Saturday, September 30, 2017

I Just Want a Simple Screen Door

You may (or may not) recall my post about Charming Eddie and the screen door. I like screen doors, especially this time of year. A nice breeze can flow through my kitchen as I slave over the hot stove .....

I asked for a screen door as soon as we moved the kitchen and the back door. It took nearly two years of nagging an complaining to finally get it installed. It was a storm door combination, with the window and screen on the bottom. I immediately knew that it would be a problem, that the screen was on the bottom. I knew that at least one of my dogs would take on the challenge of ripping that screen out. I asked him if the door could be installed upside down, so that the screen would not be with-in the reach of the canines.

Made sense to me, but HeWho had someone else install the door did not agree. As I had predicted, the screen did not last very long. A couple of years went by and the storm door did let light into the dark hallway leading to my kitchen, but I still longed for  screen and a breeze.

I did exhaustive research on screen storm doors with solid bottoms and a screen on the top half. They are expensive, these doors with windows on top. So began the campaign for a plain old wood screen door. I harped on this subject on and off until he thought it was his idea. He bought the door and it sat waiting to be installed ..... not as long as the storm door waited, but only months.

This door was screen from bottom to top, but with a guard on the outside of the bottom half. I wondered loud about putting a similar guard on the front side. You know, a preventative measure, if you will. My idea fell on deaf ears and the door was installed. The breezes flowed into my hot little kitchen and all was well in my world throughout Spring. I leave the back door open when the weather permits. I can hear the dogs easier and they seem to be willing to stay out longer if they hear me in the kitchen.

Not long ago Cujo learned to open the screen door and go out by himself. I had considered a doggie door, but given Martha, the boy cat's, hunting abilities and the fact that he likes to bring special "gifts" to us, this idea was quickly vetoed. Cujo has a shorter body than Eddie and he is stockier. He could give the door a good tap and scoot out before the door came back to the frame. Toni Louise could do it, as well. I am pretty sure that Wall-E was capable, but he would rather martyr himself and sulk around inside, than join the others outside. I think he secretly hoped I would find the behavior to be bad and the other dogs would receive a good scolding, but Wall-E's martyrdom is another story entirely.

Charming Eddie is not one to shy away from a good challenge or to be left out. He watched and he tried the door trick. He lacked the body bulk to give enough oomph to his push and could not make it all the way out before the door came back to trap him in the threshold. I witnessed a few of his attempts and laughed at him.

Perhaps I should have not mocked him. After a particularly busy day, I came inside to find him strutting around with something caught in his teeth and hanging from the sides of his mouth. Screen spline. The spline is black and Eddie is black, making him look like a walrus. After I freed the spline from his teeth, I inspected my screen door.

He had pulled the screen out, in an attempt to escape, but was thwarted by the screen guard. This would be the answer to the question HeWho asked when I suggested guards on both sides.

Fast forward to this past Wednesday. HeWho took the screen down to rescreen the bottom and put the wire stuff on the inside. The door languished atop a picnic table until yesterday when it was re-installed. He bought a roll of the stuff and covered the door top to bottom with it. It makes me dizzy when I try to look outside. Not only that ..... he did not trim the stuff very well and the door would not close this morning.

I hear a drill out there as I write. I am afraid to look. 

Friday, September 29, 2017

Feeling Poorly

Have you heard? Fall is here. The leaves are turning and the stores are putting Christmas decorations out .... must be fall. School starting is over and now we wait for ghosts and goblins. I hauled out the bins I so carefully labeled some 10 years ago.

One would think I could put the stuff back into the correctly labeled bins. I didn't. I have to open all of them to see what is what. I know I have more stuff, but can't be bothered to crawl up the ladder to see what surprises I might have tucked away in the other bins labeled Christmas.

I found some of those lights for the windows with the pumpkin stuck on top. Bulbs didn't work. I know I have some .... somewhere here, but I just pulled the tops off and used them for the gnome garden. Perfect size and just think how much money I saved on our electricity bill!

Took a picture and now I am wondering where the third gnome is. I have no energy left to go out and look. I am biding my time, waiting for 7:00 to roll around so I can lock up and go kick back and hold dogs until it is time to go to bed. I have been feeling "poorly" this week. All the things I usually do in one day have taken all week. I know the pollen count is high and mold spores are in the air, but the pollen count is always high here with the wind blowing and, let's face it, you can't really escape the effects unless you live in a bubble.

