Saturday, December 26, 2015

Binge Watching TV

I may have mentioned before that one of my dogs loves to watch TV. Toni Louise is a mixed breed we rescued from the pound. She was presented as a Dachshund/Chihuahua mix. I doubt either breed is in her. She looks more like a Shepherd mix on a miniature level. She has a beautiful coat, very similar to my Collie; but it is mostly black, with shades of brown. She has light gray around her eyes, like reverse eyeliner. She is partial to He Who loves her most, but still is very affectionate with me.

Most of her TV viewing is done in our bed. She is a big fan of late night talk shows and she misses Jon Stewart almost as much as I do. But, her most favorite shows are vet shows. She likes Dr. Chris, Pet Vet and Lucky Dog. Today I discovered a new one for her! Dr. Dee, the Alaskan Vet. This just might be my new favorite, too. We have been binge watching all day.

We now know how to obtain a sperm specimen from a bull, how to remove antler warts from reindeer and watched an eye removal from a dog. TL was not a fan of that segment. She kept looking over to Oscar with his cloudy cataract eyes. I am sure she was worried that he may be next.

Or .... maybe she is just looking ahead to a future where she is the alpha dog here. Oscar still reigns as the dominant, but Toni Louise is eager to take over. Wall-E shows no signs of leadership. He is the peace maker in the pack. He just wants every body to be happy. He becomes quite distressed at any change in routine. He can sense melancholy and will sit quietly next to the sad person in a show of support. He is just not a leader.

While my Cujo has come a long way, he is still dependent on me for his self esteem. He might have some leadership skills, But Toni Louise is still more aggressive.

I have been laying low here, not doing much. Still not feeling too well, but I have clean hair and my own bathroom. And my dogs to keep me company. Life is good.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Hair Washing Without Running Water

Since coming home from my camping stay at the hospital, the thing I am most thankful for is the ability to shower and wash my hair.

You will recall the hair I failed to wash before going to the clinic. I knew I would have an EKG and I tried to concentrate on removing the hair from my legs. I got one leg done before I felt dizzy, so I went with one leg hairy and the hair on my head unwashed.

My hair was really bothering me and one kind nurse brought out this shower cap looking thing that was heated in the microwave. You then pile your hair atop your head and put the cap on. I thought it would be like a dry shampoo. It is not and it is hard for one person to do. You are supposed to "massage" the concoction in your hair until the contents are completely cool.

The nurse had to do most of the work, since my hands were busy trying to keep the liquid running down my face out of my eyes. It was pretty gross. I did not have a brush or comb with me .... or toiletries of any kind, since my stay was not planned. We located one of those cheap black combs and Lynn, the nurse, carefully combed out my hair.

I can't wait to see my itemized bill to see how much the comb and the "shampoo" cost. My hair was wet for awhile, like I had showered. When it dried, the ickyness factor doubled. It was just gross. I would not recommend this option to anyone ever.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Hospital Camping

Ok, so I told you the hospital was full and under construction. The over flow patients were housed where ever they could make room. Like tent camping, sort of. In a hospital.

The unit I was in offered no shower or bathing opportunity. You will recall that I did not shampoo my hair before going to the doctor's office. The one thing about getting older I was looking forward to was less oil in my hair. But, that did not happen and my hair needs daily washing to keep it from looking like I just dipped it in the deep fryer.

Besides looking bad, it just feels icky. The first day, I was in enough distress that I didn't care about the fact that I could not shower. I was miserable enough without giving any thought to my unclean state. I had all the stick-on things for various tests and monitors. The monitor required one set and, of course all the EKG's used different ones. Some of them were removed after each test and some just stayed. I didn't care, especially after the morphine.

I arrived in my make shift unit at 2 AM. The place was anything but quiet. I moved onto my new bed, longing for sleep. That did not happen. I was poked and prodded, more sticky leads applied to my chest and legs. I was hungry and thirsty, but no remedies were allowed for that. I was still awake at 4 AM. Dozed off finally, only to be awakened by that nearby bathroom door. Perhaps close proximity wasn't that great after all.

 Fourteen cubicles with 14 TV's in various states of volume, no sleep, no food, and little in the way of creature comforts, and a patient dealing without her meds does not make for a pleasant time. Besides all that, none of the many tests revealed an answer to my status. I tried to not be a bother to the staff, but every time I needed to head next door to the bathroom, I had to have assistance with the IV in my hand. The room was so crowded there was no way to maneuver the IV pole around the bed, so my IV had to be temporarily disconnected. I could have done it on my own, except for the location. I could not unscrew it without the use of both hands.

Boredom had me people watching ..... and people rarely disappoint. One woman in particular caught my attention. She was not a patient, but was there with her husband. She was there very early in the morning until very late at night. She was always smiling as she strolled around the hallway and she would stop to talk to anyone who would listen. I was very careful NOT to make eye contact. I am not pleasant company when I feel bad. I prefer to be left alone.

The happy woman had chosen the bathroom closest to me as her relief station and visited it frequently, meaning that she walked by my cubicle every time. The nursing staff did not close my curtain, leaving me on display. Remember that I was attached to the IV pole that would not move.

I tired to sleep, but could only doze on and off. I was just in such a state as I noticed the smiling woman head towards the bathroom. She was sort of giggling as she made her way. She emerged, still giggling and sauntered over to the nurses station and announced, to no one in particular, that she was no longer constipated.

People.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Could It Be The Caffienne?

No, it is not the caffeine!!

It was only last Friday, seems a lot longer. I was going about the business of painting. The bedroom, this time, when I started to feel so nauseous. I tried to ignore it, then realized that it was almost 1 o'clock and that I might need to eat.

I ate, then headed back to my paint. I managed to finish the wood work before I started to feel awful again. Really awful. Hard to breathe, my left shoulder and jaw ached, light headed and dizzy.
Decided to call the doctor's office and see if they could work me in. Took two aspirin and called He Who in from whatever he was doing to see if he might want to drive me to the clinic.

I had time, so I decided to take a shower. I am not a sloppy painter, but I do tend to use my fingers to clean any little splatter, so I usually have paint on my hands and arms. I had washed my hair the night before, so I just took a quick shower. That turned out to be a big regret!!

The nurse practitioner decided an EKG was in order and I soon found myself in an ambulance on the way to the ER. I had not planned for this, anymore than I planned on a three day hospital stay. I have given birth and gone home in less time!

No, it was not my heart. My heart stood up to every test known and I am good for another 50,000 miles!! I have had numerous EKG's, a chest X-ray, a CAT scan of my heart and lungs, a chemical stress test, an echocardiogram and an ultra sound study of my carotid arteries; all with good results.

I was admitted, but no hospital rooms were available in a hospital under construction. I was placed in the holding rooms meant to recover patients after an out-patient endoscopy/colonoscopy procedure. The "rooms" are tiny cubicles with three walls and a curtain. The bathroom was in the hall.

I came home yesterday and slept in my own bed with my furry babies and my husband last night. I figured out what the problem was and the cardiologist agreed ........ I no longer need to be taking blood pressure meds. My blood pressure was hitting bottom and making me feel crappy.

