Sunday, September 20, 2020

Common Sense

 I am sick. I awoke from my nap yesterday feeling worse than when I lay down. Throat hurts, intermittent cough, ears hurt and I am light headed. I decided I was not fit for the camping public. 

This means that HeWho shall be in charge. Before I set off on my nap adventure, I carefully made note of all pending reservations and where to put them. I handed the phone to him and gathered my faithful doxies and scurried to my bedroom. I left him with a notepad and two dogs. All he had to do was answer the phone and check in campers. And let the dogs in his charge in and out.

I woke feeling awful and thought food would help. This prompted him to order a pizza from Dominoes. Forbidden food for cardiac patients, but sometimes you just have to give in. He picked the pizza up and was back with it very quickly. I saw him lift the first slice and I knew right away it was not cooked all the way. The stringy mass falling was not cheese, it was dough!

This seems to be a problem with this particular Dominoes. Maybe they need to have their oven temperature checked or the timing is off. At any rate, I gagged at the thought of trying to actually eat it. HeWho was happy to be eating something he shouldn't, ate that slice and put the rest in the kitchen, saying he was going to finish cooking it "later". I decided I wasn't hungry after all, and positioned my sick self on the sofa with more dogs than pillows. I think I dozed on and off, answering the phone and taking reservations in between.

I smelled the oven at one point. I could smell the pizza cooking ...... then burning. I was presented with a plate of hot from the oven pizza, really crisp on the bottom. Why do I smell something burning?

"Oh, yea, I made a big mess in the oven." says HeWho "cooked" my dinner. "I will clean it up later." Same thing he told me after he knocked over this rack and bin contraption he bought to sort his various parts and tools in. It takes up a lot of real estate in my laundry room and although it is on wheels, if you attempt to move it, the bins will come loose and a domino effect will happen, taking out at least 1/4 of the bins, spilling their various contents on the floor.

Just like the bins incident, "later" never came. When I first got up from my nap, I was freezing. Then, when I made my way to the kitchen to make dinner for Mr. Bo Jangles, I was too hot. That's when I saw the mess and I was really hot! HeWho is apparently inept at anything kitchen related had put the already sliced pizza on the oven rack WITH NOTHING UNDER IT. Use your imagination and you still won't know the magnitude of the mess in my kitchen.

So, now I am hot and mad. There were dishes in the sink, covering the dish cloth that he had attempted to wipe up some of the 400 degree mess. This burned through the cloth, of course and I threw it away. Cheesy masses hung from all the racks and formed masses of burnt blobs in the bottom of the oven. But, wait, there's more! It was all over the door and falling through to the drawer under the stove. 

Just like the pan of chocolate chip cookies I asked him to take from the oven last week while I was taking care of a customer. The cookies were on parchment paper on a flat cookie sheet. Instead of pulling the sheet straight out of the oven, he tilted it and all the cookies slid off and burned in the bottom of the oven. He didn't clean that mess up either. 

I made a lot of noise as I cleaned up the mess last night. This is a self cleaning oven. Not really, though. You still have to remove the food from the bottom before you turn that function on. It will eventually "clean" it, but it will catch on fire and burn it. 

The instructions are pretty clear about removing any blobs of food BEFORE you set the oven to clean. Common sense would dictate that you do so. Just like common sense would tell you not to stand on a glass top stove. I knew someone who did just that. The glass is not made to hold the weight of canning pot full of water, much less an adult who should be able to reason this out in her head. She ended up with stitches in her feet and got a brand new stove by telling them she dropped a frozen turkey on it. 

I just knew that he would opt for the "self cleaning" mode on the oven if left to his own devices. Not to worry, though, I doubt he could figure out how to turn it on. Was that mean? I don't care!

So, here I am, feeling awful. In the back of my mind I am comparing my symptoms with those of Covid symptoms. Can't help it. Mainly I wonder if I should muster up the energy to write a book of instructions for HeWho would be on his own if I were to be hospitalized for any length of time. Can he survive on his own? Will he burn the house down? Will he remember to feed the dogs? Will he mush up Bo's food the way he likes it?

