Thursday, July 30, 2009

Good Friends and Campers

This is my fence built by a couple of our campers. I painted it and endured a whole day of hearing "you missed a spot". I have since corrected it and ironically that particular board was hit and broken by a truck backing up. The culprit came up to the office, head hung low and told me he broke my fence. The reason for the fence was to prevent some one from driving too close to the ditch that provides an escape for the overflow of water from our pond. No one has ever gone into that very deep ditch...........


This a long shot......lots of grass to mow. The fence maitains that rustic country feel. I have tried to plant some flowers and ground cover next to the fence. The ground cover will take hold and cover the area next year. The rabbits have eaten everything I have tried to plant. I haven't given up, just put that project on hold. I can just see lots of black-eyed susans bracing the fence in my minds eye. Honeysuckle on the fence.....maybe......


These two guys put in the fence posts. It took two to push that auger through the rocky soil.


I am thankful every day for wonderful friends who just happen to be campers. Just when I think I can no longer put one foot in front of the other, they pick me up and carry me........


You all know who you are, and you are more than just a few.




Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Here I sit in what I have come to refer to as my prison. I am just busy enough to not be able to escape for longer than a bathroom break. I am grateful that I got a shower before love of my life went off to his lowly little job as store clerk. We both mowed all morning and the heat was oppressive. I was dripping with sweat, but determined to get my part done. I did, and now I sit and wait for the storm I see brewing in the sky. A good storm with a moderate amount of rain will make me so happy. My garden needs a good drink and everyone will stay away.........

After my wonderful birthday surprise this weekend, I had another surprise that wasn't so good. One of my favorite families pulled out! They were so nice and well behaved and I am left with the riff-raff hooligans with their barking dogs, and loud rude behaviour. I miss them. I miss the southern wit and the polite children. I have a few polite children left, but these girls were my favorites. I was happy they were here and was looking forward to having some girls around that I would feel comfortable playing with my granddaughter. I still have a couple here, but as I said these girls were the best!

I posted awhile back about my old cat (Ode To Crazy Cat). I was trying to prepare myself for his eminent demise. Well, I haven't seen my old guy for almost a week. I think he went off like old cats will do. His predecessor, an old Siamese named Misty did the same thing. I suppose they were trying to spare me the grief. Didn't work so much. I hope that he went off and died the way he wanted. I wonder if maybe one of the current riff-raff here may have accidentally hit him in a rush to get to work in the morning. No, he went off and died like an old Indian, that is what I choose to believe. I would like to have given the old guy a proper burial or even had my old buddy cremated.......... Wishing won't make it so. He lived a good long cat life of almost 16 years.

I am still getting to know my new computer......... but I think I am in love. I will be posting a lot more pictures since it is so much faster to upload than this one. Of course I will have to take more pictures and I am hoping things will become more routine as this month fades away.

This is that time of year that we get tired. There is not an escape that allows us to simply take a whole day off and kick back and do nothing. I think that everybody needs that from time to time. The season starts with intense preparation in March. You only have a few campers, but the clean-up from winter storms is overwhelming. By the time the official camping season begins with Memorial Day we are already into the constant routine of mowing 2 or 3 times a week. Along with the little surprises you get on a daily basis.....broken pipes, sewer back-ups, and such. By the end of July you just want to be left alone for longer than 5 minutes.

Last night we had both decided that we were going to lock up right on time and ignore the phone. I had a lovely roast cooked to perfection along with carrots just right. I was going to make biscuits and add potatoes to my roast. We still had some of my birthday cake left and we were going to sit in front of the TV and play with our animals and just have the most wonderful evening we could imagine and go to bed early.

It was a great plan. I was outside checking the progress of my squash and tomatoes when my cell rang. "Come here as quick as you can!" says Drew. "Where?" says me. "Pumproom!" says him. This can't be good I think as I hurry back into the building. It wasn't. He was holding the water pipe closed with his hands standing there in a flood zone. I flipped the breaker to the pump, turning off the water to the whole park and grabbed a bucket. He was trying to change a filter and broke the pipe off at a position that made the water shoot straight up. I couldn't exactly put the bucket over the pipe and there was still a lot of pressure in the line. I suggested that he hold his hands over the water to divert it into the bucket. The pressure was greater than I thought and we both took it right in the face! Up my nose, actually.

Anyhow, with the water off I couldn't finish cooking. I couldn't wash my hands. I couldn't stop answering the phone. Every body called to tell me that something had happened to the water. What is it they say about the best laid plans? We finished up around 10:30 and simply collapsed. We ate the roast and the now overdone carrots along with some too cheesy macaroni. No bread, no dessert, no TV, no winding down. Such is the life of a campground owner......


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Happy Birthday.....To Me

Today is my birthday. I am 56. It has been a long day, but pleasurable............ because yesterday love of my life surprised me with a birthday dinner that I remained totally unaware of until it happened. He has never pulled off a surprise like this before! I thought we were treating our good friends to a BBQ rib dinner in return for all the times they feed us. I happily marinated the ribs and prepared the potato salad that I know Karen likes. I was concerned that Bob, the undertaker would have nothing to eat since he was recently diagnosed with diabetes, so I took myself down to their site to discuss this dilemma. I insisted on making dessert, a sugar free chocolate mousse and sent them shopping for me, as they were going any way.

Little did I know they were all plotting behind my back as I sat in the store all day doing my job! As soon as the clock struck 8 I closed and headed down with my offerings of dinner. They had decided we should eat at their place since the grill was handy. I rounded the corner to hear a chorus of Happy Birthday! There they all were with balloons and cake! We had a wonderful meal together as usual. Lots of laughter and talking and eating.......... then ...............



this man, here, also known as love of my life took off on Bob's 4 wheeler and left! He returned with what would appear to be a bag of garbage. He presented me with this offering. It was his attempt at gift wrap. So, wondering what he could have gotten me, since we had agreed NOT to give each other gifts.............. I slipped the garbage bag away to reveal..... MY NEW COMPUTER!

Dude, he got me a Dell Inspiron! My very own laptop! Do I love this man or what???? My new computer is so much faster. My old one would do really cute things like suddenly freeze and have to be rebooted over and over, losing everything I had just done. I am so happy with my new computer. I can't stop smiling.

As if that was not enough I got bath products from Karen and Bob (the undertaker, making Karen be the undertaker's wife). A coffee cup from Pete and Susan. This cup was made for me, it says "yes, it is always about me"! I love these guys! Eugene, Karen and Cody were there to help us celebrate. I had a great night! I am just sorry I did not have my camera with me to capture it all on film!

A Typical Day

"I bottomed out" said the man patiently waiting for me to open the store this morning. I awakened the sleeping one and grabbed the camera. Yes, he did. The trees are in the way, but he was stuck pretty good.

No less than half a dozen men congregated to ponder the situation. He had turned out the wrong way and in doing so went into some really soft ground. Good Samaritan Tony came to the rescue with his truck...........

As you can see, everyone was eager to help. Me.........I watched. Good Samaritan Cody climbed under to look for a place to hook the tow chain. He was getting advice from the owners of the legs you see.

The tow chain was going to damage the front end of the motor home, so a trusty piece of firewood was put in service...........

Love of my life gave directions as the big pull began. I like to dress him in bright colors so that I can find him easily.........

Sweet success and our traveler is on his way! And we aren't even open yet!






Friday, July 24, 2009

Try To Stay Positive.........

I woke up to bright sunshine and a beautiful morning. A good night's sleep had worked it's wonders. I cleaned house and did laundry all day yesterday and I stretched lazily on the smooth clean sheets. I got up and took the dogs out while the coffee brewed and I was checking my e-mail and coming to life when I heard the buzzer to the store. I hit mute on the Today Show and continued reading, only slightly annoyed.

