Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Witches of Quogue - Part Two

Are you still with me here?....okay so we are still trying to reach our destination.......

When Steve finally opened both his eyes we survived the Interstates by counting the exits until we reached (69 - Quogue). Even with a GPS and a hard copy map we still managed to get LOST. There were more forks in the road than I have in my cutlery drawer.

I made a quick S.O.S. call to my niece who was attempting to smoke spareribs on this contraption called the Big Green Egg. It's a hybrid slow cooker/bbq/smoker that she bought for her husband for Father's Day. Now this toy does not replace a real bbq but you can smoke just about anything on it...even eggs. She had never used this giant green smoker (her husband is the BGE expert) before but had no choice as he was due in on the 5:30 p.m. train from Manhattan and this THING required you to slow cook for hours on end.

We arrived at the house at 3 p.m. and were greeted by Mr. G. and my niece. First things first. A tour of the house. Mr. G. was so enthusiastic to take us around.

First he used me as a wall and then showed me his umbrella stand which doubles as a place to knock out a number two in his pants.

We unpacked and it was time to start preparing for our first meal in Quogue. My niece was concerned about the ribs....they were looking shall we say....a little well done. She went to pick up her husband at the train station and informed him that the ribs MAY be just a little overcooked.

When he arrived home, he did the hundred yard dash to his green egg and opened the lid. Although they looked like they were cremated....they tasted pretty good....the end of that story was my niece is a fabulous cook....she just can't be left alone with that green monster again.

By the time we finished dinner and cleaned up it's almost time for bed. This is when Steve plays the part of the baby in the Nursery Story The Three Little Bears. He makes his way from room to room to find a bed that is.......JUST RIGHT.  Baby Bear Steve then settles on a bed that won't bother his back because every mattress in the house is a pillowtop. We then determine that he is going to be bunking in a different room than mine. Remember in one of my first blogs I told you about Steve's Jumping Bean Pseudo Epileptic Syndrome? I need to sleep in two beds pushed together in order not to be woken about by the jerking that goes on all night beside me.  So Steve gets the purple queen bed room and I am right next door in the twin bed room. Whatever works right? At bedtime he did a morse code on the wall....which from what I could decipher meant ...GOODNIGHT...

The question it ever a "good" night for me? Especially on the first night in strange surroundings? I have my doubts. My fears were not unfounded. I tossed and turned and turned and tossed. When I finally fell asleep I thought I had been out all night but in reality I think I slept just a few hours. I could see the crack of dawn through my window, looked at my watch and saw that it was 5:29 a.m. Great. Now what?

Day 2 - It's time for Kertner's List. My niece had a few things that she needed done by Steve the Handyman in her new home.

The list was as follows:
  • put up Plastic bag holder in the kitchen cupboard
  • Fix Large planter in the front of the house
  • Plant her tomatoes way too late in the season
  • Hook up a new hose outside
  • Oxy clean the outdoor furniture
  • Put up a new fixture in the purple bedroom (this was one of the highlights of the list)
  • buy a hammock and hook it up
  • fix the broken lounge chair
  • balance the antique table in the living area
  • blow up a rubber duck for Mr. G's bath
  • construct a Family Tree for an upcoming event

The tasks were pretty simple until it came to the light fixture. If a the fixture came in a box and was ready to hang that would have been one thing. Once the item comes from IKEA you know you are in for a "PROJECT". The concept behind IKEA is this.....their prices are reasonable, their products are good BUT there is a BUT......once you open the box it usually means there are 1000 pieces to put together with a small sheet of paper instructions in every language in the Universe. IKEA instructions and STEVE do not mix well. Here's how my husband puts together something from that store.

1. Open the box
2. Dump out box contents on the floor
3. Ignore instruction sheet because it looks simple enough and Steve has common sense.
4. Start placing together pieces that LOOK like they match
5. Empty all the nuts, bolts and screws on the floor and mix them around like scrabble pieces
6. Begin screwing
7.  Undo screws
8. Look for screws that Steve thinks should be in the box
9. Look at instructions for a split second and then throw them on the floor with the screws.
10. Begin screwing again
11. Stop screwing
12. Throw a piece of the project that you were screwing
13. Look for a screw that has rolled under the couch
14. Continue screwing
15. Stand back to see if the project looks right
16. Turn it upside down
17. Check the box again for pieces that Steve "thinks" are missing
18. Look for the receipt
19. Call IKEA to let them know that something is missing
20. IKEA confirms that you are not missing anything
21. IKEA also suggests that you read the instructions
22. READ instructions and discover that nothing is missing but your ability to follow instructions.
23. Take apart project and start again
24. Follow step by step instructions until complete
25. Stand back in pride and marvel at your accomplishment
26. Wonder why there is still a single screw on the floor that you didn't use
27. Throw the single screw out because you think it's an "EXTRA"

My method is simpler:

Take out instructions. Read them. Screw it. Done.

