Archive | June, 2016

It’s Only a Flesh Wound

28 Jun

I don’t know what it is with men and medicine.

The Squire suffers from Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome (named for the two French doctors and one Englishman who zeroed in on it), which is an hereditary nerve condition. The nerves die and the muscles atrophy, pulling against the bones. If it “kicks in” when you are a child, the bones twist to accommodate the muscles, but if you get it as an adult, the patient frequently opts to have the foot amputated, as the pain is simply excruciating. As it is, The Squire often has nights when he is very uncomfortable.

His nightly routine is two Tylenol PM, which don’t always control the pain. When his feet hurt, the only way to soothe the pain is to keep the foot moving. Jiggle, jiggle, jiggle. Naturally, this doesn’t do me a bit of good, but when I suggest he go sleep  in the guest room, he assures me he is fine.

That’s nice, dear. Now, go away. You bother me!

My dad used to lean against the door frame and moan, and I’m not sure which is worse. If my mum didn’t stab Daddy with a paring knife, I guess I can avoid smothering The Squire with a pillow.

I’ve recommended he ask the doctor for something stronger, if only to take on a PRN basis. “That isn’t necessary.”

When I had my neck surgery in September, I was given a months-worth of surgical strength pain medicine, to take every four to six hours, so I have loads of the stuff left over. Blithely disregarding Federal laws, I strongly suggested he take one of my little white pills. Just to shut me up, y’know.  So finally, about a month ago, he did agree to take one of them, and announced he’d had the best night’s sleep he’d had in ages. (That made two of us.) A few days later he again requested a pain pill. Maybe we’re making some progress; I even put the bottle with his other meds, but No, we’re back to the Tylenol.

Last night, he said he got up at 1 AM, took two more Tylenol, and slept in the other room. I never noticed he was missing.

But I did sleep well.



Singing In The Car

26 Jun

The Old Testament lesson this morning was the story of Elijah being taken up in a chariot of fire, and we sang Swing Low, Sweet Chariot as the Gradual hymn.

Which got me to remembering…

The car I drove when I was married to the Late and Unlamented had no radio (it also had no heater, reverse gear, or lock on the glove box, but that’s another story) so the girls and I sang while we drove along.  We sang everything from Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer, to Camptown Races, to There Was an Old Woman, All Skin and Bones. The girls even knew the words to the Canticle from Morning Prayer – Blessed art thou, O Lord God of our fathers. If you are old enough to remember when the Episcopal Church actually did  Morning Prayer,  you know it’s a lot to memorize, but we sang it three weeks out of four, and the girls apparently listened. And learned.

But mostly, we sang Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.


23 Jun

The Squire, quite frankly, is as deaf as an old shoe. Oh, he swears I am too soft-spoken, but the truth of the matter is the man just plain can’t hear.

We have five birdfeeders in our yard, plus one we sit on the ground for the squirrels. It’s bad enough the blue jays try to eat us out of house and home, but the bloody, bloody grackles also swoop down and grab whatever they can get their beaks on. I don’t mind them coming in the winter when it snows and bringing their side-kicks, the starlings, along with them, but it annoys me when they hang around all summer, too.

To the best of my knowledge, grackles were the only critter that could make my dad angry. When they lived in Bel Air, he would occasionally sit on the patio and snipe at them with a B-B gun. “I know they are God’s creatures and they need to eat, but they just don’t know when to quit. A bunch of bloody vultures.” He trained men to go overseas during WWII, so I suppose that’s where he learned to shoot (it never occurred to me to ask) and he seldom missed. It wasn’t a constant thing, but from time to time he’d pop off two or three.

This morning I was fussing about the grackles in the front yard  and mentioned that my father didn’t like them either.

The Squire turned to me in utter bewilderment. “Your dad didn’t like jackals?”


21 Jun

When I got the blouse I’m wearing in yesterday’s photo I had purchased a pair of earrings to match. They  are a crescent moon, a bronze sort of colour, with a vague sort of embossing and a row of turquoise beads dangling from the outer edge. The two points of the crescent are joined by short length of chain, and hang from an “S” hook. Anyway, when I got dressed for church yesterday, I couldn’t find them. How can you misplace a pair of earrings, for goodness sake?

The Squire and I spent a fair amount of time yesterday carefully removing and replacing every piece of jewelry from two jewelry boxes, with no luck.

So today after I went to the doctor I went to the mall and purchased another pair very similar to the original, which means the original pair will show up within the next week or so.

Great-Grandkids are the Best

19 Jun

The Squire and I went down to the hospital today to meet the newest great-grandchild. When Amanda had Aubrey, her room was huge; this time, the room was barely the size of our bath.

Imagine The Squire and myself, eldest daughter, Steve (Amanda’s husband), and Steve’s mom, plus a gal who has been a friend of Eldest daughter since highschool,  and you have the general idea. I thought we were going to have to elect a chairman.

Wyatt is 24 hours old, here, and while I am entranced with the new baby, The Squire is not paying attention to the kid. Well, I am blessed that after 41 years, he only has eyes for me.Wyatt, Jim and me

Big sister gets a closer look. She seems delighted. I hope it stays that way!

