Friday, March 29, 2013

Burned Out

It is 70 degrees in here, with no heat on. It is a beautiful day here in the land of kamping. As much as I want to play in the dirt, I have restrained myself to take care of the necessities that opening the store brings.

I swept, vacuumed, mopped and dusted. Made notes of what needs paint and lists of merchandise to be bought. I treated myself to being outside to clean up the front of the building. Did I know that there was still some Christmas decor still there? No, but it is gone now. Did I remember placing that pumpkin on the end of the front covered porch? No, Maybe I was hoping it would cure like gourds do and I would have a novelty to brag about.

Just so you know, that didn't happen. It rotted and is now lounging in the compost bin, where it will germinate and I will have a pumpkin vine that rivals the bean pole Jack climbed to meet the Giant. Unlike the seeds I carefully planted that produced nothing.

Betwixt and between all this I answered phones, gave directions and planned my Easter feast to be shared with friends. Oh, and I tried to keep He Who has a primary job of owning a kampground on task. That was the hard part. I would rather shovel rock.

I am not naive enough to think my floor would remain clean. Most people see the wet floor and apologize for walking in. They stay carefully on the rug that leads you straight to the check-in counter. I truly appreciate this consideration ......

I was changing mop water when I heard the buzzer and called out to let the customer know I would be right there. I entered to see a man that I recognized instantly. I have mentioned him before, but am too lazy to link to that post. He is the burly, poorly groomed bear of a man who made me uncomfortable whenever I was alone and he came into the store. He is one of those men who like to intimidate women by getting way too far into their space. He treats his wife like a piece of crap and I don't like the man. At all.

"Do you recognize me?" he says. "I cut my hair." As if he were a candidate for Hoda and Kathie Lee's makeover, he preens in front of me. I reply that he does look familiar, lest he think that I had been longing to see his face. He wants to fill some LP tanks, so I call He Who does that and he decides to enchant me with his great knowledge of what I need to do to be a better kampground. I already don't like him and if he thinks I value his opinion, he is mistaken. Bad enough he is ticking off suggestions on his fingers, but he is literally marching on my freshly mopped floor with his mud encrusted boots. I suggest to him that he may wait outside in the fresh clean air and that He Who is my husband will be with him momentarily.

It is at this point that I realize I am not exactly looking forward to a whole new season of this. Am I burned out before it has even begun?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Escape Artist Tricks

I was having a good day, really, I was. Despite the fact that I was faced with lugging my giant denim quilt to the commercial machine at the laundry. I decided to make it an adventure. I loaded the car and made my grocery list, and checked it twice (just like Santa does). I remembered to grab my cell phone and even remembered to stuff my pockets with quarters. It takes $5.50 to wash that quilt made of cut-up thrift store jeans. But, I know it won't fit in my machine, so, I have no choice.

While the big machine sloshes and swirls, I meander down the street. I check out a re-sale shop, but the stale odor of cigarette smoke hanging in the air and the barking dog send me back outside. I decided to just "window shop". After 24 minutes, my quilt was clean and I loaded it into the car wet, so I could hang it out at home.

Went to the grocery and bought the necessities for Easter dinner and drove home with my clean smelling quilt in the front seat next to me, the radio blasting out oldies, singing along. I see signs of Spring and all is well in my world.

Until I get home to discover I have forgotten the door key. I am locked out. He Who Tows is over an hour away. I have ice cream. It was on sale and He Who Tows does love ice cream. I have no choice but to break in. No biggie, I have done it before. But, in order to get to where I need to be I have to walk through the slush the melting snow has left in its' wake. I decide to lug the quilt with me and hang it out, then break in.

By the time I finally get into my house, the dogs are insane with excitement and I am wet up to my calves. The canine contingent loves to see Mommy enter the house in a not normal way. After assuring them that it is, indeed, their mommy, I squish out to the car to unload the rest of my booty. Then I took off the wet shoes and pants and put the groceries away.

During the putting up of the groceries, I let the dogs and the cat out and some of them back in. I put all the cold stuff away, then made a sandwich and sat down to check my e-mail and unwind.

