Friday, November 27, 2020

Hen Happenings

Yesterday dawned bright and early and I was happy to see the sun shine. I showered after lingering over coffee, having done most of the prep work for our tiny dinner the day before.

Things sort of went downhill from that point. I had accidentally caught a glimpse of my hair in the mirror a couple of days ago. Hair grows, you know, and mine was at that length that defies styling, no matter how much or many products you try to tame it with. It looked like my hair was a separate entity hovering just above my scalp. So, I cut it ...... again. I have been doing a fairly decent job of following the cut lines my stylist had cut. But that was almost a year ago. This time, I am afraid I went way off track. And not in a good way.

The only word I can think of is "choppy". My hair is baby fine (limp) and straight. As I toweled my head and got ready to dry it, the image of Moe from the Three Stooges popped into my head. Yes, it was that bad. But, we were not seeing anyone today, so ... I don't get too excited about my hair. It grows fast. It helps that I can laugh at myself.

I went into the kitchen to prepare the feast. I pulled my roasting hen from the from the fridge to get her all gussied up before plopping her in my iron dutch oven. I peeled away the wrapper and noticed that her skin looked odd. It was very thick and when I pulled it up, it stayed. I called HeWho for a second opinion and he agreed it looked "different" to him, as well. We both leaned close to sniff the bird. It smelled okay, so I proceeded to season her and stuff her cavity with a handful of fresh herbs and an orange. Into the oven she went on low heat. For five hours. I checked after the first three hours and really expected it to be falling off the bones. I kept the lid on and it should have been quite moist.

I was a little annoyed. The green bean casserole and the dressing and sweet potatoes were ready. The rolls were watching the progress and waiting to be toasted. Two pies sat on the counter and whipped cream was done. I shoved the hen back into the juices that were halfway up the side of the pot and waited some more.

At some point during all this activity my right foot started aching. I just changed shoes and went on with my chores. I just figured my feet were not quite ready for real shoes. I wear Dawgs all the time. I have about 7 colors and I love them. They have great arch supports and hug my feet just right. I slipped on the cranberry pair from my latest purchase .... it being Thanksgiving and all, I thought that was appropriate.

Finally I yanked the bird from the oven. I grabbed one leg and pulled it out of the pan. It was stiff and unyielding. I grabbed a knife and cut a small piece of breast meat off. It tasted like nothing. It was like chewing a rubber band. HeWho gave it a go and we both spit it out. Why did I not go with my first instinct and buy a turkey breast?

As we sat down to our vegetarian Thanksgiving meal, I realized that my toes were throbbing. I think this is the same foot I dropped something on this summer and am pretty sure I broke something in my foot near my toes. I figured it was just arthritis flaring up in those joints. Why not? This was just the day for it!

I sat down after our eating to facetime all the kids and told HeWho I did not intend to get up again until bedtime. He threatened to clean up the kitchen, which would have been fine with me. I had washed most everything as I cooked and there was not that much to clean up. That man is just full of empty threats!

I had a very restless night. My foot ached and would wake me from time to time. This morning it was so swollen I couldn't get my shoe on. My second and third toes look like fat sausages and the ball of my foot is puffy and swollen. HeWho wanted to whisk me away to the emergency room. I am having none of that. The only thing they can do that I am not already doing is an X-ray. The treatment is the same for a sprain or a break in that part of my foot. Ice, elevate and stay off of it. I have broken my left foot 4 times. I have crutches, braces and everything I need right here.

The side dishes were tasty and the pies were fine. The store took my chicken back and HeWho will be heated up leftovers to go with the rotisserie chicken he picked up when he returned the defective hen. Life is good, despite everything!


 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Be Thankful

 I was sitting here feeling sorry for myself. We are not going to see my kids for Thanksgiving. The big rig will not fit in any one of their driveways and parking on the street is prohibitive after snow has started to fall. No RV parks open up there. I suppose we could go in my new car that is towable and very small. With four dogs. No, that won't work. One does not impose on family with four dogs. Well, not if you want to be welcome ever again. They all have had dogs in their homes, but my doxies would want to leave some evidence that they, too, had been there. Bo would challenge any dogs in residence and although he thinks he is a big ferocious boy, he is not. Toni Louise would glue herself to her master and snarl at everyone. Good times.

In the midst of my pity party I got a text from a friend. Her son's father-in-law had Covid followed by a blood clot and complications. I have been keeping that family in my prayers, but this morning the family was told that he was not going to pull through. So very sad for them. So much pain and grief to endure so close to Thanksgiving. 

