Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A Visitor

A visitor arrived today and took up residence on the leather couch in the store. She doesn't speak, and came with an injury she hides from sight behind her. Looks like she's a drinker!

Here, have a closer look. She would appear to have had quite a life, if the character in her face is any indication.

Although her glass is empty, she still waits for me to serve her. The note around her neck says:
I've done my share of partying,
It's time to take a rest.
Unless someone adopts me now,
I think it's for the best.

Signed: Fannie Flocker

My friend, Sherry, pulled her from a dumpster and brought her here for a new hand. Looks like a dog may have decided to remove her other hand. Several times today I have been startled by her seated there in the store. Asked if I could help her once.

Monday, October 26, 2015


He Who shares my bed swears that he never dreams. I am of the opinion that he does, he just doesn't remember them. He doesn't remember things I tell him, so why would he remember a dream?

Unfortunately(or fortunately), I do remember mine. Not in sequence, mind you, but piece meal. And never when I expect to. I can be going along with my day when I will suddenly remember something from a dream. This causes me to try very hard to remember the whole of the piece. This will sometimes lead to a headache.

Sometimes I can remember, in vivid detail, the dream I am having as I wake and I will try to go back to sleep to recapture the dream. Doesn't work, but I try. I always wonder what the dream means. There are days when I probably give too much time to my life in dreams.

Lately, my dad has been in my dreams more often than not. No mystery there. He is also in my waking thoughts. He is usually young and vibrant in my dreams. I find this oddly comforting until I wake and remember that he is gone. Could be why some days, I just long for bedtime.

My old guy, Oscar, continues to make sleep difficult. I did not imagine that he would out-live my dad, but he is still here. After his little wife-dog, Emmy died almost 5 years ago, he seemed to lose interest in things that had been important to him. As a puppy he discovered balls and would play endlessly. The ball of the moment would accompany him everywhere he went. In the food bowl while he ate, in the bed while he slept and in his mouth or a person's hand, or in the air the rest of the time.

Now he whines and whimpers and sometimes just sits looking at a bare wall and barks. The vet has determined that he is not in pain, but has doggy dementia. He usually starts with the whining at 4 AM. He Who sleeps without dreams does not hear this. I do. I get up. I take him out. I feed him. I hold him and try to comfort him. Sometimes these things will soothe him enough that he will lay back down and let me sleep until 6:30 or even 7:00. This is when I dream my most vivid dreams.

This is when I wake with my mouth open, but not drooling. This is why my TMJ drives me nuts during my waking hours. My other joints fare no better than my jaw, as I tend to take any space left in my bed that another furry creature has not commandeered as their own. They seem to slip into the warm spot I have vacated and refuse to move when I return. This could be why I am really crabby when I get up. This could be why I would rather live in my dreams ........ 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Playground Update

We still have a lot of work to do, but the slide is now ready to play on!

He Who builds did a good job on the stairs to toddler heaven!

But ...... they needed a little color. Two shades of purple and yellow. I had some purple I wanted to use up and then had to get some lavender to finish those steps.

Looks pretty good, if I do say so myself. Can't wait to get some pea gravel in and  ..... a see-saw!!

I was told by young camper Jason that I had neglected to put the color pink in the mix. I will definitely get right on that!

In the meantime, I am painting and lettering signs. They fade pretty quickly in the sun and have to be up-dated every few years. Good thing I like to paint. The weather is dreary. We need the rain, so I can't complain. Well, I can, but to what end?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Snapshots From The Wedding

A selfie lesson from Leah. I still don't have it!!

My daughter, Jill. She is usually without make-up and it has been years since I have seen her hair pulled back ...... I didn't recognize my own child!!

Jill's twin, Jeff and granddaughter, Zara. Jill looks like her dad and Jeff looks like my dad. Zara is getting a head start on the dancing .... she danced all night and was still going strong when I left.

The kids waiting for their turn at picture time. Gavin, Jada, Maya and Zara, a blur of energy in the back.

Granddaughter Layla, putting lashes on her mom.

