Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Google Error 400.....

I tried to post yesterday. I apparently committed some kind of google indiscretion and it wouldn't post and it didn't save. I will try to capture my feelings of yesterday. Try, I say, because I have found that even the smallest lapse of time adds a different perspective.

Gutters are still the topic of my world. Yesterday, after reading my last entry, that did not refer to him as the love of my life, Drew goes out to the vast unknown to "look for" the gutters. These would be the gutters that I carefully salvaged and painted with Rustoleum paint. These would be the gutters that would go back on the building instead of a landfill. These would be the gutters that cost nothing, except my time and a little paint.

These would be the gutters that lie mangled beneath the ugly plastic barrels that a camper brought as a gift and was told to put them by the tree where said gutters were awaiting installation. That is the story I get. He looks downright smug. He wanted new gutters all along. I wanted to salvage as much as I could to maintain the rustic appearance of the building. I have heard every excuse known to man why this wouldn't work; and now he is almost gleeful. After I ask how the barrels ended up atop the gutters and listen to his lame explanation, I suggest that not ALL of the gutters can be beyond salvaging. I remind him that there are still some lengths that were not yet painted.......

Reluctantly he goes back out and does indeed find two sections that are intact--one painted, one not. I see him with his elaborate ladder set-up ( have to stop here to say that the eaves are so low he can reach up and touch them), I hear the drill as he secures them to the eave. "Come look at this." he says as he sticks his head in the door. Wish I had taken the camera with me. The two sections aren't properly connected. Instead of finding the connecting piece that I have absolutely no doubt is some where hidden in the rubble of my salvage attempt, he has screwed the pieces together in a fashion that will insure a rivulet of water cascading down almost dead center in the entrance. "This ain't gonna work" he says to me. I say nothing, just look at his handy work. Then he assures me that "Uncle Charlie's" is the only place that has the connecting pieces for this particular gutter--"if anybody has them, I don't think they make this anymore". Uncle Charlie's is at least 60 miles from here.

Off he goes on his mission to appease his wife......and I get the expected phone call about 45 minutes later telling me that those parts are way too expensive and that we would be better off buying new gutters. I give up. I tell him to do whatever he thinks is best and hang up. By now it is almost 4:00 and he has spent (wasted) the day in pursuit of gutters that I will no doubt hate.

I hate them. He pulls in with the new gutters hanging from the back of the truck. They are white. I don't want white. They are modern looking plastic ugly white gutters. Oh, but wait, he bought 4 cans of spray paint. I am still mute. I should feel bad, he is trying so hard. I don't. Off he goes to paint the white gutters with his cheap spray paint. All of the buildings and the fences on the grounds are barn red with black trim. The wind is blowing fiercely and rain is in the forecast.

Once again he is back with his elaborate ladder set-up. The freshly painted gutters are on the front porch. I keep mentioning the ladders because Drew has never been one to actually prepare for anything. He has two ladders out, big over kill ladders. I painted the eaves with a step stool and I am only 5'3"! I start to feel bad, because he is trying so hard and I go out to help him. He is taking down the ladders. He bought the wrong brackets. This will involve another trip to Lowe's and he can't return the now black brackets. To my credit, I didn't say a word; just went back inside to finish folding laundry and cooking dinner.

As I lay in bed last night, in the wee hours of the morning, when insomnia paid it's nightly visit; I pondered the state of the new gutters. I could hear the wind howling as a storm front passed through and I wondered how much of the cheap spray paint would remain on the ugly white gutters after being tossed by the wind on the concrete.

He has been up for a couple of hours now and not one word about yesterday's project has even been mentioned. He has made two trips to check on the heavy equipment for the renovation of the tent area. He brought me an iced coffee (bribe) on his return from the second trip. He mind has moved on to other things. I always joke and tell him he has ADD. No joke, he really does. Today he has to go to work at 3:00. I will be online trying to find instructions to tell me how to install those *^&##* gutters. As Paul Harvey would say....and now you know the rest of the story.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Gutters...or Lack of Gutters

Good thing his birthday is over because I would have broken my promise about being positive! I am so @#$%$#%$%** MAD at him!! And of course he is not here so that I can tell him. I am all alone and the dogs won't even come near me..... they know.
The local grocery is having a good sale on items I need to stock the camp store. I carefully clipped corresponding coupons for these items so that I could take advantage of the sale. It is raining as I get ready to go. The temperature is dropping and I stick a sign in my door, knowing I won't be busy today. Drew offers to start my car (I have a VW bug, it's diesel and has to warm up to properly function), I am thinking how sweet he is as he even holds his jacket over my head as he walks me to the car. Umbrella is, of course IN the car. The rain is coming down in buckets when I end up parking in the outer regions of the lot. I have on an all-weather coat with a hood and I tuck my new hand-made purse carefully inside the coat, open the trusty umbrella and exit from the vehicle. The wind is crazy. It turns the umbrella inside out, so I shove it back into the car and walk briskly to the store opening, holding the hood onto my head. I stepped in some puddles along the way and now my feet are wet and cold. My hands are cold, too.
After loading the cart and checking out, I look out the store window to see that the rain is now coming down in sheets. Great, just great. My hands are still cold so I fumble in the coat pocket for my gloves; no gloves, they are in my other coat. Wonderful.
The rain pours down on my back as I load $200 worth of groceries into the back of the car--I say load, I was more like slinging it all in. My hands are so cold they are aching as I drive home. I can't turn the heat up or the windows will fog up. Thankfully I have seat warmers and I sit on my hands one at a time to warm them. I back as close as I can get to the front of my store (easier to go in and out without a dog escaping).
We have a new roof, really not so new anymore. But reinstalling the GUTTERS was not a priority for Drew. There is no sign that the rain is going to let up and I have lots of cold and frozen items to unload. I can't get the car close enough to the building to be out of the rain as I unload--and believe me I tried to back it right up on the sidewalk, almost wedged it in between two posts, but stopped in time. Now I wish I had backed it INTO the store. I sit there for a minute trying to figure out how I can stay somewhat dry and get only the refrigerator and freezer items out and just leave the rest. I usually load the items carefully with all the bags that need to come in right away grouped together. Didn't do that this time.
So , I bite the bullet, grab what I can carry and go unlock the door. The rain is bad enough, but when I pass under the eave that lacks a GUTTER the water pours down my back inside the jacket. I retrieve my gloves to protect my hands and after only six trips I have unloaded the vehicle.
Now here I sit, having stripped myself of all the wet clothes and donned a warm, dry sweatsuit. I am sipping re-heated coffee and thinking up ways to install the @#^##%^ gutters myself. It can't be that hard, can it?

