Archive | April, 2015

Service, Please!

10 Apr

I swear, The Squire and I spend about as much on critter food as we do on our own. In addition to catering to the whims of Blazer and Eddie, we put out cheap dog food for the foxes, stale bread and corn for the deer, and seed and peanuts for the birds and squirrels.

Apparently, we don’t move quite fast enough for some folks around here.

A squirrel just jumped up, caught his claws on the rim of the storm window, and gave us both a blast of the finest. “The service in the restaurant is just awful! Do you know we are completely out of peanuts at table five? What kind of joint are you humans running, anyway?” And then he hopped down and stalked off in a huff.

And, obediently, The Well Trained Waiter went out and tossed seed and peanut across the ground.



8 Apr

We have been looking for that blasted dead mouse for about a week now, without much luck. We gave the TV room side a good going-over a couple of days ago. That side has what I would have considered the most likely spots – plenty of tubs of costumes, which have now been moved to the attic, thank you very much – but no luck.

The Squire insisted the smell was much stronger near the sewing machine. I tilted it back and even looked up inside it, but no go. We pulled everything out from under the bed – two large flat boxes, which hold patterns and fabric for Colonial outfits, plus oodles of tissue paper – and still didn’t find anything. We even looked under the mattress and between the mattress and the box spring. Finally, we pulled the head of the bed away from the wall, but we still didn’t see any moldering bodies on the carpet.

Just as we were pushing the bed back, a flicker of movement caught my eye, as the mouse fell from the edge of the bedframe onto the floor. It had climbed up off the floor, I suppose, to avoid Sir Edmund’s attention and died, out of sight but definitely not out of mind.

He was tenderly wrapped in a tissue paper shroud and buried with great ceremony in the trashcan outside.

The song is ended, but the melody lingers on. Phew! Quick, Henry! The Lysol!

Wonderful Weekend

5 Apr

Long and tiring, but all in all, a grand weekend.

We had a very moving service on Maundy Thursday, with a foot-washing. This is something the rector started right after he got here, and it has grown in acceptance over the years. A classic Episcopal case of “we’ve never done that before”, so the first year was only three or four of us, but this year it was everybody but two ladies in the back of the church.

The noon Good Friday service was very well attended, I thought, but the Easter Vigil last night was pretty sparse, which was a shame. It’s a looong service, lots of incense, and no hymns. I adore incense, so I was in my glory. (I wore my new dress last night, and I still smell “churchy” today.) We had to open the church doors after the service, and the smoke pouring out almost made you wonder if the place was on fire.

An absolute mob in church today, which was nice. The treasurer is away, so The Squire had to do the counting by himself, which, as an auditor, he didn’t like to do, so he got another fellow to help him. Joe is also good with figures, and they managed to get today’s offering settled, but didn’t get to the other three services. He’ll tackle those tomorrow, I think.

We went to my younger nephew’s home for Easter dinner. Brian and Ruth, Karl and Angie, Ruth’s parents, my brother-in-law, plus the two of us, and four kids. (Each of the boys have two children.) Karl’s older daughter is the best argument for reincarnation I’ve ever met. The child is not quite five and speaks with a perfect London accent about 90% of the time.  She’s never heard anybody who talks that way – no idea where she got it.

I knew we were going to be late – Ruth had planned dinner for 1:00, and I told her I didn’t think we’d get there before 1:30. We left here in time to arrive at 1:15, but for reasons beyond knowing, they were doing roadwork on I-95. Three lanes down to two at 1:00 on Easter Sunday. Good grief! We did manage to skid into the drive at 1:25, which wasn’t too bad.

The best news is that we have found somebody at church who is willing to take over the monthly newsletter! I’ve been doing it since March, 1996, and had made it clear I wanted to resign as of March, 2016, which would have been twenty years. The new editor had been waffling about retiring from her job as a school teacher, and when this was offered to her she decided to do so, and devote her time to the newsletter. A classic case of “The truth shall make you free.” I am so glad to hand it over to somebody else, especially someone I think will do a really good job. It’s rather like marrying off a kid; it’s not your responsibility any more, but you want the best person to pick up the reins.

