The Long Way Home

7 Aug

My GPS always wants to take me everyplace via the beltway or I-95, neither of which routes thrill me, so I seldom plug it in when I am traveling between home and my two main places of work. I really prefer to take the back roads, so my trips back and forth are pretty much Do It Yourself.

Today was my last day at this particular place, and I got off early, so I decided to follow the GPS from a point about half way home, just to see where the Lady Who Lives in the Machine would take me. It wasn’t bad at all. I’m not sure I could manage to find my way over via this route, but coming home was very pleasant. I drove through Dulaney Valley – rolling hills and winding roads, and I think I only saw two cars coming my way. And I got home about five minutes sooner than usual. I’ll have to use that way more often.

The Storm That Almost Wasn’t

5 Aug

Honestly, we’re not complaining! I’ve just about finished reading The Great Deluge by Douglas Brinkley, detailing how totally, willfully, unprepared New Orleans was for Katrina. I’d rather be over-prepared than not.

Anyway – after getting all of our hatches battened down last night, we had some tremendous rain – Monday – and into this morning. By noon, the rain had stopped and the sun was out, although it did rain some on my way home from work. The rain came down hard enough to lift the drain pipe that runs under the upper end of the driveway, which directs the water down across the back yard and into the stream. Getting out tomorrow morning should be interesting. We also had our “traditional” leak in the kitchen ceiling. The Squire has tried every trick in the book to stop that one: cleaning the gutters and putting up guards, replacing some of the shingles on the carport roof, sealing everywhere he can think of, and it still leaks.

At any rate, other than the business with the drain pipe, we had no damage at all – no trees down, and the creek didn’t rise.

Thanks be to God.

The Calm Before the Storm

4 Aug

Hurricane Isaias is heading up the East Coast, and folks are digging in.
It started rain as I left work at 5:00, and rained sporadically – but heavily, at times – all the way home. Right now, it is very still, but nobody is foolish enough to think that will last.

We have made sure we have plenty of water and lamp oil in case the power goes off, and there’s plenty of food in the house. Thank goodness we have a gas cooktop; I don’t mind sitting around in the dark, but I draw the line at going hungry. I went out a bit ago, took down the flag and placed those hanging baskets on the ground. Fed the foxes, fish, and turtles, and I am heading up to bed in a few moments. It is 8:30 on Monday evening, and I’ll check in tomorrow. (Yeah, the computer thinks it’s Tuesday already, but don’t believe it.)

Stay safe and stay dry.

Slow Down!

2 Aug

You talk too fast!

Our rector, Fr. B., is a dear, dear man. Knowledgeable, witty, and generous. But he talks too dang fast. He speaks faster than I can listen. As a result, he often stumbles over words in the service, which drives me nuts.

“If you talk slower, you won’t make as many mistakes.”

“I am going slower!”

There are those of us who try to read at a normal pace, letting him race ahead, and saying our last few words well after he has ended, but it doesn’t always work. We feel as if we are shouting into the wind.

It’s a good thing we’re not Jewish. If a mistake is made during the service, whether by the rabbi, the cantor, or the reader, the service stops, and they have to start anew from the beginning. We’d be in church for a week at a time at that rate!

Well, Blow Me Down

31 Jul

A tremendous storm blew up while we were out last night. All of a sudden, the wind was so strong it grabbed the car doors and threatened to make them close the other way. Normally, when we have a bad storm, one of us will take the hanging baskets off the shepherd’s cooks in the front yard, because I’ve been worried the pots would go flying.

When I went out to feed the critters this morning, I discovered the wind and the weight of the pots had actually bent the steel posts!

Sticky Morning

29 Jul

We saw something floating in the pond when we opened the shades this morning. At first I thought it was a duck, but there was absolutely no movement, so that was out, and the binoculars didn’t help to answer the question. I threw on my robe and The Squire got himself dressed and we went out to take a closer look.

A very dead snapping turtle. Yuck. I got the “Pond Rake” which has an extra six foot PVC pipe on the handle, handy to remove leaves, algae – and turtles from the middle of the water. Once I’d maneuvered the bloated carcass close to the bank, The Squire got the pitchfork and tossed the critter into the woods across the stream.

