Archive | July, 2015

Something We Don’t Know?

30 Jul

The Squire has been doing a lot of genealogy work recently, and finding out all sorts of unusual bits.  He has some very interesting ancestors!

One thing he has known for years is that he is descended from the only male survivor of what is known as “the Sodom Laurel Massacre”. Sodom Laurel (No, he doesn’t know why they named it that.) was a hamlet in North Carolina. During the Civil War, a group of Confederate soldiers came through (reports vary as to whether they were Mosby’s men or McKeithley’s), rounded up every male in town and shot them, on the off chance there might be a Yankee sympathizer in the group. The Squire’s ancestor was William Bell Shelton, a then eight-year old boy who was gathering eggs, and had the good sense to climb into the hayloft and stay put. Just to see if the place still existed, he put it into Google Earth. The map spun around, and landed in Washington, D.C. At the Capitol Building.

We have since discovered that the Post Office renamed the place “Revere”.

The Church Dog

29 Jul

When I go to knitting on Monday evenings and Wednesday mornings, I almost always take Blazer along. He has a mad crush on Miss Kathy, the secretary, who always gives him treats, and acts as Official Greeter for another group that meets on Wednesday mornings, sitting by the door and waiting for a pat on the head.

He also goes with me when I am on Altar Guild, and knows he can follow me anyplace but up onto the altar steps. He stops and flops down on the carpet, once even resting his chin on the step, and waits for me to get things done, then trots back to the sacristy while I finish up. Ah, if only he had opposable thumbs!

The last couple of times I’ve gotten ready to leave, he’s come out the door, and then flopped on the grass, refusing to move. This morning, I had to go back in for something, and he leapt to his feet, dashing back inside with me, but wouldn’t leave the front lawn. I finally had to get his leash out of the car to get him to follow me.

Mind you, this is a dog who  won’t eat until we say grace, so it’s hardly surprising. The Squire says we should just get him a white collar and rename him Deacon.

Happy Birthday!

22 Jul

I was supposed to spend most of today at the radiologist, but they called and rescheduled for Monday, so Blazer and I went over to join the knitting group at church this morning. When I tell him we are “going to see Miss Kathy” (the secretary) he gets all “talky”, which he only does for her, and nobody else.

He hops in the car, turns sideways so I can fasten the seatbelt around him, and when we arrive he bolts for the office, sitting in front of Kathy until he gets a treat, then grabs his stuffed bear off the shelf and comes out to join the rest of us. An Al-Anon meeting is scheduled at the same time, and he gets a pat on the head from each person as they come in. This morning he followed one lady across the room because she had walked by without patting him. He takes his Official Greeter duties quite seriously.

When it is time to go, he gets Bear and returns it to the office, dropping it at Kathy’s feet and getting one more treat. A very rotten, but very sweet puppy.

Back in June, The Squire received a very generous gift card to a local High Class restaurant, so we decided today would be a very good time to use it, to celebrate my umpty-dumpth birthday. We had invited our closest friends and my brother-in-law to join us, but only George was able to make it.  We had a very pleasant time, exchanging dreadful jokes, and enjoying wonderful – if insanely overpriced – food.

Dinner was filling enough,  and dessert would have been nice, but they wanted $9 for a dish of ice cream, and $8 for bread pudding, so we passed on that. Stopped at Yogi Palace on the way home for frozen yogurt and were just as happy as if we’d paid twice as much.

Off to feed the fish and the foxes, and then, as Samuel Pepys would say, so to bed.


18 Jul

If you have ever visited our home, it’s hard to believe I am OCD about anything. (Except for me, it would CDO, in proper alphabetical order. The girls claim it’s a wonder I didn’t name them alphabetically.)

However, it drives me nuts when the hymnals and prayer books are not lined up properly in the pew racks. The taller hymnals in the center, and the shorter Book of Common Prayer on either side, nicely snugged together. Viewed from the door of the church, it gives the impression that we take pride in the way things look, and most people in the congregation are really good about making sure their books are in place when they leave. If not, the ushers will tidy up after services, pushing books together and collecting stray bulletins.  One of our former rectors once said that his idea of Hell for me would be to have a rack of books, just beyond my reach – and he’s probably right.

Friday, we went to a memorial service for our youngest daughter’s mother-in-law.

That parish uses two different hymnals, so there were three books in the rack, all just shoved in higgledy-piggelty.  The moment we walked into the sanctuary, The Squire grabbed my elbow, and whispered fiercely, “Don’t touch the books!”

I did straighten out the ones in front of us, but for the most part, I sat there and twitched during the entire service.

It’s a dire fate to have a fetish, let me tell you!

Gopher Wood!

