Monday, September 15, 2014

Lizzie Borden Took An Ax .........

The itch has relented and now I am treating the super dry skin left behind. Other than the cough and wonky head, I feel almost normal ..... whatever that is.

Saturday, as I am contemplating closing the store early, having no pending reservations, a couple comes in and I stand to greet them. It had been a lovely day with mild temperatures and I was surprised to see them bundled up with heavy sweaters under coats and scarves round their necks. There were a matching set, round faced with red cheeks and gray hair. I wasn't sure if the red cheeks were from being dressed too warm, or maybe they had been drinking some spirits.

I asked if I could help them and they wanted to know if I sold axes. I can honestly say that this was a new request and my mind immediately went to the cost of stocking such an item. This couple was not staying here and I wanted to ask what they were going to do with the ax, as they kept looking at each other and giggling. I decided not to ask and suggested they might try a hardware store in town.

Still grinning at each other they turned and left the store. And that is when I saw the rest of their attire. Seersucker shorts, mid-calf socks and hiking boots. I am sorry I didn't ask what they needed that ax for ........ or, am I?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Under The Influence Of Benadryl

Today is my dad's birthday. He is 84. I had big plans to get up very early today and hop in the car and drive to Georgia and be there this evening to surprise him. You know what they say about the best laid plans ........

I am finally getting over my latest battle with poison ivy. I still have a little itch now and again, but not the insane urge to grab a sander with roughest grit available and quench my thirsty itch. Benadryl has been my closest friend for the past 2 weeks. In every form. I swallow it, I spray it on and I rub it on. Yes, I did read the label that discouraged this behavior, but the entity giving this advice has obviously never had this rash.

So, Friday was a cold, dreary day. Rain drizzled and the sky was gray and it was just plain miserable. I didn't feel great when I got up, but figured it must be the weather. I did the bare minimum of chores and was waiting for the miserable day to end so I could lock up and go to bed. My ear hurt a little and my throat was a little scratchy. I checked in campers and counted the hours I had left behind the counter. I debated taking more Benadryl when I scratched idly at some of the bits of rash left on my person.

A camper bought two bundles of wood at 7:30. He Who is normally available for such errands was on the highway with a major calamity and not expected back anytime soon. This being he case, I sighed deeply and grabbed the store key and the golf cart key and made my way to the wood pile. The golf cart was sitting at the barn (aka Fred Sanford's Emporium) and I had to walk through the wet drizzle to retrieve it. I was immediately soaked when my posterior met with the seat. I loaded the wood and delivered it, then made my way back to the store.

I was having a good chill, shivering all over. I changed into dry clothes, but could not seem to warm up. I decided that 8 o'clock would be a good time to lock the doors. It is normally 9 o'clock on a Friday night, but I couldn't imagine lots of folks deciding to come camp at the last minute ........

My imagination failed me. I was actually pushing the door closed when a couple drove up for a tent site. For one night. It was already dark and still drizzly and I could not imagine setting up in this weather, or crawling in the damp tent to sleep. But, I checked them in. I have mixed feelings about tents. If I were to sleep in a tent, I would have to have some sort of mattress between me and the cold ground. I am not really of the age that would consider this to be a fun adventure ....... crawling into a tiny structure not big enough to stand in and literally having to crawl into "bed". And, I would not want to spend all the time setting up camp for only one night. But, that is just me.

Soon as I finished with this couple, two kids come and want snow cones. Thinking about sucking on ice made me shiver even harder, but I made the snow cones and was finally able to close down and warm myself with a shower. Sneezing and shivering, I decided that some aspirin and Benadryl sounded good with a cup of hot tea. I was in bed and asleep by 9:30 and slept until 8:55 the next morning. But ...... I felt like I had swallowed a frog and my head was all wonky and my ear was still achy. I managed to make coffee and after that, I went back to bed and slept on and off all day.

There is no way I can go see my dad if I am sick. His immune system is shot and I will not take the chance of passing along a common cold to him. It would be fatal for him. So, I was resigned to missing his birthday. I went to bed early again with aspirin and Benadryl (for the anti-histamine to keep me from waking myself coughing).

