Saturday, July 23, 2016

A Day Ahead

So, as I count the minutes until closing, a camper rolls in. They seem to take forever to get out of the vehicle and come inside. I am dividing my time between the kitchen and the office. HeWho has been hinting that he "needs" a cake to satisfy his sweet tooth. I am loathe to turn on the oven unless I am making a lot of oven bound food at once.

I had just turned on the oven to preheat and had mixed the batter. It is just a boxed cake mix of German Chocolate and I saw a tasty looking recipe for an Earthquake cake. Called for coconut in a 9 X 13 pan, topped with the cake batter and then topped with a mixture of cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar. HeWho will be sharing this with some special campers that we love.

So, back to the checking in process of the slow people. They finally came into the store with a medium size dog that did not look like a bath had ever been a part of his life. He smelled. I can't hear, but I can smell. I told them to please take the dog out. After a long discussion at the door, WITH THE DOOR OPEN, they finally decided the cigarette smoking man would mind the dog while she checked in.

The temperature in the store probably gained 10 degrees while they had the door open. She looked at the registration form as if it was an alien and suddenly the door flew open again for him to tell her they wanted a 30 amp full hook up. I had already knew that by eyeballing their travel trailer. Another gust of hot air and then we were alone again. She tells me they had reservations. They did not, but I had a spot for them. She then decides that he should fill out the registration and she can watch the dog. This involved another open door discussion and my cold air left the building.

Not only that, the oven timer indicated that my oven was ready to receive the cake. The cake that was not in the pyrex dish because I was dealing with these people. I could have been wrong about the dog smelling bad, because his scent did not leave when he did. As she left to go get "him" she confided to me that she couldn't move fast because  " I broke my butt cheek".

Some days I think I have "confess" written across my forehead. I finally completed what should have been a less than 5 minute interaction and returned to the kitchen to quickly pour the batter and smooth the last layer on my cake. I saw a camper entering the drive when I headed to the kitchen and got busy. I was done by the time they opened the door to my office.

The cake is starting to smell good, the aroma is creeping into the office and I was in my happy place ....... thinking that today was Sunday. I just found out that it is Saturday and I am so very disappointed. Instead of 15 minutes, I have three hours and 15 minutes left!

I don't know if I can make it!

RV There Yet??

I have not had an earache since I was a young child. I remember just sitting and crying and rocking back and forth. This is acceptable behavior for a toddler, not so much for an almost 63 year old woman.

I am absolutely miserable and this is day 4 with antibiotics. I cannot hear out of my right ear. The drops do not offer any relief and I just want to sit and rock and cry. But I must suck it up and check in campers whether I can hear them or not. Three more hours here.

It is even hard to listen to audio books! The one I am listening to now is set in London and the narrator is very British. I am saying things like "bloody hell" to my husband. He rarely hears me and I have taken to texting him, even when I am sitting next to him. He hears things that I didn't say. It does make life interesting.

Life goes on even if your ear hurts.

The birds are back to nest again. Their Spring babies have learned to fly. HeWho took the nest down and now they are mad. Since I took this picture, they have built another nest INSIDE the porch. It is huge and encompasses one of my windchimes. Thanks a lot HeWho takes away nests!

This may be one of my favorite signs thus far. It is small .... note the sunglasses above it. I am working on another one today that says, "all who wander are not lost". This does not require the ability to hear.

My equilibrium is off. I walk like a drunken driver swerving all over the place. Accidentally stepped on the cat's tail. I would feel bad about it, if he didn't take so much pleasure in clawing me as I walk by the chair he is hiding in.

Time for another dose of antibiotics and Tylenol.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Heat Waves and Earaches

We are in the midst of a heat wave. The humidity (my youngest used to call this humility) is overpowering and I find it difficult to mow and tend gardens. We did get a brief shower last night and a respite from the heat. The night air was cool enough to actually open windows.

I watched the forecast last night while enjoying the cool breeze through the window. The clueless young man spoke in earnest and warned us that by midnight the temperature would climb to 80. Didn't happen and was still quite nice this morning at 7:30 when a barking dog woke me. HeWho had already left the building and was no doubt on a breakfast mission to McDonalds.

He always takes the doorbell out of the socket when he leaves, causing it to reprogram to Jingle Bells when I plug it back in. I don't know why he bothers, I am sure that Toni Louise decided it was time to wake me as soon as he closed the front door. But, he was trying to be considerate.

I would rather have been treated to that consideration last night when Oscar got me up 4 times before 1:30. I was in a considerable amount of pain and wanted desperately to find sleep to escape.

