Monday, December 30, 2019


HeWho loves to run errands was dispatched to Walmart to gather all the items on my list. One item was the ZIPPERED mattress protectors for my newly cut mattresses. I did say zippered and even wrote it down. He returned with FITTED mattress covers.

This is why I specified ZIPPERED. There is even an illustration on the packaging. He admitted that he saw the zippered one and it cost three times more. He was forgiven. I went on-line and ordered what I wanted and they did not cost that much more, but they aren't stocked in the store. I can wait.

In the meantime we had our first night in the new bed. For some unknown reason, the remote was in the hands of HeWho snores. The three canine bed companions were patiently waiting for me to get in next to them. They were already a bit disconcerted about the changes in the room. This new bed is probably standard height for a bed, while the old one was waist high to me and I had to use a step stool to get in. In this new and improved bed I felt like I was on the floor.

HeWho manned the remote raised the head of the bed and then the foot. My doxies rushed to my side in a panic, while Toni Louise began barking frantically. When the bed stopped moving and they settled down, HeWho turned on the vibrator. The dogs did not like that at all. Toni jumped down. I don't think the other two even realized that the bed was low enough to the floor that they could have joined in her escape.

I was not a fan of the vibrator either. I lay there feeling like I was back in the seventies in a cheap motel with magic fingers shaking the bed. So we turned that off and I took control of the remote with that anti-snore button I knew I would be using.

HeWho helped me get my Fitbit corresponding with my I phone and I can now recite the number of steps I make each day. My favorite feature is the one that monitors my sleep. Last night was a good night and I got a whopping 31 minutes of deep sleep, 4 hours and 52 minutes of light sleep, and 1hour and 56 minutes of REM sleep. I woke 5 times for a total 55 minutes. I found the fact that Fitbit calculates this to be a good night sad. Especially since this really is the best sleep time I have had in the past week. Just sad. 

Sunday, December 29, 2019

This Thing Weighs 600 Lbs.!

The new bed was delivered, as promised on Friday. HeWho and his cohort, Kevin were at rehab when the big delivery truck stopped in front. I went to the door and was greeted by a young man with a pained expression.

He asked if he was at the correct address in a way that made me thing he was hoping he was at the wrong place. He offered the bill of lading for my inspection and I confirmed that he was where he was supposed to be. Deep sigh from him and then he asked where I wanted the package to go after they unloaded it. "Ma'am, this thing weighs like 600 lbs." Just imagine his look of pure joy when I told him I wanted it left on the front porch! "Are you sure? It is really heavy, how are you going to move it?" I assured him that I was not the one who would be moving it, that I had a couple of strong guys to do that.

Soon as they got home, Kevin began the process of opening the box and reading the directions, while my crabby husband was helping me dismantle the bed in our bedroom. You need to keep in  mind that we have very little space in here. It is almost as tight as out RV. When you remove something, it has to go somewhere and usually ends up in the living area. That is where the box springs landed and the king size mattress landed in the store, up on end.

The new bed came in and got set up. The mattress we had for it was too thin, so I investigated the really thick mattress we had just removed and discovered it had three layers. The mattress was in good shape … until I took it apart to remove the pillow top layer and add it to the mattress on the new bed. I made the new bed, knowing I would not be inclined to dressing a bed at the end of what was to be a very long day.

Despite all my planning and preparing, I had to unload a big shelf unit in the hall to be able to get the 600 lb. bed to be able to make the turn into the bedroom. This was done while the men waited with the bed wedged in the hall. Then I needed to put it all back together.

But, wait, there is more!! While HeWho arranged himself in his recliner, Kevin and I were cleaning up. This is when Kevin told me that HeWho seems to think he is in charge had told him to throw all the rest of the old bed in the big hole they dug in the billboard field. 

This was not going to work for me, who hates waste. The extra bedroom in our humble abode had turned into a storage area of late. I really like having more sleeping options that just our room. We do, on occasion, have company. We usually put them up in our RV. I didn't want another room with a king size bed, but twin beds in an "L" formation against the walls would be doable.

When I enlightened the men about my new plans that had been forming in the back of my mind, they both looked at me like I might have a fever. I pointed out that the box springs were in good condition …. and HeWho pointed out that we would have to buy mattresses.

And this is how HeWho ended up cutting the old king size mattress in half, per my instructions. He was not happy about, but I suppose he thought about all the things I do for him (like putting all his pills in containers for his consumption) and decided he should probably just do what I wanted. It worked just as I had imagined it would. I had extra foam from other projects and I enclosed the "raw" sides and would be encasing the mattresses made from one in those mattress protector bags that zip up. The new twin beds are nice and comfy! With room underneath for drawers! I am quite happy with my solution.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

HeWho Inspires Me

Where will you be when the urge to write hits you? Sometimes I am in bed begging sleep to overtake me. A lot of the time, this is the case. Sometimes I am waiting on weekenders and have no time to get to my laptop and will write myself a note, lest I forget what prompted my thoughts to try to become words.

Today, I am slap dab in the middle of putting the bedrooms back together. For our Christmas/45th Anniversary we gifted ourselves a new bed. Adjustable bed that is. I can now hit a button marked SNORE and it will raise the head of the offender. Not only that, it has heaters and vibrators and even USB ports to plug our phones in!

Knowing the bed was in transit, I began the preparation to move out the old and bring in the new. I am a planner. I like for things to run smoothly and I can pull it off as long as HeWho doesn't "help" me.

For two days I moved furniture with no help. I did not want help. I removed all the drawers and then was able to manage the two large dressers on my own. I figured I should empty those drawers and refold everything before putting those drawers to order. Then I decided to purge said drawers of things no longer in use. My stuff was pretty much in order, but I did toss a lot of clothes I no longer wear since I have shed a few pounds. My car back seat is full of discards that I will donate.

I have noticed that lately, HeWho should be old enough to dress himself, has been wearing mismatched socks. I do the laundry and I know things. Since he has been underfoot a lot lately, I have left his folded laundry for him to put away. Big mistake. His sock drawer was absolute chaos. The socks that I so carefully pair together were all singles looking for mates. I dumped the contents on my bed. He has a large sock drawer and two small ones. I paired all the socks I could and eliminated odd and holey ones. Why would you unpair the socks? When did he pull them apart? Was it when he put them all helter skelter in the drawer, or when he was dressing himself in the morning? And I usually toss the ones with holes before I add them to the wash, so where did all these socks with holes come from? So many questions for someone who will just say, "What do you mean?" Do his socks have secret lives?

But, I digress. I was talking about wanting to put words to "paper" (so to speak). My urge came today while HeWho was cutting a mattress with inner springs in half. I will tell you about this in a later post. I had been getting a space ready and moved quite a bit of our belongings around and happened to look in on him when I saw that he was using some kind of power tool and sparks were flying. Inside the house. Sparks, actually, inside the mattress. And that is when the urge hit me. Was I trying to escape? Maybe. HeWho is my inspiration, doesn't need to try to give me material; it just happens! Oh, no fires resulted from the actions of HeWho inspires me!

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Time Flies

The three wise men?  Maybe.

The Christmas tree in the store. I made it out of a triangular tomato cage. I suppose I could have gone out and cut a tree on my property, but the tomato cage will not shed.