Friday, March 27, 2009


I started reminiscing about my early school years yesterday. Recess was not a structured activity and we pretty much allowed to do what ever we wanted to amuse our selves while one poor teacher was assigned recess duty. That had to be the loneliest assignment. This was back in the day of no cell phones, so that in the event of an injury another student would be dispatched to the teachers lounge for additional help.
The teachers lounge. Now that was a magical place that we all speculated about. Rumor had it that there was actually a "coke machine" in there. On those rare occasions that we would "just happen" to be nearby waiting to see the door open (hoping for a glimpse inside) a cloud of cigarette smoke would puff out. This lounge had air conditioning! Those lucky teachers were in there enjoying a tall bottle of ice cold coke and a cigarette in the artificially cool air. The principle's office was also air conditioned. The class rooms were like ovens and we weren't allowed to wear shorts to school in those days. Dresses and skirts, no pants.
Recess in hot weather would be spent in any spot of shade we could find. This was South Georgia with 90% humidity and tons of pine trees. the swing sets were in partial shade, but hard to grab a swing unless you were the first one out the door when the bell rang. The girls would usually gravitate towards the trees. We would gather pine straw and use it to "build " a house by marking the boundaries with the straw. We would get very elaborate, adding more "rooms" while imagining our future families. We would name our children to be and assign them bedrooms, marking the placement of the imaginary furniture. It sounds so primitive even as I write this. Those were times of great contentment to me. No stress other than completing the assigned classwork, or maybe having a tooth come out and worrying that I would lose it before I got home to place it under my pillow for the nickle or dime that would magically appear the next morning. I enjoyed the structure and the repetition involved in the process of learning math facts and grammar rules, so that the class work was not something that seemed like work to me.
Today, it would seem that everything is rushed. Hurry to finish one task to move on to the next. Toys leave little to the imagination. Really, you can hardly call them toys. I can't even operate some of them. Whatever happened to plain old board games? I would drag out the monopoly game as a child and play by myself if I couldn't convince my sister to play with me. She always said I was different. I don't think she meant it as a compliment, but I am glad that I can entertain myself with very little. Does this make me simple? Maybe........

E-mail to Playtex Bras

After showering this morning I was not happy to find the freshly laundered bra with a hole in it as I was dressing. I like the way this particular bra fits. Makes the girls look perky and it is comfortable (when the underwire stays where it is supposed to be). I came upon a sale recently in a local store. The sign said 40% off one/ or buy one , get the second one at half price. I, of course opted for the better deal. Another woman was also purchasing bras and said to me, "Hey, if you buy two you can get half off." I patiently tried to explain to her that you only get half off the second bra. "Well half is 50% and that still beats 40%." she said to me in a tone that suggested I was not quite bright. Don't know why--self torture, I suppose--, but I tried once again to tell her that she was only getting 25% off of each bra she was purchasing (by now she had 6 in her cart). She just looked at me as if I had lost my mind. Whatever, I went on to the check-out where the clerk pointed out to me that I could get a second bra for half off. "In addition to the 40% off the first bra?" I asked. "No, but half is 50% off and that is better." she said. Again I tried to explain basic math and failed. Given the results of my purchase, it's a good thing I am good at math. Love of my life suggested taking the bra back to the store....it has been worn and laundered and if I were the salesclerk I wouldn't accept it as a return. Now that I think about it, though, I probably could get my money back, plus the 40% savings if I get the same person at the checkout. But, no, that would be wrong. Here is the e-mail to playtex...........

I have been wearing the underwire bra with a lace overlay cup for many years. For the past few years I have been unhappy with your product. The underwire pops out and stabs me in the armpit. I have tried to repair them and reinforce the channel with bias tape. Doesn't hold very long. A couple of years ago, I simply gave up and bought a different brand. Recently I purchased one of your bras--it was on sale and like everyone else in our current economy, I am trying to save money. I like the fit and have always thought your product to be a good value. That being said, I am sorely disappointed in this bra. The underwire is intact, but the side panel has a stress tear in it. I have only laundered the bra once (cold water, delicate cycle, air dry). Yes, i purchased the correct size. Cross my heart, I will never buy your product again!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

It's All Elementary

The arrival of Flat Stanley has me reminiscing about my grade school days. Unlike high school, I loved my early years of education. I didn't go to kindergarten and had been away from my mother only a few times that I can remember. On the first day of school she walked me into my first grade class. I was painfully shy anyway and when it became apparent that she was not staying I started crying. Not just some tears, but that open mouth bawling. I wasn't the only one, but my mother took me back home with her. I might have thought I had gotten out of going, but the next morning my grandfather put me on the bus and firmly peeled my clinging hands off of his arms and sternly told me not to cry. I cried the whole way, mouth agape. I don't remember the bus driver; but he had to have had nerves of steel. We were at the beginning of the route and lived a good 30 minutes from the school. I do remember my teacher, Mrs. Lee. Upon delivery of her crying charge she scooped me into her arms and sat down in a rocker and proceeded to read and conduct class all the while holding me. I wasn't the only child to receive this care from her. She managed to make us all feel secure. I met my first friend. Jeannie Loop. I wanted to be her more than anything. We started out trading names. I would be Jeannie and she would be Kathy. Mrs. Lee allowed us to pretend like this. Soon we would swap our sweaters and coats until time to go home. One day we traded dresses in the restroom. The older children in our school had to use the bigger facilities labeled "girls room" and boys room", but the first graders had a restroom in the classroom. Jeannie and I pretended to be each other that entire school term until a day of reckoning came upon us. The restroom was occupied this day, so we decided to do our clothes swap at recess. I guess it never occurred to us that we could go to another restroom, but we went behind the wing that housed our grade and were caught disrobing by another teacher! She told us we were in trouble and I think she was going to take us to the dreaded Principal's office, but Mrs. Lee intervened and we were never punished. We did cease our clothes swapping activities, though. Geez, I wonder what ever happened to Jeannie Loop. Hmm, bet we aren't the same size anymore.

Flat Stanley Has Arrived

I got a letter from my precious Layla (8 year old granddaughter). She sent Flat Stanley for a visit. Flat Stanley has never been here before and he is to take in the sights and report back. This granddaughter is no more loved than the rest of my grandchildren; but she holds a special place in my heart. She is sweet and shy and wants to learn to sew. Her mom is artistic, as well, but her medium is not fabric. Layla and I can spend a day looking at fabric....not if Jill is with us, though. This being said, Flat Stanley will have to have the adventure of his flat life before he returns to Layla. This is a class assignment and if I know Layla, she thought long and hard before choosing to send him to me. I feel honored and will do my best to make her Flat Stanley a stand-out, rising above all the other Flat Stanleys in her class. Hmmmm, Flat Stanley might need some new flat clothes...... Yes the wheels are turning in my tiny brain..........

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Is Popcorn a Vegetable?

I am having popcorn for supper. Not the air popped, supposed to be good for you kind. I am having the greasy, salty, yummy kind. Well, that and carrot cake. Corn is a vegetable, carrots are also vegetables and I used fat free cream cheese in the icing. I am drinking water instead of a nice ice cold coke, which I would prefer, but some concessions have to be made in the name of good nutrition, right? I ate my free sample of Total cereal with cranberries this morning and had a salad and a very small portion of leftover lasagna for lunch. Drew is at work and I don't want to cook for just me...... That is my excuse anyway. It has been a trying day. Wall-E the wonder dog escaped between my legs through the front door. He ran like the wind, not caring at all that his freedom would be short lived and that he would be punished. I let Oscar out to see if he could help me round him up. Instead, he joined him in his romp across the field. I tried everything. I promised treats, told him I had the ball, even threw a stick. The little rascal grabbed the stick, but instead of bringing it back, he raced around me, occasionally jumping up to my thigh and using his hind legs to kick off my now very bruised thigh to soar through the air before landing and running around again. Drew was in his truck at the far end of the field and saw us. He stopped and called the dogs. Oscar took off, thinking he was going for a ride. Wall-E followed, but just as Drew reached for him, took off in the opposite direction. By then I wanted to ring his little white neck, but he belongs to my grandson.... I am always terrified that a rig will come in and be unable to see the little dogs and run over them. I know I would not be able to handle that. Drew finally chased Wall-E my way (Oscar was content to ride shotgun in the truck), but not before he smeared some kind of small animal poop all over his neck. The day went to hell in a hand basket from there. Now that I have written that old saying from my youth....... What does it mean? I mean isn't going to hell a bad thing, no matter the mode of transportation. I used to hear, "the world is going to hell in a hand basket". Would the world actually fit in a hand basket? Just how big is this hand basket? Don't know, but I would venture a guess that I have eaten a hand basket of popcorn.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Doppler Radar

