Archive | March, 2018

Just Ducky

12 Mar

DSCN0514For the last couple of days we have seen a pair of mallards in our pond.  The drake is, of course, unmistakable, but the duck is so drab you’d think she was another species entirely.

They come fairly early in the morning, leave, and then come back in the afternoon, before flying away for the evening.

I really don’t understand how scientists can claim animals such as dogs and cats are colour-blind. If they were, it would not be necessary for female birds to blend into the scenery.  The male scarlet tanager is bright red, with black wings; his mate is a dull green and her wings are greenish grey. A male canvasback is bright white with a russet head, while the female is dusty grey with a darker grey head. God doesn’t want the females in danger while they are nesting.

Bread on Both Sides

7 Mar

When I was a kid I did not want to eat the heels of bread. I made it very clear I wanted “bread on both sides”. My grandfather would smile and nod, and agree those pieces were for the chickens.

Now that I make all of our bread, I’ve discovered the very best part is the heel of the loaf, hot from the oven, and spread with a good pat of fresh butter.

Life doesn’t get much better than that.

Update

6 Mar

I put an inquiry on the local “Nextdoor” blog this morning asking if anyone knew what had happened last night, and one woman suggested I call the local police station and ask. Yeesh. How obvious is that?

And so I did.

Apparently it was a domestic dispute between a man and his dad. One of them was threatening to burn down the house, and “we took him to the hospital”. Not sure which “he” was “who”, but it wasn’t anything for us to worry about. No guns or loose cannons.

Very Mysterious

6 Mar

About 8 o’clock last night I started hearing helicopters, very loud and very close. We live fairly close to three different military bases – two Army and one Air Force – and I was beginning to think our dear Cadet Bone Spurs had at last gone too far. A few minutes later I became aware of sirens and flashing lights, to I went upstairs to see what I could see from that vantage point.

The helicopters – three of them – were circling a house a few doors up the road, keeping their spotlights focused on the building. Police cars were everywhere.  The road was blocked in both directions, and we could hear loudspeakers, but couldn’t make out what was being said. The Squire went back downstairs, locked both doors, turned the alarm on “instant” and flipped on the lights over both the back and front of the house.  After about a half an hour, things began to subside – the choppers went away, and the various police vehicles (we think one may have been a K9 car) drove away.

The Squire stayed up and watched the 11:00 news, but there was nothing mentioned and there wasn’t anything in this morning’s newspaper, either.

 

The Big Blowhard

4 Mar

Winter Storm Riley did a number on our area, that much is certain. The Squire said the power went out around noon on Friday, and it came back on Saturday at 1:30. We really made out much better here than a lot of other folks, but I certainly have even more sympathy for the people in Puerto Rico.  I worked on Friday and had hoped to run out and do a bit of shopping on my lunch hour. First, it snowed like mad, and with the wind whipping around at 50 mph, I’d have been driving inside a milk bottle. Then a customer reported all the traffic lights were out for at least a five mile stretch along the only road that went directly to my destination. So, scratch that. We’ll try again on Monday.
There were a lot of trees down between the office and the Rice Paddy. The road was blocked by a State Highway truck at one point, and an electric company truck at another. I could see a pole down a short distance beyond that truck. There were also wires down closer to home, where a tree hand gone down and snapped the line. A neighbor lost two huge pine trees; one had blown over and taken its neighbor with it. One house had half the siding off north side. A woman about a mile from here was killed when a tree fell on her as she was going out to the mailbox. The Squire said he himself nearly got hit, when a branch fell directly behind him. Ten seconds one way or the other would have been fatal. The wind was so loud you couldn’t hear anything else, so you couldn’t even get out of the way.
Fortunately, we have an older gas stove, so we were able to light it with matches; the newer ones have a “safety feature” that makes it impossible to do that. I don’t mind sitting in the dark, or being cold, but I draw the line at going hungry. The Squire had home-made soup ready when I got in and had brought the kerosene lamp from the bedroom to add to the one already in the dining room. Of course, the second lamp made the smoke detector go off. Fortunately, that one is not connected to the police – although I don’t think it would have made much difference without any power.

We had purchased a dozen small flashlights for the nieces and nephews at Christmas, but we didn’t get to see half the children so there were still a bunch of torchesDSCN0515 lining the mantle. I put a magnetic hook on the stove hood and hung one there, so we could see to fix breakfast, and another on the medicine cabinet doorknob, so we could brush our teeth. The Squire brought a bucket of water from the pond to flush the toilet. All the comforts of home.

We didn’t get cable service until Sunday afternoon, which meant we didn’t have a phone or computer, but we were able to use the cell phone, and had power to recharge it.  My inbox had almost 100 messages in it! About five were worth answering. ‘Twas ever thus.