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.