I don't have much free time. Small windows of opportunity to do things that need to be done. Occasionally, I will have the the time to do something I want to do. I spend most of me free time outside, in my gardens. That is where I want to be. I take advantage of simple pleasures, like the smell of freshly laundered sheets as I hang them on the line. Doesn't matter that I have to grab one at a time, hang it and rush back in to check the store.
All this to say that I seldom have time to watch the news on TV. I will turn it on as I am cooking or cleaning and I will hear snippets that are usually interrupted by a customer coming in the store or the phone.
So, as I stood at the sink washing my Paula Deen cookware I pondered her situation. Yes, she said something that she certainly should have edited more carefully before she uttered it. Yes, if you choose to put yourself in the limelight, you should expect a segment of the population to want to bring you down just because that is their only joy in life. They are like insurance investigators, constantly searching for a flaw in your story that they can pick apart and deny you your claim. They serve a purpose in society.
But it would appear that the character assassination of Paula Deen is overkill, don't you think? The news blurbs would have you believe that she is losing her home and will soon be penniless on the streets. WalMart dropped her line. WalMart, for heaven's sake! Like being associated with Paula Deen might sully the reputation of WalMart. I would think it to be the other way around. It is not like WalMart personifies all that is decent.
WalMart's reputation has been on the line many times. I shop at WalMart. Really, who doesn't? They have managed to squeeze out the competition. Small town drug stores have become a thing of the past, as well as fabric stores, bakeries, delicatessens ......... I could go on and on.
Paula Deen is not worried about the "millions" she is losing. She is upset about the attack on her reputation. She is a true southern lady and cares about what others think of her. I have read comments about her apology that aired not being sincere. I happened to see that on TV and can understand how it might be misconstrued if you are not accustomed to the accent and her particular speech pattern. I lived in the south for much of my life and in Albany, Ga for 12 years. Her apology had the ring of truth.
She made a mistake, she apologized. Get over it and go on. We forgave Bill Clinton, for heaven's sake.
Friday, June 28, 2013
I made my bed and now I want to lay in it. Making my bed is hard. First of all, I need a step stool to get in the bed and to put the sheets on. My bedroom is tight (cozy) and getting the fitted sheet on is an ordeal, especially if my thumb wants to object.
I used to have higher standards for the place I sleep. I used to change the sheets every other day or so. They had to be pulled taut, no wrinkles. The top sheet had to have a nice big turn down, so that if I wanted to pull it up to my chin, I didn't put any undo pressure on my toes. The blanket had to be tucked into the sheet and the bedspread folded down twice atop the blanket. A mere grain of sand could make me get up and change the sheets.
Nowadays, things are different. It all started with a tiny black and tan Dachshund named Oscar. He was originally a gift to my son-in-law from my daughter. She proudly showed me this dog and urged me to hold him. I declined, told her that I had "real" dogs, not some squeaky little yipper to trip on. My Collie and Saint Bernard were superior to this little handful of a dog in every way.
Oscar became the bane of her very existence. She would recite every reason in the world that she hated this dog. He peed in the floor, he cried all night, he chewed on things, and his tongue was too long. What? He licked her and she did not appreciate this form of affection. She swore that he was making her vomit every day. Poor little guy, the writing was on the wall, he needed a new home. Time would not have helped the relationship. Remember the vomiting? It wasn't the dog, his long tongue or his hound dog smell. She was pregnant with my beautiful granddaughter.
She begged me to take this dog and finally threatened to drop him off at the pound! I took the dog. I have never been partial to little dogs, but I fell head over heels in love with him. Oscar has no self esteem issues. He is sure that he is the very center of the universe. The very first night he wormed his way into my bed and has been there ever since. The Collie, Sarge, had always slept with my grandson, Danny. When Danny got bunk beds, Sarge had the bottom bunk and Danny took the top. But my bed was off limits.
Oscar changed all that. I tried to encourage him to sleep on top of a special blanket just for him. This was to keep dog hair and whatever happened to be tracked in on his feet off my sheets. My fresh taut sheets with the blanket enfolded into the top sheet just so ......... Ah, memories.
When Oscar turned 6 months old, we bought him a wife, Emmy. She fit in the shirt pocket of my husband. She was as sweet as Oscar was demanding. I don't think she met a soul in her life who did not fall under her spell.