The 'weather lab' has pushed my soap off the screen. With all the gadgetry available, why couldn't they just split the screen? Now I won't know what shenanigans Victor Neuman has planned with the mystery woman he has wooing Jack Abbott. Seriously, though, I am wondering why the weather map shows the cities and the meteorologist is referring to the counties. The colors are vibrant and lovely, but without knowing what the different colors are referring to and if you are unfamiliar with the counties that correspond to the city names on the map, she may as well be speaking a foreign language. Reminds me of an incident a couple of years ago. An older man (he may well have achieved my hoped for 110 years of age) pulled in with a 40 foot top of the line motor home. He came in to register with his wife (I think she was a mail order bride, much younger and of Asian descent). First thing he wanted to know was where the shower house was because they didn't want to "mess up" their bathroom. This always amazes me, we bought our motor home to avoid using public facilities. (But I could write a whole book about bathroom habits of RVers.) The mail order bride didn't have a command of our language and stood submissively by her man when she wasn't busy gathering a copy of every brochure on my display. He then asked about Internet coverage in the park because he wanted to consult a weather site. We have wi-fi with boosters thru-out the park. He called me several times to complain that he was unable to get on-line, then came up to the office, booster in hand to tell me that I had left my "radio" outside on the pole near his site. Gee, wonder why he couldn't get on line. It was raining and I was disinclined to go out and reinstall the booster...... To get back to the subject at hand, he probably tuned into the same station I am now watching and not being familiar with the counties heard about a tornado warning in Marshall county (we are in Montgomery county). After asking where the safest place in the park was in the event of a tornado, I told him the bathhouse was the most secure structure in the lowest part of the park. However he and his bride chose to don their overcoats and stand in the deep end of the empty pool. I do indeed lead an interesting life, don't you think?

Happy Birthday, Love of my Life!

Today Drew is 56 years old. Since I plan for us to live until we are 110, last year marked the beginning of phase two. As I said yesterday, today is Drew's day. The steaks are thawing, the carrot cake is in the making and the weather is even conspiring to give him a day of rest. Tornado watch and hail to the south of us and crazy strong winds here. Of course, I can't go out and play in the dirt---but it's not about me today! As long as the wind doesn't kill the satellite signal and he can watch discovery channel..... I got him some new sunglasses for mowing our 40 acres. The old man kind that you can wear over your specs and covers the sides. He isn't as diligent as I am with the sunscreen, so I try to cover as much of him as I can. Remember I want to live to 110 and I don't want him to look like a prune. All good thoughts today. I once asked him if it bothered him that he sometimes sounds like a big buffoon when I write about him. He said, "What do you mean?" I didn't answer. That is his standard reply when I try to explain what I want to do and it makes perfect sense to me and every one who hears it. If I ever write a book about him, there is my title! Gotta love him, though, I know I do!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Inspired.....I Think....

I thought my last post was boring. I wasn't passionate and the words didn't just come gushing out. I said that Drew would inspire and he never fails me..... He isn't even here. His birthday is tomorrow and I have pledged no criticism on his special day.... Today is not his birthday, though and he is open game. I am doing laundry. I have long been resigned to the fact that he will never actually pick up after himself and after raising 5 children, keeping up with just the two of us is a breeze. I don't want him to do laundry or dishes or clean the house. He loves to vacuum, in fact loves anything with a motor, the louder the better. All I ask is that he not ruin ALL of his clothes. On those rare occasions when we do go somewhere, it would be nice if his clothes didn't have tractor grease, motor oil or paint on them. Every time he ruins a shirt or a pair of pants he says, "Well these will be my painting clothes" or "mowing clothes" or "fixing the tractor clothes". This describes ALL of his clothes. So, I harp constantly. I recently threw away a huge bag of what I now call his play clothes. I reorganized his closet and drawers and went over all of it with him so that he would know where his good clothes were and one would assume that it was understood he wasn't to wear them for any nasty job. He has precious few good clothes.... precious few. Even fewer now. He wore his one and only good pair of denim shorts one day. Went to the bank, ran some errands and when I saw him heading out to fix a broken pipe, I suggested that he might want to change them. I am not his mother, I didn't follow him and make sure that he did it. Maybe I should have, because these are now among the 'play clothes'. Am I annoyed? Yes.

Rainy Days and Mondays..........

It is Monday and it is raining. But it is a slow spring rain and I can almost watch the grass turning green. My day lilies are shooting up in abundance and the peach tree is budding like crazy. I can see all this from the window as it rains, so instead of feeling gloomy I am anticipating a huge planting session tomorrow. Better take advantage of the rain to do all my indoor chores today, cause tomorrow I plan to play. Hey, that rhymed! What clever thing did we used to say as kids? I'm a poet and don't know it! We had a busy weekend. Apparently I am not the only one tired of winter. We had several RVers for the weekend. Good thing I stocked the marshmallows and Hershey bars along with skewers and grahams. Campfires were glowing and s'mores were on every one's menu. Our trusty work campers were here and tons of little jobs were taken care of. Next weekend will be the beginning of the huge park makeover. We have been fortunate enough to have all of our full hook-up sites rented out for the next 6 months by a crew working on the pipeline (natural gas). This leaves us with no sites to rent out to weekenders or overnighters..... So we are adding 24 more sites to accommodate that group. We wanted to expand anyway and knowing we will have a steady income will allow us to do this without borrowing any money! We have hesitated to go ahead with this project after not filling the park last season. The fuel prices just killed us---not many folks were willing to drag out the big RV's to the tune of 8mpg and down. I had posted before about trying to help a family that ended up trashing the trailer we "rented" to them, along with taking (stealing) all the items I loaned them and still owing us back rent to the tune of $1800. I said that even though I got duped that I was going to be rewarded in the end. Maybe this is my 'reward'. Of course I also think that they will be 'rewarded', too. As I reread what I have written I realize that I am boring when I am content with the world, so I will end this post and wait for Drew to further inspire me...... It won't be long.......