A reminder of all I have to be thankful for. I can facetime my kids any time I want. I can call them and hear their voices. I am well, HeWho is as well as can be expected (given his ability to sabotage his wellness with forbidden things). I will just have to stare at his grizzly beginnings of a beard and imagine he is young again ..... with hair on his head.

No turkey for us. Too much waste for just the two of us. In years past we have filled the seats around our table with friends and anyone not having a place to go. This meant mountains of food and lots of left-overs to share. This year we will eat chicken. same fixings scaled down tremendously. I will just long for conversation with someone I won't have to yell at. You know, someone who doesn't say "what?" "who?" "when?" "where?". Maybe he fancies himself to be a journalist?

There is much to be thankful for in my little world. Wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving with a little reminder to stay safe this year. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

All About Little Things

 I don't know if I mentioned that after we submitted our votes for the presidential election and a whole lot of other stuff that I had quickly researched in order to be able to cast an intelligent vote, we made a stop in the way home and bought a diesel pusher.

A little investment for the future. I am quite pleased with our purchase and should be out there right now, cleaning out the Class C and getting it ready to sell. My new rig is in excellent shape. Previous owners were sticklers for cleanliness. Although it does have some features I am not happy with, they can easily be changed.

The carpet has to go. Dachshunds, whether neutered or not, feel the need to mark territory. Mr. BoJangles, though not a dachshund, tends to follow Eddie's example of what to do. The "kitchen" area has ceramic tile already, so I will be looking for something to either match it or compliment it. The tile leads into the bathroom, so only the area between the couches and the driving area needs to be addressed, as well as the bedroom. Not much floor to cover, in any event.

If you have ever owned a motor home (or two, or three, maybe four?), you will definitely have some ideas about what you DON'T want in the next one you buy. We have had booths and we have had the table with chairs. I prefer the booth. The booth seats can double as storage. Not to mention the fact that you have to lock the chairs down every time you move the RV. My new booth seats have drawers and that makes me happy. Other booths we have had required that you lift the cushion out to access the storage. These drawers are big! I could put the dogs to bed in them! Well, I could try. Bo sleeps happily in a kennel, but the other three sleep with me.

The other feature that leaves me wanting more is the bed. It is a queen. This queen and her faithful four legged servants were not meant to sleep in a small bed with the king. Fortunately there are two sofas that jack-knife into beds. HeWho can choose the one that suits him. You didn't think I was going to give up the bed, did you?

Above all that, this came fully furnished with dishes, pots and pans. Towels, sheets, etc. I tend to think that the previous owner wasn't so generous as he was lazy and just didn't want to move all that stuff. He will, no doubt, agree with me!!

Of course, I already have enough of that sort of thing at my disposal, You will recall that we left a five bedroom house and a cabin up north when we came here. We also had a big motorhome, as well. I hate the thought of cleaning out the Class C. Some of the stuff will go in the new rig, of course, but I will just donate the excess.

There is one thing that I got really excited about ... it has a shampoo and body wash dispenser in the shower!!! It really is the little things, you know!

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

I Am Negative!

 Still battling my headache woes. I did call my nurse practitioner and was subjected to a Covid test yesterday. It was negative. Could be allergies. It was 77 degrees here this morning. Then the rain started falling while I was laying in my bed surrounded by my faithful doxies. I had the window open and a nice warm breeze was tickling my bare toes and I dozed off.

When I woke, those toes were cold! Crap, I will have to start wearing shoes again. Thankfully, the phone has been mostly silent today, I had a pan of leftover lasagna in the fridge for dinner and even the animals have been good today. Mr. Bo Jangles was on his best behavior. He jumped on the couch, but refrained from pouncing on my belly. He just settled on my shoulder and watched me sip coffee. Every day he insists on sniffing my coffee to  make sure he doesn't want to taste it. He never does. He probably just wonders why I want to drink it.

Back to my Covid test. We had to drive to Hermann to the testing location. The clinic called the test order in and since we live in a not so densely populated area, I thought it would be fairly quick. I was so wrong. Hermann is not a big place and we knew it was near the hospital. The main road to the hospital was not passable, under repairs. So we had to back track and go a different route. As we approached the hospital, the traffic was not moving.

HeWho was acting as my driver was antsy. He kept trying to back up and pull to one side or another to see "what the problem was". Um .... we were in line. For about 30 minutes. They had two lines and were moving quite efficiently, but still felt like we were in line forever.

As we approached the front of the line, I watched as the health care workers taking the samples walked back and forth from car to the gloving area. They changed gloves between each test, even if the car had more than one "patient" aboard. Being my father's child, my mind was tabulating the numbers of gloves being used. My Dad and I like to count things.

