Thursday, December 26, 2013

Smells Like Baby Powder

I went shopping today. I did not get up before the sun or anything strange. I took my time, had my daily dose of coffee and then got ready. I left around 11 am. There is nothing I want that would require me to rush around.

I fed and watered the dogs, took them all out and left Oscar in charge ( perhaps not the best choice, since he pees on the floor). All the accumulated ice fell off my car and I zipped over to the interstate and was pleasantly surprised to find traffic light.

I easily found parking places close to the door, the weather was nice and I found some good bargains.  Then I came home, mopped up the dog pee adorning the floor, and collapsed in a chair. Shopping is hard work. I am exhausted. Maybe I should get out more .......

I enjoy shopping. I like watching other people to see what they are buying. I also like to wonder where side roads go and who may live at the end of the road. Could this be why my husband declines my invitation to go with me? He rarely listens anyway. No matter which side I am on, it is his "bad" ear side and he says he can't hear me. Doesn't really stop me from talking.

But today, as I drove I pondered something else. It is the cost of dog poop bags. They are crazy expensive. I am okay with the plastic bags from the grocery and I use them a lot, but have been known to run out. I do love a poop free environment.

 So, today I went to the Dollar Tree to buy some dog poop bags. With the new dog park I am considering having a dispenser in place. Maybe, although I am thinking that expense should be on the pet owner. But, that is another discussion for another day. That and the fact that everything in the Dollar Tree is actually a dollar. Not so for Family Dollar and the Dollar General. When you think about it, it just doesn't make sense.

Back to the poop bags. Three rolls of twenty sell for a dollar. Sixty bags for a dollar. Not bad you say, but as I turned to place them in my cart full of half price Christmas stuff I see something that stops me cold. Baby products are located directly across from the pet products. I put those doggie bags back and got 75 diaper bags for a dollar! Not only did I score 15 more bags, but they are baby powder scented!!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Control Panel, Graphics and the Magic of Christmas

I am learning, I suppose. By necessity. Yesterday I somehow hit a combination of keystrokes while carrying my laptop form my chair to my sewing lair and turned the screen sideways.  For hours ..... at least four of them, I fiddled with it, trying to right it. Windows 8 is not user friendly. I hovered on the right side as instructed by my IT son. The icons would appear and then disappear quicker than you can blink.  The internal mouse is hard to control when the screen is sideways. I sent a frantic message to IT son and he offered to abandon his company and family to go in and fix it for me, but, being the good mother that I am, I declined his offer and tried to handle it myself.
He did tell me to get to the control panel and then graphics.

So, while my children enjoyed holiday events with their families and He Who tows was dragging stranded motorists, I spent Christmas Eve fighting with Windows 8. He Who tows suggested that I just turn the computer on it's side. Oddly enough, his son, the computer wizard suggested the same thing. Really. Now everybody out there, turn your laptop on it's side and see how very convenient that is. I was not amused by the men in my family.

So, all alone on Christmas Eve I sat, no blogs to read, no Jigidi puzzles to construct, no e-mails to compose. I am thankful that no hatchets were handy ....... I gave up in frustration and my fingers were idle. I closed the lid of my laptop, none too gently, I confess, took a shower and went to bed.

This morning, I awoke with my canines, took them out and convinced them to crawl back into bed. I snuggled into my warm spot and had just dozed when the jangle of the phone interrupted my sleep. It was the voice of my grandson, Gavin. Just what I needed to salve my soul. "Merry Christmas, Gramma". Sweetest sound in the world. I got out of bed to hear about his Santa loot and started the coffee to brew.

After having the spirit of Christmas injected into my soul, I decided to tough it out with the laptop on it's side. I read a even commented on a few of my favorite blogs. Please disregard any spelling or grammatical offences I may have made. I was resigned to tilting my head on it's side and trying to maintain control of the mouse when it happened.

It is the Christmas miracle!! My mouse arrow meandered to the right side and quite accidentally landed on the correct icon to send me to the control panel!!! Once there, I found graphics and was able to rotate my screen the necessary 90 degrees and  ...... voila!! Here I am with my screen in the correct position, my Christmas miracle!

Merry Christmas to all!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Happy Anniversary To He Who Entertains

 "You know, that shed we bought to put my golf cart in won't do much good unless the golf cart is actually in it ......." I say to the man who will go out of his way to help a stranded motorist or is a sucker for any sob story he hears. He is watching Ellen. He is marveling at all the gifts the studio artists are getting. I have been outside loading a wagon with fire wood and kindling. The weather is mild and I am sick of being inside.

He looks up at me and tells me the golf cart will not fit ......... too much crap has been piled up in the shed. Really. The implication is that the garden supplies I have stored have not been stacked in a neat and reasonable manner. I go back outside and with considerable effort I manage to get the golf cart in the shed and out of the weather. The "door" to this shed has to be rolled up and secured with the Velcro straps at the top. I can't reach them. Didn't have to rearrange a thing to get it in, but the "door" was a pain. I still can't lift my left arm, but, I sat on the passenger side of the cart while holding the shed "door" with my right arm over the roof of the golf cart.  Insult my organizational skills and I will show you.

Last year, He Who tows bought a humidifier to provide moisture to the air while we slept. Good idea. Like all men, he did not read any of the literature accompanying the appliance. When he proceeded to fill the reservoir with water from the tap, I warned him that he should use distilled water. And like most husbands he disregarded my advice and proceeded with the tap water. We have very hard water and, as expected the unit was clogged with minerals quickly.

He decided to remedy this situation  a few days ago. I happened upon him in the kitchen. He was filling the reservoir with water and about half a box of baking soda. I did ask him what he was doing and he told me he read something and that this would "clean out" the humidifier. Sometimes, it is just fun to watch in silence, you know.

That evening, when I went about the business of preparing dinner, I asked him what the next step was in his endeavor to "clean out" the humidifier. The reservoir still sat there on the counter. He came in and emptied it and rinsed it, saying that should do the trick. I didn't laugh until he left the room. The humidifier did not function any better that night. He seemed perplexed and I asked where he had gotten this remedy from and if he had read the entire instructions. I pointed out that he had done nothing more than clean out the container that holds the water. I then reminded him that when I clean my coffee maker with vinegar, I actually run it through the machine.

I thought I had told him that vinegar would work better. Maybe I did, but it seems that advice fell on deaf ears. Yesterday, as I was putting away clean laundry I noticed the humidifier has some white residue all over it. I unplugged it and took it to the kitchen. The liquid that remained in the machine after the reservoir was removed was cloudy. White powdery stuff was on every inside surface. My first thought was that some weird kind of mold had covered it. I stuck my finger in it and rubbed it with my thumb .............. He ran baking soda through the machine! And not just a mere solution. He must have used an entire box!

Took awhile, but I finally rinsed all of the baking soda out (I think), but now I am afraid to plug it in. Vinegar, he should have used vinegar. Of course, he would have used straight vinegar and the air would have smelled like pickles or salad. Or, he could have just listened to me in the beginning and avoided all this. I have to admit that for 39 years he has been entertaining ..........

Friday, December 13, 2013

Burnt Cinnamon

Big fat flakes of snow are falling. It has been raining all day, much to the dismay of Wall-E, the wonder dog. He is loathe to soil the floor. He approached the back door twice mid morning. I opened it and he took a look before retreating back inside. Same with Toni Louise and Cujo. Right around noon Cujo danced frantically and the three ventured out into the rain to take care of business. I won't share Oscar's solution with you ....... let's just say it involved a mop.

