Archive | July, 2020

Well, Blow Me Down

31 Jul

A tremendous storm blew up while we were out last night. All of a sudden, the wind was so strong it grabbed the car doors and threatened to make them close the other way. Normally, when we know a bad storm is coming, one of us will take the hanging baskets off the shepherd’s crooks in the front yard, because I’ve been worried the pots would go flying.

When I went out to feed the critters this morning, I discovered the wind and the weight of the pots had actually bent the steel posts!

Sticky Morning

29 Jul

We saw something floating in the pond when we opened the shades this morning. At first I thought it was a duck, but there was absolutely no movement, so that was out, and the binoculars didn’t help to answer the question. I threw on my robe and The Squire got himself dressed and we went out to take a closer look.

A very dead snapping turtle. Yuck. I got the “Pond Rake” which has an extra six foot PVC pipe on the handle, handy to remove leaves, algae – and turtles from the middle of the water. Once I’d maneuvered the bloated carcass close to the bank, The Squire got the pitchfork and tossed the critter into the woods across the stream.

I discovered yesterday that my driver’s license had expired on my birthday, so I went online to renew it. No such luck; the notice informed me that because it was expired I had to go in person the the DMV. Lovely. I talked it over with my boss, and headed up to Bel Air this morning, to be there when the doors opened at 8:30. The photo on my current license is absolutely hideous, so I carefully set my hair and made up my face. I learned two things. One was that I needed an appointment, and then, just before I turned into that customer, the lady told me that all licenses are good until 30 days after Governor Hogan lifts the shutdown orders.


The rest of the day went quite smoothly, thank goodness! I had enough excitement before 10 AM to last me for a while.

Back on the Treadmill

25 Jul

My agency called Monday afternoon to ask if I’d be interested in a job “for a few weeks” helping out in at a small construction company. The hours were not bad, and the pay would be nice, so I agreed.

I discovered I am not as young as I used to be! Most of what I’m doing is filing, which I honestly enjoy, but I am on my feet most of the day. Lots of bending and stooping, and walking around looking for stuff that really isn’t where you’d think it ought to be. Even the other staff members agree with that estimation, so it’s not just me. At any rate, when I get home in the evening, I’m beat! I don’t expect I’ll be posting much this week or next.

The Squire has been holding down the fort, and doing a very good job, I might add. He gets up and fixes my breakfast, and has dinner waiting when I come in, which means so much.

Apropos of nothing at all, I fond this cartoon online, and it seems to be appropriate for the times.

Remember, six feet apart today is better that six feet under tomorrow.

Today’s the Day!

22 Jul

I dunno. Do you think I’ll ever grow up?

Happy Birthday – sorta

20 Jul

My actual birthday is this coming Wednesday, when I will be umpty-dump years old. A good friend treated The Squire and me to a very generous meal of hard crabs and steamed corn – absolute heaven, as far as we are concerned! It was a real treat; not only did I not have to cook, but this is one of my favorite things. Add a bottle of beer and we are good to go!

Hard crabs are strictly a summertime meal, and defy all of Miss Manners edicts. You use a mallet and knife in lieu of more conventional cutlery, spread the table with brown paper or newsprint, and set out rolls of paper towels rather than proper napkins. Somebody will be sure to ask you what you paid for the crabs; this is not rude, but expected. It’s OK to put your elbows on the table, so the juice runs down your arms. It’s not as classy as eating lobster, but it’s also not as stuffy.

Stock photo

When we were going together, The Squire and I ran into some friends while we were at the mall. Bill and Mary offered to get two dozen crabs and meet us back at my apartment. The Squire had grown up in the mountains of North Carolina, and was totally unfamiliar with seafood – he didn’t even know what mountain oysters were! His only encounter with Maryland crabs had been when some coworkers had given him a soft-crab sandwich. This is definitely an acquired taste, but considered a delicacy; I guess they thought they were doing him a favor. At any rate, he wasn’t sure he wanted to be involved with this adventure, but I showed him how to clean his first crab, and promised I’d make him a sandwich. The four of us got to chatting, and it suddenly dawned on me that I hadn’t followed through on his sandwich.

I glanced down and saw a HUGE pill of shells in front of him. “How many of those things did you eat?”

“Six. And you’re no more surprised than I am.”


