Thursday, October 8, 2015

Profoundly Annoyed

Yesterday was such a productive day. We finished the painting of the existing playground equipment and started the building of the platform for the toddler slide. I weeded and mulched two of my gardens and nearly filled the registration book for this weekend.

So, why am I so annoyed? No matter how I try, I cannot make my phone and computer communicate to download the pictures I took. My body ached all night from shoveling mulch, but that was to be expected. My other annoyance has to do with a camper or two .........

So, there I was late yesterday afternoon, in my front garden mulching away, trying to get finished while I still had light. A car enters the campground. I heard it because he paused and revved his engine loudly (right there in front of me!!), then proceeded into the full hook-up area at warp speed. Tired and hungry, I was in no mood for this.

I have some young men staying here as they work in the area, so I knew the destination of my speeder. I grabbed my keys and drove to the site to find about 9 young men sitting and standing around a picnic table. As I drove up, two went inside the camper. Now, this particular site has 4 people registered to stay. The sign at the entrance of the campground clearly states that ALL visitors must report to the office BEFORE entering the camping area. This is pretty standard in any campground. Takes just minutes to do this and prevents any misunderstandings. The speed limit is posted throughout the campground, as well as stop signs and signs bringing children on bicycles to one's attention.

I asked the remaining young men who had just come into my park disregarding all the posted signs. Like a group of school aged children they all point to the camper. This only made me madder. I told them to get the guilty party. This prompted the young man who owned the camper to tell me that they were merely visitors, as this fact excused them. One young man came out, he looked to be too young to even drive, but was probably in his late teens, early 20's. I asked him what he thought he was doing, speeding through my park. He grins and says he wasn't driving. Really, like this was funny to him.

The culprit finally appeared and I pointed out to him that he had violated every rule posted. He SMIRKED at me. This prompted me to want to tell him he had 5 minutes to get in his vehicle and SLOWLY leave my park and to NEVER return. It took all of self control not to burn rubber and violate my own rules as I drove away. Smirk at me!

But wait ....... it gets even worse. Intending to take a shower and throw a meal together, I stop to tell He Who doused the weed pile with fuel and watched it burn to watch the black car and make sure it exited within 5 minutes, lest I call a deputy to escort them out. I finish dumping the mulch into the garden and as I am putting my tools up, He Who might look like a millionaire comes to tell me that he has spoken to the culprits and told them to consider my words a warning. YES HE DID!

I went a little ballistic. I might have thrown a few things in his directions, but all I had handy was a shovel and that may have left some permanent consequences. To say I was mad is an understatement. Sometimes my husband is an idiot! I took that shower and viciously attacked my dirty feet, wondering what the little Asian lady who administered my pedicure would have said at the condition of said feet. Cleaning is cathartic, so I attacked the tub while I was in there.

I face timed the bride to complain to her. She calmly reminded me that he was just being himself. He came in as I was telling her to let me know that he had gone back and made the young men leave. I relented and made supper.

As we sat watching TV, the phone rang. It was the same lady I had talked to early in the afternoon. She wanted to tent camp for one night and would not arrive until after closing time. I gave her all the information and even offered a discount for AARP. We saw her on the monitor as we were eating supper. This made me assume that she was all set up in the tent site. She wanted to know the password for the Wi-Fi. Also the keycode for the bathrooms. There is no keycode on my bathrooms, and I assumed she might not have visited the restroom yet and was just asking in case while she asked about the Wi-Fi. There is no password for our Wi-Fi. "But, it is asking for a password." she says. I tell her what name should have popped up when she was looking for one to log onto. She then tells me the name of the campground across the interstate. She took my registration packet and then went to my competitor and stayed. This was annoying, as well.

Dare I even leave the office today? Or perhaps I should just leave the property and stay gone all day!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Millionaire and His Shotgun

The happy couple. The pearls round her neck are the same ones her sister wore in her wedding. The ones The Millionaire gave his wife.

Games on the dance floor. Isn't my new son-in-law handsome? We are so happy to have him in our family.