I spent yesterday shopping and running errands. I wanted to get it all done, knowing the nasty rain was coming. I came home to a geyser on site 7. Not really wanting a water feature there, I hurried to turn off the water to the park. Another pipe to bite the dust. I alerted He Who plumbs and then put a pizza in the oven.

Today was cookie making day. I did not expect to be interrupted, given the weather and was happy to putter around the kitchen. I found a recipe for cinnamon sugared pecans. This involved 3 hours in the crock pot and seemed like a good idea ......

It did say to stir every 20 minutes or so and I tried. I put them on and whipped up the first batch of dough that needed to chill. I stirred, then went on to the recipe for giant peanut butter cookies. This is when the phone rang the first time. I may have won a cruise. Then he first door opening for the canine contingent and then back to the mixing of the batter. Another phone call about accepting credit cards for the business involving a live person at the other end. I had turned on the oven to preheat and did not have my cookies on the sheet and the dogs were watching me intently from their position at the door. I admit I was not very patient with my furry kids when, once again, they declined to go out into the rain.

After quickly getting dough on the cookie sheet and placing them in the oven I remember to stir the pecans. The sugars are starting to liquefy and the mixture is harder to stir, but I get it all stirred up and get another sheet of cookie dough ready. I pull out the first batch, put in the next and the phone rang. My insurance agent with some questions about our new policy. It is time to remove the cookies from the first sheet and I try it one handed and two fall over the side and break. No problem, He Who adores peanut butter, will eat the broken ones. I start over to the crock pot to stir while still on the phone and get distracted as he is trying to explain the Obama care to me. I turn back and see that Toni Louise has pulled the chair from under the table and is enjoying the cooling cookies from the first batch and the oven timer is dinging.

Toni Louise just looked at me, totally unperturbed at the scolding she received. The other three dogs are now shunning her .... she shared nary a crumb. I salvaged one cookie she nibbled on. Her daddy will eat it. I did not cool any more cookies on the table. Took them into the store and cooled them on the table in there. It was a lot cooler in there anyway.

But, I totally forgot about the crock pot and the stirring ....... until I smelled it. I picked up the lid and the sugars were beyond liquid and now it was sort of smoking. I dumped them onto the parchment paper as directed. Apparently the stirring every 20 minutes is important, kind of like watching the coconut closely as it is toasting.  He Who tows was here long enough to taste some cookies and grab a sandwich. He said the pecans tasted okay. He also stoked and fed the wood stove to a balmy 80 degrees. Makes me question his judgement.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Doxie Sox in Misery

This is my latest creation. I tried to get a close up of the bling on his neck. It is actually a bracelet. I bought a bunch of them ....... at some point in time.

I found them in my massive re-do of my sewing lair and thought they would make a fine little collar. This one is green glitter and is a perfect match to the sock. I suppose a contrast would show up better.

Finally downloaded the pictures off my camera last night. Had to have my son's help. Seems that I am not the only one who HATES Windows 8. Windows 8 is not compatible with Nikon cameras. What used to be an easy task now has several steps. I still have not figured out how to edit the shots. At one point last night I had a slide show going that I could not stop. Filled the entire screen and kept going and going. Had to sign out to make it stop!

This cabinet is full of fabric. This one holds knit fabrics. The bins on top hold batting and small pieces of t-knits. There are two more big cabinets that hold my cotton prints. I have 12 file boxes with scraps for doll clothes and 8 big plastic bins of flannels and fleeces and stuff I don't know that I will ever use, but cannot bear to part with. The tall skinny shelf is turned sideways and has bins with current projects in them ( hey, I get distracted!). I turned it sideways so I could mount the dowel with ribbons on the side. Too bad it won't hold all my spools (they were on sale!).

So, that is what winter hermits do in the middle of no where, in the great state of Missouri (pronounced misery). I actually heard a newscaster pronounce Missouri as misery just the other morning. Probably a student and I have not seen her back on the morning news since. Maybe she decided to go in a different direction ....

Monday, December 9, 2013

New Things To Worry About

I know I have mentioned before that He Who tows watches Highway To Hell routinely. I record it for him, as well as The Young and the Restless. One can always depend on the shenanigans of Victor Neuman to lull one to sleep.

Back to the towing show ........ I am usually reading blogs or trolling Pinterest while this show is on, but I still absorb part of it. This is about big rig towing on a highway in Canada. Ice and snow and giant trucks. It depicts dangerous and scary situations. But, like I said it is about big rig towing, not what He Who tows does. He unlocks cars and changes flats and pulls cars out of ditches and tows abandoned cars.

There is a certain amount of peril involved in what he does, but you will remember that he is attired in safety yellow with stripes on his pants and shirts and jackets that literally glow in the dark. He is very visible. Not only that, with age comes experience and wisdom. 

Yesterday, the snow was falling and the temperature dropping. This creates a nasty layer of ice on the road surface. No matter how careful you drive, there are always those drivers who believe they are invincible and refuse to slow down. It was no surprise when he got a call late in the afternoon. I kissed him goodbye and after telling him I loved him, warned him to be careful. The usual routine, if you will.

I was in my sewing lair, electric heater keeping the temp somewhere around 65, or trying to. With no window, I was totally unaware of the time passing so quickly. Phone rings. He Who Calls says, "Just wanted to let you know my truck got hit, but I am okay. There are 5 cars tangled in the cables in the median and there is a news crew taping. Didn't want you to see my truck on the news and worry."

Since I wasn't actually watching the news and had no idea it was that late ........ I got to stopping point and went back into our living quarters and took the dogs out, turned off the crockpot and finished preparing dinner. Then I started to worry. I washed up all the dirty dishes that had accumulated during the day and swept the store and even put up the Christmas tree. Then I ate my dinner and kept his dinner warm.

When he finally got home, I casually asked how his tow truck was hit and how much damage there was. Seems a driver was going too fast and slid on the ice into the car behind the car that was to be towed, then ultimately hit the passenger side of the cab of the tow truck, ripping a hole in it. "And you were in the drivers seat?" I ask. "Oh, no, I was outside. I can't hook up the car without getting outside." he says, continuing his meal. "But, I had already hooked it up and I was on the other side of the truck winching it."

What if he had been between the vehicles, hooking them up? He was pretty nonchalant about the danger involved with this job. I did not sleep well last night. Maybe I should look into some safety yellow day-glo underwear. Need more sweat shirts, too.   

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Cold Feet

The promised snow is finally falling. And, I still can't find the energy to string the lights. Instead I am singing ...... "It's beginning to look a lot like I don't give a hoot ......"

Maybe, if the kids were coming I would go all out with trees and lights and all the gaudiness I could muster. Instead I have become a hermit in the sewing room, hunkered over my machines. I plug in my SAD light (thanks to my sweet son-in-law, Nick) and sew the day away. I moved my cabinets around and actually blocked the lone window, so I have no clue when the sun is out.

When I finally venture out to prepare a meal (you will recall the peach disaster) my muscles are aching and tightly bunched between my shoulders. A hot shower helps that and I notice my feet are still calloused from my season of mowing in flip flops (I know, I know).

Hmmmm, didn't I see something about Listerine and foot soaking? Yes, I did. Testimonials swear that the dead skin will simply "fall off ". But, do I have Listerine? Somewhere in the back of my mind, I am thinking I bought some for another reason (not my mouth, I use Crest for that). I launch a search and find it. Now I remember! Ants. It is supposed to kill ants. Put it in a spray bottle and use for ants.

