Monday, October 31, 2011

Party Time ....

 It all starts with fresh hot, ooey, gooey breakfast rolls. See the bacon in the caramel, the sweet with the savory .....

 My pumpkin vines blossomed and formed the beginnings of pumpkins, then withered and died. No pumpkins for me this year. Just this little one that Harvey gifted me, so I stuck some foamy stickies on it .......

 But, I do have gourds!

 Trick or treat.

 Enter, if you dare!

 Witches take flight on the night of fright!

 The kids loved the bouncy house.

 Then they donned costumes to trick or treat.

 Not just kids, either. Is that Elmer Fudd I see behind the lovely good witch?

 Um, I see a winner for the adult costume! Beetlejuice won. My second choice would have been the priest ..... but, unless you know Rich, the irony is lost. That and the fact that his wife disallowed most of the props he wanted to use, lest he offend the masses (pun intended). She did let him drag his bottle of wine ...... Boone's Farm strawberry, no less. He must be from a poor parish. Oh, and he was not depicting a good priest!

 Hello, Kitty.

 Is she cute or what? She won the pumpkin carving contest.

 The crock pots are coming, the crock pots are coming!!

 Some of the pumpkins for the carving competition.

 Site winner. These folks are really into this!

 Really into it.

 Very competitive .....

 Sound effects, too.

 I was not the only one without a traditional pumpkin to carve. And using the name of the kampground..... a wonderful feat of ass-kissery!! I appreciate that quality!

They came, they ate and a good time was had by all! I have tons more pictures, but blogger is a little tired of me now.

I am tired, too, and still not feeling great. Juice, aspirin and chicken soup. I was going to watch LMN, but all the  movies are scary today. I want mushy romance or comedy.
You know, so I can doze off.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Day After .....

We had our annual fall celebration yesterday. The ending of another camping season. Camping buddy Deb came out Friday night and spent the night in order to handle the store while I carried on with all the necessities involved with a big party. I went to bed early while all the rest of the world watched the Cardinals win the World Series. I knew I had to get up early.

I arose a little later than I planned, but still managed to raise the dough for the cinnamon buns and sticky buns. Sticky buns that were sweet and savory with the addition  of bacon  instead of nuts. After sitting with coffee and my favorite campers I kicked myself into high gear and got my tables set up and covered with covers and all the electric sources for the crock pots to come.

Trick or treaters made the rounds and the food started to arrive .... along with those who would want to stop and camp for the night. I have discovered that no matter how much prep work I do, in the end, it never goes smoothly.
Good thing I can adapt to chaos easily.

I managed to sample all the dishes before I escaped on the golf cart to look at all the site decorations before choosing a winner. It was then that I had a sudden chill. The temperature was dropping as it always does when the sun goes down, so I didn't think too much of it. I grabbed a jacket and the prizes and using my best Mom voice made all my announcements. All the prizes were awarded and chairs around the campfire were occupied with those eager for a hayride.

While he, who is in charge of all things mechanical, entertained the hay riders I managed to clean up the pavilion and get everything inside. I was really feeling crappy, but pushed myself to finish my task. I was looking forward to sitting in mindless oblivion in front of the TV. I was drinking hot cider in an attempt to stay warm.

I don't recall what position the moon was in last night, but, it was definitely a night of dog mischief. Our soup winner was absent when the winners were announced, so I delivered her prize. She was dealing with her little dachshund. He decided to tear the screen out of her window and rip it up while she was at the festivities. Her dog was not the only dog up to shenanigans.

My oldest dachshund, Oscar, was about the business of doing his business ...... in the house. Oscar, who is our alpha dog and must think his middle name is "Dammit" is a true tyrant in every sense of the word. He was upset because I was busy all day yesterday and refused to go outside. I came in, not knowing he had wiggled his way through the gate blocking off my bedroom, and stepped in his business and tracked it throughout the bedroom and bathroom. 

