Saturday, December 31, 2016

Puppy Proof

I know you were disappointed with my post yesterday. No puppy pictures! So here is Eddie, trying to cozy up to Cujo for a little snooze time.

Cujo is still not thrilled, as you can clearly see. Poor little Eddie just wants to share a little body heat. The paint on his head is bugging me. I cut his hair after I took this picture. Like cutting bubble gum out of your child's hair. I thought about using peanut butter, but given Toni Louise's great affection for the stuff ....... she might try to eat the puppy's head!

Since none of his siblings will keep the little guy warm, I took matters into my own hands. His "sweater" is made out of a sock that used to grace my foot. The heel was worn, so I just cut it off and cut two slits for his short legs. Perfect fit. I realize it is but a temporary solution and I really need a longer sock to cover his long body.

He has not learned to tunnel under covers yet. But he has learned to grab the tassel ends from the afghans hanging on the blanket rack! I have more puppy proofing to do!

Friday, December 30, 2016

A Chandelier In My Casket?

Having a slow start to the day. Sipping coffee and meandering down the aisles of Walmart via the internet, and to my amazement I find that one of the recent mark downs is a casket.

I was unaware that one could purchase a casket at Walmart. Maybe I need to drink more coffee ..... Okay, this item is not available for pick-up. Imagine picking up your casket and then maneuvering through the aisles, shopping. I suppose you could load the casket with merchandise ...... but I doubt you could use the self check-out!

This item comes in various colors and materials. As strange as Walmart selling caskets was, the "related items" displayed on the page was what really caught my eye. Chandeliers and lamps. Why? No more coffee sipping. I gulped it down to fuel the brain. How exactly would you hang a chandelier in a casket?

A lamp, albeit a very small one, might work. You know, just in case one wakes unexpectedly. But the chandelier might be bit much. It would take up too much space and wouldn't really "hang" with lid closed.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016


"Cujo, look at the puppy." I beg. He is not happy about sharing his world with Eddie. Oddly enough, Cujo should be used to having other animals around, since he was rescued from a hoarder. A hoarder of dogs. Then he came to live with me and 3 other dogs. Not to mention a giant cat.

He even went so far as to close his eyes to avoid looking at Eddie. No, he is one unhappy little dog. Cujo is apparently eating his feelings, because he has ballooned into a fat little sausage. I caught him swallowing the puppy food whole, so I wouldn't hear the crunch. He was okay getting close to Eddie while Eddie was eating!

Another thing to add insult to injury. I put a sweater on him. He was not happy about this. I was going through Oscar and Emmy's old sweaters to see if I could find one tiny enough for Eddie. Eddie shivers when he goes out. Oscar and Emmy had matching sweaters. Turtleneck sweaters. I put that one on and Cujo had a crying fit until I removed it. This one has a shorter neck, but he is still unhappy. Poor Cujo.

Purple and gold, Vikings colors. This was Emmy's. It is too big yet for Eddie. He crawled out of it easily. I did remove Cujo's orange sweater, as well. Oscar never appreciated my efforts to dress him, either. Emmy was so good about wearing whatever I dressed her in. I have high hopes for Eddie.

Now, I just need to train him to put his toys back in the bin. I doubt we can count on help from Cujo.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Puppy Love

The power went off last night for a few hours and interrupted our long winter's nap. Well, I was awakened and so was Eddie. He squirmed a little and just when I got him settled, HeWho acts strange at times, began patting down the bed in search of the puppy. He found him (in my arms) and began patting his head. Eddie took this to be an invitation to play.

I ended up getting up and locating candles. Eddie thought a midnight snack was in order, so he climbed into the dog food dish and proceeded to tie on the feed bad. It was 2:30 in the morning! Nothing to do, but wait until he ate and then take him out for a potty break.

So, as soon as we got up at 8 this morning and repeated our 2:30 routine, Eddie was ready to nap.
It is hard to see, but Wall-E is right behind him. Good thing, too, because Cujo decided to put Eddie in his place this morning. He nipped him pretty good. Poor Cujo is so upset at having to share my affections with another. He is okay with Wall-E having my affection, but he resents Toni Louise. He figures she has her own person and should need none of his.

After a good nap, (I took one, too), I decided to take advantage of the sunshine and paint a fence. Just getting a jump on Spring time chores. I have a feeling that this year's Spring weather will not be as nice as last year's.

In light of the morning's lesson from Cujo, I didn't want to leave Eddie alone with just Wall-E for protection, so I hunted down one of Emmy's old harnesses and though it wasn't a good fit, it served the purpose.

In cleaning out the utility room I came across some sage green fence paint. It was from my house in Minnesota and as unbelievable as it may seem, the paint was still good! It is at least 12 years old! The color is subtle enough to look like weathered cedar and I did not have much fence to paint.

I hooked the leash to a part of the fence that I wasn't going to be painting and proceeded to start brushing paint on the fence panels. Next thing I knew, Eddy had managed to loosen the Velcro and escaped from the harness. He stayed close to me until someone came up and he ran over to see what they wanted, then when the car left, he started to go after it.

I was beginning to wonder if taking him with me was such a good idea. He will have to learn to stand his ground with Cujo eventually. I called out, "Eddie, come back here." .......... AND HE DID!!!!!

He knows his name! Well, he was the only one there. But he came right back to me. We were down by the pond and most vehicles turn before they get to us. He saw several more turn and every time he would go about 10 feet from me and come back when I called him. Emmy would do the same thing.

The wind picked up and the sun moved and left us in shade. so I stuck Eddie in my sweatshirt and brought him back to get warm. As you can see in the picture. He gathered all the toys he could find and piled them up before he settled down to chew on the rope toy. Look close and you will see the paint on his sweet little head.

I am so smitten with this sweet puppy! As I write this, he is asleep among his toys and Cujo is nestled as close to me as he can possibly get. In answer to the question of Eddie's name. It was not my choice. He did not come with a name, but HeWho loves dogs as much as I do, said he looked like an "Eddie". I named all the other dogs, with the exception of Oscar and Wall-E. They were named when they came to me. All those seeking a puppy breathe fix are welcome!! This means you, Sioux!!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Santa Was Good To Me!!

Merry Christmas to me! This is Eddie. He is 8 weeks old and HeWho loves me spent yesterday on a mission to bring Eddie home. I am in love!

 Well, I was until I saw this picture of myself. Why didn't anyone tell me my hair was gray? The sun turns it blonde when I am gardening and I seldom study myself in the mirror. Where did those wrinkles come from??

But, who cares about a few wrinkles when you can hold this sweet little guy? Look a that face! He looks like my Emmy! He will grow to 8 to 10 lbs and has long hair just like my little Emmy.

He is so low to the ground I can hardly tell when he pees. He goes out with his bigger new siblings and I only know he peed when one of them rush over to sniff it.

