Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Water Update

Update on the water situation. NOBODY HAS THE PART WE NEED IN STOCK!  Two more days before it gets here.

In the meantime, HeWho is the master of make-shift, is rigging up a secondary pump to restore water to the park. My hair is standing on end ..... literally. I might have used a lot of product yesterday and played around with different "do's". Today the back of my hair is stuck to my head, totally flat and the top is standing straight up. I caught a glimpse in the mirror and it is scary. So is my attire. Bright turquoise leggings with the same color shirt and hot pink socks in my gray slippers.

Can't really do anything. Wash dishes, laundry, shower ........ We did find a bucket full of rainwater outside and flushed the toilet. TMI? Sorry. We have plenty of drinking water and hand sanitizer. I don't like the way the hand sanitizer makes my skin feel. I poured some drinking water in a bowl and made for myself a finger bowl. This was after I thought I should clean off the plates and stack the dirty dishes.

I don't want to paint, in case I make a big mess and need water. I have succumbed to the fact that all I can do is sit here and watch HGTV. Read, I can read. That does not require water. Napping, another activity not requiring water.

It is already 3:30 and I hear a lot of things clanging and some muttered curses, no problem, I will just up the volume on the TV. Too late for a nap, though. Wonder what we will eat tonight. Seems like a good opportunity to actually go out to eat ....... only if I can wash my hair first. 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Whining or Wining

The sun was doing a great job today. I wanted to just stand in the great outdoors and enjoy the warm rays ..... Didn't happen.

I did take out all the trash that had piled up while it rained. I was strolling through the garden beds, admiring the daffodils poking up. I noted that I should cut my tall grasses soon and continued around to the other side of the garden between the entrance and exit.

Big tire tracks run through my garden. The big rocks and boulders I so carefully arranged to designate the garden are scattered, some of them are actually up in the garden. No tracks pushing them there, so they must have been hit by a vehicle violating my speed limit.

Kind of a mood breaker. The garden is raised and the rocks are big. I don't know what else to do. The turn is not tight. There is plenty of room. I am not ashamed to say that it would me happy to know that the rocks caused significant damage to the vehicle that ripped through my garden.

My garden tour left me uninspired and a little depressed. I don't have the luxury of moping around. In case you might be wondering about the progress (or lack of progress) on the ceiling and walls ...... well, it seems to be at a standstill. I have more that caught up with HeWho has moved on to other projects. He seems to have the attention span of a first grader.

Signs need to be painted and refreshed, so I turned my attention to a 4' X 4' sign to direct traffic at the turn to our road. This year is especially important, as my exit will be closed to rebuild the bridge that goes over the interstate. My traffic will have to travel 5 miles further to the next exit and use the frontage road. I am not sure how this will work with the current signage. So, I spent the better part of this afternoon lettering and painting. 

My back and shoulders hurt, as well as my right thumb. I cooked a Cornish game hen with rice while I worked on my sign. When I finally came to a stopping point, with all the lettering done and just a frog to paint; I was looking forward to eating, then having a nice hot shower.

Like all good plans, this one was no different. I could not wash my hands or clean my brushes. No water. Hand sanitizer and a less than spectacular dinner. I did not salt the hen enough and did not make biscuits (no water). HeWho plumbs ate, then continued his search for a new electrical thing to fix the pump. He was not successful. No shower awaits my aching muscles. No water until tomorrow.

Now that I am finished whining, I will be 'wining' until bedtime. I just so happen to have a nice pink muscato just lingering in the fridge. This should make me forget that I did not shower!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

This Means War!

You might recall the odd behavior of Martha, the boy cat of late. Martha came to be a part of my pet kingdom when he fell from the lifted bucket of the front-end loader about 6 years ago. He was but a scrap of fur with just opened eyes that stared up at me.

I am allergic to cat dander, but that does not stop me from loving cats. We had a cat, Gremlin, when we moved here and inherited the camp cat already here. Cats are spiteful, you know. They are determined to have things their way and will gladly offer up punishment if you do not comply. Gremlin was known for peeing on freshly made beds to announce his displeasure.

Martha has always been an independent soul. He roams the park at will and comes inside whenever he pleases. His usual habit was to hunt all night, then spend the day sleeping on my pillow. Great for allergies. I always make sure to hide the pillow that my head rests on under another pillow for Martha. I am nothing, if not accommodating.