Easier to just hire a sitter! One with a little common sense, which seems to be in short supply here! 


Saturday, September 19, 2020

Sweet Dreams

The milder weather has me outside all day long. Well, until I have to actually do my real job. As I have been trimming trees and pulling weeds and edging gardens, I decided to relocate my dwarfs and gnomes. They had been asking for bigger houses and a better location. This is a work in progress. I still have to build a stage for the dwarf band and put cedar shakes on the roof of the hot pink house. More clouds, more trees ..... Can you see the little tea set? Look in the lower left corner. One of my kampers gave it to me awhile back. I love it there!

While I played, the men played with big toys. HeWho grabbed the best seat. With age comes privilege, I suppose. They are fixing a water leak.

I walked my gardens and picked at deadheads. I found some new friends out pollinating. This bee posed for his picture. A nice profile, don't you think?

This guy turned his back to me and refused to engage with me. If that engagement included a sting, I should be most happy about that.

 Maybe he saw my fence and did not take kindly to my art work. Another project to finish. More flowers and maybe a grasshopper and crickets. Dragon flies, too. Worms? Ladybugs and most definitely a frog!

Today has me longing for a nap. My right leg has been giving me fits lately, so I took myself to the clinic. The ache has me pacing the floors in the wee hours of the morning, unable to find a position that allows the ache to subside. It is either a precursor to an attack of Shingles or it is Sciatica. I am voting for Sciatica. No painful rash has erupted. We talked about treatment plans and I opted for the most conservative one. A shot to help bring the inflammation down and a round of steroids. Just five days.

Today should be the last dose. I am not taking it. The past three days have been like a rollercoaster ride. The dose does not titrate down, so not taking the last pill will not harm me. Yesterday was awful. I felt like I had been downing coffee all day long. My heart would speed up and I could not seem to find enough to do. Last night's insomnia was the cherry on top.

Today I am lethargic and feel like I have taken a sleeping pill. But, it is a weekend and I have to hang on until all my reservations show up. Or do I? I only have two pending, but the day is young and people will start frantically searching for a place to stop soon ....... but .... if I carefully write everything down and give HeWho the phone and the list, perhaps he could survive a couple of hours. 

I like my plan. Eddie and Cujo like it, too. They are always up for a nap with me, as long as Mr. Bo Jangles is not involved. Sweet Dreams, here I come!

Saturday, September 12, 2020

The Good Wife Gardens

Never have my gardens been so cleaned up and weed free! This garden usually takes a back seat to the other gardens. The weeds that plague this garden are full of thorns and I once uncovered a snake in the tiger lilies, while I was pulling the dead leaves out. 

This garden was brought about by me asking for some fill dirt. It was flat and rocky, not leaning towards cultivation. If you garden, you will know that I was hoping for about 20 bags of top soil. I am married to HeWho thinks he knows everything, though. He took the tractor to the empty field behind the bill board and scooped up what he referred to as "good, clean dirt". He surprised me with his gift of listening and providing what he was sure I had asked for. 

I discovered my "gift" already hulking there and had no choice but to work with what I was given and learn to be more specific when I asked for things. You would think I already knew to be specific, given some of the "gifts" I have gotten over the years. That is another story for another day.

This good clean dirt was anything but. I pulled huge roots out of it and shoveled and mounded it into place, knowing full well that it was going to be a challenge ridding it of weeds over the years. I planted two tiger lilies, a peony I rescued from Walmart's clearance display and since it was late in the season, I planted daffodil bulbs and tulip bulbs, and topped it with mums, a lot of mums.

The very first spring had someone driving over my tulips. The big boulders were found on my property when we dug new sewer lines. They slowly appeared around my garden. They were nowhere near the size of the ones there now. Kevin found them and put them there after seeing how many times the smaller ones were driven over. I think of him when ever I work that garden.