Speaking of the rest of the pack ........ Toni Louise is having none of this puppy nonsense. She left the bed and shunned all of us by sleeping in our sitting room. She has zero maternal instinct.

Martha, the boy cat, showed his disapproval with a loud hiss and spit. Martha knows better than to scratch. He has moved into the office and looks at me disdainfully when I come in to check on him.

Cujo is really upset about the situation. He has never had to welcome a new animal into our home and he does not like this one bit. He refused to sleep in his usual spot and got on the other side of me last night. I was wedged between Cujo and Eddie, with Wall-E keeping watch by my feet at the foot of the bed.

Wall-E is tentatively checking the puppy out. He will play with him and run after him, while Cujo and Toni Louise stay as far away as they can. Wall-E is a good soul.

I placed a small bowl of puppy food on the floor for Eddie. His little legs look like they might be 2" long, so I knew he would not be able to eat from the communal bowl. He ignored the little bowl and just got in the big bowl to eat. He might look like my Emmy, but I sense a little Oscar there, too.

I give you fair warning ........ there will be so many puppy pictures headed to the land of Blog!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Surprise Gifts

All the boxes are packed and gone! While I was all set to have another marathon cookie baking day, it was not to be. Those last two batches killed the hand mixer and the stand mixer. The hand mixer has seen lots of use. It was my go to appliance unless I was willing to drag out the Oster Kitchen Center.

This machine has a sizable footprint, but it does everything. An entire lower cabinet is dedicated to holding the base and all the attachments. The food processor, the blender, the meat grinder. It is all bulky and sucks up space. I will admit that I was totally annoyed when I had to finish that second batch of cookie dough manually. I muttered and stirred. What the what, I asked myself as I labored over that thick sticky dough. Then I remembered that it was over 40 years old. And really, the only part that doesn't work is the mixer. The beaters will not stay connected. The motor is still good.

It is vintage. Maybe I will be able to find the mixer and beaters. The one beater is sort of mangled. Well, both of them, one more that the other. I set it up and got it going. Then I decided to handle another task, since I no longer had to hold the mixer. This is when the one beater came loose and was caught up in the other one before it was pulled free, as well. The ensuing noise was not as loud as it would have sounded if not for the earbuds and the audio book I was listening to. Oops.

I know what I will be getting for Christmas. A hand mixer. I will buy it myself and wrap it up. This way my sweet husband can be as surprised as he is when one of the children open a gift from "Mom and Dad". He will be as clueless of the contents as he has ever been. And I get what I want, while he gets to be surprised.  


Sunday, December 18, 2016

42 Years Ago

Yesterday we celebrated 42 years of wedded bliss.
I would be lying if I said it was all bliss, but the good outweighs the bad. As much as I complain make light of his shortcomings, I am well aware of my own. He is not afraid to point them out. He used to be careful when doing so, but I have mellowed with age. Like a fine wine (whine?).

We were homebound all day. Our road was not a priority for salting and plowing and they did not get to us until late afternoon. The interstate was passable, but getting to it was like skating in your vehicle. HeWho was called out a couple of times, but declined. One was a cab ride some 50 miles away. We both felt sorry for the people who needed to get a rental car, but they were in a warm and safe place. No one should have been driving in the mess, as tiny little white beads of ice was falling from the sky and adding to layer of ice on the road. It was so bad that HeWho has a McDonald's biscuit EVERY day did not get his morning fix!!

He did go out to help one of our kampers get to the interstate and he flagged down a plow to request some salt for our road. Then he went with another tow truck driver to help a neighbor out of the ditch. The car had been in the ditch for over 24 hours and the owner is older than we are, my kind hearted husband did not want him to drive the car up the hill to his house, so he did. (The occupants of the car were not in the car for that time, they were safe at home).

So, we were home most of the day, feeding wood to the wood stove. HeWho loves me gave me an Echo for our anniversary. I was unaware that I wanted one. Our daughter has one and she yells commands at it all the time. He must have been impressed with it. I will have something to talk to that will hear me. All this depends on someone programming the thing. Not me. HeWho has the box and instructions sitting on the table net to his recliner ..........

Wonder how long it will sit there? He says the print is too small to read and the light next to his chair does not work. One would have thought that being confined would have provide a perfect opportunity to do indoor things. I even suggested that he might want to help me go through all the plumbing supplies and sort them by size. He just looked at me. I am the organizer in this family ....

So we spent a quite day watching a movie and some Judge Judy. I did notice that every time I looked at him, he was eating. I must have tucked this little tidbit of information in the back of my mind. Late in the evening, I realized that he had hit the cookies I had planned to send to the kids!! He was not selective and had eaten a good many of every kind, with the exception of the coffee cookies. 

Today was spent in the kitchen. I sent him to get supplies for baking and started making cookie dough to chill. Then I made 2 huge batches of candy. Crockpot candy. It was easy enough to make. You just throw the baking chocolate, the almond bark and the chocolate chips in the crockpot on low for an hour and a half. Then stir it and add peanuts and pretzel pieces.

The only problem was finding enough flat surfaces to line with parchment paper. I made one chocolate batch and one white chocolate batch, Each batch yielded over 100 candies. While I was waiting for the chocolates to cook, I made two big batches of cookies. Ginger snaps and more coffee cookies. So my cookie sheets were tied up. I finally remembered a cabinet door that was in my "can't toss" pile. It was perfect to line with parchment paper and drop gobs of candy batter on.

For several hours I popped one pan in the oven while I rolled out the next pan. I rotated 3 big cookie sheets and made candy in between. When I got caught up I chopped an onion and some celery and a carrot, threw it all in the dutch oven  with a little olive oil and let it sweat down while I peeled some potatoes. Pulled out another batch of cookies and dumped some chicken broth on my veggies and let them simmer while I kept on with the cookie dough.

I am exhausted! But I have filled 3 boxes with goodies for my kids, just have one more box to fill and HeWho runs errands can go spend a fortune at the post office. I wanted to deliver these in person, but the icy roads and subzero temperatures in Minnesota had me rethink a road trip.

So, while I did all that cooking and two loads of laundry, one would think that someone else would have programmed the Echo. This did not happen. Guess I will have to do it myself. Tomorrow. On the phone with my son. He reads my blog sometimes. Do not think you can avoid my call just because you have been forewarned, Jeffrey!

Friday, December 16, 2016

I Won!

The weather did not warm up much and flurries twirled through the air as I ventured out to grab some wood. I had every intention of filling my wagon and the hand truck and wheeling the first load in.

That did not happen. The moisture was freezing as soon as it hit the ground and I was slipping and sliding as I walked to the wood pile. I grabbed as much wood as I could carry and very carefully made my way to the back door. I counted the pieces as I put them in the #2 wash tub net to the wood stove. I had nine pieces. That's all.

