Thursday, December 30, 2010


Too much to do and too little time ............. We are hosting a New Year's Eve with friends. People I hold dear and who love me right back. But ....... company is company and I am in a cleaning frenzy; suddenly seeing my surroundings through the eyes of others. We all do it.

With that in mind I set aside this entire day to right all that is wrong here in my humble abode. Well, within reason, that is. The weather is cooperating and it has been a wonderful balmy day. I was counting on he who works part-time to help out with a few chores, but he was called in early. I wasn't too awfully upset since he tends to get in the way when I am in a manic cleaning fest. As soon as he left Murphy's Law took over. I let Wall-E, the wonder dog, out and started in the kitchen. I grabbed my laptop and put the speakers on to listen to a book I had already started and was 22 chapters into. Remembered the little white dog and went to let him in. The gate had blown open just enough for an escape ..............

Still optimistic, I was thankful that only one dog had to be found. I went into the parking lot and called his name and he came running obediently. He was gleeful and jumping into the air and ...... he was brown. All over, only the top part of his legs were unscathed. As he got closer, I prayed that it was mud (knowing in my heart it was not), I caught a whiff. Cat poop. Freshly thawed cat poop. I tried to find a place to grab the little devil that would not involve touching smeared cat poop. I did not succeed. Nothing quite like the odor of wet dog and cat poop to set the mood.

Washed the dog and went to the kitchen to discover that my time with the book had expired. Downloaded it again and set to work on the floors. I mopped and emptied the bucket SIX times, did the dishes, hung some pictures and was about to move on to dusting when a motor home drove in. I checked them in and went back to cleaning. He came back. The people occupying the space next to the one I assigned him had parked their truck there and then left in their car. I assigned another spot to him. This left only one space with running water. Three more rigs pull in. They were together and decided to let the folks cooking dinner have the spot with water and took other sites. Problem solved ........ sort of. Had to stop in the house and go scour the showers for them to use and locate an electric heater for the men's room. I am thankful for the business and the bathrooms would have had to be cleaned tomorrow anyway.

Remember the freshly washed floors? Seems that Wall-E, the wonder dog not only smeared cat poop all over his dog self, even in his ears; he apparently decided to snack on it, too and yakked all over the floor. I smelled it the minute I came in. Took a few minutes to locate it. He chose a tight area by the sofa. He not only got the floor and the foot of the sofa, but the rug as well. His little freshly washed head with a warm dry nose is on my leg as I write. It is a good thing I love him and don't have a yearning for dog on a spit!

Tomorrow will be better, right?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happens On The Soaps .......

Watching the snow melt as I drink my coffee and listen to the morning news, I hear that twins have been born. Okay. What makes this set of babies remarkable is the fact that they share only their mother. Two fathers. The ex-husband and the boyfriend. Only seven reported cases.

Okay, first of all this happens a lot on TV. It is a great plot twister. And so much more believable than coming back from dying. That also happens a lot. Some characters are known for returning to life over and over again, as if they are like a cat with nine lives. They die as often as they marry every man in a family.

But, really, why would you want to be known for birthing babies fathered by two men? Do they ask you if you would mind telling the world about your special talent? What will the children be told as they grow up calling different men Daddy. Did the daddies know they were participating in this special event? I would not want to be this mom when puberty visits this set of twins. Do you suppose that is why this event goes unreported?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Little Stroll Down Memory Lane

I am uninspired today. Looking out the window, all I see is cold snow. It is supposed to warm up to 57 by the end of the week.

I will wait until then to drive anywhere .........

My friend is way down there, tucked into her trailer. We talk on the phone .......

This is the parking lot .......
So, nothing to do but stroll through the land of blog while I wait for he who plays with fire to get the stove going. Yes, I am capable of starting a fire. He loves to do this for me, though. And who am I to deny him this small pleasure?
As I was reading I saw a reference to Easy Bake ovens. I gave Maya one for her birthday when she turned five. With three adults and four children in attendance, what could go wrong? We decided to have a tea party. My daughter-in-law, Diane, loves tea parties. Both Gramma Kathy and Gramma Barb were there, so like I said, what could go wrong?
Maya was to make the first cake, after all, it was her gift. While Jada and Gavin argued over which one would be next and I was reading the instructions to make the cake. I don't remember why Diane left the room, maybe the phone, I don't remember. Gramma Barb had the baby in her arms and we were talking. Maya was engrossed in helping me dump her ingredients into the bowl. Jada and Gavin had stopped arguing ............. they were trying to figure out how the cake would fit into the oven.
Next thing we knew Jada was calling all Grammas. Gavin had his hand stuck in the Easy Bake Oven. He was beginning to panic and tears were rolling down his cheeks. Jada was shouting instructions to the grammas with her raspy little voice that I love so much. Gramma Barb was holding the oven and I was holding Gavin's arm. We tried to pull and that wasn't working. His hand was really stuck. I squelched the urge to locate my camera, and we tried holding the oven up and trying to release his hand from below and the opposite. He was crying pretty loud by then. Jada was still trying to help. Maya was calmly mixing her cake and telling Gavin to get his hand out of her oven. I finally worked my fingers into the opposite end of the oven and I still don't know what I did, but his hand was released.
After we baked the "cakes" , it was decided that each child should cut and share her/his creation. Gavin had recovered and was all into the sharing, as was Maya. Jada sort of tossed her offering to all of us. Tea time etiquette and all that. Life here is so dull in comparison. Dull is good, though, I don't know if I could handle all that excitement on a daily basis. Must be getting old.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Good Will Towards Men?

