Of Mice and Men

10 Oct

On one of the blogs I follow http://ajoyfulchaos.blogspot.com/ the writer tells us of the time her brother Mahlon rescued a chipmunk from a barn cat. The chipmunk raced up his pants, over his coat, and perched on his hat!

And that reminded me . . .

The Squire and I are both avid animal lovers, We will feed and/or rescue anything that comes along, from foxes to deer to racoons.  I’ll scoop up spiders and put them out. The Squire swears if I came upon a giraffe in the woods I’d tie a bow around its neck and stand it in the stairwell.

We used to keep our cat food in a large kitchen trash can, and from time to time a mouse would fall in and be unable get back out. Normally we would carry the bin out to the woodpile and tilt it over so the critter could hop out. And then run really fast so we could get back inside before the wee beastie arrived before us.

One morning there was a little fellow in the bin, and because he was so tiny and it was so cold outside, I decide to let him out inside the house. If you try to catch a mouse, they will dash wildly all over the place, but if you put your hand in and wait, they will hop on and let you close your hand over them. So, I did and the mouse did.

But when I moved my hand the silly critter ran – up the inside of my housecoat sleeve and out the collar. He sat on my shoulder and we just stared at each other for a few seconds before he leapt down and ran under the furnace.  It was hard to tell which of us was the most surprised.


A Beautiful Day

6 Oct

This is a wonderful, one minute clip filmed in Glasgow, Scotland. Full of wisdom, and very brief. It’s not a joke, it’s not religious, it’s not political. It’s just special. I think you’ll agree. It has a meaning for all of us.


I’ve Always Been a Good Cook

2 Oct

Well, maybe not exactly always.

I’ve been going through an old recipe box, sorting and tossing, and sometimes wondering why on earth I kept that.  Some of the stuff must have sounded good at the time, but not now, and even if I tried one new recipe a day, it’s take me years to make everything.

I did find one marvelous recipe, though, carefully typed on an index card, and I can’t wait to try it! I wrote this before I was ten, which may explain a lot!

Cinnamon Cake

1 egg

3 cups dough

2 cup cinnamon

1/2 cup raisins

1 tabl e poon of butter                         1 cup water

Cook eggs as do in Yummy Eggs. Melt butter in pan until water. Mix dough and water with cinnamon. Then poor in raisins. And cook at 355.

Yummy Eggs was a recipe we got from the old Jack and Jill magazine. All I remember is that you fixed it in a double boiler – and it was really, really good.

I must have been dreadfully fond of cinnamon!

Is this a Good Idea?

1 Oct

Big MacThis is why doctors check ten year old children for cholesterol and high blood pressure.


The Bane of My Existence

25 Sep

Ants!  I hate ants! I feel about ants the way The Squire feels about spiders!

Every time it rains, we get ants in our bathroom. Not just one or two, but great hoards of them, to the point that it looks as if somebody spilled coffee grounds on the counter.  We had a cold snap this week (When it’s been in the upper 80s and low 90s, 62 is a cold snap.) and it’s raining to boot, so they are everywhere. One the counter, in the sink, on the floor, on the toilet seat, for the love of Mike!

These are supposed to be wild critters, at home in the woods and wilderness. There’s no  place to get dry and warm in the wild.  Just be brave out there and buck up. But noooo!

We obviously have the wimpiest ants in the state.


Does Anybody Here Speak English?

18 Sep

Many, many years ago I worked as a customer service rep for a health insurance company.  I loved my job and most of my customers were delightful, but some of them had a rather loose grip on the English language.  I often remarked that when I retired I was going to write a book with the above title: Does Anybody Here Speak English. Last night I found a stack of notes I’d kept for this opus, so I will share them.

The lady who was upset that her daughter’s student policy didn’t cover pregnancy. It was stated in several places that maternity care wasn’t covered, and we always made certain to remind the client a number of times when the policy was considered.  The woman seemed to understand that, but she still hoped we could cover the part of the hospitalization that wasn’t related to labor and delivery.

The man who got angry when we didn’t cover a meal he’d ordered from a local restaurant because he didn’t like what the hospital was serving. “And you call yourself a service organization!”

But sometimes it was just the way they expressed themselves. “I’m gonna ask you two questions. One for you and one for me.”

The doctor took out her utrix and left her tubals.

They shown a light up the front and a light up the back, but when he operated he went right up the middle.

A note I received written on a scrap of envelope: “please Lent me know when one year BeGan’s in Ends”. Punctuation and spelling are original.

But my absolute favorite was an exchange I had with an elderly gentleman. Many of our subscribers referred to outpatient surgery as “in- and outpatient” care, which seems perfectly logical. (The term outpatient care always conjured up a picture of a patient sitting on a park bench, with the doctor and nurses bent over him.)  This man had called with a question about a surgical bill and I asked him if it was in- or out patient – to which he replied “Yes.”

Obviously, my question came out a bit more sharply than I intended. “Yes, what?”

And he replied, “Yes, ma’am.”




Signs of the Times

16 Sep

Back in the late 1600s, until just after the American Revolution, Joppa Towne was a thriving seaport and the county seat. When the harbor silted up and malaria became a serious problem the people moved away. Both the church and the town were abandoned. In the early 1960s a developer bought up the farm land and established a planned community here. In doing the title search, he discovered the Episcopal Diocese had been deeded several acres in perpetuity by George II. We were not inclined to give it up, so the developer had to revamp his plans.  The diocese reestablished the parish, which is called Resurrection, as it has come full circle.

HistoricJoppaSignThis sign was originally out on the main highway, and remained there until about ten years ago, when some sort of landscaping was done. The highway department took it down and was going to trash it, until the church asked if it could be saved.

The Squire and I went up to the  country court house to see about having it replaced along the highway. The original spot was gone, so it would have to be in a new place. This is where the fun started.

We asked about getting a permit or something to set the sign, and the man was astounded. “You mean you want to do it legally?”  “Well, yes. We’re a church so we thought it would be nice to do it right.”

We needed to go to room 302 or something. That lady told us we had the wrong place and sent us to room 130. They sent us to the basement. And so it went. We went to half a dozen places, and ended up back where we started. Along the way we were told we needed to file a plat of the area. I pointed out that there was a shopping center right there. “Why can’t you pull that plat?” We don’t have one. “Did you toss it, or did they do all that work without one?” Hmmm.

In the end we gave it up as a bad deal, and the sign ended up on the church property. We didn’t need permission to do that.

Now, the Vestry wants to move it back to the highway. We are way off the beaten track, and the sign would help direct people to the area.  The Squire and I are not offering to help.