Friday, December 2, 2016

Keep Up With Your Keys!!

Okay, I have to confess that I may have taken on more than I can handle. I am still working at least 8 hours a day in the utility room. Every time I think I have decided where everything is to go ... it changes. I think I have moved every set of shelves twice.

As of today, every wall and every surface has been painted or scrubbed down and is in place. I spent the better part of the afternoon and evening sorting out various containers of nails, screws, bolts and nuts. Not to mention door hinges, knobs, drawer pulls and all sorts of odd findings and discoveries. I didn't actually count the number of screw drivers and wrenches .... yet. The number of drill bits boggles the mind. I will count those, too. Tomorrow, maybe. My head hurts and my hands are dried out from the bleach water I used to wipe everything down with.

HeWho answers the calls of those unfortunate enough to lock their keys out of their vehicles, came home with a pizza, and left immediately to unlock the police cruiser for one of the local police departments. I don't find this reassuring for some reason.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Orange Is Happy

Black Friday is long gone and I have been staying home where I belong. Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to make things any better as far as my luck goes.

The bad news is that I need a new alternator for my car, the good news is that HeWho knows people, has located a good deal; the bad news is that it is in an area hard to get to and the even badder news is that HeWho tinkers will be attempting this task on his own. I choose not to ponder this.

The bad news is that I have no means of transportation, the good news is that HeWho had to be my go-for. He is currently headed to the Vet's office. The good news is that I can hi-jack his errand to include something for sustenance this evening. The bad news is that Toni Louise has to be put on a special diet. The results from her bladder stones is back. I am not looking forward to separate feeding sessions. Given the fact that she has been eating like a small horse lately and just today decided to eat a generous amount of cat food before I caught her.

In a fit of organizing I decided to tackle the utility room off the back of my kitchen, This "room" houses my laundry and all the electrical boxes for the park, as well as the distribution of the water and gas lines. Tis a dreary space and a catch-all for everything. It is also the cat's domain. His self feeder and litter box hang out by the dryer.

There was a big chest freezer not in use, just sucking up valuable real estate. I plan to sell it for a mere pittance, but the location would prevent easy removal. This has been the situation for about 6 years. Every time I suggest we move it, HeWho mows would suddenly have urgent matters that prevented him from doing anything about it.

So, being determined that this would be the year that the freezer would move, I waited until HeWho went out on an adventure for something having to do with towing (have I mentioned that I don't pay close attention when he tells me where he is going?) and began moving everything blocking the route of the freezer removal. When I had cleared the way of everything except major appliances, I let him know that I required his help.

Since "stuff" covered every available surface in our living area he had no choice but to make it happen. Wasn't easy, or uncomplicated, but  had t all plane out. First the washer had to be disconnected and moved out of the path. Then the chest freezer had to be moved carefully out the back door. The washer had to be moved 28" to the left to make room for the upright freezer. The shelf above the washer also had to be moved. He got a little grumpy at this point.

I had planned all this very carefully and was dismayed to find that the sewer hook-up for the washer had to be extended. This was really discouraging, because I just knew it would require a trip to the hardware store. But I started scavenging through bags and bins and found the connectors needed. My whole goal is to organize all this stuff so that we won't continue to buy parts we already have.

The upright freezer was put back in place and now I am finishing. I have been "finishing" for 3 days now. If I am going to do it, I want to do it right. While the wall housing all the electrical boxes is empty, I decided to paint it. I always have paint around. I started with the ceiling in the alcove at the back door. I have some 12" deep cabinets on the floor here with a metal rack above them where I hang all my pots and such. I had some paint left from my bedroom. A taupe that will go with anything. But ..... I also had some orange paint that I got in the "oops" paint at some point in time. I painted the wall around the door going into the kitchen and the wall around the back door in taupe.

HeWho is not allowed to paint inside happened through and gave the okay for my color choice. This made me laugh, since he really has no say in color choices. I told him I planned to use orange paint as well and he cringed. I laughed some more. I was only going to paint the wall that housed the huge metal grid I hang my cookware on. You know .... the feature wall.

