Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving To All!

You know the best thing about having company? No, not seeing them leave! It is cleaning the house! All of a sudden you look at your surroundings and realize the mess you find totally acceptable is not!!

The day began early. I have been looking to buy an Instant Pot. It is Yvonne's fault. She keeps posting recipes on Facebook and constantly extolls the virtues of this appliance that will replace several I currently have. In case you may have forgotten, we plan to live in a motorhome. This means limited space. The one appliance will replace my crockpot and my pressure cooker! Oh, and it will do so much more!

So, I was in Walmart just this week and I was stroking the one on display. It was on sale for $79.99. A helpful associate (this is what workers at Walmart are referred to, despite Hillbilly Mom calling them the devil's handmaidens) approached me and told me that the Instant Pot would be on sale for $49.99 and that sale starts TODAY at 6:00. I am not a Black Friday shopper. I wanted to save $30 .... who doesn't? But, my dinner today begins at 4:30 and I am not leaving my guests. It would be rude and I don't really want to shop today.

I began my day as I normally do and was sipping my portion of caffeine when I decided to check out the Walmart ad in my e-mail. My Instant Pot is on sale on-line!!!! Not only did I order it and got a discount for deferring shipment until the 5th of December, but I also took advantage of applying for a charge card and got an additional $35 off my purchase. Free shipping with a 25 cent discount and $35 off means I just bought my Instant Pot for a mere $13.75!

HeWho helped me with vacuuming and dusting and setting up and I am all done with my prep work. Just waiting for the oven to tell me it is time to stick my stuff in and then all my guests will be here. We will pop some corks and eat some food and be thankful for the fellowship!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


My phone is still not working. I sent HeWho was too impatient to help me set up my own phone and did it himself, to the Sprint store to try to recover the phone.

I went on a mission to gather all the necessities to host Thanksgiving for a group that seems to be growing ..... started out as 9 and now it looks like 14. You will recall that I have been downsizing as we prepare to retire and live in a motor home. This means that I no longer have dinnerware or even enough forks for that many. But, I love a good challenge! As much as I would prefer to eat on real plates, we will be dining disposable!

Nothing wrong with that, clean up will be easy. Food is no problem, I am not even the main chef in this endeavor. HeWho likes to cook outside will be smoking the turkey and I will be making the dressing and gravy. Another turkey will be roasted  and a ham will join the two birds on the table. Mashed potatoes and green bean casserole are coming. I grabbed a can of cranberry sauce today, you can't have Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce. I hear tell some dinner rolls will be here, too.

All this is good, but what about dessert? I am usually the dessert maker, but this year, others have it covered. I did buy a couple cans of whipped cream ....... just in case. The more the merrier, I am quite certain there will be more than enough food!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


Time to pull out the Christmas decor and light up my world. I keep seeing reference to bringing back "Merry Christmas" as a holiday greeting. I don't know about the rest of you, but I never stopped. Furthermore, I haven't noticed anyone else stopping. I think it may have been one of those politically motivated things someone started up just to have something to stir folks up.

Not really what I was going to write about. My limited space means that putting a tree up inside is not practical. But, though my living quarters may be small, my grounds are not. I have 5 artificial trees I put up every year. I store them outside in the shed that houses the water tanks.

Every year I ask HeWho has long arms and legs to pull them out for me and I take it from there. I am the one to hang the lights and spread Christmas joy through our land. I will admit that I hang the lights because the eaves are low and require nothing more than a kitchen step stool for me to accomplish this. And there is the fact that I prefer to do this task myself. HeWho has been known to grow impatient with me in past times.

So, the day was fairly warm last week when I pulled out all the lights and various ornaments. I decided to get started on things. I went outside and was going about the business of tugging out the limbs of the trees getting them "in shape". The trees are small and I was chatting with HeWho was fiddling around in his truck.

I was holding the tree in one hand and pulling the limbs out with the other. I had the tree at eye level, so when I saw it, it was right there in my face. I almost grabbed it. My hand was automatically heading in that direction, on auto pilot. My mouth was talking while my brain was processing what my eyes were seeing. My hand was still moving, but slower ...... as I squinted in the sunlight to get a better view.

