November 13, 2015

13 Nov

Just sitting down for awhile with my feet up and the heating pad on my back. (More about the back later) Denny and I arrived in Topeka on Monday afternoon. We spent 2 nights in Arkansas to see my Mom. She is frail but still gets up and gets dressed and looks pretty. She is taking Tylenol every 4 hours and that is really helping with all of her discomforts. She doesn’t want to eat much but still does. She is struggling with a hiatel hernia which is aggravated by the shrinking of her little body. She is still able to get out of her chair and walk some but she doesn’t want to go out of her room. We like where she is as they keep a good eye on her and sister Judy can visit almost daily. I had 2 great visits with her and felt better seeing her. We will go down there for a couple of weeks when we get back from Mexico.
We arrived in Topeka on Monday afternoon. First time here since July and Denny’s first time to see the house. We have a nice set up in the house with a bedroom and a bathroom in the basement. Now that it has been a year since Daddy passed away I was wondering how things would be. There are still some issues, sadness, but happiness too, some therapies going on, Elliott still drawing many pictures, but to have some more room has been great. I don’t how many grandmas go through what I do but Billie gets nervous about me coming and judging and fussing about house stuff. I try to come and not fuss but not too successfully. Then all sorts of other issues come into play for me emotionally. What can I do to help, What can I say to help, what can I do to not make things worse. Then my sadness hits full force. Luckily I have a wonderful friend Linda who does a lot of spiritual work. We talked a long time yesterday about letting go of the pain in my heart so that I can be here and be strong. Yesterday a very strange thing happened. Billie and Cade where having an issue and all of a sudden this memory of me feeling very unloved as a teenager (don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t the best teenager to be around) and how I loved that once a year my Grandmother Betty came to visit from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I loved when she visited because she loved me a lot and would stay with me in my room and make egg custard. I would be so sad when she left for the year. Anyway that memory came roaring up from somewhere and overwhelmed me with sadness and wanting to be the loving grandma to come visit and make everyone happy. Sooo, while we are in Mexico I’m going to work on some buried issues and let them float away with the waves.
Speaking of Mexico, we are leaving Saturday afternoon to stay at a motel that will shuttle us to the airport at 3:30 am!! I’ve had to let go of wondering how that is going to work for all of us and let it just happen. (okay so I haven’t totally let it go) We did pay an additional $59 per person on the flight from Chicago to Cancun so that we can all sit together, 6 across, on the flight. I was stewing wayyyyy toooooo much about that and wondering how we would all be together if you can’t book seats til 24 hours before and….we would have to do it at 5:15am Saturday morning. KC is on a different flight but will arrive 15 minutes later than us so the shuttling to the resort shouldn’t be too hectic. Everyone is excited and Elliott is saying many of her Spanish words that she is learning in kindegarten this year. One outing that is going to happen is a trip to the Ruins which I will volunteer to stay at resort for. Trying to pack light which seems to be easy. The kids have plenty to do on the plane. It will be interesting how they react to flying. I told them they could ask Gpa Denny any questions about the noises so they wouldn’t be scared.

Had lunch with Jan and Marsha yesterday and very fun to catch up.  Had coffee with Shelly this morning. They are almost 30 year friends.

Wish us luck. This is a big step for Gpa Denny and Grandma Birdie!!