Martha ignored the litter box, preferring to do his business in the great outdoors. Upon our return from our trip north in December, Martha suddenly changed his habits. He started using the litter box exclusively and staying indoors for days on end. Prior to this he would wake me pretty soon after falling asleep if we forgot to put him out before bed.

He made his new routine clear to me one night when he scratched the wall by my bed in the wee hours. He waited for me to stumble out of my bed and walk to the back door to let him out. I stood there waiting as he strolled past the open door. He looked over his shoulder as he jumped the gate and sauntered into the laundry room where his food and litter box are located. He climbed carefully into the litter box, all the while looking at me. Cats are strange creatures, always gazing deeply into your eyes hypnotically.

The past week or so has been different with Martha going back to his old routine. We have a bedtime routine here. I take out the canines and HeWho has to have that last smoke is responsible for taking Martha out with him. HeWho smokes is not as reliable as I am. Martha will sometimes miss his exit for the night and I will be awakened to facilitate his needs.

Last night, with all the sleet and snow and ice, I was loathe to put my furry creature out in that mess. I was trying to keep him safe and warm. I was just drifting into a nice slumber when the devil cat came into my bedroom and clawed at the wall and window. My signal to arise and open the back door. I got up to speak with Martha about the weather. He followed me, but when I opened the door he sniffed the cold air disdainfully and promptly jumped the gate to his domain. I went back to bed, just a little annoyed.

FIVE more times he used our special signal. I responded by hissing at him and swatting him. Finally I got up and made my way through the dark house to the back door. The devil cat hid under furniture and taunted me until I caught him and flung him out the door at 4:03 this morning. I heard his feet hit the icy grass and made my way back to bed ....... fully awake and extremely annoyed. Stupid cat, I was just trying to keep him warm and dry.

Just 3 hours later when I felt like I had just gotten my feet warm and had finally drifted off again, the early rising trio of dogs summoned me to take them out. Cujo was glued to my side with sweat, while Eddie was poking around with his cold nose in my neck. I felt Wall-E take a long stretch before leaping to the floor. My night was over.

Martha, the boy cat was waiting at the back door, looking smug. He had vomited all over the stoop. Eddie was elated to be able to play in something nasty. Martha walked in like he owned the place, his head held high, totally ignoring me.

I drank my coffee and tried to wake myself. I dozed in my chair, three dogs in my lap providing warmth for my feet. Finally I went to shower and fully wake myself. This is when I make the bed and gather my apparel for my day. I spoke to Martha while I pulled out underwear and socks. He refused to meet my gaze.

I readied myself to scoop him up and move him in order to pull the covers up and make my bed .... and that's when I saw that he had yakked all over the bed!!!! He apparently gorged himself on cat food when he came in, while I dozed in my chair, in order to show me his disapproval of the previous night. He may think that he has gotten the best of me, but I am the hand that feeds him ..... and THIS MEANS WAR! Martha, the boy cat had better watch his back.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Ceiling Saga Continues

Another wet and dreary day. I talked myself into painting the woodwork on the only window in this room. I taped all the panes and was just finishing the task when HeWho hauls people form place to place appeared. He looked a little disappointed that I was working on the never ending project here in this very small room. I could tell he would have been happier watching anything on TV and just sitting.

So, I told you all about the ceiling project and how hard it was for HeWho to get the holes in the material to fit where they are needed. A friend who has experience told him NOT to cut the hole before hand because no matter how accurate the measurements were, it would not work out. The walls are not straight, nothing is level or plumb.

While we managed to get the vent cover in, I still had a lot of caulking to cover the mistakes. I can't say that I am happy with it, more resigned and the bad part is on the side facing the wall. You would have to really look for it to see the imperfection. But, the ceiling fan needs to go back up. He had a very small hole that he swore had the wire box in line. He could see the wires, he said.

I had long finished my part, caulking and wood putty and scraping, sanding and painting. So, I said to HeWho fancies himself to be a builder of stuff, "I will finish dinner and you can either hang the ceiling fan or finish the caulking I can't reach." Although I knew he would choose the fan, I still let him know of the secret place I stashed the tubes of caulking. On the shelf, in a closet that holds supplies.

He got the caulk tube out and located the caulk gun (with my help) and proceeded to lay those items on the table, then grab a knife and cut a larger hole in the ceiling to wire up the fan. But, alas, the hole he swore had wires "right there", didn't. He pondered it and by that time the food was ready to eat. Take note that he accomplished absolutely nothing while I finished our dinner and folded the laundry from earlier in the day. 

