Thursday, February 27, 2014

Socks and Uniforms

I seem to be infatuated with socks. Easter is coming. I made a few Easter bunnies out of socks. I saw them on Pinterest and had to give it a try. I like the floppy eared  bunny, but the straight ears are cute, too.

I have an enormous stash of socks. I am always on the lookout for socks on sale. I made 5 more this afternoon and changed some things. Blogger refuses to download those pictures tonight. I sculpted the little faces. It gives them personalities, I think.

It is good to keep busy as the insurance seems to be moving at a snail's pace. Now that I have provided the necessary information to my clinic, the insurance will not approve the MRI until I have an x-ray ......... and physical therapy.

So much for getting all this taken care of before the season starts. What was I thinking? I am not opposed to the x-ray or the physical therapy, but history has shown that this particular injury is most often resolved with surgery. I just want to be done with this.

The weather has been like a roller coaster ride. The snow melts and the ground gets soggy, then freezes. The sun teases me with it's shine. I stand between the shade and the window on the east side of the house and drink in the warmth. I look out at my lawn and want to get started on waking my flower beds. Then I layer on some clothes, top it off with a coat and gloves and gather firewood. Carefully, with one arm.

I have taken to wearing those velour pantsuits. You know the ones, favored by old ladies everywhere. I find that I can get myself dressed easily in the elastic waist pants, a t-shirt, and top it off with the matching zippered jacket. Zip the jacket halfway up and tuck my left hand in. Like a sling, it takes all the weight of my arm from my shoulder. It is my new "uniform". Good thing I have a ready supply.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Best Monday EVER

I have insurance! MRI is being scheduled as I write. That was the best news ever ........ or so I thought.

I indulged in some pain meds and was sitting here, staring stupidly at the TV, playing solitaire, snug as a bug in rug, surrounded by love of the canine variety. Counting my blessings, I was, when the phone rang.

After muting the TV, I answered and heard my daughter's voice. This one rarely calls me, I usually call her. This one, the mother of Layla, my lovely granddaughter I can't see enough of. "Hi Mom" she says full of cheer. She asks how I am doing and I tell her the good insurance news and then she tells me even better news.

She is coming to see me. Just her and the lovely Layla, for a long weekend. I am so excited. It has been 6 years since they were here! What with baseball and ballet, they have been tied to home every summer. Now that Gage, the baseball player is all grown up and on his own, we only have ballet to work around.

I had trouble getting to sleep last night. I was planning meals in my head of all her favorite foods and then my mind went on to list all the things I want to get ready for the visit. She wants to come soon after my surgery, so we still have to wait until I get all those dates to plan around. Se was going to surprise me, but she knows her dad too well. He would have told me ....... and I would have had to remind him to get them from the airport and to not let it slip that he ruined the surprise.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

This Is Not Over!

Toni Louise pondering an escapade as she sits with He Who is smitten with her sweet face.

No pain pills today. Not yet anyway. I am counting them and anticipating not having a supply on hand should I have a truly bad day. Instead of pain maintenance until I can get the MRI and some real action, I will only take them if I absolutely have to. I have to admit, I rather like being fully aware and lucid. This morning I discovered that He Who got up and about before me has been using MY TOOTHBRUSH. I put new ones in the holder about a month ago and went over the two colors with him. "This one is predominately green, it is yours. Mine is predominately pink and is mine." I said, while holding each one out to give the man a visual display to work with. Some things are not meant to be shared. Your toothbrush is one. His excuse? My predominately pink handled toothbrush handle had a spot of blue on it and he clearly remembers me telling him that his was blue.

 I have a SILVER handled toothbrush now and he has a pink one and a green one. 

Yesterday afternoon was spent trying to obtain our insurance ID#. He Who is in charge of this task called the same number he called Wednesday. That was the call that said the card should be here, it was mailed out on Friday. He calmly explained to the person (yes, a real live person!) the history of our attempt to obtain insurance. This person told him that yes, he did find the application and the payment that has already been processed but that there was something amiss with our application and he would need to call another number. He gave the number and then instructions to enter his social security number followed by another 4 digit number.

