Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Pencil Me In

It is Wednesday. The Wednesday before Memorial Day weekend and it has begun. I got up at my usual time of 5:30. Let the canines out to empty their bladders and await the arrival of Martha, the boy cat. There is a bird nest in the chimney stack of the wood stove and every morning a lone adult bird comes out to serenade me. I whistle back and he/she turns it's little bird head from side to side as we "talk". Happens every morning since the snow finally melted.

Martha was taking his sweet time in coming home. He will jump up on a fence post and tease his doxies with his swishing tail before jumping down to follow us in and back to bed for a little extension of sleep time. I was not fully awake as the clock approached 6 am, but decided to have my coffee and sit a spell. I mowed feverishly yesterday with great determination in a sleeveless shirt and my upper arms got a bit of a burn. Made it uncomfortable in bed, so I decided to just stay up, thinking to have a little chair nap that would require me to re-heat the coffee. 

I had just settled in when the PHONE RANG. 6:02 am. It was the tent camper I had checked in the evening before who wanted to know if my hanging baskets and flower pots that adorn my front porch were for sale. He was a shouter on the phone, as if we were communicating with two cans and a string. He shouted "Are you up?" What with it being in the early morning hours and no coffee in my system, my politeness filter was not yet in play. I said, "I am now." Still talking too loud for such an early hour he started telling me about something he found and needed to show me and see if he needed to pay for it. In addition to his volume, he tended to run his words together and he had that way of speaking that I refer to as "juicy", spittle flying, making you watch his mouth in fascination to see if he was going to drool or swallow.

He told me to take my time waking up. How generous of him. I thought about waking the man of the house, then remembered that HeWho taxies folks had a early ride, so I just settled in and waited. I did not need his permission to take my time and I had absolutely no intention of going out to see what he had "found". That was a task for HeWho is likable without caffeine.

Turns out, he put a table top grill on our picnic table ...... without using the folding legs on the grill and burned the table. We do wait until the kits are on sale for $60 and then take all the damaged tables apart to rebuild into new tables. But still, I would have asked for more than the $10 he offered.

Yesterday was a night mare of phone calls, as well. While I was mowing, I had to keep stopping and starting. While I did everything. While trying to eat dinner Monday night a young sounding man called to see if I had "any reservations for the weekend", as he was looking to rent a campground. I just can't help myself sometimes. I told him that I had quite a few reservations and only a few empty sites left and went on to ask why he would need an entire campground. This went completely over his head and he proceeded to tell me that he just needed a campground to camp in.

I followed with the usual questions, RV or tent, with or without electricity. I had already pegged him for a tent. This done, he bade me goodbye and called back 5 minutes later. "How much will it cost?" When I am answering this sort of question, I always try to anticipate other questions and provide all the answers I can. I quoted the price and added that it covered 2 adults and up to 2 children under the age of 14; and that extra persons would be $3 per night per person. "So how much is it gonna be?" I countered with "How many people will be camping, including yourself?" "There is 4 of us." It was like pulling teeth. "Adults? Any children?" "No we ain't got no kids."

So, I told him it would be $6 extra for the other 2 adults. "Well, how much is it, then?" Well, let's see, if the base price is $29 and you have 2 extras at $3 per person, it would be $35 a night. "Yeah, but how much for the whole time?" How many nights do you plan to camp? "Well, I'm not really sure yet." I told him to decide how many nights and multiply that number times the $35 and that would be the amount, plus tax. He hung up.

He called back. "Will the pool be open?" I answered with, "The pool is always open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day
weekend." He asks .......... "Yeah, but will it be open this weekend?" I said yes and once again he hung up.

My food was no longer palatable and I had lost my ability to swallow solids due to my irritation. He called once again and made a reservation. No, it was not a simple transaction, as he was relaying everything I said to people in the background and they were voicing opinions that were not very complimentary. When we got to the part about needing to secure the reservation with a deposit or credit card, I seriously considered just hanging up myself. I finally extracted the information, after assuring him several times that I only ran the card if he failed to show or notify me of a cancellation and that they is no cancellation fee.