I woke at the normal time today and actually felt better ..... not good, but better. I went about my morning ritual. Let the dogs out, fill the food dish and the water dish, wash my hands, then make the coffee. I grabbed the carafe and the part that holds the filter full of coffee from the maker in the store. I came back out with the water and the filter full of grounds. Freshly ground from my special stash of Caribou beans that my son sent to me. I put them and the water in and flipped the switch and then made my way to the bathroom, let the dogs in and opened the door to the store.

The wonderful aroma of coffee filled the air and I glanced at the carafe to see if there was enough to steal a cup before it finished. There wasn't, so I stepped outside to enjoy the crisp morning air and ended up pulling some spent stems from my day lilies. I am sure how long I was at it, time slips away from me in the garden. I know that I pulled a whole row in front of the building, then headed in for that first cup of coffee, my taste buds on high alert.

But ...... there is still not a significant amount of coffee in the carafe. I approach the counter and discover that the coffee is all over the counter, under the pop corn popper and in the floor. It is very important that one re-assembles the machine with all the parts when making coffee. I had left out that piece with the springy thing on the bottom that sits in the top to hold the filter with the coffee grounds in it. Making all the hot water leak out so fast that it flowed over the lid on the carafe.

I write this as a public service to all coffee lovers out there. Perhaps it was the Benadryl, but it was definitely user error on my part. Maybe it was good that I didn't try to drive to Georgia today. I did start crying when I talked to my dad, though. This might be the last birthday I can spend with him and I really wanted to be there.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Monday Is Friday To Me

I wish it were Monday. My day did not have a good start: 

It has been going downhill since this morning. I was watching Al Roker explain the weather while drinking my second first cup of coffee when the phone rang. The phone ringing is not at all unusual. I muted the TV and tried to sound all cheery. I faked it. It was older gentleman requesting two sites side by side, one 50 amp and one 30 amp. Could I do that? I told him I could certainly accommodate them. After another 7 minutes of questions ...... him consulting the others in his party, then relaying the questions to me, he decided to make reservations and said they would be in in less than 2 hours.

He inquired about laundry facilities and twice asked if I was sure the sites were side by side. I was sure. I went out into the chilly air and started mowing, all the while keeping an eye out for the two would-be customers. I mowed quite a large area and saw them pulling in. They stopped at my stop sign. A big class A, towing and a fifth wheel right behind them. This pretty much blocked the entrance to the park. I came into the office and washed my hands and got myself some water and waited for them to come check in.

After about 8 minutes, three of them came in. A man and two women. One of the women said she needed to see my laundry before they checked in. I told her where it was located and then apologized that I had just discovered one of my washers to be out of order. This earned me the big stink eye. Then I was told that they could not stay here. The other woman had her arm around her friend and told me accusingly that her friend would need a lot of machines to do her laundry.

I suggested that she look for a commercial laundry facility. I was treated to another "look" and they all filed out to their campers where a meeting took place while they blocked my entrance. I admit that I was watching the clock. By my calculations they were here more than 20 minutes ...... blocking my entrance. I can't really say that I am unhappy that they decided to move on. I am not in a good mood. 

I wish it was Monday.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hide and Seek

Morning arrived before I was ready. Still itchy and irritable, the storms made the dogs anxious and had me up and down throughout the night. Add to that a husband with a toothache and the entire night was a nightmare.

I took some Benadryl to assuage the itching, but every time I drifted into a semblance of sleep, something would awaken me. A sound, a movement, a twitch. Like all me senses were on hyper alert.

During one of my adventures outside with the dogs, well, two of them, I lost one. My old guy is hard to lose. He is demanding and clingy and overweight. (Did I just describe myself?) Toni Louise does not venture out if there is lightning or thunder and Wall-E was annoyed at all the activity and chose to sleep in the living room. But, little Cujo, my shadow and constant companion follows me where ever I may go.

I took Oscar in my arms and gently settled him on the ground under the shelter of the back door over hang. He looked out with his blurry cataract covered eyes and decided to go back inside. I was pretty sure that Cujo came in with him. Oscar slurped up what seemed like a gallon of water. I took that opportunity to use the bathroom. When I returned, Oscar stood, waiting patiently to be picked up and carried back to the bed. I took him and settled him in bed, then reached down for Cujo. Cujo always waits right next to my side of the bed.