I took my aching head to the doctor's office Monday afternoon. I do not see the doctor, I prefer the nurse practitioner. They have two at  my clinic and I saw the one who is usually visited by HeWho has not a clue about his medications. Both of them are quite competent and very thorough. Although my headaches present as migraines with the warning aura before hand, the fact that they do not grow into a full blown migraine leaving me in a dark room, curled in a fetal ball in agony, made an investigation be necessary. We decided that I have a sinus infection and am now taking antibiotics, very strong ones with all the undesired side effects. She decided to check my ears at the end of the exam and that is when she discovered the real culprit. I have an ear infection. She was unable to see my ear drum, it being totally blocked with wax, but I admitted that it hurt, too. I just thought it was part of my headache misery.

So, ear drops were prescribed. I administered them myself the first night. It is hard to count when you can't see what you are doing. You can feel the drop hit, but what if the drop is just sliding down the canal. Thinking I may have been a little heavy handed with the application, I asked HeWho could see what he was doing to put them in last night.

The first drop felt like it must have fallen from the ceiling! It hurt! I felt each and every drop and my ear commenced to stab me with pain all evening. I had some outdoor chores that needed doing after the painful dropping of drops and went about the business of doing so, all the while hoping the pain would subside. It didn't. I watered and weeded and even mowed before the first drops of rain sent me in. I was in so much pain I was on a hunting mission for any painkillers I could lay my hands on. I found a Tramadol left from HeWho's motorcycle flipping event and took one, then treated myself to a nice shower. I waited for over an hour and the pain still lingered, so I followed up with some Tylenol.

When it had finally eased and sleep was about to overtake me ........ the dog whined. I truly love my old guy, Oscar, but there are times when I just want to scream at him. HeWho got up with him the first time, but was back with him way too fast. "Did you let him have his fill of water?" He answered in the affirmative, but I was back up with him in the next 20 minutes and 3 times after that. He was just restless and maybe the change in routine with HeWho confused his inner peace.

Bad enough that Oscar was unsettled, but Wall-E jumps out of the bed whenever I take Oscar out. He can jump down, but he is unable to jump up and has to be lifted. He is our heaviest dog at 22 lbs. and offers no help in the lifting up. It is like picking up a toddler gone limp in the floor. Doing that with my ear hurting was beyond bearable, so after the first lift, I simply gated him out of the bedroom. Wall-E is sensitive and if one of the other dogs offends him and won't let him lie where he wants he will play the martyr and slink off to the living room to spend the night in HeWho's recliner. The next morning he will stare at me, as if he expects me to console him. Depends on my mood whether this happens or not.

So, when I was rudely awakened at 7:30 and realized that it was somewhat cool outside, I decided to get on up and get some serious yard stuff done. I got quite a bit of clipping branches and mowing done before coming in at 12:30. The pool is not as busy with the fair in town. I am hoping for an office chair nap today.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Keeping Children Safe

The weekend from hell. That is what I am in the midst of.

It all started out with the green pool. The recent downpours that overflowed the pool several times and diluted the chemicals, along with the intense heat combined to take over the pristine blue water that once graced the pool. And if that wasn't bad enough, we had to replace a sewer line. Leaving us with only two working showers for tent campers. It looks like we will have to rebuild the bigger bathhouse due to the water damage.

The reservations started arriving Friday, as they always do. Just so you know, the campground you have made your reservation with does not need an hour by hour report on your whereabouts as you are traveling. It will not endear you to the one answering the phone.

Last season we had a family come in that blatantly lied about the number of people they had staying with them. I tried to get a correct head count, but every time I went to the site they were like mice, running to hide. At the end of their stay, HeWho rarely confronts people told the patriarch of the group that they were not welcome back.

Here they stood in the office waiting to be checked in. HeWho just happened to be in the office with me. I recognized the man and reminded him that my husband had spoken with him last season. He denied ever having had a discussion with him. He was adamant that we had never told him he could no longer camp here. I deferred to the man in charge (I like to let him take over now and again). I wanted to send these people on their way, but HeWho decided to give the man another chance.

My entire day has been a nightmare. The store was super busy and I was stuck indoors all day. I had several annoyances throughout the day, not the least of which was my hovering headache that still lingers around the edges of my head. The pool tested safe and we had lots of swimmers. Could be because I extended a half price discount because the water was discolored.

One lady who had been swimming with her children came in the office as they were leaving to report a disturbing incident. She told me that the campers I had not wanted to stay had lots of children in the pool that were not being supervised. She told me a child of about 2 or younger fell in and was floating face down when her daughter jumped in and pulled her out.

