Monday, August 31, 2009

How Many People Does It Take To Change A Bulb...

A fluorescent bulb, that is. The answer is two.... One man to get the package out, take out one bulb and LEAVE the remaining bulb leaning precariously next to the extra extension cords, then go complete the task. The woman is supposed to follow behind him and put the remaining bulb safely away with the other bulbs.


Back track to this morning. I got up and after a quick cup of coffee went out to help get the park ready for the weekend. Despite the fact that we have tried to find some help with the mowing and weed eating, we have yet to find someone who likes manual labor. So with all the things that need to be accomplished this week I grabbed the mower to get started on the sites. I was actually going along quite well, looking ahead and calculating in my mind how much I could get accomplished before love of my life needed to leave for work. I hit a small rock, well it wasn't so small because most of it was underground. The blade must have hit it just right, because it pulled it out of the little hole it had been residing in and flung it at me. It missed me, but it bent the blade. I tipped up the mower and it didn't look too bad. I started it back up and found that it not only mowed but would dig a little valley as well.


I abandoned thoughts of mowing today, realizing the blade will need to be fixed. I had asked someone to repair the picnic tables and move the huge tire rim to the bon fire site. This was not done so I started working on that project. With some help from a boy camping here we got the fire pit pretty much cleaned up and we moved a lot of rocks and dirt. My next project was going to be moving the firewood to a more accessible location....... but decided to wait until I could mow in that area. Gee, I wish I had moved that wood!


Saw hubby off to work and kept working on different projects, trimming bushes and raking up piles of cuttings and picking some apples.........only to get stung by either a bee or a wasp several times. What ever it was flew in the armhole of my shirt. I stuck a sign in the door and got into the shower. The phone rang while I was in the shower and I actually took a reservation standing with soap all over me.


I was out of anything that would help with the swelling and itching, so decided to leave the sign up instructing anyone neding a site to use the night registration and go to the local grocery and pick up some benadryl creme. I found some bargains and picked up the milk, eggs, and bread for the weekend. I got home a little after 7:30 and unloaded the car and returned the calls on the answering machine. I slathered my arm with the benadryl and put up the groceries with a pounding headache.


A late arrival showed up and I checked him in, all the while longing to lock up and succumb to the headache. Just as I was about to close up, he came back. He wants firewood....the firewood that I didn't move. The firewood that I will have to walk through some tall grass to get. In the dark. Lots of snakes have been spotted lately and I don't like snakes. I pull my car around and shine the lights on the wood as I carefully tip toe through the grass and get enough wood for the campers.


I drive to the site they are sitting in....in their car. They have rented a tent site and are new to camping and not sure whta they are doing. I send them to a flatter spot, all the while wondering why you wouldn't stop before dark if you needed to set up a tent. But, whatever, I just want desperately to unload the wood and come back to the store to get some aspirin. They wonder aloud how they will be able to use electricity since they have no extension cord. Of course I offer to loan them one and head back to get it...........


I grab the extension cord and the fluorescent bulb hits the floor sounding like a gunshot enhancing the ache in my head. There are tiny little shards of glass everywhere and I am torn between sweeping up the mess and getting the cord to the campers so I can tend to my headache. I take a step forward and feel a stab to the bottom of my foot where a piece of the bulb had flown inside the sandal on my foot. I gingerly pulled the shard of glass out of my foot and walked to the site and delivered the cord. I came back and swept up the mess and took some aspirin, then cleaned up my bloody shoe.


Think I will go to bed now................ Tomorrow will be better........won't it?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Dull Women Have Immaculate Houses....

I started journaling some (?) years ago. In a fit of cleaning I found one of my older ones and, of course, quit cleaning to sit down with a cup of coffee and read it. Any excuse for a coffee break, right?

This particular one must be at least 8 or 9 years old and one entry refers to my love of my dachshunds. In case you are a new reader, I have two.... Oscar (as in, the Oscar goes to.....) and Emmy (yes, you get it). Oscar was given to me by my daughter under protest on my part. I swore that I did not like yippy little dogs. I named every reason under the sun to not take this dog into my home. I took him like all good mothers do and promptly fell in love. He has the personality of a tyrant and daily claims his rank as the alpha in our household. He is solely my dog and will growl and snarl at anyone who dares to even touch him in bed at night....except me. When he was 6 months old we bought him a wife. The name on her papers is Sweet Emmy Lou. While Oscar's name in no way reveals his personality, hers fits her. She is 6 pounds of pure love.