My niece really had her heart set on hanging that fixture up in the Purple Bedroom. It came with what looked like 60 plastic arches and about 200 paper flowers. We had to secure each arch with about 8 flowers. We were now enrolled at CAMP KERTZNER doing an arts and crafts project.

Once all the arches were complete with flowers we moved the pieces into the "purple" room. Steve retrieved the tall ladder and I used the flower arches to perform a Las Vegas showgirl finale. He placed the ladder in the room and I was hired as his assistant. My role was to ensure that he didn't fall and break his neck. I was also expected to retrieve any old fixture parts that were falling from the ceiling. Naturally when Steve climbed the ladder he was about 5 inches from his comfort zone. As he teetered on the ladder I began putting together the WHAT IF ? list.

Here's the sequence of my thoughts:

Question -What if Steve loses his balance?
Answer - I will try to catch him?

Question - What if Steve loses his balance and falls backwards and I can't catch him?
Answer - I will need to administer FIRST AID for which I am highly trained

Question - What if Steve breaks a piece of his body?
Answer - I will call 911

Question - What if Steve falls, breaks his body and I am still in my bathing suit when EMS arrives?
Answer - I will ask EMS to just hang on a second while I shower

Question - What if Steve is unconcious and I have to give him CPR which I am also highly trained in?
Answer -  I will administer CPR for 30 seconds and see if he starts breathing again and then take a shower.

Question: What if EMS arrives and I don't have time to shower and change? Do I accompany Steve in the ambulance in my new green bikini?

Answer: I will throw on my matching coverup to avoid being cold in the hospital.
Right in the middle of my day dreams Steve dropped a lightbulb from the ceiling sending it crashing into a million tiny little shards all over the floor. Once we cleaned it up and got back to business it didn't take more than a few more minutes to complete our two hour project. The results were truly spectacular. The light was magnificent.

My niece was overjoyed and we were relieved that the only casualty in the room was the broken light bulb.

I was also hired to assist Steve in putting up the new hammock. This was an easier project as no ladder was required. Only two screws and it was ready to use for swinging. My niece starred in the lead role in the " really off Broadway" musical Jesus Christ I live in the Hamptons. While my sister and I were almost nominated as best actresses in a supporting cast. (it's a miracle all three of us were not "sporting casts" after maneouvering in and out of this thing.

For the next 3 days all we did was eat, play and loved being in the Hamptons.  Target and K-Mart were the main choices for shopping excursions. I spotted a Walmart but my niece was in the store once and had to leave because she was seriously frightened by what she saw - apparantly The People Of Walmart really do exist.

We took Mr. G. to Target and he loved racing up and down the aisles with his Uncle Steve in the shopping cart. Our stop at K-Mart was memorable as well with the exception of Steve scaring the living daylights out of Mr. G. when he decided it would be fun to grab a hat off the shelf and mimic John Belushi in the Blues Brothers.

Our days were spent soaking up the sun in the backyard. The weather was perfect. The temperature was ideal. Steve read his book poolside while we frolicked in the water. What I can't figure out is this.....Steve will go scuba diving, snorkling, skydiving, pilot a plane and was a full flegded certified LIFE GUARD BUT has a fear.......of the water. No not just any water....just COLD water. Everytime I would get into the pool to cool off I would motion for him to join me. He would rise out of his chair.......dip his left toe in and say Eeeeeeee!...too cold for me!".

After a couple of days it was time to get him on a floatie. He devised a way of not getting too much of his body wet. Stack two floaties on top of each other and slither on backwards without letting too much water touch him.....

Can anyone explain this ? I can't.

So I bet you're there a PART 3 of the Witches of Quogue? What do you think? Of course there is....we have to get home don't we?

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