Thursday, April 25, 2013

What Does It Mean?

Will wonders never cease ...... finally, Blogger let me on the post page!

Spring is definitely here as one day rolls into the next. Constant mowing and weeding and planting. Painting, mopping, and the never ending phone calls. Not caring what you eat and falling into bed at the end of the day completely exhausted.

"When will the pool be open?" It was 35 degrees here this morning, with a promise of highs in the lower 60's. But I answer like a robot, spouting the same information that I have relayed every Spring.
Today, though, I got a question I had yet to be asked.

Caller: I am looking at your map and I was wondering what a seasonal site means.

Me: I have been asked this before and I explain the concept and think he might understand .... maybe.

Caller: Yeah, I don't want that kind of a site. I see that some of your sites don't have sewer. What does that mean?

Me: (I am stumped, since it is self-explanatory) Well, that means there are no sewer hook-ups on those sites.

Caller: Um, yeah, but what does it mean?

Me: It means that there are water hydrants and 30 amp and 50 amp electrical hook-ups, but, no sewer hook-ups.

Caller: So, um, can I hook up to the water?

Me: (searching for the simplest words possible) Yes, you can hook up to the water and the electric, you just won't have sewer.

Caller: Um, yeah, I get that, but I am in a pop-up and it doesn't have a bathroom or anything like that, so I guess I won't need a sewer hook-up anyway.

That was the Reader's Digest condensed version. I left out the dramatic pauses and most of the "ands" and "ums". He made a reservation and I am just giddy with anticipation to make his acquaintance in person.

I was outside pulling weeds and admiring my asparagus. It dawned on me that I was hungry and I came in to make a sandwich. I remembered that I had some sliced turkey and fresh day-old bread. Fresh, because it was only a day old from the WalMart bakery. Italian with sesame seeds. But, wait, that is not all. Hellman's mayonnaise was on sale and I splurged. I love Hellman's mayonnaise. I consider it a luxury item and usually go with Great Value since I am not the one who likes sandwiches all the time.

So, now I really am giddy with anticipation. I gather all my necessities for my gourmet sandwich. The Hellman's is hidden in the back of the fridge from He Who is not a mayo connoisseur.

Brand new, never been opened. I carefully peel off the wrap that holds the package of free onion mix to the jar and discard it on the counter. I break the seal carefully, so as to enjoy spying the first view of creamy perfection .......

And the lid flips out of my hand and flies through the air as I watch along with my dogs. Toni Louise is watching closely, wondering if she should leap up and catch it in her mouth. I am yelling "Nooooooooo ....." as it falls to the floor and I push her back. Wall-E stands transfixed, because he knows full well what that word means. Oscar, the over-weight dachshund, is not one to obey commands. He is running on his short legs to claim his prize and I am determined to get there first. And, I would have, if Martha, the boy cat had not tripped me on the way.

I am trying to avoid the fall as I stumble forward just in time to see the freakishly long tongue of Oscar violate my Hellman's lid!! I am still crying "no" as I catch myself on the counter and lean down to snatch my lid away from Oscar. He is still licking his chops. I think he likes Hellman's mayonnaise, too!

I washed the lid until it squeaked and rinsed in water so hot I burned my fingers. A brand new quart, and now every time I use it I will picture Oscar's tongue cleaning the lid.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Wet and Cold

Last week was not the best week. The Coke cooler blew the circuit in the store and I lost all the peaches I has so carefully preserved in the freezer for my son-in-law (sorry, Nick). The ice in the ice machine melted .......

Got all that cleaned up and made the necessary arrangements to have the Coke machine repaired. Walked into the kitchen and saw a puddle. A big puddle. In the midst of accusing the canine trio of a conspiracy that involved all three of them emptying their bladders in the same place, I saw that the water (or pee) had either traveled under the cabinets, or originated from somewhere beyond. I was genuinely hoping for urine, although not looking forward to cleaning it up. It was water coming from  a hole in the tank of the water heater.

