Sunday, May 24, 2015

I Got A Tattoo!

I seem to have lost my writing "voice" for awhile there ...... but I am back.

My visit North was fun, very hectic and hard to keep up with all the activities my grands have. We are preparing for my baby girl's wedding and there was fabric shopping involved ..... along with some trying on of dresses for the bride's mother. I will be making my own dress. I tried on one lace affair that made me look like some sort of candy confection on the macabre side of things. That is when the bride-to-be instructed me to stay put and returned with some Spanks for me to try on.

I don't know how many people were in the store, but I am sure they were all witness to the hysteria that ensued. I told her there was no way I would be able to get my girth into the thing, but she insisted that it would make me look good and to keep pulling. She grabbed one side and we both pulled frantically before collapsing into hysterical giggling. I did not buy the dress ..... or the Spanks. I will be in charge of my own foundation garments.

I have three flower girl dresses to make. No problem there. After a long day of shopping we went to see my Granddaughter, Layla, perform her solo in a competition. I have never been to her recitals or competitions. Her mom, my Jill, has always made arrangements for me to be an audience for some of her routines at her dance studio. Seeing her in all of her make-up and costume was amazing. She is so graceful and talented. Her routine was flawless. I was so tired and needing my medication when we arrived, but when she came on stage my discomfort disappeared. I was totally gob smacked by our girl.

The competitions continued the next day with two of my grands. Gavin is in a hip-hop group of 15 boys. How the instructor was able to pull that off, I will never know. There were so adorable and completely in step with each other and they won platinum. (I was told this was the top rating). My Jada also performed with her fellow dancers. Jada has a natural talent, like her cousin, Layla. Comes second nature to both of them. She was so grown-up in her costume. Her dad told me that she hated it when her yelled her name while she was on-stage .... so, of course I did it. She later told me that it was okay for me to do it, just not her dad.

Then we ate lunch and hit the video store with Gavin. He was lost in his games after that, so I slipped away to spend some time with Maya, the oldest sister of my son's three girls. Maya is the shy one and it always takes her awhile to warm up to me. She left a canvas with painted hearts and fresh cut flowers on my pillow my first night there. I still have the canvas and it is in my bedroom. I think of her sweetness every night as I get ready for bed.

The night before I left, the girls put on a performance in their living room for me. It involved some loud music, dancing and singing. I was enchanted. Little Zara is the entertainer of the family and I laughed so hard at her facial expressions! That one is not at all shy and will be a comedian for sure.

The day I arrived, I was honored to present my book to Gavin's fifth grade teacher. She has been reading Gavin's copy to the class and requested a copy of her own. We tried very hard to get Wall-E (the true author of the book) to allow us to put his paw on a stamp pad so that he could "autograph" the book. We failed. Wall-E is particular about his paws. He has to be sedated for a nail clipping. After meeting Gavin's teacher, I was introduced to his media teacher as a famous author. Such praise! As you all know, I ate that up!

Okay, if you are thinking that a short trip was very full and a whirlwind of events, you are right! My grandson Gage was home for a visit from Colorado and was happy to hang out with us while the kids were in school. He just turned 20 and is a handsome one.

My daughters have been telling me they were thinking of sedating me with enough alcohol to get a tattoo. I told them there was not enough alcohol in the world to convince to do that. Somehow the subject of tattoos came up and I said that I might consider a little silhouette of a doxie. I was voted down on that idea. After much Googleing it was announced that we would all get a tat of a compass. A tiny one for the girls on the ankle. The guys would get a bigger one on the upper arm.

They called a tattoo parlour and off we went. Now, I had absolutely no intention of having my ankle inked. Ever. While Jeff, my son, went first, my grandson put the event on Instagram. He said he was getting a tattoo with his  mom, uncle, aunt and HIS GRAMMA! HIS GRAMMA!! He went on to say it was a family thing ..... a compass, so that we would always find our way back to each other. Gulp. I had to. I did it for Gage. He can still look at me with those same big blue eyes that looked at me when he was only 5 years old and on the way to meet his newborn sister. I said to him, that since he was my heart, could Layla be my soul. With those eyes staring up in my face he told me he was my everything! How could I say no to 5 minutes of excruciating pain?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Missing My Friend

I have been pensive of late. Almost too much to consider. It is rainy and chilly here as we fill the pool. I can't imagine wanting to swim, but there would be an uprising should the pool not be open. The month of May is always the busiest time of the year as we scramble to be ready for Memorial Day. The weather rarely cooperates and He Who procrastinates refuses to heed the advice I offer every year. I have come to the conclusion that my big purpose in life is to nag. After 40 years I have become quite adept.