Just nine pieces and I STILL WON!!! HeWho loves to drive and not walk anywhere if he can help it, didn't even make it to town today! Did not fix his flat on the golf cart. The roads are treacherous and he spend a lovely afternoon with the discovery channel while I dithered in the kitchen.

Seems like I just got up and it is already dark. Tomorrow doesn't look much better.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Place Your Bets

I am tired of winter. The nasty driving conditions means I won't be able to see my kids before Christmas. They generously offered to receive cookies via mail. It is just not the same, though.

I ventured out this morning to grab some wood for the fire. Sixteen degrees out there, but the wind was not blowing. The minute the cold air hit my eyes they began tearing and cold drops ran down my cheeks, then froze. I had every intention of filling my wagon and pulling it to the back door. I just loaded my left arm and grabbed an extra piece and hurried back inside. My toes have not been warm since I left my bed this morning.

It is supposed to be warmer tomorrow and I plan to move some wood. I will use a wagon or even the hand truck. Whatever is available to me. That's how I roll. HeWho drives is planning to replace his flat tire on the golf cart, then load the trailer with wood and move it under the shelter that will keep it dry and close to the back door. I bet I move more than he does tomorrow.

I can tell you how the day will go. He will get up, fill his cold up with Diet Coke and head to McDonald's for his morning biscuit. I know. He will swallow all his daily pills first for his high cholesterol and blood pressure and gout. If there is a pill for it, he will take it. Better than changing his diet! But that is another story to tell another time.

Greasy biscuit and unhealthy beverage in hand, he will pull into the tow yard and amble in to chew the fat with his cronies. I should say here that he is older than the rest of him, so that makes him the wiser one, right? After he wastes some time there, he will come home, sometimes with a coffee for me. A bribe.

He will then poke around in the wood stove as he tries to get the temperature above 80. Playing in the fire will prompt him to go outside to the wood pile. He will stare at the tire for a time, you know, to determine a course of action. Whatever this course of action will be, I can guarantee it will involve a trip to town to purchase something.

By now I will have done some wood hauling on my own. He will admonish me, the little (or not so, as the case may be) woman to go inside and stay warm, that he will make sure we have wood! I will obediently head indoors to warm my hands. Not so much because he told me to, but that I will be ready for that specialty coffee he brought me. He will head out and ask me three times if I need anything from town. Upon leaving, he will advise me that I can text him if I think of anything.

I will go back out and haul more wood in his absence, and be on my second load of laundry and be planning dinner. It will be early afternoon before he gets that tire fixed .... and that is if all goes well. I will pull a wagon full as I push the hand truck full. If I make 4 or 5 trips, I should be able to stack a sizable load of wood by the back door.

Go ahead, place your bets.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Cookies and Frogs

After a miserable cold and dreary weekend, the sun is out. Still cold, but things seem a little brighter, cheerier and bearable with the sunshine.

I lost three good tenants this weekend. They moved on to another job site. Always makes me sad to see good tenants go. I was happy that I had already had two cookie baking marathons behind me and was able to fill tins with goodies to send along. I also made little salt dough ornaments. I made some with cinnamon and some with cloves. They smell so good. I had ordered special cookie cutters a few yeas ago and forgotten about them until I saw the recipe on Pinterest.

One of the cutters was a frog and we all know I love a frog or two. I decided to make some frog ornaments for my kampers. Painted them and gave them faces and personalities. I think they turned out good, if I do say so myself.

The other special cutter is, of course, a dachshund. I made about two dozen of those, intending to decorate my own tree with them. My tree is so small, it would be overwhelmed with dogs (kind of like my house).

So, this has been "locked" in here for over 24 hours. It saved, but I had to close down and reboot twice. I am no longer happy with my Wi-Fi. It seems to have hiccups.

I abandoned the computer most of yesterday and all day today. Lest you think I was wasting away watching soaps and eating bon bons, I was not. I was in the kitchen all the live-long day. Baking cookies and washing dishes. Maple bacon cookies, a double batch of ginger snaps, raspberry thumbprint cookies, maraschino cherry/chocolate
cookies, and cheesecake truffles. Oh, and some peanut butter chocolate fudge truffles, too.

I also did laundry and cooked dinner and just finished putting the second coat of polyurethane on my new kitchen island top made of reclaimed wood. Insomnia has been visiting lately and I have high hopes that all this activity will make me be able to sleep.

While I was busy in the kitchen, HeWho likes to eat any cookies that do not "look right", dozed in his chair while watching TV. His taste varies wildly. For awhile he was watching a documentary of war time weapons, then I noticed that he had switched to a Christmas movie on the Hallmark channel. Apparently there were quite a few cookies with imperfections that had to be eaten, because HeWho was not very hungry when I served dinner and he has now gone to McDonald's for a burger.

I am tired, but not sleepy, but I declined a burger, instead I will go to bed.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

I Don't Care

My Cujo gives me so much joy. How could anyone be cruel to that sweet face? Someone was before he came to live with me. Could have made him mean, but it made him scared and timid. This is the face I see every night before I go to sleep.

Thank goodness for my dogs. I would become a nasty sarcastic person if not for them. Ever watch Judge Judy? She has never been patient or willing to abide idiots. She is not mellowing with age. When either plaintiff or defendant tries to justify their case with a lot of extra information, she will simply say shout "I DON'T CARE!" She can get away with it, because she is the judge and her decision is final.

I want to be her for just one day. I want to tell the man on the phone making the reservation that I DON'T CARE what he plans to do before he gets here. I DON'T CARE what time he gets off work. I wonder how many times I would repeat that phrase in 24 hours.

I am in a foul mood today. The skies are gray, again. My toes are cold and I am sick of staying inside. My hands ache and I can't sew. I am sick of TV, even Judge Judy. I would get in my car and leave the property, but since being towed, I hesitate. It has had a brand new alternator installed by a professional and is just fine ....... I think.

Speaking of vehicles. Tis a well known fact that HeWho drives does like to purchase vehicles. When he acquired my current car, he took over my previous car and we then had five vehicles. My VW bug was working just fine and I loved that car, but after HeWho ruins cars drove it for a time, it became inoperable. Oh, it will start and run ..... as long as you don't stop anywhere. Can't open the driver's door and I am certain the electric windows no longer function. I thing the driver's door panel is off, because he was "fixing" it. There is a Ford F-150 pick-up sitting behind the barn (the barn being the receptacle of all the junk HeWho cannot part with) This truck needs an engine. I have heard that engines are really important.

There is a Saturn sedan parked in the front of the property with a For Sale sign. This is the only vehicle HeWho managed to empty and wash. My nagging skills seem to have lost their touch and I will need to work on that, because HeWho is not Jay Leno and these vehicles are not collectibles.