I took a shower and hid out in the bathroom for as long as I could, then went to bed. His wife called yesterday morning and cancelled after warning me that I had better not charge a cancellation fee. I almost did, just for fun. I didn't because it would end up costing me if it didn't go through.

I figured I am better off without them this weekend. But, wait!! He called again today and made another reservation, using a different name and then told me he had to go put money on his card and that he would call me back. I use a pencil. I erased his reservation. If he calls back, I will refer him to another campground.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Rain, Rain, and More Rain

The good thing about rain, besides giving me a break is the flowers. My peony bush is full of blooms. This almost makes up for the sleepless nights!

So, here I sit, exiled to my desk in my favorite T-shirt. I also have dachshund earrings. Don't tell my daughters. They think I love my dogs too much.

The coming holiday weekend is looming large in my near future. They will start arriving on Wednesday and some will stay until Tuesday. Talk about a long weekend! Keeping mind that this will be like six Mondays in a row for me, I am not looking forward to it. 

Memorial Day marks the official opening of the pool. Not that my phone has not been constantly ringing "Is your alls's pool open yet." "Well, why not, it's hot out." "I just don't understand, how hard is it to fill it up with water and open it?" Dare I enlighten them?

I am still too crabby to be dealing with the public. I think I will just lock the door and go back to bed. As good as that sounds, there is still too much to be done and I would feel guilty and those guilty thoughts would prevent sleep. Catch 22?

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Choose Your Words Wisely

Rained all night. My old friend, Insomnia, has been hanging out all month. If she isn't keeping me up, my aching joints and four legged companions take over. If sleep were a cake, my slices have been very thin lately. Tends to make me a little cranky.

We have all been working 12 - 14 hour days, taking advantage of every bit of day light. The pool is finally done! The third round of paint was a charm. Well, I sort of took over and chose my crew wisely and we knocked it out. Too many cooks in the kitchen can be disastrous. HeWho is not a good supervisor. He lets everyone do their own thing, then complains about it later. I have no such qualms about telling people what to do.

The bath house is finally open after all the re-plumbing and the solar panels have been installed. No more fretting over the lights being on all night. When it is not your money escaping into thin air, you don't seem to care.

The only thing that looked remotely neglected was the grass. The rain of the past few days preventing the mowers from grooming the grounds. The pond, in particular, was pristine. One of my favorite tenants has been paying lots of attention to the pond and the grounds around it.

So, there I sat, held prisoner to the office/store, calmly painting the signs for the pool, listening to a David Baldacci novel on audio. Some pre-teen boys camping in a tent came in with a proposition. Remember, lack of sleep has eliminated my "nice" filters. "You know, your park is really trashy." I did not reply, so I suppose I still have some filters left. I just looked at the kid and raised my eyebrows. He went on to tell me that the pond was "full of trash", that there were flip flops and shoes, along with candy wrappers and "all kinds of trash" around it. "How much would you pay us to clean it up?"

Have I mentioned that I do not particularly like that age group? Not to say that I dislike all almost teens and teens, I actually do like some. But as a whole I find that age group to be obnoxious, having a feeling of entitlement and I just don't like them. That would include these two standing in my space with their ridiculous request. I said, "Tell you what, why don't you go out and find the man in the truck with the AAA logo on the side of it and tell him what you just told me. Perhaps he will be able to answer your question. He handles the hiring of outside help." I lied about that last sentence, but they didn't know that. I just knew how HeWho mows, tows and drives endlessly around the park would react to the "trashy" statement.

After I checked in my last reservation of the day, I locked up and picked a bowl of strawberries and meandered down to the pond to deliver them to the camper who keeps that area so nice. The boys were there, fishing, and as luck would have it, so was HeWho fishes, too. I asked if the boys had offered their services ....... HeWho is mostly nice, was not nice at all. I saw nothing in the way of trash around my pond. Nothing.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mothers Day

I toyed with thoughts of closing for the day. Sounded like a good idea last night when I was tired. Still sounded good to me when the phone jolted me out of sleep at 7 am. It was the phone of HeWho can't hear. On the loudest setting, it rang out four times before he heard it. To say it woke me would be an understatement. I went to bed at 10 last night, but sleep did not find me until around 2 am. Back up at 5:30 to escort the dogs out to take care of full bladders, I felt like I had just managed to fall into a deep slumber again.

