Friday, September 30, 2011

Simple Cell Phones

I get my new glasses tomorrow. This is good, because I need them to see the buttons on my new cell phone.

I accidentally washed my old cell phone. The cell phone that I was used to. The cell phone that I knew how to turn on and off. I don't text. I don't want to text. I don't want to get my e-mail, I don't want to take pictures. I just want to talk on the cell phone. I don't even do a whole lot of that. I only use it when I am not in the kampground. When I go somewhere I like to have it with me in case of an emergency.

My old cell phone went through the entire wash, rinse and spin cycles. It did not survive. I had hopes for it. I left one of the house phones outside and found it weeks later in a wheel barrow full of water. I took the battery out and left it alone for a couple of weeks and decided to see if it would charge. It did and I am able to use it. I was not so lucky with my old pink cell phone with the jeweled frog on it. I liked it because it was easy to find, being hot pink with a green jeweled frog on it. Not only that, I knew how to turn it on and off.

So, he who is in charge of all things electronic ordered a new phone for me ..... and one for him. I specifically told the man I wanted a simple phone without any gee-gaws. The new phones came. Mine is purple. A deep, dignified color that looks like it belongs to an adult. His is black. This new phone has a keyboard that will pop out, sometimes quite unexpectedly. It has a touch screen that I apparently don't know how to touch properly. Of course it has a camera, I found this out quite by accident. Can I just say that I hate this phone? Hate it. When I try to answer it, I accidentally hang up. Same thing happens to he who ordered these phones, so it is not just me.

Today I took the phone from my purse and put it on the charger. I was going to go run some errands and would need to take it with me. I was all set to go and took the phone off the charger. I pressed every button on the stupid thing, but for the life of me, could not turn it on. No, I did not read the instruction volume that came with it. I don't do that. He who bought the phone is responsible for that, then relaying the information to me. This is how we do things here at the kampground.

He who loves to drive hither and thither was delivering a junk car to a scrap yard. I called him from our land line. "How do you turn this stupid cell phone on?" He proceeded to tell me how to turn it OFF. So, I repeat my request, a little louder this time and make sure to enunciate every word. Once again he tells me how to turn it off, telling me there are two ways and to pull the keyboard out and telling me that "end call" will appear on the screen. He who needs a hearing aid was really starting to annoy me. Now I shout my request and spell the word "on". I explain to him that I am calling from our land line and that the phone was on the charger and now I want to turn it on.

"You don't have to shout." Really. You heard all that and even got the whole meaning of what I shouted. Didn't really help, though. His phone has never run out of bars and never been off since we got them. I am not the only one who does not read instruction manuals. He just bumbles his way along, pretending to know what he is talking about. He is also bumbling his way along and responding to what he thinks is being said because he can't hear and won't go get a hearing aid. He wears that same sappy grin my dad has on his face when he has no idea what the conversation is about. I won't even go into the volume of the TV, but we can all assume that I will need a hearing aid, too.

I hope the hearing aid manual is easy to read and not as thick as this cell phone manual. The phone is still not on.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Big Boys Love Big Toys

 Cattails have invaded the pond. They are invasive, these cattails cause some problems not easy to solve.

 Not only do they made it hard to fish, but they hide snakes. I am not a fan of snakes and we have had some pretty aggressive ones this year. A copperhead grabbed a fish being reeled in and after being shaken off, it went after the people on the other end of the pole!

 The main problem with the cattails is that muskrats like to nest in them. The muskrats like to tunnel and this creates a lot of water run-off issues. Can you see the excavator in the background. We have tried burning them, but the roots won't burn and they come back with a vengeance. So, he who loves anything that makes noise and a mess decided to dig them out.

He took the excavator back and came back with a bobcat and moved all the mounds of dirt and clay into the empty field. It is quite impressive, his dirt blockade.

 The hydraulic lift came home with him yesterday. See the dead tree next to him? He managed to take down some of the big branches with his handy-dandy chain saw yesterday.
I try not to watch these events, as they make me very nervous. Yesterday he told me that he got stuck about 8 feet up and had to climb down when one of the hydraulic lines burst.

"Why didn't you call me to get a ladder for you?" I asked. Because I knew you would bring your camera and post it on your blog.

 Today, after fixing the hose (or so he thought) and testing it, he got stuck about 10 feet up. And he had no good foot hold in sight. Had to call me.

