13 Feb

Back in 2015 Blazer decided he had enough seniority around here to sleep in the living room recliner.  The Squire did not share that view, unfortunately.

Local Granddaughter brought down a big pet bed she had purchased for her two cats. They didn’t like it, but Blazer thought it was grand.

But – when the weather got nippy, he thought it would be nice to sleep in the recliner again, just to be up out of the drafts, y’understand. The Squire put a box on the chair. Blazer pouted.

Last night, The Squire settled into the recliner to read a book, and Blazer spent about an hour rubbing, jostling, and bumping the recliner, doing his level best to bother Poppa out of that chair.

Winter. I Almost Missed it…

10 Feb

… because I overslept.

Tuesday and Wednesday were warm enough, even overnight, that we were able to move the papyrus plant outside and leave it.  We really have to baby it all winter, because it must be kept above 55-F, but the past few weeks we’ve been putting it in the sunroom during the day, until this week when we were able to sit it out in the sun.

Wednesday night the temperature hurled itself downward, and it was barely 30º when we went to bed. I got up around 4AM and it was raining hard.  When I finally crawled out from under the covers for the day it was snowing and blowing. We got a monumental quarter inch of snow, which melted  almost before it hit the ground. By 10AM is was all gone. We had some ferocious winds – gusts up to 45 miles per hour. Anything not nailed down could be found in the next county.

Today it only reached 34° and was still breezy, but tomorrow and Sunday promise to be pushing 60 again.

Don’t like the weather? Stick around.

It’s Not What You Do…

8 Feb

…it’s when you do it.

Today has been one long dance of frustration. The Squire had to leave his car in the shop on Sunday night, which means he has to drive my Nissan.  He had called the shop before I woke up and was told his car will be ready tomorrow, and the catalytic converter will set us back about $1,500.

Yeah. That’s pretty much what he said when they told him. No, they are not made of gold; they are made of platinum.

Blazer managed to scrape about six inches of vinyl off his lead, exposing the wires inside to moisture and other damage. My husband had wrapped the bare part with duct tape and managed to cut himself pretty badly in the process. Not a happy camper.

He has our taxes ready to file, but we have not gotten the info we need from one of the IRA accounts. The first time The Squire called, they insisted we deal with them over Skype, which we don’t have. No idea what that was all about. He finally got through on the web page, and they won’t have the figures ready until February 24th – almost a month past the due date. Not a happy camper.

My car only had a quarter tank of gas, but, hey, I get  30 mpg, so what’s the big deal? After searching all over the house for my purse so he could use the gasoline discount card (look, twenty cents per gallon is worth taking, right?), he finally came into the bedroom to ask me where on earth I’d put my pocketbook.  He’d looked in the car – both seats and the trunk – and on the kitchen chair, with no luck. I thought maybe I’d dropped it in the bag with my knitting, but no joy there, either.

And then I remembered where it was – and it wasn’t good news.  In addition to not liking to wear a coat, I don’t like to carry my purse with me. I had gone to Costco yesterday with a friend, and put my VISA and my club card in my pants pocket and stuck the purse under some shopping bags in the back of her car.

And it was still there.

Things are really, really bad when The Squire calls me by name.




Running on Fumes

5 Feb

Living in the woods as we do, our leaf removal problem can be a beast. Years past we would hire a gang of likely teenaged boys from church, and they would spend most of a day here, driving around the property on the lawn tractor, piling leaves into the cart, dumping them, and repeat as necessary. Fuel them up on pizza, and we were all happy. (Nothing pleases an underage fellow more than being able to drive a tractor. It may not be a souped-up car, but it’ll do j-u-u-s-t fine.)

Unfortunately, all those young men are married or moved and The Squire is left to haul his own leaves. A few days ago he posted on FreeCycle that he was in need of a snowplow for the tractor, not to remove snow, but to push leaves.

