Archive | August, 2014

Suddenly Summer

31 Aug

After an entire summer of lovely days and cool nights, now that it is practically September Mother Nature has decided we really, really needed to have some hot weather.

At 5:30 it is 89-F, with such high humidity that it feels as if it’s over 100 degrees.  It was sunny this morning, so when we got home from church The Squire and I went ahead and hung out the laundry. It was so hot and muggy we were both dizzy from the heat by time we finished.  A quick, cool lunch – no Sunday dinner today – and a nap was the next order of business.

It is supposed to start raining soon, so we went out and got everything but the rugs off the line. They are as wet as they were when we hung them out, and I have no place indoors to put them. (Next house will have a basement – and no fluorescent lights.) Tomorrow is supposed to be a duplicate of today, so maybe they’ll dry in the morning, or The Squire will have the dryer fixed.

Or they will stay outside until the end of the week.

Cleaning House

30 Aug

We borrowed Eldest Daughter’s power washer, and spent the day cleaning most of the outside of the house.  She has a longer wand, Jim'which we will need to use to get the dormers, but everything – and I mean everything – from below the second story windows is spotless.

The Squire cleaned the sidewalk beside the house and up to the far end of the drive, gave the arch a good goin’ over, rinsed the door mats, scrubbed the driveway, and even washed some shelving that holds outside stuff such as weed killer, lamp oil, and other things we need handy but don’t want inside. I think the spray was powerful enough to drill a hole in one section of shelving.

Everything got clean but his legs. It’s pretty obvious where his shorts ended and his socks began. The splash-back was pretty powerful!

We got all the laundry done, but it’s going to rain each day until Wednesday, so I put it in the dryer instead of hanging it on the line.

The drive belt is broken. The machine gets hot, but doesn’t turn. I hate going out on a Sunday, but it looks as if I’m going to have to use the driers at the Laundromat tomorrow. Can’t leave the wet clothes any longer than that, and after all the hard work he did today, I am not asking The Squire to take apart that silly machine.  Do we even have a spare belt? At least with my “solar powered dryer” all we have to do is tie a knot in the thing.

Rust Thou Art, To Rust Returneth

27 Aug

We had our bathtub refinished around the first of July, and I went off and purchased a new shower rod, curtain and liner. While I was at it, I also got a chrome caddy to hang over the shower head, to hold the shampoo, soap, and so forth.

I had to return it last week because it had already begun to rust.

Our water is very acidic (it once ate the innards of a Mr. Coffee) but I really expected the shower caddy to hold up, as it wasn’t the cheapest one I could find. I didn’t have the receipt, but the store took it back without any discussion, and put the money back on my charge card. Monday, we went to the Y, and I stopped in the Home Goods Store and selected another caddy. This time, I kept the receipt; I’ll probably be swapping out shower caddies for the rest of my life. (Before you ask, two different plumbers quoted us an outlandish amount of money for a system to remove the acid from the water. We don’t expect to live long enough to recoup the money involved.)

Many, many years ago, we purchased new faucets for the twin sinks in the bathroom. This was a brand new model, with a five year guarantee. Within six weeks, the acid had chewed up the cartridges, so we went back to the store to get new ones. Because the faucets had a five year warrantee, there were no cartridges available, so the store gave us entirely new faucets, which The Squire had to install. A bit of a mixed blessing. After three sets of new faucets, we asked to be given some of the older models, so we could at least replace the cartridges, rather than have to go through the bother of installing the entire business – twice, because we have two sinks in the bathroom.

Sometimes change is just change – not progress. Whatever happened to those little red rubber washers?

Momma’s Boy

20 Aug

There is no question about who Blazer belongs to. He stays upstairs in the hallway, guarding the bedroom door until I come down in the morning, and if I am gone for any length of time, he either goes upstairs and stays there, or lays in front of the kitchen door, head on his paws, willing me to come through that door. He will not eat what The Squire puts out for him until I come home and give it my official “blessing”.

I’ve been working this week – will be until Friday, in fact – and the poor boy is wasting away. Monday, The Squire could not get him downstairs for love nor money. Usually, an invitation to go get the mail will have him racing downstairs, but he didn’t budge. The Squire went up with the leash in his hand, and Blazer ran and stuck his head under my side of the bed. Since The Squire was not about to crawl under there and drag him out, the dog was in the house until I came home at 6.

Honestly, you’d think my husband beats the dog or something.

I hate to consider what will become of the dog if anything happens to me, and The Squire worries about what will happen to me if anything happens to Blazer.  As Will Rogers once said, if there are no dogs in Heaven, I want to go wherever they go.

Oh, Joy! Oh, Joy!

15 Aug

The Squire does not enjoy any hot beverage. No coffee, no tea, no cocoa. I like all of these, especially coffee. I do not like instant coffee per se, but can’t see making an entire pot just for myself, so I have been drinking General Foods International Coffees, especially Orange Cappuccino for about twenty years.  About two years ago, it disappeared from the shelves, but complaints from consumers brought it back for a short while, until it once again faded into history.

Recently, I decided I was going to contact the company to find out where it could be purchased, and discovered it is carried at Wal-Mart, of all places. This created a  bit of an ethical dilemma for me, as I absolutely refuse to step foot in that store, but I discovered I could purchase it on-line for the same price – plus shipping – as buying it locally. I ordered four cans on the 13th, and paid for the cheapest possible shipping, which would have gotten it here around the 28th.

