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This Old House . . .

9 Jul

. . . is falling down around us.

Back in 1999 Hurricane Floyd dropped a tree on the house, and the insurance company wanted to condemn the place and either rebuild on this lot, or let us buy someplace else. We convinced them to patch up the Old Homestead, and so they did.

There was a lot wrong with the place, shortcuts that had been taken when it was built – how about no footers, eh? – and other weirdness done in the many additions and remodeling that had been done before we bought the house.

For the first fifteen years or so, things were fine. Now, with the climate changing and the water rising we are really seeing the effects. We are about a mile from the Gunpowder River and the bay, but we are exactly at sea level. While there have always been damp spots in the yard, now there are more, and they are larger.  The pond was originally dug to encompass three springs, and we diverted another one to flow into it. However, there is a limit to how much larger we can make it!

And one spring seems to be under the house. Isn’t that grand? There is one section of the patio that is about a half an inch lower that the rest, and we have a matching crack in the wall under the bow window in the dining room. AND one corner of the floor is dropping, and taking tcorner cupboard 2he corner cupboard with it.  The fool thing is about six inches off true, and I keep expecting it to fall over one day. I have to tie the doors shut.  In all seriousness, I have begun removing some things from the top, both to reduce the weight and to save irreplaceable things from being destroyed. The cupboard itself was made by one of The Squire’s ancestors, and has been in his  family for several generations.

Back in February of 2016 we had to have some major work done on the wall under the bow window in the dining room, as a huge crack had developed in the cinderblock wall. Looking back, this was the beginning of the end.  There is a gap on this side of the window that you can put your hand into, and the window itself, which came as a single unit, is twisted out of shape.

We seem to be in a race to see what is going to fall down first – the house, or one of us.

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Sound Advice

3 Jul

And my thanks to Garfield Hug for this gem!how to treat your mask

The Scariest Site on the Web

25 Jun

From time to time a site called Townhall pops up in my spam folder, along with a bunch of other stuff. A few days ago I clicked on it, just to see what it was about.

The article that piqued my interest was about a black principal in Chicago who was is under pressure to step down from her leadership position because she is outwardly opposed to criminal conduct: among other ‘problematic’ acts, she’s urged students to “not participate in violence or looting.” She is, thus far, refusing to do so.

https://tinyurl.com/y8mrj7a3

Well.

You’d think a situation such as this would draw a lot of support for the principal, but it did not. The remarks were absolutely vile, and somehow, President Obama was the villain in this piece, and Trump was the hero. Beats me.

The conversation hit a downward spiral pretty quickly. I’m cherry picking some of the comments, just to give you an idea of what was posted. None of it was about the lady in question, oddly enough. This was the response to a question asking for sources for a particularly off-the-wall screed:

*That’s the problem with you brainwashed Trolls, you believe all the rhetoical lies told by the alphabet propaganda media outlets that you Stupidity still watch and your minds are no longer capable of processing logical thought patterns. Then you go out in public and reiterate those Lyingous pervarications like you’re programmed as if they are facts. I tell you the truth about the Great Divider Obamie and instead of looking up to check my facts you’re looking on some Lefty Libaturd websites for a properly programmed Elitist Neo-nazi lie for you to spew, you are such a good peon tool.

*Snorkie • 10 days ago
Want to stop the violence? Bang bang bang. Want to stop the looting? Bang bang bang bang…..Problem solved.

*Lamar @ Snorkie • 10 days ago
Arm-up. You will be given no choice.−

*DawgsofWar @ LAUGHING at LIBERALS! • 10 days ago
the only good democrat is a dead democrat. Unfortunately, if you DON’T want this type of insanity, you need to vote Republican. Your choice.

*Worcester Rooster • 10 days ago
Buy a gun. This is going way beyond crazy.

*Transplanted Floridian @Worcester Rooster • 10 days ago
And plenty of ammo so you can practice, practice, practice.

And so it goes. As I said, scary.

 

 

Tell Me Again

23 Jun

This afternoon my very best friend called to ask my help with a cooking question. She wanted to make an applesauce cake, using her mum’s old recipe, which called for a “one pound can of applesauce”.

Well, they don’t sell the stuff in one pound cans any more, and she was totally stymied as to how much she should use in this recipe. I got out two of my cookbooks, and we compared the amount of flour versus the amount of applesauce each one required. I went on-line an did a search for “how much does a cup of applesauce weigh” It’s 8.9 ounces, if you ever need to know – and all sort of to-ing and fro-ing.

