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YOOPER YARNS



Please visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/cathy_first_clementz/ for more of my photos.



Updated: 2017-12-01T21:15:53.992-05:00

 



STAYING ALIVE

2015-12-05T09:47:20.819-05:00

I know I have been terribly absent for about 6 weeks at least but there's been a lot going on in my life so this post is just to fill you in.I can't remember where we left off....I THINK you know I had a knee scope the end of September which turned out to be more involved than what was originally thought.  I"m pretty sure I told you about our Mother passing away, but I don't think I've told you any of what has been going on with my health since that time.I have a condition called necrobiosis lipodica and one of the "spots" opened up while we were traveling down to be with my Mom.  This has happened before so I thought nothing of it because it was little and always would heal back over.  I should have been paying better attention as it became very large and quite infected with two rare bacteria (which I THINK I may have picked up at the hospital where I had the scope done).  So, I've been dealing with that for the past several weeks; tried on my own for about 4 weeks and finally got into a wound clinic.  It will take about another 6-8 weeks to heal up if all goes well.  It is a very painful process as the wound has to be debrided every two weeks and once a day I have to clean it, apply the Santyl ointment and re-dress it.  Here are some photos of what I've been dealing with.So, that is part of what's been going on.The other part is my arch on my left foot (the knee scope and the hole is also on my left leg) has been giving me fits.   THIS was also treated before we left for the south and I thought it was all done giving me problems, but now so.  So after dealing with it for about 10 days and the pain being so bad that it actually hurts worse than the hole in the leg, I managed to get into the Orthopedic Clinic of Georgia.  I found out I have something called Accessory Navicular Syndrome which means I have an extra LITTLE BITTY bone in the area of my arch.  I've had it since birth...so I was told yesterday any way.  The "cure" for it is to wear one of those BIG boots on my foot for the next month, ice and rest and a few pain pills to help out.  If that doesn't help, then surgery is the next option.  It would be a very small incision and depending on how quickly I heal, would be "laid up" for about two weeks.This little bone that I didn't know I had has bothered me off and on for MANY years but it wasn't any thing that a pain pill and staying off my foot wouldn't help.  I'm thinking it'd be easier to have the operation and be done with it, so time will tell.So, this winter trip has not been as much fun as all of our previous winter trips.  In fact, between Dan's aches and pains and all of this, we have decided this will be our last winter of volunteering and most likely will spend the rest of our winters at home.  IF our cabin was winter ready, we would have turned right around and gone back home after Mom died.  But we have to have a new roof and get some heat in the place so we are "stuck" in the sunny south till such time as weather allows us to go home.Hopefully you are still out there reading my blog and will continue to check every once in a while.  Can't say as I'm going to be better about posting because truthfully, I haven't been in the mood for much of anything.  I've had a pity party going for at least 6 weeks!Take care!![...]



A BIT OF LATE NEWS

2015-10-17T10:46:40.830-04:00

I have been having issues trying to get my Yooper Yarns to work properly so I haven't posted in a while (again!).  And I've been dealing with my knee scope and very painful foot...and also the passing of our mother which I am sharing with you here.This is a post I put on FB because I could not get on Yarns....this was written on Friday, October 16th.  My Mother died last night. Well, my sister’s and mine. Neither one of us have said anything on FB about it because, well, it’s personal and we felt it was Mom’s place if she wanted people other than CLOSE friends and family, to know. She had been diagnosed with cancer, oh, maybe 6 weeks ago. Let’s just say that after bouts of varying problems that she decided to opt out of treatment earlier this week and went home to my sisters and her hubby to live out her last days. My sister has been thru this two times before; once with our Dad and about 9 months later with her first husband, Gene Hensell. I could not be there to support or even try to help either of those times. One person should not have to go thru that 3 times. I know going thru this again she has the love and support of her husband, John and many wonderful friends and neighbors, but it’s not the same thing as sisters. My sister is a born care giver and always seems to find the best in a person. She took those two wonderful traits of hers and put them to good use (she has more amazing traits as well). She became an RN (among many other things she has diplomas to) and she worked for an oncologist for many years. She is very familiar with the death of a cancer patient and I think that finally got to be too much so she went on and put her skills to use in other nursing areas. But, had she not had that training, skills and love I don’t know what would have happened with our Dad. He would not have been able to have his last days with what dignityapproaching death leaves you with, he most likely would not have been able to pass away in his own home, and many mistakes possibly could have been made in the care and treatment he received because the right questions (questions an RN would know to ask) weren’t put forth. Dad passed in the loving care of my sister. It was New Year’s Day 2006. I was there only by phone as we were having a blizzard in the U.P. And the strange thing about that was Dad was basically in a coma, and while Christy and I were on the phone I asked her if she’d do me a favor; hold Dad’s hand and tell him “Cathy loves you”. She said she’d put the phone up to his ear and I could tell him. My comatose Dad opened his eyes for a moment…long enough to say “Love”. He passed I think about an hour later. Gene passed away at home that following September, a short 8 months later, in the care of his wife, my sister. And then, this late summer, Mom was diagnosed with cancer. We all figured she’d die of heart issues because at the tender age of 50 something she’d had a 4 (or was it 5?) bypass heart operation. This was a bit over 30 years ago when medicine wasn’t as advanced as now. Who figured she could possibly live into her 80’s? Again, with Mom’s diagnosis of cancer, Christy was the care giver and her husband John even helped out taking Mom to her chemo, taking Mom for a bite to eat and being oh, so supportive to Christy. Dan and I started making plans to head to Georgia earlier than originally planned because THIS time there was no reason I could not be there to help my sister in some way. Three or 4 days ago, after being in the hospital several days with complications, our Mom decided to stop the chemo (she had not had it while being in the hospital because she wasn’t strong enough and it wasn’t her week to have it). She agreed to come home with Christy and John. Christy and I kept in touch many time per day as to Mom’s progress or lack of. Dan and I were finally able to get on the road yesterday morning (Thursday October 15th) and again, texts back and fort[...]



CATCHING UP!

2015-09-17T11:02:52.383-04:00

Have you met Phoebe yet?  I cannot remember having introduced her to you before I took a break from blogging and I’m too lazy to go back and check!  Phoebe is our 13 pound Mexican pit-bull.   THAT is what Dan calls her because when she yawns, her mouth and face look like a pit-bull.  She is supposed to be a cross between a “Chinese dog of some type” and a pug.  Now others will tell you she is a cross between a Chihuahua (she hates it when you call her that and I don’t know why…she actually will playfully snap at your face!) and a pug.  She will be 3 years old in December.  So what do you think she is...besides happy??? Anyway, she wanted to have a blog of her own but she couldn’t come up with a good name and I told her I was too busy to try to keep up two blogs so she would have to be content to help with mine.  I will try to remember to warn you, er, I mean INFORM you of when she is helping.  And I think today may be one of the days she will be helping.You will see that she and I do not always agree on a particular way to describe or say something.  You will be able to tell that because what SHE has to say will most likely be “struck through” and then MY mind will take over.  This is an example of what I mean by struck through.   Did you know that Dan and I have gleefully sold our campground and are both retired??!!!  Yep!  We sold the park officially on May 11th this year!  We hadn’t planned on purchasing property until next  year, if then, but we found the perfect place for us and ‘moved in’ towards the end of July.The reason I say ‘moved in’ is because we are not living in the cabin but are living in our motor home (you may not even know about that either!!)  The property is almost 35 acres, has a cute little cabin and a few other buildings AND a polebarn/workshop for Dan!  A couple of the other buildings will be torn down as we have no use for them and it would be too costly to repair in order to insure them.  AND, the property has 4 full hook up campsites, a laundry facility, a shower and bathroom (which are part of the polebarn).  So we are living in our “new” (new to us!) 2011 Fleetwood Discovery diesel pusher.  It is a bit over 43’ long so it IS our home and has been since we bought it in April.  We hope by next summer to be able to live in the cabin, but there is work to be done first!A new roof HAS to be put on and by that I mean right down to the trusses, at least on about ¾ of the cabin.  The remaining room, which is the kitchen and living room, just has to have all the old shingles torn off and the plywood or OSB (or whatever they used) replaced.  THIS part of the cabin was added on to the original structure which IS log (which was built about 1948).  It will be a dark green metal roof.  We had hoped to have it done prior to us leaving for the south this fall, but it looks like the contractor might not be able to get us in for fear of getting caught in bad October rainy weather.The floor in this part of the house is very old plank wood and we LOVE IT!  So much character in this floor!  This whole addition USE to be a church (a very small one!) which makes it even more special….a lot of history to this place, ya know?The fieldstone fireplace is huge and seems to be in very good shape.  We are not going to burn wood though.  We will be putting in a gas insert.In order to see what size gas insert we would need, we had Soo Fireplace and Company come out and get the measurements.  Dan and I both had to chuckle at the guy when he crawled inside the fireplace and reported back to us (from INSIDE the fireplace) “Boy this is BIG, big, big, big”  (as in he was “echoing” from inside the fireplace).Phoebe seems to really like it here.  Oh, wait a minute…she’s got something to say and if it is relative to this conversation, I won’t use strike-th[...]