Last night he got a response from a man not too far away who had one to give, so he hopped into the van and headed off. He called me from there to say the “check engine” light had come on and he was going to swing into the dealership for them to take a look, and then probably take it back on Monday. About ten minutes later he called again, sounding shaky, to say he couldn’t drive the car in “this condition” and please come get him.

The catalytic converter had gone flooey and was spewing unburned gasoline fumes into the passenger compartment. He had opened all the windows, but he was getting dizzy and had to get out once and walk around before he finished the drive. He considered himself lucky to have gotten to the shop alive.

Folding him up and shoe-horning him into the Nissan was a challenge!  He is not that much taller than I am, but he has longer legs and a shorter torso, so his knees were under his chin when he got into my car, and the seat was so low that to hear him tell it he was almost on the floor. He shoved to seat back as far as it would go, and when I got into the passenger side this morning I felt as if I was sitting in the trunk.

I have the feeling this trip to the dealer is going to take a large bite out of our tax refund.



1 Feb

“Cursed is the one who withholds justice from the alien, the fatherless or the widow.” Then all the people shall say, “Amen!” (Deuteronomy 27:19

Moving from one country to another involves a process which can take from five to ten years. Even for an American to move to Canada can take up to eight years!

Many of the people waiting in the wings, so to speak, are the translators and their families who risked their lives to aid our service personnel. In return for their aid and assistance they were promised safe passage to America. One of our soldiers remarked that these people had been checked and checked again, “You don’t let somebody ride in your Humvee if you aren’t sure who they are.” How much more “vetting” does Trump think we need?

Donald Trump could not possibly give ISIS a better gift than to break a promise which had been sealed in blood.

And let the people say, “Amen!”







French Fries!

28 Jan

This morning, I stopped by the market and asked the young man at the deli counter for two slices of turkey ham (which The Squire calls “sham”) to fix as ham steaks for tomorrow’s dinner. The young man held up the piece of meat and positioned his knife about an inch and a half from the end. “Is this about right?”

“No! That’s much too thick.” I put up my thumb and index finger to show him what I wanted. He again positioned his knife way too far from the end, so I finally asked him the give me the knife, and I scored the “skin” of the meat to show him where it should be cut. “I want two slices that thick.”

He held up a slab of meat about an inch thick. “Is this OK?” Well, it wasn’t, but I’d already spent too much time on this project. “Do they teach fractions in school any more?”


I hate to say it, but I’d have been better off with somebody from The ARC.

When I checked out, the cashier looked askance at the hunk of “sham” I had, so I told her about my adventures in Deli-land.

Which led, in turn, to me recounting an episode, long ago and far away, with a young cashier in another store.  The Squire and I had loaded our order onto the belt, and we had to identify almost every single item we had purchased.

“What’s this stuff?”

“Celery” “Radishes” “Zucchini” “Radicchio” “Cauliflower”

And, then, the lights came on! “I know these”, he said, proudly holding up the bag of potatoes.

“This is what they use to make French Fries!”


The Mud, The Blood, and The Beer

25 Jan

Maybe the president isn’t sure of climate change but folks Maryland certain are.  We had a week or so of winter around the first of the year, but it has been in the 40s and 50s ever since. Today it was up to 56-f.

Instead of snow, we’ve had rain. And rain. And more rain. We had four straight days of it, beginning on Friday. Early Monday morning the wind began to blow, and we have a fair amount of limbs down all over the yard. Blazer always goes out to get the mail and the paper around 1:30, so I walked out to the box  on Monday in the rain and the wind. We got about fifty feet or so from the house, and Blazer decided he’d had enough, thank you very much. I dragged him on out, anyway. When we got to the end of the drive I dropped the leash, and I don’t believe his feet ever touched the ground getting back to the house! He poked his head around the corner of the building with a “what’s taking you so long” expression on his fuzzy face.

Today was warm and mild, so I played pick-up-sticks while The Squire was at the Y, and slogged out through the mud to feed the foxes. When he got home, we hung out the wash. That was more an exercise in optimism than anything else,  but the clothes will all be dry tomorrow, and they smell so good when we take them down.