Back to the journal. The entry that caught my eye was the one about bed sheets. I used to change my sheets every other day and mop my house every day. Correction, I didn't use the mop in the same sense that I do now. I would start with a nice hot bucket of soapy water. I would wash the floors, the use the mop to remove all the soapy water, the repeat the process with clear water until I liked the results. Every day. I did eventually have a little breakdown and altered my over cleaning ways.

I couldn't stand to sleep on a sheet that had wrinkles in it or (heaven forbid) sand. According to my journal I was happy to sleep with the dog hair and the little bits of sand that got into the bed with the little paws. Well, not happy, but content......not unhappy........maybe resigned. The whole entry was about how I had lowered my standards of cleanliness for the love of my dogs. I guess it is pretty much like having your child creep into your bed with wet pajamas..... you change the kid and then crawl back into the damp bed and go back to sleep. It is only a little pee and it is your kid's pee, so, no big deal.

Back to the present.... two days ago I pulled the sheets off my bed and washed them, dried them, and had every intention of redressing the bed. I got busy in the store, then with cooking a meal and I totally forgot about them. I was on the phone with a friend right before going to bed and love of my life took the dogs out (under protest on their part...he refuses to sing the night-night pee-pee song to them) and went to bed a few minutes before me.

He made the bed!!!!! he has only attempted this a very few times in our marriage because I have standards in bed making that he cannot seem to fulfill. I like the sheets taut, no wrinkles. So much so that I purchased bed sheet garters to assure that they stay taut. Well, when I entered the room I could see right away that he had the bottom sheet on wrong, with the sides on the ends (it is a little tricky with king sheets, they are almost square). I thanked him and crawled into bed with my husband and canine children and slept blissfully......... maybe blissful is an exaggeration.

I tell you all of this just to make a point of how much I have changed in the last ten years. Even five years ago I would have made him get out of bed and remade it, all the while instructing him on the correct way to make a bed. He apparently never listened to those instructions anyway. He was so cute, he even tried to put on the garter at the head of the bed on his side. These fit under each corner and have to be attached to the sheet at both ends of the thing to keep it in place......... he put only one on with the other end just hanging loose. I finally remade the bed this morning and we will be sleeping on clean sheets that are pulled extra taut with no evidence of our four-legged children.....for tonight, as that will all change the minute they get into the bed!

I was going to post a picture of the title, but the camera had no charge left on it. I have a cross-stitch creation with a messy sofa, full of clutter and the title of this post on it. Perhaps, if I were a bit more organized these things would fall into place. I do manage to clean the restrooms and help mow and pull weeds and make apple butter and put up peaches. Some things slide and that's okay.......... sort of.......

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Paint Crew

Yesterday was the big day. The paint was ready and so was my crew. There are three little boys who hang together and they all wanted to help with the picnic table repair job. That was such a small little job. Needed only one little hand to fix. So I had to come up with more......... The inside of the fence around the dumpster is not at all lovely and kind of pieced together. So I gathered some old stained up tees, along with three brushes and the paint and sent my paint crew in.

They finished off the first bucket of paint that didn't have much left, then took a Gatorade break. I gave them a whole new gallon and they were back at it again.

Have you ever seen a more handsome trio of young men? They were having a great time..... all three dipping out of one bucket of paint. I showed them that they could pour some of the full can into the empty can and create two containers to work from. I have now been dubbed one smart lady.

As you can see this wasn't an easy area to paint, but they painted all of it before they quit for the evening. After they washed up I told them each to go choose a free ice cream treat. There were whoops of gratitude and all is well in the world of boys.
I didn't get a shot of the completed paint job....it was getting dark and I do have to check in rigs. I can assure you that they covered it all with paint. I was asked if they could have a lemonade stand. All three boys have sisters and I think the girls were feeling a little left out of the action. I suggested they wait until the holiday weekend when I have the church group with about 100 tenters here. Eyes lit up as they were busy painting and calculating the profits from such a crowd.
Should be an interesting holiday weekend. I will try to keep my camera at the ready.



Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Day Off.......Way Too Sweet

Well, it was only a half day, but I take what I can get. I spent the morning getting ready for my big adventure. A long shower (no one was doing laundry to pull away the hot water....yay!) and I even put on make-up (no need to scare people when you go to......WalMart!). I dressed in some new clothes that I inherited from a friend. I sashayed out to my vehicle and found that I even had fuel. It would seem that all the planets were in synch and all was right for a get away.

