Archive | July, 2016

Me and Donald Trump

31 Jul

To say that I am not a great fan of Donald Trump is a massive understatement.

Our eldest grandson is a member of the Air Force, and will be going to the Middle East sometime in October. Matt&Plane When I heard Trump’s dismissal of John McCain’s service to our county, I was incensed. Senator McCain spent five and a half years in a Viet Cong prison camp, enduring God alone know what sorts of torture, and Trump flipped him off. “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he got captured. I like people that weren’t captured.” (He also dismissed Sen. McCain later because he had lost to President Obama, “I don’t like losers.”)

What sort of sympathy will our daughter and grand-daughter-in-law going to get from this person if – God Forbid – he ever becomes Commander in Chief?

Well, now we know.

This is a person who excoriated the parents of a soldier who died saving the lives of his men. That is the support our grandson’s  family will receive from Donald Trump. A person who thinks he has made sacrifices because he has worked hard, and amassed a fortune. Oh, and he went to military school. Big whoop. He was sent there by his parents because of “behaviour problems”. What sort of sacrifice is a fortune? He has, to quote Khizr Khan, sacrificed nothing, and no one.

What sort of person – I won’t call him a man – makes fun of people who have lost a son who is willing to fight for his country? For the country Trump himself calls home? The country our grandson has sworn to protect, with his very life if necessary?

Mr. Trump has a soul as dark as the inside of Shan-Wei’s boot, and a heart as cruel as any Viet Cong torturer.

And you may quote me on that.

Beginnings and Endings

27 Jul

Yesterday we went up to Eldest Daughter’s to visit with our granddaughter and her two children. Aubrey just turned two, and Wyatt is all of six weeks old, and growing like the proverbial weed. He was 8 pounds, 4 ounces when he was born, and weighs thirteen pounds now.

Aubrey has taken quite a shine to her great-grandfather, calling him Papa, with either a British or French accent. Much emphasis on the second syllable. Pa-pah, she says. She was up on the balcony, looking down and calling him to come up to her bedroom. There are two sets of stairs, and The Squire took the front way up, which she didn’t expect, and he surprised her. “Oh, hi!” (Fancy meeting you here.) She led Pa-pah into her room, showed him her toys, made him a plastic egg sandwich, and then read him a story. Her version was much better than the book.

When we got ready to leave, her mum told her to say good-bye to “Great-grandmother”, and Aubrey blew me a kiss and said,  “I love you, Gran-Mama.” It’s taken two years, but now we have “official” names!

Today, we went to a visitation for a fellow with whom both The Squire and I had worked at Equitable. We’d seen John at the reunion in June, and we both remarked that he didn’t look at all well. His wife, who had also worked at the bank, said that was one of the last good days he’d had. Within about two weeks he’d begun failing dreadfully. He had cancer, and she’d opted for a closed casket because he looked so dreadful.

He was younger than my sister and they had been married less time than we had. Life, sometimes she just isn’t fair.

Be kind to each other.

Baby, It’s Hot Outside

24 Jul

As of 7:30 PM, it is still 87F, down from a high of 93, and only supposed to go down to 77 overnight.

When my parents moved back to Bel Air from Ohio in 1968, air conditioning was becoming much more common, and the contractor had automatically included it in the plans for the new house. My dad crossed it off. He didn’t think it was necessary, and the contractor was only “thinking of his own pocket”, rather than what was actually needed. It took them over a year to sell the place, and even at that, they had to finance it themselves, interest-free.

When they moved to North Carolina in 1983, or thereabouts, the  Vicarage, which was a Victorian building with 20 foot rooms and 12 foot ceilings, had an absolutely ancient heating system badly in need of replacement.  My mum said if it weren’t for the fact that it was oil heat instead of coal, she’d have sworn it was original to the house. I asked if they were going to install a/c while they were at it.

“Summer time is supposed to be hot,” my dad replied.

I just stared at him. “Are you putting a furnace it this place?”


Anyway, they had a new bath installed off his study, so they could stay there indefinitely, and not have to climb the stairs when they became infirm, so they didn’t need to worry about trying to sell it.

Man proposes; God disposes.

My dad accepted a call to a parish in the UK, then developed a brain tumor, followed by renal failure (He’d forgotten to take his HTN meds.), and they had to move back to Baltimore so they would be closer to my sister and me, and then try to sell the house. It was a lovely home, the sort of place that would appeal to a business executive, but trying to sell a house in North Carolina with no air conditioning meant a replay of the house in Bel Air.

They purchased a house here which dated from the 1930s, so it didn’t have air conditioning, but the doctor told my father his medical condition was such that he simply had to have a window unit in his room.  Much grumbling about that, I’ll tell you!

Well, considering the fact that it was 103F the day he was born, I suppose he was used to it right from the beginning.



Our Front Yard

20 Jul


These two friendly critters came by for a visit this afternoon. They were racing and chasing all over the place,  and I was lucky to get this shot at just exactly the right moment.

In spite of the fact that a snapping turtle bit my toe Monday evening, I wouldn’t live anyplace else in the world.

My eyes were bothering me on Sunday, so I took out my contacts as soon as I got home, and put in some OTC eye drops. I woke up Monday with my left eye glued shut, and blood red when I did get it open. When I’d had my last eye exam in February, I was told I had a cataract on that eye that was just about ready to be removed, so The Squire called his eye specialist (he suffers from frequent, spontaneous detached retinas) to see if they could work me in. I think he hoped they could treat the pink-eye and diagnose the cataract in one swell foop, but that was not to be. Still, they told me to come down ASAP, and they would work me in. They had an opening in 15 minutes, which I couldn’t have made even if I had been dressed, but the receptionist said they’d just take the folks who were there a bit earlier, and slide me in when I arrived.