I am so happy to be home with real coffee and no noise in the night! I slept almost all night long. He Who was taking care of me forgot to put Martha, the boy cat, out last and that cat woke me at 3 o'clock to go out and hunt. Went right back to sleep until the dogs began to fight over my hands and whose ears should be rubbed.

I will enthrall you with the details of my hospital stay as the week goes on.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Chair and Cross Stitch


Christmas came early for me this year. Yes, it is quite comfy and I have already had a few naps while cradled in my new chair. My canine contingent is quite upset that this chair allows only one lap dog at a time and Cujo seems to be monopolizing the chair time.

Seems like not a day has gone by that has not found me with a paint brush in my hand. New chair deserved a proper wall to sit near, right? You know what happens when you paint one wall ...... the other walls get jealous. Then the trim looks bad and then the ceiling seems to cry out for a good painting. Then the room that adjoins the painted room looks neglected ........

Well, you get the picture. So, I have painted everything except the ceiling. That will be next. I am happy with the results, even if my shoulders are protesting. I have also cleaned out every drawer and cabinet. Sneezed a thousand times, and tossed lots of  useless items that He Who saves pocket lint has collected in his end table.

While cleaning all this I rediscovered cross stitch! Makes my arthritic thumb ache, but I love having something to do with my hands while watching TV.


Santa placemats are keeping me busy. And keeping me off the computer. I needed some time to gather my thoughts and grieve for my dad. Not that I will ever stop completely. I found a Christmas card from a few years back with his handwriting on it and was able to smile instead of dissolving in tears. Progress.

The kampground problems have been handled by He Who digs lately. Frost free hydrants allow us to provide water to sites during the winter months. We always ask the campers to be sure to turn the water off at the hydrant if a freeze is predicted and most do. This year we have had a record number of hydrant problems. And those things are not cheap. The digging is not easy, either.

But, I didn't have to dig, just paint and sit in my new chair and push a needle. No complaints here.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Cold Weather, Sealed Windows

I woke to the sound of dog toenails tap-tapping across the floor. My right shoulder gasped in pain as I attempted to drag myself from the depths of sleep ...... but when a dog's gotta go, a dog's gotta go......

So I stumbled along, flip flops on the wrong feet, to the back door, surprised to discover I had slept for SIX HOURS STRAIGHT!!!! No wonder my jaw hurt and my shoulder burned, I had been in the same position with my mouth agape and my arm flung over my head. This never happens. I am usually up every three hours or so with my old man dog, Oscar.

Painting and weather contributes to the shoulder stiffness. Supposed to get really cold this weekend. The rain last week revealed another leak in the roof and after only two trips for supplies, He Who repairs things on high seems confidant that he has fixed the problem. I will report on that later, after it rains again

In the meantime, He Who has never concerned himself with weather proofing the house before, has turned into a predictor of freezing temps and doom and gloom. He wanted to tape plastic over the windows. I suggested that he simply close the storm windows. It hasn't been that cold yet. My zinnias are still blooming, for heaven's sake.

So, he closed the storm windows and is still yearning to seal this place up with plastic. Today he actually started making the boxes to cover the air conditioners! I asked for them about 7 years ago and every year since. He will usually do some lame thing with a tarp and gorilla tape (duct tape is so yesterday, you know). He has even been known to try to wrap the window units with trash bags. The wind that funnels through here is ferocious and makes short work of ripping his solutions away, leaving pieces of tape flapping.

I suggested that a box be constructed and insulated. Said box could be screwed over the unit in the months that it is not being used. When needed, one could simply unscrew the box and store it until needed again. I was hoping it could be make long before needed and I could paint it. But, never you mind, better late than never.

Just one little worry here. Last night, before my SIX HOUR nap, I was up with my furry friends for one last trip to the grass. I thought it was really warm inside, as I was sweating. I took a little peak at the temp. It was EIGHTY-FIVE degrees in here! I had gone to bed early with a nagging headache (probably due to the excessive heat). I don't know that I want to be sealed up in the building all winter with no east access to fresh, cool air!

Okay, this is a secret. Sometimes, I wait until He Who is asleep and I open the window. Well, maybe not just sometimes, but more often than not. The window is on my side of the bed and I sleep so much better when the room is on the chilly side. He is none the wiser and I bet he sleeps better, as well.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Lesson Learned

Did you hear about the new app for your I-phone? Mole mapper. You can map the growth of a mole with this. Have I mentioned how much TV I watch in the winter?

Today I painted the kitchen walls. You will recall that I have been busy installing a new marble tile back splash. Now, lest you think I have lots of money ...... I bought three pallets of this tile off Craigslist for nearly nothing. We have already put it in the rest rooms and our own bathroom. It is a really nice tile, 4" X 16", with earth tones of the beige variety. It had some gray in it and I wanted to incorporate a slate blue color. It just didn't work and I brought home lots of samples, but just couldn't seem to lock into one I really liked.

I painted all the space in the living quarters with a creamy taupe color and a contrast in a deeper tone when we moved in. I have maintained it with the same colors because they are so easy to work with. But, I am ready for a change. With that in mind, I grabbed a piece of the tile and took it with me to buy paint. After much flipping through different colors, I finally settled on one I liked the best with the tile. None of the blues or grays seem to look just right, but this one did.

Got it mixed and brought it home. It is the same color I have had for years. So much for a change. On the bright side, I only need one coat to cover. So, there is that. Not to worry, I am going to put a pop of color in there!

I always check the "oops" paint. You just never know what there might be. My last can of "oops" paint was a bright orange. I can always use colors when I am making signs and in the playground. This is a very bright and happy orange and is now on the back wall of the kitchen behind the refrigerator. My kitchen is an odd shape that meanders through three different areas. It was originally the laundry room and has only one window. No outer doors in the room either, so not much natural light to grace this space. There was a door that led to the electrical room that houses all the breaker boxes and where the water from the well enters the building. There is a door leading outside just beyond this door.

I removed the interior door and gained a small wall space that has 12" base cabinets and a counter top. Above that I installed an old grid system that we used to display pager housings in one of our retail stores in a previous life. I use "S" hook to hang all my pots and pans on this wall that is 8 feet long. Frees up a lot of cabinet space. Above the grid I have a shelf that holds all the seldom used small appliances. Can never have enough storage, can you? That wall will be orange, as well. Orange seems to be my go to color lately. Used to be lime green.

The refrigerator is on the back wall in the dining area. All the main rooms sort of flow into each other. I do believe the term is open concept.

The internet has been finicky lately. I have had to reboot the modem three times just today. I need the internet to check the on-line reservations. Not so many this time of year, but still have to be able to check them.

When making a reservation, I assume that we all know that we have to offer some sort of deposit to secure the reservation. But, you know what they say about making assumptions .........

The last "reservation" I encountered had no such information included, but it did have other information in the area for the address. "Homeless". They wanted a primitive tent site. That is with no amenities on site. It is cold here and the last time I had some homeless people on a tent site with no amenities they ran extension cords to the surrounding sites and put a refrigerator and a couple of electric heaters in their tent. Oh, and they didn't pay. They appealed to the kindness of He Who is a big softie and stayed several weeks before I yanked all the extension cords and ran them off.