So now we had two little dogs in our bed. Two little dogs burrowed under the sheet and blanket with their little paws releasing sand and grass and whatever they walked through before getting into bed. It is a king size bed, so space should not have been an issue; but it was. Oscar must be able to touch me. I am his person and he merely tolerates others. He likes to lay with his back pushed up against my thigh. This is great in the winter. He is warm. But he is also warm every other season.
Emmy was content to cuddle with the person she found herself next to and usually slept next to He Who loved her best. But, the dog hair and sand in my bed nearly drove me nuts. I would grab one of those lint removers and clean the bottom sheet before making the bed every day. I would pull all the sheet off in between washings and take them onto the deck and shake them out.
Before long, the Saint Bernard decided to get in on the mattress action. This did present a space problem. Louise was a sprawler and once she got comfy was impossible to move. We had to ban her from the bedroom. She took over the sofa. Remember, the Collie had his own bed.
Fast forward to today. I still have four dogs in my bed, just not the same ones. Oscar is still with us and despite the dog hair and the inevitable grain or two hundred of sand, I doubt I would be able to fall asleep without the pressure of his back against my thigh. Wall-E likes to sleep near my face. In between our pillows. He used to sleep next to his Papa, but Toni Louise now claims that spot. Oscar has taught them all to sleep under covers. Toni Louis sports a heavy fur coat, but will comply by sticking just her head under the covers. Wall-E is somewhat cold natured and likes a good blanket atop his body, but prefers to have his nose sticking out.
The new dog, Cujo, in true Dachshund form, goes full body under covers. He seems to know exactly where Emmy used to sleep when she slept next to me. In my armpit. When I woke this morning, in my bed of wrinkled sheets, full of every color of dog hair, I did not leap out the bed in horror. Instead, I lay there feeling the weight of a sweet little dog against my ribs (well-padded ribs). For just fraction of a second, I thought it was my Sweet Emmy Lou. It was Cujo and his warm little body. He had sought me out in the night. He has Emmy's disposition and Oscar's determined loyalty. I felt him wag his little tail as soon as he realized I was awake. It is worth a few grains of sand and some dog hair.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
This is one happy man! He Who mows has a new mower. It has all the stuff that matters to men. He enchanted me with a litany of all the bells and whistles. I confess that all I heard was that this mower will zip along at 10.5 mph. Clearly exceeding my speed limit. Oh, and it has a special spot for the ever-present bubba mug.
From the porch, I went to the peach tree. A Finch nest here. I crept up quietly, didn't want to scare Mama Finch.
Instead I startled baby Finch and he tried to fly. Martha, the boy cat hangs out in this side yard. Run, Tweety, run. Sylvester is hungry!
I caught the little bird. He is not much bigger than my thumb, a mere appetizer for Martha, the boy cat. I tried to put him back in his nest, but he half-flew to the ground again. I hope Martha ate a good amount of cat food before he went out tonight.
Besides that, the new mower has headlamps .......
now I am really worried about the fate of Tweety.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
My lilies are lovely ........
and more lovely everyday.
My iris aren't bad, either.
But, my gardens are feeling neglected. I have not had time to weed with any diligence.
The new dog has fit in nicely with his new canine siblings. I did change his name to Cujo. He doesn't have an aggressive bone in his body, that's why I like the name. My Toni Louise has forgiven me and Wall-E has decided that Cujo is fun to play with. Oscar remains indifferent. He does not suffer from low self esteem and is quite sure that I love him the most. Martha, the boy cat is still quite upset and is shunning me. Me, the woman who bottle fed him. Cats.
We have a nest of purple martins on the front porch. The babies have hatched and they will dive bomb me if I try to sit on the porch. I sit there anyway. I found it interesting that 3 adult birds were hovering and feeding the babies. I suppose I would name the mother bird Hilary, since it seems the whole village takes part in rearing the offspring.
Hildy lost another nest of eggs and I found some cracked shells while weeding. I had thought a snake or maybe a turtle had gotten them. The evidence of shells puts the event in a whole new light and I am wondering again about Mr. Martha and breakfast. Nature is cruel at times.
I seem to hear my pillow calling out my name, beckoning to bed. One last trip outside and I am down for the night.