No rest for the weary. I was mopping when the last hayride was over. After showering, we both went to bed. I was asleep immediately. I woke at midnight when I heard a dog whining to go out. It was my tyrant, Oscar, and I took them all out. I was a little dizzy, but, I was tired, so I didn't think too much of it. At 2 am my tiny dachshund woke me. Emmy had her little spine fused when she was only 2 and has developed arthritis now that she is almost 12. She has lost the feeling in one leg and really has difficulty walking now. She is 6 lbs. of pure love and has rarely ever done anything bad. She gets upset when she has an accident and let's just say that last night's event was monumental. She had to be bathed. At 2 o'clock in the morning. By me, of course. Her event was on my side of the bed and he who sleeps through everything would not get up to pull the sheets off, so I cleaned up around him and got in the other bed with my sweet little dog shivering in a towel. I cried myself to sleep, because I know she won't be with me much longer. I held her close to me to keep her warm and let her lick my arm with her stinky old dog breath. 

I had just gotten warm and was dozing when the rest of the dog kingdom came in search of me. Had to get up and lift the tyrant, Oscar into bed. No choice, he would just sit next to the bed and whine all night. Then I felt Wall-E hop in and sniff all of us, then leave to go back to his master. Just as I was about to doze off again, Toni, who has been described as looking like a moose with her freakishly long legs jumped up and onto my hip. She walked all over me while wagging her tail to express her joy at finally finding where I had gone. She is still a puppy and a very enthusiastic one at that.

I could see the clock from my new bed and I woke every two hours. I got up at 8. I didn't want to, but I did. I remembered at 2:30 that I had forgotten to take my blood pressure pill yesterday, but was loathe to walk into the kitchen to take it. I felt pretty crappy, but I had a pretty crappy night. I opened the store, but only because I had to. I made it okay til about 11:30 when I sneezed and realized how raw my throat was. Every muscle in my body hurts. I feel like I have started an exercise program and tried to conquer it all in one day. Then I blink, my eyeballs feel hot to my eyelids.

I am sick .... and tired. I normally close at 5 today, but think I need to stay down, since I am really dizzy. I have been dosed with aspirin and sit here sipping orange juice and watching the food channel. Sweet Genius. I have no appetite, just want to be left alone and quiet. I have to jump up every 20 minutes or so and tell the world that I am not well and to please use the night registration. It is too much to hope that my husband will take care of things. He is blowing out the pipes in the shower house to close it down for the season. No nap, I am resigned to watching as cooks compete to bake with seaweed and jump up and down like a jack in the box. At 5 I am going to bed!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Indian Summer

What gorgeous weather we are having! Here I sit in my shorts and flip flops, having just finished mowing probably for the last time this year. Saturday was just as beautiful as we drove north to deliver Max, the puppy to my grandson, Gavin. While we were driving north, my daughter was driving south. We met south of Des Moines, slap dab in the middle of nowhere, Iowa.

At one point I had all five dogs in my lap ....... We met Adrienne's new beau for the first time. He must have been so impressed to meet her parents. Drew was in his orange day-glo hat he favors, with his giant turquoise Bubba mug in hand. Me? Oh, I was equally impressive in my hot pink shirt with puppy pee stains on the front. At least we were colorful.

No matter, all I wanted was to see Gavin's face when he met his puppy. I remembered the camera. Too bad I didn't check to see that the battery was charged. Gavin reached for Wall-E first and Wall-E was excited to see his boy. Max, the puppy charmed everyone by peeing as soon as his feet touched grass. Adrienne was thrilled, thinking I had already trained him in only one week. I am sure she knows different by now.

Gavin was enchanted and I am told that Max fell asleep with Gavin in his bed the first night. I won't miss getting up with a baby dog at night ....... but, really, is there anything more precious than a sleeping baby in your arms? Human or canine, a baby is a baby.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dear Martha,.........

 This picture is from 2009. Witchy Woman Martha celebrates another year today! I do know that is a wizard costume. But, Martha is wise.  Martha is opinionated and outspoken and afraid of nothing. She is someone you want in your corner, as she is fiercely loyal. She is a good sounding board, too. She will listen and hear what you have to say, then tell you what she thinks. If you ask for her opinion, be prepared to hear it ...... she will pull no punches!

 She handed me a box on my birthday. Before I could open it, she told me that she bought it with me in mind. But .... went on to say that she liked it, too; and that if I didn't like it, I could give it back to her for her birthday. Who knew that Martha would be a fan of re-gifting? No, she cannot have it back, I am keeping it.

 Instead, I started this garden project. I was just going to put some trees in to offer a little afternoon shade. Then I got a little carried away.