Like her own mother, Jill needs her daughter to help with the lashes.

Bridesmaid, Alysa, getting ready for the big event. Alysa is one of the bride's oldest friends. Love that girl!

The bride and her niece share a hug.

The Father of the bride, taking my picture as I take his picture through the window. This is before he put on the tuxedo that turned him into a millionaire.

The memory roses for the grandparents watching from heaven.

Just a few of the 421 pictures I downloaded from my phone! Finally got the devices to communicate after I whined about it to my son. He is a good son.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

I Like Color

He Who builds is working on the platform for the toddler slide. This is a work in progress. Steel bars have been attached since this to secure the rails.

The slide is the same one I attached to our deck stairs in Minnesota because Layla, who was not quite three wanted me to. When He, Who sometimes questions my judgment, pointed out that I would be leaving unsightly holes on that particular step, Layla turned her sweet little face to him and batted those big brown eyes and he agreed that we should definitely secure that slide to the steps for her. It will now have a new life.

The climbing structure is tropical, don't you think? the colors are Key Lime and Seaside by Rustoleum. These colors just make me happy!
I already had the blue and I just went with it.
More weeds to pull and gravel to come, but this is the playground project dedicated to my Dad's memory. More pictures to come.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Plant A Tree Or Two

While Fall may be my favorite time of year, it is also one of the busiest times of the year. Spring is all about fixing anything that winter has broken and getting the park ready for business. Fall is about getting the park ready to bed down for the winter.

We have made great progress in the playground. The slide is up and most of the safety rails are up. I might provide the inspiration for much of the construction, but we end up back tracking on things that don't turn out to be as sturdy as they need to be. 4 X 4's and decking create the base, but before even thinking about the side rails, we sawed the 4 X 4's off and placed the platform atop them. I had a great idea for the safety rails, using 2 X 4's, PVC and a hole bit for the drill. Red, yellow and blue on the pipes and green on the wood. Looks great, but not as sturdy as we want. He Who implements my ideas muttered something about a drill press and some steel bands this morning and left.

I went out and continued mulching my baby trees and planting more. I discovered 3 baby sycamores and have located new homes for them. It is so dry here, I had to water the ground before I could dig, then leave the water trickling on them after I planted. I worked on trees all morning and listened to an audio book about Jane Austin. Now I am speaking with a British accent. It would appear that as the clock strikes 11 o'clock, I must make haste to the office for my time of confinement.

I will be here until 9 pm. I will be just busy enough to keep me here and not busy enough for the time to go by quickly. I will be lettering signs for the park in my "down" time. Tomorrow, I will be here for 12 long hours. If I get too bored I will follow people out the door still talking as they make their escape. I have been told that I talk a lot.

Supposed to have our first frost this weekend. My tomato plants hang heavy with green fruit and I am still picking green beans. I have no less than 10 watermelon babies out there and I discovered a cantaloupe this morning. If only I had a green house. I am toying with some ideas for the plants that are still producing. He Who does my bidding is not going to want to hear those ideas. He will, no doubt, tell me that my ideas are impossible. But, that is what he said about the playground and the kitchen cabinets and so many other things. I just need to make him think the idea is his.

So, here I am waiting for the arrival of this weekend's campers. Who knows what they will do to inspire me to write?

Monday, October 12, 2015

Dumbing It Down

After a very busy weekend, I am happy to linger over coffee and think of nothing. For about 20 minutes .....

The weather is lovely and I itch to be outside doing anything, so I suggest to He Who is idle that we should work in the playground. He measures and mumbles and I pull weeds and dig dirt. We finally agree on a plan for the safety rails and he measures some more and then he is off to ....... I am not sure. For some reason, known only to him, this plan requires a trip to the building supply store.

I have already seen that we have most of what we need on hand, but I don't bother to argue. Easier to just continue to work in relative peace. This means that I am clearing away an area for the steps that will lead up to the slide, as I mulch in my young trees for the winter and move the sprinkler. You will note that I am performing three tasks simultaneously. Actually, four, since I am also manning the phone.

