Sunday, August 31, 2014

Creepy Man ......

So, here is the picture I took from behind my locked door with tinted windows of Creepy man. Note the blackening sky behind him.

After He Who is my hero sent him away the last time with the threat of law enforcement, he did not return. I called the other campgrounds in my area and warned them. Really not good for business to have a creepy person who sleeps in their van in the park.

Now, my next project will involve more signage for the park. It was brought to my attention that my sign spelling out the pool rules did not include anything about putting the chairs in the water, or jumping in the water with the chair attached to your person ....... they have unwittingly brought attention to the fact that they can read and have read the existing sign. But, that is not all I will add to the sign.

Apparently some parents think that those little pellet guns that shoot tiny little plastic beads are appropriate pool toys to bring along to the swimming pool. The skimmer pump died and we actually thought that it had been struck by lightning. It was down for 12 hours. More than long enough for the water to start to form algae.

Although we shocked it and poured the algaecide and the clarifier in, it still has a green cast to the water. Upon disassembling the pump, it was discovered to be full of those tiny plastic beads.

He Who is in charge of all things pool related was none to happy about this turn of events. He did get them all out and the pump (which is not all that old) is once again running. The other pump will need to be taken apart, too, as we are sure it must have some beads in it, too.

Fortunately, He Who is good at taking stuff apart,  has already had an adventure with the old pump when someone pulled the grate up out of the bottom drain and stuffed their swimming trunks in. I guess you could say we were lucky that they made their way to the pump, instead of remaining in the line underground.

I find it appalling that common sense does not prevent such events, but it does provide fodder for my book.

I already have signs on my trash receptacles and aluminum receptacles. Most people see them and will put the appropriate item in the appropriate container. There are always those who, for whatever reason, decline to do so. I don't particularly like fishing used diapers out of the aluminum cans , but I do. 

Along with all utility bills, the cost of garbage removal has gone up. We only get picked up twice a month, but we have a huge dumpster. Still, when we have a big holiday weekend, it can fill up rather quickly. I am always annoyed when people fill the front and then just start throwing the bags AT the dumpster and don't bother to look in the back. It is not unusual to have to call for an extra pick-up after a holiday weekend. The cost is $70. I pay it if I need a pick-up. I may not be happy about it, but I am livid when I have to get an extra pick up because someone put a mattress in my dumpster. Or their truck fender. Or their old couch. Or their BBQ grill. Sometimes I think they bring all the things they want to throw away, and would have to pay extra to do so, along on their camping trip and dump it after I go to bed.

Then , there are those who will drink cases of beer, and go to the trouble of bagging the cans separately, then just toss the bag in the dumpster instead of into the barrel right next to the dumpster that has been designated for aluminum. This makes me think I need a visual aid along with the sign for those who can't read.

Then I remember that they CAN read because they will tell me what is NOT on my signs. Good thing I don't mind painting signs. Maybe I should change the name of my blog to "People Piss Me Off." Then I remember that not all people do. Most people don't. Most people are good. 

Like Andrea, the Weeding Elf. She just appears and pulls all the weeds out of a garden and then disappears with all the debris. Like Martha, who sees me loading firewood on the golf cart and comes bringing me a glass of wine. Like the camper I deliver the wood to, who hands me a frosty glass of lemonade with quite a kick! Maybe I shouldn't be drinking it while I write .....

Then there is DJ and Butch, coming in the door with a plate of ribs and chicken and corn just when He Who was towing asks what there is for dinner. And my church group that comes on Labor Day weekend. Their leader takes care of all the details and collects all the money for me and they leave their sites pristine.

Yes, I should really drink some water now and lock up before I get maudlin'.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Texting and Creepy

He Who Texts fancies himself to be a technological wonder now. He loves to text. No complete sentences ...... or even words complicate this new vocabulary he so readily embraces. Punctuation is a thing of the past. Oh, wait, he never cared much for whole words and punctuation before, so this is just like a dream come true for him!

Texting is harder for me. I still want to spell words and use punctuation to express myself and my texts tend to be a little long. The keyboard is too tiny and my arthritic thumbs hit the wrong keys and I end up pecking the entire thing with my right forefinger. Takes too long and I become impatient and want to fling the phone at the wall.

I like the fact that you can text and have a private exchange in public, but was not a big fan of the whole thing until recently .........