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Can't See Without My Specs

I have spent an inordinate amount of time searching for my glasses. I can't seem to locate them.... maybe if I had my glasses on I could find them. Seriously, I am so frustrated, because I truly cannot see without them. I have on an old pair that I have to keep adjusting to see around some scratches on the lens. I finally took a band aid and taped them to my forehead to hold them in the best position to see. Thank goodness the store is closed. I already looked somewhat bizarre in my painting attire. It was a nice spring day, so I put on a pair of old nylon running pants, an old blue tee with various paint splatters on it and the light weight jacket that at one point in time actually matched the pants (pants accidentally got bleached). Add to this some blue socks and hot pink rubber sandals. Didn't bother to wash my hair or apply make-up. Had my day all planned. First I was going to spread the load of dirt over the low spot in my yard that always forms a bog when it rains. Then I was going to stain my wooden curtain rod and some cabinets, then while they dried finish cleaning and restocking the store. That was all supposed to be accomplished before love of my life went to work at 2:30. I was building the lasagna for lunch, so that I could give my man a decent meal before work, when a neighbor stopped by. I am always happy to have company, but why am I always a mess when someone drops by? She and I discussed my plans for the rest of the kitchen remodel and she had some ideas I hadn't thought of. It is always good to see through someone elses eyes. We talked while I prepared lunch and then decided on a whim to go see her new house. This threw all my plans off, as I was going to shower and change before Drew went to work. So I spent the entire day in this get-up. The shirt has some of the barn red paint from the fence right above my right breast and I toyed with the thought of burning a hole in it to look like I had been shot. I managed to get most of my morning's chores done as the day went on. I had just sat down to read my e-mail and have a cup of tea when I saw a rig pulling into the park. The store is still in disarray and I look like I'm destitute. I go in and greet the customers. Really nice folks from Minnesota. We chat while they fill out the registration and they leave to pull around to the site. I had asked Drew to check the restrooms for me a couple of days ago, I haven't had any campers on that side of the park since the dog-hater came through. I decide that maybe I should go take a look myself, since what I consider to be clean is somewhat different than what he thinks. There are no paper products in the ladies room and the toilet needs to be flushed and the trash emptied. This annoys me, but I grab all the necessary equipment and get to work. After I finish there I move on to the men's room; paper product in abundance in there, but looks like dried mud on the floor..... and in the sink... and on the wall by the sink. Looks like clay. I don't have time to dilly-dally around, since I have to man the store and answer the phone, too. So I start to scrub the sink and when I get what I think is clay or mud wet the odor rises up to meet my nose and I realize that I have re hydrated dried vomit. The bathrooms look fine, indeed! As I live and breathe I will be awake when he gets home tonight! I will be right here with these stupid scratched up glasses taped to my head so that I can see his expression while I blast him with my words! And woe be unto him if he dares to talk back! As I am dragging all the trash from the restrooms and the laundry room to the dumpster one of my seasonal folks pull in to visit with me. As bad as I know I look, now I am wondering if I inadvertently splashed some of the vomit on me. All I want is a hot shower and clean clothes! They finally leave and it is past time to close up. Now I am clean and ready to wage war on Drew. It would be so much more effective if I didn't have to wait (anger will fade) and I could find my glasses (he might laugh).

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I recently reconnected with two schoolmates from high school through face book. It was two people that I liked and respected, so I accepted the invitations to be friends on FB. They have formed a group and I accepted the invitation to join....... A question was put forth asking about my favorite memory from high school. I haven't answered it yet and don't know that I can. If I could sum up my entire high school career in one word.... it would be inferior. I would rather forget high school as I don't have any pleasant memories from that time in my life. My dad was a Navy man and we spent most of his career in Norfolk, Va. He was assigned to aircraft carriers and for many years would be gone 9 months and home for only 3. Every time a cruise approached we would pack up our belongings and head to a small town in Georgia to stay with my grandparents. This would disrupt every school year and any friendships you might have developed. I was not a pretty child, somewhat chunky. I think my mother would rather have had a son. My sister was always the immaculate little lady and I was the grungy little fat kid. This did not encourage a healthy self esteem and I spent most of my school career just trying to fit in. In Norfolk I was enrolled in a very large middle school that included the ninth grade. I was quite happy with the anonymity of the large school as it allowed me to find my place without the overbearing peer pressure that is so prevalent in small towns. I had carved out my little niche and was happily pursuing all the extras the school provided that were of particular interest to me. A class in journalism was offered and I found out how to express myself on paper for the first time. I loved that class, I can still remember most of my fellow classmates and the teacher. He was a wonderful teacher and many lively discussions on varied topics were the norm for that class. It wasn't an easy class--you had to be willing to have your work critiqued by your fellow classmates as well as any other teacher who might have a free period and drop in. I was in my second year in that class when my dad retired and we had to move to Georgia. I was 14 and thought it was the end of the world. I had three close friends and we would talk for hours on the phone scheming a run-away that would allow me to stay. I, of course moved along with my family, hating every minute of the move. Small town high schools are very cliquish and I didn't fit in anywhere. My sister loved it. She acted superior to her classmates, having come from a much larger school with a better curriculum. But I just felt lost. It's not that I didn't know the people I was going to school with as I had been going to school with them on and off since first grade. I missed the challenge of my old classes. I only dated one person and he was from a different school--a football rival to our school. This, of course didn't make me any more popular. All my feelings of inferiority were back. My mom had never done much to bolster my self esteem, probably because hers was so low. My dad was not used to having to deal with us on such a full-time basis. I suppose that is why I got married the summer I turned 16. I always wanted to have children and be a homemaker, I didn't think I would get more than one chance at it and I took it. The absolute biggest mistake of my life. I ended up dropping out of high school in my junior year because I was pregnant. So back to my dilemma of what to write about as my favorite memory in high school................ I guess I won't respond. It would be rude to write that I hated it, wouldn't it?

Still Love Dolls

When I was a little girl I loved my dolls. For my birthday or Christmas I always wanted a new doll. I loved them all and named each and every one of them. All the names ended with 'y'. I was still playing with my Barbie and Midge doll as I entered my teen years. I could entertain myself for hours.......... My dad retired from the Navy when I was 14 and my mom refused to let me take all my old toys with me. I agonized for weeks before giving my beloved dolls to a friend's little sister along with all the paraphernalia I had gathered throughout my childhood for all the dolls. I guess I truly kissed my childhood goodbye, because I got married when I was 15---but that is another trauma. I always wanted to have children.... at one time I thought 24 might be enough. I had all the names picked out for those future children....... all ending in 'y'! But I grew up and I am more than happy with the three I have. I took great pleasure in buying dolls for my girls when they were young, but they never had the love for theirs that I had for mine. After all my kids moved out I turned one bedroom into my "doll room" and began collecting dolls. These weren't the kind you played with, but displayed. When we moved here, to our tiny accommodations, I once again had to part with my dolls. This time I was able to give them to someone I love very much, my granddaughter, Layla. She was only four at the time and I didn't delude myself that these dolls would remain in the pristine condition they were when I parted with them. I knew that she was enough like me that she would absolutely have to undress and redress them and comb their hair. Somehow, it didn't bother me at all to give them to her.

After the major part of the remodel was done in our store and I had managed to carve out a sewing room for myself right off the office area I started a new love affair with dolls. I started with rag dolls and made them by the dozen. At first I stuck to the pattern image, then I started playing with the faces and made different expressions. I stitched some faces, appliqued some and painted some. Suddenly I had about 90 dolls, all made with scraps of fabric I already had on hand. So, I stuck a couple of eye hooks in the ceiling in the store and strung some clothesline and hung up my dolls with clothespins. The dolls started selling! Of course, I had already made all my granddaughters a set and I made one for my youngest grandson named Simon. I made matching shirts and pajamas for Gavin and Simon. The purpose of Simon was for Gavin to play 'Simon Says' (Simon says to use the toilet, Simon says pick up your toys, etc). Back to the dolls, though, I was surprised that they would sell in a campground store--not exactly the venue you would market them in. Thus Kathy's Klothesline was born. Being adventuresome I branched out and made some more advanced dolls. Clarissa Marie (pictured) was my very first attempt. I sold her not long ago for $35. I'm not ashamed to say that I didn't want to part with her, but a young girl of about 10 begged her grandmother and she bought it. Along with all the rag dolls I made lots of doll clothes. Those didn't sell as well as the dolls, though. Some folks wanted to know if they were dog outfits. So I created a whole new 'division' of Kathy's Klothesline; Doggone Cute Stuff. So far it consists of dog leash and harness sets, but as spring approaches I have been thinking of some little dresses......and maybe kerchiefs for the male species. I also made quite a few handbags with appliqued dogs and cats, oh and horses. This winter, when I wasn't so horribly sick , I managed to make some teapot cozies that I am taking to a teashop today to offer on consignment. But I digress. I would have to say, if I love anything more than dolls , it would be fabric. That being said, I still wish I had been able to keep my childhood dolls.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Memory Foam Remembers Too Much!

