Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Little Girl

Adrienne, 2011

Adrienne, Kindergarten 1982

Today, June 1, 2011, my baby is 33 years old. She was such a precocious little girl. Always outspoken and still is. If you meet her, you will remember her. I am of the opinion that she inherited all the loudest genes from both of us.

This is an excerpt from The Book of Adrienne:

Captured in my mind, a picture in time ............. too bad I didn't have a camera in my hand. Adrienne and her friend Carolyn standing on the curb, waving goodbye as we drive away. Both dressed to the nines and giddy with laughter. They think her dad bears a close resemblance to Fred Flintstone as he drives my little VW bug.

My baby. She will always be my baby. When she laughs, she laughs loud and when she cries, she cries hard. She does everything that way. Only way she knows how. She came into the world demanding the full attention of everyone in sight .... and got it.

When Adrienne was in second grade, I was PTA president at the elementary school she attended. This a thankless task that every parent should be made to endure at least once. But, like all children will, Adrienne made the most of her status that year. Our house was only three doors down from the school and I could hear her voice clearly when her class was outside during recess. She possesses a strong will and is adept at making others see things her way, but that year, she was often heard saying "My mommy is President of the PTA, so you will do it my way."

Her teacher had also taught her older brother and was apt to complain that Jeffrey talked too much. Mrs. Chester wasn't a strict disciplinarian and never did separate Jeffrey from his best friend, so he talked all year long. She never complained about Adrienne that year, but she did retire at the end of that school year. Adrienne made all the decisions about who sat where and drew up the seating chart for Mrs. Chester. Her class always won the attendance award for the parents visiting on PTA nights. I don't even want to know how she motivated her class mates to encourage the parents to participate. A little overbearing for a seven year old? Perhaps ........

Happy Birthday, Adrienne

Monday, May 30, 2011

Accentuate The Negative ....

.........all the campers are leaving , and my heart is heaving a sigh of relief ............ it's the most wonderful day of the week ........

Rained all day Saturday. All day long. In and out and in and out came all the little children. One at a time and in twos and threes. Then came a group of 14, all in a line. Pushing and shoving playfully and noisily. I announced that the line must be silent and surprisingly it was. The only thing they were allowed to say was the flavor of the snow cone and the color of the straw. Sixty eight snow cones were served in two days. The snow cone machine is a big hit. I just ordered 4 more flavors and 2500 more cups.

We have green apple, cherry, strawberry, bubble gum, watermelon, blue raspberry, banana, and fuzzy navel. Also a magic elixir that will make any flavor sour. Root beer, grape and tigers blood is coming. Is this the tigers blood that Charlie Sheen has been referring to? No? Just a thought.

This day finds me longing for a nap as I watch everyone pull out. But, the pool is open and the temperature is up, so that won't be happening. The pool closes at 7 pm, so I will content myself with the land of blog until then. The weekend was a busy one. Except for one incident. A group of tenters, still loud and rowdy at 11:45 somehow managed to break the spigot off the water pipe on their site sending a geyser into the air. They awakened our helper, who then shut the main to that area, leaving 24 sites without water. The campers responsible for this promptly packed up and left. They have reservations for the weekend of the 4th of July. I am thinking that perhaps they should cancel them. Just kidding ........... I will do it for them!

Wondering about the title? The phone rang and I answered as I always do. When will your allses pool be opened? "The pool is open daily from 11 am until 7 pm, weather permitting." You mean it is already open? "Yes, it is." Well, it ain't never been open this early before. "Yes, we always open Memorial Day weekend." No, it ain't never been opened this early before........ One year out of seven we had to delay the opening. One time in seven years. Once. And that is all people can remember.

Friday, May 27, 2011

This Is A First ......

Just when I think I have heard everything. Just when I think there are no more surprises to be had............

Even though my morning routine was interrupted by the very early arrival of kampers who disregarded the rules set forth, I decided to be the bigger kampground hostess with the mostest. I managed to clean the restrooms and fill the Dr. Pepper machine with 6 cases of cans and keep an eye on the entrance to the park. Then I cleaned the popcorn machine and got it going while baking the cookies. I even made a few snow cones.