Off I went and spent a wonderful hour or so in the consignment shop........ you never know what treasures might await you. Then I got a free shampoo with my haircut. They weren't busy and she massaged my scalp, I was in heaven! The cut is good, but they always tend to weigh my hair down with lots of product. On to WalMart for the necessities of life and a quick stop at McDonald's for a tea for the drive home.

That's where it all went downhill. This was the sweetest tea I have ever had! I am from Georgia where all good cooks pride themselves on the sweetness of the tea and this went way beyond that! I had a raging sugar high, then a crash and now I am recovering from the headache! Lesson learned. I will not do that again. I will stick with water.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Goodbye, My Friend

I woke up early today. I reached to the the curtain and pulled it aside. There is an empty spot in my heart today. Our friend has left to move away. We didn't know him long, a couple of years, but in that short time we came to treasure his friendship. He gave generously of his time and knowledge to help our business expand. More than that, though we spent many wonderful hours with him and our other friends sometimes sitting around this very fire pit...........

This is what I saw when I pulled back my curtain........ A lonely site.

I walked down to the site with a heavy heart. I picked dead heads off the flowers and thought of our friends....all the friends we have made here over the years. I was sad to see this empty spot that has housed other good friends, too. It was comforting to peek out my curtains at night and know that there was someone in that spot that I could call on if ever I needed help.

Looks mighty lonely, this site, as it waits to meet a new occupant. I wonder if the new rig will hold a future dear friend. There are three sites in this little corner of the park and always seem to hold people who are dear to us. There has been a little controversy of late about this particular site. Feelings have been hurt and friendships bruised. I hope that it is only a bruise. Bruises heal with time.

I am in a melancholy mood today as I think of all my friends, some here and some that have moved on. Sometimes it is hard to please everyone as you try to do what you feel is the right thing. This doesn't always make me popular with everyone and I find myself developing a thick skin. I don't know that I want a thick skin, though. I still want to have compassion and to do that you have to put yourself in the place of others. Lately I feel like I have been walking a tightrope and am likely to fall with each step.
I think I will just lay low today and watch the world around to see what will unfold.



Saturday, August 22, 2009

Anonymous

Have you ever felt hate? I am sure from time to time you have met people who don't particularly like you, nor you them. That is not what I am referring to. When you don't care to be in the presence of someone you usually simply remove yourself and go on about your business. That is what I do. But, I am talking about a very palpable feeling of hatred.

We all say "Oh, I just hate her, she thinks she is better than me." Or, as I have been known to say to friends who have achieved a goal that I have not yet reached, "I hate you." Really meaning that I am a little jealous. These are common statements we all have made from time to time and those that we made them to realized the context.

Lately I have felt pure hate coming from the anonymous commenter on my blog. Given the onslaught of responders to the comments, I am not the only one who had that perception. The latest comment was vile. I had written posts about my recent visits with my grandchildren along with pictures. I felt compelled to take them down because I do not want them viewed by this commenter. I feel a threat to myself from some of the statements made by "anonymous". I find myself double checking the locks on my doors and staying close to the main building. I think that this person(s) means me harm. I feel it come through the words she/he has written. No matter that the text is poorly constructed with misspellings and grammatical errors........... I feel the threat.

It doesn't help that this person(s) is living in my park. From the context of the last comment I can assume that she/he plans to leave soon. I am hopeful that this is true. The last comment also indicated that they would no longer be reading my blog, although I doubt that is true. I seem to have struck a chord with whoever this is and they keep returning. I know that I can delete the comments and that I can block the commenter...... However, that will not stop them from reading my words. And.... it won't stop them from hating me.

Nobody wants to be disliked this intensely. I am not naive enough to think that everyone will like me and want to be my friend. I don't like everyone I meet and I tend to choose my friends with great care.

I have felt restrained in my writing of late. My thoughts aren't simply running onto the keyboard in a hurry to be read. I had a long chat with my son the other night and he helped me put it all into perspective. He reminded me that not everyone will agree with or even like what I have to say. He told me that not every column written or book written has everyone for a fan, no matter how popular the writer or the subject matter. I suppose I will have to take the good with the bad.

A very dear friend commiserated with me this very day and asked me a very important question. She wanted to know if this anonymous commenter was affecting my writing. I had to answer that it was. I found myself editing my thoughts and words before they hit the "paper".

Autumn

This is my favorite time of year. I know it is not officially autumn, but there is a promise of cold weather in the air...... just a nip. Harvest has come early this year. My peach tree has already yielded her bounty and the apples are falling off the trees. But look closely........ there is a forgotten peach. Looks like a delicious breakfast for me.

