Saturday, April 30, 2011

No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service

Bright and early ..... no make that very early, not so much bright, since the sun was still deciding to come on up ...... I was up this morning. Cinnamon dough to rise. The caramel cooked to perfection today. It has to come to that rolling boil before you add the vanilla extract and the heavy cream to achieve that satiny smooth perfection dripping from the spoon. Really it does. If you rush it, it will crystallize on the rolls, making the end product a little crunchy. He who loves sweets will eat the mistakes, though.

Anyhow, the morning's tasks are running quite smoothly and by the time I unlock the store at 8, I have already done two loads of laundry, cleaned the restrooms, made the coffee and the rolls. I sit down to relax at my desk with my computer while I wait for all the hungry breakfast crowd and he who complains about the price of fuel is off on some errand that involves driving. The door opens and as I rise from my chair I am treated to a view of a tattoo on the bare belly of a young man. Can I help you? (all the while doubting that I can actually help this person). I do not recognize face or tattoo. He is accompanied by a woman of indeterminate age and another shirtless friend and I know that they aren't staying here in the kampground. We want some of that good coffee. How does he know it's good? While the two males are pouring and doctoring their coffee the female is wandering among the merchandise. She is in shorts and a shirt that look like she slept in them. Her hair is unkempt and she doesn't appear to be one to attempt to enhance her appearance with make-up, so I can't really tell if she just tumbled out of a fitful sleep or if this is her "look". She spies a sample size bottle of Pert shampoo and the three meet at the counter for a discussion on the number of heads this bottle will wash. They finally agree that it won't take much for them all to get a shower.

There is a glass display case holding my sock monkeys for display and Tattoo says to his female companion, Now, honey, them ain't for sale, they's just to look at. I don't bother to correct him. He starts to laugh and then looks at his Honey ....... Hell, them monkeys kinda look like you. He is still chuckling as they all shuffle out to their car in their bare feet. And, after some consideration, I have to agree with him.

Friday, April 29, 2011

April 29th

"April qwenty-ninph, that is my birfday" he said. I can still hear that confident two year old voice. He had the sweetest fat cheeks that I loved to kiss and nibble. Every year on his birthday, his Grampa and I look at each other and say "April qwenty-ninph" together. He doesn't know this and probably would prefer not knowing until he has a child of his own. He is among that group of population known as teens. Sixteen years old today. Old enough to get a driver's licence. That is scary, to think of my sweet boy behind the wheel.

I had the chance to watch him play baseball while I was in Minnesota. He looked so handsome and grown-up. He was the catcher. I was huddled in a chair with a blanket on me, watching him play ............ as the gale force winds threatened to blow me away as my teeth chattered. Then he got hurt. His hand, not bad, just a painful contusion. I walked over to the dugout, hoping that movement might even generate some heat. He surprised me by giving me a hug! I haven't had a hug in public since kindergarten! Then the sleet started coming down and we hurried to the car. But, I got a hug in public! And that was before I gave him his birthday present!

Happy Birthday to my grandson, Gage!

High Yield

I stumbled out of bed wondering if I had slept all day. I had gotten up earlier with the dogs and put on coffee, then thinking it would be nice to lay down again for just a few minutes while the coffee finished. The coffee ............ have you seen the price of coffee lately? This is what led me to buy Hills Brothers coffee last time I was in Menard's. Cheaper. I have heard of Hills Brothers; it's not like I purchased some questionable item that might not even be made from coffee beans, how bad can it be? I was reading the can ( a real can and not one of the faked out cardboard things of late; although, I do like the plastic tub with the handle on it that Maxwell House uses). It says "high yield" ....twice on the can. What does that mean? Are they referring to the number of cups of coffee? Sounds like a crop term to me. Do they yield more beans from their plants? Very confusing, especially before I have any of this high yield coffee.

I grab a cup and go to the TV. Expecting to see Matt and Meredith covering the royal wedding that I slept through (like I would have gotten up and tuned in at that hour ....), instead I get Star Trek Next Generation and wonder if that is the wedding and my vision has been affected by the last two days of a headache. No, wrong channel. They managed to marry without me and the two kisses have been broadcast over and over. The Royal experts are rehashing the event endlessly and I am sipping my first coffee of the day............

