Sunday, May 31, 2009

Duck,Duck............Pigeon

A new resident to the campground, this pigeon has been hanging around all weekend. I wonder if it is a female and if she might have a nest in the barn. She/he has been sort of following love of my life. The first time we saw her/him was on our truck. Just sitting there. I was called out to snap a picture, but couldn't get a good shot. The color of it's feathers tend to blend with the surroundings here. This morning I saw the pigeon on the fence that surrounds the dumpster, so I grabbed my trusty camera and went out to greet my new friend.
I got the cold shoulder here as I tried making a cooing sound and offering the bird my arm. I would probably have wet myself if she/he had accepted the offer and climbed on!

The pigeon remains safely out of reach as he/she watches me with that funny one eyed view. I think the bird was perched on the backyard fence last night when I took the dogs for their midnight potty ritual. They all had their fur on end and were barking as they gazed skyward. Wonder if the pigeon will befriend them? Maybe Emmy as she is small enough to not be intimidating and possesses a gentle soul.

Bah Humbug!

Supposed to be the most wonderful day of the week for me. I am not singing my song today. It only takes one nasty attitude to ruin a mood.......

I awoke and downed my coffee, hurried through my bathroom cleaning chores; all too aware of the time slipping away. I wanted to paint. A new fence went up yesterday and all I want to do is paint and plant flowers. Pat and Eugene are currently my most favorite people in the world! Pat decided that I needed some thing to prevent anyone from taking a corner by a deep ditch too sharp and maybe ending up with their camper in said ditch. Pat doesn't just speculate, he acts. I had no idea what was happening on that corner until Deb (Pat's love) came in and needed screws. Deb is a real estate guru and can see the park with new eyes. She actually gets what I am saying when I think a garden idea out loud.

My new rustic fence was almost done by the time I got to go and take a look. I took photos, I did, and the fact that this computer is not allowing me to post them is another source of irritation. I don't open until 10 on Sundays and I went down to my new fence with my barn red paint and got to work. I was just finishing when the first car pulled in, followed by another. Swimmers. Pool doesn't open until 11, yet here they are bright and early. Now I am stuck inside until 6.

The sewer pipe has been replaced in most of the park. There is one section left and we are loathe to dig it up mid season, but it looks like we will have to. Love of my life spent the better part of last week augering what he thought to be a root. Instead he pulled out several pairs of underwear and some other lovely items that you don't want me to share. It is still blocked and we are trying to wait until the weekend traffic leaves before adding the pressure washer to the auger to force out the clog. This is an unpleasant smelly event.

A seasonal camper approached my husband early this lovely morning to demand that the problem be resolved immediately. This particular gentleman argues annually over the bill and has no problem what so ever in asking for special favors. Always wants something done and doesn't pay until billed repeatedly. His son also pays late. I wanted to tell him that we would take care of it in the same timely fashion that he chose to pay his bill. Instead, love of my life started up the auger and power washer and treated said family to a taste of what happens when you begin this process. This is currently the highlight of my day.

So, the son's lovely bride came into the office to tell me that she expects this problem to be resolved by the time she returns next weekend. Before she could elaborate I reminded her that she owed me for the LP bottle that had been filled for her the previous day. While I ran her credit card she advised me that her family has decided that we need to dig up the entire sewer system and replace it. I smiled sweetly and told her that I would love nothing more than to have a brand spanking new system, but due to the fact that some of my clientele was loathe to pay their bills I could not afford to do so. Then I batted my eyes ever so innocently at her.

Usually a good comeback will soothe me. Not today. They paid their annual bill 6 months late and I know when it is due again I will have to make repeated calls for them to pay it. These particular campers treat me like a servant to them and most of the time I find it a little amusing. Not today.

The local yokels are out in force for a day of swimming. The crowd today is familiar. These are the ones who will arrive as early as possible and stay until I lock the gate on the pool. They want to be sure to get their money's worth of sun and chlorine puckered skin. Their presence guarantees a mess pool side. There will be cigarettes butts all over the cement apron surrounding the pool. Doesn't matter that I have provided receptacles for just that purpose, These rednecks prefer to ground them out pool side. I will have to make several walkby's to insure that they don't drop them into the skimmer baskets as I have seen in the past. These folks don't have any infants in tow today and that is good because I am out of the swim diapers. One enterprising individual has signed himself in as "Rusty Nail". I am not impressed.

After a whole week of rain I long to be outside.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

It Is Cherry Picking Time

See the tiny green cherries? I took this photo two weeks ago.
This the tree this morning. Looks like it has been decorated with red balls. I was hoping for a better shot, this one doesn't do it justice.
Here we go, this is a little better. You can see that the cherries are beginning to ripen. I picked a bowlful this morning and in two days I will pick again and they will all be gone by the end of the week. I had never had cherry trees until we moved here. when they start they ripen very fast and will over-ripen and fall to the ground if not harvested. The first time I picked I wasn't sure what was ready and what wasn't. Love of my life decided to help me out and pulled a very red one off the tree and popped it in his mouth. He spit it right back out and told me they weren't ready. These are not sweet cherries. They are tart cherries and used to cook with. They make wonderful cherry pies and freeze well.
They are easy to pick. I have found that if it is ready the cherry will come right off into your hand with no tugging involved. If they offer any resistance I leave them for the next picking. They are easy to spot.......they are red. I find myself circling the tree over and over and finding more each time. The trees aren't very tall and look a little "scrubby". When in blossom they are really lovely, but the wind blows the blossoms off quickly. They aren't really pretty trees as trees go. They provide very little shade, but cherry pie more than makes up for that.

If you are wondering, as I did, why the birds haven't eaten them........... We have a huge mulberry tree almost in our back yard. I considered getting rid of it because of the mess it makes until I read somewhere that the birds prefer mulberries over other fruit. Welcome to my little eco system. Gemlin, the cat is curious, but like love of my life, it took only one little taste to leave cherries alone.

Forecasting Weather...........or Whether?

"Is it going to rain this weekend" asks the voice on the phone. If I could look into the future I wouldn't be running a campground and cleaning toilets. That is the response I would like to give. I can't say how many times I have been asked this question. It is like they want a guarantee for their weekend and I cannot supply it for them. I can only repeat what the forecast is as heard on the local broadcast. "Maybe, maybe not" is what I usually say.

The forecast for this weekend was "gorgeous sunny days in the high 80's". I woke up to rain and the air is chilly. Let the complaints begin.............

Last Memorial Day weekend the weather did not cooperate at all and some folks in tents pulled out early. Not a one asked for a refund for their remaining days that were paid for. I would have compensated them with coupons to camp at a later date to be fair, but no one asked. The one that did ask stayed the entire weekend and wanted a full refund because it rained. They didn't get one and were loud and rather rude and haven't been back. Oh well. Ask me "weather" or not I care. On that clever note I will end this post and go clean toilets!

Friday, May 29, 2009

First Impressions.....

I like to make a good first impression. I like for things to be neat and orderly. I work hard on my front gardens and my backyard gets what ever energy I have left. That's not to say it is neglected.... Just not as much care goes into it because it is contained in a privacy fence. I have two frog planters flanking the entrance to greet folks as they come to check in. Hanging baskets adorn the entire front of the building along with my humming bird feeders. Bees and butterflies are plentiful in my front gardens.......................

