Thursday, December 29, 2011

Did I Hear That ?

Sipping coffee, half listening to the TV, I sat reading e-mail and feeding little old lady dog one morsel at a time when I heard the intro to the story about the 20 month old little girl that has been missing. I looked up to see the image of the child on the TV, then a statement was read that her father made. I gather that she was in his care when she went missing. Then they give the description of the clothes she was wearing and mention the cast on her arm. They go on to say that the broken arm was the result of an accident. Could be, kids do have accidents. But, then she goes missing.

So, I am then thinking of my own children and times in their lives when they had accidents happen that would have looked suspicious had they disappeared. The TV has my full attention now. The little girl is a little doll and I see the resemblance to the father. The parents aren't together and there is some talk about why the father has not given an interview to the media. A statement was offered in which he says that he is cooperating with law enforcement and is pleased with the efforts and then goes on to indicate that he doesn't want to add to the media circus. Says he put the child to bed and she was gone the next morning. Tastefully worded. Maybe he realizes he would not make a good impression and has wisely chosen to just release a statement. I don't know that I would even be able to be interviewed if my child was missing. Seems that the mother of the child is making a big deal about him "hiding".

Then, Matt Lauer interviews the child's mother. She is surprisingly calm. She seems to be more concerned about the father not talking to her than the fact that her baby is missing. She wants him to talk to her. She is not making a good impression with her appearance. She was in re-hab and the father was caring for the child. Matt asks her if she had anything to do with the disappearance of her baby. She doesn't appear to be disturbed by the question and replies in the negative. He then goes on to point out that she did not see the child for 2 weeks after being released from her stint in re-hab. She confirms this and then says that she saw her the first of November, then the 21st of November. She goes on to say that she was not filing for full custody, but was filing to get her parental rights restored ..........

 She implores the father to just talk to her. She says that she needs to talk to him because he was the last person to see her daughter alive. Really, she said that. Wonder where she is right this minute. The mother, not the child. Why would she say that ............ unless she knows.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Are The Puppies Gone?

I awoke to a shining sun this Christmas Eve morn. I stretched out as much as my canine children would allow and was rewarded with a pounce on my chest. I fumbled for my slippers and gathered the two elder dogs in my arms and took my crew out. I went about the business of water changing and filling bowls of kibble ...........

Then I remembered the overnight guests in my store! I quickly heated up some mushed up food for baby puppy and grabbed a bowl for bigger puppy. Bigger puppy is in heat, by the way and looks like she may already be in a family way. Poor little girl. They waited patiently while I brought the food. They are so afraid their food will be gone that they gulped it down without chewing or tasting. Then they went outside with me and took care of business and followed me back in. Wow, they are better behaved than my crew!

I left them in the store and was treated to some howling when I left to wake he who had to take them to the shelter. While he dressed I went in to tell the pups good bye. The older one gently licked my fingers, acknowledging that those were the fingers that fed her. She is a pretty little girl with a sweet face and long floppy ears. I allowed myself to cuddle the baby puppy and handed her off for the last time.

While he who loves puppies was gone, I wondered what I would do if he returned with them. My dogs were sniffing me suspiciously. Oscar was pretty indifferent, having been through additions to the family many times. Emmy wasn't even curious. Wall-E was wary and suspicious and would not let me pet his head. Toni was sniffing like a crazed animal. She loves to sniff and this kept her from paying so much attention to my eyes. She has an eye fetish.

We saw the truck at the same time. Wall-E was watching at the window and started barking right away to let us know that his Papa was home. Toni joined him and Oscar and Emmy stood watching as he opened the door ..........

I was watching closely for a tiny snout or paw. Toni had her head in the air sniffing and Oscar had a low growl rumbling. Emmy was tense as the door swung slowly open to reveal what was on the other side ..............

What are the odds that the shelter would be closed on Christmas Eve?

Ellen was wondering who had the odds on whether these sweet pups would make it to the shelter. My youngest daughter called yesterday while I was bathing the pup we called Sadie. She opined that I would end up on the reality show about animal hoarders. I did not tell her sister about the puppies, but I did tell her brother and also told him that his youngest really needs a puppy. She is a dog lover, my little Zara. And I did foster the puppy, Max, for Gavin .......

So what do you suppose was on the other side of the door besides my husband?

Nothing. No puppies. The shelter was open and took them along with the names we gave them. The woman who took them is confidant that they will find homes easily. We actually got our last dog, Toni, at the same shelter. She is a wonderful dog, sweet and affectionate .......well, if you overlook her eye fetish.

I know all my children are proud of me, cause we all know I could have kept those puppies if I wanted to.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Tis The Season ...........

 .....to dump your unwanted dogs on the side of the road.

 Really, how could you put this little pup out? I tried to get a picture of her teeth. They aren't even in yet. She must be about 4 weeks old and doesn't eat kibble yet.

 She was with this older pup. He who is an animal lover thought her to be the mother of the pup (we are calling her Sadie, by the way). She is in heat and is probably from a previous litter from the same mother. She is starving ...... well, not anymore, but she is bony and was trying to eat a dead, rotting rabbit when found. There was also a male dog, but he ran. My dog loving husband picked them up, because he was afraid they would be run over. Did he wisely head straight for the animal shelter?

No, he did not. He brought them home and fed the older one he is calling JJ. He likes her, she follows him. I was inside minding my own business of laundry and cookie making, when he walked into my line of sight with the little puppy cradled in his arms. Of course I reached for her, and oh my, did she ever stink! He announced his intention to take them to the pound, but was worried that they would not accept them, since they were found outside the city limits. But he wanted to feed the other dog first.

That is how Sadie ended up in the bath tub. Really, you did not expect me to cuddle a stinky pup, did you? She liked the warm bath and I found no evidence of fleas and one dead tick on her floppy ear. She is well nourished and very docile. Not affectionate, though. I would describe her as resigned. The other puppy growls at her, but I think it may be due to the fact that she has had to fight for food from the looks of her. They are both timid. 