She told me it upset her enough that she screamed at the adults in that group and asked who was responsible for the child. They took the baby back to the campsite. I was busy, so I texted HeWho about the problem.

Before he could address the situation, the phone rang and a camper expressed concern for a group of young children in the pool without supervision. I headed to the pool and although there were adults at the pool, none of the adults were with the children in question. A boy, who said he was 8 was in the pool with FOUR toddlers. When I asked where his parents were, he informed me that his mama said he could bring the children to the pool, that he was watching them!

I told him that in order for him to come to the pool without an adult, he had to be 14. He had a bit of an attitude and insisted that his mama said it was okay. "Well, your mama is not in charge of the pool, I am, so you need to get out and go back to your campsite. You cannot swim without an adult with you."

The children reluctantly got out and were met at the fence by a young man and two other children. See the problem here? They paid for 4 children and here we have 5 in the pool and 2 more coming to get them along with a man that I am sure was not with them when the registered. HeWho was there by the time I evicted the kids from the pool and he counted 11 adults and 13 children. They paid for a total of 8 and now we have 16 extras that we know of. Other campers have counted up to 40 different people at other times during the day.

Beyond the fact that they are ripping me off and will, no doubt, leave a huge mess in their wake, the whole issue of the children running around unsupervised troubles me, no it scares me. I will be so glad when they leave tomorrow. I have their address and they live in another county. I feel like I should call child protective services. Problem is that I have no idea which child belongs to who. I only have the name and address of the older man who registered.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Another Day, Another Dollar .... or Less

It has been a strange day. The weather is downright miserable, like trying to breathe underwater. I mowed a bit this morning and was dripping with sweat when I came in. The pool is not busy. Just enough traffic to annoy me.

One family came in and then decided to take showers and blow dry their hair, etc. The teen was in the men's room for over 30 minutes. The sewer main that leads to the other bath house is being replaced today, which means this kid tied up the one and only restroom in the park .......

While this was happening I was trying to leave the office to take a "Y" to put on a hydrant. We have 4 sites that share. We inherited this and no matter how hard we try, we can't seem to keep the "Y"'s on the hydrants. We would have to excavate the area to put in single hydrants and these are the sites that lend them selves to easy in and easy out for over night guests. Year round. There really is no good time to get this job done and it does not affect the water pressure in the least. Way low on the priority list.

I am willing to swear to the fact that the "Y" was in place when I checked in the camper on Tuesday that is still there. Perhaps he thought it was a gift .... like chocolates on a pillow. No wonder I have a headache.

I just checked in a young man with a little girl of about 4 years old. The hair on my neck is still alert. Something squirrely about the guy. He has a full "grill" of metal on his front teeth and prison tattoos on his hands. The child seems okay with him, but he still gave me the creeps.

I hear thunder now and am hoping it is just thunder, we don't need another downpour. A nap would be nice, if only to ease the headache. The headache that has lingered now for over two weeks. Maybe I should see a doctor?

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Refunds and Fences

Just as I thought would happen, the tent people of yesterday tried to wrangle a refund. The older gentleman brought back the horse shoes they had checked out and proceeded to enlighten me about his daily schedule. Said he and his wife would not be staying the night. Seems he did not enjoy his rustic camping experience, said they were too old. He waited expectantly as he thought I was processing that information. I did not offer the expected refund of a whopping $6.

The rain subsided and I proceeded to mow the area around the pool. That grass has lots of clover growing in it and that draws bees. Don't want bees lingering round the pool area and be tempted to sting the swimmers. The older couple were sitting on the pavilion, watching the three children swim, giving me the stink eye. Whenever I made a pass with the mower near them, the woman threw her arms up and around her head. I ignored them and kept on until I finished my task.

I was in and out all day, since the rain of the early morning had discouraged most swimmers. I kept an eye on the tent area and noted that the older couple did not leave until after 4:30. Since they had arrived at 8:00 am the previous day, I did not feel they were owed a refund. Check out is noon, after all. The younger man came in the office around 6 and complained to me that his "people" ran out on him after he had paid for them to stay. I made eye contact and held it. HeWho tells me this is intimidating. I was daring him to ask for the refund in my mind and I must have conveyed that in my eyes, because he simply left the office.

I was kind of disappointed. We all know I like to teach and I had planned a lesson for him. I was all ready to deliver this lesson when he escaped. Later that evening, my work camper reported on the condition of the bathrooms. Toothpaste on the walls, along with a really nasty toilet. They left this morning while I slept.

