Sunday, October 28, 2012

It Wasn't Me!!! Really!

"What do you think you are doing?" I asked Martha the boy cat. No longer a kitten and not quite a cat, I suppose Martha has decided to see how far he can push me.

As you can see, Martha has decided to nap on the table. I just washed that table cloth and am not too happy with Mr. Martha. Like a teen is his prime, Martha is looking at me insolently.

Perhaps I shouldn't have bragged about training him not to claw and bite. I used the kennel as a jail for this. Solitary confinement. No bread, no water. He had to stay until he stopped crying pitifully. This punishment works only for teeth and claws, though.

"Get off the table!!" He seems to be saying "make me". Not only has he made this a nap area, but he has developed the nasty little habit of clearing the entire table. If the mail is on the table, he swipes it to the floor. Bowl of apples are rolled to the floor one by one, then the bowl, unless he decides to get in the bowl.

Mr. Martha, meet Mr. Fly Swatter. Really, you may want to re-think that paw you are extending! Mr. Martha has now experienced what the dogs have been warning him about. He is a very unhappy cat. He might think twice before he hops on my table again. Until this habit is broken, the table cloth will be removed before we eat and replaced after!

Besides trying to assert himself as the alpha being in my house, Martha has developed another problem. Martha eats dog food and cat food. I do not know if this may be cause of his problem, but Martha has gas. Well, that's not quite accurate, as he expels this gas with great regularity.

Although unpleasant, it does not make me love him less. But, he seems to actually choose his timing. He does this in the store while I am checking guests in. I smell it, so I know they have to smell it. They get this trapped look on their faces. They look around to see where this odor has originated and this is when Martha will disappear.

I want to deny any culpability. But I know they think I did it. On the plus side, check-ins have been really fast of late.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Growing Up

Happy Birthday to Layla, my granddaughter. She is twelve years old today. There are no words to describe just how amazing she is.

It goes without saying that she is beautiful and fun.

She is photogenic, for sure.

Not afraid to try new looks ...... and they all look good on her.

Twelve years ago I met this amazing girl and have had the joy of watching her become a beautiful young lady!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

He's Alive .......

 Remember my dead scarecrow? He's alive, he's alive!!

His clothes used to glow in the dark. The fabric has lost that capability. It is, after all almost 25 years old. I worked for a fabric chain then. We were all amazed with this new fabric. We stole away in groups to the stock room to turn out the lights and gaze at the fabric and giggle. Grown women. I actually wore this to work one Halloween. My kids were so proud .........

I hope my face didn't look like this, although he is kind of cute.

Fred Sanford struck again. He brought home an office chair. We don't really need one, since he gave me a new one for my birthday. But, it was free ...... and he was wondering if I could use it. Somewhere. So, where did he put it? On the front porch. Kind of kills the ambiance of a rustic campground, don't you think?

This is the garden I weeded after the rain.

Planted some lavender. It smells so good. I am hoping it will spread out so that when the wind blows I can pick up the scent. That has already happened with the mint that has taken over my hollow log.

The gourd vine has picked a fine time to bloom! Too late for gourds to grow, but my ferns are looking good after the hot dry summer.

Zinnias still blooming!

Clematis is fooled by the recent weather.

The sweet potato plant is looking a little sad from the frosty nights we had not long ago.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mum's The Word

My mum mound is impressive. I posted pictures of the yellow side in a previous post, this is the red side. Now I am wondering what it would have looked like if I had mixed the colors up. This represents 11 plants.

I kind of did that (mix colors) here, bit didn't plant them close enough. Not nearly as impressive. Maybe I should slip some more small plants in between these ..... but what color?

The red ones always bloom last and I see a weed I did not notice until I looked at this picture. Soon to be a dead weed.

This is a new plant I splurged on. I usually buy rescue plants that would appear to be on death's door. But Mr. Scarecrow wanted something better.

The weather forecast was for a very warm week with temperatures in the high 70's and low 80's. That's all I heard. I was so happy and began planning a week of outdoor activity in my mind. Even though I awoke with a headache and sore joints I was determined to fulfill my gardening goals yesterday. The sun shone briefly as I began weeding the garden with the impressive mums. Every 20 minutes or so the sky would darken and I would expect to feel a raindrop. I stayed on task and exceeded the goal I set for myself.

I was gifted a huge bag of lily bulbs (thanks, April!) on Sunday. They will be neon orange, I am told. Safety color. I toyed with the idea of planting them around each and every hydrant in the park, since a camper managed to hit one this weekend. No, this hydrant is not encroaching the driveway. There was a huge boulder and one of my tree stumps I like to landscape with in front of the hydrant. Clearly visible. The hope was that if you hit the boulder, you would STOP to avoid damage to your rig and not drag said boulder over the hydrant and drag it 20 feet.