 Yes, they are still here. Sadie is very content to be here, even though JJ won't share the kennel. They are in the store. The animal shelter was closed when he who reluctantly took them this afternoon. They will spend the night here tonight and we will try again tomorrow. I will make a little cornmeal mush with chicken broth for Sadie. JJ has already filled her little belly once. I am sure that both of them have worms and doubt very much they have ever been vet checked.

Wall-E and Toni Louise are not speaking to me. Oscar and Emmy are equally disturbed by the appearance of other canines in their midst. They need not worry. I have already explained to he who loves animals as much as I do, that 6 dogs is a bit much. What am I saying ........ four is a bit much, but I would never get rid of any of the ones I am already attached to. As tempting as it would be to swaddle Sadie and rock her, I will not! Really. I will not!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Scammers?

If you are familiar with my blog and my work place, you will know that the kampground is the main source of my writing material. Winter is slow. As hunting season is winding down, we will have those travelers just looking for a place to stop for a night's rest.

This past week has brought two requests for month long vacation stays. There is not much to do here in the cold months. So, I was surprised by the e-mail requests. I answered the first one and confirmed that I do not have cabins or RV rentals available and have not heard back form that one, didn't really expect to. I am left wondering how they found the e-mail address. If they found it, then surely they found the website that would have answered those questions and the other questions about attractions in the area.

The second request was poorly worded in such a way to make me think that English was not the primary language of the writer. It was a request for a family vacation for a month in January. With 3 children aged 6, 9 and 11 and two adults in an 18 foot travel trailer.

Strange enough yet? Just imagine being house bound with 3 kids in less than 150 square feet. I dutifully answered all the questions about my rates and the activities (or lack of) available that time of year and did not really expect a response.

Last night when I checked the site, there was a response. They want to arrive Friday and present me with a credit card to pay. Okay. Nothing unusual about that, you may be thinking. But ........... they want me to charge $1250.00 and be responsible for paying a caterer to bring their food daily.

I answered. I was polite with my refusal to pay the caterer and did not let my alter ego take over and accuse them of scamming me. They have not responded.

This past weekend was highlighted by a drunken driver in my park. He managed to plow through the railroad ties that line the side of the road meant to keep you out of the ditch. The truck ran over the foot bridge for walkers to use on the way to the pool. I know who did it .......... but can't prove it. So we just have to eat the damages.

Not fair? Life is not fair.   

Saturday, December 17, 2011

In Sickness and In Health

 1974 was a very good year. I graduated from nursing school and landed my first job as a nurse in the emergency room. It was there that I kept seeing a particular EMT. I made it my business to be available to take whatever patient he brought in. Look at him, he is so cute. Brown eyes. I always wanted a brown-eyed child .........

I chased him until he caught me. That was 37 years ago. Today. Doesn't seem like 37 years. I look in the mirror and wonder why I see my dad looking back. I see all the years on my face, but I don't feel them. When I look at my sweet husband, I still see the man I married. I hope he still sees me as I was then.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Crabby

This feels like the roller coaster ride from hell. I never know what my mood will be when I wake up. Some days have been great and I think that I am on level ground again. Then the most insignificant thing can knock me down. I know that my sleep pattern is out of kilter, but it has been most of my life.

Besides that, all I did was sleep for a few weeks. Sort of. Like a series of naps. But, a lot of them. Sometimes I would fall asleep sitting up with my hands on the keyboard while writing. I did not post those rather lengthy and rambling epistles of doom and gloom. I would re-read them in my more lucid moments and decide to just delete them. You may thank me.

I have been unable to fall asleep lately. I toss and turn and get up with the animals I have made equally restless. I have deliberately kept the temperature low in hopes that the chill air would chase me to my covers and hopefully sleep. I have the thermostat set at 60. The fire builder has taken on the challenge of warming the house. We burn hickory wood from the downed trees on our property. It always smells like I am cooking a wood smoked chunk of meat in here.

The ill-fated trip to WalMart left me anxious and that sense of impending doom is back. The happy light didn't help yesterday as I counted the hours until bedtime. I have resolved not to crawl back under the covers in the morning and sleep until 10, or 11. No matter how little sleep I have managed. This does not mean I want to be up at the crack of dawn either.

He who drags his cell phone to bed can sleep through anything. Little things like the tiny light glowing on his charger do not bother him. He does not lay in the sleepless hours and try to make images out of the shadows it casts upon the ceiling. He can let it ring incessantly before lazily reaching for it.

He always makes a show of trying to be quiet. His efforts are pretty much in vain. He seldom succeeds. This morning, the phone rand around 7. I had been up at 1:30 and again at 3:30. I was hoping to sleep until about 8. Two of the dogs jumped out of bed with him. Did he take the two dogs out? No. They tapped danced across the floor as they followed him to the bathroom and then to the kitchen to retrieve his bubba mug, then back to the bedroom. All this with a million lights turned on. The lights hit the mirror in the hall and reflected into my face.

With all the lights one would think that he could gather the items necessary for dressing without much ado. No, he managed to bang open drawers and doors and knock items to the floor. It is my own fault. I have been known to lay all his clothes out for him and I should have done it last night. I didn't and I am truly sorry.

During his percussion performance I gathered the two dogs still in bed and took them out. He still had not taken out the two following him .......... they had peed in the floor. I saw the puddles and the footprints of he who stepped in it and tracked it through the house. Can't really blame the dogs, they were not the ones who had me up in the night. What is the very first thing you want to do when you get up in the morning?

For me it must be mopping, cause that is what I did. I usually take the dogs out, then take care of my business and then let them in. Seems like the logical thing to do. Then I get coffee and wake up to start my day. If my mate is sleeping, I do all of it quietly and with just the light of day to lead my way. I am, oh, what is that word ....... considerate? Okay, sarcastic, too.

So, having accomplished mopping, two loads of laundry, bed making, dog feeding, and removing some of the tile on the bathroom floor (yes, I meant to), I take a quick shower and dress for the day. My hair still wet, I see a car in front of the store. It is only 10 am and I have another hour, but I go to see if I can help the gentleman. It is the tax accessor. He wants to know if I have built anything this year. Since a bad attitude does not count, I answer in the negative and wish him a good day. He apologizes for waking me up.

