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!!