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M & Ms and OCD

15 Aug

When I get a bag of multi-coloured candy, whether it be Gummy Bears, Robin Eggs, Skittles, or  M & Ms, I have to sort through and find out how many different colours are in there.

Six? Then I will have one of each colour, and always eaten in the same order, usually in the same order as the colour wheel – red, orange, yellow, green and blue. And the brown one by itself.  When I run out of colour, then I will have five candies. Not five of one shade and an extra to make six.  Five. Then four. Three. Two.

And then the last odd ones sit in the jar for ever.

I keep my coloured pencils in colour wheel order: black, red, orange, yada, yada, and brown on the far end. A box of 64 Crayolas can send me into a nervous swivet!

And I’m not really OCD. I’m CDO, so the letters are in the correct order!

Somebody Hates Us

11 Aug

signFor quite a while, our church has had trouble with vandalism. Fence posts have been broken, plants pulled up, rocks thrown, and so forth.

The worst of the abuse has been heaped on the signs we put up out on the main road through town.  One of our members has very generously provided a large “tent” with a sign on each side. Most of the time the signs are for our regular Sunday services, but when we are having an event of some sort, he pays for signs to advertise those, too.

The signs have been closed and laid down, the plastic has been cut with a knife and the signs themselves slashed, and now this one – which is covered with plexi, rather than thin plastic – has been defaced with spray paint. This was not a “crime of opportunity”; it shows some forethought. Who carries spray paint in the car?

Fortunately, somebody happened to see the car “hovering” in the parking lot one evening and made note of the license plate.  Next step is to call in the police – and the local newspaper.

Enough is enough!

I See Dead People

6 Aug

Not that I superstitious, but over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been dreaming about people who are no longer with us.

The first dream was about my sister. Our former rector, who is – as far as I know – very much alive, was hunting for me through a large building, perhaps the boarding school I attended as a child. She was calling and calling, but I wouldn’t answer, until she told me Lynn was looking for me, too.

A few nights later, my dad wanted me to hurry up and visit the Giffords, who were friends of his from St. John’s, before he went to Sewanee. Hugh and Carolyn died before my dad did, and Daddy died in 1999.

Last night, I was on my way to a hospital, to visit a fellow we always called Bowtie Bill.  He died about ten years ago.

Not that I’m superstitious, or anything, but I don’t think I’m going to start any new projects.

The Real Dope

4 Aug

When The Squire left this morning to go up to Physical Therapy He saw a slew of County police cars gathered around the tattoo place up the street. The officers were talking to a number of people, either employees or customers of the place.

When he came back, he said the building was being gutted.  It didn’t look as if it was the police doing the work, but there was a lot of debris – shelving, broken furniture, and so forth – piled on the parking lot.

The Magic Driveway

3 Aug

For starters, the driveway is haunted.

When we moved into this house, forty-three years ago, we discovered the driveway makes odd noises.  We can hear tires on the gravel, doors slamming, and sometimes a woman’s high heels clicking along the sidewalk. Whichever dog we have at the time will bark madly and run to the door.

Nobody there. There has never been anybody there. Very mysterious.

The funny thing is that when we do have company, we seldom hear them arrive. Beats me.

In addition, there seems to be a  secret signal to let other drivers know when we are coming. It doesn’t matter if I am driving, or The Squire, if we are coming home or leaving, if we are turning right or left, cars come out of nowhere. The road can be clear for miles in either direction, but let us try to get out in the morning, and a dozen cars will appear and slow down as they near our turn. When we have been shopping, and have ice cream rapidly melting into the back seat – whoosh! Four cars and a semi will barrell down the hill.

The Squire claims all those other vehicles are from North Carolina, just trying to help. When we go down to visit his family, we always know when we have crossed the state line.  In the far distance, we will see a car, sitting at the end of a driveway. We are the only vehicle coming in either direction, and that driver will wait until we are almost on top of them and then pull out directly in front of us. He says it’s been that way since he was a teenager, just leaving to drive.

He tells me, quite seriously, that some of those folks actually have to go back to the house. “Maw, I couldn’t get out of the drive. There weren’t nobody comin’.”

A Tangled Web

28 Jul

The Squire and I took Blazer out to get the mail this afternoon, and we stumbled upon a sight that was really amazing.

Blazer has to take the scenic route back to the house – along the road and then up the stream bank, stopping to inspect myriad mysterious things along the way. I often wish he could tell me just what it is he finds so interesting.

There was one point where the bushes and weeds where shaking as if there was a high wind. Closer inspection disclosed a small black snake – caught in a spider web! The poor thing was twisting and flipping this way and that, trying to get loose. I know spider silk is one of the strongest things in the world, but to see this little fellow all wrapped up was amazing.

By the time I went and got a long stick, he had managed to work himself free, and of course we didn’t manage to get a decent photo.

I just wonder what the spider would have thought when it got back? Too big to eat, obviously. Untangle the snake? Try to save it for later? Invite some friends for a party?

How Much?

23 Jul

Yesterday was my birthday, and The Squire wanted to take me out to dinner today. (Got our wires crossed yesterday.) He’d asked me where I wanted to go before we left the house this morning, and about halfway to church I suggested we go to a local restaurant and have hard crabs. He burst out laughing, and said he was just about to open his mouth and suggest exactly that.

Great minds and such.

hard crabs

stock photo

Well, now. Hard crabs are a Maryland delicacy, and eating them defies every possible rule of etiquette.  You spread the table with newspapers or brown paper instead of a cloth, eat with your elbows on the table, use paper towels instead of napkins, paring knives and mallets instead of a knife and fork, and wash your hands in a bucket of warm water. It is also NOT a breach of manners to ask the host what he paid for the meal – it’s assumed somebody will inquire.

We came home, changed into crab-eatin’ clothes and went off in search of sustenance.

Crabs are never inexpensive, but when the waitress told us they were $75 for large and $90 for jumbo, we inhaled so far we nearly fell over backwards. That is the price for a DOZEN crabs, my friends! Not the whole bugeye worth!

We decided to go for the buffet, instead.

Oddly enough, neither of my grandmothers would eat crabs. Nana, who was born in Australia, thought they were “nasty little things”. Grandmother, who was born and raised in Baltimore, considered them “poor food”.

During the Depression, they used to go crabbing in Baltimore’s harbor, just to have something to eat. Heaven knows, I wouldn’t eat anything that came out of that harbor, today!

Of course, back before we overfished them, lobsters were so plentiful that they were fed to apprentices.