Monday, June 29, 2020

Puppy Breath

Time for some puppy love! He is growing. I bet he weighs a whole pound now. He sleeps a lot, like all babies. He has a favorite blanket and will cuddle with it.

I lost him on his third day here. I was in a searching frenzie and looked everywhere. Finally found him sleeping in one of my boxes of fabric next to the sofa. He is so tiny, he is hard to see.

He knows his name now and my voice. The next time I lost him, he had gone to his box on the floor by my bed and climbed in for a nap!  He is one smart puppy.

 When he is awake, he follows me everywhere. He manages to get marked by paint a lot! Look at that sweet little face!

I must confess that I am totally smitten with this little guy. He plays hard and sleeps hard. He has the personality of my Oscar. My pack has not had a true alpha since Oscar died. We do now!

Mr. Bojangles is still eating formula, as well as canned puppy food.  He knows the sound of me mixing the formula powder and will come running as fast as his little legs will go. I step lightly these days, because he is always close by.

The other dogs are still miffed at his presence, but I caught Cujo playing with him in the back yard. Toni Louise is still unimpressed with the intruder, but Eddie likes to play with him when he thinks no one is watching. Martha, the boy cat is the hold-out. He still hisses every time he is near.

Every evening Bo joins me in the yard to water the gardens. He plays and I water. If he wanders too far, I just call his name and he looks for my feet and comes running! Life is a little sweeter when there is puppy breath in the air. 

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Skinny Cabinets

It has been a long week. The freezer did not survive. Had to toss about $300 worth of ice cream. Managed to save almost everything else by stuffing the freezer over the fridge and other freezers.

The part to fix the commercial freezer would have cost about $100. But one could not be found. Then I began a fruitless search for a chest freezer. Tried to buy one lately? The guy at Lowes summed up the entire search by telling me that the most optimistic delivery date would be over 60 days.

Freezers are no longer made in the USA. Everything is held up with customs. There is a Whirlpool plant near St. Louis that is said to be opening back up. With that nugget of info I headed towards Kaminskis.

What is this place I speak of? I have seen it every time I zip down the interstate running errands. Family owned and operated, I thought it was just a furniture store. Out in the middle of nowhere. I have wondered how they could stay in business and now I know. The nice man, who turned out to be the owner answered the phone when I was calling around in search of  freezer. He suggested that I buy a used side by side refrigerator/freezer and that would offer more freezer space and get me by until I can locate a chest freezer for the ice cream in the store.

HeWho was playing on the Bobcat, clearing a space to put the 40' shipping container I ordered to house all his junk. So, I grabbed up Mr. Bojangles and went to look at the used units at Kaminskis. I just tell people he is my body guard. If you could hear his growl, you'd believe it!

There was a nice array of clean units to choose from. Right away I eliminated the black one. I made the mistake of buying a black stove and they are too hard to keep clean. There was a really big stainless one, but it was an off brand. I chose the off white Whirlpool for $450. Very clean, no dings or dents. Water and ice dispense through the door, but I really chose it because of the brand. In case it tries to die on me.

HeWho plays on the Bobcat thought I was just going to look, but I purchased it and the free delivery happened about 15 minutes after I came home. HeWho was impressed at my quick decision and I was armed with ammo in case he questioned my purchase without having discussed it with him. I was disappointed that he didn't bat an eye. I was all set to remind him that he bought a dump truck (with no brakes), a lawn mower that cost more than my car, and a tractor without so much as warning that these would be coming home with him. 

I hate it when that happens! After telling the delivery men to just leave the new appliance in the store, the fun began. First the old refrigerator had to be moved. I measured and realized the new one would not fit. I lost a tall skinny cabinet. You would be surprised at how much one can house in a cabinet only 8" wide.

I put the brakes on HeWho and the hand truck while I painted the wall behind the old fridge and cabinet. Then I looked up and decided to paint the ceiling, as well. The yellow bench paint had just completely worn off Mr. Bojangles. Now he is sporting a gray ear. He likes to follow me every where.

The next morning, we began to move the new fridge. I told HeWho that it was not going to fit through the door with the handles in place. They took the handles off to get it into the building. He insisted that he had measured and that it would fit just fine. Yes, we got stuck in the door way. He had to call for help. I said to push it back into the store and take the door off the hinges …..

He did not think much of my idea until Craig said it. From now on I will tell another man to give my ideas to him. I spent a good bit of time transferring food from old fridge to new fridge. While I did that, the men tackled the commercial freezer. I managed to have them take out anything useful, the strip lights, the shelves, the fans, the wheels. Then they buried it in the far field, the land of dead mowers and such.