Not happening again.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Bye Bye Birdie


Still battling my demons of depression. Some days are lost to total inactivity. Some days are better and some days I feel downright good. Every morning I choose just one thing to complete. If it evolves into more activity, great; if not, I just sit here without any guilt.

Today is a good one and I will be installing the backsplash behind the stove. Yesterday I put the cabinet doors back up ....... wait, though, before you think that was ambitious, it was only two doors. I cooked yesterday, too!!

I will also do laundry today, can't cook, though. Tile behind the stove, then grout tomorrow, then sealer. Now that I think about it, I could make it be 3 days without cooking! Happy thoughts.

The last few days have been warm and I have managed to keep the wood stove inactive. Every year we argue about when to turn the heat on and build a fire. For whatever reason, that I cannot fathom, He Who wants our home to be freezing when it is warm out and sweltering when it is cool outside. All the while we are sealed in with artificial weather.

Anyhoo, a few days ago when I awoke, I heard some noise in the stove pipe. I alerted He Who builds fires.  He listened. but was doubtful that I had heard anything. He even looked inside the wood stove and proclaimed it to be "big pieces of soot" falling from the pipe. Sounded like some lame excuse a husband would give a wife if he didn't hear the scratching sounds himself.

Yesterday it was indeed chilly when I stumbled from bed and into the kitchen to make coffee. I gave the go ahead for a fire and the pyromaniac was giddy with anticipation. He opened the door to begin laying his wood and found two dead birds! I have been vindicated!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Scary Selfie


Another selfie attempt. He Who has longer arms took the phone and took the picture. We look like cartoon characters.

I seem to have struck a nerve with my last post about pharmaceutical companies. While I do realize that we need research for better solutions to so many diseases and that is quite costly. The money has to come from somewhere and that is why the cost of drugs is so expensive. 

That being said, their profit margins would appear to be in the extreme. Greed? I don't know, all I know is that the advertising makes me crazy. The sales reps give the drugs to the doctors. The doctors then decide which of their patients might benefit from the drugs, weighing the side effects against the benefits of the drug. I always thought of this as another trial of the drug, using real people.

I always tell my doctor I want an established drug if at all possible. I don't want to participate in a class action suit in the future. But ....... if I had a debilitating disease that was not responding to the prescribed therapy, I would be willing to try anything. My dad told his oncologist that he would be willing to try experimental drugs. If they worked, great, if not, then, perhaps it could benefit the research.

Pharmacies cannot "take back" drugs. Upon leaving the pharmacy, the drugs cannot be returned, lest they have been tampered with. This applies to over the counter medications as well. If they do come back to the pharmacy, they have to be destroyed. A good reason to check your prescriptions before you leave the pharmacy. Open the bottles and look at them. If they aren't the same shape or color you have had in the past, question why.

Down from my soap box. I like to paint. I like the instant results. I have been painting my kitchen cabinets. My space is small, so I can only do a small section at a time. Needs two coats and the drying time is 24 hours since I am using oil based paint. I painted ceiling first, then started on the cabinets.




In between I worked on a new sign. Double sided. One side thanks the campers for coming and the other side is another attempt at directing traffic to the correct entrance.

Only time will tell if this sign is working.

Monday, November 9, 2015

I Can Still Rant

I realize that I am depressed and I should suck it up, get off my butt, and do something. Anything. Instead, here I sit in front of the TV. I was over 70 episodes behind in watching my soap. The Young and the Restless. Not anymore. I am fully up to date on the actions of Victor Neuman (I secretly refer to him as "sphincter", what with him being a tight a$$). See, I have not fallen fully into the depths of despair, I still have the ability to make fun of others. My specialty.

So, while I sit and watch the insane antics of the soap characters and put puzzles together on Jigidi as if my very life depends on the completion, it has come to my attention that the Pharmaceutical Companies are spending billions on TV ads.

These ads are sometimes 2 minutes long! Imagine the cost involved in the production alone, then the air time ....... then, at the end, they will tell you "if you can't afford your drugs, the drug company may be able to help." That's after they have listed possible side effects. I am willing to bet the advertising budget is so large as to be a hefty tax deduction. Suppose the IRS could offer the same deduction for discounted drugs?

The ads implore one to "ask your doctor if this drug is right for you", as if we all have medical degrees and are able to determine what drugs we need. Isn't it enough that the population has been glutted with antibiotics they didn't need? Doctors succumbing to the constant demand for antibiotics for things like the common cold has immunized us to the antibiotic and created super bugs.

Wow, I still have the ability to rant! I will rise now from my soap box and go scrape the window I painted yesterday ( my only accomplishment yesterday). I might just use my outrage to start on the cabinets!! 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Sad

Been awhile since I have been on here to write. I have been lurking around, reading, but not commenting. I have been in a solitary state of mind. Really not wanting to talk to anyone. Works out good, since He Who is not at all uncomfortable with companionable silence. He usually can't hear me anyway .........

I have watched endless hours of TV and played spider solitaire until I can't move my thumbs. I would say that I don't know the reason for my melancholy, but that would be a lie. I miss my Dad. He comes alive nearly every night in my dreams, and I wake everyday to wait for bedtime. I have toyed with thoughts of upping my dosage of meds, but I take enough as it is. Not to mention the fact that I doubt my doctor would be too happy if I self medicated.

So, after a week of this, I decided to snap out of it. A couple of nights ago, He Who is not a cook, decided to do just that. Bacon and eggs, his cure- all meal. The bacon was in the freezer and I heard the microwave come to life. I decided to offer no advice, thinking that he had it all under control. I didn't even give a thought to the mess he would be leaving. I even fantasized that he would at least offer to clean it up.

I sat here in this very spot, watching a sit-com as the aroma of bacon wafted into the room. Smelled good for a few minutes, then I smelled burned bacon. Why do men think that everything should be cooked on the highest setting? I called out (bellowed, really) to turn the temperature on the burner down. I have told him this before, that cooking bacon should be a slow deliberate process. He scrambled eggs for me and toasted bread, and served me where I sat. He cooked another round of bacon and did not serve me the half raw, half burnt slices of his first batch. He even brought me a glass of ice water the way I like it ...... three cubes of ice covered with tap water.

I waited until morning before venturing forth into the kitchen. The only surface not grease splattered was the floor. This is not as amazing as you might think. Oscar's senses may be dull with age, but, bacon he can smell. He likes to stand at your feet and hope for grease splatter as you cook and he was not disappointed. Bet his tongue ached after he scrubbed the floor. I got a pan of hot soapy water and resigned myself to the task at hand. There were egg shells to deal with. Some he put in the trash, some he left on the counter. I even found some pieces on the top of the oven door! He tries. All one could ask for!

