Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Life Goes On

Still tired from my drive home from Minnesota, I had to jump right in and help get the grass mowed and all the other things that are routine chores.

The trip home took ten and a half hours. Usually a 9 hour trip, I hit rain in Des Moines and had to slow a bit. Not heavy rain, I was making good time until I turned onto Hwy 36. I stopped for a bathroom break and had just gotten back on the road when the sky opened. I had to slow down to 30, then 20 as it got worse. Semi's passed my little car and I had the unsetting feeling of being under water! I finally made it to Hwy 63 and the rain let up a bit, then finally quit altogether. By then my shoulders and back were hurting from leaning forward, trying to see the road.

I have to say it was worth every minute of driving to see my kids. I had the most pleasant visit with all of them. I stayed at my baby girl's house and she provided me with not only a bed, but a dog to sleep with! Max (or the puppy called Max, as the late Wall-e referred to him) loves me. He must sense that I am the person to save him from a box of pups headed to the pound! He stayed by my side for two days, then decided I had enough of his love and went back to sleeping with my grandson.

Layla, the graduate, had a fabulous party filled with people unknown to me, so I mostly watched her interact with her friends. But, I did meet her boyfriend before I left. I interrogated him. Just wanted to make sure he deserved my granddaughter as a girlfriend. My oldest daughter (mom of Layla) and I went out for supper, just the two of us. I only had a brief visit with her twin brother, but it was a good one.

Having satisfied my hunger for my own children, I spent some quality time with the graduate's big brother. We weeded and talked and weeded some more. Trimmed a few trees and raked up all the debris. He mowed and I continued weeding. When I left, that yard was in great shape. It is so fun to spend time with adult grandchildren. They grab your heart when they are tiny and then do it all over again when they are all grown up.

So, yesterday, I was still in my happy place when someone tried they level best to ruin my day. Wasn't camp ground related. Someone I thought I knew quite well. Turns out I had totally misjudged this person and their capacity to spin tales for no other reason than to hurt others. I am humbled to report that HeWho had always seen this person for what they are.

That will be the exception that proves the rule, HeWho getting it right. After a day of worry and a sleepless night, I have decided to just feel sorry for this person who seems to love drama and retaliation. I did not respond to the person in question and do not intend to. 

Life goes on ….

Friday, June 21, 2019

Playing In The Dirt

This is what my car looked like as I readied it for my trip north. I am happy to report that all the plants arrived alive and now live in my daughter's yard in Minnesota. My trip was pretty uneventful. A little boring, making me want to nap. Having no one to talk to but myself I did just that when I wasn't singing with the radio or listening to a book.

After a good night's sleep with Max, the grand-dog at my side, I wondered out into the yard to investigate the existing landscaping. The previous owner had not installed the edging correctly. Instead of digging the trench and putting it into the ground to prevent the grass from creeping into garden beds, they had simply laid it flat on the ground and used some sort of a spoke to secure it to the ground, then poured rocks on top. 

This is the small garden I tackled first. It was overgrown with grass and weeds. Rhubarb is growing wild. I kept some of the rhubarb and pulled all the weeds. I planted some black-eyed susies and purple coneflowers.

 Then I had to figure out how to get the spokes out of the edging. Pliers didn't work. One person holding while the other pulled didn't work. I finally just put the pointed end on the concrete and pushed them out. Then we were able to reuse the edging. My daughter was all set to go purchase more. I suppose she forgets how thrifty her mom can be.

We made a trip to Home Depot and I mulched that garden the next morning.

Looks really good, even if I do say so myself! Can you see the beautiful peony that was hiding in the weeds? Bloomed before I left. Light pink. I have a dark pink that I will split next spring and take to her.

The next project involved moving rocks. I intended to move all those rocks. Until I started the task. I ended up moving just the ones in front and raking them all to the back. There was nothing there except the rock. Now there is daylilies and tiger lilies with some purple bearded iris in front of the lilies. And 9 bags of mulch.

I took this picture the morning I left. We created some pots of annuals for color and the lilies were all happy and blooming. The brick edging was on the part next to the sidewalk and we added it along the garden. Looks so pretty.

Next time I will tackle this one. Looks like the big bush is trying to eat the small bush! And that edging needs my help!

Hard work, but work that I really enjoy. Before I left, we added a humming bird feeder between the big rocks in the peony garden.

That was two days of my trip. Next came the graduation party …..

Thursday, June 20, 2019

HeWho Puzzles Me

I had a wonderful time with my kids and their kids. I managed to spend time with each one of them. Well, except the graduate. She is one busy girl. I spent a little time with her before the party, but the people started coming and there was quite a crowd.

My daughter and son-in-law can throw a party! My only contribution was 10lbs of potato salad. It was fun just watching Layla and seeing how many other people love her. 