Wednesday afternoon I was counting down the time til closing so I could finish the garden work I had started that morning. The forecast had called for a rainy day, but nothing had happened except a nice breeze and cooler temperatures. It was approaching 6:00 and I had only one swimmer left in the pool. I stuck my head out the door and decided to go ahead and lock up, leaving the happy little frog sign saying I would be "right back" in the door.

I had restocked the store shelves and needed to take the remaining rolls of paper towels out to store in the laundry room. I stuffed the phone in my pocket and loaded the paper towels in my arms and headed out to see a van pulling in. The van did not stop at the stop sign since it came in the exit drive, so I was already annoyed when the young man parked and got out. His driving skills left much to be desired. 

Sighing deeply I put my load of paper towels on the chair and turn to ask him if I can be of assistance. He stands staring at me and a long pause follows. "Well, I want to know about your park." He follows me into the store, as I had not yet locked the door and I ask what kind of camping he was interested in. Another long pause, so I ask if he camps in a tent or an RV, thinking to speed things along. "Well, I just sleep in my van." he says. I tell him that we don't really do that here and hope that our chat has come to an end. "I really like the looks of your park." he says an he runs the tips of his fingers over the surface of the registration desk. The tiny hairs on the back of my neck are started to rise and I feel around for my cell phone.

"Do you live here?"  Yes. "Are you alone?" By now my canines have picked up on my unease and are all barking and scratching at the half door leading to the office. I tell him, "Of course not, my husband is on the property." All the while trying to see the keyboard on my phone so I can text him.

"Oh, that's my husband texting me now!" I pick up my phone and pretend to read a text, then text him to get home asap, I have a really Creepy Man in the office. I say, " I need to take some things to my husband and kind of push him out the door, locking it. I grab my paper towels and head to the side of the building, out of sight of Creepy Man.

As I spy from the corner of the building, he continues to rub the surface of the map he got in the office. From time to time he appears to be staring at the roof, then at the pond and at the clouds in the sky.

The clouds behind him are turning the color of a bruise and the wind is picking up. I see lightning in the distance and hear a clap of thunder. I hear my poor Toni Louise half barking, half crying. She is terrified of storms. He Who should have been there quicker finally arrives and tells the creepy man to leave, that we have no availability.

This is when he let Toni Louise out into a brewing storm. He Who loves to communicate by text calls me to tell me he told the man to leave and that he has a call to a wreck on the highway. By now I have walked to the back and around to the other side of the building. "Did you just leave me here?" I ask into the phone. Yes, he did, while Creepy Man is still standing gazing into the heavens.

Then he goes on to tell me, as he drives to this wreck, that he found this same individual asleep in our parking lot that very morning (he was in the van and his shoes were outside the van) and had already sent him on his way then. I really want to go back inside and get my dogs in before it starts to rain, but Creepy Man (in his shoes now) is still there.

My Hero, He Who Tows, suggests that I just go unlock the door and go in and if Creepy Man  follows me, then tell him to leave. Really, that was his solution. I am thinking that if the dogs picked up on my distress, Creepy Man would, too. I solved the problem by breaking in the back door.

I watched from behind my tinted windows as Creepy Man continued to look at my roof and then my pond. I did not unlock the door until I saw a big diesel pusher coming in the entrance drive. Creepy Man decided to leave at the same time and played chicken with the giant bus as he went out the wrong way.

But wait, there is more. The rain came and thundered down on us for a short time and the sun reappeared. I went out and finished some mowing and picked some beans and tomatoes. I came in while He Who Builds was making new doors to his barn (Fred Sanford Emporium). At 9:45 I texted him to suggest it was bedtime. He texted back that Creepy Man had reappeared and he was watching him leave, then decided to follow him out and would be back soon. Creepy Man advised He Who that I had told him to return .......

I have to admit I did not worry about spelling or punctuation when I texted! Maybe texting can be a good thing.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Paper Work

The countdown continues .........  some campers will be pulling in tomorrow for an extra long weekend. This is my last lazy morning. I sit here sipping scalding hot coffee as I contemplate what to accomplish today.

My restrooms are out-dated. As much as I would like to gut them and start over, that is not money that will be easily recovered. They are clean and I try to keep them well stocked. The toilet paper dispensers were from another era. I replaced them. Maybe not such a good idea, since my campers try to use them as an aid to rising from their seated positions. I am constantly re-attaching them.

