Wednesday, January 28, 2009


The ground is covered with snow. I like snow, I really do. It is beautiful. More than that, it is like a big white blanket that hides all the ugliness of winter. It is a great insulator, too. That is if you live far enough north that the snow covers the ground consistently throughout the months of winter. Unfortunately, I don't. The snow that is so lovely today will be gone within two days and will leave in it's wake all the ugly brown grass and dead leaves and in our park all the evidence of busted pipes. I dread Spring this year. Every time it freezes here we have another pipe burst. Drew plugs the leak, the another pipe bursts and off he goes to buy another apparatus to plug off the next leak. This does not bode well for the future. Add fixing the all these pipes to the thousand other springtime chores that await us...... I am not feeling particularly positive at this time. Good thing I am headed north this weekend. Perhaps this will give me a new perspective on things. I will hug and hold all my grandchildren and that should give that positive outlook I need!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What's For Dinner

My husband is "off" today. He works part-time so that we may be able to afford health insurance and we are thankful for this job that allows full benefits for only 24 hours a week. Winter is cold and no one really camps or RV's this time of year. You would think we would enjoy spending time with each other..... All we do is eat and plan the next food encounter. We have have at least two more months of inertia and I am already bored with it. This is what prompted me to want to re-arrange my kitchen. My own true love is building more cabinets for me. The challenge is to use what is on hand and re-use any materials left from removing old cabinets. As I have mentioned before, we rarely see the plan the same way. I am thinking we are measuring with two different systems (we aren't, it just seems that way). We don't seem to be in sync at all. If he sits down to watch TV and I decide to join him, he leaves to go cut a piece of wood. Thinking this is a cue to get back on task, I will start unloading a cabinet or other prep work and in comes the carpenter to grab his keys to go run an errand. This means that nothing in the kitchen is in order. Canned goods are every where and even though I tried very hard to coordinate the relocation of goods, I have failed miserably. In the midst of all this comes the inevitable question, "what's for dinner?". Talking to a friend last night she mentioned that she had lost 11 lbs. I told her I had lost my mind, but I didn't think it weighed anything...........

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Little Annoyances

I was annoyed when I woke up this morning.....that was 5 hours ago and I am still annoyed. At everything. As I sit here with my lukewarm coffee I have become convinced that my husband is the root of all annoyances. I know the old adage saying that opposites attract, but today that is small comfort. I asked him to build a simple cabinet for me; I even drew the plans in great detail. We already have cabinet doors, thanks to my sister gutting her kitchen, so I thought this would be relatively easy. I still think it is a simple task---if only he would stay "on task". He started a week ago and it is still a work in dubious progress. I can tell anyone else what I want and they will "get it". I don't know why I cannot communicate as well with a man that should know me better than anyone. On day one of his cabinet adventure he disappeared to "the barn" (this is a scary place with numerous projects in various stages of incompletion, making navigation to whatever tool he wants precarious---I don't go in there). He made several trips in to warm up. He has a wood stove out there (that is WAY scary) and will build a fire so that he can work in relative comfort. It usually gets warm enough around bedtime...... I did suggest (several times) that he cut the necessary pieces and assemble them inside. I was told (how many times have I heard this?) that he knew what he was doing and to just wait. Okay. I waited. Finally on day three he began assembling the frame that would hold the shelves and in came this ladder looking apparatus that he said was the front that the doors would go on-correction, the bottom front. The doors will cover both shelves, so I was confused. I could see right away that the doors weren't going to fit properly and said so. "Just wait, you'll see", I was told. I waited and watched him finally figure out that I was right. I was annoyed that he had wasted three days and raw material to make something that was pretty much useless; but we laughed about it and I once again tried to tell him what I wanted. Made him a cake, too. He remade "the frame" and then discovered the doors wouldn't fit in this one. Another day passes and I kind of mention that I would like to be able to use the cabinets. Deep sigh of resignation and off he goes to the infamous barn. I went to my sewing room to work on my current project and could hear him at work on the cabinet. The cabinet will have two sets of doors, he got one set done and quit for the day. I was annoyed, but figured any progress was better than none. He was off all day yesterday. I waited up for him the night before and made one of his favorite treats (boiled peanuts) and let him sleep til 10:30. When he did get up I asked about his plans for the day. Nothing on his agenda, so I asked if he would be finishing my cabinets. Affirmative. Yes, I am happy!!! I was working on various things all day and at around 4PM noticed that absolutely no progress had been made on my cabinets. Beer in hand he was searching for the remainder of his boiled peanuts. I was very annoyed, but used great restraint and simply said "I thought my cabinets would be done today". He stormed out to his hideaway to finish them. As the day was winding down, around 5:30 I went out to gather enough firewood to get through the evening. I hate to go out in the dark to get wood, I wandered out to the barn, but he wasn't there. He was standing around with some of our campers looking at some trailers and off-road vehicles. I showed no restraint when he came in. The cabinets have the doors on, there is an unsightly gap on one set of the doors and I would disregard even that if I could use them--there are no shelves and the top needs to be cut down to size. I remain annoyed.......and not just a little!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

