A Belated Merry Christmas

26 Dec

The Squire and I were to visit my nephew for Christmas, but he sent us an email on the 22nd to say the whole “fan damily” had come down with Covid. His wife had caught it and given it to her parents and to him. They have three children 12 and under, so there’s no way the kids are going to avoid it.

I went to 5:00 Christmas Eve service at St. Alban’s, a 1928 church not too far from us, and then zipped home to go to the 7:00 service with The Squire at Resurrection. I opted not to take Communion with him, because even as rowdy as I tend to be I don’t need to be “washed through and through” twice in two hours!

Theoretically, we don’t exchange gifts anymore, but we generally find some little thing we think the other person needs. A while back, The Squire had been complaining that the steering wheel was cold. When I asked him why he didn’t wear his gloves, he replied they are too bulky and awkward. And they are. I went online looking for “men’s lightweight dress gloves” and found a pair of “Stewart of Scotland” gloves – 100% wool, fleece lined, and real leather palms, for less than half price. Still a fair amount, but so very much worth it. He was delighted! When we were at my nephew’s home for Thanksgiving his wife had a wood and plastic gizmo for slicing bread, which I thought was the greatest things since, well, since sliced bread. The Squire went online and found one for me. Actually, I think mine is even nicer, because it is all bamboo, and it folds for storage.

We went to an Indian restaurant for Christmas dinner. We both enjoy Indian cuisine and because they are not Christian, we don’t feel guilty about ruining their holiday. Does that make sense?

Spent yesterday napping and working a jigsaw puzzle and went off to church this morning. Bishop Sutton is following CDC guidelines and closing down the churches for 14 days, which means we won’t have services at Resurrection next week, but there’s always St. Alban’s.

Mind you – these fourteen days may grow into something much longer, but we shall see what happens.

Stop Nagging!

25 Dec

I have been taken to task by quite a few of my loyal readers for not having posted more than once a month, and I apologize. I worked five days a week for all of November, had a week off, and then started working again. This job is supposed to run until April! I’m really enjoying what I’m doing right now, but I’m too old for this nonsense! Getting up at 6 AM and staying up all day without a nap is too much.

Right now, I’m working for a hobby shop, and as you can imagine, things have been a wee bit hectic. This company is located in an exurb just north of Baltimore, which is important to this story. Two people called in on Monday – back-to-back, no less – who have a very weak grasp of geography. One fellow clicked on the “No shipping charge” option, figuring it would take longer, but save some money. When he hadn’t gotten his package in two weeks, he called to see what was up. Maybe the problem wasn’t geography was much as reading skills, but when you live in Altoona, PA, choosing curb-side pickup in Baltimore isn’t a good option.

The other call was from a truly outraged customer who wanted to know why we had charged such an exorbitant price for shipping. He’d selected overnight air delivery, but he lived less than thirty miles from the company! If the package was marked “Air Mail” it probably went into a bin and was sent to the airport before anybody realized what he had done. It took longer to find it than it would have taken to send it UPS, and far, far longer than if he had just come and picked it up!

I Can’t WAIT for Christmas!

23 Nov

I’ve been working for the last month, filing and scanning. Not exactly mind-stretching, but I honestly enjoy filing and can live with the scanning.

However – one of the girls brought in a radio and had it tuned to an all-Christmas station.  I was treated to six different versions of Jingle Bell Rock, and listened to Bing Crosby croon White Christmas four times. And of course, there were a lot of singers who just had to put their own spin on songs, which drives me to utter distraction. Sing it the way it was written or write your own dammed song!

Six more weeks, right? Yeesh!

No Better, Thank You

30 Oct

It will be two weeks on Monday since I fell and banged my head on the concrete floor. It has bled sporadically since then, mostly little drops on the pillow case, but this morning I started to bleed in earnest.

The Squire hustled me down to the local Doc-in-a-Box for a look-see. Not only was it considerably faster and more personal, but you could ask for a cup of java and somebody would bring you one! Coffee, a warm blanket, and my book – almost as good as home. Once I saw the doctor I explained that while I understand the elderly (there, I said it!) do heal more slowly, this had been going on long enough, thank you very much, and could he possible lance this thing and drain it. He palpated my poor cranium and agreed that it felt mushier than it should, but lancing was considered surgery and that wasn’t something they could do there. However, he would try to suction out some of the blood to ease the pressure.

First there was an injection of Lidocaine, and then he tried to draw the blood. Unfortunately, it was mostly a big clot, and he wasn’t able to do much with it. I think he was as disappointed as I was. “I figured I’d be able to fill this syringe for you.” He admitted a large needle would have perhaps been more effective, but it would have also been even more painful, and it was bad enough as it was. Not exactly as bad as a toothache, but close. He suggested I get back in touch with my GP, and see if he can suggest a plastic surgeon to work on this mess.

He put a massive compress on my lump and then started to wind an ace bandage around my head. The bandage was elastic and kept riding up, until we got the giggles. He finally gave me a stack of gauze pads and sent me on my way.

The Squire took me across the street to eat at IKEA but they are remodeling their dining room, so we headed over to Panera instead. I had a bowl of Pumpkin Bisque and a Fiji apple salad, while The Squire indulged in a cheese steak sandwich.

So back home and still oozing, and I start work on Monday, so I don’t know how long I’m going to have to deal with this mess. I’ll take some Tylenol and put my pants on my head, and see how it goes.

Ancient of Days

30 Oct

The Squire and I cleaned out the pantry about a week ago, and I found one box of cake mix – a Jell-O cheesecake mix – with no expiration date on it.

