Archive | September, 2013

The Happy Couple

29 Sep

????????????????????Some body sent me this shot of The Squire and myself, taken shortly before I got “killed”. That T-shirt was the gag of the evening, and as close as he’d agree to wearing a suit. I do love him, though!

By the way, I was shot by his brother because I planned on taking over their joint travel agency. Yeesh. Just because I was going to force him out of his own business was no reason to get all upset.

Here Comes the Bride!

28 Sep

Last Saturday our church did one of those “How to Host a Murder” parties. The setting was a wedding reception, so lots of people could participate.

After much waffling around, I was chosen – on Thursday – to be the bride. Oy! I went to the local Good Will, but could not find anything that would zip up, and the local thrift shop wanted $230 – for a dress which had been donated! They could have sold it for $10 and still made a profit!  As a last resort I stopped at a new shop called “Abbey Rose”. I’d been told the shop has consignments as well as overstocks from other stores, so it was worth a look-see.

I told the young lady why I needed the dress, and didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg, and she pulled four dresses off the rack. First one fit fine, and I was delighted. I dug up Youngest Daughter’s wedding veil, which was still gray after two trips through the washing machine, and I was all set. The Squire, on the other hand, flat out refuses to wear a suit, so he wore a black T-shirt with a tuxedo jacket printed on the front. (I swear, we never look as if we are going to the same place.) dead dani

Lots of mingling and asking questions, and suddenly, in the middle of our first and only dance, a shot rang out, and I fell to the floor. Kaboom! Someone raced over and tried to find my pulse, but I was pronounced DOA. Fortunately, our church isn’t named Resurrection “fer nuthin'”, and I was able to get up and sit down at the table, looking pale and interesting.

mystery cakeAfter I had recovered sufficiently, The Squire and I had a chance to cut our wedding cake, although I don’t remember us feeding each other a slice.

The original plan had been for me to fall over dead in my spaghetti, but I nixed that idea very firmly. Over my dead body, or something.

His Turn, Now

12 Sep

I have no idea how yesterday’s post turned up with today’s date, but ignore it.

This morning, The Squire woke me a little before 8 (early for me) saying he was dizzy, weak, and nauseated. Up and at ’em! His skin felt cold, but he was very wet and sticky.

I very quickly put Blazer out and fed him, got myself shoveled into a heap, eased The Squire into the van, and drove off to Patient First. Didn’t get very far – the dead tree he’d been muttering about decided last night was the perfect time to fall across the drive. It was only about as big around as my calf, but ten feet of it was more than I could move. We ended up driving across part of the neighbor’s yard to get to the street.

It was just 8:30 when we arrived at the clinic, so we had the place to ourselves. The Squire told the doctor he had awakened about 7:30, and the room was spinning before he even opened his eyes. He’d managed to get down to the bathroom, but came back up and collapsed across the bed. My side of the bed. (That’ll get you out of a sound sleep, let me tell you!) His heart rate was down, his oxygen levels were low, and he was severely dehydrated. All of this sounded horribly familiar. The clinic arranged to transfer him to the hospital, and we were there until about 3:30. More blood tests, a CT scan, EEG, and EKG. Nada. The only thing the doctors could come up with was that he’d gotten some sort of hit-and-run virus.

We are home shortly before 4, and in bed by 4:15.

I called a friend from church when we got to the clinic to ask him if he’d bring his chain saw over and cut up the tree. His wife called the Rector’s Warden, who called us and the Rector. I don’t know what people do who don’t have a church family to rely on!

Busier Than a One-Legged Paper Hanger

12 Sep

The Squire and I went off this morning to have breakfast with Bob Evans, and then to see the neurosurgeon about my gimpy leg. Although I am in a fair amount of pain, there is significant weakness in my left leg. Injections are scheduled for this coming Tuesday. Once the pain is gone, then we can figure out how much damage was done by the stroke.

When we got home, The Squire asked – in all innocence, really – if I thought I’d have the kitchen repapered before Christmas. Hmmm.

I did manage to get one wide strip under the cabinets, but couldn’t find my brayer – a sort of wooden mini-paint roller I use to flatten the seams. After some fruitless rummaging in the back room, my husband assured me he’d seen the thing in one of the kitchen drawers. And with that, he pulled out a double ended roller from Pampered Chef, used by normal people to press piecrust into a dish instead of rolling it out on the counter and fussing with getting it into the pan.

Worked like a charm.

Not The Horse I Came In On

10 Sep

My GP sent me to the local hospital (NOT the one that treated me for my stroke, thanks be to God) for a consultation with a sleep specialist. I’ve had two overnight studies, and he really couldn’t see any reason for a third. The question was whether or not a nasal cannula would work as well as a CPAP machine, which I cannot tolerate.  The short answer is No, and the “sleepologist” wants me to come in for another overnight sleep study, to see just how much my apnea has changed.