I'M BAAACCCCCKKKKK!!!

2015-09-14T16:12:39.656-04:00

I think I’ve been away from my blog long enough. Facebook had taken over my time and I felt I didn’t need both a blog and a FB page, but ya know what I found???  I’m tired of seeing these cartoons of what I guess are Minions telling that  “Life is not always a bed of roses, sometimes you do have to keep an eye out for the pricks”,  or “I’ll slap you so hard that even Google won’t be able to find you”.   Or the other types of posts that threaten you with the wrath of Khan or that fleas of 1000 camels will infest your arm pits if I don’t repost “this post” within the next 10 minutes, OR, and this is my biggest pet peeve, “I BET YOU CANNOT COME UP WITH A WORD THAT ENDS WITH THE LETTER O!”  (or other requests/challenges such as that one). Well, here are some of those words for you….HELLO?  NO?  OR ABOUT A COMBO OF THE TWO; HELLNO???  But then if you are a Scrabble playing person like myself, you almost  have to accept the dare and then try to figure out how many points you would get IF you WERE playing Scrabble and used words like, Oh, I do not know…how about zydeco, or muchacho, or jalapeno???  (Notice how many words I’ve used so far that even SOUND like O??)  How about some BIG O ending words like incommunicado?    Or for you piano (there’s another word ending in O!) enthusiasts, how about fortississimo. Then there is the never-ending cavalcade of “selfies”.  I’m sorry, but I really do not care what you look like with your tongue sticking out of your mouth.  Or how you look with Saran wrap wrapped all around your big fat head.  However, I do find pet selfies quite entertaining. Or people inviting you to “their farm” via a FB posting…seriously, for a long time I thought one of my friends actually had gone and bought a bunch of pigs and I wondered “where in the hell is she going to keep them”.  They didn’t even have a barn.  Then she got some sheep and a few chickens.  THEN I finally got an invitation to play farm yard or pig pen or whatever it was.  LIGHT BULB MOMENT. I know I’ve been guilty of posting some “uninteresting” things at times, but when I do, it is mainly to keep my family informed of an event which are normally NOT life altering events so others would not likely find them any more interesting than I find the post about… about their lip-smacking bowl of Cheerio’s as cataclysmic news.   BUT if that same person had someone make them eggs benedict, with a side dish of fresh strawberries and a pink rose put in a delicate vase and then served it to them in bed, and the person serving that breakfast tray was actually part of the crew from Publisher’s Clearing House, well, now THAT could be a bit more interesting. But I digress.. In the days to come, there will be more posts.  Dan and I have started a new adventure in our lives together and it is called RETIREMENT!  And we’ll be sharing it with anyone who cares to tune in! So, anyway, I’m BAACCCKKKK!!! So please keep checking when ya can!!! [...]



CAN'T KEEP UP

2014-04-23T18:07:28.487-04:00

As you have noticed I haven't posted much in a very long time.

And THIS post is just to let you know that I don't know if/when I will post again.  Life has gotten so full and busy and of course now that there is FB a lot of time is spent there.

I thank all of you for following the past hundred years or so and who knows?  Maybe I'll pick it up again!

Cathy



THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT IN GEORGIA

2014-02-16T14:05:33.645-05:00

OK, so it was the MORNING, but this latest ice/snow Georgia storm brought to mind all sorts of songs and/or lyrics.There was Snap, Crackle, Pop (when all the boughs were breaking and no cradle was falling but lots of heavy limbs, boughs and assorted sizes of trees were falling).  Of course, there is Ice, Ice Baby.  And who can forget Ah ah, oh no, don’t let the rain come down.  Or Blowing in the Wind, or Windy, or You’re as Cold as Ice.  Yep, I could go on and on…and you can add your own!But, the power left us Wednesday morning, February 12, 2014 around 7:45 a.m.  We had prepared for the storm, but unlike our “neighbors” here on the refuge compound, we didn’t have a bath tub we could fill with water.  I didn’t mind going to bed at 6:30 p.m. (it was dark and cold) except for listening to all the snapping and crackling of limbs and trees…so worried that one would fall on our 5th wheel and that would be it for us.We were hopeful when we heard chainsaws in the distance; hopeful that it was the power company, but it mainly was the country road crews re-opening Juliette Rd or neighbors trying to clear stuff on their property.  We heard chainsaws well into the early hours of the next morning.This was the beginning of our Wednesday a.m. to Saturday 5:30 p.m. ordeal.Since we have been caught in worse conditions tent camping in late March in the Smokies at Cades Cove, we really thought we were prepared.  But as one gets older and gets out from  under a ton of blankets from a nice warm spot to find out that it is 31 degrees INSIDE and 30 outside, it isn’t as much of an adventure as what it was years ago.And then came HOW DO WE HAVE COFFEEEEEE?????  Anyone that knows me knows I HAVE to have at least two cups in the a.m. and I’m good to go.  I knew if I didn’t figure that one out that I’d be grinding coffee beans in between my teeth and washing it down with warm water.Necessity IS the mother of invention; I boiled water, then turned it down to simmer and added my coffee grounds.  I let it steep as if it were tea, then we proceeded to try to pour the whole mess into the coffee filter in hopes it would filter down into the coffee pot.  IT DID!!!  It took quite a while but we managed to have our coffee 4 days in a row that way.  I was surprised I managed to get the pan clean last night when the power finally came on.Thursday was an interesting day due to all the ice still on all of the trees everywhere.  We didn’t plan on venturing off the refuge compound but we did spend quite a bit of the day with our neighbor, Nathan…he has a beautiful fire place and a wonderful fire.  And of course, I wanted to get plenty of photos before the almost one inch of ice started melting off the trees and bushes.  Yes, we have this kind of weather back home many times, but it is a rarity, thank goodness, for the sunny south.When we found out Friday that it could be into next week before the power was on again, Dan decided it was time to buy a generator.  We basically wanted one that would at least run some outlets and the furnace.  We were able to find several to choose from at Camping World in Bryon, Ga.  Dan wanted to get one that would fit in the toolbox in the back of our truck, so Saturday around noon we got the smaller version of the Honda 3000.We got it home and got it running, then went to plug in the 5th wheel.  It was then that Dan realized that he SHOULD HAVE listened to me when we were at the store.  I kept telling him that the adaptor that the salesperson said we needed did NOT look right.  The actual 30 amp hook up on the generator is 26.6 amps and she had given Dan a 20 amp to 30 amp (5th wheel IS 50 amp, but again, we don’t need to run much).  So, we had to make another trip back to Bryon (after calling to make sure they DID have the correct adapter).&n[...]



