Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Kids Having Fun

What's better for breakfast while out camping than having Pop-Tarts roasted on the morning fire???

Kids say that there's not much better than that!

We are camping in the pine barrens of New Jersey. Me and the kids came up to NJ for a family reunion, and I decided to take them camping. Last night we had hot dogs and s'mores roasted out on the fire. This morning we woke early, started the fire....only using one piece of paper and twigs...and had to have a good breakfast. This is the first time that I have taken them camping. It is quite the adventure. We are tent camping with a dog. Luckily my uncle only lives about a mile away from the camp ground. He has 3 acres of woods......free firewood galore. I want to take them canoeing down the river, but think that we will forgo that this time around. All they want to do is go swimming in the camp's heated pool...not that it needs to heated. We are having great weather....about 89 degrees with no humidity. Nice camping weather.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sometimes it just pays to complain

When going out to eat, I usually don't like to complain, unless things are intolerable. Tonight was one of those nights. I decided to take my sons out to Red Lobster for dinner, since today was packed with me cutting some brush along my driveway and using the chipper to make some homemade green mulch. Granted, I have a lot more to do, but need to sharpen the chipper blades first. Since I was so tired, I thought it best to relax and have someone else cook.

We went early, since it is Saturday, and I didn't want to have to wait to eat for a hour or longer. As it was, we waited 10-15 minutes, not long at all. We were seated, decided on what each of use would eat while waiting for the waiter to arrive. We probably waited longer for the waiter to come and take our drink order, than we did just to be seated...already starting off on the wrong foot for me. I kept reminding myself that it was busy, but with the boys asking over and over when they could get a drink, it was hard to keep reminding myself.

Since it took so long to get our drink order, we ordered our food at the same time as the drinks. The drinks arrived....not what I was expecting. I was feeling nice to the boys, so I let them order a cherry slushy (which I knew was going to cost extra), what I did not expect were these tiny glasses. I asked about it, and the manager came over and explained that they were larger than they look, and actually hold 14oz, even though they only look to be about 8oz. Ok, no problem. The next thing I know, the manager comes over and told me that the waiter actually charged the drinks incorrectly, but he fixed the problem. I then had to ask the waiter to bring out the biscuits, since the boys were hungry. He brought out the biscuits, little plates, and my salad. As I was handing out the biscuits, the second plate was filthy. It had what looked like dried cheese on the plate. Now, me being a nurse and having worked in the food industry, I know that no microbes can survive on the plate after going through an industrial dishwasher, as long as it is working properly...but I DO NOT WANT TO EAT OFF OF A DIRTY PLATE!!! I calmly handed the plates to the manager as he was walking by, since I saw him much sooner than the waiter....where ever he was.

I don't even get a chance to taste my salad, and the main course arrives. Now, I've had it. I said something to the waiter, who responds...."They just cooked it fast tonight". No, it is a time management issue on the waiter, not the cook...I think to myself. The manager comes back over and agreed that the waiter was not managing his time wisely. The manager decided to completely take over the table. He didn't want anything else to go wrong......

Sorry Charlie, not going to happen to me tonight.

Yep, had another problem...be it minor, but another problem. Me and the boys were sitting there trying to enjoy the food, and a worker was bringing ice up to the front to the bar....hits the back of the booth, and ice comes flying out and lands on me.....and to top it off, the worker didn't even realize it happened. As she walks back past, I stop her and calmly asked her to be careful next time and explained what happened. I guess she said something to the manager, because the manager comes over and completely comps the meal.

Yea, it was probably a $30 bill, completely free. I felt terrible, do I leave a tip, do I not?? How can you not leave a tip, especially when the food was free? But if you tip according to the bill, then the tip would be zero. Way to much to stress all about a stupid tip.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Just Another Day Without Water

As if finding a snake in my house this week, and having to replace the well pressure tank just a month ago is not enough to make me have doubts about the house I live in and love, today was just another day of the trials of living in a house built in 1925.

Today started as any other day. Since I didn't run the dishwasher last night (put Rid-X in the toilet to maintain the septic tank), I started it up first thing this morning. I did my normal everyday things, watered the dog, used the bathroom on several occasions, used plenty of water first thing this morning. Well, I decided that I needed to cut the grass while the rain decided to stop for at least the day. I was cutting the grass, and my belt on the riding mower fell off. I put the belt back on, and then went to use the push mower for some hills. Started it up fine, actually my 6 yr old started it up on the first pull. Started to cut the grass....it stopped. Tried and tried as I might to get it to start back up, it acted like no gas was getting to the carburetor. Yes, there was a full tank of gas. This happened another time, so I drained the fuel tank, made sure the fuel lines were not clogged. Called my boyfriend (a mechanic), explained the situation, asked about the air filter. He agreed that the air filter could be dirty, all I needed to do was to wash it out, dry it, and then put oil on the filter and replace the filter. So, I take the filter out, and decide to wash it outside. Turn on the spigot....no water. I used that spigot earlier in the day, so maybe it was a fuse. Go down stairs and check the fuses to the water pump....all are OK. I did change the fuse, just in case (old screw in type fuses....remember house built in 1925). I even checked the breaker box, flipped the breaker, just in case...no luck. The pressure gauge on the well is reading a big fat ZERO. No pressure, therefore the pump should be kicking on....no luck. I wiggle the pressure switch and check the pressure switch, looks like it is engaged, so the pump should be coming on...no luck.