As you can see, my registration desk needs to be trimmed out. But that is not what I was looking at when I took the picture. This terrarium was one of the arrangements at my Dad's funeral. The plants have all died, so I made a fairie garden. Even the fairies have their own tree.

Another shot of my Christmas balls.

Kamper Stacy found these old campers and cars in a thrift store and bought them for me. They fit over the lights. 

It has occurred to me that all the decorations will have to be taken down and carefully packed up soon. Time seems to go by so fast. Remember being a child and thinking time was crawling by? Especially around Christmas time, or waiting for the school year to end!

I have recovered from my rant yesterday. I managed to make 5 batches of cookies and now have only 4 left to do. Tomorrow. It will be here before you know it!

Friday, December 20, 2019

Bah Humbug!!

I am taking a break, since my morning has gone to hell in a hand basket. I made plans to spend a quiet morning baking cookies to deliver to all my campers. HeWho was off to cardio rehab and I do not open until noon …. read the sign on the front door.

So, there I was, audio book talking to me, measuring and mixing, pulling one cookie sheet out of the oven and putting another in. Things were running so smoothly. I had two batches of dough chilled and waiting to be baked and was mixing another batch …..

The phone rang. Someone coming out to pay rent for another camper as a Christmas gift. I didn't say that I was not open, let them come on to give me money. Who am I to deny their pleasure in gifting someone. That call did not sway my mood at all. It was the second call.

A tenant calling to tell me that the sewer was not flowing on his site and he could not dump his tank. I was calmly explaining that HeWho does all things relating to sewer and his side kick, Kevin, (aka my wife) were not in the park. One was at rehab and the other was getting his chemo apparatus removed. I was suggesting that the line might be frozen from the cold night and that he could, perhaps, wait until this afternoon to dump when he broke in with his ugly question, "Do you want me to just dump on the ground?"

"Do I want you to dump on the ground? Do you want me to shoot you? Because I will if you dump raw sewer on my grounds." My good mood was now just a memory. He went on to make it even worse when he confided that he wasn't at his camper and wouldn't be until he got off work. So, he just said that to make my hackles rise. And he succeeded in doing just that. I had repeated his question back to him so that he could fully appreciate his own stupidity until I remembered who I was talking to. He suffers from "little man" syndrome and strives to make himself feel important by being obnoxious to others.

So, while I was interacting with "little man", I was also measuring and mixing and in doing so I found that I had added the wrong amount of flour to the next batch of cookies. A new recipe that involved zesting two oranges. Now the dough will not squeeze through the cookie press and I am profoundly irritated. I will come up with a solution. I am not wasting this dough after I have gone to all this trouble!

I almost wish he would dump sewer on the ground! I don't have a gun, but I know who does!

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Happy Anniversary To Us

I remembered to get the "before" shot!

And the "after" shot. As you can clearly see, this tree is anchored in the ground and tied to the trees. We have wind here. My solar lights around the tree did not come on, since it snowed all day and the sun was stuck behind the clouds.

Hard to see, but this is a frog.

This was an ornament from years back and so appropriate. There are other campers on the tree, but it was cold out there!!

Kevin has been busy, getting all the lights up for me. I think it looks pretty good. See the stars on either side of the wreath? Coat hangers. Pinterest.
My favorite thing is the bird nest still hanging on!!

My old milk can turned tree holder.

Finally, my hanging ornament made from the $ tree ball.

Today has been a lovely day. Dinner out with HeWho to celebrate 45 years together, a nice long chat with my son and now the computer has let me download pictures!! Got a fit bit from HeWho has put up with me for so long. He got each of us one. I was equally practical with my gift and I got one for each of us, as well. Weighted blankets are waiting to hug us to sleep. Happy Anniversary to us!

Monday, December 16, 2019

It Snowed All Day Long

I was all set to post pictures of the tree lighting ….

After 6 attempts, I gave up. I will blame it on the snow. Snowed all day long and you will just have to take my word for it, but the tree was beautiful. Enhanced from the snow, no doubt.

We had a really small turnout, with everyone assuming that I would call it off because of a little snow! They live here, in the park, so it is not like they had to brave the slippery roads on the interstate to get here. The men had the bobcat running all day keeping our roads more than passable.

I had 48 cupcakes decorated and ready to devour, along with the hot chocolate ready to mix with extra marshmallows. We were a small intimate group of seven. Ornaments had been dropped off all day long and we each grabbed up several and headed out in the snow to secure them to the tree.

Then we all rushed in to get warm again. Kamper Eileen provided inner warmth with some hot mulled wine. Forget the hot chocolate! That stuff was good. HeWho sampled it and then handed it to me. I forced it down. You all know how I hate waste. The wine was red and went well with cupcakes. Especially the chocolate. I am not a chocolate fan, but I find that wine goes with anything I happen to be serving!

After the mad rush to put the store back together in the last two weeks, I decided to give myself a break. I used cake mixes to make the cup cakes. I amused myself by comparing the two brands as I baked them. Chocolate cake mix came from Duncan Hines, as well as the chocolate whipped frosting. Betty Crocker provided the white cupcakes with the white frosting.

Duncan's mix came together nicely and filled all 24 cupcake papers equally. Betty's mix was a little disappointing. I used my stand mixer, leaving me free to take care of other chores while it was beating. Despite that, it was lumpy. It looked like I had mixed it by hand, and not very well. I was running out of batter and had to really scrape that bowl to fill the tins.

Both baked up fine. While they cooled I continued to get the store ready with tablecloths and the like. HeWho did the vacuuming for me. You might recall that the last time he used the vacuum he clogged it up pretty good. I took it apart and cleaned it up. I was thankful the he didn't come home with another. Well, today, the new Dyson arrived! He ordered it. I hope that this is not my Christmas present! It isn't, I have already rejected it!

Back to the frosting. I frosted Betty Crocker first. I can normally get 24 cupcakes done with one container of icing. I have to admit that I was not disappointed when I ran out of icing. I set aside those three naked cupcakes as a special treat for myself. I love the cake, not the icing. On the other hand, I had too much of Duncan's stuff, even though I was piling it on. I was afraid to put too much just in case it started sliding off.

HeWho was happy to take that chocolate icing off my hands and spent a good bit of the day with a ring of chocolate around his mouth. Today I have been pushing cupcakes on everyone that has come in.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Sticky Situations?

So, yesterday I did manage to get the pegboard painted and the small fridge that holds worms moved and some more carpet squares down. Now it is just a matter of cleaning up and putting everything away. Seems like everyday I make every effort to clear the surface of the tables in the store. As soon as I get one cleared, the men come in and pile stuff atop it.

When I say men, I mean all of them! If they see a surface uncluttered, they feel it is their duty to create chaos by piling things on it. The FedEx man, the UPS man, the mailman, the kamper man. All men.

I had this idea last year to create giant ornaments out of balls of Styrofoam. I got the idea from Pinterest, lest you think me brilliant. Then I saw the price of the Styrofoam balls, the ones that are about the size of my head. Since I wanted at least 16 and would still have to decorate them and hope the weather would not destroy them, I discarded that idea. The idea lay dormant in my head (as I am sure many things do) all year. But as the holidays were approaching and I lay sleepless with insomnia, I pondered low cost ways to fulfill my desire for giant ornaments.