MAKING MUD PIES THE FIRE FIGHTERS WAY

2014-01-25T11:17:20.912-05:00

Yesterday was another learning experience for Dan and me. Toby asked us if we wanted to ride along while he checked the previous two days prescribed burns to make sure everything was as it should be. We managed to see parts of the refuge we had not seen before and most likely will not see again.  The fire break lines are VERY rough and we don’t want to be the ones to break an axle!  I was riding in the back seat and with every bump (of which there were many) I would thump my head on the door area.  I finally decided since we were NOT on a main road, my seatbelt was coming off and I was sitting towards the middle.  Ahhhh…what a relief. As luck would not have it, my camera was back in our 5thwheel.  I say that because we came upon a large tree that was burning thru at the base.   Toby backed  his truck up to the tree and started the water pump which is in the truck bed.  Keep in mind the truck had been parked in a heated shop all night long and should have worked.  NOT.  No water would come out the hose, so he looked it over to see which way it was leaning should it come down.  He figures if it burns thru and comes down, it won’t be in the way of anything else.  This area is only accessible by foot to the public. Then we were “touring” the wild life drive and came upon this particular tree.  It had a pretty good fire in the base of it as well and the backside looked like it had been damaged by lightening at some point.  Chances are/were very good THAT tree eventually would fall and it would fall across the wild life drive which IS accessible to the public by vehicle.  Since he already knew that the water pump was frozen the next option was to head back to the shop and get some fire shovels and hoe as well as water in buckets. Once we returned to the tree, Dan and Toby started digging dirt and pouring water on the dirt to make mud.  Then Toby would stuff the mud in the base of the tree to assist in putting out the fire.  It didn’t really take long, but he also took the “hoe” and scraped out the inside of the tree where it had decayed.        Me?  I stood by and took photos.  I’m such a hard worker!  Really there wasn’t much of anything that I could do!  The day before yesterday, I worked in the office doing inventory of exotic and endangered species parts.  Mainly what I was handling was all kinds of ivory.  The refuge’s use these confiscated items for teaching/learning programs at the schools or occasionally a class will come to the refuge.  These items were all confiscated over the years from people trying to bring them into the U.S.  I was inventorying zebra hide, polar bear hide, leopard hide, ostrich feathers that had been dyed and made into a fan, stuffed little alligators, alligator purses, cobra hide, python pillow cases, impala antlers that had been made into various things like a corkscrew handle for opening your wine.  There were lizard hides, belts made out lizard hides, purses made out of python and alligator, one big bunch of lizard hides that had been processed but nothing had been done with them (the lizards belong in the monitor family).  I came across a walrus molar, a tusk off from an African wild bore…and I cannot remember what all.  There was a very soft kind of a blue/gray colored have briefcase…elephant hide.   And THIS was just a small sampling of what is brought into the country!  As much as all of this was fascinating, I hated the thought of where it came from; what I was handling.    The ivory carvings are amazing, but then you think about what happened in order to make that carving and it made me so livid.  ONE little trinket that I had in my hand had a price tag on i[...]



LITIGATION FOR SANTA

2014-01-07T18:07:08.664-05:00

Dear Santa, How are you? How is Mrs. Claus? I hope everyone, from the reindeer to the elves, is fine. I have been a very good boy this year.  I would like an X-Box 360 with Call of Duty IV and an iPhone 5 for Christmas. I hope you Remember that come Christmas Day. Merry Christmas, Timmy Jones* * *Dear Timmy, Thank you for your letter. Mrs. Claus, the reindeer and the elves are all fine and thank you for asking about them. Santa is a little worried all the time you spend playing video games and texting. Santa wouldn't want you to get fat. Since you have indeed been a good boy, I think I'll bring you something you can go outside and play with.Merry Christmas, Santa Claus* * *Mr. Claus,  Seeing that I have fulfilled the "naughty vs. Nice" contract, set by you I might add, I feel confident that you can see your way clear to granting me what I have asked for. I certainly wouldn't want to turn this joyous season into one of litigation. Also, don't you think that a jibe at my weight coming from an overweight man who goes out once a year is a bit trite?Respectfully, Tim Jones* * *Mr. Jones, While I have acknowledged you have met the "nice" criteria, need I remind you that your Christmas list is a request and in no way is it a guarantee of services provided. Should you wish to pursue legal action, well that is your right. Please know, however, that my attorneys have been on retainer eversince the Burgermeister Meisterburger incident and will be more than happy to take you on in open court.  Additionally, the exercise I alluded to will not only improve your health,but also improve your social skills and potentially help clear up a complexion that looks like the bottom of the Burger King fry bin most days.Very Truly Yours, Santa Claus* * *Now look here Fat Man, I told you what I want and I expect you to bring it.  I was attempting to be polite about this but you brought my looks and my friends into this. Now you just be disrespecting me. I'm about to tweet my boys and we're gonna be waiting for your fat ass and I'm taking my gameconsole, my game, my phone, and whatever else I want. WHAT EVER I WANT, MAN! T-Bone* * *Listen Pizza Face, Seriously, you think a dude that breaks into every house in the world on one night and never gets caught sweats a skinny G-banger wannabe? "He sees you when you're sleeping; He knows when you're awake". Sound familiar, genius?  You know what kind of resources I have at my disposal. I got your shit wired, Jack. I go all around the world and see ways to hurt people that if I described them right now, you'd throw up your Totino's pizza roll all overthe carpet of your mom's basement. You're not getting what you asked for, but I'm still stopping by your crib to stomp a mud hole in your ass and then walk it dry. Chew on that, Petunia. S Clizzy* * *Dear Santa, Bring me whatever you see fit. I'll appreciate anything. Timmy* * *Timmy,  That's what I thought you little bastard. Santa[...]



NUTTIN' MUCH

2013-12-22T15:19:28.294-05:00

What a blah day!!  While family and friends are discovering the joys of skating on the roads, skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, etc back home...we are in a deluge of rain and almost 70 degree weather.

THAT won't last though.  By Tuesday the high in the area that we are is supposed to be 50 something and back below freezing for a couple of nights this week.

Dan and I normally do our weekly grocery shopping on Tuesdays, but since THIS Tuesday is Christmas Eve, we decided the stores would probably be elbow to elbow shoppers.  And since we do plan on working tomorrow (Monday), we figured we would do our shopping this morning.  Glad we did.

We also hoped that we would beat the heavy rains that were expected.

There wasn't many shoppers in Wal-mart at ALL.  So, it didn't take long.

But while we were in line this awful racket started; it was so loud you had to YELL in order to talk to the person next to you.  IT WAS RAIN PELTING THE ROOF!!!  Man, it was LOUD!

By the time our cart (or buggy as our southern friends call them) was loaded the rain had subsided some.  I had managed to convince Dan that when we arrived to NOT park out on the back 40 acres, but to try to get close in case it did rain.  I was fortunate...he only went the back 20 acres away from the entrance.

So out the sliding double doors we headed.   A heavy drizzle?  That's not too bad.  But about another 10' and it turned into pouring rain.  And there was still another concrete pasture field (well, it SEEMED like it) to cross in order to get to the truck.

Of course the plastic grocery bags were going to be a great help in protecting the contents.  Just slightly above the protection that would be offered by using the old type paper grocery bags when THEY get sopping wet.

And there was nothing protecting US.  AND I HAD ON A WHITE T-SHIRT THAT HAD A BASS PRO LOGO (big fish and all) across the front.  I didn't have to tell anyone that I also had on a red bra; it was visable to anyone that looked.

I admit that in my younger, more curvy days, I had participated in a couple of wet T-shirt contests; came in 2nd in one of them.  Even with a little muffin top back then, I still looked good.

But not anymore, not even with a red, lacy bra...which was beginning to make me itch the wetter it got.  Yep, at my age  I still have boobs and they haven't entirely met up with my lower extremities... yet.  And that cute little muffin top I use to have is now more like bread dough that has risen over the side of the bread pan.  There were no whistles this time, nor even a 2nd glance my way...for which I am eternally grateful.  Then I realized the mouth large mouth bass that was on the front of my shirt was now perfectly aligned with my right boob, which again, was pretty visible.   THAT was embarrassing enough but I am taking comfort in the fact that no one else noticed...at least that is what I am telling myself.