Okay, back to what passes as normal in the life of a campground owner. It has been unusually drab, dreary and chilly for the past few days. The old dog has whined incessantly. I can't seem to make him content. I have tried holding him, feeding him, putting him in our bed, taking him out for a walk ....... nothing seems to help. Having to stay inside makes me crazy with his whining. He is not in any pain, just not content.

For that very reason I spent a lot of time out in the cold spray painting the playground equipment. Lots of bright colors out there now. The slide is a bright blue and the ladder is orange. The climbing structure is a color called Keylime and accented with a turquoise color called Seaside. I am ready to start building the structure that will accommodate the toddler slide. This will be red and the slide is green. I think I may have covered all the colors!

The painting is the easy part and the part that is most gratifying. The weed overgrowth in the pea gravel is harder to deal with. I am hoping for a good soaking rain to loosen those roots. Still need another load of gravel. I thought about using the mulch made of old tires, but have read some articles about the toxins released while the kids play. Decided to go with the pea gravel that is already there and just add more.

I was walking idly along after painting. I noticed that the boardwalk needed a good weed whacking. I decided to just start pulling the weeds instead of going back in to listen to the old dog whine. I was grabbing the grass near the roots and pulling it up. I was making good headway when I noticed some movement right where I had just slipped my fingers behind some grass and pulled. A snake .... a baby water moccasin. Having no tools handy, I called He Who kills snakes. I told him it was a very small snake. No bigger around that a pencil and about 5 inches long. It was still striking at me, despite it's small size.

I expected him to come with a shovel or hoe. That's what I would have done, that's probably what most people would have done. I would have killed it myself, but was afraid I wouldn't be able to find it when I returned with a shovel. He came out with his shot gun. The same shotgun he carries when he patrols the pond searching for the muskrat that plagues his existence. He shot the tiny little snake and blew it to pieces. Overkill??

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Millionaire And His Wife .....

 One of my favorite pictures so far. This is the bride being escorted by her son and her dad. I just noticed that the father of the bride has his hand in his pocket. I guess he does look like a millionaire.

The millionaire giving his baby girl away. I was already crying at this point.

We met back at the hotel for brunch the morning after the wedding. We decided to go ahead and pull out of the RV park we were in and park at the hotel, lest we incur late charges. We had my son's car, so I drove it ........ without a driver's license, what with my purse being at home in Missouri.

After a detour to my son's house to say goodbye to his girls ....... actually, they wanted to see the RV and the dogs, not us so much ........ we set out for home. By now the dogs were accustomed to being in the RV while it was moving. We all assumed our previous seating arrangements and I listened to an audio book while The Millionaire drove.

The trip seemed so much longer on the way home. I would try to sleep, but it seemed every time I dozed The Millionaire would pull over for some reason or another. On the last gas stop, he spied a Baskin Robbins. He went in to fulfill his dairy needs and I gave out dog treats and settled down the canines. We were sitting there, content to wait on the ice cream cones when a car backed out and hit the front of our ride!!

Woke me completely up. I texted The Millionaire to come out, only to discover that he had left his cell in the RV. So I had to acquire some shoes and hold back some dogs as I exited to view the damage. Actually, I played the little wife card and told the couple I had to get my husband. He was holding one cone and paying for them when I told him we had been hit. He informed me that he had to get his ice cream before he came out. I felt a little silly as I headed back out with a cone in each hand.

They had more damage than we did. No reports were filed, no police called. Just an accident and all parties went on their way. The Millionaire reported that the headlamps worked better after the hit, so all was good.

We arrived home at ??o'clock. It was probably close to midnight. We were both so tired we left our cell phones in the RV and after the dogs ran in gleeful circles around the back yard we fell into bed and slept blissfully until Oscar woke me at 6 am.

Back to same old routine here at the kampground. I have managed to unload the rig, do all the laundry and cook some dinners while mowing, gardening and answering the phone:
"Do y'all allow campers there?"

The Millionaire has been dealing with a sewer problem since returning. He poured tons of chemicals down the main and routed endlessly. He ordered a new router before we left and it waited our arrival. Let the record show that wife of The Millionaire had suggested just paying the city to have the big router on their truck come out and just take care of it.