Balls, I told my sleepless self. Balls that bounce and would never break. I considered beach balls, but figured they would not look like Christmas ornaments. I could spray paint them, but would the paint destroy the integrity of the ball and cause it to deflate? Then there is the wind. We get really big gusts of wind and I pictured the wind tossing beach balls into each other and the paint coming off where ever they made contact with something.

I priced balls at Walmart. The big ones were  out of the budget I had in mind. Off to the Dollar Tree I went. I had purchased a ball about the size of a child's head, to be the head of the child I had locked away in a cage near the witches' cauldron. For $1 each, I bought a total of 16 of those balls. Four each of red, orange, green and blue. I was thinking to use those colors anyway, although I would have preferred yellow, instead of orange.

Attaching a "hanger" to the Styrofoam or the beach ball would have been easy enough. But a ball filled with air would deflate if I stuck something in it in order to hang it. The balls stayed in the bags for about a week while I pondered my dilemma. I ponder things in the night mostly. But sometimes my mundane daily activities will leave me with an epiphany. I decided I needed something that would look like the thing on the glass ornaments that holds the little hanger. I tried the caps from soda bottles, but they were too small. I thought about empty tuna cans, but they were too big …..

Then I was cleaning the kitchen and looking at every lid I came in contact with. I was filling the pill takers for the two of us and ended up with some empty pill bottles. The lids were the right circumference, but lacked the depth and looked odd atop the balls. Just when I was about to give up and move on to another dilemma plaguing my life, I found my solution!! I can thank HeWho thinks we have a maid. HeWho starts his day with a bottle of Ensure now, instead of biscuits and gravy. In true HeWho fashion, he does not dispose of things that he has finished with. He will open it and leave the lid lay on the tiny island in my kitchen that is convenient to the fridge. After draining the bottle he will toss it in the trash. The lid, however will remain there on my tiny island as evidence until I remove it. And there it was, the remaining element I had been waiting to find.

I gathered the necessary amount rather quickly, as he was supplementing his diet with Ensure for awhile. I drilled a hold in the cap and then painted them silver. I chose my glue carefully, making sure it would hold fast to the surface of the ball and after running a length of twine through the hole and knotting it securely, I glued them to the balls.

Another little problem arose, the barcode. It was larger than the cap I was attaching, so that would not cover it. I wondered if the ball surface would hold paint. It does. I chose silver and gold and painted the balls and hung them on the front of the building. I actually hung them, then painted them.

The lids glued on held fine, my twine did not and they hung several days before the wind knocked them around enough to weaken the twine and they began falling. I had to remove the lids to re-twine with a stronger twine and then glue them back on. The silver balls held the paint well. The gold was different. It was automotive paint and was still sticky. Long story, but I re-hung my balls yesterday (you are all free to play with that phrase) and painted the gold balls red. I added bows and am now ready to test a beach ball with paint!!

I have pictures, but my signal is not behaving tonight and I can't add an image to this post. Just use your imagination and trust me when I say they look marvelous!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Kevin's Tree

I have been absent from my laptop for what seems like forever. When last we "spoke", I was gleefully anticipating cardio rehab for HeWho had a heart attack. This has allowed me time to get stuff done. 

The rehabilitation of the store/office is coming along nicely. The registration desk has been relocated to the front so I can look out the window. Kamper Kevin (aka my wife) built the wall closing in the desk yesterday and I should be painting it right now. I seem to be running out of steam and have decided to take a few minutes of my quiet time to just sit and write.

Last week while the men were at rehab, I laid carpet squares. I scored two pallets of used squares that were in an office on Craigslist for a deal. Now, I do not need that many, but that's how they came. HeWho  parked the trailer in front of the store, giving me easy access to them. They are easy to put in, all you need is a really sharp utility knife to cut them to fit. One square is not heavy at all; a stack of ten is okay. But at the end of the day, your lower back will tell you about it! The main fixture that holds merchandise in the center of the store is a monster. HeWho built it, in place, never to be moved. Of course, that didn't last long. I have moved it a bunch of times. I have painted and repainted it several times. But, in order to put the carpet squares down, I needed to move it and then put it ON the squares. I was told to leave it alone, that the big strong men would handle it when they got to it.

So, you know I moved it. I unloaded it and then rushed to get all the carpet squares down, timing it just right to have the men lift it onto the carpet upon their return. This caused much raising of eyebrows and deep sighs as they put it in place. I did most of the work, their part took less that 5 minutes. I must have made HeWho feel guilty, because the next day while I was getting groceries, he attempted to lay the carpet squares to finish the store. I say attempted, because he cut too short on some and left unsightly gaps. I will be working on those this afternoon while my paint dries on the new pegboard wall that went up yesterday.

While the remodel is coming along, life in my home remains the same. The challenge to find menus that are heart healthy, that HeWho will actually eat is still daunting. No salt, no cholesterol, no fat ….. but tastes good. We are eating a lot of fish and chicken and salad. Fine with me, but HeWho wants beef and potatoes. He is also missing his daily serving bowl of ice cream. Sherbet is something he will push aside. Frozen yogurt would be great if I could find some. I will need to venture farther out in my grocery shopping and that takes time. I would send him, but he would come home with all manner of food that should never cross his lips again.

HeWho and I had a rather heated discussion about his invalid status. I had been waiting on the man like the staff in the hospital did. But, as I told him, that was then and this is now. I assured him that carrying his own dishes to the sink and putting his candy wrappers in the trash was allowed and actually good for him to get up and DO SOMETHING. He still drops his clothes where ever he takes them off, but he did that before the heart attack. Baby steps.

In the meantime, I should get up and do something myself. This Sunday evening we will be having a Christmas Tree lighting. All the campers have been asked to bring an ornament to put on Kevin's Tree. Kevin cut a nice tree and brought it up to the front and strung lights. All his idea, so I call it Kevin's Tree. Should be fun to see all the ornaments. I will be serving cupcakes and hot chocolate. I am hoping to have all the chaos of moving stuff around in the store done by then. I gave up on having all the painting done by then. I have the entire winter to get it done, ceiling and all.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

HeWho Shreds Paper

Life has been extremely busy and exhausting lately. The remodel of the store/office is nowhere near complete. The bulk of the heavy lifting is over, though. This means that I can manage the remaining work alone.

More about that in a later post. Today is all about the man in my life ……. HeWho manages to destroy major appliances. While moving all the desk stuff to the other side of the store, I decided it would be a good idea to purge the file cabinets. I just don't think we need to hold onto our 1998 tax returns, complete with a financial statement (a booklet) prepared by our accountant. All the years until now are there, as well. Every instruction manual to every thing ever bought, too. Suffice it to say that most of those items have been long gone.

HeWho likes to "collect" things. I finally tossed the Sears craftsman drill box that once held a drill. He purchased that drill before he wed me, so I can say it was easily over 45 years old. We moved that stupid box and others all over the country. The tools or appliances they held have since died or been lost. We had the boxes, just no contents. He was adamant that we keep them just in case we located the contents and needed to "take it back".

