Friday, March 30, 2012

Bubba Keg and Diet Coke

 He who mows and rescues stranded travelers also carries a Bubba Keg everywhere he goes. Take a look at this one. Appetizing? No, it is not.

Yummmmm. Look at the lid.

 Closer, look closer! This particular one has been soaked in bleach water many times. He has several. Three in green and one in turquoise. If I don't hide them, he will mix the stained colors.

I have to get up early to claim the one he is currently using and reassign one that I will fill with ice for him. In case you are wondering, he keeps them filled with Diet Coke. That is all he drinks. No matter what I try to entice him with. Diet Coke. He should be their spokes person.

Does he listen to me when I tell him how very bad this is for him? No. Will he drink water? No. Will he try to take this nasty mug into a restaurant? Yes. Our baby girl sent her Daddy a new Bubba Keg yesterday. It is a beauty. Black. Dignified. And she is in hopes it will not look as dirty as the others. Since it goes on the tractor and the mower with him, I hold no illusions. Clay dirt and grass stains.

I wasn't quick enough to get a picture of the new one before it left the house this morning ......... filled with Diet Coke.

Emmy's ashes came home yesterday. Oscar is still sad. Wall-E is a comfort to all of us, especially me. He has abandoned he who loves him and come over to my side of the bed to sleep where Emmy used to sleep. He has taken over her grooming duties, too.

I am still pulling dandelions and other weeds as I continue to get the gardens in shape. The apple blossoms perfume the air and the hours just fly by as I work outside. That is how I got sunburned, I suppose. I thought it was about 2 o'clock when I headed in on Tuesday, it was 6 o'clock.

So, here I sit after getting up very early to perform my yard chores in the shade. I will sew the sunny afternoon away and venture out again late afternoon.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Wishing Wells and Trees

 I was afraid that I had lost my sycamore tree, but it finally started showing signs of life. Today was another day of mowing. It is supposed to rain tonight and tomorrow, so we had to get it done. My legs are aching and my hands hurt from pulling weeds. Spring is so labor intensive. Seems like everywhere I look I see more things to do.

 This maple tree didn't make it and will need to be removed. I have found one of the advantages of putting a garden around the trees is the seedlings have a chance to grow and can be transplanted. The biggest advantage to he who mows is less grass to mow and the obstacle (tree) is no longer in his way.

You can see the new pump house in the background. I can paint it now, even though it has no roof yet. The roof will be steel, like the main building. If I'm not mowing or weeding, I'm painting. Plenty of picnic tables await my brush.

Camper Harvey gave this wishing well to me for Christmas. He made it from some pallets that were to be thrown away. That always makes me happy ..... re-using resources. So, I need to plant something in it.

I hesitate to fill it with dirt, afraid it will eventually rot the wood. If I use a container that is too shallow, it will be difficult to keep the plants watered, as well as making the wishing well top heavy and prone to be blown over by the wind.

I want to use sweet potato plants. I tried putting them in hanging baskets last year and they did not do well until I took them down and planted them in the ground. Petunias come to mind. I can't decide if I want to stain it barn red or white wash it. It is cedar, so it will age to that grayish color and I like that, too. Things to ponder in the night ....... Any ideas are welcome.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Dandelion Adventures

I started the day with weeding. Dandelions plague my gardens. I pulled a bucket full out of this bed. My tulips are so happy with the space.

Then I weeded this little bed and planted some gladiola bulbs and mowed around my apple tree. I mow around all my trees and gardens. Makes life easier for he who mows. He is loathe to step off the mower and actually move things that may be in his way. If he is unable to push it out of his way with the mower, he will simply mow around it. If a limb is hanging too low ....... well he might just snap it off.

I managed to dig a trench around half this bed and then pull all the weeds out, mostly dandelions. I don't care how carefully I mulch in the fall, I still have them come springtime. The winds and water tend to shift the barrier under all that mulch.