And then it dawned on me. “Why we are doing all of this? Don’t you have a scale hanging on your kitchen wall?”

Oh, crap!

We both just roared with laughter, as she has not only one kitchen scale, but two.
I never did get her mother’s recipe, but if you ever want to make my applesauce cake, this is the recipe. It’s not an “everyday” cake, but if you are having company or want to bring something nice to coffee hour after church, this is the one.

APPLESAUCE CAKE WITH BUTTERSCOTCH MERINGUE

1/2 cup butter or margarine                           2 cups sugar

1 whole egg, and 2 egg yolks (hang on the whites; you’ll need them later)

2 -1/2 cups flour                                                 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1-1/2 teaspoons salt                                            1/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon                                     1/2 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoons allspice                                        1/2 cup water

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and yolks and beat well. Add the flour, etc. alternately  with the water.  Stir in 1 cup of raisins and 1/2 cup chopped nuts.

Pour into a greased 9 x 12 pan and bake at 350º for 60 minutes, or until it tests done.

WHILE THE CAKE IS BAKING: Beat your two egg whites with 2 cups of brown sugar. When they begin to make soft peaks beat in 1 tablespoon lemon juice.

Spread the meringue over the HOT cake, sprinkle with 1/2 half cup nuts – pecan are best – and bake at 400° for about 5 minutes, until golden brown.

Enjoy!

Morning Visitor

18 Jun

I was reading the comics this morning when a doe walked past the window. By the time I found the camera, she had disappeared, but I spotted her on the far side of the pond getting a drink.

Slowly, slowly, I walked toward her, and managed to get this shot, just as she lifted her head. Another doe joined her, but I wasn’t able to get another decent picture before they both headed back to the woods behind the barn.

Deer 1 (2)

Penny Brite in the Everglades

15 Jun

Penny had one more stop to make while she was in Florida, and that was to visit the Everglades National Park. She stopped on a bridge to admire the scenery and watch the alligators. “Not too close, mind you. I may be a doll, but I’m no dummy.” She was Everglades finalNOT impressed with the turkey vultures, which paraded along the walkways and made a mess.

She also managed to go for a ride on a “fan boat” which was a lot of fun. Noisy, but fun. She glimpsed egrets and Purple Gallinules, as well as long necked Anhingas, which she thinks resemble cormorants. She was fascinated by the soft shell turtles, which have a long pointed nose that they can poke out of the water and still be hidden.

fan boat

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Donating Blood

13 Jun

donating blood

The Silly Season

12 Jun

I received an ad which offered a wide selection of masks. This is one of them.

bra mask

Is it just me, or does she look as if she just raided her underwear drawer?

 

Can You Hear Me Now?

11 Jun

I stopped at the grocery store this afternoon for one small item. When I handed it to the cashier, I told her I didn’t want a bag. She didn’t acknowledge my remark, so as she was ringing it up, I told her again to just give the receipt, and “don’t bother to put it in a bag.”

Force of habit, I suppose, but she turned around and shoved it into a plastic bag anyway. I removed the box and handed the bag back to her. “I’m sorry, but I really don’t want a bag.”

“Oh,” she aid. “These glasses make it hard to hear.”

????

Dry Tortugas

5 Jun

As long as she is already in Florida, Penny Brite decided to take a ferry ride out to Dry Tortugas National Park, which is about 70 miles west of Florida. The ferry is rather pricey – about $125 for a round trip – but the ride is two and a half hours each way, and they do feed you lunch and supper on the boat.  You must bring your own food and water if you wish to visit the park.

The island is “dry” because there is no fresh water to be had, but there are plenty of sea turtles – tortugas, in Spanish. Fort Jefferson, the largest all-masonry fort in the United States, was built here between 1846 and 1875 to protect the nation’s gateway to the Gulf of Mexico. Dr. Samuel Mudd, who treated John Wilkes Booth’s broken leg was a prisoner here.  No real need for guards, as there is simply no place to go!

Dry tortugas 3

Penny brought along her bathing suit, beach towel, little red bucket, and some bottled water, and settled in to play on the beach. That’s Fort Jefferson in the background. (Her flip-flops and sunglasses are novelty buttons I bought eons ago for a beach shop that died a-bornin’, as they say. I used superglue to attach part of a covered paper clip for the ear pieces.)

Later in the day she joined a tour of the light house, which was constructed between 1824 and 1826, to guide ships through the rocks and shoals in the area.

Ft. Jefferson light

 

And then it was time to head back to Florida and another adventure.