November 1, 2015

1 Nov

The park is officially closed for the season. It was a remarkable season and the best so far. We are still up for the next 2 years as of now. We tend to live our lives on the 5 yr plan. I basically work all year taking reservation which are already overwhelming for 2016. RV’ers definitely plan ahead. I did get all of the 2016 reservations updated on the official reservation book. It should be an exciting season. I have 2 quilt retreats scheduled, 6 art classes, another pastel class possiblilty and a possible square dance lesson! Denny has already emphatically told me he will not square dance!!! So has Dale!!!
Yesterday was the year anniversary of Justin passing away. It still surprises me the level of sadness I have regarding it. I can still cry just talking about it and I still cry when I think of Billie’s family and Justin’s family. Life changing event. So many friends are also going through the grief process; Linda, Jackie, Matt’s family, Bob, Julie’s family, Judy’s family, Marsha, Becky and Jack,…..
I’m looking at today as the beginning of a new year. I hope to spend a couple of months being creative and not focusing on what I need to make for orders. My “Pavo Real” (spanish for peacock) has inspired me to paint, paint, paint!! My friend is going to make a few prints for me and I’ll make note cards. Pavo Real is now being framed and I should have him this week. I also came across some shiny silver and gold fabric that I am going to use for my first Crazy Quilt. Jude Montano lives here and she is known world wide for her fabric art. Her beginning class is the Crazy Quilt and I have her book and DVD so I will learn that way. Also this year my friend Juanita and I are going to make a donation quilt to raise money for the La Veta Library.
We will be heading out beginning Nov. 6 for about a month. We’ll be heading to Arkansas to see Mom who is not feeling to well. Then we head to Topeka for my Nov. 10 neurosurgeon appt. I’m anxious to see what he will say regarding treatment for my issues. Today I am going to start walking everyday. No excuses of work or being too tired or I have to make a bowl holder, etc. and I know that will help my back issues.
On Nov. 15 we are taking Billie and the kids and KC to Occidental Mexico for 6 days. We thought it would be good to get everyone away. The last time I took both of my kids on a family vacation was when they were 11 and 16. After 4 days of pouting and being bratty and frustrating me to no end, we finally got in the car to head home. I said and I quote “That will be the last f……. family vacation we will ever go on!!!!” And it was. Now KC is 34 and Billie is 39 and we’ll try it again. I know that may sound harsh to those of you who take these wonderful vacations together but I was brought up in a home where the parents took vacations by themselves and then the kids were sent to relatives for their vacation. My first vacation by myself was when I was 12 and I flew to New York City where my grandmother Betty picked me up. We went to the 1964 Worlds Fair, a Broadway play and ate dinner at the Rainbow Room. We then took a train to Vermont where I spent a month. Really, really fun memory. I am looking forward to this family vacation and think it will be good for all of us to be together. And…..this was Denny’s idea. He’s a great Gpa.
After Mexico we will go back to Arkansas and spend a couple of weeks to be with Mom. We’ll be home in December (except for a quick trip to Topeka to see Elliott as a mouse in the Nutcracker) and some of January and then we’ll take our motorhome to Brownsville. I’m looking forward to hanging out with some buddies while there and there is a pool, golf course and quilters!! I am curious about me and golf. I haven’t even wanted to swing a club because the movement gives me a 10 on the pain scale. It would feel very strange to not play again because it has been huge part of my life since I was 34. Denny and I have had so much fun on golf outings. Did you know I took up golf when I quit drinking? I also took up tennis.
My friend Sandi just left and we had a great chat. She lost her mother just over a year ago so we were able to comfort each other through some tears.
Time to go and get my walk in. Also want to visit my friend Dulaney and then I’m back home to sew and hopefully finish my last major order. Enjoying the Royals and so hope they win tonight and be done with it!!!

