Archive | December, 2016


30 Dec

Austin was admitted to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia yesterday afternoon. He had not, at the time he was admitted, had anything to eat for seven hours (he is a not-quite-three months old) and was not interested in eating.  Obviously, both of his parents are with him.

The doctors had done a sonogram and requested the original films from Hopkins for comparison. They have put him on IVs to build him up, and he will be needing another surgery in the near future.

Watch and pray.

O Tannenbaum

29 Dec

As I drive around our neighbourhood there are still signs out announcing that this place or that is selling Christmas Trees.

I think they cater to the Late and Unlamented.

The easiest way to get that man to refuse to do anything was to tell him you thought it was a good idea. I swear, he’d have quit breathing if I had just told him to keep going. He was the personification of the old joke:”I’ll do it. You don’t have to keep reminding me every six months.”

One year he decided he was going to cut a tree rather than purchase one, and walked away from the house carrying an axe. If you stood in our yard and looked in every direction there was nothing but deciduous trees – not an evergreen in sight. I don’t know who he thought he was kidding.

When I left for church with the girls on Christmas Eve we still did not have a tree, but there was one in the living room when we returned.

He’d gone out after we left and stolen one from a lot someplace!


And Again

28 Dec

Local Daughter contacted us this afternoon to say Austin was on his way back to the hospital. He was doing well on Christmas Day, but was running a fever yesterday, and when they took him to the doctor this morning he had lost weight again.

The doctors are talking about inserting “a tube”. Not sure if they mean a via his nose, something into his stomach, or a stent between his stomach and his intestine.

I feel so sorry for all of them – Austin, his mum and dad…this is just so disheartening.

We are very, very fortunate that the military allowed our grandson to come home, and that he has not yet had to return to his regular occupation.


Merry Christmas

27 Dec

True to form, Resurrection was in full disorganized religion mode on the 24th.  The folks listed in the bulletin to serve as readers and ushers were not the ones who were actually scheduled, and our supply was so late – she lives in Hagerstown, and traffic was unbelieveable – that we were discussing whether or not I should just go ahead and do Evening Prayer.

Fortunately, Rev. B came scurrying up the sidewalk with seconds to spare, and all was well. (We had a situation several weeks ago when the supply neither showed nor called, and we had to do Morning Prayer at the last minute.)

We’ve been using a powerpoint system for the last year or so, as a convenience for people who weren’t born with enough arms to juggle a hymnal and a BCP – which is most of us! About halfway through the service, the computer died, and we were left going “by the book”. We started off doing Rite I, and then switched to Rite II after the Offertory. Prayer C, to make it even more interesting.

We do not have services on Christmas Day. The concensus is that not even our rowdy group could get into enough trouble overnight to need the extra service. The last time we had a Christmas Day mass was about fifteen years ago, when the entire congregation consisted of the rector, the organist, her husband, and her parents – who did not speak English.

Eldest Daughter and her family came down around noon on Christmas Day to give us a gift. We had told them not to get us anything, but she said “they’d had a good year” and wanted to give us something anyway.

A fifty-inch flat screen TV! The Squire is in seventh heaven!

We zipped over to the grocery store last night, but other than that we stayed put. The day after Christmas is, if anything,  worse than the day after Thanksgiving when it comes to malls and shops, and we avoid that sort of aggravation whenever possible. We needed birdseed, and I’m working this week, so I wanted to get some peanut butter crackers to keep in the desk. Just as well I did, as The Squire packed my breakfast and I left it home.

That’s gratitude for ya!


Poor George Braun

21 Dec

I have just finished Trevor Noah’s autobiography, Born a Crime. He tells of growing up in South Africa during apartheid, when relations between his Swiss/German father and his “native” mother were illegal, and punishable by a prison sentence of up to five years.  It is a moving and often funny book, and I recommend it.

Until about fifteen years ago, we drank nothing but farm milk at home. Obviously, when I was away at school, this wasn’t possible, but my grandmother’s neighbour had a cow, and when the Burkheimers moved away, we started buying our milk from an elderly couple, Mr. and Mrs. Braun. After I was married, we bought our milk from a lady up the road from us. When Maryland cracked down on it, we drove up to Pennsylvania to purchase milk from an Amish farmer.

The Brauns were old. Not just I’m-sixteen-and-you’re-ancient type of old, but they were probably in their nineties at the time. Mrs. Braun once told us about her beau, who had gone off with a sheriff’s posse to capture a robber. “Before he got on his horse, he grabbed me and kissed me, because we were going to get married, and it was wonderful.”  That was the only kiss he ever gave her. He did not return from that ride.

Anyway, Mr. Braun was a man of simple, and unreachable, bigotry. He firmly believed there were no good black people (although he didn’t used that word) and they were all going straight to Hell. When I pointed out that there were orders of black Roman Catholic nuns, so they, at least would go to Heaven, he stopped me cold.

“Nope. They are only hoping they’ll get in, but they won’t. None of them will. They’re all bad, bad, bad people.”

My mum signaled me to drop the subject, and when we got in the car, she chuckled. “He’s going to be in for a big surprise when he gets to Heaven and finds out God is black, too.”

Poor George!

Oh, My Aching Back!

19 Dec

Or, you can’t fix stupid.

Many years ago a fellow I’d dated when I was between husbands gave The Squire and me a papyrus plant. He’d been keeping it in his living room and watering it every day, but it really wasn’t thriving, so he brought it to the Rice Paddy so it could live in our pond. It grew to absolutely massive proportions, and had to be repotted once, and then split. It is about ready to be split again.

The one drawback was that the plant has to be kept above 55-F and needed lots of sun. We kept it in the living room during the winter, but that really isn’t what you’d call sunny, so by spring it looks pretty dismal. This winter, rather than allow it to fade away, we decided to move it from the house to the front porch, aka the Sun Room, during the day and bring it back in every evening.

The Squire estimates the plant weighs at least forty-five pounds.

Guess who has a bad back and decided not to “bother” her husband last week to haul the pot in and out? Yup.

My back was bothering me a bit on Saturday, but yesterday I could barely move. It was BAD. To make it the cheese more binding, I was supposed to be the chalicist yesterday. Fortunately I was able to sweet-talk another lady into switching with me.

I found some “dynamite” pain pills left over from my neck surgery last year and took one when we got home from church and another last night before bed, and I think I just might live. Not only live, but it may actually be worth the trouble!

Grandson and his wife took the baby to the doctor today; Austin has gained three ounces, but she has made an appointment with a specialist and they will see him tomorrow.

Film at eleven.


Watch Your Step!

17 Dec

We woke up this morning to find the entire world encased in ice. The Squire took these shots when he went out to get the paper and mail: one is a tree right outside the den window, and the other is a picture of the pond, looking toward the road. As you can see, even though it is mid-December, the grass is still fairly green.

When I filled the various bird feeders, they were all wrapped in solid sheets of ice, and I had a dickens of a time getting them off the post. Then I had to bang on this one with a stick to loosen the lid so I could unscrew it.

Ice feeder.JPGI know the ice is dangerous and all that, but it certainly is lovely.

The Squire had to take the car out to the mailbox, as it was too icy for him to walk. Normally, going after the ail-may is Blazer’s favorite part of the day, but not this time. He’d have pulled The Squire off his feet!

And, yes, we have taken to speaking Pig Latin around the og-day, but he has begun to understand what we are saying. Too smart for his own good, that one!