Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Martha, The FAT Boy Cat

I have lost all concept of time. I thought Monday was Sunday, having no memory of Sunday at all. That was the day I went to Walmart to get my RX that I chose not to spend $300 on. But that was Saturday, I thought. Maybe it is Saturday that is lost? No, that was the day I put all my Christmas lights up, except for the ones requiring a ladder. Kevin took care of those on Thanksgiving, despite the fact that he was as sick as I am now. 

Today is Wednesday according to my phone. My throat hurts so bad. Feels like I swallowed a bowling ball and it is still lodged halfway down. I am weak and snotty and not fun to be around. HeWho has announced daily that he is sick as well. If he is, it must be a very mild case, as he keeps jumping up to go places. 

Today he has gone to pick up his mower. Why the hurry? Snow is covering the grounds. Weather predictions call for 60 degrees on Saturday, but even if we did mow this time of year, the grounds will be too soggy. His thought process has always been a baffling mystery to me. A scary place.

Yesterday morning I coughed non-stop for 45 minutes. Being the considerate person that I am, I left the bedroom for this event, so that I would not disturb HeWho slept. In retrospect, I could have stayed. He did not hear his dog barking in the wee hours, standing with her paws on the bed, on his side. She wanted a lift up. She will get down okay, but the bed is so high I must employ a stepstool. I bought doggy steps, but they all just look at them disdainfully. They all prefer to be lifted in human arms.

I know my dogs are spoiled, but I don't care. I love the fact that the male dogs prefer me and Cujo will actually run and hide from the man in the house. Martha, the boy cat has always been low maintenance. If he is trapped in the house he will use the litter box. He prefers the great outdoors  and normally hunts all night.

We usually leave camper Andrea in charge when we travel. She was unavailable this time and Kevin took over my duties. Martha, the boy cat likes Andrea and DJ (husband of Andrea). He know them to be the loving parents of Miss Kitty and accepts them in my absence. Martha is a very touchy feely creature. He greets me with much leg rubbing, so much that he has been known to trip me. He does the same with Andrea, and sticks to his out all night schedule, happy to see her to be let in to lounge the day away in my bed ……. on my pillow and often dragging my night shirt close to knead with his mighty claws.

The litter box remains unused. Andrea was worried the last time she stood in for me. She was going to clean the litter box and was afraid he had made a mess somewhere in the house. So, imagine my surprise upon finding that the litter box was very much used in my absence. Martha was very happy to see me and although he tried to be aloof, he was happy to see his canines.

Kevin told me that Martha would give him the stink eye and run to hide from him. Martha did not go outside the entire time we were gone! No wonder he looked even fatter!

Martha, the boy cat has been inside the last few nights and has made use of the litter box. I am not a fan of changing the litter box and Martha seems to think the entire laundry room belongs to him with his food and litter box. He is a sloppy digger and cat litter litters the floor. He has a self feeder that I filled with a month's supply of food before I left. He ate a two weeks supply in only 7 days! Needless to say, I am now monitoring his food. He has a really pitiful loud meow that tells me he is not happy.

Such is life. The snow is slowly melting and the sun is trying to peek through the clouds. I am sipping hot tea and contemplating a nap. Rest and fluids, you know.

Monday, November 26, 2018


It's that awkward moment when you are standing in the warm spray of the shower and realize you just washed your hair with moisturizing body wash instead of shampoo. I stood there wondering if I should re-wash my hair with the correct product ……… or should I leave it and see what happens? 

I chose the latter. An experiment, if you will, with me as the subject. Now I wonder if I should use shampoo to wash my body. You know, to even things out. Whatever, we all know I chose the "experiment" because I am cheap thrifty and hate to waste, well, anything. Clean is clean, after all.

Just so you know, the body wash did not work as well as shampoo. Maybe because of the moisturizing aspect. My hair was limp and did not do well that day. I am generous enough to share this with all of you, so that you don't have to wonder.

I did a good job loading the camper for our trip, with only two exceptions. I forgot my styling mousse for my hair and the food from the refrigerator. My hair is baby fine. I was hoping it would become course with age. It is still fine and fly-away, the only difference is that a lot of gray has shown up. I am okay with all the gray, but maybe I should use some color to damage it a little to give it some body.

My sister gave me several bottles of styling product to use. She is not in need of such, as she is undergoing chemo. I bought some slouch hats and took them to her to add to her collection of head covers. My sister and I do not share the same hair type. She has natural curl and was a blond. All this to tell you that the "maintain bouncy curl" product did not work well on my hair. The "insane volume" mousse was indeed, insane. I was two inches taller with that. Took me back in time to the era of big hair.