The hydrant may appear to be intact. It is not. The water  line has snapped way down under ground. And that temporary conduit on top of the ground is not the water line you insist is okay. It is, in fact, a conduit with electrical wires going to the breaker box nearby. When you dragged the boulder over it you crushed it, leaving the lines exposed.

I saw you leave as I was sweeping the entrance to the store. You were clearly exceeding the posted speed limit in your effort to get out. I have your information. Do you recall filling out that handy dandy registration? Of course, when I saw you leaving and waved, I was unaware of the little surprise you had left in your wake. So, when you returned the call from us, I was not open to your condescending attitude as you tried to tell me that you had done nothing more than rearrange the landscaping and act as if I had no idea about the way "things" work. Me being a woman and all.

Funny thing is that now your wife would appear to be handling the incident with my husband. After your request for my insurance information, I was done. I understand you sustained a good bit of damage to your rig and I am sorry, but I am not liable for your lack of driving skills.

The rain came as the sun was going down last night. It is still raining now. The temperature is perfect and I am stuck here inside while longing to be outdoors readying my gardens for a long winter's nap. Guess I will just take a nap myself!

Friday, October 19, 2012

No Naps Allowed

Rainy, stormy and chilly. For the past several days. I think. One day seems to blend into the next and I lose all concept of time. Tomatoes and apples rule my world. Everyday finds me sorting the ripe, the almost ripe and the slightly ripening tomatoes. The ripe gets processed and frozen.

I finally used the last of the apples yesterday in a pie. All the rest were juiced and made into cider. The ones I culled out for the pie were in a bowl on the kitchen table. Mr. Martha decided to knock them down and roll them off the table and onto the floor for the dogs to play with. I lost a few to that. Toni Louise loves her some apples. Wall-E and Oscar just wanted to maul theirs. Martha just wanted to watch the dogs get in trouble. Just like a cat.

I think this happened yesterday. He who tows has been busy. Rain and wind seem to bring out the people who shouldn't even be driving in good weather. Last night was awful. Seems like every time I managed to get to sleep, he would get a call. He tries so hard to be quiet. I always wake up. When the phone rings, he literally leaps up from his sleep. Makes me think of those old military movies where the soldiers would jump to attention upon the appearance of an officer. He stands there by the bed and mumbles into the phone as he looks frantically for his clothes. The clothes he left in the sitting room on his chair, so he can dress without waking me.

By now I am fully awake, as he tip-toes out of our bedroom. He usually bumps into the bathroom door as he tries to navigate without light. All my senses are awake and working. I hear everything, every little bump in the night. I listen as he dresses and leaves the building. Wall-E, who sleeps next to his master is now pacing along the foot of the bed.

He marches to and fro until I growl at him. He settles on Papa's pillow and we all try to go back to sleep. Oscar and Toni Louise have hardly been disturbed and go right back to sleep ..... unless they decide a trip outside is in order. Wall-E and I toss and turn restlessly as we search for that gentle slumber that has been so rudely interrupted.

I feel like I have just gotten to sleep when Wall-E jumps to the floor to greet Papa, who has apparently arrived home. This wakes Toni Louise who joins him on the floor to tap dance as they wait for the master of the house. He shushes them in a stage whisper before a visit to the bathroom and finally returns to bed.

He manages to go right back to sleep. Wall-E gently lifts the edge of Papa's covers and squirms in to turn around and stick only his little black nose outside the blanket. Content with the world. I am still awake, as all my bed partners drift off. I ponder all the problems of the universe and solve many as I lay sleepless.

Suddenly, it all happens again, like a perverse Ground Hog day. Or, night. After his second adventure in towing last night, he decided to employ a small flashlight as he entered the bedroom. Thoughtful? Not so much. I happened to be fully awake after the tap recital performed by the dogs. It shined directly into my brain, like the light the doctor shines in your eyes. He continued with the flashlight as he tried to unset the alarm on his cell phone.

In spite of his efforts, the alarm went off on cue and I simply got up and made coffee, took the dogs out and started my day. I dressed in the dark and made sure the room darkening shade was in place so that he could sleep a little longer. The alarm did not awaken him.

As I sat and sipped the first cup of coffee, he got another call. Now on my fourth cup of coffee I am finally coming to life. I would love to think there is a nap in my future, but it is Friday ..... in a kampground. Oktoberfest is in full swing. No nap for me.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Big Deal

The water has receded. All is well in the kampground. My floors needed a good rinse anyway. I am happy to report that I don't have carpet. The only rugs I have can be tossed in the washer. Our furniture sits up off the floor on legs we made out of 4X4's, us being old and stiff getting up and down.