Then I had to grab the paint and paint the wall behind the old freezer before we put the old fridge in that place. After I cleaned the inside and outside and threw out all the food and condiments I no longer recognized.

By then Friday was here and I was exhausted. I managed a nap of about an hour and 8 phone calls. I could hear the phone, I could hear the birds outside, but that was the best nap in a long time!

Today I am still trying to find new homes for my cookie sheets and such. I miss that skinny cabinet.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020


You might recall that my freezer quit working last year and I was forced to transer the stuff that survived to the freezer in the store. Not a big deal, as it was the end of the season and there was plenty of room.  Then I asked (nagged) HeWho is in charge of all things electric to pull the empty freezer out to take a look at the coils and see if that was the problem.

I finally took matters into my own capable hands and used the vacuum to suck all the accumulated dust away. Plugged it in and it started cooling. I was quite smug with my accomplisment, as I reloaded the freezer. Well, my smug attitude came back to bite me in the a$$! It lasted less than a week and I was hauling the food back to the store freezer and filling the dumpster with the stuff that could not be saved.

I created a sort of barrier between the ice cream and my frozen food. All was well with the world of frozen product again. Problem solved, no, I do not want another freezer by my washer. This works fine. And, I told myself that a full freezer works more efficiently. 

Well, wipe that smug look off my face again! I am sitting here while my freezer fixer guy, Tony, is investigating why the store freezer has crapped out on me!! Of course the freezer is FULL! Lots and lots of ice cream, corn dogs, microwave sandwiches, burgers and such. Plus all my food. The small freezer above my fridge is full, too.

To add insult to injury, the company that made this freezer has gone out of business and the part needed is proving to be hard to find. I was intent on a task outside this morning and would have been done by now, but HeWho is on a mission to help a friend and I am sitting here inside while the puppy sleeps.

Mr. BoJangles has wormed his way into our hearts, but Martha the boy cat hisses at him everytime he sees him. Cujo is not coming around at all. He tries to punish me by staying outside all day and ignoring me when I call him. Toni Louise is indifferent towards him. Eddie is interested, but still stand-offish. He hates it when Bo chases him. Bo can move fast for such a little guy!

All in good time. One day soon, the dogs will be compatible and the freezer will either work or a new one will be sitting here in it's place!

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Dumpster Diving

I looked out one day to see this discarded bench sitting next to the dumpster! I dispatched HeWho has strong arms to retrieve it for me.

Interesting, I thought. A little loose jointed, it will need to be tightened up. Looks like it had cushions on it. That won't work for my purposes, though. I know exactly where I want it to go and I am not going out every night to bring the cushions in.

Paint is the next step, after I make a seat bottom. I like to challenge myself. My challenge for this project is to spend zero dollars. I scrounged around my scrap wood and chose to use 2 X 4's. Already here and they just needed a few cuts to fit.

I left the springs in place. Too much of a hassle to remove them and I could not think of another project to use them on.While I was measuring the boards I had an epiphany. I could not find my tape measure (despite the fact that HeWho loses tools gave me my very own tool bag and my very own tools with purple handles ....... he "borrows" them and I never see them again.), so I was sliding the boards onto the seat and marking them for cuts.

Two of the boards were long, not long enough to cut in half and use, but they stuck out on either side. As I stood there looking at them, it hit me (my epiphany). Why not leave them long and use them as a little side table on which to place one's cup? I said this aloud to myself, as I often do, and my inner voice said "YES!"

I used some 1 X 4's to create the side tables and then rummaged through the paint I already had on hand. This yellow green was exterior gloss, so it won the selection process. I was really leaning towards a bight blue, but that was interior paint. As you can see, Mr. BoJangles was "helping" me, but he became tired and simply lay down to sleep. He did end up with some yellow paint in his fur.

Remember my recent mulching extravaganza?Well, this is one of the beds I did. I did not plant flowers, but put it in between some young trees I planted. One day, there will be shade there. The bench faces the golf/billiards game. Looks like a good place to wait your turn, don't you think?

I spent absolutely nothing on this project. Patting myself on the back. Dumpster diving can be a good thing!

Saturday, June 20, 2020


This is a picture of Piper, Mr. BoJangles mother. Piper is a Yorkie and weighs about 4 lbs. The two candidates for the father are a Chihuahua, or a Shitzu mix.

Only time will tell which one sired Mr. BoJangles.


We are going to call him "Bo". Mr. BoJangles is a mouth full! After only 3 days, he has become a member of the family. No longer shy, he chases the other dogs relentlessly. His legs look too long to me, but I am partial to short legs. Eddie spends
his time trying to avoid Bo and watching Bo's food dish to see if he can clean it out and deny the puppy his food.