But, alas, love of my life does not share my vision. Three days ago he took the air conditioner apart to "fix" it. Isn't it lovely? The cans of WD-40 and silicone that grace the top have been deemed useless or empty. Yet....here they sit on top of the non-working air conditioner. This is how he chooses to greet the public. No wonder I need drugs. Three days. I have been trying to wait him out. It is not working. He came up awhile ago and installed another air unit. I would have thought he would have loaded the non working unit into his truck and at least remove it from the front of the building. No. He is mowing now. I can't leave right now but when my pool empties of swimmers and all my weekend guests have checked in I will be hauling the eyesore to another destination.............as I live and breathe.


I confess that I did go peek out the door just now to make sure that it was still there, you know, just in case he reads this.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bills, Bills and More Bills

I used to get 5 electric bills every month..... one for each meter in the park. The company providing service to my area uses those post cards that are perforated, allowing a stub for your record and one to submit with payment. Every month I wait patiently as they come in to pay the bill with one check. It irks me that they don't stick them all in one envelope and send them together. One does arrive in an envelope with all the literature with so much useful information that I immediately toss it. So I think they are aware that all these bills are going to the same address. I have checked the postmarks and they are all mailed within a day or two of each other.... Just one of those things that are annoying to me.

With the renovation of the tent area I have acquired two more meters, so of course two more of the post cards came. Both meters were activated at the same time and were billed a service fee for the 6 days that they were on during the billing period. Each had a different amount. I found this to be confusing so I called the main office for an explanation. I am in a crappy mood and was all set to do battle.............. the service rep who took my call was very nice and looked up the discrepancy right away. Totally diffused my desire to fight! She even wanted info on the campground.

We are expecting another round of what the meteorologist has referred to as "showers" and then it is supposed to be clear skies for the weekend. I am hoping that the sunshine will brighten my current mood!

Rain, Rain, Go Away........

The sky looks bruised, don't you think? It has rained and rained. The gutters have failed at every seam........ Makes me wonder about that hasty install done only to appease me. You will note that the rain barrel is in place with hole in top ready to receive the downspout........ I am thinking an end cap would be a big help, too.

Handy, dandy faucet all ready to receive the hose that will distribute the water to thirsty gardens far away..........
I love the look of the old barrel sitting among the rock and sedum. Last night the downpour stressed every seam as the rain shot straight down from the sky with a vengeance. The water shot out the end and dug out all the mulch and even made a "hole" in the ground. This area is so rocky that the first year I planted I used a pick-ax instead of a shovel to make my holes. I have added topsoil over the years, but every spring I lose some to storms.

We are expecting more showers this afternoon and then it is supposed to be sunny through the weekend. I am a little ambivilant about that.....the air conditioner has expired on me. It is only 57 degrees this morning so that no chocolate has been harmed. Said air unit is in pieces on the front porch......... such a welcoming look. If it is still there when love of my life escapes to work today I will load it in the wheelbarrow and dispose of it myself. I have found that I can move anything with wheels.
I had 7 cancellations from pipeliners yesterday. Put me in a foul mood. I started calling all those on my waiting list and put out the word that it will be first come, first served. I am not holding any more sites. They give a credit card to secure with, but a charge is easily disputed when you have no signature on file. I lost money last weekend due to a no show on two pipeliners and late or no notice on the rest. I do understand that the weather has been a huge factor in moving along to the next area as far as they are concerned; but common courtesy would dictate continued communication with someone holding sites for you......... Maybe I am naive. No, I am considerate.
I choose to be optimistic today. We will see how long that lasts........

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New Friends

My usual habit every morning is to get the coffee ready and log on to read blogs while I enjoy that brief interlude between almost awake and "now I have to work". Today that time was indeed brief, but I did notice that I had acquired a new follower. I always like to check them out and read a post or two.... Well I was cut short this morning because I could see that it was going to rain and I wanted to mow the back yard before it came down. I was interrupted by a guy looking for a site and stopped to take care of him. While I did that the clouds dropped their heavy load and I despaired of finishing my self appointed task of mowing.

I fed love of my life and clear skies crept in so I mowed....and mowed. Feeling quite accomplished I dug up a mound of hostas and some day lilies. I ate with my good friends Pat and Debbie last night and decided that they needed a "view" from the seat I was sitting in. They will have one now. The ground was so wet it was making sucking noises as I dug 18 holes to put in the plants. I was really muddy when I finished so I jumped in the shower. I have pityriasis....again. First time I had it I thought it was poison ivy, but the dose pack of steroids didn't have an effect on the rash. All I can do is treat the symptoms until it goes away.

Be patient as I am setting the background for my afternoon! This rash is all over the trunk of my body and has extended up my neck and on one side of my face. It itches and I am pretty miserable. I opted to not wear any make-up, thinking that it would only aggravate the condition, so needless to say I don't look my best. I have this shapeless pullover type dress that is very comfy and loose and given that my entire torso is alive with this rash I decided to leave off the undergarments...... As love of my life left to go to work I quipped that I would no doubt be busy all day since I had no underwear on.

I have been very busy, to say the least. But back to my new follower.......... I logged on to the site. Backroad Chronicles. They are RVers and her post is about mid Missouri! Not only that, they are staying 13 miles from here in my competitors campground. What are the odds?

I am sitting here fully engrossed in solitaire, scratching occasionally and thinking about going back into the house where I had my laptop all set to read. I was hoping to veg out even though I need to mop the store. I look up when the door opens and all I see is a truck out side. No RV. I wonder if they are tent campers. What a surprise to meet my new followers! We spent a wonderful afternoon chatting away like old friends. I admit that I did tell them they had to stay at my campground next time they pass through this way. They witnessed first hand some of my not so pleasant dealings with the public!

They will be hitting the road again tomorrow morning as they head west. You can find their blog, Backroad Chronicles at www.joyandphil.blogspot.com. Check it out.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happiness is.....

It is the end of a holiday weekend. We had rain all night last night and all the campers were more than ready to leave this morning. I took advantage of this and the very wet ground and tackled the weeds in one of my gardens. It felt good to be outside after being confined to the store for most of the weekend. I love playing in my gardens...............
The colors pop and remind me of a bunch of bright balloons. Balloons make everyone happy.

This makes me unhappy. The camper pulled up in his truck, cigarette dangling from his mouth. "I've got a problem," he says, then inhales deeply. As he exhales in my face he tells me that his site has no electricity. He says he would like to go home, but he needs to put his slide in and can't without electricity. I back away to avoid the smoke he keeps blowing in my face, but he keeps pace with me as he keeps telling me about the electricity. When I can finally get a word in edgewise I tell him that I will send someone to his site. "Well, I hope you do that." he says as he flicks the remainder of the cigarette onto the ground. I almost picked it up and told him to not throw trash on the ground, but he got back in his truck and headed back to his site. Instead, I reminded him not to exceed the speed limit. Some days I just have to pick my battles.
He had told me that he "checked the breaker box" last night after the storm............. He apparently turned the breakers off to a whole row of sites. I guess the other campers attributed this loss of power to the storm, since I had no other complaints. Please don't try to help...........



Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?

Love. It is so easy to say. But, have I really told the people I love how much they enrich my life everyday? How do you maintain a balance so that your words are not insincere?