I will usually put extra rolls on the top of the toilet tank, but, as in my own home, no one seems to know how to put the roll on the dispenser, or to toss the paper wrapper in the conveniently located trash can. But, I sort of expected that to happen.

The last time someone yanked on the dispenser and pulled it out of the wall, they took the little middle part that holds the roll with them (trophy?). I was buying a replacement when I was struck with a marvelous idea. Why not put two dispensers in each stall? Why did I not think of this before??? I raced home to install my new dispensers, patting myself on the back for having had such a revelation.

This would stream-line my chores! It would eliminate someone opening a new roll and setting it on the floor to get wet and have to be discarded. I could put two rolls in each stall and they would use up one roll and start on the next. I could then restock the empty one and not rely on some kind soul to have the courtesy to do it for me. It would eliminate theft. People will only steal the new, wrapped roll. They don't want to have to go to the trouble of taking it off the dispenser.

I was so happy with myself as I imagined a whole new life with such a small investment. Always optimistic, that's me. It is not working out as well as I had imagined. They are still yanking the dispensers out of the wall and I am running out of new places to re-attach them. And ...... instead of using one roll before going on to the next, they are using them almost equally, making me have to check more often than before, as I am loathe to waste any paper.

So, my first chore today will be re-attaching a dispenser. One side is secure, firmly attached to a stud, but I will have to move both sides .......

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Must Be THe Heat

It must be the heat. This is the week before a holiday weekend. Most folks have already made their plans and reserved their sites. Fortunately for those who have waited until the last minute I am here. Unfortunately for me, I missed quite a few because I was in the land of no internet and because I was not extremely specific with my requests, someone did not check the web reservations. In my defense, I did text him while sitting in a doctor's waiting room with my dad. I even followed up to see if he understood the previous text that had all the pertinent information. He replied yes to "did you understand my last text?" How silly of me not to include the content of the text I was referring to, because he did not get that text and said yes to the text that I had texted the day before when I texted goodnight.

There is one reader out there who will totally understand what I just wrote.

So, when the phone rang at 9:45 pm on Sunday, even though I was all snug in my bed cuddling with my canines, I pulled myself up and came out to the office to take a reservation. The man was surprised I answered since he was so late and was prepared to leave a message for me to return his call the next day. He thanked me profusely for having a site for his family and went on and on about how wonderful I was for being so nice as to have a spot for them.

Next morning as I sipped my coffee and washed mountains of laundry, the same caller rings my bell. "I don't know if you remember me, but I have a reservation for site 26 that I need to cancel." Of course I remember you. "Well, the campground we really wanted to go to called and they have a spot they can put us in. It is not as good as the spot you have , but since we called them first and they put us on a waiting list we feel like we should camp with them. Sorry. Are you gonna charge us?" No, there is no cancellation, just like I told you last night. ......... He hung up. No thank you for not charging us, just hung up. Perhaps he shouldn't have told me his reasoning about changing his plans. It was annoying, but not the end of the world. I am sure I will rent the spot to someone who didn't make reservations in time.

My annoyance only grew when a camper who will be here until tomorrow came in to ask how to get to Graham's Cave. I tell her, then she says, conversationally, "My husband says you have peaches in a tree. It's okay if we pick them, isn't it?" Let me insert here that although I have two trees that produce and lots of baby trees that I have planted, the one and only tree that has peaches on it right now is in my private yard. That would be the yard on the residence side of this building, down the driveway marked 'PRIVATE'. I usually get about a bushel of peaches from that tree, but this year the tree had only a handful that I have been watching daily to grab at the very peak of ripeness. "You are talking about the tree in my side yard down the private drive and I would prefer that you didn't. If you would like to pick an apple or two, please feel free to do so."

I was anxious for her to leave so I could go check my tree. Another camper pulled in and I couldn't check it right away. Not only were the peaches that were on the lower limbs that I had taken note of that morning gone, but so were my tomatoes that I had planned to gather when I closed the store at 8:00. I wanted to have a small fit, but the intense heat from the day had barely faded and I just didn't have the energy.

After mowing the dog park in 90 degree heat this morning I came in to let the sweat dry and cool my body. The phone rang, "Do you have any sites for this weekend?" Yes, I do. Tell me what you need - tent or RV. "Oh, we just need a tent site. Do you have any without reservations?" Right now I still have a few sites left. "But do you have any without reservations?" Do you want to reserve a site? "No, I want to know if you are going to keep sites open and not reserve them all out." Right this minute I have a few sites left, but will  not guarantee they will still be left by this weekend. If I can rent them I will. As she is hanging up, I hear her say "What a stupid bitch, she has no idea what she is doing."