Never one one to pass up such a good opportunity, I grabbed my camera and hiked down to the site with the big dead tree. He looks pretty resigned. He had a ladder close by, but he couldn't reach it. He tried to call others before he called me ........ I was his last resort!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

My Toes Are Cold

I think everyone can agree that it has been a crazy weather year. One of extremes. Labor Day weekend started with 100 degree weather and overnight dropped into the 70's. I like mild weather. 70 is good. I like cool evenings. Makes for cozy sleeping. So, I was happy that the heat wave broke and was looking forward to getting lots done outside in mild weather. But, it is downright chilly out there. I am not ready to stop wearing flip-flops. I like walking along and hearing the satisfying slap of the shoe on my heel. Open toed slip-on shoes are comfy ..... but not when your toes are cold.

What happened to spring? We jumped right into summer after a wicked cold winter and it now looks as if we are going to by-pass autumn. I am not liking this. Where are my Indian Summer days? I did not vote for this weather!

Now is the time to camp if you like a roaring camp fire. I have been busy making reservations for October. Every body suddenly realizes that camping season is coming to an end and they want to get that last trip in. It is also Octoberfest at the wineries close by. So, I answer a lot of questions as I make these reservations. How far are the wineries? Do we have firewood for sale? Is there taxi service available? ........

The strangest question I have had so far (this year, anyway) is a man who wants to know if my pool will still be open. He has called several times in reference to his reservations and has asked me each time if the pool will be open. I always tell him my standard answer the pool is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Last time he called he wanted to know if we would keep it open until the end of October ........ no, it would be too costly.  He wonders why it would cost anything .... just keep the water in and leave the cover off. He is truly baffled, even though I explain the process of keeping the stability of the water intact for him to get in. But, beyond all that, it is cold outside and will only get colder as the days go by. Even if we have a few warm days, the night temperature drops and the water is very cold. Why don't we heat it? I finally just said because we don't want to. I give up. He seemed to accept that answer.

I finally finished my memory garden for my friend, Paul. I even managed to plant some young maples yesterday. No pictures, though. It is raining ........ and my toes are cold!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Maintenance and The Law of Murphy

As much as I love this time of year, it is also a very busy time of year. Now is the time to close down the pool and tackle all those maintenance chores before winter weather sets in and prevents me from doing them. When I lay my head down on my pillow at night, I know I have earned the sleep.

I painted the big sign that proclaims us to have a camp store with bait, ice and propane in the spring. I slathered two coats of my favorite yellow green paint on. It was peeling and fading. I could still see the faint outline of my lettering and knew I would not have to drag out all the equipment to re-letter it. Before I knew it, the pool was open and I ran out of time to get the sign done. The conditions need to be just right to paint the letters. I use oil paint. If it is too windy, little droplets will blow from the brush and plop where ever they will. If you try to wipe it, the black paint smears and makes an even bigger mess. If it is too damp, the paint won't stick. And if the sun is shining on it, the paint will run.

This morning I awoke to optimal conditions to get this one task done. I got the ladder in place and climbed up with my brush in my mouth and the paint can in my hand. All set. I figure I have just enough time to get the letters painted so the paint can st before the sun hits the sign. I get two letters done before the phone rings. I ignore it, but it niggles away at the back of my mind. What if it was a reservation? What if it was one of my children and they need me? I paint all the letters I can reach from the ladder in its current position and decide to go check the call and grab a bottle of water. It was a telemarketer.

 I finish that side of the sign and reposition the ladder. I am in a painting zone now. You know what I mean. You have the feel for the brush and the amount of paint to put on, the swirl is just right to create that letter. I am painting on plywood and the surface is not exactly smooth. You have to get a feel for it, or you can easily go way beyond the line you are trying to follow. So, there I am, three rungs high, knees locked in place as I lean into the letter that is at the outer edge of my reach. I hear a vehicle coming down the drive. It is the man who puts the brochures in the store. I don't need any. He calls out that I am doing a good job and I call out that I am not open ......... meaning that I have no intention of getting off my high horse and opening the store just for him to determine that I have no need of his service. He answers that he will wait. What? He drives up to the store and I have to get down and go to the store and explain to him that I am trying to complete a task and am not opening until I am done. Finally he gets it and I am able to mount the ladder once again. Precious time is slipping away and I can feel the sun on the back of my calves. Can't hurry, though, any mistake would be a pain to fix.

So, I am finally back on task, but, not in my zone. It is just not flowing along. A motor home pulls in. He pulls up to the LP pump. He who mows is doing just that. He is mowing the front field, so he saw said motor home come in and he knows the man. Did he stop his task of sitting upon a mower and drive up to assist the man? NO! Once again I come down to earth and walk around to the man to tell him that we are waiting for our delivery of propane. This is when he who dawdles decides to come flying up on his mower.

Now when I climb back up, the sun is bearing down on me and my legs and as I paint the last letters, the paint is beginning to run. I am not at all happy, knowing that I have a big touch up job in my future. It did not help that he who stopped mowing to look at my sign told me it looked good from a distance. Sometimes one should just not speak. Really.