All Alone

I slipped in the shower today and almost fell, I was alone (well, the dogs were here, but doubt they could do anything to help) and it got me thinking......should I not shower when I am alone in the house? I later found out that the love of my life had come in and heard me, but didn't think he should check on me. More pondering...maybe I should just be extra careful. If I did fall and break something that would prevent me from getting myself out of the tub and into clothes, who would eventually find me? I would hope it would be Drew and not some stranger responding to my screams. I think about things like this, much to the annoyance of Drew. Can't help it, I just wonder about things that could happen, you know. I wonder how many people fall in the tub and have to be rescued by EMS, that would be so awful. But, again, I am wondering if Drew could get me out of the tub without help. I know I couldn't get him out without help. But he could put some clothes on me, couldn't he. I would put clothes on him. Maybe we should get that tub for senior citizens with the door on it. But how would you wash your hair in that? Can you shower in that, too? Just wondering, just wondering. Can't help it...........

Monday, January 19, 2009

Customer Service..or Lack Thereof

I will admit when I am wrong....don't particularly like to, but I will. I am referring to an earlier blog about my husband and procrastination. He is not the only one with this malady it would seem. We have been trying to re-contract our propane provider since November. I had put Drew "in charge" of this particular task while I was dealing with the holiday chores and being sick. He didn't get the job done in a timely fashion. This was not all his fault and I never really felt that way, I was just truly annoyed that he didn't contact the salesman every time another deadline fell through. I like deadlines and when I tell someone I will do something, I do it. If something prevents my doing it, I contact people and tell them why and offer a solution. This is how I choose to also deal with my customers. I don't always get positive feed back and sometimes don't like what my customer has to say to me; but I simply let them vent if they are dissatisfied. I have found the easiest way to diffuse a situation is to apologize (whether I am in the wrong or not) and offer some sort of compensation. Most people simply want to be heard and a sincere attempt to see their point of view. So very easy to do. I can always vent to my family and friends later. I grew up in the deep south where common courtesy(no matter how two-faced it may be) in public is a rule to live by. Not so in the mid-west. When I called the customer service rep to inquire about her company I shared my theory of customer service with her and she was eager to tell me that she felt the "exact same way". She then went on to tell me how many "bad reports" she had heard about the vendor I am currently using and that her company was "on top" of customer service. She and I talked several times in the days following as she took the necessary information from me to open the account and every time we spoke on the phone she assured me that my tank, LP, and all the necessary equipment needed to dispense would be here and ready to use "on Monday, no later than Tuesday". I quipped that I would hold her personally responsible. She laughed and told me should anything not be to my satisfaction that I should indeed call her. "I warn you, that I will call and possibly make your life a living hell' was my reply. She assured me that her company wouldn't let that happen. That was two weeks ago. Monday I stayed here in anticipation of said delivery. No show. Tuesday, Drew called to inquire about the time of the impending delivery and was told that there was nothing scheduled and when he mentioned the rep's name was told that they didn't know who she was. So naturally I called Stephanie as she had instructed me to do. I was calm, I simply relayed the information Drew gave me to her. She listened, then put me on hold...I hung up after three minutes. She never called back, but the service person, John called Drew to tell Him I had called Stephanie and hollered at her and told her we had no propane for our house and since the temperature was dropping he would bring us the tank to service our house right away. What I had said to her was that I had checked in an RV that needed LP and was unable to service him and asked if someone could take care of it as a courtesy since they had failed to meet the deadline she had given me and I did not holler (ladies don't holler---they scream). Drew decided to take it from here (remember, this is what I wanted all along), what with me being so unreasonable to expect people to do what they say they will. He met with the service person and they scheduled the delivery for today. We gathered all the paperwork they asked for along with a copy of our liability insurance and arranged for some cement "bunkers" to be delivered to surround the dispensing area per their request. He told Drew he couldn't believe we had previously passed inspection. They also wanted the fence surrounding the equipment to be up-graded to 6 feet. He said it was a state requirement. It's not, but we agreed to comply. This morning as I was drinking my coffee and reading e-mail (my office was not yet open) the neanderthal delivering the tank beat loudly on my house door with his fist (I suppose it could have been a stump of wood, I didn't see). I told him I would be there shortly and threw on some jeans, shoes and a heavy coat and went out to speak with him. He had a small tank and no other equipment, so I asked if we would we be able to fill tanks today. "All I'm doing is leaving the tank, lady, that's all I know. We ain't putting nothing in today, that will be later." I told him that Stephanie had promised delivery a week ago and that I would go in and call her. I also told him my husband would be there shortly to tell them where to put the tank. I didn't call her, since she totally misconstrued my last call. Before Drew could arrive the truck, along with the tank left. Drew called Stephanie and was told that I had "cussed out" the delivery men. Actually I was using my calm voice and very simple words, so as not to confuse them........ Now I am confused. What just happened? I will go order some propane from our current vendor and pay the higher price. I give up.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Words Never To Cross My Lips Again