Today, I washed the hair with shampoo and am sitting here sipping tea with honey as it air dries. Day two of my "cold" (I hope that is all it is) has me sitting in my recliner, tissue close by for my eyes and nose. While I showered, hoping it would make me feel better, HeWho loves a roaring fire, has built one up. He left to help someone do something (I was not listening), and it is 82 degrees in here!! I can't breathe. Every muscle in my body aches and my shoulder is screaming. My nose is dripping and my eyes are streaming. The remedy for the shoulder reeks of menthol and I am just plain miserable. The man does not listen to me!

Oh, yeah, I am having another bad hair day! I am going to open the window and go back to bed.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Not Having A Good Day

The trip stories are over. Before leaving my PCP (primary care giver) ran some blood work on me and referred me to a Rheumatologist. She doubted that I actually have rheumatoid arthritis and I agreed with her assessment, but decided to do the blood work anyway.

I presented myself, as scheduled, to the specialty clinic for evaluation. Now we all agree that I have osteoarthritis. That's the good news. This can be treated with OTC (over the counter) remedies. The only bad thing is that constant use can damage your liver, or your kidneys and mess with your clotting factors in your blood. So, the answer is a topical application to deliver the pain relief, bypassing the digestive system.

The bad news is the cost. I went to pick up the prescription today. Had to wait for the pharmacy to order it. They filled a 90 day supply and ran it through my insurance and the part I was to pay was OVER $300. 

I left the prescription and headed over to the arthritic remedies available without prescription. I bought 3. Each has a different active ingredient. If I have a really bad day, I might use all three simultaneously, along with a cocktail of Tylenol and Motrin. Won't cost $300.

Getting old sucks! Along with that I have the beginnings of a cold. Sore throat, hacking cough, weepy eyes and runny nose. I kept my distance from all those shoppers at Walmart where I refused my prescription. I had a few items to pick up to finish the Christmas lights.

While I was looking, a fellow shopper pushed me aside to peruse the boxes I was considering. All the while, she coughed non-stop with her mouth open. Already not feeling my best, it took considerable self control not to shove her head into her elbow and teach her how to cough in public. 

Home now, I am sitting here with hot tea and Kleenex at my side. All prepared to catch up on all my favorite blogs and find that Blogger will not let me comment. Not having a good day. Maybe I should just crawl into bed ……..


Thursday, November 22, 2018

The Trip, Even More ...

We were heading west in Georgia when last we were here. It has been 3 years since I have seen my sister. Three years since my dad died. It was bittersweet as we drove through the city that he used to call home. I saw him on every corner and could hear him reading billboards and signs aloud as he drove along. Used to drive me crazy, but I would give anything to hear his voice again.

Now my sister is fighting her battle with cancer. All things considered she looked good, but I am worried about her anyway. I wish I was more available to help her. I can't make her treatment work faster, but I could make her house clean and put dinner on the table. We did feed her while we were there, of course. She wanted to cook, but we wouldn't let her.

We visited our parents' graves and did a little weeding around them. I wish I had thought to bring some bulbs to plant. I am not a cut or artificial flower person, but some daffodils, tulips and day lilies popping up out of the ground would be cheerful. It is a very old cemetery. Looking at some of the old markers, there were some birthdates in the 1700's. Some stones were so old they were illegible. 

HeWho loves a fast food breakfast drove us to the only game in town, Hardee's and while he was inside I noticed this truck pull to the side of the road and park. Hard to see, but it looks like a million mason jars on the bed of the truck. I was curious about the contents. I wondered if it was moonshine!

HeWho has never met a stranger, so he asked the driver. It was corn syrup on the way to the bee hives. I did not know that you have to feed them! You learn something new every day!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Trip Again

The trip south was quite uneventful. I sat surrounded by dogs, all trying to get my attention. It seemed that everytime they got settled and I would start to doze, we stopped. HeWho would make me hold my bladder in our younger days on a trip,he is the one needing the stops now. Then the stops for fuel and the stops to smoke. I found them all to be very annoying. I was also at his beck and call to refill his soda and bring him snacks. But that was no big deal. Been waiting on this man for almost 44 years now and that is not likely to change.

