Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Meet the Dwarfs

These dwarfs are from a collection that Dollar General had a few years ago. These are all that was left when HeWho remembered to get them for me. They have been hanging out in one garden or another since. They were pretty faded, so I spruced them up a bit and gave them a bandstand with a nice tin roof. You can see some other dwarfs in various states of being completed on the fence behind them. Fence boards are hard to paint details on. Like faces and clothes. I find the best way to get to the low spots is to kneel on the ground. 

I am of an age that makes kneeling difficult. My knees ache and though it is easy to get down to my knees, getting back up is not pretty! This is going to take some time ...

He was easy to paint. I was sitting at my desk. It was quite painless.

The well turned out pretty good. I still need to add the hinges and door handle to the green door on the pink house. It occurred to me that I could actually get water to the well, see the hose on the ground? It is usually hidden with ground cover.

This one of the dwarfs I painted on the fence. I still need to outline him properly. On my knees, leaning in, with my left hand holding the fence for balance while I try to keep my right hand steady. Fun.

 A long view. I just realized that my road looks more like s weird tree. Maybe I should paint it gray and put some yellow lines down the middle. I will be adding the shingles to the pink house tomorrow. That's my plan. I might do a gray on the road first. And detail some more dwarfs. Maybe.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Dog Allergies, Itching and Bathing

Another dreary day here when I woke. Gray skies make me feel like climbing back into bed. I could have, but for the energy of Bo. After he gobbles up his breakfast he runs and runs. This usually done outside, but he insists on having a playmate with him. Oh, he can gain entry to the yard and the house. He has that screen door all figured out. I have thwarted his forays into the world by screwing 2 X 4's along the bottom of the fence.

Today, though, not even good natured Eddie would go out with him. Cujo is never interested in being anywhere near Bo, unless he thinks he can grab bite of his delicious puppy food. Sometimes Martha, the boy cat will succumb to puppy charms and go out to chase him. Toni Louise is always in bed until her master arises. So, this morning Bo chose to work off the energy provided by breakfast inside. 

This meant that the path he chose to run included the sofa and me. He ran up one side and around my neck, then down and back on the floor, around the chair of HeWho was still sleeping in blissful oblivion, under the table and back to me again. After 5 rounds I stopped counting. It was hard to sip hot coffee with all the activity, but he finally wore himself out and climbed into my lap for a nap.

He is becoming more affectionate and likes to have his tummy rubbed while he sleeps. He will even give me a kiss before exposing his underside for a gentle rub. After watching him annoy a grasshopper to death, then eat it, I am not too keen on those kisses. He still seeks me out at night to be put in his kennel for the long sleep. I can almost hear him sigh as he positions himself for sleep. I sleep well knowing he is where I put him until I wake.

By the time Bo settled this morning I had enough coffee flowing through my veins to eliminate going back to bed. Besides, the strange people with the disabled Bounder were here late last night removing their belongings. It is supposed to be towed out today. That will make me happy. I am tired of dealing with the people involved. Okay, I confess that I pushed that responsibility off on HeWho is outside more than I am. I am the delicate lady of the manor, after all. That should make anyone who knows me laugh.

There is a chill in the air. I am not ready to wear real shoes yet. I should have another month of flip flops yet. Since Eddie is still itching relentlessly because of grass allergies, I am willing to wear cold weather shoes if it will mean I can stop bathing him every other night. He is such a good natured dog, he doesn't complain even though the shampoo has to stay on him for 10 minutes. He stands quietly in the tub waiting to be rinsed. Toni is itching, too. Unlike Eddie, she is not at all well behaved. Her master is totally incompetent and I end up bathing her. 

Bo has been scratching, too. He doesn't have any patches of scaly skin and I tend to think he just mimics Eddie. But, to be on the safe side, I bathed him in the medicated shampoo the last time I bathed the other two. 

Why I thought it would be a good idea to tackle all three at once eludes me. It was NOT a good idea for me. I gathered and trapped them in the bathroom. Eddie did not protest at all when I placed him in the tub and proceeded to wet his fur. Toni Louise leapt in and out of the tub and I had not even touched her. I did Eddie first, thinking he could get the 10 minute wait done while I applied shampoo to the other two dogs. Let it be known that the shampoo was on Eddie for about 20 minutes. I decided to do Bo next, remembering how easy it was to bathe him the day he came to live here. He was so tiny and sweet then. He may still be tiny, but there was nothing sweet about soaping the little devil up. He fought me every step of the way. Once the shampoo went on he was slippery and hard to hold, as I tried to work the shampoo into his bristles. His is not longer puppy soft, it almost feels like you are petting a pig!  He bit me a couple of times, causing Eddie to stare at him in wide eyed wonder. Toni Louise was too busy clawing at the bathroom door in an effort to escape.

Finally I grabbed Toni and starting wetting her down. Her fur is hard to soak. It is like she has scotch guard applied to it. She is hard to hold with one hand while working the shower wand with the other. It did not help that HeWho came in the house and to the door of the bathroom to inquire about the activities going on. Once she heard his voice she broke free and jumped from the tub to the door and shook with all her might. I had to capture her again to soap her down, she shook that off as well as I yelled at HeWho to go away, she could sense that he was near and thought he would rescue her.

He did not go away. He kept talking, while his dog was leaping and shaking all over everything. "Want me to get some towels for you?" says the man I told to leave us alone. I had already gathered my towels. Five of them. Two each for Toni and Eddie and one for the little guy. But, wait, she knocked the stack to the floor and proceeded to rub her soapy body on them. Good thing I have a cabinet full of dog towels.