The Pepsi machine outside has to be repaired, too. The weekend was just plain aggravating. One potential camper called 4 times before arriving and 3 times after arriving. Besides being directionally challenged, she was unprepared. She didn't have a hose to hook up to the water. Finally got her a loaner hose, then she couldn't get on-line and demanded to know if everyone in the park was skyping. It was around that time I discovered a puddle of water in the store floor .......

Be careful what you wish for. It was urine this time and not the canine variety. Human. From a child too old to be pulling such stunts. I decided then and there to lock up early. I fumbled around in the kitchen and made something barely edible and went bed.

I am determined to have a better week. We managed to get all the grass mowed before the rain hit us again, today. The cold front moving through has me dressed in winter fleece again. The furnace just turned on and I have it set at 63 .....

I am tired of being wet and cold!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Spring Is Here .... Maybe

Announcing Spring! I think. I hope.

The tulips are convinced ...... not to mention the ever present dandelions.

My peonies are reaching up through the soil.

The crab apple tree is blossoming bravely and growing tall and majestic. There is at least 2' of new growth in this tree.

The peach tree seems happy with tiny pink buds.

Look at all the baby peach trees! Where is my shovel .......

Pansies in the wishing well. I decided to leave the Christmas lights in place, and light it up on the weekends. Or, maybe I was just too lazy to take them down?

Martha, the boy cat, wants to play hide and seek ....

The Welcome sign is out .......

but, this is not what I had in mind! I was sweeping the front porch. The recent storms washed the dirt from the flower bed onto the porch. Apparently, that was not all. I thought it was a twig that looked like a snake.

As I swept closer, I realized that it was a snake. After all the wind and rain, the temperature dropped to 31. This guy looks like he wanted to strike and froze in that position. He must have been here for awhile, he is pretty dehydrated.

I did some weeding yesterday in the gardens that border the front porch. I am glad I swept first. I was not as eager to stick my hands into the ground cover to eliminate the dandelions as usual.

I hope we don't get another round of freezing temperatures at night. The tomato plants I so carefully planted and surrounded with cages are dead. The asparagus is sending spears up and in just two days is ready to harvest!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

You CAN Teach An Old Dog New Tricks!

Since we started this adventure of owning and running a campground, we have encountered all manner of people. For the most part, the people we meet are just people, like us. They pay their bills and come here for a weekend or just an overnight stay as they are passing through. I recognize those that come back time and again and even some that don't. Then we have those that you can count on to be here every holiday. You can watch the children grow season to season. It's like friends visiting. My seasonals are more like family and I miss them in the winter months. For all of these I am so very thankful.

From time to time, someone will show up and be down on their luck, looking for a place to live temporarily. I always feel sympathetic. It makes me more thankful for what I have. We are taught as young children to help those less fortunate than you are. For that reason we always try to extend our hospitality to those in need of a place to stay.

Because camping offers a thriftier lifestyle, most people are happy to pay their way. For those who can't, we offer either free rent or a reduced rate in exchange for working in the park. We have had good and bad experience with this. Most appreciate the opportunity to be able to pay by working. Most of them.

The others get really excited about the "free" rent part and will wax eloquent about how much work they will do in exchange for rent. They assure us that they will be the best workers ever ........  I have come to discover that those are the ones to be wary of. The talkers. That's all they do. Every single thing they are asked to do, they are experts at doing it and will find any opportunity to tell me that their work is worth way more than I am offering. I pay $10 and hour for casual labor and if your rent is $300 a month, I expect 30 hours of labor. That being said, I do make exceptions.

If I notice that a task takes you twice as long as it does me, then I pay per task. No matter how long you drag it out.

Recently, I came home to find tenters setting up without benefit of registration. Being the savvy wife of He Who is a sucker for a sob story, I called him before I confronted my new tenants. He confessed that they would be staying indefinitely. They didn't pay their rent and got evicted. I knew this couple and was not happy. They skip through life waiting for a handout. Always wondering how they end up needing money. No work ethics to speak of, just work enough to get the amount of money needed to pay rent or electricity.

