Archive | May, 2017

How High Can I Jump?

24 May

Sometimes it seems the only exercise I get is jumping to conclusions and pushing my luck.

This evening I had to dash over to the library to grab a book that was being held for me. As I walked across the lot a young woman came dashing out of the building, hopped into a car in a Handicapped spot, grabbed something, and then ran back inside.

When I got inside I proceeded to give her a large piece of my mind, pointing out that she was obviously not handicapped and had no business parking there.

Turns out she was driving her mum and that lady needed a walker to get around.

It’s hard to crawl under the rug when you have your foot in your mouth.

A New Beginning, And An End, At Last

21 May

Our newest great-grandson, Austin, was baptized this morning, along with another little boy.  In spite of my best efforts to sit with the family, I ended up “on the altar” again. Not too bad a deal, as I was still able to read the prayers for the candidates.  We Anglicans tend to be a flexible lot.

Austin and his parents are on the right in this shot.

baptism group

Eldest daughter had a party at her house after the service. We had invited Rev. Kim, but she had to be in Frederick by 2:30, so that didn’t work out.

Silbaugh called earlier this week to say they had finally gotten my dad’s stone in place, so The Squire and I stopped by Christ Church to take a look at that. It’s only been eighteen years, after all.  My mum refused to have a marker on his grave – “God will know where to find him when He wants him” – and I waited until she died before I ordered it. Now, I have to figure what to put on her stone that won’t sound snarky.

ERMP stone


18 May


Our local great-grandson at the Aquarium.

Hoarder, Thy Name is Audrey

17 May

The Squire and I are once again playing “Let’s Pretend We’re Moving”, and decided to have one more go at the barn.  When my folks moved back to Baltimore from Roxboro, they purchased an 8 x 10 Amish shed, and loaded a moving van full of stuff into it. (Well, maybe not really that much, but it certainly seemed that way.) We eventually moved everything into the barn and donated the shed to church.

The Squire loaded about a dozen cartons of various sorts and conditions into the cart and hauled them down onto the patio. You would not believe the stuff my mum saved! I must admit I have held onto every card I have ever gotten from The Squire, and I generally save this year’s Christmas cards to address next season’s, but I do throw them out eventually. Not my mum. We found two large boxes full of cards dating back to their first home.  It wouldn’t surprise me; when my dad died in 1999 my mum moved into a retirement center and my sister and I helped her clear some of the debris. (Read, we spent our time taking turns distracting her while the other one crept out with a pile of paper.) We each brought home my parents’ income tax papers from the years we were born – 1942 and 1947 – and gave each of our children a Woman’s Day magazine from the month they were born.

My dad was a clergyman, for Heaven’s sake! Do you know how often they move? My mother could squeeze a nickel until the buffalo shit and the Indian had a headache, but she spent good money to lug paper all over the country. Yeesh!

Boxes and boxes of books, many so abused by the mice that they had to be tossed, and a pair of ceramic figurines Nana had made back in the 50s. They were carefully wrapped in what had once been a fine wool blanket, now so moth-eaten I’ll be lucky to get two pieces large enough to give to the Humane Society.  Some of the theology books will go to Operation Pass Along for other clergy, and I’ll see if I can donate the rest. It goes against the grain to dispose of printed material. Hmm. Wonder where I got that?

When The Squire moved the tractor, he found a handful of dog food under the seat.  He also found peanut shells in his boots. It’s a long way from our house to the barn.  Industrious little buggers.

The most surprising find of the day was a small garter snake, curled up in one of the boxes. Hard to tell which of us was the most startled.

At least it was only one.






15 May

In addition to the work the utility company is doing over here, they have the main road from here to Joppatowne closed off, turning a quick one and half mile zip to the shopping center into a four mile slog.

I went over this morning to run some errands and when I got back there was a message on the answering machine from the alarm company saying the church alarm had ben tripped. Another trip around Robin Hood’s barn to take care of that little problem. The police turned up a few moments after I arrived and they waited until I had checked all the doors before driving away.

The Late and Unlamented never believed in detour signs. He would insist that the road ahead was clear, but that the workers had forgotten to remove the signs. As a result, we often traveled miles out of our way, only to discover the construction people had not gone home and left their equipment behind.  We once traveled five miles to discovered that bridge really was out. No point in my suggesting we do as we were told.

When I was still working downtown, he frequently took me to work. One morning we met a state trooper standing in front of his car, blocking our way down Bel Air Road. He waved us off to the right, down a road which would have taken us where we needed to go.  The L&U drove a half a block and then zipped back unto Bel Air Road by cutting through a church parking lot. “See, the road is clear, and we have it all to ourselves.” Chortle, snicker. Two blocks down, we were met by another trooper, who shunted us off onto another road, this time heading away from our destination.