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Meet JoJo. Just look at that sweet face. Melts your heart, doesn't it?
Worked on He Who said "We don't need another dog." Need? Maybe not, but who said anything about need?
JoJo is not 2 years old yet and definitely male, as you can see. He will not be in possession of all that for long. He was rescued from a hoarder and was with a family who could not afford to keep him. That being said, I feel the need to point out to my children that I am NOT a hoarder, so shut-up!
He has fit in nicely with the animals here, with the exception of Martha, the boy cat. Martha loves his dogs and I am not sure why he dislikes JoJo so much. JoJo is not aggressive, as most male dachshunds are. He has succumbed to the rule of Oscar in this animal kingdom.
When his previous person brought him in to "just show" him to me, he put his tiny paws on my knee to be picked up and then nestled into my arms like he had always had a place there. She went to the pool with her family and I kept him to see how he would interact with my dogs.
He smelled like a hound, so I bathed him. He didn't seem to object and my dogs were okay, if a little miffed that I was paying attention to a new animal. Toni Louise is always eager to meet new faces and she sized up the little guy and decided he would make a good little playmate. Oscar was okay with JoJo. He is usually not too happy about new additions to the family, but JoJo seemed to win him over pretty quickly. Wall-E was very upset. Anything that upsets his routine will send him into a tizzy. He will bark and whine and wet himself, then go eat some grass and throw up. He is a delicate being, my Wall-E.
When the family came out of the pool and up to the office, I put JoJo down and he sniffed them all and promptly turned around and came back to me and put his little paws on my knee. It was meant to be. He chose me. He has the same gentle spirit that my Emmy possessed. He is not much bigger than she was and is just a little love.
He picked me ..... what was I supposed to do?
Friday, June 21, 2013
I wanted to post a picture of my huge white lilies, but Sprint was merely teasing me with that temporary fix. I think that tornado might have done something to the satellite on the tower. What do I know? Me being just a woman and all. I know that I can't download pictures and this is moving along at a snail's pace. That is what I know.
I don't want to mislead you into thinking I am really smart, though. I have managed to get a nice patch of poison oak/ivy/sumac on my neck. I faithfully scrubbed it with the Fels Naptha soap. But I don't think I got it in time. I was mowing and sweating one evening when I felt a sting on the back of my neck. I thought it was a mosquito, and I swatted at the pain. It wouldn't stop stinging and I reached up to feel and found a tick. I yanked the little vermin out and ground him to death with a rock. The bite was itchy. So, when I got up a couple of nights later, scratching my neck, I didn't think about poison vines.
I just wanted the itching to stop and I stumbled into the bathroom searching for a remedy. I knew I had a bottle of Benadryl lotion some where, but couldn't remember where I had last used it. I had the hall light on and didn't turn on the bathroom light, me being the ever thrifty user of electricity. I remembered seeing a bottle of Ivy Dry in the bathroom cabinet. I picked up the bottle and sprayed my neck and headed back to bed.
It smelled good. I don't remember it smelling nice. I remembered it smelling medicinal. It stopped the itching and I went back to sleep. When I woke, my pillow was smelling nice, a scent I couldn't quite place. It wasn't laundry detergent or fabric softener. I went on about the business of taking out the dogs and hitting the button on the coffee maker, then went into the bathroom and turned on the light.
There it was on the sink where I left it after generously applying the spray to the rash on my neck. Dog groomer's cologne. Not Ivy Dry. The bottles are very similar. No wonder I smelled good, I was wearing dog cologne. It did stop the itch, though.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
My iris are starting to bloom, as well as the tiger lilies. The day lilies have gone nuts with yellow everywhere.
I can't wait to see this lily bloom, it will have NINE blooms! I have the stem propped already.
Two years ago these maple trees were just twigs. I can't believe how big they are now. Look at that precious shade.
The humidity has been nasty. My youngest daughter used to call it humility. Kind of fits, if you think about it. Sweat is humbling. Hard to be too full of yourself with sweat trickling from every pore of your body.
Monday, June 17, 2013
My internet fix was short lived. I have not been able to get on-line for more than 5 minutes at a time before it bumps me off all weekend. Keeping my sweaty fingers crossed ......