Wyatt 2

Meeting Wyatt

18 Jun


Big sister Aubrey gives her new baby brother a kiss. Wyatt checked in at 2:24 this afternoon, weighing 8 pounds, 4 ounces.  Everybody is doing well.  Wyatt has the same dark, curly hair Aubrey had when she was born; we’ll see if it goes blond as he gets older.

I’ll tell you, having a baby wasn’t anything like this when I had mine. The first time Tina met her baby sister was when they wheeled me out of the hospital.  None of this climbing on the bed and smooching stuff.  I’m seriously jealous.

We’re going down to visit tomorrow after church, so maybe I’ll get some better pictures then.


This Makes Me Smile

17 Jun

Banjo player

Never a Camera…

16 Jun

The Squire went out to the barn late this afternoon to feed the raccoons and foxes. He heard a rustling noise and stopped walking, but crept up so he could see beyond the barn, into what we call “the back f0rty”.  (Actually, the electric company right-of-way.)

There was a young buck and a fox frolicking in the clearing, play bowing and chasing each other around. The buck saw The Squire and stopped, stared at him and stomped one foot, which is usually a warning sign that “one of us is going to get hurt”. When my husband didn’t move, the deer apparently figured he was harmless, so he sort of shrugged, turned around and walked back into the woods. The fox didn’t notice my husband, and after his  playmate left he sat up on his haunches, with his back to The Squire, and turned his head his way and that, apparently seeking some movement in the tall grass that would indicate a stray rabbit or a squirrel for supper. After a few moments, he turned his head far enough to spot The Squire. He looked at my husband for a second or two, with this “How long have you been here?” expression, and then bolted across the stream and up the hill.

Never a camera when you need one.

I Should’a Stood in Bed

12 Jun

When we got home from church, I put two fish fillets into the oven, with a sauce of tomatoes and spices, and stuck the probe into one of the pieces of fish to make sure they got cooked thoroughly.

When the alarm went off, I tried to remove the probe, and the fish came along for the ride, letting go when it reached the edge of the oven, and falling down between the oven and the door. I sat the pan as close to the fillet as possible, and took two spatulas (spatulae?) to use as tongs to get the fish back into the pan. The fish landed with a plop, splashing hot, greasy tomato sauce all over the oven, the floor, the door – and me. While The Squire got the fish on the table and cleaned as much of the mess as he could, I went into the bathroom to soak my clothes in hot water. From time to time, our hot water will run brown;  you just have to let it go until it is clear again. Naturally, this was one of the times when it was brown, so now I had two stains  my white blouse.

Nothing a bit of clean, hot water and strong detergent won’t cure – I sincerely hope.

And then as I was going from the kitchen into the dining room, I managed to cut a corner too close and banged my left arm against the china closet, and sloshed the vegetables around in the bowl. Fortunately, I didn’t drop or spill anything.  This is a recurring problem for me; I keep walking into things – door frames, furniture, etc. – and always, always bang my upper left arm.  Between that and walking into dressers and such, if I ever end up in the ER, The Squire is going to be arrested on general principles.

On a happier note, we went to a neighbouring church for a bell choir concert, which is something both of us enjoy tremendously.  We did chat a bit with one of the choir members, as she has the same last name as the rector of the church in Newport, and her middle name is (I think) the same as Mrs. Rector’s maiden name. Really weird.

We have been watching the news for the last hour or so since we got home, and are just horrified by what we are seeing and hearing. We have a dear friend, almost a son, who is Muslim and is beyond worried about this, afraid of backlash, and several friend who are gay, so it must be awful for them also.  Second Amendment or not, there is NO  legitimate reason for a civilian to own what amounts to a machine gun. A pistol or hunting rifle is one matter, a military weapon is another matter entirely.

The Nerve of Some People

10 Jun

Several years ago a dear friend from church moved to West-by-God-Virginia. Her daughter just graduated from high school, and we have been working for quite some time on plans for said daughter to spend Monday with The Squire and me.  Talk a bit, have a cuppa, play with the Blazer (whom she adores). maybe a trip to IKEA for lunch, and just generally hex around.

When I checked my email about an hour ago, there was a message from a local company, saying the regular operator was taking off for her birthday – and I would be taking the switchboard for the day! This was a CC between the operator and HR, not even sent directly to me, other than what seemed to be an afterthought. I wonder if it had been discussed to the point everyone assumed I’d been included from the beginning.

Normally, this is no problem, as I like working there, and I usually don’t have anything else going on that can’t be shuffled around; it’s one of top-10 Best Places to Work, the people with whom I do work are delightful, and switchboards being what they are, I generally get paid reasonably well to read a book. However, it would be nice to have a bit of advance warning. For all they know, I could be in the middle of an ocean voyage, scheduled for open heart surgery, or any number of other things which would render me unable to show up at 8 AM on Monday.

As it is, I am the only switchboard operator on the payroll, other than the regular gal, and I have too much self-respect (or whatever) to refuse. I’ve written to my friend to see if her daughter can come on Tuesday – maybe spend Monday night here in our fancy new guest room, and head off early on Tuesday, or any number of other options.

And we are going to have a little talk at work about taking people for granted.