Archive | March, 2014

Fickle Fellow

31 Mar

Although The Squire always feeds the foxes and fills the big bird feeder in the evening, the morning feedings seem to have evolved into my job.

Blazer won’t even come downstairs until I get out of bed, and after I take my morning meds I can’t eat for an hour, so I generally fill the two smaller feeders and put out peanuts for the squirrels. This morning, The Squire said the squirrel I call Patches was sitting under the front of my car, his little hands folded over his chest, staring at the door. This particular squirrel will come running from the other side of the stream when he sees me come out the kitchen door, and always accepts peanuts from my fingers.

Since the poor thing was giving every indication he was going to faint from hunger, The Squire got the pitcher to fill the pipe we use to feed the little critters, and stepped outside. He hadn’t gotten three steps when Patches raced over, sat on his shoe top, and had his hands on my husband’s leg, ready and waiting to be fed.  He gobbled down one peanut while the Squire filled the pipe, and was sitting beside him, waiting for a second peanut in less than a minute.

Ah, the way to a man’s heart – even when he has claws and a long bushy tail!

No Joke

28 Mar

You’ve all heard the joke about a group of Senior Citizens sitting around, drinking coffee. One says “my hands shake so badly I can barely lift my cup without spilling it”. Another remarks that since his last stroke he has trouble moving his feet, and the third says his eyesight is getting so bad he can hardly see across the room.

“Well”, sighs the first person, “at least we can all still drive.”

It’s no joke.

Kelly sent me out on a job this morning, and I overslept. I raced around the house, throwing on whatever clothing I could find, and stuck my contact lenses in my pocket, instead of taking the time to put them in my eyes where they belong.  When you approach a traffic signal and see three lights, two side by side and a third above the other two, there is a serious problem. Just how far above the two lower lights the third one appeared to be depended upon how far back I was. If I was the first or second car in line, there was only one light, but the farther I was from the signal, the greater the distance between the three lights.

I really, really, really need to get a pair of plain old glasses, just for driving.

And that’s the truth.

It’s Not My Job!

26 Mar

A few weeks ago, the phone service at our church went down. After much to-ing and fro-ing, Verizon came out and laid a temporary cable along the back of the church, to show the “digging company” where to bury the permanent line.

The permanent line was buried yesterday, but when The Squire asked about rolling up the temporary one and taking it away, he was told “that’s Verizon’s job. All we do is bury them.”

We have no idea when Verizon is coming back, but we are still talking on the above-ground line, as the buried one hasn’t been hooked up. Two wires, two screws, two minutes, two weeks. In the meantime, the kids in the neighborhood are playing jump rope with the wire.

Could be worse, I suppose. At least the snow we had last night wasn’t deep enough to cover the loose wire, so – one fine day – Verizon will come along and collect it.


One Week, Four Seasons

25 Mar

The tulips and daffodils are poking their little green heads above the ground. Saturday is was warm enough that I was able to go to my meeting with just a light shawl over my shoulders. It cooled off a bit Sunday and yesterday, but it is snowing at the moment. Old Man Winter is back for one last fling, but like most old men, this “fling” shouldn’t amount to much, as it is supposed to be near 50 tomorrow, and in the 60s by Sunday. We also have a number of trees here that don’t drop their leaves until the old ones are pushed off the stem by new, green growth, so I suppose you could say we are even having Fall.

March seems to have come in like a lion, and is going out the same way.

Oh! It is snowing, and we have ants – again.

Putting My Foot in it

21 Mar

About a week ago I went to my podiatrist because I thought I had a corn on the inner edge of one of my toes on my right foot. It turned out I had bone spurs on both my little toe and the one next to it, and they were “kissing”.

This morning, the doctor numbed both toes and went in, between the skin and the bone, to grind off the spurs. Not at all painful, but I am all bandaged up, and wearing one of those fancy shoes. I’m going to a meeting tomorrow, so The Squire went over to church and borrowed the wheelchair, so I won’t be tempted to try to stand around talking.  Even with the fancy shoe, walking still moves my toes a little bit, and The Squire worries about me.

The only problem I am having so far it that when I sleep I normally tuck one foot or the other under the opposite knee, and I will have to be careful not to tuck the right foot under, as it would not do to mash those toes. A friend of mine had this same procedure done, and the bone snapped because she wasn’t careful.

As long as I can keep my foot out of my mouth I should be fine.

Here We Go Again

17 Mar

We woke up this morning to six inches of heavy, wet,  snow and about six million grackles and starlings, all shouting at once. Honestly, we had three days of fairly warm weather, and now this! I pulled on my boots and went out to fill the birdfeeders and put out peanuts for the squirrels.

We really need to get some new feeders. The two small ones have been dropped, tossed, and rolled across the yard more times than I count, thanks to the busy fingers of our local raccoons. What was once a lovely copper colored globe with a clear plastic tube is now a badly misshapen ghost of its former self.  The squirrels managed to reach through the wires and ate the two bottom feeding perches, so The Squire had to use hot glue to insert some sort of plastic plumbing doohickey to keep the seed from running out. As it is, the whole business is so crooked, the seed runs out anyway.