I heard Toni Louise bark, as if to be let in. I decided she could wait until I finished eating. She got a little persistent, with her demanding bark. I swear, it was so loud, it was like she was inside! I did leave the door open, but the storm door was shut. I gave the last of my sandwich to the two dogs begging at my feet and went to let her in. I opened the door, but she was not there. I called her name, but she did not come.

I saw a shadow through the fence and changed the tone of my voice and demanded that she come to me ...... right now. I saw the shadow walk away. I search the parts of the yard that are not visible from the back door and determined that she was not in the yard. I found no signs of an exit strategy, but Toni Louise is nothing if not determined when she wants something. You will recall, that the last time she took off on a freedom run, she ended up in surgery to relocate her hip.

I grabbed a box of dog treats and put my wet shoes back on my cold feet and went in search of her. I was hoping the rattle of treats in the box would attract her. I met the cat at the door and Martha, the boy cat, and I launched into search mode.

I walked around the fence, examining it for any escape routes and calling her name. No response. She usually runs up to tease me with her swift ways. She has been known to go through a whole box of treats while eluding capture. Hot dogs are another thing, though. But she is nowhere to be seen or heard.

I am exasperated and scared when I come back in. Planning to call He Who loves Toni Louise as much as I do and tell him she is up to no good. I went to the back door again to check. I knew she was not out there, but, hope runs deep.

As I shut the door after calling her name again, I heard something swish in the utility room behind me. This area is not walled off, but is gated off to keep the dogs out. It was her wagging tail I heard. There she was, watching all the commotion that was all about her. Nary a bark did she utter to let me know she was there, the entire time I searched!

I was so relieved to see that she was safe that I scooped her up in my arms and hugged her. I should have spanked her! I should spank them all, the other two could have let me know where she was! I am exhausted now!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring ....... Where Are You?

 I don't always believe the weather forecast, preferring to hope for the best. I had heard about a storm headed our way, but when I got up Saturday and peered out the window I was pleasantly surprised to see the sun shining. Some of the most bone chilling cold air has happened while the sun shines. With that in mind, I still dressed in warm clothes before I ventured out with the dogs. It was quite pleasant. Not warm, by any means, but not bad.

I went about my business and took the trash out. I walked around in the front gardens and saw some brave little Daffodils popping open and I bent to pull some weeds, thinking that Spring had arrived. After all, there are weeds and ..... I saw a nasty fly last weekend. Then the wind hit me full force and I could feel that promise of a storm. I went back inside, resigned to what was to come.

Toni Louise is truly in her element. She loves the snow. She runs in it, she eats it, she hides toys in it, then finds them. She is one happy dog!

She sees a bird! Come play with me, I promise not to bite!

It is still snowing as I write this. The wind is creating impressive drifts.

This is starting to slide off the overhang and will make a mountain for the dogs to navigate as they venture out to take care of business. I used the broom handle to poke holes in this and bring it down before the colder night air froze the snow into some dangerous ice. Have to keep my four legged babies safe.

Spring, where are you?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Do You Smell Smoke?

Snow, they tell me will be back this weekend. So, what's a sewer to do? Play with small scraps of fabric.

I recently learned that my granddaughter, Layla, is enchanted with owls. I was warned by her mom, my daughter, to not go nuts and start sewing up a bunch of stuff and sending it. She knows me well. But, with Layla on my mind and a whole room full of fabric, what was I to do? I fiddled around and copying a Pinterest post I made some owls.

These are the experiments. I am not fond of the squatty one in blue. His name is Al. Olivia is pink and black and tiny, I think she is a keeper. The next one was my first try and I am fond of her yellow eyes, I have dubbed her Penelope. The green one ......, well my thoughts had shifted to Gavin, whose favorite color is green and I decided to call him George.

Even as a small child I was able to amuse myself.

Cabin fever, with a touch of spring cleaning led me to organize all my spools of ribbons. They were in plastic bins because I was unable to find a dowel small enough, yet sturdy enough to fit in the small hole of the spool. Why it took me so long to just make the hole larger, I do not know.

Still adding to my inseam rug, finally remembered to buy more glue. It is about 3' in diameter now. The oval shape has gone. Next time I will remember to start a longer straight line in the middle to maintain the shape ........ if ever I do this again!

