Archive | January, 2017

French Fries!

28 Jan

This morning, I stopped by the market and asked the young man at the deli counter for two slices of turkey ham (which The Squire calls “sham”) to fix as ham steaks for tomorrow’s dinner. The young man held up the piece of meat and positioned his knife about an inch and a half from the end. “Is this about right?”

“No! That’s much too thick.” I put up my thumb and index finger to show him what I wanted. He again positioned his knife way too far from the end, so I finally asked him the give me the knife, and I scored the “skin” of the meat to show him where it should be cut. “I want two slices that thick.”

He held up a slab of meat about an inch thick. “Is this OK?” Well, it wasn’t, but I’d already spent too much time on this project. “Do they teach fractions in school any more?”


I hate to say it, but I’d have been better off with somebody from The ARC.

When I checked out, the cashier looked askance at the hunk of “sham” I had, so I told her about my adventures in Deli-land.

Which led, in turn, to me recounting an episode, long ago and far away, with a young cashier in another store.  The Squire and I had loaded our order onto the belt, and we had to identify almost every single item we had purchased.

“What’s this stuff?”

“Celery” “Radishes” “Zucchini” “Radicchio” “Cauliflower”

And, then, the lights came on! “I know these”, he said, proudly holding up the bag of potatoes.

“This is what they use to make French Fries!”


The Mud, The Blood, and The Beer

25 Jan

Maybe the president isn’t sure of climate change but folks Maryland certain are.  We had a week or so of winter around the first of the year, but it has been in the 40s and 50s ever since. Today it was up to 56-f.

Instead of snow, we’ve had rain. And rain. And more rain. We had four straight days of it, beginning on Friday. Early Monday morning the wind began to blow, and we have a fair amount of limbs down all over the yard. Blazer always goes out to get the mail and the paper around 1:30, so I walked out to the box  on Monday in the rain and the wind. We got about fifty feet or so from the house, and Blazer decided he’d had enough, thank you very much. I dragged him on out, anyway. When we got to the end of the drive I dropped the leash, and I don’t believe his feet ever touched the ground getting back to the house! He poked his head around the corner of the building with a “what’s taking you so long” expression on his fuzzy face.

Today was warm and mild, so I played pick-up-sticks while The Squire was at the Y, and slogged out through the mud to feed the foxes. When he got home, we hung out the wash. That was more an exercise in optimism than anything else,  but the clothes will all be dry tomorrow, and they smell so good when we take them down.



23 Jan

This morning we had an email from the bank, questioning two recent transactions on our credit card. One was from the restaurant where we had dinner yesterday, but the other was from this morning, for an exorbitant amount at a predatory big box store we generally avoid.

The Squire called the bank, and they have honored the one and then cancelled the card.


They told us there were several other charges outstanding, and they would void those, but The Squire didn’t ask what they were or which stores were involved. He also didn’t realize that cancelling the card meant we couldn’t download our transactions and pay the bill.

Oh, dear!


22 Jan

Our friend Mac called late Friday to say he and his wife had two extra tickets to a dinner theatre for Saturday evening, and would we like to go along?


We had a marvelous time. The show was very well done and the food was excellent. They even had enough for the Resident Vegetarian to eat. The actor who played Joe had a voice that would have given Paul Robeson a run for his money.

There was also a group of young people from St. Steven’s Episcopal church, who sang an á Capella song – a Christmas spiritual about Mary having a baby “in a weary world”. They were outstanding!

We got home at 11:45, and The Squire went straight to bed. I took my medicine and followed him upstairs but the Restless Leg Syndrome kicked in way before the anticonvulsant, so I had to get up and play computer games until 1:30.

Eight o’clock came awfully early this morning.

It Is Raining

20 Jan

It’s inauguration day, and it has rained all day. I believe God Himself is weeping.

I’ve been disappointed in elections before. I had hoped that Ford would win over Carter,  but I thought Ronald Regan was a Hollywood “song and dance man”. Both of them turned out to be pretty darned good presidents.