Cujo and Toni Louise remain steadfast in avoiding Bo altogether. Martha, the boy cat, is another story altogether. Martha alternates between shunning me and stalking Bo. He is upset that I take Bo out to weed garden beds with me. That is Martha's territory, as far as he is concerned. This is where Martha and I spend time together. He likes to wind in and out of my legs as I pull weeds. When he tires of that, he will just sit and watch me, as if hypnotized by my actions. I know he is really just waiting for a tiny rabbit or bird to pop out so he can grab it.

Since the three "big dogs" seem to dislike Bo, I take him outside with me. He will stay wherever I am and follow me from one garden to the other.

Or someone may come along and scoop him up, such as HeWho said "NO MORE DOGS"! He is totally smitten with Bo!                                                       

Friday, June 19, 2020

Mr. BoJangles

Cujo here. I would be the one with tears running down my face. My mom is far too busy to write, you know. I suppose you can tell why, when you look at the picture above. I cannot believe she did this, but there it is …. a new puppy. I definitely heard dad say "NO MORE DOGS".

I will admit that I found his statement to be offensive. I am a dog, after all. I was quite nice to Eddie when he invaded my life a few years ago. I enjoy his company now that he has outgrown that annoying puppy stage. Things were just great around here until two days ago. We had a rhythm, us dogs. We all knew our place.

Then, suddenly, this puppy is LIVING here with us! Meet Mr. Bojangles. Mister? I am not calling him Mister anything! My mom sings to this puppy and makes baby talk to him. It is disgusting, if you ask me! I was punished for snarling at the little nuisance. She said I was jealous! I am not jealous of that little annoying scrap of fur. I am a full bred Dachshund and I look the part. You can't even tell what this puppy is.

To make matters worse, my mom takes this puppy everywhere she goes. She even mowed the yard with him stuck inside her shirt! She said it was to keep him safe from us dogs. Just because I sort of bit him and rolled him around a bit. I was just trying to get to know him better. Hey, Eddie did it, too.

Eddie liked him at first. Toni and I refused to even sniff him. Toni still won't even look his way. Eddie pulled out a big green monkey he used to play with and took it to the puppy. My mom was all like, "Oh, Eddie you are such a good boy. I am so proud of you!" And then Eddie was all like watching the puppy eat and sleep that first day.

Toni and I set him straight, though. Eddie doesn't like it when my mom pets Toni. She is Dad's dog. Eddie doesn't care when Toni gets petted by Dad and he is okay with my mom kissing me and holding me. He waits patiently for his turn. We reminded Eddie that she was holding that puppy way more than she was holding us. 

So, when my mom put the puppy in his kennel with his bowl of puppy formula, Eddie waited until that puppy fell asleep and then he stuck his head in and drank that puppy's milk and then he dragged out the blanket and toy.

Now he is in trouble with my mom. She scolded him and told him he was jealous, too. He tried to look up at her with his cute face, but she wasn't buying it. I told him what jealous meant and now he is indignant.

Dad is such a pushover! All he did was hold that little puppy and it was over. I just knew that would happen. He acts all tough with my mom, but she usually gets what she wants. She had a long talk with me last night and told me that she would always love me the best. I am not supposed to tell the others, though. We still have our special time together at then end of the day. I guess he is sort of cute, but I still am not happy to share the affections of my mom.

Friday, June 12, 2020

You Can't Please Them All

HeWho ate the smoke flavored cake. He said that when you got past the after taste of the first bite, it was alright. Keep in mind his blood thinner has changed the taste of most foods for him.

I thought about cleaning the oven today, but it is so hot and it will just catch fire again from the grease that oozed out of the meatloaf. It was a good way to get the grease out, I suppose, but I don't recommend it.

Today is Friday, check-in day for all the weekenders. I would say that this is the worst day of the week, but actually, it is Saturday. At least I stay busy on Friday. Saturday demands that I stay in the store and times drags slowly. I have so many things I would rather do.

Last weekend, at the end of her stay, a camper came in to book this weekend. She requested two particular sites and is having another camper join her. I wrote her in the books for those sites, in pen, not pencil. This is an indication to myself that the site was requested. She arrived shortly after noon and I was still cleaning bathrooms. I stopped and checked her in and went back to my task at hand.

I bet you are thinking I have a really gross bathroom tale today. Sorry to disappoint. We have a group of 5 guys staying here while they lay fiber optic cable for AT&T. They do not speak English, but I am willing to bet they understand it pretty well. They use the showers and they use a lot of paper product. More than is used in a season booked solid! They would appear to have breakfast in the bathroom. I find banana peels and cereal boxes in the trash. Mud boot prints on the floor are easy enough to deal with. At least they don't draw on the walls...