Oh, I am so looking forward to this weekend.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Home Again

I am back from the land of no internet! Things are almost back to normal here. Whatever normal is. Time to get ready for another holiday weekend here at the kampground.

I spent the last week with my Dad. I was picked up by my daughter and her fiancé for the drive south. Her car was super economical on fuel ..... but the tiny back seat was killer on my back! I shared it with my grandson, Gavin, my new favorite traveling companion.

I admit that I am still tired, can still feel the road in my butt. I have plowed through the 240 e-mails just waiting for my attention, the laundry waiting to be washed and today will find me behind a lawn mower.

Too many feelings to put into words. I am already looking at dates for next month to head south again. I met my dad's oncologist and took him to numerous appointments. I am thankful for the medical team administering his care. They were all so caring and kind. I just wish they weren't necessary.

I feel cut off from the world while I am there. My world, anyway. Mama's cooking and insistence on having 3 meals daily has not been kind to my waistline! Daddy's love of the game show channel has made me see way too much of Howie Mandel! I feel the need to end a reservation request with "deal, or no deal?".

My mind is blank. I hear a mower calling my name!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Lost and Found

Here I sit, coffee too hot to do much but sip. The day stretches before me as I consider what to do with it. I smell rain coming and am glad I finished my mowing and transplanting seedlings yesterday. I am thinking about mulching another garden bed, but my aching joints are arguing with me.

Only 3 hours to myself and those hours will be filled with all the necessary chores of making the park ready for another day. Rain will bring some relief, but it is Friday in a campground and reservations will be here to check in.

I don't have an official "lost and found" area. If something is turned in to the office or I find items in the bathrooms or the pool area, I keep them in the office for a time, waiting for someone to claim them. Usually it is a towel or water toy left at the pool, or a swimsuit left in one of the bathrooms. Shoes, too. Occasionally I will find a set of keys, jewelry and once a cell phone. Those items are claimed pretty quickly. The towels and clothes aren't. Since they are wet when I find them, I wash them and fold them while they linger in my care.

They are usually not claimed and I drop the clothing off at a thrift store. I keep the towels. Sometimes they are nearly new and I add them to my collection of pool towels for my grandchildren to use when they are here. If they are old and raggedy, they are put in my "dog towel" section.

I currently have two items in my lost and found. A toe ring of dubious value and some teeth. Yes, you read that right. Dentures. Left in the men's room. I assume that some man is walking around toothless. It has been a week. I would think that this missing item would have been noticed by the owner? It has been a week.

"Honey, I found a set of dentures in the bathroom and they have been here over a week ....." He Who has just awakened and is donning his everyday clothes with reflective stripes and steel toed boots, asks, no demands, to know who they belong to. I just give him an incredulous look in response. "I am assuming they belong to a man, since they were in the men's room, but I have no idea who this man is." "Oh", he says, "I thought you meant our bathroom."

This is my life. I am tossing the dentures today, lest they decide to jump out of the pink cup and bite me. Perhaps I should display them on the counter, you know, like a conversation piece. Maybe I should just go put them in the infamous barn, where things are lost, never to be found again.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Statues and Pigeons

It rained Friday, and the weather man promised a sunny day on Saturday. All day long the clouds frowned and threatened, but when it came time for everyone to gather at Nan's the sun broke through!

The men gathered around the non-fire and gossiped a bit while the ladies were about the business of readying the chow. There were brats, hot dogs and burgers. Some in BBQ sauce .... some without (I don't like BBQ sauce). Potato salad, pasta salads, baked beans and lots of corn. Fresh corn on the cob. I took applesauce. Not from a jar, but fresh from my own apples I plucked from my trees, washed and cooked and sent through the food mill.

Here comes Patrick and Julie with the green beans cooked in ham. Yum! We needed special parking for all the golf carts that eventually made their way to Nan's site.

Nan's sister, Doris brought her own camper! She really needs to get a seasonal spot here and then she wouldn't have to bring it along ..... it would already be here! They brought all the corn, too. Enough for an army of corn eaters.

This is my gift from Nan. She knows me well. Why must I be a statue MOST of the time! She the necklace? I know, you recognize the fact that I have one on, but you can't really see it. It is a tiny dachshund. I love it and wear it every day. Barb knows me well, too.

