Archive | October, 2012

High and Dry, Safe and Sound

30 Oct

Well, we survived the hurricane with no more damage than we normally get from a really thumping thunder-storm.  The stream did not rise, although the wind blew so many branches from the trees in our yard that it will take several days to collect them all.

We never lost power, but the town on the other side of the river did, and most places still are dark, including the two folks who offered to take us in. The church is also without power, and the AA has canceled their meeting, which just about never happens.  The ironic thing is that after the last big storm we had, there was a lot of caterwauling about how the utility lines should all be buried. Well, Joppatowne has buried lines – and no power – while our lines are overhead and we’re doing just fine. So there!

Our grandson left for work at 4:30 this morning and probably won’t be home for several days.  He really loves his job (He must, to work the hours he does!) but gets really annoyed when customers fuss with him because they have no electricity. Everybody wants to be first.

These people are out there risking their lives for you. Next time you see a utility worker, say “thanks” for all the hard work and long hours they put in so you can watch TV.

We Are Still Here

30 Oct

The worst of Sandy seems – seems – to have bypassed us. We’ve gotten relatively little rain, but the wind is just horrible. It is howling around the corners of the house as if we were in the middle of a blizzard, instead of a hurricane.

The stream is not any further that it is when we have heavy rain, but there certainly won’t be any dead branches in the trees tomorrow morning. The wind is gusting between 40 and 60 mph, enough to lift the cat off his feet.

We still have power, although it flickers from time to time. Our grandson reported to work this morning, but the utility company sent him home because it is too dangerous to work. If the wind is above 30 mph with cherry-pickers will topple over, so he is sitting it out for the moment.

If things get bad, we will roll up the memory foam topper from the guest room bed, sheets, blankets and all, grab the critters and head over to church.  High ground, gas stove, running water, and plenty of windows and candles!

We shall see what tomorrow brings, but for the moment we are thanking God for our lives and home!

Farewell to Dr. J

28 Oct

Our beloved rector, Doctor Janice Gordon-Barnes, left us today. She arrived in a blizzard and left in a hurricane.

The service was lovely, with clergy from around the diocese, members of her former parishes, and just about every single member of the congregation in attendance.

She managed to hold it all together, through songs from the Sunday School kids, gifts, cake cuttings, speeches, and a wacky slide presentation, until she received the purse from the parish, and which point she began to cry. “It’s not much”, said the Senior Warden. “It’s only a dollar a day.”

The cake was made by one of our members, showing the proposed trip from Maryland to Florida in Dr J’s little Prius. (Which is made of Rice Krispies Treats, wrapped in fondant.)

It has been drizzling all day long, and fairly chilly – 54 F – but no wind to speak of. The worst of the storm is supposd to hit in the wee-smalls of tomorrow morning and continue all day. The prediction is for 5 to 10 inches of rain, and the weather people are  expecting every stream in Baltimore City and County to be over its banks. Our stream is about six feet from the house, so you can imagine our situation. Two folks from church have offered to take us – and the critters – should it be necessary to evacuate. The Squire is still insisting “we’ll be juuust fine.” Sure we will, boss.

I’m not sure if the groom is still at home. The storm has not really kicked up yet, and they cannot send the men up poles if the wind is over 35 mph, so he may be “on hold” for a while. Everyone has been warned that they may be without power for several days, but there will still be weeping and wailing, I’m sure.


Wedding Reception

28 Oct

As I’ve mentioned before, our grandson and his bride were married on October 11 in the Bahamas, and the reception was today at a country club north of us.

We are so pleased for both of them. The bride is a sweet and lovely girl. She works at Hopkins Hospital and is studying to be a nutritionist. Our grandson works for Baltimore Gas & Electric (guess what he’s going to be doing for the next week or so!) and is buying his own home. A very level-headed twenty-five year old – and a wicked dancer!

We really had a grand time. I even got The Squire out onto the dance floor – once – to do the Old Folks Shuffle.  The young folks danced to a lot of the same tunes their parents enjoyed, which was a lot of fun to watch, as even the grownups were out there doing the Funky Monkey and the Electric Slide.

Our daughter and son-in-law went to the same high school, as did most of their friends, so the groom and his sister grew up surrounded by the children of their parents’ friends, all of whom were at the reception. A grand family reunion.  I had met the bride’s mother at the shower, but had not met her father. They are a very nice couple – only to be expected with such a dear daughter.

Weather update: At the moment, it is very, very still, but cloudy. It is 64, and expected to go down to 55,  with the rain supposed to start tomorrow afternoon or evening. Considering how close the stream is to our house, I think I’d rather have snow, but I doubt that’s going to happen.

The really frustrating thing is that we have been unable to purchase flood insurance because “we are not in a flood plain”. Well fine. If we’re not in a flood plain, then we should be a very low risk. We did have one fellow offer to sell us flood insurance, but it would only cover items on the second floor. With a little luck, a tree will fall on the place.



Batten Down the Hatches

26 Oct

Well, I washed the windows and my car, so I figured it was going to rain, but who invited “Sandy” to this party, anyway?