Despite all that, he bought another truck. A Ford F-150 with 2 gas tanks. I noticed the two gas caps right away, with my eye for detail. Somehow, purging myself of this new information is not helping my mood. I think perhaps I should just go back to bed with my furry friends and start the day again after a nap.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Just Call Me Sherlock

I took a little walk yesterday through the tent area and came upon this. I was baffled. A car/truck door propped up with a shovel next to a fire pit. Upon closer inspection, I discovered that it was a fire pit inside a larger pit and in bad need of shoveling out.

Here you can see things from a different angle. I am perplexed.

A rake in a stump adds more drama. This definitely deserves an investigation. I will employ all my skills to uncover the mystery.

I grabbed my phone and texted the master of my universe and demanded to know what was going on in the tent area. He didn't even try to play dumb. He knew it was there.

I was wondering if maybe we had a squatter claiming his homestead. Odd things seem to find me, after all. Still a mystery why someone would begin their nest with an abandoned car door and some yard tools while claiming two fire pits made up of old wheels. I am feeling a DIY rustic theme.

Mystery solved. Turns out on of our camp workers was downing trees in that area on a cold windy day. He found the car door in the woods (this means an intruder was trespassing here and dumped this door on my property, but that is another headache for another day). Scott (camp worker) is quite resourceful. He created a wind break with the car door and built a fire to stay warm while he cut up the downed trees and split the wood! Not too sure about the rake .......

Friday, December 2, 2016

Keep Up With Your Keys!!

Okay, I have to confess that I may have taken on more than I can handle. I am still working at least 8 hours a day in the utility room. Every time I think I have decided where everything is to go ... it changes. I think I have moved every set of shelves twice.

As of today, every wall and every surface has been painted or scrubbed down and is in place. I spent the better part of the afternoon and evening sorting out various containers of nails, screws, bolts and nuts. Not to mention door hinges, knobs, drawer pulls and all sorts of odd findings and discoveries. I didn't actually count the number of screw drivers and wrenches .... yet. The number of drill bits boggles the mind. I will count those, too. Tomorrow, maybe. My head hurts and my hands are dried out from the bleach water I used to wipe everything down with.

HeWho answers the calls of those unfortunate enough to lock their keys out of their vehicles, came home with a pizza, and left immediately to unlock the police cruiser for one of the local police departments. I don't find this reassuring for some reason.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Orange Is Happy

Black Friday is long gone and I have been staying home where I belong. Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to make things any better as far as my luck goes.

The bad news is that I need a new alternator for my car, the good news is that HeWho knows people, has located a good deal; the bad news is that it is in an area hard to get to and the even badder news is that HeWho tinkers will be attempting this task on his own. I choose not to ponder this.

The bad news is that I have no means of transportation, the good news is that HeWho had to be my go-for. He is currently headed to the Vet's office. The good news is that I can hi-jack his errand to include something for sustenance this evening. The bad news is that Toni Louise has to be put on a special diet. The results from her bladder stones is back. I am not looking forward to separate feeding sessions. Given the fact that she has been eating like a small horse lately and just today decided to eat a generous amount of cat food before I caught her.

In a fit of organizing I decided to tackle the utility room off the back of my kitchen, This "room" houses my laundry and all the electrical boxes for the park, as well as the distribution of the water and gas lines. Tis a dreary space and a catch-all for everything. It is also the cat's domain. His self feeder and litter box hang out by the dryer.

There was a big chest freezer not in use, just sucking up valuable real estate. I plan to sell it for a mere pittance, but the location would prevent easy removal. This has been the situation for about 6 years. Every time I suggest we move it, HeWho mows would suddenly have urgent matters that prevented him from doing anything about it.

So, being determined that this would be the year that the freezer would move, I waited until HeWho went out on an adventure for something having to do with towing (have I mentioned that I don't pay close attention when he tells me where he is going?) and began moving everything blocking the route of the freezer removal. When I had cleared the way of everything except major appliances, I let him know that I required his help.

Since "stuff" covered every available surface in our living area he had no choice but to make it happen. Wasn't easy, or uncomplicated, but  had t all plane out. First the washer had to be disconnected and moved out of the path. Then the chest freezer had to be moved carefully out the back door. The washer had to be moved 28" to the left to make room for the upright freezer. The shelf above the washer also had to be moved. He got a little grumpy at this point.

I had planned all this very carefully and was dismayed to find that the sewer hook-up for the washer had to be extended. This was really discouraging, because I just knew it would require a trip to the hardware store. But I started scavenging through bags and bins and found the connectors needed. My whole goal is to organize all this stuff so that we won't continue to buy parts we already have.

The upright freezer was put back in place and now I am finishing. I have been "finishing" for 3 days now. If I am going to do it, I want to do it right. While the wall housing all the electrical boxes is empty, I decided to paint it. I always have paint around. I started with the ceiling in the alcove at the back door. I have some 12" deep cabinets on the floor here with a metal rack above them where I hang all my pots and such. I had some paint left from my bedroom. A taupe that will go with anything. But ..... I also had some orange paint that I got in the "oops" paint at some point in time. I painted the wall around the door going into the kitchen and the wall around the back door in taupe.

HeWho is not allowed to paint inside happened through and gave the okay for my color choice. This made me laugh, since he really has no say in color choices. I told him I planned to use orange paint as well and he cringed. I laughed some more. I was only going to paint the wall that housed the huge metal grid I hang my cookware on. You know .... the feature wall.

I kept looking at the door, though. It was currently an off-white and dirty. Paw marks and dog slobber sort of dirty. I could wash it. I have washed it and it cleans up nicely. But off-white and taupe is so boring. I painted that door orange! It looks so happy now. You cannot have a bad morning when you open an orange door to let the dogs out. I promise. I think orange is my new favorite color.

HeWho know nothing about colors had to admit that he likes it, too. Back to the good news and bad news. For two days Google had me locked out of Blogger. That is the bad news. I changed my password and jumped through all the hoops and still could not access my account. The good news is that I finally realized I could get here via Facebook. Now that I am here, though, the bad news is that I HATE the new dashboard!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Black Friday

Not happy Friday or shopping Friday ..... but BLACK Friday. This doesn't sound like good things should happen. The good guys wear white hats, not BLACK hats.

Normally, I totally boycott the shopping frenzy known as BLACK Friday. Not because of the title of the day. I just don't care to be jostled around in big crowds of rabid buyers. I have not shopped this day in over 15 years.

So, why did I do just that today? For a stupid wet/dry vacuum. The motor went in ours and Menards had one for a mere $14. So, off we went. Not early, mind you. I did not think there would be a huge demand for something so mundane as a wet/dry vac.