I sometimes feel like I live in a bubble. My housekeeping efforts are pretty minimal when we are busy and we have been busy this season. I do make an effort to keep up with the dusting and floor cleaning. But, I have been really lax lately and I know this because, as I sat in my recliner receiving canine comfort, I happened to look in the corner of the room where the wood stove is and noticed a cobweb. A truly magnificent one! No, I did not jump up and grab the broom and pull out the vacuum. Remember, I was feeling poorly.

No, what I did was close my eyes and then slit them open just a bit to trick Toni Louise into thinking I was asleep so she would stop sniffing my eyeballs. I stared at the cobweb, like one would stare at the clouds and imagine different shapes. My cobweb looks like a hammock!!

I did manage to put out a bit of seasonal cheer. I don't plant  lot of corn and we eat the few ears that grow. So, I only have a few stalks for d├ęcor. I beef them up with the tiger lily stalks that I carefully remove from the thousand or so plants I have. Tie a bow and stick a gourd or a witches face in it and there you go.

Notice the chainsaw art frog? We had some chainsaw art guys stay here for a awhile and HeWho commissioned the frog for my happy birthday. I do like frogs, and it is the logo for the park, and one should not be picky ...... but I would have preferred a rendering of Charming Eddie or Cujo. The frog is great, though. He welcomes visitors as they enter the office to register. Well, him and the witch .......

Friday, September 22, 2017

Crappy Week

It has been a frustrating week. The weather has turned hot and humid again, making outdoor chores unpleasant. I tried to do too much on Monday, making me feel like crap on Tuesday.

Wednesday morning, HeWho hears very little without aid, announced that his hearing aid was kaput. So, he called for an appointment and I decided to ride along, since he was heading to Columbia and I knew I would get to see my bestie, Martha. He dropped me off and we gossiped for not nearly long enough before he was back. No quick fix for the hearing aid. It had to be sent off.

We had a very early dinner and then returned to our everyday drudgery. Thursday was another hot and crappy feeling day. I managed a very short nap, but never made it to feeling good. My canine friends must have known because they gave me wide berth and let me sleep until 6:30 this morning.

I mowed my allotment of grass in the early morning hours, despite the fact that HeWho said I should wait for the dew to dry. He never does and I would rather mow damp grass than mow while the sun cooks me in the midday heat.

I managed to get the laundry done and meal cooked while I await the arrival of all my weekend guests. Since September is notoriously slow, I have not been meticulous with my reservations. Yes, I screwed up.

I took a couple of overnight reservations as I was mowing this morning. I was in a hurry to beat the heat and I did not put my bifocals on ....... and I over-booked. So, you know how it is when you are faced with a problem, and it is easier to figure out by talking to someone? Well, that approach does not work when the person you are trying to bounce ideas off DOES NOT HEAR.

He literally walked out the door as I was asking for his assistance. So, I grabbed my phone and started texting him. I could see that my texts were being delivered and I was on the second text when a text came through "This is Adrienne, not Dad."

Add to that, the phone ringing every two minutes or so ...... When I was finally able to text him, the text did not go through and I ended up calling him and shouting out my request. I think I hurt my back, right between my shoulder blades, while trying to make the deaf man hear. To add insult to injury, he informs me that he has to go do some tow job.

I am on my own. I mean, I was on my own anyway, as far as solving the problem that I created myself, but a little moral support would be nice. I think I have the problem solved, at any rate. I will just need to convince the overnight travelers to take a site without sewer. I can always lie and say that my husband messed up the reservations, but I would creating bad karma if I did that.

No, I will fess up and admit that I am the one who screwed up. Give them a discount, make them happy.

Earlier today, While HeWho hears not, was playing on the front-end loader, moving rock hither and thither, I heard the bell alerting me that a customer was in the store. I was picking over the green beans fresh from my garden and not paying attention to the security monitor. There stood a wizened old man in t-shirt and jeans. Sweat was dripping from his face and his shirt sleeve was rolled up around his pack of cigarettes. He absolutely reeked of alcohol and nicotine. I stayed well behind the counter as I covertly texted HeWho for assistance. In a gravely voice the man told me that he had no money and was hitch-hiking his way to California (I am pretty sure he meant California, MO). He wondered if I could give him some money or a can of beer.