I managed to make 4 drawers of files fit in just one. There were some things that HeWho whined about, so I placed stack after stack of paper next to his chair for him to go through. After all he was just sitting there in front of the TV watching Live PD and the History channel. He was suddenly struck by inspiration when faced with the mound of documents and off to Walmart he went to purchase a paper shredder ……..

Now we have been the proud owners of many a shredder. They don't last long when HeWho gets to shredding. If the box brags about shredding 12 pages, you better believe that HeWho will keep adding pages just to see how far he can go. If you have already guessed that the first shredder did not meet his expectations, you are right. The keeper of boxes shoved that shredder right back in the box and took off to replace it. I am certain there are details that I don't even want to know.

Yesterday was a fairly mild day and we were out of cat food. That having been brought to my attention by the yowls of Martha, the boy cat. I suggested that we go together to the big city to gather food and other necessities of life. But, he was grumpy and could not be persuaded to leave his seat and the TV. I reminded him that he needed a new pair of shoes and boots (you might recall that the mud in the hole sucked one of his boots off his foot and it was never recovered). He chose to stay home.

He was shredding like a crazed person for a couple of hours today. You realize we could have destroyed those documents by other means. A fire barrel, or by burying them. But we all know HeWho loves the noise of a motor. I was busy in the kitchen when I heard the vacuum running. I watched as he went over the rug picking up all the stray bits of paper that were not captured in the three plastic bags adorning the floor space.

I saw him wind the cord around the handle (not the designated hooks on the machine) and he pulled the other vacuum out. Now this machine had long since stopped sucking and HeWho was going to "take it apart and find the problem". He tried that one and it was not successful. 

He sort of put both machines up and next time I looked up he had his coat on. Headed to get those shoes that were suddenly of the utmost importance. I am pretty sure he thinks I will take the vacuum apart and find the clog and clean up his mess in his absence. I have to admit that I tried. I took all the components apart that did not require tools and cleaned ever thing up, but there is still a blockage I will address tomorrow.

Other than not having as much energy as he used to, he is recovering from his recent heart attack. He starts cardio rehab next week. Only three days a week. I feel like a mother with a preschooler again, looking forward to a little time alone!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Your Pigeons Are Dead

My Flamingoes stay out all year. Sometimes they are even pink. You might recall that they were red, white and blue all summer. For Halloween, they were painted flat black with their skeleton in white. Now they are silver with Santa hats.

Still have some red, white and blue hanging out. That frog looks like he might need a fresher look!

 Nothing says Christmas like a pot full of dried flowers? Among those dry flower stalks is a whole bunch of dried Basil plants. Smells so good when the wind gusts hit it. That snail seems to be hiding!

I have most of my lights up, since it was warm outside. Today was pretty dreary, as you can see. I still have lots more lights to go up high. I don't do ladders. With all the men recovering from various things, I don't have any ladder climbers available. We might have to do without some of the lights.

Since the day was so blah, I started painting the store. These walls have been various colors. White walls with black trim, then off-white with a tan trim. Today we went white again, with a gray trim. I suppose the color doesn't matter as much as the clean look. I don't mind painting and I always love the results.

I am moving the registration counter to the area in the picture. That will put me sitting by the window. It is located right in line with the door and the sun will hit the chrome on cars and stab me in the eyes every afternoon. That is only part of the arrangement, though. I will have a clear view of what is coming and going in my park. 
I'll  see you if you're speeding. 
I'll see if you don't stop.
I'll see if you are bad or good.
Like I have eyes in the back of my head!
You better not speed,
You better always stop!
Santa Claus lives here in my park!
Yes, I know it doesn't rhyme. HeWho has already pointed that out to me. But, Santa really does live here.

I know you are wondering about my title. It has to do with the flamingoes. While they were still black, I had laid them on the ground while I was painting the rails on the porch. A child came into the store to tell me that my pigeons were dead.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019


Cinnamon is good for the heart, did you know that? I guess you know where this is going. HeWho likes cinnamon. So I suppose I will need to incorporate some cinnamon into his diet.

Today we are having cinnamon bread. Made with applesauce. Healthy. I am writing as it bakes. While I was about the business of mixing it, I was, as usual, interrupted several times.

When I get interrupted, I tend to, maybe, make a mistake. I had the pans prepared and the oven preheating. A past-due tenant came in to make a payment for less that the promised amount. This annoyed me. He kept proclaiming that he always paid his bills and was not a dead beat. Perhaps he should not have said that to someone who has been asking for his rent to be paid for the past 3 weeks. This made me point out to him that his actions did not make me trust him for the money. Like some men, he seems to think that I do not have the last word. He wants to tell me he "made arrangements" with HeWho does not handle tenants. 

I was pretty riled as I headed back to my mixing of ingredients. We all know that Olive oil is the "good" oil. Canola, corn and vegetable are permissible, as well. Coconut and palm kernel oil are not. I only mention them because I was surprised to learn that Cool Whip (something HeWho really likes) is made with coconut and palm kernel oils. 

So, still annoyed, I reached into the cabinet for the vegetable oil to add to the wet ingredients, but apparently picked up the olive oil. As I mixed the wet ingredients into the dry, I noticed that the batter was a bit on the yellow side. I look at the spice jars on the counter to make sure I did not use turmeric instead of cinnamon. That was fine and I had already replaced the bottle of oil to the cabinet. 

Only thing left to do was to taste it. Distinct flavor of olive oil. Not exactly unpleasant, but not the taste I was going for. I can smell the olive oil as it bakes. Maybe just because I know it's there? The finished product will tell the tale. My only dilemma is whether or not to tell HeWho? I was planning to share with other campers and wonder if they need to know. Perhaps I will make that decision after I taste the bread for myself.

P.S. It tastes good!

Sunday, November 17, 2019


A cold and dreary day has us sitting in front of the TV. I am bored and tired of the TV. I handed the remote to HeWho is apt to watch really bizarre stuff.

Me, I am still researching foods for him. I am a good cook. You can ask anybody. But I learned to cook in the deep south. Think Paula Deen. Lots of butter, cheese and heavy cream. While I am happy to eliminate those things, or use them in moderation … the lack of salt remains my biggest obstacle in making food that is allowable and still tastes good.

HeWho is not a picky eater. As long as I don't mention all the ingredients. He loves all the things that are not good for him. Unfortunately he cannot have shellfish, due to his gout. Shellfish does not need a whole lot of seasoning to taste good.

Fortunately, I have discovered coconut milk! I made a nice cream of mushroom soup for him today. Really quite simple, I sautéed onions and garlic, then added the mushrooms for a bit, until they wilted, then dumped in a can of coconut milk with a tablespoon of cornstarch mixed and about a half teaspoon of turmeric. I figured it to be two servings. He ate it all. No, I did not even taste it, as it was all gone. But, a winner!

I will be making a nice chocolate pudding with full fat can of coconut milk, reserving the thicker stuff to make whipped cream. Maybe Thanksgiving won't be so bland after all!

Back to the TV. He is watching someone who is telling him how to build his very own roller coaster. That is definitely not happening. I can just imagine the absolute look of horror on our insurance agents face if I asked him about the cost of liability. 

Maybe I should reclaim the remote and find something safer, like a murder mystery!

Friday, November 15, 2019

Eating Heart Healthy

All my spare time has been dedicated to hunting down recipes that are low in sodium and saturated fat. I suppose I should be happy that they did not include sugar in the prohibited list. 