I kept looking at the door, though. It was currently an off-white and dirty. Paw marks and dog slobber sort of dirty. I could wash it. I have washed it and it cleans up nicely. But off-white and taupe is so boring. I painted that door orange! It looks so happy now. You cannot have a bad morning when you open an orange door to let the dogs out. I promise. I think orange is my new favorite color.

HeWho know nothing about colors had to admit that he likes it, too. Back to the good news and bad news. For two days Google had me locked out of Blogger. That is the bad news. I changed my password and jumped through all the hoops and still could not access my account. The good news is that I finally realized I could get here via Facebook. Now that I am here, though, the bad news is that I HATE the new dashboard!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Black Friday

Not happy Friday or shopping Friday ..... but BLACK Friday. This doesn't sound like good things should happen. The good guys wear white hats, not BLACK hats.

Normally, I totally boycott the shopping frenzy known as BLACK Friday. Not because of the title of the day. I just don't care to be jostled around in big crowds of rabid buyers. I have not shopped this day in over 15 years.

So, why did I do just that today? For a stupid wet/dry vacuum. The motor went in ours and Menards had one for a mere $14. So, off we went. Not early, mind you. I did not think there would be a huge demand for something so mundane as a wet/dry vac.

As we approached the store, we could see that traffic was backed up and a line of cars waited to get into the huge parking lot. As many cars were coming out as going in, so we inched along and found a spot right away ...... in the far corner, as far away from the exit door as you could possibly get. But, we would be able to leave easily, once we made it back to the car. As we headed to the entrance a nice lady on her way out advised us to obtain a cart from someone unloading. We did and we rolled into the store to see that there were no shopping carts anywhere in the store.

I was feeling pretty smug as we rolled right up to that nifty shop vac and tucked it into the cart. I needed a set of lights for a project I was working on and we snapped those up pretty easy. Then we sort of stood there looking at each other. I remembered they had a set of rugs on sale.

For years I have tried to put rugs down, only to have Oscar mark them and designate them as pee areas. I finally gave up. But, Oscar is no longer here and for only $20 I could have a room size rug and two matching smaller rugs. I hunted in all the likely places. Finally I escape the slow moving traffic clogging the main aisles and found an entire pallet hidden away on a back aisle.

We left the store pretty content. We bought toys for the dogs and HeWho promised lunch on the way home. We went to Walmart for something in the automotive department ( I wasn't listening) and when we left, I heard my driver say something about the battery light being on.

We stopped about halfway home for an Arby's fix. I could feel the change in the way the engine was running as we made our way along the drive-thru.
HeWho drives put the car in neutral and gunned the engine. Didn't really help and I am sure the vehicle in front of us thought we were awful people. Or impatient, anyway.

Got the food, only to find that the window would not go up. We made our way to a parking spot and turned the engine off .... with the window down. "Let's eat," he says. I ate my sandwich, all the while wishing I had ordered something hot to drink.

He kept trying to start the engine and just got that tinny click-click sound. Finally he found someone to give us a jump and we headed back onto the interstate  ........ we were moving along and then we weren't. We were sort of coasting downhill until we wound up on the shoulder with a safety rail right next to us. Not a good place to be, as HeWho kept lamenting as we waited for a tow.

Yes, we had to be towed. In the new(er) car that is to be mine. BLACK Friday, after all. I didn't even get a picture to post of the car sitting on the tow truck because my phone battery died. BLACK Friday.

Could be worse, I suppose. We could still be sitting in the truckstop parking lot with the window stuck in the open position, rolled up in my new rug eating cold curly fries.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Junk Sculpture?

This is an old Radio Flyer snow sled. Just hanging out in the shed, so I decided to repurpose it. I still need to add some greenery and some scarfs.

I almost deleted this picture. You know how you can look at something every day and not really see it ...... until you capture it in a picture. I was taking a picture of the Christmas tree I made out of scraps of wood. It looked really good until I looked at all the stuff around it.

Let's start on the left. I see a power strip dangling there, left from my Halloween pumpkins that were lit up. The paint bucket sitting by the trash can. I did that. I put it there to remind myself to take it in. It is in now.

