finally spread the rest of the mulch, Peter mowed the grass and raked up mounds of the cut grass. I weeded, he cleaned the grill which was quite a process and I swept up. We had a 7:00pm barbeque to go to: Nice!
Going to a cook-out at Joe’s is always fun and Michael was going to be there and a friend of his as well as Monica, a neighbor and Elena an old friend. Jim and Susan were there and Elena invited a friend, Richard and our friend, Heide came bringing an amazing salad! Everything was set out perfectly. Arranged with detail in mind – Joe is a lovely host. I can SO relate to him about entertaining – he is cleaning up as the night goes on and in the end, the barbeque grill has been washed and every thing is sparkly clean – Yes Joe!
- Time to EAT
- Jim, Susan and Joe
- Michael cooks for the crowd
You’re wondering why I am outlining every detail then let me tell you. I’ve been running all weekend; I haven’t read the paper, I haven’t read a book or magazine, nor have I watched a movie. It’s been on the go and then some.
Our friend Murray(YES that Murray!) was due to arrive on Sunday morning AND late Saturday afternoon we listened to a voice mail left by our friend, Paul who said he and his wife Karen were going to come down on Sunday! Glad they’re coming BUT now I have to go to grocery store early in the morning. I thought about what to serve, made my grocery list and hoped to get out to Wegman’s before my first guest arrived.
Sunday morning dawned yet another beautiful day and I was happy to be out and about by 9:00am, first Starbucks and then the grocery store. As soon as I got home I set about prepping for our cook-out dinner. I had decided to make the Strawberry Basil Shortcake that I featured last Tuesday. First the cream and basil and while that was steeping, I began peeling, seeding and chopping cucumbers to make a batch of Cucumber Coolers (check out tomorrow’s Tasty Tidbits). The meat was thawing, I sliced the strawberries and macerated them, and took out platters, serving pieces and pots that would be needed. There was a sort of street fair in Bradley Beach on the boardwalk so I suggested that Peter and Murray take a long walk.
- Mmmm maybe I will buy that penguin necklace for Lori
photo by Murray Head
Soon thereafter, Karen and Paul arrived after having a horrific time with their car. Karen owns a 1999 Porsche, truly a classic. They were going to drive down to the shore but needed gas and when they stopped they discovered that the car’s computer system had locked everything up including the gas tank cover! Paul managed to get that open without damaging it and the good news is that once they arrived here, they parked and then re-parked the car. What that did was reset the computer, essentially re-booted the car. Whew!!!
Time to unwind on the porch, have something cold to drink and a nosh.
- A Strange Juxtaposition Between Karen and the Wicker Lamp
photo by Murray Head
After some refreshments on the porch we all headed off to the boardwalk where the fair was and since Murray had already been there, he peeled off to the opposite end of town with his camera and this is some of what he saw.
- An Ocean Grove Tent
Photo by Murray Head
photo by Murray Head
- Swan Boats 21st Century Style on Wesley Lake
photo by Murray Head
Strolling in the sun, window shopping along the boardwalk, we ran into Jim and Susan – small town, you know! I bought a beautiful pink and purple striped scarf/shawl and Peter bought me some outrageous hot pink sun glasses.
- Outrageous Sun Glasses
Back home and it must be time for a martini on the porch! While they are all drinking, I’m in the kitchen steaming clams, cooking asparagus and making and baking short cakes. The hors d’oeuvres menu: Cheese and Crackers, Olives, Bococini, Pepperdews, Cherry Stone clams on the half shell with Asparagus Tips and melted Lemon Dill finishing sauce.
Once all that was out, I washed the outdoor dishes, set the table and Karen made the salad which evolved into practically a main dish. She put together corn kernels, fennel, cherry tomatoes, avocado, feta cheese and salad greens. The dinner menu: Bloody Mary marinated flank steak on the grill, baked beans, asparagus, and the terrific salad. Dessert was the Strawberry Shortcake and coffee. It was well past 11:00pm before Peter and I finished cleaning up, washing dishes and putting things away!
And so the weekend slipped by…Monday morning we had an early morning shower but the sun came out soon thereafter and a beach day was born. But first, I asked Peter to put some more screens in. Not sure what I did besides sift through hundreds of Murray’s photos to pick out the pictures used in the previous blog as well as saving many many more which you will see in the near future.
Peter and I went to the beach and marveled that here we were, sitting on beach, looking at the beautiful waves. The beach was full but not crowded and the water was icy cold. My winter white skin stood out among the already-tanned bods. I think it’s a good idea to tan in your backyard before going to the beach, especially to get the back of these thighs. You know I’m convinced that a good tan takes at least 5 pounds off your thighs!
All play and no work, ha ha, ha – we went home and Peter painted a scratch on a kitchen cabinet and decided to paint the top of the kitchen ceiling light fixture – OMG what a nightmare! It came apart where it shouldn’t have and even the live wires became undone. I was so scared and Peter needed me to hold this very heavy light fixture above my head while I stood on a step stool and he attempted to put the wires back. I was really sorry I had already taken a shower because now I was sweating and my arms were aching. To get the damn thing back on the ceiling took us almost 45 minutes! Tomorrow I’m going to Home Depot to get a new light.
Last but not least, we went to the Lilligaard Hotel to have dessert with Jane and Dick and her cousin and fiancee. The ocean was pounding for some reason, you could smell the familiar oceany smells so we sat on the porch and it was delightful.
It’s past midnight and time to call it a weekend!!!!
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