Archive | August, 2018

Let’s Pretend We’re Moving – Again

31 Aug

Although The Squire and I are not particularly interested in moving to Charleston (sorry, Big Kid) we have finally admitted to ourselves that we really need to downsize. From time to time I tackle some project or other, to see what mysterious junk we have and eventually make the move easier.

Today I pulled everything out of one shelf of the linen closet. Lawsy! I corralled some stray medical stuff and put those items in the big plastic bin. Sticking plaster and saline wash stay out where we can grab them, but “serious” stuff all goes into the bin. Ace bandages, gauze, tape, scissors, etc. stay clean and together on the top shelf.  I tossed out a lot of creams and what have you.  The makeup – which I seldom ever wear – is on the next shelf down, but I will admit I have a ton of face firming goop.

If I ever got around to actually using any of it, I’d have the complexion of a golem.

Back Again

29 Aug

The Squire was to meet some friends from high school for lunch on Thursday, but that didn’t work out. We drove over to the library in Waynesville and he spent most of the day poring through old books, looking for ancestors. He did have one major stroke of luck when  local genealogist put him into a website loaded with info about people from the area. Unfortunately, this site can only be accessed from the library. In the late afternoon we went with J to visit one of their uncles, who is also interested in the research.

Next genealogy trip we make is going to be Germany, to look up some of my people!

Friday morning we loaded up and headed for Charleston, to spend a few days with Eldest Daughter in her new house. Quelle maison! Quel quartier!  I’m not sure I want to live in an area that has signs such as this; I mean, c’mon folks! alligator sign

This first night we were there, Eldest Daughter took us for a ride around the neighbourhood on their golf cart. One thing that is unusual is that on trash night, people also put out items they no longer need or use, free for the taking. She has picked up a bouncy ball for her grandkids, as well as an almost new double stroller. She picked up a children’s art center, with a white board on one side and a chalk board on the other, and space underneath for chalks and markers. She is working on figuring out how to  attach a roll of butcher’s paper so the kids can draw pictures they can save.

Saturday we toured downtown Charleston, taking a carriage ride and then wandering through the shops. We did learn that the “Slave Market” is actually a Slaves Market, a place where slaves could sell their handicrafts and what produce they were able to grow on their own little plots of ground.  As our guide said, “When was the last time you went to a Farmers Market and brought home a farmer?”

We went to St. Phillip’s on Sunday, and then headed back to Maryland. That is some church! Absolutely huge, and I swear they have more people on the staff than we have in the pews some weeks. Rector, Assistant Rector, Senior Associate, Youth Minister, somebody whose job it is to visit shut-ins, yada, yada. With a membership of slightly over 1,000 (Eat your heart out, folks!) you can do all of this neat stuff.

We got back to Greater Downtown Bradshaw just before 8:30, and The Squire went to purchase milk and eggs, while I started plowing through a week’s mail and newspapers. Yuck.

And that’s all, folks!

Home Again, Home Again. . .

27 Aug

A lot to catch up here, as we did not have access to the Internet for a large part of the time.

We spent Monday morning at the Newport library, looking for The Squire’s ancestors, and then went to see our old friends, the Rectors, and a friend of theirs. They fixed a lovely vegetarian dinner, Portobello mushrooms, tabbouleh, and salad; we had a grand time, just talking and laughing at some truly bad jokes. Being with them is really coming home. Set our sails for Canton around 7 PM and get there in time to visit a bit with The Squire’s middle sister, J., before we piled into bed.  We spent most of Tuesday visiting the widow of one of his closest high school friends and the friend’s sister. The widow is most likely The Squire’s relative, as she has a last name that ties into his tree. Lots of reminiscing and genealogy talk.  We met J’s two sons and grandsons at a local brew pub. Last time we were there, the pub had a nice kitchen, but that was closed and there was a food truck on the parking lot. Bar-b-cue was the specialty of the house, but they put together a pepper-and-onion taco for me, with lettuce and extra cheese. Delicious, but leaky; I managed to dribble juice all over my clean slacks!

On Wednesday morning J, The Squire and I pulled out of Bryson City on a train ride through the Smoky Mountains, along the Nantahala River. The scenery was beautiful, the food was tasty, and the banjo player was excellent. One woman was celebrating her birthday, so we all sang to her, and another couple had been married ten years. The banjo player did a lively rendition of You are My Sunshine and every married couple of the train got all mushy – including us.

Riding on a train is a real memory jaunt for me. My grandfather worked for the B&O for decades, and we went all over by train. Spending part of Christmas vacation in New York, watching the skaters at Rockefeller Center was an annual treat, and we often traveled to visit some friends of my grandparents who lived near Chicago.  I started one ride in a foul mood (a bad case of teen-itis) and was scowling at my reflection in the car window. My grandfather made faces back at my reflection until I had to laugh, in spite of myself.   Eating in the dining car, and being polite to everyone. “That black man works harder than anybody else you know. You will call him by his name, look him in the eye, and say ‘yes, sir’. Do you understand?” Coming from my German grandmother, this was non-negotiable.

The train stopped at a little resort-type place and we all piled out. This part of the river is a Class 5 rapids, and J said it is used to train for the Olympics. The Squire spotted three canoe paddles in the water near the bank. That must have been one rough trip!

When J and I got to the Ladies’ room we discovered there was no running water in the sinks. The restrooms are arranged so you can see the washbowls from the door, but nothing else. I stood contemplating the Men’s room for a moment, and then yelled “Hey, in there”. No answer. I zipped in and ran my hands under the water – no time for soap; this is a rush job – and on my way out I grabbed a towel from the barrel-type dispenser on the wall. The object of this device is that the towels will snap off at the perforation.