The Millionaire insisted on trying to break through the rocks that were blocking the flow. Yesterday he called the city truck out to take care of it and in minutes it was done. The Millionaire had to admit that his wife was right. (AS USUAL)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Big Day

After a fitful sleep I awoke the day of the wedding and quickly got ready to be at the hotel by 10 am, per the instructions of the bride. I was delivered on time and could see the room from the van. Her dress was hanging in the window. The room was filled with bridesmaids in various stages of being made ready. Hair was being done elsewhere and make-up was being applied in her room. It was a little bit of chaos. My daughter-in-law was acting as the bride's personal assistant and was dealing with all the last minute details.

Me? My role was a sounding board for anything the bride wanted to vent. You know you can always holler at your mom. That is the one person who loves you more than anyone and will forgive anything. The photographer was right in the midst of it all grabbing candid shots. I could usually catch him when he tried to get me. I am a little worried about the times I missed him, though.

I had to lace up the back of the dress. I watched a video while I was having my pedicure and it looked simple enough. Between the picture taker stopping me and the bride asking if I knew what I was doing, things began to feel a little complicated. I toyed with the idea of placing my foot in the small of her back to tighten it, but decided against it. Mothers and daughters, you know ......... After I was all done she had the matron of honor reassure her that my work was correct. The bridal party left for pictures and I was suddenly without anything to do. Thought about a nap, but I had to get dressed myself.

My daughter-in-law treated me to a professional make-up. I was slightly disappointed, since I did not look any younger when I was done. I stuffed myself into the fake Spanks I had purchased. This was a very undignified procedure, but once on, they did not come off for the next eight hours! My dress fit perfectly and I ditched the hose. One of the bridesmaids put leg make-up on my legs!

After more pictures with the families and more standing around, it was finally time for the actual ceremony. My son escorted me to my seat and shortly after that my granddaughters came down the aisle holding the roses designated for all those loved ones who had gone on to heaven. I had one of my Dad's rings on my finger and missed his presence as I sat waiting for my baby daughter to enter on the arms of her daddy and her son.

The processional song was "I Can't Help Falling In Love With You". Tears welled in my eyes as I watched her Dad hand her to the groom. I was doing okay until my new son-in-law choked up saying his vows. I gave up and just let the tears fall. I couldn't help but wonder about the make-up my daughter-in-law paid for. Fifty bucks! Running down my cheeks.

The reception was so much fun. My little girl can plan and execute a wedding! The DJ was great and Adrienne and Gavin had a dance that was choreographed by his dance teacher. My sweet boy has got some moves! Not to be outdone, granddaughter Zara danced her little heart out all night long. I danced with granddaughters and grandson. It just occurred to me that I never got a dance with the father of the bride!

Rumor has it that someone said the man I married so long ago looked like a millionaire. Must have been the haircut and head massage, or the tuxedo. I suppose I can now call him He Who Looks Like A Millionaire. Or not.

It was a magical night and I can't wait to see the pictures.

This is just a taste. The granddaughters. Jada, Maya, Layla and her best friend, Allie. That is Zara in the middle.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Day Two and Day Three

Day Two dawned bright and early with a cranky old dog demanding to go out. I crawled out of the bed (unwillingly) with the old guy in my arms. I had hoped the others would wait a bit, but Toni and Cujo decided to go out with Oscar. Wall-E, the gentleman, stayed in the bed with He Who sleeps.

As I struggled with Toni and the tangling of the leashes, I figured it was the least I could do, since He Who drives did all the driving. So, I opened the door and nearly fell out. The steps did not come out as they were supposed to. It was still dark out and I was in my night gown. I was hoping no one would be out and about as I waited for the canine peeing to commence. I did not turn on any lights and am quite sure my re-entrance to the RV was interesting, if not spectacular. I am short with short limbs. I am old with old joints.

I did not think it would be possible to go back to sleep, but I did. After showering and drinking a minimal amount of coffee, the Bride collected her parents for lunch. Lunch ended and the father of the bride was deposited back at the camper to tend dogs and nap while the mother of the bride ran errands with the bride. Ate a sandwich upon my return and fell into bed.

Little did I know that the next day would be even more hectic!! The mani/pedi event was on the schedule, then lunch with some of the bridesmaids, including my beautiful granddaughter and her mom, my beautiful daughter.