Grandson Gavin is a really good driver. I was impressed. I even let him drive my car and not once did I try to apply the imaginary brakes! He is having a fun summer. He has a job scooping ice cream! He worked two days and made $30 in tips alone.

I spent a good part of two days with my other grandson, Gage. We tackled his unkempt yard. He mowed and I weeded, then we weeded. It was pretty overgrown, but it looked really good when I left. He still has more to do, but it is no longer overwhelming. It was good to get to hang out with him ….. and we all know I enjoy yard work. 

I did some major landscaping for my baby girl, but that is a story for another day. Complete with photographic evidence.

HeWho was left on his own did okay for himself. The dogs were crazy happy to see me until they sniffed me and realized I had cheated on them and been with other dogs. They could smell Gemma and Max, the granddogs. They shunned me for a bit and then we had a major kiss fest while HeWho shushed us to watch the news!!

It was good to sleep in my own bed and I awoke refreshed and ready to get the day started. I put the sheets in the washer and noticed the door to the dryer was ajar. HeWho did laundry in my absence. I remember he told me this on the phone. Said he ran out of shirts. I was only gone 8 days and he has enough clothes to get through 10 days or longer. But, whatever. I thought he meant he washed HIS clothes.

I started pulling the clothes out of the dryer. He washed AND dried everything that was in the laundry room. Easily two loads. No sorting was involved. I had one of my good shirts that needed some stains treated in clothes basket with another white shirt that gets washed on the delicate cycle. He included those in the overload of darks, whites, towels. EVERYTHING. 

And that is what was in the dryer, minus whatever he had pulled out to wear yesterday. He admitted that he walked around awhile with a pair of his underwear creeping out the leg of his shorts. Said he noticed something tickling the back of his leg …. Now I am wondering if he should ever be left alone.

I don't put everything in the dryer. I hang the laundry out if it is nice outside, not that I would expect him to do that. But there are some things that will shrink in the dryer. 100% cotton shirts will shrink. My good blouse will not only shrink, but be very wrinkled tangled up in the towels in the dryer. Now it will not button around me. I mean, it will, sort of, but it leaves gaps between the buttons. And the white shirt with the stain, well, that will be a forever stain now that it has been set with the heat of the dryer. His shirts shrank a little, too. But I have to admit that I really don't care about his shirts right now.

He was not here when I woke up. A text awaited my attention. "New Orleans to get a list and trees installed on my truck be home after while love you" Are you scratching your head and wondering what this means? Me, too. So I texted his text back to him and got this: "Going to get Remote launch row". He does the voice thing when he texts while driving. Perhaps he should just wait and text, or CALL me. I knew it had something to do with a new gadget for his truck, but he should not have to go all the way to New Orleans to get it. So, as I sip coffee and fold laundry I am mumbling city names that sound like New Orleans. 

Being married to HeWho is challenging. Like a lifelong puzzle to solve. Just about the time you think you have the solution, another "clue" throws you off.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Spotty Wi-Fi Plagues My Life

Wi-Fi has been spotty for the past week. Don't know why, but I have had complaints and I have complained. I tend to get a bit out of sorts when things do not work the way they should. 

I do know that men have been up that tower all last week, so I blame my troubles  on them! I would confront them, but I don't do ladders, much less towers.

Seems to be working today, so I will keep my fingers crossed. The letter "B" is sticking and most of the keys labels are worn off. I will try to convince HeWho that a new laptop will make a nice gift for my birthday this year. That shouldn't be too hard, since he is always wondering what to give me.

I do know that Father's Day comes before my birthday. I am giving him the gift of solitude. He will have 8 days without my presence. Of course he will have to run the park on his own …. I am going to my granddaughter's graduation party.

We were going to go together, but circumstance change and I am the only one going. Layla will be going off to college in the fall. Ohio State. Her mom will be at loose ends without her youngest child. The empty nest looms large in her future!

Grandson Gavin turned 15 yesterday and got his learner's permit today! He got a car for his birthday. He isn't wasting any time. He can take me where I want to, but I doubt he will want to go where Gramma wants to go. But, he will probably go anywhere that will allow him time behind the wheel. 

Seems like just yesterday he was just a little guy helping me build a garden here. I still call it Gavin's garden. And just the day before that when Layla was here and trying to fly a kite. She never did gets hers in the air and boy, was she mad! Layla seldom fails at anything. I can't wait to hug my grands!

But today, I am baking a cake for HeWho and a good dinner. I used to leave him meals to heat in the microwave. They would still be in the fridge when I got home, so why go to all that trouble? I see a lot of McDonald's and Chinese food in his future. I will load my car tomorrow night and hit the road bright and early on Wednesday. Of course it is supposed to rain …..