High yield? Not cups, I tell you. It is not bad. Forgettable, tasteless. Maybe I didn't use enough. I used the same amount I normally do, then when I read that "high yield" nonsense I was almost afraid it would be too strong. Taste like hot water with a little hint of coffee. And I bought the industrial size can. High yield, indeed.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Dog Ate My Vicodin!

I was plagued by an intense headache yesterday .......... you know the kind that gives you a warning before it arrives. I was about my business of taking reservations and checking the e-mails associated with such when I could suddenly no longer see out of my right eye. Well, half of the vision in my eye was obscured with dancing silver fish thingies squiggling about. Past experience has taught me to not ignore this foretelling of pain. I immediately dosed myself with Tylenol, caffeine, and chocolate. A bartender taught me this trick and it has been known to work quite well. Even if it does not squelch the pain entirely, it dulls it down to bearable. I closed down the computer and pulled the shades ...... just in case the sun might appear.

After sitting quietly for half an hour and regaining full vision, I sadly noted to myself that I had not caught it quite in time. Going to bed to sleep it off was not an option, since he who could take my place was at his other job. I did console myself with the knowledge that even if he had been here and I had managed to drift into sleep, he would have awakened me to see if I felt any better. So, I made a little cocoon for myself on the couch with the dogs and put the phone on a pillow to muffle the sound and moving very carefully and slowly spent the afternoon answering phone calls in a hushed voice and checking in three campers. I dosed myself every two hours with aspirin, then Tylenol, then Ibuprofen. I do, after all, believe in equal opportunity and giving each drug a chance to work a miracle.

When he who was concerned arrived home (having had a call from me to express my distress), he was happy to report that he had a lone Vicodin left from his last dental emergency! I accepted his offering eagerly and after popping it in half, took one half and felt the pain retreat in about 20 minutes. I slept like a baby and awoke feeling so much better. The sun was even shining! I drank my coffee and began my day. Looking forward to planting some Black Eyed Susan's along the fence. I preformed all my morning ablutions, brushing my teeth, washing my face, batting at my bed head and carefully flushing away any allergens that might be lurking in my nasal cavities with my neti pot.

I mounted my trusty golf cart and drove to site 2 where my kamper buddy Yvonne had the plants that she carefully saved for me when her sister-in-law thinned her beds. I loaded them on the cart and hoe in hand set about planting. The soil here is so wet that I could have dug the holes with my hands. I was happily tucking my little plants in and envisioning them swaying in the breeze with their happy faces against the red fence ............. not again, the squiggling silver fish are at the outer edges of my vision. Maybe it just the sun reflected on the leaves of the plants? No, definitely having tunnel vision now. As I am coming round the bend, he who mows, waves at me from his mower and I stop. He mouths are you alright? I shake me head in the negative and immediately regret doing so. He cuts the engine and instructs me to go lay down and take the other half of the Vicodin. Good idea.

I manage to navigate the cart to the front door and walk carefully inside. I was on the sofa when I popped the pill in half .......... where did I put the half I didn't take? On the table beside me, thinking at the time, that I should really put it in something so I wouldn't lose it and the dogs wouldn't get it. Did I? I cannot remember doing so and I can't really see now. I am trying to be very careful as I feel all along the table top. I can't find it and total panic seizes me along with a rush of adrenalin. Not good with the impending headache, just in case you ever need to know. Next thing I do is gather each of my animals into my arms. Why? I don't know. Maybe I am thinking I will be able to tell by touch if they have Vicodin in their system. I am about to call he who would rescue me when I remember where I put the Vicodin.

I still have a headache and am hoping it will go away when this next storm system rolls through this afternoon. But ........... the dogs are all okay!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Three Digits

I am not one to brag and draw attention to myself ................ but I now have 100 followers!! When I started this blog, it was mainly because my daughter wanted me to. It was to be a way to keep in touch with my family. I am not big on phone chats, since I have to be on the phone a lot anyway. And when my kids do call, I am usually busy with the campers.

