Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Disgrace Is My Name

My cherry tree died. I didn't chop it down. The branches came off in my hands. I pretty much gave up hope for my sad little tree.

But, look! See the cherries? This new tree came up at the base of the tree and I have since discovered a second tree about three feet from this one.

My crab apple tree has fruit this year, too. I planted the tree five years ago and had given up on having fruit. Both peach trees are bursting with fruit and I have picked strawberries every other day for a week.

Memorial Day weekend was stormy, but with minimal complaints. The kids were able to get in the ice cold pool and get the first sunburn of the season. Lots of snow cones were consumed. As the campers all pulled out on Monday another storm brewed and the sky turned black. I have to admit I wasn't too upset to close up early and catch up on household chores uninterrupted. Even took a nap.

So, when I awoke today, I was ready for a big day at the pool. It was overcast, but I could see sunshine trying to burn through. I got myself dressed for the day and wandered through my gardens, pulling a few weeds here and there. The ground was making a slurping sound.

I made it to my strawberry patch and saw some of my seasonal campers drive in on their way back from the lake as the rain began falling again. I had all intentions of grabbing a bowl to pick strawberries. I had a few in my hand, as well as some asparagus spears. I walked along at a good pace, thinking to get inside before the sky fell. I have a stepping stone path through one of my flower beds, a little shortcut to the front of the building. The grass and the stones provide safe footing.

The parking lot is made up of a rock bed with very fine gravel on top. It is called "minus". It gets really slick when wet and can be like walking on ice. When I stepped off the last stone with my right foot, it flew from beneath me and I went down on my left knee, swiveled and landed flat on my well-padded derriere and slid further when I tried to get up (after checking to make sure there were no witnesses to my humbling experience).

My white shorts were smeared and I looked like I had been mud wrestling. I locked myself in and headed for my second shower of the day. I thought I was uninjured (except for my pride), until I saw the blood pool around my feet in the shower. My knee is pretty gouged up. I used the handheld shower head to rinse all the bits of gravel out of the gouges. It still didn't hurt so bad, just tender from the cleaning.

I was all bandaged when He Who tows came home with a milkshake. He is trying to make amends for not taking the weekend off to help me, but that is another story. He took off for another call as I was happily slurping my vanilla treat while resting my knee upon a pillow. I was quite comfy, all slouched down on the love seat with my canine trio close at hand.

There, on top of my milkshake sat a cherry. Why did I think it to be a good idea to remove the lid on the cup to try to lick this cherry into my mouth? Maybe the same reason I thought it would be a good idea to hurry across the slick parking lot.

I managed to pour the milkshake on my chest, where it pooled inside my bra. So very graceful. Toni Louise seized the opportunity to get to the remaining milk shake in the cup and Wall-E was trying to clean the front of my shirt as I struggled out of my position to claim my third shower of the day.

I have to confess that I did toy with the idea of just throwing my milky clothes in the laundry and changing, but decided I would smell like burp-up all day. Now, as night draws near, the knee throbs and my hip hurts.

The silver lining to my cloud is that my campers were not a witness to any of this! I heard the bell ring while I was tending my wounds in the shower. I knew it was you, Jackie! I am so glad you weren't in the parking lot with your phone, you would have taken my picture.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Nature's Tragedy

 A tragedy has occurred here. Hildy's eggs are gone. There were four happy little eggs there on Wednesday as I worked in the garden. Hildy fussed at me from time to time when she thought me to be too close, but didn't leave her nest to try to lure me away with her act of injuries.

Yesterday morning after I harvested strawberries and asparagus and checked on all my little seedlings popping up out of the ground, I meandered over to check on Hildy and Henry. Only two eggs were there and Hildy was in quite a state of distress. Henry was flying circles overhead and calling to her with his high pitched warning. "Dweep, dweep, dweep." he called over and over and she answered with her own call. I had heard them when I awoke, but didn't think much about it. I am used to hearing them.

Today is a very sad day. No eggs. No warning calls or contented chatter. Hildy is wandering forlornly in the garden. I am so sad for her. I was looking forward to watching the little family emerge from the eggs and run into the grass to eat bugs.

I would have thought the eggs to be safer than they were last year, in the gravel drive. I wonder what predator got them. No tell-tell evidence of cracked shells remain. I am thinking it was Petey, the old hump backed possum that lives among the various tools in the barn.