I prepare my foot soak. One part Listerine, one part vinegar, and two parts water. I used super hot water. It is cold outside. I settle in front of the TV, and grab the laptop. I slip my feet into the soak. Do feet inhale? Do they gasp? Mine do. I toyed with thoughts of re-heating it, but then decide I can tough it out for the 10 minutes suggested. I grab a pumice stone and scrub away after the soak and exfoliate. The dead skin did come off, although it did not simply fall away. I dried my feet and put some cozy socks on.

My feet are freezing after being dunked in this Listerine bath. I throw my thickest, warmest socks in the dryer along with a blanket to tuck into the sheets in my bed. I could not get them warm! I got up and washed them again, but Listerine has incredible penetrating values. I do not recommend this soak in the colder months.

Friday, December 6, 2013


Try, though I might, I still cannot download the pictures from my camera. Windows 8. I found a page to download the user manual, e-mail my questions and all sorts of helpful things ....... but all I get is a pop-up window telling me I am unable to access this information at this time. They suggest I try again at a later date. Really. How much later?

I am not happy. It is cold outside. My toes are cold and I am frustrated. We have had the same stainless ware for years. I tossed a teaspoon after an altercation with the garbage disposal, but for whatever reasoning prevails, there are always twice the number of teaspoons per "set" as there are soup spoons. I still have 7 forks and all 8 of the salad forks, only 6 knives left. Things happen over the years, you know. But, up until just a few months ago, I still had all 8 soup spoons. Only 3 grace the dish drainer as I speak.

Where are the rest? This deserves an investigation. Is there a soup spoon thief among us? I have given this much thought (maybe too much). I have no issues using a teaspoon to eat my soup or my cereal. It is He Who eats a serving bowl of Blue Bunny Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream, slathered in chocolate shell routinely that has the issue with soup spoons. He prefers them over teaspoons, like a toddler refusing to eat unless he has his own special utensils. This is what has me thinking that He Who eats with soup spoons may have something to do with the disappearance of said spoons.

When I questioned (interrogated) him about the disappearing spoons, he claimed ignorance of the whereabouts of these spoons. I calmly(?) suggested that he may have accidentally disposed of a spoon or two when eating the last serving of Blue Bunny Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream directly from the carton. He swears (despite the fact that he is not under any oath) that this is simply not the case.

Not so long ago, a few months, I made note of the fact that I am the only one who does dishes in this humble abode. I don't mind, I find the hot water soothing on my arthritic hands. What I do  mind is the gathering of the dishes. There is a very small island near the freezer where the Blue Bunny Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream resides (ever so briefly) and that is as far as he seems to be able to make it with his ice cream bowl and spoon ...... or carton, as the case may be.  After a few gentle suggestions (incessant nagging) that he could take two more steps and put them in the sink, it came to my attention that the cartons were also ending up in the sink. Like he expected me to wash them and refill them, maybe a little confused about where this Blue Bunny Homemade Ice Cream comes from. The trash receptacle is in the cabinet directly under the sink.

The cartons are no longer appearing in the sink ......... and I am down 5 spoons. Are you following my investigative deductions here?

He Who is also a lover of safety day-glo yellow apparel says no. He has the safety stripes on his shirts and pants and all of his outer wear glows in the dark. He favors long sleeved safety yellow t-shirts under his uniform shirt that glows in the dark (have to keep the closet doors shut tight). Last year I found the ugly safety yellow sweat shirts on sale and bought two. Both were in the laundry today. It is 12 degrees and I suggest that he might want to wear a sweat shirt under his uniform shirt. "Can't, they haven't been washed." I know this, having just pulled them out of the washer. I hand him a gray sweatshirt and he looks offended. I ask if it absolutely has to be a day-glo yellow shirt. "I want as much visibility as possible when I am on the interstate!" He says this like I am suggesting I want a car to hit him. I calmly explain to him that it doesn't really matter, the sweatshirt will be UNDER his coat and not visible at all.

See why I think he may have tossed out the spoons with the cartons? And, yes, he has eaten that many cartons (and more) since my gentle suggestion (nagging) about putting them in the trash can.   

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Calamities Prevail

Just call me Calamity Jane. That's what I feel like lately. December has arrived suddenly. What happened to November?

I never Spring clean. When the weather turns warm and things start popping out of the ground, I am ready to totally abandon my house. I want to spend every waking moment in my gardens. As the weather turns cooler and the leaves abandon the trees, that is when I go nuts cleaning. I bought a broom the other day. It has two heads and an extension handle. The shape of the heads will go into corners and crevices. I love this broom! One head is for sweeping the floor and the other is for the ceiling! I swept my ceiling! And my walls.

And then I sort of went a little crazy and took my sewing room apart. I moved every single thing and then put it all back. I found fabric I had totally forgotten about. I am now inspired to either sew or reorganize every room in the house.

I decide that I should finish sewing all the things I have cut out. Spaghetti is sounding good for supper, as the temp is dropping. So I go to the freezer and pull out the ground beef and tomato sauce in the Ziploc freezer bag. Tomato sauce made from my bountiful garden of the summer. After I have my coffee, I head to my sewing room.

I take pictures of all my organization and the doxie socks. All to share here with my bloggy buddies. While the ground beef is browning in the pan I attempt to download the pictures. I have a brand new computer, an early anniversary gift from He Who loves me (or was really tired of me using his computer). I cannot seem to figure this out. Doesn't work like the old computer. I simply give up and decide to wait to ask someone. The ground beef is nicely browned and crumbled into very fine pieces. I add all the appropriate seasonings and onions. I let it sit, since the tomato sauce is still frozen.

I trip on the dog's bed as I am tending the wood stove and bash my hand on a table while blocking an almost fall. My shoulder is better, but still not 100%. My hand hurts, but I am thankful I didn't twist the shoulder again. Off to the sewing machine and a Scott Turow novel on audio. All is right in my world. I finish a vest and skirt and cut out a shirt for my Granddaughter, Zara.

I take a break and realize that the day is getting away from me and I need to get the sauce done. Into the kitchen I go, with all good intentions. I whip up some beer batter bread and have it all ready to pop into the oven. I grab the Ziploc bag and dump the contents into the pot with the crumbled, seasoned, oniony ground beef.

When I put those tomatoes in the freezer, I did not season them, just peeled and cooked them. I stand there stirring and decide that something is not right. The consistency is right, but it smells ..... not right. Not bad, like spoiled, but not like tomatoes. It looks, I don't know how to describe it. Not red, but, not all tomatoes are red. Not really an orange, but sort of.

Nothing to do but taste it, right? I sniff it again and decides it smells sweet. Tomatoes are somewhat sweet, right? I grab a spoon and do the deed. PEACHES! I remember now. I wanted to make jam, but wanted to wait until it was cold out, so I precooked them and froze them. I did not, however, LABEL the bag. I was in a hurry. There were weeds and grass calling out to me.

So, there I stood. How to salvage this? I am not opposed to actually eating this concoction. Peaches taste good grilled with pork chops, right? Individually the components are all good. Maybe if I had not already seasoned the meat I could have pulled it off. If it had been a small amount of peaches I could have made it into a barbecue sauce. But, as it was, it was just gross. I toyed with thoughts of asking He Who will eat anything covered in cheese to taste it.

I confessed my mistake to He Who loves me lots and, bless his heart, offered to go get some take-out. I took out more ground beef and some tomato sauce (clearly labeled) in a jar. I cooked it too fast and burned part of it. I salvaged what I could and added some left over turkey. Not the best meal I ever made, but I covered it with Parmesan cheese and ate it anyway. The bread was good and I couldn't mess up the salad.

Ventured back into the sewing room. Tripped over a cord and hit the cutting table. Broke the needle on the machine. Still can't get the pictures from my camera onto my computer. Perhaps I should just go to bed .......