My turn came and she approached with a foot long swab. I was told to tilt my chin up while she inserted that swab into my nose and beyond. Not very comfortable getting to where it was supposed to be, then it had to stay there for 15 seconds. Your impulse is to grab the end and snatch that thing out of your nose! I think mine must have supplied them with a brain tissue sample!

All this just made my head hurt worse. Or maybe counting all those cars and gloves was making it worse. Covid is a drain on our resources. Wonder how long it takes for all that medical waste to break down? Where does it go? Will someone dig a hole in the future and let a mutation of the Covid virus loose on the world? I think I think too much ... maybe.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

It's The Little Things

 For the past 10 days or so, my constant companion has been a headache. It never goes completely away, just subsides enough for me to get stuff done, but it is always there in the background, waiting to strike again. Yes, I have checked my blood pressure, yes, I have diligently taken my allergy meds and doubled the Flonase. Ibuprofen, Tylenol and aspirin have been rotated. They just keep it in check.

Some things seem to make it worse. Things like answering the phone, checking in campers, barking dogs, and trying to be the voice of reason for HeWho and his dietary habits. Actually EVERYTHING makes me irritable. My computer suddenly refusing to download pictures from my phone. Then asking HeWho to try and him telling me he downloaded 1015 pictures with no problem. I only wanted 20. The latest 20. The ones I took a couple of days ago of all my canines frolicking in the back yard. 

Those 20 photos are not to be found and the fact that he is not here this very minute makes my head ache. I am resigned to the aching head and am counting down the hours until bed time. This is when I will slide beneath the freshly laundered sheets with the bed in my favored position, the TV playing softly in the background. I will be completely relaxed, drifting slowly towards sleep and relief from the constant head ache ......

and then .... Cujo will decide to jump down from the bed to drink some water. Hearing his paws thump the floor will not jar me out of my stupor, but his presence at the side of the bed, demanding to be lifted back up to the bed will. In the event that Cujo remains in the bed and doesn't disturb me, Toni Louise will decide to go into a spasm of marathon scratching and contort her body so that her freakishly long legs with pound into the side of my head. Sometimes her long talons will even enter my ear canal, and as she continues scratching will rhythmically scratch the inside of my ear.

Barring all that, HeWho has started talking in his sleep. Nothing remotely intelligent, but it still wakes me. Then I spend restless hours attempting to get back to sleep. So, what with the headache and the lack of sleep, I guess you can say that my temper is a little short.

Being November, you would think that things would slow down dramatically. But it hasn't. By November I am ready for a lull in activity. I want to feather my nest for a long winters nap. I want to be free to do whatever I want without interruption. I don't want to answer the phone and take a reservation for next October and listen to a litany of musings about which site I think would be the best one for the caller. I don't want to listen while someone over enunciates the numbers of their credit card agonizingly slow, or in lots of three numbers, as opposed to the normal four. 

In case you don't know, all credit cards have 16 numbers. All Visa cards begin with the number 4, Master Card begins with number 5 and Discover, the number 6. No need to tell me which card you are reciting numbers from, much less spell the card. I already know. If you look at the card, you will see that the numbers are separated into lots of four. Because 16 is equally divided by 4, this makes sense. 16 is not equally divide by 3, therefore making it easier to make a mistake.

It is the little things, right. The tiniest things that can send you over the edge and make you wonder if, perhaps, your medication should be recalibrated. Good thing I already have an appointment pending on Wednesday. For 10 minutes. With the cardiologist. How do I know that only 10 minutes has been allotted to me? Because the appointment for HeWho follows mine ..... by 10 minutes. Now I wonder if the doctor will spend 10 minutes asking me about HeWho and his bad habits. That is what happened last time I had an appointment right before his.

Yes, I am a little irritable.


Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Newbies

This year has been different in so many ways. Listening to the news every night has been depressing. So many people sick and dying, not to mention those who have lost their jobs and homes. I am so fortunate that my children are all still employed and healthy.

Our business has not suffered like I had imagined it would. We stayed open during the quarantine with a no-contact check-in procedure. It was mostly people trying to get back home to shelter in place. Who knew there would be so many?

So many of these campers are new to the experience of traveling in RV's. I have been asked so many questions I have never been asked before. Although my favorite question is "Do you know which exit you are at?" Always catches me off guard, making me want to answer inappropriately. I worked with a pharmacist that I always think of when this question is asked. A customer once asked him if he knew what time it was. His answer was, "Yes, I do." That's it, he would go back to whatever he was doing and say nothing else.