My friend, Yvonne, is a generous soul. So much so that she gives the people who rent a house from her a gift at Christmas. Her renters aren't always prompt with payment either. I give my renters here some home made goodies. She gives hers a $100 gift card from WalMart. Definitely want to rent from her! I have been on the receiving end of her generosity and know that her motives are pure.

Last weekend she stopped at WalMart and purchased the gift card for her tenant. She was in a hurry and had several errands to complete and as she drove she told her husband to take the gift card and put it in the envelope with the card she had already addressed, so that she could simply drop it in the mail. This is when they discovered that the gift card was not in the bag. The clerk had laid it in the area where cash and credit card transactions take place and in her rush she didn't see it and assumed it to be in the bag with her other merchandise. She turned around and made her way back to the store and presented her receipt. Although that card was then voided, someone had already spent $49. WalMart refunded the balance and my friend purchased another $100 card. She was upset, as anyone would have been, but did not expect WalMart to do anything. After all, she could have left a $100 bill on the counter and lost all of it.

She told me all about her crummy day and said that she thought the man behind her may have taken the card. But, she didn't want to accuse him of it. She must have had some sort of an exchange with him, since she knew he was in line to get a Barbie doll that he did not want his little girl to see. The child was in another check-out line with her mother. But Yvonne just wrote the incident off as crummy luck. She was more irritated with herself than anything. She hoped that whoever used the card really needed it.

So, imagine her surprise when she received a phone call the next morning from WalMart. They wanted to give her the money that was used on the card! They told her that they had viewed the security tape and that the man in line behind her had taken the card and given it to his wife in another lane. He was close enough to hear the transaction and would have known that it had $100 on it.

I am sure the manager traced the transactions made by my friend for the last few months and realized that she is a valuable customer. It was a smart business decision to make it right for her and absorb the loss. It was also the right thing to do. WalMart gets its share of bad press and I know that this decision was made on a local level and kudos go to the manager of this particular store. Perhaps not every manager would have done this.

So, I started thinking about decisions and opportunities to do the right thing. I wonder what the man was thinking as he pocketed the gift card. Do you suppose he debated what to do when he saw the card sitting there? Did he think it was his lucky day? Did he imagine what he could buy? Why didn't he call out, "Ma'am, you forgot your card." Was the Barbie doll in his hand his child's only gift to go under the tree? Had he just lost his job? Was this a windfall he felt he could not pass up? Or ............... was he just greedy? Did he give any thought to the person who just paid for the card?

What would you have done? Would you have been tempted to slip the card in your pocket? It seems that the older I get the more defined the line between right and wrong is. There are things that I have done in my life that I am not proud of. We can always justify our actions even when we know what we are doing is wrong. My mother was quick to point out that "what goes around, comes around". Some folks call it karma. All I know is that there is always payback. Not always equal or quick, but it will eventually catch up. Most of the time we aren't even aware of it. For all I know that man had a flat tire on the way home. If he did he no doubt was depending on the balance of that stolen card to help him out ..................

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sleeping In

I slept late this morning. It has always been a bad omen for me to sleep in. Today is no different.

For our anniversary, he who had agreed with me that we would not exchange gifts, presented me with a Serta memory foam mattress topper. So, really it was a gift of good sleep for both of us. He got a deal at, too. Stay with me, I am laying the foundation ....... or layering ..........

We live in tight quarters and taking a cue from RV living we try to take advantage of every square inch of space. So, when I painted our bedroom and we bought a new mattress, I commissioned he who won't let me have the miter saw back, to build a foundation on which to set the mattress set. This allows me to have a row of drawers on each side and at the foot of the bed. Plastic drawers that would get lost under the bed without the center piece that was custom built to prevent that. I had used pvc pipe to make risers before that. So, the bed is high. The new mattress was a pillow top, guaranteed to not sag. They lied, it does. And with a pillow top, you can't flip the mattress. I have turned the mattress sideways periodically, but that is difficult and makes the bed a pain to make. So, he who loves me dearly, really was thinking when he bought this. Or, maybe he was tired of helping me turn the mattress and tired of sleeping in the hollow his body had created. I am certain he has been thinking about the memory foam since Thanksgiving when we slept in our daughter's bed that had just gotten a memory foam topper.

So, what does this have to do with sleeping in and bad omens? I did say that I already have a tall bed and the topper is a full 5 inches ............... making the top of our bed 36 inches from the floor. I am only 5'2". The top of the bed is even with my waist. I am not a gymnast. I am a short, plump, middle-aged woman (I plan to live over 100 years), with arthritic hands and knees. Getting into the bed is interesting to say the least. Sometimes it takes two tries to get in the bed. The dismount is easier, I sort of slide out until my feet touch the floor. Getting in involves me kind of throwing my body atop the bed and using my elbows to wiggle my way in. Why don't I use a step stool? Won't fit. He who bought the topper will have to make one for me. I did say that this is a tight space, did I not?