This is the other half of that bed. I got tired of pulling and my muscles are aching. Mostly my butt muscles. I bend and pull and I kneel and pull. But either way it is my biggest muscle that aches.

Stray grass and dandelion fill the wheel barrow.

But, really, is there anything more satisfying than pulling the whole root up out of the ground? I admit to liking the snapping sound when using that tool that breaks the root. But I just love seeing the whole root come up. I wonder if it is edible. The leaves are. No. I am not going to wash and cook the roots I pulled.

I was pleasantly tired, but decided to push the mower through the grass. It is still wet here, but I swear I can see the grass growing. He who mows cautioned me about wet spots. Apparently, he does not heed his own advice. His mower stands marooned in the mud. He made matters worse when he almost got his truck stuck in the same wet area as he tried to pull the mower out. I waved occasionally as I mowed.

He finally freed his machine, loaded it on the trailer and left to take it to the car wash to get all the mud off. Soon as he left, my mower quit running and refused to start. I can't say that I was unhappy. I decided to take some pictures of my morning's work.

As I walked back to the house, I spied my next dandelion adventure. Tomorrow. The afternoon will be spent getting the new wall up that will insure my privacy; then getting ready to break through the store wall (break on through to the other side?). This will increase my retail space by 1/3. I lose my living room. I created a cozy seating area for us and our dogs. Just a love seat and a chair will fit, along with a couple side tables and the TV that resides upon my dresser that will not fit in the bedroom.

This is why the trim work in my bathroom remains unfinished. The bathroom is functional and I love the way it will look. Soon. Soon as I finish the wall and the new store area. I will dedicate one whole wall to my sewing projects. Kathy's Klothesline. I am going to display some things on a line with clothes pins. Some on hangers and some on display racks.

But today is all about the weed ......

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Missing Emmy

Time is the only cure for grief. I keep expecting to see my little angel in so many places. Her favorite clump of clover where she liked to lay in the backyard, her pillow on the floor, her spot on the couch. When I handed out treats I expected to see her little face turned up towards me.

Oscar has been looking for her. He isn't frantic, but he keeps looking in all the likely places. Wall-E seems to know that she is not coming back. He has been my constant companion, sitting in her old spot on the couch, snug against my leg. He is a comfort. Toni Louise is oblivious. She didn't interact much with Emmy. Nothing seems to bother her and she makes me laugh with her daily antics. Comfort in a different way.

I woke early this morning with a heavy heart and took the crew out. It was raining and the temperature has dropped. I decided to go back to bed for just a bit. I climbed into bed and lay on my side and fell into a deep sleep. I came awake slowly as Toni was sniffing at my face. My belly was very warm and I reached down to pet Emmy, since that was her spot when I lay on my side. My hand found Wall-E. I was so disappointed as I came fully awake and remembered that my sweet little Emmy was gone.

It will be a long, sad day.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sweet Emmy Lou

Twelve years ago a litter of tiny puppies made their way into the world. In that particular batch was an exquisite little girl destined to live her life with our family. She was so tiny and so perfect. Chosen to be a mate to our Oscar. I was totally smitten with Oscar. So much so, that I wanted a wife dog for him and a million little Oscars and Emmy's to award the world with.

When we arrived at the breeders home there were many miniature breeds to choose from, but I had my heart set on one that would match my Oscar. And that is how she was chosen by he who loves dogs as much as I do. She was so tiny that she rode home in his shirt pocket. I was busy reassuring my Oscar that he was still my most favorite dog in the world. He still believes this to be a truth today. Emmy was to be the dog of my husband. I already had three and they were all loyal to me first. My Collie protected me, the Saint Bernard ignored him, and Oscar was my baby.

Emmy changed the order of things in our lives from the start. She managed to be every body's favorite. She was happy to be loved by the one holding her. She was the puppy our old Saint never had. Louise loved her little charge and Emmy returned the favor by grooming the ears of all the dogs in our house. A vet once told me I had the cleanest ears of any dogs he had ever seen. There were times when I was afraid she had actually entered Louise's head.