I hope it was not Mr. Martha, the boy cat I raised from a bottle. I really hope I did not raise a murderer! I would feel so guilty ........

Thursday, May 23, 2013

I Have Reservations ......

Flowers are blooming .........

and just beginning to bloom.

Morning Glory is just getting started. It is over cast with a nip in the air. The pool is filling and I have no doubt it will be used this weekend, despite the temperature of the water.

My muscles are becoming accustomed to the new work load. Rain drizzled on my head and I decided to take a break. I have had the phone tucked into my pocket for the entire week, afraid to miss a reservation. I have a couple of sites left, but there are always those who will simply show up expecting me to have held a site for such events.

"Do you have any reservations for this weekend?" asks the voice on the phone.

"Yes, I do. A lot of them."

"Oh, good. I want one. I want to beside the pool and the playground, but not in the sun."

I squelch the urge to ask just which one of my reservations she would like me to bump for her. "Oh, you meant openings. Most all of my sites are reserved already, but let me see what I have left."

"Well, we kinda wanted to pick our own site when we get there."

Really. I explain to her that it is a holiday weekend and most sites were booked well in advance. She seems disappointed to learn that she will have to take the site I assign her and won't be able to pick and choose.Wants to know if it would be possible to just move someone if they got there before "other people". I reply in the negative and we move on to her reservation. I tell her I will need a credit card or a cash deposit to secure her reservation.

"Do you mean I need to go to the bank to make sure my credit card is secure?" My head begins to ache. Why did I phrase it that way? Have I learned nothing in 9 years?

"No, ma'am, I just need to have a credit card number to be able to hold a site for you."

"Oh, we will be there ....... unless my husband can't get off work. We have been planning this for a week and I am pretty sure we will make it. Do you still need my credit card?"

It looks like it will be a long weekend.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Injured Digits and Bathroom Woes

Sitting for a quiet moment and treating myself to another cup of coffee. The storm came through last night, banging the steel roof and the wind blew in sighs and gasps, whipping the water around. No damages occurred unless you count the men's room. Someone left the door open and the light on. It is full of giant mosquitoes and the floor is a little flooded. Some of my smaller trees had some bent branches. I feel for Oklahoma.

I harvested strawberries and asparagus this morning and noted that my beans and my corn are erupting form the ground. The tiny peaches on my trees doubled in size overnight. I spent the entire morning weeding a garden.

I am tired. He Who Tows had a tooth emergency yesterday. Men do not handle pain well. His tooth was bothering him last week, but he refused my offer to make an appointment with the dentist. Men are also incapable of securing an appointment. I ignored my better judgement and did not make an appointment anyway. He held his jaw all weekend and kept me awake Sunday night with his constant moaning. I got as much sleep as I usually get through my bouts of insomnia, but this was different. With insomnia, it is a quiet, solitary event. Leading to great breakthroughs of insight. The moaning and moving around he did was hellish. Like sitting up with a colicky baby. At first you are sympathetic, but as the hours pile up and you start to doze, only to be abruptly pulled from sweet slumber by someone you love .....  well, lest just say that love and hatred are closely related.

It didn't help that the phone rang at 12:45. A would be camper launched into a tirade when I answered. She had used the night check-in and wanted her check back. Said she had tried to shower and there was no water, only a trickle. And, according to her, she really needed a shower. I apologized for her bad experience, although I knew the water pressure to be fine. I mentioned that we have two bath houses and asked which one she used. "The only damn one I saw on the map." " I couldn't even get wet." she said. "Someone should be in this office at all hours! You need to go check this shower!" I asked again which bath house she used and suggested she try the other one, since she has already checked in.

By now I have drifted to the door of the office and see her headlamps shining in the office window. I suppose she thought I would appear in my night shirt, check in hand, at the door. I told her I could either destroy her check or send it to her via USPS. Her answer to using the other bath house was that she had already been wet and had to dry off and was not going through "that" again. I wanted to ask how she had gotten wet if there was no water pressure, but didn't. I just listened. Now she is telling me that the hot water was not sufficient to even get her hair washed ..........

She stopped here, thinking to spend the night, took a shower and decided that she wanted to continue her journey, but wanted her money back. I bet she tried to stick her hand into the night drop box and got a surprise splinter that would account for her indignant behavior. All she had to do was say that she decided to move on and I would have put my clothes on and gone out to give her money back, less the cost of a shower. I did check the shower and it was fine. My hot water will burn your skin off if you aren't careful. Has to be hot, as it services the showers, as well as the laundry facilities and my living quarters. Never have I had anyone complain that the water would not get hot. Even when I have my church group of tents as far as the eye can see.

