Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Water Is A Necessity

One more resolution I want to add. I will never run to the phone again. No, I didn't run when I heard the phone ring and hurt myself or anything. I just had an epiphany while outside this morning and the phone rang. I didn't want to run. I wanted to finish pulling the last weed in my little patch. So, I did. Then I strolled to the phone and hit redial on the last number. I realized all along that I could miss a camper doing that. They could be already dialing my competitor and I would lose revenue. But, I still did not see the sense in running.

I have never seen myself run. But, I somehow know it wouldn't be pretty. Me running. Especially in flip-flops. I like to wear flip-flops. It defines summer, the sound of the rubber sole slapping my heel. But, flip-flops are not made for running. So, besides not being the most graceful of runners, I could hurt myself. And me without health insurance. Being without health insurance feels a little like gambling. Like I am teasing fate. If only I could age faster and have Medicare.

Okay, that was a sad lament. I picked all the peaches and shared a few. They are not nearly as sweet as they were last year, but they needed to be peeled and I came in from playing in the dirt to do just that. He Who electrifies the park has been baffled of late over some outages in certain parts of the park, so today he came home with some heavy equipment and dug up the power line. He located the problem and fixed it. Only took about four trips to the store.

In the meantime the well pump went berserk and kept turning on and off at a fast rate. Figuring he had surely hit the line with the excavator, I turned the pump off. I told him I did. I asked a couple of times about the water situation and he told me to be patient while he finished what he was doing.

Remember those peaches I peeled? Couldn't wash my hands. I felt like I had peach juice in my armpits. Okay, I exaggerate, it was only up to my elbows. One can only clean so much off with a wet wipe. I was afraid I would attract flies if I went outside, but after waiting for two hours, unable to do another thing inside, I went out and started pulling weeds in another garden plot.

So, now sticky and dirty, I hear a vehicle come in and round the corner to see a camper and He Who tows. The latter tells me he has a call and will finish up when he gets back. "But, wait, what about the water ......." he is walking away as he tells me I can turn it on long enough to wash my hands.

I check the campers in and call him back to explain that our campers just might want water. Then he tells me that he has already turned off the area with the break in the line and I can turn the water back on. Wonder just how long I was sticky when I could have been clean?

Now that I have washed my hands, I will launch another search for my camera charger. I can see it in my mind's eye, now if I could just remember where I am seeing it .......

Monday, July 29, 2013


Monday, Monday, ......... Actually, I like Mondays. I especially like this one. Over cast and cool with a damp breeze and a promise of rain when I sniff the air. Ah, yes, a perfect day. The pool is closed and I am free to mow to my heart's content (or until my 60 year old legs protest).

Not only that, I can turn the mower off to move things out of my way and be sure that it will start right up again. It is the little things that make me happy. He Who mows a lot more ground than I do is not one to actually stop and dismount his ride to eliminate an obstacle. I have seen him bump gently into picnic tables and push them out of the way with the mower. I have also seen him mangle picnic tables doing this very thing. Not me. I sometimes rake before I mow to make sure no rocks are lingering to hit my blade.

When the rain started I retreated indoors. After having company this past month, I am ready to put all the things I threw into my closet back in place. Since we live in a small space, I usually store things in the extra bedroom. When company is coming I always look for another place to put all the stuff that has accumulated in that room. Somehow, my closet is the catch-all. So much so that I cannot get to anything in the closet. I know I have other clothes I can wear, but I just keep wearing the same ones as soon as they return to my room from the dryer or clothesline. I use a step stool to put linens and some other things away, but just end up stacking all that stuff in my closet and telling myself I will get to it later.

Later happened today. Took me through three episodes of the Young and the Restless. Everything is back in it's proper place as the world turns on the edge of night. Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

I have made a decision. I think resolutions should be made on one's birthday and not on the first day of the year. I am in my 60's now and can be considered wise, so I am making this proclamation. My resolution is to keep my closet .... accessible. I was going to say clean, but, want to be able to actually keep the resolution.