We sat, we ate and we watched the news. Darkness had fallen as the sun went down and the hole in the ceiling stared down at me. Toni Louise must have followed my gaze because she discovered the hole and sat barking at it as she looked up. Even the dog finds it distressing that HeWho was not on task.

Two days later he attacked the problem of installing the fan with renewed confidence. I was, once again, busy at the stove with dinner. I heard the drill and then I heard some sawing and cursing. He drilled 19 holes (yes, I counted them. I like accuracy in reporting) and cut out a chunk of my freshly painted ceiling. The rectangular chunk is about 3" X 4". Smack dab in the center of the room. 

So, I am thinking about the use of a ceiling medallion to cover the mess, because the idea of patching and sanding and repainting was repulsive to me. Just one problem ........... He did not locate the electrical box!!! It has been about 3 days now and I am looking forward to what he will do next. It should prove to be entertaining at the very least.

In the mean time, I have painted and prepped all I can. As I knew it would, the rest of the ceilings look bad now and he wants to do the same treatment in the kitchen and the little nook that houses the fridge. I have gone through 3 tubes of caulk in that tiny area and now he wants to take down the existing trim to replace it!

Today he pulled off one of the trim pieces that was screwed and glued to a fair-thee-well. Then he left to take a cab rider to the closest place to rent a vehicle. I took a good look around and promptly settles into my chair with my computer ..... after I finished singing "Mockingbird" with James Taylor and Carly Simon. I sang both parts, they would have been impressed.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Just Weird

On a roller coaster ride with the current weather, I am lacking ambition today. Just sitting and reading sounds good to me. Too bad the phone won't stop ringing. But .... we all know that the phone can be a source of endless blog fodder.

As anyone who reads this knows, I have a good many long term campers. Some I even inherited from the previous owners. Some new ones and some old ones. Those who pay annually are usually prompt with payment. I do not send out invoices. Most of my campers know when they are due and will simply send a check in the mail or appear in person to take care of business.

I have one, though, who will call me periodically, year round to "check in". I do not require that you check in. I can expect calls if the weather has been particularly bad, but we always do a drive-thru after a storm to check for damages and will call if we see any damages to a camper parked here. That is not the case with this camper.

He called this morning to inquire about this years rates. I assured him that I had not made any increases and we chatted a few minutes about his wife and her health issues. As I was closing the call, saying good bye, he said "I love you". Weird. Maybe he ends all his calls this way, although he has failed to do so in the past. I didn't respond in kind, just hung up.

I have friends that I proclaim my love for, male and female. Close friends of ours. This camper is rarely here and I speak to him several times a year on the phone. Maybe he forgot he was talking to me, thought I was someone else? Just weird.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A Really Big Surprise

I am dragging today, just can't seem to get motivated. The main part of the ceiling is complete. I love it. It looks amazing. Of course my eyes fly to the little imperfections, but over-all, it turned out as I had imagined it. HeWho is now inspired to continue into the kitchen. I won't be discouraging him.

Today I was hoping to finish the small area of ceiling in what used to be the pantry. The fridge has a home there now. A small cabinet left over from all the kitchen cabinets I bought on Craigslist when we did the kitchen is beside the fridge. He Who built a tall deep cabinet in the little space on the other side of the fridge.

Not exactly to my specifications. I wanted one that would make use of that space that would have shelves that would easily pull out and hold all my pantry items. I enunciate my words and am really good at giving directions ..... to anyone else. HeWho always has that annoyed look as he says, "What do you mean?" I even showed him a detailed picture on Pinterest. I have the cabinet, three shelves that are really deep and stationary. I can insert the entire length of my arm and not touch the back. The cabinet doors he constructed do not want to close ......

Anyhoo, since the fridge and this makeshift cabinet stick out so far, I had trouble reaching the ceiling all the way to the back wall. I was rolling it and hoping the roller handle would give my arm the extra length it needed. So, there I was up on my favorite step stool, pondering my situation. Hot air rises and I was sweating. A taller ladder would not fit in the area and I needed just a few inches to be able to get to the corners. I really wish I had one of those ladders they use to stock shelves in Walmart.