So, I was just settling in here at my desk for a little rest before the onslaught of those who will be leaving work a little early to check in. A man pulls up in a car with a young boy and enters the store with a sheepish grin. If I have ever seen him, I don't remember it. He says "hi" and just stands there grinning. I ask if I can help him and he says that he will be camping here this weekend and he needs to know where he can drop off his firewood. Do you have a reservation?
"No, but Drew used to work at the station with ****** and my wife is related to her brother-in-law ...." What????? I can only stare back at him, as I am at a loss for words (and that doesn't happen often). "I gotta go to work and we ain't coming til tomorrow, so I want to leave my firewood here. Where can I put it?" I am booked pretty solid, will you need a tent site or an RV site? "We want a tent site, but we need a plug in (truer words were never spoken, he was pretty ripe smelling ......... oh, sorry, he means he needs a site with electricity to plug something in. I was thinking Glade plug-ins .......) I consult my reservation book and find that I have a precious few tent sites left and ask if he would like to reserve one of them. While he ponders this, I call Drew, since, after all, they are acquainted through the in-law system of being friends with someone he had worked with briefly, and ask what I should do with a car full of firewood.

He, who should learn to have patience with his wife if he wants to have supper tonight, spoke to me in less than kindly tones and reminded me that the DNR had requested that all campgrounds discourage firewood from being brought in, due to some bug infestation. I had already relayed this information to the gentleman, who, then wanted to know who the DNR was. As tempted as I was to tell him it meant "do not resuscitate", I didn't and told him it was the Department of Natural Resources. He was confused, because firewood has nothing to do with fishing ..........
I simply told my husband to report to the office and he did. He did not know this man any more than I did. He looked at the wood and told him that we couldn't let him bring most of it in the park, but that some was okay (my man knows his trees, let me tell you).

This issue being settled,he made the reservation and paid for the first night. I told him that if he chose to put the wood on a site that I could not guarantee that it would be there when he came back. This is when he decided to call his wife. In my store. Standing in front of me. He tells her how much it is going to cost, then after a moment, tells her that they have to pay for the extra people ( a total of eight people). After a very long moment he tells her that he did tell her who he was. That was fun, being privy to the butt chewing I could tell he was receiving from his wife.

Then he tells me he wants to see the site. I give him a map and a receipt and he leaves. I spray some air freshener and think I am done. But ....... no, he is back. He thinks the site to be inferior to the one next to it. I explain that it is reserved and he tells me it is empty. By now I want to pull my hair out, but I very calmly explain how reservations work. I give him another option, in fact give him two. I only have three tent sites left. Off he goes again. I watch as he drives away. I can see the firewood in the back seat! The back bumper is very close to the ground.

He comes back and is closing his cell phone as he enters the store. He is grinning that sappy grin again as he tells me that his wife, who is friends with the brother-in-law of a person my husband once worked with, doesn't like to camp around a bunch of people. She is claustrophobic, it seems, but they might try again around the 4th of July and maybe we won't be busy then. I was happy to refund him and then fumigate my store again. I seemed to have dodged a bullet of stinkiness. But, ......... I can't help but wonder how that claustrophobia works in a tent ...........

If Your Child Has A Goatee ......

Okay, if your child has a goatee ........... he is an adult! The holiday weekend is here. I awoke bright and early with hope in my heart. I have very few sites left. I had some cancellations due to weather (which, by the way is beautiful). The weather has been wet and scary all week.

I have spent more time than I want to remember huddled in the hallway floor with my laptop and my dogs. So much so that I have decided I need a little seating area in there! Maybe a little seat that will fold into the wall like the seat the airline attendants sit in for take-off and landing. The first time in the hall I sat on the bare floor with dogs in my lap. I am a quick learner, though and thereafter I took a blanket and my laptop. The floor was hard and it was boring.

The tornadoes that touched down all around us left us with wet grounds and very little damage, so we have much to be thankful for. The temperature has vacillated wildly this week and it was down in the 40's last night. Yesterday was chilly, but it is slowly rising today and if the forecast is to be believed, we will have a lovely holiday weekend.

We, did I say we? I will have a very busy weekend. My blood pressure is now under control and my body has become familiar with the drug now and the only side effect I am having is loss of appetite. That alone is cause for celebration!! I am baking the giant chocolate chip cookies today and will be popping corn for all those arrivals this afternoon. After noon. Check-in is after noon. I repeat this to each and every reservation I take. Check-out is noon, therefore check-in is after noon. It even makes sense. I know it is not like a hotel room that must be cleaned between visitors, but if everyone decided to come in early and hang out in my very large parking lot until their site was empty, we would have a traffic problem.