To my credit, I did not scream as I shook the tree vigorously and the mummified mouse fell out! I was speechless as I grabbed the arm of HeWho was not listening to me. Words would not come out, I just sort of made some grunting sounds as I pulled him over to the still rodent on the ground and pointed.

Of course he laughed. It is funny now, but I will be very careful in the future when I am playing with anything that is stored outside in a shed. Too bad I didn't find it when I was putting up Halloween stuff!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Doggie Steps

I was so excited when I saw these doggy steps at the re-sale store! For only $8! My babies NEED these! Long spines are easily injured jumping up and down.

Our current arrangement involves me bending over to lift them onto my chair, or using the recliner as a lift. Cujo will eagerly scramble up the incline to get to my lap, then wait patiently for me to create a ramp for him to get down. Cujo is a sweet little guy and will do anything to please me. That would be anything short of using these doggy steps. He looks at them disdainfully and then waits for me to lower the chair for his ascent.

Eddie, on the other hand, has no problem with the steps. He just prefers to have me lower the chair, then use my feet to grab his back end and elevate him to my lap. And no matter how I scold him for jumping down, he pretty much does as he pleases. While Cujo has a "spot" he squiggles into on my left side; Eddie is no respecter of other's space.

Eddie is currently sprawled across the part of my recliner meant to hold my legs. I can only put one leg on it and the other leg is on the arm rest. Eddie likes to stretch while "resting" and will push me out of his way. He has even been known to climb up onto the laptop, pushing buttons and displacing my hands so that I am available to pet him.

I have to admit that I would not trade my little tyrant for anything!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Business Calls

Just to make my life more complicated, I downloaded an update on my cell phone. In my defense, I did ask HeWho initially programmed my phone if I should respond to that pop-up. "Might as well." So, I did.

Now, I am locked out. Why did I listen to him? I usually don't. I do everything on this phone. I have my audio books on this phone. I check my e-mail on this phone. To say I was annoyed is an understatement.

When we got the phones, HeWho procured them free from Sprint programmed both phones. I do remember that he asked me some questions, like what the name of my destination city of my first airline trip was. Did I find the question strange? Of course, but I did not find it strange that HeWho would ask some trivial nonsense. The problem with this is that I don't remember the numerical passcode. I was not really paying attention.

Now, had he taken the time to show me how to program my own phone, instead of shooting nonsense questions at me, I probably would have remembered. I never ask him to show me how to do anything. He is not a good teacher, he is impatient and will just grab the device out of my hands and do it. I end up figuring it out on my own in utter frustration.

When I complained that I was locked out of my phone because of the update, he seemed to think I should fix it on my own. I did try. I answered all the security questions and then came to an abrupt halt when I was required to supply a numerical passcode. He was not concerned that I could not get to the book I was listening to. He did not care that I was inconvenienced as far as e-mail went, I do have my laptop. But ...... he did get unwound when I reminded him that the business line was forwarded to the locked phone!

The office phone is a cheap desk top corded phone. This would require me to spend the day near the phone. We don't heat the office. This is not a bad thing, I will sometimes find sanctuary in there when he gets the woodstove so stuffed that it is downright tropical in our living area. To remedy the phone situation, I offered two solutions. He could un-forward the phone, then I would have to jump up every time it rang .... or I preferred that he forward the line to HIS cell and then HE could answer all the calls.

He has been relentless in trying to un-lock my phone! Faced with having to deal with all the calls did not seem to be appealing to HeWho likes to be a free spirit. Though, I am locked out until we take the phone to the Sprint store, my phone will receive calls ..... I just can't make any calls. Or listen to the ending of the book I was reading.

Funny how the very thought of having to answer the phone for the business sent him into immediate action!

Friday, November 17, 2017

I Might Just Need a Facelift

I have been thinking of changing my profile picture. This place is taking a toll on me, I seemed to have aged dramatically. I must have been telling lies, just look at how long my nose is!

Fortunately this is not my real face .... this is just how I feel lately. I wore the mask on Halloween, just for the benefit of HeWho rarely pay attention to his surroundings. To his credit, he did notice my new look.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Hanging Of The Sign

As the weather is deciding when to change I am taking advantage of the warm afternoons and tackling some gardens. I was gifted some mulch by a kamper. Black mulch, in bags. As you all know, I am a big fan of free stuff and usually wait until the tree trimmers come through for the power company. I am so nice, I let them dump the chipped up branches by the truckload. I am nice like that.