October, our last month of the yearg

4 Oct

What a crazy weekend. This will be the last time the park will be full. Oktoberfest seems to be coming a really big event. The weather was wonderful. I didn’t have a chance to go because of sweatshirt orders but I heard it was great. Our friends Rolly and Claire and their kids came in from Indiana so Claire could have a booth. She had a great day selling her beautiful jewelry made from vintage silverware. We also had friends Cindy and Roger from Lake Wabaunsee, Candy and Howard, Bruce and Julie and her kids, Diane and Brian (Dales sister and brother in law from California), Mike and Julie from Colorado Springs all came in for the day, some for a few days. Robin and Dean will be here tomorrow. I am so grateful she is coming in early. Due to my strange September with the back issues and accident, I am way behind in my sweatshirt orders. She is bringing her 6 thread machine embroidery machine so we can knock them out early this week. She was coming up anyway for the quilt retreat next weekend.
I think Denny and I are very ready for a break beginning Nov 1st. We’re going to a couple of hot springs and chill out. I can’t wait. We have been so busy and full this year, it’s almost overwhelming. We have had a great reviews ever since we opened but….I read our first negative one tonight. We have had a horrible issue with dogs that live across the river They are hound dogs and for a few nights they barked all night. We took videos of them and and showed them to the sheriff. Supposedly they talked to them that afternoon and it has been better except for 2 of their puppies were running around and we had to call the marshall to pick them up. Good grief.
Just finished a yummy chili dinner with our friends who are still here. It is so much fun to just sit around a visit. Excited about tomorrow. Some of us are going over to North Lake to watch the golden eagles catch fish!!!!!!! Claire and Rolly saw them today. After we get back Robin and I will begin getting my embroidery orders done. That will be such a relief.
I am binge watching “Call the Midwife”. Also binged “The Affair”. It is juicy.
Busy week ahead. Girlfriend stuff on Tuesday, Robin and I going to Denver Wednesday night so we can do a Ricky Tims Quilt Show taping on Thursday. Then we come back home and get ready for the 3 day quilt retreat. Whew! Tired thinking about it. That’s it for now.

September 18, 2015

19 Sep

Just home from an interesting evening with friends. We went to listen to a trio;cello, violin, and piano, that played in total darkness. They made the very important announcement to make sure everyone turned off their phones and covered their watches so there wouldn’t be any light. So right after they turned all the lights and began to play and guy in front of me had his phone in his pocket and you could see the light come on and off. That ticked me off right off the bat. I kept trying to focus on the music. Finally the little light went off and I began to relax, but realized I was sitting in a very bad chair for my back, so I started squirming. The little light came on again so I began closing my eyes which made me more antsy. The little light went off again and I started wondering if I could crawl out of my chair and across the floor and lean up against the wall without anybody noticing?? The little light came on again and that got me mad again. Then, a major hotflash!! I quietly took off my jacket to cool off. That stupid light is back on again!!!! I want to scream to tell him to turn of his stupid phone. Oh my back is killllling me. All of a sudden there is a candle lit, and then another. Finally the hour is over. I’m glad I went, but probably wouldn’t do it again.
Mitzi, Nancy, Sharon, Ginny and I went together. I always enjoy getting together with those buddies. I coming off a couple of bad weeks regarding my back and right hip. Cindy, Juli and Gayle were here over Labor Day. I had begun to have twinges in my hip a couple of days before they came. While they were here we did a couple of sight seeing drives and a little hike and a trip to Hooper Pool. By the time they left on Monday I couldn’t put any weight on my right leg. The rest of the week was spent going to the doctor, MRI and xrays and another doctor appt. After 4 days of pain pills and muscle relaxers and a great hubby who had to handle the office, the pain began to ease up. Now I am in physical therapy for awhile and learning to do lifetime exercises to keep my back stronger. When I went today, I was having a lot of dizziness so Diane did some manipulations which really helped the vertigo.
It has been a really busy September! We will be full next weekend and the next. I couldn’t believe all the phone calls for reservations we had today. It’s also the time of year for the trees to change. Not a lot happening yet but by next weekend it may be getting beautiful. It is a wonderful time to be here. Light breezes blowing through the trees. I love that sound. It is also really cooling off at night and our heat will probably begin to come on.
Interesting guy in the park for a month. He is traveling for 2 years and staying in a tent. He is writing about his camping too. We had a bicycle group fro the UK in last week that were riding across country to raise funds for the wounded warriors in UK. They said that the US is much friendlier to do that kind of trip in and everyone is so helpful. They were a great group and one of them was on a low to ground recumbent bicycle peddling with his arms. Remarkable.
Getting ready for my quilt retreat in a couple of weeks. I think it is full and I have some friends coming to it too plus some new people. Can’t wait to work on something creative. I am way behind on jacket orders and tea towels but hope to begin embroidering again tomorrow. My bowl holders continue to be a hot item and I am probably over 900 now over the last 3 years.
I have become a Netflix junkie. Totally binging on Damages now.
I haven’t lost a pound since I gave up eating ice cream at night. How can that be?????
Denny had to go to Pueblo tonight to order a new oven. So far we have replaced a refrigerator, dryer and now a stove. Next will be the dish washer I’m sure. We are getting ready to put a new roof on. A red metal one. Our friend Jim is going to help Denny put it on.
Well that’s it for now. It’s almost midnight and I think I’ll watch some Solheim Cup.