What if somebody has a real problem, maybe I should have grabbed a robe and gone to the door. There is a sign stating store hours, but all the what if's have now invaded my brain. With great reluctance I drag myself to the bedroom to slip on my mowing clothes. I awaken love of my life so that he can go get the bobcat and get started on his day. Off to the pool to retrieve the trusty robot and clean the filter. I get the pool ready for occupancy and head to the bathrooms..........

I hate bathrooms. I cleaned and stocked them last night before bed. The ladies room isn't half bad, but the men's is just gross. The toilet tissue is gone and someone decided to enlist the paper towels for purposes of necessity. I suppose I should be grateful that they didn't flush it and that most of it ended up in the trash can. I am having to dig really dip to find that gratitude, though. Now I can only wonder what could have happened to cause 3 rolls of tissue to be used over night. The ladies room has all the tissue I stocked last night. I always expect the ladies room to be low, but 3 rolls gone in the men's? Perhaps I should check the trees........... no TP there. I guess someone took it to put in their camper. Always glad to be of service, after all.

The thrum of the mower is soothing. I like the feel of the vibrations that go through my hands as I mow. I have prepped all my trees so that the riding mower won't hit my branches and I am enjoying the solitude and monotony of mowing stripe after stripe. I imagine a piece of cloth being cut into bias strips to make a binding of some sort. I like the feeling of accomplishment as I look at the already mowed section, still green and glistening with residues of the morning dew.......... All of a sudden a voice interrupts my peace, "The dryer is hung up!" she shouts over the mower. I release the handle and let the engine stop. "It weren't me, but somebody else, I just come to tell you." As I squelch the desire to ask "who it were", I see Play Misty For Me come around the building to tell me she had taken care of the problem and needed no assistance.

Still pondering what she could have meant by saying the dryer was "hung up" I attempt to start the mower and return to peaceful oblivion when Mr. Wonderful comes toward me to inquire about paying for a shower.......... I tell him to put his $3 in the drop box and turn my back and quickly yank the cord and fire up the engine. I finish my side yard and go in to grab a quick shower and get the day started.

The dryer "hang up" was the coin slot mechanism was stuck and with a good thrust was forced into use. I was happy to hear that, because the dryer had just been fixed the day before....some wire on the heating element. Love of my life tried to share this information with me and all I heard was yadayadayada. Just glad there was nothing wrong that required ordering a part and waiting for the arrival before we could remedy the situation.

Now, I must explain the shower and Mr. Wonderful. This man camped her at one point in time, shortly after we bought the park. He had one of those campers that fit into the bed of a pick-up truck and it was far from new. He has a black, going gray pony tail and his teeth tell a story of long time meth abuse (aka meth mouth). I gave him the name Mr. Wonderful because he would tell me on a daily basis what a great carpenter, electrician and plumber he was. He was also a heavy drinker if his breath was any indication. I opined that if he were so wonderful, why, then was he living in the back of a pick-up truck that had also seen better days.

He stayed here a couple of months, then moved on to where he said he had found cheaper rent. The cheap rent must not include bathroom privileges, cause about 3 times a week he pays $3 to shower here. Mr Wonderful, indeed. He attempts to flirt with me when he comes in. I find this to be amusing as well as slightly nauseating.

Yesterday was eventful as well. The lady who shall be forever known as the apple thief approached me to see if she had any mail. I replied in the negative and she then wanted to know how she would know if she had mail. Hmmmmm. How do you know if you have mail at home? "I check the mailbox." she said. "Well, then, I suppose you will have to check here at the office." I tell her. All this is being said while her youngest child, the rock thrower is screeching that she wants a popsicle. I have since found out that said child is a spitter, too. This child is 6 years old and displays behaviour that would earn my child a good smack across the bottom....for starters.

She tells the child that she "ain't got no money" and not to "go in that store"; so, of course both children go in and open the door to the ice cream freezer to gaze upon the contents. She has told them not to open the freezer door and I find myself wishing that she would stop suggesting what not to do, since her offspring are intent on doing whatever she tells them not to do. The little spitter is screeching again that she wants a popsicle and once again is told that she "ain't got no money". The child , all red faced with anger, looks at me and demands that I give her mother some money! I have been known to give a child a popsicle or a piece of candy on more than one occasion, but I do not reward rude behaviour and tell the child "no". Simply no, as I have reached an age where I do not feel the need to explain my thoughts or actions. She then demands that I give her a popsicle! She is once again told no. I bite my tongue to keep from asking this woman where her parenting skills are. Throughout this exchange she is looking at me expectantly, as though she hopes I will give the child what she wants. I guess this is a learned behaviour that has been re-enforced by those she encounters. It won't be happening here.

The county fair is going on and I was hoping for a peaceful day at the pool. Not happening. One gentleman was in the pool with his little dog in his arms. When I told him the dog was not allowed in the pool area I earned myself the dirtiest of looks. I think of my pets as family, too, but wouldn't try to take them to a public pool. The reasons are obvious and I am amazed daily by people and what they expect to be able to do.

Positive thoughts.....positive thoughts.....The only positive thought I can seem to come up with involves locking the door!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Can You Not Remember?

Yesterday was my son's birthday (his sister's, too). I called them both just to tell them that I love them and catch up on their lives. My chat with Jill was too short.I called her when I was still open, and, of course I was interrupted too many times to actually talk.

My talk with Jeff was better, since the store was closed. He was interrupted several times by giggly little girls. That was sweet interruptions, though. They wanted to go to the store to buy their Daddy a present for his birthday. Children need give us nothing to make our hearts soar with love. Just the fact that they want to give us anything is more than enough.

Jeff shared the most wonderful story with me about Maya. She wanted to give her Daddy a card, but she is only 5 and can't spell. So, she asked her Daddy if he was good at not remembering so that he could help her make the card. He was so proud as he told me this.......... and I was so proud as I listened. My kids are really good parents and that makes me feel like I accomplished the most wonderful thing in the world!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tomorrow.......

Tomorrow is the day that marks the wonderful day 34 years ago that introduced me to two tiny people who changed my life forever.

Looking like I had a watermelon tucked under my shirt, I waddled into the labor/delivery department to begin my big adventure. Only 10 days before I had been in this same hospital for an X-ray of my enormous belly to determine just why it was so enormous. I already knew that I felt four little feet pounding my ribs, but they wanted proof. I was right and we made a mad scramble to prepare for our double bundle of joy. We were given no clue as to the gender of these babies, so we picked out four names.

My due date wasn't until August 26, but my doctor decided theses babies needed to come on out before I burst. Remember this was 34 years ago and technology has grown by leaps and bounds. No argument from me (the swollen one).

All prepped and ready for an emergency C-section, just in case things didn't proceed as expected, They started my pitocin drip around noon. Jill Suzanne arrived nearly four and a half hours later at 4:29. She weighed five pounds, nine ounces and looked like a little doll. Her tiny face was surrounded by a cloud of dark hair. She was perfection with all fingers and toes in attendance. They held her close to me for a good look, then whisked her away to the warmer to await the arrival of her brother.

Six harrowing minutes later, Jeffrey Irving arrived feet first. He was smaller by seven ounces. He wasn't crying, not even a little. I saw him briefly as they held him up while trying to suction his mouth. No sound and he was very blue. When I started to question them they moved out of my sight. Finally I hear him cry. Such a tiny little sound he made. I kept asking to see my baby and they kept showing me my daughter before they whisked both babies to NICU.

On the way to the nursery the babies were introduced to their dad and his mom in the waiting room that families were confined to during the birthing process. My very abrupt doctor chose this time to tell them that our son would most likely not survive. Bedside manner was not his strong point.

We stayed at the hospital for the requisite 5 days and I celebrated my 22nd birthday by actually holding my baby boy in my arms for the very first time. I was allowed to touch him in his confined isolette by putting my hands in, but not to hold him. Times have changed a lot since then.

On day five we all three took our leave of the hospital. Jeff weighed 4 pounds, 11 ounces at the time of discharge. Jill weighed 2 ounces less. The two little peanuts could fit together in the infant seat with room to spare. They were as different as night and day. Jill was tiny perfection with dark curly hair and Jeff was skinny and gangly with feet and hands too big for his frame and lighter hair that soon left entirely to give me a bald baby.