During all of this, my Charming Eddie waited patiently to be rinsed, then scooped up in a big towel to dry him off. In an attempt to "help" me, HeWho opened the door to take Eddie and the other two ran out with their not rinsed selves. As I rinsed Bo, after I wrangled him back to the tub, he chose to bite me rather hard. Hard enough to draw blood and earned himself a good thump to his nose. He was so surprised I was able to completely dry him before loosing him to deal with Miss Toni Louise.

Tonight is another bath night. I am more than happy to take care of Eddie. Bo is fake itching and HeWho can deal with his own dog! I am quite content to play solitaire on my phone for 10 minutes while Eddie soaks quietly. Cujo loves a good bath, but he is not itching and I don't want to make him itch by bathing him too often. He might do a little jealous whining in the background, but I am okay with that!

I am off to finish the band stand for the dwarf musicians and rebuild the well that will allow them to get drinking water from the tiny red bucket. The dwarfs have been in another garden for several years now and were looking tired and faded. I spruced them up this past weekend with some bright colors and painted the floor of the band stand. Yesterday I got the tin roof cut and painted it a happy blue. Tomorrow I will post pictures.


Monday, September 28, 2020

Do Not Murder Turtles

 Do you ever wonder if witchcraft is real? Have you ever met someone you are drawn to and genuinely like until they show their true self to you? Then suddenly you really see them, like a spell has been broken? You find yourself wondering how you could have been fooled for so long.

I am sure it has happened to all of us at one time or another in our lives. I find that as I grow older I am less inclined to be impressed or shocked. In retrospect, it is always easy to see where you missed the clues. Of course, the sorcerer/sorceress is always on guard in your presence, careful to only let you see what they want you to see. 

Others can easily see the flaws, as no effort to win them over have been applied. They see to be immune to the charms of the sorcerer. 

This past weekend has left me wrung out. I failed to close on time all three nights. Have I mentioned that there is a night check-in available? I even have simple instructions to follow posted. You grab a registration packet from the clip board, fill out the pertinent information and then retain one copy for yourself, put the other copy, along with your payment in the envelope provided and deposit it in the drop box. Then go find an empty site, pull in and spend the night.

When we traveled in our RV, we would often come in later than the office was open and make use of the night registration. Nobody ever explained it to us. We just followed the instructions. So, why is it that lately, no one seems to be able to do just that. I had a call yesterday about a site for a pop-up. I told the caller that I had plenty of sites available for that purpose and that I would be closing in less than an hour. I even told her the range of site numbers available and the rate. "Can't you just stay there until we get there?" "We will be there just a few minutes after 5." 

At 5:30, I locked the door and cooked our dinner. I saw a pop-up come in and saw the woman go to the office door, look exasperated and then leave. There was a time when I would have stopped eating and jumped up to take care of the late customer. I don't do that anymore. Not good for digestion, as the food is usually inedible by the time I get back to it. The dogs used to love it when I was interrupted and forgot to guard my food on the highest counter.

"There goes $30", I thought to myself. Then I decided it wasn't worth it. I wonder if she would have waited for me if the tables were turned. Probably not. I didn't lose any sleep over it. I finished my meal and had just settled among the hounds to watch a previously recorded TV show when the phone rang.

"I saw on your web site that you have night registration available." I noted the headlamps of a vehicle on the monitor that projects the camera view of the front parking lot. I agreed with the caller that we did, indeed, have night registration available. "Well ...... what do we do?" I tell her there is a registration packet on a clipboard, located to the left of the office door, next to the drop box, with instructions posted right above the drop box. "Oh, no one is coming out?" I tell her that we are currently closed and not in the office. Once again she wanted to know what to do. I ended up going over each step and telling her a site number that I knew to be vacant. It would have been quicker to just go in the office and let her in to take care of it, but I had already taken my clothes off and was in my nightgown, knowing I wanted to be in bed early.

I am still dealing with the towed RV and all the repercussions involved with it. The owner of the RV gave me a bogus credit card number. She was supposed to have been here Saturday morning. She called Saturday afternoon to say she couldn't get here until Sunday morning, but "PROMISED" she would be here early.

She had insisted that the tow drop her on a full hook up site, that she planned to stay in it while waiting for the insurance adjuster. From what she told me on the phone, she did not plan to be here past the weekend. She was sitting on a site that was already reserved for Monday.

He showed up early and I could not park him.  He was quite nice about it and agreed to park in the dry storage area until today. When the woman called she was, on how to put this so I don't sound like I am judging her? She was definitely excited about something and talking faster than me (I did not realize this was possible). I found it hard to get a word in. She had given me the credit card info, but not her phone number and I had campers waiting to be checked in. So, not having a way to contact her, I tried to run her card for her bill thus far. That is how I knew the number was not valid. All I knew as I went to bed was that I needed to get the disabled RV off that  site for the reservation pending.

We woke to find the insurance adjuster already here and got her contact info from him. HeWho took pity on me and he called her. Because he can't hear well, his volume is way up there and I could hear both sides of the conversation. I was finding it necessary to mouth what she was saying. He could not understand her.

She finally came with a valid credit card and now, having seen her, I can tell you her "excitement" was definitely enhanced with something that is probably not legal. Upon finding out that the insurance adjuster had already come and gone, she went a little crazy, yanking her mask down to call him.