I flailed around in the dark trying locate my tiny warm friend, but he was not there. I head back out to the kitchen and look for him, thinking he may have decided to have some water, too. He is not there. Back to my bed, thinking he may have crossed me on my way to the kitchen. Still no little dog.

That is when I turned on lights. I don't like to turn on lights. The dusk to dawn light on the pole in our back yard provides more than enough light to navigate the house at night ...... and the bright lights tend to wake me completely up. I venture out into the drizzle and search the yard. No little Cujo. I call his name and am starting to fell a little panic. I come back inside, still calling his name, no longer caring if I wake up anyone. I cannot find him anywhere.

Then I check the bathroom. There he stands, silently waiting for me to find him. We keep a gate up at the door to discourage Toni Louise and her trash can fetish. He is just standing there looking at me. Did he think we were playing hide and seek? I was relieved to find him, but annoyed that he kept so quiet while I searched. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Marketing Strategies

Still itching here. I lay in bed in the wee hours of the morning and wondered how much longer I would have this insane itching to deal with. Some areas no longer itch, but look like an angry diaper rash. Inflamed and hot to the tough. I continue to smear various remedies on the affected areas. The Ivy Dry spray burns like acid, but is effective in temporarily stopping the itch. Benadryl comes in many forms and I have used them all. The spray burns like the Ivy Dry, but the ointment is soothing at first, then seems to make the fevered skin even hotter. The cream makes my skin feel tight. The capsules, well they make me drowsy and dumb.

I have been offered so many remedies to try. Hot showers, cold showers (I prefer the cold). Bleach baths, vinegar baths have been suggested. I might give vinegar a try. Pepto Bismol didn't work, neither does antiperspirant applied to the affected area. I am resigned that the only thing to do is tough it out or call the doctor and get steroids.

Undergarments are uncomfortable and I have been wearing the oldest loosest ones I can find. I knew I kept those for a reason. The areas most affected are the areas of your body where sweat pools. The waistline and the bra line. My arms are pretty bad and one ear itches like crazy.

Speaking of crazy, I had been holed up here in my raggedy britches for too long. Nothing in the pantry or freezer looked appealing, so I put some proper foundation garments on and treated myself to a trip to town. I treated all the itches before I left the house, but didn't take any Benadryl. Driving, you know. No sleepy drugs and no holey underwear.

I meandered up and down every aisle of the grocery store. Small store and I was bored. I always wonder about the marketing strategies in different stores. Everybody knows that eye level is the best selling space, and you generally find the lower priced items on the bottom shelf. It is also a good idea to pair items that are often used together in a recipe. I have a prominent display in my little camp store of Hershey bars, marshmallows and grahams for s'mores. Hanging on the side of this three level display I have skewers for roasting the marshmallows. Self explanatory.

This store has some odd things thrown together that make me wonder what they could have been thinking. The oddest one was on the petfood aisle. One side of the aisle was devoted to dogfood in all forms. Directly across from the dog food they have crackers .... for people. Further down on the cracker side is cat food, going right into pet toys and treats and slap in the middle of that, at eye level, among the pet supplies is a row of mega green tea supplements for weight loss. 

I did a double take (I told you I was bored) and even picked the box up to make sure it was for people and not for pets (I have a fat dog). I was baffled, but starting to itch, so I made my way to the check out and paid for my groceries and headed home, still pondering this marketing idea, or mistake.

Friday, September 5, 2014

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Dare I succumb to my gentle nature and extend sympathy?

The young woman pulled up in what is commonly referred to as a "beater". The car you drag out in the winter because you don't care if someone slides into it in the icy conditions. She is not in much better shape. I saw her pull in and figured she was going to ask if the pool was open. It is not. Both pumps need to be disassembled and cleaned out in order to function properly after the pellet gun incident. Only 12 hours off and the algae grabbed it and won't let go, so we decided to close for the season.