So, last night, I lay on my comfy bed sleeping blissfully for, oh, maybe an hour; before Oscar decided he needed to go out. I slid out of bed and found my slippers and gathered Emmy in my arms to trail behind Wall-E and Oscar to the back door. They went out, then got a drink and we all went back to bed. I tried to kneel on the bench at the foot of the bed to ease my way in, but that made my knee hurt and I still had to crawl to the top of the bed. I lay there for awhile thinking about bed entry solutions and willing my knee to stop hurting. I finally drifted back into a fitful sleep full of senseless dreams until Oscar woke me at 4:10 barking at the back door. Another dismount and repeat of the earlier trip to the back door and back to bed. This time I decided to do a little jump and land on my side. This was not the best idea I ever had. I landed on my elbow and bit my lip to keep from crying out. My elbow still hurts all the way to my shoulder.

Went back to sleep and dreamed I was at the grocery and angry about something, but I can't recall the reason. Woke up at 10:00. The water pump was going nuts, indicating a pipe had burst. I let the dogs out to make coffee and they escaped into the kampground. Wall-E was at the front door patiently waiting to be let in. Oscar was eating the cat food and finally obeyed the demand to come into the house. Emmy was missing and later found at the barn looking for he who inhabits that place. I was still trying to locate her when I saw our truck, pulling the cargo trailer, clearly exceeding our posted speed limit as it headed towards the tent area. I called him on his cell to find that he had Emmy on board and was headed to another pipe. Three pipes and of course he does not have the parts he needs ...........

So, off the the big city I go, Walmart, here I come. Bah Humbug!

Saturday, December 18, 2010


My mother was a big fan of crochet. I remember some of her creations were, shall we say, less than appealing. She would find something to make and then make what she felt were improvements on what the pattern called for. Her color combinations weren't always compatible. One thing that she did make that I treasure and bring out year after year are the Christmas mice.

They look hungry, these mice.

My partner in cookie cooking this year gave me this snowman to grace my tree.

As you can see we got a little crazy as the day of baking wore on. I had the whole grinch tooth thing going on.

Yvonne dropped the towel in the chocolate ...........

and on and on she rolled cookie after cookie.

After awhile of dipping pretzels one by one and thinking we would never finish (I was using a cup hook to dip mine), Yvonne got the brilliant idea of lining the two tables in the store with parchment (we have 1000 sheets, yes, 1000) and then we each went at the table with cups of melted almond bark and a spoon to create what you see. That was only the first color, we did red and green, too ........... and sprinkles.

Yvonne is so handy to be around, always full of ideas. Best way to dip pretzel rods? Insulated coffee mug. Just the right depth and keeps the coating warm. Notice that I am giving credit to Yvonne for all her good ideas. Really have no choice ............. she reads the blog.

These cookies got a chocolate ganache filling, and the peanut butter balls got a nice chocolate bath.

Macaroons .............. yummmmmmm.
This was only day one and I have already sent most of the goodies I made out to family. I will have to make more soon for the next two boxes that will be shipped out. I have lost my appetite for sweets. Could have been the green icing on my teeth ..... maybe.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Thirty-six Years Together

Thirty six years ago I left work at the end of my shift at the hospital emergency room and got into the car with the love of my life. We drove to the court house to get our marriage licence. I was dressed all in white (this was back when nurses actually wore uniforms ...... cap included), literally head to toe. He wore a pair of jeans and a non-descript shirt along with the jacket that he wore when he worked as an EMT. We were quite the pair, just needed the ever present stethoscope dangling from our necks.

We had a small ceremony planned for later that week and we were simply taking care of one more detail. We presented all that was necessary and the clerk asked if we wanted to get married then or just get the licence. He looked at me and said, "Do you want to get married?" I said, "Yes, let's get married." And we did. Just like that. I don't even remember who our witnesses were. After our "ceremony" we picked my two children up from daycare and went home. No muss, no fuss. We did have a small reception on the day we had planned to get married. No honeymoon, no gifts or any of the stuff that usually comes with a wedding.

I am quite certain that most every one thought it would end as quickly as it began, but here we are thirty-six years later. Wonder if anyone is still waiting?

Today we celebrate thirty-six years together. We are planning a trip to WalMart to pick up my prescription and then we will eat out. I say planning, because a pipe burst and he who plumbs is at the local hardware store getting parts. We might not go anywhere. We might just stay home and eat whatever I can put together and enjoy the warm fire and our freshly bathed trio of dogs. Doesn't matter so much where we are as long as we are together.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

It Seemed Like A Good Idea .........

Today we met with some of our kamping buddies for a late afternoon meal at the local BBQ establishment. We were all having withdrawal symptoms, having not been in the company of one another since ............. well, last month. This was the brain child of Sue and Miss Martha. Sue picked the date. The wind will absolutely take your breath away as the temperature is dropping steadily. She will not live this down anytime soon and refused to be involved in next month's date picking. Fred will have to take the blame should that date turn out to be a blizzard.

I had promised Miss Martha some doll clothes for her granddaughters and I managed to pull it off in the nick of time. Good thing, cause what would St. Nick do if I didn't keep my promises?
Yesterday was a shopping marathon for cookie ingredients and staples. It was a balmy 50 degrees and Yvonne and I managed to cram it all in the back of my VW Bug. She had to drive us home, since I can't see at night and no one could see out the rear view mirror. I had planned on sewing after the shopping trip, but ........... shopping is exhausting!