The humidity is insane. Weeding all morning before it started to rain. I seem to have weeds in my weeds. I stacked firewood before the weekend began, in order to mow. The log splitter is set up adjacent to the wood pile. One would think that it would be an easy task to stack the split wood on the existing wood pile.
Last time we had some trees down, He Who wields a chainsaw and he little buddy (I refer to them as Fred and Barney) unceremoniously dumped the logs in the middle of a grassy area. I "mentioned" my displeasure several times. I am the mower of that area, as it is small and would be difficult to maneuver on the rider. I do not like tall grass unless I have planted it deliberately. It looks like a snake-filled hazard. I was told on numerous occasion that they "would get to it".
They never did and I moved each and every piece myself. Logs are round and they will roll. I stacked what could be stacked and had a nice pile next to the splitter. I carefully mower the foot high grass and it has even started to fill-in the bare spots. Then came the tornado and we lost some trees. Fred and Barney went out with trailer and the chainsaw. Did they follow my lead and neatly stack this new batch of logs to be split? No, they did not.
In addition to that, they had split a stack of logs before the bad weather. Three men were on this splitting task. You know how boys will flock to the sound of a gasoline engine and want to play. I suggested that they stack the split wood onto the wood pile. My suggestion fell on deaf ears as they all joined in and started handing logs to the splitter and seeming to take much pleasure in tossing the split wood hither and thither, nowhere near the wood pile, but on the grass. They ended up with an unsightly pile in sort of an hourglass configuration ........ on the grass. To add insult to injury, this blob of split firewood was then covered with an old bill board banner, printed side up. It was lovely.
It was covered to keep it dry. Seemed like a good idea. But, that would be under normal circumstances and not the torrential downpours of late. The water lay in puddles under this make-shift tarp ( We have lots of tarps in our possession. Plain tarps that don't advertise in letters as big as I am.). The water was trapped under there and as the temperature and humidity rose it sort of steamed the wood and kept it moist.
So, I suppose we all know who removed the offending bill board banner and stacked the wood carefully on the wood pile while sliding around in the resulting mud. And that brings me to my new irritation.
We have a fire hose that is used to fill the pool. Three of them as a matter of fact. I don't know if any of you know this, but a fire hose is heavy! I can lift one on my own. Especially if I am mad and determined. But two hooked together is just not possible. It takes two to reach the pool when connected to the hydrant. They are locked together and so far no one has been able to disconnect them.
After the filling of the pool, I always am eager to get this up and put away. He Who is supposed to be in charge of all things pool related is never as eager as I am. He prefers to let it lay there "a day or two" so that it dries out and is lighter. Every year I nag incessantly. It always rains on the hose, defeating the purpose of the "day or two to dry out". I always end up rolling it up to the sidewalk next to the restrooms and then trying to pick it up.
"Don't do that, you will hurt yourself." I hear this every year. The pool has been filled for nearly a month. And guess where the fire hose sits all coiled up? No, you are wrong. As of this morning it is now on the hand truck and later today, I will roll it around to it's storage place.
The dynamic duo are laying sewer line today. I suppose I could have a nastier chore to do. This will not stop me from pointing out that, had this been done when I asked, it would not have been an issue. You would think that after nearly 40 years, he would have figured out that I am always right.
Thursday, June 13, 2013
I keep finding flowers I forgot I planted. Every time I go to WalMart, I visit the plants. I find myself pinching dead leaves and withered vines. Can't seem to help myself. I admire all the blooms and always end up in the back corner where the rejects are. I call it the rescue corner. Where all the strays go. And this is not a no-kill facility. So, I rescue some. I try to stick to perennials. I plant them after I dead head them and tell myself what they are and will myself to remember ......... and promptly forget. It has gotten to the point that I am afraid to weed, lest I yank out something I planted.
This garden is five years old and has filled in.
My favorite kind of flower pot. I was going to just say "pot", but was afraid that sounded illegal. These are pinks. I only know that because one of my friends told me. Like always, I forgot the name as soon as I planted it. I have since put some other flowers in the top .... the name escapes me. Go figure. But, they are lovely.
He Who loves me bought a surprise! Does this man know me or what? This bad boy can haul 300 feet of hose from hydrant to hydrant. Never again will you see me fill a 5 gallon bucket with water and heave it onto the golf cart, then slosh my way to a garden plot on the far reaches of the park!