So, as I am brushing my teeth and trying to decide between shorts or capris (truly a dilemma), my dogs start to bark and growl. They are pretty much used to the comings and goings of campers and only do this when they feel their territory is being threatened. Like, say, some people gaping at them through the windows, trying to see if their is anyone in my house, since it is only 8 am and the store is not open yet. They don't like that. They know their mistress is still not ready fro the public and they really don't like anyone peering into their private sanctum (their mistress is not fond of this activity, either).

So, I open the door to the people milling around the parking area. "We're early!" says the man, when I ask if I can be of assistance. I look at him blankly and ask again if I can help him (this is a skill taught to me by my sister ...... she has perfected the "I am superior to you in every way" look). He says "We are here for our spot ........... I think it is number 93." Check-in is not until noon, but I will see if your site is available. "We like to get in early." he says. I see that, but I don't open until 9 and check-out is not until noon, so it would stand to reason that check-in would not be until the people in before you have a chance to wake up and pull out. He looks at me like I have three eyes. I have apparently confused him with my reasoning. Come on in to the store and let me see which site I have assigned you (all the while hoping that they are at the wrong campground). "93, I think it is 93" he says, adding to my fantasy of them being in the wrong campground, since I don't have a site 93. Hope is dashed when I ask for the name and I see that they will be in site 68.

I checked them in, after explaining that the 18 year old son with the goatee has to be considered an adult. This does not bode well for my day as I am contemplating a second cup of coffee before I go tackle the restrooms. Yes, I deserve another cup of caffeine.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Wicked Skies

I feel lucky after last night's storm. I have been bemoaning my lack of a basement for 7 years. I like a basement, a safe little cave to crawl into. We had a basement in our house in Minnesota. When the weather forecast was iffy, we would just go sleep in the basement. Not roughing it, we had a duplicate master bedroom with a king size bed and a TV in our basement lair. All the comforts of home. Well, we did have to hike up half a flight of stairs to use the bathroom. The storm would pass through and no matter the damage, we were safe.

Not here. This building is made of cedar and has been here since the 60's. But, it is just a wood building. So, when I see the banner run across the screen on the TV, I pay attention. Yesterday, though, I discovered it was a free Showtime weekend, so I had the DVR in overdrive, taping two shows at once. I was in my own little world in my sewing room listening to an audio book. He who is addicted to talk radio was at work, so it was just me and my furry trio. I had reached a point in the dress I was sewing to cut around some decorative stitching and decided to watch TV while I did so.

There is no window to look out in the sewing room, so the first indication I had of a storm was the dark sky. Wicked dark, I should say. I looked at the clock, wondering just how long I had been sewing, but it was still early. I locked up the store and kept an eye on the clouds swirling about. The dogs were anxious and my ears started popping. Oscar set up a little mournful howl and Wall-E whined, while Emmy walked in circles. It got darker and we all sat in the hallway together as the rain came down and the thunder and lightning sounded. I could hear the wind whistling, too. It stopped after a very short time, maybe 10 minutes or less. I noticed that my pants were wet when I got up .......... dog pee. Emmy has a little bladder control issue when she is nervous.

About half an hour later, everything was bathed in a weird orange glow. It was like looking through tinted safety glasses. Did anyone else see it?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dog Owners Beware

Such a strange weekend. Thunderstorms on Friday, with nasty gray skies. I thought it would prevent campers from showing up. I did have some cancellations, but then I started getting calls. Is the pool open? Sure, but the water is still very cold, since the nighttime temperature has still been dipping into the lower 40's. The pool people came and set up their pop-up before the rain came down again. I was cooking dinner, so, I told he who should not ever be allowed to check people in, to take care of it, since I was frying flour tortillas at his request. I mean, we are by no means full on this rainy night ....... what could he possibly screw up. It was that or have him take over in the kitchen. Either way, I have to clean up the mess .........

They had four children. And a dog .............. not on a leash. The man came in without his wallet, so he was told to go set up before the storm came and then to come pay. I had already told him the rates on the phone, so he knew that the two children would be extra. They waited until we had closed at 9 to come up and pay, so we told them to just come up and pay in the morning. Next day I look at the registration ......... Honey, where did you put the people you checked in? He told them to pick any site they liked. How many people? He doesn't know, but he thinks they have two children, maybe three. Did you charge for the extra people? He forgot to. Next time he should take over in the kitchen.

