Archive | July, 2012

Just Dashing Through

31 Jul

I left last Thursday – July 26th – to take The Squire’s godson and another young man from church off for five days in Williamsburg. (It was supposed to be six days, but more on that later.) We have a time-share, so lodging is no problem, and I got annual passes, so we can all go back next summer. The boys are 14, so I wondered if they’d enjoy it, but they said they had a blast and are really looking forward to going again.

Both of them were delightful company. They made their beds without my even suggesting it, said Yes, Ma’am, and No, Ma’am, offered their seats on the bus to women, and were just generally wonderful young men. They looked, asked intelligent questions, and I received a number of compliments on how well they carried themselves. Some one even stopped me in church to say they were impressed with the fact that the boys had passed the Peace with firm handshakes, looked folks in the eye and spoke clearly.  No mumbling or shifty eyes.

I had to chuckle at the Godson. He had remembered to bring his Prayer Book, but when I glanced at him halfway through service, he was using the red one from the pew. “Where is your own book?” He patted his pants pocket. “Right here” he whispered back.

This photo was taken outside the Capitol gates. The Godson is Mr. Cool. The mugs got you free refills of soda, cider, and soft-serve ice cream for the entire visit, and were prized possessions!

The resort has a hot tub in each ground floor unit, and even though it was over 100 outside, they spent two evenings splashing around in the tub.  Nuts.

Got home yesterday afternoon, and now I am gearing up to leave again to drive to North Carolina for The Squire’s 50th HS reunion. He had told me the dinner was this coming Saturday night, followed by a picnic on Sunday, so we planned on leaving Friday morning, which would have given me an extra day in Colonial Williamsburg. He couldn’t find the paper with the name of the restaurant, and after I convinced him to call and ask somebody (no, you can’t just drive around town looking for a place with lots of cars in front) he discovered the dinner is Friday night and the picnic is on Saturday afternoon.

No wonder God had to create women.

One More Time!

25 Jul

I went to the lawyer’s this afternoon and signed another set of “final” papers. I think we may be coming down the home-stretch. One of the checks I gave her was for the probate court. she said it would be another twenty days or so. Now, was that twenty “real” days, or twenty business days? All the papers were addressed to the Orphans Court. It seems odd to be considered an orphan at 70. That’s usually a term one saves for small children.

Well, at least I can go away without having to watch every penny.  I am leaving on Thursday morning to take The Squire’s godson and a another young man from church to Williamsburg for several days. They are both 14 – old enough that I don’t have to watch them every second, and young enough to still be enthralled by the sights and sounds.  I adore Williamsburg – this is what I teach! – but The Squire has difficulty walking great distances, and isn’t all that interested. On the other hand, I can go through the Air and Space Museum in twenty minutes flat and have time to go the rest room, while most men can spend hours admiring the astronauts’ toothbrushes.

To each his own…

Dodging Bullets, Washing Dishes

20 Jul

Wow! The “nice” rain storm we had here last night was a real monster in downtown Baltimore, where close to two and a half inches fell between 6:30 and 7:30.  In some areas, particularly near the harbor, the standing water was up to people’s knees.  They were canoeing down Aliceanna Street.

On top of this, two water mains broke on Tuesday. A twenty-inch pipe broke in the heart of the business district, and a much smaller one broke in a residential area.  As of yesterday – Thursday – folks were already sending irate letters to the paper, wanting to know why it was “taking so long” for repairs to be made. Yeesh! You can’t just put a big ol’ cork in a water pipe,  y’know. (I wonder if these are the same folks who want power lines buried?)

It really is a mess. You think things are tough with no electricity? You should try living in the city with no water. The Squire and I live way back of beyond, and no matter what happens, we can move the lid to the well and draw water for drinking, and flush the toilet with water from the pond.  You do have an odd perspective of what constitutes a “convenience” when you think it’s good the toilet is on the first floor and right under a window! We have also melted snow for drinking water, but that is almost more trouble than it’s worth. A blancher full of snow will give you a mug full of water. A foot of snow equals an inch of rain. I’d just as soon put on my boots and struggle out to the well.

Right before we went to bed last night, I asked The Squire to start the dishwasher, which he did. Unfortunately, he assumed I’d put in the detergent, so they got washed with simple hot water and violence. The dishes look respectable, but the silverware was obviously in need of some hand-washing.

My mother tried to convince us (maybe she really believed it) that cutlery dried shinier if you didn’t rinse off the soap.  My father once grumbled that they gave people soapy water to make them throw up when they ate something poisonous, and would try to sneak in a rinse if she wasn’t looking. She also had a “thing” about wiping the dishes, rather than let them air-dry. One time she and my dad went out and left my sister and me to wash – and dry – the dinner dishes. We washed them, stacked them in the drainer, and went to watch TV. Unfortunately, we forgot to go back and them away. When we saw the headlights turn into the drive, we both raced to the kitchen and began slamming silverware into drawers and dishes into cabinets. We didn’t move fast enough, so there were still dishes in the drainer when my mom walked in. She went over to the sink, got herself a glass of water, drank half of it, and then poured what she hadn’t finished over the dry dishes. She very nicely rinsed out her glass several times, pouring that water over the dishes, too.