I discovered yesterday that my driver’s license had expired on my birthday, so I went online to renew it. No such luck; the notice informed me that because it was expired I had to go in person the the DMV. Lovely. I talked it over with my boss, and headed up to Bel Air this morning, to be there when the doors opened at 8:30. The photo on my current license is absolutely hideous, so I carefully set my hair and made up my face. I learned two things. One was that I needed an appointment, and then, just before I turned into that customer, the lady told me that all licenses are good until 30 days after Governor Hogan lifts the shutdown orders.

Whew!

The rest of the day went quite smoothly, thank goodness! I had enough excitement before 10 AM to last me for a while.

Back on the Treadmill

25 Jul

My agency called Monday afternoon to ask if I’d be interested in a job “for a few weeks” helping out in at a small construction company. The hours were not bad, and the pay would be nice, so I agreed.

I discovered I am not as young as I used to be! Most of what I’m doing is filing, which I honestly enjoy, but I am on my feet most of the day. Lots of bending and stooping, and walking around looking for stuff that really isn’t where you’d think it ought to be. Even the other staff members agree with that estimation, so it’s not just me. At any rate, when I get home in the evening, I’m beat! I don’t expect I’ll be posting much this week or next.

The Squire has been holding down the fort, and doing a very good job, I might add. He gets up and fixes my breakfast, and has dinner waiting when I come in, which means so much.

Apropos of nothing at all, I fond this cartoon online, and it seems to be appropriate for the times.

Remember, six feet apart today is better that six feet under tomorrow.

Today’s the Day!

22 Jul

I dunno. Do you think I’ll ever grow up?

Happy Birthday – sorta

20 Jul

My actual birthday is this coming Wednesday, when I will be umpty-dump years old. A good friend treated The Squire and me to a very generous meal of hard crabs and steamed corn – absolute heaven, as far as we are concerned! It was a real treat; not only did I not have to cook, but this is one of my favorite things. Add a bottle of beer and we are good to go!

Hard crabs are strictly a summertime meal, and defy all of Miss Manners edicts. You use a mallet and knife in lieu of more conventional cutlery, spread the table with brown paper or newsprint, and set out rolls of paper towels rather than proper napkins. Somebody will be sure to ask you what you paid for the crabs; this is not rude, but expected. It’s OK to put your elbows on the table, so the juice runs down your arms. It’s not as classy as eating lobster, but it’s also not as stuffy.

Stock photo

When we were going together, The Squire and I ran into some friends while we were at the mall. Bill and Mary offered to get two dozen crabs and meet us back at my apartment. The Squire had grown up in the mountains of North Carolina, and was totally unfamiliar with seafood – he didn’t even know what mountain oysters were! His only encounter with Maryland crabs had been when some coworkers had given him a soft-crab sandwich. This is definitely an acquired taste, but considered a delicacy; I guess they thought they were doing him a favor. At any rate, he wasn’t sure he wanted to be involved with this adventure, but I showed him how to clean his first crab, and promised I’d make him a sandwich. The four of us got to chatting, and it suddenly dawned on me that I hadn’t followed through on his sandwich.

I glanced down and saw a HUGE pill of shells in front of him. “How many of those things did you eat?”

“Six. And you’re no more surprised than I am.”

Answers!

18 Jul

You were all headed in the right direction. This is a hair curler, and you do wind your hair on it.

You stick a bobby pin in the holes in the end, slip a lock of hair under the blade, and wind it onto the rod. When you are done, you lift the blade a bit and slide the hair off the rod and onto the bobby pin.

Depending on how you wanted to look, this made great Frances Langford pompadours, or Shirley Temple ringlets. My grandmother used to put my hair into ringlets when I was too young to fight back. I probably looked like I just got off the boat!

It works better with human hair, but since I couldn’t figure out how to hold the camera in one hand and the curler in the other, Felicity had to stand in. At least she stands still and doesn’t wiggle.