Friday, August 21, 2015

21 Aug

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Just returned from Trinidad dropping Jacque off at the train station.  She came in last Saturday morning. Had a great week and we still laugh at goofing stuff like we did in Junior High and High School.

I am sitting down, back on the heating pad and trying to calm my brains down. I did realize that I hadn’t taken my antidepressant this morning which makes me feel weird. Had a totally crazy week, still amazingly busy. We are full tonight. We did have a major electrical issue at one of the sites which blew out our little rental campers. Luckily our friend is an electrician and he came tonight and got us rehooked up.  We are so fortunate to have such great people in the community who come a runnin’ when we need something. Sold $160 worth of my shop items which also means I’m sewing a lot tomorrow. Jacque also helped me with getting items gathered for Mitzi’s garage sale. There is now a path in our 3rd bedroom for the first time since we moved here. She experienced the sweat shop a couple of nights and helped with ever popular bowl holders which all but 2 sold today! Our refrigerator in the kitchen went out yesterday so we are having delivered Monday. Bad timing but luckily we have refrigerators in the clubhouse and rv. (Just a heads up, I’m rambling so no more paragraphs) Billie and I have made a pact to lose weight for our Mexico trip. We’re going to start a 21 day regimen.  Mine is going to be to not eat after 6 pm or after whenever we eat dinner which is sometimes 7. I’ m also removing all Schwan’s ice cream out to the clubhouse and quit selling it. It is hazardous to my health!! Jacque and I were able to take a day off and we drove the backroads and I saw my first mountain lion. Very exciting and very fleeting. We also saw old mining shacks and old cemetaries. We continue to be full almost every night. I have many, many reservations for 2016 and 2017.  Yikes!!!!  My watercolor/batik painting classes also continue to be full. Carol does such a wonderful job instructing. Our next one is Monday and Tuesday this week.  My sister Judy and Marvin are coming Sunday to spend the week. Our main project will be working on Jackson’s tee shirt quilt. He is off to Notre Dame so she will mail it to him. when finished. Have been feeling pretty well except for my lower back. Lots going on there but my biweekly massages help a lot. I had a really sharp little pain in my gross fungusy big toe today. It turned out to a stitch from my foot surgery 3 years ago!!. Talked to Billie tonight. Life sounds settled. Elliott thinks school is too long and she’s upset that they haven’t started teaching Spanish yet. The principal of Cade’s school emailed Billie and said she is raising a fine young man. Kyler is happy at school this year and love’s his teacher. Was very happy to hear good news. The weather is gorgeous here. Very cool mornings and evenings but warm afternoons. Many of our garden veggies have fizzled. But…I do have some zucchinis and cucumbers. I had 2 small heads of cabbage.  My flowers are wonderful and the deer come in every night and eat apples off the tree. Meeko and Jumper continue to be busy and greeting the customers. Dale and Buddy are still here and helping with the many tasks that we have daily. We are already thinking of new things we want to do next year.  Oh, my fundraiser continues to do well. Over $1000 so far. I met some of the VA residents this week and actually saw the gardens. Now I’m even more excited about raising funds. I’m feeling tired and may go to bed by 10 tonight. I had two 2:00 am nights this week working on embroidery orders and I think it is catching up. Dale made a wonderful tater tot casserole tonight. Hamburger/tater tots/water chestnuts. Very interesting but good. Photos are flowers, vegetables, mining cabins, fawns, shark pencil cases we made, popular new embroidery design I am doing.  Nighty night.