 Not quite done yet, but it is getting there. Thirteen tiger lilies have been planted and should be magnificent next season.

Til then I added a couple of mums. Still need to add mulch and more rocks in the border. My trees are looking sad right now. Not to worry if they don't make it I will plant more ..... because as I live and breathe ...... there will be shade for Martha!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Life In A Basket

I refuse to post pictures of my messy house. You can use your imagination. I will say that I do keep up with the kitchen, the bathroom and the bed linens during the season. I mop the floors a lot because of the dogs. Most other things fall behind. That means that every fall finds me re nesting for the winter.

Earlier this week I tackled the area by the back door and my personal laundry room. I painted the alcove walls and ceiling and cleaned up everything except the work area of he who loves clutter. His "workbench". Supposed to be a workbench, but it is piled high with clutter. I confess that I am guilty of adding to it when I look for a place to put something out of my way until I can get to it, but the bulk of the mess is his. And he has never cleaned it up.

But, that was earlier in the week. This morning I decided to tackle the table by the front door. More specifically the basket atop said table. This is the basket I placed there to hold keys and cell phones and wallets, etc.

Perhaps I should limit the size of the basket ......... This is what I found in the basket, the basket I never use, the basket that is all for the convenience of he who keeps everything.......

$49.46 in loose change, 2 checkers, 4 latex gloves, a set of nail clippers, 2 drill bits, an oil filter for his truck (wrong size, he was going to take it back), a drawer pull, 2 use up tubes of Orajel, a tube of Vaseline lip therapy, a bulb from a set of Christmas lights, a box cutter, a cup hook, every list I have made and given him since May, various receipts, 2 cellophane wrappers from his favorite peanut butter crackers, a Reese's wrapper, two pairs of work gloves, lots of pocket lint, .......... and a partridge in a pear tree.

Oh, there were keys, too. A lot of keys. Some of them I am quite certain he has no idea what lock they belong to. I will be keeping the money. I did, after all, work for it by picking it out of all the other stuff. I deserve it, don't you think?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Designated Driver?

Sitting here watching the morning news and sipping coffee, I hear a story about the father who used his nine year old daughter as his designated driver .......

Okay, I was not sitting peacefully, holding my warm cup in both hands and listening intently. I had four dogs on the couch with me and one at my feet whining to join the rest. The resident puppy was chewing on my fingers as I was trying to swaddle him for a nap. One was on the arm of the couch staring daggers at said puppy, while one is wedged so close I feel the need to scoot over. The older puppy is walking back and forth on the back of the couch and dancing on my shoulders.

The puppy is asleep now. He likes to be swaddled like a newborn, then held close and patted on his tiny bottom. Goes right to sleep. The three older dogs have settled down and Toni, the big puppy is playing with a toy. So, I back up the news to listen again as I sip the lukewarm coffee.

The story does not say that the man is drinking, but shows him telling the store clerk that his nine year old is driving and he is obviously impaired. It occurred at 3:00 am. The vehicle was pulled over to find the nine year old driving while sitting in a booster seat. Sounds like she needs a designated parent.

Wonder where her mother is? Wonder what happened after they pulled the vehicle over ....... did they put the child in foster care? Is the father in custody? Will a judge be impressed that he was not driving drunk and that he had the good sense to employ the use of a booster seat so that the child could see as she drove? Will he take into consideration that it was 3:00 am and traffic was light?

My coffee is cold now and it is time to get my day going as I wonder all these things.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Goodbye Spooky

Seven years ago, when we bought this campground, we discovered that a cat came with it. She simply showed up one day about six years before we came along. I think she was a Blue Russian. She was a bit aloof and at first would only allow me to pet her when I would put her food out. As our first winter winds started to blow I worried about her being outside. She refused to come inside, but she did allow me to pick her up and hold her.

She was quite independent and caught her own food. She seemed to like birds the best, but she was also a good mouser. I lined an old hooded litter box with a wool blanket and she began spending her nights and nap times in there. I was resigned to her not taking me up on my offer to come inside.

We would wonder, from time to time, just how old she might be. She must have been spayed, because she never had any kittens. But, like most proud females, she kept her age a secret. No tell-tell signs of gray ........ she already had gray fur.