Sugar is pretty easy. You can find a plethora of products without sugar. Salt ….. well I am here to tell you that is not so easy. You can pretty much eliminate any prepared foods and packaged stuff. Even canned goods have sodium. Hunts does provide salt free tomato sauce and tomato paste. He is allowed 1200 grams per day. That is not a lot. He could wipe that out in one meal. HeWho had a habit of salting all the food on his plate BEFORE even tasting it. 

The sale shakers have all been removed from sight and he is into Mrs. Dash. I confess that I am not a fan. The other habit he has had to eliminate from his life is smoking. Despite my nagging, begging and cajoling he refused to even try any of the medications available to help. No patches or gum for him. As a result, he had to quit quite abruptly when his heart refused to allow it anymore. Being in the hospital for 10 days took care of the initial withdrawal. Did not hurt that he had morphine for any twinge of chest pain.

Now that we are home, he has become addicted to Jolly Ranchers. Oh, and gum. His favorite is bubble gum. Smells a lot better than cigarettes! Not that he smoked inside, but I could smell it on his clothes. 

Food is my biggest obstacle. I am eating what he eats and let me just say, it is not tasty. I confess to sneaking a little salt on mine. I found a recipe for Taco seasoning with no salt. I will be trying it out tomorrow. I found some tortillas relatively low is sodium and can manage to let him have two tacos and stay within his sodium limits.

After losing 12 lbs. in the hospital, he continues to lose weight. He did not need to lose any weight. Low fat, low cholesterol, low sodium food is not helping with the dropped pounds. He is drinking Ensure twice a day. If he finds that palatable, then having no salt should not be an issue. He offered me a taste, but my gag reflex took over with just the smell. I just couldn't bring myself to put my lips on the bottle.

When asked what he would like for any meal, the answer is the same, "A nice juicy ribeye and French fries." He can have red meat ONCE a week. He is not happy about that. Thanksgiving dinner should be fun.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

An Hour Gone By

I should probably take my blood pressure and go hide in a dark quiet space.

Upon the release of the very sick man from the hospital, the nurse went over everything very carefully. There was an issue of discontinuing some of his current meds and starting some new ones. I made it a point to ask about the new prescriptions being called in to Humana mail-order pharmacy and I was assured it had been taken care of. Twice I asked. Then I made sure that the new drugs would also be called in to the local pharmacy for a one month supply to tide us over until Humana shipped the drugs.

Made sense. I enunciate and speak clearly and I don't think I come across as the hysterical spouse with the very sick man. I have been managing his drugs, well, forever. He has not a clue about what he swallows when I hand it to him or he tips the pill taker in his hand.

But, today, as I am about to fill the pill taker, I decide to call Humana and make sure it has all been taken care of. An hour of my life I will NEVER get back. Short story, it was NOT called in. I hate incompetence. Taking care of prescriptions is not a good field to work in if you do not plan to follow through with what you tell the patient. I can assure you that he would have just run out of the new prescriptions, assuming that it had all been dealt with. Him and how many other people who leave the hospital and don't think to question and then investigate.

So, already annoyed that things have not been taken care of, I am greeted with a perky voice with an accent I cannot place. Just know that English is not her first language. She is nice and courteous, but I would take gruff and knowledgeable over that any day. Be rude, I don't care, as long as you can do your job and make things happen. 

I tell her that I need to have 4 of his current prescriptions on file discontinued. After answering a series of identifying questions that I had already answered and giving the phone to the very sick man to give his permission for me to handle his medications (something they already have on file … or should), I proceed with the name of the first drug. I am ready to give her the name of the second one when she begins telling me the last shipping date of the first drug and what the estimated cost is and when I can expect it! NOOOOO, I scream in my head while I bang it against the cabinet door.

Deep breath and I start all over again, saying that he will NOT be taking this drug in the future, as it has been replaced with a different drug. They have my credit card on file and I do not want to pay for something we can't use. You cannot return a prescription once it leaves the facility.

So, we come to an understanding and I start again with the second drug and suddenly I was transported to Groundhog Day and it happened all over again. I see my mistake now that I am living it for the second time. I used the term "discontinue" and she was using the term "deactivate". Means the same thing, but, if she has been trained with only one term to apply to this action, then this is the term she knows and will not know what to do with other terms that mean the same thing. Part of the insanity that people get so frustrated with when dealing with companies who outsource their customer service.

Finally, having made clear what I need done, we go on to the new prescriptions. I give her the names, dosage, and instructions on the three new drugs. I give her the doctor's name, address and phone number. Oh no! I do not have the fax number!! She puts me on hold while she gets it. I feel my pulse pounding in my temples. I wonder what would happen if I had a stroke while on hold. The very sick man would find me, his caregiver, crumpled in the kitchen floor still attached to Humana Pharmacy. 

I am on hold for awhile, so my mind has time to wander. There is no easy access to get an ambulance stretcher into our living quarters and I see myself being dragged by my feet through the door into the store and around the registration desk to the front door where they will heave me onto a stretcher and get my vital signs, if I have any left. I decide right then that my plan to rearrange things will definitely be activated. Activated, a word the lady on the phone would understand.

She pops back into my ear with the good news that she has gotten the fax number and verified it! She wants to share the number with me. Why would I need it, I stupidly wonder aloud. So I will have it for my records. Learned my lesson with that first question and do not voice my thoughts any more and just take the number. Hoping that the call will end soon, as I have had 3 calls that I ignored while on the mission of taking care of the very sick man's drugs.

Then I sabotage my own life by asking about the other new drug that I have not included in her list. Brilinta. New drugs are expensive, but Astra Zenica may be able to help. I just wanted a price quote with my current insurance. Over $400. I will be contacting Astra Zenica for help. I tell her to leave it off her list of drugs and that I will be getting it elsewhere. This sends her into a litany of  telling me that if a drug is prescribed, then the patient needs it. I breathe deeply and just let her go on. The phone call seems to be near the end!

Hope runs deep. But, now I am put on hold after being told that the only one who can deactivate the drugs is the pharmacy technician and I have to give the order to him. She comes back on the line after about three minutes and proceeds to introduce me to the pharmacy tech, who seems as thrilled as I am about meeting each other via the customer rep.

He deactivates the four drugs and I am excited to end the call and see who has been calling me. I am on my cell phone and not the store phone. Hoping it is not one of my kids with something wrong. I check the recent calls. Six, count them, six from the same number. It is Humana asking me to take a short survey about the quality of their customer service. I gave them what they asked for. I doubt it will do any good, but I was able to voice my opinion at the end of the multiple choice ratings.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Old People Chair

HeWho was gifted an old people chair. I had purchased a recliner with heat and massage for him and heard endless complaints about how uncomfortable the chair was.

While my son was here and HeWho was safely tucked away in the hospital, I tried this chair out. He was right. First of all, the seat area was tight and not very accommodating to my generous derriere. HeWho took no-ass-at-all tablets his entire life and this was not the problem he had with the chair. 

The reclining of the chair did not bring the leg support to a level that was comfortable, making me feel like I might slide down to the floor. Especially with my lap full of dogs. Considering the weakened state of the man of the house, the chair had to go. The heat and massage function works fine, but is just not worth the level of discomfort. Wayfair, I thought they had just what I needed.