HeWho said I was harsh when I reprimanded her about taking her mask off inside my office. He should know better than to try to reel me in. There was a carful of them and they were all quite excitable. One guy was jumping up and down and gesturing wildly with his arms as he spoke to someone in the car that I couldn't quite see. Then he proceeded to run down the drive. Since HeWho thought me harsh had left the office to go piddle around, I got to my feet and quietly locked the door to the office. As they finally gathered the jumping man and drove out of the park I noted that they liked turtles a lot. Someone had painted "stop turtle murders" on the side window of the vehicle. 

I believe I might have said that Mondays are usually quiet. I was wrong.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Tomorrow Is Always Better

 Friday is Monday for me. I look forward to Monday, as they are usually quiet. This Friday has lived up to the reputation of a bad Monday.

I had all my ducks in a row, so to speak. I had carefully mapped out all my reservations and run out of 50 amp sites, leaving me to have to turn down calls looking for a place to sleep. We have maxed out all of our available juice for possible upgrades. But that is not an issue for today.

Last week a camper had a battery explode in his golf cart. The guys helped push it up to front of the store and remove the battery. The battery was still in the parking lot this morning. A hazard for children and small animals. I had not thought anything about it, thinking it would have gone with golf cart. I can't toss it in the dumpster. I would be charged extra for hazardous waste. It has to be disposed of in a proper location. So, off to town went HeWho loves to run errands. 

I had finished the last segment of my mowing and was ready for a shower, stewing in my own sweat. I was heading in for a quick shower when the first camper pulled in. I thought I had 15 minutes before opening, but I had miscalculated and was checking in the first camper when the second reservation arrived. A shower, I just wanted a quick 10 minutes to make myself presentable to the world at large. The second camper had another camper he wanted to be next to. For 3 days. I had just vacated two premium sites and thought they would be nicer than  the ones he chose. 

You know what happens when you assume something, right? I explained my reasoning to him and he seemed to agree ... until the issue of his satellite came up. Then he said, and I quote, "TV's not that important." and off he went to park. I told him I would locking the door for about 15 minutes to grab a shower and to tell his friend where to park, as he had paid for both.

Remember, HeWho was on the battery disposal run. I literally ran to the bathroom and got in the shower before the water was even hot. I had rinsed the shampoo from my hair and was just starting to wash the rest of me when the phone rang. I did not even attempt to answer, knowing I could simply return the call after I was dry. It was the man I told I was going to be indisposed for the next 15 minutes.

When I didn't answer, he headed to the office. I stopped him and told him to just go to the sites he had wanted. Before I could do anything to my hair, I threw my clothes on and heard the door chime. HeWho had returned and left again, leaving the office open. It was the wife of the man who wanted to change sites. She wanted to get the firewood he had purchased. We deliver the wood to site and it was already on the way.

The day went downhill from there. With only tent and sewerless sites opened, I managed to fill them all with off the road traffic calling in. One call was baffled, because I could not accommodate them with a long 50 amp site. Bewildered, the woman caller bemoaned that they had stayed before and never had to reserve ahead. Just lucky on the other times, I guess.

One call was from a woman with a broken down motor home being towed in. I managed to find a space for her RV. The super size tow truck arrived just as another reservation pulled in. A smaller tow truck followed him. He pulled the RV slap dab in the middle of the parking lot at a weird angle. Both drivers proceeded to my door and I saw them pause to read my sign, then disregard it and enter with no masks.

I was busy with the other camper, but paused and told them they could not come in without a mask. Attitude radiated from the bigger of the two as he stalked away. HeWho was gone again, as his first attempt to discard the battery had failed due to it being a lunch break for the establishment designated for such. So, I was here alone. I finished with the check-in in front of  me, grabbed a clip board and headed out to take care of the disabled motor home on the tow truck.

I approached the truck and the driver ignored me. I had to yell to be heard and asked if he wanted to know where to drop the RV. He answered, an insolent, "I don't care." I said, "So, are you going to just sit here all afternoon?" and once again he said he didn't care. The tone was that of a teen told to do something he didn't want to do. I am far too old to put up with such. I called my kamper Craig to handle the man and called the tow company and told on him!!

I suppose I could have simply written a bad review, but I would want to know if someone representing my park was treating people with disrespect. I was told similar complaints had been issued about this man. He was polite to my kamper. He told him he had camped here before!! Then you would think he would know to put his attitude away with me!That made it even more annoying!

Hoping for some calm after the storm, I went back to making templates for my community of dwarfs living along the fence line. I like to have something to keep me busy during the lulls on Fridays. I can't cook a meal. I will either burn the food or set the stove on fire, so I don't even try anymore. Leftovers, or take out is on the menu for Fridays.

As I am happily drawing the faces on my templates, my glasses fall from my face. The ear stem has broken off for the second time. I had "fixed" it with super glue, but they did not sit on my face right and the bifocal part was never the same. They made me dizzy and I had to take them off to walk around. I do have an extra pair, so I am okay for the immediate future. 

Only one more hour to go and 11 more reservations pending. With the way the day has gone, I am betting they will all come at the same time! Tomorrow should be better, right?

Friday, September 25, 2020


 I am feeling better. Not 100%, but much better. So much so that I spent an hour and a half in the dentist chair to be fitted for my new crown. This will be three .... so I must be a queen by now!

While I was feeling crappy, I slept a lot. Eddie and Cujo were happy to nap with me, leaving Bo and Tony Louise to help HeWho was in charge. I know I am sick when I no longer care about mistakes that could be made with reservations. 

Except for not dating registrations or reservations, he did okay. He would put the days of the month that the reservation was for, but not which month. Upon questioning, he would say, "I don't know, they said those days." He put the reservation on whatever page was open and clearly marked at the top. No phone number for me to call and say to the person, "I am sorry, but my husband is an idiot ...." Only time will tell, as I pencil it in on this month and October. HeWho likes to create challenges for me! Keeps me sharp minded.