When I was drying my hair yesterday I noticed that my temples were gray and upon further inspection discovered the crown of my head to be, well, really gray. Not a subtle sprinkling of gray, but more like, "Gee, I wonder if she knows how bad her hair looks?" So, this morning, after only half a cup of coffee, I decided to remedy the hair situation. As I was carefully applying the color to my hair I was studying all my new wrinkles as I looked in the mirror. It was then that I noticed that my eyebrows were also turning gray ............ Hair is hair, right? And, shouldn't your brows match your hair color? So, thinking myself to be ever so clever, I applied some of the hair dye to my brows and waited the required time.

I wiped the goo off my brows and hopped into the shower to rinse my hair. As I toweled off and looked into the mirror. Dark brows, dark, thick brows. Think Groucho Marx. I grabbed a washcloth and scrubbed at them. That is when I noticed that the dye had also colored the skin, not just the brows. I am hoping that this will eventually wash off my skin and I know that the color won't last forever. It seemed like a good idea at the time .............

He who is slow to recognize change noticed the new look, but my friends were either tactful or oblivious to my new look. All of them, except Yvonne. She kept touching her brows every time she looked at me during dinner. What are friends for?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Goodbye Rocky

Almost two years ago my grandson, Gavin, got a little puppy and named him Wall-E. Wall-E couldn't stay in Gavin's apartment. Wall-E came here to live with Gramma and Papa. Gavin misses his little dog, but he knows that he is happy here with us.

Last spring, Gavin's mom got a new dog for Gavin. A boxer named Rocky. Rocky captured the heart of Gavin and played with his new boy endlessly. Rocky visited the kampground this summer and had a great time galloping through the fields. He met all the campers and was quite smitten with he who loves dogs.

We spent Thanksgiving with my daughter this year and most mornings found Rocky in bed with us and the rest of our dogs. He would try to climb in my lap for a hug and lay on the floor with me the last night we were there, his big head on my shoulder. He played ball with my dogs and was sad when we all left.

This morning, for reasons we will never know, he attacked and bit one of Adrienne's neighbors. He was not provoked and no one knows why he did this. The neighbor had to have stitches and Rocky had to go. I suggested that Adrienne contact a Boxer rescue group, but we both knew that he would have to be put down.

My daughter found Rocky on Craigslist. We all thought it ironic that a Boxer named Rocky would be living with his owner named Adrienne. Now I am wondering why the owners wanted a new home for Rocky. Did he bite someone while in their care? Did someone abuse Rocky at some time? Did the person he attacked this morning trigger some memory of a bad event in his life?

See the stick-on labels on Rocky's kennel? They say "I like my dog". Written by a sweet little first grader whose heart is breaking tonight. He went to school today knowing that his dog would not be there when he came home.
I was in WalMart when my daughter called me to tell me that she had no choice but to have Rocky put down. She would not withhold the biting incident and that made him unadoptable. She was crying as she told me that she sat with him for awhile after it was over. I was crying as I asked for my refund for a leaky hose.
My heart is heavy as I write this. My little girl had to be a grown-up today and I wasn't there to help her. She has to explain all this to her little boy tonight and I won't be there to help her. The mother in me wants to do something to make it all better and I can't. Now Wall-E must write a letter to his boy, so Gramma needs to suck it up and get with it ..............

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bitter Coffee

Now in phase two of my grandchildren induced malady. Hoping this is the last of it, I have the runny nose and eye watering head cold. The throat is better and the dizziness is gone. I am still inclined to think that school germs are the most resilient of all...........

I was sitting here with my lukewarm coffee, trying to sort through my in-box and delete all the spam, in order to reward myself with a stroll through the land of blog. He who loves to run errands and will invent one in order to climb into his trusty pick-up and roll down the road smoking his hated cigarette asked if I would not love a gourmet coffee. He "had to" go to the bank and deposit two checks that came in yesterday. Not too very long ago, the manager of the local McD's gave he, who is not above asking, a handful of coupons for free gourmet coffee drinks--no purchase necessary. So, I, of course said yes, I would love a gourmet coffee!

Making great headway and entering every contest I encountered on-line to win $15,000, I looked up as he entered the door with my treat extended towards me. As I eagerly reached for it, he told me to enjoy it, since it had cost $3.50! New manager won't honor the coupons. Nice. I was giving them out to overnight guests. Guess I will just toss the rest. But ................. why did he buy it? He said because it was already made. But, when I go through the drive-thru and order, there are two windows and you pay at the first one, then drive forward to the next window and watch them prepare your drink.

I drank every last drop. It was good, but it was not worth $3.50. My mind is calculating how many cups of Maxwell House that $3.50 would buy. As he who says absurdities would say ........ they sure are proud of that coffee at McDonalds!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sad Saturday

Thought I heard the phone this morning as I lay under my warm quilt trying to out wait he who would stoke the fire and warm the house. After a few minutes I gave up and shuffled to the kitchen to make coffee. I saw the message light blinking on the phone on my way and stopped to see who called. I was hoping it wasn't a water or backed up sewer issue.

It was a call from my friend Yvonne. She asked that I please call her back. I did. She wanted me to go with her to have her cat euthanized. Not a fun trip for sure. I was barely awake and in need of caffeine. But, a friend in need .............. I threw on a pair of jeans and a sweat shirt and barely got my teeth brushed when I heard her horn. I grabbed a coat and shoved my feet into the first pair of shoes I saw and ran my fingers through my unwashed hair as I went out the door.