The men's room was not without puzzles to ponder this weekend. There were two rolls of toilet tissue right there by the toilet. Visible, easy to see, with-in reach. So, why, I wonder was the roll of paper towels that is normally mounted on the wall by the sink, for the drying of wet hands (for those of us who actually wash our hands after using the facilities) on the back of the toilet? Always strikes fear in the heart of He Who Plumbs to see this. Paper towels do not flush well. Not to worry, the user was kind enough to leave them in the small trash can by the toilet ....... over flowing. Lucky me.

My tipless finger is back in use! Never would guess some of the meat is missing unless you run a finger over it and feel the little divot left there. I had been missing that index finger. But yesterday I injured the middle finger on my right hand. I was using the hammer this time. I was trying to pound a trellis into the ground to denote the Killdeer eggs.

The hammer missed my target and flew out of my hand and was falling to the ground ........... directly towards Hildy's eggs. I deflected it with my hand and the claw hit my finger, clawing a chunk out of it. Hildy's eggs are intact. But this is my main weeding digit! I don't know how I would have lived with the guilt had I crushed those eggs and killed the baby Killdeer!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Beware of What You Wear

The preparations for the official opening of camping season (Memorial Day) continue at a frantic pace. A busy weekend kept me at the registration desk. The snow cone machine was busy, too. Two little boys kept coming back for more. At closing time yesterday, I realized they had each had 5 snow cones! With all that sugar, I didn't envy the parents.

Hildy, the Killdeer has added two more eggs to her nest. She has been very gracious about letting me show them off to campers. Henry is none too pleased about the attention, but I think Hildy is proud of her accomplishment.

My finger was healing nicely, with a layer of new skin covering the exposed tissue. I tend to hold it in a pointing position and keep bumping it on various things. But, Friday night, I actually closed the office door on it!! It felt like it was going to explode, but the new skin held and today I am bandage free.

Every day this week has been so very long. The sun starts to show himself around 5:30 in the morning and doesn't hide again until nearly 9:00 pm. I have been outside nearly all that time and have the tan to prove it. I usually try to hide inside and get some necessary chores done in the hottest part of the day. I will confess that I have fallen asleep a couple of times while eating my lunch.

Listening to the news and checking the e-mail for reservations the other night, I heard a segment about a young man killed during a stand off with law enforcement. Nothing out of the ordinary nowadays, but they were interviewing a "neighbor". How do they find these people? Is it the one person who volunteers to go on camera with their opinion and spouts ideas better left unspoken? This particular woman was saying "it weren't right" for the police to fire on this young man who was pointing a weapon at them. Police brutality, she called it and opined that they didn't have to kill him. They "took" his life from him. I suppose it would have been okay if the young man had taken the life of a policeman, after all, they signed up for putting themselves in danger's way. She went on that way into the microphone with her poorly worded accusations toward law enforcement and I looked up at the screen to see what this vessel of great knowledge looked like.

I wish I hadn't, because we were wearing the exact same shirt! I bought it because it was on sale and looked like a good addition to my garden tending wardrobe. I think she might have added it to her "I think I look good" wardrobe. She was exposing a lot of foundation garment, which only enhanced the wisdom she shared from her toothless mouth.

I doubt I will ever don that shirt again. Ever.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Nesting Choices

 My killdeer have returned. Is that plural? Like deer? Two families have taken up residence this year. I think Hildy and Henry are back, because they don't seem to be afraid of me. Only two eggs this year. In one of my gardens. Thank goodness I didn't step on them or hit them with the hose. They are really hard to see unless you are looking for them.

Henry is okay with me being close by and working in the garden. He keeps his distance, but doesn't bother to play injured for my benefit. Hildy, on the other hand, stood her ground and fussed at me for daring to be near her eggs. She chirped and fussed and I just talked right back, pointing out to her that her choice of nesting area was better than last years, but was still ripe with peril for her offspring.

I will be surrounding the eggs with some rocks to prevent an accidental crushing of the eggs. They may look like stones, but the shell is just as delicate as any other eggshell.

The mad rush to Memorial Day continues with endless projects to complete. The weather seems to be cooperating and the mower is working. All should be right in my world.