But, back to the weeding and leveling of the playground. I am appalled that I keep finding dog poop! Bad enough that someone is so sorry that they don't clean up after their pets, but the playground? People are so, so nasty.

The Tough Mudder event was held this past weekend near here and I was filled with the participants. This event is held annually and benefits wounded warriors. The first year was disappointing, since I had cancellation after cancellation from those who were offered yards to set their tents in at a nominal fee. I was not happy, since the Chamber of Commerce promoted the event and visited the campgrounds to ask that we keep sites open "in case they were needed". I am not an idiot and did not do that, but apparently the Chamber of Commerce also approached private citizens. They expected far more participants than actually showed up. The years since have not had such a problem. Probably because the people offering their yards forgot that bathrooms would be needed and did not enjoy having their homes invaded for that necessity.

My experience with the people coming in for the event has been good. I would say that most of the participants are from a military or law enforcement background and respect the property. They are certainly welcome back here. And this brings me to the problem camper of the week.

As I was quite busy checking in Tough Mudders and Oktoberfest goers, the phone rang. But, isn't that how it usually begins? It was a local call and I have learned to be wary of those. A mother asking about a birthday party for her daughter. Now, I do host birthday parties, but most are done when the pool is open. The parents usually like to have the pool and playground available and a campsite to maybe roast hot dogs. I give a decent rate and they usually just stay the day, some do stay overnight. So, I was surprised and immediately told the mom that the pool was closed for the season. "Oh, that's okay, she just wants to have a campfire and some of her friends spend the night in tents, but they want to be off to themselves, as they may get a little noisy."

I explain to her that I have very few sites left and that none are secluded and that this weekend may not be a good time for this. She says okay and the call ends. So, imagine my surprise when "the daughter" shows up. This is no child, she is here to celebrate her 21st birthday with 9 friends. My antennae for trouble is pinging wildly. But, He Who's name was dropped by the mother was in the office when the daughter checks in and he tells her that if any trouble occurs she will be asked to leave and no refund will be applicable. Not his exact words, he used words she could relate to.
I was going to say he dumbed it down, but that sounds mean ......... or does it?

He Who drives agreed to do the cab runs to the wineries this month. He got a late call Saturday night and I was sleeping when he came home. He took an early call on Sunday morning to pick up at the jail and take the person who had dared to drive under the influence back to his vehicle. When he returned, he was hopping mad. He had driven through the park after returning very late Saturday night to see that the birthday girl had more guests that she paid for and did indeed have quite the fire going. In lieu of firewood that is available here, they decided to burn a tire. Yes, a tire, because, even though it is against the law, it was dark and according to the birthday girl and her friends, it is okay as long as you don't get caught.

To add insult to the incident, one of her drunken friends tells He Who owns the park that he can "go now" as she shoos at him with her hands. But, wait, I am coming to the good part ........ He Who should have shooed back and sent them all on their way did not do so. He let them stay. He was mad, because they were all gone at 7 am, but the debris of a good time was laying in their wake. Like he really expected them to clean up.

He and one of our regular kampers picked up all the cans and bottles and half burned tire and disposed of it all. I provided He Who is not a fan of confrontations with the birthday girl's phone number. I could have handled it, but, I would have called 911 when I saw the flames from a tire and I would have had all of them removed. The party would be no more and even though I would had to clean up the mess, it would not be an issue any longer.

According to He Who called the birthday girl and other reliable sources, the party involved more that the 10 she paid for. More like about 40. He tells her this on the phone and also that he will be imposing a $25 clean up fee. She is rumored to be one her way and while I sip coffee and gossip with my besties, He Who slinks off to the barn.

Upon the arrival of the birthday girl who must fancy herself to be quite the negotiator, I summon the man who let them stay when I would not have done so. (you get the impression that I am trying to teach him a lesson?). While we wait, Birthday Girl tells me that we can't charge her a clean up fee because she had until check out time to clean it up her self. Also, she took a picture of herself and her 9 friends and this PROVES that there were only 10 people there. Then she wants to know what we did with her "stuff". I point to the dumpster as the man in charge of the situation appears.