Friday, November 22, 2013

Goodwill Towards Man

It is bone chilling cold. That wet cold that permeates your tissue and goes into the joints. A dull ache is my constant companion. Ibuprofen, Tylenol and aspirin are my best friends. I rotate the use of each and lean more towards the aspirin, fearing damage to my liver and kidneys.

It is bearable and I manage to distract myself at the sewing machine. Some days I can get so involved in watching a project come to life that time just seems to slip away and I am always surprised to discover the day is gone and it is dark outside. And that is my excuse for not calling the bank with any consistency.

What bank? Let's see .......... it all started when a man came in to inquire about staying here on a monthly basis while working in the area. He was a nice man. His camper was nice and he went on to tell me that he owned a roofing company and had FEMA contracts. He told me all about his family and his different business endeavors. One little problem he had, was that he would not have money until the 1st of the month and needed to occupy the site right away, figuring he would be here for the next 6 months or so.

He gave me a check for the full amount and asked that I hold it until the first of the month, only a week away. Seemed like a plan. As the first of the month approached, he confided that the check would probably bounce and that he would simply bring cash .......

Yes, I was getting that feeling, but did not want to deposit the check and have an additional fee for the return. I waited, watching daily to try to find this seemingly "nice" man present in the park to collect my money. He told me he was merely supervising the jobs, since he had recently had surgery for a broken neck. He had a scar and everything, including a back story about the incident. He was selling some cows and had an inexperienced helper with him. He was behind the cow in the stall and his helper was playing with the cow prod in the cow's face ..... causing the cow to kick the back of the stall out and trample the guy, breaking his neck. He had scars on his face and his story seemed plausible. Even to one as skeptical as me.

He never showed up with the money, but you already guessed that. Unable to reach him by phone, I had left a note on his door. He called and told me that one of the pins in his neck had dislodged and he had been in the hospital, apologized profusely and told me the check was good and to go ahead and "run it through".

Our bank called his bank and was told the funds were not there. So, we have been calling almost daily. No more, though. The account has been closed and the phone number is no longer any good. He is gone. So is my goodwill towards man. I wonder about the broken neck/cow story. Maybe the "cow" was a bill collector?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Doxie Socks

My day did not improve yesterday. I took a long hot shower, determined to rescue my good mood. I failed miserably. My shoulder prevents me from accomplishing much. I could only watch as the fence went back up and I was able to release the hounds. Should have made my day.

I decided to escape to my sewing lair. It always makes me feel better to make something. I have come up with sock dogs. You know, like sock monkeys. I was looking at a pair of socks and I could see the dog. The heel would be the head and the toe the mouth. The other heel would make a nice little doggie butt and the legs and tail and ears. I figured I had nothing to lose ........ but a pair of socks.

The first one looked a bit bizarre. The snout was too long. The ears were perfect out of the other sock. I cut them off, leaving enough room to stitch up the bottom end of the dog. Short and stocky little legs and a straight tail. I bet you can guess which of my dogs this was fashioned after. But, the snout, it was disproportionate to the body. I played with it and finally came up with a length I liked. I am calling them Doxie Socks. Already sold 4.

I tend to hunt through boxes and bins of fabric when I am inspired. I don't always put the stuff I drag out away before I make something to see if it will work. My sewing room has met with a lot of inspiration lately. I rarely work on one garment at a time, preferring to sew piece after piece in a row and only cut them apart when I am done. So, this means I will take a day and cut several projects using the same color thread and then sew them all the next day. Trimming threads and seams and letting the debris fall to the floor to clean "later".

Every month or so, I clean it all up and put all my scraps away and label the containers carefully, telling myself I will never pull all the crates out at once again. My sewing room was in just such a state yesterday. I went in with one project in mind. Already cut and waiting to sew. I started pinning and settled in to seam everything up, when I realized I was missing two pieces. I could not find them to save my life.

Nothing to do but start the big clean-up, knowing I would then find the pieces. I was about 90 minutes into the clean up and making great progress (still not finding the pieces) when an entire shelf fell.

I do not know why, but I have a shoe box size container of sand dollars and shells from the beach. Why have I saved these? No clue. But, they were among the bins that crashed onto my sewing table and the floor. A bin of tiny scraps of ribbons and trims burst open, too. I throw away NOTHING. I do label and sort all my junk, though and from time to time am very happy I have saved these things. I no longer have the sand dollar, shell collection.

Tempted, though I was to just call it a day and run hide, I didn't. I found the missing pieces and finished the slippers I started. My shoulder is still not very useful and it is nice out, but cool. I built a small fire in the stove to take the chill off the room. He Who Tows came through on his way to pick up a car to grab  a sandwich. He cannot seem to help himself ......... he fed my fire. Instead of a slow burning little fire bring the room temperature up to 68, I was left with an inferno and an 80 degree room! Why? He is not even here. Why did he touch it?

Monday, November 18, 2013

My Toes Are Wet

We had a mini tornado here at the kampground yesterday. A scary event for everyone present for the event. It came up suddenly while we sat talking and coffee grew cold in our cups. The wind was blowing warm air around and the sun was shining ....... when we heard a rumble and then giant rain drops fell.

My friends ran to their golf cart and hurried to their site. I watched the wind and rain change directions and listened to eerie whistling through the eaves, as I watched my privacy fence fall flat to the ground! The posts snapped off at the ground like toothpicks. I yelled to He Who was abed without his hearing aids. I told him the fence was gone. "No, it's not." As if announcing this could make it so.

Earlier this year we purchased two "sheds" at Mennards. Tubular steel frame and a heavy duty tarp covering. One for my golf cart and push mower and garden stuff and one for the over priced mower belonging to He Who Mows. Side by side they sat securely anchored to the ground, a fence behind them and another building on the west side. Two wind breaks. I watched in horror as one of them was ripped out of the ground and began a tumbling journey across an open field. The part of my fence still standing blocked my view, but it came to rest on site 37, stopped from hitting the RV by the sycamore tree I planted several years ago.

All things considered, we were lucky. The property damage can be fixed and no one was hurt. Except me. The wind was still very strong all day. I ventured out to see the damage and start the clean up. I picked up the lid to a big plastic bin and the wind grabbed and twisted my arm back. I felt the pop in my shoulder. My left shoulder, the same shoulder that I injured pulling the wheelbarrow while driving the golf cart. Brought tears to my eyes and sent me inside.

But, that is not what has my toes wet this morning. not having the fence presents a problem. I can no longer open the back door and let the canine contingent out to take care of business while I go about mine. Yesterday was a nightmare. Trying to handle four dogs on leads had me outside trying to construct a barrier that would temporarily serve as a "fence". Unable to lift the one fence panel that was not connected to the rest of the east side of the fence that fell flat, I dragged a steel door (don't ask, I am married to Fred Sanford) and secured it to the edge of the steel building destined to be my carport. That took up a good bit of space and I determined that my dogs could not get over it, it is 4' wide. I then stacked some storage bins full of Halloween and Christmas decor. I found a tallish piece of wood and some 2X4's and various other Fred Sanford things, like a non-working compressor on wheels to help hold the door up.

It is lovely, this make-shift fence I created, all the while crying from the pain in my shoulder. Lest you may be wondering, He Who Tows was absent from the premises, assisting motorists instead of his wife (bitter ...... I am not bitter ..... okay, maybe, just a bit). I go into the house to gather the dogs and take them out. The dachshunds have choke chains on. Not because they are hard to control, but because they look so darn cute on them. Toni Louise has proven herself to be hard to control and she does not like wearing anything. I finally caught her and installed a harness to herself and clipped a lead on. Same with Wall-E, the wonder dog. The dachshunds dutifully followed me to the back door, despite being tangled in Toni's lead. Before I even made it out the door, Wall-E had managed to escape the harness and Toni had wound her self around my legs and was choking Cujo.