The weather is my favorite kind. The grass is not growing as fast, freeing up more time for painting fences. I paint awhile, then while that dries, I clip back dead stems from my gardens. At this rate I will have all my gardens ready for a long winter's nap. It is cool enough to plant small trees, as well and I have some baby maple trees on my agenda today. I discovered a tiny sycamore when I trimmed dead stems from a clump of Hosta yesterday. It needs to stay put until Spring. Then I will take up the Hosta, as well as the tree. I might take it to Minnesota if my daughter wants shade in her yard.

Mr. Bo Jangles is continuing to grow older, not bigger. He has proven to be quite the escape artist. He has learned how to gain momentum and slam himself into the screen door to go outside. The other dogs follow, while Martha, the boy cat looks on. Once outside he searches for any opening he can possibly enlarge. He will escape and the doxies will bark frantically to let us know the little stinker is out. It takes both of us and a treat to catch him. He can run like the wind.

I have screwed 2 X 4's to the bottom of the fence all the way around now. Last time he escaped he was determined to get back in the yard the same way he came out. He located his point of escape and was wriggling back under the fence, butt first when I grabbed him. Scolding him does nothing. He will just look at me with those bright eyes and turn his little head to one side. Reminds me so much of my Oscar, he would just stare at me until I finished my tirade, then walk away. The other dogs will hang their heads in shame. Bo knows no shame.

He has found his place on the sofa with me. He perches on my shoulder, watching my every move. He loves to watch the letters appear on the screen of the computer .... he also likes to walk across the keyboard. He is slowly learning to behave when on the sofa with me and I have to admit that I like the feel of him on my shoulder. He is still not very cuddly, preferring to be left alone when he sleeps.

  He looks like the pampered little guy that he is!

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Common Sense

 I am sick. I awoke from my nap yesterday feeling worse than when I lay down. Throat hurts, intermittent cough, ears hurt and I am light headed. I decided I was not fit for the camping public. 

This means that HeWho shall be in charge. Before I set off on my nap adventure, I carefully made note of all pending reservations and where to put them. I handed the phone to him and gathered my faithful doxies and scurried to my bedroom. I left him with a notepad and two dogs. All he had to do was answer the phone and check in campers. And let the dogs in his charge in and out.

I woke feeling awful and thought food would help. This prompted him to order a pizza from Dominoes. Forbidden food for cardiac patients, but sometimes you just have to give in. He picked the pizza up and was back with it very quickly. I saw him lift the first slice and I knew right away it was not cooked all the way. The stringy mass falling was not cheese, it was dough!

This seems to be a problem with this particular Dominoes. Maybe they need to have their oven temperature checked or the timing is off. At any rate, I gagged at the thought of trying to actually eat it. HeWho was happy to be eating something he shouldn't, ate that slice and put the rest in the kitchen, saying he was going to finish cooking it "later". I decided I wasn't hungry after all, and positioned my sick self on the sofa with more dogs than pillows. I think I dozed on and off, answering the phone and taking reservations in between.

I smelled the oven at one point. I could smell the pizza cooking ...... then burning. I was presented with a plate of hot from the oven pizza, really crisp on the bottom. Why do I smell something burning?

"Oh, yea, I made a big mess in the oven." says HeWho "cooked" my dinner. "I will clean it up later." Same thing he told me after he knocked over this rack and bin contraption he bought to sort his various parts and tools in. It takes up a lot of real estate in my laundry room and although it is on wheels, if you attempt to move it, the bins will come loose and a domino effect will happen, taking out at least 1/4 of the bins, spilling their various contents on the floor.

Just like the bins incident, "later" never came. When I first got up from my nap, I was freezing. Then, when I made my way to the kitchen to make dinner for Mr. Bo Jangles, I was too hot. That's when I saw the mess and I was really hot! HeWho is apparently inept at anything kitchen related had put the already sliced pizza on the oven rack WITH NOTHING UNDER IT. Use your imagination and you still won't know the magnitude of the mess in my kitchen.

So, now I am hot and mad. There were dishes in the sink, covering the dish cloth that he had attempted to wipe up some of the 400 degree mess. This burned through the cloth, of course and I threw it away. Cheesy masses hung from all the racks and formed masses of burnt blobs in the bottom of the oven. But, wait, there's more! It was all over the door and falling through to the drawer under the stove. 

Just like the pan of chocolate chip cookies I asked him to take from the oven last week while I was taking care of a customer. The cookies were on parchment paper on a flat cookie sheet. Instead of pulling the sheet straight out of the oven, he tilted it and all the cookies slid off and burned in the bottom of the oven. He didn't clean that mess up either. 

I made a lot of noise as I cleaned up the mess last night. This is a self cleaning oven. Not really, though. You still have to remove the food from the bottom before you turn that function on. It will eventually "clean" it, but it will catch on fire and burn it. 

The instructions are pretty clear about removing any blobs of food BEFORE you set the oven to clean. Common sense would dictate that you do so. Just like common sense would tell you not to stand on a glass top stove. I knew someone who did just that. The glass is not made to hold the weight of canning pot full of water, much less an adult who should be able to reason this out in her head. She ended up with stitches in her feet and got a brand new stove by telling them she dropped a frozen turkey on it. 

I just knew that he would opt for the "self cleaning" mode on the oven if left to his own devices. Not to worry, though, I doubt he could figure out how to turn it on. Was that mean? I don't care!