Relationships are hard to maintain. People drift in to your life and you find a connection and wonder how you have lived this long without those people in your life. Things go along.....life happening and then you suddenly wonder "whatever happened to ...." Sometimes people move to a different location and after awhile you simply lose contact. These are people that you would call on almost daily and think that it was the end of the world when they left. You would solemnly vow to keep in touch, but the letters or phone calls became fewer, until it was only a Christmas greeting you would exchange, then for some reason or another, that would also cease to be. Maybe one year you sent out your holiday card and they did not respond, so the next year you crossed them off your list.

Not long ago, as I sat watching TV alone one evening, an old friend came to mind. I had not talked to her in almost 30 years. On a whim, I looked her up online and found that she still lived where we had met her and her husband, where our toddlers had played together. She took care of two of my children while I was in the hospital giving birth to my last baby. We spent nearly every weekend together the two years we lived there. I was devastated that we were moving away and we both cried for days. I called her. She remembered me and we chatted a few minutes. Whatever connections of the heart we had were gone, though. I was sad to realize that. Just sad, that's all.

It died, that relationship, quietly and mostly unnoticed. Time and distance, I suppose played the biggest factor. But, what about those relationships that die where time and distance don't enter in? What about those relationships that die through neglect or an unintentional slight? How do you mend those relationships? Through words or actions? Confrontation?

My daughters are both very outspoken. Never ask their opinions if you don't want to hear something that may offend you, because they will tell you exactly how they feel. They have been known to hurt each others feelings ( and mine) from time to time. They will hash it out together, though. They are two very distinct individuals with different lifestyles and goals. Neither can pressure the other to change her ways. However, they each respect that about each other and when they do argue it can be very traumatic. I don't like to be in the room. These two love each other fiercely, though and that relationship will always remain intact. No matter how thinly stressed that thread gets, they will always repair it and the knot will grow stronger.

They aren't currently at odds with each other and I only use their relationship as an example. What I am really wondering about are the relationships with friends. I have many people that I consider to be my friends. Each relationship is unique because each one of them is unique. I have friends that I am always on my best behaviour with. I would never vent my real feelings and I would consider those to be my casual friends. Those relationships require minimal maintenance and are pleasant enough, but a little superficial. These people know only the part of me that I am willing to reveal.

Close friends are those who have seen the dark side of your personality and still want to be around you. In turn you get to see their flaws. We all have flaws, but if you remain friends in spite of those flaws you are, indeed, true friends. What happens if you slight that friend and are unaware that you did? Do you ask them if you have offended them or do you wait it out and hope that the old camaraderie will once again come back. I know that from time to time I have had my feelings crushed by ones that I hold near and dear. When I look back at the situation I sometimes realize that I had misunderstood a word or deed entirely and that I should simply let it go. Other times I have been so deeply pierced that I start to think that I am not valued as their friend and I distance myself. I still want that friendship, that relationship to endure, but am not sure how to come to terms with my feelings.

I suppose that we all want to feel like we are valued as friends. I have sensed that a very special and dear friend is feeling this way. How do I make this friend know that his contribution to my my life is far from insignificant and that he is valued more than he will ever know?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I Have Air!

It was hot and muggy yesterday. The pool was afloat with swimmers. I need to mention that the pool had just been filled with ice cold well water. We have a fire hose that delivers the water straight out of our deep well. I was stuck inside the store with a ceiling fan and a small floor fan pointed in my direction. I looked at the thermometer on the wall next to my desk and at one point it had reached 89 degrees in the store. I was sweating buckets and twice told love of my life that I was dying in here. He did not respond to this and I couldn't leave, because I was so busy. Finally I was told by a camper that the Hershey bars were limp and melting............

He sprung into action. Wife is hot, too bad. Melting chocolate.........well, that's another story and calls for action. Unfortunately he was side-tracked with a leaking faucet and a sewer back-up. But morning came along with the window unit for the store. He brought it up to the front of the building, then left to go to work. He said he would install it when he came home tonight. Eugene took pity on me and put in in the window and I screwed it in place. Plugged it in and it tripped the breaker. I still had a fan in the window and it wasn't as hot as yesterday, but I was still bummed out. Eugene was not to be defeated. He took the unit apart and did something involving my blow dryer and a new plug along with some help from Pat. I am cool as a cucumber.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

What Time Zone Are We In?

He went out and then came right back in, "What time zone are we in?" He stood in the open door to ask and I quickly answered, all the while hoping he would not come back into the store!

I have been listening to this little old white haired gent for the past 45 minutes. I think he is a little hard of hearing and all I have to do was nod every now and then. I smile until my face feels frozen. He went into intricate detail about the difference between a Dodge engine and a Ford engine. He waxed eloquent on things like fuel injectors and some kind of ring on something and regulators. I pretended to listen as I searched frantically for my cell phone. I wanted to call myself on the store phone. But, no, I left it in the house.........

On and on he talks about having to remove the pan to get to the whatever and finally taking the whole engine out. Am I being punished for forgetting to stock milk? He came in for milk. I am out of milk. He assures me that he will let his wife have all the milk they have left and they will have breakfast at either McDonalds or Burger King tomorrow. This led to a discussion of the breakfast items available at each place. Then from that he shifted to what can be had at the gas stations along the way. From there he got to the price of fuel and the mileage in each engine and now we are taking said engines apart.

He is on his way to Alaska. His wife has never been. He thinks she will enjoy it. I agree wholeheartily and say so, hoping to end the conversation. No such luck. He has taken his hat off to wipe his brow from time to time and has snow white curly hair. I bet he was quite the lady's man. He reminds me of Pop-Eye, the sailor man, as he talks out of the side of his mouth. I am no longer listening to his words, just watching him.

Finally the engine lesson is over and he moves on to telling me about living in Alaska as a young man before he married. He should really take up blogging or maybe write his memoirs. I am listening again as he tells me the cost of a cold glass of beer in 1963. There were no women to speak of in Alaska at this time and you could rent a room in a boarding house for a dollar a day. The rooms were equipped with twin beds and you never knew who your room mate would be. He said he was never lucky enough to bunk with a woman, then laughed. I laugh with him, thinking that I was only 10 when he was living this adventure.

He pauses and I think he is done.... I want to get all this down before I forget or get too busy with overnighters checking in. But now he goes on to tell me about retro-fitting his fifth-wheel with a big freezer. He removed the couch for this. He plans to fill it with Alaskan salmon and king crab. Lest anyone think that salmon only comes in two or three varieties, I can assure you that this is not the case. He had a 'Forest Gump' moment as he recited all the kinds of salmon and their traits. He counted them off on his fingers. So cute! Oh, no, he is back to truck engines!

Why doesn't the phone ring? It has been ringing every 15 to 20 minutes all day. I wonder if I should open my blog and start writing. No, that would be rude. Solitaire? Maybe , it doesn't make any noise with the mouse................

He is done and off to give the wife the good news about the breakfast in store for her tomorrow. I tell him he is now in the central time zone and bid him farewell.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Life Is Just A Bowl Of....Strawberries

Look what I picked out of my front garden this afternoon. I ate some fresh from the ground. No rinsing, no sugar. So sweet and juicy. I feel so accomplished when I grow my own food!