I decided that if I couldn't add a step to the step stool, I would need to put the stepstool on a platform. I grabbed a small shelf unit I had taken off a wall and laid it on the floor. It was only about 4 inches thick, so I put a couple of 2" thick boards under it and a cabinet door on top. My step stool just fit atop all that. AND I STILL COULDN'T REACH THE BACK CORNERS!

HeWho finished it for me, but I am still annoyed with myself! I had wanted to get all the caulking done and paint the walls while it dried. That will have to happen tomorrow. I have finished 3 of the walls in our "living/dining room". The trim work is next. I painted the walls a light gray and all the trim will be white. 

I haven't told HeWho is outside trying to dig through frozen ground and rock with a pick axe, but I have found some new chairs for this area. Actually, a reclining love seat. He doesn't really need to know until it is delivered after all the painting is done. It will be a surprise when he has to haul it in and put it together. A really big surprise.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Ceilings, I Hate Them!

It is official: I Hate Ceilings!! I have been working on the ceiling for what seems like months. I am ready to be finished. I spent over 4 hours yesterday going up and down the step ladder with my right arm in the air with the roller or the brush and I am still not done!

The part that is complete looks great, just as I had envisioned it, but my wrist and shoulder are screaming at me. You will recall that this was a project shared with HeWho Procrastinates. When HeWho gets an idea ( one that I may have planted the seed for), he is always eager to run out and gather all the needed materials together. One not schooled in living with a procrastinator might mistake this as a good sign .......

We decided to make a faux coffered ceiling with inexpensive materials. My attempts at replicating the swirly pattern on the ceiling were epic failures. He grabbed his handy dandy tape measure and went to work measuring and ciphering and pricing materials. Then, quick as a wink, he was hooking up the trailer and off to a builder's supply to obtain the supplies. Yes, one would be thinking installation was eminent. One would be wrong.

Step one was to cut a hole to accommodate the vent cover. The vent cover for the HVAC system that does not exist. He measured and copied his measurements and headed out to his beloved barn to make the big cut. He came in and we raised the board against the ceiling to find that the hole way off. We flipped the 8' X 4' board around and over and this way and that way. We could not make that hole line up. HeWho decided we should cut the board in half and deal with 4' square sections to make it easier. We had already planned to trim it out creating 4' squares, so this was a no-brainer and easier to work with. We set aside the first attempt at cutting the vent hole. This was a few days after the materials came to rest in the trailer by the barn.

Next day, the second attempt at cutting the hole resulted in similar results and HeWho's wife suggested we just leave the vent covered. The vent that is unused. HeWho wonders aloud about the next owners. I don't think it is an issue. They would have to purchase a new system and I don't know that the existing vents would be used. HeWho is like a dog with a bone and seems to take on this vent hole as a personal challenge to his ability to cut a hole. The third attempt is up there. The hole turned out bigger than the vent cover and had the be generously caulked.

There are only 16 "squares" on the ceiling, 6 of those are partial squares. Three squares were up there, all alone for days before anything else happened. In the meantime, the materials were OUTSIDE, supposedly covered securely with a tarp. A couple of the sheets got wet. One buckled a bit, but HeWho assured me it was okay as he nailed it to the ceiling. A couple more had water stains .... "paint will cover that!".

HeWho loves tools that make noise. The pneumatic nail gun is quiet, but the compressor kicking on will make one jump out of one's shoes. I like that gun. When used properly it is a big time saver. But ..... just because the nails are smaller does not mean you need to use the gun as a machine gun. This especially problematic when you have to remove the board and reset it. Looks like swiss cheese.

Finally after long intervals of progress, HeWho procrastinates was done with his part. The rest is up to me. I spent long hours carefully filling every tiny hole with wood putty or caulk. Lots and lots of caulk. Maybe I should have stuck with the wood putty, because silicon caulk does not lend it self to being smoothed with sandpaper. A very sharp scraper was implemented to get it all prepped and ready to paint.

Finally, I was able to start slapping paint on the ceiling!! I have two coats on over half of it and today I will be working on two sections with some Kilz .... water stains bled through. I expect to finish completely tomorrow, giving the Kilz plenty of time to dry and hopefully cover the water stains. That is the good news.