We stopped near Ringgold, Georgia. This RV park was enormous. It was after hours and we did the night check-in. The night check-in did not include a map and navigating the park in the dark wasn't easy. We ended up pulling into the first empty spot we found. The interstate could be seen from the site and I heard it all night long. It was on hilly terrain, so there was constant truck noises as they braked.

The next morning I woke first and harnessed my canines for their early morning necessities. I pulled on a pair of jeans and a jacket over my night gown, grabbed some poop bags and walked. There was a dog walking area designated by a sign, but they were in the process of adding more sites even closer to the fence right off the interstate. This place was pretty full of what looked to be full-timers. The lots, however were small and not very accommodating. Everything seemed to be really crammed in tight. 

My dogs were really being good. I had the little ultrasonic bark thingy in my hand and they were responding quite well to that. Only problem was the barking and howling when we left them inside without us. They only had 4 accidents the entire trip. Cujo was still on pain meds and antibiotics from his dental visit. He lost 13 teeth, poor baby. He has only 1 front tooth on the top, nothing on the bottom. He was somewhat subdued. Wall-E was pretty much resigned to go on an adventure, not enthusiastic at all. Toni Louise and Charming Eddie loved traveling. They enjoyed looking out the windshield with their paws resting on HeWho's shoulders. They especially loved exploring the grounds at every stop, sniffing the smells and leaving their mark.

We arrived at our destination the next afternoon. Doris and Kevin's house. Doris is actually the cousin of HeWho, but more like a little sister. She and I have a lot in common. We both sew and craft, we are both cheap thrifty. We had a great time. We laughed a lot and Doris poured candles a lot! She was getting ready for a craft venue (taking my wares along with hers). I smelled so many scents, I think I broke my smeller! My store has been restocked with good smells. You can find Casual Candles by Doris at Kan-Do Kampground.

Time seems to move too quickly and we headed out on Thursday morning to head west to Pearson for the second leg of our journey.

Monday, November 19, 2018

The Trip

We are home from our trip to Georgia. I won't say it was uneventful, but you would already assume that, …… I always have adventures.

We left in a flurry of snow, and when we drove out of the snow, the rain came and seemed to follow us all the way. It was dreary and overcast the entire time we were there. The sun stayed hidden until we were preparing to leave. We got a great start and were already through Atlanta by 11 am. HeWho speculated that we would make it home the same day. 

We all know what happens when things are going great. The sun was still shining, what could possibly go wrong? I don't sit up front in the navigator's seat. I tried it and liked seeing
where we were. What I didn't like was the three dogs in my lap. We have a gate to contain them in the back, but the crying and howling is awful. I succumb to their pleas and unfold the sofa and we pile up together with a ton of pillows. They are happy, HeWho is happy, and other than being clueless as to where we are, it is quite comfortable.

So, there I was, an audio book talking in my ear and Jigidi on my laptop. I was into my puzzle, when suddenly the ride got really bumpy. I wondered if HeWho was taking a shortcut on some railroad tracks. Yep, a flat tire. We had to get it repaired and then they rotated the tires. The hardest part of this was finding a place. Siri needs to update her business info. She kept sending us to places that had closed down.

This is where we finally ended up with our flat tire. Still in Georgia. I ride with the shades down. Wall-E does not like to see all the cars and trucks on the roads around us. He is somewhat neurotic, my Wall-E. He also dislikes any changes to his routine. I am very accommodating to my pets. From the looks of the place, you know they were just a bunch of good old boys. They took the offending tire off and repaired it, then rotated the tires for a mere $55! And, it only took about an hour. I did not have to get out while they worked. A good thing, since the canines would have serenaded the work.

This was my view while I waited. The seated man did not get up the entire time. He stopped eating to talk the other gentleman in the photo. The talk was about 5 minutes long. Other than that he was eating. All that stuff on the bench next to him is junk food. Hard to see, as I took the picture through a screen and window. I thought it would be rude to get out and take his picture.

We were behind, for sure, but HeWho was sure he would pull into our park that same night. We did not make it home. We were still in the state of Georgia at 3:30. Engine lights came on. We had to drive slow until HeWho finally found a Walmart and got some gadget to "read" something or other. I have to admit that I did not pay attention to what he said. The plot was getting good in the book.

We stayed in Manchester, TN in a really nice KOA.       More to follow …….

Saturday, November 10, 2018

My Vacuum Does Not Suck!

I have been busy painting. Getting packed and ready to go. Each new one is my new favorite!

The flip side. You get these out in the fall and don't have to put them away until after Christmas. D├ęcor for the lazy ……

This guy just needs the bolts for his neck.