These strawberries grow in my rock garden and produce twice a year. They seem to thrive on neglect. I sometimes forget to even water them.......
I grew raspberries at our place in Minnesota and they seemed to thrive on neglect also. So, when we moved I brought some young plants along thinking they would do the same here. They all died, though. Probably something lacking in my soil. My hostas thrived and are all over the park now, along with the purple cone flowers.
I had decided that I would only invest in perennials for my garden. I carefully read all the info on the little tags provided and settled on yellow tick seed and a plant called Mrs. Bradshaw for a pop of orange. I scattered marigold seed in between until they could spread. They had become established and were starting to spread nicely after two years. I asked love of my life to bring home some horse manure a friend offered. He did, and I worked it into the vegetable garden beds. He said there was still some in the bed of his truck and asked if he should sweep it into the front perennial garden. I thought there was just a minimal amount left and said yes. There was quite a bit and he scooped it all out onto the bed where everything was just beginning to wake from a cold winter. It burned all my plants up, being way too rich. A camper told me to "throw some strawberry plants" on it, saying they would thrive in the manure. I did because I wanted something other than the weeds I knew would overtake it. I thought the ground to be way too dry and rocky to support the growth for more than one season. They are thriving right there in the front bed along with the tick seed and a few Mrs. Bradshaw plants that have risen from the grave.

Rinse, slice, add a tad of sugar and let them sit. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and life is good.

All Is Ready


The weekend is here and all is ready for the onslaught of holiday campers. The lawns are neatly trimmed..... The bathrooms sparkle and a hint of Clorox wafts through the air. One more chore for me and I will be set. A trip to the local Save-More for hot dog and hamburger buns for my store. Marshmallows, grahams and Hershey bars are all stocked and displayed right next to the check-in counter. All for your camping convenience.

The first photo is my hollow log garden. You can't see the little seedlings of Mexican daisies that will soon grace it will pops of color.

The next photo is a view towards the pond. The pond is stocked with bass, crappie, bluegill, and catfish. My bait fridge is stocked with night crawlers just waiting to go fish. That yellow sign says to SLOW DOWN and watch for children. My speed limit is 10 MPH. These are gravel roads and it can be quite dusty when the weather is dry. Enforcing this speed limit is one of the hardest things to do. The worst offenders are those folks with small children..... go figure. Love of my life has to be spoken to on a daily basis. It is hard to go that slow, but we must set the example!
I have somehow lost the last photo. I still have not mastered this uploading thing. I previewed this and it is not there. I can't arrow down, indicating that it is not there. Last time I did this it showed up several pages down. Day is a wastin' and I must be about my business. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

And So It Begins......

As I sit here marinating in my own sweat, I once again ask myself why I thought this might be fun. The nice gentleman with the white hair is awash with indecision. Not having bothered to make reservations for a holiday weekend he is lucky to have happened in to find me with two cancellations. He has gone for a third look at the available sites......... I wait, longing to jump into the shower and get all the grass clipping and sweat off my body. To make matters worse, I made a quick trip to the potty and thought it would feel good to splash cold water on my face. It did indeed feel wonderful....until I grabbed the hand towel to pat my face dry. Diesel. Smells like diesel. Love of my life must have "washed" his hands, then dried them. So here I sit smelling of sweat and diesel waiting for this man to make up his mind. Could this be a preview of what's to come?

The call for directions last night did not arrive until 9:39. I stayed open for them. Most folks thank me profusely for this consideration. Not her. She was all aglow about their supper they had stopped and had. It was so good they lingered longer than they should have and treated themselves to dessert. Why she felt the need to tell me this I don't know. She was one of those women who are so self absorbed that they forget the world does not revolve around them. I checked her in and headed for the shower and then bed. I drew her a map (all my sites are numbered) and gave her very specific instructions. I knew she wasn't listening to me and I guess I should have made her repeat it all back, given that she seemed to be enchanted with the sound of her own voice.

As I was closing the curtains in my bedroom I watched them pull into the site. I gave them the easiest one. I then took a rather long shower to soothe my aches and pains. Took my time and shaved my legs. During the shower I heard some one knocking on the house door. The dogs were going berserk and I totally ignored it. I dried and went to get my night shirt, peeked out the window. They were still trying to maneuver into the site! It was a pull-thru, for heaven's sake! The name says it all, you pull in, stop, hook up the necessary hoses and you are done. I watched a few seconds of this, chuckling to myself. Went on with my evening of dog cuddling and TV. At 10:30 I hear the roar of the diesel engine as they pull back around the park to make a second attempt at parking the thing. They didn't wave as they left this morning and I find myself not caring that they will probably not be return customers.

I am off to the shower, just a quick one. My white haired gent will have to go home and think about it........ He promised to call me later. I wait with bated breath!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Post Audit Preparation

I am tempted to say I am brain dead, but that can't be true. I can still think, albeit very slowly. Maybe what I mean to say is that my mind is tired. We managed to get all the documentation requested by our friendly IRS. Now it is on it's way to Kansas. I spent most of the afternoon second guessing myself and hoping that what I sent doesn't raise even more questions.

After all the squinting at receipts with a magnifying glass and adding and re-adding columns of figures I was ready to get out of this place. I mowed all morning and moved logs and picnic tables. Then I weeded a garden. Cooked a delightful lunch of hot dogs and french fries while I answered the 6 calls that had accumulated on the answering machine. When love of my life escaped to his job I rearranged all the furniture. I moved everything.....everything. Hope he doesn't trip when he comes home tonight. I am hoping that I have cleaned the slate and won't have to repeat any scrutiny of expenses. Oh, and I should sleep pretty good after all that, too.

Phone rang..........I answer with a cheery "Kan-do Kampground, can I help you?". The caller asks, "Is this a campground?" (Isn't that what I just said?) "Yes, ma'am, it is." Long pause, then I say, "Can I help you?" Then she says, "I need two regular spots and a pop-up spot. We want to all be together and we want to be close to the pool and the bathrooms. My husband is off Friday and he wants to come in around 8 in the morning and get all set up." When she finally stops speaking I ask when she would like these 'spots'. "This weekend," she exclaims "for Memorial Day!" I knew she was going to say that......you get a sense for theses things after a while. "I'm sorry, but I am booked solid for this weekend." I tell the nice lady on the phone. "WHAT?" she screams, "What do you mean?" ( Gee, I thought it was quite clear....) I calmly repeat that I am booked for the weekend. "I have been planning this for weeks and now you tell me that you don't have my spots!" (Planning, you say. Gee, you forget to make reservations and now you are going to blame me. No, I can't say that......... Let's see.......no I can't even write that) "I'm so sorry, we have been booked up for several weeks now. The holiday weekends go pretty fast....." "Well, that doesn't do me a hell of a lot of good, does it?" (Look, lady, I feel I should warn you that my effexor hasn't completely kicked in and I am having trouble being civil....)

Phone just rang again "When I pull in which way do I go?" In reference to....... what? Phone etiquette no longer exists. Who are you and where are you pulling in to? Instead I calmly ask her to repeat herself since I did not understand the question. Apparently she thinks I am hard of hearing and shouts the same exact words to me, then says she is on her way to stay here. I squelch the urge to tell her to pull into the entrance drive and go right back out the exit drive and calmly tell her to simply follow the signs to the office where I will provide her with a map of the park. Then I remember that we are out of maps.................. I will draw her one. It will be a special one just for her. Not quite 2 hours left and I am wondering if I will make it.

There is a bottle of wine in the fridge. Would this be more fun with a nice cool glass of wine? maybe I could wash down my effexor with the wine. No. Ice water isn't doing it for me, so I will switch to coke as I water my front gardens and wait on my campers to arrive. Maybe I shall give them a playful squirt with hose.............