Remember a while back, when I was lettering and painting the sign to replace the main one in the front of the property? I prepped the main part of the sign, painted it and then lettered one side and painted that. I painted all the trim and painted the individual letters to put on the side of the sign that most of our incoming traffic will see. This sign identifies the property. Important for first time visitors. The sign has been waiting to be mounted for quite some time.

The sign is heavy. The 4 X 8 piece of plywood is heavy alone, but HeWho fancies himself to be a wood worker, routed a "frame" out of treated 4 X 4 lumber. This made the sign really heavy, so much so, that I decided I would not be helping lift it. This helped with the many excuses about the delay in erecting the sign.

1. It is too windy.
2. Nobody is available to help lift it.
3. Too cold.
4. The wind, again.
5. The need to locate an electrical line, so the sign can have lights.
6. No help available.
7. Too windy.
8. Waiting to have the electrical line marked.

About the power line ..... no digging was required to mount this sign. It was to be placed on the stacked stone mount already there. When we put in the emergency shut-off for the propane dispensing station, HeWho ran the line out to the sign in order to put a light on the sign. This was some time ago. Seems "someone" either ran over the outlet with the mower or the weed eater and did not fix it immediately. Time allowed the extended wire to disappear. I since bought a solar light .....

This is the front side that most of the traffic sees.

 And, this is the back side. This side was previously just blank. The letters on the front side were cut out of thin plywood and then painted. The back side is painted directly on the plywood. I think the space below the letters cries out for something more. Maybe ..... frogs?

The sign went up yesterday! Today, HeWho does not paint, asked me to touch up any spots that needed it. "Do I need a ladder?" I am not tall and I am old .... I am not going to attempt to climb on the rock base under the sign. HeWho looked at me like it was an unreasonable question. I painted as high as I could manage to reach.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

No, Thank You

I  lack motivation. I eat, sleep and get up and do it over again. Yesterday I finally forced myself to go on a shopping trip for some lights and stuff to decorate for Christmas. It did make me feel better.

This is not to say that I have done absolutely nothing. I have been pulling up dead annuals and gathering seed. Painted fence boards until I no longer had paint. I have two 6' panels left and I picked up more paint yesterday. Too cold to paint today or I would have knocked out the last two panels.

Instead I took the refrigerator apart. I checked all the expiration dates and tossed any leftovers I could not recognize. I won't bore you with my dusting skills.

Inspiration hit me this morning. As usual it HeWho is my life mate. After a restless night, I dragged myself out of bed and was sitting here in relative peace, sipping coffee and situating dogs on my lap as I tried to come fully awake. Still in my night time attire, I was interrupted by the appearance of a camper ringing the bell.

No matter that I am not open for another 30 minutes and am not ready to face my nation. The canines in my lap see the door opening attempt on the monitor and begin barking to let me know of an intruder to my waking up ritual. My head is aching and I am annoyed, but I stumble into the nice dark cavern where HeWho is still abed, to grab some daytime attire.

Do I begrudge his ability to get a full 9 hour, uninterrupted sleep? Of course, I do. Do I wonder if just once in a great while he could take over the bladder needs of my dogs? Yes, but I don't even ask, since I would have to wake up to wake him up, defeating the whole purpose. Did I make enough noise to wake him on purpose? Yes, I did. It was time for him to get up anyway.

By the time I get to the door, the camper is gone and I can resume my coffee sipping in relative peace. I settle in again with one dog on the left and one on my lap and one on the arm of the chair. I am much adored by animals with four legs.

HeWho and his dog blunder around noisily and he announces his upcoming trip to McDonald's for his morning biscuit and fizzy beverage. As is his habit he asks if I want anything. Sometimes I do, most times I don't. I don't mind his asking, I do mind the follow-up asking. "Are you sure?" "Pancakes?" "Iced coffee?" "Anything?"

If I say 'no, thank you', that should suffice! I am not at my best early in the morning and if anyone should know this, HeWho has been with me for almost 43 years, should! So, this very morning I raised my considerable voice (just in case those hearing aids were off) and let him know beyond any doubt, that I was not interested in anything McDonalds has to offer. It is going to be a long day. 

