I Love Electricity

Even though you didn’t notice that I have been missing, I have now returned.  After weeks of cleaning the house, I was so sick of it that I ran to my camp in the Adirondacks.  Unfortunately, this camp is almost totally off the grid.

To prepare myself, I loaded up my laptop, purchased a new cell phone and a Jet Pack, packed our Hot Spot and brought our two marine batteries and battery charger in case it was needed.  I emptied drawers of 1/3 shorts, 1/3 capries and 1/3 long pants with matching shirts but, of course, no jacket because it was very warm.  I stayed until day before yesterday.

It was very strange, but beautiful, up there because I was totally by myself most times.  When I got there I proceeded to hook up one of the marine batteries to the camper to run the hot water heater, furnace, and water pump.  As a short lesson to all those who have not had to hook up batteries + (positive) does not mean that it is a wonderful thing.  What it DOES mean is that you will positively get burnt if you put the – (negative) wires on that side.  – (negative) does not mean bad news.  It means that it is not hot and you must put the black wires on that side.  After hooking up the wires, going into the camper and realizing that I couldn’t start the refrigerator, I went out to check if the wires were loose and smelled burning plastic.  This was the plastic around the wires that was turning into goop.  Running into the camper, I grabbed the pot holders and switched the wires thus I know:  + (positive) means positively hot.  I then went in and started the fridge, went out and turned on the water tank and started the hot-water heater.  There are three little hoses in this and you have to remember which one to hold the lighter on because that one is the pilot.  You also have to remember how to work the dial.  After a little trial and error, it started.

Meanwhile, Karla and Sam were screaming that they had to go quick so we had our first walk.  Having been told that a huge bear had been sighted around our camper and that they had released nuisance bears up there it was a very short walk.  Back to the camper, unload the car and try to call home to say I was safe and sound.  However, since it was a cloudy day, the phone kept cutting off and I wasn’t ready to use the Jet Pack which was advertised as having your very own hot spot.  Wrong.  I did finally get the Jet Pack, which had no instructions to work with my cell and the laptop but you still had to be out of doors to use them.  Also, since there are large power lines up there the batteries of everything are sucked empty within a day so my car was continually running to recharge them because the Hot Shot didn’t want to work at all and when I tried to charge the cell with it, it just sucked the rest of the charge out of it.

Since coming home, I have been running around in heaven just turning off and on lights and have never left my land line or computer.

Of course, as we all know – I don’t cook.  However, after one month of practice I can fry eggs and toast bread on the burners of the stove and heat soup.  My sister came up, we went grocery shopping and I learned that if it is 10 for 10 you don’t have to purchase 10.  We also went to the laundry mat and after stuffing six washers we both learned that there are three different sizes of washers and it probably would have been easier to use the big ones.  AND they do not take Canadian coins.

Rich, a newly made friend in town taught me that if my cell goes completely dead that you have to use a wall plug to reset it, that even if you recharge the Hot Shot for 24 hours it still won’t work and that that horrible noise that your car makes when you are backing up and that you are petrified is the transmission or transmission joints is really the fact that you are backing up and scraping rocks while you are doing so.

Of course things started going even more south when the temperature started dropping.  I did know that if I used the furnace that it would wear out the battery within a couple of days so I got out the Mr. Heater, went into town and purchased all of the little green gas bottles at Stewarts (and by the way, I am now very proficient at filling a gas tank).  At $5.00 per bottle I found that if you light three kerosene lamps at a time, they will heat the trailer just as well.

During the days I worked a little on my historical duties, read and napped.  Oh, and tried to catch that dang frog who knew exactly how long my arm was so it could get out of reach.  I really wanted to catch it and turn it into a prince but perhaps next year…

I’m proud that I did it by myself because it was lonely, cold and, at times, pretty scary.  I could have used more support from here but regardless at the time, I had to do it for personal reasons and I think that I know that I can take care of myself now if needs be.  I don’t have to stay here if I don’t want and I found that there are certain people that I can count on to hold on to the other end of the rope if I fall.  There are those that feel that I shouldn’t have gone up there on my own but I feel that since I didn’t take unnecessary risks and no bears ate me or the dogs that things went pretty darn well.

I sure did miss the computer though!

Now, I feel a craving to go turn on and off some lights and the furnace!

Oh!  And one more thing….you can do it, too.