18 Jul

You were all headed in the right direction. This is a hair curler, and you do wind your hair on it.

You stick a bobby pin in the holes in the end, slip a lock of hair under the blade, and wind it onto the rod. When you are done, you lift the blade a bit and slide the hair off the rod and onto the bobby pin.

Depending on how you wanted to look, this made great Frances Langford pompadours, or Shirley Temple ringlets. My grandmother used to put my hair into ringlets when I was too young to fight back. I probably looked like I just got off the boat!

It works better with human hair, but since I couldn’t figure out how to hold the camera in one hand and the curler in the other, Felicity had to stand in. At least she stands still and doesn’t wiggle.

Guessing Game

16 Jul

I found this gizmo in my mum’s stuff. Do you have any idea what it might be?

How about from this angle? Notice the two holes? One is larger than the other. And the silver blade lifts up a bit.

Tune in tomorrow!

A Bump in the Night

12 Jul

We woke up yesterday morning to discover we had no cable – no TV, no phone, and – aargh! – no Internet! In addition, the electric power had been off, and most of the clocks needed to be reset. I did float to surface during the night when the a/c in the front bedroom went off, but it wasn’t enough to actually awaken me.

Anyway, The Squire checked all of the connections, and then called Comcast, as the problem seemed to be outside, and therefore, their responsibility. To make a long story short, a vehicle of some sort had been involved in an accident, and torn the transformer off the pole. The first repair man to come out said it looked as if an oversized semi had caught on the cable, but whatever the problem was, he couldn’t fix it by himself, and he was going to call for a cherry-picker and a larger crew.

It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you have neither TV nor Internet. The Squire finished a book, and I worked on the dollhouse. If I’m going to get that thing finished before Austin starts high school I’d better get a wiggle on!

When the crew arrived in the late afternoon – five o-clock or so – it was still in the 80s, so I walked out with a pitcher of iced tea and some paper cups. As I told them, our grandson used to be a lineman for the Gas and Electric Company, and I try to look out of the guys hanging from poles – or directing traffic. While I was wandering up and down the road, I noticed a lot of what I call “front end stuff”. A bumper and a lot of plastic chrome, plus bits of glass. The guard rail was torn up and the yellow and black sign that warned of a narrow bridge was on the verge.

Whatever it was, it must have been pretty spectacular, but we slept through it all. We had cable back before we went to bed, so there is peace in the valley, again.

This Old House . . .

9 Jul

. . . is falling down around us.

Back in 1999 Hurricane Floyd dropped a tree on the house, and the insurance company wanted to condemn the place and either rebuild on this lot, or let us buy someplace else. We convinced them to patch up the Old Homestead, and so they did.

There was a lot wrong with the place, shortcuts that had been taken when it was built – how about no footers, eh? – and other weirdness done in the many additions and remodeling that had taken place before we bought the house.

For the first fifteen years or so, things were fine. Now, with the climate changing and the water rising we are really seeing the effects. We are about a mile from the Gunpowder River and the bay, but we are exactly at sea level. While there have always been damp spots in the yard, now there are more, and they are larger.  The pond was originally dug to encompass three springs, and we diverted another one to flow into it. However, there is a limit to how much larger we can make it!

And one spring seems to be under the house. Isn’t that grand? There is one section of the patio that is about a half an inch lower that the rest, and we have a matching crack in the wall under the bow window in the dining room. AND one corner of the floor is dropping, and taking tcorner cupboard 2he corner cupboard with it.  The fool thing is about six inches off true, and I keep expecting it to fall over one day. I have to tie the doors shut.  In all seriousness, I have begun removing some things from the top, both to reduce the weight and to save irreplaceable things from being destroyed. The cupboard itself was made by one of The Squire’s ancestors, and has been in his  family for several generations, and is obviously also irreplaceable.

Back in February of 2016 we had to have some major work done on the wall under the bow window in the dining room, as a huge crack had developed in the cinderblock wall. Looking back, this was the beginning of the end.  There is a gap on this side of the window that you can put your hand into, and the window itself, which came as a single unit, is twisted out of shape.

We seem to be in a race to see what is going to fall down first – the house, or one of us.


Sound Advice

3 Jul

And my thanks to Garfield Hug for this gem!how to treat your mask