I held the old cat as we drove to the vet out in the country. The poor old girl had gone blind and was and was apt to walk in circles oblivious to her surroundings. It was time to help nature along, but still sad. My friend stroked her pet as she left this world. I felt tears burning my eyes, but I blinked them away in case I would need to drive us home.

Good thing I didn't need to drive ............. no license or glasses to see. I did say I hadn't had coffee, right? Yvonne didn't want to go home and insisted we go get breakfast. I try not to go out in public without an attempt at putting myself together. Oh well, my friend needed me.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

What Day Is It?

Woke up this morning and carefully got out of the bed. I have been so dizzy with this cold, bug, whatever thing that has held me captive for however long long I have been sick. I say however long because I was shocked to hear Al Roker say Thursday!

How did that happen? I thought it was Tuesday. What happened to Tuesday and Wednesday? I must be a little better, cause now I am worried about all the things I need to accomplish that I haven't done and I have apparently sat slack jawed and mouth breathing through two days. Two days that should have been productive. I noticed that I painted the kitchen and a wall in the dining room. I don't remember much about it and other than a couple of spots that could use a second coat it looks pretty good. I really should dust ..........

This is the absolute worst time to be sick. Oh, wait, I think that every time I am sick. Is there a good time to be sick? I suppose not. I need to be in the sewing room, but if I don't even know what day it is .............. I keep a pair of needle nose pliers close at hand for those occasions when my finger doesn't move quick enough and the needle hits it. Dizzy and sewing is not a good combo .............

What day is it? I forgot.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Aftermath .........

Thanksgiving was hectic and wonderful. Just a few of my favorite faces .............

Aunt Adrienne and Jada mugging for the camera. I think Adrienne looks a little tired, while Jada still has lots of energy left ..........

Papa Drew with Baby Zara snuggling on the couch, Jada saw a photo op. She is our fashionista. You will note that she added a skirt to her pajamas for extra flair.

Under all the kids is a real person! He is Makenzie's boyfriend and I have to admit that I am old and cannot remember his name. It is right there in the back of my mind and I am certain it will come to me in the wee hours of the morning when I can't sleep. He was very tall and the kids loved him. He could walk on his hands. All of us in the kitchen loved him, too. He kept the little ones entertained.

Maya and Jada having a late supper. Well, Jada did. Maya wasn't feeling good.

Big cousin Layla giving Zara a piggy-back ride.

The men waiting for food .............. I think most men must look like this as they wait.

Jilly was happy about eating that turkey! Maybe it was the wine? She looks really happy.

Big sister/little sister. Makenzie is getting a big hug from Zara. Zara allowed me to hold her for maybe two seconds. She was enchanted with Papa on this visit.

Gavin treated me to my own personal magic show. He was a pilgrim and the show involved dog treats for the four dogs. No, I didn't have to eat a dog biscuit. I did, however kiss that face about a thousand times ..........
I got a hug and kiss from this handsome face, too. Seems like only yesterday Gage was in Kindergarten and would let me get all the kisses I wanted ..........
I ate and I shopped and I came home. A little tickle in the back of my throat made me cough a little on the way home. There are no pictures of my daughter-in-law. She was busy hosting the dinner on Thanksgiving and the next day she had a little tickle in the back of her throat ...........
I truly believe that school germs should be cultured and used as chemical warfare. I had a very sore throat yesterday and now I have the stuffy head that goes with it. Oh, yeah, I am achy all over, too. It was worth it.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I am supposed to be packing for the trip north. Can't. Can't reach, can't bend. Breathing carefully. I don't know what I did, but I somehow hurt my back. If I move wrong the pain grabs me and reminds me to hold still. Right between my shoulder blades. A deep breath is out of the question ...........

So, instead of packing I am blogging (complaining?) and wondering how I will be able to direct he who hates to pack. Took some Ibuprophen and am hoping for enough relief to be able to get the job done. Have to assemble the requested food, too .........

Oh, if any kind soul offers some stronger pain meds ......... I will take it! Don't have time for this ..... why, why did this happen now?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

They Won't Let Me Have A Gun

I am happy to report that the hole, the large gaping hole, the hole that has been a part of my daily life for nearly a year ............... is no longer there! I will be busy today smearing joint compound and swirling it to match the existing pattern. The next few days will find me atop a ladder with paint brush in hand. He who has jury duty today will (hopefully) be cutting the shelves that will flank the fridge and I will be able to put all the stuff away (after a good washing to remove all the dust).

Jury duty. I have been called and he has been called before and both times the case was resolved prior to the need for a jury. So, I was confidant that he would not have to actually show up and my project could go on, without interruption. Wouldn't you know, though, that he did have to go this morning and is still there. He had to be there at 8, so I got up and made coffee, then planted myself in front of the computer for a nice stroll through the land of blog. There is a bit of a chill in the air, so I put on a pair of sweat pants (white) with my nightgown (hot pink), a pair of thick socks (multi-colored shades of blue) and a red plaid flannel robe. In this get-up, hair on end and hot coffee I was blissfully snuggled on the sofa, surrounded by my menagerie of four legged creatures, when someone knocks on the store door. I don't open until noon this time of year (says so on the door, but who reads these things).

