Saturday, July 31, 2021

Words People Say

 I have a sign on the door at eye level that states you need to wear a mask to enter unless you have been vaccinated. I didn't even use big words. KISS. Keep it simple stupid. So, I am wondering why the young man that came to the door just asked if he would have to wear an "actual" mask.

"If you actually want to enter the building, then yes you need an actual mask." Actual. What does that even mean? Is there a "not actual mask"? What does it look like?

I was taking a reservation and told the man on the phone that I would need a credit card number to secure his reservation. "The whole big number?" he asked. "All the numbers on the card, big and small." I replied. Deep sigh before revealing all the numbers to me. What would I do with a partial number? How would that be something that would guarantee the reservation. The man was very put out at having to recite the numbers to me.

Another man trying to secure a reservation was reciting the numbers on his card and when he got to the expiration date, he said, "I think it is a '3'." "I need the correct numbers," I say, "just one number off and the charge won't go through." "Are you kidding me," says the reciter of numbers, "that can't be right, not when all the other numbers are right!!"

No comment, I won't even share my thoughts about the person's ability to navigate the world. Use your imagination. I often want to ask people how they have managed to get this far in life lacking the basic knowledge that we would all assume everyone has. Credit cards are not new technology. And yet the same people seem to be able to text with agility. Of course texting does not require correct spelling and grammar. 

I am glad I am old and won't have to watch the crumbling of civilization.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

It's All Good. A Tribute To Kevin Henke

 Dear Kev,

I can't believe it has been a year since you left us. I hope you know how very missed you are. While it is true that time does dull the pain and I can smile instead of cry when I think of you, there is still that big hole in my heart where you used to reside.

It has been a whole year since I have seen your golf cart zipping down the road with your music blaring as you rode along on whatever mission you were on. Covid is still with us and still causing death and leaving grieving loved ones in the wake of it's death wave. I lost my sister this year. I felt your presence as we traveled to bid her farewell. Have you met her yet? Are you the one who made her stop putting roadblocks in my way, or was that my Daddy? I can just see you now on your winged golf cart zipping around trying to meet everyone who may have known your living friends, saying "It's all good!"

I miss your big laugh. I think of you every time I make macaroni and cheese. Remember when you offered me a boxed mix and I disdained it, telling you that I would be serving the real stuff. You tried to tell me the boxed stuff was just as good ... then you tasted mine and asked for the leftovers. I would give anything to make it for you again! 

Almost everything here brings an image of you to mind. Looking out at the pond in the evening hours and seeing you sitting in that golf cart watching the traffic on the highway. I remember sitting with you while everyone here gathered to watch a car carrier full of new cars burn in the rest area. Was it you who brought the pizza?

We haven't had an outdoor movie since you left us. It just wouldn't be the same, somehow. You were always the one to set it up and then complain that I had gotten a G rated movie. You would tell me the next day that you liked the movie, though. Your wilderness trail is still here, though not groomed. You were the driving force of so many things here, it would be hard to list them all.

We will gather today to remember you. I will wear my Kevin's Tribe shirt in your honor, even though it is the wrong shade of red! It does not compliment my skin type. There will, no doubt be some tears, and a whole lot of laughter. "Remember that time" will be the spoken a lot. Fireball shots all around, but I will wait until my workday ends. I know you will be watching from your perch up there in heaven. If you haven't met her yet, go find my sister. She will entertain you with her southern accent and tales of her encounters on earth. You both have my permission to talk about me. If my ears start to burn, I will know why!

Just know that you are loved and missed down here. You were the brother I always wanted.

Your sister by chance,


Friday, July 23, 2021

18 Hours Of Torture

 The weekend is upon me and I do not feel ready. My ear aches and my balance is a little whacky. It will not prevent me from carrying on with things ...

Having recently lost some weight, I am finding that my clothes are baggy. I am loathe to purchase a new wardrobe and have been busy altering my current one. Some solutions work and some fail. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I can toss the failures and live in the successes. But, under garments are not so easy.

Finding a bra that works has been a challenge. As everyone knows, I don't get out much. Shopping for clothing is tedious to me and I usually do it on-line. There are far too many options out there, so I decided to stick with the tried and true. Playtex 18 hour bra. I am quite familiar with this brand and thought it would be safe to order one. 

