Pushing Up Daisies

25 Apr

“This is Brianna”, she said.

“I’m calling from the mortgage company”, she said.

“I need a copy of your husband’s death certificate”, she said.

We won’t go into what I said, thank you very much. Apparently the dear man has been dead and gone since October of 2015. And the rat didn’t even tell me!  Yeesh.


We Shall See

24 Apr

Yesterday I hauled myself out of bed at 5 AM to begin putting drops in my eyes in preparation for cataract surgery.  Every ten minutes, for two hours! In between, I fed the critters, inside and out, and took a shower.  I was NPO, but I woke The Squire at 6:00 so he, at least, could get some breakfast. One of us needed to be civil, and it obviously wasn’t going to be me.

We got to the Eye Center in plenty of time, and sat around for half an hour. Why don’t they schedule things more realistically? Then we discovered I’d handed the receptionist the wrong insurance card and she wanted $$300-some dollars.  We’d been issued new insurance cards the first of the year, but they are not dated, which explained why I was still carrying the old one; luckily The Squire had his card in his wallet, so that was settled without bloodshed.

The getting-ready was about as easy as anything I’ve ever done. Take off my blouse and lay down. They told me I didn’t even have to take off my shoes, but I’m already done so. I explained to the anesthesiologist about my problem with anything over my face, and she promised me they’d take care of that before I awakened. The surgeon came in and spoke to me and then drew a circle above my left eye – “So we do the correct one”.

I don’t remember anything else until I woke up in the recovery area – with my legs trying to run away without me.  Every other time I’ve ever had any sort of surgery I not only didn’t have Restless Leg Syndrome but I didn’t need any medication for a night or two afterward.  This time – boy, howdy!  They strongly recommended I take my anticonvulsant before I come in next time, NPO or not.

I was a bit disappointed when we removed the bandages that my vision was so blurry. The Squire was upset that I couldn’t see as well as he could right off the bat. I feel as if I’m looking in a foggy mirror after having gotten out of the shower. This is normal, and it is already getting better. By Thursday or Friday I should be good to go. And then, they want to do the right eye! I didn’t realize it was bad enough to need correcting, but the doctor told me that was only because it looked good compared to how bad this eye was. Once I see clearly with my left eye, I’ll know how bad the right one is. Makes sense.

The business with the shoes was that I am not supposed to bend over or do anything strenuous for the next three days. The Squire had to help me get dressed this morning. He also had to feed all of the critters and lug the bread machine out of the cupboard. I was able to set the table all by myself.

However, I’m not allowed to run the vacuum or unload the dishwasher. Oh, such a pity!





Lost in Translation

2 Apr

I am fairly well-known for being OCD – or, in my case, CDO as the letters must be in order.  I’m a nut about making sure the hymnals and prayer books are neatly place in the racks (I’ve been known to “tidy up” the pews when I visit another church.)  Light switches must all be facing one direction – all up, or all down.  My spices are in alphabetical order, and all of the girls names begin with the same letter and the oldest has four letters in her name, the middle girl was five letters, and the youngest has six. However, that was entirely accidental.

Our friend Mac speaks English as if it was a second language (it isn’t) and his wife is not much better.

This evening as we were leaving the parish hall after our knitting group, I walked out of the hall in the dark, so I could get all of the light switches in order. Mrs. Mac laughed at me, and remarked that I was “just too, too AC/DC.”

I should hope not!

Holy Smoke!

1 Apr

About halfway through the service this morning some one came into church and asked if  The Squire would come help with a problem. The smoke alarm in the kitchen was going off and nobody could get it to quit.


By the time the service was over the alarm was still going full tilt.  The Squire tried calling the phone number above the above the alarm panel, but the service has been changed and that was the number for the old company, not the new one. Not only could we not get it to turn off, but the alarm system had already called the fire department. The neighbours were treated not only to a non-stop claxon, but the bells and whistles of the local VFD. fire truck

The firemen were no luckier than we were with getting the alarm to stop. One fellow even climbed up on the countertop to reach the box, but even after he removed the battery the fool thing kept on blaring.