Monday, May 18, 2009

Why Don't You Go Blog!

I am still at it, but I can see a light at the end of the tunnel! I went outside and mowed awhile to clear the head and then was back at it when love of my life came in from hauling rock for the new sites. I must look like I feel......... He suggested that I needed to take a break. "Why don't you go blog, that will make you fell better."

He can be sweet, that man of mine. He used to suggest that I go to my sewing room. I have found a new outlet for my energy, it would appear.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Audit Me

I am slowly revolving in the seventh circle of tax audit hell. Love of my life is in denial. He didn't open the registered letter he signed for and upon questioning about the exact date of said audit would gaze skyward and announce that we had "time".

I found and opened the letter. It contained the list of documentation that we needed to provide. The due date is May 21. Love of my life was sketchy with details after his last appointment, but did say that we needed only to mail the documentation to Kansas City. That much he did get right, but we will no doubt have to over-night this to get it there on time. They want ALL the receipts for THREE years. As tempting as it is to shove them all in a box and send them I am trying to separate them annually and by category. I hope that by doing this I will generate a little good will with the auditor.

This is my "break" today. My brain is still not balanced after my whole Effexor event and I want to cry. I would rather be doing ANYTHING than this. This morning I spent a couple of hours blissfully stacking firewood and pulling weeds. Drew has avoided any contact with the whole mess and is staying out in the park working until well after dark. I hate him; the coward. I have finally gotten all the necessary receipts into piles by year. Now I am going to go in and divide all of 2006 into manageable categories and create a spreadsheet for each one. I keep telling myself that the first one will be the hardest and that I will breeze through 2007 and 2008 because I will know what I am doing by then. Hold that thought. He has now gone to work....in my car. I am thinking I might need to go search his truck for wayward receipts. He has a bad habit of writing notes like phone numbers and such on receipts and sticking them in the visor. I don't really know why...I have NEVER seen him refer back to these notes....ever!

Now that I have vented my frustration I shall get back to the task at hand.............

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Processed Foods

I don't buy a lot of processed foods. Not only are they expensive, but they lack nutritional value. I grow most of the vegetables we eat and freeze the excess for the winter months. I like to make our bread, too. I will occasionally buy some time saving things like a frozen pizza or pot pies just to have on hand when cooking a meal is impossible (Fridays).

Schwanns used to provide the single serve ice cream we sell during the summer; but we stopped ordering from them due to the delivery charges and the fuel charges they started tacking on to the bill. Not only that, they are really expensive and there is a price point you can't exceed in a camp store or you will find yourself with merchandise that will not move. We buy all of our candy and snack items at Sam's and now we simply take a large cooler with us to transport the ice cream. The Schwann's truck stopped here today. He services this area and I see the truck go by every other Thursday on his run (one of the reasons I objected to the fuel charge). Nice man and I feel sorry for him as he is no doubt scrambling to try to get business. I did offer to give out his catalogs to the pipe liners I have coming. He was getting a little insistent that I order something and said to me, "You know we have other products than just ice cream." "I know that," I replied, "but I don't buy a lot of processed food." To which he replied, "It's not processed, it's frozen." I give up. No, I didn't buy any of his frozen offerings.

Since I am on the subject of processed food.......... Have you looked at Pop-Tarts lately? I buy them for the store. They are good sellers to campers with kids on board. Hey, they have 7 vitamins and nutrients! Seven! But back to the subject at hand, these handy-dandy breakfast items now come in a gazillion flavors. I don't have enough shelf space to properly display them. One new flavor--vanilla milkshake-- had me intrigued. I am a lover of all things vanilla. Or maybe not. These were hard to describe. The icing and pastry was predictable, but the gooey inside was so not good. Left an aftertaste of artificial flavoring that begged me to go brush my teeth. I won't be giving a taste test to the remaining assortment of flavors that include chocolate banana split and chocolate chip cookie dough. At least one can justify the fruit fillings if you don't think too much about the sugar.

Pringles also come in a huge variety of child friendly sounding flavors, such as macaroni and cheese. These also are a big favorite among my clientele. Doritos was not to be left behind in this war of adding assortment to your product line. They even had a flavor with no name and a contest to name that flavor. I tried that one, too. Had an aftertaste of ketchup. It was reminiscent of a cheeseburger in a Happy Meal from McDonalds. I like the plain ones. I can dip them in salsa for an added flavor. I prefer plain Lays potato chips, as well. Love of my life likes the vinegar and salt chips and the new dill flavor. All these flavors are artificial and taste artificial to me.

I think I will stick to those flavors of nature that grow in the ground and on the trees. I am patiently waiting for the cherries to ripen. It will happen all of a sudden. I will awaken one morning and the trees will look like Santa is coming. Nature is a wonderful to behold.

Friday, May 15, 2009

So, You Think You Want To Own A Campground?

It is Friday. There are some things you need to know about Fridays if you are considering buying a campground and running it yourself............

1. Your time is not your own. You have to hurry to do anything and get back in that office. Even bathroom breaks are interrupted. You can go hours without one single person coming in the store. But if you try to take a quick trip to the necessary room, forget it. Oh, and don't even think about eating a complete meal.

2. If you are the one "chosen" to man the phone be prepared to have it on your person at all times. You'll be tethered to the central location of the phone and will only be able to go so far from the building. People will call at the oddest hours and assume that you know who they are. Phone etiquette is a lost art. I always identify myself to the party I call whether I know them or not. It is also a good idea to invest in a system with more than one handset.......... they do not do well when left out in the rain.

3. Privacy no longer exists for you. If you don't want folks walking into your living quarters be aware that signs are ignored. Lock the door.

4. Signs are great. They would be even better if anyone read them. Be prepared to go over any and all rules verbally, while encouraging the camper to try and read along with you. Things that are common sense to most of us must be put in writing and then read to those lacking the ability to think about the consequences of their actions.

5. No matter how hard you may try, you will not please every one. There is always that one person who knows every thing there is to know about every thing. This person will always be there to tell you what you should be doing and what you are doing wrong. You must learn to smile graciously while thinking of the responses you would like to give and can't.

6. Most folks will come to your park, check in and pay, then stay their allotted time and leave. You will not remember them. These are the good campers. You will, however, remember the others. These would be the ones that pull out while still hooked up and cause major damage.....
but leave before you see it. Or, the ones that let their children have free reign of the entire facility wreaking havoc and leaving a trail of debris in their path. The same children will run gleefully through your freshly planted vegetable while the parents look on lovingly at how much fun the children are having. If they don't have children of the human variety, these folks will not think twice about letting their dogs relieve themselves on the lawn that is beside your living quarters and is obviously a private area. After the dog is finished they will nonchalantly walk away as if they haven't a care in the world. Oh, yes, these wonderful folks will be etched in your memory....forever!

7. Be aware that not every camper is cut out for the honor system. You must sleep at some point. To facilitate this sleeping action you will install a night registration system that will allow weary travelers to be able to find lodging without your assistance. Having been among the travelers who always stop very late at night we were aware of how this works. You simply fill out the registration and put the money or credit card info in the envelope and drop it in the night box, keeping a copy of the transaction for yourself. It will have "customer copy" written right on it. Never occurred to us to NOT pay for a nights stay. We were so innocent to the ways of the world. After many months I finally figured it out after a rather nasty confrontation with one such "gentleman". You take the registration packet, go park and fill out the information, then forget about it until morning. If you are approached and asked to see such registration, you simply say you were coming in to pay on your way out. There are some folks who actually do pay on the way out. If you approach them and they are defensive and shouting at you....... you have found one that intended to pull out with no intention of paying. Probably over slept.