I weigh too much. This is not an apology, just a fact. In my defence, I don't think I fall into the morbidly obese range or anything like that. Just a middle aged woman who has accumulated some extra pounds----what my mother used to call 'pleasingly plump'. I hated that term, makes me think of a turkey being dressed for dinner. I was a chunky child and she used those words a lot when describing me. But back to the subject at hand........ Two years ago we bought new bedding. There is a Sutherlands fairly close and they carry furniture as well as home improvement supplies (weird, huh?). They also have a program called a 'friends card'. It is basically a rebate, giving you back a percentage of your spendings. This in mind, we chose to purchase the new mattress set there. They had an impressive display and I dutifully slipped off my shoes and tried out each and every one. The old mattress had developed deep body shaped indentations where each of us slept and I wanted to avoid this with the new mattress. I carefully read the info with each set and finally settled on a pillow top traditional mattress. I tried out the memory foam, but I began to ponder (as I am prone to do) and wonder what the foam would remember; The shape of my body or the original shape of the mattress. Love of my life was all about trying something new and would really love a sleep number bed; but as they didn't offer one at this store and I was loathe to purchase something that expensive that wouldn't offer me points towards my rebate, this wasn't an option. The pillow top portion of our new mattress was of memory foam, so Drew was appeased. Remember my pondering about memory foam? Seems I was right and it does indeed remember our bodies. We now have the hated 'troughs' in the mattress. You can't simply flip a pillow top mattress---the bottom side feels like sleeping directly on the box springs. Tired of sleeping in my remembered trough, I pondered the situation and came up with the only solution I could think of.... I turned the mattress sideways. It is a king size and they are almost square....almost. The bed isn't as long as it was, so love of my life has to sleep on his side with his legs tucked up a little (which is how he sleeps anyway). It is difficult to make up, there is more box spring at the bottom than mattress and the sides hang over a little. It is way more comfortable, though. How long will we have to sleep like this until the previous troughs are gone? Don't know. The good new is that it just occurred to me while writing this that I could turn the box springs, too! An epiphany! Drew always gets a glazed look in his eyes when he hears these words--"Honey, I've had an epiphany!" Just wait til he comes in here!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I love to ride my tricycle....

I have a tricycle. Yep, three wheels for me. Along with all the other indignities the aging process has cast upon me, I lack balance. When we lived in Minnesota there were bike paths everywhere, so I expressed a desire for a bike for me and one for the husband so that we could enjoy biking together. So, off he goes and purchases a couple of matching 10 speeds. I must back pedal a bit now into my childhood. I was not at all enthusiastic to learn to ride a bike as a child. I remember the Christmas that I got my first bicycle with training wheels. I was utterly and profoundly disappointed. I bawled.....why had I gotten a bike instead of a doll. I had expressed no desire for the bike at all and could not figure out why Santa had betrayed me. I was 6 years old and I guess my parents thought it was time for me to learn to ride a bike. Maybe they should have put a basket on the front all tricked out to be a doll carrier..... Anyway, I reluctantly learned to ride without the training wheels. I was very cautious and refused help, just finally got it on my own after numerous falls. As I grew I graduated to bigger bikes, but not ones with hand brakes and speeds on them. I tried out a friend's once and couldn't get the hang of it--no, actually hated it. I didn't learn to roller skate, either. I once tried out a pogo stick and, well, let's just say it was very sad. I think I am trying to say that I am not athletically inclined. Thankfully there weren't cell phones with video capabilities during my awkward childhood, as I am sure I would have been quite a star. Okay, back to my sweet husband's thoughtfulness in denying me the opportunity to choose my own ride. He brings home the bikes and he is ready to go. We lived in a cul-de-sac and he is riding round and round impatient for me to get on and go for a ride. I swing my leg over and kind of straddle this impressive looking bike with all these cords leading to the handle bars. "What's wrong?" he asks. "Well didn't they have just a plain bike without all this stuff on it?" I want to know. "What are you talking about?" he demands. I wave my hands at all the unnecessary gadgetry and say, "Just a bike without all this." "Oh, you wanted a 3 speed? That's kind of lame." he says. I feel like smacking his smug athletic face. "No, I wanted a plain old bike that had no gears and no brakes." I say. "Oh, you don't want that, this will make it a lot easier to go uphill and the brake will help a lot, it stops you faster than braking manually." was his reply. I try once again to explain to him that I don't feel comfortable with the bike and finally give up and get on the stupid thing. I ride around the cul-de-sac a couple of times--all the while aware that the neighbors can see me if they happen to look out. I am already having trouble with the gears and Drew is speaking to me like I am 5 years old (and it is not helping). So I go on to the bike path that runs along side a fairly busy road thinking that I would prefer strangers in their cars watch me disgrace myself to having the neighbors watch me. We have to cross the road to get to the park, Drew glides smoothly across at a break in traffic---I get off and walk the bike across the road. He actually stopped and laughed at me. I am not having fun. We bike through the park and he stays alongside telling me how to gear up and gear down. By now I think he may have discovered that he made a mistake when he bought this bike for me. When we are ready to cross the road again, he encourages me to stay on the bike. Unfortunately, we are on a decline and as I cross I begin picking up speed and I am trying to gear the thing and can't and instinct takes over and I pedal backwards hoping to brake......... I end up jumping down and using my feet to stop the bike. So graceful, so very graceful. It's okay to laugh, I am. He bought me a three speed with an extra wide seat for Christmas that year. It was deja-vu and I was 6 years old again. I would have preferred cookware. The three speed was no less confusing for my hands and feet to coordinate with my brain. When we moved here I asked for a tricycle, it took a while for him to locate one, but he did. It is blue and has a big white basket on the back that I equip with a pillow so that Emmy can ride with me. I love to ride my tricycle.......