But, old people chair to the rescue. I wish I had video of all the older guys here, watching HeWho demonstrate the lift mechanism of his chair. Much amazement going on as I heard someone comment, "Look, it will stand him up!!" Just a bunch of grown little boys looking at someone's latest toy.

Kevin was jealous, so another old people chair came into the park today for him. I see more coming in the future. Just think of all the energy they can save by not having to create the momentum to expel themselves up and out of the chair!

Me, the one with arthritis, well, I am still sitting on my young people mini sectional. If you were here, you would notice all the popping of joints as I struggle to rise after sitting for too long. I am nothing if not long suffering!

Many thanks to Bud, the benefactor of old people chairs. He is a generous guy! 

Thursday, November 7, 2019

The Pharmacy Is Out Of Drugs

I am exhausted! I would rather mow all 17 acres of fields with the push mower than do all this running around! I have gained a new appreciation for HeWho and his willingness to run endless errands.

Here's hoping he will be back up to the task soon. He had an appointment with his primary care provider (PCP) this afternoon. They gave him the pneumonia shot and will be setting up his rehab. The problems with living in the middle of nowhere are becoming increasingly apparent. Cardiac rehab is usually done in the hospital.

Now, I am quite familiar with the drive to the hospital, but it is an hour one way. If it is important to be in the hospital for this rehab, then the patient should not be driving himself to that rehab. That is my take away. HeWho seems to think otherwise and has said he is perfectly capable of driving himself. I think it is kind of cute that he thinks he will have any say in it.

After the visit at the clinic we headed to the pharmacy to pick up some nitroglycerin. Kind of important to have on hand. The pharmacy was out of nitroglycerin! Maybe it is just me, but I would think that particular item would be a staple. They promised to have it tomorrow. Oh, goody, another trip to town.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Still Waiting For My Halloween Costume

Today was a long one. HeWho continues to get stronger, so we left here this morning to sit at the hospital with kamper Cheryl while kamper Craig was in surgery to have the lower lobe of his lung removed.

He was in his room when we left the hospital and doing as expected, considering the procedure. In a lot of pain, that can't be avoided. But we were happy to hear that the cancer did not spread! Can't wait to get him home and healing along with HeWho is complaining that he should be all better by now.

Funny how tiring it is to sit and wait! I managed to spill coffee in my lap. Fortunately, the coffee was not hot and my pants are black. Too much time to sit and think. I have decided to completely redo the office/store. I won't be sharing this plan with HeWho is healing.

I recently bought a small shed from a camper that was leaving. It is small and I wanted it to keep all my gardening stuff in. My very own she shed! I managed to store all the Halloween props and my garden tools and pots in it. It is quite full and I doubt HeWho would be able to stash anything in it.

I painted the front porch rails. They were black. I went through a period of painting all trim black. I am done with my black paint phase. My new happy color is bright white. I painted the porch trim and the door white. Looks so clean and bright. I didn't go nuts, though. I left the windows and the trim around door black. The building is painted gray and will need to have a good coat applied come Spring. Martha, the boy cat, has left his mark on all the cedar posts. He sharpens his claws out there. We will be having a long talk about this bad habit. I will talk and Martha will listen. I don't know just how much good it will do. I know he understands me, but he is a cat and apt to do what he wants anyway.

In the meantime I will be measuring and mentally placing things in the store in a different setting. As it is, I am facing the door and the sun will hit the chrome on a vehicle and bounce the light directly into my eyes, blinding me. I also do not have a good view of the vehicles coming in and out of the park unless I happen to be looking out the window. I want to remedy that. I need to know who is coming in and out. I want to know everything!!

Did I mention that my Halloween costume did not come in before Halloween? Turns out I had no need of it, since I was back and forth to the hospital. But I paid for expedited shipping! It did not come today, either.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

A New Normal

Adjusting to a new normal here. HeWho scared me, is still very weak. He sleeps a lot and tires easily. I feel like a mother with a newborn ... just wish he would stay where I put him!

I am dustiung off old nursing skills. I am the pill giver, blood pressure and temperature monitor. Most of all I am the person saying, "NO, you can't do that!!" His heart took a big hit. Some damage cannot be repaired. His new doctor will be looking at the blockages left untouched at a later date. HeWho was expecting to bounce back like he did 20 years ago when he felt immediately better after the stent procedure. 

His appetite is returning and it is challenging to find snacks he can have and keep the fat and sodium level down. HeWho thinks eating fruit should be in pie form. With lots of whipped cream or ice cream topping it off. He hasn't actually wrinkled his nose at my creations low in fat and sodium, but it is early days.

His truck keys were confiscated by Kevin and underwent a thorough cleaning by Craig and Kevin. All cigarettes are gone, along with fat laden snacks he may have had stashed there. He still is not allowed to drive and when he does achieve that goal, I will insist on a passenger riding along. I will not be leaving him alone when I have errands to run, since last time he picked up Cujo and Eddie, both dogs exceed that 5lb. limit.

Yes, he will have a sitter! I am having trouble sleeping. I find myself waking frequently to check on him. I managed to take down all the Halloween decor in the past two days. I pulled my three bins out to store it all and found that I needed another bin to store it all. Why does it seem to grow? I did add a lot with the spooky trail, but it seems to have overflowed into the child sized casket someone gave us years ago.

Why someone would have a casket hanging around in their basement is weird enough. The fact that my husband eagerly accepted this "gift" and put it in his "barn" is equally disturbing. We do use it on Halloween. One year we had some people here with a child around 5 years old and his father urged him to get in the casket and "act like your dead". That was really creepy. Anyway, I am using the casket to store some props. So, I now have 4 bins and a casket, along with other props that will not be contained.

Weather is promising to be nice today and I plan to paint the front porch. HeWho can sit in a rocker and chat with me. He took two short walks outside yesterday and two long naps. He was ready to go to bed at 7:30! I convinced him to sit up until 8:30, which will be 7:30 tonight with the time change. He is messing up my nightly pill schedule!! He is still abed and it is 8:30 now (9:30 old time). 13 hours in bed would make my joints cry out!! Time to wake him to take his morning dose of pills.

Thanks to all the kind comments and concern and prayers from everyone. I felt them all. 

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Home, Day Two

I collected my husband from the hospital yesterday around noon. I am wondering if it was easier to have him in the hospital and visit, or here and wait on him and control his actions!

While I was in town picking up his new prescriptions, he picked up the dogs! The instructions say nothing over 5 lbs. None of our babies weigh less than 5 lbs. 

My new challenge is to feed a man who applies salt to his entire plate of food before even tasting, something palatable without salt. Mrs. Dash came home with the skim milk and shredded wheat. He hates oatmeal. His idea of oatmeal is a Little Debbie cake. I did get the shredded wheat with frosting. He wants steak for dinner. I will give him steak, but he is not going to be excited for any more steak. His baked potato will be equally bland. Any ideas will be greatly appreciated.

No more smoking. I bought a good supply of jolly ranchers and chewing gum. Too bad he can't have a pacifier!