I decide to take them out two at a time. I chose the dutiful dachshunds and had to lift them over my make-shift fence. I then returned to find that Toni Louise had tied herself to the chair legs. I untangled her and took her out in my arms and deposited her within the confines of my creation. Another trip inside to find Wall-E Houdini cowering under the table next to his master's chair. My shoulder was on fire, but I knelt and none too gently coaxed him out. Not bothering to even try to re-harness him, I simply carried him out just in time to find Toni Louise scaling the "wall" of her confinement. Suffice it to say, my efforts at a "fence" were not truly appreciated.

That was yesterday. I dosed myself with Ibuprofen and applied smelly ointment to the shoulder before going to bed. He Who is rarely here when I need him instructed me to awaken him when morning came and he would take the canines out for their morning ritual .........

I heard his phone and saw the light from the bathroom invade the early morning darkness of my cozy lair. I pretend to be still sleeping. I carefully move to see if the shoulder is still being less than cooperative. It is. I sleep until 7:00. I feel the thump of Toni Louise's tail like a drummer. Cujo's wet nose is nuzzling my neck. Wall-E is on the floor, his newly clipped nails tap-tapping a rhythm to accompany Toni's drum beat as Oscar stretches and yawns loudly.

He Who offered to escort the dogs is missing in action and it is up to me. I carefully maneuver a position that will allow me to dismount my high, high bed. My feet find the sandals I wore yesterday and I slipped some cut-off sweats over my hips and tucked in my nightgown. I pulled a sweatshirt over my head and hurried to gather my leads. Once again the dachshunds were with the program. Toni still wore yesterday's harness. I grabbed a collar and after some tricky convincing, got Wall-E ready.

I head for the back door and the semi-privacy of my back yard. The dead bolt is stuck. I try all my tricks. I shove my good shoulder to the door and turn the deadbolt. Still stuck. All my efforts fail. So, still holding the 4 leads of the dogs and their full bladders I head to the front door and find that Houdini is following me, but he has once again, pulled his skinny head out of the contraption I had tightened and carefully locked him in.

I make him STAY, while I take the other three into the cold wet grass. Toni continues to wind herself around my legs and tangle the other two in her web. The boys relieve themselves and Toni keeps leaping in the air, turning in circles, winding her lead around anything close by. Watching the oldest and youngest pee reminds me that I want to go, too! Toni has other ideas as I try to drag her along to the front door. She looks at me indignantly as she lowers her hind quarters to the ground and leisurely empties her bladder.

I finally get back inside to the warmth of the building to find a puddle on the floor. Wall-E. I step around it and race to the bathroom with my full bladder and wet toes.

Breakfast time. I usually prepare the dog food while the dogs are outside in the fenced yard conveniently accessed via the backdoor. I can take care of my morning needs and get doggie breakfast ready, as well as making coffee in relative peace with the canines in their very own yard. Not today. The coffee maker tripped the breaker and was not ready after I fed the livestock. I fixed that problem and watched as the magic elixir dripping ever so slowly into the carafe. I poured a cup as soon as I thought there was at least 6 ounces in the pot. So very strong and bitter. I really can't say which is bothering me more ....... the shoulder or the wet toes.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Happy Dog Mom

The days are getting shorter and the nights longer. Usually a time to slow down, it has been hectic here at the kampground. The Internet is still not working properly and we are withholding payment until it gets fixed. Sometimes I can get on for long periods of time and it works like a marvel.

To add insult to injury, the hard drive in my computer crashed. I had asked two of my favorite men to get my photos off while it was still accessible. He Who Tows was always going to get to it next and He Who Tow's son, also my son, the one I gave birth to ....... did not do it either!

So, here I am on the computer of He Who Tows and watches Highway To Hell on the weather channel and dreams of flipping big semi-trailers to right. This computer is unfriendly. It has screen savers depicting accidents and road scenes. Nary a grandchild to be seen on this computer. Gone is the sweet picture of my three granddaughters dressed as princesses in Disney World and the picture of Layla and Gavin frolicking in the Atlantic ocean ...........

I have been unable to comment on my favorite blogs, although I have been told I can do it on my phone ...... I tend to use more than two words and full sentences, so that will not be happening. But, I am lurking in the shadows in the Land Of Blog. Reading, laughing, crying.

Okay, so last we met, the dog park was in full swing and had been anointed by my canine foursome. They all loved the freedom of running and also watching everything in the park through the magic of a chain link fence. Our yard has a privacy fence and they have been known to stick their noses in the smallest of openings to spy on visitors to the park.

Last Saturday was a picture perfect Autumn day. The air was crisp, but the warmth of the sun made you toss your sweaters off. My dogs had played in the morning and I had made a date with Martha (for whom the cat is named) to meet her there with her two dogs and her two grand dogs and granddaughters. Making that eight dogs, two girls and two dog loving women. I loaded mine on the golf cart and headed that way with Toni Louise in a head lock between my knees. Oscar and Cujo were sitting nicely on the seat, but I had to hold Wall-E's leash tight (he doesn't like rides). Got all the dogs into the park and they were all running and playing with this rawhide thing that had been in the park since we built it. Martha's little guy, Gus (Norfolk Terrier) and I had our usual love fest involving many kisses and all the dogs were just playing. Annie (Beagle mix) decided she wanted to keep this rawhide thing and took it to the fence and using her nose pushed it to the other side, then carefully covered it with leaves (still using her nose). She brought it back in and Truman (big Golden) tried to take it. Annie growled and snarled and warned him away. None of the others bothered it. Next thing we heard was a dog fight in progress. My Oscar had taken Annie's property and she was atop him and both were going at it. Annie got the best of my old boy. Martha and I both dove right in and grabbed our dogs (not really smart, but you know how protective moms are). Annie was fine, except for the scolding she got. Oscar appeared to be okay, except for the blood coming from his ear.

Oscar has problems with his teeth and had twelve removed about a year ago. He had been touchy lately, crying when anything came in contact with his face. I knew it was another tooth gone bad, his breath could knock you over. He already had an appointment for this Tuesday. We couldn't really feel around on his head, he would yelp every time I tried. By Tuesday he looked awful. His left eye was swollen and we had not had a good night. He went to the vet at 7:30 and we were to return at 3:30 to pick him up. Toni Louise had an appointment for a vaccination and Wall-E had a date with the nail clippers.

So, there we were, three dogs in tow at 3:30. Cujo had no need to be there, but he has never been left home all alone. Oscar saw me from his kennel when we got there. Sad little man with his eye swollen nearly shut and drooling blood. Toni was roaming around the clinic, happy to be anywhere with people. Wall-E was shaking in anticipation of the dreaded clippers and got a sedative injection right away. Cujo was content to stand between my feet while I comforted Oscar.

Toni Louise is just plain happy. Nothing seems to bother her much. She loves attention and it does not matter who she gets it from. She had a little love fest with Paige (our vet) before she got her shot and exam and was then content to watch Wall-E have his mani/pedi (or would that be pedi/pedi ).

By this time Wall-E was staggering around with his mouth half open, no doubt wondering where he was. Still had to be muzzled, though. He still fought the clippers. The little stinker will bite!

