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The Approaching Storm

4 May

We had an earthshattering thunderstorm last night. I was semi-awake, as it had been hailing for a bit and the stones banging on the air-conditioned had sort of “brought me to the surface”. Suddenly, there were several sharp, rapid bangs which I honestly thought were artillery fire! With the current situation, it seemed perfectly natural. As I was plotting my next move, the sound turned to regular thunder, and I relaxed a bit. I did turn on the radio to see if there were any sort of announcements, and the sirens in the area were silent, so after a quick peek out the window, I went back to bed.

The Squire slept through the entire business.

For Whom the Bell Tolls

4 May

After the Recent Unpleasantness of last month’s break-in, The Squire and I decided to invest in a motion camera security system.

The crew arrived at 7:45 yesterday, while we were eating breakfast. Guess who was still in her robe and had her hair in curlers? And her teeth out! We never did really get the kitchen straight, as the men were in and out all day long. Not only that, but they had to plug the camera over the front porch into the socket behind our bed. The bedroom is a mess, and there are dust bunnies under that bed large enough to cause serious damage if they ever get loose! At least the bed was made, and I suppose they’ve seen worse, but still . . .

They said they could not use any of the outside connections in case somebody figured out how to unplug or disable the cameras from outside. Makes sense, once it was explained.

Abdul, the young man who seemed to be in charge, was delightful. Sunny and cheerful, and willing to make little jokes. He explained all the intricacies of the system to The Squire and made sure we both knew how it worked before he left. I know The Squire and I will both sleep better at night, knowing that both God and Vector Security will be watching over us at night.

Laundry Blues

28 Apr

Other than the two years I lived in Section 8 housing, I’ve always gone to the laundromat. When the girls were all at home, we could do eight loads of laundry, washed, dried, folded and on hangers, plus get the grocery shopping done, and be back home in two and a half hours. I was working full time then and didn’t have the time to hang the clothes on the line, but that is what I prefer. It’s a very Zen thing – bend and stretch, bend and stretch – and do the same when they are dry. I can take them down and get them folded into the basket in the order they get put away. Bath towels on the bottom, sheets next, then The Squire’s things, my stuff, the ironing, and finally the tea towels and dish clothes. I walk through the house, putting things away as I go, tea towels in the kitchen, leaving the ironing in the sewing room (never to be seen again!) and finally stowing the towels in the linen closet and putting the basket beside the dryer.

The weather is still too cool and damp to hang stuff out, so we use the dryer. What might take two half-hour bites of time now takes most of the day. Put a load in, drag it out and dump it on the dining room table. Over and over and over. Different settings, different times. Yeesh.

There’s more to it than simply preferring to do the laundry out. We have a well, and we live fairly close to the Chesapeake Bay. We can really tell that the water levels are rising, as our water now has a lot of iron in it and turns stuff pink. We also have a septic system that won’t handle an automatic washer, and I simply refuse to run grey water into the yard – and the stream.

And The Squire and I still stop and get the groceries on the way home!

An Embarrassment of Riches

17 Apr

Or something.

We always line our trashcans with plastic bags, and I prefer to use bags from a particular grocery store in the bathroom because they are brown, as is that can. We don’t normally shop there, as it is A) pricier than we like, and B) it’s about five miles farther than at least two other stores. However, whenever The Squire is headed that way, he’ll swing in and see if he can “liberate” at fistful of them.

Last week he came home with three grocery bags, each stuffed full of even more bags! I spent the better part of a morning, folding and stacking those fool things Fortunately, I found a box that was a suitable size, and stuffed six months’ worth in there, but I still have a bunch falling off the dryer.

What was he thinking?

Where Do Ants Come From?

4 Apr

Oh, I know about the birds and the bees and all that jazz, but I will wipe the counter clean, and two seconds later, there is an ant – right in the middle of the counter! I never see them walking from wherever they are sneaking in, so I can put down Terro. They just appear – poof! – out of the air. And never more than two at a time.

Weirdest thing ever. Can ants teleport?

In Like a Lamb . . .

28 Mar

I think T.S. Eliot was wrong. April is not the “cruelest month” – it’s March.

This past month has been perfectly lovely – temps in the upper 60s and low 70s. Beautiful weather. We didn’t need the furnace once in the last two weeks. This weekend the bottom fell out, and we had snow flurries yesterday on the way to church. Today is not supposed to be much better – 36-F, and windy, but it will gradually creep upward over the next couple of days.

We always seem to have our worst snowstorms in March, so we have three more days to hold our breath!