The giant pot I "planted" my tree in. The sedum growing in it has gone dormant. I need to wrap that pot in burlap and a big bow. In my defense, I just got my tree secure. If you live around here, you know about the killer winds. That tree is tied to the post behind it, as well as a long piece of rebar I pounded into that pot.

On the right side things really go downhill. Starting with the scary cat door mat left from Halloween. Halloween from SIX years ago. Yes, I know!! But, really, do cats ever go out of season? The real eyesore is that sign. The big yellow sign that warns you not to take the fish out of the pond and directs you to the dump station. That sign has been ready to go up for well over two months.

HeWho feeds those fish every evening asked me to make the sign. He swears his school of fish has been light of late. He fears they have graduated to a fisherman's stomach. When you ask me to do something, I usually follow through in a timely fashion. And this why it annoys me that he has not put the sign up. I added the directions to the dump station. Serves two purposes. It directs you to the dump station, as well as making you wonder about the fish in the pond ........ One has nothing to do with the other, but it could discourage you from taking any fish home.

I am clever like that.

This was my favorite "sign" for Halloween. The broom stick is the hanger.

This is the tree I built for inside our living quarters. There is literally no room for a traditional tree. One of my campers tossed some lattice in the dumpster. I pulled it out and took it apart and made a tree. Fits flat against the wall.

It has been several years since I have bothered with any decorations. It is just the two of us and while my dad was sick, it just didn't seem worth the effort. All of my energy was spent on traveling back and forth as much as I could. I wouldn't take anything for the time I got to spend with him and I still miss him every day, but this year the heaviness seems to have lifted. Today I pulled down boxes of decorations and found some snowflakes my mother crocheted years ago. Only a dozen, but plenty for my tiny tree. Looking at it makes me smile

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Taking A Break

I looked out the front window this morning ...... and this is what I saw. Look at the windshield!

I was trying to find Toni Louise. I had let the dogs out and stumbled into the kitchen to hit the start button on the coffee maker and had every intention of slipping back under the covers while my coffee brewed. I opened the door and called out to the canines. Martha, the boy cat, whisked by my ankles, rubbing his head and Cujo, along with Wall-E came in, obediently and rushed towards the bedroom. They were okay with an extra snooze. I called Toni over and over. Then I ventured out into the chilly wind and surveyed the entire yard.

No Toni Louise. I have no idea how she managed to escape the back yard. There goes the warm covers and snuggle while I wait for coffee. This is when I venture into the office an look out the window and see the Jeep that would appear to be stuffed all the way into the front windshield. Thinking that someone had towed it in and just left it in the parking lot, then went to find a site; I boldly opened the door and stepped out in my night gown to call my dog.

While I was already out, I decided to check the drop box for a night registration belonging to the owner(s) of the stuffed Jeep. Nothing. So, failing to lure Toni Louise back in, I wake the Master of her universe. Upon hearing that his favorite animal is missing, he leaps from the bed and grabs clothes to don before venturing out. I try to tell him about the stuffed Jeep, but he is on his phone.

This makes me wonder if he has equipped his favorite dog with her own cell phone and is calling her. The coffee is still brewing and my brain is still lacking that morning jolt. I return to the front door, HeWho rarely hears my voice, on my heels. While he is looking at the stuffed Jeep and wondering aloud how they managed to get it so close to the building, I spy the black furry tail of Toni wagging. I let her in and scold her as I lead her into the house.

Coffee is ready and I pour a cup, as I listen to HeWho drives the cab, tell me he has a call for a cab ride. I follow him to the door and ask him to do a drive thru of the park to locate the RV that belongs to the Jeep and let me know which site they are on.

Before I can even close the door and lock it, HeWho drives a cab, is back to tell me there are two people asleep in the front seat of the Jeep!! Still in my night gown, I instruct HeWho is the man of the house to awaken them and tell them to move on. He looks pained. He does not like confrontations. I grab the front of my night gown and just look at him. I don't say a word.

Like I said, he does not like confrontations and he knew he would have one with me. I watched as he knocked on the window and spoke to the occupants. He got into his Jeep, the Jeep that used to be my Jeep, and prepared to drive away. I was already calling him to hear the reason the occupants had taken up residence in front of my store.

