Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor Day Weekend at Camp Chicken

Friday, September 4

It was a sad day for my family as Mom, Dad, Cindy and I went to Pellston to attend my Uncle Ed's memorial service. Uncle Ed was married to my Dad's only sister, Aunt Mary. I drove us down and back and by the time I got back home it was after 4:00 pm.

Arlene had everything ready so we just had to load the car and hitch up the trailer and we were off. We were going to just unload and go to Hessel to the casino for dinner but I was kind of worn out from the day so we decided to just stay at camp.

We aren't much for taking it easy, so we decided to get started early on our Saturday project. My Dad had given Dan a little utility trailer last year and he had put a sort of flat bed out of 2x4's on it. We decided that with a little re-design we could put a box on it and make a nice little wagon to haul wood. So Friday night we took all the 2x4's off of it.

We played a game of Phase 10 and went to bed early.

Saturday, September 5

We were up early and headed into town to pick up nuts and bolts to attach our wagon "ribs" to the wagon.

We used a thicker sheet of OSB board for the floor and after some careful cutting with the saw managed to cut slots for the "ribs" to fit in and got the floor secured. Arlene and I stained it and while it was drying, we measured and cut the sides.

After we had it all screwed together we stained the finished product. We used scrap lumber left over from Arlene's hunting shack and our camp shed so the whole project cost us a total of $5.00.!

How do you like our little five dollar wagon?

Cindy came up for a dinner of grilled Brats, corn-on-the-cob from a camp neighbor's garden, and Bush's grillin beans with canned potatoes added.

After dinner it had cooled off quite a bit so I started a fire and we had coffee. Mom surprised us by dropping by for a visit and we had a really nice time chatting with her.

Just before dark, I dug the camp telescope out from under the bed and put it together and aimed it at what I thought was Mars. To my surprise, the big object in the southeastern sky was Jupiter with three of it's moons orbiting around it. When the full moon came up, we turned the telescope on it and took turns gazing into the moon. It had been a great day!

Sunday, September 6

Sunday dawned warm and sunny just like the last two days at camp. We slept in and relaxed drinking coffee. We spent the morning putting up our deer cams and putting out food blocks for the deer at Arlene's Cadillac Shack, the Taj Mahal bow shack and one at the end of the camp clearing.

About 1:15 Arlene's daughter Janet surprised us with a visit and she brought little Chayse, Arlene's newest great-grandson for his first trip to Camp Chicken. He is five months old now and really growing.

Of course, Arlene had to take him for his very first 4-wheeler ride.

As you can tell, he wasn't afraid at all, but seemed really interested in how his "GG"'s buggy worked.

I called Mom and told her that Janet had brought the baby up so that she could spend some time with him and she was at camp in a flash.

Soon afterward, his mom, Steph, Auntie Sara, and cousin Anna pulled in and it was like old times at camp when they all used to come for the weekend. Before long they had the badminton net up and had a game going.

Chayse relaxed on my Mother's lap while he watched his Mom play badminton.

Mom must have a pretty comfortable lap, because he was asleep in no time.

Soon, Arlene's sister Judy and their niece Cheryl arrived. Cheryl was here for a visit. My sister Cindy pulled in shortly after and we had quite a lively crew at camp.

Arlene had brought lots of food and Janet and the girls brought hot dogs and chips.

While Arlene cooked dinner, the whole crew went up into the woods to help Judy pick up some flat limestone rocks for a walkway she is making at her house. One thing that Camp Chicken has a bounty of is ROCKS. Gram used to call camp, "Stony Lonesome", which I think is a pretty cool name too.

Finally, Arlene had dinner ready and we all sat down to a feast of grilled fresh whitefish, pork country ribs, bratwurst, hot dogs, fried potatoes, corn-on-the-cob, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers and garlic and herb french bread toasted on the grill. Yum, Yum!!!

After stuffing ourselves at dinner, everyone relaxed by the fire. The girls helped clear and I did the dishes.

All too soon everyone had to leave and camp was once again quiet.

Arlene, Cindy and I spent the entire evening around a roaring fire. Just as it got dark the coyotes began to howl very, very close to camp so I went and got one of my handguns out and set it by my table, just in case. It was actually nice to hear them. The wolves had driven them out of our area in the past two years.

I got the telescope out again and we looked at the moon and Jupiter. Before long it was almost midnight. Evening is my favorite time at camp. I love sitting around the fire. There is something comforting about a fire. Maybe it something buried deep in our DNA from long ago; fire means life and warmth.

Monday, September 7

Sigh, last day of a long weekend at camp. Time just flies by at Camp Chicken.

Our trailer has a mouse problem! We have been catching the little buggers all weekend. So today was clean out the cupboards and cubby hole day. Arlene and I vacuumed up mouse poop and used Clorox disinfecting wipes to clean up all the places where they hide and mess. We can't figure out how they are getting in.

While Arlene was finishing cleaning the bathroom, definitely a one-woman job, I was putting some things away in the shed when I found a nest of leaves and stuff up in the part of the shed where we have some boards laid on the rafters. As I was brushing the leaves down, I saw a MOUSE running for cover in the soffets(sp).

I grabbed the ladder and my heavy leather gloves and tried to get him. I had to move the ladder as I chased him back and forth from one soffet area to another. Arlene was now outside cleaning the grill when she could hear swearing, banging and thumping from the shed. She came over to see what the heck was going on.

I finally figured out that where each rafter met the soffet board, there was a gap there that the mouse was running through and getting away from me. So I took two pieces of 2x4's and slowly began working the mouse to the middle soffet.

Finally, I had him trapped but to my surprise, there wasn't just one mouse, there were FOUR MICE. One by one, I caught and killed each one, sorry ASPCA, but they had to go! Actually, one of them managed to escape and I chased him all over while Arlene laughed her *ss off at the picture of me chasing the little critter.

Later, I took mouse poison and put it everywhere I could think of; the outhouse, the new shed, the old shed, the motor home, under the woodpiles, everywhere.

As the day grew hotter and hotter, we decided to pack up and head home.

Next weekend, the MOUSE WAR will go on.


Judy Merrill-Smith said...

Nice that you guys finally got a good weekend at camp! Loved to see the pics of everyone, esp. your mom with the baby. Nice $5 wagon, too!

Brigid said...

I'm sorry to hear about Uncle Ed. The pictures remind us all how very dear family is, young and old. Thank you for sharing these bits of a very full life with us.

Marian Love Phillips said...

Love the $5 wagon...that will work! Nice that the family got together at Camp Chicken and everyone had a great time. Look forward to the continuation of the mousey war...LOL