Today he took me on an outing. To WalMart to pick up some necessities. He even took me out to lunch. I am sad to say the food wasn't all that good. A Mexican restaurant that was bland. I am not a big fan of spicy foods, but this had me looking at the hot sauce on the table to add flavor! The meat in the taco salad was flavorless. A soft flour taco held the meat, some shredded lettuce, a dollop of sour cream, topped by two slices of tomato and some cheese. No spice on anything, not even salt and pepper.

Still nice to get out. It is  a dreary, drizzling day. Matches my mood. I learned yesterday that a long time blogging friend died two days ago. Sad things seem to follow me lately.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A Visitor


A visitor arrived today and took up residence on the leather couch in the store. She doesn't speak, and came with an injury she hides from sight behind her. Looks like she's a drinker!


Here, have a closer look. She would appear to have had quite a life, if the character in her face is any indication.


Although her glass is empty, she still waits for me to serve her. The note around her neck says:
I've done my share of partying,
It's time to take a rest.
Unless someone adopts me now,
I think it's for the best.

Signed: Fannie Flocker

My friend, Sherry, pulled her from a dumpster and brought her here for a new hand. Looks like a dog may have decided to remove her other hand. Several times today I have been startled by her seated there in the store. Asked if I could help her once.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Dreams

He Who shares my bed swears that he never dreams. I am of the opinion that he does, he just doesn't remember them. He doesn't remember things I tell him, so why would he remember a dream?

Unfortunately(or fortunately), I do remember mine. Not in sequence, mind you, but piece meal. And never when I expect to. I can be going along with my day when I will suddenly remember something from a dream. This causes me to try very hard to remember the whole of the piece. This will sometimes lead to a headache.

Sometimes I can remember, in vivid detail, the dream I am having as I wake and I will try to go back to sleep to recapture the dream. Doesn't work, but I try. I always wonder what the dream means. There are days when I probably give too much time to my life in dreams.

Lately, my dad has been in my dreams more often than not. No mystery there. He is also in my waking thoughts. He is usually young and vibrant in my dreams. I find this oddly comforting until I wake and remember that he is gone. Could be why some days, I just long for bedtime.

My old guy, Oscar, continues to make sleep difficult. I did not imagine that he would out-live my dad, but he is still here. After his little wife-dog, Emmy died almost 5 years ago, he seemed to lose interest in things that had been important to him. As a puppy he discovered balls and would play endlessly. The ball of the moment would accompany him everywhere he went. In the food bowl while he ate, in the bed while he slept and in his mouth or a person's hand, or in the air the rest of the time.

Now he whines and whimpers and sometimes just sits looking at a bare wall and barks. The vet has determined that he is not in pain, but has doggy dementia. He usually starts with the whining at 4 AM. He Who sleeps without dreams does not hear this. I do. I get up. I take him out. I feed him. I hold him and try to comfort him. Sometimes these things will soothe him enough that he will lay back down and let me sleep until 6:30 or even 7:00. This is when I dream my most vivid dreams.

This is when I wake with my mouth open, but not drooling. This is why my TMJ drives me nuts during my waking hours. My other joints fare no better than my jaw, as I tend to take any space left in my bed that another furry creature has not commandeered as their own. They seem to slip into the warm spot I have vacated and refuse to move when I return. This could be why I am really crabby when I get up. This could be why I would rather live in my dreams ........ 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Playground Update


We still have a lot of work to do, but the slide is now ready to play on!


He Who builds did a good job on the stairs to toddler heaven!


But ...... they needed a little color. Two shades of purple and yellow. I had some purple I wanted to use up and then had to get some lavender to finish those steps.


Looks pretty good, if I do say so myself. Can't wait to get some pea gravel in and  ..... a see-saw!!

I was told by young camper Jason that I had neglected to put the color pink in the mix. I will definitely get right on that!

In the meantime, I am painting and lettering signs. They fade pretty quickly in the sun and have to be up-dated every few years. Good thing I like to paint. The weather is dreary. We need the rain, so I can't complain. Well, I can, but to what end?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Snapshots From The Wedding



A selfie lesson from Leah. I still don't have it!!



My daughter, Jill. She is usually without make-up and it has been years since I have seen her hair pulled back ...... I didn't recognize my own child!!



Jill's twin, Jeff and granddaughter, Zara. Jill looks like her dad and Jeff looks like my dad. Zara is getting a head start on the dancing .... she danced all night and was still going strong when I left.



The kids waiting for their turn at picture time. Gavin, Jada, Maya and Zara, a blur of energy in the back.



Granddaughter Layla, putting lashes on her mom.



Like her own mother, Jill needs her daughter to help with the lashes.



Bridesmaid, Alysa, getting ready for the big event. Alysa is one of the bride's oldest friends. Love that girl!



The bride and her niece share a hug.



The Father of the bride, taking my picture as I take his picture through the window. This is before he put on the tuxedo that turned him into a millionaire.



The memory roses for the grandparents watching from heaven.

Just a few of the 421 pictures I downloaded from my phone! Finally got the devices to communicate after I whined about it to my son. He is a good son.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

I Like Color



He Who builds is working on the platform for the toddler slide. This is a work in progress. Steel bars have been attached since this to secure the rails.




The slide is the same one I attached to our deck stairs in Minnesota because Layla, who was not quite three wanted me to. When He, Who sometimes questions my judgment, pointed out that I would be leaving unsightly holes on that particular step, Layla turned her sweet little face to him and batted those big brown eyes and he agreed that we should definitely secure that slide to the steps for her. It will now have a new life.




The climbing structure is tropical, don't you think? the colors are Key Lime and Seaside by Rustoleum. These colors just make me happy!
 
 
 
 
I already had the blue and I just went with it.
More weeds to pull and gravel to come, but this is the playground project dedicated to my Dad's memory. More pictures to come.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Plant A Tree Or Two

While Fall may be my favorite time of year, it is also one of the busiest times of the year. Spring is all about fixing anything that winter has broken and getting the park ready for business. Fall is about getting the park ready to bed down for the winter.

We have made great progress in the playground. The slide is up and most of the safety rails are up. I might provide the inspiration for much of the construction, but we end up back tracking on things that don't turn out to be as sturdy as they need to be. 4 X 4's and decking create the base, but before even thinking about the side rails, we sawed the 4 X 4's off and placed the platform atop them. I had a great idea for the safety rails, using 2 X 4's, PVC and a hole bit for the drill. Red, yellow and blue on the pipes and green on the wood. Looks great, but not as sturdy as we want. He Who implements my ideas muttered something about a drill press and some steel bands this morning and left.

I went out and continued mulching my baby trees and planting more. I discovered 3 baby sycamores and have located new homes for them. It is so dry here, I had to water the ground before I could dig, then leave the water trickling on them after I planted. I worked on trees all morning and listened to an audio book about Jane Austin. Now I am speaking with a British accent. It would appear that as the clock strikes 11 o'clock, I must make haste to the office for my time of confinement.

I will be here until 9 pm. I will be just busy enough to keep me here and not busy enough for the time to go by quickly. I will be lettering signs for the park in my "down" time. Tomorrow, I will be here for 12 long hours. If I get too bored I will follow people out the door still talking as they make their escape. I have been told that I talk a lot.