He Who is quick to anger is just as quick to cool down. When you are running a business that involves those such as the birthday girl, this is not necessarily a good trait. He succumbs to her argument about the cleaning of the site and that $25 he vowed to charge her is no more. They argue some more about the photo of her friends and she then says that some of her other friends brought her some food and only stayed "for a second". Then a whispered conversation ensues and no matter how hard I listen I cannot eavesdrop to my full level of comprehension. But, it appears that she is inquiring about her "weed" and her "bong". The other kamper has possession of her illegal endeavor and He Who tells her she can pick it up at the sheriff's office.

That makes my "dumbing it down" thought seem more appropriate, don't you think?

Friday, October 9, 2015

Texting Without Punctuation

When last we met I was annoyed. Hasn't changed. I decided to take myself away yesterday for a fun filled afternoon ....... buying the necessities for home and store.

The trip to Walmart and the Dollar Tree was uneventful. Well, except for me being annoyed at the way people park and the fact that no one seems to know what a cross walk or stop sign is. We will refer to these transgressions as minor annoyances.

Upon my return I was happy to see that the platform for the toddler slide was completed, although a little taller that I thought it should be. I just need to develop my color scheme and start painting. The slide is green, so the platform will be red and I am thinking that the rails might have to be purple and yellow.

The other thing he did in my absence was check in two early arrivals for the weekend and take a reservation for another. My "seating chart" was right there on my desk, easy to see and easy to read, along with a list of all the reservations for the weekend. "Where did you put them?" I asked.

He put them in sites that were clearly marked RESERVED. "Well, where was I supposed to put them, they needed 50 amp and they said they had reservations." says He Who is clearly not a millionaire. "Oh, I don't know, I would not have put them in sites already reserved. Do you see them on the reservation list?" I answer. He seems annoyed that I am annoyed and escapes to go split wood before I can complain about having to relocate the campers who bothered to make reservations to accommodate the campers who decided to just show up.

I know what happened. I remember talking to the man inquiring about the availability, because he wanted 2 and 4. Those sites were available when he asked, but he told me he wasn't sure and would call me back with a credit card number to hold the sites, should they decide to come. He never called back. Just because you call and talk to me about a "maybe" camping trip does not a reservation make.

I text He Who to tell him the rest of the story and that is when I see the reservation he has scribbled on a mailing label and taped to the desk (as opposed to writing it on the reservation sheet). This for a 50 amp pull-through. Now that I have shifted my other 50 amp reservations around, I have no more 50 amp sites left, much less a pull-through. AND ....... looking at the reservation sheet would have made this known to the one scribbling on the mailing label and leaving the problem for his wife to solve.

She did solve the problem by sending He Who wires things out to pull some power from where ever he can to accomplish another 50 amp site. You see, I have no problem telling someone checking in that they did not actually reserve a site unless they secured it with a deposit or credit card number. I recall telling the man on the day we had the conversation that I could not guarantee the sites he wanted unless he did make a reservation.

But, what does all that have to do with punctuation and texting? Nothing, really. It is Friday in a campground and folks are checking in. When I text "Is site 5 open" and get the reply "no car there", things can easily be misinterpreted. I know I left the "?" off my inquiry, but you still get the meaning. "no car there", however was ambiguous. I took it to mean that the site was clear, no car was parked there. So I assigned the site to the camper checking in. Then I started second guessing myself and texted back, asking for clarification. What he meant was "no, car there". Just needed that comma. Just one more jab of the thumb to make himself clearly understood.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Profoundly Annoyed

Yesterday was such a productive day. We finished the painting of the existing playground equipment and started the building of the platform for the toddler slide. I weeded and mulched two of my gardens and nearly filled the registration book for this weekend.

So, why am I so annoyed? No matter how I try, I cannot make my phone and computer communicate to download the pictures I took. My body ached all night from shoveling mulch, but that was to be expected. My other annoyance has to do with a camper or two .........