Different in temperament, these two, but locked together as only roommates of the womb can be. They are still close to this day. They grew up being referred to as "the twins". One name always followed the other and they shared the same friends. Jill was the oldest and remained the dominant twin until high school. She would even choose her brothers wardrobe and all of their friends. We moved to a different city at this time and that is when the role reversal occurred and Jeff began to choose the friends (he was never in charge of Jill's wardrobe!).

Today their names are no longer locked together with each others, but with those names of their mates. They have each given me grandchildren and grown to be parents themselves. Not only my children now, they are people in their own right. I love to be in their company. I love the sound of their voices on the phone. They can make a horrible day all better with just a word. They no longer lean on me as it seems we have undergone another role reversal.

I think it is called life, this constant changing of the roles we have. I loved being a mommy and being indispensable to my children. I love being Gramma even more, though. I am content to watch them parent and do things differently than I did....and yet the same.

Tomorrow Jeff and Jill will celebrate the day they were born. I won't be able to be there to see them and hug them. That makes me a little sad, but I will celebrate them as I hold them in my heart all day long.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

DISH TV

Just when you think things can't be worse.......... they do.

I closed the store and went to my favorite eating establishment.....site 1A....where the food is free and my spirit is uplifted. I was tired and crabby when I got there with my meager offering of peas. After engaging in a gripe session and some witty bantering with my buddies, I loosened up and had a wonderful meal in spite of the fact that my stomach has not yet recovered from this days annoyances. We were all sitting in our mellow mood (no alcohol involved, just end of the weekend wind down) about to partake of some strawberry shortcake............. when what to my wondering eye should appear, but a red truck with trailer, my speed limit to dare.

The truck is coming down the decline and approaching the turn and we all comment that he is speeding and we don't recognize the truck. He slows into the turn and begins to accelerate as he hits the speed bump conveniently located right about...there. And this is when I use my "call the kids in to eat" voice to tell him to "slow it down". He bounces pretty high in his seat as he shouts his reply. Bob, the undertaker, the enforcer and hero extraordinaire says "Oh, no he didn't" as he leaps to his feet in hot pursuit of the DISH TV representative who just shouted at me to "Shut the f@#* up!"

I am right behind Bob as this representative of DISH TV exits his vehicle and saunters towards with his attitude in full view. Bob (never shy) asked this guy if he knows what he just did and what he just said to the owner of the campground. His reply is to say that he wasn't going that fast. Bob asks his question again and tells him that he was indeed speeding. He says he is sorry about saying that to the owner of the park.

I can assure you that he was not sorry at all. I know sorry and that was not it. He is going to walk away from me as if he is dismissing this incident...... Not so fast, there. I don't like him, I don't like his attitude and he tripped my bitch switch all the way over and I told him to "get out" of my park. Did not want any misunderstanding about the meaning of my words. However he decides he is going to argue with me, then tells me I am ignorant! If he thought that was going to help the situation, he was mistaken.

He used poor judgement as he left and decided to once again disobey the speed limit. 911 it is, buddy. Adrenaline pumping I awaited my visit from the local constabulary. Putting my adrenaline rush followed by a hot flash to good use I put my weeding skills in gear and Karen and Bobs marigold bed has been thoroughly deadheaded and there are no weeds left.

I have finished with the deputy and have filed my complaint. I have talked to no less than four representatives of DISH TV. They will only consider a complaint in writing it seems. They are all sorry about the actions of this man who is in their employee, wearing their shirt and doing their business in such a vulgar manner, but won't be taking any action until I submit my complaint in writing. They probably are going on the assumption that most folks will cool off and forget about it. They are in for a surprise, I suppose. I am like a dog with a bone and do not intend to let go.

I am not incensed that the comment was made to me, but that he came onto my property, disobeyed my rules and made the comment at all. He was just unlucky in that he made the comment to me. Or maybe fortunate......... this is going to be a life lesson for him, I hope. It seems that he called the camper to whose site he was headed as he exited the park and commented to him that he guessed he should learn to watch his mouth. You think?

Harmony......Not Really

Last night was bad enough. After leaving a whimsical sign on the door of the store to alert the weary travelers of my lack of vacancies I closed up and escaped to camp site 1, where good food and fellowship awaited me. My sign said "So Sorry.........So Full......No Vacancies". My attempt to lighten my own mood was not met well by those looking for a place to park for the night. I am able to see everything from where I sit eating and watch as one small RV parks, then the occupant reads my note and then SPEEDS out of my park...........making me long for a weapon.

When darkness fell I crept home to try to hide in my bed from the world. The steroids I am taking are making sleep near impossible and I did try and failed, so I watched TV until the love of my life arrived home to complain about his night. We see so little of each other you would think that we would want to spend that time in pleasurable conversation. Instead we seem to use each other as sounding boards for our frustrations. I feel that I should listen to him, since I tend to spell it all out here.........

Today brought a plethora of problems to further aggravate me. I sometimes will try to visit campsites after closing because I genuinely like most of my regulars and wish that I had done so last night. That way no-one would have had to enlighten me this morning about the heady aroma of marijuana that was engulfing parts of my park. It was said to be quite strong.....enough for a contact buzz. Come to think of it, that may have been good for me given the level of frustration I am approaching.

I posted a list of rules, nicely disguised as requests to ensure a pleasant stay here at NO YOU CANNOT DO THAT campground. With this many people living in fairly close quarters, certain habits have come to my attention that had to be addressed. My first rule was the speed limit. I pointed out that 10 mph was generous, since most parks require you to observe a 5 mph rule---this is basically idling through the park. My speed limit is violated daily and I find myself constantly reminding people that I have already expelled one camper and that my sweet demeanor is about to take a turn that they will not be apt to want to see. It is getting better, but we are putting speed bumps everywhere....

Request number two addresses pet related issues. Common courtesy, if you will. You know, keep your dog on a lead outside, clean up their poop.......... I was asked if a small enclosure could be put on site for pets. I try to be reasonable. These folks are living in close quarters and I have pets myself and know that mine like to be outside. This being said, I did not think that people would be so (there is no diplomatic way to put this) stupid as to put their pets, that they profess to love, in a fence that can't possibly be that secure and LEAVE. A storm comes through and the dogs do what all animals do when faced with rain and wind---they got loose to seek shelter. My husband and I then spent way too much time trying to catch the dogs in order to put them in a safe place. We called the owners to alert them to the situation they had placed their pets in. And yet it continues to happen that the dogs are outside while the owners are inside or not even there!
The dogs bark constantly and I can hear them all the way to the office. I can only imagine how lucky the neighbors must feel.

I remembered to include the all important observation of a QUIET TIME. This occurs between the hours of 10 pm and 8 am. Reasonable and pretty standard.

The next issue I address is the dumpster. The dumpster is huge, having six lids on it. Everybody wants to put their trash in the very first two, then continue piling it higher and higher until it starts to fall to the ground. And I end up opening the remaining lids to grab their trash and deposit it in the empty dumpster. I asked that big boxes and large pieces of cardboard be put next to the dumpster. I will break it down and fit it in myself. I don't delude myself that they will do this, but I don't mind that nearly so much as having to deal with the nasty bags of garbage. I don't dare let them know that I compost, I can only imagine what I would then have to deal with.
Try to keep it simple.... that is my mantra. And yet I see the piles of bags this morning and open a brand new lid to see several large EMPTY boxes with raw garbage on them taking up the allotted space that would hold all this. My follow up letter to all my new residents will be about the cost added to their rent for an additional pick-up each week.

You would think that one would assume that they should not park their vehicle dead center in an empty site thus preventing the use of said site. Not so much. The follow up letter will address the $25 fine for preventing my intake of revenue.