I carefully disentangle myself from the nice warm cocoon and peek out the window, fully expecting to see Yvonne or one of the children living here needing to retrieve an item from the freezer. (We have a wonderful family living here, waiting for their home to sell. Dad is state trooper and has to live in the county he works in. I like having them here and let them use a shelf in my freezer). These people have seen me in the morning and won't be shocked. But, no, it is one of the hunters who have a site here. This particular one makes me feel uneasy. He is a very large man and he tends to stand way too close when talking to me. His trailer has no plates on it (making me wonder if it may be stolen). He is here to say that his food in his refrigerator has spoiled because someone (he looks at me accusingly) has bothered the plug. There I stand in my lovely attire getting cold (had to go outside and close my front door in order to hear him over the barking dogs), and being accused of sabotaging his electricity; as he who solves all things related to electricity and plumbing is sitting in the court house with his phone off.

I suggest that he simply plug in on a different site until my husband can determine the source of the problem. He is not happy with my suggestion and even goes so far as to say that this is my fault. I apologize for his inconvenience and scurry back to my haven. Thinking the problem has been solved, I refill my coffee and get back to my computer. Just as I have snuggled in again and started to make some progress in catching up on my reading ............ he is back. Now he is knocking on my house door and if he thinks the dog barking was loud before, he is in for a round of vicious snarling from Oscar who senses my unease and does not like it.

This time he wants me to provide a converter for his hook-up. He has determined that the 20 amp outlet that tenters use is working and wants to plug his 30 amp plug in to keep from moving. I told him that I only have converters that will change 30 to 20 and not the other way around. Sarcastically he asks if I am sure and suggests that I go in the store and look. Really. I go back in door and go around to the store and take the converter out the store door, not letting him in (I am, after all, not open). I show him the converter and tell him that it is the only kind I have. He looks doubtful and suggests that there might be one in the "barn" (he who's domain). I assure him that there is not and tell him once again that he can move to another site. He sighs loudly and turns away, so I lock the store again and go get a shower, since he has ruined my morning thus far.

I am barely out of the shower and have dressed, but still have my wet hair in a towel when he is knocking on my door yet again! He tries (unsuccessfully) to actually get his foot in the door. I don't have a jacket on and the wind is cutting through my shirt, but I am determined that he is not coming in the building. I am now making a note in the back of my mind that I want to program the number of my trooper tenant in my cell phone for occasions such as this. Now he wants an extension cord for his camper. I don't have one and would be disinclined to "loan" one to him at any rate. Again he wants to go into the barn (locked) and does not believe me when I tell him I don't have a key (truly don't, don't want one). Then he has the nerve to tell me I am acting like I am annoyed. As I stand there with my wet head wrapped in a towel, with the wind whipping through my thin shirt I fully understand why they won't let me have a gun. I would use it. On this obnoxious man.

Now in a surly mood, my morning ruined, my head aching, I need to run errands, but don't want to leave the park lest this man who hunts try to break into the store or the barn in search of adapters or extension cords. Some days .............

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Annoyed ......

I awoke in a state of mild annoyance this morning. Then immediately felt guilty for feeling that way. I have tried to push away the feeling all morning, hoping that my coffee would wash it down when I swallowed. It didn't. I reminded myself of all I have to be thankful for ............ and, the list is long. So now I just feel annoyed at myself for being annoyed.

So, I brushed my teeth, showered and washed my hair, hoping that creature comforts would prevail and I would snap out of my funk. Nope. I reheated a cup of coffee and after pulling my sleeve over my hand to dust the screen of my computer, here I am. Dust is everywhere, so why am I not cleaning it up, you may wonder. The dust is part of the reason I am annoyed. You may recall that last year the pipes in the ceiling burst and I went without water for several weeks. The ceiling had to be opened up in order to make the repairs and after doing said repairs he who plumbs simply covered the hole with a piece of sturdy cardboard ............ temporary, he said, you know, until he could 'get to it'. The cardboard was from a coffin box used to ship a body and proclaimed this for all who entered my house to see. Definitely a conversation piece.

Okay, what does this have to do with dust, you may wonder. This past spring I tired of the cardboard that said "HUMAN REMAINS, FINAL DESTINATION ST. LOUIS". I ripped it down in hopes that he who plumbed the pipes would take the hint and purchase a piece of sheetrock and cover it. I paint, I patch, I help, but I confess that I am not all that adept at hanging sheetrock ...... especially on the ceiling. After gazing into this gaping hole for days and realizing how silly I was to think that I could lure him indoors with such ploys I covered it with a neutral piece of upholstery fabric and the electric staple gun. In his defense, there is always a mountain of outdoor chores in springtime. Several times I mentioned the hole and the electrical work that needed his attention before we should close it, always on a rainy day when nothing outside could be accomplished, but he always had an excuse that was perfectly valid.

Fast forward to cold weather and me wondering just how long he could procrastinate. I had gone on an adventure with my buddy, Yvonne, and returned home to find he who plays with fire feeding the wood stove and telling me how cold it was. I swear to you that it was at least 80 degrees in the house and there he sat next to the wood stove, suitably attired for a visit to Sarah Palin's Alaska, complaining about being cold. As I shed my clothes and put on a tank top and pair of shorts, I casually mentioned that he was losing most of his precious heat through the gaping hole in the ceiling. Had I known that this would prompt him into action, I would have said those magic words long ago. I think I may have done so, actually, but, we know it is all about the timing, right?