DA STORY OF DA BEAR BALLS....do not read if easily offended or weak of heart!

2013-12-11T16:31:49.029-05:00


Ingredients for bear balls in da Yoop
First, you must have a big set yourself to kill da bear, because dey don't kill so easy. A lot of times when you are tracking da bear, you find that da bear is really tracking you. I tink dey enjoy man balls just as much as we do da bear balls.
 

A good ting to do is not bathe for 6 mont before going after da bear, so you smell more like him. You are going to need a big darn gun as dey don't stop coming at you so easy! Of course, after all dis you will need a sled dog team to bring da sumbitch back to camp to skin and de-ball him.

Preparation:
Some people like da Black Bear Balls boiled but I tink der is nothing like a fried pair. Put da balls in a da fry pan and light up your Sterno. And den you wait…and wait…you will know dey are done when dey are shriveled up to about ½ da size you started out wit.  Add some water to dat pan to stir up da stuff left in da pan, add a bit of da flour and you got yourself some yummy good bear ball gravy.  Some people use da Dutch oven, but in my worldly cooking experience I have found dat da Dutch Oven is just a a camp cooking device used for turning perfectly good food into unrecognizable black char.  A Yooper word of advice; don’t offend da camp cook… dey can be dagrouchiest person on da planet and da last one you want to offend. Some have been known to use grounded up elk droppings for seasoning if dey don't like you.
 

 Utter ways to fix dis dish is to put it in da oven and smotter it wit your favorite sauce…which is da way dat dey will be fixed for da Christmas dinner.  For da weak of da heart, just don’t tink about what it is dat you are ingestin’!  Just remember to not offend da cook!

Maybe dis will be a bigger hit den da cheese curds of last year, eh??



THE ELUSIVE COCKADED WOODPECKER

2013-12-07T09:28:27.284-05:00

Our first year at Piedmont NWR included training on how to clear a 10 foot swath in the shape of a circle around the bottom of the cockaded woodpecker tree. Thankfully this didn’t have to be done around all of the woodpecker trees; only the ones that was in the prescribed burn areas. First you have to know how to recognize a cockaded tree.  LOTS of pine trees can have LOTS of round holes in them which you might think was the tree.  To make it easier to identify the active trees (meaning trees in use by that woodpecker), white bands are painted around the tree, probably about 6 foot off the ground. OR if it is a new “man-made cavity” in the tree, that tree has a huge band around where the cavity is.THAT is what we are going to be talking about today…in a minute…or two… In case you may have forgotten our “tree cleaning experience”, let me refresh your memory. After you have located where the trees are, you set off into the woods to get to those trees.  Just getting there is a trip, literally, in itself.  If you cannot drive to it, you walk to it…or try to. When I think of “grapevine” I think of a dance step, or maybe some place near Traverse City, Michigan that grows a lot of grapes to make into wonderful wine.  Here they are devious, low lying weeds that will sneak up and seize you by the ankle.  And most likely, if you are rookies like us, you will fall flat on your face wondering what the hell was that? How did I end up here?   After this has happened at least twice, you start high stepping thru the woods as if you were a prancing horse. It is bad enough to fall down, but normally you are also carrying your equipment which consists of two fireman’s rake, a lopper or two, and one turbo charged, industrial sized, gas operated leaf blower.  Falling down with these can be dangerous…and make you look quite foolish. Not too many of the trees are easily approachable.   They are not that kind of tree that stands in the forest just waiting for a hug.  They are unfriendly.  After all, they alone have been the chosen trees by the endangered cockaded woodpecker!   Dan and I did our fair share of landing  our face and sometimes on our back…which then reminded us of an armadillo that had been over turned and couldn’t correct the problem. The guys that work here can literally sail across the top of the weeds and if they should fall down, it is only a nano-second and they pop right back up and keep on going like nothing happened.  As you get older you don’t tend to pop up from anything, let alone a fall while lugging equipment around. So yesterday, Jason and Nathan were going to put in 4 more man-made woodpecker boxes.  I believe Jason said this makes 24 for the season and the last of them for the season. There is a LOT of equipment to be hauled to the trees with this endeavor as well.  There are light weight skinny ladders, consisting of 3 - 10 foot sections for each of the cavity whisperers.  There is a lineman’s bag which is full of all the things they will need while 30’ up in the air (which if I can remember it all; the cavity box, a chisel, a  hammer, paint, putty, a screen,  a putty knife,  a couple of large cans of white spray paint, a draw knife, possibly a bottle of water, nails, shims, their life insurance policy, next of kin notification, and I don’t know what else I may have forgotten).  They also have about a 60’ length of rope and safety belts in order to fasten themselves to the tree.  There is also a small chainsaw involved, as well as safety gear consisting of ear plugs and hard hats. I tried to help carry stuff, but being so [...]



FRAN FOUND FRED 5 FINE FISH FOR FRYING

2013-11-22T08:31:00.323-05:00

OK, so maybe it WASN’T Fran and maybe Fred wasn’t even there…and possibly there were more than 5 fish…but they WERE fried. I didn’t think a title of “WAYNE AND JASON FRY FISH” would be as catchy. But fry fish they did!  And hush puppies!  And french fries!  Southern men can COOK!!!  There was more than enough to go around so if anyone left hungry, you can only blame yourself!!      This is the last weekend of the deer hunt on Piedmont for this season.  There were only 6 deer that were killed and brought in yesterday.  Makes for a long day and makes for an even longer day for the LEO’s.   I woke up this morning with a big pain in the neck (and NO, I don’t mean Dan).  When that happens the best thing for me to do is get up, wrap the ice bag around the back of my neck and sit still.  It usually turns into a roaring headache but I think I got it in time.   So, what have we been up to??  Other than eating too much at the deer check station?   Dan finally splurged and got a Nokia Lumia Windows 8 smart phone (matches mine).  Now he is trying to learn to use it.  It is difficult for him to go from a dumb ass phone that he has had for SEVERAL years to a smart phone.   While he was busy trying to get use to using/finding various parts of his new gizmo, I was busy trying to set up an email account for him.  That way he can download various apps to his phone.  He doesn’t want to email anyone but needs an account for certain features of his phone.   Mainly, all I could hear from him was “Whoops!  Gosh darn it!” (Polite version).  He said that so many times that I knew what to make his password…WHOOPS.  Of course there are a few more little letters and numbers involved to make it harder to figure out than just plain WHOOPS!   There are a couple of things that I am very thankful for as far as any cellphone; they can change their own time.  You don’t have to worry about trying to remember which button to push and then worrying about whether you have set it for alarms.  Thank you cell phone gods for this feature. Dan will have trouble with seeing the little bitty letters on the little bitty screen and using his dainty little bitty stylus.  But he has to keep practicing.   For instance, he accidentally tapped on something that set his cell phone to ‘LEARN TO SPEAK SPANISH WHILE YOU SLEEP!”.  I didn’t know it had that!  It won’t do either one of us any good because the cell phones are shut off before bed time.Then there is also the following: A GPS to help you find whatever it is you are looking for.  It will also help you get from point A to point B assuming you have a clue where point A is to begin with.  When we headed to the corner store the other day, I told Dan that he should learn how to program this feature.  You have your choice of what language you want the directions in and whether you want male or female voice.  Since I have male and call mine Sam, Dan decided he would have the female version and currently calls her Dumb Bitch.  I’m sure he will come up with a more appropriate name eventually.   The reason he hopped on this name was because after she told him to ‘FOLLOW THE COURSE OF THE ROAD FOR 9 MILES” (in a less than sexy voice) she immediately went DING! DING! DING! to let him know he was .7 mph over the speed limit.  DUMB BITCH just came naturally after that.   As many users of smart phones know, there are all kinds of apps that come pre-loaded on the phone.  I’ve yet to discover all of them, let alone use ½ of them.  I’m sure there is a monitor someplace in ther[...]