Prescription eye drops four times a day in both eyes, and a follow up the first week in August, and we’ll see where we go from there.

It is, as they say, always something.


Mother of the Bride

18 Jul

A young lady at our church has “adopted” The Squire and me. Rather flattering, really, but she is getting married in September and has asked my help in planning her wedding.

The child has had a pretty rotten life, and she has met a most delightful young man, who had asked her to marry him. She is just giddy with excitement over her up-coming nuptials (I felt the same way over The Squire.), but I swear William and Kate got married with less upheaval.  I promised I would make her wedding cake as my gift to her, but I would not attempt anything I thought was beyond me. The Squire has promised he will give her away. I mentioned a while back that I had addressed her wedding invitations for her.

She is a very savvy shopper. She found a dress and a veil that she liked and then went on-line and bought the same thing for about one-tenth the price. $200 for a veil with a bit of “bling” around the edge, and she’s going to wear it for two hours? Never mind that!  She found something close enough for $25.

Friday, she and her daughter came over for lunch, and then we went off in search of accessories and other odds and bobs. We have agreed to keep the daughter while the happy couple go on their honeymoon, but we discovered the child is allergic to dogs! Well, she’ll only be here for a short time each day, before and after school. We also have a cat,  and Daughter wanted desperately to play with the cat. Eddie doesn’t take to strangers any better than most cats, so Daughter sat at the foot of the stairs and began meowing at the cat, who kept backing up the steps. I asked her to be careful. “You might be telling his something he doesn’t want to hear. Did you insult him? What did you say to him?”

She turned around and gave me the most bewildered look. “I don’t know. I don’t speak cat.”

The Wisdom of a Child

13 Jul

One of our odder hobbies is to wander around in old graveyards. We don’t necessarily have to be looking for somebody, we just enjoy looking.

And often, we find something worth appreciating.

This photo was taken before Amanda turned five.  She is leaning against the very ornate tombstone, shaped to resemble a bed, of a little girl named Ruth, who died when she was the same age. We had noticed other markers for small children, and explained that kids died of things such as measles and chicken pox,  whooping cough and diphtheria (which we explained was a very sore throat), all of which can be prevented today by vaccines.

Amanda considered all this for a moment or two and then asked us to take a picture of her. “I’m going to put this on my mirror at home, to remind me that when Mummy takes me to the doctor’s for shots, it’s so I won’t die, too.”

Smarter than a lot of grown-ups.


A Rolling Catastrophe

7 Jul

Tuesday, it was rolling stones. Yesterday, it was rolling catastrophes.

First of all, The Squire had to go in for an MRI on Tuesday, which took an hour and a half of lying flat on his back, with his arms over his head and being perfectly still.  And NPO, to boot. Try it some time.

On the way home, he stopped at the library – hey! a guy deserves a reward, y’know – and as he was  backing out of his slot, a car pulled in and they ran into each other. Since The Squire was backing up, he was considered to be at fault. My attitude is that if you are more than halfway out, the other person ought to be able to see you in plenty of time to stop.


Yesterday, The Squire went to the Y and I went to the laundromat, where I spent a half an hour trying to discourage a fellow who thought I was single; I’ve gotten too heavy to wear my wedding band, so I’m going to have to get a band of some sort to preserve my sanity – and my honour. The Squire called to ask if I wanted to meet him for lunch; I didn’t, but he’d gotten the results from his MRI, and wanted company. (There are few words in the world less reassuring than “It might be a false positive.”)  As I was slowing down to make the turn, a car came up behind me, going much too fast. I heard the brakes squeal, and the fellow had to turn into the jersey wall to avoid hitting my car.

My only thought was “What was that in honor of?” and I kept going. I really should have stopped to see if he was OK, as he called the police and said I’d sideswiped his car. Since the damage was on his driver’s side, my car wasn’t damaged at all, and we were going in the same direction, it would have been difficult for me to have hit him at all, let alone on the driver’s side.

Well, he’s young, and Heaven knows what this would do to his insurance rates if he was found to be at fault, but it’s going to play hob with our insurance to have two accidents in as many days.

And then, the phone rang as I was fixing supper, and when I went to put it back, I hit my arm against the hot toaster oven, burned my arm and dropped the phone into the dishpan.

Never rains…


Rolling Stone

5 Jul

This morning I noticed a largish grey stone in the front garden. I’d didn’t remember seeing it before, but lately I’ve begun wondering which box I’ve used to pack away my brain, so just figured I’d tend to it later.

A few minutes later I noticed the “stone” was trundling off in the general direction of the pond. Given the layout of our property, how a snapping turtle had managed to get from the stream into the flower bed is one of life’s great mysteries, but I certainly didn’t want this beast in the pond. I figured it was probably a new one – I recognize the three we have by their markings – and three is already, oh…about three more than I wanted. snapping turtle

Emptied one of the cartons I’ve been using to pack books, and went out to corral the monster. While it was busy trying to bite off pieces of the flaps, I picked it up by the sides of the carapace and flipped it into the box. Hooray for our side! Closed the flaps and put it on the back seat of my car, and off we went to church.

Stock photo from Google

Getting across the field and down a muddy bank with a damp corrugated box, which threatened to break apart at any moment, down a steep bank, and to the river’s edge was a bit trickier than I anticipated, but mission accomplished.

I had to put the box in the recycling. I can’t use it to pack books, as it smells of snapping turtle spit.



4 Jul


This has been a most dismal day. It is July 4th, supposedly the Biggest Day of the Summer, but it reached a high of 75F, and has been windy and rainy all day long. Certainly not conducive to fits of patriotism.

Or anything else.

I made a few half-hearted stabs at sorting photos, but other than reading a book and doing some ironing, I didn’t accomplish a bloody thing.

It’s been that sort of day.