All the tomato plants I bought and planted carefully are long gone, having given me only a handful of fruit. This volunteer from fallen tomatoes of last year is full of green fruit...... A true dilemma for me. Shall I wait for them to ripen or do I plan a meal around some fried green tomatoes?

A good breeze is blowing and my flowers are swaying in the wind.

I love sunflowers. They look so happy. I didn't plant any this year..... they just showed up from the fallen seeds of years past.





I try to plant gourds every year. They vine all over and tend to hide their fruit until they are big. I am always surprised at their size when I find them. I wonder how I could have missed something so big. I have painted some and carved a few. These hanging in the tree dried naturally and created a haven for birds. I put birdseed in the bottom and will be making some suet to fill them with so the birds can feast at will without the powerful winds we get here blowing it all away.


I posted a picture earlier this year of my hollow log. You probably don't recognize it now. It is full of flowers and mint. I was given some mint to plant by one of my favorite campers. Next year it will no doubt take over the entire log. For right now I have been pinching a leaf or two to add to my tea. Smells wonderful.

Today is cool and breezy. Doesn't feel like August and is making me think about Christmas. With 7 grandchildren, it is never too early to start considering what I will be giving each one. Time to hit my sewing room and get it ready for a major assault!






Tuesday, August 18, 2009

First Impressions

First impressions are important, and we all would admit that we would want to present ourselves at our very best when meeting someone for the first time. This isn't always possible. None of us are at our best 100% of the time. Myself included.

When we started this adventure called owning a campground we were naive in thinking that we could present the best of ourselves every time we stuck the open sign in the door. We tried, we really tried. We listened to every suggestion offered. We listened to horror stories of owners past. We worked 14 to 16 hours a day tirelessly with a smile upon our face. We dumped all of our resources into this park, so sure that our clientele would appreciate our efforts to make everything nicer for their benefit.

I rose each morning and showered, put on make-up and did my hair.........like all good southern girls are taught to do. From there I ventured out into the park to greet my campers....and clean the toilets and pick up the candy wrappers off the ground. I plotted out gardens to make the entrance more inviting. I kept the store open 12 hours a day and spent many hours painting and remodeling, all with my campers in mind. Instead of banning dripping wet swimmers from the store, I painted the floor with a non-slip additive. We disregarded the rules of the previous owners and allowed folks to enjoy a snack poolside.

Five years later and I rarely put make-up on. I spend some days with a baseball cap attached to my head in lieu of shampooing. I am no longer open 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. The smile on my face is slower to arrive. I am tired. There are days when I would love nothing more than to sell it and be on my way. Our current economy has insured that this will not be happening.

And yet......... there are still those moments when it is all worthwhile. A simple thank you from a weary traveler. A return visit from someone who will go out of their way just to stay with us. A hug from a regular just because. The excited squeal of a toddler whose mom brings him here to swim.

Today, it was the confession of a child..... I was folding laundry on this cloudy day and trying to get my living quarters in order when I heard the buzzer announce a customer. I yelled my usual "be right there" as I headed to the door that connects our home with the store. I came through the door to see one of the children currently living here in our park. His mom was with him. He has that awful distressed look of a little boy about to do something he dreads. He is only 8 years old and he is looking at me with his soulful eyes, his pudgy fists on the counter in front of me.

"Tell her." "Tell her what you did." says mom. His eyes are begging me to dismiss him. I can't, it is not my call. His mom has brought him to tell me something that he must own up to and I can't override this job of parenting. She has to prod him again and he confesses to carving the picnic table on his site. Tears fill his eyes as he tells me and I put my hands on his and give them a gentle squeeze. I listen to the whole confession and wait a moment before I thank him for being so honest with me. Then I lay down his sentence. He will have to help me paint and fix the table he defaced. He bravely wipes his eyes before one tear can fall and looks at me hopefully as I tell him that he has done one of the hardest things anyone can do....own up to what you have done.

My title is "First Impressions". The mom in question here is the one who made a dismal first impression with me by picking my not ripe yet apples. I am just as certain that my reaction made her first impression of me equally as dismal. She presented me with an apple pie last week and we started over with a hug and genuine apology on both sides. Her little girl still drives me bonkers, but I am certain the same was said years ago about my youngest child (she can still drive me bonkers, too).