Another resolution I have decided upon is to nap as much as I can! Beauty sleep, you know. Not to mention, it is just so delicious to climb atop the covers and curl up with a warm dog and a little snooze. Naps cannot be taken under the covers. That is how one sleeps. Naps are stolen moments of time and require quick access to your chosen spot on which to snooze. Should you become chilled, a loose blanket can be pulled around you. Not bed covers, though. Bed covers and tight smooth sheets are for serious sleeping!

That's all. If you make too many resolutions, you will become overwhelmed and not even attempt to keep even one of them. See, I am wise.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Happy Birthday To Me

Happy Birthday to me! It has been a very good day. Started off very early with breakfast at site 42. I got up and whipped up fresh biscuits for April's sausage gravy. Andrea had egg duty and Ginger and Tim made hash browns. Sausage and bacon from April, along with that yummy gravy. All I cared about was the coffee. Enough food for an army of hungry campers.

This same group of rabble rousers made dinner for me on Wednesday, complete with a birthday cake and off-key serenading. Sorry, Tim, but you really shouldn't try to sing! I felt very loved! The food was fantastic, but the fellowship was even better.

After breakfast at the crack of dawn (thanks, DJ), I sipped another cup of coffee and watched the rain. I decided that I wanted to tackle a garden bed in the light drizzle and went out and did just that. As I have mentioned before, rain means a day off for me. The pool is closed. I was happily pulling weeds and digging holes to transplant tiny seedlings when it started to really rain.

I came inside and scooped up my little Cujo and snuck off to my bed with Wall-E following. I decided a little nap was in order for a lady in her 60th year. I snuggled on the bed with my canine babies and turned on the TV to watch a movie. It was about ........ I actually have no idea. I fell right to sleep and slept until after noon!

I checked e-mail for reservations and then wandered over to Facebook and read all my birthday wishes. Then I planted myself in my desk chair and listened to an audio book while I put together a puzzle and answered the phone and checked in campers. So strenuous, my day.

Then the most amazing thing happened! My 18 year old grandson called me!!! Brought tears to my eyes when I heard his sweet voice telling me happy birthday and that he loved me. I can still feel his little hand in mine as we walked into the hospital to meet his baby sister for the first time, and I can still see his sweet face when his hand was broken playing baseball, asking me if it would hurt to have the bone reset. My sweet, sensitive grandson grew into the most annoying of all creatures ......... the teenager. But, today, I discovered that he is still in there, just waiting to reappear. The little boy I have always loved!

Topped off the day with having my dinner delivered by my husband, along with the mail he had forgotten to give me! My sweet Martha, for whom the boy cat was named, gifted me with a delicate silver bracelet. I have it on my wrist this very moment. I love it! So sweet, Martha and Tom.

Over the many years of being married to He Who has been known to give me a gift that he wants for himself, I have learned to ask for what I want and to be very specific. There have been times when I have actually purchased my own gift, but that is a lot of trouble to go through and I was busy weeding and napping this day of my birth celebration.

I am well known for being practical and thrifty (I have been called cheap). I have been complaining about my mower for some time (all season) now. To start it, I am told to use the choke, then, instead of simply pulling the bar on the handle and pulling the cord, ..... pull the cord three times (to get fuel into the gas line), then hold the bar down and pull the cord. After about five rotations of this it will sometimes start.

I am sure this is not good for my blood pressure. Especially when I fail to start it. I gave He Who wants to buy gifts for me, but never knows what to get, two choices. A mower that starts on the first try. Nothing fancy, mind you. Just want it to actually start up when I pull the cord. Or ....... mulch. Not a mere bag, or even 10 bags. I want a dump truck full.

I got a mower. No buttons to push, no complicated maneuvers that may or may not work. This bad boy starts right up! Has more than one speed! Is self propelled! He did good ....... I am still longing for mulch, though.