My hair is obviously wet. Does he think it is greasy? And, just how bad do I look? It is true that I have yet to apply make-up, but I am freshly scrubbed clean. So much for my self-esteem. Why did he think I just woke up. I am not in my pajamas and robe. I am fully dressed. I even have a stupid holiday sweat on, proclaiming joy to the world. Now I am annoyed at two men. Somehow, I don't think today will be all that great.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Shopping and Other Things

Feeling better means that I have to get out and run my own errands. He who has been my errand boy left early this morning on a job that will keep him from home until a lot later this evening. He is on the road and unavailable to go to the store. His prescriptions need to be filled. He only has one day left on one of them. I want to do some baking and I need supplies, mostly butter and flour.

So, I get ready to go out into the big wide world. Don't want to, mind you. The memory of my last panic attack still too fresh in my mind. But, I drink my coffee and convince myself that I can do this all by myself. Errand boy extraordinaire has my little bug all fueled and ready for me (remember, I do not do this, being delicate and all). Dreary skies follow me all the way.

I have been ensconced in my sewing room with my happy light ablaze (thanks to my daughter and son-in-law) every day for at least 5 hours. This dull gray light is a little disheartening. I spy the state troopers positioned all along the interstate and I keep my speed just two miles over the speed limit. I make it to WalMart and turn in the prescriptions with instructions on how many I want of each one, then prowl the store for bargains and my list of necessities. I arrive back at the pharmacy an hour later and join the others in the long, long line.

Finally I reach the front of the line and am excited to be nearly done and on my way home. Because there were so many waiting and I was anxious to get home, I did not open the bag and check each prescription like I normally do. I was started to get that little tingle at the nape of my neck and knew I had to be on my way.

I loaded the car and got in and started the engine, carefully waiting for the glow plug light to go out. It can be a little cantankerous in cold weather. The gear shift did not want to come out of "park". It has done this before. I turned off the engine and tried again. It worked. I wanted to pick up an iced tea to drink on the way home, so I pulled out of the back side of the parking lot in order to go through McD's drive-thru. Two big trucks were blocking access, so I pulled into the parking lot of my favorite consignment shop ...... who knows, maybe they had a bargain I could not live without.

I did not linger long in the shop, not finding anything I wanted to give a second glance to and went outside to see that the street I wanted was clear. I was ready to be home and the shop had been stuffy and hot. Got in the car and it stuck in "park" again. I tried all my trusty little tricks. I tried everything I could think of. No luck. So, I called he who cannot hear. He is in Illinois picking up a truck. He shouts instructions to me (why do people who can't hear you assume that you can't hear them?). He tells me to do everything I have already done and nothing is helping. If I turn the key part way I can get the gear shift to move ...... But, unless you are in "park" or "neutral" you cannot start the engine and when you start the engine it won't move to reverse or drive. I was almost in tears and the panic was coming full on. I was blubbering about my butter melting and how I just wanted to go home where my happy light waits for me.

I finally agreed to wait for a tow to come get me and my butter and drugs. I started stuffing everything into as few bags as possible to be able to unload quicker. Then I decided to pick up all the trash that had accumulated. I pulled the emergency brake and after cleaning up and releasing the brake I decided to try again. For whatever reason it started and went into gear and I was able to drive home. I cancelled the tow (in case you were wondering).

Made it home and only two dogs escaped as I brought in the bags. Fortunately, it was the male dogs and they have had too many swats from my fly swatter to disobey my command to get back inside. I opened the bag with the drugs. As anyone who watches TV knows, there is a list of drugs that WalMart will fill a 90 day supply of for only $10. Knowing this, why would you get a 30 day supply for $4? And yet, I always have to tell them. Always. One of the drugs he takes is $70 a month, so I only get a 30 day supply. I am always hoping it might go down in price, since it is already the generic. They got that one right. They got all of them right except the cheapest one. It comes in those hated prepacked blister pack things. There should have been 3, there was 1. I checked carefully and the amount was right there on the 1 package as 90. I pulled it opened and counted to make absolutely sure that the packaging had not changed, but there were just 30. It happens. I called and asked to speak with a pharmacist, since I know that this is the only person who can fix the error. I must have gotten a newbie. She listened carefully as I told her what had happened, then she told me to hold on.

She did not put the phone on hold and I could hear her as she asked how to access the information relating to the prescription in question. She wanted to know how to tell if I was lying ........ Then she pulled up the screen with the image of the RX the doctor had written. She then decided that I had only gotten 30 because it was written for 30. Having worked at WalMart before, I could have answered all of her questions and told her how to pull that information up. While it is true that the doctor had written #30 on the prescription with 5 refills, the customer can buy as few or as many covered in that prescription as long as it is not a controlled substance. And if I was going to try to rip WalMart off for some pills, let me just say that it would not have been the cheap ones, but the ones that cost $70 a month.

She finally came back to the phone and told me to bring "it" back and she would fix it. I had just driven 46 miles to get them and was loathe to hop into a car that had already sent me into a panic attack with gear issues and go back over what amounted to less than $10 worth of something. I simply told her that I was not willing to do that and she handed the phone to the other pharmacist who verified the name and RX# and my address. They are sending the other 60 to me.

A cup of tea, a happy light and a fire. I am feeling better.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Angels Watching Over Me

I am back ..... almost normal again. My recent vacation from sanity was enlightening. I chose not to blog, as I tended to be viciously honest. My meds have been adjusted and I am feeling much better. Thanks for all the e-mails of concern.

This is not my first experience with my disease. I am bi-polar. They have some very effective drugs for this condition nowadays. The stigma that used to be affiliated with mental defects no longer exists (does it?) and I am happy to embrace my defect. Well, maybe not happy .......... but resigned and grateful to recognize what is happening and be able to seek help.