14 Jul
If you follow my blog, you know it’s been raining here, just about non-stop. Last night (earlier this morning, actually) I was vaguely aware that it was raining, but not enough to really get through to me. About 4 AM we were awakened by a tremendous clap of thunder. The Voice of God, as it happened.  Practically lifted us out of bed. Going on the old premise of “I’m awake; I might as well go pee”, I staggered downstairs. The toilet was making gurgling noises, which is generally my job, and the water level was rising a bit with each gurgle. Cute.
I flipped on the light over the backyard, and the water was crossing the patio.
I ran upstairs, woke The Squire and told him we were flooding, found a dress to throw on, and went out to move the cars to the top of the hill. By the time he got downstairs, I was outside, barefoot, had already gotten one vehicle out of harm’s way, and working on the second. He got the trash cans and other “floatables” up on the picnic table, and then we just watched and prayed. Fortunately, this new kitchen door and storm door are much tighter than the old one, so while we had a small trickle in the kitchen, it wasn’t anything like what we had five or six years ago. There was water under the bathroom floor, which will probably smell divine for the next week, but we’ll manage.
Somehow, in the middle of all this, I thought to call and cancel a doctor’s appointment I had for 11:00 today. The Squire is piling scatter rugs against doors, and I’m on the phone! I did call them at 10:30 this morning to see if they had gotten the message I’d left on the machine – they had not – but the receptionist said they would not charge me for missing today and rescheduled for next week.
As quickly as it came up, the water went back down. The Squire went back to bed, but I stayed up a bit to see if we were going to have any more trouble. So far, so good. I stumbled into bed at 5:30 and crawled out at 9:30. Still not fully functional, but I seldom am.
Right after the last bad storm, The Squire called Department of Natural Resources, and two people came out to look over the property. We gave them a video he had made, and some pictures showing how much land we’ve lost, and they said they would be back. The fellow remarked that a stream this small shouldn’t get this bad this fast, but it obviously does – and worse each time. They (a man and a woman) are supposed to come back and walk upstream to see how far it goes and what other branches flow into it. The Squire could never do that and I wouldn’t tackle it alone. He called when the offices opened this morning to report this damage, and ask about sand bags.  Each successive storm is worse than the last.
And it’s supposed to rain again tonight and tomorrow.
We just can’t keep going this way.

More Pictures

13 Jul

ride on toyBoy, this great-grandmother stuff can get out of hand rather quickly.

We had a first birthday party for Sweet Girl yesterday. Her mom had asked specifically for this particular ride-on toy, and while I was checking out at the store, I had to push all the buttons and turn all the knobs. I certainly hope she knows what she got herself into.

Frankly, it reminded me of that wonderful old Peter, Paul and Mary song. although anything by PP&M is wonderful.  When did we stop writing music and start writing noise?

So now, our princess can drive herself from her own castle on her own princess mobile, and drive her mother and grandmother to distraction in the process!

I did find the other pictures from the photo session in June.  Two were posted on July 9, and I have added the others as promised.  A wonderful and loving family.



11 Jul

For the last few months, we’ve noticed that foods from the fridge didn’t seem as cold as they should be, and milk went south faster than we thought it should. I even moved it from the door to the back of the top shelf, but that didn’t help.

The Squire grabbed a safety thermometer on one of his trips to the store, and we discovered that even at its coldest setting, the refrigerator was just barely making 40 degrees. Not Good News.

We checked Consumer Reports, looked at prices on-line, and all that jazz. We purchased our wall oven at a scratch-and-dent place downtown for $150 – self-cleaning, convection, with a microwave above. It has a scratch across the top I sometimes can’t even find when I want to show my friends. We decided what fridge we wanted, and I “suggested” The Squire go down to Haven Street to see what they have in stock, as it is really hit and miss.  We need a small model, without an icemaker, as the sink is on the opposite wall. Believe me, finding something without a lot of bells and whistles is not easy.

He stopped at Lowe’s on the way into town, and went ahead and purchased the Frigidaire model we wanted. I was a little miffed, as it probably cost us twice what it should, but by this time the fridge was straining to hit 50, and we were purchasing groceries daily – every other day at most. Even the freezer wasn’t keeping things solid.  He said – and he’s right – that we simply couldn’t afford to wait any longer, no matter what it cost. Food poisoning is no joke. And besides, Lowe’s delivers and the Scratch and Dent place doesn’t.

Lowe’s called last night and said they’d be here today between 1:30 and 3:30, so I went off at 10:00 this morning and did Altar Guild stuff.  The Squire rang me at church and said they’d called and told him they would be here within a half an hour (this was 10:45) so I hustled on home and we started to transfer things from the fridge to the big freezer. One of the delivery men help him get the kitchen door off the hinges, while the other helped me pile stuff on counter tops and chair, and finally in the laundry basket, so they could remove the old unit and bring in the new one.

The only thing I don’t like about this fridge is that the crisper drawers slant sharply up from the bottom (__/ thus), so they only hold about half of what the old drawers held.  I had to fight to get a package of celery in there. Other than that, it is a gem. The “holders” on the door  snap off so you can wipe down the shelves, should you ever have that urge strike you, and it does seem to have more space inside than the old one.

And boy! Does it get things cold.

Oh, You Beautiful Doll!

9 Jul

Ist birthday - Mom OK, so everybody in the world has the most beautiful children, grandchildren and great grandkids in the world. Don’t know how that happens, but there you are.

Several weeks ago, local granddaughter and grandson-in-law took their little dumplin’ to a photo shoot, and these are some of the results.

Sweet Girl was just shy of her first birthday.

Aubrey 1 yrShe was born with a full head of curly hair. Although it has changed from coal black to blond, it is still beautifully curly.  Her mom has to keep it in ponytails, as it falls in her face, and she will yank off a head band or a barrette.


And yes, that is our granddaughter – not our daughter – and our great-grandchild.

all three