Since they will show on the flip side, just hang more bells.

It snowed yesterday. Looks like a postcard.

I love the wet snow on the trees, looks like Christmas.

Can you see the tree in the road to the left behind the pool pump house? That heavy wet snow was a bit too much. Not all of that tree was still alive and I had been nagging encouraging the men here to trim the dead limbs. I know they were over 12' high, but they all just looked at me strangely and snorted. Not everyone likes a good challenge, I suppose. Mother Nature must have heard me and those limbs are no longer a problem.

While the chainsaws buzzed, I tackled my house and store. Don't want to come home to a dirty house. I had a plan. I started the laundry, then swept and mopped the entire house. Second load of laundry, then I put the rugs down and sprinkled that Arm and Hammer freshening stuff on the two biggest rugs. Let that sit while I tackled the kitchen and watered all the house plants.

Watering is not as simple as it may sound. All the hanging baskets and potted plants that grace the outdoors are inside. While that is a whole bunch, I also house camper Andrea's plants. And this year, camper Sharon added some really big trees in pots. The extra retail space is filled with plants. Every window in the store has a group and the extra room has grow lights for the dark corners. It looks a little suspicious with those funky grow lights on. I have shelves in front of my kitchen window and the small window in our sitting area. All full of house plants that will be released to the great outdoors come Spring.

We have a good oxygen supply in here. So, after hauling gallons of water to all the plants, I pulled out the vacuum and started on the rugs. I noticed that it wasn't picking up as well as it should, so I vacuumed slower. The dogs were not thrilled when they saw me plug the machine in. Wall-E jumped up into a chair and gave me the stink-eye. Eddie likes to challenge the machine and was running along side and Toni Louise was making sure the vacuum did not hurt the youngest of her pack. Cujo was on my heels, his usual spot.

I was coughing and all the dogs were sneezing. The beater bar was working, but nothing was being sucked up. I turned it off and looked in the collection container. Nothing was in it and there was a fluffy cloud of dog hair all around me. I would say that my vacuum cleaner sucks, but it didn't and that was a problem.

HeWho was done playing with the chain saw, so he took the machine out to his barn to use the air compressor. After determining that nothing was caught up in the hose, he brought it back and I heard him try it out in the store. Since I was not using the hose, I already knew that was not the problem. So, HeWho popped that vacuum up on the registration counter and took out the filters.

He left the vacuum, the dirty, dusty vacuum, sitting right there on the registration counter. The first thing you see when you enter the store, the place you fill out the registration and pay for purchases. I was less that thrilled when I discovered this ……. when a couple came in to pay for a propane tank. The upright vacuum dominated the space and all around it was dirt and dog hair. I did what I always do and smiled a big smile before announcing that my husband was special.

I finished my chores and sat down to paint some more.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

I Love Signs

The weekend is over. Oktoberfest 2018 is behind us. I have more time to do things I want to do. Well, if  I could use my left arm, I could.

I have been painting signs. Christmas and fall signs. I did this one a couple of weeks ago. I love the elf, he is so cute. He looks like he should be in a tree baking cookies.

I rescued these boards from the burn pile. The men looked at me like I was losing my mind. They lack vision!! Still denied the use of a saw (I might cut my finger off) I got creative with what "tools" I had at my disposal. I scored it with a blade and then with a screw driver before I held it against the counter and popped off the part I no longer wanted. Of course I saved it just in case I find a new use for it. The men finally took pity on me and every morning Kevin (aka my wife) checks with me to see if I need anything cut.

The finished product turned pretty good! Those witches look mean and the scare crow looks , well, scared. 

More cedar boards and odd fence boards. The hardest one was the pumpkin/moon scene. That one took up a whole day, with letting the paint dry in between new colors. It is spoken for, along with the "Hocus Pocus". I am partial to the cat and the spider. That cat has a weird forehead. If Martha, the boy cat, looked like that from a side view we would pay the vet a visit!

But, wait!! A secret lies behind those Halloween signs ………

They are reversible!! Two signs in one. I will be loading up any I don't sell here and taking them south. Our cousin (who is like a sister) in Georgia is a crafty lady herself. She does candles and candle melts, while her other half peddles his various wares at craft shows. I have her candles in my store and she has some of my signs to haul around and display for me.

If you ever find yourself in the deepest most southern part of the state of Georgia look for Casual Candles by Doris. She lives in Blackshear, Georgia. You can find her on Facebook, as well. I have some campers who swear by her stuff!!