I am not 100% yet, but I can cope now until my brain decides to play nice. My friends and family have rallied round me, and shielded me from the world while I recover. It has been nice to be cocooned here in my lair. I have mastered spider solitaire and spent many hours shopping on-line. I shop to my heart's content, then delete the entire thing. I have noticed that even in fantasy shopping, I still looked for bargains. I found that to be interesting. Nothing is quite so satisfying as a good deal.

So today as I was half listening to an infomercial hawking a handy dandy slicer I heard them say it had a handicapped container. Really, that couldn't be right ...... I turned my attention to the TV and sure enough there stood a woman slicing a 5 lb. bag of potatoes ............. blindfolded. Really. I hit the button on the remote and backed it up. Why would you want to prepare food with blindfold on? And yet there she was pumping that lever and feeding another potato onto the slicer. Is this why the word "handicapped" was used? Was she going to fill a pan with oil and fry those slices blindfolded?

I had heard correctly. They did say handicapped . But they were saying handy capped. Like I said handy dandy. This handy dandy container had a handy cap. Poor choice of wording, I suppose. I wonder if anyone else heard it the way I did? Maybe they should have used the word "lid" instead of "cap". I wonder if I could get a job editing commercials ............ I wonder if I am as well as I think I am? Good thing my angels are still watching over me.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I'm Not Crazy, I'm Just A Little Unwell ......

Gray skies fill the horizon. The sky is gray and drab, the clouds are gray and drab. A chill is in the air and I can't seem to get past this gray funk I am drowning in.
No lights grace the entrance to my home. There is no tree to adorn. I feel gray inside. All I want to do is sleep. Don't want to eat, don't even want to shop ..............
Wait, did I say that out loud. No, you say, it cannot be. A woman who does not long to shop and fill her home with wonderful values.
I lolled the day away in my sloppy sweats yesterday. I reheated the same cup of coffee twice and sat, hunched over the keyboard, clicking my childhood away. Did not even shower or wash my hair. By the end of the day, it was standing on end.
So, this morning, with grave determination, I arose, drank my single serving of coffee and showered, dressed and even put on make-up. Unlike the people of WalMart, I try hard not to frighten small children when I am out and about.
I forced myself out the door and started my trusty mode of transportation. I heard a rumor. The Walmart in Mexico (the city, not the country) still had a fabric department. Will wonders never cease? Just what the doctor ordered. If chemical therapy fails me, surely the touch, the feel of fabric will suffice. I hold that thought of self medication as I navigate the almost 40 miles to get my fix.
I march smartly past the greeter and grace him with a beautific smile. I am humming "Anticipation" as I meander slowly towards my habit. First I make myself go down the pet aisle. I grab a pink ball for Oscar, soft treats for Emmy and Beggin strips for the younger ones. This WalMart has a bigger selection and I am drawn to the remedies. I spy a treatment that will prevent the eating of poop. Really, I am not kidding. Emmy has been known to treat herself to already digested dog food. Nasty little habit and for $3, I can prevent this. Amazing. Whatever, I will give it a whirl.
Feeling smug and satisfied, I push my cart along. I made use of the handy-dandy disinfectant wipes at the door, so I also feel healthy. Well, maybe that is pushing it.
I stop in linens. Just looking to see if they have decent sheets with a high thread count and deep pockets. They do, actually. But I am loathe to part with $75 for sheets when I need a fabric fix. Instead I compromise and score a set of sheet garters. The elastic is losing it's grip and the fitted sheet won't stay taut. I hate wrinkly sheets. The garters should do the trick.
I am getting close. I can smell the fabric! I push my clean handled cart along as I run my hands over cottons and blends and polyesters and I am in my happy place. Then I see it! The clearance section. I suck in my breath and dive in. I got some nice twill for jumpers and corduroy, too. ALL ON SALE. Full price, even a decent price does not make me happy, it must be dirt cheap to make me feel noble. And may I just say, that I am very noble.
I get the pieces cut and head off to get the necessities of a Thanksgiving feast for two. Celery and chicken stock. Because the store is unfamiliar I am forced to go up and down each and every aisle. My fabric elation is wearing off. I am finding things I forgot I needed and it isn't too crowded. I should feel fine. I should.
But, there it is, tickling my spine and waiting to attack. I have not had a full panic attack in years. But I know what is about to happen if I don't get out of this place. If not for the precious bundle of cut fabric nestled in that cart, I would simply have walked away and driven home. I made it to the check out lane and the closeness of the merchandise stacked on either side of me saved me. The calm descended and I was able to pay and get out. The cold wind in my face was refreshing and I made it home just fine.
It has occurred to me that maybe my dosage needs to be adjusted.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Mulching, Creep-Master and Biting

My computer has been finicky of late. So have I. As the temperature is dropping, I have been taking advantage of those sunny afternoons to work in my gardens. I am hoping that this will make the spring clean-up a little easier. Hoping.

Since the marigolds have turned brown, I decided to collect more seed. At this point I have enough seed to start my own business, yet I still feel the need to pinch the heads off as I pull the plants. They need to be free of seed to go into the compost bin. No matter how diligently I pinch those dead heads off, I always end up with some volunteer plants in the compost. So, I got to thinking and decided that I should run the dead bushes through the mulcher and mulch the beds that I want marigold in. Some times I really impress myself with my own ingenuity!

The hunters have been out in force. I don't hunt. I don't understand the "sport". Stalking and killing an animal would not be thrilling or fun for me. My opinion, that's all. I do not condemn those who enjoy the sport. I stay inside when they are staying here in the kampground. Not because they have guns blazing. I just enjoy my solitude while I work in my gardens and don't really want to explain what I am doing. I tend to get advice from those who are wont to track down deer. Advice like, "why bother with all that, why not just pour gravel and make the parking lot bigger?" I don't tell you how to hunt .......