I announced to He Who is a sucker for a sob story that this little project was his to deal with. They set up in a premium site. Bad enough that they would be the first thing you see when you enter the park, this particular site is often requested. It is booked for Memorial Day and every other holiday far in advance. I said they had to break camp and move because I had a reservation for that very site in 9 days. I wondered aloud at what chores they would be performing to earn their keep. And I also wondered how they expected to stay warm in a tent when the temperature dropped to freezing.

I refused to clean the showers unless there were other campers in the park and suggested that this just might be one of the chores they could do ....
They cleaned exactly one time when I made an issue of it. And don't worry about them keeping warm. They had an electric heater. In a tent. In fact they had 3 extension cords running to the outlets for that site and another. I discovered this when I went over to clean up the site and ask them to move for my pending reservation. They weren't there and I toyed with the idea of dismantling the tent myself and moving it myself. It was a three room tent and so very full of their belongings that I decided I would just offer any other site to my reservation along with a discount for their trouble.

Finally, finally they left. I was the bad guy and He Who falls for sob stories was the good guy. What ever it takes to eliminate squatters, you know. I was a little annoyed that He Who cast me in that light, but thankful to cut my losses and be rid of the squatters. And ..... hope runs deep, maybe He Who is a sucker for a sob story will learn from this experience.

The cell phone of He Who is a sucker for a sob story awhile ago. I am astounded. It was the same couple, asking to stay here again. After almost a month of freeloading and offering nothing in return and leaving a mess for me to clean up, they had the nerve to ask for more of my hospitality.

But, that is not what astounded me. The most amazing thing happened. He Who is a sucker for a sob story said "NO"! I am so proud!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Quality Of Care

My prescriptions were on the verge of expiration, so I had to go in for a check-up. Never an event one looks forward to. All the poking and prodding, not to mention the weigh-in. Has to be done, I suppose.

I have no health insurance, so I go to a clinic for my routine health care. I have been seen by the nurse practitioner until recently when she moved away. I found her to be quite competent and caring. Very thorough and taking the time to explain and explore possible avenues of treatment. I liked her and trusted her. I was sad to learn that she had moved on.

I arose from my dream filled slumber and climbed into the shower, denying myself coffee, since I knew there would be the drawing blood. I even shaved my legs! I gathered all the necessities of going to the big city and remembered to leave a canine in charge. I arrived 15 minutes early, as is my habit.

The appointment took place on-time and the doctor was through with me in less than 10 minutes. Most of that time was spent with him in front of a monitor as he asked me all the questions I had already answered on paper that he had on a clipboard in front of him. I wondered if this were some sort of lie detector test, or if perhaps, he was testing my memory. After this he said, "All done, now let's listen to your heart." I don't know that he actually heard it beat, since my heart rate is slow and skips beats. The nurse drew my blood and I peed in a cup and was on my way.

I paid a $30 co-pay for that. I had met the doctor on a previous visit and was not impressed with his skills as a physician. He was not someone I would like to spend any time around, but thought that he might have been having a bad day. I was there because his staff told me to get there. My blood pressure was elevated and I am on medication. I was feeling particularly bad. Nausea, headache and just plain wretched. When entered the exam room he said, "What are you doing here?" His tone was almost accusing, like he wanted to add, "wasting my time".

I have been told that I have a sarcastic streak and have been known to respond in kind. I didn't. I was tempted, but I held it in check. He was, after all the doctor who was about to diagnose me and hopefully help me feel better. When I told him that my blood pressure was up and that I was already on medication, he looked at me like I was daft and said, "Well, just increase the dosage."

I had no high expectations today, but did expect to have my ears looked at, as well as my throat. Thought he would listen to me breathe. Thought I would have to wear a paper gown for all this. Didn't even take my shoes off.

So, you are asking what I am complaining about? I am just wondering what quality of care I am receiving. This "exam" could have been handled on the phone and I would not have had to shower and drive 30 miles to get there. Is this what I can expect as I age and my body starts to malfunction?
A little scary ......