I am still collecting inseams and other seams and have decided to ad some colors.

Taking a little break from the 6' rug. My thumb is on strike!


Still harvesting strips of denim, though.

Birthday season is upon me. My great-granddaughter will soon be 4! April is the month for her, Jailynn shares the month with Makenzie and Gage. They will be 24 and 18. I was a very young grandmother!

I am enjoying making dresses for Jailynn. I picture her in my mind as I sew. I like to include a dress for her doll, too.

She can celebrate Independence Day in style.

I decided to accompany He Who had a doctor's appointment yesterday. He needed two of his prescriptions filled and I knew better than to give him a complicated assignment. He is blissfully ignorant about his medications. I fill his pill taker and all he has to do is remember to take them. I check them daily to make sure he does.

So, this is how I found myself in WalMart perusing the Clearance aisle. I was pushing my cart along and thinking that it smelled like smoke in this store. Wondering if some ne'er-do-well has decided to take up residence and is cooking over an open fire, I start sniffing the air. I don't see anyone one else who seems to notice the smoky smell.

Try to be discreet I turn my head to the right and then to the left sniffing and hoping to locate the source before I ask other people if they smell it, too. Pretending to take a close look at the merchandise to my right I turn my head and discover the source of the smoky aroma ......... ME! It is my jacket that hangs right inside the door of our living area where the wood stove is.
Wonder what the lady I started to ask if she smelled the smoke would have said?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Drawing The Line

A dog threw up in my bed last night and I was totally unaware. I slept through it and only found it when I was making the bed. I slept hard. I am usually a light sleeper and will wake at the slightest noise .... or smell. I must have been really tired.
As hard as I slept, I still wanted to sleep more, rather than get up this morning. I am always afraid to deviate from my normal sleep pattern. I think it will keep me from sleeping. Silly, since there are so many nights I lay awake in spite of my efforts to maintain a regular sleep pattern.

Along with the weather, my internet service seems to have gone haywire for the past two weeks. I tried to post several times and was unsuccessful. I could get on-line intermittently. I could read posts from my blog roll, but couldn't post a comment. Same with my e-mail, so I knew it wasn't Blogger. He Who is supposed to fix things for me had the same problem. I don't really want to know what the problem was, just fix it!

I didn't get to present my thoughts to my friend, Insomnia, last night. From time to time, as proprietors of a campground, we have been approached by those who have found themselves in dire circumstances, having nowhere to live. It would seem to be a simple decision to help people by offering them shelter. It is not simple at all.

In the current economy, I am surprised we are not approached more frequently and seeing someone that has lost everything they have tugs at your heart. That being said, there are so many things to consider. In order to attract families to my park, I have to maintain a certain atmosphere. The appearance of homesteaders in tents is not conducive to attracting paying customers. On the other hand, how do you turn people away?

We have helped people and been rewarded with wonderful experiences. Our lives have been enriched by some of the folks we have encountered. We have had as many bad experiences and we have had good, though. It would seem to be impossible to determine which experience awaits you, though.

There is no lack of those eager to tell you how you should run your business. No matter what policy you choose to embrace, there will always be someone who disagrees.

Where do you draw the line?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

There Will Be DNA Testing!

It was not the burlap, still sick, but feeling a little better. I tired of watching TV and playing spider solitaire. I knew I was feeling better when boredom set in. Last night was awful, I was not tired enough to get to sleep easily. If only my body could keep up with my mind .......

So, there I was, on the precipice of sweet slumber. I hit the button on the remote and turned the TV off. He Who never has trouble sleeping had been asleep for quite some time. Long enough to start snoring and develop a rhythm. I did the poke in the side to make him roll over, but it only lasted a few minutes, before he rolled back and took up his night song. It was so loud that Wall-E actually left the room and slept on my love seat. Toni Louise escaped under the covers and Oscar must be hard of hearing, as it didn't seem to faze him in the least.

I took my pillow to the foot of the bed and grabbed my favorite quilt (the one with the chewed edges from Toni Louise) and tucked it around me. From this position I can see out the window. I like the window open in warm weather and I can listen to the wind ruffle the rosemary and basil I have planted just under the window. Smells heavenly. But, last night, all I cold see was the mounds of dirty snow and the naked branches of my peach tree.