So, there I was late yesterday afternoon, in my front garden mulching away, trying to get finished while I still had light. A car enters the campground. I heard it because he paused and revved his engine loudly (right there in front of me!!), then proceeded into the full hook-up area at warp speed. Tired and hungry, I was in no mood for this.

I have some young men staying here as they work in the area, so I knew the destination of my speeder. I grabbed my keys and drove to the site to find about 9 young men sitting and standing around a picnic table. As I drove up, two went inside the camper. Now, this particular site has 4 people registered to stay. The sign at the entrance of the campground clearly states that ALL visitors must report to the office BEFORE entering the camping area. This is pretty standard in any campground. Takes just minutes to do this and prevents any misunderstandings. The speed limit is posted throughout the campground, as well as stop signs and signs bringing children on bicycles to one's attention.

I asked the remaining young men who had just come into my park disregarding all the posted signs. Like a group of school aged children they all point to the camper. This only made me madder. I told them to get the guilty party. This prompted the young man who owned the camper to tell me that they were merely visitors, as if this fact excused them. One young man came out, he looked to be too young to even drive, but was probably in his late teens, early 20's. I asked him what he thought he was doing, speeding through my park. He grins and says he wasn't driving. Really, like this was funny to him.

The culprit finally appeared and I pointed out to him that he had violated every rule posted. He SMIRKED at me. This prompted me to tell him he had 5 minutes to get in his vehicle and SLOWLY leave my park and to NEVER return. It took all of  my self control not to burn rubber and violate my own rules as I drove away. Smirk at me!

But wait ....... it gets even worse. Intending to take a shower and throw a meal together, I stop to tell He Who doused the weed pile with fuel and watched it burn, to watch the black car and make sure it exited within 5 minutes, lest I call a deputy to escort them out. I finish dumping the mulch into the garden and as I am putting my tools up, He Who might look like a millionaire comes to tell me that he has spoken to the culprits and told them to consider my words a warning. YES HE DID!

I went a little ballistic. I might have thrown a few things in his directions, but all I had handy was a shovel and that may have left some permanent consequences. To say I was mad is an understatement. Sometimes my husband is an idiot! I took that shower and viciously attacked my dirty feet, wondering what the little Asian lady who administered my pedicure would have said at the condition of said feet. Cleaning is cathartic, so I attacked the tub while I was in there.

I face timed the bride to complain to her. She calmly reminded me that he was just being himself. He came in as I was telling her to let me know that he had gone back and made the young men leave. I relented and made supper.

As we sat watching TV, the phone rang. It was the same lady I had talked to early in the afternoon. She wanted to tent camp for one night and would not arrive until after closing time. I gave her all the information and even offered a discount for AARP. We saw her on the monitor as we were eating supper. This made me assume that she was all set up in a tent site. She wanted to know the password for the Wi-Fi. Also the keycode for the bathrooms. There is no keycode on my bathrooms, and I assumed she might not have visited the restroom yet and was just asking in case, while she asked about the Wi-Fi. There is no password for our Wi-Fi. "But, it is asking for a password." she says. I tell her what name should have popped up when she was looking for one to log onto. She then tells me the name of the campground across the interstate. She took my registration packet and then went to my competitor and stayed. This was annoying, as well.

Dare I even leave the office today? Or perhaps I should just leave the property and stay gone all day!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Millionaire and His Shotgun

The happy couple. The pearls round her neck are the same ones her sister wore in her wedding. The ones The Millionaire gave his wife.

Games on the dance floor. Isn't my new son-in-law handsome? We are so happy to have him in our family.

Okay, back to what passes as normal in the life of a campground owner. It has been unusually drab, dreary and chilly for the past few days. The old dog has whined incessantly. I can't seem to make him content. I have tried holding him, feeding him, putting him in our bed, taking him out for a walk ....... nothing seems to help. Having to stay inside makes me crazy with his whining. He is not in any pain, just not content.