There is never a dull moment running an rv park

28 Jul

This is such an exciting and rewarding business. It is also very interesting and emotional. One minute I am all warm and fuzzy because customers have come in and have been very complimentary and the next minute some jerk comes and all but calls me a liar. That has only happened a couple of times but as usual I tend to focus on the negative instead the 100 times more positive.
I was just outside just after dark and a doe came by to eat come apples off the tree. The campers love seeing the deer.
I took Mary up to Denver on Saturday afternoon. We had a nice evening together, dinner and painting nails then I crashed. I slept right through her leaving for the airport on the shuttle. It felt good to be out of the park and phones for 24 hours. I will miss Mary because she definitely has a handle on the office duties and she is a great cook. Dale is still with us through the end of the season. I am training a friend to help me out once a week which will be nice.
Interesting people coming through. A father and son doing a cross country motorcycle trip. A father and son from Switzerland doing the Trans America trail on their motorcycles. A couple from Oklahoma this weekend stayed one night. They lived right now the street from the family that was murdered by their sons with an axe. Yikes. Campers from all over the country still are coming through. Today I spent an hour booking people for 2016 and 2017!!!!!
I’m still trying to get going on my Weight and Win program. So far, nothing but I’m hoping if I can get some semblance of organization I can do it. Maybe after this week.
This is it for now.

July 20-21, 2015

21 Jul

It’s midnight so I am now running into July 21.
Up late trying to finish a project that Mary and I have been working on for 5 weeks. 150 embroidered travel trays for Cruise Holidays in Topeka. Its quite a process and we both now know what it would feel like to truly work in a sweat shop! We are down to our last 37. I’m embroidering the last few and then we still have to sew, turn inside out, topstitch and sew velcro on four corners. The velcro is the most time consuming and we are trying to think of alternative for next time. Actually sewing on snaps might be quicker.
travel tray
This is Mary’s last week with us so we have kicked it up a notch to finish. It has been great having her here and she will be very missed. With the increase in business I definitely need a 2nd person around a few days a week.
We have a busy week ahead. Wednesday is Potluck/Bingo night. Friday we have a little flea market/craft show/bake sale, that evening Mary and I are taking the “Pathway to the VA Veteran’s Gardens” quilt to sell raffle tickets. We have over $300 so far!! Photos of quilt and veteran.
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On Saturday we are having a giant pinata party. Remember the giant pinata we brought back from Mexico this winter??? We are going to bust it open.
We are hosting an art class today and tomorrow. I’m not able to work on my painting this time but hopefully next month. It is so cool to see our classes so far full this season. Now in process of getting the Quilt Retreat in October organized.
Our garden continues to flourish although nothing to really harvest yet. Have picked some herbs and some cabbage leaves but apparently things won’t truly be ready to harvest for a couple more weeks.
Billie and kids are getting settled into their new place. I so love their new home, especially all the space.
Joining a Weigh and Win fitness program put on at our local hospital. Back to my usual goal of losing $15. Since I am not exercising at all due to my back issues, I am getting fluffy and I’m still unable to fight the drumstick addiction although I have gone all day with no ice cream.. but, I am still awake so who knows.
Not much else to rattle on about.
We are getting ready to install a new interenet system in the park next week. Hopefully this will stop all of our internet issues and keep Denny from climbing the pole to reboot the router. (The campers do enjoy watching him do this several times a day)
Our weather has been wonderful and our Texans don’t want to leave. We keep moving people around in the park so they can stay longer. It gets quite complicated at times.
I keep wondering why I’m not writing about anything else but I guess my life is 100% the rv park right now
That’s it for now.


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