Layla, my granddaughter, had her very first pedicure and informed her mom that this would need to be a regular thing. The man taking care of Layla's beautiful feet took one look at my calloused and grass stained toes and heels and proclaimed that he would definitely NOT be doing my pedicure. I guess he does not like a good challenge!

Freshly skinned and painted we hit the sushi bar with gusto. Well, not Layla. She picked daintily at her food and I ate what she didn't ........ me being one not to waste. I polished off a basket of soy beans like a starving cow. Could be that the bride did not allow me more than a few sips of coffee before she spirited me away.

The men had haircuts and head massages, then met at my son's house to prepare the food for the rehearsal dinner. My son and daughter-in-law graciously offered their home for the event. A big tent graced the back yard and tables and chairs were rented to host the 60 or so in attendance. It was a Mexican themed dinner, so there was lots of chopping and dicing of meat and veggies.

I met the best of the best men (there were two) and he is single! I don't know why this man is single, because he would be quite a catch. He was a trooper, let me tell you. He worked all day in the kitchen and even washed all the dishes. I love a man with dishpan hands! Such a shame I don't have any more daughters. I do like to pick my own sons-in-law. My first one is the best! I didn't pick Chad, but must say that my daughter did a great job!

The massive amounts of food proved to be way too much, but the kids will have plenty of food for the week! The dinner was a huge success and we left for our temporary home pleasantly full and ready for bed. He Who loves me even handled the dogs so I could simply fall into bed. Too bad sleep evaded me ........

Monday, September 28, 2015

Day One

I opened the door to my backyard and let the dogs out this morning. No collars, no leashes, no worries. I fed and watered them and went back to bed. What a luxury!!

Home sweet home after a whirlwind trip to be with our children and celebrate the wedding. It all started out so well. I was so prepared. After packing in a suitcase for the past two years and sitting on ready to go for my Dad, you would think that going in the motor home would be a breeze. I had three days to load and load I did.

I had a system. Start in the back and work forward. Make the bed and load the bathroom, all the while filling the closets. Yes, this one has three!! I did not forget anything for the dogs or He Who depends on me for his wardrobe. All the dresses for the wedding went in first.

So sure I had thought of everything, I was confidant that the trip would be a breeze. I awoke very early, showered and loaded all the last minute toiletries along with my furry babies. Oscar was pleased to go, walking right up to the steps and waiting to be lifted up the steps, Cujo wasn't so sure how this would work, but he followed us in along with Wall-E. I had left Toni Louise until last. She is sneaky, this lone female dog of ours. She is the escape artist of the pack. So, imagine my horror when He Who, I sometimes wonder about, opens the door and lets Toni out into the parking lot, assuming she will follow the example of her siblings and simply get in the motor home.

She ran, our willful canine did run. First she meandered through the tent area. She saw us and would even stop, letting us get close before running again. I picked up a brown leaf and dangled it in front of me calling "treat, treat" while He Who drives was giving chase by car. She is a sly one.

Finally we were on the road. I was on the couch with the canine contingent, since Toni thought it would be fun to ride on the dash in front of the driver. Oscar was happy to lie on my feet propped on the couch and Wall-E lay beside my legs. Now, Wall-E is usually our carsick baby. He has learned not to look out the windows, being a savvy guy. Cujo was just happy to be in my lap. He was so excited to look out the window at the traffic go by. He stood on his hind legs and watched excitedly for a long time before settling in on my lap.

Cujo felt unusually hot to me. He is always like a little furnace, but I kept touching the other dogs to determine if he was too hot. I was listening to an audio book with my head back and my eyes closed. My feet up on the couch, legs crossed at the ankles when suddenly my lowers legs felt very warm .......... and wet. Cujo threw up on me.

Wall-E, savvy dog that he is, tip-toed out of range, carefully avoiding any fall-out. Toni Louise, escape artist and decidedly socially clumsy wagged her long tail through the incident and splashed a sleeping Oscar with Cujo's stomach contents. This also helped spread the obnoxious odor. I knew better than to bring my calamity to the attention of the driver. No worries about him smelling anything or even hearing me through the din of the radio. I disengaged myself and grabbed the roll of paper towels and began cleaning.