The time HeWho spends here without me should supply me with lots of blog fodder, so until I return I will be out of touch. I am hoping to catch up on reading other blogs if I can get Wi-Fi. 

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Martha, The Smarta$$ Boy Cat

I woke with an earache. It will subside when the allergy meds kick in. It stormed last night and everything is wet outside, making me loathe to go out yet. I had to, though. Martha, the boy cat, has been up to his old shenanigans.

Martha was named for my bestie, Martha. She used to camp here and still is my favorite sounding board. One weekend we were bemoaning the fact that none of our children had named a granddaughter after us. We would have been okay with a middle name. Seems like most daughters will honor their dads with a grandson bearing their name, but somehow the mothers are overlooked.

Martha had gone to meet her newest granddaughter the weekend that the tiny scrap of fur was scooped up in the front end loader. The men were clearing some debris on a site to be and when they lifted the bucket, it fell to the ground. The men (HeWho was not among them, off on a tow call I think) all removed their shirts (revealing bodily attributes best left unseen) and wrapped the tiny piece of fur into a sort of wad. Rushing into my office, proclaiming "I think it might die!!", they offered the bundle to me.

Inside was a tiny kitten whose eyes had recently opened. The fall literally knocked the poop out of him and I suppose poop is where men who will touch just about any nasty thing draw the line. I asked why all the shirts were swaddling such a tiny thing and the answer was that he was covered in poop and that maybe he needed to stay warm. It was hot out and he was apparently abandoned in the underbrush and still alive ….

I handed back all the shirts, even the poopy one and took the tiny kitten inside to bathe it, then dry it. Little eyes watched me the entire time. I happened to have a tiny bottle with a tiny nipple from a tiny squirrel I once rescued and some powdered puppy formula. I mixed up a bottle and swaddled the kitten so he would not use his tiny claws on my hand while he suckled the bottle. He could fit in the palm of my hand then.

All day long the men would come in to check on their find. As word got around, everyone was coming in to see the miracle kitten and hold him. He was all nice and clean, after all. Every man in the park flipped the kitten over for a good look at his under carriage and assured me that it was a female. So, I named the kitten Martha. To "honor" my friend.

Martha had to be fed every two hours and scores of oohing and ahhing little girls would come in to watch me feed the kitten named Martha. They would proclaim their undying love and devotion of the kitten and beg to take him home. I am allergic to cats, but that has never stopped me from having them around.

I would tell the girls that he would have to be fed every two hours, day and night and they would assure me that they would do that. (Okay, I lied, I did not get up with the cat every two hours. I fed him before I tucked in for the night and he would sleep in his little box for 6 hours before he got fed again). But, what little girls did not know is that what goes in must come out and the reason the mama cat is so diligent about cleaning her babies is that they will not poop or pee without that stimulation. When I showed them step 2 of caring for kitties without mamas, they all decided that Martha should stay with me.

Just as well, I suppose. Having an animal poop and pee in your hand must be some kind of earthy bonding ritual, because Martha is definitely my cat. As his eyes grew bigger, so did he and he would stare straight into mine while he sucked away at his bottle. I fell in love, of course. The day Martha bit the nipple off the bottle, we had a long chat about eating and other things that happen. I filled a flat Chinese food container with litter (I keep litter on hand for the ashtrays outside) and poured his formula in a bowl mixed with dry food. I told him which container was used for which purpose and left him in his cardboard home while I went about my business. He accomplished his feeding and bathroom duties on the first try.

Martha grew into a frisky kitten and loved to follow me around outside. I admit that I was worried about all the traffic in and out of our park and his tiny stature. But, Martha seemed to know not to venture out into the parking lot. He wouldn't even follow me to the dumpster, having to cross that wide expanse. One day we were in the side yard tending my vegetable garden when HeWho came down the private drive in the front end loader. Martha heard the rumbling and flattened himself to the ground like a cartoon cat falling from a great height! He remembered! We all marveled at how very smart this cat was.

One day Martha was playing on the couch with HeWho loves animals as much as I do. "Um, Kathy, Martha has balls." Now, my friend, Martha is outspoken and full of self confidence and I thought he was referring to her. Her husband, Tom, had often said she was ballsy. So I informed him that I knew that, Tom had said so. "No, I mean the cat." By this time, Martha knew his name and would come when I called him. Sometimes both Marthas' would answer my call.

And that is how Martha, the boy cat, came to be. He is still a very smart cat, he knows better than to claw me or bite me. Like all mama cats do, I bit him back when he was learning. Clawing would earn him some alone time in the kennel where he would yowl and carry on pitifully. Nowadays he will stop with a good thump to his nose when he gets carried away with Eddie.