Then , as I am about the business of trying to get the paint off my person, the truck comes in to empty the dumpster. He lifts it, not having secured it properly and drops it on its side. I got into the shower. I figured it would be better if I did not see how much damage he did .......... the sign I just painted being right behind it. Fortunately for him, he did not knock my sign or my fence down and he picked up all the bags of garbage he dropped. I will let him live .....

I decide it is pointless to try to get anything else done before my appointment to get my hair cut, so I just leave. I am in hopes that a change of scenery will lighten my mood. It didn't help much. The battery died in my key fob to my car. Not a small annoyance when your arms are full and you try to unlock the trunk. I am not sure who Murphy is ..... but I have had enough for one day. The backs of my legs are sunburned and the sign looks sloppy.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Progress .....

 As you can see, the bench is in place and more mulch ...... a lot more mulch.

 I should be finished by the end of next week. All the rocks and mulch should be in place.

 I have a couple more stepping stones to put in place to lead you to the bench.

 I could smell rain in the air, so I planted some tiger lilies. Iris will flank either side. I really wanted to get those in, but I was so tired. I could not muster up any more energy.

 My goal this week was to make it to the peach tree and around. I did that and then some.

 The end is in sight!

 This is one long garden!

I like the bench. I sat on it today to catch my breath while I was digging up some lilies to transplant. The breeze was cool with a hint of rain and I could hear the leaves rustling on the trees. I put some solar lights in strategic spots and will go out when it is dark to see where I will need more. It was very peaceful, there on the bench, in the garden of Paul.

Today we heard more sad news. Another friend and camper passed away last night. His wife was kind enough to take the time to call and let us know. She was shaken, but surrounded by family and friends. It was not expected and I am sure she will need their support in the coming days, as the shock fades away. I asked if I could do anything, all the while knowing that there is nothing that can be done to ease her pain. Just sad, so very, very sad.

Building Up and Breaking Down

 I find baby trees all the time. Sometimes I can transplant them. Of course, sometimes they die. They need to be moved when they are dormant. In the fall. Sometimes I am not patient and that usually results in a dead tree.

 I lost my cherry tree this past winter. It was a big producer of fruit and an anchor for the corner. I needed to put something in place of the cherry tree and I also wanted to honor my friend, Paul, with a memory garden. I wanted to do it when I wanted to do it and I planted the two small maple trees in the middle of a summer heat wave. They have taken root and seem to be quite happy with the new location. It was meant to be.

Last fall, I planted two small maples with great care. I amended the soil and carefully dug them up and planted them with much attention to the roots. I watered the hole and then I watered them daily. I mulched around them and put cages around them to protect them from he who mows. They look so sad, these carefully planted trees. I weeded them and added more mulch this week, but I am almost certain that one of them is pretty much gone.  I suppose I will just stick with my impulse planting.

 This is the front of the garden as you enter the park. See how happy those little maples are? That free mulch is being put to good use.

 This peach tree will be in the garden, along with all the trees you see up to the front. It will be almost 45 feet long and about 10 feet wide. That is a whole lot of mulching, let me tell you! I made it around the peach tree yesterday. I am laying the barrier and spreading the mulch that he who loves his tractor and bucket delivers to me. I am also digging a small trench around the entire garden to make a definite break in the grass growth. Or, if you prefer, it is a moat around my kingdom that the  mowers dare not throw grass!

 I am putting rocks in my moat ... just for looks. Two frog planters have made their way to the new garden. More will follow as I find them. Paul was a frog lover.

I like this frog. He looks happy. He had an accident over the weekend when a little girl tripped over him and broke his leg off. Her Grandmother brought her in to tell me and insisted on paying for the damage. He survived, thanks to he who loves Gorilla glue. The money will go towards another frog. Who knew a gorilla would save a frog?

The weather is so nice to work outside in that we don't know when to quit! I did not start supper until 7:30 and then I just heated up some leftovers. The only time I have been in my office this week is to check in campers and take reservations. Have not even sat down in there for three days. Good thing, too, since he who relieved me for a mere hour this past weekend broke my chair.

He was adjusting it and now it just sinks to the lowest position. The chair that I have to sit in from 11 til 7 nearly every day when the pool is open. The chair that did provide a measure of comfort ....... before he broke it. Nobody has been able to fix it, since he does not know what he did to it. Harvey offered to fix it with a wooden brace that would limit movement in the chair. I declined his offer. Good thing the season is at an end.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

End Of The Season

Labor Day weekend. This is the face of Labor Day weekend.

 Snow cones were a big hit. The weekend started hot and sultry. The pool was busy all day Saturday, then a storm front came through with a steady rain all night and provided cool relief. I know my campers in tents were happy! By Monday, the jeans and jackets began to appear.