My recent trip north was over shadowed by sadness. You will recall that my laptop died. I took it along and my son replaced the hard drive and I am back in business. Since I was checking e-mail primarily on my I-phone, I would simply scan the campground site for reservations and just left the rest.

As soon as my laptop was functioning I visited the campground e-mail and found a message from the parents of a dear friend, telling me that he had died. It was such a shock. He was only 45. Don had kamped here 4 years ago when the pipeline came through. He lived in a tent until his work as the safety advisor was done. About 8 months.
 
He was a rugged outdoorsman, choosing to live in a tent.  I remember well, the day I met him. He was inquiring about monthly rates for a tent site. I had never been asked that before, and told him. He hung out as I took care of other customers and dealt with some swimmers about following rules. I tend to mutter to myself when annoyed and had totally forgotten he was there.

He was amused at my thoughts and added his own. We were instant friends. He was witty and sarcastic and we totally understood each other. I came to look forward to seeing him at the end of the day. My own children live so far away and He Who worked evenings, leaving me hungry for an ear to listen. I will miss that ear so very much.

Don stopped me from cutting down a very young Sycamore tree. I thought it was just another fast growing weed. He explored all  my property and informed me that I also have some Persimmon trees. He even searched for my old cat when he disappeared. I don't know if he found him, he would not tell me. He just told me that he would bury him if he did find him.

Every time I look at my Sycamore tree that now towers over my side garden, I think of him. As I mowed the dog park yesterday, I was thinking how much Don would have liked it. One of the Persimmon trees creates the shady end. Don was a dog lover and agreed with me that there is something wrong with people who don't love dogs.

He Who does love dogs was also very fond of Don. We shared our dinner table with him at least three times a week. He was no stranger to my kitchen, sharing cooking duties with me. Dinner conversation was always spirited with our friend.

We kept in contact with phone and e-mail over the years. When my son died, he called frequently to check on me. He was easy to talk to and understood more than he knew. He helped me through a very difficult time.

As I mowed, my thoughts also went to his family. I hope his parents and brother will find some comfort in knowing what a wonderful, sweet and quirky son they had.  He will be missed by all the people lucky enough to have been a part of his life.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Lollipop


Traffic flows slower here at the campground since my confrontation with the offenders. I found out later that the same driver had nearly run over one of my campers who was out pushing her baby in a stroller. SEE!!! I am justified in my efforts to keep the speeding cars at bay!

I am taking a little break from my garden efforts. My back hurts, my legs hurt. I hurt all over and it is very satisfying to hurt from doing a good job!! I painted a fence, mowed the dog park that is 50 by 100 feet, then started planting and weeding and mulching. He Who loves to go to town. He will go for any little thing. Twice already by 2 o'clock. He brought me a lollipop on his last trip.

Cotton candy is the flavor. I suppose he did this because he gobbled up all the cotton candy ice cream I bought. I only wanted a tiny taste. The color of my lollipop reminds me of the robin's eggs I found while mowing.

Every year a robin will nest in the eaves where the roof changes near the restrooms. That means that every morning I will walk by the nesting area on the way to clean the restrooms. Mama Robin will swoop down from her nest and scare me every time. You would think I would get used to it .....

After our last storm passed through and we could get back to remodeling the restrooms, I didn't even notice that Mama Robin did not greet me as I walked by. I had laid the big perforated rubber mats from the shower floors on the sidewalk while all the mortaring and grouting was being done and noticed something stuck in one of them. A broken egg. Looking closer I saw the partially formed little bird. Made me sad.

I was able to mow the next day and I found 4 more eggs, three of them intact! I cradled them in my hand and wondered what to do. I needed to finish mowing, so I nestled them in my bra, thinking to keep them warm until I could find a nest of sorts to put them in in case Mama Robin came looking.

Silly, thinking I could help mother nature. In my efforts to remove the eggs, two were cracked. I put them in some dead grass in a crevice of a big rock. The one intact egg is still there. The bad news is Mama Robin is not coming back. The good news is that I must not have any snakes lurking in that garden. The egg would be gone if there were.

My lollipop is gone and it is time to haul more mulch! 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Respect The Rules!!

The lima bean debacle has been cleaned up. The dandelions have been removed from one small bed and a sizable section of a big garden bed. I have managed to slice off a chunk of one of my fingers and I have a huge zit on my lower lip.