For that very reason I spent a lot of time out in the cold spray painting the playground equipment. Lots of bright colors out there now. The slide is a bright blue and the ladder is orange. The climbing structure is a color called Keylime and accented with a turquoise color called Seaside. I am ready to start building the structure that will accommodate the toddler slide. This will be red and the slide is green. I think I may have covered all the colors!

The painting is the easy part and the part that is most gratifying. The weed overgrowth in the pea gravel is harder to deal with. I am hoping for a good soaking rain to loosen those roots. Still need another load of gravel. I thought about using the mulch made of old tires, but have read some articles about the toxins released while the kids play. Decided to go with the pea gravel that is already there and just add more.

I was walking idly along after painting. I noticed that the boardwalk needed a good weed whacking. I decided to just start pulling the weeds instead of going back in to listen to the old dog whine. I was grabbing the grass near the roots and pulling it up. I was making good headway when I noticed some movement right where I had just slipped my fingers behind some grass and pulled. A snake .... a baby water moccasin. Having no tools handy, I called He Who kills snakes. I told him it was a very small snake. No bigger around that a pencil and about 5 inches long. It was still striking at me, despite it's small size.

I expected him to come with a shovel or hoe. That's what I would have done, that's probably what most people would have done. I would have killed it myself, but was afraid I wouldn't be able to find it when I returned with a shovel. He came out with his shot gun. The same shotgun he carries when he patrols the pond searching for the muskrat that plagues his existence. He shot the tiny little snake and blew it to pieces. Overkill??

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Millionaire And His Wife .....

 One of my favorite pictures so far. This is the bride being escorted by her son and her dad. I just noticed that the father of the bride has his hand in his pocket. I guess he does look like a millionaire.

The millionaire giving his baby girl away. I was already crying at this point.

We met back at the hotel for brunch the morning after the wedding. We decided to go ahead and pull out of the RV park we were in and park at the hotel, lest we incur late charges. We had my son's car, so I drove it ........ without a driver's license, what with my purse being at home in Missouri.

After a detour to my son's house to say goodbye to his girls ....... actually, they wanted to see the RV and the dogs, not us so much ........ we set out for home. By now the dogs were accustomed to being in the RV while it was moving. We all assumed our previous seating arrangements and I listened to an audio book while The Millionaire drove.

The trip seemed so much longer on the way home. I would try to sleep, but it seemed every time I dozed The Millionaire would pull over for some reason or another. On the last gas stop, he spied a Baskin Robbins. He went in to fulfill his dairy needs and I gave out dog treats and settled down the canines. We were sitting there, content to wait on the ice cream cones when a car backed out and hit the front of our ride!!

Woke me completely up. I texted The Millionaire to come out, only to discover that he had left his cell in the RV. So I had to acquire some shoes and hold back some dogs as I exited to view the damage. Actually, I played the little wife card and told the couple I had to get my husband. He was holding one cone and paying for them when I told him we had been hit. He informed me that he had to get his ice cream before he came out. I felt a little silly as I headed back out with a cone in each hand.

They had more damage than we did. No reports were filed, no police called. Just an accident and all parties went on their way. The Millionaire reported that the headlamps worked better after the hit, so all was good.

We arrived home at ??o'clock. It was probably close to midnight. We were both so tired we left our cell phones in the RV and after the dogs ran in gleeful circles around the back yard we fell into bed and slept blissfully until Oscar woke me at 6 am.

Back to same old routine here at the kampground. I have managed to unload the rig, do all the laundry and cook some dinners while mowing, gardening and answering the phone:
"Do y'all allow campers there?"

The Millionaire has been dealing with a sewer problem since returning. He poured tons of chemicals down the main and routed endlessly. He ordered a new router before we left and it waited our arrival. Let the record show that wife of The Millionaire had suggested just paying the city to have the big router on their truck come out and just take care of it.

The Millionaire insisted on trying to break through the rocks that were blocking the flow. Yesterday he called the city truck out to take care of it and in minutes it was done. The Millionaire had to admit that his wife was right. (AS USUAL)