It is three degrees outside and not that much warmer in here. I can't seem to get the wood stoves fired up and if I add any more layers to this already rotund body I won't be able to move! I have decided to try to enjoy weather this year. I know this sounds crazy. But take a moment and think--we always bemoan either extreme of the thermometer and wish for the opposite; so why not embrace the now? Strange things happen all the time here and I have learned to bite my tongue the hard way. The registration form we use to check in our campers is a standard form that was being used when we purchased this park. It has all the usual info requirements--ie, name, address, phone#...and it also asks for license plate of your vehicle. Some RVers have that info with them when they come in to register, but most don't. They will ask if I have to have it and I used to say, "Not really, what would I do with it?". What would I do indeed. Well , had I had that particular info on the man who hurled the large outdoor ash bin at me I could have provided it along with my description to the deputy when I filed my complaint. Another one of my naive assumptions was that there was nothing one would want to steal from a campsite. I was wrong on that count. I am always amazed at the number of sewer caps that 'disappear'. They don't cost that much and can be purchased at most building supply places, so they aren't hard to come by. It seems they fit the holding area that stores the sewer hoses on most rigs----but why would you want to take a USED one? Of course even higher on the 'eeeeew' scale would be whoever stole the used toilet plungers out of the bathrooms. I remain appalled. So never again can I quip, "No, I don't need that, you aren't going to steal anything are you?" I am learning. I always feel the need to chatter away while my customer fills out the form and we do have a lot of return business, so my new quip turned into "Well you aren't going to murder anyone while you are here, are you?" Yep, you guessed it...I can never say that again. Nothing quite like having local law enforcement request your presence at the crime scene to facilitate their investigation. So you would think I had seen and heard it all......... not so much, actually. We have lots of seasonal campers and most of them are here at least twice a month. We look forward to these "visits" and have become close friends with more than a few. While sitting around a campfire you tend to wonder many scenarios--particularly when a glass of wine (or two) may be involved. One of these musings was to get a bull horn and announce to the campers that it is "nude night" and everyone who wants to participate should go ahead and disrobe. We would then speculate who would actually get naked. Much laughter would follow. As of this week I can no longer make this speculation. We had an inquiry about a group of 60 or more who would like to reserve the entire tent area in mid May. I said yes with the stipulation that they remain secluded and agree to cover themselves should anyone complain. I guess I now need to explore any legal issues that might arise (among other things that might be arising....). The couple who came in to make this request were not exactly what I would have ever expected to be nudists. They looked to be in their 60's and (how can I put this nicely) not exactly fit. Okay, they were both fat....and not just a little. Unless gravity has worked in an extreme way I am confident that the gentleman mentioned will not even be noticed due to his big belly. I have already referred to myself as rotund and being of a particular age, am fighting gravitation myself. Modesty aside, I feel the need to dress this self before displaying it to the world at large. But..or should I say butt.. I need the money. Maybe I can find enough vouyers to fill the remaining sites that weekend, then everyone should be happy.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Miss Pronounciation & Miss Informed