So, here I am, feeling awful. In the back of my mind I am comparing my symptoms with those of Covid symptoms. Can't help it. Mainly I wonder if I should muster up the energy to write a book of instructions for HeWho would be on his own if I were to be hospitalized for any length of time. Can he survive on his own? Will he burn the house down? Will he remember to feed the dogs? Will he mush up Bo's food the way he likes it?

Easier to just hire a sitter! One with a little common sense, which seems to be in short supply here! 


Saturday, September 19, 2020

Sweet Dreams

The milder weather has me outside all day long. Well, until I have to actually do my real job. As I have been trimming trees and pulling weeds and edging gardens, I decided to relocate my dwarfs and gnomes. They had been asking for bigger houses and a better location. This is a work in progress. I still have to build a stage for the dwarf band and put cedar shakes on the roof of the hot pink house. More clouds, more trees ..... Can you see the little tea set? Look in the lower left corner. One of my kampers gave it to me awhile back. I love it there!

While I played, the men played with big toys. HeWho grabbed the best seat. With age comes privilege, I suppose. They are fixing a water leak.

I walked my gardens and picked at deadheads. I found some new friends out pollinating. This bee posed for his picture. A nice profile, don't you think?

This guy turned his back to me and refused to engage with me. If that engagement included a sting, I should be most happy about that.

 Maybe he saw my fence and did not take kindly to my art work. Another project to finish. More flowers and maybe a grasshopper and crickets. Dragon flies, too. Worms? Ladybugs and most definitely a frog!

Today has me longing for a nap. My right leg has been giving me fits lately, so I took myself to the clinic. The ache has me pacing the floors in the wee hours of the morning, unable to find a position that allows the ache to subside. It is either a precursor to an attack of Shingles or it is Sciatica. I am voting for Sciatica. No painful rash has erupted. We talked about treatment plans and I opted for the most conservative one. A shot to help bring the inflammation down and a round of steroids. Just five days.

Today should be the last dose. I am not taking it. The past three days have been like a rollercoaster ride. The dose does not titrate down, so not taking the last pill will not harm me. Yesterday was awful. I felt like I had been downing coffee all day long. My heart would speed up and I could not seem to find enough to do. Last night's insomnia was the cherry on top.

Today I am lethargic and feel like I have taken a sleeping pill. But, it is a weekend and I have to hang on until all my reservations show up. Or do I? I only have two pending, but the day is young and people will start frantically searching for a place to stop soon ....... but .... if I carefully write everything down and give HeWho the phone and the list, perhaps he could survive a couple of hours. 

I like my plan. Eddie and Cujo like it, too. They are always up for a nap with me, as long as Mr. Bo Jangles is not involved. Sweet Dreams, here I come!

Saturday, September 12, 2020

The Good Wife Gardens

Never have my gardens been so cleaned up and weed free! This garden usually takes a back seat to the other gardens. The weeds that plague this garden are full of thorns and I once uncovered a snake in the tiger lilies, while I was pulling the dead leaves out. 

This garden was brought about by me asking for some fill dirt. It was flat and rocky, not leaning towards cultivation. If you garden, you will know that I was hoping for about 20 bags of top soil. I am married to HeWho thinks he knows everything, though. He took the tractor to the empty field behind the bill board and scooped up what he referred to as "good, clean dirt". He surprised me with his gift of listening and providing what he was sure I had asked for. 

I discovered my "gift" already hulking there and had no choice but to work with what I was given and learn to be more specific when I asked for things. You would think I already knew to be specific, given some of the "gifts" I have gotten over the years. That is another story for another day.

This good clean dirt was anything but. I pulled huge roots out of it and shoveled and mounded it into place, knowing full well that it was going to be a challenge ridding it of weeds over the years. I planted two tiger lilies, a peony I rescued from Walmart's clearance display and since it was late in the season, I planted daffodil bulbs and tulip bulbs, and topped it with mums, a lot of mums.

The very first spring had someone driving over my tulips. The big boulders were found on my property when we dug new sewer lines. They slowly appeared around my garden. They were nowhere near the size of the ones there now. Kevin found them and put them there after seeing how many times the smaller ones were driven over. I think of him when ever I work that garden.

The thing is that the huge boulders have not stopped drivers from cutting too sharp. Neither has the "WIDE TURN" sign. I could roll the smaller boulders back in place, but not these. I confess that I derive a small amount of pleasure knowing that the vehicle or trailer that hit the boulders hard enough to move them had to have sustained considerable damage. That knowledge is little comfort considering that the boulders are now on top of my bulbs.

This is the garden on the other side of that fence that surrounds the dumpster area. This what I call the Gavin Garden. Gavin stayed an entire month with us the summer he turned 3. HeWho dumped a load of gravel there, telling me it didn't have any weeds. He was right, but the load was in the way of traffic. Gavin was my steady helper with his own little shovel and we moved it one shovel full at a time. Once again I employed mums to make it look like a garden. Gavin's mom arrived to pick him up and thought she would give her old mom a hand with the shovel. 

Two scoops and she was done! She told Gavin to come inside with her to take a nap, that she didn't come here to work. Gavel kept right on shoveling, telling her that he didn't come here to nap! As much as I miss the 3 year old Gavin, I am enchanted with 16 year old Gavin. He is a sweet, considerate young man that I am so proud of!

Over the years the Tiger Lilies and Hostas have spread and some tall grasses added. A tree refused to die and the gardens look different. HeWho groans every time I start a new garden or plant a tree. I don't know why, since I will be the one to mow around them and it actually makes less grass for him to mow. Maybe he is tired of picking up top soil and mulch for me? He just buys it and brings it home, I am the one who lugs it around and spreads it. He loves a good excuse to go places an run errands! I am just being a good wife!