But, enough about my insomnia. That first sip of coffee was like heaven to my brain. I ran through all the e-mails that magically accumulate in 12 hours. I thought about watching a little TV while sipping the rest of my allotment of caffeine. Would have been nice, if not for the constant interruptions.

A former tenant showed up looking for a full time site again. HeWho had dispatched himself to replace a faucet came in to ask where he should put him. Still in my bedtime attire and not enough half a cup of coffee in my belly, I have to admit I was more than a little annoyed. It is too early to have to deal with the outside world!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers in the land of Blog! I am off to put appropriate clothes and just enough make-up on to not scare the world.

Friday, May 11, 2018

The Saga Of The Pool Painting Continues

The pool paint came a day later than was promised. UPS dumped it right at the front door. In the way of traffic through the office. I grabbed the hand truck and hauled it to the pool along with the necessary supplies. I then went about my day. Mowing and mulching and weeding. A few loads of laundry thrown in for good measure. 

I made an early dinner, enabling HeWho paints to have as much time as possible to complete the pool. My assistance was not needed, remember? However, my problem solving abilities are always in demand. 

I was ready with a solution when HeWho presented me with his current dilemma. The original order for paint was ice blue, the next batch that had arrived was bikini blue. He was really in a tizzy, complaining that we would now have to order MORE paint. I suggested that they leave the side walls the lighter color and just paint the floor the darker color. Not a big deal, problem solved. 

So, as I was about the business of pulling my little red wagon filled with ground cover to my next project. I looked at the pool as I passed by. The men were all over the place painting. No coordination of efforts. It really came as no surprise that they had just grabbed the rollers and picked a spot at random and painted. My suggestion was apparently ignored, as you can see. this is the deep end with spots of two coats, while the shallow end lacks the first coat. It is clear that my assistance was not needed. I admit that I like to be in charge and tell people what to do, but I am really good at it! I get things done. Not the pool, though.

I did not say a word (out loud) as I strolled past the disaster happening before my eyes. I went on to my project. The back side of the shed that houses the pool pump. I decided to jazz it up with some found items hanging out. Ceiling fan blades and the hardware that attaches them to the motors. You know, things that would have ended up in a landfill. HeWho can't manage a paint order was not complimentary of my efforts. Do I care? No, I do not ......his assistance was not required! 

I wish I had witnessed the violation of my buttercups. I won't even tell you what I would like to do with candy wrapper. Use your imagination. Yeah, not having such a good day here. The third order of pool paint should be here Monday. Just think, we could have been done by now and filling the pool with water.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Build Me Up Buttercup

My morning's efforts.

This is one of my smaller gardens that has not been "worked" for a couple of years. Eight bags of mulch later and a whole lot of weeding, some digging and replanting. Ending in much satisfaction. I was pleasantly tired with a twinge in my back as I headed back indoors to wait for the sun to hide later in the day.

As much as I have tried to hold onto my profound irritation with HeWho screwed up the pool paint order, I failed. He is MY screw-up, after all. I sent him to the clinic for his annual check-up. I instructed him to get written prescriptions, as we have changed insurance. I gave him specific instructions to ask for all the diagnostic tests we have failed to get in the past few years with inadequate insurance.

I should have gone along with him. He did not get the prescriptions, although he did request a COLOSTOMY! He meant colonoscopy, of course and I am sure he provided comic relief. I have been known to simply walk away from him and pretend I don't know him when he commits social faux pas. Everyone in the clinic knows he belongs to me ......

Then he does things like this! I found this on my check-in counter after working in my garden all morning. You will note that the plants are ALIVE. I don't really care for cut flowers. I like to plant them and enjoy them as long as I can. HeWho knows me well.

