Archive | November, 2017

It Is Finished

30 Nov

On November 8th, I wrote that a long-time food pantry in Harford County was being hassled by government inspectors.  We have now been shut down – just in time for the holidays.

The week after that inspector had come by, we were told to go ahead. If you go into a store to purchase bagels, they are usually in a big bin, with a pair of tongs. They do not have a list of ingredients. If you stop at a deli for a sandwich, you have no idea what’s in the bread. Or the lunchmeat or mayo, for that matter.  Panera HQ couldn’t even give us the information we wanted! How’s that strike you?

Yesterday morning, a different inspector came by and told us that under no circumstances were we to continue giving food to the needy. They needed to purchase it just as everybody else does. Well, he didn’t say that, but this was federal, and you know how they feel about poor people.  Can we just do one more session, so folks will have food for Christmas? No, absolutely not.

And we have folded our tents, and will silently slip away. Silently, except for a whole lot of muttering and cursing under our breath.

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The Perversity of Inanimate Objects

29 Nov

Maybe it’s only at our house.

I have written often – and with great feeling – about the fluorescent lights that hang around our house. The one in the den only worked once every six months, and woe betide the person who turned it off by sheer force of habit. We were often reduced to using the computer by the glow of a kerosene lamp. Talk about irony! The one in the bathroom just took its own sweet time. Generally, it waited until you had done whatever it was you came in to do, and smiled at you as you walked out the door. I’ve showered by candlelight more than once.

After changing the bulbs, to no avail, The Squire bought new switches for both rooms. Both lights have worked perfectly ever since. The one in the bathroom did stumble slightly, but The Squire shook his fist at the ceiling and snarled, “You an be replaced, you know!” The light came on immediately. (I’m perfectly serious.)

The smoke detector in the kitchen is hyperactive. We have a self-cleaning oven (Woot! Woot!) so I am reasonably sure there’s nothing burnt on it there, but every time I turn it on the smoke alarm goes off. Really? Setting it on 100° F to put bread on to rise is dangerous?  Boiling water will make the thing start shrieking!  Yeesh!

Sunday night, I glanced into the kitchen as I headed up to bed, and the room was flooded! The dishwasher had decided that draining was too much trouble. Fill, yes. Drain, no.  Luckily, our friend Mac has a wet-vac, so I drove over there to grab it.  Worked a treat!

A few weeks ago the pull-shade on my side of the bed stopped working. I think the spring has died, but I’m not sure. I spent a couple of days reaching under the drapes to roll and unroll the thing by hand. The Squire suggested I switch it with the one over the window a/c (duh!) which I did. As I slotted it into position, the bloody thing unrolled  completely, all the way down to the floor! Arrgh!

And what’s with the thermostat? We have programmed it to remain at 68 during the day, and drop to 62 at 9 PM.  Every morning it has hiked itself back up to 70. Turn it down, and it will stay there until about 3 in the afternoon, and those hot flashes I keep having are not because my hormones are out of whack.

The water heater much prefers to be set at 130°, never mind what we want.

As I said, maybe it’s just at The Rice Paddy.

 

Things Never Change

26 Nov

The psalm appointed for last week was 123, which is only five verses long, but it read in part:

4 Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy, *
for we have had more than enough of contempt,
5 Too much of the scorn of the indolent rich, *
and of the derision of the proud.

When I leaned over and muttered to The Squire that the psalmist must have been reading the news, the man behind us laughed out loud.

Today, the Old Testament lesson was from Ezekiel 34: 20-24

“Thus says the Lord God to them: I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide, I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged.”

It seems the folks in power have always taken advantage of the “little people”. God wasn’t pleased about it then, and He isn’t too happy right now. If Pat Robertson wants to claim that certain natural disasters are God’s punishment, he needs to look no further than the daily paper.

Escape Artist

24 Nov

That confounded dog is a source of constant amazement.

How he can remove his tags without disturbing his collar totally bewilders me.  So far, he has managed to lose two ID tags, a rabies tag, and two licenses. We only get a new tag every five years, and the county sends us a certificate saying he’s covered. When he lost the first one, I had to pay $5 for a replacement.

He lost that, too.

I stopped at the pet store and had a tag engraved with his name, our phone number, and the fact that he is microchipped. And repeated the process a year later.  We’ve gone out with the metal detector, but when you have two acres. . . well, there’s a classic lost cause.

It’s a darned good thing he can’t misplace that chip. Although it wouldn’t surprise me if he managed that!

 

Post Without Comment

19 Nov

One Thing Leads to Another

18 Nov

For the last month, The Squire and I have been telling each other we need to remove the air conditioner from the living room window. And today was the day! The unit isn’t all that heavy, but it is bulky, which makes it a two-man operation.

While he trundled the unit out to the barn, I took down the drapes and washed that window.  When he came back, we washed all five windows, and put the sheers aside to be washed. While the furniture is pulled out from the wall, we figured we might as well go ahead and clean the floors, and I suppose we’d better run the vacuum while we’re at it.

The cat had scattered litter all over the laundry room, so that needed to be swept up – might as well clean the box! – so we didn’t track grit all over the house.  Oh! While you’re in there grab the feather duster and I’ll get the cobwebs out of the corners. This reminded me of an old nursery rhyme, which The Squire accused me of making up!

And after all that commotion, The Squire went to the “Y”, and I made a pie crust. It’s as bad as the day before the baby comes!

The only casualty of the day was when I pushed up one of the bottom windows and mashed my finger. The window frames have little “wedges” you can pull out to prevent the lower sash from being raised more than three inches. It’s nice to be able to get some fresh air without worrying if a storm comes up, or perhaps somebody trying to crawl in the window.  I’d left one wedge sticking out during the summer, and caught one finger between it and the top of the bottom sash. Woo-hee!

There was an old woman
Tossed up in a basket
Seventeen times as high as the moon.
Where she was going
I just had to ask it,
For in her hand she carried a broom.

“Old woman, old woman,
Old woman,” say I,
Whither oh whither,
Oh wither so high?”
“To sweep the cobwebs from sky.”
“May I go with you ?”
“Yea, By and by.”

 

Gee, Thanks

18 Nov

I went up and watched two of the local great-grandkids the other day, and as I was leaving, our daughter handed me a plastic bag – “for Daddy”.

Two soft crabs, ready to fry.

This is a Maryland delicacy, but neither The Squire nor I enjoy them. When he first came to Baltimore, a dear naïve young man from the hills of North Carolina, a bunch of fellows from his office invited him to join them for dinner. The Squire had no idea what to order, so he suggested the others order for him while he went to the restroom. “Surprise me.” You can imagine his reaction when his meal arrived and he found they’d ordered a soft crab sandwich! A huge spider, all elbows, hanging over the bread. Worse yet, when he lifted the lid on his sandwich the spider was glaring at him!

Although Isoftcrab enjoy hard crabs – and The Squire also likes those – I’m not overly fond of soft crabs, either. Mind you, I like oysters in any form, even raw, but no soft crabs, thank you very much.  I think it’s something you have to grow up eating to really appreciate it.

Sort of akin to eating the lamb’s eyeball. Or escargot.