I was asked if I would go to the dump station with someone paying $5 to clean out his black tank and show him how to accomplish this task. I declined his offer, honestly telling him I didn't even clean out my own. Not to mention that $5 was no incentive.

I hear that RV sales are up. Camping World has even put out the word that they want to buy used motor homes, 5th wheels and travel trailers and are particularly interested in Class C units. Most of the rental units are Class C, so I suppose that makes sense. I really  think it is most popular, being shorter in length for newbies to handle easier.

Not every purchaser of the RV is concerned about being able to navigate their new expensive toy. I cringe when I see the ones pulling long trailers behind them drag the trailer wheel over the boulders that surround the area by the exit drive. It is like they seem to have forgotten they are towing something behind them. Same goes for the huge motorhomes towing vehicles.

I can't say for certain that I have noticed more incidents with the boulders this year because of the higher percentage of newbies, or because I moved the registration desk and can now gaze out the windows. Probably a little of both.

I am hoping my wifi will let me publish and maybe read a few of my favorite blogs today as I wait for paint to dry. Let's see .....

 

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Weekends Were Made For Insomnia

I am thinking I need a re-do on the entire month. Or at least today. I just brewed my third cup of coffee, having managed to pour the second cup down the front of myself. I guess I should be thankful it wasn't as hot as it could have been.

We have been so very busy here and the wifi connection is just not all it should be. Add to that a man who refuses to take care of himself, relying totally on me to monitor his bad choices of food and drink to keep him healthy. No gravel to fill in the hollows created by the rains and the campers who never fail to complain and I find that I am a bit short tempered.

Well, maybe not just a bit. HeWho knows better has been swilling Diet Coke again. He had a spike in his blood pressure about 6 months ago and we determined (nurse practitioner and I) that it was his exclusive drink choice of Diet Coke to be the culprit. We doubled his Lisinopril and he stopped drinking Diet Coke and sure enough, his blood pressure came back down to an acceptable level.

Then we got extremely busy and he decided he could have Diet Coke again. He has said that water gives him indigestion. I found that amusing and so did our doctor. Anyway, the Diet Coke slowly slipped back into his normal 2 liters a day. Then he decided he should be able to have fast food occasionally. Then occasionally turned into pretty often. I would always tell him not to get the fries, but he would eat them on the way home. You do know that if I don't see the food go into his mouth, it doesn't count, right?

So now we (meaning me) are monitoring his BP 3 times a day and they added another medication. He is drinking water. Like a martyr. Sadly, like all the pleasure in his life has been sucked away. My insomnia has decided to return with a vengeance and I find that I am becoming increasingly ill tempered.

The weekends have been jam packed with Oktoberfest revelers. I had to put a larger sign up about wearing masks. Some people still seem to think they are exempt and my temper has been serving me well in that respect. I am willing to lose a customer over the mask issue. My next sign will be "No Clothes, No Mask, No Service". I don't even require shoes!

I assigned a camper to a double site that has a long term camper in the back part of the site. The long term camper had parked their vehicle in the site I assigned to the weekend camper. I dispatched HeWho to correct this problem while I grabbed a very quick shower. I always tell long term campers NOT to park in an empty site. If they want to pay for the site they can use it, but I have to use all the hook-ups at my disposal in order to make money to pay my bills.

The woman chose today  to complain about her site. She has been in this site for 3 weeks with no complaints and now with only 1 week left she wants to move to the other side of the park. Her complaint is that the park has too many campers on the weekend and the camper next to them (also long term) wakes them up at 5 am when he leaves for work. And furthermore, where is she supposed to park her truck if she can't park it on the site in front of her? Um, maybe next to her camper on the grass? Like everyone else.

HeWho brought her concerns to me and asked if we could move her to the other side of the park. My first response was "NO." Then I took a look at my chart for the weekend. I was going to honor her request and flip flop the reservation for a site on the other side of the park with her. Then I realized that if I did, and the site in front of her was occupied , I would not be able the use her site at all, because the reservation would be coming in after the site in front was already occupied and the fifth wheel that needed the 50 amp site would not be able to get their vehicle out. So, I tried, but the answer was still "NO." Had she approached me BEFORE I had all these reservations assigned, I would have been happy to accommodate her. 

The phone is still my biggest annoyance. Entertaining, but annoying. I was taking a reservation this week, the camper asked if I had anything available and when I looked and told him what I had, he said he would take it and see me this weekend, goodbye. "Wait, I need some information." said I. I asked for his name and then told him I would need a credit card to secure his reservation. He said, okay, then a long pause followed. I told him I was ready when he was and he said, "Oh, you want the number?" You just can't make this stuff up.