I would have referred Secretary Clinton over Donald Trump, by a large margin, and had she lost to anybody else, I would not have feared for the future of the country.

Nuff’ said.

Second Time is a Charm (we hope)

18 Jan

Eldest daughter called around noon on Saturday to say that CHOP, after more tests and multiple plans of action,  had operated on the baby that morning. One of the doctors, in a flight of fancy, had gone back to the NG tube idea, because he thought Austin’s little tummy muscles weren’t contracting. His dad refused that suggestion, saying if his stomach wasn’t contracting, then putting food into it was pointless, and considering the power with which Austin was shooting food across the room, the muscles jolly well were contracting.

So the surgery was performed and the doctors agreed that it had definitely needed to be done. In fact the doctor who was pro-NG tube admitted it wouldn’t have worked at all.

Austin was a bit of a celebrity at the hospital, with nurses and other staff popping in to see him. Apparently, the pyloric sphincter growing shut a second time is pretty rare.  I asked if he was giving autographs, but apparently not.

Everyone is back home, and we are hoping and praying this second operation really does the trick!

The Way of the Cat

17 Jan

Time out for a bit of silliness.

This morning the cat sat in front of the water dish and yelled pitifully. The dish was full, so I ignored him. He came into the bathroom with me, and proceeded to drink from the spigot while I brushed my teeth.

The Squire came down for breakfast, and Eddie followed him into the kitchen to complain, alternately sitting in front of his dish and trying to climb The Squire’s trousers.

The Squire went over to the dish and discovered a piece of brown leaf, about the size of a nickel,  floating in the water. Once he pulled it out and showed it to the cat, Eddie sat down with a huge sigh and drank as if he hadn’t had water in days!




13 Jan

Eldest Daughter called at 1:30 to say she was on her way home from Philadelphia, and about ready to drop in her tracks. She’d been up until very, very late waiting to see what was going to happen with the baby, and then she and Austin’s mum had tried to catch a few winks in recliners in the hospital room, with the baby unhappy and medical staff coming and going. She just called again to say our grandson had arrived at CHOP and the doctors are going to operate in the morning.

When I last visited with the kids, a week or so ago, things seemed to be going pretty well. Austin had gained a bit of weight, and even though he was still spitting up, it was no more than the usual baby stuff.  Early Thursday the baby started the projectile vomiting again, and was frantic with hunger. His mum would give him four ounces, and he’s shoot it across the room, and be rooting for more. Add to that the fact that he was becoming dehydrated and had dry diapers, and you have a very sick little boy.

When the kids first got to the hospital, the doctors were talking about an NG tube, which our grandson vetoed very firmly. If the food isn’t leaving Austin’s stomach, putting him (and his parents) through the insertion and cleaning of the tube was a waste of time. Another doctor suggested something else, and yet another came up with Plan C.

Dear God, let this surgery do the trick. Austin is three months old and only weighs 5 ounces more than he did when he was born.


Here We Go Again

12 Jan

I just received a frantic call from Eldest Daughter (at 4 PM EST) that she, Austin’s mum, and Austin were headed back to Philadelphia.  We’re talking at least a two hour trip, probably more in rush hour traffic, so – although she didn’t give me any details – we can assume we have one sick little man on our hands.

Not to make light of Austin’s problems, but there was a house fire in Baltimore today which killed nine children, from 8 months to 11 years old, and left the mother and two other children in critical condition. The house is in such dangerous condition because of fire damage that firefighters are having to search for the bodies by hand.

Lots and lots of prayers needed in our neck of the woods.

Back Home and Much Better

7 Jan

After a trip to Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania (CHOP) Austin is home and doing much, much better. He is not throwing up as much, and seems more alert and interested in what’s going on around him.  He still throws up some, but babies do, and it’s not nearly as bad as it was. He has also gained a few ounces, which is a Good Thing.

His dad has been released from the military and is back at his day job with the electric company.  So far this winter we’ve had only two days of snow flurries, but I know that won’t last, but he bundles up and enjoys climbing poles.

More power to him.