I believe that puppies are harder to raise than children. Am I crazy? Probably, but think about it. My puppy is almost one year now. Not only does she get into everything but she is faster than I am. She understands some words and definitely understands the meaning of my tones but even though I have spent many professional years and un-professional years with dogs there are times that I cannot understand her as much as I listen. I can never really get angry with her because she loves me so much and tells me this every day in her eyes. She doesn’t cry when she wants something or when she has gas, in fact she hides it when she feels bad so it is very hard for me to know even when she needs to go to the Veterinarian with her. I can’t run to the neighbor to say “gee! guess what Karla did to day!” In fact my neighbors would think I was stark raving mad (as my family does). Everyone loves babies. Not everyone loves puppies.
Carla wid a K has been going through some changes. I’m not sure whether they are due to her age or just because she lives with me. Last week we had a tremendous thunderstorm which came out of nowhere. Now if I watched TV or listened to the radio or had a fancy phone it would not have come out of nowhere and we would probably have been somewhat prepared. If I had known it was coming the dogs and I would be sitting on the cellar stairs cowering and just waiting but no, Karla was playing in the burrs and guarding against invading chipmunks (she lowers her voice when guarding). She has been very brave since going to the dog show in Colorado! I was folding clothes and the other three were with me. THAT’S when I should have noticed something was going to happen because Spider was starting to shake and Sam and HarryIt were keeping close. Usually they don’t hang out with me in the laundry room. All of a sudden the rain started coming down and one minute later there was a “CRACK!”. The loudest thunder I had ever heard. Even Paul, who likes to watch thunder storms called down to see if all was all right. Then I noticed that something wet was trying to crawl up my body. Poor Karla was drenched and shaking and had reverted to her baby self. I dropped the shirt I was folding and noticed the other three were gone, probably under a couch, grabbed a towel and picked up my big baby and cuddled her. She is obviously still upset because when the fireworks went off last evening she was shaking and sitting on my lap. So much for chipmunks. This may be somewhat of a blessing because I’m tired of running out and throwing toads out of the pen.
I’m feeling much better in the foot and back areas and have continued painting the bath downstairs. I’ve been boxing a few collections and have called a cleaner for the house (who hasn’t returned my call) for preparation of putting the house up for sale again. This is so fun. If someone wants to come view, I have to grab the dogs and go for a ride and keep the house clean at all times. However, if it sells, at least we will have some things packed. I don’t want the movers to pack, just move. We have looked at two houses close to my daughters. One, looking through the windows, was adorable with cathedral ceilings and wainscoting. And, a loft. I’ve always wanted a loft for the bedroom or my office. A little pricey but maybe could talk them down. It even had a wood fence around the back yard to keep the dogs in and only 2 acres in the middle of fields to care for. However, visiting showed some problems. I think it was made of cardboard and the finished basement was drenched, with water on the walls and showed repairs to the ceiling from water problems. Cross that one off.
Then we visited another close to my daughter which was built in the 1870’s. Very sturdy with a few problems to fix inside. In fact, on top of the one car garage connected to the house were two rooms that had not been re-modeled and looked like they were ancient so had much potential. However, it had only one acre and was in the suburbs of Rochester (which are growing) and they had divided the land up so that the barn was not ours but was filled with cars, trucks, boards, trash and the entire house needed re-siding. To many “ifs” and “Maybes” for us to risk so we passed on that one also.
We were a great deal shy because of what is happening around our house. Both houses showed why it was that we bought where we are now. However, things change. We have a garbage disposal outfit across the street to the west that was very small when we moved in and has added three other disposal businesses to it so it runs day and night. Although, initially they had to keep their equipment under roof in the evening, the town wants the taxes and doesn’t pressure them to do so now. To the east moved in a hound kennel so there is the lovely baying sound day and night. Although I have complained about the noise, what are you going to do? Rubber band their muzzles? Now they have built a migrant camp that we look at from our back porch to the East also. When we went to the town meeting about that one, we were assured that we would not see it from our house.
We have received notice that a machine shop will open to the North of us. Town meeting is the 8th but what can you do? Obviously they have been approved because they are remodeling the building and have their signs up. And this is in an agricultural zoned area so variances have been approved for all. When I think of the trouble I had to open an antique shop in my barn I could just cry.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch I keep hearing the kittens but not seeing the kittens which is driving me insane. Luckily I’m just hearing the kittens complain a little when Mama leaves or complain a little until they get that teat. As for the kitten food in the barn, the chipmunks are running around with very fat cheeks and we will probably be finding stashes of kitten food for a year in things like our snow blower and swinging chairs. My older Sister has been in Alaska with my nieces children. They will now find out how bossy my older sister is! I miss her.
I actually sold an item on Etsy (D.A.YanceyRecollections) and someday am hoping to sell just one postcard (even though the postal rates are high on Bidstart (same store name) but, I need, need, need to get more stuff on line to sell.
ONE GREAT THING! A friend of mine sent me a whole booklet of old black and white pictures of the main Camp at Goose Pond being built. And, yep, there is my older sister and I and Vincent (he’s the one that Dad told us pulled the moon with a string when we were driving up there) popping something in my mouth. Probably to shut me up which I’m going to do right now.
Noodles!

