Archive | February, 2016

Snow, Sort Of

9 Feb

snowmanThe forecast today was for six to eight inches of fresh snow. We got about an inch, which promptly tuned to rain, but Eldest Daughter lives just far enough north of us that they had five inches as of 4 PM.

She took The Munchkin out to build a snowman by the side of the driveway. A very little snowman, but then, she’s a very little girl.

We took some photos of yesterday’s dead squirrel and contacted the DNR to see if they could tell us what was going on. Explained what we saw, and the animal’s behavior, and the gentleman had us email the pictures, then called back to say the animal had a virus which caused these tumors to grow all over the body. There was one under one eye and another under the chin, which he said probably caused the poor critter to be blind in that eye and have difficulty eating. The convulsions meant there were most likely tumors in the brain. It is not contagious to either our pets or humans, and really is not easily transmitted between squirrels. However, if we happened to see another one, let him know. In the meantime, we could put the carcass in the landfill, with full military honors.

We were supposed to have our Shrove Tuesday pancake supper this evening, but our policy is when Harford County schools are closed, all activities at the church are cancelled, so that took care of that. Last year it was called off because the rector let his temper get the best of him, but as it happened it also snowed on Shrove Tuesday then, too, so it worked out. Trouble is, the proceeds from the pancake supper pay for the Mother’s Day brunch; we didn’t have one last May, and I doubt we’ll have one this year, either.

Never Call a Doctor on a Monday

8 Feb

I am almost out of some medicine one of my doctors prescribed, and my druggist has been trying to get in touch with this woman since the middle of last week, with no luck. This morning I decided to call myself and see if I could get any action.

I was on the phone for forty-five minutes, by the clock, listening to some fool tell me a) how important my call was, and b) how heart disease was the leading cause of death in women. I didn’t believe the first and don’t particularly care about the second. I much prefer a heart attack to, say, cancer.

While I waited, I watched a squirrel at one of the feeders in the front yard. The poor thing was limping, and its fur had been pulled out in clumps, until it looked pock marked. The Squire and I vaguely discussed what might have caused this. It is too early for the animals to be molting, but he thought perhaps it might have been a female who had pulled out hunks of fur to line her nest.

At any rate, after listening to this recording for the better part of an hour, another voice came on and informed me I had reached a non-working number and to please hang up!

We went to the Y, stopped for lunch, and then went up to visit eldest daughter. She had just returned from a business trip with her husband and had saved all of the toiletries for me to make Care Packages (anybody out there old enough to remember what a real Care Package was?) to send up to the food pantry. We visited with her and the Munchkin, and got back home around two. I fixed myself a cuppa and settled in to call the doctor back. Got an answer on the second ring! The receptionist said they had gotten two calls from the pharmacy last week;  the doctor wasn’t in today, but she had sent another electronic message telling her that I had called.

While I was up taking my nap, The Squire went out to get the gas cans to fill my car (I didn’t have enough fuel to get to the gas station!) and found the pock marked squirrel having convulsions out by the barn, writhing and squealing all over the ground. He took a square-bladed shovel and broke its neck; I would have probably picked it up and sang to it until it died in my arms, so it’s just as well he was the one to make the discovery. He called the County Animal Control when he came in, and missed them by about two minutes, so the poor critter is lying in state on the workbench the barn. Just wondering what mysterious plague had attacked one of “our” squirrels, and do we need to keep an eye out for anything else.




Should Not be Allowed Out Alone

6 Feb

The other night I stumbled over a nostalgic blog about life in the “boomer years”.  Technically, I’m too old to be a baby-boomer – I’m part of the pre-war bubble – but I do remember full-service gas stations and the inching up of gasoline prices.

I was between husbands, still paying off debts left behind by the Late and Unlamented, raising my two girls, and not yet even dating The Squire. Every penny counted.  I was working at Blue Cross in Towson, and had run to the shopping mall on my lunch hour. Towson is, by and large, a bit ritzier than Joppatowne, so prices tend to be a bit higher.  I pulled into a gas station and put $1 worth of gas in my little car. (Remember when you could actually do that?) Gasoline out here was still about 35 cents, but this place wanted 42 cents a gallon. Instead of almost three gallons I got two gallons and two drops! I absolutely panicked! I drove out of the station as fast as my little wheels would take me – but not the way I’d come in.

I ended up on Burke Avenue, a one lane, one-way street (cattle track, actually) which went all the way around Towson! There was nothing to do but keep on keepin’ on, as I couldn’t turn around, and I had no idea where any of the side streets went. I was about fifteen minutes late getting back to work.

“What happened to you?”

“I got lost coming back.”

“Were on earth did you go?

I pointed out the window at the mall directly across the street. “Over there.”

I was driving a VW beetle at the time. Remember the days when you got a “gift” for spending $3 or buying 8 gallons of gas? That little car wouldn’t hold either one!  And tires were so bald I could drive over a quarter and tell you if it was heads or tails.

The Snow Lay on the Ground…

3 Feb

…and the kids walked to school in shorts.


The ground here is still pretty much snow-covered, although it is melting very quickly (The high today was 55), and our pond is covered with “floating islands” of string algae.  Where the grass is poking through, it’s amazingly green for early February.

It rained today, which helped melt the snow, but it was incredibly foggy. We couldn’t see the barn or the street from the house. I have been fighting a cold, so The Squire went up to the Y by himself. I was supposed to be on the altar on Sunday, but stayed home from that, too. Nobody wants me sniffling and coughing all over the place.

I seldom get a cold, and when I do I take it as a personal insult. Really, other than a decongestant, there’s not a thing you can do, except treat it with the contempt it deserves, soldier on, and try not to contaminate other people.

The Squire and I were eating breakfast in the den this morning, and the cat kept reaching up and tapping the edge of the counter, waiting for The Squire to put some milk on his plate and set it down for him to drink. For some reason this gentle pat, pat, pat reminded me of an event that happened when I was still married to the Late and Unlamented.

I have slept flat on my back for most of my life, with one leg or the other pulled up like a flamingo. We had a cat who slept part of the night curled up in the “nest” of my knee. One morning, too early to get up, the baby cried, and I dashed across the hall to settle her back down and tried to get back into bed before Mr. Boh heard me moving around. Didn’t make it.

Just as I pulled the blankets up to my chin and closed my eyes, the cat jumped onto the bed and walked up to stare at my face. He went back to the bottom of the bed, and I could feel him sit down to contemplate the situation. Again, he walked up the side of the bed, but this time he gently, gently patted the side of my face. Again, I ignored him. Once again, Boh went down and I could just feel him staring at me. “I know I heard her moving around.” A third time, he tip-toed up the side of the bed – but this time, my husband sat up and yelled, “Dammit, she’s not awake yet!”