Well, This Is The “Other Thing”

19 Mar

I came downstairs this morning to find what I first thought was water drops all over the kitchen floor. A second glance revealed what I saw was glass shards, not water. At some point during the night “person or persons unknown” had thrown a chunk of concrete through one of the kitchen windows. The only thing that is missing is my purse, which I kept on a chair behind the breakfast bar, so it was invisible from the kitchen door.

I woke The Squire and called 911, and then we sat and waited. And waited. I called a little after 7:00 and the officer didn’t arrive until close to 9 o’clock. The damage had been done and there was really nothing the police could do, so it wasn’t an emergency, but we couldn’t use the kitchen until the police had viewed the Scene of the Crime.

This is the chunk of concrete that was thrown through the window. It is slightly over 6 feet from the window to the sink, and it was thrown with enough force to shatter the colander that was in the sink. (See Sept. 23, 2020)

It’s rather hard to see the broken windows in this shot because of the “shrink wrap” we had over both side windows. There was glass EVERYWHERE – from one side of the kitchen to the other – and the kitchen is sixteen feet wide.

Several mysteries about this business. I keep my purse on a chair between that window and the breakfast bar, so it is not visible to anyone who comes to the door. Was this a crime of opportunity, or did the person know it was there? And how did they know? How did they manage to reach it? The officer was slightly over six feet tall, and he could barely reach the windowsill from the outside. Besides, anybody who tried to crawl in through the window would have cut themselves seriously. There was a good bit of glass on the outside, where they had pulled it from the frame and tossed it aside, but there was still plenty of jagged glass along the bottom of both the inside and outside windows.

This is how they managed to take my purse. It was on the seat of that chair, and partially covered by my jacket, which fell over when they grabbed it. As I said, somebody had to know it was there. That black spot on the paneling is mud – don’t ask how that got there! – and the white spot on the floor is glass.

And of course, this had to happen on a day when the entire house looked as if the Devil had had a fit. Not only was the kitchen a mess, but we were working a jigsaw puzzle in the living room, and the dining room table was piled with stuff, including things I had been using to work on a dollhouse.

Let’s face it, I’ll never pass the physical to subscribe to Good Housekeeping.

If It Ain’t One Thing . . .

10 Mar

The last day of my last assignment, I pulled out in front of another car and was T-Boned. The rear door on the driver’s side was “stove in”, but the car was drivable. The Squire is infinitely grateful that it wasn’t the driver’s door, or I wouldn’t be here to discuss it. The insurance company said they would cover it, so we took the car to the collision center on February 28th.

I still don’t have it back.

Today, on the way home from a business meeting, The Squire heard a loud POP under the hood and his car began making a roaring sound – the sort of noise that cuts straight through your eardrum and into your brain. We stopped at our favorite repair shop on the way home. and Dan took the car out on a quick road test. The power-steering pump has gone flooey. Fortunately, he can have a pump in by tomorrow morning, and have it repaired for us by noon. And, by the Grace of God, it will only be $500, including parts and labor.

In the meantime, we will be totally without transportation.

I Don’t Know What It Means . . .

8 Mar

. . . but we have a flock of buzzards in the yard this morning.

There were six stalking around in the yard, and two on the ridge of the barn. The really disconcerting thing was that they followed me around the house and were waiting outside the front porch when I got birdseed and peanuts. The Squire came looking for me when he saw them move around there. I don’t know if he was afraid I’d try to make pets of them, or if I’d fallen and the vultures thought I was already dead. Yes, I’m pale, but gee willikers! To quote Monty Python, “I’m not dead yet.”

Later on, they moved around to the carport and began to eat the peanuts we’d put out for the squirrels. They reminded me of the old cartoon of two buzzards in a tree, and one says to the other “Wait, hell! I say we go kill something!”

One of THOSE Days!

2 Mar

Yesterday morning, The Squire and I got involved in putting together a jig-saw puzzle and suddenly realized we had Someplace To Be. We gathered the things we needed, and he put the stuff in the car. As I was coming out the kitchen door, he called to me. I thought he said, “Lock the door”, but what he said was, “Don’t lock the door.” He had not collected his wallet, jacker, or – most importantly – his car keys. For that matter, both sets of keys, as I don’t generally bother with my purse if he is driving; he has the keys and the VISA, so what do I need?

So, there we are, with neither my keys nor his. He went off in search of the spare house key, unlock the kitchen door, collected his wallet, etc., and came back out. He settled himself in the driver’s seat and then let out a stream of invective.

He’d laid the spare key on the counter and come out without it. We were now well and truly up the proverbial creek, without a paddle.

After calling two friends, neither of whom had a key to our house, we had no choice but to call a locksmith. I’ll tell you right up front, spending $200 for your own stupidity will definitely improve your memory!