I got up again and put the room darkening shade down. Settled in for a long chat with my companion, Insomnia. I don't mind it every now and again, as these chats can be useful when I am pondering a problem. Not too very long ago, I was perturbed by the pocket depth of fitted sheets. I was upset, having lost my favorite set of sheets to rough heels. The bottom sheet wore out right where our heels are and developed a tear. The top sheet was still in good condition, as well as the pillow cases. I bought them at Target and they lasted over 5 years. They came with 4 pillow cases an were subtly striped, making it easier to make the bed, since  a king bed is almost square ...... almost.

If you recall, I saved the worn out sheet. It has been hanging out in my sewing room, no doubt  pondering its' fate. As I was flipping through the files in my mind for a subject to put before Insomnia, I remembered the sheet. I still have the top sheet, lonely and unused without a mate. The part of the fitted sheet that is elasticized and holds it onto the mattress is in perfectly good shape ........ so why can't I just cut that part off and attach it to the top sheet and create one sheet?

Insomnia thinks I may just be on to something. I wanted to get up and try my idea out, but stopped to reason with myself. First of all, it was cold and I was loathe to give up my warm, if noisy, nest. Second, I would need the bed for my experiment. Instead, I perfected my method. I was ready as soon as the sun came up and I could boot He Who snores out of the bed.

I needed the bed to create the sheet. As I dug through the top shelf of the linen cupboard, I discovered a queen top sheet that was more suited to my experiment. It is white and my beloved injured sheet is cream. I am still going to need a top sheet, and I would waste a lot of the king top sheet. Well, I wouldn't waste it, I would have another project to discover. But, the queen sheet had about a 5 inch overhang on each side of the mattress, more at the top and bottom.

I stripped my bed down to the mattress pad and spread the queen sheet evenly. I had carefully removed the hems on all four sides. Using straight pins I mitered the corners. Easy to do if you know how to make a hospital bed. Just pull up the side at a 90 degree angle and pin it off. Then I sewed the seam along the pin line. If you do it right, you should be left with a perfect square of fabric when you trim the excess off. This will guarantee a tight fit when you make the bed ...... and I hate wrinkles in my sheets. It could cause insomnia!

After I created the mitered corners, I simply sewed the elasticized bottom to the new top, right sides together. It worked! It successfully added 4" to the depth of the "pocket". My next step will be to replace the elastic to make it tighter at the corners. I actually tucked a good 3" under the mattress.

Basking in my success, I put my new old sheet set on the bed and continued making it. All was well in my world ........ until I discovered IT. One of my pets has a death wish! A hole, A HOLE in my new quilt! My quilt made from thrift store jeans. My quilt, so recently done, that I spent many hours cutting and stitching with my arthritic hands. Definitely chewed, this hole with raw edges. This hole that goes through all the layers. I can patch it, but that is small comfort right now, as my cold meds are wearing off.

I wonder how much DNA testing would cost to find the culprit. Insomnia and I will have a whole new problem to ponder when next we meet!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

'Tis Snow Ironic

The snow is melting. Ever so slowly. It is supposed to be in the 60's this weekend. We still have mounds of dirty parking lot snow that will take more than one day to dissolve and all around the building snow is piled high where it came down from the steel roof. Looks like we have a moat.

But, sixty degrees sounds heavenly. I could play outside! I could start prepping the garden beds. My hands itch to be in the dirt, digging. I was looking forward to this weekend.

I was feeling a tad crappy yesterday. Sneezed a few times and had a tickle in the back of my throat. Finished a rag rug. I told myself it was the "fiber dust". I took a piece of burlap and made my own rug canvas. I bound the edges and then pulled two threads every six threads both vertically and horizontally, creating a grid of holes. Five towels cut into 6" X 1" strips and I have an extremely cushy bath rug. The towels were well worn. The ones you keep and use, but would not put out if you were having company. I wasn't sure the burlap would provide enough body for backing, so it was one of my experiments and it worked great. I am still working on the denim rug and the going is slow, since the grid is much smaller and the finished rug will be much bigger.

