Only Me

15 Oct

I stopped at the store yesterday afternoon, and one of the straps on my sandals came loose while I was shopping. I tucked in into the bottom of the shoe, simply for cosmetic reasons. It didn’t stay put – I didn’t think it would – so I flapped my way around to the Dollar Tree and purchased a tube of Super Glue.

Flapped back out to the car, applied a liberal amount of glue to the strap and pried the upper and sole apart to squirt a bit more stickum, before I slipped the strap back into place. I applied finger pressure, squeezing the mend together, and managed to glue my thumb to the sole of the shoe. Annoyed, I pried my thumb loose, and slipped my foot into the shoe.

The glue wasn’t completely dry, and my large toe was stuck fast. Had to peel the shoe off my foot and try again. No wonder people say being married to me is not for the faint hearted.

Curtains!

9 Oct

The weather has cooled to the point that The Squire and I were able to remove the air conditioning unit from the living room window. One thing led to another – as it generally does! – and we ended up removing all of the drapes and sheers to be washed and then doing the windows. All five of them. Fortunately, those are new windows and fold inside for washing. Whoever invented those is on the short list for canonization, believe me!

I’m taking care of her dog for Mrs. Mac this week, and she told me to bring over my laundry if I wished, so that solved one problem. She has a gargantuan washing machine, and all ten panels didn’t even fill the tub. When I got home, The Squire helped me get them on the clothes line.

The drapes are old enough to vote!  I left the Evil Insurance Company in 1983, and The Squire’s elder nephew either was living with us then, or came up the following summer. At any rate, he got a job at Sears and bought the curtains for us with his employee discount.  With five windows in the living room and a five-foot bow window in the dining room, every little bit helps. They are lined with a thin foam insulation, which sticks together every time we wash them. We had a dickens of a time smoothing them out when we hung them on the line. They are wrinkled, but can’t be ironed. Maybe they will look better when they dry.  They really need to be replaced. Desperately.

However.

We can’t find replacements that we like. They are white, pinch-pleated, and floor length. I know they will cost the earth, but apparently I’m asking the impossible. They are nowhere to be found.  Every color in the rainbow, but not white.  I don’t like the grommets; this is not a warehouse, thank you very much.  I suppose I could survive with the kind you gather into the rod, but if I’m going to spend close to five hundred bucks between the living room and the dining room, I want to get something I like.

In April of 2018 I read an article about things that make your house look dated – brass chandeliers, tie-back curtains, dust ruffles, wall paper – I have them all! Recently, I read that some of those things are smart again.  If I wait another year or so, maybe the curtains will come back into fashion.

You Can’t Get There From Here

5 Oct

We live in an area where going around the block means a trip of at least two miles, and more often than not four or five miles.  The government – state or national – is widening I-95, so the most direct route from here to  a major highway is cut off, and the detour adds three miles to the trip.  Last week, when I drove over the detour there was a flashing sign which announced the bridge would be closed as of Monday – the 7th. Marvelous. Just marvelous.

When I came home yesterday afternoon I stopped and asked one of the crew if he had any idea when ‘our’ road would be open. “Not for at least six to eight weeks, ma’am.”

“I know it’s not your fault, but closing off two parallel roads is pretty inconvenient.” For what it’s worth, those two ‘parallel roads’ around two and a half miles apart, but that’s country living for ya.

“I know. I know. We couldn’t believe they put out this contract”, he said, pointing to the equipment and clutter around him, “but that’s the State for you.”

So now, the only way to go north is to drive a mile and a half south and swing back around. Never let your right hand know what your left hand is doing.

Instinct

3 Oct

Most of us run on instinct to one degree or another.  Jumping when we see a snake, avoiding dark places, reaching out, rearing back – all by instinct.

Turtles instinctively head for the water. If you see one trying to cross the street, carry it in the direction it was heading, and put it on the other side of the road. Don’t bother putting it back where it came from, as it will turn around and head back out. We once found a snapping turtle on top of our woodpile. The critter was headed for the stream, but came across the patio, got stopped by the railing, and was sitting there, clicking its jaws in frustration. We managed to manhandle her into a bucket and dump her into the stream.

Do you know how to tell a male turtle from a female? Turn it upside down; the females have a flat bottom, while the bottom of the male is concave, so he won’t fall off during mating. To quote our church secretary, God thinks of everything!

Some animals climb. One year The Squire rescued three baby squirrels, who insisted upon climbing up my shirt, hooking their little claws in my ears, and sitting on top of my head! We had just given them a bath to remove the fleas when this was snapped. It’s NOT the most flattering shot of me, but I don’t get gussied up to bathe the animals. For three weeks we fed them a mixture of Pedialyte ® and dog’s milk from the pet store, while the druggist kept us supplied with large syringes.Experts agree, Dani is a nut

This morning we found a little tree frog who had tucked himself into the “gully” between the kitchen door frame and the siding.  Instinct told him to get as high as he could, and here he is.  The big question now, of course, is what do we do next?  I’m perfectly willing to let him figure it out for himself, but I do not think this is the best place for him to spend the winter. I don’t want to harm him trying to pry him out of his little snuggery, but I really think he’d be better off in the woods.