Oscar's report was long. He was the only patient all day. He has three canines left and a few other teeth, mostly on the bottom. He has an abscess in his jaw from two of the teeth she pulled. He also had a puncture wound above his left eye and a huge abscess that had to be drained. Poor guy was miserable. But, I am happy to report that he is so much better today. Appetite is back and his tail is wagging. I am a happy dog mom. Still not a happy Sprint customer .........

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Are We Out Of Bread?

"Are we out of bread?" he asks with a hint of accusation, as if to imply that I should have procured more bread in anticipation of the empty bread bag. I am not the sliced bread eater here, he is. I like fresh from the oven bread. He likes to wait until my eyes close at night and violate my no eating in the bed rule with various peanut butter concoctions. He gets a smear of peanut butter on the pillow case, causing me to wonder where the pillow has been. He shamelessly blame the dogs .....

I am blessed (cursed?) with an extraordinary ability to smell. I don't have to put the pillow case to my nose to determine that the source of the odor is peanut butter. While I have to admit that Toni Louise has a more than normal love of peanut butter and her favorite thing in the world is an almost empty peanut butter jar ....... she is not allowed to eat in the bed.

But, back to the question of bread. I answered with, "I don't know .... are we out of bread?" "Did I make a sandwich and use the last pieces of bread?" 

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Dog Park Is Here!!

All the posts were in place. Well, with a little help from me ...... We still need to run a water line out to the dog park, but this did present a bit of a problem when it came time to get that quikrete wet. He Who should stick to towing and leave the brainstorming to me, came up with a plan. This involved filling a water tank and hauling it on the back of the truck to be doled out in buckets.

Hmmmm, I grabbed my handy dandy hose reel on wheels and pulled my 300' of hose to the hydrant closest to the dog park and showed the men this wonderful idea of having the water delivered to the area needed. Great idea, just hooking the end to the faucet and letting the hose bring it you! No buckets involved.

A tad more clean up and a big fire.....

and we are ready to roll out the fencing.

I am proud to announce the park is ready for canine occupancy! One more gate needs to go up, but I gathered my fur babies this morning and we went out for a romp.

This involved harnesses and leashes. Oscar is old and prefers his neck to be unadorned and had to succumb to his old choke chain since his girth has outgrown his old harness. He was not happy until he saw the leashes come out and he knew an adventure was about to begin.

Wall-E lay as low to the floor as he could, but was resigned to being manipulated into his harness. Cujo is always okay with whatever as long as I am

Toni Louise tired to hide and fought the harness. The first one I put on was too big and she managed to take it off and had to be redressed with another. She hid again and had to be bribed with the promise of a treat. Oscar and Wall-E are leash trained and do quite well with walking together and soon had Cujo walking in rhythm. He Who tows was present for the outing and I handed him the three boy dogs while I tried to teach our stubborn girl not to wind the leash around my legs.

Cujo is excellent with voice commands, so he was let loose to lead the others to the dog park. They sniffed around at all the wonderful new smells. Oscar marked every tree, every post, every small divot in the ground, while Toni Louise explored the entire perimeter looking for an escape.

Cujo has been in the park several times before the finish. He will stop and lay flat on the ground at a certain tone of my voice, making him easy to control. He went about the business of showing his siblings all the fun things to sniff, ending at a mole mound. Toni dug at one end of a tunnel and Cujo at the other. Alas, the mole is still out there running tunnels.  Another day's adventure to be had. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Golf Cart Polo

My dahlias are gone. The freezing nights have taken them away. The cosmos have also succumbed ....... it is almost November. Today the sun was shining and it was a balmy 68. So I started cleaning up my garden beds and getting them ready for a long winter's nap.

I have cosmos everywhere. I don't actually plant them as much as I toss a handful of seed in various places in my gardens where I want some late summer blooms. This results in massive seedlings in one spot. I used to thin them, but I now just let them grow, created a hedge of blooms. The stems can be as big as corn stalks. When they turn brown, they are not attractive and don't just wilt down to the ground. If I leave them, I have to yank them up and clean the beds come Spring. 

So, Sunday afternoon I decide to tackle them. Some of them pulled up easily and some I have to use the limb trimmers. I ended up with a huge pile as tall as me. I tried loading them on the back of the golf cart and the wind kept taking them down. The tiny, pointy seeds were in my hair, my socks, inside my shirt ........ everywhere. I was happy when the sun started to sink and the temperature began to fall. I earned every drop of the hot shower!

Today I knew I had to tackle that pile of dead cosmos. First I mowed the back yard and pondered the sticky problem. My wheelbarrow is in use at the dog park and my golf cart trailer was full of firewood, destined for the woodpile in my backyard for winter use. Are you wondering why I didn't simply take it into the back yard and stack it? Because the old cast iron wood stove is in the way and try, though I might, I can't move it. I know I could have emptied the trailer and reloaded it later, but I am loathe to handle the wood more than I have to.

The wind was light today, so I took my long handles weeding tool that doubles as an apple picker for those apples above my arm's reach, and grabbed a big bundle of weeds and pulled it beside me as I drove the golf cart. It was light enough that my shoulder did not pop out. I made several trips and burned debris all day long.

As I rounded the pile the last time to stick the tines into the tangled branches a new thought popped into my head .......... Golf Cart Polo! All that would be needed is some hockey sticks and a ball and a bunch of senior citizens on golf carts! Just remember, this was my idea! I thought of it first.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Solitary Supper

Oh how I have missed venting on here! Sometimes you just have to tell someone about a crappy day!

It all began with a phone call. I always identify our business upon answering the phone and admit that I find it annoying when the caller asks if this is Kan-Do Kampground. Even more so when they ask a boatload of questions  and make a reservation, then say they thought they were talking to a different campground. I have become accustomed to it and was not surprised when the caller asked yesterday.

After confirming that she was talking to the campground she had called (don't they look at the name with the number?) she announced that she was Josephine Blow ( Joe Blow's wife) and wanted to know if I remembered her. I gave her the same answer I give everyone, that I am sure I would remember her face, if not her her name. Well, they camped here 2 years ago ......... I said nothing, wondering if this was supposed to be a clue or if she was simply reminiscing. It was a clue. "We stayed in site 51 .......... it was $15.00 a night." I have no category of $15.00 and told her so. Then she told me that it was a big rig, 50 amp and that she clearly remembers paying $15.00 per night. This memory escapes me just like it never happened.

She wanted the same site for tonight and when they arrived I gave her that site. She a bit miffed that I wouldn't give it to her for $15.00, but we finished the transaction and her husband came in to get the map and instructions from me. "Are you sure our rig can go in that site, it is 40 feet long!!" I assured him that it would indeed fit. She then asked if the trees would touch them. I must have had a dumb look on my face, as I was thinking "not unless you run into them".

Finally they leave and I lock up for the evening. The site they chose was electric only. There is a hydrant on the site, but we turn the water off when the temperature drops to freezing, as it is now. I heat up my dinner and sit down to my solitary meal (He Who tows is doing just that). Thankful for a quiet moment, with the canine contingent outside for the time being, I am enjoying my beef and broccoli when the phone rings .........

Josephine Blow is outraged. "We have no water!" I explain the concept of frozen pipes and she seems to not comprehend. I tell her I can turn it on long enough for her to fill her holding tank, but that I won't leave it on all night. Deep sigh, then "Hold on and let me tell my husband." I wait as she repeats everything I have just said to him.

"Do you have another site?" I tell her that the only 50 amp full hook-up site left is site 6. "Where is that?" she asks. I ask her if she might still have the map I gave her ........ "Hold on." I wait again. "I see it on the map, but how do we get there?" (May I suggest that you drive?). I go over the route with her and then she says ...... "Hold on, let me ask my husband." After a lengthy consult with the husband and many reassurances that they should fit just fine I am released from the phone once again to reheat my meal.