But, I digress. My phone rings just as I get the gloves back on my hands. It is the requested site, asking to move. All the surrounding sites are reserved and I am not willing to make a big effort because she REQUESTED the site. I reminded her that she had requested the site and after her asking for every other site, including the site she had stayed on previously and deemed unsuitable. I gave her one option and it was the only site not reserved. She says never mind, she will stay where she is.

Strike one has occurred. I get back to the job at hand and barely get one sink scrubbed before my phone beckons me again. She has changed her mind again and decides she will take me up on the other site. Okay, whatever. I get back to my scrubbing of sinks and toilets, having already emptied and relined the trash cans. Now I am sweeping the floors …..

That was strike two. The phone, again. I want to scream as I hear her now familiar voice. She had reserved two sites, one in front of the other. She had a friend coming for the other site. Now, she has decided to go back to her originally requested site and wants the site next to her to be the site for the friend. I tell her that will be fine. Then, strike three occurs when she asks me not to rent the sites left empty on the two runs they will occupy. 

I assure her that I will be using the sites if I need them, as that is the way things work. I offer to let her pay for the sites she wants left vacant. She thought I was joking. I wasn't.

Not nearly done here …. her friend came. she calls again to tell me he can't "fit" on the assigned site. At this point I want to run far, far away. It is a small camper and a pop-up camper. The sites are over 50' long each and I fill those sites quite frequently with rigs much larger than these. in the most recent call, I am told that the power went out. I sent HeWho has more patience than I to solve the current dilemma. And, she is out of strikes, anyway.

I say he is patient and he is for the most part. But when pushed, he will just transact a refund and tell the camper to be on their way. You can't please everyone.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Smoked Cake, Anyone?

It is as if I have been hypnotized and can't stop myself! I did it again. I cut my hair. Then I jumped in the shower and dried and styled it. It turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself! Even HeWho thinks I did a good job. I think he was sincere. Really, I do.

It was all thick on either side and too long on top. My mother was a hairdresser and I know how to mimic. I took my time and parted it off and tried to keep all my cuts the same length, while not snipping that skin between one's fingers. It is almost easier to do by feel rather than looking in the mirror. I tend to misjudge and cut myself when I look in the mirror.

I could have just let it grow, but it is hot and like I said yesterday, I sweat profusely. If sweat were a commodity, I would be rich! I mowed my entire 9 miles today without having to stop and rest! This means I am back to my pre-heart attack strength.

I am enjoying not having to deal with the pool. I will miss the revenue, but it is nice to have some down time to work on some projects that we never seem to have time for. We can take our time cleaning and painting the pool, repairing the loungers and painting them. Picnic tables and fences need attention, too.

In the meantime, I was cooking supper last night. HeWho wanted meatloaf. Meatloaf minus salt isn't all that tasty unless you drown it in ketchup. His ketchup has no salt (mine does). So I put the meatloaf together and tucked it in the oven next to a giant sweet potato. Then decided to bake a plain yellow cake. I planned to split the layers in half and smear some blackberry jam on the bottom and top it and put some cool whip on top. Not very fancy, but I was not about to go shopping for ingredients. You just use what you have.

Everything was going quite well and would all be done about the same time. I had washed all the preparation dishes and even cleaned a shelf of the refrigerator. I had 20 minutes to kill, so I decided to take all my vegetable scraps and egg shells to the compost bin. I stopped to chat a minute with Kampers Craig and Cheryl. I came back in before the timer went off to find the oven had a small fire in the bottom. I pulled all the food out and put the fire out. No biggie, I have been known to have kitchen fires before.

The food all still tasted fine and we ate our dinner. I jammed the cake and plopped on some cool whip before we ate dinner. HeWho cut himself a generous piece and I had a piece as well. It tasted like smoke. Smoked ham, smoked chicken, smoked ribs are all good. Smoked cake …. not so much.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Just Wondering

I am pretty used to being here all the time with just an occasional outing, so staying home doesn't bother me all that much. What bothers me lately is my internet service. It is sporadic and painfully slow (says the old lady who types with two fingers). Several times I have seen guys on the tower where the satellites should be transmitting a good signal since I am so close. I don't see them come to the tower, but I hear them when they are up there. I just wish the signal traveled as well as their voices.

Staying home is okay. But I must stopping cutting my own hair. Seems like every time I look in the mirror I see something that looks ….. well, just wrong. So I convince myself that I can fix it. I might need a second opinion. I thought I was doing the same thing my hairdresser does. There will be no pictures posted to shame me. I will be making an appointment. I will mask and glove and wrap myself in saran wrap if I have to, but I don't think my hair can take another DIY chopping. 