The pool people had with them a Saint Bernard puppy. Now, we all know that I love puppies and that I love Saint Bernards. I seemed to have hardened my heart of late, though, because I was lees that enchanted at the site of the puppy roaming freely inside the pool area. Signs, you say. You think I need signs? No, I need people who will read the signs. Maybe common sense would help, too. My dogs don't get to go in the pool. Would you want to take a dip in a pool with dogs? I wouldn't, unless they were my dogs. Here is your tip for the day ............ When someone tells you that your dog has to be on a leash, don't tell them that your dog is good, just put your dog on a leash. Otherwise, the crabby kamp host might ask you to leave.

It was a beautiful day, yesterday. The sun was out and the gentle breeze blew. Of course I was stuck in the office, just busy enough to keep me from accomplishing anything other than reading a book and playing on the computer. This morning the sun was shining when I opened my eyes and I was happily anticipating mowing the back yard and moving some day lilies and hostas. I was humming my favorite song. Then the sky darkened and it has been threatening to storm. So, I went to the strawberry patch to gather the berries that had ripened since Friday. I walked around the yard after filling a big mixing bowl. I was checking on the progress of the peaches and the lack of progress on my lone cherry tree ..................... and that is when I spied it. Dog poop. In my yard. Not my dogs' poop. My dogs have their own yard.

Let's see. There were many dogs here this weekend. Some poodles. They were being walked on leashes by their owners on the main trail around the kampground. Also some retrievers. Also with their owners ....... on leashes. Hmmmm ............ I wonder, could it have been the cute little Saint Bernard pup that was not on a leash??????????????

Friday, May 20, 2011

Peonies A Poppin'

This is my current "project". I have a big table that will seat 10. I don't have 10 chairs. I don't have room for 10 chairs. With this in mind I am always on the lookout for interesting chairs. He who knows everybody (he gets out more than me), happened upon this pew and got it for me. $50!! It needed work. It was a flat brown and it needs a support in the center. I sanded on and off for several days. The seat has some deep gouges and if I sanded them out would lose some of it's stability. So, I decided to do a dry brush of black paint, then top it off with polyurethane. I want a wipe clean surface for my grandchildren. I like the way it turned out. Now I just need some muscle to get it in the house .............. and some grandchildren to seat.

Winter was extreme this year. This maple did not fare well. It is alive, but looks so sad.

Kamp buddy Yvonne got this frog to grace my sewer pipe planter. I rescued the plant from the clearance section of dying WalMart plants.

My clematis is thriving. I was hoping it would spread more and cover the porch rail. I am happy to see the blooms, though.

There will be peaches. I just used the last bag of frozen fruit from last season. I am ready for some fresh fruit.

The last three days has brought three quarts of strawberries. Tonight we will have a fresh strawberry pie. I have no idea what the main course will be, but who cares!

I grow chives because I like the flowers! My hostas seemed to have tripled in size. They like the cold winter.

I lost my cherry tree. I am thinking we should chop it down and save it for Halloween decor. I have waited to cut it down because I want to replace it with another tree. Too bad the one I want is almost $300. I suppose I should wait until I find one on sale. I will, but I really want that Japanese Maple; really, really do.

I planted this peony last year. It was one of those clearance, about to die $1 plants from WalMart. I kind of half-heartedly stuck it in the ground. Just look at what I got!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Winning The Lottery Of Humiliation

With every site spoken for, I am ready for the Memorial Day weekend. The pool is full of icy cold water, perfectly PH balanced. The bath house has been scoured and is ready to deliver showers and "rest" to kampers (thanks, Patrick!). The stacks of firewood have been started. The list is ready for the monumental trip to Sam's to finish stocking the store. My internal clock is already waking me early.

Yesterday was a planting marathon for me. I shoveled new dirt and hoed old dirt and pulled a thousand weeds in my raised beds. Every muscle in my body ached last night ......... but the corn and beans and squash are in the ground. I am sporting a farmer's tan ..... proudly. It is raining now on my little patch of sustenance.

As it rains, I take a break from physical labor. Listening to the news on the Today show, I am appalled at the coverage of Arnold's indiscretion. First, the announcement of the Terminator terminating his marriage went on and on. Then came the real reason. Another woman and a child. The "concern" for his children and the "advice" is put forth. Enough already. But, reporters are relentless in hunting down this "other woman" and now her face has been plastered all over the screen. They blocked out the child's face, as if this will protect him from the scandal. Now they are all wondering what rights this child has as far as Arnold's estate goes. Did I miss something? Is he dead now?