I was going to order 3, but I am so glad I didn't. The quality of the materials used is not at all what I had expected and the sizing seems to be different. Let's just say that if I had to wear this torture device for 18 hours, I would consider suicide! Keeping in mind that I have worn this same style before and found it to be comfortable. 

My cup size has not changed, just the "around my torso" size and not by much.  Bras have three rows of closures, giving one three options of snugness. None of the options were comfortable. When I compared it with an older bra, it was at least 4 inches smaller! I checked the label and it was the correct size. I measured it with my handy measuring tape to find that it did not match the size on the label.

Whether it was mislabeled or sizes have changed again, as they frequently do in women's clothing, I will not be ordering another 18 hour device.

I have worked diligently in several gardens for the past three days. Mornings are cool enough to get a good start and then when the sun goes down I can get more done. Today I have decided to just stay in my lair until time to open up. Conserving my energy and getting some housework done. The kitchen looms large in my plans as I intend to cook up a few meals to freeze. After another cup of coffee.

Speaking of sizes, I was going through my cupboards and found the stained white coffee cup that was my Dad's for ages. It hold 6 ounces! My mug holds 12 ounces. Times have changed, haven't they?

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Bait and Switch

 I am woefully behind in writing. I eat, weed, mow, cook, do laundry, paint, check in campers and sleep a few hours, then get up and do it again. Every single day. Writing calls for more than 5 minutes of uninterrupted peace and quiet.

My youngest used to refer to it as "Mommy needs a piece of quiet". It is in short supply. My mind hurts from dealing with people. Seems like I complain on a daily basis, but there seems to be a lot to complain about.

Earlier this month I was forced to evict a tenant. There may be some folks who think I relish the act of doing this. I don't. You may rest assured that if I am evicting someone, they have earned it.

This particular one was set in motion almost immediately, despite the assurance that compliance with my rules would be a priority. I was hesitant to even allow the person to stay here. It was a bait and switch situation. I thought the tenant I would be renting to was the man's mother. She seemed decent enough, as well as her husband. Then they show up with her son and his teenaged son. I was told they had a stellar reputation and never bothered anyone. She even told me to call her if I had a problem .... and that's when I knew I would have a problem.

I went over the rules with the man who would be occupying the site. I enunciate quite well and have a good command of the English language (or so I have been told). The kid was clean cut and polite and I was not at all worried about him. The man, who was disabled due to his own teen stupidity, just struck me wrong.

As is usually the case, my first impression proved to be right. They were paying for two adults, the man and his son, to live in the camper. Not even a week went by before the complaints started rolling in. Quiet time is 10 pm to 8 am. The man seemed to want to wander through the park at all hours of the night and early morning. Not quietly, but with music blasting from his phone. This woke up some of the tenants who work all day and do not appreciate being awakened. Then there was the cigarette butts littering his site and the park. This was annoying to me more than anyone and I never addressed this particular habit with him.

There was so much else to address. I took note that a woman was spending her days and nights there. She seemed to be confused about which way to go on a one way drive and I spoke to her twice about speeding. I was up at 6 am one morning and watched her come flying up the one way drive the wrong way, then out of the park. I was in my garden and the tenant came merrily down the private drive dragging his trash can behind him and made the mistake of greeting me in a cheery manner. I asked him if the woman was living with him and he told me that she was not. Then I addressed her driving habits with him, since he was the tenant and she was his guest. I asked who exactly she was and was told she was his "care giver" .... and his girlfriend. I told him then that she was violating his tenancy and there was an extra charge for overnight guests. He chose to just stare dumbly at me. I reminded him that I had told his mother that I would try this arrangement for one month and if I had problems, he would have to leave.

There is a sign at the entrance to the park that instructs visitors to register at the office. I am unsure if any of the "visitors" to his site could read or follow simple instructions. I always find out about tenant shenanigans after the fact. I instruct people to call and wake me up while it is happening. Truly I wish they would. I could call law enforcement to give me a hand in removing them from the park if I was called while the event was happening. He apparently had quite a few visitors at night, after the office is closed under the cover of darkness.

I even printed out the rules with instructions to read, sign and return the copy to the office. He was presented with the rules while a gang of his friends were taking advantage of our pool one afternoon. He crumpled them in his hand and sealed his fate. He is a recovering addict on probation, gee I wish I had been told this BEFORE I rented the site to him.