Pool rules. Common sense should prevail given the number of public pool deaths you hear about involving children and pure stupidity. These must also be spelled out in my little lists of requests. Signs abound in the pool area about not diving, not running, no glass......and the most misinterpreted one of all. Children under 14 MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY AN ADULT. Self explanatory you think. No, not really. So in my little letter I have to make it clear that an adult is some one over the age of 21 who is willing to be responsible for that child. AND (and this is very important) this does not mean that a 14 year old can supervise their siblings and/or friends. Follow up letter will have to be stated in a more simple fashion so that the person reading it will be able to comprehend the meaning.

Last, but not least I have put in the letter the hours of my store and the phone number to be used for emergencies.

And I thought I was being thorough. I now have to add to my growing list of rules that throwing rocks is not acceptable (as witnessed and addressed by my husband). Picking the fruit off my trees is FORBIDDEN. Also known as stealing. Why would you think it would be okay to drive up onto the grass (yep, gotta add that) and get out of you car and begin stripping the tree of fruit that isn't even ripe. When my soft spoken husband approaches her she says, "Oh we can't pick the apples?"

I was looking forward to a full park, of a sense of community. I was delusional. Isolation is sounding wonderful. I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony............. There are possibilities and there are impossibilities.....this would be the latter.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I Wish I Could Hide

No joke....... if I could sneak away, I would. I am full except for a precious few back-in sites and weary travelers have beaten me down. What I have to offer, they don't want. They don't think that in the middle of Missouri they should be required to make a reservation for just one night.

Okay. I would stick a NO Vacancy sign on the door, but they keep coming. Even if I am outside and tell them I have nothing, they still meander towards me and beg me to find them any thing. I am assured that any thing, any thing at all will do. I relent and let them into the office and fill out the registration and warn them that they will have to back in. The site will not be level. The site will in NO WAY be private and far from all others. They agree. They go. They come back. They want to know if I have any thing else and upon hearing that I don't, want a refund.

I am wasting resources. Pennies for those registration forms are adding up and I am sick of voiding credit card transactions. But more than that they are trying my patience and wasting my time. This smile upon my face is not real people.

The weather is wonderful and I am stuck in here selling candy to loud children. A trio of the unsupervised sort have been in no less than 9 times to tell me that the soda machine outside is not dispensing cans. I can assure you that it is and I have gone out to prove just that. After two free cans that I thought were due them................ I find out they aren't putting money in the machine. Raised by wolves, I guess. I kind of lost it at that point and told them not to come back up to my store unless they had a parent in tow. And, yes I made them pay for the soda.

I think I am tired.....mentally. I want to hide. I think I will as soon as I make that handy dandy sign appear on my door.

Friday, July 17, 2009

New Prescription.........for Eyelashes?

I DVR most every television program I want to watch of late.....just to avoid the commercials. I love to be able to zoom past them. My time to actually watch anything is limited, you know. Well I decided to check out a new show on USA in the wee hours of the morning when I couldn't sleep. I was inundated with an ad for the new eyelash growing drug that is being touted by Brooke Shields.

How vane are we? I do wear make-up and try to enhance the features I do have. Like my mother I was not blessed with long, thick eyelashes. Even if I had money for such, I doubt I would even want to try it. It must be a relatively new drug on the market. It has side effects....said so in the ad. I am sure that not all the side effects were mentioned. Irritation to the application site was one of them. That alone is enough to make me not want to try it. I have allergies that cause my eyes to be irritated and itch. What happens if you accidentally get this stuff IN your eye?

I don't like to take any prescription drugs, but I especially don't like to take newly released ones.
Makes me feel like a guinea pig. Have you noticed how many drugs come under question after being on the market for several years? Now, if I had some life threatening or debilitating disease I would no doubt have a different opinion as to a new course of drug therapy.......... but for eyelashes?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mystery..........

The strangest thing happened tonight.......... We were getting ready to close and eat our supper, so I asked love of my life to lock up while I dished up our plates. I usually do this and do it quickly just to get out of the store. For some reason he decided to check the night drop box and found this book inside.............
We have found odd things in it before. Mainly dead bugs. That is why I only check it if I absolutely have to. I am loathe to stick my hand in that hole with all the bugs unless I see an envelope that holds the promise of payment. He pulled this book out..........


Imagine his surprise when this $100 bill fell out from the pages. Was it dropped in by accident?
Was it meant for us? Mystery unsolved..........

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Confessions of a Tomato Thief

I am happy to report that I can hear again! I wasn't all that keen on tubes in my eardrums...... although my Dad assured me that it didn't hurt all that bad. He was in the room with Mama when they put a tube in hers. I am certain that my Dad felt no pain at all! Anyway the steroids have worked their magic and I have four more days of the drug therapy. Other than an upset stomach and loss of appetite (finally a side effect that is good for me!) I feel so much better.

The weather is still not cooperating with the current project. We need to trench sewer line for the dump station to service the new sites that have only electric and water. The ground is in a soggy state that is not conducive to digging with heavy equipment, but that is exactly what the next couple of days will have us doing. We are now full with all the full hook-up sites either occupied or reserved and on the way, so we really have no choice but to proceed with this.

Rained again this morning and didn't cool off a thing. The very air will take your breath and drench you in sweat in 20 minutes flat. One of our new tenants, Grady, had pointed out to love of my life that there were tomatoes growing on an empty site. Keep in mind that I have been feeling so crappy that I haven't ventured far from the main building lately. Drew was convinced that these tomatoes were left by a previous tenant and were big and ripe. I was doubtful that the tenant he was thinking of had left these tomatoes since he has been gone for more than a month. Not only that the tomatoes the long gone tenant had been growing were in one of those topsy turvy upside down planter....as seen on TV. The tomatoes in question were not in this contraption.

They were in a spot that was unoccupied.... and I must confess that I did indeed play party to the theft. Drew picked the luscious fruit and I held it in my t-shirt. I brought the tomatoes inside and was thinking about who I could share my bounty with. Of course I knew I would give some to Don, my tabbouleh making friend; but there was still a lot of tomato to eat. I put them aside and got busy with my day.


My first visitor to the store was Ed, a very nice guy. He had some mail and he looked a little non-plussed, so I asked if he needed anything else. "Somebody stole my tomatoes." says Ed. Yikes! I immediately blamed Drew, as he wasn't here to defend himself! I offered to give the man his tomatoes back, but he refused, telling me that he would have more and to keep them. I felt so bad that I confessed that I was also to blame.

When love of my life returned from buying sewer and water pipe I sent him to apologize to Ed along with the stolen tomatoes and a peace offering of a cake that I whipped up. Just a little one layer cake split to make two layers so I could make a raspberry jam filling and top it off with whipped cream. RV fridges are small and this would need to fit in. Also allowed me to make the other layer into a cake for Drew to soothe my guilt for laying all the blame on him initially.

When all is said and done it is Grady's fault! He is the one who pointed out the tomatoes! That's my story and I am sticking to it!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Few Of My Favorite Frogs

Take a tour of my gardens and meet a few of my favorite frogs.........This is my fat, happy frog. He lives here in the old hollow log and guards the flowers large and small.
This guy jumped into my old sewer pipe and holds old glory to greet everyone who passes by.

Old Rusty Frog stands sentry at the garden that leads into my private residence. I can't decide whether to give him a fresh coat of paint or let his rusty patina take over. I think I like him just the way he is.


Another rusty guy trumpets his welcome. You can see him as you head around the main building to the pool. He likes to nestle in among the marigolds. I think they compliment each other well.

This old girl sits happily in the same garden on the way to the pool. When the path lights come on at night you would almost be convinced that she is about to hop up.

One of my solar powered trio of frog musicians sits by one of my stumps waiting for her cue to begin to serenade. Over her shoulder looks like a little guy hopped int my stump.
Fellow frog musician has his horn at the ready, also waiting for that cue...........

Last, but not least is another flute player dancing with the lilies.
I guess you can tell I like frogs. They make me smile with their whimsical faces. Some of them are gifts and some I couldn't resist........they must have been on sale, cause everybody knows I love a good clearance!








