Archive | June, 2015

We Have a New Presiding Bishop

30 Jun

On Saturday, June 27, the General Convention of the Episcopal Church elected the Rt. Rev. Michael Curry as our next Presiding Bishop. He has been, to this point, the bishop of North Carolina.

My dad had a friend, a fellow rector of an inner-city parish, by the same name, and it just struck me as an odd coincidence that we had two  clergy named Michael Curry. Fr. Curry was the rector of St. James, Lafayette Square, an historically black – and very high church – parish in downtown Baltimore  (Actually, St. James was “downtown”; Holy Cross was “inner city”.) from 1988 to 2000, when he accepted the call to North Carolina.

He won by a landslide on the first ballot – 800 to 12 in the House of Bishops, and approximately the same in the House of Delegates.

The man is dynamic, a wonderful leader, and possesses both the pastoral and executive skills to make him the perfect person for the job.  He is wise and articulate, and will bring the church back from the brink of the bigotry which has nearly destroyed us, and make us whole again.

Thanks be to God!

And the Rains Came

28 Jun

It is said that the Hawaiians have no word for “rain”. For the past week, Baltimore had no word for “sunshine”. Is has absolutely bucketed every evening, complete with tornado warnings. We never have tornados here.

Yesterday, it began raining about 3:30, coming down in sheets. We live at the bottom of a hill, and nearly at the end of a stream which stretches back over five miles, so when it rains we really get socked.

The water came up very quickly, simply because the ground is so soaked there’s no place left for it to go.  Fortunately, once the rain stopped, the water receded almost as quickly as it rose.  These two shots are of a mimosa tree that stands just at the edge of our stream. (When it was planted, it was several feet from the edge, but that’s another story.)

As you can see, the water was lapping at my toes, but within a half an hour of the rain stopping, things were back to what passes for normal around here. I am going to post more shots, and (I hope) a video on my Picture Trail account, so you can see more of what we had going on.

But I’ll tell you – it was scary while it lasted.



Well, Hello, Gorgeous!

24 Jun

WhiteSQ2This is not an albino, as it had black eyes , but it’s the first time I’ve ever seen a snow white squirrel. It stuck around for quite a while, either eating from the feeder, or popping into the pipe where we hide the peanuts from the blue jays.


What’s the World Coming To?

22 Jun

Mitt Romney said something I actually agree with! Take down that Confederate flag, confound it.

The Confederate Sates of America was a separate country, which declared war of the United States – and were defeated. They had their own President, their own army, their own currency. And their vice-president, Alexander Stevens, made it quite clear that their philosophy was based on the idea that “the Negro is the moral, physical, and mental inferior of the white man, and slavery is his natural condition”.

If this is the “Southern Heritage” of which they are so proud, how about I hang a swastika from my house?


18 Jun

Last night, our bishop, +Eugene Sutton was at St. Peter’s in Ellicott city, presiding at a celebration of renewal service.  The people of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church have been recovering, renewing and rebirthing since the May 2012 shootings that killed their parish administrator and a priest. The gunman, obviously mentally disturbed, died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

At the same hour, Dylann Roof was opening fire in Emanuel A.M.E. in Charleston, SC.

Again, from the sound of things, the gunman is mentally disturbed. He has a history of drug abuse, racial hatreds, and his father had given him the gun he used as a 21st birthday gift in April.

How long will this nation allow this sort of thing to go on? The rest of the world sees us as outlaws, a remnant of the old west.

It’s time to take a good look at ourselves in the international mirror.

Graduates, Graduates!

17 Jun

In mid-May, our granddaughter Caitlin graduated from UVA with a BA in aerospace engineering, and is on her way to Colorado to get a PHD in Robotics.

In mid-June, our grandson Matthew graduated from Air force basic training at Lackland AFB. From there he goes to Wichita Falls to train as an airplane mechanic.

Both of them graduated in the top 10 percent of their class.  Brains and looks. Not a bad combo.

Caitlin gradMatt grad

Bits and Pieces

15 Jun

swamp monsterA few days ago, I mentioned that I had a shot of me feeding a snapping turtle, while Pepper and Blazer stood guard, directly behind me. Although it doesn’t show in this picture, that hunk of bread IS on a twig. I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I do not hand feed swamp monsters.

Now, picture this beast completely out of the water and  me in my bare feet.