So, he began by removing the cover to the hole and has been working on this project for ever so long. Weeks, not months (one of the things I am thankful for). He reworked the water pipes that he repaired last winter and at my suggestion, insulated them. Actually I suggested it and he told me it wasn't a good idea. I was so happy to see any progress that would cover the hole that I simply agreed with him; but later noticed that he had purchased the very thing I suggested on one of his many trips to the hardware store. He said that he reconsidered my idea and decided that it wasn't a bad idea after all. The plumbing done, he moved on to solve the lighting (lack of) issue and hung the chandelier I purchased over a year ago in a second hand store. Progress was so s l o w. But, it was progress and I was thrilled with every little bit. I have three new light sources (also on my thankful for list). As of yesterday I even have a switch with which to turn on the light that is not danging from the ceiling.

So, why am I annoyed, you still wonder. The hole, the big gaping hole in the ceiling is still there. It is now filled with brand new insulation, this is true, but still there. I am afraid to ask when he plans to actually install the piece of sheetrock that is cut and waiting. He gets side-tracked. I admit that I am sometimes the cause. I did take out a wall that had to be finished and was the reason for the dangling switch. And, I did realize that placing the refrigerator next to a wall prevented me from swinging the door wide enough to remove the shelves in order to clean it, and decided that we should relocate it while we worked on this project. Yes, I am partially to blame. It is my fault that all of the contents of the cabinets next to and over the fridge had to be removed and are now gracing every available surface in the dining room and the kitchen. I did the prep work and stacking of said items. He who loves gadgets and tools has managed to put the entire area in chaos with all his stuff laying about and tucked here and there, making it impossible to locate a tool without a search party.

Yesterday I carefully re stacked all the contents of the cabinets and removed the layer of dust that covered everything and then carefully prepared a place on my table on which he could have all his tools laid out and easy to find atop some of his many shop towels (I washed 31 of them yesterday, I am thankful that I don't have to wash them today). I was hoping this would act as a catalyst for some big time action on the project. This morning he announced that he was going to get some re bar. Re bar? Yes, he is going to work on the roads today. He wants to shore them up and place some old telephone poles along side the roads that always wash away. He is going to secure them in place with re bar. This was actually my idea. I mentioned it a couple of years ago. These things take time to recycle through his brain. I am thankful that he is listening, even when I think he isn't.

There is still a hole in my ceiling and I will try to avoid looking at it as I walk by on my way to my sewing room. It would be pointless to clean in here, what with the hole in the ceiling ...........

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A True Little Lady

Have you ever met someone who embodies all things feminine and lady like? I have. Her name is Layla and she is my granddaughter. She had a birthday last month. I was so busy with the kampground and the end of the season, but I did not forget her special day. I sent the one thing that goes with everything and everybody likes ........... money.

Just look at that sweet smile. She is so lovely and yet totally unaware of herself.

She is the helpful older cousin. All the babies that have come since her love her and look up to her.

She is always fun to be around and uses her imagination to entertain. I think they are spies ........

With all my grandchildren, there has been a pivotal moment with each of them when they absolutely grab my heart. I love them from the moment I lay eyes on them, but there are those moments when it is as if you can grasp who they are and who they will be. With Layla, it was when she was not quite two and was perched in my bed next to Grampa sharing a piece of chocolate cake. I wasn't part of the moment, just watching them interact. Even then she was a little lady, sitting carefully with her legs tucked to one side and leaning towards Grampa carefully accepting her bite, holding her tiny hand under her chin to catch crumbs. A true portrait of a lady in the making ............ and Gramma without her camera, too entranced by the moment to leave my view point to go get it.

I got a thank you note last week from my Layla.

Hugs and kisses to my girl. My son-in-law dubbed her 'Little Lady' long ago. He is right, she is the consummate little lady.

Wandering Thoughts

I had a bountiful harvest of gourds this year. I find it a little ironic, given the fact that I did not plant any seed. All my plants were volunteers from years past.
They came up in several places, along with some volunteer pumpkin vines. Only one pumpkin out of all the plants survived, though. When the vines came up it was hard to tell which were gourds and which were pumpkins. The leaves are different, for sure, but the vines are different, too. The pumpkin vines are thornier. The little thorns will grab you and hide in your skin, invisible, but painful.

These are a few ...........

and here are some more atop my rain barrel ..........

and even more. Can you pick out the real pumpkin?

I sent he who has learned not to question me on a mission. Yvonne's dad, Clair, offered these old feeding troughs to me. I never turn down freebies with potential. These are 24" deep and will become part of my vegetable garden. I will not be bending to weed or pick!! There are four of them and two are pink. I will be painting them. I thought about black .......... But now I am thinking that is boring. I won't paint them until spring, so I have time to come up with something fun and creative. I am open to suggestion .........

Here are some people I love. My beautiful daughter, Adrienne, and her son, Gavin. They were at her friend's engagement party. I will be winging my way to Minnesota to care for the child and dog while the wedding takes place in Mexico this coming spring.