They don’t.

Fortunately, J was coming in right behind me and grabbed my little banner so she could dry her own hands.


Good Night, Sleep Tight

19 Aug

Or not, as the case may be.  In addition to my Restless Leg Syndrome, I have apnea, aggravated by the fact that I normally sleep on my back.  Last night was a nightmare.

The Squire and I left Greater Downtown Bradshaw on Saturday morning, and drove straight through to Newport, stopping only to grab a bite of lunch. Finding a place to lay our weary heads was a challenge; the Family Inn has gone to long-term stays only, and the office for the Best Western was hidden away in the restaurant next door. We finally settled on Motel 6.

I’d taken my pills an hour or so before we went to bed, but my legs simply would NOT stop galloping over the bed. If we were at home, I’d have gone downstairs for a third pill and a glass of wine, grabbed a book and decamped to the guest room. None of those options were available, as I’d foolishly brought only enough pills for two a night, and Tennessee does not allow alcoholic sales on Sundays.  I figured by the time I climbed out of bed, found my clothes and drove around the streets of Newport, I’d probably end up calling The Squire from jail. And then, a group of local citizens camped on the motel parking lot, gunning their engines, and laughing and joking until 2 AM. The Squire did get dressed and complained to the front desk, but it didn’t do any good.

We went off to church this morning at Annunciation, and enjoyed a very nice service. The rector is new to us, and preached a very good sermon. There was a woman behind us who had a beautiful voice, and she lent so much to the congregational singing. Caught up with some old friends and just had a pleasant time. One of the best things about the Episcopal church is that, no matter where you go, you are “home”. There are differences, but things are familiar enough that you are never a stranger.

Lunch with The Squire’s sister and her good friend, and then I came back to the motel and actually managed to get a nap, while The Squire went to Sis’s place and helped her with her genealogy website.  He friend, BJ, is a gem. He is much younger than she is, but is willing to help her out with minor problems such as changing light bulbs, and major things such as seeing that she gets to doctor appointments and such. He also watches out for his own parents and another friend. How on earth the man finds time to work and see to his own life is beyond us.

The last time I had a real knock-down, drag-out night such as the one I had last night was in late July, when we drove down to Harrisonburg to visit my nephew. I wonder if the fact that I sat in the car all day long and didn’t get any exercise at all caused the problem? Even when I work, I am up and down the hall to the coffee station and the rest room – it doesn’t sound as if it’s much, but it’s a loong hallway.  Maybe I should get off my duffle bag and take Blazer to the park once in a while?


16 Aug

The Squire was sitting in front of the computer this afternoon when he saw what he thought was a HUGE bumblebee hovering around a cleome plant in the garden.  A second later he realized it was not a bee, but a hummingbird. He grabbed the camera and shot this picture through the window; this is only the second hummingbird we’ve seen this summer.  The blossoms on these flowers are only slightly larger than a quarter, and the bird is nearly buried.


Win Some, Lose Some

13 Aug

We have been on a low-carb diet for several weeks but we had a birthday party at church yesterday, and there was no way to avoid falling off the wagon. When we make Mac and Cheese we add some cauliflower to the pasta to help cut down on the amount of starch. I had a lovely head of cauliflower, so I decided to simply cook all of it and pour the chees sauce over it instead of using any pasta at all. Essentially a huge bowl of cauliflower au gratin.

It didn’t work out quite the way I expected. It was so soupy we had to eat it with a spoon. It was that or pour it over a slice of bread, which pretty much defeated the purpose.  I guess I can just put it in the blender and call it Cream of Cauliflower Soup.

One Thing Leads to Another

10 Aug

This morning, The Squire mentioned that the door between the kitchen and the utility room was covered with finger prints. He went to get the Mr. Clean, and I looked for a scrub brush. Before the dust settled, we had scrubbed both sides of that door, removed the cat flap, scoured it, and replaced it. We washed both sides of all the windows, and  I washed the curtains and we rehung them.  Before lunch, no less.

Don’t be surprised if it snows tomorrow.


7 Aug

There is a doggie day care center up the road from us, which really looks very interesting. The dogs are allowed to mingle in large, fenced off areas, with kiddie pools and toys, running and romping with each other. We are going on vacation soon and I thought perhaps Blazer might enjoy this sort of thing instead of the place where we usually board him.


They want a “trial day” first, which seems perfectly logical. Blazer has never been around other dogs to any great extent, and I was going to ask about bringing him up for a few hours, any way. However – that trial day costs $47.50, and if it works out we get a 10% discount on the next three visits.

Which cost $55 each.

I don’t think so. Blazer can do his socializing at the local park – for free.


6 Aug

Many years ago, The Squire gave me the American Girl doll, Felicity, for Christmas.  She has red hair and green eyes, as does your truly,  and I named her Kathleen. (Our middle daughter has Kathleen as her middle name.) According to American Girl, Felicity-Kathleen grew up during the American Revolution, which is the era I teach, and I used her as a prop for costumes and such.

A while back, AG came out with a boy doll, but oh, my! he is expensive. Well, everything that comes from AG is pricey, but the dolls are well made and well researched and all that jazz, but I just couldn’t see spending the money on a doll I really didn’t need.

So – cut to another scenario. I was looking for a Heidi Ott dollhouse doll, which are fully articulated, including the knees, elbows, and wrists.  Alas, the 1:12 dolls are not currently available. BUT – there were several 18-inch dolls, including a handsome young fellow named Benjamin, who came to live at our house as fast as the postman could manage it. He got a hair cut, and an Amish friend made him some new clothes. I gave him a dime to put in his pocket, and of course, he immediately had to go spend it on candy bars and ice cream.




Any ID?

4 Aug