Saturday, June 27, 2015

I Want A Puppy

So .... I was pouring the bottle of beer with the honey into the flour mixture to make bread when the phone rang. Annoyed , I had to stop what I was doing and grab the phone, but I saw my son's name on caller ID and I was no longer annoyed.

It was not my son's voice on the other end of the line, but that of his youngest daughter, Zara. Zara likes to be the spokesperson for her sisters. After lots of giggles and proclamations of her love for me, she got down to business. Seems that the girls want a dog. A puppy, to be exact. She tells me that Dad said yes, but Mom said no and they want me to intervene.

I sigh deeply and wonder how I can be diplomatic, given my belief that all children need a dog. I am also a big believer of not interfering with my grown children's decisions in child rearing. I was questioning Zara about the idea of the puppy when my cell phone rang. It was Jada face timing me. Jada was the one who instigated the call. Her Dad told her she would have to be responsible and would have to PROVE that BEFORE getting a dog......

During my interrogation of middle child, Jada, I found out that this agreement was to include cleaning out the cat litter boxes. And she promised that she had done so and had done a very good job. I explained to her that picking up dog poop is part of the deal and that puppies pee a lot. She swore to me that she was up to the task. After all, she had done such a good job with the cat litter, right?

In further questioning, I find out that the deal was just started TODAY. But, "Gramma Kathy, why don't you just get the puppy for us?" No way would I do that! I like my my relationship with my daughter-in-law too much!!! I did promise to talk to her, though.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Thirsty For Sleep

I was just finishing the last strip of mowing when the thunder started last night. We just mowed the entire park yesterday, knowing more rain was coming ..... And it did, all night long. Thunder, lightning and wind along with the rain we do not need.

It is overcast today, but not raining. I figured I could have a productive day, with just a phone to interrupt me. I tackled the stubborn vines on the fence around the pool, then decided to sweep the concrete deck and skim the pool. Along with frogs and leaves from the storm, I scooped out some candy wrappers and ......... potato chips. More chips clung to the sides of the skimmer baskets. Now, how can this be? My signs and my big mouth clearly state that FOOD IS NOT ALLOWED in the pool area. Outside the fence, there is a pavilion all set up for eating and smoking.

This turn of events did not make me happy. I don't know who did it. The candy wrappers did not match anything I sell, but I allow people to bring coolers, as long as they keep them outside the fence ..... in the shade, on the pavilion. It had to be the people I had never seen before. Ten of them. I can only hope that they return. I never miss an opportunity to educate the public.

It is drizzling now and I have decided to come in and sit a spell. It has been a hard week. I spent an entire day in misery on Tuesday. Really felt horrible, so much so that I crawled into bed at 4:00 in the afternoon and slept until 10:00 pm, got up, took my evening meds, and went right back to sleep and slept until 5:00 am. Fed the animals and went back to bed and slept two more hours.

I felt better Wednesday morning, but was ready to go back to bed at 8:00 pm. I cannot seem to sleep enough lately. I could go for a nap right now. I was thinking about it as I mopped the store floor. Thought I could just stick the "closed" sign in the door and sneak off to my bed. But, the phone rang. "Do y'all allow camping there?" Although tempted to say no, I answered in the affirmative. The questions continued, do we allow fishing, does one need a license, are campers allowed to use the  pool ........ then he asked if I had any tent sites available. I asked when a site would be needed and was told today.

It is raining. The forecast is for rain for the remainder of the day. Why would you want to pitch a tent in the rain? The grounds are soggy and I will close the pool in the event of a thunderstorm. I will also make one leave the fishing area for shelter. I hope they don't show up .....

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Helicopter Came

The excitement is over. The helicopter was here all day yesterday. I was surprised at the size ..... it was small. The ever present wind was blowing and I worried that it would be a problem.

The swimmers came out and got a show for free! After watching it hover over the tower and take down the first set of equipment, then take up the replacements, I was done. I saw that the pilot was indeed earning his money. That helicopter hovered perfectly still as the men on the tower hooked the equipment to the dangling chains.

The men, however had to watch every cycle of the process. He Who did not get a ride in the copter. The FAA came out with the crew. They did not think it was a good idea (thank goodness) and He Who was planted on the ground with all the other men watching, mouths gaping open as they watched and then turned to one another and pointed upwards to make sure they all saw it. Men, just little boys at heart.