It was inconvenient, but not devastating. One of my kampers was truly unhappy, having vomited on herself ........... These things happen. They always seem to happen on weekends, though. On the bright side, it was raining. I suppose you could manage to wash your face and hands in the rain.

Makes me realize how dependent we are on the things we simply take for granted. I usually keep a gallon of tap water in reserve, but I didn't refill my jug last time I used it. I have now. I really felt bad about the water and we did not get it restored until about 1:00 am.

We joined AAA. Big deal, I thought. But really, it is a big deal. Did you know that AAA offers a discount card on prescription drugs? I even offer a 10% discount here at the kampground. Not on drugs, but on your stay. I went out into the cruel world today with my unsightly wad of cash (ones) to procure a three month supply of the necessary drugs.

I stopped at the pharmacy window and presented the AAA card with the all the necessary info and ordered my refills. Two of the refills were the most expensive ones we get. I was prepared to hand over nearly $500. So, imagine my smile when I paid less than $200. Imagine the look I got when I started counting out those ones .......

They should be used to me and my ones by now. I saved over $300 with that AAA card today!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

I Am Positive ........

I was having a lovely day. Slept until 10 this morning and woke to a breezy balmy day. Everything was going along just great. I sorted and processed tomatoes, then decided to make a grocery run as the sky was beginning to darken.

For every positive there is a negative? Rain was dropping as I loaded the groceries in the car and the drops increased as I drove home. It held off until I was able to unload and put them away. Nothing negative about that. We need the rain. The rest of the day moved right along with no hiccups. We actually ate dinner with no interruptions and then locked up for the night. I showered, then he showered and we were both settling down with our preferred lap mates about to watch a movie.

By now the rain has been falling steadily all evening with periodic stronger bursts. I hear what sounds like a backfire and think that it is thunder. Then I hear water pounding down. Wow, it must really be pouring! We look at each other and at the exact same moment it hits us ........

We jump up in unison and rush to the pump room in the back of our "house". The main pipe that carries the water from the well has burst. Water was rushing into the house until we flipped the electrical box supplying power to the pump off.

Saturday night. An hours drive either east or west to get all the necessary parts to fix it. The dogs and I are literally wading in here. Yes, we have a wet/dry vacuum ....... somewhere in the barn. You recall the barn, hang-out for he who never puts anything in the same place twice. I am not going out into the rain in the dark to hunt it down.

Mr. Martha has discovered the water and is taking much pleasure pouncing in it, then jumping to back of the sofa and onto my shoulders with his wet paws.

All the kampers are calling to tell me there is no water ..... What was that I was saying about positive and negative?

Are You Ready To Rumble?

I was watching my animal children playing. This is the stare down. Wall-E (white dog) is the ring leader here. That job used to belong to Oscar, but he is watching along with me, quite content to be held in my arms or to just lay around in the relative quiet while the younger animals play. It makes me a little sad to see him accept that he is old and simply succumb to his destiny. I plan to go out kicking and screaming ........ none of this dignity crap for me!

The stare down lasts until Wall-E makes a move and they all go flying around the yard until one of them is caught by another. Hmm, I think we called this "tag" when I was a mere pup. Wall-E likes to referee the game, unwilling to give up complete control and simply revel in the fun. Wall-E has issues. He is a bit of a control freak. He likes routines and becomes quite upset when we upset his time table. Issues.

Not to worry, Mr. Martha is laughing and screaming "It tickles, it tickles!" as Toni Louise nuzzles his belly under the strict supervision of Wall-E.

Mr. Martha is growing. Mr. Martha really likes to eat. He likes cat food, dog food and people food. He is not opposed to begging. A kamper asked me yesterday if I was absolutely certain of his gender, as he appeared to be looking pregnant. He is as much of a he as he can be, given the recent surgery that will prevent any little Marthas from popping up. He is just fat!

As much as Wall-E likes to control things, Martha loves to torment him. Wall-E is careful and will not allow himself to be placed in a situation that may endanger him, such as  wood pallet leaning on a pole falling over onto him. Mr. Martha, the fat cat is very much aware of Wall-E's quirks and will not hesitate to take advantage.

Toni Louise is healing nicely and able to run and play with her favorite buddy again. She still favors her injured leg, but is back to her old self. Full of mischief.

"We are just playing." She doesn't want to get into trouble for flipping Martha over. I am not worried. Martha gives as good as he gets. Look at those sweet faces. I think I am in love!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Jack Frost Lurking

Storms hung out all day, then the sun finally broke through as it was setting. I stood looking out my back door to the east as the sun was lighting the trees.