I ran out of mulch at the end of the garden bed. I am hoping the ground covers will fill in. Buttercups are blooming. Don't they look happy? 

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

My Assistance Is Not Required

Last weekend was busy. I knew it was going to be, after all, I am the one who takes reservations. I always try to accommodate the needs and wants of my campers. I ask questions, then using that info I create a "seating chart". Just one deviation from my assigned spaces can lead to a calamity of horrors. For me, that is.

So, when the very first reservation showed up to claim the double site I had assigned, they encountered a tenant's truck parked in one of the sites. Of course, the truck owner was not there to move it in a timely fashion and I had to resort to letting them have a coveted 50 amp spot for their 30 amp travel trailer in order for them to be with the other camper in the double site. No big deal for them, as that site has both electrical hook-ups. 

Big deal for me when I have last minute travelers needing 50 amps of power and I have none left. My competitor was full with a club event and all the overflow was sent to me. I found myself juggling sites all weekend. After the tenant moved his truck from the site located next to him, he parked it in a site behind him. This is an issue I will need to address. I sent HeWho is super nice and not confrontational to remedy the parking situation. Should have done it myself, then I could have had a nice friendly chat about speeding and going the wrong way on the one way road, along with encouraging him to park correctly. I like to educate folks, you know.

This set the mood for the weekend. Everything seemed to take twice as long as it should. A call from a late arrival had me in the office very late. They had three pre-teen children and wanted to linger around talking with me until the other people they were camping with arrived. One would think that children over the age of 10 would know how to act in a store. One would be wrong. They proceeded to grab the water toys and bat bags of chips around. Parents were oblivious and I had to tell them to leave the office and go to the campsite. I waited 30 minutes for them and was tired. The woman told me I looked tired. Funny how observant she seemed to be with me while her kids were creating havoc in my store.

Complaints all weekend. Radios were too loud, lights were too bright and why was the pool not open. I was ecstatic to see them all leave on Sunday. Monday evening was scheduled for pool painting. I had gathered plenty of help. HeWho ordered the paint. HeWho was also in charge of gathering supplies. Six paint rollers, a brush, etc. I was told my assistance was not required. This was fine with me.

But, in my need to control things and be the voice of reason, I stayed close. We chose to go with an epoxy paint this time. It is supposed to be more durable and last for 8 years. Having painted the pool every other year since we have been here, I am only too happy to think this will be the last time. I did a little research on this paint and read all the reviews. I wanted to change the color to aqua. But, that got shot down when HeWho claimed that the epoxy paint did not come in that color. It does, but from a different vendor. He somehow convinced himself that the epoxy he was ordering was premixed. I argued that it couldn't be, since it has a short pot life after you add the solvent.. He insisted that I did not know what I was talking about and to just leave it to him. I did. I just left it to him.

The paint came and was still in the shipping boxes on paint day. The big boxes had smaller boxes that looked to be big enough to hold 2 gallons each. I did a quick count and thought we would be okay. I had warned HeWho has not ordered enough paint in the past to order 2 more gallons that the calculations given would require. Apparently he chose to ignore this advice.

I was there when we opened the very first box. It held ONE gallon of paint, that was only 3/4 full .... leaving room for the solvent to activate it. Just like I said. I announced right then that we did not have enough paint. I tried to direct the men to paint the sidewall first, then start on the floor of the deep end. Nary a one did listen to me. I was suddenly the go-for. "Bring that gadget to open the paint" "We need some stir sticks" "We need a brush".

It came as no surprise to me that we came up VERY short of paint. The entire sidewall is not finished. The floor of the pool is about half-way done and the steps are partially painted. No, they didn't need my input.

More paint was ordered and was supposed to be here today. Won't be here until tomorrow. HeWho confessed that he did not do a recalculation of the number of gallons needed when he ordered the paint. He decided that he "remembered" that 8 gallons had been enough to paint the pool last year, so he ordered 10 to be on the safe side. We didn't paint the pool last year. It has always taken at least a dozen gallons. And, HeWho is the one person who should never rely on his memory. Or, his reading skills, since he was convinced that this stuff was pre-mixed.