But, the number one main reason I make myself scarce is the hunter with the holistic medical advice. I have dubbed him the creep-master. He makes me uncomfortable and I keep the store locked whenever he is in residence. Last time he came in to pay I actually carried my meanest dog into the store with me. My dogs always growl and bark at the creep-master. He actually asked why I would want Oscar (mean dachshund), since all he seemed to do is make noise. "He does more than that." I say, "He will bite you if you get close enough." That did not deter him, though. He lingered in the store and asked after my health (fine) and then wanted to know if my husband was around. I answered with a question, asking if he needed a propane tank filled. I was loathe to admit that I was all alone here, save a pack of miniature dogs that were barking their heads off at the intruder. Oscar had that deep growl going the entire time he was in the store. I have found Oscar to be a good judge of character .... and he bites.

So here I sit, sipping my morning brew, happy to see no hunters here, the sun shining brightly in the sky ........ let the mulching begin.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

What Else Can Go Wrong?

It has been a quiet weekend here at the kamp. Hunters were out. I wonder if they are here to hunt or to sit around drinking and telling lies about past conquests. Doesn't really matter to me.

Well, it does matter when they use the men's room trashcan as a spittoon to accommodate their chew habits. The splatter ends up on the wall beside the trashcan. Then when they insist on having me let them in the store at 7:55 am to pay me for the weekend. Before I have enough coffee in my system. It just starts the day off wrong.

But, they paid and left and the day is balmy, if a little on the windy side and I get my coffee ........ Then the stomach-ache hits me. I always pronounce it the way Ray Romano did on that episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond". He sounded it out and proclaimed the word to be "sto-ma-cha-chee". I knew I needed to eat something, but nothing sounds good; well, nothing that I have here in my house. I ponder what is available to stuff in my gullet and come up blank. I finally decide that pancakes sound okay. I have mix in the cupboard. 

I drag out the electric skillet and pour the mix and the water in the bowl. As I stir it with the wisk, I sling it onto my shirt. Grace, that's me. So I grab the dish towel to wipe the shirt and drop it in the dishwater. I am determined, though. I clean myself up and wring out the towel and put it in the laundry. Then as the skillet is heating up, I bump into the bowl and knock it over, losing about 1/3 of the batter on the counter. Still determined, I pour the batter on the skillet and then clean that mess up. 

Spatula in hand I watch the tiny bubbles pop and prepare to flip the cakes. Plastic spatula for the non-stick surface. Yeah, they stuck. Like I super-glued them. With a lot of effort I manage to get them up and turn the mangled globs of batter over. So much for light, fluffy pancakes. I drizzled Aunt Jemima's best atop the mess and managed to eat around the chewier parts. The dogs enjoyed them immensely. I am thinking about just going back to bed.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Health Advice ......

I love unsolicited advice. I was outside gathering seed from my zinnia, cosmos and marigolds to store until next spring. I saw them drive up and I went into the store. This couple stays here during the hunting season and are ....... odd? The man makes me a tad bit uncomfortable. He is not very nice to his wife when I have seen them interact. One time he got a cup of coffee for her, but when she tried to put cream and sugar in it he was impatient and told her to hurry up, then sat in the truck blowing his horn until she ran out the door. Really rude man.

Today he came in to pay for the evening and gestured to the ziploc bag in my hand. He asked what I was doing ..... I thought it was obvious, but replied that I was gathering seed. He looked at me like I was lying and asked to smell it. It was a gallon bag of cosmos seed. He looked a little disappointed when he took a whiff and commented that it looked like something I would be selling on the street.

I don't know if this was an opening for him to tell me that I needed to look into holistic medicines. He advised me to go to a particular website and order a wonder drug (?) that would change my life. He said that it had changed his life. He has more energy, has lost weight, and his sex life is great. I listened politely as he relayed all this to me and wished he would leave. His wife was waiting in the car and not blowing the horn impatiently. He was intent on spouting the sales propaganda about the product and telling me that the medical community did not want the public to know about this, since it would put them out of business and repeated the web address as he left.

Because I am the curious sort, I looked up his supplement. It consists of vitamin A, aloe vera and fiber. I wonder which ingredient gave him his surly attitude? He did not look all that fit to me with his pot belly and chronic cough. I won't be ordering this magic elixir.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Black Eyes, Insomnia and Pumpkins

 I have a shiner!! It has nothing to do with my insomnia. The insomnia is the fault of he who likes to build fires. It rained yesterday and there was a damp chill in the air. I was feeling much better than I have all week and I gave the man permission to build the first fire of the season in the wood stove.

I gave him instructions. A small fire. Just to take the chill out of the air. No raging infernos that he is so fond of. He likes to get a raging fire going and then leave the house. I am beginning to think he wants me to sweat. He was gone most of the day and I let the fire dwindle as I worked around the house. When he came in for supper he brought with him a load of firewood. He got the embers going and I warned him, once again, not to add too many logs before bedtime.

Might as well have been talking to myself. Went to bed and could not get comfortable. My bare feet out of the covers were too cold, but under the covers, I was sweating. I got up at midnight with some restless dogs. There is a thermometer next to the drafty back door. 70 degrees there at the door. Wonder what it is in the room with the wood stove ....... 77. It was a couple of degrees cooler in our bedroom. I tell you, had it been 75 degrees and summer, he would have wanted the air conditioner on. The man is trying to drive me insane!! I did not go back to bed until 1:30.

 Back to my black eye. The puppy called Toni, with the freakishly long legs is a sweet girl. She is a little strange in appearance and in behavior, too. She likes to sniff my eyes. Every night while we are sitting in front of the TV at the end of the day, she will insinuate herself into my lap ...... no, that's wrong. She likes to sit on my chest, effectively blocking my view of the TV or my laptop. She wants my full attention. She wants me to hold her face in my hands and talk to her. While I am talking she investigates my face with her nose, paying undue attention to my eyes. She doesn't go nuts licking my face, she just sniffs. If my glasses are on, she will gently nose her way under them. It is very strange and it tickles.

Last night, as she was trying to assume her seat upon my chest she lost her balance and her paw ended up under my glasses in my eye while the rest of her legs and body fell onto my face. I did mention those legs that are freakishly long, didn't I?