He woke his neighbor in the wee hours of the morning in his last week here. HeWho went down and told him he had to go. My best work camper ever, reinforced this by telling him the same thing. so, the Friday of the July 4th weekend, the man calls and asks where to pay his rent. I told him he would not be paying rent, that he had to be out by noon on the last day of his month here. He decides to argue with me. 

Arguing with me is never a good choice. It would be like arguing with Judge Judy, you won't win. He keeps telling me he did not disturb his neighbor, it was the other people behind him. Kept trying to talk over me, but that didn't work for him either. I finally got his attention by telling him to shut his mouth and listen to my words and told him in no uncertain terms that he would need to be out by noon on the assigned day or I would have a deputy escort him off the property.

He complied and was out long before noon. Gone but not forgotten. Two days later the phone calls started. His girlfriend/caregiver called. No greeting or identifying herself "I just want to know what you have against me," she yelled. I answered with, "I am not sure, since I have no idea who you are." "Oh, yes you do" she counters, "You kicked him out and said it was because of me."

I told her I had nothing to say to her. She was not the tenant, just a trespasser who decided to bring a group of people to my facilities without paying and I solved the problem by removing the tenant. I hung up.

Now they are calling incessantly, or they were since I have now blocked the number. What do they want? Do they think harassing me will make me tell them to come back and live here? She told me they have an attorney and are going to get me in trouble with the Better Business Bureau. Once again, what does she thing she is accomplishing?

Just annoying, like a fly buzzing around that eludes all efforts to get swatted. 

Friday, July 9, 2021


The holiday weekend went quite well. No big issues arose and for the first time in years, I was able to sit down and eat with the campers, having taken care of all the nightly registrations. I was tired, though.

I thought about skipping out on the fireworks and going to bed after I handed out sparklers and glow in the dark necklaces to children. Then I decided I should watch, it might the last time I see fireworks here. I try to keep an eye out for any injuries that might be sustained by HeWho and his band of pyromaniacs on the other side of the pond. I confess that I wouldn't get too excited unless I saw a moving body on fire. In that case, I would hope that someone would douse the flames in the pond.

Today another weekend begins and so far it is not starting too well. I had just dragged myself from sleep to take the dogs out and brew coffee. I was still inhaling the hot magical brew when the first phone call of the day invaded my serenity. Having not used my voice yet or had some hot coffee flow down my throat, I knew whoever it was would have to know that I had just awakened.

The man jumped right in, asking if I had a spot for him and his family tonight. He went on to tell me that they were at the state park and didn't like it ... his kids had nothing to do ... the bugs were bad ....

On and on he went until finally he paused long enough for me to answer his query. I told him that I could not remember what was on the books for tonight and that I was not in the office. "Oh, did I wake you?" I told him that he hadn't but that I had just gotten up and asked if he would mind calling back after 9.

After agreeing to do that, he seemed to want to settle in for a nice long chat! Again he wanted me to know how unhappy his children were there in the state park. I firmly announced that I was not up to chatting as I went about the process of waking up and hung up .... already annoyed for the day that lay ahead. This is always a bad sign of the day to come and so far the omen of the early morning call is holding true.

Early caller arrived before check-in time and I was nice enough to go ahead and check him in. As always, I inquired about the status of his vaccination and he didn't seem to be bothered by my asking. He is a talker, though. I can't fault anyone for that, since I am one myself. But I wasn't open for business yet and still had a few morning chores awaiting my attention. I was careful to simply answer his questions and not add anything that would prolong the conversation.

I did not bring up politics, since this is a taboo subject nowadays. He began extolling the virtues of our previous president, referring to him as a fine military man!! Although that voice in the back of my head was telling me to walk away, I just couldn't.  I pointed out that Trump had never served in the military, but he said that didn't matter, he was still a great military man. I just stared at the man in wonder.

It sort of went downhill from there. Swimmers arrived and I asked the mother of a brood if she had been vaccinated. She had not and when I asked her to don a mask, she proclaimed me to be violating the HIPPA law and said she didn't have one and made no move to remove her unvaccinated self from my office. She couldn't to seem to stop telling me how wrong I am to require this and that I needed to stop violating the law.