Saturday was a pigeon day for me! Except .... now that I see this picture of myself, I notice that I am not as young as I used to be. The camera is brutally honest!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Whatever ......

"Do you have potable water here?" Of course we do. "Well, I can't shower in it unless it is potable." We have our water tested monthly, I tell the man. "Yes, but is it potable?" Again, I tell him yes. "Because if you have your water on top of your septic tank, I won't use it." Another reassurance and he keeps saying "potable" and mispronouncing the word.

This is just too much work for the measly $5 I charged him to dump and fill his holding tank. "Where can I fill my water tank?" I grab a map and tell him that since he pulled into the exit drive he will need to turn around, then he can drive straight to the dump station. There is a hydrant there. "But is that water potable?" "You have the dump station and the water together." "How can that be potable?"

Please let this day end. Carefully, not giving in to the urge to laugh hysterically, I explain that the SOURCE of the water is nowhere near the septic lagoon. You have water in your bathroom, don't you? Doesn't mean you are drinking from the toilet bowl. Water pipes carry this to lots of locations ........ and they are all POTABLE. I over enunciate the word.

"Maybe I will just fill my holding tank later when I find some potable water."


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Things Could Get Sticky

As I sit here waiting for the oven to pre -heat, I am counting my blessings.

My asters are blooming!

I don't have to cook tonight. Tonight is my sweet Nan's annual July birthday celebration for those people she holds dear. I am proud to be among them. Yes, we know it is August. Who cares?

My Dad sounded good when I spoke to him this week. He had his second chemo of this round and said it wasn't so bad this time.

I will get to see my baby girl and her baby boy this coming weekend. We will only spend one night here, then head to Georgia to see my dad. We will be leaving Papa with 5 dogs to tend, as our grand-dog, Max, is coming with them.

My good friend kamper Julie will be out to clean my bathrooms in my absence! Maybe she will give He Who tows a crash course in the necessity of scrubbing the most used areas ...... the entire bathroom!

So, are you wondering why the oven is pre-heating? I heard through the grapevine that Nan's sister Doris (she is one of the July birthday people) was longing for some sticky buns.  Far be it from me to deny her the pleasures of my cooking!! We don't need a dessert, but she will get some sticky buns all for her.

Last weekend I made some apple pies with my abundance of fruit and texted certain much loved kampers to join us for pie and ice cream at the office. We wiped out two pies and made a good dent in that ice cream. It was a new recipe I had never tried. I always like to try out these things on the core group of kampers. Some of them can be counted on to tell the truth about what they like and don't like.

This recipe caught my eye for it's simplicity. You just heaped the apple slices onto the crust, then covered it with lattice. You cooked up the sugar, cinnamon, and butter concoction and poured that over it all. Reminded me of caramel apples. So, Barb, another kamper I love, commented that she would probably like my sticky buns with chopped apple added to the caramel. Did that today, too.

Hope they all turn out good, cause if they don't, someone else I know and love (He Who loves desserts) will be eating a whole lot of sticky buns!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

The unrelenting humidity has kept me drenched in sweat for two days now. Didn't stop me from mowing what seemed to be several acres of grass yesterday. Every time I went out and came back in I drank at least a quart of water.

Today is overcast with a strong breeze blowing. I mowed my dog's yard this morning and will get the dog park this evening when it cools down.

As I was going about my morning routine, putting a load of laundry on, then checking the bathrooms to see what paper product needed replacing, I heard water running. Not the water filling the washer. The men's bathroom door stood open and there was someone in the shower! Only the flimsy shower curtain between him and the whole wide world. I keep thinking that I can no longer be surprised, but this was a first.

Though sorely tempted to enter and start mopping, I ambled on to the ladies room and started my day in there. I currently have two tents with occupants. One site is a man and his wife and the other site has a couple and their two children. The children are boys, but that still leaves two female occupants in the park, in tents. So, why, I wonder did no one use the ladies room since my last visit? The paper towel roll was a new one and still unused. So, you are thinking, they must not have washed their hands. Ditto on the toilet paper. I tend to ponder such things.

Upon exiting the ladies room, I see the men's room occupant of the public shower leaving. He offers a "good morning" to me as he makes his way back to his site. Wonder what he would have said if he had found me scrubbing the toilet when he exited the shower stall?