Sunday, April 14, 2013

My Head Aches

Aches is a verb in the title. Not a noun.

Blogger continues to toy with my commenting ability, which only contributes to my current head ache. This one was long in the making. All about Spring and pollen and wind. It hovered over me for about a week, only hinting at what it could do. I managed to keep it at bay with Aspirin, Tylenol and Ibuprofen. I would sit quietly until it passed, knowing it was right there waiting to pounce like a cat intent on surprise. My goal was to make it through each day until I could lay me down to sleep.

Insomnia kept her distance and I actually slept, but, like one denied water over a long period of time, I could not seem to quench my thirst for sleep. I craved every little drop I could have, even falling asleep with my fingers on the keyboard, in an upright position.

I managed a few hours of housekeeping and answered the phone and took reservations, but I longed for the comfort of my bed and pillow. I tried to sew and did manage to grind out a few things and even had inspiration hit me at one point. But, my heart wasn't in it. I listen to audio books while I sew and the monotone of the voice was like that of a hypnotist. I left my work and came back into my sanctuary to await nightfall.

I had; had meaning past tense, no longer having; a pair of needle nose pliers among my various screwdrivers and parts to my sewing machine handy and ready for use right there on my sewing counter. These come in handy for many things while sewing. One can remove gripper snaps and such with the assistance of these pliers with the tiny tips. I like to have them there for the removal of sewing machine needles when I accidentally sew through my thumb or finger. It is best to yank that needle out as quickly as possible, before your brain receives the message about the injury. Since someone seems to have "borrowed" them, I thought it would be best not to continue sewing in my state. Not to name names or point a finger at anyone, there is only one person brave enough to touch anything in my sewing room. Only one other person living here ........

So, all week long the weather and the headache went to extremes to make me miserable. Then, yesterday it struck with all its' force. Saturday. As the temperature rose slowly, the headache gained momentum. Saturday, in a kampground, is not a good day to lock the door and stick a sign in the window. He who is apt to borrow tools was not around for relief. I fought it as long as I could, then, called him and told him I had to go into a dark, quiet room and try to sleep the headache off.

I slept for about an hour and then got up, only a little relieved. It is still right here, waiting, hovering on the periphery of my vision. I dare not turn my head suddenly or cut my eyes to the left or right, or up or down. Don't want to issue an invitation for a long visit, do I?

Friday, April 12, 2013

I Can't Say ......

Reading my favorite blogs last night, I decided to try commenting and it worked! Excited, I tried again ....... I typed in my comment and hit publish and whoosh, everything was gone.

I shut down and ran malware. Found two corrupt files and eliminated them. Aha! I think I have fixed the problem. Went to bed and this morning I tried to comment again. I can comment once, then on the second attempt, it will erase everything I have open. So frustrating. My most carefully crafted words, adrift in cyberspace. I have so much to say, just can't!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

He Who Tries

Not too long ago I cut my bangs. Unlike Michelle O'Bama, it is just not that big of a deal. I was playing with scissors.

It is a change, though. Pretty obvious. My forehead was naked, now it has hair on it. Campers noticed. He Who is pretty much oblivious to his surroundings knew something was different, but was struggling to know exactly what it was. He looked at me for the longest time. I could see the wheels turning behind his eyes. 

On the one hand he was patting himself on the back for noticing that something was different, but on the other hand he was starting to panic because he could not say what it was. Finally, he blurted out, "You colored your hair." He tries.

You recall the ceiling fan that had no light kit ..... then I found a light kit, but He Who lights up my life said the light kit I found would not work with the existing fan and the blades would not fit the other fan motor that went with the light kit. After trying to dismantle the wiring and failing he purchased another fan with a light kit .......

He proudly proclaimed that this fan had even longer blades. It didn't. So he made the old blades fit by drilling new holes (wouldn't that have worked with the absolutely free one I found languishing in the storage closet?). Deciding to try out his crafting skills, he painted the blades and the hardware they were connected to. Bright yellow.