Like most things in life, there is a counter balance. Sundays are good days... Monday, if it is a holiday.

1. These days are for singing..."It's the most wonderful day of the week....all the campers are leaving and my heart is heaving a sigh of relief.....it's the most wonderful day of the week." I need more lyrics. I hum as I go about cleaning and have been asked why I am humming a Christmas carol. I just smile blankly and tell them my heart is full of good cheer......

2. Winter is very not busy, so you only have to open the store when some one pulls up. If you want to sleep late, you can. You can actually have a conversation without interruption. In winter we hibernate. We eat, then talk about what we should eat next and watch TV. Winter is our "vacation". Just can't afford to go anywhere...... Owning a campground will not make you rich.

3. You get to meet some wonderful people. Kind of like the theme song for "Facts Of Life". "You take the good, you take the bad....." We have friends that include us in their Christmas celebration every year right along with their family. Our doctor became our doctor through the campground.... a better deal for us than him. He gets to see us both at our absolute worst and then insists on giving us a huge discount. People feed us all the time. We could probably treat our selves to a smorgasbord every weekend.

4. I never lack for something to ponder and write about.

5. I did mention good friends, didn't I? Because when put on a scale of pros and cons, it is looking like the pro side is a little light..........

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Strange Bedfellows


Meet my canine companions. The youngest guy is Wall-E. Wall-E is just visiting for a time until his real owner (my grandson, Gavin) moves into a house with a yard for this rambunctious pup to run in. Wall-E lineage is unknown and I have decided that he is a 'Follow' dog. He follows me where ever I go. He has brought a lot of energy into our house and has made me realize how stodgy and old the other two dogs were getting.
Wall-E has his own blog so that he can keep in touch with his boy.
Next in the line-up is Emmy. Her name is Sweet Emmy Lou. She is 6 lbs. of pure love. She loves to be held. Her favorite perch is to be nestled in my left arm (close to my heart?), held high enough to rest her front paws on my collar bone. From here she can watch the world from my perspective. She graciously accepts pets from strangers and will offer a lick in return. She broke her back when she was only 2. I call her our $3000 dog. I couldn't not have her little back fixed! Who could not love that face?




This handsome guy is Oscar. He has a streak of pure evil in him. He is my dog and not apt to share his affections with others. Having said this; he can be bought with a toss of his ball. Any one who is willing to play ball with him is okay. He will either like or intensely dislike you and he bites. At the end of the day, he wants only me. He sleeps next to my leg and has to be touching me.I love his loyalty. My favorite time with him is early in the morning. He is all warm and cuddly and our morning ritual is for me to hold him while he wakes up. He is all muscle and this is the only time of day when his guard is down.
When I woke up this morning I looked over at my bedfellows. Love of my life was snoring gently with his mouth open....... but that's another story. The three dogs were all in a row, butts to my leg, under the covers. Three heads were peaking out, first Emmy, then Wall-E, and finally Oscar. Three peas in a pod.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Gutters.....Revisited



Gutters revisited here. Note that there is still no downspout installed, and where, you might ask is my rain barrel? All in good time..........


The ladder sitting in front of my garden....... not my idea. Funny how I didn't notice it until I saw it in the picture. I moved it after the rain stopped.
Now I will go play with my camera some more..........
















































































































































































































Still Dizzy and a Little Weepy.....

I am still dizzy as I impatiently wait for my body to heal. I am okay as long as I am sitting and don't make any sudden moves. I want to mop my floors and dust all the surfaces. I like the feel of a clean house. I did manage to clean my kitchen this morning while I prepared lunch. Love of my life had done the dishes and cleaned up......... sort of. God bless him, he did try. He prepared dinner for me on Mother's Day. A hamburger with lettuce and pan fried potatoes with Vidalia onions. Sounds yummy, huh? I am so glad he does not read this. I know he worked hard on this little treat for me and I would not hurt his feelings--oh, who am I kidding? Okay I really don't want to be critical, but, he tried to take the potatoes and onions up a notch by adding bacon. You are no doubt thinking that the flavor of bacon is good in anything..........

I saw him slice the potatoes, then ask if we had anymore onions. I pointed to the onion that was resting on the cutting board right next to where he was working. He put the potatoes in the iron skillet with just a touch of canola oil and was slicing the onion when I went back to my perch on the sofa. The hamburgers had been prepared by me, then frozen, so I know exactly what was in them. So, why was there so much grease on the plate he served me? He added the raw bacon to the potatoes and onions when they were almost done. You can see it, can't you? The grease from the bacon was floating on the plate and the hamburger bun soaked up a lot of it. Didn't sit well in my stomach. He does try so hard and gets so close....and yet, so far away!

I had my little grandson Gavin here last year during this month. He is a funny little guy, looks like his Papa and it was so refreshing to see the world through his eyes. I was thinking of him as I stumbled around outside for a bit this morning. I was looking at the fruit trees and my flower beds coming to life. Last year, Gavin would help me inspect all the trees as we walked hand-in-hand through the yard. He chattered non-stop about bugs and sticks and all the wonderful things that little boys love so much. We had the same conversation every day as we went from one tree to the next, "What does this one tree make, Gramma?" . "Cherries, baby, see the tiny little cherries?" I would say. "Why they are green and not red?" he would ask and I would patiently tell him about how the fruit would ripen and then we would go on to talk about eating the fruit and what Gramma would make for him. The same with the apple trees, then the peach trees. We would always pass the maple tree on the way back in and every time, without fail, he would say, "And what does this one tree make, Gramma?" and I always replied that it was a maple tree and didn't make any fruit; and with the wisdom of his almost 4 years he would look up at me and ask, "Then why do you got this tree?" I miss him today.

When we lived close to the kids I got to see them anytime I wanted. I tried not to take advantage of the privilege. I got to watch my now 14 year old Gage grow up from a baby, as well as his sister, Layla. Gage has always been outgoing and friendly, while his sister was shy. Painfully shy. She is 8 now and not as shy, but it's still there...that reservation of herself as she evaluates you. I called her "Tink" for awhile because she would always say "I tink (think) you should......." I miss them as well, today. They were old enough to remember us from when we lived nearby. They "know" who I am. They know that I love them beyond measure and always will.

My son's oldest daughter was only 7 months old when we moved away. Every time I see her I feel like we have to get reacquainted. Not so much now that she is 5 and a half. She is reserved and shy like Layla. Last spring when I went to pick up Gavin,she totally surprised me by running to me and literally flying into my arms when she saw me. It was like she suddenly knew that I was her Gramma and not some fictional character that her parents had been telling her about. Her little sister, Jada was a few months old the first time I got to see her. Then every time I saw her she had grown leaps and bounds. She is very outgoing and more verbal than her big sister. Full of mischief, too. She will say whatever comes into her head....just like my youngest child (my son and his wife are in for a bumpy ride with this one). This one tugs at my heart in a whole different way. Jada is turning 4 and her baby sister is turning 1. This week!!! Zara arrived while Gavin was here with me last year. Jeff sent pictures via e-mail and I had one of her being fed by big sister Maya as my screen saver for a long time. Love of my life was the one to take Gavin home and he got to hold new baby Zara before me. I was totally bummed, but what can you do?