Yesterday, after mowing, I turned on the sprinklers, in an effort to cause rain to fall from the sky. I also hung laundry on the line, but I did not wash my vehicle. I don't put fuel in it, so it stands to reason that I am not going to wash it. No rain fell, but I moved the sprinklers from dry spot to dry spot all day long. The rest of the time was spent answering the phone and taking care of swimmers and campers.

A late swimmer came in. I know this guy, but could not tell you his name if my life depended on it. He thinks himself to be quite the ladies' man and flirts with me in front of his current girlfriend. I am probably old enough to be his mother and find him to be ...... greasy? Just really don't particularly like him. He tends to show up with women and their young children and makes a big show out of paying for everything (like $3.50 to swim and a coke is a big deal).

Upon finishing with the check-in and the long decision over which soda to buy, I went out to move my sprinklers again. Just in time to see him reach up to my apple tree and pluck an apple off, then throw a grounder as if the apple were a ball and he was coaching little league. If I was not particularly fond of him before .....

I briefly entertained a fantasy involving a baseball bat and his head ....... I am at bat. I may be suffering a severe case of camp-host burn-out.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Account Specialist

We buy our pool chemicals and supplies at Sam's. It is the cheapest and most convenient. We do buy the paint from on-line vendors.

The previous owners used "In The Swim". Since we didn't change the name of the park when we bought it, we would get catalogs and phone solicitations from time to time from this supplier. We have not ordered anything from them for the past 6 years. Every time they call, I tell them that we get our chemicals elsewhere, giving them the opportunity to come back with a sweeter deal. They never do. They could offer free shipping and a better price and I would buy in a heart beat.

This year, they have changed their tactics and assigned "account specialists". The same person calls every time. Mine is a young man who could not sound more indifferent. Sometimes I ignore the call and let it go to the answering machine. Sometimes I tell the guy that I am merely a desk clerk and would be happy to make a reservation for him, which frustrates him to no end. Then there are times I will argue prices with him, before telling him that I am not in charge of ordering supplies. I am easily amused.

Last week he called while I was indisposed (I was cleaning bathrooms). When I came in and listened to the machine he was reciting his job title and asking for a call back in a sing-song voice. Poor guy, I would hate to have his job. But ....... I bet I could do it better! I could make that account come back to life, like a "specialist" should.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Never Put Anything Smaller Than Your Elbow In Your Ear .......

Monday again. Another sleep deprived Monday. An amazing thing happened Friday night. Oscar, the cantankerous old doxie, slept ALL NIGHT!

That is not to say that I slept blissfully through the night. I did wake at the times he would normally be whining for me to take him out. I admit that I did check to make sure he was breathing before I slipped back off to the land of slumber. It was almost like sleeping all night for me. I woke feeling quite rested. Oscar and I had a long talk about how very happy I was that we both got some sleep.

Saturday night was a nightmare. He got up three times before 1:30 and then all the dogs were up at 5:50. I gave up and got up, too. It makes the day unbearably long. I was lucky enough that He Who tows was kind enough to watch the store for 2 hours and I got a nap. Lucky, because he did not get a call that would have ended my blissful sleep.

So, all rested, I cooked up some tomato sauce using up all my ripe tomatoes. I threw in some of the shallots from my garden, as well as some basil, and oregano picked along the way. It smelled heavenly as it simmered. I even baked a loaf of bread to go along with the spaghetti dinner I had planned.

He Who finally came home from his latest tow. Before we could sit down and eat, though, he announced that a part of his hearing aid was stuck in his ear canal. I couldn't even see the thing. Apparently he had been digging in his ear, trying to dislodge it and only pushed it further in. I tried, with the aid of a flashlight and tweezers to grab it and pull it out. He tried and only succeeded in gouging his ear canal.

I suggested  a trip to the nearest ER, but he declined. We ate and watched some TV, then went to bed. He did not complain once. I suppose he was hoping it would fall out while he slept. I offered to drive him to an ER before I let sleep envelope me ..........

Oscar, the dog was sleeping soundly, but something had wakened me. It was the light of the cell phone bobbing around the room. He Who sticks things in his ear was attempting to dress in the dark. I watched for a bit before I spoke. He seemed confused as he searched for a shirt.

All of his t-shirts are stained with grease and oil. I have hidden a couple for occasions just such as this, lest he simply grab one out of the store. He finally decided on one that had no stains on the front, but had an impressive streak of axle grease on the back. I thought about getting up and handing him a decent shirt until I looked at the jeans he had pulled on. He was all matched up. I was not going, so ..........

