Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tomato Plant

I feel out of place here
I’m one of a kind
Surrounded by colorful blooms.
Who even cramp my space.

A stake was pushed in the dirt behind me
Then twine to splint us together
Like some old man who can’t stand up straight
And needs a cane for support

The rain came today and wet me down
I drink it into my roots up to my limbs
The dirt beneath me remains moist
Helped by my lady who cares for me 

Every morning my lady looks at me,
Touches me gently (oh so nice)
And just oohs and aaaahhs
For I have produced three small green tomatoes

I stretch myself tall reaching for the sun
 I don’t want to disappoint her
I have heard her say if I produce
She will have more of my kind next year

Wish I could be there with them
But for now I do my job alone
Making it hopeful for others to follow
In my place for I will be gone.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Doggie Days and July activities

The Friends of the Dog Park at Mosquito Lake State Park are sponsoring their second "Doggie Days" competition. I missed last year's competition so I don't really know for sure what to expect. Ken and I will be going to watch for a while and then Ken is going to be one of the judges during the competitions. The event is today from 12-3 pm in the Dog Park which is near the beach at Mosquito Lake.

We are taking a camera so I'll try to post some of the pictures later today or tomorrow after we get them cropped, re-sized, etc. (That's Ken's department).

There has been a lot of activity at Mosquito Lake this weekend. Yesterday there was a WARA event at the marina. We didn't have time to stop to check it out but there were people with booths or EZ Up tents set up. We are guessing that WARA stands for Warren Amateur Radio Association.

Cindy, the naturalist at the campground, has had a lot of new activities this year. Friday night she lea a bike hike and gave information about the park. She looked like the mama goose with her goslings coming down the road, many bikers following behind her in single file. I am hoping to join her soon for one of these bike tours.

Joe's Marina is sponsoring live bands next weekend, July 2-3-4 from 5-8 pm. He always has great bands and we are looking forward to hearing them until it is time to go show movies at the ampitheater. Bring a chair and sit on the lawn and enjoy or join the crowd of dancers if you choose. Joe has food available for sale also and it is good.

Next weekend the campgrounds should be full. A good family time for mid summer fun! This summer is slipping past too quickly like most others!

The Campground Friends group has many activities planned for the holiday weekend and throughout July including Red, White and Blue days where campers can decorate their campsites to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday to be held on Friday, July 1. The friends group is also sponsoring their second Craft show to be held on July 16. We had a good turnout of vendors and customers last year so plan to attend this year if you missed it last year. Also, on July 15 the Christmas in July event will be held and campers can decorate their campsites for Christmas. A busy month for campers at Mosquito.

Friday, June 24, 2011

New Blog In Town!!

There is a new blog to follow. It should be pretty special because my nine year old grandson, Aaron, will be the host. It will be called "Professor A Speaks". He just got it started today.

Aaron is a good writer and also is very artistic. He has said that someday he would like to be an author and illustrator. This will be a good tool for him to get started.

go to http://www.professoraspeaks.blogspot.com/ to see this new blog

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Eyes Wide Open

I see the darndest things early in the morning when walking Clayton. This morning I went down to the boat dock in the campground. As I was standing near the water, two male joggers ran toward me. When they reached the docking area where the trucks back into the water, they stopped, dropped and did eight pushups each. What a wonderful site to see. Two physically fit guys jogging, then doing push ups right before my eyes. They then got up, and started jogging back up the road as if it was nothing.

Monday, June 20, 2011


I didn't post on for Fathers' Day because I was busy enjoying time with Austin and Andrew on Saturday and part of Sunday. We went swimming here at Mosquito Lake on Saturday. I was playing in the water with them, pulling them, tossing them (as best I could) into the water, and just having fun. A little girl about four or five asked, "Can I play with you too?"

I was more than glad to let her in on the fun. First I asked her if she knew how to swim and whether she could go under water yet. She said no to both questions. "Okay, then I won't do anything that makes you go under water," I told her.

She then asked me, "Can you pick me up and twirl me over your shoulders like my daddy does?"

"No, I don't think so. I am too old," I told her.

"My daddy is very strong," she told me as she demonstrated the twirling motion her dad used. I could tell he was someone special in her life. Her innocent description of her father, just goes to show how children idolize their dads.

I know my grandsons think their dad walks on water. He is so good to them, so patient and giving. A lot of men would not do the things he has done with and for them without even thinking twice about it. It just comes naturally to him. I know that Bill loves being a dad and loves his boys unconditionally. I have watched him on Christmas morning with packages being opened in all directions around him, people walking over gifts and pets, children all over, and one of his boys will ask him to put a toy together. Withhout hesitation, he will do it. He doesn't say, "Later, or wait a while," he just does it. That has always amazed me.

