Archive | March, 2012

Trying my Patience

29 Mar

ResurrectionDuring Lent, I don’t give up chocolate or carbs or going to the movies. I try to either take on a “mitzvah” – helping at a homeless shelter or something of the sort – or giving up a personal trait I wish I didn’t have. Most years, it’s trying to be less judgemental. I’ve been at this for a while, but I haven’t made nearly as much progress as I’d hoped.

A few weeks ago, the Squire was to meet a man at the church to discuss possibly changing the alarm system. About fifteen minutes after the scheduled time, our phone rang.

“This is Jason, from ABC Security. I can’t find the church.”

“Where are you?”

“I’m on Bridge Drive.”

Sir, Bridge Drive dead ends at the church parking lot.”

“Oh. Is that the church? I’ve driven past it a couple of times.”

Brick building. Steeple. Big sign. Grave yard. Yup, that’s a church.

I think God is testing me.

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Going Bananas

28 Mar

I had a banana with my lunch today, and opened it, as I always do, from the blossom end, which reminded me of my mom, who was a very strange person.

The senior center where she lived frequently served bananas for lunch, and one time she was having a particularly difficult time getting hers open, sawing away at it. She had mashed the fruit inside, but still hadn’t pierced the skin. I took it from her, squeezed the blossom end to get it started, and peeled it halfway down, and handed it back.

She gave me the oddest look, pulled the skin down the rest of the way, grasped the fruit, and turned it upside down, then shoved it back into the peel. She was going to eat that banana properly, by golly, and nothing was going to stand in her way!

It’s a wonder I’m not daft as a hatter.

I Never Learn!

27 Mar

If you were reading my life story over on Blogger, you know that an early February cleaning binge ended up in a snow storm. We’ve had a very mild winter and two weeks for the weather has been warm enough to need a fan at night, so I decided I could safely put away my winter “uniform” of jeans, turtleneck and sweat shirt, and unpack my summer clothes.

We had a cold snap this weekend, with temps over night in the low 30s.

 

Small-Town Baltimore

25 Mar

Baltimore is the largest small town in the world. Strike up a conversation and within minutes you will find several links to a total stranger.  The man’s brother used to live next door to you, his mother was in your biology class, and his second cousin knows your dad.

I went to a funeral yesterday for the husband of one of the members of the Daughters of the British Empire and while waiting in the reception line, I started chatting to the woman behind me.  It turned out she was a cousin of the fellow who was the rector at St. John’s, Kingsville in the 60s, and her husband is related to a long-time co-worker of the Squire.

We attended a function at another church several months ago and found we had several links to folks there, through work or family. Some one bustled over and asked if we had met, and the gentleman admitted we had not met before, “but we’ve discovered we’re practically related.” Love that line!

I used to be a church secretary, and the rector had lived all over the country as a child, mostly in NYC, and then served in several widely scattered parishes, so she never understood the interconnectedness of Baltimore.  She and I were discussing a former rector and although I called him Fr. So-and-so, I referred to his brother as Bob. “You know, he’s old enough that you ought to call him Mister.” I blinked at her. “He went to school with my brother-in-law. Why would  call him by his last name?”

I used to volunteer with the local food closet, so got to know a good number of folks when I was delivering groceries.  This parish was supplying a Thanksgiving basket to someone and there was a question about the address. “Is that the guy who lives on Browne Street? I’ll drop it off on the way home.”  The rector, bless her, was somewhat surprised that I knew exactly who this “total stranger” might be.

The Squire and I have an Open House every year on the third Sunday in Advent. I invited several people from the parish, and one fellow asked if he could bring a friend. No problem. He said later he had told her in the car that “Dani knows everybody in the county.” Imagine his surprise with he and his date walked into the house and the Squire said, “Well, hello Lena, it’s so good to see you!”  She was a co-worker in Small-town Baltimore.

I Had One, But the Wheels Fell Off

20 Mar

Back when I was wandering in the desert between Blogger and WordPress, it became painfully apparent (especially to the wallet) that the Squire’s 1998 Grand Caravan was about to bite the dust.  He has some physical problems which make it necessary for the car he drives to “fit” him properly. He can zip over to church in my Nissan, but any trip of more than a half an hour – either as a driver or passenger – becomes quite painful.

He spent a good deal of time comparing Consumer Report listings with local car lots, and finally decided on a 2009 Kia Sportage. Yesterday – Monday – he drove up to trade in the old car and pick up the “new” one. I got two phone calls, back to back. One from him, saying the new car needed to be detailed, and one from the fellow who tunes up the church’s organ, saying he was at church, where the Squire was to have met him. Oops!

I grabbed the church keys and dashed off. As I opened the doors, we discovered that someone had set off about a dozen bug bombs in the sanctuary to kill the stink bugs! The place simply reeked, and we had to leave even more quickly than we arrived.  The Squire was furious. He is the Junior Warden at our church (the head of the Property Committee, to you non-Episcopalians) and this had been done without checking with him. It wasn’t simply a matter of not asking permission, which was really only a courtesy, but that 1) trying to re-schedule having the organ tuned this close to Easter is a nuisance to both us and the repairman. 2) We have a contract with an exterminator who says most pesticides do not work on stink bugs, and 3) the chemicals are toxic to people with immune system problems.; we have three people in the congregation undergoing chemo at the moment. Stink bugs are a nusiance, but they don’t bite or sting the way bedbugs do, they don’t chew on the scenery like carpenter ants, and they aren’t filthy, like roaches. Just pick them up and drop them in the trash. Big deal.  Got all that straight, collected him, and came back home, and this morning we got up at some unearthly hour to pick up the car, and then I had an errand to run, while the Squire went to Panera to pick up bread for the local soup kitchen.

When he got home, he simply reeked of cigarette smoke. Turned out the car had been owned by a smoker, and even though the dealer had ionized it – twice – the odor was still seeping out of the upholstery. I took it back to the dealer while the Squire was supervising the cleaning of the church, and on the way up the road, the Check Engine light came on.

This company is locally famous for making good on any repair work, and also a no-questions-asked return policy. They are going to do the interior one more time and fix the engine, but even with a loner car, this is all a major pain.

And we still have ants.

We Have Ants!

19 Mar

     We have ants! I came down this morning to find the bathroom absolutely swarming with the blasted things!

They were waltzing all over the place, climbing up the faucets, waving merrily from the tooth brushes, sliding over the soap – generally having a grand time. I have no idea what they thought they’d find, unless they have a fondness for Bon Ami.

What they got was a quick swoosh with the vacuum and a nice little dollop of Terro, to take back to the nest.

Where Did I Go?

18 Mar

Well, I was over at Blogger for about two months, happily posting about Life at the Rice Paddy, and then one day – poof! – I was informed that my browser no longer supported blogging. I could read my postings and those of others, but couldn’t update or sign in. So – if you want to know what’s happened so far, go to http://endoftheswap.blogspot.com and see where I’ve been and how I got here.

More news to follow!