He was annoyed at this point, but determined. He punched in all the required numbers and was told that he was caller 52. No longer patient, he hung up and called again. On his cell phone. He got a person and then got a call. He put this live person ON HOLD, saying, "I am going to put you on hold." I left the room at this point to go laugh in the kitchen so he wouldn't see me. When I came back he was getting the store handset and making another call. "Oh, did they hang up?" I asked sweetly.

He was indignant. I mean, really, they put him on hold ...... He finally gets another person. This person finds the application and the payment that has been processed. After some hemming and hawing, this one tells him that one of the social security numbers is not valid. He is told he will have to call a number in Atlanta. He does and the recording warns the callers in queue that this office will be closing promptly at 3:15. It is almost 2:00 here (3:00 there) and he gives up on that call, too.

Now, He Who is a patient man (he is, after all, married to me). He has to be pushed to assert himself. He is not very nice at this point, but he calls again. He gives all the info again and this person says he sees that everything is in order and that payment has been made. "Your card will be there in 2 to 5 business days." I can feel the explosion coming as he tightly tells the nice man in India that the card had supposedly been sent last Friday and that I need to make an appointment.

The man in India tells him to "go ahead, make the appointment and pay for everything" and as soon as we get the card we can apply for reimbursement. This is when he shouts at the man on the phone to get his supervisor, that he is not going to hang up until he gets his ID#. The man tries to explain that the supervisor will tell him the same thing. He repeats that he will not hang up until he gets what he wants .........

The man in India was smart enough to put him on hold before disconnecting. He Who Tows got a call and left. Not before telling me that this is not over!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Ice Cold Diet Coke

Pick me up, pick me up! I have to do this ever so carefully, using my right hand and arm. I am rewarded with such sweet affection, it is worth it!

No, the insurance card did not come. They assured me it was mailed last Friday. Should have been here Wednesday. I know they have outsourced many jobs, is my card coming from India? He Who is greatly annoyed is calling them as I write.

Let him vent some frustration. I feel the first tingling of the pain pill coursing it's way through my bloodstream. Mellow.

Okay, the fence did fall a third time yesterday under the influence of the mighty winds. We left it in the ground, waiting for the wind to stop. Last night we had to harness up the four leggers and tramp out into the cold. I chose the doxies. When they see me grab the leashes they stand patiently waiting to be hooked up. Wall-E hides and Toni Louise becomes hysterical, running in circles and leaping in the air. I left those two to He Who has two shoulders working properly.

I calmly walked my two out the door on the leads, behaving nicely. Wall-E escaped without a lead and Toni Louise took her master on a wild walk. My dogs proceeded to take care of business in a timely fashion, as did Wall-E. I managed to get my two along with Wall-E back inside while He Who was in charge of just the one dog lost his. She came to me when I called her and all was well. I am the dog master in this house.

The fence is back up today and I can now focus on ice cube trays. Yes, ice cube trays. My refrigerator has an ice maker, but it is not hooked up. My water is very hard, exceptionally hard. My fridge is an older model and does not have a water filter, so it is not hooked up. The apparatus takes up valuable freezer space, but I am a little scared to suggest removing it. But that is another story.

I use ice trays. Plastic ones. Cheap ones from the Dollar Tree. Now, we all know how to remove the ice, don't we? You flip the tray over and gently twist. The cubes fall out. He Who carries a huge Bubba Mug of Diet Coke everywhere he goes uses lots of ice. While I know it is insane of me to expect him to refill the trays with water and put them back in the freezer on the designated shelf, I did not expect to have to keep replacing them. He twists them with such force that he breaks them.

Since He Who was chauffeuring me while under the influence of pain killers a couple of days ago, we checked out the display of ice trays in WalMart. Hard to find, on the bottom shelf and somewhat dusty. Only two brands to choose from. The store brand was in a 2 pack and 97 cents. Rubbermade was packaged in singles and $1.97. Throwing budget to the wind I bought 2 of the Rubbermade trays. He Who loves his ice suggested 3 or 4, but the voice of reason triumphed and we only got 2. If they can hold up to the twisting of the Diet Coke maniac I will then purchase more.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Cat and Mouse Games

The weather has been playing cat and mouse games lately! And, no, I do not have another cat. That is for my kids. They think I have too many pets.