Saturday, July 11, 2009

Earache Continued

Woke up this morning to a stabbing pain in my left ear. I rolled over and the pain rolled with me. I imagine the inside of my head to be like a lava lamp, with all the fluid behind my eardrums rolling side to side with my every move. After the dizziness passed I put on the coffee and dutifully swallowed the Mucinex-D caplet. Then, like a good girl, I shoved the hateful Flonase applicator up my nose and squirted all the while praying for relief. I wobbled to the kitchen for my bitter brew of awakening and sipped while looking out the kitchen window.

The tall grass in the backyard beckoned to me. I have already mowed the side yards and am apt to leave the back since it is behind the privacy fence and no-one can really see it. I drag myself out and do the necessary mowing. I still feel crappy, but I picked a few peas and beans on my way back in. Pulled a few weeds, too. That is a habit. I figure if I pull at least 10 weeds every time I go out that I will eventually have it under control. Just so you know, this is not happening.

Outdoor chores done, I head inside for a quick shower in hopes that the steam will help the medication to loosen all this gunk in my head up and I will find some relief. Well, like the weeds, that pressure in my head is just growing. I am absolutely miserable. I can't hear half of what is said. I can somehow pick up on the words by watching the faces of the people talking and putting what I am hearing into context with what I think they are saying. Is this my punishment for telling my Dad that I refuse to talk to him on the phone until he gets a hearing aid? If so, I take it all back, Daddy!

I have taken the decongestants all day and have found no relief....if anything, I feel worse. The clientele today is not helping. It was hot and muggy all day and people were crabby. Little children with their shrieking and whining made me want to scream. This usually doesn't bother me. but today the decibels they hit are touching a nerve in my head.

Two more hours. I have only 4 sites left and 3 are spoken for. As soon as they get here I am going to bed. Phone just rang inquiring about a site for tonight. I tell him I have only back-in sites available and this prompts him to enchant me with tales of his driving prowess. Finally he is through and asks where I am located. "Exit 170 on Interstate 70. I am on the north outer road that runs parallel with the interstate. I am a mile down that road and they are signs to direct you." is my answer. "Just give me the address, I have a GPS, I'll find you." From experience, I know that the GPS will take him out of his way since the little town I am located in has no post office and we use a town 7 miles north of us. I tell him this. I tell him that the GPS will take him at least 13 miles out of his way and that my park is almost visible from the interstate and easy to find. He seems doubtful, so I ask which direction he is heading and plan to give him some very precise instructions. Well, I was until he told me that he is headed south on an interstate that runs east and west. My ear is throbbing and I can't wait for this day to end.........

Friday, July 10, 2009

Another Weekend Is Here

The rain didn't last long at all. I snuck away long enough to purchase cat and dog food. The humidity had doubled by the the I raced home from the store. I expected to have lots of swimmers, but it has been fairly peaceful........... except for the phone and in the last two hours I have had a dozen calls. A disgruntled man just left here indignant that I had no site for him. He does not have reservations and wanted a full hook up with cable TV and it had to be a pull-thru, because he doesn't do "that" (back up). He apparently doesn't know how to read and follow directions either as he entered the exit drive and then went out the wrong way in a tiff. He seemed to think that "you campground owners" need to take some sites and leave them available for travelers. I smiled sweetly and told him that I did and that all my travelers had made reservations. I think he wanted to call me a bad name!

I guess he did not see all the posters decorating my office area proclaiming me and my campground to be #1!!! We have some of the sweetest children staying here for the summer with their pipe liner dads. They are very southern with their manners and I love to hear them all say "yes ma'am" in unison. We have Riley and his sister Kaylee. They have become friends with the sisters Kylie and Chelsea. They ride all over the park on their bikes and usually come in for an ice cream in the afternoon. I love to see children have fun and these do, but they are well mannered and that is a big treat. So many kids I encounter are rude and disrespectful. Any way, I have wondered from my purpose here. Today I was given posters by these children thanking me for the celebration on the 4th of July. Just made my day!

Since I seem to be chained behind this desk............... I shall enchant you with another story of campground follies of yesteryear. I'll even stay in the same vein and tell you about reservations... or the lack thereof.

This was back in 07 when I still kept the store hours of 9 am til 9 pm. This was a year that we were particularly busy and every weekend in July found me having to turn people away due to lack of space. On this particular Friday I found myself done with all my morning chores and left with an hour before having to open the office door. I decided to take a stroll through the park and had not gone too far when my cell rang and love of my life summoned me to the office to take care of a reservation. This prompted me to ask how long I had been walking and what time it was. Even though I opened at 9, check-in wasn't until 11 am. The people occupying the space before you get there would like to wake up before they leave.

I go on to the office to take care of it. I have my handy dandy chart right there in full view with all the reservations written in. I have told him a million times how my little system works, but he still screws it up and I will have to fix it when he does. I see two cars full of children and one woman in attendance, so I know right away that it must be a tent site (am I sharp or what?). As I enter the store I ask the name of the reservation and as I look on my chart I casually mention that we don't usually check folks in this early and that, in fact, we aren't really open yet. For this I get the "you are being a bitch" look from my husband. "I'm sorry, but I don't see your name on my list....could it be under another name?" Husband jumps in to inform me that this was the e-mail we had gotten the day before. Now we are on the same page. "Oh, I'm sorry, you never responded to my return e-mail and I rented the site to someone else."

"But I e-mailed you." she whines. "Yes, you did" I say, "You inquired about availability; and I responded that there was only one site left. I asked that you either call or e-mail back to secure the site. You never responded and the site was rented to someone else." I replied. Again she says, "But I e-mailed you." Trying to keep my annoyance in check I offer a site on the full hook-up side of the park. "No, I wanted to be beside the pool. And I e-mailed you!" Again with that! I am starting to lose patience with this, so I say, "Oh, you e-mailed back?"

"Well, no. I was so tired when I got off work last night that I just went to bed and we got up really early this morning and we drove here all the way from Hannibal." she says angrily. Okay, I have had enough; so I tell her that I am sorry that I cannot help her and tell her to have a good day. She once again whined that she had e-mailed me and I was supposed to save her a site. I simply left her standing by her car as I walked away thinking about the 30 minutes of my life I just lost.

It is now 10 pm and I have put in the last reservation of the day. I think I will go to bed and dream

The Rain Cometh

I woke this morning to the dreary half light that told me the rain was here. I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand I am gleeful..... rain means no swimmers to demand my time. I still have all the necessary chores to do, but at a more leisurely pace. On the other hand, it is Friday and if this keeps up I will have cancellations..........and that means a loss of revenue.

My ears are still wonky. I can pinch my nose and blow out to make the fluid move behind my eardrums and if you are close by you will hear it! I suppose I should call for another appointment. I think I see an ENT Doc in my future. Crap! I don't have time for such things.

I spent yesterday afternoon painting the number signage for the new sites and now I need to go out and install them. No, I did not do this because of the Missionary man! It was already on my list of things to do, I just had to push love of my life into cutting the boards for me. Now they are ready to put up......but it is raining.

I see that the Michael Jackson saga continues. His father is now crying out that he suspects foul play. Will we be treated to more months of this as theories and rumors continue to circulate? The man is dead, let it be. Truth be known, he was no doubt culpable in his own death and his family will end up exposing that just to remain in the spotlight. I find myself flipping channels to not hear about it. Reminds me of Anna Nicole and how that dragged on and on and on........

Must be my ears, but my mind can't seem to land on a single thought and stay with it. Guess I will venture out into the gentle rain and hand my signs and clean some bathrooms. After that I might just tackle some wet weeds!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Almost Time To Close

I am counting the minutes until closing time. I plan to lock all the doors, pull the curtains and pretend I am not here. It will still be light out; but I have no swimmers in the pool, no pending arrivals and I am all alone tonight. I have my favorite soap, The Young and The Restless on DVR. I plan to watch about 3 weeks of episodes. I am not answering the phone. I will be in my bed with my four legged children and popcorn along with ice cold coke. I am salivating as I watch the clock!