She could be just plain mean, in addition to probably being mad as a hatter.

Great News!

19 Jul

It is raining! This is the first rain we have had here in three weeks; the last rain was that horrible storm on June 29th, which brought down all the trees and knocked out the power.  We have had a nice steady rain for the last three hours. Not dreadfully hard, but it is soaking into the ground better this way. There is thunder and lightning all around us, so maybe it will last a good while. Still hot, though – it’s 80 on the patio at 7:00.

When I went out to feed the raccoons, I poked my head around the corner and startled a great blue heron who had been standing in the pond.  It flapped away – they are the most ungainly of God’s creatures – and tried to land in the branches of the smaller of our two weeping willows. Big bird + small tree = bad news. The bird finally managed to get airborne again and sailed off. Can a bird look embarrassed?

 

Country Magic

19 Jul

I went out about 9:30 last night to feed the raccoons, and sat for a moment in the rocker on the patio to enjoy the “cool” (it was down to 85 from a high of 104) and just listen to the night noises.

The raccoon family came out – first time I’ve ever seen all of them at once. Both parents and two kits. I sat absolutely still, enthralled, while they ate. The parents took a few bites of dog food and then moved back to the let the kits eat until they were full. In the meantime, Jiggs (I suppose; it was the larger adult) wandered around, looking and snuffling. He came over to where I was sitting, sniffed my bare feet, and then reached up and put his front paws on my knee and looked me straight in the eye. I was SOOO tempted to reach over and stroke his back, but decided not to risk it. It was enough that he had approached me. After a few seconds, satisfied, he dropped back down to all fours and walked over to finish his supper.

I stayed where I was until they had all filed back down into the drain pipe, almost unable to believe my good fortune. Magic!

A Very Merry Un-Birthday – to ME!

16 Jul

Yesterday, The Squire and I went up to Eldest Daughter’s house for a birthday party for the Grandson. I was a tad suspicious because I had asked if she and the kids wanted to go to the baseball game on Saturday and she had said they were having a party for him, but The Squire said, No, she’d just gotten the days mixed up – and besides, my birthday isn’t until next week.

It was just a group of our closest friends from church – three other couples, plus Eldest Daughter, both of her children and their fiancées.  Both young couples were bubbling over with wedding plans, showing off engagements rings, and generally glowing with happiness.  They are all delightful kids, and we are so pleased for them.

I got a HUGE cup and saucer, decorated with yellow roses – my favorite flower – and some fancy tea bags, plus shower gel and other things to make me “boo-ful”.  I got a very nice sleep mask, and a card from one couple that had us all laughing. On the front, it said “On the day that you were born, the angels got together and said…” and when you open the card, there is maniacal laughter, and “this one is going to cause some serious trouble down there”.  Oh! Do they know me!

Got to talking about life in general and one of the fellows told us about the time he and a friend found a six-pack of beer cooling in a mountain stream. Without a word, the two of them emptied their canteens,  filled them with beer, and continued their hike. After about an hour, between the heat of the day and the jostling of the mountain climb, the canteens exploded. “Turned into aluminum flowers” was the way he described it. “We ended up licking the insides of the canteens.” Don’t believe anything they tell you about Eagle Scouts!

Eldest Daughter used an entire box of candles on the cake, and then we couldn’t find anything to light them. Nobody smokes any more, so there were no lighters or matches to be found. One of the fellows finally got the foot long lighter from the gas grill, and we sang happy birthday, cut the cake, and enjoyed watching a tremendous thunder-storm, with loads of rain.

Unfortunately, although it rained up there, it didn’t rain a drop down here. Maybe next week, on my real birthday.

Amazing Grace

15 Jul

Last night, The Squire and I went to a baseball game.

Our seats were exactly in the middle of the row, and although the row in front of us was nearly empty, our row was occupied from end to end. About midway through the game, I decided to go out and get something to eat – chicken tenders for the carnivore in the group and cheese nachos for myself, plus a soda to split.

Going out, and heading downhill, I stepped onto the seat in the row in front of us.  Coming back, I handed the food to The Squire, but still had the soda in my hand. Going up, I again stepped on the seat of the row in front of us – and slid DOWN the seat, getting my foot caught between the back and the seat.  I felt as if my leg was caught in a bear trap! I pretty much managed to hang onto the soda, but squeezed the cup and splashed a fair part of our drink all over my front, as well as several spectators, and the book I was reading.

A bad sprain, but all bandaged up this morning, and I think I’ll survive.