Thursday, March 12, 2009


A comment on my previous post has caused me to ponder... Why is it menoPAUSE? Does this mean it is coming back? Shouldn't it be menoCEASE? I entered peri-menopause at a fairly young age (mid 30's) and it lasted almost 15 years. That is a long time to be a bitch to everyone. After suffering about 5 years of wild mood swings, weight gain, and just being miserable I went to a new doctor (didn't really have a choice, we moved). When I filled out the requisite paperwork that included questions about my health, etc. One question asked if I ever felt suicidal. I marked through it and wrote in homicidal (I have a bizarre sense of humor, I've been told). I didn't think I would get questioned about it, after all I was there for a pap smear, not a psych evaluation. The doctor sees you before you are put into the flimsy paper gown in this practice, much to my surprise. A tall silver haired gentleman with the biggest hands I had ever seen in my life entered the room and introduced himself ( couldn't stop looking at those hands, given my reason for being there). He began to question my mental state and was curious about who I wanted to kill. I told him that first in line would be my husband, then my kids, then co-workers and I was pretty sure in a few minutes, him. He asked about my mood swings, headaches,etc and how long I had been experiencing these symptoms (symptoms, I think, I just thought I was turning into my mother and that is a whole other story). He ordered some blood work and told me that he was pretty sure that I was experiencing peri-menopause (experiencing, indeed). At this time I informed him that I had decided to bypass all this, wasn't it enough that I had birthed 5 children? He was amused and told me that men also had their cross to bear with aging. "Like what?" I queried. "Well, we will talk after you have endured a prostate exam." was his comeback. "Endured? It lasts maybe a minute. No, we will talk after you have endured some 10-20 hours of labor before you squeeze out a nine lb. baby!" I said. "You win." was his reply. Then he wrote a script for me. Zoloft. It didn't make anything go away, just made it bearable. I have since changed to another drug in the same family. I ran out not long ago and while I was waiting for my mail order pharmacy to fill it, I started taking it every other day to make it last until my new bottle arrived. If I had any doubts that it was helping, they are gone now. I take them at bedtime and on that second day around noon I could really tell that I needed it---so could love of my life, although he chose to wait and share this with me after I was back on my daily dose. All this to say that this had better not be some kind of demented joke and it really is "pause" after all. I don't know of anyone in my family who went through a natural menopause (that word again). In the deep south it seems hysterectomies are quite common. One abnormal pap smear and out with all the child bearing equipment. Just me pondering the absurdities of life.........


Lest the title should scare you as to content, keep in mind that my daughter reads this........ After being together for over 30 years, I realize that we have reached a whole new level of intimacy. This revelation came to me last night as I was plucking love of my life's ears. I leaned in close (he didn't have his glasses on) and asked if it was time for me to use a hair remover on my upper lip. No way would I have done this during the first two decades of marriage! During those years I tried to hide all my imperfections, physical imperfections, that is. Now I am perfectly comfortable handing the tweezers to him and letting him pluck that ugly black hair from my chin. This is the man who has seen me give birth to his children........ so why was I hiding that roll of fat that resembles a flesh inner tube? Is it because I have reached a certain age? Maybe. When I turned 50 I didn't feel old or depressed. I felt free to speak my mind. I can't wait to be 80. You can share all your thoughts with the world and everything is forgiven because you are old! I worked for a short time in a pharmacy before we deluded ourselves into thinking owning a campground would be fun. I remember one of the customers, an adorable little old lady in her 80's, telling me she only wanted a one week supply of her medications. I was worried that she couldn't afford them, so I gathered some literature that provided information about free prescriptions through the manufacturer. She laughed and took my hand between hers and said, "Oh, honey, I have plenty of money. But, I could die anytime and I don't want to waste my money on drugs." I think she and I could have been great friends as I tend to have some rather bizarre thoughts myself. At least this is what my kids tell me.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Local TV News

The 'local' TV stations are located in Columbia (not the country) and there is a university there. Apparently they offer courses in broadcasting....... This makes the broadcast all the more entertaining as we get to watch students blunder their way through segments that I suppose are their assignments. I guess this is the easiest way to weed out the ones who aren't suited to a life in front of the camera. That isn't always the case here, though. My favorite is the skinny little girl who speaks with such a heavy accent--sounds middle eastern--that it is impossible to understand what she is reporting. The first time I heard her she was on in the morning during the local update that comes hourly during the Today show. I usually have that on in the 'background' and if something catches my attention I stop what I am doing and watch. When I heard her, I stopped and had to really concentrate to understand her. At the end of her segment she announced that she would be back "in two to five minutes". What? Oh, she is trying to say twenty five minutes! Okay, you would have thought that after that they would pull her aside and explain to her that in order to deliver the news people would have to be able to understand her. Nothing against her, although she did look terrified, but maybe she should make another career choice. No, she was on for about a month, indicating to me that she was going to continue with this course. Another thing that I find annoying is the hair. The female anchors all have the same hairstyle, no matter the length. It is parted on the same side and poofed out on the sides and flat in the back, so that when they turn to comment to the co-anchor you wonder what deformity has befallen their heads! Even the students are subjected to the stylist, making for some really bizarre looking do's. The male counterparts have escaped the stylist so far. It is amusing, though.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday, Monday,can't trust that day.....

What is it about Mondays? Everything I have touched today has turned out wrong, so I am sitting here with my herbal tea having what my youngest used to call 'a piece of quiet'. I am sure she meant peace and quiet, but I kind of like her version better, it's more tangible. I had so many projects planned for the day and have managed to get absolutely nothing accomplished. We had a hail storm yesterday followed by rain (a gully washer), then the temperature dropped. It was still chilly this morning and my joints hurt, so my morning walk around the park was delayed........then the rain came again and I was stuck inside all day. Love of my life was in a lazy mood, too, so we have been sitting in front of the TV most of the day. I wanted to get my last cabinet put together so that I can put all the stuff on my table away---didn't happen. I decided to make some banana bread as a prize for all my lethargy. Remember I said my joints were hurting, especially my hands. Not sure how it happened, but the hand mixer got away from me. In addition to my hair and clothes I had globs of banana batter all over the kitchen---walls, cabinets and appliances, curtains,too. I was not happy, as I had just painted those cabinets and walls. I salvaged enough batter to make one loaf and cleaned up while it baked. I sat down to rest and noticed that Wall-E, the wonder dog had rolled in something that I hope is only mud. I popped all three dogs in the tub. None of them were happy and none of them cooperated. I can usually accomplish this task without much effort. Not today. I was soaked, the bathroom floor I had just mopped this weekend was soaked. I had to change clothes again. Is it bedtime yet? All is not lost, though, because I ran spell check and no misspellings were found! This makes me insanely happy-----gee, that is so sad.........

Dog Hater

I hope this incident isn't an omen for the upcoming camping season.......... I was deeply involved sorting tools and screws and various nails and such when the buzzer announced a customer. Wall-E began his high-pitched yapping and the other two joined in. Wall-E hasn't experienced a busy season yet and it will take some time to train him (and, no, not with one of those collars that shock him every time he barks!). I know full well how annoying it is, but he is still very young and learning. Oscar and Emmy pretty much ignore the buzzer unless I don't respond quickly and some one uses the bell on the counter--I kind of like that. They will also bark if any one raises their voice to me and I respond with a certain tone--like that, too. Wall-E will learn, this is just new to him. Back to the "gentleman" awaiting my attention. He is dressed like Lance Armstrong in his biking gear. He has the bicycle helmet with a light and small mirror attached to it. He asks if I have an off-season rate for tent camping. I don't, because I keep my showers open year round as well as all the amenities of the park with the exception of the pool. He looks at me disgustedly and says he will have to think about it; leaving me wondering if he is disgusted with the price or me. Whatever, I go back to my sorting marathon thinking he has mounted his trusty bicycle and pedalled away. I also have a chat with Wall-E about his behaviour. Not ten minutes later the buzzer sounds again. Same man, same expression on his face, same yapping of Wall-E with Oscar and Emmy joining in to complete the chorus. The door to the store is a half door so it was, I admit, pretty loud. I managed to shush the two older dogs as I entered the store, but Wall-E wasn't inclined to obey me (yet). He says he has decided to stay and I hand him a registration form. "You need to do something about those dogs" he says. I apologize and say that one is a puppy and hasn't acclimated to the buzzer yet. To which he sneers, "Dogs are only good for annoying people and shitting everywhere." For a moment I am stunned. I know what I would like to say....but he is the customer and the customer is always right...... I guess my voice took on that 'tone' because Oscar joins Wall-E with his vicious bark. I finished the transaction, took the man's money and locked the store. The restrooms probably could use freshening since they haven't been used for about a month, but I don't even go check the paper supplies. Instead I sit down and cuddle all my four legged babies. What a jerk! Wall-E has his own blog so that he can keep in touch with his true owner, my grandson. There is a link here--check it out.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Coverage You Can Count On