The thing is that the huge boulders have not stopped drivers from cutting too sharp. Neither has the "WIDE TURN" sign. I could roll the smaller boulders back in place, but not these. I confess that I derive a small amount of pleasure knowing that the vehicle or trailer that hit the boulders hard enough to move them had to have sustained considerable damage. That knowledge is little comfort considering that the boulders are now on top of my bulbs.

This is the garden on the other side of that fence that surrounds the dumpster area. This what I call the Gavin Garden. Gavin stayed an entire month with us the summer he turned 3. HeWho dumped a load of gravel there, telling me it didn't have any weeds. He was right, but the load was in the way of traffic. Gavin was my steady helper with his own little shovel and we moved it one shovel full at a time. Once again I employed mums to make it look like a garden. Gavin's mom arrived to pick him up and thought she would give her old mom a hand with the shovel. 

Two scoops and she was done! She told Gavin to come inside with her to take a nap, that she didn't come here to work. Gavel kept right on shoveling, telling her that he didn't come here to nap! As much as I miss the 3 year old Gavin, I am enchanted with 16 year old Gavin. He is a sweet, considerate young man that I am so proud of!

Over the years the Tiger Lilies and Hostas have spread and some tall grasses added. A tree refused to die and the gardens look different. HeWho groans every time I start a new garden or plant a tree. I don't know why, since I will be the one to mow around them and it actually makes less grass for him to mow. Maybe he is tired of picking up top soil and mulch for me? He just buys it and brings it home, I am the one who lugs it around and spreads it. He loves a good excuse to go places an run errands! I am just being a good wife!

Friday, September 11, 2020

Too Cute!

 I am happy that I can finally download the pictures from my phone! So, here is my Mr. Bo Jangles. We learned that he was not fathered by the tiny Chihuahua we had thought. Turns out his father was a mix with Shitzu and Chihuahua. Just in case you might be unaware of this, puppy litters can have more than one father. Bo looks different than his litter mates. I suppose this makes him a mongrel.

He is one cute mongrel, don't you think? I was calling him a Chorkie, but that is not the case. I think I will just call him the cutest little dog in the world. His personality is one of high energy. I have a ton of toys bought for the dogs that came before him. They were not much interested in them unless they contained a scoop of peanut butter. I try to keep them in a wire basket on the lowest shelf of a book case. Bo loves them. He begins his day with emptying that basket and dragging all the toys out. He is not interested in playing ball, except for the one that lights up. He is most intrigued with the stuffed toys and takes great pleasure in taking them apart and spreading the insides every where.

Several times a day I pick all the toys up and put the basket on the shelf, knowing he will be kept busy taking them out again. When he tires of growling and challenging the stuffed animals bigger than him, he will try to engage his pack mates in play. Toni will growl and try to remove herself from the room. Cujo remains in his favorite place, the couch where I normally sit. He will give a warning growl, then a good nip keeps him safe from puppy play. Eddie is his favorite playmate. 

Eddie will get on the floor and play with him. This usually ends with a hurt yelp from Eddie when Bo is too rough .... never the other way around. Eddie is a gentle soul. Other than not playing ball, Bo reminds me of my Oscar. Overbearing and always in charge. Bo discovered yesterday that if he waits until Martha, the boy cat, stands up, he fits neatly under Martha's body, between his legs. He will move when Martha moves and Martha can't seem to rid himself of the creature under him! He finally had to jump over the gate to the bedroom to get away from Bo. It was like a big semi with a tiny sports car under it, both vehicles going the same speed. Bo is one smart puppy!

Enjoy the eye candy that Bo is. He is very photogenic. He has taken over my robe and likes to nap on it. Bo enjoys a good nap, he needs his sleep to be the busy little guy that he is. His fur is coarse, no longer puppy soft and he is still not cuddly, although he does seek me out when it is time to sleep. This picture is a few weeks old and every day finds more whiskers on him. He is already so cute I can't stand it!

