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.