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!