As we approached the store, we could see that traffic was backed up and a line of cars waited to get into the huge parking lot. As many cars were coming out as going in, so we inched along and found a spot right away ...... in the far corner, as far away from the exit door as you could possibly get. But, we would be able to leave easily, once we made it back to the car. As we headed to the entrance a nice lady on her way out advised us to obtain a cart from someone unloading. We did and we rolled into the store to see that there were no shopping carts anywhere in the store.

I was feeling pretty smug as we rolled right up to that nifty shop vac and tucked it into the cart. I needed a set of lights for a project I was working on and we snapped those up pretty easy. Then we sort of stood there looking at each other. I remembered they had a set of rugs on sale.

For years I have tried to put rugs down, only to have Oscar mark them and designate them as pee areas. I finally gave up. But, Oscar is no longer here and for only $20 I could have a room size rug and two matching smaller rugs. I hunted in all the likely places. Finally I escape the slow moving traffic clogging the main aisles and found an entire pallet hidden away on a back aisle.

We left the store pretty content. We bought toys for the dogs and HeWho promised lunch on the way home. We went to Walmart for something in the automotive department ( I wasn't listening) and when we left, I heard my driver say something about the battery light being on.

We stopped about halfway home for an Arby's fix. I could feel the change in the way the engine was running as we made our way along the drive-thru.
HeWho drives put the car in neutral and gunned the engine. Didn't really help and I am sure the vehicle in front of us thought we were awful people. Or impatient, anyway.

Got the food, only to find that the window would not go up. We made our way to a parking spot and turned the engine off .... with the window down. "Let's eat," he says. I ate my sandwich, all the while wishing I had ordered something hot to drink.

He kept trying to start the engine and just got that tinny click-click sound. Finally he found someone to give us a jump and we headed back onto the interstate  ........ we were moving along and then we weren't. We were sort of coasting downhill until we wound up on the shoulder with a safety rail right next to us. Not a good place to be, as HeWho kept lamenting as we waited for a tow.

Yes, we had to be towed. In the new(er) car that is to be mine. BLACK Friday, after all. I didn't even get a picture to post of the car sitting on the tow truck because my phone battery died. BLACK Friday.

Could be worse, I suppose. We could still be sitting in the truckstop parking lot with the window stuck in the open position, rolled up in my new rug eating cold curly fries.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Junk Sculpture?

This is an old Radio Flyer snow sled. Just hanging out in the shed, so I decided to repurpose it. I still need to add some greenery and some scarfs.

I almost deleted this picture. You know how you can look at something every day and not really see it ...... until you capture it in a picture. I was taking a picture of the Christmas tree I made out of scraps of wood. It looked really good until I looked at all the stuff around it.

Let's start on the left. I see a power strip dangling there, left from my Halloween pumpkins that were lit up. The paint bucket sitting by the trash can. I did that. I put it there to remind myself to take it in. It is in now.

The giant pot I "planted" my tree in. The sedum growing in it has gone dormant. I need to wrap that pot in burlap and a big bow. In my defense, I just got my tree secure. If you live around here, you know about the killer winds. That tree is tied to the post behind it, as well as a long piece of rebar I pounded into that pot.

On the right side things really go downhill. Starting with the scary cat door mat left from Halloween. Halloween from SIX years ago. Yes, I know!! But, really, do cats ever go out of season? The real eyesore is that sign. The big yellow sign that warns you not to take the fish out of the pond and directs you to the dump station. That sign has been ready to go up for well over two months.

HeWho feeds those fish every evening asked me to make the sign. He swears his school of fish has been light of late. He fears they have graduated to a fisherman's stomach. When you ask me to do something, I usually follow through in a timely fashion. And this why it annoys me that he has not put the sign up. I added the directions to the dump station. Serves two purposes. It directs you to the dump station, as well as making you wonder about the fish in the pond ........ One has nothing to do with the other, but it could discourage you from taking any fish home.

I am clever like that.

This was my favorite "sign" for Halloween. The broom stick is the hanger.

This is the tree I built for inside our living quarters. There is literally no room for a traditional tree. One of my campers tossed some lattice in the dumpster. I pulled it out and took it apart and made a tree. Fits flat against the wall.

It has been several years since I have bothered with any decorations. It is just the two of us and while my dad was sick, it just didn't seem worth the effort. All of my energy was spent on traveling back and forth as much as I could. I wouldn't take anything for the time I got to spend with him and I still miss him every day, but this year the heaviness seems to have lifted. Today I pulled down boxes of decorations and found some snowflakes my mother crocheted years ago. Only a dozen, but plenty for my tiny tree. Looking at it makes me smile

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Taking A Break

I looked out the front window this morning ...... and this is what I saw. Look at the windshield!

I was trying to find Toni Louise. I had let the dogs out and stumbled into the kitchen to hit the start button on the coffee maker and had every intention of slipping back under the covers while my coffee brewed. I opened the door and called out to the canines. Martha, the boy cat, whisked by my ankles, rubbing his head and Cujo, along with Wall-E came in, obediently and rushed towards the bedroom. They were okay with an extra snooze. I called Toni over and over. Then I ventured out into the chilly wind and surveyed the entire yard.

No Toni Louise. I have no idea how she managed to escape the back yard. There goes the warm covers and snuggle while I wait for coffee. This is when I venture into the office an look out the window and see the Jeep that would appear to be stuffed all the way into the front windshield. Thinking that someone had towed it in and just left it in the parking lot, then went to find a site; I boldly opened the door and stepped out in my night gown to call my dog.

While I was already out, I decided to check the drop box for a night registration belonging to the owner(s) of the stuffed Jeep. Nothing. So, failing to lure Toni Louise back in, I wake the Master of her universe. Upon hearing that his favorite animal is missing, he leaps from the bed and grabs clothes to don before venturing out. I try to tell him about the stuffed Jeep, but he is on his phone.

This makes me wonder if he has equipped his favorite dog with her own cell phone and is calling her. The coffee is still brewing and my brain is still lacking that morning jolt. I return to the front door, HeWho rarely hears my voice, on my heels. While he is looking at the stuffed Jeep and wondering aloud how they managed to get it so close to the building, I spy the black furry tail of Toni wagging. I let her in and scold her as I lead her into the house.

Coffee is ready and I pour a cup, as I listen to HeWho drives the cab, tell me he has a call for a cab ride. I follow him to the door and ask him to do a drive thru of the park to locate the RV that belongs to the Jeep and let me know which site they are on.

Before I can even close the door and lock it, HeWho drives a cab, is back to tell me there are two people asleep in the front seat of the Jeep!! Still in my night gown, I instruct HeWho is the man of the house to awaken them and tell them to move on. He looks pained. He does not like confrontations. I grab the front of my night gown and just look at him. I don't say a word.