The towel rug was quick, but the burlap creates lots of lint in the air. That is why I paid no attention to my dry cough. My cough is no longer dry. My throat hurts so bad. Feels like my tonsils are trying to exit through my ears. I am cold, then hot, dizzy, eyes tearing and nose dripping. I gave up on tissues and went to my rag bag and procurred a make-do hankie. I refuse to look in a mirror.

To add insult to injury, Oscar, the cantakerous doxie, awoke with a sore leg. He is limping and cries when I try to touch the leg to check for an injury. He was fine when we went to bed and actually slept all night. I am hoping he just slept in an awkward position and it will loosen up as the day progresses. I speak from experience with my own limbs!

I just find it ironic that I was not sick all winter and now, as the temperature rises ....... so does mine!

Monday, March 4, 2013

March On

After a restless night with one dog coughing and one dog jabbing her elbows into my side while I fought to pull covers back on me, I got up. No rest for the weary. I was determined to have a good day. That thought was re-enforced with that first sip of hot coffee. Good, strong, black coffee from my secret stash of beans that my best, most loving son brought to me on his last visit. I have been using them sparingly to make them last.

I fed the cat and the dogs and then took my reward to the couch to sip leisurely as I checked e-mail and awoke slowly with the Today show. It is Monday. Floor day. This is the day of the week that I clean all things on the bottom. The floors get swept, vacuumed and mopped. The bath tub gets scoured and the store floor gets a good once over, unless it needs more. It just so happens to need a lot more. The temperature has risen and the snow is melting and creating huge puddles of gravel and dirt water. This is coming in on the boots of he who thinks them to be clean ...... he just stepped in water and rinsed them, after all.

I am thinking about all this as they drone on about some nonsense on the Today show. I am seriously considering watching something pre-recorded and delaying my floor day experience when the phone rings. It is not even 10:00 and I am not dressed properly, unless velour pants and a sweatshirt over my nightshirt is okay. I didn't want to start a fire, as floor day includes cleaning the mountain of ash out of the wood stove.

Thinking it is probably a computer generated effort to sell me a time-share or a cruise that I have already won, I answer with my chipper voice and find it to be the woman that made a reservation last night. The woman who called twice to enquire about the facilities and to ask if I was open. The first call was to get the info, second call was to reserve a spot. I guess they needed to discuss this major event in private, although she repeated every word I said to her mate while we were on the first call ......... I answered all her questions cheerfully, even the one about check-in time. Check-IN time is any time AFTER noon, since check-OUT time IS noon.

Only slightly annoyed I tell her that I will come into the office and check her in. This time of year it is not a big issue and until I have had my second cup of my magic elixir, I am in no mood to argue the point. I give her a map and send her on her way. "Do you want me to shut the door?" she asks on her way out. I tell her I will get it, as I am going to hop into the shower.

I get out some proper clothes and decide to make the bed and sort the laundry. I add the lovely ensemble I am wearing and then head into the bathroom. I grabbed the cleaning supplies and scrubbed the tub, then started my shower. I can hear the buzzer to the office door, but I ignore it. I am wet and naked and have no intention of rushing my shower, as it is probably He Who lives here. The dogs start snarling and barking. I know now that it is not He Who is their daddy at the door. Doesn't change the pace of my shower, though.

I get out and dress and continue with my floor day activities. I am headed to the main living area, done with the bathroom and bedroom when He Who lives here does come in. Now, every time he comes into the park, doesn't matter how long he has been gone, he does a drive-thru. Today was no different. He asks me about the people I checked in this morning. I won't repeat his term for them, it was not very nice.

He had an encounter with the man on his drive-thru. I had only dealt with the female half of the duo. The gentleman took the time to be outraged that we should charge $30 a night (my prices are comparable and even lower than other parks in this area). Seems he was upset about the condition of our roads  and how muddy everything is. We should do something about it.

What should we do? Pump the water away? Shop vac his site? Where to put the water? Just when I think I heard heard every complaint there is, a new one comes along. Rumor has it that we are in for another snow storm tonight. It is March ..... time for all this snow to march on out of here!