Last winter was extreme and she finally decided to come live inside. Only at night. She began depending on the catfood I gave her as the main part of her diet and bird feathers no longer appeared on the front porch. I still kept her food outside to prevent the dogs from eating it and witnessed her sharing it with an old possum. The older she got the more docile she became. She would hop into my lap if I sat on the front porch and purr contentedly.

For the past few months, she preferred the indoors and seemed to be fading away. She was losing weight, not matter how often I would feed her. I resorted to offering special treats to her. She loved canned tuna and she snacked on dog food when ever she found the bowl without canine presence. When I held her she felt like just skin and bones. But she still purred contentedly. I knew she was not going to be with us much longer.

I did not see her yesterday morning when I went outside. I didn't see her all afternoon. She would usually come to the store door and slip in with a customer. Late yesterday afternoon, after closing the store, I decided to walk out to the barn with the new puppy. He is like a baby, motion will put him to sleep.

I saw the still form of the old gray cat right under the front of my car. She looked like she was catching a nap. I called out "kitty, kitty" and she did not move. She looked like she simply lay down and went to sleep for the last time. Still, I was sad that she died all alone.

She had a proper burial and I called the only other person who loved her as much as I did.  Debbie had renamed her Smokey and we both were sad, but Deb reminded me that Spooky/Smokey had a really good life. Still, it was sad not to see her on the porch this morning.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


 Meet Max. My newest grandpuppy. Max will only be here until I can get to Minnesota and deliver him to his new owner, my grandson, Gavin.

I was minding my own business here at the kampground, sitting here in my broken chair at my desk, nimbly playing spider solitaire and thinking about taking a bathroom break. A woman that I only know from pool season entered in a cloud of perfume. As my sinus pain was in remission and I did not want it to return with a vengeance, I was concentrating on finding out what she wanted quickly.

She started her tale of woe about her granddaughter having surgery and needing to leave in a hurry as I half listened and made appropriate murmurs. She got to the part of a litter of puppies in her car and I saw my opportunity to go outside! She was on her way to the animal shelter in town to give the puppies up. They are Chihuahuas (she pronounced it shihuahua).

I had no intention of getting a puppy ...... none at all. I just wanted to get outside in fresh air. My sinus pain is making the left side of my jaw feel like I should grab some pliers and yank out my teeth. A little pressure, you know.

So, she pulls this kennel out and opens it up to reveal five little puppies, one of which was white and looked a lot like Wall-E. Wall-E, Gavin's first dog. Wall-E, who came to live with us when Gavin could not keep the dog in the apartment. Wall-E, the dog that Papa would not give up when Gavin moved and could have a dog. So, what was I to do? I mean she was headed to the dog pound, for heaven's sake!

Being wise beyond my years (okay, maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration), I summoned he who is a sucker for puppies to the office and literally stuck the puppy in his face. "Are you thinking what I am thinking?" I asked. We both said "Gavin" at the same time. And that is how I came to be writing this with a little white puppy against my bare skin in my shirt.

 He was scared of my scary scarecrow, which is good, since that is the very definition of what scarecrows are supposed to do ......

He slept for awhile in his kennel, but is missing his litter mates now and wants the company of myself very close to him. I will not get attached to him! The scent of puppy breath is in the air and my sinuses have no problem with that!

Wall-E graciously gave up his own puppy blanket and wrote his boy a letter asking that he give the puppy without a name something to call him by, other than "it" or "puppy".
His name is Max and Gramma is planning a trip north to unite Max and Gavin.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Circus Is Coming!

 No kidding, the circus is coming. I came out the door to see he who is always curious talking to these clowns.

 They were here to let everyone know that the circus was coming. They were very excited, as you can see. Even the circus car was sporting a clown nose.

The clown ride encountered a bump along the way and was sporting band-aids.

I just opened the weekly paper and saw the ad for the circus. Those clowns were right!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Trick or Treat?

 It is that time of year again. My gourds from two years ago are ready to be used. White paint and some scary faces for these ghosts.

 Red eyed demons ........

 Sweet faced scarecrows ....

 here and there ...

 A wicked graveyard cat.

and a charming witch. Setting the stage for the end of the season party. October 29th. Chili/soup cook-off, bonfire, hayride through spooky forest. Did I mention there are fabulous prizes? There are.

