It’s Snowing Hard as Rain!

16 Jan

We are just now having out first real snow of the season, and depending upon which station you believe, we are going to get three to five inches, or it will turn to rain before morning, and we’ll have a right mess. It started about 4:00, so I went out to feed all of the critters around here before things got out of hand. It’s the sort of snow that you can’t really see; it just looks foggy until you step out into it.

And thereby hangs a tale.

The Late and Unlamented insisted on being in charge of the money in our house. And I mean in charge. When I had suggested – assumed, really – we’d have a joint checking account, he looked at me as if I’d grown a second head. “I never heard of such a thing!” I certainly had – my parents had a joint account all of their married life. “Well, your mother always was crazy.” Okey-dokey. As a result, if I wanted anything at all I had to ask him for it. He insisted on going with me to the grocery store and questioning every item I put in the cart. Later on, he began giving me $35 every two weeks for groceries (this was in the mid-60s) and making me write down what each charge on the tape was for. Anything I couldn’t account for, he wanted me to pay him back.

One night, we were shopping at Polan’s, a long-gone store in Bel Air – a sort of cross between Walmart and a five-and-dime – when The Eldest Daughter came running from the front door, to announce “It’s snowing hard as rain! Do you think I can get a pair of real boots?”

The L & UL threw his cigarette on the floor, stomped on it, and began to yell. “Every time I think I’m going to have a few dollars to myself, you or that brat decide you want something!” Tina buried her face in my stomach, and everybody in the area turned to look at him.

Mind you, at the time, the poor child was wearing two pair of woolen socks and two bread bags when she went out because I wasn’t working, and somebody couldn’t afford to give up his beer and smokes. A friend finally gave me a pair of boots her son had outgrown.

And yes, he died a natural death.

Never a Camera

16 Jan

We have been inundated with starlings and grackles. Normally, they don’t show up en mass unless we have snow covering the ground, but they seem to have made an exception this season.

Yesterday, a red winged black bird landed at the feeder scattering all of the little birds. While he was gorging himself on seeds, a sparrow flew down – and began pecking the blackbird on the head! Defeated, or simply bewildered, the blackbird decamped, and the smaller birds flew back and continued eating.

Out of the Frying Pan

14 Jan

I finally gave up on my poison ivy, and Sunday afternoon I took myself down to the local Doc-in-a-Box for a look-see.

I have shingles.

Frankly, I’d rather have poison ivy. This will probably last longer, but at least it isn’t contagious. The doctor gave me a prescription for a steroid cream and some pills, and they seem to be working. At least I don’t have to keep changing the bed clothes to keep from spreading “the itch”.

You Have What?

9 Jan

Nobody gets poison ivy in the middle of the winter!

Except me.

I have no idea how I got it, but I have a nasty patch on my right arm, about three inches above my wrist. I’ve tried pretty much everything I can think of to stop the itching – calamine lotion, Oxyfresh Pro Relief (a sort of industrial-strength Ora-Gel), a mixture of powdered aspirin and hand lotion, and plain old laundry bleach. I even had the druggist did around in the back for some sort of poison ivy cream. Nada.

If anything, it’s getting worse. Instead of “simply” itching, it has become painful to touch. I’ll probably end up at a Doc-in-a-Box before the day is over.

Aaargh!

A Belated Merry Christmas

26 Dec

The Squire and I were to visit my nephew for Christmas, but he sent us an email on the 22nd to say the whole “fan damily” had come down with Covid. His wife had caught it and given it to her parents and to him. They have three children 12 and under, so there’s no way the kids are going to avoid it.

I went to 5:00 Christmas Eve service at St. Alban’s, a 1928 church not too far from us, and then zipped home to go to the 7:00 service with The Squire at Resurrection. I opted not to take Communion with him, because even as rowdy as I tend to be I don’t need to be “washed through and through” twice in two hours!

Theoretically, we don’t exchange gifts anymore, but we generally find some little thing we think the other person needs. A while back, The Squire had been complaining that the steering wheel was cold. When I asked him why he didn’t wear his gloves, he replied they are too bulky and awkward. And they are. I went online looking for “men’s lightweight dress gloves” and found a pair of “Stewart of Scotland” gloves – 100% wool, fleece lined, and real leather palms, for less than half price. Still a fair amount, but so very much worth it. He was delighted! When we were at my nephew’s home for Thanksgiving his wife had a wood and plastic gizmo for slicing bread, which I thought was the greatest things since, well, since sliced bread. The Squire went online and found one for me. Actually, I think mine is even nicer, because it is all bamboo, and it folds for storage.

We went to an Indian restaurant for Christmas dinner. We both enjoy Indian cuisine and because they are not Christian, we don’t feel guilty about ruining their holiday. Does that make sense?

Spent yesterday napping and working a jigsaw puzzle and went off to church this morning. Bishop Sutton is following CDC guidelines and closing down the churches for 14 days, which means we won’t have services at Resurrection next week, but there’s always St. Alban’s.

Mind you – these fourteen days may grow into something much longer, but we shall see what happens.

Stop Nagging!

25 Dec

I have been taken to task by quite a few of my loyal readers for not having posted more than once a month, and I apologize. I worked five days a week for all of November, had a week off, and then started working again. This job is supposed to run until April! I’m really enjoying what I’m doing right now, but I’m too old for this nonsense! Getting up at 6 AM and staying up all day without a nap is too much.