This is when I told her that the only person's opinion that matters here is mine, that she was on my property and that I could ask whatever I wanted. I went on to tell her that I did not make her come her, would not make her stay here, but if she chose to be here she was subject to my rules and regulations and that she was misinformed about the HIPPA law and that she might want to educate herself about it before she accused others of violating the law. 

In other words, I was rude. I suppose I could have tried to explain the HIPPA law to this self proclaimed knower of all things HIPPA because she works in a health facility. I am not sure in what capacity she works, but she should know what she is talking about before spouting off at me. I would be violating the HIPPA law if I asked her health care provider to disclose information about her health and her vaccines and the health care provider would be in violation if they provided it to me.

She paid for her children to swim and she is now at the pool. She should know not to come in here without a mask. I told her not to come back in without one. Time will tell. You just never know these days what people are thinking.

Just last week a man confronted me, asking why I was so worried about COVID since I was fully vaccinated and couldn't "get it". "Of course I can get COVID! It just wouldn't be as severe and I don't want to find out!" 

I pulled something in my shoulder and have been in constant pain for three days. It feels like someone is trying separate my arm from my shoulder and the pain shoots down to my wrist. But I have things to do and there is nobody here right now to jump in and take my place, so .....

Maybe the pain is making me more irritable than normal? Perhaps I will apply Tiger Balm again. At least the burning sensation makes me forget about the pain for a bit. Maybe I should print out the HIPPA law and start reciting it to everyone that complains when asked to wear a mask. And, who works in a medical facility without being vaccinated? Seems like you would want to protect yourself as much as possible since the chances of being exposed to COVID would be greater for workers in a medical facility.


Sunday, July 4, 2021

Blurry Vision

 This past week was full of appointments .... and rain. I already told you about the trip to the cardiologist and the wet state of my affairs.

The very next day we had an appointment with the optometrist. Since it has rained every single day, I located another umbrella and dispatched HeWho to stash it in the car, since I would not be sharing mine ever again with him.

The morning was bright and sunny. The soggy ground and the tall grass telling the tale of much rain. Of course, as soon as we were on our way the skies opened and rain was falling in heavy sheets. I saw some cars that were actually pulled off on the side of the interstate waiting for respite. We could only go 45 mph. The rain finally let up and the sky was clear as we made our way to the office.

I have a pair of rimless glasses and I was determined to get new frames that could easily be seen when I laid them down. The rimless ones seem to just disappear and I need glasses to find my glasses. I don't want contacts, never liking anything on my eyeball anyway. I had two pair at my disposal until Mr. BoJangles made his appearance in our lives. He seemed to like my glasses and he customized both sets. I gave up trying to fix one pair, as it would fall apart at the most inopportune times. The pair I am currently wearing have to donned gingerly, lest I stab my face or ear with the sharp point left from his chewing.

I am looking forward to the arrival of the new glasses. I knew my prescription was no longer strong enough as I was having trouble seeing, even with the glasses. Same for HeWho totally lost his glasses. I asked Bo if he knew anything about the missing glasses, but he just looked at me and tilted his cute little head. I often wonder what secrets lurk in that head of his. None of the other canines have ever shown interest in our eyewear. I think they will show up when we least expect them to.

I was seen first and had already finished my transaction for my two pair of glasses when HeWho was seated there. He chose one frame for his two pair. The man has no sense of adventure! I got two entirely different frames, one red, one blue. I can now match my mood to my glasses! Well, I can one day next week when they get here.

I knew my vision had become quite blurry, but I found out that I have cataracts. My first thought was that I can't possibly have cataracts, I am not old enough! But, of course I am! They are already at stage 3 and I am seeing surgery in my future when things slow down here. No wonder I have blurry vision! That will be my excuse for any mistakes you might notice in this forum!


Friday, July 2, 2021

Go Ask Siri!

 Yesterday when I started writing about phone calls, I had planned to go in an entirely different direction. But, being old means my mind is apt to wander and things might just get lost in the round-about.

What I was annoyed about initially was the phone calls that find me not behind my desk in front of the reservation book. Yes, I do know it should be on the computer and HeWho has promised this for about 15 years. I have given up on that. When all is said and done I am quite content with my paper and pencil and my not so sharp eye. 