The new prescriptions have been doled out in the pill taker and the discontinued ones put back in the bottles. The kitchen has been cleaned out and all the food he loves has been redistributed or tossed. I will just eat whatever he eats. Can't hurt, might even be good for me. He lost 12 lbs. during his stay. I think I might have dropped 2 lbs.

He is still very weak and it makes me nervous to leave him for an extended period of time. I am afraid he will fall or trip over the crazy cat. I feel like I have a newborn, except that he can get up at will.

Kevin gave me the store phone yesterday. He was happy to hand it over. I am back 100% now. Just trying to acclimate to my new normal. Thanks to all of you for the prayers and good thoughts. I have been surrounded with so many wonderful people throughout this event. 

Blogger buddy Linda, of Write From The Heart fame hunted me down at the hospital during the surgical procedure. She was afraid I might be alone. I am blessed to have so many people in my life! I had my son, Jeff and Drew's cousin (more like a little sister), Doris and her husband Kevin with me. Kampers Terry and Sharon, and Craig and Cheryl with me until the surgery was over.

Now that we are home I have a park full of help at my disposal! I am looking forward to a nice day tomorrow that will not be spent in a vehicle running errands!!

Sunday, October 27, 2019

HeWho Had A Heart Attack, Part Two

After resting fitfully in my own bed and comforting my dogs (Toni Louise searched for her master and after circling atop his pillow many, many times finally settled on that same pillow and slept.), I arose and showered and headed back to the hospital.

About the hospital …. why he chose to head east instead of west to Columbia, a mere 40 minutes away is still a mystery to me. Instead he ended up in St. Charles, 63 miles from home. A pretty straight shot on the interstate, but Columbia is so much closer. I suppose he was so used to taking Kevin that he just automatically headed that way.

I am well familiar with the route to the hospital now. With my youngest daughter here, I don't even have to think. She is my rock. I can just sit back and let her make all the decisions for me. She made sure I ate and that I had everything I needed. Always there to shove me up when I would want to just slither to the floor and bawl my eyes out. My girl is in charge!

I am sitting here in the hospital with my feet on his bed while we wait. The Halloween event is happening without me. I know I could have cancelled, but I had promoted it and built all those props. I have more help than I know what to do with and everything is under control.

He is still in ICU. Surgery was scheduled for Monday. A triple by-pass. He is feeling a lot better. All episodes of chest pain have diminished and he is no longer on morphine. Just nitroglycerin and Heparin drips going. The pump that was helping oxygenate and move his blood through his heart has been removed and he can get up with assistance.

My daughter and her family have gone home and my son will be here tonight. The sister of HeWho and her husband have come and gone, as well. His cousin will be here tomorrow. I am not alone! Even if there was no family here, I would not be alone. My Kamper family has been taking good care of me.

The initial cardiologist came in and talked to us and drew a diagram of the major arteries to show us just how damaged they were. It was an impressive amount of blockage, most in the 90% range. I could understand how an angioplasty was not a good option. Not only were there a lot of blockages illustrated, but he described the "good" portions as being filled with a lot of "junk". I told him it was sausage biscuit gravy from McDonald's. He was amazed horrified to know what his diet is like. Add the cigarettes and the man was a walking heart attack anyway.

Now he has spoken to the surgeons without his wife and he has been removed from the surgical schedule in favor of another attempt for angioplasty. I have mixed feelings about this. Recovery will be so much easier and quicker, but I am not convinced this is a good and lasting solution.

If the attempt is not successful, he will have to wait to be placed on the surgical schedule again and then still have the bypass. Well, unless they damage the arterial wall with the attempt and then he will have an emergency bypass.

I hate that I know all this. I can't just blindly trust the surgeon. I am waiting to voice my concerns. My sweet son is here and I am so happy to see him!! 

Saturday, October 26, 2019

HeWho Had A Heart Attack

My journey south started with gray skies and drizzling rain. I am not a fan of driving in the rain, but I was determined! Google maps had a route that would shave an hour off the trip, so I opted for that and came down 52 through Rochester. Not the best road I have ever been on, but not the worst either. Some only two lanes. Everything was okay until I hit Missouri, County Road H and was so deep in the backwoods that I lost the satellite signal. 

While driving, I knew I had to call home to let the kampers know everything I knew so far. When I stopped for fuel, proving to the world that I really do know how to put gas in my car (only if I have to!), I called Kamper Cheryl and asked her to be the Kampground spokes person. I was hoping to avoid calls. I do not like to talk on my phone while driving. I do, because the store phone is always forwarded to mine. I will note the time of the call for a reservation and tell them I will call them when I stop to actually make the reservation.

I won't even try to read a text. My problem with answering calls this day was my state of mind, mostly. Add the rain noise and the bad road noise and I could not hear well. And talking to close friends and family made me cry and my glasses would fog up and then I couldn't see. I may have been speeding, too.

I never want to make a trip like that again! With very little sleep the night before, I was worried I might get sleepy while driving. I didn't. I don't know if it was the two lane roads with sudden 25 mph curves or the adrenalin pumping through my veins.

I could not tolerate the radio, couldn't concentrate on a book and the ring of the phone made me jump. All I could think about was the doctor telling me that my husband was a very sick man. So I drove on bargaining with God and reminding myself to relax my grip on the steering wheel and unclench my jaw. I only stopped for fuel and bathroom breaks. I had no desire to eat and only did because my stomach hurt from my morning pills.

After losing the signal on my phone, I discovered that if I were to continue straight, as instructed, I would be in a corn field. Good thing I have a fairly decent sense of direction and knew that I could turn south on 19 and find my way home!

I am certain I could have driven myself to the hospital, what with my adrenalin overload. I just didn't have any saliva in my mouth! Adrenalin does that, sucks up all the fluids in your body. Terror will do that, as well. Kampers, Craig and Cheryl, drove me, while Kevin manned the office.

He looked awful to me. His pallor was not good and he looked so pitiful with all the tubes and monitors around him. With the pump attacked to his artery in his groin, he could not move his left leg, could not raise his head or his left arm. I didn't cry, but I wanted to. He was all chipper, telling me that he was having surgery on Thursday and would be home Friday and could man a golfcart to take people on a ride through our spooky trail.

Yeah, that did not happen, but the morphine made him happy. My daughter was several hours behind me and coming straight to the hospital after checking into a hotel nearby. I could have stayed with her family, but I really needed the comfort of my bed and my dogs. They knew something was wrong. They always know things, my dogs. We all needed a good night's sleep after finally being able to see him.

Friday, October 25, 2019

HeWho Is Stubborn, Part Two

Finally on the road, zipping along I-70, west bound with medium traffic, it started raining. First a drizzle, then intermittent showers had me slowing down. But, still, I was not so far behind that darkness would fall with me still on the road.

The rain subsided and it was overcast until I was approaching I-35. I fueled up my vehicle and continued my journey until my bladder complained. Since I had stopped to take care of business, I called home to report my progress.

HeWho never sleeps past 10 am was still in bed! Said he was not feeling well, more indigestion. No, he had not eaten, he had not felt like leaving the bed. I told him he had to at least go to clinic to get his BP taken and see the nurse practitioner. He promised he would. I didn't believe him.

