Welcome Guide


Recycling is mandatory in the town of Wescott.  Town of Wescott recycling rules are as follows: All clean glass, tin cans, aluminum and plastics (1 - 7) can be co-mingled in the same blue bag.  Corrugated cardboard must be flattened and bundled with string or placed inside another box no larger than 20 x 20 inches.  All paper must be bundled or placed in a paper shopping bag.  DO NOT place paper in plastic bags or cardboard boxes.  DO NOT use tape on paper bundles.  Paper cardboard (example: soda & cereal boxes) may be placed in a shopping bag with other paper items.  Shredded paper must also be placed in brown paper bags, not plastic.  Recycling items are collected every week on your regular garbage day.  In the past the town has had residents express concern that the garbage and recycling is placed in the same truck.  The reason it appears this way is that the Town's garbage truck is a "split body" truck.  One portion holds garbage and the other recycling.  So, not to worry...your recyclables are being properly collected.  


The Mielke Cottage shares a U-shaped driveway with our neighbors Jim and Julie Lynch.  Please use the full U.  The driveway is not well suited to 3-point turns.

Crawl Space

The trap door is in the bedroom closet.  The crawl space comes complete with a creeper.  In the crawl space are cutoffs for the outside water spigots.  The cutoff for the lakeside spigot is just to the northeast of the trap door.


Welcome to the small natural gas grill on the porch.  A couple of things:  First, remember to turn the gas on and off at the meter.  That small red quarter-turn cutoff valve turns easily but really works.  The grill igniter does not work, so use the butane lighter from the kitchen area.  However, if you are so inclined, the round charcoal traditional grill is in the garage (or out in the yard someplace!)  Note: the left gas grill control on “high” provides too much gas on that side for a nice blue flame.

The water service cutoffs are in the small closet next to the half bath.  By the way, in that closet or garage is an industrial air compressor with a 50 foot hose with a nozzle attached.  In addition to driving the thousands off nails in the new cottage, compressed air can be quite useful.  If you are comfortable with such equipment, use it.  Just plug it in using the entryway outlet.  Please do not leave the hose attached and still under pressure.

The circuit breaker is in the bedroom.  (The box has not been moved at all from its old location on the wall over the kitchen counter in the old cottage lean-to.)  Inside the box is a sheet listing most of the circuits.  Ground fault breakers: All the porch outlets are ground faulted except for the ceiling outlet over the white table and the old outlet on the porch side.  The kitchen and dining area are served by two ground-faulted circuits.  Those breakers are located next to the refrigerator.  The user outlets in both bathrooms are ground faulted by the breaker next to the sink in the full bath.  The fan, lights and the washer/dryer outlets are not ground-faulted.  Note for night walkers: The “hall” light outside of the full bath is switched from both the vestibule and from its switch next to the fireplace in the old cottage.

The phone and TV jacks in the new bedroom are connected; the wires to the jacks in the kitchen still dangle in the crawl space.

Heating and Cooling

The heating and cooling system is located in the utility closet in the bedroom.  The system is filled with microelectronics, memory chips, and other ghee-wiz stuff.  Here’s what you need to know to take advantage of the system.  Both the old and new parts of the cottage have their own more-or-less identical thermostat.  If you open the pull-down door, inside to the right is a touch micro-switch labeled “SYSTEM.”  That switch has three positions which are indicated on the right side of the display: HEAT, OFF, and COOL.  The system electronics can handle all combinations of the two thermostats.  We have set the thermostat settings as follows: four daily time periods (WAKE, LEAVE, RETURN, and SLEEP) respectively 7:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 7:00 PM, and 10:00 PM.  The HEAT setting is always 70 degrees and the cool setting is always 78 degrees.  (The OFF setting doesn’t have settings because the system is, well, off!)

On the outside and to the right of the display are three buttons: (up), (down), and “I.”  “I” when pressed will give the current thermostat setting.  We almost never use that button. The (up) and (down) buttons will temporarily set the thermostat to the temperature you determine for the remainder of that daily time period.  At the termination of that time period the thermostat automatically returns to its pre-programmed setting (either 70 or 78 degrees).