Oddly enough, the FAA representative was of Middle Eastern descent. He even wore a turban on his head. Nice guy, though. I talked to him as he ate his lunch. Asked him why he didn't bring enough for everybody. His buddy told me I wouldn't want my tax money paying for that. Really not keen on my tax dollars feeding him! But, wait, my tax dollars are paying his salary.

Anyhoo ....... the excitement is over and we are back to normal. Still very wet here, so I will be pushing the mower in all the wetter spots. Lucky me. Just listened to the forecast and they tell me it will rain this afternoon and again on Friday. I hear the mower calling my name. With two push mowers and the big Z, we should be able to shave it down before the rain.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Hockiteller Is Coming!!

Everyone who reads this knows I have been complaining about the internet for some time. It fades out and in and I end up resetting the modem several times a day. Sometimes it works and other times ......

It is frustrating, to say the least. Especially since the tower sits right next to my property. I can see it from my front porch, I can hear the insane guys who climb it as they yell to each other. You will recall that the wind funnels through here following I-70 east to west and back again. This same wind has weakened the tower supports.

We were approached by a nice gentleman last week to see if we would allow a helicopter to land in our field and spend the day lifting new equipment to the tower top for AT&T. He Who gets excited about such things as helicopters, immediately asked if he could ride and gave his permission. This came as no surprise to me. I know the man.

All the excitement was to begin last Thursday morning at 7:30 am. He Who awoke early, giddy with excitement. He put his very best work shorts on ( the ones with the least amount of oil stains on them, the ones that have the hem intact and not raveling away from him wiping his chlorine fingers on the edge) and a work shirt with our logo on it and, like his shorts, with as few stains as possible. The rain came and came and came and no helicopter arrived. He Who was disappointed, not being allowed to ride in the copter. Me, I was hoping it would stabilize my wavering signal. Probably doesn't work that way, but hope runs deep.

They showed up Friday afternoon as campers were arriving for the weekend. Not the helicopter, mind you, but the AT&T guys with the various pieces of equipment to be assembled and lifted in the sky. Our field is very wet. Our county was under a flood warnings. There is to be no compensation for the use of our property (well, unless you count He Who being underfoot), but any damages to said property will be taken care of and we are under no liability. I would have negotiated for more, but ........

The apparatus in the field looks like some sort of deranged trampoline, causing much speculation on the part of the campers this weekend. I wouldn't be surprised if my parking lot fills with lookey-loos tomorrow as the helicopter is scheduled to arrive. I will let you know. Fingers crossed that my signal improves .........

I bought my man a brand new pair of shorts today for his big adventure! I have a memory of my son, Jeff, standing on the beach screaming "Hockiteller, hockiteller" every time he saw a helicopter in the sky. He was 2 years old, but we still call them "hockitellers". I wonder if my husband will slip up in the excitement tomorrow ..... you know I will let you know if he does!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Rain, Rain Go Away

Flood warnings in the forecast today. All week has been like this. Rained every single day. Lest you be thinking that I enjoyed some down time from swimmers .... I did not.

My favorite was a woman who inquired about a refund if it rained? Did she not see the same forecast I saw? Did she not have a smart phone in her hand to consult? Did she not see the black clouds hanging low in the sky as she arrived? She insisted that she wanted to pay for her children to swim, but wondered aloud about the chance of a refund. The chance was slim to none. She stayed all day, only leaving the pool only when the rain was heavy. I figure if you want to take your chances with the weather, you should pay for that choice.

The grass is getting out of hand. The ground is too wet to get the big mower out there, so the push mowers were put to the task during a lull in the rainfall. I continued mowing as it started to mist lightly and did not stop until it was raining pretty hard and I was drenched. People were in the pool.

The phone rings constantly. Reservations and cancellations. This morning at 7:00 the phone trilled and awoke the sleeping hounds. The howling awoke me. I had been up at 4:30 with the puppy and the cantankerous old guy (the dog, not the husband) and I was definitely not happy to leave my bed that early.

It was a cancellation. At seven o'clock in the morning. I would never call a business at that hour. I wouldn't call anybody that early. The call was not answered and a message was not left on the machine. So, you may be wondering how I knew it was cancellation ...... I checked caller ID and returned the call.