I am now content to drift off to sleep while humming "happy birthday to me".

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Who's Your Daddy?

Three more days ......... and I will be 60. Since I plan to live to be 120, this will mark my halfway point of life. Just the other day a man came in to swim. He asked for John ....... "John?" I answered. You know, the owner of the campground. "Do you mean Drew?" I asked. Oh, yeah, we call him John.

Bet he doesn't answer, I think. Then he says, "You must be his daughter." I laugh and tell him I am his wife. He mumbles something about me being so much younger than him, which makes me laugh harder. Then I tell him we share the same birth year. The man looked shocked.

I must have been having an incredibly good day, but it has made me really take a close look at my husband. I see him every day and I simply see my husband. The man I love and sometimes hate passionately. Love and hate being closely related.

He does look older than his years. I look in the mirror every day when I brush my teeth and groom myself for the day. I look better when I take the time to apply make-up, which is less often this time of year. Mowing and weeding are not chores to tackle with mascara on. Sweat will make it run into your eyes and burn like crazy. So, most of the time I look in a mirror and see my dad's face and wonder what he is doing stuck in my mirror. My dad aged well and always looked younger than his years. I am happy to have inherited that particular gene. Not so happy about the stubby sparse eyelashes I got from Mother. I suppose we have to accept the good with the bad, though.

I seem to have also inherited her inability to let things go. I do not like that trait, and try not to let myself fall into that trap. Most of the time I succeed, but sometimes, when I feel very strongly about a matter, I can't seem to let it go after I have stated my case. It makes me sound like a raving bitch. I realize it while it is happening, but ......

Perhaps it would help if He Who looks older than me would not look at me as if I am being unreasonable. Makes me bring all the evidence into play and present it over and over. Nothing is quite so frustrating as stating a matter clearly and having someone look at you as if you are speaking in a foreign language.

He Who is a pushover gets taken advantage of. He will let everyone play with his toys and then when they break them, he says nothing. When I get pushed, I push back. Drama, there are people here who have expressed their dislike for me and my drama. People who do not pay to stay. People who do not pay to stay should just keep their mouths shut, lest they find themselves banned from my park. My park, my rules.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

No State Troopers In Sight

 This nest was in one of my ferns hanging on the front porch. Long abandoned ..... I think the watering may have had something to do with it. I suppose if the mother bird gets scared away, she can't very well take her eggs with her.

This was Hildy's third attempt at a family this spring. Only saw 2 eggs here, which makes a total of 10. That I know of. Are the number of eggs a bird will lay predetermined?

Poor Hildy, all that work and no little ones to show for it. He Who mows actually ran over this nest and totally missed the eggs! The tire tracks were on either side of the eggs and the blade was set high enough to miss them. It probably scared Hildy as much as it did me when I saw him mowing.

He did stop and walk the area before he mowed. After he mowed, he saw me watching him and explained to me that the eggs were gone, he had looked thoroughly. I walked right to the egg that was left. It is a wonder he didn't step on it. He had forbidden (like he could .....) me to drive a post in the ground to mark her nest for him to avoid it. His reasoning was that it would draw attention from the predators ........ Like a snake or a turtle would be out scouting for food and say to one another, "Look, those crazy humans have once again left a marker for us!"

My nest feels empty since Gavin and the girls went home. The girls were only here for two days, but Gavin was here a whole week. Now that I have recovered (almost) from my loss of sleep, I wish they were all back here again.

Today was restock day, so I arose early with my detailed list and went to purchase all I needed to replenish my shelves. I got there so early that the Dollar Tree was not yet open. WalMart was, though, so I was able to shop in peace. Always less crowded in the morning ....... always.

In the midst of filling my cart with charcoal lighter, the number one thing that most campers forget or run out of, my cell rang. He Who tows called to say he had a tow. He was supposed to be me, in my absence. I asked if he absolutely had to take the call, since I was nowhere near the end of my list for WalMart and still had other stops to make. "I am already on my way to pick the vehicle up." he says. Did he put a sign on the door indicatign a return time? No.