I had asked The Squire if he noticed that I stopped breathing during the night, but he says once he falls asleep, he’s not aware of anything. In fact, I told the doctor that because The Squire also has apnea, I had always thought it was normal. Who knew?

The map they sent me shows the interior of the hospital very clearly, but has no outside reference points. Which side of the building faces Rossville Boulevard. Where is Hospital Drive? Nothing. It’s like a floor plan of my house; you can find your way to the bathroom, but you still don’t know where I live.

My left leg is giving me absolute fits. I don’t know if it is from the pinched nerve, the stroke, or a combination if the two, but walking any distance is excruciating. My foot hurts and my leg keeps folding up. I got to the hospital, finally found an entrance, and got pointed in the right direction. If I’d had my wits about me, I’d have grabbed a wheelchair in  the lobby, but I staggered off to the office under my own steam.

After my sleep study was scheduled the receptionist called Transportation to have a wheel chair brought up so I wouldn’t have to walk to the entrance.  I told the fellow I didn’t remember seeing any of the things we passed on the way down the hall, and the trip seemed much longer.  He deposited me in an area I did not recognize, and insisted “this is where you came in”.  Ooh-kay.

I walked outside into a totally unfamiliar place. Absolutely NO idea where I was, where I’d parked my car, or how I was ever going to get there. Fortunately, two ladies in scrubs were walking across the drive, and one came over to say I looked lost, and did I need some help. I told her I had gotten turned around inside the hospital and described where I’d parked. “Oh, goodness! That’s way too far to walk, especially in your condition and in this heat. If you don’t mind getting into a car with a stranger, I’ll drive you to the parking lot.”

Bless her heart, she drove me all the way to the far end of the hospital campus, to the lot where I had parked my car. I wish the fellow with the wheelchair had paid as much attention as she did. I don’t know her name, but she was my guardian angel this afternoon.

The Junk Man Cometh

9 Sep

First of all, I do not understand how it can be so difficult to find our house in broad daylight.  We live directly on a state highway, not down some winding drive through a development, and have a very distinctive mailbox. The man who came today to cart off the junk we cleaned out of the shed and the barn managed to get hopelessly lost, driving past us about five miles in each direction. He was about an hour later than he had planned, and probably used up half his profit in gasoline, poor soul.

By the time The Squire got finished this morning, he had collected five bucketsful of nails, screws, old hinges, doorknobs, and unmatched nuts and bolts. (Yesterday he only had two buckets, so I don’t know what he was doing out there.) He also tossed out fifteen – I stood and counted them! – empty paint cans, most so rusty they were more colander than can. I am fairly sure I could have listed those buckets of bolts on FreeCycle and have dozens of takers, including my best friend’s husband. However, I’m not mean enough to do that to another woman!

The main thing we wanted removed was a pile of old shingles from behind the barn, and the fellow got them all, even trying to dig them out where they had settled under the dirt. We told him to leave those. Several years ago, a young man we knew was trying to start his own home improvement business, and we hired him to replace the barn roof and take the old shingles to the dump. He did cart off the ones from the front of the barn, but he let the back shingles slide to the ground and then left them. We did not hire him for any more projects.

I have been spending my time sorting out old photos. Some folks I recognize, but others look vaguely familiar, but are not labeled. And I must have a dozen studio portraits of my mom and dad together, each beautifully framed, but oh! my goodness, what am I to do with them all. And what is the story behind one snapshot of my mum as a child, sitting on some lady’s lap, with the person standing behind them neatly cut out of the picture? Very interesting. I’m mailing the pictures of people I know to their (in most cases) descendants, and I’ve trashed a grocery bag full.

What is really frustrating is that many of those pictures have obviously been removed from a photo album, as there is black paper stuck to the backs.  The Squire’s aunt kept a beautiful album, from her childhood to the early years of her marriage, and she had always promised the album to him, so he could use it for his genealogy work. When she died, The Squire spoke to his cousin, and reminded her that he had been promised “all your mom’s pictures”. Several weeks later, he received a very lumpy envelope in the mail. His cousin had pulled every single snapshot from the album and sent them off. When he called to ask what had become of the album itself, his cousin replied “Well, I didn’t think you’d want all that old writing and stuff, so I just sent you the pictures, like you asked, and burned the book with the trash.”

I thought he was going to cry.

Wurfen Nicht!

8 Sep

If our family had a coat of arms, the motto on it would have read “Wurfen Nicht!” – Don’t throw it away! Some day, it will come in handy.