Last night I had a cooking lesson from one of my campers, Don. I now know how to make tabbouleh. He even brought me extra ingredients for later! He is with the pipeline group, but he is living in a tent. That alone is intriguing to me. He is wonderfully intelligent and I enjoy talking to him (I am old enough to be this young man's mother). I like to meet people with different views on life (I would NEVER live in a tent). As it turns out he is quite the chef. I made a dessert last night that was a little different from the normal pies and cakes that all southern women are known for.

It was a cherry torte with a saltine crust, then a layer of meringue that was then baked for 10 minutes. The next layer was supposed to be cherry pie filling, but I had cherries from my trees that I had frozen, so I made a filling out of those with a little sugar and cornstarch. All of that was to be topped with freshly whipped cream. I improvised and used cool whip that I had on hand. It was really tasty. I liked the sweet and salty combination with the tart cherries.


Love of my life left us to the kitchen duties and wasn't at all excited about the tabbouleh. He ate a casserole that my daughter left in the freezer for us. It was her version of Shepherd's pie. I ate a bowl of my tabbouleh for supper tonight. It was better than yesterday.

Two more minutes!! All the stars and planets are aligned and I will soon be in TV heaven. You all have my permission to lay odds as to how long I will last in my soap opera marathon before I am asleep!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

God's Report Card

I am still sweating from mowing and have given this post much thought. I am in hopes that I have mellowed a little while I worked out my frustration with the mower. I truly do not want to offend anyone.........

Remember Flip Wilson from the 70's. He had a brief run on TV with a comedy show. He played himself and others including a woman known as Geraldine. One of his alter egos would always proclaim "the devil made me do it" whenever he did something objectionable. It became the catch phrase for awhile.

It has come to my attention of late that there seems to be a lot of folks claiming to be following the directions of God when they want to share an opinion that might not be well received. They would appear to have a much better relationship with God than all of us lesser folk. So Instead of proclaiming "the devil made me do it" one is enlightened with "the Lord has spoken to me and wants me to be his messenger to you".

Last night as I was painting more picnic tables and checking in late arrivals a class C motor home pulled in. The older gentleman came into the office and I inquired about his electric needs, etc. He only wanted 30 amp electric, said he did not need a sewer hook-up or water. It is , after all cheaper. He also wanted every discount available. I complied with his wishes and gave him a discount and supplied him with a map. I apologized that the sites were not yet numbered and showed him on the map where he was to go. I even offered to escort him to the site and he declined, saying he could find it. As I continued to paint even though I was losing light he came up and asked where the bathrooms were (he was standing right next to the men's room with a sign indicating that). I merely pointed to it and smiled. I am so used to being asked where things are that I really don't take note anymore. Come to think of it, I am approached in stores and asked where things are. I guess I look helpful.

I got up this morning and got the pool ready, threw on a couple loads of laundry, cleaned the restrooms and began mowing. I prep the areas for love of my life to get with the big mower and that takes about two hours with the push mower. I was mowing under on of my apple trees when the man from last night came up to the dumpster to toss his garbage. This is on the way out and I thought they were leaving so I simply waved and continued with my work. He comes up behind me and scares the fool out of me to ask where to dump his sewer........ I am a little annoyed with this because I would have put him in a site with sewer and he had insisted he didn't need a sewer hook-up. He saved $3 by doing this. I let it go and tell him where to find what he has requested and continue mowing.

I have finished with mowing around things and I am on the side of the building moving benches and tables out of Drew's way when the man pulls up, stops, gets out and approaches me. It is only 10 o'clock and I don't open the store until 11 during the week so that I can accomplish a few maintenance projects, but I reluctantly head towards him thinking he may need ice or some such item. No, he does not want me to open the store. He has what looks like a postcard in his hand, so I am thinking he has something he would like me to mail for him. Wrong again.

He is a missionary and he and his wife are on a return trip from Mexico where they have been spreading the gospel. I say something appropriate about his work and he continues to tell me that they have only stayed in one other RV park in their journey home and that friends have hosted them otherwise. My mind is churning wondering what he is leading up to...... does he want a refund, a donation, what? He has this card in his hand with a photo of him and his wife and a description of their ministry..........

It seems that the Lord spoke to this missionary man and told him to enlighten me to all the faults of my park. Why is it that people think it is okay to insult someone as long as they preface that insult with the statement "God told me to"? Mr. Missionary drew out a chart on the flip side of his post card that proclaims him to be a carpenter for Jesus. He has rated my park and found me to be failing in certain areas. This is all documented, yet he still wants to tell me in what areas I have failed. Ironically the one he keeps mentioning is the numbering of my new sites. He is quite smug and self-righteous (after all, he is just God's mouthpiece here). I find that I am less than receptive as I stand there dripping with sweat. His parting comment that he will pray that I work harder to make my park a better place is not sitting well in my mind...........

I mowed. I mowed a lot more than I should have as I muttered to myself about opinions. I am very hot and very thankful for this release. I am proud to say that I held my tongue and my only reply was to tell Mr. Missionary that he had failed to obey my speed limit. I guess he feels that doing God's bidding affords him the right to disregard the rules that the rest of us are subject to.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Help Gramma Build A Garden

While my little grandson, Gavin, was here I decided to put another garden together in an area that the water stands in when it rains. I had a load of dirt and a couple of big rocks dropped there. Papa brought in a load of gravel and Gavin jumped right in to help.
I was skeptical about the degree of help I would actually get. He is, after all, just a little guy.....

He has his own shovel and he climbed right to the top of the pile and shoveled his little heart out!


That boy moved a lot of rock! He helped me fill the wheelbarrow and didn't stop when he got tired. He tried calling his mom out to help us. She ventured out and shoveled a little, but headed back in. She tried to get Gavin to join her for an afternoon nap........ He told her that we had a garden to build and that she should help! She told him that she didn't come on vacation to work. He didn't miss a beat and replied that he didn't come on vacation to sleep!


I should have shot a "before" picture. Hind sight and all that. This is the garden that we built together. Presents a nicer entrance to my park, don't you think? He helped me split the day lilies with his trusty shovel and dug holes for all the marigolds and sedum.

I miss my little guy today. I am painting more picnic tables and I know he would help! It would be fun to have my girls here, they could all paint and then we could toss them in the pool for a clean up!
My daughter and son-in-law will be coming next month with my eight year granddaughter, Layla and her big brother, Gage. I will have to come up with a project for Layla to do. It is nice to think of Gavin every time I look at that garden. Gage is 14, so I doubt he will want to dig with me. He will be busy learning to drive in my car when he isn't in the pool. I bet he will take over my pool cleaning for me, though. I can't wait to see them. Miss my kids and their kids today!






Sunday, July 5, 2009

What Time Will The Fireworks Start?

"What time will the fireworks start?" Dark. "What time is that?" It varies, but you will know when it is dark.................it will be dark.

All day long I am asked the same questions. Children are excited and I am happily preparing everything for the big event. The helium filled balloons are readied by love of my life while Pat, the methodical genius, bags the popcorn.



It rained buckets last night, making the banner I hung over the entrance look pretty sad as it sags low. Spirits are still high, though and I find myself looking forward to the celebration. The skies are threatening to ruin the event as we start to eat our dinner. We did get a shower that cooled us off and made the night quite pleasant.


I tried to capture some good shots............ I really did. This was the best of the batch and doesn't do justice to the actual display.

Sparklers and children with popsicles and happy chaos. I wish I had been able to capture it all. We received many compliments and thank yous that make our job worthwhile. We couldn't do it with the help from our friends, though. Big, big thanks to Pat and Deb. We missed Bob and Karen tremendously. These two couples take up all the slack we are unable to fill ourselves. They keep picking us up over and over and we are so thankful for them!