In the end, after all was said and done, he had to use the existing fan and just add a light kit. This meant he had to take the blades off and put them back on the original hardware, leaving them with extra holes.

I had to leave for some reason. Things always happen in my absence. He got crafty. I suppose I should be flattered that he was thinking outside the box, since I have been steering him in that direction. But, he bought a new bucket for his project. The object is to NOT spend money, but use found items. But he was thinking, sort of like me. But I would never have left the price sticker on it. It is cute, but the light is not good. The bucket confines the ray of light and will not be sufficient to play cards. He really does try.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

It Might Be Spring .....

It might be Spring .... if you don't open your laptop in front of the TV, but go straight to bed.

It might be Spring .... if you have to check your skin for ticks every evening.

It might be Spring .... if you entire body aches after a day of weeding and mowing.

It might be Spring .... if your feet feel like you are walking on a bed of hot coals.

It might be Spring .... if Blogger rejects all your comments. Um, wait, is there a season for that?
I have been able to at least read some of my favorite blogs, just can't comment with any regularity. Maybe Spring has nothing to do with that ....

It might be Spring .... if your dogs resent all the time you are spending away from them.

It might just be Spring .... if you have no time to blog!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Feeling Owlish

I am still working on the denim rug. The grid is small and the rug canvas makes my fingers raw. And, let's face, I got bored. So I took my worn out towels and made a towel rug. They were all shades of tan and I want to dye it anyway .... or I did until I washed it and found that it took almost FOUR days to air dry it and then I tossed it in the dryer for a good fluffing. The dryer has recently recovered and spit all of the terry cloth lint out into the atmosphere. And let me just say that when wet, this rug is one heavy s ........ sucker! Bet you thought I was going to wax profane about it!

You all remember my good friend, Insomnia. You know, my companion in the wee hours of the night. Well, I was pondering the rug canvas and my raw fingers and remembered that I had, in my sewing room closet, a whole roll of burlap. How hard would it be to create my own grid? I posed my question and answered it my self. Not hard at all. And I could customize the grid to take wider pieces of material and thus make the rug faster.

As you see I started by cutting the piece of burlap, then using a tight zig-zag stitch, I bound the edges. Then I started pulling threads lengthwise.

Theoretically, you would complete all the threads length wise, before going width wise, but I was impatient to see the end result. See the holes? I cut the strips of towel about an inch and 1/2 wide and 5" long. No hook or needle was necessary, I just rolled one end and pushed it through the hole, down, then back up to the right side and tied each strip. I should have flipped the rug over to show you, but it makes a very neat and tight back. It was fast, only a few nights in front of the TV and I was done.

It feels fantastic to stand on after a shower. Very cushy and I like the way it looks. The cleaning of the rug? Not so much. I was planning to dye it a persimmon color by mixing orange and brown and red, but after the washing and drying, I am resigned to the multi shades of tan. Maybe later, when I get bored again.

I have lots of little scraps of fabric, all of them representing clothes my grandchildren and their parents wore. I saw a little owl on Pinterest. I made one, then another and then decided I didn't like part of the design. It was a circle of fabric gathered around a piece of cardboard for the bottom. It made the owl into a tower of sorts.

After a particularly long session with my good buddy, Insomnia, I decided to open all my secret stashes of buttons (I have a bit of a fetish, I really like buttons). So, I played around and decided to make the base be a large button. I made my pattern of triangles a little smaller and find that I like the fatter, squatty little owl better.

Just talk among yourselves, I will be back with more tiny friends.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


I have been in a writing slump lately. Not that I don't have plenty to say, just no desire to put it into words.

Sipping hot coffee, I hear that the next segment coming on the Today show is ..... "how to conquer your fears and wear whatever you want". I did not know this was a phobia sweeping the nation.

Looking down at my current attire, I decided that my fears had been conquered long ago. The sun is shining and rumor has it that the temperature will soar into the high 50's this afternoon. I have located the elusive snow boots and may include them in my outfit for an adventure in gardening this afternoon. I have no fear about wearing them out of season.

Not to say that I am fearless.