I very nearly ran through the store, throwing items into my cart all hither/thither. No time to linger in the clearance section and find true bargains (or buy something I don't need). The pool opens at 11 AM. I managed to aquire everything on my list unless they had none and stop for a iced coffee and drive nearly 50 miles in less that 2 hours. I opened on time and have priced and put away all the merchandise.

No thanks to the self appointed speed regulators on the Interstate. A semi was going 60 and a car pulled into the fast lane and met his speed. Side by side they cruised along for about 5 miles while the traffic behind them piled up. I was right behind the car with the self appointed speed controller at the wheel. I know he could see me, I saw him look into his rear view mirror several times when I got really close. His eyes would widen, then he would scowl.

The traffic behind me was no less impatient that I was. A horn would sound periodically and the driver would look at me, like I was the horn blower. The big truck beside him even slowed down to 55 a couple of times, but the car just slowed down to match the truck's speed. Determined to keep all of us speeders in line behind him.

Where are the troopers when this happens, I ask you?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Family, Boys, Dogs, and Trophies

Missing my kids this morning as I sit here sipping coffee. My baby girl brought a hot pink frog and rock to grace my garden. This frog can only be seen from inside my side yard, lest someone decide it might look better in their garden. Once upon a time I had a lovely flower pot adorning my front porch with cacti in it. My grandchildren gave the pot to me and I was quite partial to it. It disappeared in the night. I hope the cacti fought back while being stolen.

Every time family visits I intend to get a picture. It never seems to work out. I want a picture with everyone in it and know that I could ask one of my campers to take the shot. But, the only time we all seem to be together is when they are leaving and no one else is around. Chad is not in the photo because he is taking the picture. Note that the dog in Gavin's arms is not the granddog, Max, but Wall-E. Papa still refuses to part with the dog.

The dog and boy share a special bond. Papa no longer exists when Gavin is in the house. Wall-E sleeps with Gavin and protects him from his own dog, the cat and all who would dare to harm his boy. When Gavin leaves, he goes back to being Papa's dog. Of course, throughout it all, I am the one who feeds and cares for the dog, along with the rest of the pack.

My old dog Oscar is becoming less active and sleeping much of the time. He gave me a scare last night. He was trembling and listless, with a warm nose. His breathing has been audible for some time now. He is fat and slow moving, but food is his greatest pleasure late in life and I cannot refuse him treats. Last night, though, he wanted nothing to do with his most favorite treat. I fell asleep with him in my arms. I know his time is short, but cannot bear the thought of losing him right now. He is back to his same old self this morning, demanding more breakfast. Thank goodness!

Wishing my boy, Gavin, was here to help Gramma shovel gravel today. Gavin's team won third place in their baseball tournament. Chad was his coach. I am proud of the boys!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Good, The Bad And The Just Plain Wierd

This day started too early. I awoke with a start and realized that it was, indeed Saturday. Time to schlep my wares down the road to the flea market. He Who is not a wizard with a measuring tape constructed a PVC pipe clothes hanging device on which to display my many creations. When I noted that one side was taller than the other, he calmly explained that he planned it that way in order to better show off all that I had to offer, saying it would be more obvious that there were two rows of merchandise.

Clever guy, He Who makes it up as he goes. It was a mere 2 inch difference. Enough to notice a mistake had been made in the measuring, but not enough to do what he claimed. Does he really think I fell for that? I appreciate his efforts, though. I sold enough to pay for my space for two weeks and actually make a profit. Got a special order, too. All thanks to Barb, the famous eyeglass guru, owner of Here's Two Eyes, who not only shared her space, but did the selling so I could come back and carry on with my kampground duties.

That is the good part of my day. I came back, made the coffee, cleaned the restrooms and started my day. It was only 8 AM and by my calculations I still had one glorious hour of me time before my 12 hours behind this counter began. Two cars come into the park. Neither paid any attention whatsoever to the STOP sign or my speed limit. I watched from the garden I was thinking to weed.