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Handling Stupidity

 Holiday weekends tend to bring out my sarcasm. Make that, the people I interact with during holiday weekends bring out my  sarcasm and all my bad qualities. This past weekend was no different.

It starts before the weekend begins. This season has been different in so many ways. The empty pool, the masks (or refusal to wear one), the ever present fear in the back of my mind. My fear was not for me. It was for HeWho was constantly too close to people with no mask on. He would not be likely to survive Covid and is constantly "forgetting" to mask up while he wanders around outside. Makes me wish I had a long extending arm to smack the back of his head to "remind" him. I am guilty of being naked faced outside, too. But I am mostly alone while gardening and I find that rakes and shovels are handy to make people distance themselves from me. With the length of my arm and the garden implement, it creates that 6' distance.

Then my sister-in-law sent a text informing us that she had contracted the virus. When a member of your family or a close friend is involved in a life and death struggle it brings a real slap in the face of reality. Hearing the numbers of deaths on news reports does not begin to touch you like someone you care about. We are both more cognizant of the danger lurking. I am happy to report that she is home and slowly gaining her strength back. It was a long struggle for her, but I feel the most for my brother-in-law having to be helpless while she fought. It is not a good position to be in when you life mate is on the precipice of life and death.

Okay, so now I will get to the meat of this post. I should call it "Utter Stupidity". For whatever reason, this season has campers coming out to choose the site they want before they come to camp. They will call and ask which sites are available before they reserve and will make ridiculous demands. I usually do not assign sites until the week before the impending weekend. I use the information I gather at the time of the reservation to determine the best location for a particular camper. Because of the way my campground was built long before it became ours, it is challenging.

We have double sites. The camper to arrive first would pull in and then the camper arriving later has to back in. The runs are plenty long to accommodate the two campers, but I have to consider many things when I assign them. The length of the camper and the amps they will need. Also the trickier part of being aware of when they will be arriving and when they will be leaving. I don't want to trap anyone who will be having an early departure.

The camper is not thinking about any of that when they look at the map or drive through the park. This leaves me trying to explain this. A seasonal camper requested a move to a double site. She wanted the site that would be the back-in site. I tried to explain that she would be ultimately prevent me from being able to use the remaining site unless it was a motorhome. She said, and I quote, "Oh, that doesn't matter to me". I responded that it did matter to me, but that if she was willing to pay for both sites, we could certainly move her. She had made several trips choosing the site she currently occupied and didn't think I was being fair. She remains in the site she originally chose.

I have campers living here. If they construct anything on their site, you can assume that it was approved by me. I want the park to reflect a certain atmosphere and I have been known to tell people to clean up or get out. I have a camper with an unusual style of fencing made out of pallets. She has planter boxes on top of her fence and it will eventually become a living fence. I don't find it unsightly, knowing what it will eventually become. It is straight and sturdy. I had a pending camper ask me to remove it for the weekend, as she did not want to stare at it all weekend. 

I almost let the words in my mind loose and say, "Well, avert your gaze and look at something else". I didn't, in my attempt to be diplomatic. I looked at her reservation and realized that she wasn't even facing the fence in question. Problem solved. 

That didn't annoy me as much as the man coming into my store with a naked face to ask which site he would occupy in a couple of weeks. On my door is a big sign with a neon green background and bold letters in black. It is at eye level and would be right in your face when you grab the handle to the door. It says "DO NOT ENTER UNLESS YOU HAVE A MASK COVERING YOUR MOUTH AND NOSE". Why would anyone assume they were exempt? Beyond that, why would you presume to continue standing in my door with your naked face when I tell you to go outside? Twice. Then why would you think it would be a good idea to try to "educate" me about safety and corona virus?

This man was brave, even in the faced of a masked mad woman. He confided to me that I was worried about the wrong parts of the face to mask. He claims that it is the eyes and ears spreading the virus. I literally screamed at him to get the (insert really bad word) out of my store. He was still grinning like the fool that he is when he left. How stupid can anyone get? This must be why surgeons wear masks over their ears and eyes, right? It will be interesting to see if he shows up for his reservation and if he comes equipped with a mask to cover his mouth and nose.