Gotta call a plumber.

I am handy, but I know my limitations. So I called a few friends that are plumbers (the kids go to school with a lot of contractors), and a plumber is at my house within 30minutes of finding out that I had no water.

Well, I need a new well pump. It doesn't really surprise me, after all, all the other things in the house (heater, water heater, etc) were 30+ years old, and the water pump was probably no different. What really surprises me is how shallow my well is. This was the second of a few surprises for the plumbers. The first shock was the fact that my well is in the basement of my house. That alone caused a change in tactics. Normally they would use a pump puller to pull the pump up out of the ground, but this is a job where that was not an option, as the pump puller is a big tool. The second was where they were going to pull the hose that attaches to the pump to, since my basement is only so big, and normally the hose if 100-200 ft long and does not easily bend. They needed a straight shot. Luckily I have back stairs, and they were able to use those stairs...not that they needed them. They started the pulling process, only to find that the well is only 40-50ft....maybe. I have hose longer than my well is deep. When the plumber who was at the well told the other guy to stop that the pump was out, the other guy said...."There's no way". I always wanted to know how deep that well was, but would have preferred to know on my own terms, not like this. Well, at least within the next hour I should be back with water. After cutting the grass, all I want to do is to take a nice long hot shower.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

On a Break

Sorry, have been out of touch a bit lately. The kids are out of school, and have found a new addiction, Farm Town on Facebook. It has been taking up way too much of my time. Not to mention that this is my week to work. I will be back up to normal soon.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sometimes I HATE my House!!!

Like today. Today I really hate my house. I was on the computer in my chair, and look over onto the floor next to me, and what do I find????? a 3-4 FT LONG BLACK RAT SNAKE! I hate snakes. Luckily, I knew it wasn't poisonous, but still....it was a snake. I run to the kitchen to grab something to pin it down with. I get it pinned down, and grab it. Even though it wasn't poisonous, I still don't want to get close to its head. I get my oldest son to open the front door, and I walk down to the road, and throw it onto the road, hoping a car will run it over. Did I tell you all how much I hate snakes???

By the way, Scooby is doing much better. He was so much better 1 day after the antibiotics.

I hate snakes! Just had to tell you all that again.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Poor Scooby

I have a 3.5 yr old beagle named Scooby. He is an outside dog, as one might expect, since he is a beagle. He is very quiet. Only ever barks when hungry. He loves for the kids to play with him, and he loves being petted. Today, I came home from work to find him lying on his house looking so sad. I go over to him to pet him, and make sure he has plenty of food and water. He looks up at me with this sad eyes. I give him fresh food and water, he hops down to the ground, unable to bear weight on his right front paw. I check out the paw, looking for swelling and feeling for any possible fractures. I feel nothing. He lets me feel all around the paw, and lets me move it without a problem. Still he will not bear weight on the paw. I decide to take him to the vet, but since it is after 5pm, and a Saturday to boot, the vet is closed. So I take him to the local 24hr animal clinic. The doctor agrees that she does not feel anything strange. He does have a fever of 103 (normal is around 100-100.3) The doctor decides that he has Lymes. I can't believe it, Lymes disease, of all things. Not only has my one son had Lymes 2 times, and my ex-husband, and my mom....now my dog. So, antibiotics and pain meds for the next couple of weeks.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Lightening and Thunder

I love thunder storms. The gentle rumble echoing across the sky. Lightening can be a little scary, only from the point that it can be deadly. I usually don't fret about that, but it is in the back of my head. I love to watch the lightening light up the sky. To see those crooked lines brightening the night sky is mesmerizing. The smell of the rain in the air is so refreshing.

When this all happens at unknown time in the middle of the night, I am not a big fan. Especially when the thunder is so loud it sounds like a freight train running through your bedroom. Or the lightening so profuse that it keeps your room bright, even through room darkening shades. But, when the rain is so hard that is it washing away that rain smell......it stinks. This is all what happened to me last night. A big storm came through and woke me. I had to shut the window, to keep the rain out, and to keep the sound down. It was one of those storms that yo just know the power is going to go out, and sure enough, my clock was blinking when I woke this morning.

At least the plants got water.....trying to see the good side of being woke up in the middle of the night.

Monday, June 1, 2009

June 1st, the official start of meteorological summer

June 1st if the first day of meteorological summer. To celebrate my oldest and I put up our pool today. 15ft diameter, 56in deep. Yes, it is big, and yes, it has to come down each year. My boys are all sad that after 8 hrs of filling, it is only 1/4 full. I keep telling them that even after it is full, it will take days to warm up, since today it was only 75 degrees(43% humidity), and it is only 60 at night. Not to mention that I live on a well, so the water is cold coming from the well.

Before Kenny and I were able to put the pool up, the ground had to first be prepped. I had to level out the ground. Since I had some peat moss lying around, I decided to use that. I used 4 bags of peat moss to try and level the ground. Now that the pool is up, I have noticed that the ground is still not completely level. At least that it is not as bad as it was last year (last year it was off by 6inches, this year only by 2 inches maybe). Also, by placing the peat on the ground first, the base is so soft, no more feeling roots and rocks through the pool floor (yes, there is a tarp down first to protect the pool).

It will be nice when I can kick the kids outside to go swimming, they have so much fun in the pool. Ahhh, summer is here, now if only the weather would start to feel a little more like summer.