Lovely lilies. Given to me from camper buddies, Butch and April. They add a lot of color to my yard. I may have to bake them a little treat next time they camp.
My weekend has started early and looks like it will be a busy one.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Meet Snapper. He was just roaming around the grounds as we started the Memorial Day weekend. He is covered in dried mud, giving him a prehistoric demeanor. Check out the size of those feet!
He Who has a tender heart for all creatures, even snakes (but definitely not muskrat), grabbed his trusty shovel to load Snapper onto his truck and give him a ride to the state park and the river.
Snapper proved to be a bit disagreeable about relocating, but we don't want him in our pond feeding on our delicate baby bass.
He even rolled over in an attempt to avoid the transport. When he started snapping his jaws together and I realized just how agile he was, I stopped taking pictures and moved out of his way. I did not know he could flip over and land on his feet! He looked like a four footed sumo wrestler in a very aggressive stance. I retreated to the office and left He Who catches snakes and such to deal with our unwanted guest.
Who is Sprint? You may be wondering about the title. Sprint is our Internet provider. Sprint promised to fix our problems and they did!!! I can download pictures and publish comments.
Monday, June 10, 2013
Another weekend come and gone. A birthday party with nine little girls was scheduled for Saturday. Nine little squealing, giggling girls. They made good use of the pool. The mom and grandmother will have earned their rest this week. As the sun lowered in the sky they came into the office to hear the story of Mr. Martha.
I was happy to oblige, as we all know I love to tell a good story to a captive audience. They oohed and aahed at the right moments in the story and all wished that they had been here to see the tiny kitten feed from a bottle. And, of course, they all wanted to hold him. Mr. Martha is a very friendly cat and does love to wind between one's ankles so much so that the receiver of his affection will find it difficult to walk. He likes a good ear scratch, like all felines and allows me to hold him like a baby when we have one of our talks.
But, that is me, the one who fed him and cleaned him and nurtured him. He was outside, as is his habit. He sleeps all day and roams all night. Thankfully he has stopped laying a gift of squirrel corpse on the steeping stone in the garden right outside my window. We had a nice long chat about this and he knows that I do not appreciate such gifts.
So, nine excited little girls went out into the park after the story and I could hear them calling, "Martha, Martha". Martha responded at first, but I am told he fled after much handling and hid from his admirers. Mr. Martha is a very smart cat.
First thing Saturday morning, I picked the dwindling strawberries and discovered that new blooms were forming. I had given some plants to Miss Martha (not a cat, but the inspiration for the cat's name), I pick her berries during the week and had taken note of what she would be able to harvest over the weekend. Since she had her grandchildren with her, I decided to supplement her harvest.
I was just walking up to her site when I saw the oldest, Lauren, crying with a bloody paper towel held to her thumb. A bike accident on the gravel road. I am betting she put her hand out to brace herself and the thumb skidded on the rocks. It looked awful, but was only skin. Nothing to be done, didn't need stitches, just a good cleaning and neosporin and some bandaids. Tom and Martha were both in a tizzy and I was happy to take over. Lauren stopped crying when I said there was no need for stitches. I played nurse and she was left with lots of bandaids on her road rash.
So, it got me to thinking. About the role of grandparents and how scary we find it to have the sole responsibility of our children's children. When my own children were growing up, they had all the bumps and cuts that kids get and I found myself to be quite capable of caring for them without panic. I usually knew what they were up to and where they were, but they were not always in my sight. Times were different then (long, long ago).
When I have the responsibility of my grandchildren, I am afraid to let them out of my line of vision. I love to have them, but I do not realize how alert I am until I turn them back over to their parents and feel the tension ease. I suppose if I had that responsibility on a regular basis I might feel differently, but I am not sure about that. What is more precious than a grandchild?
Thursday, June 6, 2013
I was going to add some pictures to this, but my Internet is moving so very slowly today. I think the wind that mangled my billboard also affected the cell tower nearby. I think I will be calling Sprint later today.
I overslept this morning. That's not true, I wasn't actually sleeping. I woke at my usual hour to find that I had been sleeping with my arm flung over my head and my head turned to the side with my ear folded against my head. It was my right arm, with the arthritic elbow and thumb. I carefully moved it to my side and decided to lie there until the throbbing stopped. I unfolded my ear and kept my eyes shut, trying to fool Toni Louise into thinking it was still night-night time.