Yes, the phone rings again. "There is a black truck in site 6 and a camper in site 7. You said site 7 was empty and that we would be able to pull through!" This delivered in a tattle-tale voice. I don't hide my annoyance and tell her I will be there in a minute to have the truck moved. I arrive on my golf cart with my lights shining on the site. I knock on the door of site 4 and ask the tenant to move his truck. He apologizes and rushes out to move his vehicle. In the meantime I am once again asked if their rig will fit. This time by the husband, no phone between us this time.

I can't help myself as I point out that site 7 is empty. Just as I said it would be. "Are you sure my rig will fit in here, it is 40 feet long!" I tell him that the rig in 4 is 44 feet long. He tells me I am mistaken that it is at least 10 feet shorter than his ......... He is joined by the wife and they are now concerned about the trees and the need for me to trim the branches. The wife says they would be better off parking at WalMart, so I tell them I would be more than happy to refund them and they can be on their way.

My tenant moved his truck and apologized that I lost a camper. Not his fault, I was sincere when I said I would be more than happy to offer a refund. I know when I have lost. There was no way I could have satisfied Joe Blow and his obedient wife. It took them a good 20 minutes to come in for the refund. Just the wife. She tells me that her husband did not want to fill the holding tank and then have to empty it in the morning, because he remembers that our sewer didn't work 2 years ago when they were here ....... Two years ago, when they rented a site for $15.00. The site she "remembered" was a site with no sewer. Could be why it didn't work.  My appetite was gone by then. Tums for dessert. Tomorrow will be better.

Finally .......

 Pictures! Not good pictures. I chopped Richard's head off in my attempt to capture the dead tree he took down with his bare (well, gloved ...) hands.

 This is the underbrush that was removed for the dog park. Thick, thorny underbrush.

My job was to transport the debris to the dump site.

At the end of day one we have made some serious progress and discovered persimmon trees. Check out that vine wrapping around the tree.

Suddenly the Internet is working!! I doubt Sprint did anything. Maybe it is the freezing temperature .... who knows.

Tomorrow is our annual chili/soup cook-off. I have located the charger for my camera. It was right where I had left it, behind the cash register. I remember leaving it there now after telling myself that I would be sure to remember that location. Left it there again and now I have recorded it. All I need to do now is to remember that I posted it here ....

Monday, October 14, 2013

I Give Up

Try, though I might, I cannot download the pictures I wanted to accompany this post. I am seriously considering sitting in McDonald's parking lot ..........

But, then I remind myself that I am PAYING for Internet. Paying for something that only works intermittently. I may or may not be able to actually publish this upon completion. Might have to make several tries throughout the day. Sprint claims to be addressing the issue by upgrading the satellite. In the meantime, I am "roaming" on AT&T. To add insult to injury, Sprint decided to text us to let us know we were out of roaming minutes ......... at 2:30 AM.

Exciting things have been happening here at the kampground. The dog park is going up. It will be a rather large one, plenty of room for your canine friend to run and play. There was a clump of interesting trees I wanted to incorporate into the area for some shade. The first order of business was to clear the underbrush from the trees. Took two days and I took photos. There were some wicked vines choking the trees.

Some trees were removed to allow the others to grow. Discovered persimmon trees growing there. The foliage on the vines looked pretty innocuous, but since I was handling it I used my Fels Naptha soap when I showered. Knowing how poison vines are so attracted to me I went for the ounce of prevention. Didn't use the harsh soap on my face or hair. Perhaps I should have. I have a small patch of poison something on my forehead.

Small price to pay for the lovely area we created. If only I could rip away the vines that are interrupting my Internet service .........

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

My New Ride

Still waging war with Sprint. M wi-fi has been down again. I get a message from Sprint when I try to log on telling me I have exceeded my roaming minutes. I am standing still and I can see the tower with their satellite from my front "yard".
I can also see AT&T's satellite on the same tower and if their signal strength is so weak that AT&T is having to pick it up, then it is their problem .....

But, I have a new vehicle! Isn't it cute? Our truck finally crapped out and we got a deal on this. When I say "we", I mean He Who buys cars. I have not bought a vehicle in over 40 years. I have no input in the transaction or choice of model or color. I don't really care as long as it is safe and dependable. But, I don't even put fuel in the vehicle I drive either. That is the job of He Who bought it!

I have been driving the VW for over 10 years and I like it just fine. It has all the bell and whistles, cruise control, heated seats and such. Lacks a good sound system, but for the mpg I get, that is excusable. But ........ I like the new car better. It is a rule that the woman should have the better vehicle, right? No? Well, it is a rule in this house.

Have I driven it yet? No. My maiden voyage was to take place last week. Car wouldn't start. Battery was dead. New battery has fixed that. I am wondering if that is an omen. Look closely at what is holding the hood up. Yes, a child size shovel. Stolen from my gourd headed family of scarecrows on the front of the building. This vehicle is defective, lacking the thingy that holds the hood open for whatever it is that goes on under there. Do I really want this car?

Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday Madness

"Is there a road that goes to the site?" asks the man as he stands looking at the map. The roads even have cutesy frog names. Bullfrog Boulevard, Ribbett Road, Tadpole Alley ........ with road signs.

The woman had called me three times that day, keeping me apprised of their whereabouts. Various questions, such as "What do I do when I get there?" made it clear to me they were new at this. I explained in detail what to do upon entering the park. Told her where the night drop box was located and told her instructions were posted, as well as  map to the park. She called again to tell me there were 10 feet tall and wanted to know if they would "fit". I once again assured her that we we were "big rig" friendly and that she would have no problem fitting in the assigned site.

I was closed when they came in. I confess that I saw the headlamps and knew it must be them, but did not open the door. Instead I texted He Who has more patience than I and asked him to come up and guide them in. He did and that is when the road question was asked. He sent them in the right direction and came inside, assuming they had dropped the registration in the drop box, along with payment.

You know that old saying about assumptions ...... I should not be surprised at all that my instructions were not followed, should I? They are still here and I will get payment, it just annoys me that I will have to go ask for it.

I have been in a state of agitation all week. I have had an amazing amount of requests for permanent sites. People who find themselves in foreclosure, or down on their luck. I feel for them, but .......

I have monthly rates and can certainly accommodate permanent campers. That is not the problem. The problem is the junkers they pull up in. It is like they scoured the country side for abandoned trailers and then decided they would live in them. Problem is that I can't let them park here. If I do, I lose business. Hard to tell people their home looks crappy.......... but, this is, after all, a business.

Last Monday I opened the door to my establishment to find a questionable trio upon my threshold. The woman had called and inquired about monthly rates. The fact that I told her what they were did not insure I would welcome them into the park. She announced that they were here to set up. I looked beyond them to see the camper they planned to live in.

It was an older fifth wheel. Not in good shape. Filthy and a tarp covering the roof. Before I could stop myself I told them the camper was too old and in too poor shape to allow them to stay here. I am usually more diplomatic, but, there it was. The man said he understood, leading me to believe I was not the first campground to send them on their way.

So, imagine my surprise when I answered the phone to find the same man who said he understood on the other end of the line. I told him that I was eliminating older, unkempt units when I tried to buffer my initial reaction. He seemed to think he should find the title to this camper and prove to me it wasn't "old". He thought I would reconsider, since it was a 1996 model.