It was hard to get a good picture with the sun in my eyes, but a kite is flying.

No major problems occurred and it was a great weekend to officially end the season. Not that camping season is over. Now is the perfect time to have a campfire. The weather is perfect for tent camping. Warm during the day and cool at night. But, the pool is closed, so our list of daily chores is shorter.

This is my favorite time of year. Time to gather seed and clean up my gardens. Time to get projects done that have been put on hold. This just might be the year that gets my new bathroom done!! I have all the components, just need to rip out the existing fixtures and get the new stuff in. Sounds so simple, but I am sure we will hit a snag or two along the way.

Right now it is time to take in the laundry that has been dried by the wind ........ stop and smell the laundry.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Master Of Improvisation??

I mentioned the strange couple passing through yesterday. The man bought swim wings ......... for himself. Now for the rest of the story.

I did not see him come in, so I do not know if he was driving,  but he entered the store with a woman and they asked if they could pay to swim. The woman was nondescript, in a t-shirt and shorts. He was wearing yellow pants and a polo shirt, glasses. He looked like a cartoon character. Somewhere in my memory is the name of the character, but I cannot recall it right now. They asked where the restrooms were, so that they could change and I promptly forgot about them.

The man came back and approached the counter, underwear in hand. Yes, seriously. He wanted to know if I had nose plugs. I have sold out and won't get more this late in the season. He purchased water wings, a tire tube ring float (child size) and ear plugs ...... all the while holding his underwear in his hand. I explained to him that every thing he purchased was geared to children, but he said his arms weren't that big .......

I waited a few minutes and then went out to the pool area with my camera in my pocket to "check" the trash cans. I wanted a picture of a grown man in hot pink swim wings. He was in the water, sitting in the tire tube floating device ..... kicking his feet. I was busy, trying not to laugh. He turned away and I pulled my camera out and looked up just in time to see him emerge from the water IN HIS UNDERWEAR. They were wet and sticking to his body, fulling outlining his, um, package. I wanted to shout, "Dude, get back in the water, this is a family park!!" But, can I just say that the water wings were not the only child sized things he had.

I did not take a picture of this ......... I bent down and started pulling weeds along the fence so I could laugh. Harvey had followed me out there and he was bent over pulling at grass and laughing, too. One of my seasonal families were in the pool with their children ....... all smiles. They were cowering in the deep end and waved and called out a greeting to me. I looked over and saw that Mr. Underwear had managed to squeeze himself into the tire tube and I saw him jump into the shallow end ....... the water did not reach the floating device. I had to go inside.

The man and his companion, who was in a swimsuit, did not stay long and he came in the store again in his yellow pants and bought a t-shirt. I watched as the woman took the wheel and they drove off. I am so glad she was driving. Now, maybe she will buy him a swim suit.

Paul (my kamper) came in a bit later and told me that the man left the pool toys for the kids. The ear plugs .......... well the man stuck them in his nose. Remember, I did not have any nose clips.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Labor Day Weekend

 Ready or not, the holiday weekend is here. Our mower crapped out on us and we begged, borrowed and rented to get the grounds cut. Even my push mower died yesterday. I didn't get a chance to mow my side yard, but the hot dry weather has kept the grass low.

 I have tried to keep every thing watered. The sunflowers seem to like the hot days.

 The gourds are late this year, but have started climbing fences and blooming. These are just volunteers from last years crop. I didn't plant them.

 They are spreading at a rapid rate. I planted pumpkins, but they all died off in the heat despite the watering. That free mulch is coming in handy. There is lots of cedar in it and it smells wonderful when I walk through it ....... carefully, it will stick you in the toes if you are wearing sandals.

 My marigolds seem to thrive on neglect. I never water this particular spot.

 This garden is hard to water. It takes 100 feet of hose to even reach it. We need a good rain. Anybody out there know why my apple trees all lean to one side? And not in the same direction, either.

 My time pulling grass out the garden has paid off with some nice blooms!

 More volunteer gourds on the front porch rail.

 This sunflower is located right under the down spout hole on the gutter. That's right, I said hole. No actual down spout yet. These things take time, you know. I have an eye out for another rain barrel to sit in the spot now occupied by the sun flower. I really thought it would have been washed away by now.

 Baby gourd.

All set for the weekend ........ I hope. It is already interesting. Supposed to be near 100 today, so maybe it is the heat. A grown man just came in and bought some swim wings ....... for himself. I first thought that maybe he had a child he did not pay for, so I asked if he knew they were for toddlers. He said that he could make them work for him ...... he doesn't know how to swim. The pool is only 6 feet deep.