I slept until 10:20! I was totally unaware of rain falling while I lay nestled with two dogs at my side. The other two were outside and the responsibility of HeWho thinks they can fend for themselves. The rain had passed by the time I awoke and ventured out. I picked some asparagus and one purple pole bean and came in for coffee. Only one group of swimmers showed up, so I went out to trim some branches and do a little weeding in another flower garden.

Suddenly the sky grew dark and I felt a drop or two hit my arm. I was weeding around my maple tree and was determined to finish that one patch. The wind picked up and the sky opened. It rained so hard it felt like needles stinging my bare arms. I ran for cover and peeked out my bedroom window to see that my makeshift lattice fence I erected for my pole beans was down again. I really do not want to ask HeWho for help. He will feel the need to go the lumber supply store and the hardware store several times to accomplish the fence and the beans will have yielded their crop and be dead by the time he finishes. I need only to hi-jack that chop saw and I know where some 2X2's lay idle. I can do this myself as soon as the rain stops and be done before the sun goes down. Just have to wait for HeWho to go on one of his missions into town or for a tow. My vines are already twining on the lattice and it will have to be done in place. HeWho would have me rip those vines away so that he could "do it right".

Now as the rain falls gently I think I will cook our supper and get that out of the way.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Good Start To My Day

I woke to a cool moist breeze wafting through the window I opened in the wee hours of the morning. The humidity and heat yesterday was stifling. My joints told me that a break in the weather was on the way when I lay me down to sleep last night.

I ventured out to toss the kitchen trash in the dumpster. As is my usual habit, I yanked a few offending weeds in my path as I meandered around the garden that my sweet Gavin helped me build when he was a very helpful 4 year old. From there I headed to my side yard and vegetable garden to admire my work of weeding two rows of beans and corn when raindrops started falling on my head. Just a gentle rain hitting the steel roof .... and me and all my gardens. It sounded like a thousand little elves dancing on my roof, chanting "You get a day off, you get a day off!"

Back inside, I pour my coffee and here I sit, sipping and writing. A very good start to the day. Then I remember that I have tent campers in residence. They arrived yesterday morning at 8:00. HeWho was heading out the door to get his daily breakfast biscuit at the local McDonald's. I was tending animals and other morning necessities. I was unaware of the exchange. HeWho is impatient for his fast food told them to just go ahead and set up, that the office would be open at 11:00 and they could settle up with me then. He told me when he returned, having had his tummy filled. He did bring to me an iced coffee, but I was still annoyed at the early arrivals.

I was even more annoyed when the man came in to pay. I had talked to this man several times on the phone as he inquired about the rates. He probably called several places, but that is not the point. When I quote rates to would be campers, I always tell them that check-in is any time AFTER NOON ........ because check-out is NOON. Suppose you make a reservation for a particular site and arrive early to find it occupied?

What's done is done. He wants to stay for two days. Four adults and three children. Looks like three generations. No big deal, I just get annoyed with people who seem to think that rules do not apply to them.

My day, which did not get off to a good start, goes on. The office does not open until 11:00 am. That block of time in the morning is MINE! I want to play in the dirt, or get my household chores done without interruption. The phone is a constant and that can't be helped, but yesterday was filled with interruptions. It didn't help that my headache was still with me. Stuck in the office until 8:00 pm with just enough traffic to make me be unable to accomplish anything is no fun either. My joints were screaming yesterday and I think my office chair hates me, because everytime I stand up, I hurt!

I was painting a small sign at my desk when Early Arrival came in to inquire about bait. With him was the older gentleman. I quoted the price for the twelve night crawlers and they carried on a mumbled debate between the two of them. "How many fish can we catch?" I had to let that one rest in my head as I pondered my response and how best to word it so that he might understand. I was tempted to say "Gee, I don't know, how many fish can you catch?" but that would have just been mean and made the inter-change prolonged.

I decided on, "You can catch as many as you want, but it is 'catch and release'." I was unprepared for the reaction. Both men looked appalled, like I had just tempted them with a steak dinner and then snatched it away. In unison they said, "What, you have to put them back!" Then the older man said he sure wished he had known that before they paid to stay here, that they were just trying to give the kids a real camping experience. They were roughing it and wanted to catch their own food ....

Roughing it would be in the woods with no amenities like hot showers and a pool, but I chose not to enlighten the men and just stood firm with my policy .... which is clearly stated on the brochure and the website. They left the office, still mumbling about their misfortune. They have paid to stay today, as well and I fully expect them to ask for a refund due to the rain .... so much for roughing it.

For now I will enjoy my solitude and my coffee before I have to deal with campers.