I suppose we all make awful first impressions from time to time. It is okay....as long as it is not a lasting impression. I will be seeing those soulful eyes in my dreams tonight. I will make his "punishment" of painting be as fun as I can. Maybe I will even make a new friend....

Monday, August 17, 2009

Anonimity

I have spent some time reflecting of late, due to the recent barrage of anonymous comments. I will confess that some of the comments have given me pause. No one likes to have their failings pointed out to them and I am no different.

Anyone who reads my blog should know that this is venue for venting frustrations and sharing what it is like to own a campground............all from my own unique point of view. If one should recognize their own behaviour, then perhaps it will give them a different perspective on their future behaviour. Criticism can be a useful tool. It is like seeing yourself through another set of eyes.

I have definitely considered those comments that wish me ill and I can only hope that was an empty threat on the part of the author. Maybe their way to vent. I have no intention of addressing the comments. After all this is my blog and I am free to write what I like. I do not intend to place a block on the anonymous comments and I won't delete them. As much as I appreciate my freedom to do so...... I started this project as an exercise in writing and I want to see the feedback. Good and bad.

I appreciate all the comments and support from my followers. I feel honored to have your support and your recent comments have defended me and my writing. I thank you.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Owning Your Words

We live in a free country and one of the freedoms we embrace is the freedom of speech. I have recently been chided for my posts by an anonymous commenter. Actually I think there are two. They apparently disagree with me and they have the right to do so. I am not naive enough to think that everyone shares my opinion. The world would be a boring place if this were true.

I feel free to express my opinions to others in day to day conversations and on this forum we call blogging. But I do this openly and use my name. I feel that hiding behind a moniker of anonymous is cowardly. Once again I am expressing my opinion. Under my title. Using my name. If I don't like what you have to say I have no problem telling you. I am open to listening to other points of view and love a good debate.

I have given the comments under "anonymous" a good deal of thought and would love nothing more than to express my point of view to this entity or entities, as the case may be. I feel restrained to do so, however since a couple of the comments feel like a veiled threat to me, personally. The commenter went so far as to suggest that my husband and children would be better off without me.

I did consider closing my blog altogether.....but I am loathe to give up an outlet that I enjoy. I have the right to express myself, and those who do not agree with that; well, they certainly have the right to not read my blog.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Diane

Today is my daughter-in-law's birthday. She is, in fact, my favorite daughter-in-law. She would be even if she weren't my only daughter-in-law. We have known her many years and I was proud to call her a friend even before she became my son's wife.

She is, as you can see, beautiful. More than that she possesses a sweet spirit and anyone who meets her can understand how my son couldn't help but become quite smitten with her. She is the mother of four girls that I am Grandma to.

I wish I could bake her a cake and give her a big hug today............... I will have to rely on my son to give her a hug for me. I am missing my kids today. I get really lonely for them on special days.


So, Diane, if you are reading this.......... Happy Birthday, hon, I love you!

Housecleaning.........?

I should be making better use of my time and cleaning my house. What can I say......rainy days and Mondays always get me down. It is not the rain, we needed a good soaking and I love it when it rains. Monday....I like Monday. I align my week and mentally take stock of what I want to accomplish on Mondays.

Drama, it must be the drama. I am currently in the midst of a drama. There are always undercurrents of mini dramas that I am on the outskirts of. People seem to want to confide in and confess to me. Don't know why.........

I seem to be privy to relationship problems, mechanical problems, financial problems. Most of it I simply shove to the back of my mind, knowing that it is none of my business and only will be if it affects the rent or living conditions of the confessor. Some of it, however does affect me in a profound way.

I don't particularly like being in the middle of family situations. I don't like being pushed to "choose sides". I doubt that any of us do. That being said.....when you push me you can expect to either be pushed back to the point of resolving an issue or you will push me away for good. Display your ugly side to me and you need to be prepared to see mine (we all have one).

I have been trying to wrap my mind around a particular situation for several days now. There really is no right or wrong way to handle it. It involves feelings and I have learned that when we feel that we are under attack by someone that we care about [and would like to think are held in the esteem] there will be no winner declared. No matter how we would like to apply super glue and go on there will always be a little ridge there now.

"Why can't we all just get along?" How many times have I asked my children that question? Experience has shown that things rarely run smoothly on a consistent basis. Your family is always your family and will always forgive you.....that is another rarity. Loyalty is a fickle thing. Even if you hold yourself to the highest of standards and think that you are the most loyal and caring of friends.....not everyone will have that perception. I always want my friends to think well of me. They will as long as you play on their team, but what if you want to divide your time and play on another team on occasion?