Sighing deeply, prepared to give my "why I have a stop sign" speech and tactfully move into the reason for the speed limit, I approach the front of the building and cheerfully ask if I can be of assistance. A swimsuit clad woman is exiting one car, while talking to her friend in the other car, not yet out of her vehicle. She looks over at me, as if I am disturbing her and announces, "We are here to swim."

I push down the words, "No you are not." that are trying to escape my lips and explain to her that the pool does not open until 11 AM. She looks at me disgustedly and shouts "What?!" So, instead of my traffic sign speech I lapse into my litany of, "The pool is open daily from 11 AM until 7 PM, it is $3.50 per person. Upon paying and signing in, you may leave and return later if you choose." Again, stopping more words from leaving my mouth, I don't add "I hope I didn't use words you do not understand." Because she is now looking at me as if I am levitating to another dimension right before her eyes .......

I know right then that today will be very interesting, if somewhat annoying. The next incident occurs outside, also. I decide to check on the supply of paper product in the restrooms. This is important, because people will not tell me if the toilet paper is running low or completely gone. They will simply move the paper towels to the stall and use them and flush them and create an entirely different problem. Before I can go back inside, two girls in the pool call to me, "Hey, lady, we caught your bullfrog." Until then, I was blissfully unaware that I was the owner of a bullfrog. A young girl, looking to be around 12 or 13 comes running to me, across the freshly cut grass, pool net and long pole in hand. She wants to introduce me to the frog she assumed was my pet because he was swimming in the pool. A younger girl of about 6 is in hot pursuit to witness the owner and frog reunion.

Sweet little girls, in touch with nature. Is that what you are thinking? Not me. I am thinking more practical thoughts. Thoughts like wet feet, loose grass, algae in the pool. She proudly shows me the frog, then asks if she should return him (do frogs have genders?) to the pool. Seriously. Her innocense is touching. I tell her she can just release him to the grass and to wipe her feet off before getting back into the pool, lest she be the reason the pool closes early. She turns to go and whacks her little sister in the head with the long pole.

I can see it happening in slow motion and try to grab it before it hits her. I fail. I hear the hollow echo as it conks the little girl on the side of her head. "Oh, no. Sweetie are you okay?" I say. The little slip of a girl turns and says, "It's okay, I got hit in the head a lot when I was a little girl."

I stood there pondering this as they scampered back into the pool surround and both carefully toweled the grass from their feet before returning to the water. "When I was a little girl" ....... she is a little girl right now. Maybe I did actually levitate to another dimension.

Okay, last but not least. I was taking inventory of the Pringles (my biggest seller, don't know why, but folks around here can't seem to get enough of these chips from a tube) when I heard the door open. Finishing my task and saying "I will be right with you", I turn to see the side view of a woman at my counter. Given the fact that she is clad in a skimpy bikini, I know immediately that she must be a swimmer. But, that is not what caught my eye. The triangles on her bikini top could barely contain her enormous breasts. They were impressive, these obvious implants. The woman was not a big woman, in fact her frame was very petite, making her look as if she would topple over any minute. As I pull my eyes away from the perfect, non-sagging globes adorning her small frame, my eyes were immediately drawn to her midriff. It was loose skinned and flabby. More familiar to me. I have one similar to that, although I think mine may be more well toned.

I go to my side of the counter and ask  my normal questions. "Swimming today? How many?"  She looks up from signing her group of names onto the list. Her face is over tanned and very wrinkled. She has the tell-tell wrinkles of a life long smoker around her lips and looks to be about my age. As she leans over to get her money, one of her enormous chest adornments is smashed into the counter. This thing doesn't change shape at all.