She was not fooled, but played along. She carefully inched closer and laid her sweet head on my neck, her whiskers tickling my chin. I heard Wall-E pacing on the floor, anxious to go out. Oscar was content to stay in bed with me. He Who could sleep through an invasion was blissfully unaware of all this activity going on.
Wall-E's pacing encouraged Toni to crawl onto my chest and dig her bony elbows into my neck, cutting off my air supply, while she investigated my now open eyeballs. You will recall that Toni Louise has an eyeball fetish. I gave up and got up.
As I was gently carrying Oscar, the fat old dachshund towards the back door to set his short legs down in the grass, the phone rang and I put him on the floor to answer it. I opened the door to the back yard to let the dogs out while talking on the phone. Thinking I had let three dogs out, I went to the coffee maker while still on the phone.
Coffee making accomplished, I turned to see that Oscar had not gone out after all and he had peed on my kitchen floor. Not a good way to start the day.
Yesterday I was up early, after promising the nice lady in the pop-up that I would brew coffee in the office for her. I stumbled out and made the coffee before I even got dressed. The dogs were all fed and back out again by 7 am. I unlocked the office door and took a little stroll along the front of the building as I sipped my first cup of coffee. I looked toward the campsite to discover my coffee drinking camper had already gone!
I suppose she got coffee elsewhere.
Monday, June 3, 2013
This little guy rode the storm out tucked in above the night drop box. He looks none the worse for it.
The swirling rain washed gravel everywhere. We had just had 4 loads brought in.
The rain thundered down and actually lifted railroad ties and created gullies in the sites and roads.
This site was common throughout the park.
The pool chairs were blown around, but managed to stay inside the fence.
And in the pool.
It is mostly cleaned up now. Today was a perfect day. The temperature was mild and the sun was shining. I did the prep mowing, then spent the afternoon painting signs. I primed both sides and painted one side of each of the 7 new signs. Tomorrow I will get the other sides painted and then letter them on Wednesday.
I managed to get my laundry done and cooked, too! I am feeling very accomplished tonight.
Just one thing puzzled me today. Well, that's not quite true. I ponder many things in a day's time; but this one has me baffled.
While cleaning the bathrooms, I was initially annoyed at the bugs inside and muttered to myself about how difficult it must be to flip the light off and close the door. This is a running theme, though. Happens all the time. The mud puddle in front of the sink did little to thrill me. The trash can had a whole roll of paper towels in it. I dumped it into the liner from the men's room and noticed that the towels were all attached, but wet. Like someone pulled them all off the roll to use them to towel off with. You know, like they forgot to bring a towel.
I can usually figure out what may have happened and why .......... most of the time. But, as I scoured the sink I noticed something I have never encountered before. We recently replaced the faucet in this bathroom and I cannot begin to come up with a reason for someone removing the pieces that covers the top of the knobs, indicating hot and cold.
Were they planning to steal them for some bizarre craft project? Perhaps they simply wondered what was under them? No, I can think of no crafty thing to do with these innocuous disks that indicate hot and cold. They are clear and you can see through them, so no mystery to uncover. I am stumped!
Saturday, June 1, 2013
I took this picture before the tornado blew through. The peony bush is flattened now, but still blooming. The billboard is down and some trees, but all the RV's are still standing and we didn't even lose power. No one was injured and the sun shined on the campground all afternoon. Life is good.
We will get a new billboard, the trees have already been cut and will make good firewood. A little clean up and everything is good as new. The pool actually over-flowed and my garden was under water at one point. I was huddled with my dogs and He Who is far too curious was watching on the front porch. I don't participate in such ......
The best thing about this day was discovering the new Killdeer nest. Hildy watched me as I rode through the park surveying the debris on the ground and as I approached the gravel drive to the dump station she called out with a "dweep, dweep". She proudly displayed two eggs in the same nesting area as last year. She chattered away as I gathered some rocks around her eggs to protect them, then sat on them as I got back on the golf cart.
All is well in my world. My baby girl turned 35 today. Can't wait til next month when she comes to see us. I will be baking some birthday cakes ....