Would a true friend question your motives? Would a true friend display feelings of jealousy? Would a true friend ask you to ignore your responsibilities to do what you think is right? Hurt feelings can cause all of us to act in ways that are childish.

I would like to think that I am above such behaviour and I have to confess that I am not. Like I said, when I am pushed, I tend to push back in like terms. It is easy to see in others, not so much in yourself. Today will be a day of self examination.

When you think back on all the people that you have ever come into contact with, it becomes apparent rather quickly that there are just a few that you really connect with. If this is true for you as it is for me, then I am sure will agree with me that those are the friends you truly cherish. I have recently come to be friends with just such a person and I now feel that I have been put in a position of choosing sides............ Unfair, you might say, but what would you do?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Cruelty to Animals


If you read even a few of my posts you will know that I love my animals. My children will tell you that I treat the dogs better than I treated them. This is not true....but close.

I recently rented a site to a newly married young couple. He is a pipeline worker and I think she stays home. Home is a nice 5th wheel. They took the last available site and it isn't roomy in this area of my park. The park was built in the 60's and back then the size and variety of RV's cannot begin to compare to those of today. All the sites we have added have been spaced with just that in mind. When living in such close quarters it is necessary to impose rules that will guarantee the well being and comfort of the majority.

This being my campground, I have always tried to be fair. I have come to realize that I can't be flexible in my regime. This is not a democracy.....it is my way or the highway, literally. I compiled a nice letter outlining my requests and expectations. This has been replaced with a list of rules to abide by.....or the laws of the land, if you will.

The new couple have a young dog. He looks to be the offspring of a large breed. I can't tell you what kind of dog he is, but I can tell you that his living conditions are deplorable. We live in the county and there is no animal control out here. If there were I would have called and had the animal removed. He has mange and fleas. Despite the rule that requires you to keep your dog inside unless in your presence this poor animal has been living in a cardboard box outside their door. He howls and cries pitifully and every time we go to confront the owners...no-one is home. I stepped in the dog's leavings on my first visit and I was not happy. I told the young woman then that I would not allow the mess and that her dog was unattended. The neighbors have been feeding and watering the dog and I have been fielding complaints.

I sent my husband down twice today in response to complaints. She was not there. Husband is working tonight and I had enough, so I locked up and went down again. The poor dog had tangled his chain around the neighbors electrical cord and unplugged them. The dog has something wrong with one eye as he stands wagging his tail at my arrival. Probably begging me to remove him from that damned chain and find him a good home.

I left on a mission to hunt down the owner if it meant knocking on the door of every rig in the park. I located her at her brother-in-law's and told her that she would need to either take care of the dog or leave. She stood staring blankly at me. I wanted to ask her if she was dim. I told her that her dog had caused the people on her right to lose power. She was quick to tell me that she had not chained the dog to the picnic table, but to the tongue of their rig where he couldn't "reach nobody's stuff". I point out to her that the dog is supposed to be in her presence.."but, I'm not there" is her answer to that one. Really? "Look, sweetie, what you are subjecting that animal to is cruel, he doesn't even have any water. If I could have him picked up, I would. Either resolve this problem or I will be forced to evict you."

I left after my little speech. She did not go give the dog water or put him in the RV and tomorrow I will follow through and tell them they will have to leave. This was her third warning. You would have thought she would have immediately taken care of it. She apparently thinks I will continue to warn her and I am sure she will be shocked when I kick them out.

While I was busy venting here, my dog Oscar was barking at me. He was quite persistent and got louder every time I shushed him. The louder he got the more annoyed I got....until I heard the familiar sound of him rolling his EMPTY water dish on the floor! I guess he put me in my place!


He seems pretty content now. Look at that handsome face. He is such a good boy........when he is sleeping.

I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night.......

I couldn't get to sleep last night. I was still up when love of my life got home at 11:45. I was still awake at 1:00. The full moon kept peeking at me through the blinds. I was tired, but couldn't quite make it all the way to a restful slumber. I like that word, slumber. Brings images of sleeping children, all tucked in without a care in the world to mind. I dozed on and off. I dreamed many, mini dreams. I don't remember all of them and I guess I should be thankful for that.

Since I am really tired today I can only assume that these dreams were action dreams that I had starring roles in. I have a recurring dream in which I am driving downhill towards a stop sign or a red light (this detail varies) and I am pushing the brakes with all my might and cannot stop. I always wake up before I arrive at whatever disaster awaits me. It feels very real and I am breathless as my heart is pumping wildly. During the day I will remember snippets of other dreams and most of those are recurring dreams as well.