SOUTHERN WAYS

2013-11-06T07:13:32.688-05:00

Some of the things that Dan and I have discovered about people in the south is their strong belief in God, country, to raise respectful children and the right to bear arms.

What I want to talk about is those respectful children.

It appears to Dan and me that the further south you get (we are a bit past Atlanta, Georgia), the more parents instill respect in their children.

It is always, for example "Yes, mamam, Miss Cathy" or "Thank you  Mr. Dan".  While children ARE entitled to their opinion, there is no back-talking (at least not in public; don't know about behind closed doors but my guess is NOPE, not there either!).

Parents go out of their way to teach their children what WE all use to consider to be polite and considerate members of society.  It this happens to involve a swat on the butt or a strong reprimand, so be it whether it happens to be in the grocoery aisle or in the middle of church service...BUT IT WORKS!!!

Children (including those in the teen years who are not so much children anymore) do not spend every waking hour on a phone, on a computer, on some kind of an electronic something or other.  I KNOW they do have video games, X-boxes, Wii's etc...but they are allowed to use them in moderation and to know the difference between when "enough is enough" as far as how INVOLVED one gets with that particular game.

Case in point;  one of the Daddy's that we know purchased a video hunting game for his young son.  Without going into all of the details, let's just say that the son got to a point where he did not want to go further with the game because there were some scary things lurking in the video woods and he didn't want to be surprised by them.  This had happened more than once and the Daddy would try to explain that it wasn't real, etc or the Daddy would play thru this part himself (I believe it was a bear in the woods with sharp claws).  Now, this next part may sound like "over kill" to some of you, but to me I TOTALLY GET IT!!

After about the umpteenth time of this happening and Daddy telling the young man (pretty much all kids, regardless of age refer to their Dad's as their Daddy and I LOVE it!  Everyone can be a father or a Dad, but it really takes a special man to be a Daddy; know what I mean??) that he can simply start the game over, that Daddy was busy...the kid threw a real fullblown hissy fit!  Daddy had had enough and took that game and broke it into a million little pieces....problem solved.

Southern parents take respect for EVERYTHING and EVERYONE very seriously and I think all us Yankess could learn a valuable lesson.


I will try to be better about posting to Yarns and I apologize for the delay, the LONG delay from my previous posts.  Please keep checking back in!!




SPIDERS AND SNAKES!

2013-10-14T10:44:40.468-04:00

Things are slowly taking shape in our “getting ready to leave” part of our lives. Since we’ve been closed for the season, I’ve actually been able to get outside and enjoy the weather and get some MUCH NEEDED exercise!  And get some wonderful fall shots along the way.  The problem is, when I take my camera with me, I don’t walk as fast as I do if I DON’T take it with me. However, the other day on one of my walks, I literally stumbled across a good size snake sunning himself in a pile of leaves (at least that is what Dan said he was doing; I SAY HE WAS OUT TO GET ME AND HE KNEW I’D BE WALKING THAT WAY AROUND THE CAMPGROUND!).   You would have been very proud of me; I only let out a little “Jeez!  Where the #%$BE) did you $$%*# come from, you as$$%)BY## snake!”  I’m sure the only neighbors that heard me were the ones that were not in their shower or not trying to start a logging truck.  I finally regained my composure (not really) and realized that if I didn’t stop hopping up and down that something worse could happen…like me slipping in the wet leaves and ending up a LOT closer to the snake (who really didn’t give a darn that I was there acting like a person who’d been taken by surprise by a $&#@4 snake!). I continued to saunter (yeah, right) past the sunbathing creepy snake and managed to finish up my walk and get my heart rate back down to an easy 120 beats per minute.  Just that slight run in made me feel creepy and jumpy. When I returned to my office I took off my camera, my coat, may hat, my gloves and was almost ready to get down to the business of transferring the photos to my computer….but I just kept thinking about that snake and was still feeling fortunate that I’d managed to get thru that close encounter  unscathed. I walked into my office and was JUST about ready to set down in my chair and I noticed a great big hairy spider on the floor by the wheels on my chair.  Once again, I went into my stationary panic mode.  I hate spiders and if you’ve been reading my blog for long, you already know that.  He just set there; I could just feel those beady eyes staring holes into my skin…he was just waiting to pounce.  I know from boundless experience it was a wolf spider…and the only good wolf spider is a DEAD wolf spider.  I straightaway brought my size 9 ½ shoe right down on top of him. THERE!  TAKE THAT YOU $(^$_)#%% SPIDER!  It took a lot for me to even do that because they WILL jump at you.     To make sure he was good and dead, I ground my foot into the carpet…then quickly stepped away (after all, I’ve seen them go thru the whirling blades of a lawn mower and come away with everything intact, including their hideous, hairy legs and umpteen eyes.) I was satisfied that I’d squashed that sucker flat and took a look to see how much of a mess I’d made of the carpet.  HE HADN’T OOZED AT ALL!!!  In fact he didn’t look much different than he did before I stomped on him!!  Now that is scary!!!  I let him have it good and he doesn’t appear none the worse for it??? By this time, the steam had cleared off my glasses and I got a really good look at this hairy clump of legs and eyes…and realized that I had just spent my morning workout trying to kill a big piece of crumbled up thread!!!   ARRGGHHH!!!  Please tell me that you have done something just as foolish?[...]



10 DAYS AND COUNTING!!!

2013-10-11T18:29:55.555-04:00

10 DAYS TILL WE (HOPE) TO LEAVE FOR THE SUNNY SOUTH!!!

Although, we cannot complain about the picture perfect weather that we've had for the past SEVERAL days!  It has been fantastic and the colors of the trees were undescribable.  Photos do not do the colors justice, but I will post a couple anyway!!

 The colors are pretty much done for right now.  Lots of bare branches exposed which allows us to see where many of the birds nests were this year!

I'm trying to get this blog to cooperate so I can start my next paragraph below this photo, but it is not allowing for me to do that....so on we go!

We closed the campground today and managed to get quite a bit of the "stuff" done that needed to be done.  Dan might actually get to go hunting tomorrow!  While we are open and our guests are using our nature trail thru' the woods, Dan does not dare head off to the woods to hunt...even if he was just hunting for a nice warm pile of leaves to curl up in and take a nap!  So, he's anxious to get out in da woods!!

This is just a quick post to let you know I'm still alive and kicking (although not as high as I use to!).  I'll be quite busy getting ready to go but I haven't forgotten my blog and my visitors!!!  Hope all is well with all of you!!




THE END OF ANOTHER WEEK!!!

2013-09-26T19:10:45.362-04:00

Where has this month gone??  I can't believe it is almost October.  I guess that shows me that we HAVE been busy this season because normally by now I'm counting off the days till we leave for Georgia!!!

Well, I had my appointment in Petoskey yesterday and I was not pleased.  My appointment was for 10:00 a.m....not 10 P.M!

The nurse took all the info she needed and said "The Dr will be with you soon."  This was about 10:15.  About 11:00 Dan said HE was going to go set in the truck because he was tired of sitting (hurts his hips and back).

At 11:15, I stuck my head out in the hallway and asked if I'd been forgotten.  Nope, just really busy.

About noon I was rudely awakened from my nap by the Dr FINALLY making an appearance.  I think they were so far behind that I just kind of got "blown off".  The only thing he really said was "I'm sending your sample to the lab and have it tested further.  It looks like there could be a bladder infection so it wouldn't do me any good to do a scope if there is an infection.  Call us Friday morning and we'll go from there"...and out the door he went!  I finally figured out that I was supposed to follow him...

We stopped at the nurses desk and he told her what was going on and to set up a follow up appointment in the Soo the next time they would be there.  I have an appointment to see him October 15th; they are "working me in".  I bet I should reserve a motel room and plan on staying there the night as slow as they are when you HAVE an appointment that you are NOT being worked in for!

Anyway, by the time we got back home, there was a message from my new Dr in Newberry and that I was to call them this morning...which I did.