Bad news is that now I have to paint all the walls! I don't mind painting. I like the immediate results, but I am ready to put this particular project behind me. My shoulder joint and wrist joint are telling me that I am not as young as I used to be. After the Kilz goes on, I have road signs that await my attention. Yes, Spring is in the air. My house will smell like paint until Memorial day, as I refresh all of our road signs with new and improved frog images!! 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Bring Me A Bottle

Now that we have established my aliveness ..... today is a day like any other. I sit here sipping coffee and make evasive comments about the ceiling and when it might actually be a finished product. Sometimes I just gaze endlessly at it .... only when I think HE might be looking my way.

HE has escaped to the confines of his beloved barn under the pretext of searching for a special trim knife needed to get the vent cover to fit in the misplaced hole HE cut. There are a couple of other things HE needs to do before I can sand in earnest and then paint. As much as I am looking forward to getting the project done, I am not looking forward to having my arms in the air with paintbrush in hand. I can roll most of it, but it will require a lot of brushing, as well.

In answer to some of your comments ..... Yes, there are those who consume alcohol on a daily basis who lack a means of transportation. There is the main one, the one that is a daily event. Mostly twice a day and sometimes three trips. The last trip is usually just a bottle delivery. Does this mean that HeWho drives is an enabler? Probably. HE reasons that someone else would take the call and make the trip money, so might as well be him. The client lives in a motel and when he finds a fellow drinker sharing his circumstance, he will refer him to HeWho drives.

As lucrative as this may be, it can also be annoying. Calls come in at the oddest times and I have heard HeWho drives tell his client to go to bed and wait until the next day! Sometimes he just tells him he will be there "soon", knowing he will pass out and forget. I find it sad that someone lives this way. As far as I know, the man has no family or anyone who cares about him. I did have him over for Thanksgiving and he behaved by not bringing his bottle along, but he did not stay long after eating.

There are times when I think HeWho drives uses his taxi call as an excuse to escape chores. I would probably do the same, given the opportunity to escape .......

Now I have sanding to do. I will be all prepped before he gets around to finishing his part. 

Monday, February 5, 2018

Did You Think I Was Dead?

I have a dear friend, met her right here in the campground. I don't get to see her as often as I would like, but we do stay in touch. Days, weeks and months might go by before one of us will touch base with the other. She will call me out of the blue. "Did you think I was dead?" she will say when I answer the phone. We always pick up right where we left off.

I was thinking of her earlier today. I was annoyed with HeWho fancies himself to be the Uber driver of drunks. I love that I can say anything I happen to be feeling to her and she will simply listen and be the voice of reason. She is the person I immediately turn to when I am overwhelmed, insanely angry, or heart broken. I vent it all with her. She soothes and calms and even tells me when I am wrong. I love her dearly and do not know what I would do without her and her understanding and wisdom.

Since I have hit a dry spot in blogging, have any of you been wondering if I was dead?? I am alive and well. The flu did not take me.

My fingers ache from pushing that toothbrush "needle" in and out of the rug that grows daily. It is addictive, the making of the rug. Watching as the "t-shirt" yarn winds slowly round and round in knots. It is nearly 3' in diameter. I mindlessly knot and weave, all the while planning the next one. I started out with the balls of t-shirt strips I had made a couple of years ago.

I had a beige and a couple of brown rolls to start with. The instructions indicated using one of each color, but after I established the circle shape I switched to the same color. That made it easier to add another color as I ran out. I went from brown to beige to .... red. It was what I already had on hand. From red I switched to hot pink and then orange. Now I am using some mustard yellow. 

It is not as bad as it sounds and I would post a picture ........ if I could figure the stupid computer out. I keep forgetting to ask my son for help when we talk.

When I am not weaving rugs I am caulking the ceiling, getting ready to paint. We have finished the trimming of the boards on the ceiling. We ended up with sixteen 4' squares. I must say that it looks good. Much better than trying to replicate the swishy pattern on the old ceiling. I liked the pattern and would have been happy to have it, but I tried to patch a spot where we took a wall out. It was a disaster.

I know you are all wondering about my aggravation with HeWho drives for the alcohol impaired. I am waiting for him to finish some spots I just can't reach. Every day ends with him telling me he will finish it "tomorrow". To top it all off, he keeps building massive fires in the wood stove. Hot air rises. I am spending lots of time on the stepladder sanding the wood putty spots. Caulking decorates my hair and shoulders along with dust from sanding. I am stripped down to a tank top, as sweat runs in rivulets down my back and into my eyes. Eighty-two degrees. He builds the fire, cranks up the heat ....... and leaves.