Before I could respond, the door flew open and my hero was there! I was amazed at how fast he responded to my text. He looked at the man and said to him, "I already gave you some money when I saw you earlier at the tow shop, you have no business here and you need to be on your way!"

Wow, way to protect your woman! The man left after he realized he had already hit us up for a hand-out. So, I said to my hero, "That was a really quick response!" He looked at me blankly. He didn't get the text until then and had seen the man walking up the drive. Here I was thinking he had come to save me.

Not that I could not have handled it on my own, mind you. I missed my opportunity to educate this alcohol soaked man. First thing that pooped into my head was the fact that he claimed to be hitch-hiking on a dead end road. He needed to be coached into a better story, or learn how to read road signs. Next thing was the request for alcohol because of the heat! Water, water is what he needed and if I gave him anything, it would have been a bottle of water!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

I Love My Dogs

It is a rare occasion to get a good picture of my Cujo. If he sees me try to take his picture, he immediately runs to me. I took this one through the screen door. He is such a handsome guy!

More shots through the screen. It is hard to see, but his face is turning gray. He is only 7, at the most 8 years old. My Oscar did not turn gray until he was in his teen years.

I played with the color and exposure on this one. Yes, he is a tad overweight ..... me, too. I think he had to fight for his food in his younger life, that life before he chose me to be his forever mom. He tends to want to snatch treats that are offered. Still, after 6 years of living in complete indulgence. Never mind, I love him, no matter what he does. He knows this. He is pretending to not be aware of me behind the screen door.

Then there is Eddie. He seems to be feeling left out. He loves the camera and will pose. This little guy has never known anything but love. He is so sure of himself. He thinks everybody loves him and he is petty much right about that!

It took Cujo awhile to accept the fact that Eddie would be staying here forever. They are the best of buddies now. Eddie has taken to chewing gently on Cujo's ear as he readies himself for sleep. He puts Cujo's entire ear in his mouth, then lets it fall out when he goes to sleep. Cujo will then snuggle next to me with a big, wet with slobber ear.

I love my dogs. Really, I do.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Painting Signs

The Internet gods have conspired against me all week. I started to blame Blogger, but it is happening to every site I try to log onto. So, I blame Sprint. So, while I wait for the internet to be fixed, I paint.

The pool rules sign is looking pretty sad. The bright colors have faded and the paint is peeling. I suppose it is time to paint a new sign anyway.

So ...... I did. Since I was painting a new sign, I thought the entire pump house could do with a fresh coat of paint. The only thing missing is the dolphins that were gifted to me (thanks, Terry and Sharon). It was all I could do to get HeWho always has other things to do to help me hang it.

The weather felt like late October all week. Now, today it is 90. The pool is closed for the season. Even though it is hot today, all those cool nights have lowered the water temperature to the high 60's, lower 70's. Brisk, a little too brisk.

Summer seems to have flown by. I remember my grandmother telling me that time would move faster when I grew up. I always doubted her word, but I seem to have finally grown up. Naps used to be punishment, now they are coveted!!

I am feeling much better. My body has finally acclimated to the tiny pill that strengthens and steadies my heart beat. Another weekend is almost over and my store hours are changing to noon til 7:00. I am looking forward to lingering over my morning coffee and tucking my toes under a throw.

Saturday Night At The Movies is a big hit. Last week the sound was too low, but thanks to the new blue ray player the picture was great. The week before, the sound was good, the picture was crappy. This week should be all good. HeWho has put together all the speakers we have and the sound should be audible on the interstate!! I am looking forward to watching "The Zookeeper's Wife" tonight. The only thing that would make it better would be watching in my pajamas ......

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Tired and Rundown

As another weekend is over, weariness has settled on my shoulders like an old shawl. Things have usually slowed down significantly by this time of year, but we were near capacity this past weekend. Mind you, that is not a complaint ...... I am just not as young as I used to be.

I have had trouble getting on line all week and then when I do, I sometimes drift off while waiting for the internet to open up. It was a very productive week and I got to some projects that have been on my back burner for a long time. I have a helper for an indefinite period of time and I plan to make full use of that help.