Nary a drop of caffeine in my system, as I waited to hear the voice of the person who interrupted my much needed sleep. I am not nice without coffee. You can ask my family ..... you could even ask the hounds that awakened me. He wanted to cancel his reservation. "Okay?" he said. I then told him I would need to know his name. "Oh", says the early riser, like I was invading his privacy. I had my reservation book staring me in my blurry eyed face. He provided this secret information and I looked at my book for his name and not finding it, I told him it was taken care of.

Imagine his surprise when he finds a charge on his credit card account from whatever campground he had reservations with. Told you I was not nice when you wake me up.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Murhpy is Winning

The heat has been brutal and I am thankful the air conditioner in the store is hanging in ...... cause the one in our living quarters is dead. I can hear birds chirping in the housing outside, but was told by He Who knows all, that this has nothing to do with it.

So, in the meantime, sleep is ......... restless. I was going to say "hot", but then you would be thinking something else. A cold shower every night helps until the wee hours of the morning when I wake in a puddle of my own sweat. To compound the issue, I am having my annual battle with poison oak, ivy, whatever. I washed my hands and arms up to the pits after I encountered the evil vine, but I am still having some itching and the heat only makes it worse. I recognized the vine as one I had battled before and asked He Who is not allergic to remove it for me. He pulled on it and only took part of it down. He looked at it and assured me that it was not poisonous. I beg to differ.

As if this isn't enough, the kitchen sink was clogged. My efforts with the overnight stuff failed, so I grabbed my handy dandy kitchen plunger and that failed as well. Never afraid to do battle with household enemies, I grabbed the bottle of the tough stuff I keep on hand for just such occasions. It comes with warnings and skull and cross bone signs, as well as being in a thick bottle that is then sealed into a thick plastic bag. It worked. Maybe too well. While washing my dishes I found myself standing in a puddle.

Afraid to look at the pipes under the sink, I imagine big holes in them. He Who shops at Sam's has a big surprise upon his return. While he is procuring ice cream, I am manning the store. Yesterday brought out 70 swimmers and I think about half of them had snocones. The rest ate lunch here and topped that off with ice cream. I am not complaining! Well, just about the heat.

Insanity must have overtaken me when I agreed to a new puppy. Everybody knows by now that my philosophy about dogs is that you can't just have one. I stole that from Lay's, you know. This puppy is a blue tick coon hound. As of today he weighs in at 20 lbs and is 12 weeks old. Already taller than my doxies, he simply walks over them. He is a sweet, if somewhat stupid animal and seems to be unaware of the hostility coming his way from two of the older dogs. His bladder must be the size of a basketball and once he starts he ambles along, creating a small river in his wake.

Although he has a dog house in the yard and is supposed to act as a guard dog and live outside, he has a better idea. Actually, the biggest obstacle to sleeping outside has been Oscar the grumpy old doxie. Of all the dogs in my house, he would have been my last pick to embrace the new one. Oscar sits at the back door and cries until we let Smoke in. They sleep in Oscar's bed together. Wall-E has been gracious enough to play for hours with Smoke, but Toni Louise hates him passionately and snarls and bears her pearly whites every time the puppy gets with-in a certain range of her. Cujo, of course, is jealous of any attention the puppy receives from me and he is afraid of him.

So, to sum up my day ......... it has been hot and wet. I feel like I have had a mop in my hands all day. First I mopped the restrooms and laundry room, then my living quarters. Over and over again. If it ain't dog pee, then the pipes are leaking. It is 78 degrees in the store and that is downright cold compared to the living quarters!

Just three more hours to closing time and I can jump in the pool and chill. First I will have to find a way to cook a meal and wash dishes ........ without mopping again.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Wasting Time

The new insurance has been challenging to say the least, but I was more than happy with the RX coverage. It has really cut our out of pocket expenses and we were able to use the local pharmacy, making it very convenient.

Well, it was, but as of June 1st, that pharmacy is no longer on their approved list. I was given two choices, one of them being Walmart Pharmacy ..... they even specified the city. I never go to that city and it is not the closest location. This annoyed me. A Walmart is a Walmart is a Walmart, right?