I meant to take a photo of the mangled glasses before they went for repair, but forgot. These were my new glasses. The glasses I got after my eye exam and new prescription. The glasses from my favorite eyeglass store and my favorite camper/optician Barb at HERE'S 2 EYES in Troy, Mo. Thank goodness I had the foresight to get two pair!! Two pair I got for what most places would have charged me for one pair! Not only that, but personal, friendly service. My glasses are no doubt already in Barb's hands. Barb's magic hands, I should say. He who has a second job had to go right through Troy and dropped my glasses off. If anyone can salvage them, Barb can! The lens are okay, the frame may have to be replaced.

The puppy called Toni not only has freakishly long legs and an eye fetish .... she is a clumsy, too. And that is how I came to have a shiner. I actually didn't see it until I washed my face. It doesn't hurt. I wonder if I could get some mileage out of this injury. Maybe dinner out and a nice foot rub?

 The sun is shining again and I ventured out to check on my turnips. This is the only pumpkin to survive and I didn't even plant it .... it was a volunteer from the pumpkin I tossed in the compost bin last year. Is this the tiniest one you have ever seen?

Too small to carve ...........

Monday, October 31, 2011

Party Time ....

 It all starts with fresh hot, ooey, gooey breakfast rolls. See the bacon in the caramel, the sweet with the savory .....

 My pumpkin vines blossomed and formed the beginnings of pumpkins, then withered and died. No pumpkins for me this year. Just this little one that Harvey gifted me, so I stuck some foamy stickies on it .......

 But, I do have gourds!

 Trick or treat.

 Enter, if you dare!

 Witches take flight on the night of fright!


 The kids loved the bouncy house.

 Then they donned costumes to trick or treat.

 Not just kids, either. Is that Elmer Fudd I see behind the lovely good witch?

 Um, I see a winner for the adult costume! Beetlejuice won. My second choice would have been the priest ..... but, unless you know Rich, the irony is lost. That and the fact that his wife disallowed most of the props he wanted to use, lest he offend the masses (pun intended). She did let him drag his bottle of wine ...... Boone's Farm strawberry, no less. He must be from a poor parish. Oh, and he was not depicting a good priest!

 Hello, Kitty.

 Is she cute or what? She won the pumpkin carving contest.

 The crock pots are coming, the crock pots are coming!!

 Some of the pumpkins for the carving competition.

 Site winner. These folks are really into this!

 Really into it.

 Very competitive .....

 Sound effects, too.

 I was not the only one without a traditional pumpkin to carve. And using the name of the kampground..... a wonderful feat of ass-kissery!! I appreciate that quality!

They came, they ate and a good time was had by all! I have tons more pictures, but blogger is a little tired of me now.

I am tired, too, and still not feeling great. Juice, aspirin and chicken soup. I was going to watch LMN, but all the  movies are scary today. I want mushy romance or comedy.
You know, so I can doze off.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Day After .....

We had our annual fall celebration yesterday. The ending of another camping season. Camping buddy Deb came out Friday night and spent the night in order to handle the store while I carried on with all the necessities involved with a big party. I went to bed early while all the rest of the world watched the Cardinals win the World Series. I knew I had to get up early.


I arose a little later than I planned, but still managed to raise the dough for the cinnamon buns and sticky buns. Sticky buns that were sweet and savory with the addition  of bacon  instead of nuts. After sitting with coffee and my favorite campers I kicked myself into high gear and got my tables set up and covered with covers and all the electric sources for the crock pots to come.

Trick or treaters made the rounds and the food started to arrive .... along with those who would want to stop and camp for the night. I have discovered that no matter how much prep work I do, in the end, it never goes smoothly.
Good thing I can adapt to chaos easily.

I managed to sample all the dishes before I escaped on the golf cart to look at all the site decorations before choosing a winner. It was then that I had a sudden chill. The temperature was dropping as it always does when the sun goes down, so I didn't think too much of it. I grabbed a jacket and the prizes and using my best Mom voice made all my announcements. All the prizes were awarded and chairs around the campfire were occupied with those eager for a hayride.

While he, who is in charge of all things mechanical, entertained the hay riders I managed to clean up the pavilion and get everything inside. I was really feeling crappy, but pushed myself to finish my task. I was looking forward to sitting in mindless oblivion in front of the TV. I was drinking hot cider in an attempt to stay warm.

I don't recall what position the moon was in last night, but, it was definitely a night of dog mischief. Our soup winner was absent when the winners were announced, so I delivered her prize. She was dealing with her little dachshund. He decided to tear the screen out of her window and rip it up while she was at the festivities. Her dog was not the only dog up to shenanigans.

My oldest dachshund, Oscar, was about the business of doing his business ...... in the house. Oscar, who is our alpha dog and must think his middle name is "Dammit" is a true tyrant in every sense of the word. He was upset because I was busy all day yesterday and refused to go outside. I came in, not knowing he had wiggled his way through the gate blocking off my bedroom, and stepped in his business and tracked it throughout the bedroom and bathroom. 

No rest for the weary. I was mopping when the last hayride was over. After showering, we both went to bed. I was asleep immediately. I woke at midnight when I heard a dog whining to go out. It was my tyrant, Oscar, and I took them all out. I was a little dizzy, but, I was tired, so I didn't think too much of it. At 2 am my tiny dachshund woke me. Emmy had her little spine fused when she was only 2 and has developed arthritis now that she is almost 12. She has lost the feeling in one leg and really has difficulty walking now. She is 6 lbs. of pure love and has rarely ever done anything bad. She gets upset when she has an accident and let's just say that last night's event was monumental. She had to be bathed. At 2 o'clock in the morning. By me, of course. Her event was on my side of the bed and he who sleeps through everything would not get up to pull the sheets off, so I cleaned up around him and got in the other bed with my sweet little dog shivering in a towel. I cried myself to sleep, because I know she won't be with me much longer. I held her close to me to keep her warm and let her lick my arm with her stinky old dog breath. 