One day can be like this. Dogs frolicking in the dog park, happy to be in the great outdoors. That is my old guy Oscar with the ball in his mouth. The white fluffy guy is Barkley. He is kamper Martha's grand-dog. Yes, he does bark a lot.

The next day can be like this. All this melted in just two days. I can see the grass. There are tiny buds on my peach trees. It was balmy this morning. The wind is blowing hard, though. The fence was down when I woke to take the dogs out. I did the collar/harness and lead bit while He Who is strong put the two fence panels upright.

Coffee and news. Weather forecast warns that a cold front is coming this afternoon. I decided it would be a great idea to gather some wood to the front porch to keep it dry for the wood stove. I notice the fence is down again .......

I pulled wagons full of wood while the fence was being secured for the second time in a matter of hours. The wind is strong and I can feel a hint of the cold to come. I hear rumors of more snow from those pesky weather forecasters when I come back in to remove my soggy shoes and pants. Took my pain meds, showered, and settled in here with more coffee.

I am warm and cozy now as I listen to the wind as it rattles against the stove pipe. I hear the faint sound of my chimes on the front porch and I think a little cat nap is in order .......

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Blogging Under The Influence

Rumor has it that my long awaited insurance card will be in the mailbox tomorrow. I am skeptical, but hopeful. Today I need to drive 25 miles to the pharmacy and 25 miles back to retrieve prescription drugs for He Who knows not what he takes.

I moved very carefully all morning, hoping to delay the pain meds until I return from my jaunt. The pills won't be ready until after lunch. I am thinking I should not drive while drugged. For my safety and the safety of the other cars on the road with me. I realize this is not how most people think. I am funny like that.

My shoulder is screaming and my head is hurting. The muscles in my neck are knotting and to top everything off I am awash with nausea. I sip my coffee ever so carefully and sit with my head cradled in a pillow and my eyes closed, waiting for it to pass. My sweet little Cujo is nestled close, providing warmth to my thigh.

As I start to feel a wee bit better and think that I can make it until after the trip to the pharmacy, disaster strikes. Toni Louise decided she was being left out and needed some affection. My eyes were closed, so I did not see her approach and leap up. She stood there with her hind legs on the arm of the chair and her front feet digging into my sick shoulder. Her nose sniffing away at my eyelids.

I admit that I did not receive her affection kindly. I lifted her offending front paws off my shoulder and shoved her to the floor. She is hard to offend, my Toni Louise. She took this as an invitation to play and started running small circles and attempting to jump into my lap. Wall-E, who can easily read my moods, immediately hid under the table and Cujo simply clung closer to me.

I succumbed to the pain and took my meds, then called He Who Tows and told him to pick up his own meds. Now that I am feeling less pain I am disappointed that I cannot drive. I need to do a big grocery run and I want to do it alone. If I let He Who loves junk food take me, the bill will be twice as much and last half as long.

To top everything off, my old guy, Oscar, has been whiny. He got me up twice last night to lap up copious amounts of water. He walks around and whines for food and treats. I feed him and it shows. He is heavy. I need to take him to the vet, I suppose. I know what she will say, though. Stop feeding him every time he cries. But she doesn't have to listen to his pitiful whining. He equates treats with love. He is not content with my scratching his belly and kissing his head. He is old and I just want him to be happy. I know, I know, he is too fat.

Thank goodness I can blog while medicated.

Monday, February 17, 2014


I was kidnapped Saturday by two of my kampers. They whisked me away for a lunch with another kamper. The four of us talked and laughed and had a great time. We were so involved with catching up ..... I think we may have annoyed our server!

We could not bear to part and ended up at the Apple Wagon to wander up and down each and every aisle, lest we miss a bargain. I love this place. They have booths for vendors selling their wares and they have garden items from Mexico. Their prices are reasonable, too. I fell in love with the frog. I thought the price was too high, but they took 20% off for me and I got him! He is a big guy and won't be swallowed up when my gardens burst in blooms. I also got a cane fishing pole for 3 bucks. No, I am not a fisher person, but I liked it.