I was hoping for a better week. I was all set to have things flow easily. I "hired" a camper to help with the tiling of the bathrooms. He was slow and would work for 15 minutes or so before he would suddenly leave to get a trowel or some other excuse. When he did stay on task, he did some wonky things with the tile that I discovered after it was too late to correct it. To say that I am disappointed would be an understatement. He said he knew how to tile ......

This is why I weed my own gardens. I know how. I don't want just anyone in my gardens, if I allow you to weed, it is an honor!! The grout goes on the wonky tile today. I am out of time and I want to be able to scrub the bathroom and have them ready for use.

Still waiting on a contractor to give an estimate on planting a new pole to hold the electrical wires. In the meantime I have 6 sites that I cannot rent out. The pool paint has not arrived. In spite of the throbbing finger I am still mowing and weeding and dumping 40 lb. bags of topsoil in gardens.

The zit is pretty ugly since I did a little surgery with a needle. And about that, I am 62 and zits should not be happening. So, I am already in a tizzy, worrying about all the things that need to be done in a short period of time. I was behind the dumpster, holding up a 12 ft. sign that is attached to fence surrounding that area, when a truck belonging to a group of temporary tenants came roaring down the entrance drive, blowing past the stop sign and sounding like he was gearing up for the small decline in the road towards his site.

I was unable to rush out to flag him down, what with me being the support for that sign while it was being worked on. Maybe that was a good thing, since he may had driven over me. The speed limit in most every park I have ever stayed in is 5 mph, mine is 10 mph. I feel that is pretty generous. So, why do people who live in their campers and travel to work not obey the speed limit?

Soon as I got relief I grabbed the trusty golf cart and zipped over to the area I designated to these workers. While trapped in my duties as a holder, I witnessed another speeding truck from the same group. They all seemed to be congregated in one area and I approached the first man I saw and asked if he knew the drivers of the two trucks.

I could smell the alcohol wafting from his pores as I approached. He was battering fish to fry. He said, "Well, why don't you just go find them." I thought that was what I was doing and his attitude really pissed me off, so I said, "By the way, do you know what the speed limit is this park?" He looked at me with his bleary eyes and said, "Nope." I said, "Well it is posted throughout the park, as well as stop signs and I suppose you don't know what they mean either."

Yes, I know that was bitchy. I walked on to find the culprit of the loud truck and addressed his group, asking if anyone there might be aware of the speed limit. One guy said he thought it was probably 5 mph. Despite the loud music and the whooping of the other group, I saw an opportunity to educate them. I don't really need magnification of my voice, so I gave my speech about stopping at stop signs and driving the speed limit and the reasons why this is a safety issue for children who may be riding bikes. This group was respectful and the culprit apologized and promised to stop and slow down. That was all I wanted.

Back to my first encounter who shall now be referred to as A$$hole #1. I had to walk past him to retrieve the golf cart and make my departure. He informed me that they all had kids and they did slow down and that they took care of "their" kids. I did not reply that I thought that was all very well and good, but that other children who might be staying in the park deserved the same considerations. One cannot reason with a drunk, after all. He should have stopped at that comment, but he went on to tell me that my golf cart was headed the wrong way down a one way road.

Exhibiting a huge amount of self control, I did not tell him to saddle up and get the hell out of my park. But .......... I am watching him. Closely. I have him in my cross hairs.

He Who thinks I am too confrontational about the speed limit was not very sympathetic to his wife upon the re-telling of the incident. He Who has been in cross hairs before and always claims I am talking in his deaf ear, but that is another story. I let him elaborate about how confrontational I am before I informed him that they were having a fish fry and I wondered what would become of the grease.

We just paid a sizable sum to have a big router on a truck come out to release a clog that consisted of some chunks of marble (I kid you not) and GREASE! Seems that when one is camping and they fry a turkey or fish, it is okay to pour it directly into the sewer. After all, it is no longer their problem. He could not get down there fast enough to inquire about the plan for the disposal of the grease.

Campers beware, the Nazi Bitch is on the prowl!
Big Mother is watching!  

Sunday, April 26, 2015

It's Raining Beans

I am so happy to see this week end. All week long I have been a calamity of misdeeds. Everything I touch seems to go to hell in a hand basket. From my spotty internet connections to my spectacular trip and fall a few minutes ago, it has been a very long week.

I have been unable to find my movie streamer. Maybe I should engage the antics of He Who still hunts the muskrat. Perhaps he could concoct a trap of sorts that would not involve mating calls of muskrats. I can get on-line, but I can't stay on-line.