It has also been an exercise in writing for me. I have always wanted to write a book ......... but what would be the purpose if no one wanted to read it? My view of the world is a little skewed and I find irony in many things. The first attempt at writing was what I call The Book Of Adrienne . Adrienne is my youngest and most adventurous. She left Minnesota and moved to Florida. Her siblings stayed close by and when we visited her (on demand, to bring the rest of her belongings) I had a hard time leaving her behind. I sensed that she needed me. While he who drives, was at wheel of the motor home I was on task with paper and pen. I was a little teary as I watched her waving goodbye. Anyone who knows her would never think of her as needy. She is almost 6 feet tall and my head rests on her shoulder when I stand next to her; but that will never negate the fact that she is my baby. I have been known to say that had she been my first, she still would have been my last. She is, and always has been a force to be reckoned with.

With all my thoughts of her tumbling through my mind I started writing down all my memories of her childhood. There were many. The girl leaves her stamp where ever she goes. When I got home I started pulling pictures of her out and matching stories with them. I was going to type the stories and print them, but my dear daughter-in-law convinced me to write them by hand. It was huge undertaking and I had the project spread all over the house when she called from Florida and in a small voice told me that she wanted to come home. She was home by Christmas and my gift to her was the book that was still in progress. She cried when she opened it. When I was at her new house last week there were still boxes to be unpacked, but The Book Of Adrienne was right there on the coffee table.

I cooked for my kids and their families on the last evening there. We celebrated birthdays that were coming next month and laughed and talked. The Book Of Adrienne was passed round and even though she was absent, we all had fun reliving some of her antics and laughing at some of the more unflattering pictures I had included in her book. Then the most amazing thing happened. Adrienne's older sister, Jill, said "Hey, Mom, when are you going to do a book for me?".

I know what my next project is ......... but in the meantime, I have 100 followers!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I Am Coming Home

I have not had Internet this past week. I am in withdrawal.

Really, haven't had time for the Internet until my little guy shut his eyes at night ........... and I went to sleep with him! I am looking forward to going home today. It has been wonderful to be with my kids and their kids, but I miss my little home with he who will be at the airport when I land and my four legged friends.

Yesterday was a domestic day for me. I cooked all day long for my family. It brought back memories of cooking for my kids when they were all at home. Country style steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, collard greens, spinach souffle and honey glazed carrots and cake. I dropped Gavin off at school and went to the grocery store. It was so peaceful as I shopped in the huge store. I strolled leisurely down each and every aisle.

As I loaded my bounty in the car, I spied a JoAnn's!! I didn't have milk and it was nice and chilly outside........ and I felt it would just be wrong not to go in. So.... I did. I took in the magic aroma of fabric just waiting to be cut. Then I saw the 50% off signs!!! I was in heaven. I drove my cart straight to the fabric that was calling my name. I won't say just how much I bought since he who is in charge of the kampground in my absence does read this. I will say that the suitcase I emptied of presents is now full again. Oh, if you are buying fabric to make clothing with in Minnesota it is tax free!!! I feel justified!! It is lovely, my fabric, and I am already planning in my mind.

Can't post pictures. I cannot find my camera charger or the cord to download. I have searched this entire house. I just hope it turns up here at some point. I unpacked some of the boxes from the move and I hope I didn't accidentally throw them away. I am off to the airport now and will be home this afternoon with my dogs at my side while I visit my favorite blogs!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day One

It can only get better .....I hope. The bridal party left at 3:30 this morning. My daughter slept in Gavin's bed and he slept with me. I thought I was at home minus the dogs. The child snores. He looks like Papa and he snores like Papa.

I woke in plenty of time to get the child ready for school and take the new arrival out for a potty break. Laila, the boxer arrived when the bridal party left. She is a good dog and she was able to get Gavin up and moving this morning. I have a packet of instructions and I was told that Gavin was hard to get going. I managed to get him dressed and his teeth brushed and his toaster strudel ready to eat in the car.