I’m waiting for DNR to get back to me on this one.

Country living is never dull!DSCN0739

The Squire swears if I found a giraffe someplace I’d try to put a bow around its neck and stand it in the stair well.

He’s probably right.

How Dry I Am!

30 Sep

Today is the last day of September, and we have not had a drop of rain all month.  The spring beside the house has gone dry, and it is possible to walk directly across the yard from the front door to the mailbox on dry land.  ᎠᏍᏆᏂᎪᎯᏍᏗ  ᏂᏛᎴᏅᏓ  ᎠᏍᏆᏂᎪᎯᏍᏗ Wonder of wonders, and all that jazz.

Farmers are really having a hard time. This is harvest season, and the crops need water or the vegetables will wither on the vine. Tomatoes, eggplant, squash, even string beans look old and tired.

The oddest thing, which both The Squire and I mentioned this morning, is that we have almost no squirrels. Normally, when I go out in the morning to fill the feeders, there are at least a half dozen of them waiting for me, and within a few minutes there’s a gray blanket all over the lawn.  For at least the last ten days we might see a half dozen all day, all stocking up for the winter ahead. Maybe they are suffering as much as the plants.

We may not have rain, but boy! do we have acorns. I’ve been collecting them in used zip bags and stashing them in the freezer. We all have our own ways of preparing for the winter.

 

What’s Bugging Me?

26 Sep

I woke up this morning with my face all red and swollen, my eyelids so puffy I could feel my lashes pressing against them when I opened my eyes.  I thought maybe I’d had a bug-bite during the night. We’d done the laundry Tuesday, but we’d used the same detergent forever, and we’d hung the clothing on the line, so I didn’t think it was some kind of chemical reaction.  We’d washed the quilt, and it was still damp, so I’d pulled a blanket out of the closet; is there something in that?

Eldest daughter called this afternoon and happened to mention having to find a new sunscreen because she’s allergic to almost all of the commercial ones. And suddenly a light went on!  “Did you give me some sunscreen? Factor 15, or so?  I think it was – and I named a popular brand. ”

“Yeah. I can only use zinc. Most of the store brands have chemicals.”

“Well, guess what, kiddo. Your mum is probably allergic to it, too. I went to bed without washing my face, and woke up resembling a Cabbage Patch doll.” So that solved that problem. I’ll try again, and this time, I’ll be sure to wash my face before I go to bed!

 

 

Boy, Howdy!

22 Sep

raising kidsThis  meme was posted over on GarfieldHug.wordpress.com, and boy! does it hit home. My mum made no secret of the fact that she raised my sister and me exactly the way she had been raised. She grew up in Baltimore City, while we grew up in the rural suburbs.

She simply refused to help us attend after-school functions. “I found a way home; you can find a way home.” Well, gosh, Mum, all you had to do was hop on a bus or a streetcar.  Lynn and I walked. Miles. It is slightly over four miles from my high school to home, and slightly less than five miles from Lynn’s school.  Neither of us were afraid of a little exercise, but there would be days when we arrived home shortly before our dad, and it was getting dark.  We took confirmation lessons for two years (Lutherans are nothing if not thorough!) and rode the bus to Kingsville, but walked the last two miles to the church.

I do have to admit our three girls generally walked to the swimming pool from here, but they were not walking alone, is was daylight, and both The Squire and I were at work, so couldn’t drive take there. It is also only one and a half miles.

No makeup until we graduated, and we didn’t get our drivers licenses until we were eighteen, because she didn’t get hers until then. If we wanted to attend gatherings beyond walking distance, we had to hitch a ride with older, accommodating friends.

Don’t put too much water in the bathtub. Don’t ever put anything into your mouth except a spoon, a fork, or a toothbrush. Straws were strictly verboten, and dental floss – tooth twine, she called it – made her gag just to watch me use it. It mysteriously disappeared not too long after the dentist gave me some.

And of course, there was the bed making routine. Every week we had to do something to the mattress – flip, turn, or spin. Even when Mum was in a retirement center I had to spin, flip and turn her mattress every week when I came over to do her laundry. Modern mattresses are not made to be turned, so she kept a stack of blankets and quilts to pile on the exposed bottom, but it still must have felt as if she was sleeping on a railroad track.

Actually making the bed involved removing both sheets, setting the bottom sheet aside, turning the top sheet head-to-toe, and putting it on the bottom, then taking the original bottom sheet and putting it on top. Every. Blessed. Day.  I often  got scolded for a particularly messy job, but I never told Mum that Lynn kept her bed neatly made by sleeping on the floor, rolled in her quilt like a burrito. Truly, she would spread the quilt beside her bed, place the pillow close to the edge, and then flop herself down and roll along until her head was on the pillow.

It’s really a wonder I’m not battier than I am.