I was in a total funk last June sitting in my office checking in campers and selling the occasional bag of ice. Drew was shaving, about to shower to go to work. It was Saturday, the day before Father's Day. Phone rang and I looked at caller ID. My sweet son. "HI, Mom, what are you doing?" I forget what I answered. "Well why don't you go to the airport and pick me and Zara up?" I screamed, "Shut up, do not tease your mother!" I ran to the man in the shower and told him that our son was flying in and that he would have to call in sick so that he could go get them. A friend ended up bringing my most precious visitor to me. My daughter-in-law on impulse decided that I needed to hold the baby while she was still new. So, she sent her husband and her new baby to me. Good thing, too, because this baby is growing so much faster that her sisters.

I am tired of sitting. I am getting a little weepy thinking about my grandchildren. I have been a little over emotional all this past week and should have recognized the problem before yesterday. Over now and moving on. ..........

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends....

I was going to apologize for yesterday's post. I wrote it while I was feeling absolutely wretched. I wrote it just to get it out and wasn't planning on publishing it..... In the state of the "what the hell" mind I was in I hit the publish button. It was really directed at love of my life and he doesn't read....anything. To be as honest as I was yesterday, I will confess that I am not sorry that I wrote about my crappy feelings. I had a 'breakdown' when I was in my late 20's. I was diagnosed with manic depression and have no qualms about realizing that I need these drugs. I am not ashamed or embarrassed that this is a just a fact of life.

I was feeling the symptoms all weekend and had even joked about them with my doctor. He camps here. I tell you this is a high class campground! I had totally forgotten that I was out of Effexor. I "fill" a two week supply of our drugs in those little daily dose things. If I am running low on anything I order it then, knowing that it should arrive before I fill again. I don't think about it again until I fill again. So, I thought I was having an inner ear problem. My doc agreed with me and once again wondered at the wisdom of someone with my allergies choosing to own a campground. I am allergic to grass and tree pollen. 40 acres of grass and trees............

After my 'episode' in my office............ Love of my life was ensconced in my chair, using my computer at my desk (no I am not possessive!) and I was feeling just awful. I was bent over, looking in the file cabinet, having admitted to myself that I should at least call my doctors office. I was just about to pull their file out to get the number. I knew I was going to pass out, so I said as much to Drew, then let myself slide to the floor. Even while I was feeling the blood rush back to my head I was congratulating my self on choosing to put those interlocking foam squares on the floor. It was nice and cushy to rest upon while I fought the rising nausea. Drew called while I was down on the floor with all my dogs trying to revive with their tongues. He was trying to relay my symptoms to the office nurse, but gave up and handed me the phone. I know how terrible I sounded and she advised the emergency room (that was NOT going to happen) since they couldn't see me until 3:30. I simply agreed with all she had to say and hung up...or would have had she not insisted on chatting with Drew again.

He was going to pick me up. I am fat. I have been told that I don't look like I weigh as much as I do, so I guess I am solid---think Crisco. I weigh 50 lbs more than I did full term pregnant with my twins. I am more weight than he should try to lift. I would have laughed at his attempts had I not felt so wretched. I finally got up and wove my way to the couch. I sipped a Sprite and ate a few crackers hoping to feel better. Didn't work any magic and I showered and threw on some layers of clothes since I was alternately hot, then cold. No make-up, no blow dried coif. Just me in my natural unadorned state. Not pretty.

Upon hearing about my lack of Effexor..... the mystery was solved. No bulging eardrums, although he did suggest that I was right in assuming that it was related to my allergies. So, it was a combination of events that led to my meltdown. I have to start back on the beginner's dose of my Effexor. I am still having episodes of dizziness today and don't think I will be much use in my garden. Some how, just knowing why I feel this way makes it all the more bearable.

All this to say thank you to all my friends out there who showed such concern for the crazy lady!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Chemical Imbalance?

The dark side would appear to be winning. The last Effexor I took was either on the 1st or the 2nd of the month. I ordered it in time, but used the old RX # that was expired and some idiot put it on "hold". There were attempts to phone me.......I didn't return the calls for whatever reason or another, I guess because I knew there was another RX on file that had not expired and I assumed there just might be someone there to pull their head out of their ass and fill it.....

Maybe I was sabotaging myself. Maybe I enjoy thoughts of self-loathing and insignificance. Could it be that I like those images that linger just beyond the edge of consciousness? Or..... could I be in denial, thinking that I am strong enough to fore go the drugs and remain sane. For what ever reason I am without the drugs that keep me from falling off the very edge of life. It is on order and supposed to be in the mail. Maybe today............. or tomorrow. The tracking # they provided is not tracking.

Why haven't I called them? I don't have an answer for you. Self-loathing? Maybe. Not sure. The situation is here, though, and as much as I don't want to, I will have to deal with it. I am also physically sick. Dizzy, my head hurts and I hear a 'whooshing" sound in my ears if I turn my head a certain way. Can't sleep. I am truly unpleasant to be around, but seem to be unable to stop the words that fly out of my mouth. Even when I am sane and in control I will use my words as weapons at times; and I have no doubt that if I had an actual weapon I would have already used it.......... many times.

Too much to do and too little time to get it done in....... nothing new about that. The difference is that I can't seem to organize my thoughts to prioritize the projects that need doing. Or........... in my current state I just don't give a damn. Why am I writing all this down? Really don't know. Will anyone read it besides me? Don't know that either. Maybe I will save this to ponder in the future so that I won't put myself in this position again. Or not.

What I really want to do this very moment is crawl into the dark closet with my blanket and hide from life. I am not speaking metaphorically. I really crave the tight walls and darkness. I wonder what a shrink would have to say about that.......... re-entering the womb? Don't know, don't really care.... because to care about anything right now will put me in a rage. What does this make me? Drug dependant, for sure. Someone who thinks too much? I can't find the on/off switch.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

$88.00.....

Happy Mother's Day. I say that sarcastically. It is now 9:30 am. I don't open until 10:00 on Sundays. I know this because the big sign on the front of my store says so. In the camping world, this would be considered a big weekend as families gather together at a campground to honor Mom by cooking all the food outside......... and leaving the children run amok, simply dropping their soda cans and whatever other debris on the ground. But, I digress. Of course, love of my life is working. No matter that Sundays are times when folks would need to fill LP tanks as they are leaving and this would afford an opportunity to increase our revenue. All these things were discussed with the manager at the station when he was hired. He told her the nature of our business and offered to work every Sunday EVENING, but would need every Friday off. She apparently has problems with comprehension, because he has worked every Friday evening this spring. He will look at me like I am rabid when I tell him to tell her, "We discussed this when you hired me and we agreed that I would have every Friday off; I see that you have once again scheduled me for this Friday and I am sorry, but I will not be available to work and you will need to find some one who can." He says that we have to have this job so that we can have health insurance.......as if I am simple and don't already know this. Having been in the position of management before, I know that she will not fire him for this. He, however, thinks she will.