Just this morning I was scratching my neck where a tick tried to find a new home and felt like there was a chunk of hair that was too long. Did I ask anyone or go check it in the mirror? No. Who was I to ask? HeWho says I look fine. I can't see the back of my head in a mirror! I just picked up some scissors with questionable sharpness and chopped a chunk off. Then my fingers found another long piece and …. well, use your imagination.

I grabbed a tie-dye scarf that came in a package of spices from my baby girl and wrapped my head with it and tied it on top. There were all manner of freebies in that box of salt free spices. Magnets and samples. I don't even want to know how much this cost. My baby girl did not inherit her mom's thriftiness!

Though he is rarely honest when I ask how I look, HeWho informed me that my head tie did not do me any favors. So I decided he could handle all the campers today. That turned out to be one, just one. Karma owes me!

I spent a good bit of time pulling weeds today. The weather was on the chilly side, but I still worked up a sweat. That started me thinking about the powder I bought recently. Baby powder, the label says pure cornstarch. I am okay with that, I just wants to dust my fat in an effort to stay somewhat dry. But, cornstarch. It has to have something else in it, it doesn't smell like cornstarch. It smells like baby powder. I pondered further (I am a deep thinker, you know), what stops this cornstarch from making sweat pudding as it mixes with my sweat? It is a thickening agent when you cook with it and it was really hot yesterday. 

Just wondering, as I am apt to do. 

Friday, June 5, 2020


Times seems to have gotten away from me. When it is not raining I am mowing and planting. Endlessly it would seem. The grass is growing so fast I can't keep up. The weeds are over taking my gardens and I am busy from sunup til sundown. Then I wash all the dirt from my feet and hands with a scrub brush and fall into bed to repeat the same thing the next day.

I heard some guys on the satellite tower about a week ago. I was hoping they were from Sprint. I was looking forward to better internet, but that didn't happen. For the past few days it has been particularly slow. I tend to just give up after a bit of waiting to connect and just go to bed. I do check the campground e-mail without fail to harvest any reservations.

The phone continues to be a constant source of annoyance. I got up at 6 this morning and decided to lay back down with the dogs having done their business. I was just going to rest my eyes for a minute until I could smell the coffee brewing …. Does the fact that I didn't start any coffee mean that my subconscious mind sabotaged my plan? Maybe I did it on purpose. At any rate I slept until 10. Toni Louise was staring at me when I opened my eyes, no doubt wondering why I was in the bed with my two dogs and interfering with her time with her master.

My phone was full of missed call and empty voicemails. Just breathing in the background. I sipped hot coffee as I made my way through all the call backs. Thankfully, the weekend campers did not start showing up early to incur my wrath. The phone calls took care of that.

I will never understand why people with reservations will call me to tell me their plans for the day. It matters very little to me if you have laundry to do before you can leave home to get here. Just because I tell you that check-in time is "ANYTIME AFTER NOON" does not mean I want to a progress report several times throughout the day. I don't want to know what you are doing as you speak to me and who else is involved with you weekend plans.

As I make the reservations I make sure to tell each and everyone that my pool will not be open this year. All week long I have stopped what I am doing to hike up to the store and take down information for people who will say that the pool does not matter to them. Then they will call back a few hours later to cancel the reservation, or wait a day and cancel. Or, my favorite, wait until they actually get here and then go berserk because the pool is not open.

I have now added that you must wear a mask to enter the building that the store/office and my residence is in. They still show up naked faced and disgusted with me. I will go outside and do the check-in procedure while they glare at me in my mask. I don't care to hear about their conspiracy theories. If they persist, I consider them to be my new audience for MY opinions …… and I do have some opinions!

Today, I sit chained to this desk as the weekend looms large and wonder just how many more hours I can be polite. My head aches, my muscles ache and all I really want to do is jump in my car and go see my kids. I know I can't grab them and hug them or kiss the heads of my grandchildren, but I can bask in their presence and look at them!

This past week has been about mulching. Not my established gardens, but two new plots with trees that will grow to provide shade. It is hard to mow around the tress I planted. My mowing men cannot appreciate my tree planting abilities. They only see that it will be a pain to mow and HeWho has been known to mow over my smaller tree plantings and claim someone else must have done it. These little plots surrounded by tree plantings will not have flowers in their midst. I will be "planting" benches in the area among the trees that will one day offer shade. They are located close to the playground and the Billiards/Golf game. I can always attach golf umbrellas to provide shade until my trees take over. 

In the meantime I am sitting at this desk, wishing I were somewhere else!