When he sent me for a bunch of labs the other day (and someone is finally checking my hormone levels; I've been off HRT for about 10 years) he also requested a "specimen in a cup".  I called and was informed there is some type of an infection and they would call in Bactrim.  THEN they called about 40 minutes later and said they'd gotten the sensitivity test (which shows them which drug will work for the type of infection going on) and they were switching it to Augmentin.  I can't wait to call the urologists office tomorrow and see what they have to say and what they would be prescribing...which I will not pick up since I have this Rx.

I finally got a word in  with the urologist while he was telling the nurse this and that and asked him what he could give me for the awful spasms.  He grumpily wrote a Rx and gave me a package of samples of the pill (a weeks worth). 

Since I found out from my NEW Newberry Dr what was going on, I decided to call the local pharmacy and tell them to only bottle up 15 of those pills the Petoskey dr had prescribed.  I'm glad I did because when Dan picked up both Rx's, the total was $115.60!!!  The augmentin was less than $7.00...you do the math!  Cripes!!!  I told the guy that I don't have Rx coverage and I'd appreciate something that wasn't so costly.  I wonder what he would have prescribed if I hadn't said that??!!!

I would like to think of something witty to end with, but right now I'm not feeling to witty.  The only thing I can come up with, considering how damn mad I was (and still am to a point) is that is it better to be Pee'd off than  Pee'd on!  (the polite verbiage...you can figure it out!!)



WHAT IS UP???

2013-09-22T18:47:17.959-04:00

Something is amiss with my blog and I wonder if others are having the same issue???  I CAN'T LOG IN AT THE TOP OF THE SCREEN LIKE I NORMALLY WOULD DO.  I had to take the long way around to get to it.AND the page that I am writing this on is nothing at all like my other page was.  There isn't a way to even get to my dashboard, or to change anything as far as appearance, settings etc.  Is any one else seeing it this way???  Please let me know!So, what have I been up to??  GETTING READY TO CLOSE ON OCTOBER 11TH AT NOON!!!  Actually I've been busy with a couple of doctor appointments and had to have a bone marrow test done this past week.  I don't see the oncologist/hematologist till the 1st week of October.  I suppose if there is something really wrong, he will get in touch with me prior to that.2nd, Dan has finally convinced me to change my family Dr.  I too believe it has gotten to the point that he doesn't know what to do for me (or to me??).  I've been trying for over a year to get my BP under control and all three of the meds we've tried in the past year I cannot take.  The last one was the worst!  It is called Lisinopril.  It immediately helped by BP and it seemed like this was the answer!  I hadn't developed any swelling or rashes or anything else!But then, I crashed.So, this story is more for the ladies out there but guys if you have someone in your life that you love and she is experiencing what I am experiencing, be very supportive and make sure you get her to see the correct doctor.I will be seeing a urologist in Petoskey on Wednesday morning.  I am pretty sure I have what is called Interstitial Cystitis, or IC for short. I don't have it as bad as some women (and men) do.  Some women have the feeling of needing to go to the bathroom 70 times per day!  But this is extremely painful and the only way I can describe it is feeling like there is a Charlie horse in my bladder.  I'm not going into all the details of it, but check it out online.  There is a TON of information available. There are certain things I cannot eat like grapes, smoked ham, any citrus fruits or any fruit juices, especially the citrus kind.  It is suggested to buy pear juice.  I cannot recall seeing pear juice.  Oh, and caffeine can be a big trigger to cause these flare ups (as they are called; mine's been ongoing since July).Until I am able to see the doctor on Wednesday, his nurse said it was OK to take the AZO tablets for more than 2 days (which is what it states on their package).  Regular pain medicine does not do a  thing for this type of pain.I have had the cystoscope before, and that was before we moved up here 21 years ago.  That was due to all the continuing UTI's I was having which I eventually figured out was due to the fact that I was trying to get off from HRT (all these acronyms will drive you nuts!!!) The doctor that did that to me was a sadist.  I think he really enjoyed torturing women when ever he had the chance.  I really do.  And if I knew then what I figured out even a year later, I would have followed up with some phone calls and possibly even a lawyer.  What he did and the way he did it was uncalled for.  I remember hearing him say "Now, it can't hurt THAT much now can it?" And then he'd insert that scope some more and I KNOW he twisted it.There is not a cure for this condition, only medicine to help alleviate the pains...at least it is supposed to.  And the one medicine that is used the most costs over $400 per month for it....I[...]



I'M BAAACCCCCKKKKK!!!

2013-09-10T08:30:44.577-04:00

I'll be surprised if anyone even visits my blog anymore since I've been so bad about posting this summer!!!  I HOPE you are still there!!!Dan's brother, Rodger and his wife Connie, arrived on Friday and are staying a couple of weeks in their pop up.  It is so very good to have them here!!  Connie and I haven't had quality time like this in a very long time.  She's been doing most of the supper cooking and I've been making desserts, so it all works out very well!  Connie is an excellent cook and I don't know if I have ever seen her actually follow a recipe.  A lot of her "concoctions" are things she's come up with.  I'm not that imaginative.Today I have to drop Bubba, the truck, off at the dealer in town.  Last week we had trouble with him; he would not start at ALL.  Just a click, click.  Had to have him hauled into town, got two new batteries and had them do an oil change and filters while he was there.  While they were working on him, they noticed a little hole in something to do with the exhaust (I don't understand all of this; I just nod and pretend I do when Dan tries to explain it to me).  So, that is why Bubba is going back today; to get that new part on...and put the fuel filter on that they didn't put on last week.Do you realize a month from tomorrow, we will be closing for the season?  YEAH!!!!  We most likely won't be leaving here to head south until October 25th, unless Dan gets to the point he cannot wait another minute!  We got Gracie, the 5th wheel, home this past weekend so he can FIND THE TIME AND ENERGY to wash and wax her and wash the roof.  My job in Gracie won't start for about a month yet!Next Wednesday is my bone marrow test.  I'm not so bothered by that now since I found out that they WILL be putting me out.  First time I had it done, I was awake.  Even with the "numbing shots" in the butt, it still was very uncomfortable.We had some guests check in a couple of days ago; two big motor homes traveling together.  The one guy (these were older guys) was so arrogant and looked down his nose at me, I could just tell there would be issues.  When I got to the part about "do you have boards or something to put under your stabilizers?"  He said "NO!  I've never needed them and won't use them!"  Dan was standing around the corner of the office and he made his presence known and said "You WILL use them here."  Then the guy said "You should provide them for your guests!"  SURPRISE YOU LITTLE JERK!!!  WE DO!!!  The other man didn't have any either but wasn't creating a stir about any of it.I told them Dan would go out and get our specially cut boards for them to use and to please return them when they were done.  The Little Jerk gave me a "Hmmpph."Dan had the boards sitting by each motor home and the Little Jerk said "Aren't you going to bring them out to us??"  (The other man had already put his in his tow vehicle).  Dan said "No, don't you have compartments under your motor home?"  Little Jerk "Yes, but I'm NOT putting those damn boards in there!"  And it escalated from there.  It ended up with Dan telling him that he could arrange for the Little Jerk to go out of here faster than he came in (the other guy was just being quiet and observing) and if he didn't change his attitude he would be escorted OUT!  Dan further went on to say "And if you have ANY problems with anything here, DO NOT go to the office...you come see ME and I will set you straight!"  The LJ said it was a bun[...]



ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST...ALMOST

2013-08-29T09:56:48.026-04:00

LABOR DAY WEEKEND IS UPON US!!!  That means the camping season for us is about over, so hence another one bites the dust...almost.It has been a tremendous season; business has been good with almost every business owner I have spoken with.  It has been our best season since 2004.  Yep, it has been a LONG, dry spell.When it gets this close to time to close (October 11th at noon!) I think back about some of our guests and some of the funny things AND sad things that have happened over the years.  Thankfully, the funny out weigh the sad.Here are a few of the funny stories from previous posts.  Enjoy!!HERE KITTY, KITTY, KITTY In the evening, when things have slowed down, Dan and I set on the couch and watch TV (or at least go through the motions of trying to find something to watch). Due to the way our living room furniture is arranged, we can also watch what is going on in the campground.I guess it was about 8:30 last night, I saw a skunk trotting across one of the campground roads towards the playground. It stopped a distance of maybe 3 or 4 feet away from the road. It was very visible. It jumped up, spun around and acted like it was playing with something, but we couldn’t see what it might be playing with. THEN we saw the tail go up and we waited for that dreaded aroma….nothing. That tail went straight up so we were very surprised that he hadn’t sprayed at something.THEN we saw a family (human family that is) walking towards that particular campsite road. There was Mom, Dad and two kids….and the skunk was not that far away from them. There was nothing we could do except watch and pray that they saw the skunk before it was too late! BUT THEY DIDN’T!!! THEY KEPT ON WALKING TOWARDS THE SKUNK!!! And the skunk was not backing away or even moving (as far as we could tell anyway; it IS a bit of a distance). THEY GOT RIGHT UP TO THAT SKUNK!! The skunk still didn’t move and by now Dan and I are very alarmed; is it sick??? Is someone going to get bit?? Sprayed???We watch in horror as the little girl bends down as if to pet the skunk!! OH MY GOD!!! I know we get a lot of people from the city, but even at that, these people should know about petting strange critters. The parents and kids are standing around the skunk and the little girl picks it up and puts it back down. I’LL BE DAMNED IF THAT SKUNK DIDN’T SPIN AROUND IN A COUPLE OF CIRCLES AND TAKE OFF DOWN THE CAMPGROUND ROAD!!! And no one is screaming, no smell in the air. WHAT A FORTUNATE FAMILY!! By now we’ve got the binoculars out in order to see if this critter looked like it was something that Dan needed to go out and shoot (maybe it was sick or injured)!I’m glad Dan didn’t go grab the gun; WE would have been the ones left feeling stupid. Well, actually we DO feel stupid. The “skunk” was a large remote controlled truck that was dark in color with a white blaze from front to back!!!All that spinning around and the raising of the “tail” was actually being controlled by this little girl. I don’t know what caused the truck to ‘rear up’ so it looked like a skunk raising its tail. We got a good laugh about that.Overnight, Dan must’ve forgotten about the whole episode because when he asked me this morning if I had seen any skunks this morning on my trip to and from the bathhouse, I answered “Nope. And I didn’t see any remote controlled trucks either!”Or check out THIS post;AN INSPIRING PERSONUP AND OVER, ANNABELLE!CONVERSATION WITH A CAMPING GUEST GUEST: We took a long ride today. We were at the[...]



SO YOU WANT TO OWN A CAMPGROUND?

2013-08-21T10:58:21.331-04:00

The following story was written back in the ‘80’s I believe. Some of it could be changed to make it more pertinent to today’s “standards of camping”, but it is still a good read regardless of what decade it was written.  I have included some of my thoughts every once in a while....So you want to own a campground?Swell. But perhaps you should consider consulting a psychiatrist instead.Somewhere in this great country of ours is a man or woman, or better yet both, who feel strongly that owning or operating a campground is the way to an easy fortune. In all fairness to these folks, who obviously have camped twice and done little research, I offer the following givens, assumptions, truths, (and half-truths) from the pen of a man who embarked on the American dream a dozen years ago, with brave and naive partner.Take everything you have; sink it, along with your blood, sweat, and tears into a piece of earth and all America will help you create a lifelong dream. Specifically the vision consists of an endless stream of citizens, using the same ground over and over until(1) It (the ground) is paid for.(2) The electric wire is paid for. (And is up to code)(3) The sewers are paid for. (and guests do not flush tennis balls down unpluggable toilets)(4) The table is paid for.(5) The fireplace is paid for.(6) The water hookups are paid for. (In the state of Michigan, every November, campground owners pay what is akin to a water tax…and how much it is depends on how many sites you have. THAT started maybe 10 years ago!)(7) The toilets are paid for. (Could be changed to reflect environmentally conscious toilets)(8) The showers are paid for. (Commercial grade water saver shower heads probably cost close to what a shower cost in the ‘80s!)(9) The playground is paid for. (Make sure you’ve got at least 18” of sand so ya don’t get sued if Suzie falls off the swing!)(10) The mower is paid for. (Hey, you know all about our Green Machine!)(11) The ice machine is paid for.(12) The jeep or tractor is paid for.(13) You have $10,000 set aside for all of the above, which constantly don't work or wear out. (This is one of those things that could be changed; $10,000 X about 5!)When all the above is completed and your body is old and weak, the Department of Environmental Resources will tell you that they haven't got the money to spray for the gypsy moth anymore but if you don't spray at your own expense, they'll close down your operation. So before you leap let me offer you these thoughts:All campers in tents are not poor.All campers in Large RV's are not rich.There is a strong correlation between a camping family and at least one pet dog.Not all people who camp simply "love it” (camping).There is a strong correlation between campers and chubbiness.It is very possible that a camper owning a $10,000 RV will argue with you over a quarter.  (More like $100K rig  now days!)All visitors to your campground will not seek you out to pay their guest fee.Many campers who frown on those who openly consume alcohol get pretty pie-eyed inside their trailer.  (Or slip on the bathroom floor and try to blame you..broken beer bottle on floor beside them)Keeping every camper happy is akin to killing every mosquito with a pair of tweezers.Campers tend to be more conservative with Their LP-gas than with your electricity.Some campers who never miss church are not above sneaking electric heaters into their units.Some campers will drive 10 miles to buy a can of beans because your beans were three cents mo[...]



GOOD NEWS, sort of

2013-08-21T10:39:28.545-04:00

THIS makes me feel a little better about the upcoming bone marrow test. Last time I had it, I was wide awake...NOW they sedate you!! It is scheduled for 9/18 at 3:00 p.m. Nothing to eat or drink for 8 hours prior, but I tell you, that will not bother me (well except for not being able to drink water) since I KNOW I won't be awake for it this time!! Someone finally figured out it is painful and decided to put the patient out! Maybe a physician or two had it done while they were wide awake???



NUTTIN' MUCH

2013-08-21T10:48:23.135-04:00

I think I mentioned in my previous post that already July 2014 is pretty well booked and after our last caravan of THIS season leaves tomorrow, things will be pretty slow for a couple of days.The Lumberjack breakfast and festivities is at the logging museum this weekend and we usually get some campers as a result of that, but Dan and I are looking forward to at least ONE quiet day this week!!!  I cannot believe how busy this summer has been for us!!  I hope it is a trend.We are also counting the days till we close on October 11th.  We have received the GO AHEAD to be at Piedmont NWR by October 30th and ready to work the deer check station.  Last year the bees were so bad that the guys were making “bee catchers” out of empty plastic pop bottles.  And there were a few evenings that it got pretty cold sitting around waiting for the end of the evening (about 10 p.m.).This morning was my weekly errand morning; the day that Dan dreads.  He does NOT want to have to be the office assistant or manager in my absence, so I try to be quick about my errands.  It wasn’t too hard to be quick about it since I wasn’t feeling all that well anyway.I left about 8 and was back by 9:30.  The site I was greeted by was seeing Dan thru the screen (in the office window) with the phone to his ear and that panic stricken look that is kind of like the face of a bowling ball.I was hardly even in the door and he said “I need you in the office NOW!!”.  Well, he HAD finished up with that phone call but really did not want to deal with the person in the lobby.Nothing against tattoos, but this YOUNG gal was covered in them…and some were not that tasteful if ya know what I mean.  She had on a very low scoop neck short sleeve, sequined “blouse” (??).  After she told me the same story Dan had already heard about traveling ALL night, couldn’t find a place to camp or sleep so she ended up in a parking lot someplace sleeping in her car.  OH, and she said she really needed a shower.I explained to her that check in time normally wasn’t till 12:30 but since she really needed a shower I would assign a site to her, etc.  .  I told her “$21.00 please.”  She dug around in her bra and handed me a wad of money!!  BOY, I cannot figure out why Dan didn’t want to stick around for that!!!  Poor man, he gets them all!!!So that’s how it goes here.I do have a question for you and I would appreciate your honest input.  We have had a very difficult time with all the wifi users this year using up all of our bandwidth.  I actually had to buy another $70 worth in July.  The problem has been (mainly) that everyone in the family has some kind of an electronic device.  I’m sure we all know what the kids must do; download music, videos, etc.Each guest is allowed one log in coupon with 150 MB upload and download within a 24 hour period.  This is supposed to be monitored by Tengo internet.  Lately they haven’t been doing a very good job of it and I’VE had to be the one monitoring things.  Aside from the fact that they need to do a better job, my question for you is this;How would you react if you were a guest here and I said “The first two coupons are free, but after that there will be a $1.00 charge per coupon for up to two coupons and $2.00 charge per coupon should you need more than 2 to cover every device in your family”.I’m thinking about doing this next seaso[...]