I got a call from my dad yesterday. He was just diagnosed with stomach cancer. No prognosis yet. My heart is heavy as I start the waiting game. I wish I could be there with my Daddy .........

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Blackhead Removal

No pictures today. I didn't take any of what can only be described as another failed experiment.

Pinterest caught my attention this winter and I have been pinning like crazy. Trying out new things that are supposed to save money and improve my health, not to mention my looks. I will say that the recipe for laundry detergent is a good one. The dry form. The liquid just looked like too much trouble to me. I like the way the powdered detergent cleans and smells, and it does save money. The body wash? Perhaps I did something wrong ...... maybe not enough water. That stuff solidified in the bottle and now takes a lot of squeezing power to get it out ..... and that is with the top off. It comes out in a chunky tubular form and yes, I use it anyway. I am not going to waste it!

The heel cream turned out good, if a little on the greasy side. Just put a sock on it! I was going to try shaving cream and put it in a pump bottle to aerate a little (like the spray bottle for olive oil). But, after this last experiment I may just hold off on these ventures into home-made beauty products.

My sweet husband (aka: He Who) has blackheads. Yes, he does, despite my efforts to keep his face clean. He always seem to have some manner of dirty stuff on his hands like axle grease. He touches his face. I have scolded him, but he lowers the volume on his hearing aid and simply ignores me. I found a remedy on Pinterest involving only two ingredients and a microwave. Knox unflavored gelatin and milk. I read all the comments and marveled at the results spoken. The only negative comment was about the way it smelled. It was compared to baby burp-up and a bad diaper. Since He Who's ability to smell is no more acute that his ability to hear, I decided to give it a try.

All I had to was to mix one tablespoon of gelatin with two tablespoons of milk, then microwave the glop for 15 seconds and then immediately smear it on his face. Called for a Popsicle stick, but I found that to be messy and awkward and just used my fingers (excluding the one I cut the tip off). Then wait 15 minutes and peel it off. It was Mother's Day and I was allowed to have my way with his face.

I decided to put it on my face as well, and still had a good bit left. The woman who wrote the article said that when she peeled it off, blackheads came with it, as well as some tiny facial hair. I have a very acute sense of smell and , while the concoction did not smell good, it wasn't as bad as predicted. It had warm milk in it, after all. It had a hint of burp-up smell, but wasn't bad enough to gag.

We sat in happy companionship watching TV as the mask tightened on our faces as it dried. I picked at the edges of mine after the required amount of time an started to pull it off. I was hoping for one big sheet with my face imprinted on it. When I got to my upper lip, things got bad. It hurt! I had tears in my eyes and tried the quick rip method and lost my grip. It was pulling those tiny hairs out. I git only one side of my lip done before I wussed out and applied a towel with warm water to loosen the other side.

He Who is brave fared better that I did, but it did NOT pull those ugly blackheads out. My skin was supposed to feel soft and silky, but it was burning. I won't be doing this again. Reminds me of the time I let my daughter wax my brows. The parts she waxed have never grown back.

I left the remaining glop in the bowl I mixed it in. The next day I peeled it out of the bowl. Looks like the material used for breast implants!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Tell Me I Have A Tick!

Only took three days to download these pictures. I noticed a crew at the satellite tower working last Friday. I was hoping they might be doing something that would make my Internet better ......

It doesn't seem to have helped Blogger. My lilies are popping up everywhere, along with the iris. The grass and the dandelions seem to be on steroids. I was clipping away with my garden shears Saturday, trying to keep the grass from creeping into the gardens. I was working along the edge of one bed, while thinking about where I would go next. I felt the blade on my finger and my brain registered the danger. It failed to transfer that message to my cutting hand, though. I was holding a big wad of grass and so I cut down really hard to get through it and managed to cut the tip of my finger off. No bone just the meaty part that you use to feel ......... it did not feel good.

First thing I did was look around to see if anyone was around to witness me leaping up and tossing the shears to the ground, but not the grass. I carefully placed the grass, the now bloody grass, in the weed pile before going inside to tend to my unfortunate injury. I confess that I did not look at it until I was washing away the blood. I opened the neosporin with my teeth and squeezed it on the throbbing, naked finger. Wrapped in bandaids, I went out and finished clipping around my beds. This time I did not grab the grass with my left hand, though.

I still have no mower to work with. Yesterday, He Who is loathe to push a mower, did just that and mowed the dog yard for me. It was Mother's Day, after all. I may not be his mother, but I did give birth to his children.