The hurricane is supposed to go up the Atlantic seaboard, but let’s face it, Baltimore is NOT that far inland, so we are expecting a terrific battering. Last time we had a really bad storm my kitchen looked like this:

And the car port looked like this:

If you look closely, you can see that the water has dropped at this stage. It was originally up to the point on the bottom triangle.  (The printer had been on a bench, and no, I don’t have any idea what that thing is floating beside the door.)

Needless to say, we are not looking forward to a repeat of this mess.  When the water receded last time, the car port was slicker than greased glass. Our eldest and her husband came down to help with the power washer and clean both the inside and outside of the house. Fortunately, the water did not get any farther than the kitchen, but that was mess enough.

Our newly-wedded grandson works for Baltimore Gas & Electric and has already been put on storm alert. He and his new bride will be staying with his parents, because he is worried about his wife being alone in their house, which is way out in the country. Even more “out in the country” than our place, which is saying something!

We’ve stocked up on lamp oil, firewood, canned soups and food for the critters, so I think we’re good to go. I’ll keep you all posted.

Great Kooga-Mooga!

23 Oct

Or, to quote The Squire, “Who are you and what have you done with my wife?”

Two weeks of PT equals about 10 days of no pain and good solid sleep. Today, I decided to tackle the kitchen windows. Washed all four windows, inside and out, including removing the storm windows so we could do the “inside of the outside and the outside of the inside”.  How do those places get so dirty? All spider spit and cobwebs.

I had to ask The Squire to help with the storm panels, as the latches are too tight for me, and he stayed to help. We got all the windows done, the floor mopped and the curtains washed. (Of course, it will rain tomorrow. That’s One of the Rules.)

Such a burst of energy hasn’t come along in absolute eons. Thank you, Agape Physical Therapy!


17 Oct

The Squire and I went down this morning to meet with my mother’s stockbroker, and got all of her investments turned over to our names as a joint account. The checks have been sent to my sister’s two sons, and all the bills are paid. We are still in the 47%, but – God willing – we should be able to live comfortably for the rest of our lives.

There might even be enough for me (well, us!) to make that long awaited trip to Australia. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Busy, Busy Week

16 Oct

I worked Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday last week, doing the switchboard for one of my favorite companies. I really love the job and the people are delightful, and Heaven knows it’s not hard work – sitting on my duffel bag all day – but this getting up at 5:45 in the morning and staying up all day just wreaks havoc on my system. I normally get up at 8:30 and take a nap after the mid-day meal, so by Wednesday morning I was popping No-Doz as if they were Tic-Tacs.

The Squire has proclaimed there will be no more of this nonsense. I can work one day over there, maybe two, but no more than that. And I, sweet, obedient wife that I am, didn’t argue with him.  It may well put the kibosh to my working there at all, as it is a complicated switchboard, and they won’t be happy training a temp for the temp, but there you are.

On Wednesday, our oldest grandson, the handsome Mr. MTV married the beautiful Miss KEW at a private ceremony in the Bahamas. Just the happy couple and both sets of parents.  There will be a reception later this month.

Thursday afternoon I went for my first physical therapy session to work on the pinched nerves in my back. The young man (at my age, they’re all young!) did what he called a Mulligan maneuver – pushing up on my vertebrae while I hunched over and then straightened up. Wow! I have been able to cut my anticonvulsant dosage in half, and have had NO pain since that afternoon. I have exercises to do several times a day – with a lot of help from both the dog and the cat – and one that I need The Squire to lend a hand, but I am literally “feeling no pain”. This is wonderful.  I had another session today and praised the fellow for his good work.

Saturday, The Squire had his godson over for the day and the two of them removed all of the old mulch from the flower bed along the drive – 500 feet of it! – dug up and split a lot of the hosta to fill in the bare spots, filled the bed with three yards of topsoil, and then re-mulched it all.

The Squire had a biopsy scheduled for this afternoon, and he is not a happy camper. Apparently this session was fairly painful. And now we wait two weeks for the test results!

Spotter Cards

14 Oct

     Still going through my mom’s stash, and found a deck of World War II airplane spotter cards.  Not only are they in spotless condition, but all fifty-two cards are in the deck! Heck, I can’t keep a new deck together for six months, let alone 70 years.

Radar was not as effective at that time as it is now, and a German U-boat was found



off the Atlantic Seacoast, so Americans were very much at risk from foreign invasion. These cards were used by mainly by civilians (a few military users) to familiarize themselves with the shapes of various aircraft.


Blessing Blazer

8 Oct

     We had the Blessing of the Animals last weekend, rather than the traditional first Saturday in October, as the local Humane Society was able to come out and offer micro-chipping for $30 for anyone who had not already had their pet “done unto”.

I really wanted to take Eddie, but as soon as he saw the carrier he did a disappearing act.  A really determined cat make itself slightly smaller than a pocket-handkerchief, and there was no finding the little stinker.

The Squire said he wandered into the kitchen, cool as a cucumber, about two minutes after the dog and I had driven off.

Blazer, on the other hand is always up for a ride, especially if it involves coming to church, as the secretary always has a treat for him, and he is about as much in love with the rector as the rest of us are. Pats, tummy rubs, and puppy smooches are always nice.   I had told him to “Come by me and sit”, but he got tired of sitting, so he laid down, and a few seconds after this was taken, he rolled over on his back.