It was a wonderful excursion with my best buddies. I didn't realize how much I needed to get away. Thanks Barb, Nan and Martha!

It was/is supposed to warm up today. Really, they said so on the TV. Of course they said that about the weekend, too and that did not happen. My dogs are tired of the snow. It is even worse today. It rained this morning and the snow now has a sheet of ice atop it. I never knew a dog with such short legs could lose his bearings, but Cujo slid across the ice this morning. I don't know if I will be able to get him out the door again!

I have now mastered the art of editing and downloading photos on Windows 8! Actually I figured it out quite by accident!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Temperatures Rising Revisited

Okay, maybe it did sound like I like the freezing temperatures ....... not at all what I meant to say.

I like SNOW. Not the crazy degrees we have been experiencing lately. I like the nice clean blanket upon my outer world that stays until the big thaw of Spring. Not the melting and icing that we have had this year. So, just so you know, it is the snow I like and not the freezing temperatures.

Besides the snow on the ground in Minnesota, there are other reasons my heart is there. Gramma is missing her grands. If not for the shoulder, I would have made a trip north by now to see them. To relish all the hugs and kisses and chaos ......

Then come home and actually enjoy the solitude.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Temperature Rising

I still can't figure out how to edit photos on this new (ish) computer. I did get some pictures of the snow covered grounds.

They won't be all clean and white for long, as they are predicting 50"s for the weekend. I dread the temperature rising as much as I dread the temperature going lower. While I welcome the warmth, I am not at all happy anticipating what will be happening outside.

This is when we will see which pipes have burst, the back yard will be a muddy mess and the dogs will bring it in with them. Let the record show that I like snow. I like to watch it fall and accumulate on the ground. It paints everything white and clean, while hiding ugly brown grass and dead plants. I feel that it should stay on the ground, like a nice blanket until Spring. As it melts, the daffodils and snow crocus will poke through and be in bloom as the last bits of it fall away.

So, then, why did I not stay in Minnesota? I wonder about that. He Who loves the sun wanted to go south, while She Who loves the snow was digging her heels in. We compromised and here we are ......... in the middle of nowhere, in the great state of Missouri (pronounced misery).

The first pipe to burst was in the laundry room. I have not been very good at housekeeping chores of late and decided that if I took two loads out to the coin machines and did one load in my washer, I could get more done in that small window of opportunity that I am able to move freely in the morning. While the muscle relaxer still lingers in my system, and the morning pain meds are fresh.

I put the clothes in and added the detergent, plopped in my quarters and put down the lid. I heard the water start and was turning to put another load in the other machine when it occurred to me that it sounded like the water was splashing on the floor. I pulled the lid up to stop the machine and sure enough, the water was on the floor.

So much for going three times faster. I left the clothes and called He Who Plumbs. This was yesterday. The clothes are still in the machine. I can't reach down that far. Well, I can, but it causes pain. The load of laundry stuck in the machine are made up mostly of my clothes. They might just stay there until Spring.

In just 2 more days I will have health insurance! I can now schedule the MRI and confirm the diagnosis. If I need surgery, and I probably do, I hope to get it done before those bulbs are popping up through the ground. I don't know how long the recovery is, but it can't be as bad as the pain I have endured on and off since July.

I ventured out onto the thawing driveway to empty my kitchen compost and grab more firewood. It is downright balmy out there. I breathed in the fresh air and admired the side yard, so pretty and white, unmarred by footprints. I think I will go to my sewing lair and turn on my SAD light. Put on an audio book and get lost in some fabric. I am toying with an idea that involves tiny rag dolls and match boxes ..........

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Spam. Not the delicacy one finds in a can on the grocery shelves (never in my pantry). I am speaking (writing) of spam comments. Do you ever read them? I do, from time to time. Some are written in other languages and all are "anonymous". Most of them don't really make sense and have nothing to do with the content of the particular post they are connected to.

Sometimes I will find one that a new blogger has written and for some reason comes up as anonymous. So, when I am bored I will take a peek, then delete them. Today I pulled them up and one caught my eye. 

