Archive | October, 2017


29 Oct

For the last few weeks, just at dusk, we have seen a large buck either in our back yard or just at the edge of the woods around us. We put out deer corn in the “back forty” (the power company right of way behind us) to encourage him and any friends he might bring along.

The last day or so, he’s been missing.

Yesterday morning, The Squire and Blazer went out to collect the newspaper and found the deer in the woods on the other side of the stream. Ninety acres of state-owned forest behind us, and Bucky had to cross the road.  He’d managed to drag himself a good distance  from the street, and was lying on his side, with his head resting on a log.

Right now, he is perfuming the neighbourhood, poor thing. I kinda wish the vultures will find him soon.

I think the thing that disturbs me most about deer – and mice – is that they don’t close their eyes when they die. They just lie there and stare at you accusingly.



25 Oct

I have just finished reading a book by Bryant Simon, The Hamlet Fire.

The Triangle Shirtwaist fire took place in 1911, but it seems we have not learned much in the ensuing 80 years.  A fire broke out in a chicken processing plant in the little town of Hamlet, NC, on September 3, 1991. The fire itself was caused by the owners’ deliberate disregard for common safety procedures, insisting on repeated makeshift repairs to a cooking vat rather than spending the money to repair the thing properly.  Add to this, the doors were all locked, and the windows boarded up – to prevent theft, according to the owners. Twenty-five people were killed, and an additional fifty-five were injured, some very seriously.

Although North Carolina had passed legislation to provide for safely inspectors, they had not funded the project. There were so few inspectors in the state that, had each one visited four factories a day, each plant would have been inspected once every seventy-five years.  The health inspector did inspect the place more often, and was aware that doors were locked from the outside, there were no marked fire exits, and the place was a dimly lit rabbit warren, but since these things did not affect the food being prepared he didn’t bother to report the conditions.  A really classic case of “it’s not my job.”

The most profoundly damning part of the book, in my opinion, was comes in the epilogue, when Mr. Simon discusses what happens to your chicken between the egg and your dining room table. It’ll ruin your appetite, for sure!

Say What?

23 Oct

This afternoon, as I wandered through the coffee station, I overheard a fellow telling somebody he was going to parameter-ize something “once the results were available”.

I can only hope he meant prioritize. The English language is rich enough without making up new words.

Welcome to the 1700s

22 Oct

We had a Colonial Fair at Resurrection yesterday,  and both The Squire and I are still dead on our feet.  We had these Fairs for five years, ending about thirty years ago, when they sort of collapsed under their own weight.  With all of the history we have in our own back yard, we decided to give it another try, with more emphasis on the history of Joppa and Copley Parish.

We had a few vendors – we’d have liked to have had more – plus a group of Piscataway Indians, and some Revolutionary era suttlers/reenactors. I found myself volunteered – not that I minded – to give tours of the church grounds, stopping at Low Street, the Court House, High Street, and the foundation of the 1724 church.  The Squire picked up the group in the narthex, pointing out some of the artifacts discovered on the property, and then shepherding folks into the church itself for a slide presentation of the plans Panitz had to developing the  “new” Joppatowne.  I did three circuits, which took 45 minutes each.

When I got home last night my feet were killing me, and today I can’t get my shoes back on.

We both took cameras, but neither of us managed to get any pictures, and I’m not sure anybody else did, either.  The best I could do was this shot, which is from 1976.  The Squire is on the far left, and I am in the middle of the back row.  None of us can get into these costumes today!





20 Oct

Peanut plantWe have been purchasing raw peanuts to feed our squirrels from a local farm stand.  (Yes, I know there are plenty of acorns. Somebody has already pointed that out to me.)  The critters have been chowing down on the nuts all summer, but now that cooler weather has arrived they have begun burying them. Every place.

When The Squire and I were hanging up the clothes on Tuesday we discovered a garden of peanut plants all over the yard.  I doubt they’ll survive the winter, but if they do, we’ll end up selling peanuts instead of buying them.


8 Oct

Well, I finally have a title for what I’ve been doing at church – which is pretty much everything.

The bishop came this morning, and I was – as usual – the crucifer-cum-acolyte-cum-chalicist.  While I was marking my hymnal and lighting the candles, she asked me what my position was in the congregation, and I told her, “Pretty much whatever”.

“Ah,” she said. “You are the dean.” Blank look on my part. “Does Everything As Needed.”

I like that. It’s much nicer than being called a Pushy Broad.