Emmy gave birth to three little girls and they all found good homes where they were loved as much as Emmy and Oscar are. I was smitten with my tiny girl by then and wanted some pups that looked more like her, since all three of her puppies looked exactly like Oscar. We found a long hair doxie weighing in at 4 lbs (she weighed 6 lbs.) for her to mate with, but he died before they had a chance. Then Emmy jumped from the couch and broke her back. It was just not meant to be.

Emmy died this afternoon. She had been in pain for quite some time. Emmy never complained. Even when she had surgery and had to learn to use her legs again. But this past weekend she would cry out occasionally when she was being lifted or another dog would get too close. Last night she whimpered all night. She could not seem to get comfortable, even when I held her.

She fell asleep in my arms in the car. I think that was the only sleep she got in the past 24 hours. I held her while she went to sleep for the last time. I know I did the right thing, but my heart is broken today and I am missing her sweet presence.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Two Lips Don't Lie

 Mr. Froggy has a big announcement ....... it is official, Spring is here!

See my two lips, oops, I meant tulips. The first ones this year. They stand straight and tall as the daffodils bob drunkenly in the wind.

 More are waiting to bloom.

If that does not convince you, then this should ...... weeds are popping up through the pool surround. Round-Up is in my future.

Although it is still very wet, I had to mow the back yard. It was half-way to my knees and the forecast is for rain tonight and three more days. So I asked he who is manly and strong to start the mower for me (it is always hard to start the first time). He told me is was too wet. Emphatically. So, I had abandoned the idea and was about to go for a walk with my little old lady dog (I was walking, she was in my arms).

Then I heard the mower and went to the back yard. I had planned on picking up all the dog toys, but he who mows was pushing the mower through the deepest grass. I took control of the machine. Toni Louise was in crazy dog heaven as I carefully side stepped her many holes and bent down every few minutes to toss one of her toys out of the way. Wall-E, the wonder dog, followed in my wake carefully sniffing and looking for long buried treasures.

Yes, two lips don't lie. Spring is here. I have mud caked on my feet with grass clippings and paint under my fingernails. It is the mad rush to get the park ready for the season. I have two sheets of sheetrock laying on two pieces of cement board laying on the store floor. In front of the coke machine and ice machine. It is for the wall that will facilitate enlarging the store..............

Before you have the chance to even wonder, I will go ahead and tell you that the bathroom is still not done. As much as I want to enforce the finishing of one project before moving on to the next, I can't. I spent the weekend fetching sodas and BBQ sauce for people because I know where to step on the sheetrock without breaking it. I need to have ice delivered and I need to fill the coke machine and put merchandise up ....... You see where I am going with this.

In case you are wondering why it is in the store and not in the room it is going in, let me remind you that I have a cantakerous old dachshund who would feel the need to mark this new material to claim it for our dwelling. If he who fancies himself a carpenter had his way, he would go ahead and knock the wall out between the store and the current living room, then worry about putting everthing back together. He is impulsive, he who builds.

So, my new project is to facilitate the moving of the building materials ......... and mow between rain showers.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Stormy Nights and Crazy Days

 The clouds that gathered yesterday culminated in a major hail storm. Looks like mothballs on the ground, doesn't it?

The winds blew. See my drain pipe that is supposed to be attached to the gutter and rain barrel?

And the hail kept on coming down.

The puppy, Toni enjoyed the storm. She loves to eat ice, so to her it looked like treats raining down. She raced all over the yard and couldn't decide which one she wanted.

That was last night. Compared to my day that was calm. I shall share a helpful hint related to the taking of pills. I have one that is to be taken as soon as I wake. I will usually take it with a sip of coffee, or water. I was waiting for the coffee to brew, and out of bottled water. I spied my 2 litre bottle of Dr. Pepper 10, my new guilty pleasure. It was about 1/3 full. It is mine. I am the only one who drinks it, so I grabbed it and tossed the pill in mouth and took a sip straight out of the 2 liter bottle. I promptly tripped on a dog and the pill went into the bottle. I could see it floating and tried to tip the bottle just right to get it out. My efforts failed and the pill began to dissolve. I drank it all to get the pill. I wanted black coffee and this ruined my entire morning.