It leaves me not well rested physically and somewhat troubled as I stumble through the day, hoping it ends soon so that I can crawl into bed and try again for that refreshment of body and soul that I long for. It is with this attitude that I slip out to my garden early this morning. My garden isn't exactly thriving this year and I am carefully picking butter beans for my daughter's visit next week. I take the phone with me into my solitude and it does not disappoint as I go from one problem call to the next.

Feeling like I can't satisfy anyone I finally give up and go inside. Fed-EX arrives with a shipment of some big something for the pipe-line crew and I drag myself out to sign for it. Thinking that it will be unloaded and they will get it when whoever ordered it comes in this afternoon I head to the back of the van with the delivery lady. She opens the door and casually mentions that it weighs 340 lbs. I rouse the sleeping one and go off to find the man who ordered it as I am disinclined to help unload it. Of course he is not there and we have to wait for his arrival. I hide in the house drinking coffee and let love of my life entertain the driver.

I am glad I let him charm her, cause she gifted him a raspberry Danish Kringle. You would have thought neither of us had eaten in a month. We tore pieces off and ate, then tore and ate again. I notice that when I am tired I tend to eat more in an effort to stay somewhat alert. I always feel heavy in my mind as well as my stomach when I finally do get to go to sleep.

I made a dental appointment yesterday for next Wed. That gives me almost a whole week to anticipate......and not in a good way. Maybe that is what caused me to dream. Whatever it was I intend to empty my mind before I lay me down to sleep.................


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Honest Scrap Award

Four days ago Scarlethue (A Beautiful Truth) passed along an award to me. I am to name ten random things about me. I didn't just blow it off. I was trying to figure out how to transport the image to my blog. I am sure it is something that is no doubt pretty simple if you know what you are doing. After all I did figure out how to put pictures on here, didn't I?

Well I clicked on that handy dandy help button and I put the question out there and the response had something to do with adding a widget. Gee...... wonder what that is. Next week my child will be here and then I will no doubt learn.

Until then though...... Ten things about me. Lets see. Okay. I didn't learn how to swim until I was 22. I don't like chocolate, especially milk chocolate. I have broken my left foot four times. I like to mow, but I hate to vacuum. I find washing dishes to be soothing. That's five and this is harder than I thought.

I took two years of French and can't remember any of it, but since I have never been to France it doesn't really matter. I always thought I would travel to exotic places and now I realize I am content to be where I am. I haven't had a tub bath in 6 years.......only showers. I miss having a bathtub. I used to color my hair, now it is my natural color with a lot of gray........and I don't feel a bit older. One more........I am terrified of dentists. It is traumatic for me to go. I will do almost anything to get out of it.

Now that you know these amazing facts about me I think I am obliged to pass this along. However, I find it impossible to choose among those blogs I follow and enjoy. Not to mention that I have failed to put the image on here, but you all just wait! When I find out what this widget thingy is I will show you, yes I will!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Empathy...Rhymes with Sympathy

I have that empathy gene I guess. Tell me your sad story and I can feel your pain. I will cry with you. Odd things like certain commercials can also move me to tears. But nothing will grip my heart as much as the emotional pain of one of my children.

My cell rang yesterday as I was talking to a customer on the business line. I saw that it was my daughter and let it go. I knew I could call her back. Before I finished with the customer, though, love of my life called to tell me to call our daughter. That means she has something important to share with me. She answers my call and I immediately know that she has been crying. I ask her what is wrong, all the while knowing what is hurting her. She answers with a sob as she says "It's Crash". Crash is her 12 year old St. Bernard. He is the brother of my sweet old Louise who died last year.

We all knew his time was coming. Twelve years is a long time for his breed and he had already outlived his sibling. He was going to coming here to see us along with the people who love him in a couple of weeks. For me it would have been bitter sweet. I would have been hugging his great big head and remembering. I suppose it was not to be, though. His appointment is this morning and I know my Jill is heartbroken. I can't be with her and that makes me even sadder.

I called her brother and sister and told them to check in on her today. I know that my Nick (best son-in-law in the world) will be there for her........but I am her mom and I want to comfort my baby. The sky is gloomy and matches my mood today as I sit here and think about about my kids. Jill posted a picture on her blog yesterday of the big old guy with my heartbroken grandchildren. Poor Layla is red eyed from crying, while her big brother, Gage is holding it all in. I am destroyed by that image as I sit here surrounded by my little dogs crying.