This is more his style. Boys do love big toys. See how wet the ground is? Muskrats boring tunnels into the side wall of the pond. He Who digs is not a trapper, although he fancies himself to be one.

He is making tall mounds of dirt as he digs. Now, if only I can convince him to move that dirt to a more usable location.

Great weather yesterday had me out in my gardens. The tipless finger is surprisingly pain free. Unless I hit the wound, then it will throb. So, I worked all afternoon, stopping from time to time for campers. One new camper came in to pay his bill. I noticed that he was looking at my hairline, couldn't seem to stop staring. I don't know him well enough to ask him what he is looking at ...... after he left I went to a mirror. Gee, I wish he had told me I had a tick in my scalp!! The moral of the story is ...... if you see a tick on a person, tell them! Even if you don't know them. The tick met his untimely death in the bathroom sink. Not before he bit me, though! 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Thankful For My Trivial Problems

Rain came back this afternoon before I got my back yard mowed. I seem to have killed two mowers so far this season. There are three push mowers here and you would think that we could build one that would not defy me when I am using it. Can't seem to start the heavy duty, cantankerous one with the loud Honda motor. It is hard to handle and it infuriates me when a mere man starts it right up after I have made several attempts. When I do get it started, I am loathe to turn it off unless I need fuel. I tip it up on the back wheels to allow me to cross the roads to get to my trees and gardens without mowing gravel. The kinder, easier to handle mower will start right up for me ..... just won 't stay started. He Who is supposed to maintain these things involving gas and oil muttered something about a carburetor, then went on about his business. I am not a happy mower.

So, with the rain coming down I am standing in my kitchen. Washing cabinet doors and combining the three bottles of ketchup into one, while roasting half a chicken, making dog food for my toothless old guy, baking chocolate chip cookies, and listening to an audio book. High volume to hear over the whining dachshund. He always seems to know when I am cooking his stuff. I hear a commotion outside and think to myself that the rain is really pounding the roof. So much so that I stop and look out the window, then the back door. It is not raining hard at all, so I can only assume it is He Who loves loud equipment playing around on the trencher.

He has been burying conduit and filling potholes in the roads. Oh, and digging around in the pond. Don't know why, didn't ask. We seem to have some leaks in the pond wall. Must be some crazy muskrat love going on in there. Maybe he has decided to dig them out. He has been seen out on the bank of the pond at dusk, shot gun in hand, hunting the diggers of our pond. Makes Elmer Fudd come to mind in his quest for Bugs Bunny.

So, I was surprised to see him suddenly in the kitchen about 30 minutes later, wondering if I had heard all the commotion outside. He even paused my book to talk to me. I nod that I did hear and wait to hear what calamity might have befallen him and the big toy he was riding on all day.

Now I wish he hadn't come in and told me at all. It was a helicopter landing close by. A life-flight. Seems a couple had checked into the state park down the road and the man ran over his wife while trying to back their trailer into the site. I feel sick. That poor man has to be in an awful state. Makes me stop and be thankful for everything I have. All my irritations of the day seem pretty trivial. 

Baseball, Birthdays and Pollen

Stopped raining and I have been outside from sun-up til sun-down for the past two days. Mowing, weeding and planting. Not to mention moving things around that are too heavy for a delicate being, such as I! This morning I decided to take a breather before I got started. Every muscle I have aches. I decided to read a blog or two and check out Facebook. This is what I saw. Gavin in his baseball uniform. Made all my pains take a back seat! Even without his name on his jersey I would recognize that stance anywhere, looks just like his Papa ........ even from the back!

Three other faces that can put a smile on my face. Maya, Zara and Jada. Jada and Zara have birthdays coming up fast, with Gavin following next month. They are growing up too fast!

Now, break time is over. Time to venture out into the swirling pollen. I sneezed so loud yesterday I was heard in the back of the park.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Stamina, Or The Lack Of

After 3 glorious days of 80* weather, The temp has dropped into the 40's again. I have mowed and raked and stacked firewood. Stocked the soda machines, cleaned up the mess from the water heater change over and mowed again. Thousands of dandelions have been exiled to the weed bin and peas have been planted with a new lattice wall to grow on.

Today, with so much left to do, I find that I am out of energy. Cannot do one more thing. Muscles ache, skin is red from the over exposure of sun, and a tick bite is swollen and itchy.

It occurs to me that I complain a lot. Just wondering what happened to my stamina. I just want a nap.