Monday, October 10, 2011

My Book

Okay, the book is in the early stages right now, but we hope to have it in print by January. I am just excited. The book is in the voice of a dog and is three years of letters to his boy, my grandson. I will definitely be broadcasting the release far and wide as the end of this process draws near. I will blog about writing a book!

In the meantime I will blog about closer subject matter and he who provides so much inspiration .......

My hardworking husband always has an extra job on the back burner for our down time in the winter. He was working at the gas station at the end of the road here until the owner decided to subtract ride-offs from his meager paycheck. Ride-offs are those folks who decide to pump fuel into their tanks and simply ride off and not pay. The higher the cost of fuel, the more often it happens. So, when he confronted the man about the deduction, the man did not want to talk. He wanted to fight. Really. I tell you, you cannot make this stuff up! The man is known for his hot temper and rather colorful use of language. He who is a lover, not a fighter, simply drove away.

He has a new job. He takes calls to go out with the wrecker and tow or haul the wrecks in. This not only allows him to drive a big truck and play with equipment, but he gets to wear safety green and orange day-glo colors. He is kind of cute, I must say.

But ........ when the phone rings in the wee hours of the morning and he proceeds to talk to the dispatcher while still in our bedroom, not four feet from my head and then turns on every light in the house to find his clothes, he is not at all cute. I get up out of bed when I cannot sleep and quietly leave the room under cover of darkness so as not to disturb my mate. I only ask for that same consideration. I am a very light sleeper and once awake find it difficult to get back to sleep. I suppose he thinks it must be okay not to even try to be quiet, since I will wake up anyway.

He got a call around 4 this morning. I had already been up once to take the dogs out and find out why the cat was yowling. Of course, when I got up, I did not talk on the phone or turn on the lights and I made no unnecessary noises. I may have grunted when I heaved the fat dachshund back into bed. Did I cry out when I stubbed my toe on the fan that he insists on positioning right in the normal walking path? No, I did not. Did I throw the dog toy I stepped on against the wall and say a few choice words to the animal responsible? No, I did not. If I need some illumination, I turn the closet light, not the overhead light on. 

He got out of the bed while talking in a normal tone to the caller and left the room as he talked and turned on every light he encountered. The dogs thought it was great time for an excursion and stood waiting patiently at the end of the bed to be lowered to the floor. Two of them, anyway. One tried to push me out of the bed to overtake my warm spot and the puppy called Toni jumped in and out of the bed to let me know she was ready for some outside time. So, I got out of bed to accommodate the dogs and ran into him as he came back through the house turning on any lights he may have missed on the first pass. He was looking for some jeans. Not in the closet where they hang, but in a stack of folded laundry ..... or previously folded, I should say. So, I followed the man and directed him to clothes and turned out lights. When he left, he told me to go back to sleep. That helped a lot....... 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Life Is Good

I just might be a wee bit hung over ........

It all started when I bought this lovely bottle of wine. I actually was buying it for the bottle. I liked the bottle, It was tall and it was a lovely shade of blue. Very tall. I had been working on emptying this bottle for quite some time. I want to give the bottle to my daughter. She needs it. I know just where to put it in her house. I can see it in my minds eye, nestled on the shelf next to her fireplace.

So, you can see that I was doing this for her. I suppose I could have given her the bottle with the contents intact, but being the good mom that I am, I was willing to sacrifice my sobriety and empty this lovely bottle and prepare it for display.

The bottle had several glasses left in it at the beginning of the evening. I am not sure how many, because I did not use a wine glass. I did not drink from the bottle! I have more class than that! I drank from my insulated cup that goes into the freezer and keeps your beverage cold. This comes fully equipped with a straw to sip from. After the first cup and sharing with others, there wasn't much left. Didn't look like much to me ....... so I polished it off.

Not so perky this morning, even after the half a pot of coffee. But, things are looking up, here at the kampground. My old pink phone adorned with the bejeweled frog is holding a charge and working. Good thing, too, since I never got the other one to turn on. It is a beautiful fall day, warm and breezy.

Oh, and my first book is being published!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My New Cell Phone

I have found the cell phone for me! I tried to describe it to he who purchases electronics ........ he couldn't hear me ... the TV was too loud.