I just hope the weather does not interfere with tomorrow's painting event. It can't be done while the sun is shining on the pool. Has to be done in the evening after the line of trees creates some shade around 6:00. This will give them a 3 hour window of opportunity to finish. Without me.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Outside Help?

It is hard to believe that snow was on the ground just a couple of weeks ago. My tulips are in full bloom and my peony is ready to burst forth. I wanted to post pictures, but for whatever reason, I am unable to download.

I was chatting with HeWho fancies himself to be one who corrects the grammar of others and he asked me why all the people around here start their sentences with, "So, I was ....." I had no answer and quite honestly, if that is the only thing that is bothering him, then he is one lucky guy.

Even when texting, I tend to use the correct spelling and punctuation. Punctuation is important if you want to get your meaning across with as little confusion as possible. I have a small sign I attach to the front door of the office if I need to go outside to work. The sign says:
CALL 573-564-7993
I thought it was pretty straightforward and conveyed the message that I was in the park, but was working on the grounds and would be available by phone.

Silly me. I was busy loading cans into the soda machine when I saw a car pull in. Knowing I had the sign in the door, I wasn't too worried. But, just in case I walked around the corner of the building to see a man and a woman with a small child gaping at the front door in consternation.

Before I could ask if they needed assistance, the man says, "You closed, ain't ya." I countered with, "No sir, I am open, what can I do for you?" He told me they had "some shoppin' " to do. I unlocked the door and they nearly knocked me down in their eagerness to get to their "shoppin' ".

"Let's see, we need some hot dogs and buns ...." I don't have hot dogs. I have corn dogs, individually wrapped and ready to heat in the microwave, burgers and small pizzas and such. I tell the man at about the same time young boy grabs a bag of Doritos and proceeds to pitch a small fit. He grabs a can of Pringles and demands to have both. I am pretty sure these were his grandparents, as they looked to be around my age. They tried to reason with the child, but he was having none of that.

He high pitched squeals were sending shivers down my back ..... and not in a good way. My dogs were alert to this and started barking their own displeasure with the noise. The man kept telling the child to "pick one, you ain't gettin' two". The woman was on her own quest in the freezer, looking at the ice cream. They ended up buying the child both things and an ice cream. They showed him!!

As they were finally leaving, the man asked about my sign on the door. "You lookin' for outside help?" I didn't even bother to explain the sign, just said NO! Even if that sign had been a sign for hired help, he would not have been in the running for the job. I am thankful they were not staying here, just passing through.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Judge Judy

I love Judge Judy. She says what I am thinking, but won't say. Not that I don't convey the message, just frame it a little differently. 

I have been mowing and cleaning bathrooms today, like usual. I also had to tackle the distasteful chore of cleaning out the soda machine. The one outside. The machine I had out there previously must have been better insulated than this one. All the diet sodas froze and burst. Okay not ALL of them, some were just swollen. 

At any rate they all had to be removed and the cans that were still full had to be opened and emptied in order to bag them up. Then I had to clean all the sticky mess out of the machine. I managed to get all the cans out without any cuts to my hands. Then I placed the big spring order to refill the machine.

Went back to mowing and as I was mowing noted a truck belonging to a tenant come flying in, ignoring my stop sign and speeding. I tried to wave him down, but he just waved back. That made me even madder.

So, when another tenant came in to tell me that it wasn't his fault he didn't have his rent, I went full-on Judge Judy. He hasn't paid all of last month and now does not have this month. I looked at him and just said, "I don't care, you owe me money and I want it." Then he copped an attitude with me, telling me he couldn't pay me until he got paid. "Then you will have to leave." He looked incredulous at me, like I was the one being uncooperative.

He said, "You have to understand, this is the first time I have lived on my own." I replied, "No, I don't, I am not your mother." He told me he didn't need a mother that he was grown, so I replied that he should act like it and pay his rent. "Are you really kicking me out?" he asked. 

He will either have the full amount due on Friday, along with interest, or he will need to find another place to live. It felt wonderful!! They always act like I am being unreasonable when I want the money they owe me.