I gulped my coffee,grabbed the map and we were off ............ Gramma, you forgot my breakfast. Oh crap, you are right, I did (are you really hungry?) I turn around and go back in, thinking to grab it and be on our way. The dog ate the child's breakfast. I have short dogs and what I put on the counter stays on the counter. I put another strudel in the toaster and put some food in the dog's dish.

I am back on the road and following the map quest directions. Take a slight right on Radio Drive. Slight? What is slight. You either turn or you don't. It is an intersection with no confusing little side roads. I turn and am going along looking for the next road on the directions when Gavin tells me to turn "here". It is not the road on the directions and I have to turn because I am in the turn lane. I call my son and tell him I am lost ...... all the while Gavin is telling me to "go straight, Gramma, don't listen to him, just go,I know where my school is". I creep along and find the road and then finally get him to school 15 minutes late. All the while Gavin is telling me, "I told you I knew where it was.

As he got out of the car he asked me if I could get back home okay. "Just go backwards from the way we came." I am going to take a shower and have another cup of coffee now.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Zara Will Be Three!

Sugar and spice and everything nice .............. that is what little girls are made of. Smiling at her daddy. She is every bit as sweet as she looks. She was always the happy baby. Still easy going. She will celebrate her third year in May along with sister Jada. I am busy filling the suitcases with lots of girl dresses and birthday presents.

A baby doll to play with. The back pack comes with lots of accessories for the doll. No, I did not make it. I did not have time to construct a wardrobe for this doll. I would feel guilty, but I know that Zara won't be upset and that is all that matters.

Baby Zara likes to clean things. Perhaps she will have her own janitorial service one day. I will be leaving the broom here for her to use when she visits, I took it apart and it would fit in the suitcase. I just wonder what they would think it was on X-ray. Toys R Us has the whole set and I will just get it when I get there.

I always worry that my luggage will be chosen to inspect. I use space bags just to get everything to fit. If they released the vacuum in those bags .............. would they call me and ask me to try to get it all back in? Do they have a vacuum there? I can't help but ponder such things.

I made two sets of sister dresses and Zara will get hers, along with the capri set. I love this fabric and she is the only one young enough to enjoy prints like this. They grow up so fast. I am looking forward to holding her tomorrow. If she will let me. She is a very busy girl.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Jada Has A Birthday Coming .......

Jada will be six soon. I won't be there in May .......... but I will be there next week.

I saw this doll beckoning for me to buy her. She was dressed in a mediocre outfit of pink and blue. I picked up the box and studied her for just a moment before adding her to my cart. At the time I had no idea whose doll she would be. She met the criteria for me to buy her:

1. She was on sale.

2. I could make clothes for her.

Turns out that I can also buy items for her. She wears a size 3-6 months. I picked up one outfit at a consignment store. She is also in possession of new socks. And Jada has a birthday coming.

Jada picked out the 'hello kitty' fabric on a trip to the fabric store with Gramma on my last visit. I am not a big 'hello kitty' fan. But Jada is, and ....... it was on sale! I am a big fan of clearance sales. So Dolly is sporting a capri set made from Jada's fabric.

Of course, Jada will also have a set to match. Only fair, since it is her fabric.

Dolly and Jada will match right down to the bows. I had a pattern for the capris for Dolly ..... sort of, but the top is my own creation for Dolly. Jada's is a combination of two patterns that I liked.

Jada had requested a Minnie Mouse dress. We searched for polka dot fabric, but could only find black on white. I was going to add a big red bow and hope that she would accept it as one of Minnie's wardrobe. When I got home and started looking through fabric that I buy on sale and keep until inspiration hits me, I found the white on red! I think I bought it after Halloween one year. Perfect!

Jada picked out the pattern. I think it was the purse that caught her eye and not the dress. But, the dress pattern was perfect for Minnie's dress.

Dolly will have one, too.

I had so much fun making these for Jada. I was thinking of her the entire time and imagining her happy smile.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Me ..... A Grouch?