The high spot of the week was having lunch out today with He Who is my sweet husband. From there we stopped at WalMart, not my usual WalMart, but one in a different city. He dropped me off at the door and headed to Lowes to get something. He told me, I wasn't listening. I was salivating at the thought of roaming the garden center for rescue plants.

I was supposed to be gathering the few items we actually needed, but we all know I would not do that until I quenched my thirst in the garden area. I scored a flat of petunias for a song. They were half price and only needed dead heading. We came home and I started playing in dirt.

I decided to start dinner first, though. He Who had requested lima beans and rice, chopped onion on the side. I had no limas in my pantry, so got some at WalMart. Have you seen the price of dried beans? Nearly $5 for 2 lbs.! Anyhoo, I pulled out the pressure cooker. I needed some serious cooking done fast since I had not had the opportunity to soak those beans.

I am adept with the pressure cooker. I loaded my beans with plenty of water and waited until it was chugging away and turned down the temperature of the burner before going outside. I do this all the time. I gathered my rescues and supplies. I carefully sewed burlap into the hanging baskets before putting in my specially treated potting soil. This happens when you fill a diaper with water and then remove those little moisture absorbing bead things, then mix those with your miracle grow potting soil. Supposed to hold the moisture in for those days you forget to water your hanging baskets. I will let you know if it works.

After sewing my first basket and planting it, I decided to check on my stove. The lid was still intact, but the little thing that is supposed to sit atop the lid and regulate the steam was laying on the stove and lima bean water was spewing everywhere. This is not good. I opened the pot to determine how much water was left and added water, happy to note that al the moisture had not escaped.

The stovetop was afloat with starchy water, as well as the floor. Oscar the cantankerous doxie was right there in the middle of it all, happily licking the floor. I cleaned up the stove and restarted the beans. Went back to the second hanging basket and finally got them hanging with all the other baskets. I watered them all and then came in to finish dinner.

It was only when I started cleaning up the dishes that I noticed the goo dripping from the ceiling.
I hauled a step stool in and got the dripping part dealt with. I saw that the microwave and the shelf above it were also in need of a good scrub down. I climbed down, deciding that I was losing light and wanted to get the last basket done.

This is when I realized I had left the water on outside. In my haste to get to the faucet, I tripped, falling headlong into my ground cover. That stuff sure can soften your fall! My chin even hit the ground and other than a stain on my pants at the knee, I suffered nothing other than my pride. Of course, it could be said that I have no pride, given the fact that I just told everyone about it.

So, now, while I have internet (I hope), I will publish this and head to bed. Next week will be better. I will be washing my ceiling and cabinets tomorrow. Probably needs it anyway.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Bartering, Frost and Costumes

Busy is an understatement as we race to accomplish as much as possible before Memorial Day. The bathroom renovations seem to be dragging on endlessly. A camper expressed interest in working on the tiling in exchange for rent.

I like barter, myself. Seems like a better way of commerce to me. Only problem is that he will only work for about 2 hours and then he quits. While it is true that he does good work ....... his productivity leaves a lot to be desired. At the rate he is going the bathrooms won't be done this year!

Nevermind, will just do them myself. My gardens might suffer, but one has to have priorities, right? Speaking of gardens, a kamper (not to be confused with a camper, campers spelled with a "k" are like family) brought a banana tree to me! It has to be dug up every fall and left dormant in a cool dry place, but to have my very own bananas, it will be worth the effort. So I planted the tree and watered it. I spoke loving words to the tree as I patted the dirt around the roots.

The very day I planted it, the forecast called for frost that night! So, there I was, in the dark, carefully shrouding my 5 and a half foot tree with sheets to protect it from Mother Nature and her tricky deeds. When I got up the next morning at Oscar's usual feeding time, I peeked out my bedroom window to see the tree dressed in her sheets, looking for all the world like a member of the KKK standing sentinel over my garden! Not my intention, since it is not Halloween.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

I Am Going To Get That Wascally Wabbit!

There he stands, shot gun at the ready. The battle with the muskrat is ongoing. Has been for about 5 years. The muskrats are a nuisance in a banked pond. They will burrow in the side, creating a hole and the water will seep out constantly onto the road. The erosion on the road has the be filled in quite frequently.

He once told me he had shot a muskrat, although he had no proof of that ........ He Who hunts muskrat has never shown proof. If I shot one I would get a net and get the little sucker out of the pond!

He was watching a video on line earlier today, trying to learn how to make "muskrat sounds" to lure the muskrat to the shore line and shoot it. Also setting traps ... homemade traps.

Am I the only one thinking about Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny?