Ash Wednesday

14 Feb

I had a doctor’s appointment today too close to noon to be comfortable going to Resurrection for services, so I trotted up to St. Alban’s, an Anglican parish about five miles away.  I was there last year, and they remembered who I was!

Of course, that may have been because last year I arrived a half an hour late.

The same young priest, minus the maniple, and the elderly assistant was even shakier than he was last year. Normally, the celebrant serves the bread and the assistant goes behind with the wine.  Today, it was the other way around. The assistant had the bread, and his hands shook so I had visions of him flinging the wafers all over the floor. I can only imagine how he’d have done with the chalice! And there were no Sanctus bells. He probably rattled them non-stop.

One big surprise was running into a man who had been the rector of a nearby parish simply forever. I stopped at chatted with him for a few moments. He said he really likes using the old service, and “when I’m here I don’t have to work every day”.  Sounds good to me.

When the General Convention, in their infinite wisdom, rewrote the Book of Common Prayer, many people – myself included – did not like it. Some got used to it, some really did like it,  some knuckled down and made the best of a bad situation, and some simply dug in their heels, and said NO. The breakaway denomination now calls themselves Anglican, rather than Episcopalian. If we were no so deeply embedded in our own parish I’d transfer my membership to St. Alban’s.

So there.





Chest Pains

12 Feb

Last night The Squire went up to watch TV while I worked on the computer, transcribing minutes from a meeting.  About a half an hour after he went up, he came back down to flop in the chair beside me and ask if I’d take his blood pressure. “My chest hurts and I’m having trouble breathing.”

Now, there’s a sentence that will make your blood run cold.

His B/P was high, but not horrendous, but I still recommended we trot off in the general direction of the local Doc in a Box. He thought maybe his problem was that he was overheated and dehydrated. The upstairs of our house can be absolutely tropical *, while the downstairs remains almost chilly. After he’d had a glass of water and rested a bit he decided he’d survive and wandered off to go to bed.   I wasn’t too sure about it all, but trying to argue with a man is seldom worth the effort.  I settled him in bed in the guest room with a glow-in-the-dark flashlight, a “sippy cup”,  and a dinner bell, then went to bed in our room, leaving both doors open.  Sometimes, it really makes sense that the medical abbreviation for Shortness of Breath is SOB.  At any rate, the dear boy did survive the night, so all is well.

It tells you a fair amount of my life and my family that, when I married the Late and Unlamented, we received a silver dinner bell as a wedding gift. I let our eldest play with it when she was teething.  The only time it ever gets used it when one of us is sick.

* When we first moved here, The Squire made a heat exchange system based on something we’d seen in Mother Earth News. He took a computer fan and attached it to a wooden “tube” about seven feet long. We installed it in the girls’ bedroom with the fan near the ceiling and the lower end just jutting through the dining room ceiling. When the temperature in their room hit 80° the fan would kick in and shoot the excess heat downstairs.  Worked a treat, but when my parents gave us a longcase clock the only place to put it was in that corner and we didn’t want hot dry air blowing on the wood.


9 Feb

Somewhere between getting lunch at the Amish market yesterday, and finishing up the Altar Guild Stuff this morning, I lost my purse.  This is the first time in my life I have done such a thing, and please, Lord, let it be the last! Talk about a hassle! At least, I didn’t lose my keys; when I was between husbands I dated a police officer who told me to never, ever put my keys in my pocketbook.  “If they have your wallet, they have your address, and if they have your keys, they can just walk right in.”

I had arranged to meet a friend in Bel Air to pick up a bunch of knitting yarn for the Prayer Shawl Ministry at church, and my purse was nowhere to be found. The Squire called my cell phone (Yes, dear, it is fully charged.) to see if we could locate it by the sound. No luck. We looked in my car, all over the bedroom, the sewing room, and I even poked my head into the spare room, aka the Chamber of Horrors. We whistled and shouted, and mumbled under our breath.

So, the first thing to do was cancel the VISA cards. I sat on the phone listening to Bank of America’s phone lady natter on for about ten minutes, punching numbers and cursing. Lawsy, but I  dislike those telephone systems! I did have to go to DMV to get a new license, and we swung into Target to buy a new wallet and cell phone.  At least with my prepaid phone I’m not going to get stuck with a huge bill if somebody decides to call Perth or Shanghai. I got to have fun all over again dealing with TracFone’s telephone system to get the new one set up. Press 1 for this, press 2 for that. And THEN, we discovered the activation code wasn’t scanned properly when we checked out, and we have to drive back to Bel Air to have it rescanned.

Tomorrow, not tonight.

Next up it to get a new pocketbook. I hate changing purses, trying to figure out where to put all the things that had specific locations in the old handbag.

Oh, and I lost my only pair of driving glasses.

Maybe I’ll be fit company tomorrow.  I mean, there’s no place to go but up.  Dear Lord, I hope so!

Which Way Did They Go?

7 Feb

Quite a while ago, I posted that I had lost a very nice pillowcase, which we finally found on a pillow The Squire stuffed into the sham. That makes a certain amount of sense – I guess.


We had some friends over for dinner a week ago and I couldn’t find my table napkins. I have a set of a dozen hand embroidered linen napkins which I bought for a pittance when a local store closed. When not “on duty” they spend their time in the bottom of the corner cupboard, along with the tablecloths. I have a couple of ratty looking napkins we use for every day, and there’s not a paper napkin in the house – not even those crappy things you stuff in your pocket when you hit the local fast food palace.

How, how, how can they have disappeared? It’s not as if I had scooped them up from the table in a fit of panic cleaning; they seldom see the light of day.  I had to send The Squire down to Bed, Bath and Beyond to blow $10 on a package of four new serviettes. Using the good china, the sterling, and then handing folks a paper towel just won’t do it.

Beats me.

Gran-Mama Got Run Over. . .

6 Feb

. . .by  shoplifter.

I swung into Aldi’s today to pick up a couple of things. As I entered, I noticed a man standing by his cart, which was facing the door. If you’ve ever been to an Aldi’s, this is not the normal traffic pattern, so it struck me odd, but I didn’t have time for it to even register with me.  He suddenly leaned over and shoved – jammed! – a bunch of stuff into a shopping bag, and barged right past me, onto the parking lot. He nearly knocked me down.

I didn’t have a chance to even notice anything else about him, before he was out the door and getting into his car.  I did report him to the manager, but that wasn’t much help.

BTW, Gran-mama is what our great-granddaughter calls me, with the emphasis on the last syllable. The Squire is Papa, again with stress on the last part of the word.  I have no idea where she got it, but we like it.

If All Else Fails. . .

30 Jan

. . .read the instructions.

For the last decade or so, The Squire has marched into semi-annual battle with the water filter. The bottom of the filter fits over a little nub in the bottom of the housing, and the top snugs up against a matching nub under the lid. You could hold the filter in place, but once you began to screw the entire fitting together, you simply had to move your fingers, and the water in the housing  would cause the filter to float loose from its moorings.

The last time we replaced the filter I suggested using store-bought white bread to brace it in place, on the theory the bread would break up and float away. It didn’t; instead, we had a lovely moldy green lump sitting in the housing.

The Squire went to the local Big Box and got a new filter, and he and I began the tedious process of installing it. When he took it out of the package a piece of paper floated to the floor, which I bent over to retrieve.

INSTRUCTIONS: To install the filter . . you put it in dry and then turn on the water. Took five minutes, if that.

Oh, Holey Night

19 Jan

In spite of all our best efforts, now both of us have this horrible cold.  The Squire is still sleeping in the recliner in the TV room, while the cat has been helping me hold down the bed.  The Squire seems to be on the mend, but I am now in the middle of this mess.

We headed upstairs when we got back from picking up the “Dough-Nation” from Panera. The Squire settled down with a book, and I did the same. I read for about an hour, but my Restless Leg Syndrome was still giving me fits, so I went downstairs to take a bit more medicine. His door was still ajar, and he was sound asleep with the book open on his chest. I removed the book, covered him up, and turned off the light. I tossed and turned a bit, and the last time I looked at the clock, it was after midnight.

The dog started to bark around 3AM, but by the time I put on my robe The Squire had already headed down to see what all the fuss was about. Nada. Blazer started up again a few minutes before 4, and this time we both went down. Not a thing to see, but we turned off the alarm and let the dog go take a really good look. Whatever was out there was on the other side of the stream. Blazer gave it a good barking at, and returned to the house with a smug expression.

I took a dose of cough syrup and staggered back to bed, hoping for a bit of uninterrupted sleep. No such luck. Even with the fan making white noise in the background, I had a hard time falling back to sleep, and then at 7AM Eddie decided it was high time for me to come feed him.  Yeesh. Between 10PM and 7AM I managed to get about five hours of sleep.

I’m gonna go take a nap. Don’t call me. I’ll call you.

When The Squire came down at 4AM he was in his night clothes, but when I covered him up at midnight, he was still fully dressed.  He asked me if I had wakened him and told him to change, which I had not.

“Must have been a Samuel Ready fire drill.” *

*  When I was at school I woke up one morning with my jeans (dungarees, we called them) over my PJ bottoms. Apparently, we had a fire drill in the middle of the night, and I’d gotten up, dressed, and gone out to stand on the athletic field with every other girl in the school. Couldn’t prove it by me. If it hadn’t been that everybody was talking about it, and the head mistress had congratulated us on our perfect performance, I’d have guessed the girls in my dorm had played a trick on me.