Our helper is a teen and eager to please, but we all know how that goes. HeWho had claimed that he could use his help, but HeWho procrastinates rarely completes one project before moving on to another. Young help is good, because they have energy resources that seem to be unlimited ..... but you do have to tell them want you want and be very specific.

This is hardly a new thing for me, since I have dealt with my ADD husband for nearly 43 years. It seems sad that I have not been able to train him in all those years! He assumes that his helper can read his mind and that when he finishes one task, he should automatically know what to do next. Now I am monopolizing the young man, but we are getting a lot done!

I am no fan of ladders. I don't mind painting, but I do not like climbing. Together, Dante and I have painted the pool pump shed and the ends of the main building. He cleaned up a bunch of fence boards that had been laying on the ground for two seasons and then he used the weed whacker while I mowed. I gave him a lesson in weeding and watching for snakes while weeding. The fruits of our labor are quite evident.

It is exhausting, coming up with work for him to do, then giving instructions and lots of positive feedback. Male workers thrive on positive feedback, you know. He is a good worker and next week I have big plans for him!!

In the meantime .... I was feeling really crappy. My head hurt and my blood pressure was up. The pollen count is quite high, but I couldn't figure out if the head pain was causing the elevation in my blood pressure, or my elevated blood pressure was causing my head to hurt. Then, my heart started skipping every third or fourth beat. As it was nearly time to fill the pill containers for the next two weeks, I decided to take a closer look at my pills.

Since we had to change to mail order RX, I had run out of the beta blocker I take and totally forgot to add it to my second week of pills when it finally arrived. So, I went 5 days without it and when I started taking it again, it made me feel as tired as it did when I started taking it initially. Next week should be better.

I am always very careful with the pills of HeWho. I will tape post-it notes on his pill boxes to remind me to add the missing pills and to remind him to not take the ones in that particular box. Perhaps I should pay as close attention to my own!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Unleash Me

Last week, as I was tending my vegetable garden in the late afternoon sunshine, I looked over into the side yard to see Martha, the boy cat enjoying a lazy afternoon in the dappled sunlight that filtered through the limbs of the peach tree.

Martha has come a long way from that tiny scrap of fur that fell from the bucket of the front end loader. I like cats, but everybody knows I am partial to dogs. Cats can be very aloof. After all, a cat doesn't really need you like a dog does. Cats can hunt and find their own food and water. Not to mention the fact that they will dig a hole and cover up their own waste.

Martha is special, though. He participates in the canine doings and he is very affectionate. He knows I am his person. I am the one who fed him with a bottle and took care of his bathroom needs. Really, once an animal poops in your hand, that animal is yours for life.

Martha was very much aware that he was under the scrutiny of my camera, he just pretends not to notice that I am there.

For a long time Martha would lay flat on the ground when he heard a loud engine. I suppose he remembered being scooped up and dropped. He steers clear of the vehicles, having a good, healthy fear of them. He roams the park at will, but always comes home. I tend to be happier on the days he forgets to bring home "gifts".

I am a little worried about Martha traveling with us. He will be okay inside, but he does enjoy wandering around ...... I am pretty certain he will not be okay with a leash.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Picnic Tables and Credit Cards

In case you might be wondering what I have been up to ........ the week before a holiday weekend is intense ( not in tents ..... sorry, couldn't help it). What with the gall stone that plagues the life of HeWho mows, I have been carrying an extra load.

I took a solo ride through the park with my clip board. I noted any deficiency I saw and then set out to correct as much as I could prior to the weekend invasion. The main problem is and always will be, the lack of picnic tables. Not because we do not purchase and build them. No, it is more a case of vandalism and weather. Wood will eventually rot. Especially if it is hacked at with a hatchet or sustains some sizable burns from a table top grill. They collapse when you pull your camper over them .....

So, we had a bunch of tables hanging out by the barn (aka Fred Sanford's Emporium). They were in various states of dis-repair. HeWho collects junk would have burnt them and just bought new tables. However, HeWho was blessed with a thrifty wife. We made 5 good tables and I painted them and readied them for distribution. Then I mounted my trusty golf cart, paint brush in my hand and painted all the tables I could manage.