Anonymous told me that they liked my content, however, they found it to be "rife with spelling errors". I can't say why, but this annoyed me ..... a lot. So much so, that I am writing this.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Big Bark .... Small Bite

Snow fell gently yesterday and added to the snow already on the ground. But, it was warmer than it has been, so I ventured into my sewing room and turned on the space heater. I was happily engrossed in some cutting and pondering when I heard the chime alerting me that someone was at the store door. The locked door. February is so slow in business, that there is no business to be had.

I ignored the chime, thinking it was He Who had towed coming home.  There was an insistent rapping on the door, followed by some tapping on the window. Thinking it was He Who sometimes has an armload of firewood needing assistance I went to the door and opened it.

There stood a young man attired in only a t-shirt and jeans. Dirty blonde dreadlocks topped off his "look". "I need to come in." he said. The hair on the back of my neck was rising and I held the door to a smaller wedge. He had the storm door open and made to come through the door. All my dogs were suddenly barking warnings to the intruder. Wall-E always barks his high pitch annoying bark, giving away his size immediately. The doxies have a deep bark and can sound quite large, while Toni Louise, the mutt, has a bark and snarl that is downright wicked.

"What do you need?" I asked, still holding the door, ready to close. "Do you have showers?" he asked. This was believable, as he wasn't very clean. "I do, but the pipes burst last week and I have no hot water. Perhaps you should try a truck stop." He again said he needed to come in, but I wasn't budging and he kept trying to look behind me. I imagine he wanted to see how big the beast was that was making all that noise. "Sorry." I said and pushing him back with the door, closing it firmly and locking it.

I was so thankful Cujo was not in the store with me. One look at him and he would have known my dogs were not much of a threat. I can't really say what the young man wanted. Maybe he was just cold. Maybe he really wanted a shower, if my nose is any judge, he needed one. If he intended to rob me, he would have been sorely disappointed with meager contents of the cash register. I was determined he was not coming in .......

Friday, February 7, 2014

Where Did The Fat Go?

I don't usually watch commercials, but being stuck here with not much to do .......

One has come to my attention. It is the arm girdle. Okay, I am old. Back in the day, we wore girdles. Today they wear Spanx. Same thing, just up-dated. Nowadays I just wear what is comfortable. There is no way I would shimmy into Spanx. Actually, there is no way I could with my shoulder situation. As it is, I am lucky to get a sports bra on unassisted.

This new product targets my age group and sagging upper arms. Apparently I am not supposed to embrace this condition and use it as a weapon when waving to someone. You simply don this amazing sheer solution and your arms are young again. No more slapping your mate in the face with your flabby arm fat. I know I said arm girdle, but really it is more like support hose.

Having worn both girdle and support hose at some point in my life, I know a little bit about both. The main thing I remember is the relief in taking either off at the end of the day. Another is that, when you compress that fat, there will be some "spillage" somewhere. You can press it down, but you can't make it "disappear", as the commercial would have you believe. That fat has to go somewhere!

The support hose would "flatten" the lower abdomen, but it created a bulge right above the waistline. I wonder where the arm fat goes?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Do You Do Barns?

Another storm, the snow has been falling all day. Without the wind this time. Nothing to do but stay inside and feed the fire. Watching TV. There was plenty of warning for this storm. If you watch TV at all, you would know the storm was coming along with all the school and office closing. Not to mention that you can look outside and know that driving would be treacherous. Okay, MOST people would assume it would be a good idea to stay off the roads. Reasonable people.

So why would one venture onto the interstate and zip along at 70 mph and then be surprised that they end up tangled in the cables in the median. He Who tows has been out all day. Make that money, honey.

My new passion is Garage Gold. A DIY show where they will come clean out your garage and paint it and make it into whatever you wish, but they get to keep everything they remove. I am fantasizing about calling them for the barn of He Who fancies himself to be an up and coming Fred Sanford. If you are getting rid of anything with a motor in it, he will take it. His latest addition is a huge treadmill. Why, you ask (I know I did)? He wants the motor, no he NEEDS the motor. Okay, so take the motor and get rid of the rest. How much space will a motor take? Not as much as a treadmill, I am sure. But, we have a treadmill, on it's side, in the barn. Well, I think it is in the barn and not still just outside the barn, next to the enclosed trailer. I have given up on the barn and now just want to build a 12 foot fence around it. If I can't see it, it's not there, right?