In the midst of all this commotion, The Squire realized the noise was not coming from above the door but nearer the stove. On Thursday, somebody had pulled the Carbon Monoxide detector out of the electric outlet to plug in a crock pot for the weekly soup supper, and forgot to plug it back in, which means it was running on batteries. When the battery went dead, the alarm started. And kept on and on and on.

There is peace in the valley once again. Whoosh!

Whose Idea Was This?

27 Mar

Every once in a while The Squire and I will play a little game called “Let’s Pretend We’re Moving”.

Yesterday morning we “played” in the back room.  We don’t have a basement, so this is as close as we can get. The dryer, the pet foods, the clutter and chaos of over 40 years in the same house have all ended up there. We carried everything into the kitchen, and piled it on the counters, the floor, and the chairs.  Bit by bit we moved it back into the back room, sorting it out and throwing away an incredible amount of stuff.   This photo was taken after we had gotten most of the things put away. Some items, such as the shredder and a bunch of electrical bits and bobs were moved out to the patio to await a yard sale, and the groceries eventually found their way to new spots on the shelves.

kitchen after

This picture was taken once the back room had been tidied to within an inch of its life. I keep my canned goods in magazine holders, and I found so many veggies that had been stuck on the shelf and then lost that I need to get another one next time we head to the store. All of the various boxes of pasta are corralled in one section, and I was amazed to discover just how many packets of Knox gelatin I had. What on EARTH was I going to make with all of it?!

shop after

The Squire got rid of a bunch of things he didn’t need any more and now he has space to arrange things to they are within view, too.

I just wonder how long it’s going to take us to get it all cluttered again?

An “Aha!” Moment

23 Mar

Last night I was chatting with a friend and she remarked that when she was a young girl her hair was the same shade as mine. “I washed it on Saturday night and wrapped it in a scarf, so it would be nice for Sunday. We only washed our hair once a week. You couldn’t get soap, you know, because it was rationed during the war.”  My friend is British, a war bride and closer to my mum’s age than mine.

And suddenly it all clicked!

I have several Woman’s Day magazines from the 40s, saved by my ever-thrifty mother and grandmother.  There are frequent articles about making-do, turning men’s unworn suits into clothing for the rest of the family, and such. Some of them referred to substitutes for soap. Fat is used to make soap – and munitions. It just didn’t register with me that there was a reason for the things my mother did.

We washed our hair once a week, and took three baths a week. Saturday night so we’d be clean for church, plus Monday  and Wednesday nights. You don’t sweat in the winter, and in the summer there’s nobody around to know if you stink.  And we always wore our clothes two days, letting them rest a day in between.  The idea of wearing things twice never fazed me, and I made sure our girls did the same. Even my uniforms at school were purchased with the idea you wore the blouses twice. Too much washing wears things out, and although nobody had a dryer in the 50s (and precious few in the 60s) bashing things around weakens the threads.  I much prefer to clothes things on the line; it’s such a Zen thing. Bend and reach. Bend and reach. No hurry, no pressure, no grabbing things out of the dryer before the wrinkles set.  I always told the girls, “that stuff in the lint filter is your underwear”.

So there is was. Not some aberrant behaviour on my mum’s part but a hold-over from the frugal days of World War II – the war her husband and her brothers-in-law were waging overseas.


Fire! Fire!

22 Mar

See the source imageRight after the first of the year we trotted off and bought one of those new super-duper smoke alarms. I will say it is not nearly as touchy as the old one, which would go into a purple swivit over boiling water.

This morning I slid a croissant into the toaster oven while I laid the dining room table for breakfast. By the time I got back the kitchen was full of smoke, the croissant was charcoal, and the smoke alarm was going full-tilt. The little lady who lives inside was yelling “Fire! Fire!” at the top of her lungs, Blazer was running in circles, and the cat took off for high ground. It took ten minutes with the window open and the fan going to clear the house.

I picked up the croissant with tongs and carried it ceremoniously to the trash can. It was too far gone to even make decent compost.