I know, you are wondering why I just didn't take another pill and throw the dosed soda away. Because I am cheap, that's why. I prefer to be called thrifty. But it never occurred to me to throw it away, even though my stomach hurt all morning.  You would think I had lived through the Great Depression. I didn't.

In my annoyed state of mind, I answered the ringing phone. It was The Squatter. The Squatter took up residence here at the kampground one night while the rest of the world slept. I awoke to discover his small RV and stuff on one of my premium sites. I checked the drop box and found that he had left a registration form that I could barely read and a lone ten dollar bill. He indicated that this was a deposit and the amount due was "?". I offered to go clear the matter up, but he who is the man of the house told me to stay put. Over a week later, he has still not paid up. His new story was that he was going to change some yen into US currency and pay me .....

He wanted me to come and look at his yen, you know, so I would know he was telling the truth. I told him the only thing I wanted to see was him leaving the park. Another offer to be shown his yen only made me more emphatic about his eviction. Show me his yen, indeed.

I bumbled around and did a few chores, longing to be outside, but the ground is too soggy and keeps oozing up over my flip flops. He who was on a mission to purchase a sand blaster (he says it will cost more to rent one than to buy one) asked if I might like to tag along. We drove 60 miles to be told that they were out of them. Now, I assumed that he had checked and affirmed that the Harbor Freight store we went to had what he wanted in stock. I verbally attacked the poor sales person and indicated that they should update the website more often. Really, who knew there would be a run on sand blasters? There went two hours of my life I will never get back, not to mention the cost of fuel and the fact that I can still smell Harbor Freight. Smells like tires.

Came back home to find a message that indicated two campers had pulled in while I was away and they could not find any full hook-up sites. Irritated, I called the number they left. The man told me no less than 4 times that no-one was here when they came in and that we didn't have any full hook-up sites. I have over 50 full hook-up sites and over half of them are unoccupied. he told me they waited "for hours" and no-one showed up. I looked at the caller ID and time of the call and they left maybe 10 minutes before we got home and were here about 20 minutes. They had reservations and he wanted to know if I was going to charge him, saying there were no registration forms out. They took one (I count them, remember, I am cheap). He said there was nothing to indicate which sites were full hook-ups. When I told him there was a legend on the map, he said, "Oh, I see it now." Liar, liar pants on fire. No, I didn't charge them.

I know exactly what happened. When they made the reservations and scheduled the trip, they didn't anticipate stopping so early and my absence was a good excuse to travel further towards their destination. Not only cheap, I am smart, too.

I decide to prepare dinner, in hopes that the day might end. No sooner do I start to cup up a chicken and the phone rings. He who loves to be in my good graces asked if I would like for him to grill the chicken. I accept this offer and wash my hands again to continue with my task. A camper comes in. Wash, dry, register, take money. Wash dry, grab dead bird and knife again. Phone rings, wash, dry, answer. "I have a strange request ....."   Go ahead, try to shock me. "I know some people who live way out in the country near where you are and I need a faxed document to be delivered."  

Okay, so you did. I lied and told the man I didn't have a fax machine. Back to the chicken cutting adventure and my camper is back. The faucet doesn't work.

I am closed now. The chicken is in the oven and he who plumbs is fixing a pipe. I don't care if we eat or not. I swear I can still feel the Dr. Pepper sloshing around in my belly. I want a do-over! 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

24 Hours

 What a difference a day makes .......

 This picture was taken 24 hours ago. It is hard to see the tight little buds.

 Those little buds have burst open. I tried to get a shot of the bees busy at work, but, memory of my last sting kept me back.

