Archive | May, 2014

Road Rage

31 May

The Squire is one of the most patient men who ever lived (sharing a life with me will do that for ya!) but even he has limits.

In order to get from our home to the thriving metropolis of Joppatowne, or almost anyplace else for that matter,  it is necessary to cross US Rt. 40, which is a very busy dual lane highway.  Traffic from the side street is allowed to cross for a short time first one direction and then the other. Then Rt. 40 runs, long enough to show short movies.

This morning, as The Squire was heading to church, the light was green for him to go as he approached the intersection. There were two cars in front of him, and they could have made it, but the woman in the front car was taking her own sweet time. By the time she had dawdled up to the highway they all missed the light. Not the end of the world, but she stopped so far from the corner that she didn’t trip the” switch”, so while the light turned green for the other side, the folks on this side had to sit through two circuits.

The fellow in the car in front of The Squire got out of his car and tapped on her window. “Lady, you have to pull up a bit or the light will never change.” She rolled down her window and told him, very bluntly, that she was on an important call, and he could do any number of impossible things.

To top it off, she was so far over that people wanting to turn left had to pull into on-coming traffic to get into the turn lane.

Some people really do need a good smack upside the head.

Wouldn’t You Know

30 May

After three days of temps on the 80s and 90s (with humidity to match), which led to the great Air Conditioner Debate, we have now had three days of cold and rain. The temperature right now is 65, which is the expected high for the day, going down into the mid-50s tonight.

It is supposed to go back up to 80 on Monday, so maybe we can finally get the summer-winter clothing switch completed. Twice, I’ve started to pack away my winter clothing, only to have to drag the plastic tub back out of the attic, so I don’t freeze to death.

Ogden Nash once wrote “Spring comes to Baltimore/But Christmas comes more promptly”.

Let the Games Begin!

28 May

It seems to be one of the Rules of the Universe that people who need ten hours sleep always marry folks who can get by on six. Pack-rats always end up with mates who toss out anything not nailed down. And, of course, people who like it cold marry people who like it warm.

I have low thyroid, and as a result, I am always cold.  The Squire is a one-man blast furnace.  One year on vacation, we stayed over night in a suite – the bedroom was large enough to hold a square dance, plus a small kitchen/living room combination. There was a noticeable drop in the temperature when I walked out of the bedroom. He could heat a small office all by himself. I sleep under a quilt, and he has just the sheet – and we are side by side in the bed!

We live in an old farm house, which was not built, so much as accumulated, and it is time to install the window air conditioners. This is always fun. We have one in the living room, which cools both that room and the dining room – really just one very long space, about 15 by 35 feet. There is a second unit in our bedroom, and a third in the room which serves as a guest room, sewing room and TV room.  Only the one in our room has an actual thermostat; all the others are cool, cold and arctic.

He sets the one in the bedroom at 69. I nudge it up to 75. He wakes in up the middle of the night and puts it back down, and so it goes. I’m sorry, but I simply refuse to spend the summer wearing a hooded house coat (with the hood pulled up), sleeping under the quilt and a blanket folded in half, while he snuggles under the sheet.

By popular request, he has decamped to the guest room for the time being.

Self Control

26 May

You all may remember our friend Mac, who set off the burglar alarm last July. He is truly a very intelligent man, but his sandwiches are packed in the basket in a different order from the rest of us.

He brought his lap-top to church yesterday so The Squire could take a look at it. We locked it in the rector’s office during services, and then brought it home. All fixed and ready to go, so The Squire took it over to Mac’s house who told him the power cord was missing.

A phone call to me to ask where in the office I had put it. “On the rector’s chair by the desk. You’re the one who picked it up.” Hmm. “Maybe I left it on the chair.” The Squire swung by church, and there was no power cord in the chair, so he came back home to see if he had left it in the workshop. Not there, either. He finally grabbed one of his spare power cords and took it back to Mac’s house, so he’d at least have something to run his computer.

When he laid the cord on top of the laptop case, he noticed one pocket was flat and the other bulging. And there was the “missing” power cord. When he confronted Mac about this, after two trip between our house and theirs, and asked why he hadn’t looked in both pockets, the answer was “The power cord belongs in the left pocket, not the right one.”  Shades of Sheldon Cooper!

The Squire said it was a good thing he didn’t have a gun. 

And the Dish Ran Away With the Spoon

23 May

I mentioned a while back that The Squire and I managed to misplace a pillow case while we were making the bed. We had it, and it disappeared faster than a cat when it sees a carrier. Looked under the bed, between the bed and the cedar chest, in the cradle. I even lifted the edges of the mattress.  Nada. And it still hasn’t shown up.

This morning, we were making the bed, and The Squire noticed he didn’t have “his” pillow.  Now, I am the type to buy pillows on sale at Target, two for $7, or whatever. The last time I sent him off to the store, he got special pillows for each of us. I sleep flat on my back, and he sleeps curled up on his side, so he bought pillows specifically designed for the way we sleep. I didn’t ask him what they cost.

Apparently, his pillow has been MIA for quite a while, but he just noticed it today. We checked the guestroom bed, looked to see if it had been put into the pillow shams, dug around in the linen closet. Gone.

There is a black hole in this house.  Watch your step.

Ay! Carumba!

14 May

When I make macaroni and cheese, I always use 1/3 pepper jack and 2/3 sharp cheddar.  I also use half the amount of pasta and toss in a package of frozen cauliflower.  I have always called it “Mexican Mac and Cheese” because it is mildly spicy and the cauliflower gives it an unfamiliar texture. But it’s good.