Supposed to have our first frost this weekend. My tomato plants hang heavy with green fruit and I am still picking green beans. I have no less than 10 watermelon babies out there and I discovered a cantaloupe this morning. If only I had a green house. I am toying with some ideas for the plants that are still producing. He Who does my bidding is not going to want to hear those ideas. He will, no doubt, tell me that my ideas are impossible. But, that is what he said about the playground and the kitchen cabinets and so many other things. I just need to make him think the idea is his.

So, here I am waiting for the arrival of this weekend's campers. Who knows what they will do to inspire me to write?

Monday, October 12, 2015

Dumbing It Down

After a very busy weekend, I am happy to linger over coffee and think of nothing. For about 20 minutes .....

The weather is lovely and I itch to be outside doing anything, so I suggest to He Who is idle that we should work in the playground. He measures and mumbles and I pull weeds and dig dirt. We finally agree on a plan for the safety rails and he measures some more and then he is off to ....... I am not sure. For some reason, known only to him, this plan requires a trip to the building supply store.

I have already seen that we have most of what we need on hand, but I don't bother to argue. Easier to just continue to work in relative peace. This means that I am clearing away an area for the steps that will lead up to the slide, as I mulch in my young trees for the winter and move the sprinkler. You will note that I am performing three tasks simultaneously. Actually, four, since I am also manning the phone.

But, back to the weeding and leveling of the playground. I am appalled that I keep finding dog poop! Bad enough that someone is so sorry that they don't clean up after their pets, but the playground? People are so, so nasty.

The Tough Mudder event was held this past weekend near here and I was filled with the participants. This event is held annually and benefits wounded warriors. The first year was disappointing, since I had cancellation after cancellation from those who were offered yards to set their tents in at a nominal fee. I was not happy, since the Chamber of Commerce promoted the event and visited the campgrounds to ask that we keep sites open "in case they were needed". I am not an idiot and did not do that, but apparently the Chamber of Commerce also approached private citizens. They expected far more participants than actually showed up. The years since have not had such a problem. Probably because the people offering their yards forgot that bathrooms would be needed and did not enjoy having their homes invaded for that necessity.

My experience with the people coming in for the event has been good. I would say that most of the participants are from a military or law enforcement background and respect the property. They are certainly welcome back here. And this brings me to the problem camper of the week.

As I was quite busy checking in Tough Mudders and Oktoberfest goers, the phone rang. But, isn't that how it usually begins? It was a local call and I have learned to be wary of those. A mother asking about a birthday party for her daughter. Now, I do host birthday parties, but most are done when the pool is open. The parents usually like to have the pool and playground available and a campsite to maybe roast hot dogs. I give a decent rate and they usually just stay the day, some do stay overnight. So, I was surprised and immediately told the mom that the pool was closed for the season. "Oh, that's okay, she just wants to have a campfire and some of her friends spend the night in tents, but they want to be off to themselves, as they may get a little noisy."

I explain to her that I have very few sites left and that none are secluded and that this weekend may not be a good time for this. She says okay and the call ends. So, imagine my surprise when "the daughter" shows up. This is no child, she is here to celebrate her 21st birthday with 9 friends. My antennae for trouble is pinging wildly. But, He Who's name was dropped by the mother was in the office when the daughter checks in and he tells her that if any trouble occurs she will be asked to leave and no refund will be applicable. Not his exact words, he used words she could relate to.
I was going to say he dumbed it down, but that sounds mean ......... or does it?

He Who drives agreed to do the cab runs to the wineries this month. He got a late call Saturday night and I was sleeping when he came home. He took an early call on Sunday morning to pick up at the jail and take the person who had dared to drive under the influence back to his vehicle. When he returned, he was hopping mad. He had driven through the park after returning very late Saturday night to see that the birthday girl had more guests that she paid for and did indeed have quite the fire going. In lieu of firewood that is available here, they decided to burn a tire. Yes, a tire, because, even though it is against the law, it was dark and according to the birthday girl and her friends, it is okay as long as you don't get caught.

To add insult to the incident, one of her drunken friends tells He Who owns the park that he can "go now" as she shoos at him with her hands. But, wait, I am coming to the good part ........ He Who should have shooed back and sent them all on their way did not do so. He let them stay. He was mad, because they were all gone at 7 am, but the debris of a good time was laying in their wake. Like he really expected them to clean up.

He and one of our regular kampers picked up all the cans and bottles and half burned tire and disposed of it all. I provided He Who is not a fan of confrontations with the birthday girl's phone number. I could have handled it, but, I would have called 911 when I saw the flames from a tire and I would have had all of them removed. The party would be no more and even though I would had to clean up the mess, it would not be an issue any longer.

According to He Who called the birthday girl and other reliable sources, the party involved more that the 10 she paid for. More like about 40. He tells her this on the phone and also that he will be imposing a $25 clean up fee. She is rumored to be one her way and while I sip coffee and gossip with my besties, He Who slinks off to the barn.

Upon the arrival of the birthday girl who must fancy herself to be quite the negotiator, I summon the man who let them stay when I would not have done so. (you get the impression that I am trying to teach him a lesson?). While we wait, Birthday Girl tells me that we can't charge her a clean up fee because she had until check out time to clean it up her self. Also, she took a picture of herself and her 9 friends and this PROVES that there were only 10 people there. Then she wants to know what we did with her "stuff". I point to the dumpster as the man in charge of the situation appears.

He Who is quick to anger is just as quick to cool down. When you are running a business that involves those such as the birthday girl, this is not necessarily a good trait. He succumbs to her argument about the cleaning of the site and that $25 he vowed to charge her is no more. They argue some more about the photo of her friends and she then says that some of her other friends brought her some food and only stayed "for a second". Then a whispered conversation ensues and no matter how hard I listen I cannot eavesdrop to my full level of comprehension. But, it appears that she is inquiring about her "weed" and her "bong". The other kamper has possession of her illegal endeavor and He Who tells her she can pick it up at the sheriff's office.

That makes my "dumbing it down" thought seem more appropriate, don't you think?

Friday, October 9, 2015

Texting Without Punctuation

When last we met I was annoyed. Hasn't changed. I decided to take myself away yesterday for a fun filled afternoon ....... buying the necessities for home and store.

The trip to Walmart and the Dollar Tree was uneventful. Well, except for me being annoyed at the way people park and the fact that no one seems to know what a cross walk or stop sign is. We will refer to these transgressions as minor annoyances.

Upon my return I was happy to see that the platform for the toddler slide was completed, although a little taller that I thought it should be. I just need to develop my color scheme and start painting. The slide is green, so the platform will be red and I am thinking that the rails might have to be purple and yellow.

The other thing he did in my absence was check in two early arrivals for the weekend and take a reservation for another. My "seating chart" was right there on my desk, easy to see and easy to read, along with a list of all the reservations for the weekend. "Where did you put them?" I asked.