These are a few of last years gourds, waiting to be washed and painted. Some of them cured nicely and will made some fine homes for birds, but some shriveled and the skin is too thin. I will break those open and plant the seed for another crop.

I have been outside all day, but the predicted clouds are gathering. Spring showers are coming.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Daffodils and Toenails

Blue skies today. The trees are budding and spring has sprung.

 I spent the morning cleaning up this garden bed and discovering all the green shoots waiting to see the sun. There was 4 wheel barrows full of leaves and such. Things like paper towels and cigarette packs and candy wrappers and receipts. I burned it all. Trudging back and forth with all my loads of trash to the burn pile.

 There was a breeze that made the daffodils bob to and fro. Like they were laughing at me as I labored with my rake.

Lilies popping up everywhere, waiting for me to remove the dead leaves ......

The mums are waiting for me to cut away the dead stems.

The rosemary made it through the winter and is not in need of grooming. Nice surprise.

I was careful to make my burn pile down wind of my clothesline where three loads of laundry dried in Mother Nature's clothes dryer.

 Funny story about the clothesline. It was sagging. I pointed this out to he who was playing with a dog as I was busy pinning pillow cases to the line. Always eager to rescue a damsel in distress, he quickly wedged the pole with a 2 X 4. I opined that the position of his solution to the problem was likely to trip me. His answer to that was for me to look where I was going.

Recent rains have left the back yard nice and soggy. I managed to hang out all the laundry while stepping lightly to prevent slipping down in the slick grass and mud. While laundry dries on a line, one really doesn't think about it. I went on with the chores I had set forth for my day. Clean sheets were applied to the bed and another two pieces of baseboard went into the bathroom. This is going slowly, as I am doing it ....... my way. Don't ask.

After the raking and pulling and burning, I sat a spell to cool down and listen to my blood pressure pounding in my ears, due, no doubt, to the decongestant I was forced to take to relieve the sinus pressure that made me want to apply pliers to my tooth. He who was playing in the cherry picker and clipping loose limbs came in and asked about the location of the garden rake. My garden rake. So, of course he had to tell me what he was up to before I would disclose the location. The conversation went something like this: Do you know where the garden rake is? Yes, I know precisely where it is.  (long, long pause) He stared at me. I take it you would like to use it?

He indicated that he was going to get all the leaves out of the pool. Thus making me feel guilty for sitting down. So I went to let a dog in and decided to go give him a hand. But remembering the laundry on the line, I decided to take it in before going to help. I didn't grab the laundry basket, just thought I could hold it, since it was mostly sheets, towels and his work clothes.

So, there I was with my one arm full of laundry tucked into my neck. I could not see my feet ....... and I tripped on the very 2 X 4 I had predicted I would. I tried to catch myself, but the slick grass and mud had me going down as I grabbed one of the lines. I was holding the laundry in the air like a mother would hold a baby to save it from the fall.

I am happy to report that nary a bit of laundry was soiled in my escapade. I did have white shorts on. I paid $3 for them on the clearance rack at WalMart. I think the side I landed on will never be white again. And the line I grabbed on my way down? If I thought the lines were sagging before .....

On my way out the door to help rake the pool Toni Louise escaped. This resulted in a 3 lap race around the kampground in the golf cart chasing a dog drunk with freedom. It was a bumpy ride for a sore old lady.

The weather is too nice to waste and I got one vegetable bed ready to plant. I hurt all over. Even my toenails hurt.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Spring Winds Blow

This area contains the pumps and the filters for the pool. There was a shelter around it. Not an attractive sight, is it?
See all those cinder blocks? They were fastened to the metal building.

The winds ripped the screws and bolts away and took the structure on a little ride, until a tree stopped it.

 Nothing much to salvage. This was a quick solution to house the pumps. Our deductible is $1000, so I don't think we will be filing a claim. We will be building a structure around the pumps. One secured to the ground, with doors that can be secured shut, so that the wind can't fill the structure and pick it up.

 Somebody hit the pole, another repair .........