Every instinct I have wants to go get a puppy for my kids. I know that they won't be ready until they have had a chance to mourn and it is not my job to fix the hurt.....I just want to make it all better and I can't. Sad today, just so sad.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Big Mouth Bass

I guess these aren't called big mouth bass for nothing! Jamison is holding the fish that was caught in our pond today. He didn't catch this one, but he is reported to have caught his share.
Cody wasn't inclined to hang onto this fish even though his friend is willing to share.

This is Cody's Dad. He is the one who caught this. He is also known as Eugene our helper of all things involving the operating of big equipment.
Today was one of those perfect days. The weather was neither hot or cold. Just a slow stream of customers allowing me to read blogs and get caught up on some filing. August has arrived and I just might survive this season!


Cody decides to keep trying for that big one of his own!



Signs....

I spend a lot of time reminding people what the speed limit is and telling them that they are going the wrong way. I find myself explaining the whys of the rules over and over. Most of the time I try to be patient and when I take the time to explain that if you come speeding into the campground you would be unable to stop if a child on a bicycle were to appear suddenly. Or maybe someone walking their beloved pet has a long leash and you might not see the little pet in time to stop.

Yes, most people are reasonable and realize that I didn't suddenly decide it would be fun to impose my rules on them. Some days, though, it just doesn't work that way. Some days you just encounter those disinclined to even try to see your point of view. I have learned these past five years to recognize those people before I even open my mouth. One such "gentleman" graced me with his presence this week. He came in the exit drive and was followed by a cloud of dust as he raced to the front of the building. He was driving a truck with a small camper tucked into the bed of the truck. I came out of the store to greet him (I wanted to point out to him that he was speeding, after all). "Hi, can I help you?" I say as I approach him. He jumps out of his truck scowling at me, "Yeah, I need some ice." he says. "Did you know that you were speeding?" I ask. "What?" he answers, only the tone of his voice made it sound more like 'whatever, lady, I don't really care'. See what I mean? Right away I already knew he was not going to like anything I had to say. But.... I repeat my question anyway and tell him the speed limit is 10; this prompts him to ask me "Then why does the sign say 35?". I look at him and wonder why I have to be subjected to such stupidity and take a deep breath. "Which sign?" I ask. "The one on the road." he answers. "You aren't on the road." I say. "Oh, you me mean in here? Why is it 10 in here?"

Perhaps I should have counted to ten and taken a good deep breath........... I didn't. "Because I say so and I own the place. The ice is $1.50 a bag and it is inside." I reply as I turn and walk back into the store. It felt good.

I have been painting signs all week . Last night one of my good campers who I have come to look forward to seeing brought a wonderful gift to me. She made a shirt....a custom shirt.....just for me. I am wearing it today and it embodies the essence of what I would want to impart to all those that I have to explain the rules to over and over again. I love it. And I love that Martha knows me that well. See, I have many wonderful people here that totally get me....and they follow the rules!

This the sign that lets you know you have followed the directions I gave you on the phone and found the park. I will be painting it again soon after a good power wash gets rid of all the peeling paint.

This is one of the existing signs we inherited when we bought this place. I added the one way sign, since this seems to be hard to understand. The one on top says that all visitors must report to the office....only one in ten actually do that. I will no doubt reword and paint that sign in more vibrant colors.
The sign that says 'enter next drive' was put up by love of my life and has been mostly ignored. I added the 'exit only' just yesterday and it is too soon to tell if this will actually work.......
The entrance sign is double sided so that it can be read from either direction. I confess that I had to paint the other side arrows twice. I had them going the wrong way. This sign should help a lot.

This sign has letters big enough to be read from the road. Yes, I know that 'propane' is not centered. I was on a ladder, okay. The bottom looks bad right now, but that area will be covered with gravel and a spotlight installed............ and I see a garden. Nothing too high to obscure the sign, but maybe some happy marigolds and Mexican daisies would like it there.....

The best deterrent for those inclined to fly through here have been the numerous speed bumps that have come to live here at my park, so to cover my liabilities I have posted this warning. If you choose to enter the park on the wrong side you will not see this and you might have a really rough ride. I confess that I enjoy seeing some people hit those bumps!

So few people stop at this sign, I suppose I should install an impressive bump here so that they will stop and read the speed limit.
If all these signs don't give you an idea of my expectations, then I suppose I will make more!