I say let Maria handle this and leave it alone. It is not "news" and if everyone was truly concerned for his children, they would not be flashing their pictures on the screen. What he did was certainly wrong, just like so many other politicians have. I am just sick of hearing about it over and over.

I would rather see an in depth story about the man who won 2 million dollars in a lottery and still receives food stamps. I saw a little blurb about this on line. I think the media should hound him and ask some probing questions of the state officials. Seems that he is breaking no laws. He reported the winnings that is sitting in his bank account. He is allowed liquid assets and can still be eligible for assistance. Perhaps a spotlight on this story could raise a public outcry and bring to light all those who abuse the system. The gentleman was quoted as saying that you could try to make him "feel bad", but, "it won't work". Maybe his face on the TV screen would arouse some feelings of decency.

Used to be that food stamps came in a booklet of monopoly type money with perforated edges. The user had to determine the right denomination to use and then haggle with the cashier over the "change". If they had items that were not allowed, that would be another transaction that would sometimes end up with the merchandise being deleted from the order to be returned. All this while the people behind them in line watched with disgust, wondering why they didn't go get a job. Nowadays the recipient is issued a card, much like a debit card. The card will automatically determine the amount owed and the new computerized registers will determine the eligibility of the items put forth. The cashier is the only one who would know. This is good, there are people deserving of this assistance. But .......... the lottery winner, well, he could do with good dose of humiliation

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Weekends Were Made For ...... Rain?

The rigs came in and the weather was sunny. The ad was in the paper for the huge garage(less) sale. Ads on the radio, too. The weather seemed to be in a mood to cooperate.

Overnight everything changed. The temperature dropped and the rain came. I watched the local news and rumor was that it would clear up, but that never really happened.

With high hopes all the merchandise came forth ............

We used the front porch in an effort to stay dry as the misty drizzle was there to stay.

Traffic was slow, painfully slow.

Inside was spirited conversation as we waited for buyers.

The garage sale was less than successful, but we all enjoyed the company of each other. Kan-Do Kampers are a hardy bunch!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Weather Woes and Insults

As I sit here eating my chicken salad Subway (really not that good) and watch the dark clouds come, then go, I am keeping my fingers crossed for a clear sky tomorrow. Correction, I will settle for a cloudy day, just really want it to be dry. Tomorrow is the huge garage(less) sale. Newspaper and radio ads are already in place ...........

I am looking forward to and dreading it all at the same time. The remainder of the camping clubbers arrived yesterday. They decided to disregard my assignment of spaces and simply parked where they chose to. I was distracted enough by the lack of sleep the night before that I just reassigned the other reservations I had and went to bed early with a headache.

He who procrastinates waited until the people were here to get their meeting pavilion ready. You will recall that we have known about this since February. This is just how he operates ........ We have a tent we could have put up for them. It is huge. It is actually a funeral tent. But, he decided to just put a tarp atop the pavilion that was constructed by the pool area last year. It is big enough for the group, but not weather proof. I was concerned about the weight of the tarp and the rain that would gather on top. He insisted that the water would run off, said there was a slope. So, after a heavy rain last night, I wasn't surprised to see that it had collapsed. After 35 years of always being right, you would think he would listen to me. He has repaired that and is on to next repair ........

I mentioned my lack of sleep and had posted about it yesterday before blogger went berserk and dumped my masterpiece of indignant sarcasm. I rented a seasonal space to a family last Labor Day. A family employed in law enforcement. The first site I put them in did not work out well. It was a large multi-generational family with scads of grandchildren under the age of 7. The patriarch of the family was of the opinion that his oldest grandchild could do whatever his heart desired. My other seasonal campers in that area weren't up for having their belongings overtaken. In an effort to keep the peace I moved them to a much larger site and they were happy to pay extra for the space. Most seasonal sites are paid on an annual basis. I am flexible with payment plans and have some who pay quarterly and some who would rather pay monthly. Monthly is nice for us, since it affords a steady income in the off season for us, but either way is okay with me. Things were all okay until they stopped paying. They acknowledged that they owed the money and I was privy to who should have paid which month and who said who had paid. Six months behind and I have heard all the excuses and who is at fault.