I had not named a cut-off year and he apparently did not hear what I said about unkempt. I was pretty sure this was the same group I had spoken with last Monday, but I asked if I had seen this 1996 camper and he replied that I had seen it last week. I said, "I am sorry, but the answer is still no." Then he said, "But it isn't old, it is a 1996."

"Just to be sure, you came in with this camper last week. It is a fifth wheel, not in very good shape with a tarp covering the roof ......." I said to the hopeful owner of the 1996 fifth wheel. "Yes, that's the one, and it isn't a 1986, like I thought, so can we come in now?"

It is going to be a long, long week.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Gourd Heads

The tiger lilies were looking so sad ...... full of dead leaves, blooms long gone.

A little grooming and they perked up. All the dead leaves and stalks removed and they are standing tall and proud again.

I carefully gathered all the leaves and stalks. This is the second bag, by the way.

Instead of spending money on straw, I used my salvaged lily leaves and made my gourd head man to sit upon my porch. Along with two others, he sits on my old church pew and greets campers.

I have some new campers staying here for the next month or so, working in the area. One of them called me Saturday, saying he was "trying to figure out how to get on this Internet". I told him how and he said he just needed it to watch TV.

I told him that he couldn't stream movies because it would use all the band width and knock everyone else off. He then told me not to worry, it wasn't movies, it was Netflix. Really, really can't make this stuff up.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Full Moon

My mother used to swear that she lay wide awake all night when the moon was full. I don't lay awake, but sleep in fits and spells. The moon must have had the same effect on Cujo. He kept getting out of bed, then coming to my side of the bed to be lifted back up into the bed. Short legs can jump down, but not up. I finally took him out at 6:30, along with Wall-E and crawled back into bed. Oscar raised his head only to acknowledge my presence and Toni Louise slept on.

I dozed fitfully. You know, the kind of sleep I mean, aware of everything around you. I could smell the promise of rain through my open window, along with hints of rosemary and basil as the wind ruffled the plants. I could hear the dogs playing, then whining to come in. Another trip to the back door to let Wall-E in and Toni Louise out.

Back to bed for more of my half sleep. All the while being careful to hold my left arm in the least painful position. My shoulder has been giving me fits for weeks now. I pondered the cause before finally remembering what I did.

We all know how I love my gardens and constantly think of new ways to improve them. I asked for mulch for my birthday. Not a bag or even 10 bags. I wanted a lot ..... So, He Who hauls lined the flat bed trailer with an old bill board cover and obtained 2 big scoops for me! He left it on the trailer and I used buckets to scoop it into the wheelbarrow.

I was stuck with inspiration after pushing the wheelbarrow back and forth to my gardens. I decided it would take less effort to get to far away beds if I used the golf cart and pulled the wheel barrow with my left arm as I drove ......

In my determination to get the job done, I ignored the pain and kept going. Over and over again for several hours. Not the best idea I ever had. But the gardens are looking well groomed! Even in the light of the full moon.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Dahlias and Rainy Days

My very first dahlia! I bought 5 (clearance) and only two came up.

Only one developed blooms ..... this one.

Now fully opened. Never planted these before, but I now think I need more!

Looks like I will have at least one more bloom!

Tough Mudder weekend is over. The local Chamber of Commerce called me several times in the months before the event and told me to prepare for an over-flow crowd of tenters. They assured me that were promoting the local business owners and wanted to make sure we could handle a crowd. I told them I could and would rent portable toilets if necessary ......

I was booking up with reservations and even allowing more than one tent per site. Then ....... come Friday and the day was filled with cancellations. The group of 30 paramedics were no-shows and the individual tenters were cancelling willy-nilly. Why, you ask? Because the same organization that is supposed to promote small business sanctioned the idea of local residents having tenters in their yards. Nice.

I am thankful I did not make arrangements for port-a-potties. The number of contestants was extremely over estimated and most came only to compete, then go home. Not the economic boost they were expecting.

Despite the disappointing weekend, the weather was wonderful. Sunday was overcast all day. The sun would peek through occasionally, but the temperature was in the 70's. I watered gardens all day in an effort to force the rain. I even left my car windows down ....... It finally rained a little late in the day and evening.

Today is much the same with gray skies and drizzling on and off. After the dry, hot weather, you would think this would make me happy. But, what can I say? Rainy days and Mondays always get me down .......

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Hot Days, Sleepless Nights

The promised heat and humidity of the day is already upon us. Making me restless and annoyed, knowing I will have to spend most of the day indoors.

Sleep, I wish I could sleep. When I finally fell asleep last night, Toni Louise started barking frantically. She was at the back door and sounded like she had cornered an intruder. I lay very still, hoping He Who should be the one to investigate would get up. But, no, Cujo and Wall-E joined her in a symphony called "Kill the Intruder". Even after I suggested that he should be the one to go out, he lay there, pretending not to hear me.

I shuffled to the back door to find that Toni Louise had "cornered" the work shirts of He Who tows. He hangs them on a hook by the back door until they go to the uniform company to be cleaned and returned. They have safety stripes that glow when hit by any light. The dusk to dawn light was hitting them just right through the window in the door. Toni Louise was just alerting her family about a strange glowing presence in the back of the house where her water dish and food bowl are located.

When jolted awake like this I find it hard to simply go back to sleep. I should really try to develop this talent ........

Just 24 more hours and the heat should break, so they say. Those people on TV who forecast weather. I have so very much to do outside. The billboard skin is here and waiting to cover the new board. Not that I will be helping. It involves either getting into a lift and being hoisted in the air ..... or ascending a ladder precariously balanced in the back of He Who's pick-up truck.

Then there is one of my newly painted signs that was mounted beneath a road sign that had been in place for years. On a post cemented into the ground with a huge boulder in front of it to protect it from those who do not know how to stay on the gravel road. The sign I posted was big, 4 feet by 4 feet. A gentle reminder to slow down and watch for children. Okay, maybe it was more "in your face" than gentle; but necessary. A camper plowed my sign down. How, you ask? Backing up, he said. Don't know why, since the site he was assigned was a pull-thru. Broke the post off at the ground and popped my sign in half. Lest you think we were reimbursed for the damages ...........

It seems to have taken the entire to write this. Phone reservations and a trip to refill prescriptions. Tough Mudder competition this weekend will be bringing lots of people into our small town. Tent campers galore will descend upon us, along with those in accommodations on wheels. So, I will take my aching joints and muscles to bed.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Tell Me a Story

Meet my great-granddaughter, Jailynn. This is the only smile shot I got. She was busy telling us story after story.

She let Granddaddy hold her sock monkey while she raided his cookie stash. My dad is looking pretty good here. When he stands, you can see how much weight he has lost, his pants all gathered under his belt and his shoulders all bony under his shirt. Jailynn cheered him up and tired him out. He went to bed before they left.

Jailynn continued to enchant us with her stories and her facial expressions "and I was like, are you serious?" thrown in frequently. Her baby fine hair is slow growing, like her daddy's was. I can still picture his solemn little face and bald head with those huge green eyes. The same eyes I see in her little face.

My grandson, all grown up, with a child of his own. Doesn't seem possible that he could shoulder that responsibility. If he falters, I am quite certain Jailynn will bring it to his attention. She possesses an uncanny likeness to my youngest daughter in her personality. Must be some gene drifting around .........

Such a sweet little face with those big green eyes.

My dad is back in the hospital. His heart was racing and his blood pressure dropping. They think the tumor is putting pressure on his heart. His surgery consult was postponed until next Friday. I am keeping my fingers crossed that a date will be set and that hateful tumor can come out.

In the meantime, I will continue picking apples and putting gardens to bed for the winter to come.