My grandsons have made comments about their dad that lets me know he means the world to them. One day when Aaron was about five, we were putting his socks on his feet. He stopped me and said, "Daddy says the grey goes on the bottom." That was it. Dad said it, it is  now gospel.

So many dads are not a part of their children's lives. The children as well as the dad are missing out on so many opportunities. The dad's responsibility is being taken on by someone else and that dad's influence is not being bestowed on those children.

I was lucky to have my dad throughout my childhood and into adulthood. My parents remained married and raised us together. He was a perfectionist in anything he undertook. He was smart, had a sense of humor and worked way too much. I missed him a lot during my younger years when he was working seven days a week. I used to think that I would rather not have so many things if I could just have my dad around more. If this sounds like you, take more time with your kids. Material things will fade away but your children are waiting for your attention.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

If I could incorporate characteristics of birds into my life, I would like to
Start each morning on a cheerful note 
Maneuver as gracefully as birds fly through trees
Have the beauty of a cardinal      
Be as fluid as the hawk, soaring, circling, dipping
Glide on water like a swan
Be able to sing like a sparrow
Have assertiveness of the blue jay, yet the peaceful nature of a mourning dove
Be wise as an owl, respected like the eagle
Eat like a bird
Have the energy of a hummingbird 
Flock with my friends

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Gift Box

There it sits, a gift waiting to be enjoyed after a grueling day. I look forward to finally opening it and experiencing the pleasures beneath the wrapping. I slide out of my slippers and pull back the first layer, a brown and beige color with a funky pattern, fitted nicely around the corners of the package. I slide back only the corner, exposing the second layer, a plush pretty green the color of early spring grass. The next layer is a soft flannel sheet printed with rose colored flowers, lying neatly over four inches of soft white foam. I am so ready to enjoy its’ benefits as I fluff my pillows, arranging them just so. I nestle into this soft and warm refuge for a restful slumber.
Good night!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hot Banana Peppers

Their yellow-green color, shiny and appealing
The dry hot smell tingles inside my nose
Their skin is crisp and fresh and perfect
Until I glide my knife as I slice them
The heat on my fingers as I pull out their tiny white seeds
They now lay ready to be stuffed.

My fingers feel tender and tingly
I touch my face without thinking
The heat is transferred to my cheek
And I remember those seeds.

At night, not fully awake, I rub my eyes
The sting is horrific, my eyes in pain
A wet cloth brought lovingly by my husband
Placed across my brow allows me to sleep.

I awake in the morning, my eyes are fine
My fingers still tingle
I anticipate the flavor and the heat of those peppers
On my lips, my tongue and in my belly
Yet I wonder why after a long night.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Do you remember your first time camping? Or the first time you did something you had never done before? We had a couple at Mosquito Lake Campgrounds this past weekend who had never camped before in their life, not in a tent, trailer or pop up.

We had Andrew spend Friday night and part of Saturday with us at camp. When we returned from Grumpy's Ice Cream Depot (Andrew loves ice cream) we saw this new camper coming in. Ken made the remark that this was a really nice camper made by Jayco. A short while later, there it is, the same camper, ready to pull into the site across from us. Ken had just parked his truck there because our son-in-law, Bill, had parked in our drive while waiting for us to return with Andrew. Ken started talking to this couple and found out they were newbies. They had this beautiful camper and no idea what to do with it. The man's sister was with them, holding the camper manual open, reading fervently. She had camped some in her life so she came along to help them.

We stood in the street for quite a while as Ken explained several aspects of hooking up a camper, getting water into it, waste out of it, hot water heaters, the vent over the stove, etc. I thought maybe he was overwhelming them but they were all ears, as the sister continued to delve into the manual at the side of the truck.

It so happened that they didn't realize they needed a hose to get water from the fountain. They also didn't have any hoses to dispose of their waste water and black tank. Ken explained that they could get a lot of their needed supplies at the Walmart down the road. Ken let them use our water hose and even went to the fountain to check on them. We both told them to feel free to ask us if they had any questions or needed help setting up, etc. Later that day, Ken asked them how things were going and all seemed well. They left to go home and get their dog and we didn't see them anymore that day.