So I took my RX numbers of the ones I needed, along with the number to the pharmacy I could no longer use and arrived bright and early at the drop off window. The young woman with blue contact lens (the color was so very unnatural) took my information and then interrupted her transaction with me to answer a call from a doctor's office. She was quite chatty with the person on the other end of the line and after exchanging many pleasantries with this person she finally came back to me.

She had totally forgotten that these would be transfers and tried to look up the RX numbers in her system. Failing to find them she looked at me confused. I restated my errand. She indicated that our transaction was over and I asked how long it would be before I could pick them up. "Oh, this will take hours, we won't have this ready until late this afternoon!" It was 9 am! I asked why it would take so long. "Transfers take a long time!" No, they don't. I know this to be a fact.

I looked at my new bright blue-eyed little friend and said, "It is a phone call, you don't have to drive over there and get them." This is when she reminded me that I had requested 6 different ones. "And, it is still ONE phone call," I said. "Oh, I used to be a pharmacy tech in a Walmart," I added before walking away.

I left and headed to the Dollar Tree to see what I could see in the way of pool supplies for my swimmers. My display was already pretty full, but you never know ..... I killed $50 worth of time there. I spied a thrift store as I drove there, so I checked it out, too. Didn't buy anything, just killed more time. Then on to another thrift store and killed even more time.

Back at Walmart at noon, I figured three hours had been long enough. I stood in line and waited my turn, only to be told they were out of one of my prescriptions (same one I was completely out of). This person was more agreeable and said she had just gotten the shipment of drugs in and that she would personally look for the one I needed and send it to fill. I went and gathered the other items on my list, some of them frozen.

Back in line again at 1:30, I waited my turn again, only to be told my insurance would not pay because I had not paid my premium. We pay electronically, but "it sometimes takes a week to post the payments".

Not so happy with this insurance anymore. I pretty much wasted an entire day. It took two phone calls with wait times that exceeded an hour before they posted the payment and we could pick up the prescriptions. This required another 46 mile round trip. I think I will transfer all of them again ...... just for fun.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Where Has All The Punctuation Gone?

The sun has finally broken through the clouds and we have had our first day without rain in what seems like months. The day started out sunny yesterday, so I decided to change bed linen and hang it on the line along with work clothes and towels.

Thank goodness I was taking the stuff in as soon as it was dry. As I was hanging the last load, the sun still shown bright and clear. I thought I felt a drop, just a small drop of rain, I looked up, squinting and saw nary a cloud in the sky. Suddenly I heard rain drops, really big rain drops assaulting the mulberry tree in my back yard. It lasted long enough for me to quickly take the clothes down and get them in the dryer. Then it stopped. It left everything sort of steamy.

I retreated to my desk and checked the e-mail for the kampground. If someone makes a reservation on the reservation site, it comes directly to my personal e-mail account. However, people will leave e-mails on the kampgound account. Since there is no form for them to follow, it gets interesting .........

"do I need to call first or just show up" No punctuation, I assume this is a question. I answer, "It depend on when you are planning to camp, and what kind of camping you do (tent or RV). Should you want to make a reservation, there is a page to refer to on the website, or you can call me." I add the number for his convenience.

My current favorite is the run on sentence from the woman who thinks it would be uplifting (my word, not hers) to take her brother camping, as he just lost his child. But what she really wants to know is if she will be required to pay for her youngest child, since "I alone have three children, my boyfriend and myself ". She goes on to say that she wants to camp with her boyfriend and her three children and her brother and his family with "three children under 11 to 16" and her cousin and her other cousin and their families .... a total of 20 people "if my brother decides to come and I hope he does but it will be 20 people if he does or if he doesn't and do you have a place to fish because this is very important to her Father and will my cousin have to pay for her children under the age of three"

Confused? I answered as simply as I could and quoted rates and explained that they would not all fit on one tent site, but that I have a double site that could accommodate them and encouraged her to CALL me with any more questions. "I need to know all this as soon as you can let me know because we want to come in two weeks"

Seems no one is a fond of punctuation. I answered them in a timely manner and have had no response. This is my life. Yippee.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Goonies ..... continued

When we climbed into bed last night, I looked at He Who sleeps through everything and asked "Think they will call again?" He said he hoped not. He wasn't the only one.