Bad News First

I was all excited to write a post about our fireworks display, complete with pictures........... I didn't get to see much of it, though. I spent my time dealing with an idiot.

I spent the day preparing for the celebration we had decided to treat our campers to. Love of my life and Pat, the methodical genius, went off with over $500 to spend on fireworks. They were a little giddy with their mission. They were also provided with a short list of items needed to prepare our dinner. They forgot two things and I improvised with my recipe, but they remembered the Bomb Pop popsicles for the children, so all was forgiven.

As I was setting up the free popcorn and popsicles, I noticed the message light blinking with 7 calls. The phone rang as I debated listening to them. One of my campers was calling to tell me that some unattended children were setting off fireworks at their site as she walked back to her camper. One of the sparks hit her on her leg. She wasn't in need of medical attention, but that was beside the point.

I am now torn between my duties of campground party hostess and campground rule enforcer. I can't call my husband who is loading and lighting fireworks....don't want to distract him while he is dealing with something dangerous. Another complaint comes up and I turn over the popcorn and popsicles to her. Another camper is holding the huge bouquet of helium balloons for the children that I was going to distribute and I am off to speak to the evil doer.

When asked all week if I was going to allow fireworks on individual sites I answered NO. It is a safety issue. Not only are their lots of children to consider, but these 5th wheels and motor homes and travel trailers are not cheap. Most all of them have rubber roofs that would sustain damage if the debris from the fireworks were to land on them while still lit. When this is explained in a reasonable fashion most people get it. This is why we put on a display for the pleasure of everyone. The fireworks are discharged on the far side of the park, with the pond as a buffer between that and the audience. Most all the campers donate money to the fund for fireworks and are happy to have someone else handle the display.

The idiot in question came into my office early yesterday and handed me $300 for the display and said that he had invited some of his friends to come over to enjoy the fireworks. I thanked him and told him that they were welcome to come............ So, you would think that he had an understanding of the rules. He had asked me earlier in the week where he could take his son to see fireworks and I had explained that we did not allow fireworks on sites and that we were planning an event.

His child, who will be referred to as the cloud of destruction, is nine. Idiot is a single parent and cloud of destruction is a mouthy little snot. Seems that cloud of destruction and a slew of his young friends all under the age of ten were playing with Roman candles aimed at vehicles and smoke bombs....UNATTENDED BY AN ADULT. While the little snot was throwing smoke bombs at folks walking, Idiots other guests began their very own fireworks display right there at the site. There are rigs to the left, rigs to the right, in front and behind. I can hear them, but remember my ears still aren't right and I am a little disoriented by the sound. I just know that they are not coming from the right direction.

I catch a ride on a golf cart and go forth to do my dastardly deed. I approach the picnic table where a very young woman (girl?) and another man are sitting. I don't see the Idiot, so I ask where he is. He is sitting at end of the table in a very low chair chewing away with that fine glaze of drunkenness in his eyes as he stares at me. I remind him of the conversation we had regarding fireworks at camp sites and wait for a response. Nothing, he just continues to stare at me, sort of starting to annoy me. I almost ask him how old he is and if he has lost the ability to speak, but ask him, "What part of the rules did you not understand?". Nothing, no response. No longer sort of annoyed, I am full blown pissed off. The three adults(?) are simply staring at me, so I tell him that if he has trouble with the rules and chooses to disregard them I will have no problem whatsoever in kicking him out (none of the nice terminology like "you will be asked to leave").

His friend finally looks up and says, "It was my fault, I did just one, then I put it up." This is really pissing me off and I tell him I witnessed more than one myself. I feel like I am talking to children who are trying to lie their way out of the situation. I leave. So much for kicking back and watching the show along with everyone, now my dinner is churning in my belly and I am so frustrated that I want to scream. I sit down in my wet from the rain chair and tell Deb about Idiot and even take a couple of pictures of the fireworks.

Suddenly Idiot is looming large in my sight and motioning me over saying that we need to talk. I swear to you I thought he was going to apologize about the behaviour of his guests and child. Instead he lights into me telling me that I had no right to talk to him "that way"! What? It seems that he felt that he was not responsible for the actions of the guests he had...... he was inside cooking. I look at Idiot in disbelief. "Your site, your guests, your responsibility." He says, in response, "You can't hold me responsible, I wasn't outside, I was inside cooking." I simply repeat my previous statement as I think of all the mothers who would love to hear that excuse! I have to repeat it three more times as I realize his alcohol soaked brain is having a time out. Finally he tells me again that I have "no right" and I tell him that I own the park and that gives me all the right I need. He tells me that he will fix that and that he will be leaving. Fine with me and I tell him that he should leave as soon as possible. He takes another long slurp of his "beverage" and tells me that he wants a refund. I tell him there will be no refund and that if any damages have been incurred by his stupidity I will be charging him for them. He then tells me that he is going to go take care of those folks that complained about him right now. "No, you will not approach any of my guests, if you do, I will have the sheriff remove you." "Well you might as well go call him now." was his slurred response.

He didn't approach anyone and I have the feeling that he is a big talker. Suffice it to say that he ruined my evening. When the fireworks magicians re-appeared from the other side of the pond I told them about my run-in. Love of my life down played the incident so much that I spent a sleepless night second guessing myself. I hate to be the enforcer and I suppose that I could have shown more diplomacy in handling the matter................ A man would no doubt have done a better job in getting through to this guy (where was Bob, the undertaker with his larger than life authority when I needed him?..........what am I thinking, he would have been on the other side of the pond with his two cronies had he been here!).

I was happy to see Idiot pull out this morning. Any doubts I had about the way I handled the situation are gone. The woman who had gotten burned last night came in because she felt guilty that I was losing revenue. I assured her that she was right in reporting him to me and that I will have no trouble renting that site to another pipeline family. All was confirmed for me as individuals told me how happy they were that he had left with his cloud of destruction. I feel vindicated.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Words That Offend

As I read Jo's post today (A Majority of Two) I was reminded of the power our words have. Thinking before you speak is age old advice that is still (and, no doubt, always will be) relevant.

I often write my thoughts down that I would never say (unless overly provoked by someone). Recently I spoke my mind and in doing so I think I offended the people that I shared my view with. This is a couple I see every weekend and speak to them on the phone. Individually they are pleasant to talk with, but together, one is treated to a sideshow of hostility. They have two children and are constantly sniping at each other and putting each other down...........in the presence of the kids. It bothers me a great deal and prompted me to ask them why they chose to stay together.

They told me they stayed together for the sake of the children. I laughed at them and not because I was amused. Before I could stop myself I asked if they though their constant bickering was good for their children and was told that they didn't fight in front of the kids. I was astounded that they thought that and told them so. They put each other down and refer to the others less than desirable qualities in sometimes vulgar terms.....all with-in earshot of the ones they proclaim to protect by staying together. I know they were offended by my scolding. I am sure that the sniping has become a habit. I want to say that if this offense that I have committed gives them pause and they start to edit their words it will have been worth it.

Unfortunately, this weekend hasn't seen any change in the atmosphere. I feel for the kids. The oldest is ten and is wise beyond her years. Hungry for attention, she tends to want to hang out with adults and will do any thing you ask of her. She is right at that stage of innocence before puberty wins out and turns her into a teen determined to prove adults to have inferior knowledge of life. I fear that she will then begin to play one against the other in that age old game of outwitting one's parents. She has been watching and learning and it will not be pretty when this happens. I have noticed of late that she has also become a target and is told that her flaws are making her just like her mother.

All this is easy to see from the outside looking in. I don't think that this couple stays together just for the sake of the kids. I think that maybe they feed off the hostility of each other in a perverse manner and don't know how to stop. The negativity can be contagious and it takes a conscious effort to not be affected by it. I wish my words could have made a difference.........