I am not done yet, stay with me. While my mind is wondering what kind of plastic surgeon implanted these too perfect, too firm mounds on this woman and told her she looked good, she opens her mouth to speak. All I can say is that she should have used that money for dental work, although, I am certain that her implants may serve well as flotation devises!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Rear View Mirror

When Gavin arrived for his visit, he was eager to show me his golf cart driving skills. He was quite proficient and a very careful driver. I was impressed as he drove me around the park. I promised he would be able to drive in the parade as long as an adult was with him.

His cousins arrived the next day and the golf cart logged many miles as this was the favorite activity, along with the pool. Are you thinking "Uh-oh, what happened to the golf cart?" about now? It was my son, not my grandson was piloting the machine when it happened. I have heard many versions of what happened from each of the young riders. There was speed and a bump involved, bringing back a memory of a fender bender He Who is an impatient driver had many years ago when our oldest son was about 6.

My husband hit a car that had started to go at a stop sign and apparently changed her mind at the last minute. I was not there. He Who has been known to tail others too closely swears that she was in the middle of the road when she stopped her attempt to turn. Like I said, I was not there. A ticket was given to the woman, not the man. The man whose child was asked what happened by the police officer (who knew the man, coincidentally). The child replied, "Daddy was driving too fast and wasn't looking where he was going."

Anyway, my golf cart, was out of commission. Gavin was disappointed, but took it in stride. He was all set to adorn my cart with patriotic decor. Our sweet camper Nan gave him permission to decorate her cart.

He adorned the Nanny Mobile with red, white and blue. He did not utter one complaint about not being able to drive in the parade. Things happen and you go with the flow, right?

He sat on Nan's cart and admired his handy-work. Then the unexpected, generous act happened. Nan relinquished her cart to Gavin and he was able to drive! Did I mention how much we all love our Nan?

Gavin explained to me later that he really liked Nan's cart. One thing in particular he liked that mine does not have was the rear view mirror. Next time Gavin comes, the golf cart will be running (it already is. New battery and a new battery terminal was ordered and received and applied.), but it will be sporting a rear view mirror.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Family Thoughts

The baby birds have all flown away. They are still in the park, swooping up, then down as they provide an air show for us. I was sitting on the porch as the parents fed them last week. They could sense the approach and would open wide for a meal. We all know what goes in, must come out. I will be cleaning the sunshade and the porch with bleach and water today, soon as the sun withdraws from the sky.

  Meet my granddog, Max. Such a sweet little dog. He is an easy going little guy, taking it all in stride. He claimed Papa's chair as his resting place. This is Toni Louise's spot. She argued a bit, but finally let him have it. She is easy going, too. They romped around the yard together. Toni was happy to have a playmate with endless energy.

Nap time is the middle of the hot, long day. So peaceful.

Can you imagine not loving that little face? He usually sleeps with Gavin, but Wall-E would have none of that. Gavin is his boy and he wanted exclusive rights. He ended up in my bed with the other three. Fit right in. My daughter offered to leave him here and her dad and I said okay. She was kidding, of course. He is supposed to be Gavin's dog, but, really, he is hers. Wall-E will always be Gavin's first choice.

The new dog, Cujo, was very confused. New people, new dog, then more new people. He tried to hide and remain as inconspicuous as possible. He was not all that keen about the new dog in his midst, but the four grandchildren really did him in. This dog is not a puppy, though tiny, he is full grown and by the looks of his teeth, at least three years old. House broken, not so much. He is a dribbler when scared. He gets sacred a lot. He seems to be afraid of children.

He nipped two grandchildren. One deserved it, one didn't. They both left him alone after that, which was his goal. He liked my daughter and she fell in love with him. She wanted him to go home with her. I would have given him to her. I only wanted to make sure he was to be taken good care of and my children all take good care of their pets. She decided he would not be a good fit with his dribbling problem. Okay with me, as he seems to have become my dog exclusively.