When we woke up the next morning, the man came over while we were having coffee on the deck. Ken again asked how things were going. "Not so good," said the man. "We can't get water to come out of anywhere." I remembered he was amazed at how long it took to fill his water tank when we were at the fountain the day before. "Do you want me to come over and take a look?" Ken offered. "Yes, I'd appreciate it."

Even though they had filled their water tank to full, they had no water left in the tank when Ken was over there. It happened that the valve on the hot water tank was left open and all the water ran out. Ken refilled their water tank using our water barrel.

I hope they weren't embarrassed by this. I know we have had our moments while camping and although this is our fourth year in a trailer, I still get confused on how some things work. I ask Ken the same questions over and over. I know it never frustrates him to have to tell me again and again.

This reminds me of our favorite story about camping. Ken and I and his sister, Barb and her husband, Ed, (now deceased) bought an old camper together. We took it to the Allegheny Mountains in Marienville, PA. We parked it at the top of a hill at the end of the road. There was no electric, water or dump station nearby. Barb and I were elated to have a toilet after having camped in tents before this with nowhere to go but the woods. We used it freely, flushing away. Before the weekend was over, the waste tank was full and there was no more flushing to be had. Ken and Ed decided the tank needed emptied. We had no hoses or "blue boy" tank to dump with. The guys came up with the idea that they would put a trash bag inside another one and open the valve. Ed got the job of holding the trash bag while Ken turned the valve. Whoosh!!! The bag filled up so fast that Ed was yelling, "Turn it off! Turn it off!" He had his heels dug into the ground trying to hold onto the bag without it spilling all over him. The valve finally was turned off just in time. The next question was, "What do we do with this bag now?"

It was decided that they would take it into the woods and bury it. Barb and I laughed and laughed as they struggled to carry this bag without letting it break open. We learned our lesson on our first outing with a trailer. Learning new things can create lasting memories.

Monday, June 6, 2011


How do you know when you are getting old or outdated? Go to the drive in theater and try to get the speakers to work. There I stood, next to the truck, turning and turning the knob on the speaker that was hooked to the pole next to our vehicle. Ken was at the concession stand waiting for our order. The movie starts and I still can't hear a thing. I stop a young man walking toward the concession stand and ask him if he knows how to make the speakers work. He just smiles and says, "I really don't know. I think you just turn the knob." We both turned and turned but nothing happened. Ken returns with the pizza and I tell him we don't have any sound. He goes around to empty spots trying to find a speaker that works before moving the truck. The movie keeps playing. I am watching it from outside the truck, listening from someone else's speaker. Finally Ken returns and tells me to get in the truck. "Oh good," I think, "He's found one that works." I am wondering at this point how he plans to move the truck without disturbing a lot of other people already enjoying the film. Then he starts fiddling with the radio. "I guess we will be watching the movie and listening to the radio at the same time," I am now thinking. Finally, we start to pick up sound from the movie over our radio. Luckily someone told Ken that none of the speakers outside work and that you listen to the movie through your radio. Guess it goes to show it has been a while since we went to the drive in. Hopefully, next time we go, we will not have "sometimers" and we will remember to use the radio!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Long time no post

Whew a week has gone by without one post from me! I think the long holiday weekends which make the next week short screw up my timing. We worked for quite a while on Monday, Memorial Day, cleaning up sites in the humidity that tired us out quickly. The campground had been full and our sites had lots of fire rings full of wet ashes from Sunday night's rain (which wasn't supposed to happen). Even though we both felt good when we started out cleaning the sites, it wasn't long before we both felt drained. But we got all our sites cleaned on Monday. This weekend wasn't too busy in our area so we got our sites done in much less time.

I took pictures of some of the campers last weekend and promised to post them. I give a big apology for taking so long to do that. Hopefully you will enjoy them as much as I enjoyed the people who posed for them.

These women were trying to get their dogs to cooperate in posing for a picture in front of their winning campsite decorating contest.

The dogs in their hula skirts and leis finally cooperate and I capture the shot.

The winners stand in front of their site, all dressed up

Everyone loves a dog dressed in a skirt

You're not seeing things. This woman walks around with her parrot on her arm or shoulder.

He finally let this young lady hold him! He is beautiful as is this girl.

Roxie also had a lei. She loves riding with Renee and Stella

A young man made his 1985 Toyota truck into a convertible. He slept in the bed of it over the weekend. Had a mattress in there.
The long weekends are great for campers. We made sure to camp on those weekends when our kids were young because it gave us one extra day. Little did I know how much work it created for the hosts. We don't mind though. We love seeing the campers come to Mosquito Lake Campgrounds.