Monday, August 12, 2019

The End of a Long Summer...and Hot Dogs!

Jan here, welcoming you to my last post of the summer!

Yes, I know that summer doesn't really end for more than a month, but Saturday was the last day of the Rally (the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally!) and that is a true sign of the end of the summer in the Black Hills.

Once mid-August comes schools begin to start their fall semesters, the tourist season winds down, the weather begins to cool down, and the birds start gathering for their annual trip south.

But this year, I'm READY for summer to be over! It's been a crazy, hectic, stressful time. Here's a quick recap:

1. Our oldest son and his wife moved 12 hours away (Jacob and Katie)
2. We lost both of our dogs - Wynter in April and Thatcher in May
3. Our middle son graduated from college and moved away, leaving us with an empty nest
4. We sold our house (in 6 days!)
5. We put all of our belongings into a storage unit
6. We had to find temporary housing for the month between selling one house and buying another

And with all this going on, I've been working on my next book - deadline October 1st!

We're so thankful for our wonderful friends and the help they've given us! We close on our new house on Friday and move in a week from today. I can't wait!

You might be getting tired of this view,
but I never do!

Did I mention the empty house? Exactly one week after our son moved away, my husband and I moved out of the house. The last house our family of six lived in together.

With that in mind, I remembered this post from four years ago - before either of our older children were married, before they started moving out, back when the house was bursting at the seams. :-) Good memories!

Enjoy this end-of-the-summer, full-house post!

Hot Dog Extravaganza!

Does your refrigerator have enough space for your family's needs?

Ours doesn't, and it is a constant source of frustration.

Go ahead. Blame my disorganization, or the size of our family, or that I go grocery shopping too often (or not often enough). Or like my husband, you can blame the refrigerator itself.

Me? I blame my family's love affair with condiments.

I thought about taking a picture of the condiments on the table during our recent Labor Day Weekend Hot Dog Extravaganza, but it was pretty embarrassing. You'll just have to imagine what it looked like to give us the end results pictured below.

We started out well enough.

My daughter is a no-frills kind of hot dog eater. Meat. Bun. 'Nuff said.

And then one of her brothers chose the ketchup (catsup?) route for one of his dogs.

Here is his other one. Chili, cheese and horseradish. Mmm...

My husband was traditional. He chose mustard, relish and onions for one dog, and chili for the other. Again, Mmmm....

But now we get to the real condiment hounds. My oldest and youngest sons LOVE things like this -

And this (notice the quart size jars!) -

And here is what they ended up with -

Using multiple condiments on hot dogs really isn't a problem, until you try to put the four different kinds of mustards, two kinds of ketchup, hot sauce, relish, chow chow, sauerkraut, two kinds of cheese, etc. back in the fridge.

I'd say we're probably out of control.

I think we've come up with a new reality show idea, though: Refrigerator Horders!

Wait, what? I didn't share a picture of my hot dog?

I eat mine with coleslaw and onions. The best hot dog ever!

What is your favorite way to dress your dogs?

* * *

Back to 2019! After reading this post, we might have to do another Hot Dog Extravaganza this Labor Day. We'll invite the family members who still live in town out to the new place and break it in!

I hope we've unpacked a little bit by then!

Jan Drexler spent her childhood dreaming of living in the Wild West and is now thrilled to call the Black Hills of South Dakota her home. When she isn’t writing she spends much of her time satisfying her cross-stitch addiction or hiking and enjoying the Black Hills with her husband of more than thirty-seven years.


  1. Oh, gosh, Jan. I remember when you posted this the first time. The condiments part stuck with me. Our lives have changed so much in that time. I'm so glad your summer of stress is almost over. Here in NY, we're only midway through summer vacation. Still enjoying the lovely days.

    1. Yes, life has changed drastically in four years! When I cleaned our refrigerator for the move, I only had one bottle of ketchup and one kind of mustard. There was a bottle of hot sauce stuck in the back, but since no one has used it for a few years, it went in the trash. :-) The rest is waiting in our daughter's refrigerator until Friday!

      Enjoy the rest of your summer vacation! I hope the weather is cooling a bit for you - although I know you can still get some hot days before fall.

  2. There's something both exhilarating and soothing about that view! I'd never get tired of it either! Glad you just have a week to go before you're home sweet home!

    1. I can't get enough of that view! We drove past our new house yesterday afternoon and just drank in the setting. I'm sure the neighbors are beginning to recognize our truck by now!

      The moving company is bringing our stuff next Monday, but we're closing on the house on Friday and will camp out there for the weekend. Just us, our camping cots...and all the stuff we've been hauling around from one temporary place to the next all month. And Maggie-Cat, of course! She'll finally be able to settle into her new digs.

  3. Oh, I love a good hotdog!! I like mine with mustard, onion and pickle relish. :) Oh, and if I'm splurging: chili and onion. :)

    And I love chow-chow! I don't think I had ever heard of it until I moved to Georgia.

    1. I grew up on chow-chow! My dad loves it, and so do his grandsons.

  4. And now I want a hot dog. Thanks a lot, Jan. ;)

  5. A grilled hot dog with mustard, onion and relish for me. I have multiple condiments in my refrigerator to use.

    Jan, nice to know you'll be moving to your new home soon.

  6. Oh mylanta, this is a pet peeve of mine. There are so many stinkin' jars of this, that and the other thing, and I'm a purist.... Heinz ketchup, French's mustard and sweet relish. With a side of dill pickles. Throw in a bottle of barbecue sauce, worcestershire sauce and soy sauce.

    So where did the other 30 bottles/jars come from????

    Heaven only knows!!!! Oh my stars.

    You must have heard me cross country, Jan, because there are just too many small bottles of this and that in my fridge and it's one of those First World problems.... because I feel guilty when I throw them out!!!