The weather is finally warm. I spent the entire day in my side yard yesterday ridding the strawberry patch of dandelions, then I edged part of the flower bed along side my house, then mowed. All this despite the fact that I still had not managed to get the purses for the wedding done. I find good hard yard work to be mind freeing. I was still a little wound up this morning as I got up at the butt crack of dawn to raise the yeast dough for the cinnamon buns. But I had given much thought to the process of making the purses and was ready to give my new plan a go................ First, I needed to gather together all the items for my three youngest granddaughters. They love to play dress up. They like lots of bling, so I found it hard to resist this tulle with the sparkles. They can wear them over leotards when they go to dance class.
It was Jada on my mind when I got the fabric. She has a unique sense of style and I can imagine that she will be putting the longer one atop lots of skirts ............... no matter the colors.

Sister dresses. All different, but the same. Easter? They could gather eggs in the little purses. Well, not too many eggs.

More sister dresses. Maya picked out this pattern. I was lucky that all their sizes were included in the same envelope. Given the price of patterns, they should be! They won't be able to wear these until it gets a lot warmer, but I like to see them when I give them to them. A lot more fun than just sending a package.

I made a lot more that will be going with me. Jada and Zara will have birthdays in May, but they can have an early gift event with me.

I am not thrilled with the purses. I had wanted to pleat them and make them more tailored. My problem was the glue. It was supposed to just peel off the fabric and the frame. It came off the frame, but the fabric was a different story. It looked like they had a milkshake spilled on them. And as if that wasn't bad enough, the middle part wanted to creep out of the channel in the frame. No matter how sticky I let the glue get, it still did not want to grab it and hold on. I only have three of the five done, but all I have to do is glue the last two and my new method is working.

The new method involves bamboo skewers and a hammer! I had to rethink the entire design and make a small casing at the top in which to insert the bamboo skewer cut to size with a serrated knife. The skewer gave the middle enough stability to stay in the channel and I used my little tack hammer to gently pound it in.

Everyone here in the park can attest to my change of mood when I got the first purse done! I was even called a grouch yesterday!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Anticipating Disaster?

Yesterday was windy and warm. Really it was downright hot. I heard later on the news that we got up to 89. It would have been a great day to get some outdoor chores done but for the wind. I thought about mowing, but remembered that the last time I mowed in that kind of wind I ended up with lots of grass in my mouth.

I decided to clean and load the outdoor soda machine. It is on the front porch and I was hoping to get the 8 cases of cans out of the area behind my desk. The wind was knocking the big door a bit as I scrubbed the inside and it wasn't the easiest job to do. But, when I brought out the cases of cans and opened the first one, Diet Coke, and sat it on end, the fun began. The wind knocked the case over, one can rolled and hit a rock, which pierced the can and I got sprayed as I chased the other cans down. I was determined to get at least one case in the machine and as I was putting what I thought were the last two cans in a big gust of wind grabbed the door and the whole machine tipped. Fortunately, we have low ceilings and it couldn't tip all the way over. I stopped and decided to give up.

I worked on my reservation book instead and cleaned up my desk in the office. Even though I had a good night's sleep on Friday night, I did not fare so well on Saturday night and last night wasn't great. The doctor I saw did think that my poor sleep pattern has a lot to do with my palpitations. She offered some medication, but I really don't want to start taking anything. So, I suppose it should come as no surprise that my mind seems to be failing.......

I went into the store this morning to discover that I had left the coffee pot on all day yesterday and all night. First I set the towel on fire in the microwave and now I have created another fire hazard with the coffee maker. Am I just forgetful due to lack of sleep or do I have a subconscious desire to burn the building down?

Perhaps I am simply distracted by all the news footage that Southwest Airlines is getting. This is the airline I am scheduled to fly next week. The top of the plane ripped loose and they lost cabin pressure. I suppose I should be paying more attention when they give you all those tips at the beginning of the flight ............ you know, the ones about how to secure the oxygen mask and seat cushion in water. For survival. No wonder I can't sleep.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Bird of Paradise

Ready or not ........ the season has begun. I arose early and made muffins and coffee and began the day. I am ever so thankful for having had a good nights sleep. Yesterday as a calamity of horrors.