He put them in sites that were clearly marked RESERVED. "Well, where was I supposed to put them, they needed 50 amp and they said they had reservations." says He Who is clearly not a millionaire. "Oh, I don't know, I would not have put them in sites already reserved. Do you see them on the reservation list?" I answer. He seems annoyed that I am annoyed and escapes to go split wood before I can complain about having to relocate the campers who bothered to make reservations to accommodate the campers who decided to just show up.

I know what happened. I remember talking to the man inquiring about the availability, because he wanted 2 and 4. Those sites were available when he asked, but he told me he wasn't sure and would call me back with a credit card number to hold the sites, should they decide to come. He never called back. Just because you call and talk to me about a "maybe" camping trip does not a reservation make.

I text He Who to tell him the rest of the story and that is when I see the reservation he has scribbled on a mailing label and taped to the desk (as opposed to writing it on the reservation sheet). This for a 50 amp pull-through. Now that I have shifted my other 50 amp reservations around, I have no more 50 amp sites left, much less a pull-through. AND ....... looking at the reservation sheet would have made this known to the one scribbling on the mailing label and leaving the problem for his wife to solve.

She did solve the problem by sending He Who wires things out to pull some power from where ever he can to accomplish another 50 amp site. You see, I have no problem telling someone checking in that they did not actually reserve a site unless they secured it with a deposit or credit card number. I recall telling the man on the day we had the conversation that I could not guarantee the sites he wanted unless he did make a reservation.

But, what does all that have to do with punctuation and texting? Nothing, really. It is Friday in a campground and folks are checking in. When I text "Is site 5 open" and get the reply "no car there", things can easily be misinterpreted. I know I left the "?" off my inquiry, but you still get the meaning. "no car there", however was ambiguous. I took it to mean that the site was clear, no car was parked there. So I assigned the site to the camper checking in. Then I started second guessing myself and texted back, asking for clarification. What he meant was "no, car there". Just needed that comma. Just one more jab of the thumb to make himself clearly understood.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Profoundly Annoyed

Yesterday was such a productive day. We finished the painting of the existing playground equipment and started the building of the platform for the toddler slide. I weeded and mulched two of my gardens and nearly filled the registration book for this weekend.

So, why am I so annoyed? No matter how I try, I cannot make my phone and computer communicate to download the pictures I took. My body ached all night from shoveling mulch, but that was to be expected. My other annoyance has to do with a camper or two .........

So, there I was late yesterday afternoon, in my front garden mulching away, trying to get finished while I still had light. A car enters the campground. I heard it because he paused and revved his engine loudly (right there in front of me!!), then proceeded into the full hook-up area at warp speed. Tired and hungry, I was in no mood for this.

I have some young men staying here as they work in the area, so I knew the destination of my speeder. I grabbed my keys and drove to the site to find about 9 young men sitting and standing around a picnic table. As I drove up, two went inside the camper. Now, this particular site has 4 people registered to stay. The sign at the entrance of the campground clearly states that ALL visitors must report to the office BEFORE entering the camping area. This is pretty standard in any campground. Takes just minutes to do this and prevents any misunderstandings. The speed limit is posted throughout the campground, as well as stop signs and signs bringing children on bicycles to one's attention.

I asked the remaining young men who had just come into my park disregarding all the posted signs. Like a group of school aged children they all point to the camper. This only made me madder. I told them to get the guilty party. This prompted the young man who owned the camper to tell me that they were merely visitors, as if this fact excused them. One young man came out, he looked to be too young to even drive, but was probably in his late teens, early 20's. I asked him what he thought he was doing, speeding through my park. He grins and says he wasn't driving. Really, like this was funny to him.

The culprit finally appeared and I pointed out to him that he had violated every rule posted. He SMIRKED at me. This prompted me to tell him he had 5 minutes to get in his vehicle and SLOWLY leave my park and to NEVER return. It took all of  my self control not to burn rubber and violate my own rules as I drove away. Smirk at me!

But wait ....... it gets even worse. Intending to take a shower and throw a meal together, I stop to tell He Who doused the weed pile with fuel and watched it burn, to watch the black car and make sure it exited within 5 minutes, lest I call a deputy to escort them out. I finish dumping the mulch into the garden and as I am putting my tools up, He Who might look like a millionaire comes to tell me that he has spoken to the culprits and told them to consider my words a warning. YES HE DID!

I went a little ballistic. I might have thrown a few things in his directions, but all I had handy was a shovel and that may have left some permanent consequences. To say I was mad is an understatement. Sometimes my husband is an idiot! I took that shower and viciously attacked my dirty feet, wondering what the little Asian lady who administered my pedicure would have said at the condition of said feet. Cleaning is cathartic, so I attacked the tub while I was in there.

I face timed the bride to complain to her. She calmly reminded me that he was just being himself. He came in as I was telling her to let me know that he had gone back and made the young men leave. I relented and made supper.

As we sat watching TV, the phone rang. It was the same lady I had talked to early in the afternoon. She wanted to tent camp for one night and would not arrive until after closing time. I gave her all the information and even offered a discount for AARP. We saw her on the monitor as we were eating supper. This made me assume that she was all set up in a tent site. She wanted to know the password for the Wi-Fi. Also the keycode for the bathrooms. There is no keycode on my bathrooms, and I assumed she might not have visited the restroom yet and was just asking in case, while she asked about the Wi-Fi. There is no password for our Wi-Fi. "But, it is asking for a password." she says. I tell her what name should have popped up when she was looking for one to log onto. She then tells me the name of the campground across the interstate. She took my registration packet and then went to my competitor and stayed. This was annoying, as well.

Dare I even leave the office today? Or perhaps I should just leave the property and stay gone all day!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Millionaire and His Shotgun




The happy couple. The pearls round her neck are the same ones her sister wore in her wedding. The ones The Millionaire gave his wife.


Games on the dance floor. Isn't my new son-in-law handsome? We are so happy to have him in our family.

Okay, back to what passes as normal in the life of a campground owner. It has been unusually drab, dreary and chilly for the past few days. The old dog has whined incessantly. I can't seem to make him content. I have tried holding him, feeding him, putting him in our bed, taking him out for a walk ....... nothing seems to help. Having to stay inside makes me crazy with his whining. He is not in any pain, just not content.

For that very reason I spent a lot of time out in the cold spray painting the playground equipment. Lots of bright colors out there now. The slide is a bright blue and the ladder is orange. The climbing structure is a color called Keylime and accented with a turquoise color called Seaside. I am ready to start building the structure that will accommodate the toddler slide. This will be red and the slide is green. I think I may have covered all the colors!

The painting is the easy part and the part that is most gratifying. The weed overgrowth in the pea gravel is harder to deal with. I am hoping for a good soaking rain to loosen those roots. Still need another load of gravel. I thought about using the mulch made of old tires, but have read some articles about the toxins released while the kids play. Decided to go with the pea gravel that is already there and just add more.

I was walking idly along after painting. I noticed that the boardwalk needed a good weed whacking. I decided to just start pulling the weeds instead of going back in to listen to the old dog whine. I was grabbing the grass near the roots and pulling it up. I was making good headway when I noticed some movement right where I had just slipped my fingers behind some grass and pulled. A snake .... a baby water moccasin. Having no tools handy, I called He Who kills snakes. I told him it was a very small snake. No bigger around that a pencil and about 5 inches long. It was still striking at me, despite it's small size.