I had just gotten warm and was dozing when the rest of the dog kingdom came in search of me. Had to get up and lift the tyrant, Oscar into bed. No choice, he would just sit next to the bed and whine all night. Then I felt Wall-E hop in and sniff all of us, then leave to go back to his master. Just as I was about to doze off again, Toni, who has been described as looking like a moose with her freakishly long legs jumped up and onto my hip. She walked all over me while wagging her tail to express her joy at finally finding where I had gone. She is still a puppy and a very enthusiastic one at that.

I could see the clock from my new bed and I woke every two hours. I got up at 8. I didn't want to, but I did. I remembered at 2:30 that I had forgotten to take my blood pressure pill yesterday, but was loathe to walk into the kitchen to take it. I felt pretty crappy, but I had a pretty crappy night. I opened the store, but only because I had to. I made it okay til about 11:30 when I sneezed and realized how raw my throat was. Every muscle in my body hurts. I feel like I have started an exercise program and tried to conquer it all in one day. Then I blink, my eyeballs feel hot to my eyelids.

I am sick .... and tired. I normally close at 5 today, but think I need to stay down, since I am really dizzy. I have been dosed with aspirin and sit here sipping orange juice and watching the food channel. Sweet Genius. I have no appetite, just want to be left alone and quiet. I have to jump up every 20 minutes or so and tell the world that I am not well and to please use the night registration. It is too much to hope that my husband will take care of things. He is blowing out the pipes in the shower house to close it down for the season. No nap, I am resigned to watching as cooks compete to bake with seaweed and jump up and down like a jack in the box. At 5 I am going to bed!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Indian Summer

What gorgeous weather we are having! Here I sit in my shorts and flip flops, having just finished mowing probably for the last time this year. Saturday was just as beautiful as we drove north to deliver Max, the puppy to my grandson, Gavin. While we were driving north, my daughter was driving south. We met south of Des Moines, slap dab in the middle of nowhere, Iowa.

At one point I had all five dogs in my lap ....... We met Adrienne's new beau for the first time. He must have been so impressed to meet her parents. Drew was in his orange day-glo hat he favors, with his giant turquoise Bubba mug in hand. Me? Oh, I was equally impressive in my hot pink shirt with puppy pee stains on the front. At least we were colorful.

No matter, all I wanted was to see Gavin's face when he met his puppy. I remembered the camera. Too bad I didn't check to see that the battery was charged. Gavin reached for Wall-E first and Wall-E was excited to see his boy. Max, the puppy charmed everyone by peeing as soon as his feet touched grass. Adrienne was thrilled, thinking I had already trained him in only one week. I am sure she knows different by now.

Gavin was enchanted and I am told that Max fell asleep with Gavin in his bed the first night. I won't miss getting up with a baby dog at night ....... but, really, is there anything more precious than a sleeping baby in your arms? Human or canine, a baby is a baby.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dear Martha,.........

 This picture is from 2009. Witchy Woman Martha celebrates another year today! I do know that is a wizard costume. But, Martha is wise.  Martha is opinionated and outspoken and afraid of nothing. She is someone you want in your corner, as she is fiercely loyal. She is a good sounding board, too. She will listen and hear what you have to say, then tell you what she thinks. If you ask for her opinion, be prepared to hear it ...... she will pull no punches!

 She handed me a box on my birthday. Before I could open it, she told me that she bought it with me in mind. But .... went on to say that she liked it, too; and that if I didn't like it, I could give it back to her for her birthday. Who knew that Martha would be a fan of re-gifting? No, she cannot have it back, I am keeping it.

 Instead, I started this garden project. I was just going to put some trees in to offer a little afternoon shade. Then I got a little carried away.

 Not quite done yet, but it is getting there. Thirteen tiger lilies have been planted and should be magnificent next season.

Til then I added a couple of mums. Still need to add mulch and more rocks in the border. My trees are looking sad right now. Not to worry if they don't make it I will plant more ..... because as I live and breathe ...... there will be shade for Martha!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Life In A Basket

I refuse to post pictures of my messy house. You can use your imagination. I will say that I do keep up with the kitchen, the bathroom and the bed linens during the season. I mop the floors a lot because of the dogs. Most other things fall behind. That means that every fall finds me re nesting for the winter.

Earlier this week I tackled the area by the back door and my personal laundry room. I painted the alcove walls and ceiling and cleaned up everything except the work area of he who loves clutter. His "workbench". Supposed to be a workbench, but it is piled high with clutter. I confess that I am guilty of adding to it when I look for a place to put something out of my way until I can get to it, but the bulk of the mess is his. And he has never cleaned it up.

But, that was earlier in the week. This morning I decided to tackle the table by the front door. More specifically the basket atop said table. This is the basket I placed there to hold keys and cell phones and wallets, etc.

Perhaps I should limit the size of the basket ......... This is what I found in the basket, the basket I never use, the basket that is all for the convenience of he who keeps everything.......

$49.46 in loose change, 2 checkers, 4 latex gloves, a set of nail clippers, 2 drill bits, an oil filter for his truck (wrong size, he was going to take it back), a drawer pull, 2 use up tubes of Orajel, a tube of Vaseline lip therapy, a bulb from a set of Christmas lights, a box cutter, a cup hook, every list I have made and given him since May, various receipts, 2 cellophane wrappers from his favorite peanut butter crackers, a Reese's wrapper, two pairs of work gloves, lots of pocket lint, .......... and a partridge in a pear tree.

Oh, there were keys, too. A lot of keys. Some of them I am quite certain he has no idea what lock they belong to. I will be keeping the money. I did, after all, work for it by picking it out of all the other stuff. I deserve it, don't you think?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Designated Driver?

Sitting here watching the morning news and sipping coffee, I hear a story about the father who used his nine year old daughter as his designated driver .......

Okay, I was not sitting peacefully, holding my warm cup in both hands and listening intently. I had four dogs on the couch with me and one at my feet whining to join the rest. The resident puppy was chewing on my fingers as I was trying to swaddle him for a nap. One was on the arm of the couch staring daggers at said puppy, while one is wedged so close I feel the need to scoot over. The older puppy is walking back and forth on the back of the couch and dancing on my shoulders.