This is the better-looking of the two feeders. The grill is supposed to sit inside the bottom plate, and the tube should be perfectly vertical. The wires obviously are not supposed to be broken in several places.  All in all, I’d say we about ready for couple of new ones. These have served Trojan duty and are ready for a proper burial.


Telephone Troubles

15 Mar

The Verizon service at church went out last Wednesday, and when we called the company they told us that they are no longer servicing the copper phone lines. We will have to take FIOS, whether we want it or not, and they couldn’t possibly get to us until Monday. We arranged to have the church’s phone calls forwarded to Fr. Matthew’s cell phone, which worked out well because he was on Spring break (He is a full-time teacher.). The Squire went over to church this morning to meet with the installer, to make sure everything was ready to go.


First of all, because the church has always had a P.O. Box, we were never issued an actual house number. We are simply at the corner of Bridge and Anchor Drives, both of which are dead end streets. With the advent of GPS, we had to have a “real” number, so the Post Office gave us 700 Anchor Drive – which never comes up on GPS, anyway. The phone company informed us that since we didn’t show on the GPS, they couldn’t/wouldn’t be able to come out. OK. Fine.  The Squire gave them the address for the house diagonally across the street from the church, 1 Bridge Drive, and made it very clear – he thought – that they were to look over their shoulder and go to the church, not the house.

As I said, this morning, the installer and The Squire met at the church. First of all, somehow or other Miss Utility has not been out (this is the phone company’s bailiwick, not ours), and will not be able to come out until Tuesday, at the earliest, so we probably won’t have phone service all week.  Second, the installer discovered that somebody had been out – and had installed FIOS to the house across the street! GLDU!

How can you have a work order in your hand that says “Church of the Resurrection” and think a ranch house is the place you want? Especially since you have to face the church (it’s on a dead-end street, remember?) which has a sign on either side of the parking lot…oh, never mind! The Squire swears he is dealing with former government employees, refugees from Cake Wrecks (, total idiots – or a lethal combination of all three.

High Church

12 Mar

Last night, we attended an Even Song service at a friend’s  parish, and it was wonderful! I don’t know if they do this all the time, or if they just “pulled out all the stops” because they had a visiting choir (more on that in a minute) but judging from the ease with which the congregation sang the responses to this service, I think this is Standard Operating Procedure.

First off, their cantor had a truly lovely voice. I’ve heard folks chant who really should be taken aside, and told – gently, gently – that they really shouldn’t do that. She chanted the Opening Sentences and the Great Litany, and then we settled back to listen to the Cymrag Cor Rehoboth – the Rehoboth Welsh Choir – sing, at the appropriate places, two canticles, the Lord’s Prayer, and at the very end of the service, the Welsh National anthem.  All of the hymns were Welsh tunes – Watchman Tell Us of the Night (also the tune to Jesus, Lover of My Soul), Singing Songs of Expectation (I wonder why they removed Once to Every Man and Nation from the current hymnal) and Lord Whose Love Through Humble Service – which seems to stand alone.

It truly did my Anglican soul good. All that was missing was the incense!


11 Mar

I was trained from childhood to sleep flat on my back. I fold my hands just under my rib cage, and have one leg or the other pulled up like a stork.  And other than switching legs, I seldom move. We have always joked that when I die, all they’ll need to do is straighten out my leg and drop me into my coffin.

This morning, The Squire woke up, smoothed out the covers on his side of the bed, replaced the two decorative pillows, and came over to my side to do the same.  As he leaned forward to put the pillows on my side, he put his hand down to steady himself, smack-dab on my right shoulder! He didn’t even know I was there.

I hate to think what my reaction would have been if that pillow had landed on my face!

Me and Tippi Hedren

7 Mar

Every morning, I go out and fill our three bird feeders – a large hopper-type by the stream, a ball shaped feeder by the den window, theoretically designed to let small birds feed while keeping out the large ones, and a second ball feeder outside the kitchen window. We also put peanuts in a length of PVC pipe for the squirrels.

When I go out, the only birds near the feeders are the little guys, sparrows, titmice, nuthatches, and the like, but if I look around, every tree has a contingent of grackles and starlings, waiting, waiting, waiting…As soon as the feeders are filled, they swoop down, flapping their wings at the other birds and clinging to the sides of the ball feeders, making them sway and spilling seeds all over the ground, where they push and shove each other, as greedy and pushy as a bunch of politicians, and just about as useful.

Someone once told me they had gotten a kitty litter bucket full of sour mash (I felt it wisest not to ask where) and spread it all over the ground. The big bullies loved the stuff, gobbling it down and getting drunker by the minute. When they were all well and truly sloshed, he gathered up a black trash bag of the feathered ba – birds – and took them to the State Park about fifteen miles north of here and just dumped them out onto the ground, figuring they’d be too disoriented to find their way back home.

In the meantime, I feel a real sympathy with Tippi Hedren.