I expected him to come with a shovel or hoe. That's what I would have done, that's probably what most people would have done. I would have killed it myself, but was afraid I wouldn't be able to find it when I returned with a shovel. He came out with his shot gun. The same shotgun he carries when he patrols the pond searching for the muskrat that plagues his existence. He shot the tiny little snake and blew it to pieces. Overkill??

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Millionaire And His Wife .....

 One of my favorite pictures so far. This is the bride being escorted by her son and her dad. I just noticed that the father of the bride has his hand in his pocket. I guess he does look like a millionaire.


The millionaire giving his baby girl away. I was already crying at this point.

We met back at the hotel for brunch the morning after the wedding. We decided to go ahead and pull out of the RV park we were in and park at the hotel, lest we incur late charges. We had my son's car, so I drove it ........ without a driver's license, what with my purse being at home in Missouri.

After a detour to my son's house to say goodbye to his girls ....... actually, they wanted to see the RV and the dogs, not us so much ........ we set out for home. By now the dogs were accustomed to being in the RV while it was moving. We all assumed our previous seating arrangements and I listened to an audio book while The Millionaire drove.

The trip seemed so much longer on the way home. I would try to sleep, but it seemed every time I dozed The Millionaire would pull over for some reason or another. On the last gas stop, he spied a Baskin Robbins. He went in to fulfill his dairy needs and I gave out dog treats and settled down the canines. We were sitting there, content to wait on the ice cream cones when a car backed out and hit the front of our ride!!

Woke me completely up. I texted The Millionaire to come out, only to discover that he had left his cell in the RV. So I had to acquire some shoes and hold back some dogs as I exited to view the damage. Actually, I played the little wife card and told the couple I had to get my husband. He was holding one cone and paying for them when I told him we had been hit. He informed me that he had to get his ice cream before he came out. I felt a little silly as I headed back out with a cone in each hand.

They had more damage than we did. No reports were filed, no police called. Just an accident and all parties went on their way. The Millionaire reported that the headlamps worked better after the hit, so all was good.

We arrived home at ??o'clock. It was probably close to midnight. We were both so tired we left our cell phones in the RV and after the dogs ran in gleeful circles around the back yard we fell into bed and slept blissfully until Oscar woke me at 6 am.

Back to same old routine here at the kampground. I have managed to unload the rig, do all the laundry and cook some dinners while mowing, gardening and answering the phone:
"Do y'all allow campers there?"

The Millionaire has been dealing with a sewer problem since returning. He poured tons of chemicals down the main and routed endlessly. He ordered a new router before we left and it waited our arrival. Let the record show that wife of The Millionaire had suggested just paying the city to have the big router on their truck come out and just take care of it.

The Millionaire insisted on trying to break through the rocks that were blocking the flow. Yesterday he called the city truck out to take care of it and in minutes it was done. The Millionaire had to admit that his wife was right. (AS USUAL)


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Big Day

After a fitful sleep I awoke the day of the wedding and quickly got ready to be at the hotel by 10 am, per the instructions of the bride. I was delivered on time and could see the room from the van. Her dress was hanging in the window. The room was filled with bridesmaids in various stages of being made ready. Hair was being done elsewhere and make-up was being applied in her room. It was a little bit of chaos. My daughter-in-law was acting as the bride's personal assistant and was dealing with all the last minute details.

Me? My role was a sounding board for anything the bride wanted to vent. You know you can always holler at your mom. That is the one person who loves you more than anyone and will forgive anything. The photographer was right in the midst of it all grabbing candid shots. I could usually catch him when he tried to get me. I am a little worried about the times I missed him, though.

I had to lace up the back of the dress. I watched a video while I was having my pedicure and it looked simple enough. Between the picture taker stopping me and the bride asking if I knew what I was doing, things began to feel a little complicated. I toyed with the idea of placing my foot in the small of her back to tighten it, but decided against it. Mothers and daughters, you know ......... After I was all done she had the matron of honor reassure her that my work was correct. The bridal party left for pictures and I was suddenly without anything to do. Thought about a nap, but I had to get dressed myself.

My daughter-in-law treated me to a professional make-up. I was slightly disappointed, since I did not look any younger when I was done. I stuffed myself into the fake Spanks I had purchased. This was a very undignified procedure, but once on, they did not come off for the next eight hours! My dress fit perfectly and I ditched the hose. One of the bridesmaids put leg make-up on my legs!

After more pictures with the families and more standing around, it was finally time for the actual ceremony. My son escorted me to my seat and shortly after that my granddaughters came down the aisle holding the roses designated for all those loved ones who had gone on to heaven. I had one of my Dad's rings on my finger and missed his presence as I sat waiting for my baby daughter to enter on the arms of her daddy and her son.

The processional song was "I Can't Help Falling In Love With You". Tears welled in my eyes as I watched her Dad hand her to the groom. I was doing okay until my new son-in-law choked up saying his vows. I gave up and just let the tears fall. I couldn't help but wonder about the make-up my daughter-in-law paid for. Fifty bucks! Running down my cheeks.

The reception was so much fun. My little girl can plan and execute a wedding! The DJ was great and Adrienne and Gavin had a dance that was choreographed by his dance teacher. My sweet boy has got some moves! Not to be outdone, granddaughter Zara danced her little heart out all night long. I danced with granddaughters and grandson. It just occurred to me that I never got a dance with the father of the bride!

Rumor has it that someone said the man I married so long ago looked like a millionaire. Must have been the haircut and head massage, or the tuxedo. I suppose I can now call him He Who Looks Like A Millionaire. Or not.

It was a magical night and I can't wait to see the pictures.


This is just a taste. The granddaughters. Jada, Maya, Layla and her best friend, Allie. That is Zara in the middle.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Day Two and Day Three

Day Two dawned bright and early with a cranky old dog demanding to go out. I crawled out of the bed (unwillingly) with the old guy in my arms. I had hoped the others would wait a bit, but Toni and Cujo decided to go out with Oscar. Wall-E, the gentleman, stayed in the bed with He Who sleeps.

As I struggled with Toni and the tangling of the leashes, I figured it was the least I could do, since He Who drives did all the driving. So, I opened the door and nearly fell out. The steps did not come out as they were supposed to. It was still dark out and I was in my night gown. I was hoping no one would be out and about as I waited for the canine peeing to commence. I did not turn on any lights and am quite sure my re-entrance to the RV was interesting, if not spectacular. I am short with short limbs. I am old with old joints.

I did not think it would be possible to go back to sleep, but I did. After showering and drinking a minimal amount of coffee, the Bride collected her parents for lunch. Lunch ended and the father of the bride was deposited back at the camper to tend dogs and nap while the mother of the bride ran errands with the bride. Ate a sandwich upon my return and fell into bed.