He is scheduled for surgery this Thursday. He will be a bit lighter when he comes home. I was holding him in the back yard while the granddaughters were here. Zara is five and not able to grasp the whole "gentle" thing. He nipped at her and she was content to play with Toni Louise. So, as I stood there with the little guy tucked in my arm, 8 year old Jada came up and lifted his puppy making equipment in her hand and asked, "Gramma, what is this?" I tried not to laugh and simply replied that it was his testicles. She looked mystified until Gavin told her a simpler term. Then she was embarrassed that she had so nonchalantly cupped them in her hand. There was hand washing involved. All her pets are female. Now that I think of it, though, how many fully equipped dogs have you seen lately?

I am still recovering from my very long and stressful week. My mother-in-law was buried yesterday. We spent many hours trying to get flights arranged from many different destinations. The fact that it was a holiday weekend did not help and airlines no longer offer discounts for family emergencies. In the end, I decided for my husband that he would not make that trip alone. We will be going to her grave together in October to have a memorial as a family. This will give all of our children and their families time to make arrangements, as well as us.

When my son died, we had to delay his memorial service until November. Death is rarely convenient. He who grieves has handled it in his own fashion. He prefers to be alone with his thoughts. Not easily accomplished here. He stayed on his mower quite  a bit. When he wasn't mowing, he was weed whacking. Both noisy chores that would eliminate the need to accept condolences. I think he was relieved when we told him he could not go alone. As much as he wanted to be there, he was dreading the trip. He is still subdued and sad, as anyone would expect. I am so glad I insisted he make the trip in March to see her. Better that he got to visit with her while she was still in this world.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Short Nights and Long Days

Quiet moments have been hard to come by this week. Not only is it the busiest time of our season, slap in the middle of a big holiday weekend, but I have had the pleasure of seeing four of my grandchildren. Four lively ones, with all the chaos that comes when you have two nine year olds, an eight year old and a five year old in your house. Or should I say tiny house .......

Sleep eludes me. Insomnia has not visited lately, I just need opportunity. Sleep deprivation leaves me a little(?) cranky and critical of my fellow man. Today is going to be one of those days. I keep putting one foot in front of the other, but I am weary. I warned my family that I will either be civil, or Sybil.

Everyone is treading lightly, including the canine contingent. At 4 AM, the boy cat, known as Martha, tried to climb onto Gavin's cot. Gavin's dog Max,who sleeps beside him at home, was in bed with me and 3 of our dogs. Wall-E was in bed with his boy, claiming his rightful place, as protector. He barked a warning to Martha, which alerted ALL the dogs into "kill the intruder" mode. I jumped from sleep and raced to the room Gavin was sleeping in and removed the cat and tried to shush the dogs.

Adrienne and I were up and got all warm bodies back to their sleeping spots. The men, you say, where were the men. Asleep. Blissfully unaware of the commotion. How they managed to not hear a thing is beyond me.

So, today, as I string all the kites and direct all the traffic and explain the concept of darkness a thousand times, I would like to recognize all those who seem to want to make me miserable .......

Thank you to the mother or father who left the swim diaper on the floor of the rest room (it wasn't just wet) ....

Thank you to the person who ate ribs at some point and decided to empty your plate in the bathroom trashcan and encourage all the bugs to start a trail in ......

Thank you to the person who peed in the bathroom trash can, I so enjoyed spilling it on my foot, not to mention the entire roll of toilet paper you stuck in it, yes, thank you.

Thank you to all the drivers who fail to stop at the stop sign and look offended when I bring it to your attention. Yes, I do realize you are not a child and I am not sorry I spoke to you like I was speaking to a child. I assumed that you did not know how to read and that I should speak very slowly so that you would absorb my message. Yes, I do realize you did not care to hear what might happen should you hit a child on a bicycle when you failed to stop at my stop sign. I had to assume that you had never given practical reasoning a thought and could not seem to help myself as I decided to educate you.