Right now, I’m working for a hobby shop, and as you can imagine, things have been a wee bit hectic. This company is located in an exurb just north of Baltimore, which is important to this story. Two people called in on Monday – back-to-back, no less – who have a very weak grasp of geography. One fellow clicked on the “No shipping charge” option, figuring it would take longer, but save some money. When he hadn’t gotten his package in two weeks, he called to see what was up. Maybe the problem wasn’t geography was much as reading skills, but when you live in Altoona, PA, choosing curb-side pickup in Baltimore isn’t a good option.

The other call was from a truly outraged customer who wanted to know why we had charged such an exorbitant price for shipping. He’d selected overnight air delivery, but he lived less than thirty miles from the company! If the package was marked “Air Mail” it probably went into a bin and was sent to the airport before anybody realized what he had done. It took longer to find it than it would have taken to send it UPS, and far, far longer than if he had just come and picked it up!

I Can’t WAIT for Christmas!

23 Nov

I’ve been working for the last month, filing and scanning. Not exactly mind-stretching, but I honestly enjoy filing and can live with the scanning.

However – one of the girls brought in a radio and had it tuned to an all-Christmas station.  I was treated to six different versions of Jingle Bell Rock, and listened to Bing Crosby croon White Christmas four times. And of course, there were a lot of singers who just had to put their own spin on songs, which drives me to utter distraction. Sing it the way it was written or write your own dammed song!

Six more weeks, right? Yeesh!

No Better, Thank You

30 Oct

It will be two weeks on Monday since I fell and banged my head on the concrete floor. It has bled sporadically since then, mostly little drops on the pillow case, but this morning I started to bleed in earnest.

The Squire hustled me down to the local Doc-in-a-Box for a look-see. Not only was it considerably faster and more personal, but you could ask for a cup of java and somebody would bring you one! Coffee, a warm blanket, and my book – almost as good as home. Once I saw the doctor I explained that while I understand the elderly (there, I said it!) do heal more slowly, this had been going on long enough, thank you very much, and could he possible lance this thing and drain it. He palpated my poor cranium and agreed that it felt mushier than it should, but lancing was considered surgery and that wasn’t something they could do there. However, he would try to suction out some of the blood to ease the pressure.

First there was an injection of Lidocaine, and then he tried to draw the blood. Unfortunately, it was mostly a big clot, and he wasn’t able to do much with it. I think he was as disappointed as I was. “I figured I’d be able to fill this syringe for you.” He admitted a large needle would have perhaps been more effective, but it would have also been even more painful, and it was bad enough as it was. Not exactly as bad as a toothache, but close. He suggested I get back in touch with my GP, and see if he can suggest a plastic surgeon to work on this mess.

He put a massive compress on my lump and then started to wind an ace bandage around my head. The bandage was elastic and kept riding up, until we got the giggles. He finally gave me a stack of gauze pads and sent me on my way.

The Squire took me across the street to eat at IKEA but they are remodeling their dining room, so we headed over to Panera instead. I had a bowl of Pumpkin Bisque and a Fiji apple salad, while The Squire indulged in a cheese steak sandwich.

So back home and still oozing, and I start work on Monday, so I don’t know how long I’m going to have to deal with this mess. I’ll take some Tylenol and put my pants on my head, and see how it goes.

Ancient of Days

30 Oct

The Squire and I cleaned out the pantry about a week ago, and I found one box of cake mix – a Jell-O cheesecake mix – with no expiration date on it.

What the heck? Maybe I can make it up as a treat? When I opened the box I discovered the coupons printed on the inner packet expired on December 31, 2002! The bloody stuff was old enough to vote!

Yesterday I was thrashing around in the freezer, looking for something quick and easy for lunch. I pulled out two packages of tortellini, which I keep on hand for this sort of “emergency”. One expired next year. The other should have been eaten in 1992!

We had the first one. I cooked up the second for the animals.

Doing Battle With the DMV

29 Oct

When I went up to the DMV in late June, I took along copies of my insurance card on the new(er) car, as well as the old one, and a the temporary title I’d gotten from the dealer. No big deal, and the tags were easily transferred from the 2001 Nissan to the 2016 car. I have a really easy number to remember, but the new Maryland tags are just a jumble of letters and digits.

Early in October I received a letter from the DMV telling my my plates had been suspended because I didn’t have proof of insurance for August 27th. Mind you, had a proof that the car was insured from June until this November, and August usually comes between those months, but That’s what the system said. Even the clerk couldn’t explain it. A call to The Squire, then a call to the insurance company, who sent over some electronic form, and that part was fixed.

“Oh, by the way, I never got a regular registration. All I have is this temporary one I got from the dealer.”

The clerk took another look at the computer, and told me they had never received the proper form. Rather than form #54400131, they had sent 52303283. I told her I didn’t want to be THAT customer, but when was DMV going to tell me this? She didn’t have an answer.

Once I got out to the car I spoke to The Squire again and asked him to call the auto dealer and see what happened. When I got back home, he told me the lady at the dealership insisted she had sent in the correct form, but she would handle it directly – and immediately. I should have my new title and registration, as well as my stickers for my car with ten business days.

My current stickers expire on Monday, and I’m supposed to start work. I’m gonna drive this car until the wheels fall off. I don’t think I can do this again!