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Stop The Music!

19 Mar

Fr. B was away yesterday and we invited a former rector to fill in for us.

There are three Episcopal churches in Baltimore that are so high they look down on the Pope.  Grace and St. Peter’s (commonly known as GASP), St. Katherine of Alexandria, and a parish fondly known as “Smokey Mary’s” because of the amount of incense they use.  Our organist and Fr. Fill-in had been at St. Mary’s at the same time for a short while and had a chance to catch up during coffee hour.  The organist was relating an incident that occurred while he was still there, but after the Good Father had moved on.  The parish had a new priest, just in time for a feast in honour of the Virgin Mary, probably the Annunciation – also known as Maryland Day – which involved processing around the church with stops at stations depicting events in her life. During these stops, the organist  stopped playing so the prayers could be heard.

At the first of these stops, the music ceased and everybody was quiet. Except one woman, who abruptly stopped singing the verse she was doing solo, and asked, in a very loud voice, “What happened to the f. . .ing  music?”

Everybody turned to stare. The assistant raced up the side aisle, removed his vestments, stomped down the center aisle and just about dragged the woman out the door. He came back in. She did not.

And they shall be cast into outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.


Some schools teach that the state was named after Henrietta Marie, the wife of Charles I of England. Charles, you may remember, was having some trouble in the popularity polls and decided the best was to get rid of some of his Roman Catholic nobles was to send them off to the New World. After a six week ocean voyage, they arrived within site of their new home on March 22. They waited off shore until the 25th, which is, as I mentioned earlier, celebrated as the day the angel asked Mary if she was willing to bear the Messiah. They named their new colony Mary’s Land.

And it didn’t help poor Charlie at all, as he ended up getting his head chopped off, anyway.



Eye, Yi, Yi!

16 Mar

Well, it took me two hours to find out what I already knew. I have a cataract in my left eye.

I arrived at 12:30, and was taken back fairly promptly. A young lady verified my medical history and did an eye exam – vision test and glaucoma. I was led to a waiting room, and promised “somebody will come for you shortly”. Another young lady, who happened to be the granddaughter of an old friend, did a second eye exam, and then led me back to the same waiting room, and gave me the same line. We did this dance several times. Different women, different exam rooms, but I had at least five people staring into my eyes. And then I finally saw the doctor. Who did another eye exam.

Return to  different waiting area, and then I went into an office where yet another woman – this made six – set up the date for the surgery.

It took two bloody hours, and more traipsing around than really seemed necessary. Yeesh.

The Clock Family is Alive and Well

14 Mar

Neither of us are hoarders, and I really do try to keep a nice house, but the way things disappear around here is simply maddening.

I’ve lost a dozen linen napkins. They lived in the bottom of the corner cupboard for years and years, and now they are all gone. I can understand misplacing one, maybe, but the entire dozen? This is not the sort of item the common thief would want, is it? Most of our friends think we’re a little barmy for using “renewable” napkins instead of paper, but I don’t think anybody would take them just to make a point.

About three months ago I purchased three bundles of yarn to make a shawl. I got sidetracked and made something else while the shawl sat on the needles, but I’ve finally finished the first skein and now I simply cannot find the other two. I suppose it goes without saying that the yarn will have been discontinued if I go back to the store.

Anybody need a very short shawl? About 36 inches long and 16 inches wide.  Of course, if I unravel it to make a scarf or something, the other two rolls will show up.

A pair of earrings I lost several years ago turned up in a jacket pocket. It is not a jacket I’d have worn with those earrings, so I don’t know how they got there. A hot glue gun has been MIA for years. Even buying a new one didn’t make it show up.

And this doesn’t even begin to account for the things I just know I have in my dollhouse stash.

I just hope the Clocks bring this stuff back when they are finished.

(If you have never read Mary Norton’s marvelous book, The Borrowers, you really should. Pod and Homily Clock, and their daughter Arietty live under the kitchen in a large English house and . . . well, go read it yourself.)

Just Ducky

12 Mar

DSCN0514For the last couple of days we have seen a pair of mallards in our pond.  The drake is, of course, unmistakable, but the duck is so drab you’d think she was another species entirely.

They come fairly early in the morning, leave, and then come back in the afternoon, before flying away for the evening.

I really don’t understand how scientists can claim animals such as dogs and cats are colour-blind. If they were, it would not be necessary for female birds to blend into the scenery.  The male scarlet tanager is bright red, with black wings; his mate is a dull green and her wings are greenish grey. A male canvasback is bright white with a russet head, while the female is dusty grey with a darker grey head. God doesn’t want the females in danger while they are nesting.

Bread on Both Sides

7 Mar

When I was a kid I did not want to eat the heels of bread. I made it very clear I wanted “bread on both sides”. My grandfather would smile and nod, and agree those pieces were for the chickens.

Now that I make all of our bread, I’ve discovered the very best part is the heel of the loaf, hot from the oven, and spread with a good pat of fresh butter.

Life doesn’t get much better than that.


6 Mar

I put an inquiry on the local “Nextdoor” blog this morning asking if anyone knew what had happened last night, and one woman suggested I call the local police station and ask. Yeesh. How obvious is that?

And so I did.

Apparently it was a domestic dispute between a man and his dad. One of them was threatening to burn down the house, and “we took him to the hospital”. Not sure which “he” was “who”, but it wasn’t anything for us to worry about. No guns or loose cannons.

Very Mysterious

6 Mar

About 8 o’clock last night I started hearing helicopters, very loud and very close. We live fairly close to three different military bases – two Army and one Air Force – and I was beginning to think our dear Cadet Bone Spurs had at last gone too far. A few minutes later I became aware of sirens and flashing lights, to I went upstairs to see what I could see from that vantage point.

The helicopters – three of them – were circling a house a few doors up the road, keeping their spotlights focused on the building. Police cars were everywhere.  The road was blocked in both directions, and we could hear loudspeakers, but couldn’t make out what was being said. The Squire went back downstairs, locked both doors, turned the alarm on “instant” and flipped on the lights over both the back and front of the house.  After about a half an hour, things began to subside – the choppers went away, and the various police vehicles (we think one may have been a K9 car) drove away.

The Squire stayed up and watched the 11:00 news, but there was nothing mentioned and there wasn’t anything in this morning’s newspaper, either.