Martha spent the night inside last night because of the storm. He woke me at 5 am and I swatted him away, but he persisted and at 5:30 this morning I got up and let him and the short legged canines out. Toni Louise watched from her perch at her master's sleeping head. I retrieved the dogs and left Martha outside and crawled back into bed until 7, a more reasonable hour to be up and about.

Martha is sometimes spiteful, as cats will be. This morning, while I was dreaming in my bed, he was hunting. Not hungry, as he is well fed, he caught a rabbit, beheaded it and left it in the dog's yard. Some other creature with a long tail, lacking the head that would identify it was also there. The body did not look like a squirrel and I don't really want to know what it was. The eyeballs were there, all alone on the ground looking like tiny marbles. Of course Cujo grabbed the rabbit and ran from me. Thank goodness it was too big to swallow whole. It was about half the size of Cujo.

I chased my little dog, commanding him to drop the rabbit and he finally did. I was left with no choice but to pick the wet and slobbery thing up by it's paw and toss it over the fence, then grab the tail of the unknown creature and do the same.

My hands have been scrubbed well enough to perform surgery now and HeWho has been dispensed to removed the carcasses from my side yard. I am not happy with my smart cat right now. Or maybe I should say smart-a$$ cat!! 

Wednesday, June 5, 2019


Martha, the boy cat leads a hard life. He saunters out before we go to bed and wanders the park, catching prey if he chooses or just checking things out before bedding down in the shed to wait for the back door to swing open around 6 am.

Upon entering the house, he proceeds to rub his body against my legs. Sometimes so vigorously he trips me as I head to the bathroom. He sits next to me for a good head rub until the dogs come back inside. The day begins as he indulges in his favorite activity ..... annoying his canine siblings. He taunts them with his ability to jump up on furniture and swish his tail relentlessly at them. When they tire of this antic, he will hide himself and jump out at them as they go about their business.

This lasts only about an hour before Martha leaves to head for my bed.

He was giving me the stink eye because I was moving him in order to make my bed. He covered his face for the camera flash.

I feel the need to remind this creature that I rescued him and he should be more thankful!

Wall-E came home this week. His ashes are here, nestled next to the ashes of Sarge, Louise, Oscar and Emmy. He is in good company. I still find myself looking for him in my half sleep. I miss him, but I miss all of them.

But on to my rant for the day. I was outside putzing around in my flower beds and watched as EVERY car blew through my stop sign. As the drivers got out and approached the store, I would remind them that the stop sign was there. The responses were incredibly annoying.

I wonder if they just disregard stop signs entirely or am I just special. One woman seemed to think I was being silly. She admitted knowing it was there, but that she had slowed down and rolled through it. Nothing is wrong with my vision! I was WATCHING as she just sped right through. She was probably going about 15 mph. Right before she came in, a big Penske truck towing a car came in the exit drive, not slowing down at all until I walked out into the parking lot.

The passenger side window came down and I asked if they knew they were coming in the wrong drive. He said, yes, but there were no signs until he was already half way down the drive. There are signs aplenty. I painted each and every one of them in big bright colors with giant lettering. I went on to tell him that had he entered the correct drive, he would have seen the "no turn around" sign. "We aren't turning around." he said. "We are going to park over there (indicating a shaded site) to rest and maybe take a swim."

Really? "This is a private park, not the state park." I informed them. "Well, where is the state park? The sign said it was here." The sign indicates that the state park (Graham's Cave, totally different name than my park) is TWO miles and my park is ONE mile down this road. I am assuming they are moving somewhere and wondering how they will make it when they seem to be unable to read road signs.

My favorite reply to running my stop sign is the woman who stared at me in awe when I pointed to the two stop signs and said, "Well they weren't there last year!" The signs have been there for over 12 years. I saw to the installation personally and I am the one who repaints them annually.

I informed HeWho does my bidding that I want an audacious speed bump installed about midway the drive on both the exit and entrance drives. I want it to be big enough to hit your head on the top of your vehicle if you speed over it. I want new signs installed right where you will stop after hitting my speed bump. On the entrance side the sign will say "STOP AHEAD!!!!!" and on the exit side the sign will read "BACK UP, YOU ARE GOING THE WRONG WAY!!!!" No, I will make both signs double sided! 

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Just Paint It On

 I have always wanted to plant something in this wishing well that would flow over the sides to the ground. I have tried various plants and never succeeded. So I just painted it. 

I still planted a sweet potato vine with great hope. I am thinking that maybe a bumble bee or a butterfly should round out things. And a frog. Always need a frog.

I painted all my big pots this year. Red white and blue. You can't really see, but the frogs are wearing tiny overalls in red, white and blue. The little seedings are a mystery. I can't remember what I planted.

The pool is open now and I find myself extremely busy once again. The season is off to a big start!