Archive | May, 2018

Water, Water, Everywhere

28 May

By now I’m sure everybody has seen videos or read the news about the flooding in Ellicott City.   This little town was founded in 1772 by the Ellicott brothers, and was originally the “end of the line” for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, where the train picked up flour from the Ellicott’s mill, as well as timber from the surrounding hills.

It has been plagued with flooding since the beginning. In 1868 the Patapsco River rose ten inches in five hours – and it wasn’t raining! The water came from severe storms further back the river.

There was a horrendous storm in 2016 which did major damage, and then again yesterday, which officials think is even worse. Below is a link to videos and pictures from the local TV stations.


Aftermath, cleanup of flooding in Ellicott City

There are other films and links on that page, but a search for Ellicott City flooding will bring up many, many more.

Just to ease your minds – this is on the other side of Baltimore City from us, and we were never in danger.

EC flood

The Trashman Cometh

25 May

The crew that collects our recycling seems to have it in for us.  They never put the bin back next to the mailbox, or even on the lawn. Their favorite trick is to drop it into the ditch. Said ditch is so deep that we cannot see the bin from the house, and must get down on our knees to pull it out. First of all, we are little too old to be crawling around in the grass – not to mention I’m usually stuck down there until The Squire comes to rescue me, or I creep over to the mailbox to haul myself up. And second, ditches – and wheelie bins – are often full of dirty water.

If they don’t drop into our ditch, they toss it into the neighbour’s ditch.  This takes some doing, as their ditch starts on the other side of the drive – about eight feet behind this shot, and  then past their mailbox. The neighbour never puts out trash or recycling, but drops it off at the dump himself. Don’t ask me why. The first time this happened it took us two days to find the fool thing.

Another trick is the leave the bin in the road, where it gets hit by passing traffic, and destroyed. We are on our third bin.

After bemoaning this to a friend, and she offered a suggestion.

I am no longer allowed to take out the recycling.

image (3)

Don’t Do That!

20 May

We have all interesting character quirks, but my mum was just plain weird.

She made it very clear that she raised us the same way she was raised, but I don’t buy that theory. I mean, my sister and I weren’t allowed to get a driver’s license until our 18th birthday because that was when she got hers. And if we wanted to stay after school for French Club or a play rehearsal, we could find a way home, because she had to find a way home when she was in school. Never mind that she lived in the city and could “find her way home” on the streetcar; we lived in the suburbs and not taking the school bus meant a five mile hike.

It was the other odd things that baffled even her own mother. I’ve already discussed making the bed (April 10, 2012) and washing my hair (January 18, 2015) but other things she wouldn’t allow were mysterious.

On one of the blogs I follow ( the writer discussed a birthday cake she made for her mum. It is apparent from her blog that she helped her mum in the kitchen a lot, and felt fairly confident that she could manage making this cake by herself. My mother very seldom allowed anyone in the kitchen with her. My sister and I were expected to do the dishes but the only cooking experience I had was peeling potatoes, and in the summer, peeling squash to put in the freezer. If it hadn’t been to Home Ec. classes in school I’d have hardly known which end a spatula to put in the frying pan.  One year – maybe 1986 or so – I took my godson to visit my parents in Roxboro and before we ate, Steven started to set the kitchen table. My mum told him to cease and desist, as he was “making her nervous”.

The big, big thing was that my sister and I were never, ever allowed to touch each other. When we went on vacation we usually had to share a bed in the motel, and we took turns sleeping on the floor, because we were too worried that our bodies might bump into each other during the night. We always packed a cooler and camp stove and ate at roadside stops, rather than in restaurants, and sometimes the family would take one of the nature walks set out in the woods. We were trekking along and Lynn stumbled. I reached out to grab her hand, and from the back of the line came our mother’s voice.  “Don’t touch your sister!”

It’s a wonder I don’t have even more “interesting quirks” than I do.



Book Review

16 May

I am about halfway through the most delightful book. If you can, get your hands on a copy of The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules,  by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg.

Five elderly people, friends since childhood, break out of a poorly-run senior home, and go on a mad romp across Sweden, having the time of their lives.

I promise you, it is a HOOT!


No Place For Sick People

13 May

I had a bout of really severe chest pain Saturday afternoon (Hey! That was only yesterday!) and The Squire insisted upon taking me to See Some Body.

