Archive | January, 2014


30 Jan

This morning, The Squire received a phone call from the security company, saying that there was an “incident” at the church.  When he arrived, he found two doors open, and the klaxons and lights going full bore.

He was actually considering calling for police backup, when two men, both members of the church, ambled out and headed for their pickup truck. “Loud, innit?” asked one, nonchalantly.

They’d borrowed a dozen or so folding chairs from the church for a Christmas dinner at their home, and were finally getting around to returning them. In spite of the fact that they had called my husband to ask about borrowing the chairs, it never occurred to them to mention returning them. (I suppose that makes sense; they didn’t need permission to bring them back, after all.) According to them, they tried the back door, and the nursery door, and when neither of those opened, they went around and yanked – several times – on the double glass doors in the front of the church until they managed to pull them open. Then, in spite of the deafening noise and blinding lights, they went through and opened the nursery, so they could carry in the folding chairs.

My dad used to say, it isn’t that it takes all kinds. The problem is that we have all kinds.




29 Jan

The Squire discovered this morning that the pipe between the well and the house had frozen. Cute.  Luckily, he had a pretty good idea where the problem was located, but fixing it was going to be tricky.

Two years ago, we had to have some work done which really needed a professional  – digging up a six foot length of pipe, three feet down and replacing it. When the crew came inside they informed me that our PVC pipe did not meet code, and set in to replace a good bit of it with copper. (I think if The Squire had been home, he would have stood his ground, but I’m a wimp.) Two problems; one is our water is so acidic that it has already eaten through the copper pipes and been replaced with PVC, and two, they way they rigged up the pipes I couldn’t open the cupboard where I keep my cleaning supplies. (Not that this is a big problem, since I seldom use them, but it’s the principle of the thing.)

Anyway, to get to the point here, they had also replaced the plastic elbow outside the house, where the pipe goes through the wall, with a brass fitting, which was where the “freeze” was.  This connection is encased in a little concrete bunker with a wooden lid.  The Squire called every hardware store in the tri-state area, looking for heat tape, but we were obviously not the only people with frozen pipes.  Finally, in desperation, he defied all the laws of good sense and ran a heavy duty extension cord out the living room window and put an electric heater inside the bunker.

Fortunately, brass heats up almost as fast as it freezes, and within fifteen minutes we were back in business.

What Were They Thinking?

27 Jan

dress frontI really do need some new clothes. Most of the things in my closet average ten years old, and even my “new” Easter suit has been hanging around for five years.

I got an email from a large chain, and opened it on a whim, as most of their clothes are far too  young for a little old lady. This dress did catch my eye. I don’t normally like short sleeved tops because I feel they make me look heavy, but the “shoulder strap” detail breaks the width, and the vertical stripes are slimming. It is a style that would go from fall into early spring, a bit shorter than I like, but for $20, I’ll go for it.

Until I took a look at the back. dress back

A dark green, metal zipper – the sort you’d find on a snow coat or a sleeping bag – sewn on the outside of the dress.

No wonder it was on clearance.

The Mall in Columbia

25 Jan

Columbia is on the far side of Baltimore from us, located about mid-way between Baltimore and Washington, DC.

As of 5:20 – it is now 5:45 here – the police report there were three people dead, including the gunman. It appears to have been a domestic situation, although no further information has been released . (Haven’t these people ever heard of divorce lawyers?) There are reports of others having been wounded, perhaps by shotgun pellets.

It is a sad, sad commentary on the world in which we live that everyone knew exactly what to do. Shelter in place; go into a stockroom or restroom and barricade the doors.

Film at 11:00.

Two employees, male and female, in their 20s. Gunman not yet identified, as he was carrying so much ammunition the police have to “use great caution” to move his body.

And We Had Snow

22 Jan

It started snowing about 9 AM yesterday and kept it up until about 9:30 last night. We got about eight inches here. Brutally cold, but the birds were out in force; I filled the feeder outside the den window three times – and nine pounds of seed. We had “good” birds; juncos, titmice, four or five kinds of sparrows, red wing blackbirds, mourning doves, chickadees – and a towhee, which we had never seen before. Maryland is just on the northern limit of their year-round home. Today, all we have are “junk” birds – starlings and grackles. I know they are God’s creatures and need to eat, too, but so much squabbling and yelling, pushing each other out of the way. You’d think they were humans.

No sign of the squirrels, either yesterday or today, so I suppose they’ll be out in force tomorrow. I didn’t bother to go out to feed the foxes last night; I figured they’d stay denned up, but when I went out just now (2:30) to empty the compost I took their food out with me, and found where they’d been “schnoveling” in circles last night, looking for their dish.

The Squire met two other fellows over at church this morning and cleared the sidewalks, and another member came down and plowed the parking lot.

We had a nice surprise when a neighbor of ours showed up a little before noon on his tractor and did our drive! What a blessing that was. I’ll climb the hill tomorrow morning and take them some fresh bread.

Oh, Deer!

16 Jan

I always take Blazer with me when I go to the Wednesday morning knitting group. Yesterday, he needed to take a walk in the woods, and I found a very dead deer just inside the tree line. The Squire called one of the other members to see about hauling or moving the carcass, which was done this morning.

The deer had been shot with an arrow, on church property, just beside the foundation of the original church. The poor animal had managed to travel the fifty or so feet to the woods, and then simply laid down and suffered, arrow still embedded, until he died. No effort made to find him – and he was in plain sight – and put him out of his misery.

This is totally unacceptable from a humanitarian standpoint, and it is not appropriate use of our property. Private property, thank you very much. We don’t mind people walking their dogs, and the path to the river cuts across the far corner of the lot; you may park there any time but Sunday morning.

But you don’t kill things and leave them here. Got that?


The CPAP Goes Back Tomorrow

15 Jan

I spoke to a very nice lady at the sleep clinic on Monday about getting the pressure cut back on my machine, and she told me she would talk to my doctor. I also spoke to a very nice gentleman at the supplier, and he said that while he could cut back to starting pressure, I had to have a prescription from the doctor to do anything about what I’ll call the final pressure.

Another call to the sleep center yesterday, and the very nice lady was surprised that my doctor had not gotten in touch with me. She did mention that there is a self-titrating machine, which would automatically adjust to my needs. That would be wonderful, as my problem is with my diaphragm, not my lungs.  It’s after 6 PM here, so I doubt I’m going to hear from the doctor today.

So, last night I decided to give it one more try. I doped myself up and actually fell asleep. The Squire said the noises I was making kept him awake. Although the mask fits me fine when I am sitting up, when I lay down gravity takes over and the soft plastic sort of collapses and the air leaks out around it. It sounds as if we’re in the middle of a blizzard. When I fell asleep, without my conscious effort to keep my mouth shut, the air whistles out one corner of my mouth or  flutters out of my mouth.  Or out my left ear.

And then the screaming started. When you are sound asleep and have something over your face, it probably doesn’t sound much like screaming to anybody but The Squire, but apparently he was bolt upright in a flash. Got me untangled from the hoses, turned off the machine, and talked me back down off the ceiling.

Those of you who know me personally know my saga, but my on-line friends don’t, because it’s not something I talk about a lot. Many years ago, I was jumped and beaten up, and then my attacker tried to smother me with a pillow. So far, the only accommodation I’ve needed to make to this is swimming sidestroke, not wearing Halloween masks and being sure not to get water in my face.

Until we come up against oxygen masks and CPAP machines.  It goes back tomorrow morning.