Like I said, he does not like confrontations and he knew he would have one with me. I watched as he knocked on the window and spoke to the occupants. He got into his Jeep, the Jeep that used to be my Jeep, and prepared to drive away. I was already calling him to hear the reason the occupants had taken up residence in front of my store.

They were "taking a break". I wondered briefly if they had taken advantage of the hot showers before settling down for a long winter's nap. I watched as the bundles of clothing stuffed in the windshield moved and revealed two people and a pitbull. I waited until they had left the premises before returning to my living quarters to enjoy my coffee in peace.

All this before 8 am. Gonna be a long day!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Plan For Today

The cold snap has inspired me. Well, that and Pinterest. I finally convinced all the men who do various projects in the park to SAVE EVERYTHING! No scrap is too small. I am the only one allowed to discard raw materials.

I have been absent here due to Wi-Fi issues. I could read and I could comment ....... if I had the patience to type v e r y  s l o w l y and wait for the letter to appear before adding another. This is supposed to be my outlet for relaxation and I found the method to be causing me much stress.

Stress is plentiful in my life, being married to HeWho is apt to surprise me with a NEW CAR! Not actually new, as in fresh off the sales lot, but new to me, nonetheless. My previous car is sporting AAA stickers and being used to make calls to motorists who have locked their keys inside their cars, or have run out of fuel, or might be in need of a jump start. I liked the Jeep okay. I don't get excited over which vehicle I drive. I just want it to be fueled up and offer no mechanical issues while I am at the wheel. I am easy to please.

HeWho rescues motorists also tends to break things. Things like the seat adjuster. The one in the Jeep is stuck in the setting HeWho prefers. I call it "laid back". Being a short person, I prefer to actually sit up enough to look over the steering wheel. So, instead of fixing this, he just obtained a new car.  I don't like the color, but it is a nice ride. A Ford 500 with all the bells and whistles, but the exterior color is that light taupe/gray color. I call it "pavement".

My objection to this color? Blends with pavement and lends to cars pulling in front of me ...... because they don't "see" me. I want to be seen. The Jeep is red, but yellow would suit me just fine. School bus yellow or maybe neon green. Yellow is the first color you notice in a car lot. Why do you think the school bus is yellow, taxi cabs are yellow (or they used to be).

Another annoyance is the sneezing. Not me, but my mate. He sneezed all day long yesterday. Loud explosive sneezes. Instead of bowing his nose, he sniffs deeply. This drives me nuts. And if that is not enough, he leans in to kiss me goodbye this morning as he was leaving to take Toni Louise to get her stitches out. Just like Hillbilly Mom, I do not want his sneeze germs! I don't even want to shake his hand and I debated whether I should sleep in the same bed last night. I figured the barrier of three dogs should keep me safe and filter the germs.

So, here sits the "new" car, and while my parking lot is huge, I still object to having 5 vehicles for two people. Keeping my fingers crossed for a mild day with no wind. I plan to empty the 3 offending vehicles of personal items and post them on Craigslist. That is the plan.

Monday, November 14, 2016

A Good Monday

Toni Louise had her check-up this morning and I am happy to report that her bladder is shrinking back to it's normal size and has good tone. Means I no longer have to squeeze it. I was afraid I was hurting her because of all her stitches. Her master took her and reported that she was not at all afraid and wagged her tail the entire time.

I took advantage of the wonderful weather today and cleaned out on of my many gardens. This one was full of dead cosmos and tiger lilies with spent leaves. After I did that, I decided to go ahead and paint the fence.

I cleaned so hard, I broke my rake! I confess that I wondered what I could make out of the broken handle. This picture does not capture just how big this pile of weeds is.

This rake is not in great shape, but the handle is intact. Took three trips with the little trailer pulled behind the golf cart to clear all the debris.

I hope I have this much energy tomorrow! I managed to do laundry and cook, too! Not to mention filling the pill boxes and ordering prescriptions for HeWho has no idea what his pills are.

I roasted a cauliflower. It was really good. It takes 90 minutes and I was pushing the limits of hunger, so that may have been a factor in the taste. Takes little time to prep and the you can just forget about for 30 minutes. It is covered tightly with foil for the first 30 minutes, then uncovered for an hour.
I have found that roasting my vegetables makes the flavor more intense. Smells better, too. I used olive oil and kosher salt. Next time I think I will add garlic and some fresh ground pepper. Of course we did not eat the entire head, so I am wondering how the leftover half will taste.

I can always cover it in cheese. HeWho loves cheese will eat it .......

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Homecoming

I arrived at the animal hospital at 11:30 this morning to take our Toni Louise home. She was happy enough to see me, but she seemed to like the new vet as much as she liked me. Remember, she is the dog of HeWho stayed behind to handle all the folks needing propane.

I was shown how to manually express her bladder. The tear in her bladder was up high where the ureters from her kidneys empty into the bladder. We need to completely empty the bladder to prevent infection and to help her bladder tissue resume it's normal size. It was stretched so big, it tore! Then he went over all her medications. She has some pain meds and some powerful antibiotics, as well as medication for nausea. She is still very sick.

The vet admitted to me that he was not optimistic about her prognosis when he took her into surgery. Two vets and a technician worked on her for almost 3 hours. Not only did they have to clear her bladder of all the stones and blood clots, but they had to irrigate her abdomen and get all the urine out. She handled the ride home just fine.

When she saw her master, though, her tail wagged like crazy. She is definitely happy to be home. Cujo and Wall-E were ecstatic. I am sure they thought she must be in heaven with Oscar. Toni Louise wasn't as happy to see them as they were to see her, and she let them know it! As they attempted to sniff and lick her she growled at them. This is when I knew she would be fine.

My little canine family is intact again and I am looking forward to a good night's sleep. I shall now go squeeze my dog's bladder before I lay me down to sleep.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Toni Louise

I suddenly feel drained. It has been a long day. The vet just called to let us know that our Toni Louise made it through surgery. We had no idea just how sick our girl was.

She has been acting strange since we lost Oscar, but all three of them have, so I didn't think much about it. For about a week, though, she has been listless and not eating much. Again, I didn't think she was sick. Last week when we went to bed,  lifted her into our bed the others and climbed in next to them. To my utter surprise, she stood there and peed!! In my bed ...... on my blanket. She looked shocked, like she couldn't believe what had happened.

The blanket, my blanket that I sleep with every night, did save the sheets. We scolded her and HeWho is her master took her outside again. Our routine was regained and I didn't think too much of it.

Yesterday I knew something was wrong. She didn't want to eat and she could not seem to settle anywhere. Toni Louise has a special place she likes to stay when her master is absent. She created a dark lair behind my chair and under a blanket stand. When her master is present she is in his lap gazing lovingly into his face. Last night she didn't want to sit with him and I discovered that she had vomited. Twice. It was undigested dog food.

