Archive | April, 2021

Snake Dance

25 Apr

The pipe that allows water to flow from the pond into the stream has been clogged for months – there’s a picture of the mess on my post of December 1 – but The Squire is simply not physically able to do the work. We’d asked his godson to come lend us a hand, but that was a no-go, so we finally prevailed on Local Grandson to come down to help.

Grandson and his nephew came down yesterday morning (Saturday), and set to work. While Grandson and The Squire worked on opening the drain, Nephew and I got a tarp and some work gloves and began pulling smelly, muddy, leaves out of the “well head”. Messy work, but this nine-year old boy was in hog heaven! He even helped me drag the tarp to the woodpile, which was quite an operation! Both of our wells are spring fed and the water comes up so hard and fast that the well cannot contain it. Not too long after we moved in, The Squire dug a hole around the concrete sides of the well, lined it with cement, and put in pipes to direct the overflow to the pond. Because the “pit” is about 18 inches deep, leaves and muck build up over the winter, and we have to clear it out before summer. Yesterday was a bit on the cool side, and the ground was already so soggy that we didn’t bother to drag out the garden hose and wash out the pit, so it still looks disgusting. The small, squarish lid is just for access to the overflow pipes; the huge round lid covers the actual well.

While they were at it, The Squire and Grandson ran the snake through the pipe from the well head to the pond, and back the other way. Grandson also cleared the pipe from the second well, which we do not use or need, which will help keep the water from flowing over the yard. (We sincerely hope!) The water is flowing much better now, but it will take a month of Sundays to get the ground dry enough to mow. I’ve suggested we get a goat, but that suggestion did not meet with a favorable reply. Probably just as well. We went through this with our horse.

Once the pond was cleared, and we had the well head cleared, Nephew spent about a half an hour catching tadpoles. I had to remind him to be VERY careful; handling a tadpole is just about the same as picking up Jell-O. They are very, very soft and do not yet have bones to protect their innards. Catch and release is the name of the game.

Nephew and I drove up to return the electric snake, and then stopped to pick up some lunch. Some places don’t open until 11:00, so we ended up getting a huge pizza. We swung into Aldi’s to grab some bottles of soda, and I got snookered into buying a big bag of Goldfish for Nephew to snack on.

Which is still on the counter!

Grandson and The Squire also cut up and stacked a tree that had fallen during a storm. Grandson will come back later with his truck to collect some of the wood to burn in their firepit, so he got something out of the day.

Good Night, Sweet Prince

17 Apr

I spent the better part of the morning watching the funeral for Prince Philip, who was a much beloved husband, father, and great grandfather.

There are folks who think Philip was a bit of a jerk, but any man who keeps having his wedding shoes resoled for over 70 years because they meant so much to him is obviously very, very much in love with his wife. He’s been accused of being unfaithful, but as he said, “I’m accompanied everywhere but in the loo by a police officer. How the hell am I going to get away with that?”

This was a private, family funeral, as much as it can be, considering the people involved. My heart bleeds especially for the Queen, as well as for the rest of the family, unable to weep in private, but forced to mourn publicly. I’m sure, when the family gets “back home” in the privacy of Windsor, there will be hugs and tears, but I don’t understand how people manage to keep a stiff upper lip at times such as these. Jackie Kennedy comes to mind.

The Anglican service is always pitch-perfect; I have memories of other funerals we’ve attended that still make me wonder. I nearly lost it when they played Eternal Father and Flowers of the Forest. You’d really think that after all these years I’d be able to “get a grip”, as the saying goes.

I HEARD a voice from heaven, saying unto me, Write, From henceforth blessed are the dead which die in the Lord: Even so, saith the Spirit, for they rest from their labours. BCP

Back on the Treadmill . . .

16 Apr

. . . and I’d hardly gotten off!

My agency found me a very nice job at a place not too far from home, working at the office two days a week, and from the end of the dining room table the other three days. Since Thanksgiving, I’d worked from home entirely. I enjoyed what I was doing, but when the job was winding down I admitted to The Squire that, money or no money, I was ready to take it easy (or easier!) for a while.

My last day at that position was on April 8th, and on the afternoon of the 9th the agency called to ask if I’d like to continue with that company, in a different position, three days a week. “Oh, golly, you shouldn’t have!”

Well, the first department thought you were wonderful, and your site boss really recommended you to the other supervisor. OK. OK. Flattery will get you everywhere.

I went in on Wednesday morning, and was introduced around, all that jazz, and then then my boss told me, “I understand you enjoy filing?” I do. I honestly DO enjoy filing – A,B,C, 1, 2, 3. No guessing games – just put things in order. BUT . . .

This is what greeted me on the first day! I had every bit of it done by lunch time the second day.

Now, if only I could figure out how to rotate this thing, we’d be in business!

Please Forget Your Gloves!

5 Apr

Some people seem to think that if they are wearing gloves, all is right with the world. When the Health Department came to look at our church kitchen, he told us to forget about the gloves, for essentially the reasons this nurse demonstrates.

Michigan Nurse Demonstrates How Easy Coronavirus Cross-Contamination Can Be – YouTube

Ye Have Done it Unto Me

4 Apr

St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, in Bay Village, Ohio, installed a statue of Jesus, and in less than half an hour, the police department received a complaint about a homeless person sleeping on a park bench. “We’re glad to temporarily host this statue of Homeless Jesus,” the church tweeted, “to raise awareness of homelessness in Cleveland and remind us that all people are created in the image of God.”

This morning, a friend sent me an article from Time Magazine, outlining the problems facing the homeless during the Covid crisis.

When West Virginia declared a state of emergency to arrest the coronavirus, the social network that aids the homeless froze along with everything else. Charities that offered daily meals and warming stations shut down. Volunteers, many elderly, were too afraid to work in the soup kitchens they usually ran. There was suddenly no place to eat or go to the bathroom. “Our homeless community found themselves being told to stay entirely outdoors,” says Kate Marshall, a charity worker in Wheeling, a city in the state’s northern panhandle. “There was not one indoor place to go from March until fall of 2020.”

The article goes on to state that, being ordered to shelter in place, deaths among the homeless rose from an average of 2 to 4 per year to a total of 22, a seven-fold increase. In San Francisco, the department of public health says deaths tripled over the past year in an unhoused population of 8,035. In Los Angeles, home to a vast homeless population tallied at 41,290, deaths increased by 32%, per the online news organization Capital & Main. Homeless deaths in Washington, D.C., soared by 54%. In New York City, the Coalition for the Homeless reported a death rate up 75%.

I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, I was naked and you did not clothe Me, I was sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

Matthew 25:43