Squeaky Wheels

4 Apr

Almost three months ago, I called the local hospital looking for a new doctor, as I wanted to consolidate all of my care in one place. Technically not necessary with all the new computerized technology, but if I ever become ill, I want my doctors to talk to each other face to face.

The nurse navigator gave for four names and a brief bit of info about each doctor. The first two got scratched off the list when I was greeted with a recording asking me to “Please hold on. Your call is important to us.” every fifteen seconds – by the clock. After three minutes, I decided not to hang on, as my sanity was more important than they seemed to think.

So – ended up with a prompt answer on the third call, and a six week wait for an appointment, which I know is not unusual for new patients. No big deal.  Been in the medical world, from both sides of the fence, long enough to know this is SOP.

When I arrived, I told the staff three times that I do not like to be called by my first name. I am old enough to be called Mrs. Rice, thank you very much, especially when other, younger, patients were being addressed by their last names. OK, so I’m a crotchety old lady.

The doctor was lovely. She said that I had been off HRT for so long that it would be dangerous for me to go back on it. I told her I was too old to die young, and the amount of black cohash I was taking posed a very real threat to my liver, which worried me more than a possible heart attack. Very pleasant, and apologized, and explained why I couldn’t go back on HRT and offered me another medication, which serves two purposes, and will do as well.


Her office didn’t have my pharmacy on their automatic list, which rather surprised me. It’s less than ten miles from my home – and my drugstore. However, I called them when I got home and gave them the phone number and waited. And waited. I stopped by the drugstore and the pharmacist said he had a question about the dosage, and had contacted the doctor’s office, but not heard back. This went on for an solid week.

The nurse navigator had sent me a card with her phone and email, so I sent her a message Thursday afternoon – a week after my appointment. When we got home from noon services yesterday, I had two phone calls from the hospital. One from the NN and one from a manager, who left me his direct phone number.

I didn’t expect much to happen late afternoon of Good Friday, but I fully expect the medicine to be ready for pickup on Monday. Totally unacceptable medical practice. Fortunately, this is not dreadfully important stuff, but what if this was cardiac or cancer care? I’ve been a medical receptionist for several practices, including Johns Hopkins cardiac unit, and this is simply beyond incompetent.

I really like this doctor, and I just hope my reporting her staff doesn’t mean she’ll drop me. We shall see.

And they’d better call me Mrs. Rice!

Persistence, Thy Name is Procyon Lotor

2 Apr

??????????There is no system on earth that a raccoon will not  try to outwit. We bought this suet feeder about a week ago, not so much because it is squirrel proof, but to keep the bloody grackles and starlings from eating everything in sight.

To fill it, you unscrew the knob on top, drop two suet cakes into the “pockets” and then hang it from a convenient place.

The first night it was up, the local gang of raccoons managed to unhook it from the post, nearly pulling said post out of the ground in the process, and then rolled it across the lawn and into the stream, where they abandoned it. They did manage to reach in and dig out most of one suet cake.  Mind you, there was a dish with three cups of dry food already on the patio for easy access.

Last night I left my car window rolled down about half-way – and this mess is entirely my own fault – and the raccoons managed to squeeze through the narrow opening and play havoc with two bags of peanuts I left on the back seat.  Bless him, The Squire took on the job of vacuuming out the mess, and retrieving my personal belongings from the peanut shells.

He put all the peanuts and shells that looked worth keeping in a plastic sack and put it on the patio behind him while he finished running the vacuum. Instead of grabbing peanuts out of the top of the open bag, the brazen squirrels came up behind him and chewed a hole in the bottom of the bag – which he discovered when he picked it up to move it.

Ain’t country linving grand?