The puppy is asleep now. He likes to be swaddled like a newborn, then held close and patted on his tiny bottom. Goes right to sleep. The three older dogs have settled down and Toni, the big puppy is playing with a toy. So, I back up the news to listen again as I sip the lukewarm coffee.

The story does not say that the man is drinking, but shows him telling the store clerk that his nine year old is driving and he is obviously impaired. It occurred at 3:00 am. The vehicle was pulled over to find the nine year old driving while sitting in a booster seat. Sounds like she needs a designated parent.

Wonder where her mother is? Wonder what happened after they pulled the vehicle over ....... did they put the child in foster care? Is the father in custody? Will a judge be impressed that he was not driving drunk and that he had the good sense to employ the use of a booster seat so that the child could see as she drove? Will he take into consideration that it was 3:00 am and traffic was light?

My coffee is cold now and it is time to get my day going as I wonder all these things.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Goodbye Spooky

Seven years ago, when we bought this campground, we discovered that a cat came with it. She simply showed up one day about six years before we came along. I think she was a Blue Russian. She was a bit aloof and at first would only allow me to pet her when I would put her food out. As our first winter winds started to blow I worried about her being outside. She refused to come inside, but she did allow me to pick her up and hold her.

She was quite independent and caught her own food. She seemed to like birds the best, but she was also a good mouser. I lined an old hooded litter box with a wool blanket and she began spending her nights and nap times in there. I was resigned to her not taking me up on my offer to come inside.

We would wonder, from time to time, just how old she might be. She must have been spayed, because she never had any kittens. But, like most proud females, she kept her age a secret. No tell-tell signs of gray ........ she already had gray fur.

Last winter was extreme and she finally decided to come live inside. Only at night. She began depending on the catfood I gave her as the main part of her diet and bird feathers no longer appeared on the front porch. I still kept her food outside to prevent the dogs from eating it and witnessed her sharing it with an old possum. The older she got the more docile she became. She would hop into my lap if I sat on the front porch and purr contentedly.

For the past few months, she preferred the indoors and seemed to be fading away. She was losing weight, not matter how often I would feed her. I resorted to offering special treats to her. She loved canned tuna and she snacked on dog food when ever she found the bowl without canine presence. When I held her she felt like just skin and bones. But she still purred contentedly. I knew she was not going to be with us much longer.

I did not see her yesterday morning when I went outside. I didn't see her all afternoon. She would usually come to the store door and slip in with a customer. Late yesterday afternoon, after closing the store, I decided to walk out to the barn with the new puppy. He is like a baby, motion will put him to sleep.

I saw the still form of the old gray cat right under the front of my car. She looked like she was catching a nap. I called out "kitty, kitty" and she did not move. She looked like she simply lay down and went to sleep for the last time. Still, I was sad that she died all alone.

She had a proper burial and I called the only other person who loved her as much as I did.  Debbie had renamed her Smokey and we both were sad, but Deb reminded me that Spooky/Smokey had a really good life. Still, it was sad not to see her on the porch this morning.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Max

 Meet Max. My newest grandpuppy. Max will only be here until I can get to Minnesota and deliver him to his new owner, my grandson, Gavin.

I was minding my own business here at the kampground, sitting here in my broken chair at my desk, nimbly playing spider solitaire and thinking about taking a bathroom break. A woman that I only know from pool season entered in a cloud of perfume. As my sinus pain was in remission and I did not want it to return with a vengeance, I was concentrating on finding out what she wanted quickly.

She started her tale of woe about her granddaughter having surgery and needing to leave in a hurry as I half listened and made appropriate murmurs. She got to the part of a litter of puppies in her car and I saw my opportunity to go outside! She was on her way to the animal shelter in town to give the puppies up. They are Chihuahuas (she pronounced it shihuahua).

I had no intention of getting a puppy ...... none at all. I just wanted to get outside in fresh air. My sinus pain is making the left side of my jaw feel like I should grab some pliers and yank out my teeth. A little pressure, you know.

So, she pulls this kennel out and opens it up to reveal five little puppies, one of which was white and looked a lot like Wall-E. Wall-E, Gavin's first dog. Wall-E, who came to live with us when Gavin could not keep the dog in the apartment. Wall-E, the dog that Papa would not give up when Gavin moved and could have a dog. So, what was I to do? I mean she was headed to the dog pound, for heaven's sake!

Being wise beyond my years (okay, maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration), I summoned he who is a sucker for puppies to the office and literally stuck the puppy in his face. "Are you thinking what I am thinking?" I asked. We both said "Gavin" at the same time. And that is how I came to be writing this with a little white puppy against my bare skin in my shirt.

 He was scared of my scary scarecrow, which is good, since that is the very definition of what scarecrows are supposed to do ......

He slept for awhile in his kennel, but is missing his litter mates now and wants the company of myself very close to him. I will not get attached to him! The scent of puppy breath is in the air and my sinuses have no problem with that!

Wall-E graciously gave up his own puppy blanket and wrote his boy a letter asking that he give the puppy without a name something to call him by, other than "it" or "puppy".
His name is Max and Gramma is planning a trip north to unite Max and Gavin.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Circus Is Coming!

 No kidding, the circus is coming. I came out the door to see he who is always curious talking to these clowns.

 They were here to let everyone know that the circus was coming. They were very excited, as you can see. Even the circus car was sporting a clown nose.

The clown ride encountered a bump along the way and was sporting band-aids.

I just opened the weekly paper and saw the ad for the circus. Those clowns were right!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Trick or Treat?

 It is that time of year again. My gourds from two years ago are ready to be used. White paint and some scary faces for these ghosts.

 Red eyed demons ........

 Sweet faced scarecrows ....

 here and there ...

 A wicked graveyard cat.

and a charming witch. Setting the stage for the end of the season party. October 29th. Chili/soup cook-off, bonfire, hayride through spooky forest. Did I mention there are fabulous prizes? There are.