No doubt, I will feel just like Gavin did at the end of the evening when I come home!!
The season is officially over and I have been battling what I hope is some kind of stomach virus. I hope it is a passing thing and that I recover soon. The pain isn't overwhelming, just enough to make you feel crappy. I am not used to inactivity and sitting around is getting old. I want to be outside gathering seed and cleaning garden beds. I have decided to get out there no matter how I feel today ........... fresh air and all that.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Before I could worry about the big kamping weekend I had other priorities. Last year when I stayed with my son's girls I was asked to make cheer leading costumes. Maya was the one who wanted a cheer leading outfit. She is the oldest, so I knew the little sisters would need them, too. I bought the pattern right away. The girls and I checked out patterns on line first. It was hard to make them understand that they could choose any color and were not limited to the illustrations.

I was initially going to make them all different colors. But, as time was passing so quickly and I was confined to the kampground and not able to shop for fabric I decided to make them all the same and use the girls initials. I can shop on line, but fabric shopping is a tactile event for me. I really need to touch it to make up my mind.

I made Maya's first, since she is the one who asked for it. I made the 'M' by printing the size I wanted on the computer and then using fusible webbing. While ironing it on, the 'M' picked up with the iron and wrapped around my finger ............. ouch! Have you ever been burned with hot glue? If so, you will know how it felt.

I started to run short of fabric and had to make the little bloomers (yes, Yvonne, I know you told me they are called spanks!!!) for the little sisters in white. This is Zara's and is probably the best made one. It went perfectly, since I had the other two to make all my mistakes on.

'J' is for Jada. Jada is the middle girl and misses absolutely nothing. I did say that I made all my learning mistakes on the first two............... I mentioned how I made the letters. When you draw an 'm' and then flip it over to put it on the fabric, there is no problem. 'M' reads the same forwards as it does backwards. 'J' doesn't. 'Z' doesn't. I put the 'J' on and thought that it looked a bit off. I was under a deadline to get them done. I couldn't quite place what was wrong and even thought about asking he who was watching TV, but didn't. Instead I continued to construct the vest and didn't figure it out until I was about to top stitch the facings ............. I had just enough fabric, so making another top was out of the question.
I carefully picked out the applique stitching and pulled the dyslexic 'J' off. It left residue from the fusing and it would not come off. I even tried Mr. Clean's magic eraser. Just so you know, it doesn't work on that. Determined to finish my appointed task, I scavenged the scraps of fabric and found a piece big enough to fuse the new 'J' on and cover my mistake. I told my son to tell Jada that hers was different because she lost her first tooth. Hey, she is still young enough to buy it!!

It is all worthwhile. I got this picture this morning. It was worth every minute, every burn, every ounce of aggravation I felt when the phone interrupted my efforts. Don't you agree?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Trick or Treat .........

I think I may have mentioned before that I tend to misplace things from time to time .......... usually when I am under a deadline or really, really need that particular item. I have two pairs of bifocals. I prefer one over the other and not too long ago I lost that pair, but found them when I felt them under my foot as I stepped down. I have them on now. They are a little scratched, but my personal optical technician managed to get the frames back in shape so that I can see correctly ........... Um, the one with the pink lashes is Barb, my personal eyeglass fixer upper. And the lady looking at her is her mom, my sweet friend and most favorite camper, Nan.

Barb fixed the glasses awhile back, but she couldn't help me with my dilemma of Saturday night when my camera battery died and I could not remember where I had placed the charger. Every time I use it I think I will remember where I last used it .......... I never do. And because of that I did not get a picture of the finished product of all my labor. The winners of the chili, salsa, and dessert tasting got tie-dyes t-shirts much like the one above. They were orange or green with a black spider design on the front and back .......... and the back of the shirt sports a decal proclaiming the wearer to be a winner of the 2010 Kan-Do Chili, Salsa, Dessert Cook-Off.

Yvonne and I spent an afternoon brewing up some mean tie-dye. Yvonne had her bewitching nails all done up.

The orange shirts were left to ferment in this bucket.

We did other shirts, as well, and used lots of colors in our mad little laboratory.

Here you see a green shirt with the black spider design. We discovered that a cookie cooling rack atop a Sham-Wow was a good way to keep the colors separate and yet contained ..... somewhat, anyway.

A little toast to celebrate didn't hurt. After we dyed them, they had to sit for 24 hours. We met at the appointed time the very next day and had a marathon rinsing. I felt a little wasteful about all that water going down the drain. I am thinking that if we do this again in the spring we should save the water and put it in the flower beds. Wonder what that would do to the blooms .......

We had lots of other prizes as well. Goodie bags for all the kids, puzzles, snuggies, flashlights, coupons for free bundles of wood and bags of ice. You know, camping stuff. We also had a quart mason jar filled with candy corn. All day long folks came in to guess the number of pieces. Yvonne and I were the only ones who knew the number. We confided a little secret to he who wondered in and out all day and to my BFF, Deb. They both scolded us for our trickery. Yes, they did. But one young camper came in and inspected said jar. He came back and asked very specific questions about it. He wanted to know what size the jar was, then he left again and it was awhile before he came in to cast his ballot with the number on it. Do you suppose he went and filled a quart jar with candy corn or something similar in size and counted it? If he did, imagine his surprise when the winner was announced ............ and it wasn't him! Someone even asked if we had stuffed cotton balls in the center of the jar. "Nope, it is all candy." And it was. All candy. We put a Three Musketeers bar in the middle. TRICK OR TREAT!!