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going squirrelly at Mill Lake

Tue May 23, 2006 Miss Vicky 

Well, we survived the cottage opening experience. We left early Saturday morning, our new Thule storage box packed with bedding and essentials and a rather peeved Winston installed in his new spot in the hatchback (this is all part of our master plan to keep the current car after the baby comes). Traffic was good (it usually is through Highway 60) and we made it to Parry Sound by lunchtime. From the outside, the cottage looked pretty good - no apparent natural disasters over the course of the winter, shutters intact, and no trees down in inconvenient places. The docks we anchored last summer did not drift off (this is especially good news).

Inside the place was frosty but looked as it should. We picked up the wharfarin we'd left out to keep the rodents down; there didn't seem to be a lot of evidence of mice, although upon closer inspection it was clear that SOMETHING had been around - a mattress and one old comfy chair (which was on its last legs, admittedly) were missing some filling. Out on the porch they went. I started in on the kitchen while the Webgeek tackled the shutters. The first thing is to check the drawers and shelves for mouse poop, clean them out, line them with paper and re-stock with the dishes (we keep them in rubbermaid over the winter now, so we don't have to go through the annual ritual of washing them with bleach). That's when we found out what our winter visitor had done with the remnants of the chair and why there were leaves on the floor of the kitchen - seems a red squirrel had decided to nest in one of the (fortunately rarely-used) drawers. And I think it had been into the wharfarin as well, as it was still in it.... such are the joys of cottage living.

The Webgeek took care of the nest (and another one in a bedroom, fortunately without an occupant)) and disinfected the kitchen drawers and shelves while I kept busy at other tasks. It didn't take long to put the place back into shape, and we were blessed with an afternoon of clear skies and sun. We took advantage of it while it lasted, cooked our supper on the BBQ pit outside and let off a few fireworks down by the dock. The rest of the weekend involved sleeping, eating, scrabble and reading. And watching Winston head back and forth to the water. Oh, and keeping warm. You never know what you're going to get on the May long weekend, but this year sure was frosty! Still, I was glad to get out of town, away from phones and email and assorted stresses. And I do feel refreshed.

Some people were moved to reply

The Webgeek May 23, 2006 01:00 PM said:

Oh, and keeping warm.

Yes, I found it odd that it was near the end of May and it was chilly enough that we could keep the beer* on the back porch and it would remain frosty cold. It kept the blackfly population down which was a bonus. Of course this also meant that, even with fire a blaze, staying inside the un-winterized cottage also involved wearing our entire weekend's worth of clothing in one layered set.

*and near beer for Miss V -- Upper Canada Point Nine. Tastier than the Beck's 0% that other people recommended

peabody May 25, 2006 09:45 PM said:

***jealous*** Peabody wishes he had a cottage! Even if it means cleaning out a bit of mess in the spring!

Miss Vicky May 25, 2006 10:19 PM said:

yeah, we're pretty lucky. It's been in the family for a while - for a military brat like Miss Vicky, it's the closest thing to a family homestead she'll get!

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