It's cold. The grass is brown and ugly, the trees are naked and it is cold. The wood stove isn't going good yet and it is cold. This sums up all the days of January, so you end up watching lots of TV. Even when you aren't watching, it is on and you hear it as you stoke the fire, make a cup of tea, fold the laundry or whatever. That brings me to one of my biggest annoyances--commercials. My current most hated one is the one about arthritis--arthritis literally means inflammation of (itis) joints (arth). The woman on this particular ad bemoans "I knew arthritis could be painful, but I never knew it would affect my joints". Every time I hear this I want to scream at the TV. Did the idiot who put this ad together do any research on the subject matter? Did anyone bother to listen to it before they aired it? Or am I the only one who notices? I also listen to audio books while I sew and have been known to shout back when they mis-pronounce words. The one that comes to mind now is short-lived. The reader of many of the books I listen to pronounces this with a long " i " and it makes me crazy. I can't possibly be the only one who notices this---am I the only one reading these books? I don't think so, I am on a waiting list at the library for most of them. Could it be me??????

Thursday, January 8, 2009

All bras are not created equal....

Having been the same size now for many years ( I finally quit using my last baby as an excuse--she is 30 now), it has recently come to my attention that the quality and sizing of under garments is not consistent. I have worn the same brand of bras for years--Playtex under wire. I have been plagued for the past few years by under wire piercings. I try to sew them back in, but I am now convinced the lycra fabric they are currently using is of an inferior quality to that of years past. The first time it happened I was outside in my garden, so I simply pulled the offending wire out and stuck it in my weed bag until I could go in and replace it at my machine. No big deal. I thought. The stabbing events have increased over the past year and a call to the company brought no satisfaction, so I decided to try a different brand. I assumed that the sizing would be the same.........after all it is a body measurement, right. Which begs the question--why did this new bra feel like it was cutting me in half? Couldn't stand it and had to finish the day in a bra with only one under wire. Better to be lopsided and comfortable than in pain..........right?

Monday, January 5, 2009

When we bought this RV park we pretty much kept all the existing vendors. The first to go was the ice vendor. They would only deliver at their convenience and their price was high. I negotiated a much better deal with a small local company and the service is 100% better. Since I am the one to handle most of the day to day business I feel pretty comfortable about it. I don't, however, fill LP tanks for customers. I don't know how, don't want to know how and refuse to learn. It is dangerous! I am a woman, a delicate being. I don't even put fuel in my vehicle unless I absolutely have to. I can, however, smell a leak. I know what I am smelling and it is not my imagination. So, for four years I have been harping away about the smell by the big tank that is used to dispense LP into RV's and tanks. They did come out to check it at my insistence and they reported to my husband that the leak was in the dispensing equipment. Another year went by and nothing was done. Every time I told Drew to do something about it he assured me that he would "take care of it". Finally, after realizing just how much money we were losing due to the leak and hearing another park owner's rate from another company Drew decides to actually "take care of it"...........or so I thought. He calls and meets with the salesman and gets fantastic rates and assurance that he will even call our current vendor and coordinate the removal of the old equipment with the delivery of the new. Sounds great. We had been paying the same rate for the dispensing tank that we were paying for the tank supplying the residence. This company was offering $1.39 for the dispense tank and $1.90 for the other-----we had been paying well over $2.00. This is all great in theory. I say that becuase this was all supposed to come about over a month ago. I would be going along handling all the things a lady of my standing does and would realize when a customer would ask to have a tank filled that not only did I not do that, but that Drew had not followed through and nagged the salesman sufficiently to get the job done. Sadly, I have come to realize that I have to nag Drew to motivate him to nag others. It all came to a head today. Once again, I had to turn a customer away because I have no LP. Drew assured me that he was "taking care of it". I found a business card of another company and called them myself ( I know, why didn't I do that in the first place). I told them that I was unhappy with the service and price I am currently paying and asked if they could do better. I got the $1.39 price for all the LP and a promise for delivery on Monday! I explained to the representative that I spoke with that I would expect her to make sure that all of her promises would come to pass or I would make her life a living hell. See, it's not that hard to get things done.