Friday, September 11, 2020

Too Cute!

 I am happy that I can finally download the pictures from my phone! So, here is my Mr. Bo Jangles. We learned that he was not fathered by the tiny Chihuahua we had thought. Turns out his father was a mix with Shitzu and Chihuahua. Just in case you might be unaware of this, puppy litters can have more than one father. Bo looks different than his litter mates. I suppose this makes him a mongrel.

He is one cute mongrel, don't you think? I was calling him a Chorkie, but that is not the case. I think I will just call him the cutest little dog in the world. His personality is one of high energy. I have a ton of toys bought for the dogs that came before him. They were not much interested in them unless they contained a scoop of peanut butter. I try to keep them in a wire basket on the lowest shelf of a book case. Bo loves them. He begins his day with emptying that basket and dragging all the toys out. He is not interested in playing ball, except for the one that lights up. He is most intrigued with the stuffed toys and takes great pleasure in taking them apart and spreading the insides every where.

Several times a day I pick all the toys up and put the basket on the shelf, knowing he will be kept busy taking them out again. When he tires of growling and challenging the stuffed animals bigger than him, he will try to engage his pack mates in play. Toni will growl and try to remove herself from the room. Cujo remains in his favorite place, the couch where I normally sit. He will give a warning growl, then a good nip keeps him safe from puppy play. Eddie is his favorite playmate. 

Eddie will get on the floor and play with him. This usually ends with a hurt yelp from Eddie when Bo is too rough .... never the other way around. Eddie is a gentle soul. Other than not playing ball, Bo reminds me of my Oscar. Overbearing and always in charge. Bo discovered yesterday that if he waits until Martha, the boy cat, stands up, he fits neatly under Martha's body, between his legs. He will move when Martha moves and Martha can't seem to rid himself of the creature under him! He finally had to jump over the gate to the bedroom to get away from Bo. It was like a big semi with a tiny sports car under it, both vehicles going the same speed. Bo is one smart puppy!

Enjoy the eye candy that Bo is. He is very photogenic. He has taken over my robe and likes to nap on it. Bo enjoys a good nap, he needs his sleep to be the busy little guy that he is. His fur is coarse, no longer puppy soft and he is still not cuddly, although he does seek me out when it is time to sleep. This picture is a few weeks old and every day finds more whiskers on him. He is already so cute I can't stand it!

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Handling Stupidity

 Holiday weekends tend to bring out my sarcasm. Make that, the people I interact with during holiday weekends bring out my  sarcasm and all my bad qualities. This past weekend was no different.

It starts before the weekend begins. This season has been different in so many ways. The empty pool, the masks (or refusal to wear one), the ever present fear in the back of my mind. My fear was not for me. It was for HeWho was constantly too close to people with no mask on. He would not be likely to survive Covid and is constantly "forgetting" to mask up while he wanders around outside. Makes me wish I had a long extending arm to smack the back of his head to "remind" him. I am guilty of being naked faced outside, too. But I am mostly alone while gardening and I find that rakes and shovels are handy to make people distance themselves from me. With the length of my arm and the garden implement, it creates that 6' distance.

Then my sister-in-law sent a text informing us that she had contracted the virus. When a member of your family or a close friend is involved in a life and death struggle it brings a real slap in the face of reality. Hearing the numbers of deaths on news reports does not begin to touch you like someone you care about. We are both more cognizant of the danger lurking. I am happy to report that she is home and slowly gaining her strength back. It was a long struggle for her, but I feel the most for my brother-in-law having to be helpless while she fought. It is not a good position to be in when you life mate is on the precipice of life and death.

Okay, so now I will get to the meat of this post. I should call it "Utter Stupidity". For whatever reason, this season has campers coming out to choose the site they want before they come to camp. They will call and ask which sites are available before they reserve and will make ridiculous demands. I usually do not assign sites until the week before the impending weekend. I use the information I gather at the time of the reservation to determine the best location for a particular camper. Because of the way my campground was built long before it became ours, it is challenging.

We have double sites. The camper to arrive first would pull in and then the camper arriving later has to back in. The runs are plenty long to accommodate the two campers, but I have to consider many things when I assign them. The length of the camper and the amps they will need. Also the trickier part of being aware of when they will be arriving and when they will be leaving. I don't want to trap anyone who will be having an early departure.

The camper is not thinking about any of that when they look at the map or drive through the park. This leaves me trying to explain this. A seasonal camper requested a move to a double site. She wanted the site that would be the back-in site. I tried to explain that she would be ultimately prevent me from being able to use the remaining site unless it was a motorhome. She said, and I quote, "Oh, that doesn't matter to me". I responded that it did matter to me, but that if she was willing to pay for both sites, we could certainly move her. She had made several trips choosing the site she currently occupied and didn't think I was being fair. She remains in the site she originally chose.

I have campers living here. If they construct anything on their site, you can assume that it was approved by me. I want the park to reflect a certain atmosphere and I have been known to tell people to clean up or get out. I have a camper with an unusual style of fencing made out of pallets. She has planter boxes on top of her fence and it will eventually become a living fence. I don't find it unsightly, knowing what it will eventually become. It is straight and sturdy. I had a pending camper ask me to remove it for the weekend, as she did not want to stare at it all weekend. 

I almost let the words in my mind loose and say, "Well, avert your gaze and look at something else". I didn't, in my attempt to be diplomatic. I looked at her reservation and realized that she wasn't even facing the fence in question. Problem solved. 