It turned out there was a gas main break, and the entire area had been evacuated. One of his cigarettes flipped out the car window and we’d have been blown to kingdom come – and taken half the neighbourhood with us.

This morning, there was a dreadful accident on I-95, about fifteen miles north of us. A chartered bus taking a class of students to DC for the day had turned over, sending one child and one chaperone to the hospital – via medivac – in critical condition.   Twenty-some other people were taken by ambulance to various local hospitals with broken bones and other “minor” injuries. Both north and south bound traffic was tied up for hours and detour signs were posted to keep people from taking the on-ramps.

I could just imagine L&U scooting around the blockades and getting himself right in the middle of the whole business, sitting there, steaming and muttering that he had “a lot of luck, and it’s all bad.”

Happy Mother’s Day

14 May

Back on February 28th, the Men’s Group at Resurrection hosted the annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, and the proceeds from that were set aside to pay for the Mother’s Day Brunch this morning.

Somehow, The Squire ended up being in charge of both events – not that there’s anything unusual in that, goodness knows. I found an interesting recipe online, and we gave it a whirl sometime in late April, just to make sure we didn’t poison anybody.  Last night, we whipped up a triple batch, and had it ready to go into the oven this morning.  We got the tables set up and the food in to bake, then I went to early church while The Squire and his cohorts got things organized in the kitchen.

The meal was a grand success, and I had several requests for the recipe, which I will put in the next issue of the newsletter. We had enough left that I could pack up meals for two shut-ins, which I delivered during late service.

And without further ado —

This recipe originally called for one pound of sausage to be browned and then added to the pan, but we omitted it, and served sausage patties separately. You may do as you wish, but the pan is so full without it that you may run out of space. Your cup running over in the oven makes for a real mess!

1 8-ounce round of brie                                               3 cups whipping cream, divided

6 white sandwich bread slices                                    1 teaspoon dried sage

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese                                   1 teaspoon seasoned salt

7 eggs, divided                                                              1 teaspoon dry mustard

Trim outer rind from Brie (not the top and bottom) and discard. Cut Brie into slices and set aside. Cut crusts from bread slices and place bread evenly in the bottom of a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan. Cover with Brie and Parmesan cheese. Whisk together 5 eggs, 2 cups of whipping cream, and the spices; pour evenly over the cheeses. Cover and chill for 8 hours or overnight.

Whisk together the remaining 2 eggs and 1 cup of whipping cream; pour evenly over chilled mixture and bake at 350° for 1 hour or until set.  Let sit for ten minutes before cutting into squares and serving.  Serves 8.

This is not, heaven knows, a low-cal dish, but it’s just the thing for special occasions. Serve with sausage patties (or meatless links) and fruit cocktail.


Beep, Beep. Beep, Beep.

12 May

The Gas and Electric company is doing something up the hill from us. In fact, since we live in a valley, they are working up both hills from us.

They start at some ungodly hour – around 6:30 or 7:00 – using what our eldest used to call diggers and pushers. Some folks think they are drilling massive holes to set up the big, single pole towers for the power lines. The “erector set” towers came down over a year ago, and there are already poles in place. I think, but don’t quote me, that they are putting in vaults to bury the lines. But then, why would they have already erected the poles and then come along and bury the lines?

Whatever they are doing is loud. The heavy equipment makes so much noise that I thought The Squire was running the leaf blower outside.  And when the trucks are backing up, the warning claxon is maddening. Beeb, beep. Beep, beep. The truck goes beep, beep, beep.

It is penetrating, and it drives poor Blazer to distraction.


2 May

I never watch TV – well, I do watch the Big Bang Theory, but that’s it – so I was surprised last night when a friend at our knitting group told me we were in for a big storm. “Oh, yeah,” she said. “They are talking about flooding, with high winds and all that stuff.”

I hustled home, and The Squire and I moved our cars to the top of the hill, put floatables up on the picnic table or stashed them in the tractor cart. We had picked up some things to FreeCyle for a friend who is moving, and we lugged those items into the kitchen. Actually, we were kind of hoping for a big blow. This house is not salable, and if we ever want to move the only thing is to hope we can get insurance money if a tree falls on the house.

My anticonvulsant wasn’t working last night, so I had to get up and take a second pill. (Don’t let anybody tell you Restless Leg Syndrome is a “minor inconvenience! It rapidly goes from Restless Legs to Restless Arms, and all points in between.) By the time I finally got to bed, it was midnight and the stars were shining. If we got more than fifteen drops of rain, I’d be surprised.