Would-be campers will call and ask to make a reservation for a particular date and I will make my way to the reservation book to see if I can accommodate them, all the while asking pertinent questions. When I find that I can fit them in and ask for their name and a credit card number, they will say they will have to: 

1. Think about it and call me back.

2. Ask their wife/husband before committing.

3. Call the other people they want to camp with.

4. Don't have their credit card handy.

This is annoying. But the ultimate annoyance is when a caller simply wants information from me. Like, directions to another campground and/or their phone number. The one yesterday simply wanted to know how far it is from here to Columbia. I was in a quirky mood and almost asked which state, or if they might be referring to the country. 

Have these people not heard of Siri?

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Dodging Bullets

 Endlessly this phone rings, calls on top of calls, causing me to make many call backs. Most of the calls should simply be reservations, but they aren't.

I get telemarketer calls and simply disconnect the line and on about my business. I get very few wrong numbers, unless you count the massive number of calls for the past two months from people looking to buy a pit bull puppy in Kansas City. Craigs List ad used my phone number and by the time I became aware that the number had been published, the ad was gone. Annoying, but not the end of the world.

The most annoying calls come from people saying they are looking to make a reservation, then pause dramatically. This  causes me to have to pull the information from them in bits and pieces. After ascertaining the particular date, I have to wait patiently and hear the tale of the purchase of the camper and have them tell me they are new at this (really, I couldn't tell!). Next we need to know the electrical needs and the length of the unit. 

These are usually unknown factors. They will yell at another person somewhere nearby and that person  is equally uninformed. This causes me to launch my investigation. "Does your plug have three prongs or four prongs?" They will usually ask which plug. This is when I know I will be on this call for quite some time. I am assuming they have the camper in their possession and could just go look at the plug. I get various answers like "Well, the camper is blue and white." "We don't exactly have the camper yet."

Different answers come to mind as I am picking away at the mystery at hand. I hold my tongue most of the time and force it to be civil and polite. Sometimes current events taking place in the campground can cause me to be very abrupt. Not quite a month ago I accepted a monthly camper of an older variety after seeing the picture of the camper. Though old, it was in decent condition. Someone had taken very good care of it. I met the people and was led to believe they would be inhabiting the site ....

Bait and switch! Turns out the mother of the man with a teenaged son was looking to dump her problems on me. I was not at all happy when I learned this and I told her I would give him one month and that at the end of the month he might have to vacate depending on his actions in that time frame. I was VERY clear about the rules.

The first week was ok. The man did seem to wander around and insert himself into the lives of other campers and not take the hint that they were not interested in spending their time with him. The second week brought many complaints. He just wouldn't leave anyone alone and it came to my attention that a woman was spending her nights here. My rates cover 2 adults and up to 2 children under the age of 14. His son is 17, so as far as I am concerned, he is violating this rule. The woman was spoken to about her driving habits twice by me. Speeding and going the wrong way on a road clearly marked ONE WAY. 

One early morning when I was out in my gardens (6 am) I noted that she was coming out the wrong way and speeding. Probably thinking that most people were not up and she would not get caught. He came along my private drive a couple of hours later while I was still working my gardens and he disrupted my peace. I was not very nice as I reprimanded him about noise complaints in the very early hours of the morning and I asked him if that woman lived there. He lied and said that she was his care giver, but that she did not spend the night here. I called him on it, after seeing her depart that very morning. I told him then that one more complaint about noise would have him leaving here.

In the meantime I have printed the list of rules and given them to any long term campers to be read, signed and returned to the office. He crumpled his and did not return them or sign them. He had many guests show up last Sunday and they were all in the pool. The sign at the entrance drive instructs visitors to check in at the office and I tell everyone the rules when they come in to register and pay the very first day. I am clear about the rules, no gray areas for misinterpretation.

His month is up. He has to go. I dispatched HeWho to do the deed and his side kick assured me that he was quite clear about it. Mail came today for his "caregiver". Kind of a dead giveaway that she is indeed living here.

So, yesterday when the phone rang and I was questioning the woman about her new purchase that she said she wanted to set up here and live in it when she slipped and said that the location was great because they each had to go in opposite directions of equal distance to work. When I asked how many people would be living in it she finally told me it was for her daughter and her "man".  I told her them that they would have to get background checks and they would have to cover that expense. She told me then that they were both on probation. Before my filter was in place I replied "Oh, absolutely not!" To which she asked what that meant! 

What did she think it meant? It means I dodged a bullet!