In between my table adventures, I mowed and weeded and dragged trash bags to the dumpster and picked up dog poop in the dog park. I cooked and cleaned and did laundry and all the things required of the homemaker. Then, yesterday, I looked at my hair, all shaggy and unruly and decided to treat myself to a morning adventure away from the confines of the campground.

Since everything seemed to be going along like clock work, it seemed like a good idea. I needed some items to stock the store and the soda machine, so off I went. I was cruising along the interstate, with little traffic to annoy me. I see an accident in the west bound lanes and congratulate myself on being in the east bound lanes. I hit every light green as I headed toward the hair salon and my hair dresser was sitting there, as if waiting for me!! I went straight to her chair and left not long after.

I breezed through the aisles of Walmart and fulfilled my list. Every register that was open had a line. Now, before you tell me to use the self check out ..... I can't. I have two separate (but equally important) orders in my cart. One is for my personal needs and one is tax exempt for the store. I have to have a cashier enter the secret code that only pertains to my campground. Upon completion of the transaction, I have to offer up my signature that proclaims all the items are for resale and will be taxed by me and paid to the appropriate agency.

I happened upon a lane that had only two carts ahead of me and they both had just a few items. They were gone before I finished stacking my tax exempt purchases on the conveyor belt. Everything was going my way, Karma was smiling on me, knowing I still had grass to mow.

I swiped my handy dandy credit card and loaded my bagged items into the cart for the trip to my vehicle and that is when the world as Walmart knows it ceased to be! The window read INVALID CARD. I swiped again with the same results. The cashier swiped two more times and got the same results.

Then we heard other cashiers say that none of the cards, debit or credit were working. A hush fell over the crowd of shoppers as I searched my purse frantically, hoping the memory of removing the checkbook I never used was not a real memory. No checkbook, but I came up with $92. My total was $117, including my donation of $5 to the Red Cross for the flood victims. Even if we took off the donation, I still did not have enough cash. Not to mention I still had another order on the belt.

The world stopped spinning on it's axis as the yellow vested CSM's were calling the next level of management for advice. I had eight boxes of ice cream sitting in the cart. I caught the eye of the CSM closest to me and asked if I should return them to the freezer and she looked at me with wild eyes and all but screamed, "I don't know!!" Um. I was just trying to help. Unlike other people who were leaving their carts full and walking away. Nice as I am, I would not be buying melted ice cream.

The cashier looked lost, so I told her to suspend the order and I would pay cash for my other items. I called HeWho loves to be a hero and told him of my plight. He just so happened to be talking to a camper headed my way and he sent the money with him. I stowed my personal purchases in my car and headed back in to wait. The ice cream was still bagged and in my suspended cart.

I always have a cooler in my trunk. It is a thick Styrofoam affair that my night crawlers are shipped in. If you get past the idea that worms once inhabited the cooler, it is a good transporter of frozen food. I fished out the bags with the ice cream and paid cash for them along with a bag of ice and made another trip to my vehicle to load them and ice them down. I admit that along the way I warned prospective buyers of the card situation. You would think the greeter would be telling people, but I suppose they were hoping for a quick fix to the problem. One gentleman surmised that ISIS was responsible for the cyber attack. He gave me a rather lengthy education about how things would happen. I just smiled and nodded.

I doubt a small Walmart, in a small town, in the middle of Missouri would be a target for ISIS. But, who knows? My money came (thank you to Craig and Cheryl!) and I paid and then headed home, having wasted at least an hour of my very valuable time. I did manage to mow all my turf and then some. Labor Day weekend waits for no one! 

Friday, September 1, 2017

That Face


Did I do that? Charming Eddie is all grown up. He is a little stinker, but he is still a charmer. How do you get mad at that face?

I had just scolded him for digging a hole in the back yard. This is the face I get every time I scold him. He recently removed the screen from the back door. He was frustrated. Cujo is shorter of body and stockier than Eddie and he has learned how to bump the door just right to leave an opportunity to go out.

Eddie tries, but has yet to master the trick. The door always gets him before he can get his entire body out. So, he decided to rip the screen out. It did not help his situation, since there is a grate on the outside. Now the door has to be rescreened and another protective grate placed on the inside.

Eddie is a smart dog ...... smart enough to make me pick him up and shower him with lots of love and kisses when he looks up at me with that face!