Just one of my surly thoughts of the day. I had a gentleman staying here for a month. I was in the office after having worked in the park all day a couple of weeks ago. The man came as I was still trying to adjust my eyes to the inside light and drink a gallon of water to rehydrate. He said, "I owe you some money, because I will be here for another week." Okay. I offered to look up his registration to be sure, as I didn't think he owed me anything---he hadn't been here that long. He was sure that he had come in on the 4th of the month and insisted on paying me. My weekly rate is $100, but I offered to prorate it on the monthly rate and charged him $88. Went on about my business and two hours later the man came back, receipt in hand. I was right and he didn't owe me anything. No problem, since I hadn't run any credit cards since his transaction I simply voided it and even gave him a receipt showing that it had been voided. Fridays evenings are always my busiest time, so, of course that is when the man appears again to tell me that his wife had gotten the credit card statement and it showed that I had charged them the $88. I was trying to register some campers and told the man I would be with him in a moment. I wanted to explain to him that I was sure it did show...twice. But before I could do this love of my life stepped in to "help" me. He took the man's card and gave him a refund!!!!! Since the store was busy I couldn't get to him to stop him without creating a scene. After I closed (he left after "helping" me) and we were in for the night I patiently explained to him that he had given away $88. I never thought (and still don't) that the man was trying to scam us. His wife saw the charge on the statement and called him to have him take care of what she honestly thought was an error. I am quite certain that had she looked further on her statement that she would have seen the debit back to her account. Nothing is more frustrating than to know that you are speaking clearly and that the person you are speaking to is not comprehending what you are saying. Finally he gets what I have been trying to tell him and says he will talk to the man before he pulls out.

Yes, but no. On Saturday, he does indeed encounter the man as he is leaving. "Did you get it all straightened out?" I ask. "Kathy, the man has the receipt that shows you charged him, so I took care of it when I refunded him last night." he replies to his dimwit wife. I want to go bang my head against the wall. Instead I try once again to explain to him that the man also has a receipt showing that I VOIDED the transaction and now has an additional receipt showing that my husband, in his infinite wisdom has also REFUNDED the man for the same transaction. I swear to you I actually saw the light of understanding go on in his eyes. The man is gone now with his gift of $88 from Kan-Do Kampground. I will admit that I did lose my patience this second time of explaining how the world of credit cards work and he looked at me and said, "I knew this would end up being my fault." No kidding, he said that to me from where he lay on the couch resting while I was still working-----and it is Mother's Day weekend. I said some very not nice, not repeatable things to him, told him he was "in charge" and that I would be out in the park visiting with the campers.

I left and went to see if Nan liked her garden, which she did and proceeded to visit with Martha and Tom. I went inside with Martha and we spent 20 minutes or so man bashing. After about 30 minutes of being away from the store I started to feel guilty, but went on visiting any how. After being gone for about an hour I came back. I came into the store...just to see what the response time would be. I could tell I woke him up. I was in a better mood and told him I was glad he had gotten a nap before he went back out to work on the new sites. I have to admit that the only guilt I felt was that our friends, Bob, the undertaker and Pat, the methodical minded genius, were working their butts off while I had a small fit and made my husband tend the store. Negate the fact that he could have locked up and stuck a sign in the door like I do when I have to handle the whole entire park all by myself....................

I am done now with my pity party. I may be out $88, but it is Mother's Day and I intend to enjoy the rest of the day. My son sent me a hanging basket from a local florist in response to my post about losing my wandering jew to the frost. My baby girl called to wish me a happy day and her son sang to me ( I love rock and roll........) and told me how bad the spagitoes (mosquitoes). Like his mother he has a unique way with words. Just hearing his sweet little voice made everything right in my world. When I called my boy to thank him, he wanted to make sure I didn't tip the delivery guy because he had already taken care of that as well. This is my child....we are thrifty to a fault! The day is young and I will still get to talk to my Jill. Happy Mother's Day to all my bloggy moms out there!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I Might Be Redneck.....

I take great pleasure in using found objects to plant flowers in. When we began cleaning up different areas of the park we came upon some, shall we say, unusual items. One was this piece of Terracotta sewer pipe. Love of my life saw trash and wanted to smash it and toss it in to a hole with other trash and fill it in. I saw a flower pot. I struggled with a shovel to create a hole about 2 feet deep and after a lot of hard work I planted the pipe and then filled it with potting soil. I have some creeping phlox in it and usually plant wave petunias in it. This past winter was bitterly cold and wet and it cracked. It was looking like I would have to dig it up and get rid of it.


I am loathe to be defeated by mere circumstance. I pondered many remedies and realized that duct tape will fix ANYTHING........ So I wrapped the pipe with duct tape; then stood back and took a good look at my handiwork. Then thought....I just might be a redneck. Still unable to admit defeat I sent love of my life on a mission (he was going on one of his many trips to the hardware store anyway) for rope. It didn't go on as easy as the duct tape, but did improve the image quite a bit, don't you think?





I did it!!!! Finally got the camera to talk to the computer. Honestly, I am not really sure how and this could be a once in a lifetime event, but I will keep playing with all these fun buttons and see what happens. I am so inept at all this..........

Free Stuff and Perennials

My sweet daughter-in-law turned me on to this website for freebies, www.yesall4free.com. I am awash in free samples. I will not have to buy toothpaste for quite some time! I am sitting here smelling too good with a free sample of fragrance as I write this. Check it out.

I have been mowing sites all day. My cheeks are rosy and I feel very accomplished that I have managed to combine work with much needed exercise. I figure if I am going to walk I might as well push a mower in front of me. We have tons of hickory trees and the outer shell of the nuts is scattered everywhere. The squirrels have plenty to eat all winter.....they just leave a mess. So in addition to mowing I have been raking. Most of the fire rings are now filled with leaves and twigs and ready to light this weekend.

I love the way the park looks after we get it ready for a busy weekend. We try to mow the big open spaces every third day so that it looks better than the golf course in town...even if I do say so myself! I have some favorite campers....they know who they are! One of them is a sweet little lady named Betty. I call her Nan. She is the owner of the golf cart she so generously shares with us. It was in my care last year when a child was put on it ( by his father, no less) and the child hit the accelerator and ran it under a trailer taking the top off. I was glad there were no injuries to the child, but was mortified that I had been using it and it was so damaged. I cried about it. When I finished crying I ordered the parts necessary to fix it. Nan was so gracious about the entire event; assuring me that it was no big deal. I call her Nan because the front of the cart proclaims it to be the Nannymobile.

I spent the better part of the day cleaning Nan's site of the winter debris. I mowed the tall grass, then raked and mowed it again. Our Nan loves her gee-gaws. She has half a dozen Shepard's hooks with either potted plants or bird feeders hanging from them. She has party lights everywhere and all kinds of garden ornaments. She is patriotic and Uncle Sams stand on either side of her steps, they light up at night. After I moved everything I gathered some good sized rocks, dug up a big hosta and a big clump of day lilies from my garden and got to work. I made a perennial bed around the tree on her site, strategically placing her ornaments among the plants. I found some sort of wild flower that apparently likes the shade on some of the sites I was mowing, so I grabbed my handy shovel and dug them all up. I filled one of her containers with this little plant--looks like a lily, but with blue flowers. I hope she comes out this weekend and I can't wait to see her face. I hope she likes what I did and isn't disappointed. She plants annuals every year. She can still put those in her pots on the Shepard's hooks. It was a true labor of love and most satisfying! If you are reading this, Nan.......I can't wait to see you!