That didn't annoy me as much as the man coming into my store with a naked face to ask which site he would occupy in a couple of weeks. On my door is a big sign with a neon green background and bold letters in black. It is at eye level and would be right in your face when you grab the handle to the door. It says "DO NOT ENTER UNLESS YOU HAVE A MASK COVERING YOUR MOUTH AND NOSE". Why would anyone assume they were exempt? Beyond that, why would you presume to continue standing in my door with your naked face when I tell you to go outside? Twice. Then why would you think it would be a good idea to try to "educate" me about safety and corona virus?

This man was brave, even in the faced of a masked mad woman. He confided to me that I was worried about the wrong parts of the face to mask. He claims that it is the eyes and ears spreading the virus. I literally screamed at him to get the (insert really bad word) out of my store. He was still grinning like the fool that he is when he left. How stupid can anyone get? This must be why surgeons wear masks over their ears and eyes, right? It will be interesting to see if he shows up for his reservation and if he comes equipped with a mask to cover his mouth and nose.

More interesting will be how I handle myself ....


Season Ending

 Labor Day weekend marks the end of the camping "season". That's not to say that people are not camping until next season, just that the hectic rush of getting ready for the weekend is relaxed. Under normal circumstance, we would be shutting down the pool. Since we never opened the pool this year .... that is no longer necessary. We have plenty of projects going into fall to keep busy with.

But the urgency is less impending. It is like getting your home ready for company EVERY weekend.

 This means my home is neglected. I spent an entire day just dusting. No kidding here, I dusted ALL DAY LONG. My space isn't even that big and the amount of dust collected in the vacuum was beyond belief. This means I am a bad housekeeper? Maybe. Or maybe I am just limited in my energy level. In years past I tried more, but the older I get the more I realize the value of a good nap!

My naps have replaced my writing and reading time. I miss it, but after my cardiac event in March, I have realized that I can't continue to push myself physically anymore. Well, I suppose I could, but the results would not be pleasant. I am looking forward to cold weather and being confined inside. May sound strange, but I feel this way, about this time every year. I know it won't last and I will have cabin fever as soon as I catch up on sleep and have more energy.

Someone recently asked me why I have four dogs to care for if I am so tired. I have four dogs because I love dogs and they add so much to my life. I never set out to have four, it just happens. Every time we lose one of our pets, we both say that three dogs or two dogs is more than enough. We agree that we do not "need" another pet. Then one of us will add to the pack. Usually it is me. But you might recall that my Christmas present from HeWho loves me was Eddie almost 4 years ago. Toni Louise was his rescue from the animal shelter about 10 years ago. He was just going there to "look" at her. I knew she would be coming home with him and she is very much his dog. She loves me, too. I do feed her and bathe her, but at the end of the day, she prefers the company of her master. She tolerates her house mates mostly because she knows that I am the alpha here.

As I sit here sipping coffee in peace, I look over at a sleeping puppy and my heart swells with so much love. He has wormed his way into the pack and charmed them all into loving him. Toni won't admit it, but she recently went after Martha, the boy cat for tackling Bo and biting him. They were playing, but she thought he was hurting Bo.

Bo has not been a cuddly puppy. He is very active, running and leaping everywhere. He is only still when he is sleeping. But, lately he has started draping himself over my shoulder when we are winding down after a long day. I will arrange myself on the sofa, a doxie on either side  and he will leap up on the back of the sofa and nose his way onto my shoulder. He will be a great neck warmer this winter. I usually scoop him up at bedtime to put him in his kennel. I kiss his little head and tell him good night and he lays down and goes to sleep. I doubt I would be able to get much rest if he was in my bed.

Last night it was raining. I opened the back door for that last trip out. Toni Louise is afraid of thunder and stood just out of reach, lest I force her out. Eddie and Cujo had already followed the heels of HeWho was bound for bed. But my courageous little Bo scooted right out there and took care of business. Then he ran back inside and ran to the bedroom before I cold pick him up for our bedtime ritual.

I lifted my doxies to my bed and then turned to look for Bo. I couldn't find him and came back out to the kitchen to work my way back to the bedroom. His little kennel has two doors. One on top and another  one on the side. I use the top one, as it is bigger and easier for me to lower him down. I didn't think he could get in his kennel on his own, but that is where he was! Bo loves routines and it was time to go to bed.

All this to say that, WiFi willing, I will be reading and writing more now that the big rush is over!

Thursday, September 3, 2020

The Sweet Smell Of Vomit!

Hi, Cujo here again. So, I told you that Mom left Toni Louise and me here while she took Eddie and Bo. When they finally came home, Eddie told me all about the trip and the vet and how Mom had to raise the hood of the car to make it start. I could hardly believe it. The part about Mom and fixing the car! Mom has always said that the car was just for her to drive, not maintain. She doesn't even put gas in it!

Eddie says the trip started out okay. He was sitting in the front seat with Bo and Mom was driving. He told me that Mom kept one hand on them and one hand on the steering wheel and her eyes on the road. He thinks that is why she did not see Bo vomit. She smelled it, though. It was awful, he said. The smell. He said he couldn't help it and he started whining to let her know about and then he couldn't seem to stop! He whined all the way to the vet's clinic.

At first Mom thought that Eddie was the vomiter (is that a word?). You know, because of all the crying. He said they were on a curvy road and Mom had trouble finding a place to pull over. She scooped up the mess in some tissues while she was gagging and flung the vomit in a ditch. Not the tissue, my mom does not litter! This is when Bo vomited again. There was a lot of vomit there on the car seat and Mom asked Eddie how a little guy such as Bo could have that much in his little belly. Mom had to stop two more times!