I almost turned around and went back home. I called Kevin (aka my wife) and told him to use his key to the store and go in to our bedroom and be a bully and make my husband get out of the bed and dress and go see about this indigestion. He did just that. The clinic had a long line of potential sick people, so they drove to the ER. When I say "they" drove, I mean that HeWho drove himself to the ER with Kevin riding shotgun.

That "indigestion" and shoulder pain I spoke of earlier was a major heart attack. Upon my arrival to my destination, I called. He nonchalantly told me that he was being admitted, that he had had a heart attack. I told him I was coming back and he said, "Why, the heart attack was last night, it's over now." He encouraged me to stay and enjoy myself, that he would call me when he knew more!

Enjoy myself, indeed. Kevin had told the nurse that he was the brother of HeWho and that he would be staying with him. I suppose telling them that he was my honorary wife would only have confused the situation! Kevin is our good friend and lives here in the kampground, along with a lot of other good friends. Kevin was up-dating me as things progressed until he was picked up and came home.

I was tired from the trip and worried, knowing that they were whisking my husband in for an angiogram and possibly some stents to open any blockages that were blocking his blood flow. I had already decided that I would drive home the next morning as I went off to bed.

The Cardiologist called me around 10:30 and spoke to me about my husband. He explained that the angiogram was over and that he was not a candidate for stents. There was "too much damage, too  many blockages. You need to understand that he is a very sick man" I almost quipped that he did not know the half of it! I tend to say inappropriate things when I am terrified.

The cardiologist was concerned about his oxygen blood level. He said it was dangerously low and that they had installed a "balloon" pump to literally blow his blood through his heart in an effort to help oxygenate the blood. He told me that if his oxygen level did not rise he would be put on a ventilator.

I contemplated leaving that moment to get to the hospital. I woke my daughter and she crawled into bed with me and we cried together and called her siblings. It was a long night. I dozed on and off after she returned to her bed, leaving her little dog Max to comfort me. Max loves his Gramma, he knows that I am the one who snatched him from the cardboard box of puppies that were shelter bound. Animals know animal lovers.

After gulping coffee and saying goodbye to my kid and her kid, I was once again on the road. Google Maps claimed a quicker way home, promising to shave an hour off the time and I was game. 

This is just beginning, stay tuned.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

HeWho Is Stubborn

I was scheduled to head north, to Minnesota early Monday morning. We all know what happens to the best laid plans.

I loaded the car, laid out my clothes, had already stocked the freezer with healthier options than fast food for HeWho loves nothing more than food that is bad for him.

Went to bed early, hoping for a good night's sleep before my marathon drive. I wanted to be sure to get to my destination before dark. I am not a good night driver, especially in heavy traffic on roads I don't regularly navigate.

HeWho is the love of my life, joined me and the dogs for an early sleep. I was just about to succumb to slumber when he sat up in bed rubbing his shoulder. I woke and looked over at him. He was grimacing and when I interrogated asked him what was wrong, he said he must have hurt his shoulder and that he had indigestion. I told him where the Tums were located and he left to take advantage of the relief he was looking for.

I snuggled down in my covers with my loyal canine companions, prepared to resume my quest for sleep. He returned and continued to bounce around in the bed as he rubbed his sternum. I suggested a trip to the ER and was met with much resistance. He claimed it was "just" indigestion.

This went on for quite some time. He could not lay still and would not let me take him to the ER. He was downright mean about it. That annoyed me and caused me to worry. I slept a bit, but woke at 6:30 minutes before the alarm was set to start my day. I let the dogs out, started coffee and jumped in the shower. After dressing I went to let the dogs in ….

...and the day went down the drain from there on. I did not realize that the storm overnight had blown the gate wide open. All three dogs were on the lam, having successfully breached their perimeter. I was exceedingly annoyed until I heard the big diesel trucks of the workers in our parks start up, the fear gripped my heart. My little dogs are so sheltered form the perils of the world. I could just see them crushed under big wheels. I launched a search and found Toni Louise patiently waiting at the front door.

She did not respond when asked where he partners in crime were. I called out their names, adding "TREAT" to encourage their return. I left the gate open in case they had planned to nonchalantly saunter back in and approach the back door as if they had been there all along.

After 15 minutes, I woke the sleeping man who had kept me awake with his "indigestion". He went out with the truck and flashlight and I went the other direction. We finally found them, heading toward the open gate and I gathered up Cujo while HeWho scooped Eddie up. 

I interrogated asked the man with "indigestion" how he was feeling. He assured me that he was fine, just wanted to sleep a bit longer. Not that unusual. It was just beginning to get light. The thought of more sleep was appealing to me, too.
I finished tucking the last of my stuff into my car and came back in and lifted the dogs into the bed to prevent the howling that occurs when I leave them.

I kissed the scruffy cheek of my beloved and asked, once again, if he was okay. He insisted that he was and told me to enjoy my time away with our children. I left, still a bit worried.

I made it out of the driveway and not very far down the road when I realized I had no phone. I turned around, annoyed at myself and went back to find my phone.  

I finally left, an hour later than I had planned for. 

To be continued ...

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Oatmeal ..... Who Knew?

You all know Toni Louise. Our sweet girl is an adventurer. She is always looking for an opportunity to escape and explore. This has gotten her into some bad situations in the past. As a young girl she was hit by a dump truck and underwent emergency surgery to repair her hip.

She has calmed down a lot as she has matured. She is the alpha dog of my small pack and does not take crap from anyone. Except, maybe me.

Eddie, the charmer likes to be in her good graces. The only thing he is opposed to is Toni in my lap. This happens occasionally. Here is Eddie trying to make nice with her.

She rebuffed his efforts today. She has had a stressful day.

That face says it all. She is telling her master all her woes. I gave her quite a hair trim. I actually buzzed it off. She usually sports a long coat and sheds like crazy. I did not cut her hair because she is shedding.

She has some "hot spots" on her back near her tail. She was miserable and I couldn't get to the problem with all that fur in the way. I looked up some remedies and learned that oatmeal brings instant relief. I ground it in the coffee mill and made a paste.

I decided she would need a nice soothing bath before I slathered it on. While I was getting everything ready, I applied it and she stopped scratching immediately. She did lick it off … and eat it.

Toni is not a fan of the bath. She will leap from the tub and shake at every opportunity. Today, the phone rang three times during the bath time adventures. It was not fun for me either.

The only good thing was that she was a lot easier to dry without all that fur. The oatmeal paste has provided much relief for her today.

The doxies were jealous and are giving me the cold shoulder. They love a good bath, but after bathing Toni Louise my back was killing me. The store got busy as I finished and I yanked off the wet shirt and replace it with another. I looked at myself awhile ago and I bet everyone is wondering if HeWho dressed me. My attire does not match in any way.

Thinking about the "hot spots" that plague my sweet girl, I think it is my fault. I used a new dog shampoo last time I bathed her. I was in a hurry to be done and I probably failed to get all the shampoo out of her fur when I rinsed her. Easy to do, but I still feel bad about it. She was thoroughly rinsed today and I used the conditioner, as well. She smells wonderful and her short fur is super soft now. Except for the hair around the hot spots, it is stiff with oatmeal.

I noticed Cujo nibbled some of the oatmeal from Toni's back while she slept. Not only is she the leader of the pack, she provides snacks, too!