The news is on .....can it be that late? Oh, daylight savings time, how could I forget? They announced on the local NBC affiliate three times that I heard last night. Unfortunately two times they told the viewers to turn their clocks BACK and once we were told to turn them ahead. I was only half listening until I heard the words, "....and don't forget to turn your clocks back tonight before you go to bed..." Stopped what I was doing and thought, "That's not right." Actually I said it aloud to the dogs, since love off my life was at work and I was alone.....except for the animals. So I started paying attention to the broadcast and the meteorologist instructed me and all the other viewers to turn our clocks forward. I am relieved as I had been chanting "spring forward, fall back" to myself. I sat down with the dogs to finish watching and just before the news is over once again the anchor on the station providing 'coverage you can count on' tells me to turn my clock BACK! What? I chant the phrase again, I know I am right, I try out "spring back, fall ahead". Kind of rolls nicely off my tongue, doesn't make much sense, though. Gee, I wish Drew were here so I could have someone to help me make fun of the broadcast. But, no I am alone. This was the 6:00 news and she did it again on the late night news. Wonder how many folks turned their clocks back?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Lifetime Warranty?????

I bought a pair of sewing scissors, maybe two years ago. They weren't a brand I had ever heard of, but they were light weight and sharp and since my hands now have arthritis...... They were great scissors until they broke. The screw or whatever that held them together simply snapped at the connection. They weren't expensive, but they weren't cheap either. I only used them to cut light and medium weight fabric. On a recent trip to WalMart I looked at the same scissors again and discovered they had a "lifetime warranty". Of course the packaging is long gone, so I retrieved the info and have sent the scissors back. No reply so far. But, now I am wondering, what exactly is a lifetime warranty? Is it the life of the product or is it my lifetime? Are they going to really repair the scissor or simply send out a new one? What if I die before it gets done-- does that void the warranty? If they simply send out new scissors in reply to anyone sending them back, what do they do with the old ones, can they be recycled? Just wondering.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Paintbrush In Hand

Although I still feel less than myself since being so horribly sick, there is still work to do before I get caught up in reservations and gardening (along with all the fun stuff associated with owning a campground--cleaning toilets being my least favorite). I am painting the finished wall today and anticipating moving the furniture to it's new locations. When we purchased the campground I had thought I would have a nice little cottage style home to live in--not attached to the store--so I didn't pay all that much attention to the living quarters. I soon discovered that living away from the store would definitely be harder as we are open 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. So this has become our home. It is crowded and not exactly company friendly so I spend my insomniac hours planning and my waking hours implementing those plans. I have learned so much in the past five years. I have mastered many new skills. I have always liked to paint (walls, not pictures) and I don't think a whole month has gone by without some paint job by me. It is not unusual for me to respond to the store buzzer with brush in hand. Paint is so amazing. It transforms so much. Unfinished to finished, unclean to clean. I just love to paint! Given the current economy and my love for HGTV all my new plans involve remodeling using only what is on hand. This has been so hard for love of my life! He would rather make as many trips as possible to various stores per project. I find it as challenging mentally as physically. I am quite happy with the results, too. This winter we added a wood burning stove with two eyes to the area behind the kitchen. I added to my cast iron cookware from second hand stores and we have enjoyed quite a few meals cooked solely with a wood fire. I can also keep my tea kettle going all day this way. We built the kitchen we have now in what was previously the laundry room. The kitchen area that was here had less than 4 feet of counter space and hardly any cupboards. There was a lot of wasted space in a storage area behind the store area and then there was this huge laundry room (11X11). We had to buy some new cabinets and used the existing ones as well. Currently we have four different styles of cabinet doors. Hey, it's eclectic and the paint pulls it all together. I bought a beautiful old library table at a second hand store and refinished it. I can now seat 10, but the table is too big for the space it is in. This is what prompted my newest project. We had built an area to house our freezer (a necessity for my garden) and a second refrigerator. I had insisted on a pocket door for this and Drew was none too happy that my new plans took down that wall and the door (don't worry, I am working on new plans for said door---don't tell Drew!). In place of those appliances will be banquet seating with storage in the benches. This meant that I would no longer need the peninsula that we built atop the half of a wall we left up. That is down now and I just painted that wall and I am patiently waiting for the paint to dry so I can move my table to it's new location. We reused most of what we removed and still have some sheet rock left for another (as yet unknown) project. Unfortunately I didn't think to take any pictures before I started--but use your imagination. Taking a cue from RV's I have tried to use every nook and cranny for storage. My pantry is only 8 inches deep and 30 inches wide, but it goes floor to ceiling. Love of my life finally finished my new base cabinet and counter top area near the wood stove--only 12 inches deep, but it holds all my cookware. Above this I hung an old display fixture from our previous venture-it used to hold pager housings. It is heavy duty and I use it to store and display my cast iron. Above that I installed a shelf to hold all my cookbooks. Of course being a short person I keep a stepstool handy. Now that my tour is over my paint should be dry....time to mop!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Spring Cleaning

What a beautiful day! 70 degrees. Sending me out to work my flower beds. The wind however is not cooperating. In I came to look over all the flower seeds I collected last fall. Labor day weekend we had a church group that reserved the entire tent area along with some full hook-up sites. They gave some really nice mums to me and I salvaged the seed. They were wonderful people to work with and asked if they could set up a tent pavilion for their meetings. They set up in the back near Drew's beloved barn in order to have power for their speakers. They also had some impromptu jam sessions of bluegrass music that the other campers enjoyed. I have a limited view of the park from my perch at the registration desk--mainly the front drive and parking area. So, mostly, I watch folks come and go. I wasn't busy when I saw a truck pull up to the propane dispensing tank. They were here to pick up some tanks that had been left for Drew to fill (remember I don't do this). Drew was, as usual, running late so I went out to tell them this. These guys are local and know Drew; and , don't know how to phrase this other than to say that they are "good ole boys" or rednecks. As I approached the truck I saw that they were laughing. I said, "Sorry, guys, he is running late, but should be here any minute." One guy looked at me and said, "Oh, I thought you had gone and kilt (killed in redneck talk) him, cause I see ya'll are setting up the funeral tent." I turned in the direction he had been looking to see what he might be referring to. Sure enough, the tent pavilion my church folks had set up did indeed look like it was ready for a funeral service, flowers and all. Ah, memories.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Home Improvement.....I Hope

Project "make a new space using only what is on hand" is still underway. I am in charge of sorting and cleaning the debris of the teardown. Wore a mask for the worst part and still had an asthma attack. I hate to use my inhaler, makes my heart beat funny and I feel light-headed. Which is why I am "playing on the computer" instead of helping right now. I have all the salvaged materials ready anyway. I would have been able to salvage more if love of my life didn't use the pneumatic nail gun like it was a machine gun. I watch HGTV and DIY and not once have I seen the nail gun used like Drew does it. I wish he had to go to work and I would just finish this myself. It is finally somewhat warm today, almost 50 degrees; making me wonder why he is sawing the boards INSIDE the house. When it was bitterly cold he would go to his sanctuary (the barn) and cut everything out there. The dogs are clinging to me because of the noise and the sawdust isn't helping me breathe.............