It arrived today!

Oh, glory, glory! Some of us are SO easy to please! I shall have to nurse it along, switching it out with the Hazelnut flavor, to make it last. Some people are so easy to please!

I have often said my mother was a piece of work. When my dad was alive, he often participated in the Anglican church’s TAPE program – Trans Atlantic Parish Exchange. You decide where you want to go, they match you up with another priest, and you swap churches and homes. You do have to pay for your transportation, but when you arrive, you have a job, a house, a car, a dog, and more dinner invitations than you can handle. (My mother said she never had to cook supper the first three months in any new location.)

My father flat-out refused to fly, so they went to the UK about three times in any two year period on the QE2. Not exactly steerage, either.

So – one evening my folks were visiting here, and I asked my mother if she’d like to try a cup of my Orange Cappuccino. This was a long time ago, back when groceries still had price stickers, and my mother turned over the can, looked at the price, all of $2.59, and remarked, “Humph, your father and I can’t afford that”.

To which The Squire replied, “I’ll have you know, my wife is worth a dollar and a quarter a week”.

She nearly choked.

Holy Smoke!

13 Aug

I had a doctor’s appointment this morning at the unearthly hour of 8 AM. Normally, the only time I have to be anyplace at that time of day is when I am working, so when I mentioned getting up at O:dark-ugly, The Squire assumed that was where I was headed.

When I came down at 5:45 this morning I could smell “burnt”. We had over 6 1/2 inches of rain yesterday between 8:30 and 5, and I figured the rain had come down the chimney and dampened the ashes.  When I walked into the kitchen I found four very well done eggs in the compost, and two others cooling in a pan on the stove. My usual breakfast is two hardboiled eggs and a cucumber, and The Squire, bless him, had fixed me some eggs to take to the office.  He told me that he had put the first eggs in the pan, brushed his teeth, etc., intending to come out and turn off the fire once the water had boiled and let them cook on retained heat. Instead, he had gone up to bed on autopilot.

About 1:30 in the morning, the dog had started to carry on, and he had gotten up to see what had Blazer all in an uproar.

Both the kitchen and dining room smoke alarms were going full-tilt, and the eggs were not only boiled, they had exploded.

Bless him, my husband cleaned up, and then fixed me two more eggs, which he stayed and watched until it was time to turn off the heat and put a lid on the pot.

Me? I slept through the whole thing.

Why I Never Get Anything Done

7 Aug

Great BlueWhen I opened the bedroom curtains today, this Great Blue was standing on the patio, apparently surveying the breakfast menu in the pond. He stayed put long enough for me to dash downstairs and grab the camera and get this shot. It is a bit fuzzy because I took it through both the window glass and the screen.

My computer sits right in front of the den window, so I can keep an eye on the various types of finches, butterflies, plain old birds, and hummingbirds which come to the feeders.

We have two hummingbird feeders, and by some sort of common consent, one is used almost exclusively by the honey bees and the other by the birds. Given the dearth of honey bees lately, seeing so many jostling around the feeder is really nice. The hummingbirds move so quickly it is hard to tell what they are – definitely not Ruby Throated, so either Rufous or Calliope. Both have green backs and lighter undersides, but beyond that I can’t tell you anything. But they are really tanking up. We also have chickadees, which is really unusual for this time of year. Some of the oak trees are already dropping acorns – not green ones, but big fat brown ones, fully ripe. This is not normal for the first week of August, folks.


6 Aug

Eldest Daughter took me to Winterthur today to see the Downton Abbey costumes as a belated birthday treat.

We decided to have lunch first, and I had a Devonshire, cauliflower and Stilton bisque than was almost thick enough to spread on toast, and tasted heavenly! That and a veggie and fresh mozzarella wrap kept me going for the rest of the day.

The costumes truly are lovely, and for the most part, look much better on the actors and actresses than they do “in person”. I’ve never seen a single episode of the show, so she was explaining things to me as we went along. Between her explanations and my insistence upon reading every single sign (Oh, mother!) it took us a while, but it was worth it. Afterward, we toured part of the house; only one floor is open to the public because of a massive remodeling project, but what we did see was impressive. I simply cannot grasp the idea of living that way.

The guide said that the cleaning must be done by museum-trained professionals, although she had never actually seen any of them. “I think they come in like pixies and clean in the middle of the night.”  This made me chuckle, as we have a fellow at our church who refuses to use the ribbon bookmarks in the hymnals, because “they are never in the right place.” I once asked him if he thought we had a team of pixies who go through the church at night marking the books.

However, I digress.

A tram tour of the gardens, and then a decadent dessert and coffee topped off a wonderful day. I came home and took a nap!

Thank you, dear!

Excuse Me!

3 Aug

We had a quick vestry meeting after church today, and The Squire glanced out the office window to see some fellow casually wandering through the grounds with a metal detector and a shovel.

He hustled on out and asked the man what he thought he was doing. “Just lookin’ fer old stuff in the park.” The Squire carefully informed him that this was private church property, not a public park, which apparently came as a complete surprise. (I think he’d been talking to the lady who complained our storage shed blocked her view of “the park”.)

“It is indeed private property and it is also a Federally protected national historical site, so anything you might find belongs to the U.S. Government. You are welcome to walk your dog or visit, but please do not come back here again with that equipment.”  Laid it on a bit thick, but the man was inclined to argue, so The Squire suggested the next time he came over, he could discuss it with the Sheriff.

Honestly, some people.