So when I decide to go to bed at 10:30 while the procrastinator was wiring the lighting to the pavilion and look out the window and see the headlamps of a truck illuminating the camper of the delinquent renters, I realize right away that they are skipping out on me. I called the procrastinator and he rides over on the golf cart to have a chat. My husband is a trusting soul. He was always the parent who would relent and give in to the child being punished, because they would promise to never do it again. Having been referred to as the Nazi Bitch by a camper last year, I have decided to embrace my new title and be all that I can be. Right away I knew that leaving under the cover of darkness was not a good sign, he who is gullible called to tell me that they didn't have the money to pay us; so, they sold their camper to get the money to pay us. They were here to get it and take it to the new owner and then they will bring me the money. Really, they are.

I had some trouble getting to sleep and woke abruptly at 3:30 and got mad all over again. So, without that good REM sleep the doctor told me I desperately needed I muddled through the day with all the rest of the camping club coming in. I tried to sneak a 20 minute nap in, but that did not happen. For some reason Thursday night is a busy one for travelers off the highway and I closed after I used my last space with a blinding headache. I put a camper in the spot vacated by the hooligans owing me money. And wouldn't you know it ............. to add insult to injury, they pulled the camper over the sewer hook-up, breaking it off.

It would cost me more to sue them than what they owe .............

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Camping Clubs

Until we bought this park seven years ago, I was totally unaware that there was such a thing as a camping club. These camping clubs are groups of like minded campers who camp together routinely. Sounds like fun. We had a group scheduled for just such an adventure when we took over the park. A little warning would have been nice ........ the previous owners were different....difficult ..... not inclined to be of much help.

So, the first group came and we catered to their every want and whim. Remember, we were new and eager. We wanted to solicit all the business we could. We wanted everyone to like us. So, the weekend went along smoothly (we thought). Every one of the folks came up to thank us for our hospitality and the wagon master (they choose a couple to be in charge of all the arrangements for each outing) booked for the next year. We were exhausted when they left .... these clubbers can be a demanding lot. Imagine our surprise when the same people who thanked us and told us how great we were came in 6 weeks before the next scheduled stay and told us that only 4 out of the 20 members of their club would be coming. Seems the man in charge was presented with a whole list of shortcomings. One of them even had the nerve to say he had no electricity while he was here. One said they had no water pressure and one of them didn't want to park next to another club member, but had to since it was the only site left.

I took it very personally since we had run ourselves ragged to get them everything they asked for. We ran out of ice and our vendor refused to come out for such a small order ..... so we went into town and bought the ice at full price and sold it to them for no profit. I still extended them a group rate, even though group rates are for groups of eight or more, and the handful of campers came. I was recovering from a gall bladder removal and made myself scarce while they were here. They have never come back to our park. Other clubs have come and we have had similarly bad experiences with them. I am sure that there are some wonderful camp clubs out there. I am also sure that my view is a lot different from the one they have. This is a very physical job. It takes a lot of man hours to maintain the grounds and keep the bathrooms and pool area clean. With that in mind I usually suggest that the clubs go across the highway to my competitor. She has two club houses and is willing to give them a bigger discount than I do. My park is geared more to family fun.

So, when he who is not allowed to take reservations called me into the office in February to discuss a camping club reservation in May, I immediately tried to discourage the man. He said he would need 22 to 25 sites, maybe 30!!!! He was in charge of scheduling this outing and for that size group he should have book a season ahead. He had apparently not booked in time and was a little frantic. I provided him with a map that indicated all the seasonal sites and explained that I could not place his group together (no, we won't ask the seasonals to move their rigs ...). After driving through the park and hand counting what was available he decided that he did want to book this event. I rattled off the standard thing I say to everyone, to have the individuals call at least 30 days in advance and provide me with either a deposit or a credit card number to secure the reservation.

No less than two more trips and going over the same information and about a thousand phone calls later ........... the time has arrived. Three of the fifteen reservations were to come in today. Seven have arrived. Three of them before noon. ( when I take your reservation, I always say that I don't run your credit card that day, that you can pay any way you like upon arrival and I remind everyone that check-in is anytime after noon) I offered a flat rate for full hook-up and a flat rate for those who wanted only water and electric. Now when we did this in our RV, we always opted for a full hook-up. I like to sit on my own potty and shower in my own shower without flip flops on. That is why we bought it ...... to use it. But, there is a whole contingent of folks out there who don't want to get theirs dirty. They would rather have athlete's foot, I suppose.