More interesting will be how I handle myself ....


Season Ending

 Labor Day weekend marks the end of the camping "season". That's not to say that people are not camping until next season, just that the hectic rush of getting ready for the weekend is relaxed. Under normal circumstance, we would be shutting down the pool. Since we never opened the pool this year .... that is no longer necessary. We have plenty of projects going into fall to keep busy with.

But the urgency is less impending. It is like getting your home ready for company EVERY weekend.

 This means my home is neglected. I spent an entire day just dusting. No kidding here, I dusted ALL DAY LONG. My space isn't even that big and the amount of dust collected in the vacuum was beyond belief. This means I am a bad housekeeper? Maybe. Or maybe I am just limited in my energy level. In years past I tried more, but the older I get the more I realize the value of a good nap!

My naps have replaced my writing and reading time. I miss it, but after my cardiac event in March, I have realized that I can't continue to push myself physically anymore. Well, I suppose I could, but the results would not be pleasant. I am looking forward to cold weather and being confined inside. May sound strange, but I feel this way, about this time every year. I know it won't last and I will have cabin fever as soon as I catch up on sleep and have more energy.

Someone recently asked me why I have four dogs to care for if I am so tired. I have four dogs because I love dogs and they add so much to my life. I never set out to have four, it just happens. Every time we lose one of our pets, we both say that three dogs or two dogs is more than enough. We agree that we do not "need" another pet. Then one of us will add to the pack. Usually it is me. But you might recall that my Christmas present from HeWho loves me was Eddie almost 4 years ago. Toni Louise was his rescue from the animal shelter about 10 years ago. He was just going there to "look" at her. I knew she would be coming home with him and she is very much his dog. She loves me, too. I do feed her and bathe her, but at the end of the day, she prefers the company of her master. She tolerates her house mates mostly because she knows that I am the alpha here.

As I sit here sipping coffee in peace, I look over at a sleeping puppy and my heart swells with so much love. He has wormed his way into the pack and charmed them all into loving him. Toni won't admit it, but she recently went after Martha, the boy cat for tackling Bo and biting him. They were playing, but she thought he was hurting Bo.

Bo has not been a cuddly puppy. He is very active, running and leaping everywhere. He is only still when he is sleeping. But, lately he has started draping himself over my shoulder when we are winding down after a long day. I will arrange myself on the sofa, a doxie on either side  and he will leap up on the back of the sofa and nose his way onto my shoulder. He will be a great neck warmer this winter. I usually scoop him up at bedtime to put him in his kennel. I kiss his little head and tell him good night and he lays down and goes to sleep. I doubt I would be able to get much rest if he was in my bed.

Last night it was raining. I opened the back door for that last trip out. Toni Louise is afraid of thunder and stood just out of reach, lest I force her out. Eddie and Cujo had already followed the heels of HeWho was bound for bed. But my courageous little Bo scooted right out there and took care of business. Then he ran back inside and ran to the bedroom before I cold pick him up for our bedtime ritual.

I lifted my doxies to my bed and then turned to look for Bo. I couldn't find him and came back out to the kitchen to work my way back to the bedroom. His little kennel has two doors. One on top and another  one on the side. I use the top one, as it is bigger and easier for me to lower him down. I didn't think he could get in his kennel on his own, but that is where he was! Bo loves routines and it was time to go to bed.

All this to say that, WiFi willing, I will be reading and writing more now that the big rush is over!

Thursday, September 3, 2020

The Sweet Smell Of Vomit!

Hi, Cujo here again. So, I told you that Mom left Toni Louise and me here while she took Eddie and Bo. When they finally came home, Eddie told me all about the trip and the vet and how Mom had to raise the hood of the car to make it start. I could hardly believe it. The part about Mom and fixing the car! Mom has always said that the car was just for her to drive, not maintain. She doesn't even put gas in it!