I packed too many bath towels, thank goodness. I was able to clean it all up and lay a towel on top of the affected area of the couch. I fixed myself a big mug of iced tea and settled in the passenger seat where there was a cup holder. The bottom of the mug tapered to fit in the hole, but was still pretty top heavy. Cujo staggered to my side and demanded to be picked up. I settled him in my lap and Oscar stayed on the couch along with Wall-E, but Toni Louise jumped into my lap and knocked the tea onto me.

So, in the third set of clothes for the day, I was resigned to sitting on the couch with the dogs and no beverage. My mind was busy cataloging everything I had packed when it occurred to me that I had forgotten my purse. We were almost to Iowa on I-35. My purse had all the cash we intended to spend in it. I have no idea why I decided to share this with the driver, but I did.

He takes the exit we were approaching. "What are you doing?" I say. He was going to turn around and go back after over 4 hours into the trip! We had our credit cards, it wasn't the end of the world. I doubt I would need ID if I decided to order a glass of wine. The only need for my ID would be in the event of an accident and I had decided that after the morning I had, it would not be likely.

The rest of the trip was long and punctuated with road repairs and many potty breaks. The hooking of the leashes was a trick with Toni. She would dance excitedly, while the others stood patiently to be hooked up. As soon as she was hooked up, she would set out to tangle all the leads together. Soon as I fixed that she would wind herself around my legs. This made every stop longer than it needed to be. The rain started as we entered the state of Minnesota, slowing us down again.

At 5:30 or so my phone rang. It was the campground that had our reservations. I was scolded for being there yet. Really. She did not want to park us after dark. This park does not handle travelers off the road. Reservation only. After determining that we were only an hour away she told me she would come out and open the gate for us upon our arrival and then "see what we could do".

There was plenty of light left for parking when we got there and I went in and took care of the bill while my driver waited with the dogs. I suppose they were not accustomed to parking big rigs with drivers that actually know how to back in, so the lengthy process they expected took only minutes. The sites were nice enough, if a little tight. I was sorely disappointed to pay nearly $50 a night and have no internet at my site, but .........

This when I discovered I had forgotten our food I had planned to cook for our supper. We didn't tow a vehicle, with all the kids being close by. But we were sort of stranded and at the mercy of the kids. The bride and groom brought food, along with our grandson, the boy of Wall-E.

Boy and dog were equally ecstatic to see one another. Lots of tail wagging and smiles ensued. I mean the dog ....... the dog was grinning at the boy. I swear to you, that silly white dog with the goofy ears was so happy to see that child. Never have I seen such a bond exist. When Gavin is there, we no longer exist as far as the dog is concerned. He loves that child as much as the child loves him.

And so Day One of the big adventure was. TV did not work that night and no internet ..... we had to talk to each other, meaning I had to repeat everything I said twice! Day Two to follow.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Ready To Go!

Time to put my happy face on and head north! I know my Daddy will be smiling down at us this weekend as we celebrate the marriage of Adrienne and Chad.

The dresses are done and I only need to load in our clothes and toiletries. Just one day till we take off, then I can plant my derriere in the co-pilots seat and read and sleep to my heart's content. Conversation is not the strong point of He Who drives.

Since he got the hearing aide stuck in his ear and had to go to the ER to have it removed, he has conveniently "lost" the device, the better to not hear his wife speak. He prefers to crank up the music and let his mind drift as he drives. I actually enjoy snoozing on and off. That being said, Winter draws near and I assure one and all that I will find the hearing device. Oh, yes, I will.

The park is mowed and groomed and we will be leaving it in very capable hands. DJ and Andrea will be the temporary hosts and I promise that I will not give the park a second thought!

Only big job will be the washing of the canine contingent tomorrow. We did nail clipping tonight and one can handle just so much trauma. Actually, I didn't even attempt Wall-E. He gave me the stink-eye while watching me clip the others. I am hoping to launch the attack after he falls asleep. I can usually get 2 or 3 done before he tries to bite the hand that feeds him.

The ankle swelling has subsided and the itching is almost gone. The shoe fits!