The Godson is in the tenth grade, and over Labor Day weekend, his history teacher gave the class an assignment to write up a “newspaper” (although there obviously was no such thing at the time) about the Black Plague. Now, parts of our little village are not exactly the “high rent district” and not every child has access to both a computer and a printer in their own home. Being a holiday weekend, the library was only open on Saturday, so the other two days were pretty much wasted.

His mother mentioned to me that only one student in the class had managed to complete the assignment, and The Godson was all in a swivet. However, they had been given until Friday; schools were closed on Thursday for Rosh Hashanah, but the library was open. While I was talking to her on the phone, I wandered into our library/computer room and poked around on the shelves. “I have two books here. One is simply The Black Death, and the other is In the Wake of the Plague. Do you want to bring him over here?  He can use our computer and printer, and we have Publisher. (The teacher had reminded the students that “newspapers have columns”. Doing that sort of thing, plus adding a headline,  with Word is danged tricky.) She laughed so hard I though she was going to choke.

“You are the only person in the world who would have those two books right at your fingertips.”

That’s me. Lady Anne – faster than the Internet.

Wondrously Knit Together

2 Sep

I’ve noticed for the last few days that my left foot was particularly sore, and my leg seemed weak.

The stroke I had in July has left some residual weakness on the left side, and I have already made an appointment with my neurologist to see about my poor busted discs, which is generally why my feet hurt. Today, my left calf and foot are rather badly swollen, and I am limping like Walter Brennan.


I’ve had phlebitis once before and ended up having to give myself Coumadin shots, which are more painful than labor pains and a tooth ache at the same time. Two shots, three times a day. Good Lord, deliver us.  Rather than wait until tomorrow and try to get in to see my GP, The Squire took me down to Patient First, which is Hopkins’ own “Doc in a Box”.  Not as long a wait as a regular ER, and truly good care. Just as well we didn’t have to wait long, as I was about to strangle the family across from us. A woman who sounded like Bernadette’s mother-in-law from The Big Bang Theory and her two daughters, all three of whom were texting each other. The mother’s ring tone sounded like a quacking duck, and every once in a while she would reprimand one or the other of the girls for not answering her text.

There are some facets of modern life I’d just as soon not even try to understand.

Anyway, I have a referral to have a sonogram of my left leg done tomorrow morning. Was the stroke caused by something breaking loose deep in my leg last month? Why does all this keep happening? My cholesterol is at a decent level, my blood pressure is really pretty low (112/54 on Wednesday and 120/70 today), and Heaven knows I don’t lead a stressful life. If we don’t get this untangled, The Squire is going to have a stroke of his own.


Cleaning Out The Shed

1 Sep

When my folks moved back to Baltimore from Roxboro, they had far more “stuff” than they could fit into the new house. The Vicarage was a big old place, built before the turn of the last century, with twenty foot rooms and twelve foot ceilings and it was packed. Because of my dad’s health, they had to move quickly and the house they (my mum, really) purchased was much smaller than the Vicarage. This would not have been too bad, if she hadn’t insisted upon keeping everything. My mother was a school teacher and my dad was a clergyman, and collecting books was an occupational hazard. Add that to my mum’s general hoarding, and they were just about run out of the house.

So. They bought a 10 x 10 Amish shed and put it on our lot, filled it with their excess belongings and honestly figured they’d be back from time to time to empty a box or two. Obviously, that was not how it worked out. The Squire and I have spent most of this week doing the dance they call “Cleaning Out the Shed”. We are not so much cleaning it out as spreading it around the carport. Between this mess and trying to finish up the last of the kitchen wall paper, I am fast losing what little sanity I ever had.

Pack-rattery runs in my family the way buck teeth and red hair run in more conventional families. My parents’ professions meant lots of books, so we have boxes and boxes and more boxes of books to investigate.  For better or worse, these boxes reek of mildew or The Squire and I – both first-class “bookies” – would cart all of them into the house for ourselves. Many of them are old and probably valuable. There’s one written by Vice-Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten.  I just can’t bring myself to toss that one into the recycling, even if it does smell funky. Some of my dad’s books will go back to Sewanee for re-gifting, but most will have to be trashed.

But – why would a woman who lived in a third floor apartment of a retirement center have a garden hose under her bed? Why did we find FIVE packages of poker chips, four of them unopened. (Do you need poker chips to play pinochle?)  A box marked “Eleven drinking glasses. Twelfth packed elsewhere.” And no, I haven’t found it yet.

Now, the object of all this fun and games is to load the shed onto a flatbed and take it over to our church to store lawnmowers and the like. The way things go around here, it will probably vibrate into dust, like the Wonderful One-Hoss Shay, on the way into Joppatowne.