It came as no surprise to me that one of the biggest rigs that came in wanted only water and electric. I was cleaning the showers when he came in. He who abandoned me to work his other job today had just stepped into the shower and I rushed out to finish mopping the ladies room. Took maybe five minutes, since I had already scrubbed the floor and was just mopping up the water. I came through the side door and apologized for not being at the counter. I asked him how long he had been waiting. I could tell he was not happy with having to wait. He said he had been there for at least 20 minutes. I am so sorry you had to wait so long. I was cleaning the restroom and must have taken longer that I thought I did. I could tell he was not impressed. He paid and I showed him on the map where he would be going. I also told him that we were still in the process of re-leveling those particular sites and that if the one I assigned wouldn't work to go ahead and choose one that he thought would. I also told him that since not all of the sites initially reserved would be in use, I still had some full hook-ups available.

He just came back to give me a litany of unsolicited advice. My sites are not level and he had to go to very end site and back in. In all his years of camping he has never seen a set up like this one. He used to camp here when Rapunzel and Igor owned this place and we have changed things. He thinks maybe we are not up to code. We are at risk with this set up. It was never like this when Rapunzel and Igor had it. Maybe we should consult with them because he thinks we might not know what we are doing.

As I am swallowing the blood from my bitten tongue, I have only one thought in my head. FOUR DAYS, THEY WILL BE HERE FOR FOUR DAYS.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Rain, Ice Tea, Dirt and Reservations

Still easily tired, I am pacing myself. Yesterday evening I spent a pleasant couple of hours pulling weeds and trying to get my vegetable beds ready for planting. Yes, I know I am late, but the weather has not been cooperative. Seems we are going from frost to intense heat without Spring to lead us gently in. Supposed to be 90 today. With this in mind I had two goals I wanted to achieve this morning. I wanted to rake the back yard that I mowed yesterday and mow it again and I wanted some dirt brought over to my garden area so I could amend the soil and get started building my beds a little higher.

I slowly sipped my allotted 6 ounces of coffee, savoring it and not just downing it mindlessly like I usually do. I ventured out into the pleasantly cool morning. The forecast on the morning news called for spotty showers, although not in my area, and I was assured by the young man tripping over his words in an effort to spill them out, that by 10 am we would experience clear skies and no clouds. Unable to locate my rake, I started hoeing and pulling weeds. I showed he who is on his trusty tractor with the bucket on front where I wanted my dirt and he even brought me a rake................

The phone (the bane of my very existence) rang. I went back into the office with my dirty hands as I listened to the caller asking if I had any 'slots' left for Memorial Day weekend. I do have a precious few that I want to fill and I asked what kind of 'slot' he might be looking for. One to camp in. Oh, goody, I think, as I ask whether he would be camping in a tent or in an RV. Indignant that I would think him to be tent camper, he informs me that he has a motor home. Now we are getting to the heart of the matter ............ I need to know if he needs 30 or 50 amp service and if he would like a full hook-up or just water and electric. 50 amp, full hook-up. I want everything. I want water and sewer and electric. Yes, sir, that is what a full hook-up is. I have one that is out in the open and one that is shaded ........... Does the one out in the open have shade? No, sir, it is out in the open. So, there are no trees by it anywhere? No, sir, none. No shade by it? None. The site with trees is a double site. There would be a camper in front of you. I don't know what you mean, what is a double site? A site with two campers on it, one in front of the other. Now, say that again, cause I don't get what you're saying. It is one long run about 150 feet long. The site in front of the one I have left has already been reserved and there will be a fifth wheel in front of you. If they arrive before you, they will pull through to site 5, if they arrive after you are here, they will back in. Since you are in a motor home, you will simply pull in, either way. I still don't get it, I found you on-line and you are so close, what with the price of diesel and all............ There is a map on the website, perhaps that will help you picture what I am talking about ......... I don't see it, do I click left or right. How would I get out of the site? I am sorry, I don't have a computer in front of me, but there is a icon for the map of the park. If the camper in front of you is still there when you are ready to leave you can back out. If they have left, you could simply pull through. Well, can I back in? Not if the site in front of your site is occupied (and why would you want to?) Will the hook-ups be on the right side, though? The hook-ups will be on the CORRECT side. (Just in case we are talking about right and left).