I will admit that I was less than pleasant when I asked he who can sleep through all manner of disasters to please take care of the dogs and let me sleep for just a bit longer. Some sort of critter invasion, probably the old possum who shares the cat food with Kamp Cat, had the trio of dogs all a tither. Wall-E is able to jump in and out of the bed at will. The doxies aren't as agile, being short of leg and having achieved 11 years of life. Emmy needs a lift up and down. Unfortunately, Oscar is able to get down, but not back up. He will stand on the floor beside me and whimper until I get up to lift him in bed .............. but, he will only allow himself to be lifted on the other side of the bed. He is a little tyrant.

Oscar got me up at 1:00 and insisted on going out. If one dog is going out, I take them all. I try to shuffle along and hang onto my sleep. I only allow three minutes for these mid-night adventures. I can go in three minutes, so that's all they get. I hear them barking as I shuffle back to the door.I open it and Wall-E and Emmy scamper in obediently. They know the drill. Oscar, however stands just beyond my reach on his stubby little legs barking defiantly and refusing to come back in until I show him the fly swatter. Even then he gets a last bark in, just to let me know that he is the alpha. This performance was repeated at 2:30 and again at 4:00. At 4:00 I used the fly swatter on Oscar.

So, when he got down at 7:00 and tap danced with his toenails across the room I suggested that he who rarely shares the mid-night outings be the one to take them out. In addition to being rudely awakened, my knee was aching so much that I had trouble finding a comfortable position to get to sleep. Sleep was fleeting at best and my head ached and I was just plain cranky. A nap was needed. So, he who sleeps through the night got up and took the furry trio out and put them back in bed with me ............. He who knows that Wall-E the Wonder Dog will not stay in bed with anyone except he who is loved most by Wall-E. He leaves the house and Wall-E leaps to the floor to check on the master of his universe no less than 6 times in a mere 30 minutes.

When he returns and expresses surprise to find me sipping black coffee and grumbling I was quite vocal about the little white dog he chose to leave in bed with me. I was in pain all day. The knee had that deep ache that feels like it is untouchable and in the very marrow of the bone. I took aspirin and tylenol all day, but it only made it somewhat bearable. My lack of sleep the night before just made everything worse. Kamp buddy, Yvonne, came to check on me and bring me a sweet treat ......... feed a cold, starve a fever and indulge any other malady with creme horns. She opined that moist heat might help and when she left, locking the door behind her I decided to try a little nap. I put a towel in the microwave and automatically set it at two minutes (coffee heating). After about a minute I checked it and found it to be toasty warm. Wrapped up my bum knee and settled on the couch with the dogs. It did help, but I was unable to fall asleep (due, no doubt to the 4 mugs of coffee I had consumed). I tried to sew, but after I sewed a size three top to a size six bottom I decided my mind was not functioning and I went back to my perch.

We had a pizza in the freezer and I decided it would suffice as supper and I went in the kitchen to preheat the oven and stuck my towel back in the microwave ..... and automatically set it for two minutes. I heard the chime of the store door opening and went out to help a nice lady inquiring about a seasonal site. I was explaining the rates when I heard the microwave ding and noticed a different aroma. The nice lady and I both sniffed the air at the same time and both decided I should check on my towel ......... It was blackened and smoldering. I asked he who handles all things unpleasant for his bride to take it outside.

There is little left now of the towel but ash. So, to all of you out there who would want to warm a towel ........... two minutes is too long ..... way too long, it would seem. I finished with the lady and was told to just sit down and let he who sleeps at night take care of things. I did.

I went to sleep after Jay Leno's monologue and slept until 8:00 this morning. I was in the same position, did not even move all night. Only two dogs were in bed when I opened my eyes and I called he who let his wife sleep to let him know he could bring his dog home .......... they were chasing squirrels, master and dog.

I feel great! Who knew how good sleep could make a person feel? My knee doesn't even hurt today. So, as I was mixing blueberries in muffins and chopping nuts for the banana muffins I was reminded of that song Roger Miller used to sing about the bird of paradise flying up your nose. My dad loved that song, probably still does. I was thinking that the bird of paradise had flown up my nose yesterday ........