Monday, March 2, 2009

Internal Revenue Service

Just when I thought my day could not be any worse...... Dosed the dogs, prepared lunch and got Drew off to work. That's when I noticed there was no firewood for the stove tonight (thanks, Honey). I bundle up and go out and gather wood in between phone calls. It has actually been a good day for reservations. In between attending to my four-legged children (did I forget to mention that crazy cat ate some pizza and fritos and yakked all that up) I decide to try to get some sewing done. Sewing is like therapy, it calms me. Nothing makes me happier than creating something from a mere scrap of cloth. Off I go to my sanctuary...only to discover the halogen lamp has a blown bulb. I don't have a replacement and can't leave because I am expecting a traveler. I try using the overhead light, but there are too many shadows cast on my work table. Okay, it wasn't meant to be. I will read. Can't concentrate, so I turn the TV on and continue to field calls from telemarketers. Mondays are the worst. Phone rings again and prepared to politely announce that I am not interested, I answer. It is the IRS. We were audited for 2006. They have decided to audit 2007 now. I hope the dogs finish pooping by dark, cause I was to go to bed and hide from the world...........

And It Only Gets Better-read previous post first!

Okay, I hit the "publish" button too soon. So, to continue the story of my fabulous morning, after I toweled off my four-legged friends I had the tub to deal with. I scoured scrubbed and disinfected with bleach, only to have the drain back up. Drain-o, wait then scrub some more, so that I can shower. My morning shower is the highlight of my day. It refreshes my mind as well as my body. It is steamy and warm and all mine.( After bearing children for eight years and having no privacy for long after that, I still cherish that little time of relative aloneness in my morning.) I grab what I think is conditioner after rinsing shampoo out of my hair and pour it into my hair. To my surprise it lathers up. Squinting, I examine the bottle (don't wear my bifocals in the shower) more closely. Dog shampoo. I don't have fleas, and now I have a fresh citrus scent. As I get out of the shower I trip on Oscar--he is waiting for me. He had one of Wall-E's white hairs in his eye. I pluck it out and he decides to lick my leg dry as a reward. All I can think about is the worms and wonder if they can be transferred to me by his tongue on my leg.......... maybe a tape worm to eat up all my fat? Just kidding, just kidding.......although....... I am off to the store to purchase the worming medication.

STD For Dogs?

If this is a taste of the week to come, I need sedation. We are keeping Wall-E, my grandson's puppy for awhile. He is a funny looking mixed breed. Looks like chihuahua and terrier. He is white with black spots on his skin that show through the fur. He is very skittish and hasn't ventured out the front door until today. He and his partner in crime, Oscar (the cantankerous dachshund ) took off running through the front lawns. They were gleeful to be out and would stop, jump on each other and play fight before chasing one another. Oscar knows the limits of the property, but I was afraid Wall-E would make it to the road. Can you imagine telling your 4 year old grandson that his dog was hit by a car and killed.....on your watch? This in mind I began trying to lure them towards me so that I could herd them back in. Oscar knew full well what I was doing and kept heading towards the road and the pond---did I mention that he has a streak of pure evil in him. Finally the love of my life came to help. But before they came in Wall-E discovered some kind of animal poop--cat, I think--and managed to smear it all over his back. So, of course, I had to bathe him. Might as well give them all a bath, so I put all three little dogs in the tub and began the task. Keep in mind that Emmy had not gone on the excursion with the boys and due to having had her spine fused several years ago after breaking her little back, she doesn't always have such good control of her rear end. I douse them all with water and then start shampooing them all. During the rinse cycle poor Emmy had a poopy accident. That was bad enough. But when I was cleaning that mess up I discovered WORMS. Emmy is a delicate little thing weighing in at 6 lbs. When I hold her, her little leg bones feel like those of a bird to me. If she has worms, then they all do. I am thinking this would be the equivalent of a doggy STD--what with all the butt licking going on. I am glad I discovered this, so that I can remedy it---it's the remedy I am not looking forward to. They will all have diarrhea and said diarrhea will have to be cleaned up. I guess we all know who the poop scooper is around--me!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Ode To Crazy Cat

My cat, Gremlin, is old--almost 16. We named him Gremlin because he has a smashed face and looks like a gremlin. When he came to live with us he was a very aloof little kitten. Apparently he either came from cat royalty, or was told that his lineage was thus. One of his very first acts of rebellion was to go into the master bath and get into our collie's bed and pee. He peed so loud I could hear it, as I wondered what he might be doing. He was establishing himself as King of the animals in our house. Not a good idea on his part as I quickly picked him up and swatted his bottom as I scolded him ( I am the all-powerful ruler of my animal kingdom, Me and Me alone). Sarge, our sweet collie never held this against Grem and they became allies as we added to said animal kingdom. We added a rambuntious st. bernard to the mix and poor Gremlin, indignant, though he was, eventually accepted Louise and stayed out of her way. Nine years ago we added two daschunds to the mix and once again Gremlin was displaced as the favorite lap animal. All this time he remained aloof and did not allow himself to be picked up or petted by many. He preferred me, liked my dad on his visits, disdained all small people (grandchildren). He was content to roam our big house always confident that he was the only animal able to leap to high places. He used this talent to endlessly torment Oscar and Emmy, getting just high enough to wave his long tail at them so that he could watch them leap impotently into the air. He was not at all happy when Emmy gave birth to three adorable puppies. I can only imagine how happy he was as we sold the puppies one by one. Then we moved here to the campground. He stayed hidden for the first year, no doubt indignant about the lack of space he was used to (we sort of downsized from about 3000 square feet to 980). Our living quarters are attached to the office/store and he didn't explore there until winter came and it was idle all day. Most of the time he would sit on the back of the chair nearest the window to be able to watch the cat the previous owners left. Last year brought many sad changes to Grem's world. Sarge, his best buddy, had a stroke, and died. Sarge was our peace maker, he would simply walk away from a fight and many times he would step in and play ball with Oscar (he would pick the ball up in his mouth and kind of toss it for our little demon). As he grew old most days would find him sleeping away the afternoon on my bed with Grem next to him. Gremlin doesn't do that anymore. We all grieved our loss and the unimaginable happened as only months later we lost our Louise. Gremlin began spending most of his time in the store. He would approach customers and paw at their legs to be picked up! Total personality change, as most folks didn't even know we had a cat. He apparently suffered a small stroke. His face looked funny and his gait was off. He began walking sideways and would sometimes miss when trying to jump onto a piece of furniture. I was not up to losing another pet so soon, but would not have hesitated if Grem had been in pain. He is now very affectionate--almost annoyingly so. He likes to be in whatever room I am in--always in my sight. For a while he had decided to go outside. He has no front claws and has never been an outside cat, so I was hesitant. I was hesitant until he started peeing in the floor. He would pee in the store, in the living room floor, in my bedroom floor, and his favorite thing to do was to get into the guest bed and pee and poop (he must have known better than to hit my bed). I keep that door shut now. Lately he had decided to do his business in our bathroom. Cat pee smells so horrible. I started keeping that door closed, too. I am happy to report that he is now using his litter box again. Lately, though, poor guy will be laying on the back of his favorite chair and suddenly will fall to the floor with a thunk. I am sad to say that he probably won't be around much longer which is probably why I am willing to deal with his messes. I have spent the morning watching my old guy stumble and fall over and over again. He is drooling and doesn't look "right" in the face. I am preparing myself......I think.