I finally completed the reservation and it is raining. Just a drizzle, so I finish raking the back yard and get half of mowed before I succumb to fatigue and come back in. Tired of water as my beverage I decide I want some iced tea. I have some bottled in the cooler in the store, but that is not what I am longing for. I want fresh brewed iced tea. The way my mother used to make it. She had a small sauce pan she always used. She would fill it half way with water and then add two teaspoons of loose leaf tea. Lipton. The saucepan was only used for this purpose and was tea-stained. The spoon in the canister of loose tea leaves was also stained with years of use. Bring the water just to a simmer and cover it to steep. She always used a saucer. That sauce pan did not have a lid that I know of. Didn't steep long and wasn't "timed" by anything. Maybe long enough to flip over the pieces of chicken frying in the pan. The longer you steep, the stronger and darker the tea. Now, here is the secret to good sweet tea ........... Add the sugar to the pitcher and strain the hot tea over it. Stir to melt all the sugar before adding the rest of the water. I don't like my tea too sweet or too strong. I use 1/2 cup of sugar for two quarts and I want a nice caramel color. Sweet tea was a staple when I was growing up. My grandmother always had a pitcher of tea in her house. Hers was sweeter and stronger than the tea my mother made. My sister and I both make our tea the same way. Light, with a hint of sweet. I used to make a pitcher of tea and one of Kool-aid every day when my children were growing up. I can still hear them calling out as I would be putting the evening meal on the table ........ "Dinner's ready! Who wants tea, who wants Kool-aid?"

Friday, May 6, 2011

Blood Pressure Woes

For nine weeks now I have been on an adventure. I have become obsessed with the numbers of the diastolic and systolic nature. I am moving slower these days and now just think of the numbers as diabolic. Numbers too high, and I feel very agitated, heart skipping beats and alternate between sweating and chilling. Numbers too low and I am light-headed and the fatigue is almost over-whelming. I started a new drug on Wednesday. I carefully read the literature so I could anticipate the next roller coaster ride.

This new one is to be taken twice daily, with food. I do not want any food right now, but I will shove some dry toast down my gullet to accommodate the medication. I am so tired this morning and really just want to go back to bed. But, it is Friday. In a kampground. Reservations will be arriving. Tent campers this weekend. That means I will need to scour the showers and rest room facilities to ensure a pleasant experience for my kampers. This morning's number were low, 90/70. When I went to bed last night in a highly agitated frame of mind the numbers were high 170/98. I have been on meds for nine weeks now. Wouldn't you think it would have leveled out by now?

The literature says that I may experience a lot of fatigue for the first three weeks of treatment. Would that be the first three weeks of this particular drug ....... or the first three weeks of this class of drugs? If it is the class of drugs, then I have been experiencing the first three weeks over and over. Like 'Groundhog Day'. Allergy symptoms have joined in to conspire with the blood pressure. The shooting pains in my sinus, watery eyes, sneezing, coughing until I leak. I have fever blisters in both corners of my mouth, so that I not only feel crappy, I look crappy.

I am off to scrub a toilet or two, having swallowed my pill with the dry toast. I limited myself to one cup of coffee and will be downing water for the remainder of the day. I expect to be downright bitchy from lack of caffeine, but I am experimenting to see if eliminating caffeine will help those numbers even out. Stay tuned. It could get interesting ........

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cinco De Mayo= Happy Birthday Debbie!

Some birth dates are easier to remember than others ........... some folks are lucky. My friend, Deb, is among the lucky ones. She is also one of those special people who love to give. She always remembers others with her almost overwhelming generosity. This makes her a tough act to follow.

Here we are, at the American Girl store with our granddaughters, posing with Kanani. My lovely daughter-in-law took our picture.

I thought it would have been funny to kneel on our knees without the children, but my Jada was not going to let that happen and our guys were ready for food ......... but that is another story.

Today is my Debbie's birthday and I wish her the happiest one yet!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Kiley Is In The House

Kiley and Gramma Deb flew up to Minnesota to spend some time with Gavin and Gramma Kathy last month. We had a busy two days planned and Kiley (like her Gramma Deb) was in her element .......

We planned a day at Mall Of America on Saturday and Kiley went straight to Gavin's closet after dressing herself. She got his clothes out for him and he did not argue, he put them on. They both had their kampground shirts on, and because it was cold out, they had long sleeved white shirts underneath. I love me some advertising!!

All the cousins were coming, but we started the day with just Layla and Gage, along with their mom, Jill. The grammas were walking along a little slower. We were pacing ourselves for the long day ahead .......

Hmmmmm....... food. Bubba Gump means shrimp. Perhaps we should eat first. Good idea.

Nickelodeon awaits.

What did you get?

We are done, let's go!