We suggest that one fine use of the COOL setting will be in the evening (7:00 PM or a bit later) to cool off the old cottage upstairs.  (That is why the big cooling vent is located on the landing of the stairs.)  Make sure the old cottage system is set to COOL and the temporary thermostat is set to, say, 72 degrees.  Then simply let the system run.  At 10:00 PM the automatic setting of 78 degrees will take over.  In the morning the old cottage may need a blast of heat, so go with HEAT.  You might not even have to set the thermostat above the preset 70 degrees.


Microwave: The POPCORN and REHEAT functions really work well!  Stove: The waist-high broiler on HI, an upside down cake pan covered with aluminum foil, slices of bread (or toast if you are fussy) and slices of cheese become toasted cheese sandwiches very quickly.  To turn on the boiler, press BROIL and MORE+.  The display will indicate HI and start the broiler sequence.  End BROIL by pressing CANCEL.

Apparently pots tend to boil over when we are on vacation.  The sealed burner heads are easy to remove for cleanup.  First make sure the burner is off and the burner head cool, otherwise cleanup might get a bit too exciting.  Take hold of the burner head and twist counter-clockwise less than 1/8 of a turn and lift away from the stove top.  The ignition wires will still be attached but the edge of the burner well around the burner is exposed for easy cleanup.  To replace do the reverse: set the burner in place and a quick clockwise turn locks the burner head.  Only when the burner head was sort of glued to the stove top with sugary burnt stuff have we had to use an automobile oil filter wrench.  You might even want to remove and replace a burner head before necessity calls to see how easy and simple this is.  The design is so much better than all the other gas stove tops I’ve had to live with over the years.

Egg cooker

Comments from egg-lover William Connell: Now this is a gadget!  The little measuring cup has a sharp point for puncturing the egg air sacks.  The directions assume cold eggs.  Measure the small amount of water needed for the number of eggs and amount of cooking (soft, medium, and hard).  I really enjoy medium soft boiled eggs.  The greater number of eggs to cook, the less water.  Each egg acts as a miniature heat trap or condenser of the steam generated by the water in the cooker base. More eggs means a longer time for the water to all boil off.  (Take ten minutes or as long as needed to get your mind around how this cooker works.  I spent at least a day pondering the metaphysics of egg cooking!)  The calcium-rich Shawano water leaves its calling card.  However the base is stainless steel and a bit of cleanser will shine it back up every once in a while.  The plastic cooker top will fit very snugly into the base, but I’m not sure you have to bother making a tight fit.  A loud buzzer lets you know that time is up to remove the plastic lid and stop the cooking.


Under the refrigerator is a sheet of aluminum to protect the floor and to hold excessive water condensation.


Please use the Sanitize option whenever using the dishwasher.  The POT/PANS cycle results in clean and shiny dishes.   (That cycle may utilize all the various options, but so what, the dishes come out great.)

Track lighting

The little flood light bulbs have a bad habit of breaking when someone is trying to unscrew them. If you need to change a bulb, we suggest the following: Remove the track light from the track.  Slide down the square cover box on the light and against the track.  Twist the light 90 degrees right or left and remove.  Now notice that the light has two contacts on one side and one on the other.  The two contacts face the outside wall.  Now back on the floor you can get your hand around the light and somehow manage to unscrew the bulb (which has an ordinary screw-in medium base) and screw in a new bulb.  To replace the light, pull back the square cover, set light into the track and again twist 90 degrees.  The light should mount with little effort.  (The ladders are by the garage.)  You other choice: Cheat!  Turn the remaining five lights to cover the work areas as needed.

New Cottage Floor

The floor is made of Southern Yellow Pine (locally known down South as swamp wood) from Schmidt Lumber.  Some of the boards are quite stiff and hard, others more like White Pine.  So this floor will dent and gouge.  Try not to drop and drag heavy steel, stones, or steamer trunks across the floor.  Please use furniture with soft leg pads.  The polyurethane finish is another story.  This is tough stuff.  We expect that beach sand on shoes and feet will do little more than start to take the gloss off the finish.  Please, do not put any wax on the floor (mostly because you are on vacation, but also because it won’t be good for the floor).

Bath and Shower

Turn the shower control to about 10:30 for a warm shower.  There is no pressure control.  The bathtub will fill very quickly if you so desire.  By the way, the washing machine cycle is much shorter than the dryer cycle.