Bedtime was a nightmare. For me, anyway. HeWho sleeps deep was unaware. Poor Toni Louise was restless. She would tap-tap across the wood floor, her signal for me to get up and lift her into the bed. Once there, she would lay down then get up, then come over to me and position herself next to me as close as she could. She was trembling, so I knew she was either scared or in pain. Since there was no thunder, I figured she must be in considerable discomfort. She was in and out of bed all night and vomited 3 more times.

My vet has closed her practice, so I spent the morning researching vets in our area. I have used the vets in our town before and found them to be lacking in compassion. We got an appointment with a vet in my Walmart city.

A soon as he picked the dog up he knew exactly what was wrong. She had peed on me in the car. It was dark, but hard to tell much about it on denim other than the fact that it smelled wrong. Really pungent. He said her bladder was as hard as a rock and whisked her off for an x-ray, saying it could be stones or a tumor.

We sat there in silence. I could not imagine losing her so soon after Oscar. I was hoping for stones. After watching cancer slowly take my dad away, I don't know that I would put her through that.

It was stones. Seems crazy to be happy about that. We thought she might have a bowel obstruction, since she kept going outside and assuming the position and producing no results. We were wrong.

We signed the papers necessary for surgery and parted with a considerable amount of money. Toni Louise was rushed away to be prepped for emergency surgery and we headed home to wait for a call.

They took her to surgery around 4:00 and he called after 7:00. He said they removed "a whole bunch" of stones ranging in size from a grain of sand to a marble! And, she had a hole in her bladder, urine leaking into abdomen.  I am amazed that she did not complain more. She whimpered a couple of times today, but a stranger would not have thought anything was wrong. She was as loving as she always is and wagging her tail. She greeted the vet tech and was eager to go through the door to get pictures of her belly. She is curious about the world, while my Cujo would refer to stay right here for the remainder of his days.

We don't know when we will get our girl back. We have wait for tomorrow to see how well she responds to the medications. The stones will be sent off and analyzed to try to determine what could be causing them. 

In the meantime my dogs will be dinking bottled water. Our well water is hard and full of minerals. We are missing Toni Louise. Seems strange to have only two dogs!   

I Must Be A Detective

I learned something this past weekend that I found to be disturbing. Someone stole a battery from one of my seasonal campers. We have never had a serious theft problem here. Maybe some firewood. Just this weekend a camper decided to help themselves to freshly split wood.

Favorite Kamper DJ and HeWho delivers wood to site were busy downing trees and splitting the wood where the felled trees were, then loading the split wood to take to the wood pile. The people even asked me if the wood was free for the taking.
I assured them that it was not free and gave them the price for a bundle of wood. They did not offer any money or order any wood.

I gave the incident no more thought. It was pretty cheeky to assume the wood was free, but it was certainly not the most outrageous thing I have ever heard. The people even commented that they could not imagine working that hard to give something away "for free". I learned later that didn't stop them from taking what they wanted.

HeWho splits wood witnessed the taking. He says he told them that the wood was not free ........ but did not ask for payment! Sometimes I just sit in awe of him, and not in a good way.

But, back to the battery. I know who did it! A few months ago I had a woman call me to say she wanted to live here to "get away from my abusive husband". She was calling from another state and told me this because my initial reaction was to say that I was not having this in my park. She then went on to tell me that her husband had struck her child and was going to prison ........ BUT, she was not planning to divorce him, since he was retired military and she felt she deserved the benefits due her. I really didn't care, but for some reason people feel obliged to spill their guts to me.

Now the woman hands the phone to her mother and the woman gives me her credit card information and goes on to tell me to charge the first month's rent to this card and "anything else the kids need". I agree to do this, all the while thinking "the kids" she is referring to are her daughter and grandson. You know that old adage about assumptions .....

The day comes for the arrival of the woman fleeing her abusive husband. She comes in to register in a questionable "outfit".  Not everyone can pull off the "Daisy Duke" shorts. Most especially those of us who might be prone to carrying extra pounds. Then the BOYFRIEND came in. A string bean of a man, about half the size of his companion. I was thinking the shorts she had on would have fit him better, as I waited for her to fill out the information. The boyfriend decided to engage me in conversation and I was appalled to see the condition of his teeth. Meth mouth is what we call it in these parts. I see it a lot in the local population.

In retrospect, I should have just turned the around and let them find another place to live. But, the mother vouched for them. I have been surprised from time to time when I give people the benefit of the doubt, not often, but occasionally. This was not going to be one of those times.

So, they pulled in and set up. She seemed to have an endless supply of short sorts that were too small, but would pour herself into every day. It was just the two of them the first two weeks, then suddenly they were gone for few days. They returned with a U-Haul full of household items. I happened to be across the road at another site to witness the assortment of belongings scattered all over the site and may I just say that it was quite a sight, indeed.

Noticing two children had been added, as well, I took the opportunity to tell her she would have to clean up the site, I could not have all the furniture and personal belongings scattered about. I knew then that I would have tell them to move on at the end of the first month. Things just got worse as time progressed. The motor home they arrived in belonged to the mother and looked okay.  However, it was brought to my attention that they were washing dishes outside in two coolers with no lids. They were not hooked up to the water hydrant, but had a hose going in through the door.

On the eve of their departure, many of their neighbors wondered how they would make their escape, since it was well known they had a dead battery. When Kamper Jackie was telling me the story of checking the camper batteries of their camper an their son's ......... I suddenly knew who took it. Just call me Sherlock.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

I Voted!

One of the advantages of living in a small community is the short voting line. Wait, did I say line? There was no line!! I walked in and presented my driver's license and was handed the ballot. Easy.

Got my sticker and am home again. Not even 30 minutes out of my day. I am really looking forward to the end of the political ads. The Wi-Fi is even working a bit faster today. When Sprint repaired the whatever on the tower they slowed  everything down. It is driving me crazy. I am typing faster than the letters are appearing. And I don't really "type", I do a two finger pecking thing.

The weather has been crazy warm here and today we have a cold drizzle. Winter is coming. Time to gather all my potted plants and find spots to put them for the winter. Today I will be digging up the banana tree that still holds four lonely green bananas. I will harvest them and place them on the counter to see if they will ripen. I am not all that hopeful.

I hope you all vote today! I am off for  date with a shovel.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Wi-Fi Has Been Restored!

No internet for THREE days! So wrong to deprive me of my daily pleasures! Just wrong. Sitting in the office with no entertainment. No blogger, no pinterest, no spider solitaire to while away the hours. Not to mention being unable to check on-line reservations.