Friday, July 3, 2009

Ready for the Holiday........I Think

Tomorrow is the big event. I have balloons for the kids. Free popcorn in patriotic bags and free rocket Popsicles. The flags are flying and the banners are hung. The picnic tables are freshly painted and have been distributed. The grass is mowed. I remembered toilet tissue for the bathrooms. What did I forget. Ketchup? No. Buns? No. Something isn't right, there is something missing. Water. Cold bottled water. Told Drew to get it when he ran in to town to make copies of the brochure and buy the buns. Forgot it. Went back for more paint....forgot it again. Pat and Deb are on a mission now.

All is at the ready and the clouds are gathering. Looks like a storm may hit just about the time I would expect arrivals. I guess I will just sit here and reminisce............... We acquired the campground in July, so it was the next year before we experienced a whole season. I had come up with a way to take the reservations and create a chart to keep track of everything so that a minimal amount of mistakes were made. I was so proud of myself and was really busy patting myself on the back. Love of my life had already been banned from the office and had been told not to take reservations before consulting my chart. For some reason he wanted to give the same site number to two or even three rigs.........

Memorial Day arrived and I had my handy dandy chart with the names of all those reservations and the date of arrival. I was so organized and sure that nothing would go awry. All the arrivals save one were in their designated sites and I waited for them.

A young woman sticks her head in the door to announce "The Clampetts (this is the name I chose for the clan) are here." I say, "You need to register and pay......". "She already paid and we ain't stayin' but one night." she replies and she shuts the door. I was a little put out since she was messing up my little system, "You are in site 18!" I shout out the door and she looks at me like I have grown horns and says that she already knew this..........

I went to bed. It was after 10 pm when I closed the office door and I was tired, but secure in the knowledge that all was right in my world. I had the credit card # on file for that last arrival and I would run it the next day. I knew that she had requested the entire 3 day weekend, but I knew I could rent it to an overnighter. Drifting off to sleep I dream of a ringing phone, no, the phone is ringing. I don't make it to the phone. The message is from the late arrival. They "ain't got no electric". I rouse the sleeping one and tell him to go to site 18. He comes back to bed and tells me that the site # is 14. I tell him that he is wrong........I have a chart and I know where I put them!

My reservation for site 14 arrives the next morning. These are nice people who have camped here before and have requested this site. They register and pay, we chat and off they go to the requested site only to find that it is occupied............. But, I have a chart and the chart indicates otherwise. I did not factor in the idiot quotient. I call my husband and admit that he was right about the late night site # and tell him to have the clan move to the correct site. Then I back up and tell him that I was informed that they were planning to vacate anyway and it was past check-out time. They refuse to move and say that they never intended to stay only one night. I am incensed and tell husband that they must come to the office and register or leave.

The real reservation is a good guy and takes the site that's left....my chart is all wrong now! The head of the clan arrives in my office after numerous visits to the site. I hand the toothless man with long white hair pulled into a ratty ponytail the registration form. "What do I do?" he asks. Many thoughts rambled through my mind as a reply but I simply told him to fill in the information. He looked dumbstruck and said, "I can't" and walked out saying "she" would come up. "She" arrived also lacking teeth. I am assuming that hygiene, dental or otherwise, is not a priority for these folk. She could, however, read and write. We had a lengthy discussion about the number of people camping at the site and although she haggled with me, I won. You cannot claim child status forever. Just because the person is your child doesn't mean they get the child rate after the age of 14 here at my park. I ran the credit card and for the three night stay it was less than $75.

The clan consisted of Ma and Pa, a grown son and his whatever, a grown daughter and a child of what looked to be anywhere between 8 and 14. He was probably closer to 14 than 8, but he possessed the innocence of a young child and was eager to share family information. He was the only one who went anywhere on foot. The rest drove this rattletrap van up to the store at least twice a day to peruse the content and then buy a very small purchase, usually a bag of ice. This was a very busy weekend and I never left the store (no doubt a good thing). We had decided to bundle the firewood that we had cut ourselves and I was keeping it stacked in bundles right outside the door to the store. I guess it was on Sunday that my stack was low again and I called Drew to tell him we would need more wood bundled. He called me back to ask if I had sold the loose wood to anyone. I hadn't and was asking my work camper at the time if she or her husband may have sold any to anyone. This conversation prompted the youngest member of the clan to exclaim, "Ya'll got lots of firewood! We done hauled us out two truckloads!"

"What, you did WHAT?" I want to strangle his innocent neck! "We didn't know we couldn't." I am losing it as I shout to him that what they have done is known as stealing and of course you can't simply take what doesn't belong to you. I realize that I am talking to the wrong person, but he is there, right there. I send love of my life to the now infamous campsite to demand the money for the wood. He comes back empty handed because they tell him they don't have any money.

We later learn from other campers that they flushed rocks down the toilets in the men's bathroom and were quite entertaining to those camping alongside them with their various antics that included "Ma" "sucking face" with one of her offspring. I am not sorry I missed that. Their water heater was apparently not working and "Pa" attempted to repair it resulting in a small explosion that left his face soot covered with 'only the whites of his eyes' showing. I opined at some point that I thought Ma and Pa to be siblings. Love of my life said, "Kathy. they are married." I told him that I was aware of that and still thought them to be siblings..... and I also thought that their parents were related by blood. He told me that I was mean as he laughed, but admitted that I could be right.

I was never so happy to see a rig pull out of my park. Later as I added up all the losses and repairs I came to the conclusion that we would have come out better had we paid for them to stay elsewhere. You never know what you might get when you take that reservation by phone. Oh, and the chart has been modified.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

On The Mend

Thanks to all of you for the advice and the good thoughts. I can happily report that although I am still not completely well, I do feel better. The ears are still funky and the voice still scratchy, but here I sit behind my counter happily pecking away.

Yesterday morning I was spirited away by camper buddy, Deb. I had considered cancelling my outing with her, but love of my life insisted that I get away from the park. So, it was off to her lake house we went. A quick inspection assured her that everything was in order and we headed to a local eatery for lunch. It was very casual and slow paced and we tried some fried potato salad. It was interesting, but I like mine better. I had some fried grouper. The breading looked like corn flakes, but had a touch of sweetness. Reminded me of the Captain Crunch breaded chicken at Planet Hollywood. My appetite is still a little off from the ear infection...........

After our leisurely lunch we headed to a wonderful outlet center. I got a Bali bra for THREE dollars! I will dig through all the sale racks with the best of them. I love a good clearance! Also got a cute shirt that the stitching was coming loose on at Tommy Hilfiger for five bucks. Socks for love of my life and a trip to the ice cream bar left us both very mellow.

WalMart was happy to see me enter it's sacred portals knowing I would fill my cart to capacity...... and I did. Pool supplies that my nearest WalMart is out of were snatched up shamelessly and we loaded it all in to ready our selves for the long ride home. A couple of bottles of water and some more decongestant pills for me and I was wired. Deb was crashing with fatigue and I drove part of the way home.

I don't particularly like to drive vehicles that I am not familiar with. It takes me awhile to acclimate myself to the sensitivity of the gas and brake pedals and figure out where all the gadgets are. It was okay with Deb as my co-pilot, though. Unlike love of my life she never barked at me if I hit the brake too hard or didn't drive as fast as I could. We had a wonderful day. I got a much needed change of scenery and a rest from my everyday activities.

But, alas, that was yesterday....... Today is here and the pool goers are continuing to arrive. Lots of folks got off early for the holiday weekend ahead and will begin arriving soon. I will no doubt be swamped. And, yes, he is at work! He was originally scheduled for Friday and swapped with someone in order to be off. His boss (and I use that term lightly) has informed him that she will no longer honor his request to be off every Friday. She says that when he applied for the job he did not write this request in, therefore.......... He has worked at least one day of every weekend this year. I have come to the conclusion that she is trying to see just how far she can push him. He is looking for another job that will allow him to work part-time and still receive benefits. She is such a fine example of how not to manage and I think she deserves an award as such. I would love to give her one.......

Instead of dwelling on that, I will now get up off my lovely derriere and sweep the store, do a little merchandising and get everything in order for the coming weekend. Wishing all of you a safe and happy holiday!