Wall-E, the wonder dog was leaping from bed to floor and back again. He aroused the other dogs and I headed out with Oscar in my arms, the other three at me heels. This accomplished, we all headed back to bed and slept until the master arrived home with empty ear canals some time later when we made another trip out of doors.

Now, lest you be wondering why He Who tows could not take the dogs out while his wife slept,  let me set you straight! This never happens. The nightly potty run involves picking Oscar up and carrying him to the grassy yard. Oscar will try to bite him, despite the fact that he does not have the teeth to complete the task. As long as I am in sight, I am the only one allowed to tend to his needs.

As special as this makes me feel, it is sometimes a curse! A good night's sleep would be preferable.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Spring or Fall?

It is looking like fall too soon! As much as I am enjoying the cooler weather ..... it just makes it seem like time is passing too quickly. Mums are blooming already!

Apples are falling, too. Should be a few more weeks until they are ready. This tree has branches laying on the ground. I had to clip some of the limbs, as they were about to break. Some of the fruit was rotting. I have three huge containers on the table in the store. Drop by and I will give you some!

I only harvested two lone peaches. The rest of the fruit is still hard and green. I watched one peach start to ripen and was waiting patiently for it to be at it's peak of perfection. I reached up and plucked it down, only to discover a bird had feasted on the top!! I cut that part away and ate the rest. It was sweet and juicy and I would have licked my arm, but for the Benadryl cream covering the rash. Same thing happened to the other peach. Must have been the same bird.

The purple Martins that nested on the eaves of the porch earlier this Spring are back and have built another nest. I had taken down the nest after the babies flew away. There are four adult birds swooping at me as I go about my business now. Must seem like Spring again to them!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Gardens and Mulch

The weather this past week has been wonderful. Crisp and cool when you wake, warm during the day and then cool again in the evening. I suppose we wouldn't appreciate it if it was like this all the time ..... but I would be willing to try!

This is the garden I "built" for my bestie, Martha. It is three years old now and the grass and weeds had begun to take over. I should have taken some "before" shots, but hind sight and all that. I didn't. Use your imagination. It was awful. There were weeds as tall as me. Martha swore they were going to bloom and that she liked them. 

Andrea of the green thumb and I knew better. They were weeds and the only thing they were going to do was spread their seed until they fully took over. I worked alone some days and Andrea worked alone some days, some of the time we worked in unison. I kept asking myself why I had made it so big, Andrea was asking me that, too.

Those tall weeds had completely blocked the view of the rustic little bench. Grass was everywhere, choking out the flowers. Andrea was all about pulling the grass and weeds out, Martha took the weed whacker to the grass ....... leaving those tall weeds. I gathered all the newspapers and cardboard I could find. We weeded around the flowers and then laid cardboard or newspapers on top of the grass and weeds. Covered it with a very thick layer of mulch.

The Sycamore tree is impressive. It was only a twig about 2 feet tall when I carefully dug it up and planted it here. After the first winter, Martha declared it to be dead, along with the Maple trees I planted. Martha can be impatient, but I think she would agree that she was happy to be proved wrong. Cosmos are blooming and I added 7 cone flower plants and some Hostas under the trees.

A Birch tree was blocking the view and I cut it down, along with those hideous weeds. I found these interesting limbs in my wood pile and roped them together around the stub of that Birch tree. There are 4 birdhouses and I need one more to finish. See the round one at the highest point?

I was swinging it by the chain it had been hanging from on my front porch as I walked to the golf cart where the gorilla glue waited. I had another one in my other hand. I heard a buzzing sound and then saw a wasp, then another. I thought they were coming from the other bird house and I tossed it to the ground as I moved away to put some distance between me and the stinging insects.

So, I am walking in circles, trying to figure out just why the wasps are following me, when I realize that I am carrying them in the swinging bird house. I grabbed my can of wasp spray from the golf cart (it is, after all my defense weapon). I managed to kill them all and not get stung.

This garden was a long project. I have been working on it all summer. It was a little overwhelming, to say the least. I don't know that I could have done it without Andrea's help. I would have, it just wouldn't be done just yet. There is well over 400 buckets of mulch in that garden. A lot of my sweat and maybe even a drop or two of blood. I have asked everyone to stop me if I try to create another one that big!