Last week, Aldi’s had some cheese called “Mango Fire” in the same bin with the pepper jack. “Mangos, huh? How spicy can that be?” Well, let me tell you, that stuff will just about clear your sinuses. I took it to a covered dish supper over the weekend, and warned people that is had a kick to it.

I didn’t have any leftovers.

Speaking in Tongues

9 May

Way back when we only had eight grandchildren, I made each of the kids a sign with their name on it for Christmas. But I had written it in English in the center, and then surrounded the English with as many other alphabets as I could manage. I sounded out the names in Cherokee, our exchange student wrote them in Arabic, and our church organist has her students’ parents write the names in Korean, Chinese, Hindi, and Japanese.  There was one other, but I forget what it was.

Now we have nine grandchildren, several great-grandkids, and both of my nephews also have children, plus some close friends are about to become grandparents, so I decided it was time to get moving on another set of plaques.

I made up the English, and did the Cherokee, and the druggist had agreed to write out the names in Arabic for me. I dropped off the signs on Wednesday, and he suggested I come back for them today, as he would not be in on Thursday, but the druggist on duty that day is Jewish, and he would ask Mike to do them in Hebrew.

When I went to get them today, the druggist was very upset to admit he’d left them on his desk when he went home Wednesday night, but – in addition to Arabic, he also spoke Urdu, so he “would make it up to me” by putting both names on the plaques.  I’ll pick them up tomorrow.

One family at church is from India, and the mom said she would do them in Hindi for me. Another woman in the congregation – an Army brat – speaks Japanese, and she said she’d do them for me, and the lady who does my nails is from Thailand.

I think we’re good to go!

Closing In On It?

8 May

My friend Kay is back in town, and I gave her all of the Tudor trim to paint. It’s something she can do while she watches TV, and frankly, it’s a job I hate.

tape sideI have been busying myself putting the roof on this beast. It seems to have an obscene number of pieces, and it looks as if it’s going to make actually thatching the roof very difficult, as it wants to “pretend” it is a thatch roof. Well, we shall see.

I played with arranging the furniture this morning and we are not going to be able to make two rooms out of the ground floor. Not quite sure yet what we’re going to do with the upstairs. Probably a bedroom. If I can figure out how to partition a space, we’ll make it a loo; otherwise, they’ll just have to use a thunder mug.

This is a county cottage, after all.


In the Name of the Father

4 May

This morning, Fr. M, the organist, and I were discussing plans for the service on the 25th. He will be away, and we will have a supply.  I always serve as chalistist on the last Sunday, as it is Rite I, which I infinitely prefer to Rite II.

This will also be our Memorial Day service, as it will be in places of worship all over the United States. I asked the organist, that if she was going to do Eternal Father, to please use it as the recessional. I explained that I had followed my father’s coffin to the cemetery to that hymn – and began to cry.  M+ put his arm around me and asked if I really thought I could make it back down the aisle without falling to pieces. I nodded, and mumbled “If we hurry”. He promised he’d have the supply “keep an eye on me”.  He had had to follow me into the narthex last Veterans Day, and put me in his office, out of sight, until I was fit to be seen in public.

My dad died fifteen years ago, on the first of May. You’d think I’d have managed to keep myself held together after all this time.

I talk a lot about my mum, simply because she was such an “odd duck”, to be as kind as possible. Dealing with her was like watching a bird feeder. You never knew what was coming next, and her foibles make good fodder for funny stories.

I don’t have a lot of stories to tell about my dad, simply because his kindness was so constant. One time I offered to scrub the kitchen floor for my mum; I was probably about eleven, and the job had to be done on hands and knees with a scrub brush and bucket. I got about three-quarters finished and was totally wiped out, and nearly in tears from exhaustion. He quietly tapped me on the shoulder and silently nodded his head, then got down and finished the floor for me.  I used to get earaches, and he would hold me on his lap and blow cigar smoke into my ears to melt the wax. Was it the warmth of his breath or just snuggling up that made me feel better?

My dad was like a big old wing chair. Always there, steady, comfortable, soft where he needed to be, and firm when he had to be.  And I still miss him. Dreadfully.

Making Progress

3 May


My friend Kay has been away all week, and I brought the Country Cottage over here to work on it, so I’d have everything in one place. Well, if you consider the picnic table, the kitchen counter, the dining room table and the work bench in the back room “all in one place”…

I got all three walls up, and the doors framed on the outside. The Squire bought some textured paint to re-do the guest room and TV room, and I used that to “stucco” the exterior of the cottage, although it will definitely need some touch up work.

We (well, I) had decided to omit the stairs and have a complete upper floor, instead of a loft, so Tuesday night I hied me down to Michaels and got a piece of thin plywood to fill in the “hole” where the balcony would be. Got that all glued up, and I was going to cover the underneath with ceiling paper. Couldn’t find the partial roll I’m positive is around here, but I did find a piece of thin white cardboard that will work even better. It was a bit bent from having been stored, so once I had glued it to the floor, I stacked encyclopedias on it. Nooks and Kindles are nice, but they’re not much help when it come to holding things down. Or up.

glue job

I glued the floor in place last night. Since this house was designed to be open above the bay window, there were no slots in which to insert the floor, so I had to get creative. Books to support the front wall  so I didn’t mash the bay window, and then more books on top to hold the she-bang in place while the glue dried.

From here on in, it should be fairly straight forward – she said naively. The roof is already assembled, and I’ve ordered the thatching. The furniture is all on hand,  so now we have to decide how we’re going to finish off the upstairs.

Wish us luck!