Or ....... maybe I will contact the Garage Brothers and ask "Do you do barns?"

Monday, February 3, 2014

Stink Wood

The price of propane has gone insanely high. We have two tanks. One serves the main building and supplies gas to the water heater and the furnace. The larger tank is for dispensing and selling. It is good to be able to provide gas to those traveling through, or staying here. We don't really make a lot of money dispensing, we charge according to the price that is charged to us. I have been told that my camp store prices are low compared to other campgrounds, too.

 We provide propane to a lot of local people, too. I would think they would want to get a tank and pay a lower price, but, I suppose some can't afford to have a big tank filled.  Our tanks were recently filled and although they provide us with the amount of propane put into the tanks, we don't know what the rate is until we get the bill. It was shocking, to say the least and we had to raise our rates. Explaining that I did not set the rate and that I can't sell it for less than I paid for it does no good.

I am not happy about it either. We also sell firewood. Mostly during the camping season. We cut and split it. Since it is trees on our property, some folks seem to think we should simply give it away. They will brazenly walk up to our pile and take it. Some have even taken from other camper's piles of wood. People never cease to amaze me.

When a camper pulls out and leaves a pile of firewood, I will load it up and add it to our stack. Like the rest of the country, staying warm has become a favorite pass time. Yesterday, I ventured out and brought some wood in to feed the stove. I have not tried to walk around the building to the wood pile I so carefully stacked before my shoulder betrayed me. I have visions of slipping on ice and falling on said shoulder. So, He Who splits the wood had thoughtfully left a nice stack on the porch for me. It was short pieces and easy for me to handle. I don't remember stacking such short pieces .........

I don't know where this wood came from, what kind of tree it was, but, this is the stinkiest stuff I have ever smelled. It permeates the air and lingers there. I was gagging and lighting candles as fast as I could. I am wondering if a skunk may have sprayed the pile. I found out later that it had been left on a site. I know why they left it .....

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Is It Sunday?

I was shocked to realize that it was Sunday when I got up this morning. I seem to have lost a few days.

I felt so much better after the relief the pain killers and muscle relaxers ....... I decided to tackle a few chores I had been putting off in hopes that my shoulder would suddenly be "all better". Tuesday was such a good day, I decided to not take anything for pain. I changed the sheets on the bed. I was careful not to stretch my arm out and was quite pleased, knowing fresh sheets were on the bed. I have been relying on help from He Who does not tuck them tight enough to suit me.

Two loads of laundry and all the folding followed that. Still felt good, so I made dinner and even fresh bread. While it simmered and baked, I was inspired to bathe the dogs ........

Now, Oscar, the heaviest of them all, enjoys his bath time ritual that includes a good massage while shampooing. In his younger years, he would try to avoid this, all the while knowing I would win in the end. But, now that he is old, he has learned to appreciate a good rub down and will stand still for me.

Wall-E tried to hide. Wants to avoid the bath entirely, but is afraid to blatantly oppose my wishes. He succumbs grudgingly, but will still try to escape before the rinsing and toweling is complete. I find myself saying "flyswatter" a lot. Not only are they afraid of the flyswatter, the mere word "flyswatter" gives all my dogs pause. I have never actually swatted any of them except Oscar and that was years ago. I suppose he has warned them all.

Toni Louise, our up and coming alpha dog, will tend to try my patience more than the rest. She is okay with shampoo and water, but will suddenly leap up with her long gangly arms to give me a big wet hug. It is hard to scold her when she is showing affection .... and she tends to disregard the scolding anyway.

Cujo was easy to handle. He only weighs 8 lbs. and loves any attention I give him. He was sort of jealous the entire time I was bathing the other three and was delighted when his turn came. I was tired after all that activity, but not in pain. Okay, maybe a little, but I have been dealing with this off and on since July, so it was quite bearable.

Woke up very early Wednesday in absolute agony. I have been stumbling around in a drugged haze since. Still awaiting the arrival of my insurance card. Surgery doesn't sound so bad now.