Thanks to the man who swore to me that he was "just idling along" as he flew by the the office leaving a trail of gravel dust in his wake. I am not sorry that your child witnessed your reprimand. Perhaps I won't have to correct him when he begins to drive. Yes, I was serious when I suggested that you keep your foot on the brake as you "idle" by. I was also seious when I suggested you take your vehicle to a mechanic to see why it speeds as you idle.

Thank you to the person who put two ice cream bars on top of the ice cream freezer to melt. I always enjoy taking a profit loss and cleaning up your mess. It is because of people like you that prices go up.

Thank you to all those of you who decide to toss your candy wrappers and ice cream sticks and yes, even your McDonald's trash all over my park. I have you to thank for not having to empty all the trash receptacles we placed in various locatrions for your convenience .........

It is not even noon yet. The day is young. Now that I have unburdened myself, I think I might just make it. Maybe. The day is still so very young.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Passing On

My mother-in-law passed away yesterday. I won't be able to attend the services and am spending a quiet morning remembering her.

She must have had many reservations about her son marrying a woman with two young children. She never shared them with me and accepted my children as her own grandchildren. I was welcomed into her family and never felt unwelcome at her house.

She was known as Nana to her grandchildren and me. Nana was a crafty lady. Always with a skein of yarn close-by. She would find a comfy chair upon her arrival to our house and sit knitting away. Until a meal was served and the clean up began. She would be up to her elbows in dishwater. You had to be quick to beat her to the sink and even if you made it there before her, she would manage to push you aside  and take over.
It was a given that Nana would try to wash all the dishes, including those that were disposable. I find myself doing the same thing at times.

I mentioned her craftiness. She was a saver of raw materials to accommodate her passion for crafting. Pinterest would have made her crazy with ideas. I remember when my oldest needed an egg carton for a school project and I had tossed all of mine. Off to Nana's we went, sure that the problem would be solved straight away. She offered up a stack of egg cartons taller than my first grader. He took them all and the teacher was ecstatic. Said she would have enough for many years of children who forgot to bring one to school.

I started a wooden spool collection. Still have all the spools. Nana carefully wound her thread onto empty plastic spools in order to add to my collection. I am sure some of the thread was beyond using for sewing, but she saved it all just in case she might need that particular color one day.

Nana was a giver. She loved to give things to her children. She was often heard to say that her children didn't ask to be born and it was up to her to make sure she gave them everything she could to make them happy. I hope she knows that she succeeded in that respect.

She loved a good party. She out-danced all of us at my daughter's wedding. She was the life of the party and was there to help with the clean-up at the end of the night. A week later she was in the hospital recovering from by-pass surgery. That was nearly 14 years ago.

She never really bounced back from that surgery. Her memory was impaired by the anesthesia and I worried about her ability to keep her meds straight. She seemed to forget to take one altogether, or take one and forget she had taken it and then take it again. She was on a daily regimen of blood thinners and I was particularly worried about that one.

I realized that she wanted to maintain her independence and we did not live close enough to take an active role in her day to day life. The decisions were not mine to make, as she was not my mother. I am just the daughter-in-law that loved her and grieves for her. I am thinking of her today, as I did all day yesterday. Paying my respects from afar.

I am left with a little hole in my heart as she leaves this life and moves on to her next adventure. We saw lights in the sky last night as we made s'mores with our grandson. I think it may have been Nana entering heaven and saying goodbye.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Where Are The Maples?

The week has begun with the arrival of my baby girl and her family. Papa has his mini-me in residence and all is right with the world. Gavin displayed his talent for driving golf carts.

Round and round the park they went.

Again and again. Gavin will be the lead driver in the golf cart parade on Saturday.

He spent time with Gramma, too. He shoveled gravel and helped me in the garden. We took a stroll yesterday morning and inspected the trees. We looked at the progress of the fruit on the peach tree and the apple trees and the crab apple tree.

"What does this tree make, Gramma?" I told him that tree he was referring to was a maple tree. He nodded and said, very seriously, "Oh, I see, the maples aren't on it yet."