Eddie says the trip started out okay. He was sitting in the front seat with Bo and Mom was driving. He told me that Mom kept one hand on them and one hand on the steering wheel and her eyes on the road. He thinks that is why she did not see Bo vomit. She smelled it, though. It was awful, he said. The smell. He said he couldn't help it and he started whining to let her know about and then he couldn't seem to stop! He whined all the way to the vet's clinic.

At first Mom thought that Eddie was the vomiter (is that a word?). You know, because of all the crying. He said they were on a curvy road and Mom had trouble finding a place to pull over. She scooped up the mess in some tissues while she was gagging and flung the vomit in a ditch. Not the tissue, my mom does not litter! This is when Bo vomited again. There was a lot of vomit there on the car seat and Mom asked Eddie how a little guy such as Bo could have that much in his little belly. Mom had to stop two more times!

I kind of feel sorry for Bo, but I really feel sorry for Mom and Eddie! They made it to the vet clinic and a nice girl came out with paper towels and Mom got all of the vomit off the seat. She wasn't able to get the vomit that ran down the side of the seat, but she opened all the windows in the car while we waited our turn to go inside.

The nice girl took hold of our leashes and was going to leave Mom outside while we went in. Bo was okay with that. He likes everybody. But Eddie sat down hard and refused to move. He said he did not know these people and he was not going anywhere without Mom! So, the girl said Mom could come in. Eddie still wouldn't budge, so Mom picked him up and carried him in.

Eddie told me how much he weighs and now I am afraid to get on the scales! Sixteen pounds!! Eddie is only supposed to weigh twelve pounds and Mom has been fussing at us for stealing puppy chow from Bo's bowl. It is quite tasty, let me tell you. But, Mom keeps telling me I am getting too fat and it is not good for my back. My back feels just fine. I do not engage in tricky behavior such as jumping. I rarely get in a hurry (unless Bo is eating and moves away from his bowl). I make Mom lift me onto the couch to sit next to her. She can just forget about those doggy steps. Eddie and Bo use them, but I have no intention of learning how. I am only supposed to weigh ten pounds. Mom says I feel heavier than Eddie. This is not good! 

The vet was a lady and Eddie tells me she was quite nice. He sat in Mom's lap while the vet checked Bo out. Bo weighs five and a half pounds and the vet and the technician both agreed that he was a fine specimen of a puppy. Bo liked all the attention he was getting and didn't even try to nibble on anyone until the vet wanted to look in his mouth. Then he got two shots. He whimpered just a little and then it was Eddie's turn.

Eddie has had a scaly rash on his belly (Mom calls it his undercarriage, I don't know why). The vet rubbed Eddie's belly and got real close to take a look. Some of the scales came off, like when Mom brushes his hair and she saved them. Then, even weirder, she cleaned out his ears and saved that! I know that Mom picks up our poop and I thought she was making a collection or a craft, but I saw her throw the bag in the dumpster. I was beginning to worry about this habit of hers.

Eddie says before he cold get back to Mom he got a shot, too! He said it wasn't too bad. Then the vet took his scaly skin and his ear wax away and then came back and told mom that he has a yeast infection in his ears and a staph infection on his belly. He says that they talked about shots and shampoo and Mom chose the shampoo to start. He was happy to hear that!

Eddie was ready to leave, but they had to wait for shampoo and Bo's worm medicine to go home with. Then they decided that Mom could also give Bo his booster shot next month. "Did you know that Mom is a nurse?" Eddie asked me. I said she is not, she does not work in a hospital or doctor's office and I don't want her to. I found out later that she is, she just would rather stay home with all of us dogs.

So, they all got into the vomit smelling car with all the windows down and Mom was all set to come home and the car would not start! Mom called Dad and asked what to do. She did not want to wait for him in what she called the Vomitmobile, so he told her how to lift the hood and which wires to play with. She did it!! She fixed the car. I found this to be incredible. I heard Mom tell Dad that she refused to drive the car again until he fixed it for good and then "detailed the interior". Not sure, but I think it might have something to do with vomit smell.