We opted to go to Patient First, simply because we knew it would be faster. MUCH  faster. The parking lot was absolutely empty; we were afraid they were closed, in spite of the “8:00 to 10:00/365 days a year sign on the door.  A notice in the waiting room said to interrupt if you were having chest pain, and they really did hop to it. A nice fellow from North Carolina – a former military medic – swapped stories with The Squire while I was hooked up to an EKG machine. After much backing-and-forthing I was put into an ambulance and transported to the local hospital.

Where we waited and waited and waited. An hour and a half before I was seen by anybody.  I did get a chest X-ray, and blood drawn, and then I lay in the bed and read my book.  For reasons which escape me, I had grabbed my anti-spasmodic meds as I ricocheted through the bathroom before we left, and as the time neared 9:00 PM I had The Squire get me a glass of water and took them. To cut to the chase, the doctor decided to admit me: A) I had chest pain radiating to my jaw, and B) I’m over 65. What with on thing and another, it was midnight before I even had a prayer of getting some rest. However, I did manage to sleep pretty soundly from 12 M to 4:30 AM, so no reason to complain, there.

It really was a good thing I’d taken those pills in the ER, because they weren’t included in the orders when I got to my room. However,  they were on this list for this morning, and I turned them down.  More on that in a moment.

I was NPO this morning, as they were taking me down for a stress test “early”. We all know how “early” that can be in a hospital. My nurse did call to find out where we stood and was told I was number five on the list. She’d forgotten to ask what number they were on, but called back to double check. “Within the hour.”

During the discussion with the nurse in Radiology, I learned the stress test involved my having to lie perfectly still for 20 to 25 minutes! Fat chance of that, unaided. We called up to my nurse’s station and she sent down one of the anti-spasmodics I had refused earlier. Worked a treat! I galloped along on the treadmill for a bit, and then went over to take a nap in a CT-scan sort of machine. I drifted off to sleep, and The Squire met me in my room around 1:00, just in time for lunch. And thanks be to God for that! It had been just about 24 hours since we’d eaten lunch back at the Rice Paddy.

After I ate, the nurse removed the IV port from my arm, put on a bandage, and went about her business. A few moments later, The Squire put his head out my door and yelled, “Hey! My wife is bleeding in here!” I had blood everywhere! On the floor, on the bedclothes, and on MY clothes. I was holding one hand my elbow, catching blood as it continued to pour from my veins. What a mess!

All day long, everyone was very nice, very pleasant, and professional, and the food at the hospital was really good.

In the middle of all this commotion, The Squire was in charge of the parish’s Mother’s Day Brunch. Everything had been bought, and he had a crew to help him, but he did have to show up and boss people around for a while. He said Blazer simply refused to leave his post outside the bedroom door, waiting for Mummy to come back. It was a struggle to get him to go out to make a puddle.

Mimi’s Little Helper

11 May

Local daughter was cleaning out the garage, and her granddaughter (our great-grand, in case you lost count) offered to “help”.

The garden hose was in use, and LD was going barefoot, but the Munchkin wanted boots. Then, because Mimi was wearing gloves, the Munchkin also had to have a pair.

Aubrey helpAnd here she is, all dressed up and ready to work!

Magic Numbers

10 May

This is the label from the shrimp dish we had for dinner this evening.  There are five skewers in the box.  According to the label, five skewers equals three and a half servings. Who comes up with these things, anyway? How do you divide five pieces among three and a half people? Who has a half a person in their family? A small child, perhaps?

And, for what it’s worth, these things were hot enough to catch fire all by themselves. We both enjoy Szechuan food but, Lawsy! Woo-hoo! There was a second type – garlic and pepper – and we might consider trying those next time.



Don’t Forget!

3 May

I went up to the farmer’s market the other day to pick up peanuts – $64 for a 50 pound bag – and got some rhubarb at the same time.  Last night, I made up a rhubarb and strawberry pie, with a crunch top.

It looked and smelled heavenly but I realized, when I opened the oven door, that the cookie sheet I intended to put under it was still sitting on the kitchen counter.

Talk about a royal mess!

I went over to knitting this morning, and when I came home The Squire had cleaned up the mess I’d left behind.  We had pie for dinner, and it was well worth the hassle.