All the broken limbs and debris will have to be picked up, even the small sticks. Prevents blade damage on the mowers. There are 73 sites to be raked before the mowers run. That is my job. I do a section at a time. By the time it is time to mow, my muscles have become accustomed to manual labor again. This will give me the much needed stamina to hoe my raised beds and get my seed into the ground. Winter is over ........

As much as I would like to get started on my raking and limb removal duties, the strong winds today are keeping me inside. The wind has been a nuisance all week. The Internet signal seems to be erratic and I am rebooting several times a day. I have plenty to do inside.

The bathroom is nearing completion. The bath tub drain is still leaking and the wall in the room behind it remains open as my plumber extraordinaire ponders and piddles around with it in between calls to help stranded motorists. You will recall that this began in January. But, the good news is that I can shower at will in the privacy of my own bathroom. I can brush my teeth in the sink and I have my very own hi-rise potty to sit upon. All that's left is caulking and baseboards. Along with paint touch-ups and installing towel rods.

Next project is a wall to isolate the living room from the living quarters before we open up the wall to the store area and add it as more retail space. I will need it to display all the efforts put forth in my sewing room. I finished 42 dresses so far and a dozen skirts. I will be adding to the sock monkeys and am trying out some other animals, too. I will post pictures of my new retail space and the bathroom soon.

In the meantime, what am I doing sitting here? I have work to do!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Wonders of Wall-E

 I would seem to be on a dog trend lately. I do spend a lot of time with my four-legged friends. Some of you have asked about pictures of Toni Louise. When I posted that particular story, the Internet was unhappy and spotty. Could have been the ferocious winds, could have been Blogger being finicky ..... who knows. The picture above is Oscar and Wall-E. They are grooming each other. This is a daily event. Every evening the four dogs gather together to have their faces washed. I call it a lick-a-thon.

This is a recent photo of Toni Louise. It is not very often that she will be still long enough to get a good shot.

He, who prefers Jif, sometimes has to partake of a different brand. The brand I keep in the store for hungry travelers. At the end of the season we have to use the items left in the store, lest they exceed their "sell by" date. This jar was pretty much empty and since Toni decided to destroy her kong that I usually fill with peanut butter ...... I just gave her the jar (it is plastic). This kept her busy for almost three days. She took it outside and I witnessed her racing round and round with it stuck on her nose. I was afraid that she was actually stuck, but continued to watch. She tossed it off and then stuck her nose in again and starting running in circles. She can entertain herself .......

But ...... Wall-E reminded me that I have recently blogged about all the dogs, except him. Wall-E is the peace maker. He is the sensitive guy. While Toni craves adventure, Wall-E worries incessantly about consequence. His caution seems to grow daily. He is sensitive and seems to know when I am sad and in need of some extra attention. He will sit next to me and nose his way under my hand until I am petting his sweet little head. Studies have shown that petting an animal will actually lower your blood pressure.

Wall-E came to us from my grandson, Gavin. Gavin and Wall-E share a very special relationship. When Gavin comes here, Wall-E abandons us to be Gavin's dog. He goes back to his first love ...... his boy. I love to see them together and would have given the dog back to Gavin when he moved into his new house. I love the dog, but I love Gavin more. He who is smitten with Wall-E could not part with him.

Wall-E has grown up here at the kampground. We have had him for three years and it is true that he would miss his pack mates. That was the excuse Papa used. The truth is that Papa could not bear the thought of losing the only animal we have ever had that prefers him to me. Wall-E lets him live with that illusion, anyway.

Wall-E is a smart little guy. He likes to greet customers, but is polite and reserved. He wrote letters to his boy until we delivered a tiny white ball of fur named Max to Gavin. Max looks surprisingly like Wall-E and now his boy has a pet to love. Wall-E writes letters to Max now. Advice on how to avoid getting into trouble. You can read Wall-E's words of dog wisdom at and Gavin would tell you how he happens to be able to share his thoughts. He whispers in Gramma's ear and she types.