She is crying and her car looks like she flung her belongings in it. I was outside and walked over to her car and asked if I could help her. She wanted to know the cost of camping ....... Since she was in a car filled with her clothes and what looked like a TV on the back seat, I assumed she wanted a tent site. But, she said her dad had a trailer and she wanted to camp in it. I gave her my price per night and she kind of stared at me. "Can I just look for my phone?" she asked.

I nodded and came back in to scratch my rash. I admit that I locked the door. I took my dogs out in this lull between rain showers, sprayed Benadryl on my torso and re-booted the internet modem. By then she had located her phone and came to ask if she could plug it in. I showed her an outlet on the front porch and she is now engaged in a lively conversation with someone. Really loud. Glad I left her outside.  She told me she was having a bad day and couldn't find her kids .......

She has some scary looking sores on her bare arms and she is crying. I don't know what I could do for her. She said she was calling her mother. I am afraid to offer much. I am not afraid of her, I am afraid of her latching onto a site with a crappy little trailer and having her marital drama follower her into the park.

I did it. I went out and gave her a Coke and asked if she had eaten today. That's when she decided to confide in me. No marital problems, so no irate husband will show up here and create a scene. But ...... DEFACS (Department of family and Children Services) has taken her children. I can't help with that. Her story is a bit dis-jointed and she had supposedly left them with a male friend and the police were summoned and took the children because she is homeless and can't provide for them.

Now, I have done what I didn't want to do. I have offered an ear and she won't leave. Why do they all come here? She also mentioned talking to her father's girlfriend and that they were the ones taking her kids. I have a feeling there are quite a few holes in this story that I don't even want to know.

But, for now, a storm is almost upon us, the DISH satellite has lost the signal, but I was warned about severe thunderstorms before that happened. The stranger is under the shelter of my front porch, but that in itself is a problem. She is the very first thing you see before entering the office. I am afraid to let her inside, she may never leave.

She needs Dr. Phil, not me.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

In For a Penny, In For a Pound

The rain came and the air was cool and the ground was soggy. What better time to tackle an over grown garden bed? It was meant to be. I grabbed my shovel and rack and heavy duty clippers. Should have taken a "before" photo, but didn't.

The garden bed that had my attention has poison vines in it. Campers Patrick and Julie did a little weeding early in the season and paid dearly for it. I was determined to eradicate the vines once and for all. I planned to dig up the source.

I did not delude myself. I knew I was going to come into contact with vine ...... but I had a plan.
So I started by pulling the edge of the garden out and digging up all the cone flowers. Soon as I had the weeds cleared on one end of the garden, I replanted the cone flowers. Next year they will make an impressive display.

I discovered one end of the vine and pulled and pulled until I found the root, then I dug it up. I also dug up some small trees that had taken root and decided which ones to leave and which ones to remove. I discovered another vine and pulled it to the source and then had to stop for the day.

This is when I came in and scrubbed myself with the laundry soap. Head to toe. That was Monday. Tuesday I made a little more progress and did the whole shower thing again. Tuesday night I started itching. Not bad, just a little itch on my right wrist and left ankle. I had gloves on, but the vines did come in contact with my arms and legs. I tried to just ignore it.

Wednesday I discovered a full blown rash on my arms and abdomen. Must have scratched my belly in my sleep. My ear, too. And my eyelid. I was pretty miserable yesterday, but still managed to get a little mowing done and dug up the day lilies and replanted them. All the while avoiding that hateful vine that still needed to be dealt with.

Had a bad night. Took two showers yesterday and slathered myself with Benadryl cream. Right before bed I sprayed the rash with Ivy Dry. It burned like crazy, but kept the itching at bay long enough to get to sleep. I re-sprayed 3 more times through the night.

In for a penny, in for a pound. I tackled that last vine today, figuring I was already miserable, so why not? I am not done with the garden, since the sun decided to shine hot on me this morning, but the worst is over.

Now, after another shower with shockingly cold water (someone had suggested hot water, but the cold seems to work better), I have dosed myself with Benadryl and smeared more Benadryl on my rash and hope to have a nice long nap!

Maybe I will add photos tomorrow.