Friday, November 3, 2017

Painting Beetles

I paid for my day off. Yesterday was almost 80 degrees. It was so hot that HeWho did not even attempt to build a fire. He did dress like it was 40 degrees, even when I warned him that the long sleeved flannel shirt would be too much.

Since the weather was so nice I decided to tackle painting the back of the house. We re-sided the main building and that has been done. Well, sort of. There is still some painting that needs to happen on the east side that would require me to go well above my comfort level of two steps on the ladder. I would have to stand on top of the ladder to even begin to reach the peak, so that was out.

The back of the house is nice and low and only required one step up on most of the length. It was still a big job. Last time the back was painted, HeWho loves anything mechanical, used a sprayer. He sprayed it all, windows, whatever might be in the way. Fortunately, there are only two small windows and I have long since scraped and cleaned them several times. There were vines covering the back of the house when we moved here. I pulled them all down and had every intention of scraping the boards. I didn't and what was left of the vines was painted.

Yesterday, armed with a 4" scraper and a pail with a brush, I scraped and painted the entire back of the house. I did a really good job, if I do say so myself. Took most of the day, but I still managed to do laundry and cook and take down Halloween d├ęcor. What did HeWho loves to ride do, you might be asking?

HeWho bought himself a truck last week. I agreed that he could. It was a fantastic deal and he really needs a truck to haul things. BUT, I did say he had to get rid of the Jeep. And the other F-150 that needs a motor. So, last weekend he said he had emptied the Jeep. That was no easy task, as anyone who has ever seen the inside of his vehicle will tell you. Well, yesterday he spent the entire day cleaning out the Jeep. Lest you think he did some intricate detailing, he didn't, he just finished the job he said he had already done. These things take time if your wife is not keeping you on task.

The biggest obstacle I faced yesterday was not the ladder or the scraping ..... it was the beetles. They were clinging to the side of the house I was trying paint. They bite, you know. I sprayed my body and clothes with Repel, even my hair. It did not repel them. I tried some general outdoor insect spray with little results. Then I pulled out the big guns. Wasp and Hornet spray, my weapon of choice hat sits next to my cash register in lieu of a firearm. I pretty much soaked the back door and the house with it. It helped, but they still managed to work their way into my hair and under my shirt.

When I was finished for the day and came inside and hit the shower, I was washing them out of my hair and finding all the tiny bites they left on me. Then I went into my bedroom to grab some clean clothes and discovered the window was full of the little devils. I vacuumed them out of the window and immediately emptied the container, because they will crawl back out!!

I dreamed about them last night. It was not good.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

I Love It When A Plan Comes Together

I am writing this on new computer! The keys respond to my every touch and this bad boy is fast!

This morning the phone of HeWho can't hear rang out loud and clear. Just a text alert, but it woke me up. I woke him up (nothing wrong with my ears) and we both just got up. Earlier than we wanted. Since the time is changing back this weekend, I have been trying to stay up later and sleep in a little later. Just planning ahead.

So, there we sat, the two of us in our recliners, dogs in our laps, staring blankly at the TV. I finished my coffee and tipped back, promptly falling to sleep. When I woke, about 15 minutes later, I looked over at my life companion and wondered aloud if we should feel guilty about just sitting there doing absolutely nothing. HeWho loves me assured me that we had earned the right to sit and do nothing.

He may be right, but I could sit no longer. I decided to deep clean our sleeping quarters. I put clean sheets on the bed, vacuumed, dusted, and then cleaned out my drawers. The ones that hold my clothes. I tossed out a lot and organized a lot. I was content to be busy all day with my cleaning supplies.

Until HeWho loves a short road trip to run errands said the magic words ...... "I am running to Menards, do you need anything." Do I need anything? Why, yes I do! I need to get out of this place .... even if it is temporary. I made him wait until I could wash my hair (it was standing on end) and changed my clothes. I was ready in 10 minutes flat. I knew if I played my cards right, I would not only get to shop, but eat out, as well. He would even think it was his idea and I wouldn't have to cook tonight!!

It all worked out, just as I knew it would!