The forecast was for frost. So I went out in the cold wind and gathered my tomatoes. This is not all of them. As they ripen I am making sauce and freezing batches for winter soups and stews. The frost did not make it and the tomatoes continue to grow on the bushes. Everyday I gather more. Most of them are cherry tomatoes and I am forcing cupfuls on total strangers.

The skeleton bride is filling in for me at the book table while I process tomatoes and wait for Jack Frost.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Death Of A Scarecrow

Do you love my mums? This is 6 scraggly little plants I rescued from WalMart last year. I tenderly nestled them into some Miracle Grow potting soil and whispered words of encouragement to grow and make lovely blooms. I got this mound of yellow happiness! My scarecrow is even happy!

Little scarecrows are hanging out around the kampground, too. We have an abundance of crows this year. They have pestered me regularly by feasting on my peaches and apples. I do admit that I like to hear them cawing to each other.

It does make me wonder if those crows killed this scarecrow. So sad. I thought about reconstructing him, but I kind of like the macabre feeling of having a scarecrow corpse in the garden.

Decapitated dead scarecrow. To add insult to injury, his nose is missing.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Spiders, Snakes and Fred Sanford

I had pictures. Blogger won't post them. I am annoyed. I had such clever titles in mind. It wouldn't be the same without the pictures. I am really annoyed.

The fall colors are gorgeous an I spent the entire day outside yesterday. I stacked firewood. I rolled stumps and stacked and mowed and then I was hit with an attack of OCD and restacked the lumber pile. I carefully seperated the 2X4's from the other odd pieces of lumber and then began stacking according to length, until I realized that there were only one or two that matched. I did manage to make a much more compact stack and all the ends were even before I folded the tarp in half and secured it over my neat stack.

He who splits wood was not nearly as impressed as I thought he should be. I worked up quite a sweat restacking those boards, some of them were 16 feet long. You may be wondering why we have a stack of lumber, covered by a tarp. It was left over from some structure put together by one of the companies involved with the laying of the pipeline. I am married to Fred Sanford, that's why.

I was very agreeable to having the lumber, thinking that it could be used to construct something. I have built many a structure in my head, but, there it sits under the tarp. Not all of it. Pieces have been used for various projects. This involved grabbing a piece and shaking the pieces on top off the wanted piece, thus making the stack scattered in disarray under a giant tarp. The wood is stacked atop gravel, but weeds have popped up along the sides.

Now, we all know that I am not opposed to the pulling of weeds. This is my preferred method of eliminating the weeds. The weed eater just encourages growth by cutting it off at ground level. And that brings me to the term "weed eater". Why would you call it that? It does not consume the weeds, it simply cuts them off at ground level and encourages new growth. When weeding, you sometimes have to get a good grip on the base of the weed before pulling if you want the root to come away with the weed and eliminate more growth.

Some of these offending weeds had their origin under the tarp and I do not stick my hands under dark damp places ........ I don't like spiders and snakes (and that ain't what it takes to love me ......). Remember that song? The mind wanders. But, back to the wood pile. There is now a smaller, neater stack under half the tarp and no weeds curving from beneath. So, you can see how I would think that I deserve more praise than, "Looks good." My Fred Sanford is a man of few words.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Just Wondering

The full moon of the past weekend kept me from sleeping through the night. I have a blackout shade on the window, but I KNOW it is out there and wake from a dream filled, fitful sleep only to peek behind the shade to see the giant orb mocking me. Even through a foggy haze, the man in the moon is watching.

Besides sleep interruptions, the full moon phase seems to bring out incidents that would leave you wondering how some people make it through life.

Sitting there at my desk, wishing the day away. A man knocks at the door. I call out that we are open, but have to actually get up and open the door for him. He stands right inside the door, poised for easy escape as I ask if I can help him, all the while doubting that I can.

"I wanted to see what this place is all about ....... the sign says you have a store." I tell him that he is in the store. He swivels his head from side to side from his stance there at the door and says, "Oh." 
I ask if there is anything in particular that I might be able to help him find and he answers in the negative. "Do you rent out spaces?" he asks. "Well, yes, this is a campground." I reply, all the while thinking that he read the sign at the entrance to the park and picked up on the "store", so he must have seen the campground part. It was in bigger print, after all.

"Oh, well, I am from Illinois, I didn't know." I am temporarily dumbstruck and just sort of stare at him as he turns and exits the store. Does "campground" mean something different in Illinois? Am I wrong in assuming that the state of Illinois speaks English, just like all the other states in the union? Just wondering.