BURN, BABY, BURN

2013-08-15T19:50:13.532-04:00

The weather has been very “fallish” the past several days.  The mornings have been cool but invigorating.  We both love this time of year.  It’s good snuggling weather but it is also relaxing to have the windows open about half way.This week is supposed to be above normal temps again with the night time lows being a bit above normal too.With that said, let me just say Dan is fit to be tied and I have no idea what words will actually be coming out of his mouth once he gets done TURNING THE HEAT ON IN THE CABIN!!  We have dropped our jaw twice today; the first time was guests (who by the way are traveling with the guests in the cabin) asked to have the heat on.  We just don’t get it…AND I’M THE ONE ALLERGIC TO THE COLD????  AND I’M DOING JUST FINE WITH THIS GORGEOUS SLEEPING WEATHER??THEN, today, as I was coming back into the house, I noticed a teen age boy with a drinking bottle coming into the yard.  As soon as I got in the house I looked out to see where he went…he had put his bottle under the fountain that serves as the bird bath and filled it!!  Before I could even get back out the door to get his attention he had taken a swig from that bottle!  I said “WHOA!!!  That water is what the birds bathe in!”  YUCK!!!  He replied “OH.”  Why he didn’t fix it up in the campground or even in the particular lodging he is staying in is beyond me.  Again, YUCK!!!  I guess to match the signs at the lagoon that say POOP POND, I’m going to have to get something made up identifying the bird bath fountain as BATHING BIRD POOP FOUNTAIN.   YUCK!!!How many days till we close?  OH, that’s right!  56 more days!!!!I shouldn’t complain.  It has been one heck of a busy summer so we are glad for the business.  We’ve already got most of July 2014 booked with 3 different rallies!!!  YEAH!!!!Well, that’s how it goes at this end of the globe.  How about at your end??[...]



NUTTIN' MUCH!

2013-08-06T18:27:05.342-04:00

I know I have really been absent for about a month now!  We have been VERY busy this summer and I’m finding that I’m not as good at multi-multi tasking (yes, I meant it that way).  I’m getting too old for this stuff…running a campground I mean.It isn’t just that and believe me we are SO VERY HAPPY to have business back to what it was in 2004, but put in the mix that I am learning a new online rez system, well, as I said I’m getting too old for this stuff”.And it is always a good hint that you have been remiss in posting to your blog when one of your readers has his wife call to make sure I’m ok!!  HOW SWEET WAS THAT!!??  Thanks, Fred and Laura, for your concern!  I DO appreciate it.Most of our guests this year have been a real pleasure but as usual you will get those thrown into the mix that really test how thick your tongue (don’t want to bite it off) is.  So glad they are few and far between.It has cooled off and is very pleasant right now.  It reminds us both of fall weather.  Believe it or not, a couple of our cherry trees are getting yellow leaves.  Such a pretty contrast in colors with the green and yellow leaves and the bright red LITTLE cherries.  It won’t be long and I’ll be doing the fall color report!!We are counting the days till we close on October 11th.  Do you know that since we moved up here we really haven’t had a chance to do UP NORTH touristy type things?  I think we will remedy that by actually getting to take one of the Pictured Rocks cruises after we close.  Dan wants to do some bow hunting up here before we head south, so not quite sure when we’ll actually be taking off…although HE IS READY TO GO GET OUR 5TH WHEEL OUT OF STORAGE!!One of my guests was in and we were talking about hummingbirds.  She said her granddaughter always wanted to go watch the “humping birds”.  She thought THAT is what everyone was calling them.  HA!  Out of the mouths of babes, right?  I am making 16 cups of hummingbird juice every other day.  I can’t imagine what it will be like towards the end of the month when they start prepping their little bodies for that long flight south!  Sugar is expensive, like everything else, but it is a LOT of good entertainment watching those little wonders of nature!I finally finished up my every week of CBC blood tests.  I’m supposed to see the hematologist next week but I can’t see any reason to go if nothing really has changed…plus I’ve finally gotten caught, er I mean called for jury duty.  I’m to report Monday and bring my paper work they sent and any reasons why I feel I should be excused.  The biggest reason is being self employed!  Kind of hard to tell my boss I need the time off.I’m sorry that I haven’t been on in such a long time!  I hope you are still reading once in a while.Thanks again!!![...]



THE BIG BANG THEORY

2013-07-11T09:08:51.854-04:00

It has been an interesting couple of weeks since I last posted.  We've been extremely busy with campers and lodging guests.  YAH!!!!And in among those campers and lodging guests are a few that stand out in our mind.We had guests from Melbourne, Australia.  They are living in Michigan for a couple of years due to the hubby's line of work bringing him here.  We didn't get to spend a lot of time talking with hubby, but did with the Mrs.  She was a  hoot!  I know she and I could have become good friends in a heart beat...even with a bit of an "accent barrier".  They and the kids stayed in one of our cozy cabins.We had a LOT of campers the first week of July all of various shapes and sizes...by that I do mean their RV or what they were camping in.  Everyone seemed to have a great time and all of our guests were respectful of each other; this year we had no issues with firecrackers, etc so that is always a plus when we don't have to deal with that.THEN IT GOT INTERESTING...I won't mention any names nor will I mention the country which this RV'er was from, but he and she had a very LARGE RV (I'm not even going to mention the type of RV because I don't want anyone thinking I tell on everyone).After checking him in and giving him directions to get to his site,  he left the parking area in search of his site...which was (and still is!!) a HUGE, LEVEL pull thru spot.  He had plenty of room to spare either entering, parking or leaving this site.  He was approaching his site WAY to fast for starters.Next thing we know, he has backed his rig into the fence that protects the dumpstation towers (thank goodness for the fence!). BANG!!!!He didn't even know it and kept trying to go back and forth to get into this very easy access site.  His camping neighbor finally got his attention and told him that he had backed into a fence and broke it and had done damage to his rig.Dan and I have a theory for this  "BIG BANG accident";  the man is new to RV'ing and shouldn't have left his homestead till he had plenty of practice with this triple axle, especially driving forwards and backwards.There was the family that asked to leave their RV off site on their check out day so they could go touring in the Soo that day.  They have a big motor home and I told them where they could park it for the day.It was very warm that day and got even warmer towards the late afternoon....which is when we found out from another camper that there was a dog in this moho and the dog had it's head hanging out a window panting.  Now, in order to hang his head out the window, he had to have torn a screen off.  I WAS SO UPSET I ALMOST CRIED IN FRONT OF THIS MAN.  I started making  phone calls trying to catch these people while Dan went out to see if he could rescue the dog.  About the time he got out to the RV, the people were pulling in the driveway.  Dan asked them if THEY would leave a child like that, or would THEY like to be left like that and didn't they know it was illegal, etc.  The only answer they had was they didn't know it was illegal.  Needless to say, from now on if any one asks to leave their RV for even an HOUR off site, unless the temp is not going to get above 60 degrees that day, I will not allow them to do that unless they take their pet (whatever it is) WITH THEM!!!  I thought about that [...]