BUSY DAYS FOR CARLA WITH A K

So here we go again.  Everything is under control but only because I am following along by hanging onto it.

Three day ago the six of us (Paul and I, Spider, Sam, HarryIt, Karla) got all groomed and (except Karla) , packed up the car and trailer with plastic buckets filled with clean towels, rugs and linens and other sundries that we would use this summer and headed up north to Camp.   Halfway there the brakes started groaning and grinding and the tarp started unraveling but we made it.  Everything was in good shape except for a small hole in the corner of the Camper Trailer which meant that all lines that were there had to be taken home to be dried and that next trip up will be spent sealing the roof.  Our fault as our daughter had been ragging at us to do that every year.

This was Karla’s first VACATION and all dogs knew that word except her.  She didn’t even get excited when the suitcases were bring brought out.  Once in the car she decided that she was to have the space between and behind the front buckets and sat and watched the scenery for 2.5 hours while all the others were asleep in their normal places.  It was a learning experience for her completely so Paul and I never left them to go into town once we got there.  We just ran over and borrowed our daughters stuff that we had forgotten.  This was a good thing because even though we call Karla “Goofy” she ain’t so dumb.  Just kind of klutzy.  The first thing she did was push out one of the screens as I was walking by but she learned that that was a “no no” and I could use some suggestions as to how to keep that from happening again.  Next she learned how to walk (while very excited about the new smells) in the woods.  What fun to run around a tree with me running around calling her to come back so we could unwind.  Then she learned that you poop when you are on a leash outside.  At home I just open the door to the dog yard.  This was all good practice for the Colorado Specialty coming up.  She learned each of those things within an hour.  Oh yes, she learned how six can sleep in a queen sized bed during a thunder storm in a tin can.

The way home the brakes were a bit louder but no one seemed to mine except us.  It’s amazing how long 2.5 hours feels with grinding brakes.  Luckily the camp is in the foothills of the Adirondacks and not the middle or other side and on the return the trailer was mostly full of laundry and not eaten food.  There were more birds up there than I had ever heard.  More bugs maybe?  There sure were a lot of mosquitos!  I even heard a thrush – my very favorite bird.

Everyone was happy to be home and attacked each other going through the door.  My new insoles which help with the footsie pain a bit arrived in the mail and I started grooming Karla for the show.  Not too hard because I had kept her up and I got everything done but her legs.  I am NOT happy with her tail set.  Of course you can’t see it because unless she is really excited about seeing Mr. Wabbit outside you can’t tell.  It was amazing how much hair came out when I had stripped her down to nothing before.  And as for her nails – I swear to you that I drew no blood but she screamed and acted like I was amputating her foot off.

Today I was lucky and got an appointment with my orthopedist who liked my insoles and took several standing xrays of my footsies and told me that my feet were built correctly, there were no broken bones any more and he couldn’t find one thing wrong and referred me to a podiatrist when I get back to the show.  This is good news, but it is bad news.  Then we went on to the Vets (Paul had to drive because it hurts to drive standard and I wasn’t going to drive that brakeless thing, and Karla was very brave and wagged her tail at all the other small and big dogs and wanted to play.  She got her health certificate and clearance for heartworm and lyme and then slept on my lap all the way home.   She’s still sleeping so I won’t tell her she has another grooming session tonight.

Meanwhile, I’m going to take a nap.

Noodles