I have often complained, bitterly, about our neighbors to the north. They are honestly very nice people, helpful when the drive needs plowing in the winter, don’t beat their kids and animals, and all that. However, they have been known to throw parties that last until the wee small hours, complete with (illegal) fireworks and loud music. They are truck farmers, and don’t have to get up to push papers around a desk or milk cows.  The rest of the neighborhood is not so fortunate.

Well, the Good Lord has taken pity on us. The house directly across the street from them has been purchased by a member of the Harford County sheriffs office. The party last night ended promptly at 11:00 PM. How about that!



Let Me Count the Ways…

13 Jun

Just about a year ago, my friend Kay and I started to build a dollhouse. She had offered the use of her dining room table, but we needed to raise the first floor by an inch and a half, and since I have all the power tools here, the project ended up on my dining room table, instead.

We worked at it pretty steadily, but as Kay said, “there’s more to this than I expected”, and it took me longer than I had figured it would. Then we had our Christmas Open House here, so I moved it from the dining room to the back room, and it sat on top of the dryer for months, getting shoved first one way and then another as we turned dials and pushed buttons.  Out of sight, out of mind, although I did continue to purchase little odds and ends to go into the house, and “borrowed” other items from some of my finished stores and shops.

Last week, we discovered – oh, horrors – that we needed to get this baby finished by the 16th!

In truth, all that needs to be done is to finish thatching the roof,  connecting the lights, and doing a bit of landscaping. However, even that little bit of work can cause more glitches than the average person can imagine. If you’ve ever worked on a dollhouse, you can understand – I had sandwiched the thatching for one of the porch roofs (there are three) between two narrow strips of wood. First, I glued this sandwich onto the roof with the raw wood on top instead of the painted piece. In order to make sure the thatch stayed put, I had smeared glue all over the porch roof, which made it even more interesting. Carefully removed that, and then glued the bloody thatch to the bottom edge of the roof instead of the top.  At this point, The Squire decided to take the dog for a walk. Coward. Now that I have fixed that but can’t get the porch roof to stay on the building. I may have to resort to hot glue, which is an anathema to Serious Miniaturists, but needs must.

I ran most of the wiring down through the fireplace, but The Squire and I could not get the wiring for the two lamps in the upstairs to go down the chimney. In fussing with it, I managed to snap the chimney off the roof. We finally ended up drilling a hole through the wall, coming out next to the fireplace, and then tucking it behind the half-timbering. Blessedly, I already had both a power strip and a transformer that work. Whew!

At this point, most of the lights are working, and I’ve started on the thatching on the main part of the house. Tomorrow and Monday should see the landscaping and last minute stuff done.

I most sincerely hope!

Moving Day

11 Jun

In an effort to keep the raccoons from eating the bird seed, and the male fox from eating the squirrels, we have begun feeding both sets of critters out by the woods, instead of feeding the ring-tailed beasts on the carport and the “red coats” in the back forty.  In addition to filling the birdfeeders, we still put peanuts and seed in a 5 foot length of PVC pipe outside the den window so the squirrels can get them and the blue jays can’t.

This morning when I went out to feed the “house pets” the pipe was missing.

I looked in the front yard, and The Squire walked along the stream to see if the raccoon had dragged it up the hill. Nada. The pipe is far too narrow for the raccoons to get into, so whatever went on last night must have been very interesting.

A shame we missed the show.

Just When You Thought it Was Safe…

10 Jun

When I went out to feed the fish – and the turtles – neither The Squire nor the dog were interested in going with me.

Normally the vibration of my feet on the patio around the pond will bring the turtles to the water’s edge, but neither of them were there, so I just started casting my bread upon the waters, so to speak. Suddenly one of the turtles came zooming up to wall, and totally ignoring the bread I was tossing in front of it, climbed completely out of the water and was literally chasing me around the patio, trying to get fed. I managed to find one little lilac twig, but he (she?) bit that in half on the second go-round. When I turned around to locate another, stouter, twig, the turtle must have suddenly realized he was not in his element, and made a mad dash for the pond.

Let me tell you, there are few things that will get one’s attention more quickly than being barefoot in the company of a hungry snapping turtle.  Someplace around here I have a very old photo of me feeding a turtle with a twig, while both Blazer and Pepper hide behind my skirts. I’ll have to dig it out and post it.