So many opportunities for a scathing depiction of idiocy to relate to my readers. Now that I can, I can't think of one. My coffee has grown cold and a fence waits to be painted on this last warm day before rain hits. I can sit no longer as the great outdoors is calling to me.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

He Might Be A Redneck

Today marks two weeks without Oscar. In an effort to cheer myself up, I left the property and went to lunch with my friend, Martha. We had a good time gossiping and talking about our husbands and all the things they do wrong. It was a very long lunch. Can we help it that they give us so much to work with?

I stopped and shopped a bit. Found nothing I could not live without, except the peanut butter for HeWho eats it every day. We have peanut butter aplenty of the creamy variety, but just last night he expressed a desire for some crunchy. I am such a good and loving wife, I even bought ice cream for him.

I fielded reservations all day as I drove and ate and shopped. Now that I am home I settled down with a glass of tea to read a blog or two and found myself to be inspired by one of my favorite bloggers, Hillbilly Mom, aka Val, the Victorian.

We shall be calling her Val here. Val and I seem to have married the same man. So many times she will describe something her Hick is doing and I realize that HeWho is married to me does the exact same thing. Birds of a feather, two peas in a pod.

Today Val was highly irritated about her gravel driveway. She knows he has done something to it, but he will not own up. I frequently have the same feeling and can empathize accordingly.

You will all recall that I sometimes refer to HeWho hoards as Fred Sanford. If you don't know who that is, you just might be too young to be reading this! This year, a tractor became available and HeWho hoards promised to get rid of several items in order to be allowed to purchase this tractor. It is not that I tell him what he can and cannot have, it is his choice to endure nagging or not.

We need a tractor, yes, we do. But, we already have a tractor of sorts. This was purchased brand new and was nothing but trouble from the get go. Off brand, it was always a pain to get parts for and had to go back to the dealer to be worked on. So, HeWho fancies himself to be mechanically inclined started to tinker on this and that. Before you know it, the tractor is in many parts. Many men who swore to know about engines of all kinds have tried and thus far all have failed to reconstruct this tractor. I have since named the pile of greasy parts Humpty Dumpty.

Humpty Dumpty was supposed to be among the items I wanted gone. It is all still here and the new used tractor was indeed purchased and is being used for lots of things. One is grading the gravel roads and filling in the potholes. The roads and the sites are gravel and must be maintained if you want people to actually stay here.

Before he got the new used tractor, though, he would have to rent or borrow a piece of equipment for this task. Well, that was until he had a better idea .......... A long time ago (right after we bought the campground) he purchased a truckload of chain link fencing and the poles that go with it. It was one of those purchases you make thinking you will need it someday. I buy sewing and crafting supplies like this and I most always end up using them.

We used it for the dog park several years ago. It had to be pulled out of the big field behind our bill board and moved to the location of the dog park. This was done with my Jeep and the trailer. But, when the remainder of the fence not used was to be picked up, he simply tied a strap to it and drug it to the barn (to further enhance the beauty of this area) behind my Jeep. It was then he discovered a new way to grade the roads!

After Humpty Dumpty and before New Used Tractor, HeWho spent many happy afternoons driving round and round the campground dragging his fence. He might be a Redneck .....he just might!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Oscar Is Home

Oscar is home where he belongs. I must confess that I sniffed the paw print. HeWho loves me laughed at me. He promptly informed me that there could not possibly be a hint of Oscar's scent on that paw print.

He is wrong. After I inspected the casting, I presented it to Oscar's former pack. They all sniffed carefully and tails began to wag excitedly. Wall-E yipped and yapped, while Cujo began licking. Tell me there is no scent left! Toni Louise wagged her tail, as well, although she was a little subdued. Perhaps thinking her old rival was back and ready to take back his kingdom?

It was bittersweet, holding his sweet paw print in my hand. I know I did the right thing, ending his pain. But, it still makes my heart hurt.

This is Oscar in his prime. You can see the mischief in his eyes.

 Oscar and his lovely wife, Emmy. Emmy was more photogenic that he was. He looks a little arrogant here ....... because he was!

Time for a nap. My little awards, Oscar and Emmy. I miss them both every day.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Sweet Sixteen

Dear Layla,
Happy Birthday to you, my sweet granddaughter. You are sixteen years old today. Seems like not so long ago I met you for the very first time. So many people so happy to see you, I hardly got to hold you myself!

You were such a happy little baby and a shy little girl. Then you became a big girl and went off to school. You excelled at everything you did and every teacher loved having you as her student.

I am in awe of the young lady you have become. You have accomplished so much and I am so proud of you.

I hope this day is all that you hope for. Don't ever forget just how loved you are! Happy Birthday, Layla!!

Love, Gramma 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Fairies Come Out To Dance At Night

When I built this last garden, I didn't plant any flowers, just trees and bushes. I just wanted to create some shade to border the parking spaces for day swimmers. As much as I love flowers, they are a lot of work. I seem to have as many gardens as I can handle right now, so I resigned myself to just mulch.

I needed a "fence" of sorts to stop cars from bumping the trees in an effort to get the most shade. I was thinking of some rustic posts, with maybe rope or chain to define the area. HeWho procures material looked at me blankly ( a technique he employs when he doesn't want to do something).

Fortunately, I have the ability to repurpose items on hand. Stumps we have in abundance. We usually split them into firewood, but we have plenty and I needed a barrier. The next step was to actually move them to the designated area. Another blank look from HeWho mows and I employed the use of the hand truck ..... after nagging him to fill the tires with air. I can move anything on wheels. I have moved them by rolling them before, but that was in my younger days and I didn't have as far to go way back then.

I re-used some landscape timbers and then it struck me that the stumps looked like potential fairy houses. The granddaughters were scheduled to come and I just knew they would love to help me create a fairy village ...... that didn't work out so well, but it didn't stop me. I used found items. Horseshoes make great doors. I painted them for frames and used popsicle sticks for the doors. I didn't buy them and I know they are inexpensive, but I collected them. HeWho loves popsicles provided the raw material for doors and windows.

HeWho loves ice cream is a big fan of Dove bars. Those sticks have a different shape. I cut them in half to make shingles. I found some 2" tiles and used those to create sidewalks. It is hard to see, but this front door is adorned with witches brooms and tiny pumpkins.

Thrift stores are great sources of raw materials. There is a tiny bird house above the door on this stump. I am scrounging around for something to make a sidewalk with and this house needs windows.

Always a work in progress. I will add more photos as I make more progress with the village. I found an interesting branch that I used to make a tree. I found a toy motorcycle and borrowed the wheels to make tire swings. No pictures yet.

Christmas d├ęcor will be going up soon. This will be fun with tons of miniature lights and tiny trees.
I am already gathering vines for wreaths. My biggest challenge will be securing all these tiny things. The wind here is mighty.

So, here you go, Val, as requested, the fairy shanty town!