Archive | January, 2021

A Rare Visitor

31 Jan
Yellow-Headed Blackbird

The forecast for today and tomorrow – and possibly Tuesday – is for snow, possibly as much as a foot. I filled the feeders this morning before I took my shower; by the time we got home from church is was snowing pretty hard, and The Squire refilled them. We sat in the den watching the birds.

Suddenly, this bird, which neither of us had ever seen before, sailed in and began eating. The Squire took several quick photos with his phone and we searched the Birds of Maryland site, but we couldn’t identify it, so he sent off a snap to the Maryland Ornithological Society. We were really surprised to get an answer almost immediately.

This is a yellow-headed Blackbird, and it is native to the Midwest. If you draw a line from the lower right corner of Michigan to the lower right corner of New Mexico, you have a fairly good idea of the little fellow’s Easternmost range. What he was doing this far east is anybody’s guess. These birds are also common in British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, so at least he’s used to the snow.

It’s not the world’s sharpest picture, but it was taken with a cell phone, through three panes of glass, and we were fortunate to get it before he flew away.


Times That Try Men’s Souls

29 Jan

The German Lutheran Cake Rack

26 Jan

Every cook owns cooling racks, and most of them resemble the one on the left. I inherited the one of the right from my mother, and she probably got it from her mother. Staunch German Lutherans, both of them.

This is a cake rack for the ages. It will not bend or sag under the heaviest burdens. It will stand up to angel food or devil’s food with equal aplomb. It will not falter, or fail, by gum.

“Here I stand. “

The Box

15 Jan

When I took Blazer for his last to the vet the woman who was filling out the paperwork asked me what sort of container we wanted for the ashes.

I told her we were going to bury the puppy beside the pond, next to Pepper and Brinks, so the plain red plastic box would be fine.

We stopped Monday night to collect him, and because of Covid, we weren’t allowed inside the building. The tech first asked me to read off the numbers from the charge card, and then said she’d come out and get it “because it’s impossible to read those numbers in the dark.”

When she came back out with the card, the receipt and a heavy gift bag I glanced quickly at the paperwork and nearly dropped the bag – and my teeth. Slightly over $300! Well, when we lost Brinks, the cremation alone was $100, and that was back in ’99, so I guess it made sense – and there wasn’t anything to do about it at any rate. Brinks died a natural death, and there surely was a charge for the Doggy Demerol and meds to help Blazer cross the Rainbow Bridge.

Tuesday morning I lifted the box out of the bag and gasped! I have the distinct feeling a large part of that three hundred bucks was the cost of the casket, and we certainly aren’t going to bury this beside the pond! The question, of course, is what are we going to do with it?

Maybe They Need a Woman in Charge

15 Jan

Isn’t it weird that people who live paycheck to paycheck are supposed to have months worth of savings for emergencies, while billion dollar companies are so poorly managed that they are on the brink of bankruptcy after a week of reduced profits?

So Long!

10 Jan

Thanks to Shay at Little Grey Bungalow for this gem!

And don’t bother to write!


4 Jan

My Mum was rather well know (to put it mildly) for being tight, cheap um, thrifty, yes thrifty. Not given to extravagance, to be precise. But every once in a while, maybe three times a year, she’d buy a packet of Butterscotch Krimpets to share. She didn’t have much use for “store-bought” stuff of any kind, and these little cakes, utterly devoid of any redeeming value, were a real divergence from her usual path. There were three in a packet, and she, my sister, and I would each get one piece.

I was in the grocery store yesterday afternoon and saw a display of Krimpets, and decided to buy some for myself. I ate all three of them, and they were just a delicious as I remember. Maybe they tasted so good because I buy them almost as often as Mum did.