Little did I know that the next day would be even more hectic!! The mani/pedi event was on the schedule, then lunch with some of the bridesmaids, including my beautiful granddaughter and her mom, my beautiful daughter.

Layla, my granddaughter, had her very first pedicure and informed her mom that this would need to be a regular thing. The man taking care of Layla's beautiful feet took one look at my calloused and grass stained toes and heels and proclaimed that he would definitely NOT be doing my pedicure. I guess he does not like a good challenge!

Freshly skinned and painted we hit the sushi bar with gusto. Well, not Layla. She picked daintily at her food and I ate what she didn't ........ me being one not to waste. I polished off a basket of soy beans like a starving cow. Could be that the bride did not allow me more than a few sips of coffee before she spirited me away.

The men had haircuts and head massages, then met at my son's house to prepare the food for the rehearsal dinner. My son and daughter-in-law graciously offered their home for the event. A big tent graced the back yard and tables and chairs were rented to host the 60 or so in attendance. It was a Mexican themed dinner, so there was lots of chopping and dicing of meat and veggies.

I met the best of the best men (there were two) and he is single! I don't know why this man is single, because he would be quite a catch. He was a trooper, let me tell you. He worked all day in the kitchen and even washed all the dishes. I love a man with dishpan hands! Such a shame I don't have any more daughters. I do like to pick my own sons-in-law. My first one is the best! I didn't pick Chad, but must say that my daughter did a great job!

The massive amounts of food proved to be way too much, but the kids will have plenty of food for the week! The dinner was a huge success and we left for our temporary home pleasantly full and ready for bed. He Who loves me even handled the dogs so I could simply fall into bed. Too bad sleep evaded me ........

Monday, September 28, 2015

Day One

I opened the door to my backyard and let the dogs out this morning. No collars, no leashes, no worries. I fed and watered them and went back to bed. What a luxury!!

Home sweet home after a whirlwind trip to be with our children and celebrate the wedding. It all started out so well. I was so prepared. After packing in a suitcase for the past two years and sitting on ready to go for my Dad, you would think that going in the motor home would be a breeze. I had three days to load and load I did.

I had a system. Start in the back and work forward. Make the bed and load the bathroom, all the while filling the closets. Yes, this one has three!! I did not forget anything for the dogs or He Who depends on me for his wardrobe. All the dresses for the wedding went in first.

So sure I had thought of everything, I was confidant that the trip would be a breeze. I awoke very early, showered and loaded all the last minute toiletries along with my furry babies. Oscar was pleased to go, walking right up to the steps and waiting to be lifted up the steps, Cujo wasn't so sure how this would work, but he followed us in along with Wall-E. I had left Toni Louise until last. She is sneaky, this lone female dog of ours. She is the escape artist of the pack. So, imagine my horror when He Who, I sometimes wonder about, opens the door and lets Toni out into the parking lot, assuming she will follow the example of her siblings and simply get in the motor home.

She ran, our willful canine did run. First she meandered through the tent area. She saw us and would even stop, letting us get close before running again. I picked up a brown leaf and dangled it in front of me calling "treat, treat" while He Who drives was giving chase by car. She is a sly one.

Finally we were on the road. I was on the couch with the canine contingent, since Toni thought it would be fun to ride on the dash in front of the driver. Oscar was happy to lie on my feet propped on the couch and Wall-E lay beside my legs. Now, Wall-E is usually our carsick baby. He has learned not to look out the windows, being a savvy guy. Cujo was just happy to be in my lap. He was so excited to look out the window at the traffic go by. He stood on his hind legs and watched excitedly for a long time before settling in on my lap.

Cujo felt unusually hot to me. He is always like a little furnace, but I kept touching the other dogs to determine if he was too hot. I was listening to an audio book with my head back and my eyes closed. My feet up on the couch, legs crossed at the ankles when suddenly my lowers legs felt very warm .......... and wet. Cujo threw up on me.

Wall-E, savvy dog that he is, tip-toed out of range, carefully avoiding any fall-out. Toni Louise, escape artist and decidedly socially clumsy wagged her long tail through the incident and splashed a sleeping Oscar with Cujo's stomach contents. This also helped spread the obnoxious odor. I knew better than to bring my calamity to the attention of the driver. No worries about him smelling anything or even hearing me through the din of the radio. I disengaged myself and grabbed the roll of paper towels and began cleaning.

I packed too many bath towels, thank goodness. I was able to clean it all up and lay a towel on top of the affected area of the couch. I fixed myself a big mug of iced tea and settled in the passenger seat where there was a cup holder. The bottom of the mug tapered to fit in the hole, but was still pretty top heavy. Cujo staggered to my side and demanded to be picked up. I settled him in my lap and Oscar stayed on the couch along with Wall-E, but Toni Louise jumped into my lap and knocked the tea onto me.

So, in the third set of clothes for the day, I was resigned to sitting on the couch with the dogs and no beverage. My mind was busy cataloging everything I had packed when it occurred to me that I had forgotten my purse. We were almost to Iowa on I-35. My purse had all the cash we intended to spend in it. I have no idea why I decided to share this with the driver, but I did.

He takes the exit we were approaching. "What are you doing?" I say. He was going to turn around and go back after over 4 hours into the trip! We had our credit cards, it wasn't the end of the world. I doubt I would need ID if I decided to order a glass of wine. The only need for my ID would be in the event of an accident and I had decided that after the morning I had, it would not be likely.

The rest of the trip was long and punctuated with road repairs and many potty breaks. The hooking of the leashes was a trick with Toni. She would dance excitedly, while the others stood patiently to be hooked up. As soon as she was hooked up, she would set out to tangle all the leads together. Soon as I fixed that she would wind herself around my legs. This made every stop longer than it needed to be. The rain started as we entered the state of Minnesota, slowing us down again.

At 5:30 or so my phone rang. It was the campground that had our reservations. I was scolded for being there yet. Really. She did not want to park us after dark. This park does not handle travelers off the road. Reservation only. After determining that we were only an hour away she told me she would come out and open the gate for us upon our arrival and then "see what we could do".

There was plenty of light left for parking when we got there and I went in and took care of the bill while my driver waited with the dogs. I suppose they were not accustomed to parking big rigs with drivers that actually know how to back in, so the lengthy process they expected took only minutes. The sites were nice enough, if a little tight. I was sorely disappointed to pay nearly $50 a night and have no internet at my site, but .........

This when I discovered I had forgotten our food I had planned to cook for our supper. We didn't tow a vehicle, with all the kids being close by. But we were sort of stranded and at the mercy of the kids. The bride and groom brought food, along with our grandson, the boy of Wall-E.

Boy and dog were equally ecstatic to see one another. Lots of tail wagging and smiles ensued. I mean the dog ....... the dog was grinning at the boy. I swear to you, that silly white dog with the goofy ears was so happy to see that child. Never have I seen such a bond exist. When Gavin is there, we no longer exist as far as the dog is concerned. He loves that child as much as the child loves him.

And so Day One of the big adventure was. TV did not work that night and no internet ..... we had to talk to each other, meaning I had to repeat everything I said twice! Day Two to follow.