I kind of feel sorry for Bo, but I really feel sorry for Mom and Eddie! They made it to the vet clinic and a nice girl came out with paper towels and Mom got all of the vomit off the seat. She wasn't able to get the vomit that ran down the side of the seat, but she opened all the windows in the car while we waited our turn to go inside.

The nice girl took hold of our leashes and was going to leave Mom outside while we went in. Bo was okay with that. He likes everybody. But Eddie sat down hard and refused to move. He said he did not know these people and he was not going anywhere without Mom! So, the girl said Mom could come in. Eddie still wouldn't budge, so Mom picked him up and carried him in.

Eddie told me how much he weighs and now I am afraid to get on the scales! Sixteen pounds!! Eddie is only supposed to weigh twelve pounds and Mom has been fussing at us for stealing puppy chow from Bo's bowl. It is quite tasty, let me tell you. But, Mom keeps telling me I am getting too fat and it is not good for my back. My back feels just fine. I do not engage in tricky behavior such as jumping. I rarely get in a hurry (unless Bo is eating and moves away from his bowl). I make Mom lift me onto the couch to sit next to her. She can just forget about those doggy steps. Eddie and Bo use them, but I have no intention of learning how. I am only supposed to weigh ten pounds. Mom says I feel heavier than Eddie. This is not good! 

The vet was a lady and Eddie tells me she was quite nice. He sat in Mom's lap while the vet checked Bo out. Bo weighs five and a half pounds and the vet and the technician both agreed that he was a fine specimen of a puppy. Bo liked all the attention he was getting and didn't even try to nibble on anyone until the vet wanted to look in his mouth. Then he got two shots. He whimpered just a little and then it was Eddie's turn.

Eddie has had a scaly rash on his belly (Mom calls it his undercarriage, I don't know why). The vet rubbed Eddie's belly and got real close to take a look. Some of the scales came off, like when Mom brushes his hair and she saved them. Then, even weirder, she cleaned out his ears and saved that! I know that Mom picks up our poop and I thought she was making a collection or a craft, but I saw her throw the bag in the dumpster. I was beginning to worry about this habit of hers.

Eddie says before he cold get back to Mom he got a shot, too! He said it wasn't too bad. Then the vet took his scaly skin and his ear wax away and then came back and told mom that he has a yeast infection in his ears and a staph infection on his belly. He says that they talked about shots and shampoo and Mom chose the shampoo to start. He was happy to hear that!

Eddie was ready to leave, but they had to wait for shampoo and Bo's worm medicine to go home with. Then they decided that Mom could also give Bo his booster shot next month. "Did you know that Mom is a nurse?" Eddie asked me. I said she is not, she does not work in a hospital or doctor's office and I don't want her to. I found out later that she is, she just would rather stay home with all of us dogs.

So, they all got into the vomit smelling car with all the windows down and Mom was all set to come home and the car would not start! Mom called Dad and asked what to do. She did not want to wait for him in what she called the Vomitmobile, so he told her how to lift the hood and which wires to play with. She did it!! She fixed the car. I found this to be incredible. I heard Mom tell Dad that she refused to drive the car again until he fixed it for good and then "detailed the interior". Not sure, but I think it might have something to do with vomit smell.


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

A New Dog Doctor

 This has been a very strange day here at our home. Us dogs like routine, in case you don't know. We are not fond of surprises. Like trips and new puppies. When we are taking a trip, my mom always talks to us about it and then when the day comes, we still don't like it, but we know it is happening.

Yesterday I heard my mom talking about Bo going to see the vet. This is what a doctor for dogs is called. Cats, too, I think. I am not sure about that. Martha, the boy cat never went to our old vet when all of us dogs went. We really liked our old vet, Dr. Paige. She knew all of us by name and we would all go at once to see her. She was my favorite vet ever.

Dr. Paige quit being a dog doctor and went back to school to become a nurse practitioner and take care of people. Since then we have tried out another vet, but Mom was not happy at the new clinic. We saw a different vet every time and they never remembered us. Mom says it is important for your doctor to remember who you. Sometimes I just sit and wonder at the things my mom knows!

So, when we all got up this morning I had totally forgotten about Bo going to see a new vet. Mom says that since Bo is new, maybe we should try a new dog doctor. This was fine with me, as I was pretty sure I would not be going along. She put Bo's harness on and attached his leash while us other dogs went outside to take care of business (that is what Mom said we should do ..... she meant for us to pee and poop). When I came back inside, I saw that Eddie had a harness on, too!

I looked at Toni and she looked at me. "Are we all going?" I didn't particularly want to see this new doctor of dogs, but a ride sounded fun. Imagine our surprise when she told us to "STAY" as she led our two little brothers out to the car!

"Hey!" I said, "No fair, we want to go, too." But Mom said she would have a hard enough time handling two dogs by herself. That kind of hurt my feelings. I am never trouble. I always stay very close to my mom, even without a leash. Toni Louise is not that cooperative. Mom says she is an escape artist. Although I have never seen any of her art work, if Mom says that is what she is, it must be so. I do know that Toni likes to try to take her harness off and run, so I can understand Mom not wanting to take her along.

After they came back and I had a talk with Eddie, boy was I glad I didn't go! I really feel bad for Eddie! He did not have a very good time and I found out the reason he went is because he was not feeling good. I am tired now, but tomorrow I will have to tell you so many things that happened today. You will laugh and you might even gag!

Until then I will be planning my next post. This is Cujo, signing off.