Upon arising to a bleary, cold day, I headed out to restock and clean the restrooms. Nary a speck of paper did I found in the men's room. No, they did not steal the two rolls of toilet tissue, or the roll of paper towels. The empty cardboard tubes were right there on the floor. The little spring thing that holds the toilet paper roll was in the shower. But the trash can was empty. This was strange. The small trash can next to the toilet had feminine hygiene products in it. Stranger.

On to the ladies room. No restocking needed in this one. Really strange. I did my cleaning and mopping and went on with my daily chores. Harvested another pile of strawberries, then lettered and painted some signs.

While painting my big sign, the door opened and our guests of the previous evening filed in. I asked if I could be of assistance, but they were "just looking". One of the women wanted to know if I was making shirts. Really? I had a paint brush in my hand a smudge of black paint on my cheek from holding the brush in my mouth while answering the phone. The sign was bigger than life right there as I painted.

They bought a bag of ice and then asked where my cat was. I told them he was sleeping after hunting all night. The man from the many phone calls stood there with his big blank looking face and said "meow". Martha will skip hunting tonight. I am keeping my cat close by until they leave.

I locked my door after I finished the sign I was working on and mowed the rest of the day away. Since I was mowing on that side of the park, it came to my attention that this group made trips to the bathroom together. All six of them. Together. The big guy with the phone reminded me of that big guy on The Goonies.

They are gone now. I note that they used the men's room exclusively the first night ...... and the ladies' exclusively the second night. Strange. They were from Indiana .......

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Goonies

Remember the movie. Well, the story you about to read is not about the movie.

The phone rang yesterday and I, being the only one capable of finding the handset and answering, answered the phone with my usual cheerful voice proclaiming the name of the campground. A man's voice asked, "Is this the camp?" I assured him that this was indeed a campground. He wanted to know the rates .... not his words. I asked what his camping needs were and he pondered this with his wife before telling me they decided they were tent camping. I gave him the rates with and without electric.

This resulted in him telling me to hold on while he asked his wife what they should do. I was privy to the discussion and not all that thrilled about it. After choosing the electric option, I was very careful to tell him that my rates covered two adults and up to two children. They had two extra adults and when I told him that would be $3 per person per night. "So, it is $25 for me and my wife and the two kids and we got two other people, so how much would it be?"

The wife and some other female were trying to do the math in the background and I was tempted to see how long it would take, but I went ahead and told him the answer. This resulted in another "hang on while I talk with my wife" and I did.

After the long discussion that ensued, I was then asked where our campground is. I told him my standard "exit 170 on Interstate 70 on the north side of the highway". I knew this would only confuse the issue, but I did it anyway. He said they were somewhere I had never heard of and I told him so. We ended the conversation and I turned the program we had been watching back on.

In less than 30 minutes they arrived. Now, let me backtrack a bit here and let you know that we were closed for the evening when the call came in. I heard them try to enter the store and looked over at He Who was impatiently waiting for me to hit the unpause button on the TV. "I am not going out there." I said. He sighed deeply and rose to go greet our guests.

I heard them in the office as he helped them with the registration process and was dismayed to hear that they were staying two nights. I have a sixth sense about these things. I heard them gasp in delight when they spied Martha, the boy cat. One of them proclaimed that she has eight cats and she just might take my cat home with her. I muttered, "no, you're not" to myself.

Thinking there would be no more interruptions, I hit the unpause button again. We settled in again and were becoming reacquainted with the plot. This lasted a whopping 20 minutes before the phone rang again. The man again. He was confused. He could not find the electrical outlet. I didn't even try to tell him where to look, I just sighed and told him someone (NOT ME) would be there soon. He Who does all things electric was already putting his shoes on. We gave up on the movie and I prepared the canine contingent for bedtime while He Who electrified the campers.

I carefully put the store phone out of earshot and was brushing my teeth when the text from He Who came in telling me that our guests were "dumb as doors". I texted back that I knew and was hoping they wouldn't be able to find us.

To be continued tomorrow. A little teaser ..... there will be a bathroom story.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Here Comes The Bride

Here she is, the Bride with the Birthday. June 1, 1978 at 10:02 PM, she arrived in the world. Still as demanding today as she was then! My baby girl is getting married in September to a wonderful, caring and patient man.

Happy Birthday to my baby! I love you even when you squeeze my heart!