They were "taking a break". I wondered briefly if they had taken advantage of the hot showers before settling down for a long winter's nap. I watched as the bundles of clothing stuffed in the windshield moved and revealed two people and a pitbull. I waited until they had left the premises before returning to my living quarters to enjoy my coffee in peace.

All this before 8 am. Gonna be a long day!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Plan For Today

The cold snap has inspired me. Well, that and Pinterest. I finally convinced all the men who do various projects in the park to SAVE EVERYTHING! No scrap is too small. I am the only one allowed to discard raw materials.

I have been absent here due to Wi-Fi issues. I could read and I could comment ....... if I had the patience to type v e r y  s l o w l y and wait for the letter to appear before adding another. This is supposed to be my outlet for relaxation and I found the method to be causing me much stress.

Stress is plentiful in my life, being married to HeWho is apt to surprise me with a NEW CAR! Not actually new, as in fresh off the sales lot, but new to me, nonetheless. My previous car is sporting AAA stickers and being used to make calls to motorists who have locked their keys inside their cars, or have run out of fuel, or might be in need of a jump start. I liked the Jeep okay. I don't get excited over which vehicle I drive. I just want it to be fueled up and offer no mechanical issues while I am at the wheel. I am easy to please.

HeWho rescues motorists also tends to break things. Things like the seat adjuster. The one in the Jeep is stuck in the setting HeWho prefers. I call it "laid back". Being a short person, I prefer to actually sit up enough to look over the steering wheel. So, instead of fixing this, he just obtained a new car.  I don't like the color, but it is a nice ride. A Ford 500 with all the bells and whistles, but the exterior color is that light taupe/gray color. I call it "pavement".

My objection to this color? Blends with pavement and lends to cars pulling in front of me ...... because they don't "see" me. I want to be seen. The Jeep is red, but yellow would suit me just fine. School bus yellow or maybe neon green. Yellow is the first color you notice in a car lot. Why do you think the school bus is yellow, taxi cabs are yellow (or they used to be).

Another annoyance is the sneezing. Not me, but my mate. He sneezed all day long yesterday. Loud explosive sneezes. Instead of bowing his nose, he sniffs deeply. This drives me nuts. And if that is not enough, he leans in to kiss me goodbye this morning as he was leaving to take Toni Louise to get her stitches out. Just like Hillbilly Mom, I do not want his sneeze germs! I don't even want to shake his hand and I debated whether I should sleep in the same bed last night. I figured the barrier of three dogs should keep me safe and filter the germs.

So, here sits the "new" car, and while my parking lot is huge, I still object to having 5 vehicles for two people. Keeping my fingers crossed for a mild day with no wind. I plan to empty the 3 offending vehicles of personal items and post them on Craigslist. That is the plan.

Monday, November 14, 2016

A Good Monday

Toni Louise had her check-up this morning and I am happy to report that her bladder is shrinking back to it's normal size and has good tone. Means I no longer have to squeeze it. I was afraid I was hurting her because of all her stitches. Her master took her and reported that she was not at all afraid and wagged her tail the entire time.

I took advantage of the wonderful weather today and cleaned out on of my many gardens. This one was full of dead cosmos and tiger lilies with spent leaves. After I did that, I decided to go ahead and paint the fence.

I cleaned so hard, I broke my rake! I confess that I wondered what I could make out of the broken handle. This picture does not capture just how big this pile of weeds is.

This rake is not in great shape, but the handle is intact. Took three trips with the little trailer pulled behind the golf cart to clear all the debris.

I hope I have this much energy tomorrow! I managed to do laundry and cook, too! Not to mention filling the pill boxes and ordering prescriptions for HeWho has no idea what his pills are.

I roasted a cauliflower. It was really good. It takes 90 minutes and I was pushing the limits of hunger, so that may have been a factor in the taste. Takes little time to prep and the you can just forget about for 30 minutes. It is covered tightly with foil for the first 30 minutes, then uncovered for an hour.
I have found that roasting my vegetables makes the flavor more intense. Smells better, too. I used olive oil and kosher salt. Next time I think I will add garlic and some fresh ground pepper. Of course we did not eat the entire head, so I am wondering how the leftover half will taste.

I can always cover it in cheese. HeWho loves cheese will eat it .......