What the heck? Maybe I can make it up as a treat? When I opened the box I discovered the coupons printed on the inner packet expired on December 31, 2002! The bloody stuff was old enough to vote!

Yesterday I was thrashing around in the freezer, looking for something quick and easy for lunch. I pulled out two packages of tortellini, which I keep on hand for this sort of “emergency”. One expired next year. The other should have been eaten in 1992!

We had the first one. I cooked up the second for the animals.

Doing Battle With the DMV

29 Oct

When I went up to the DMV in late June, I took along copies of my insurance card on the new(er) car, as well as the old one, and a the temporary title I’d gotten from the dealer. No big deal, and the tags were easily transferred from the 2001 Nissan to the 2016 car. I have a really easy number to remember, but the new Maryland tags are just a jumble of letters and digits.

Early in October I received a letter from the DMV telling my my plates had been suspended because I didn’t have proof of insurance for August 27th. Mind you, had a proof that the car was insured from June until this November, and August usually comes between those months, but That’s what the system said. Even the clerk couldn’t explain it. A call to The Squire, then a call to the insurance company, who sent over some electronic form, and that part was fixed.

“Oh, by the way, I never got a regular registration. All I have is this temporary one I got from the dealer.”

The clerk took another look at the computer, and told me they had never received the proper form. Rather than form #54400131, they had sent 52303283. I told her I didn’t want to be THAT customer, but when was DMV going to tell me this? She didn’t have an answer.

Once I got out to the car I spoke to The Squire again and asked him to call the auto dealer and see what happened. When I got back home, he told me the lady at the dealership insisted she had sent in the correct form, but she would handle it directly – and immediately. I should have my new title and registration, as well as my stickers for my car with ten business days.

My current stickers expire on Monday, and I’m supposed to start work. I’m gonna drive this car until the wheels fall off. I don’t think I can do this again!

Due to Popular Demand

26 Oct

I finally agree to allow The Squire to take my picture while I was wearing my pants on my head.

The doctor said I should have worn this at the hospital and started a trend, or at least suggested to them that they keep a packet of Depends on hand for their next head wound.

From the front, it really doesn’t look too odd – just some regular turban, maybe. It kept the gauze from falling off, and the padding both absorbed the last of the bleeding, and also cushioned my poor cranium so I could get a bit of rest.

FWIW, we went to the laundry today, and thank God and Oxi-wash, all of the blood came out of the towel, my blouse, and my jacket. I’d heard the expression “stiff with blood” many times, but I didn’t really understand what it meant until this. Honestly I think if I had tried to fold the shirt I was wearing, it would have broken – or at least cracked.

Monday, Bloody Monday!

21 Oct

This week started off with two trips to the vet, a stop at the farm supply store, a trip to the grocery store and ended up in the ER.

Our cat, Eddie, had been ill for quite a while, and had pretty much stopped eating. We’d tried special food from the vet, and tempted him with all of his favorite foods – mashed potatoes, chicken, milk (only a little bit, as it really isn’t good for cats), canned food – but he was starving himself to death. I called the vet, and went up a little before noon to have that dirty deed done. They told me the food had a money-back guarantee, and if I’d return it they’d refund the money. Since the blasted food has set us back $60 for an 8 pound bag, it was well worth a second trip, so after lunch I took care of that and did the rest of my errands.

There is one place in the furnace room that does not have insulation in the roof, so when we replaced the tiles in the bathroom ceiling we held on to most of the old ones, which I intended to staple across the rafters.

After supper I brought in a pile of old tiles, found the super stapler, and lugged the stepstool into the furnace room. I’d just begun to staple the first tile, when I suddenly I began to fall backwards, landing on the floor covered with dry dogfood, and a very sore head. No biggie, until I looked in the bathroom mirror and discovered blood dripping off my chin! To make a long story a little bit shorter, I’d split the skin on the back of my head, (swelled to egg size) and scalp wounds always bleed like crazy.

I wrapped my head in a towel the way you do when you shampoo your hair, and The Squire hustled me into his car. We discussed going to the local Doc-in-a-Box, but decided to go to the ER instead. It was nearly Standing Room Only when we went in, and in retrospect we obviously should have turned around and gone back to the clinic. Anyway, we arrived at 9:30 PM, and about an hour after I registered a nurse took me into a cubby hole and got my vitals. She removed my towel, inspected the goose egg on my head, and wrapped me with gauze. A couple of hours after that I was taken for a CAT scan. And many hours after that I finally saw the doctor. She asked The Squire if I was acting normally, to which he replied “Well, normally for her”, again inspected my scalp and said there were no edges to be sewn together, as I am scrapped the skin, instead of splitting it. I asked if she could pull the edges together anyway; maybe tightening my scalp would act as a facelift, but she demurred. Another wrap with gauze, and we FINALLY walked out of the hospital at 6 AM.

The Culprit

I was still bleeding and my head hurt like blazes. Putting my weary noggin on a pillow was not going to be easy, and it was a given that I’d lose my turban in my sleep, ending up with blood all over the pillow.

And then The Squire had an inspiration!

Several years ago he was in the hospital and was issued a pack of adult male Depends, most of which are still hiding under the bed. I pulled a pair on my head over my gauze turban, with the waist as a hat band. The extra padding in the back cushioned my wound and soaked up any blood that oozed out. Worked like a charm! The pillowcase stayed clean and the “hat” didn’t fall off overnight. We had a bowl of soup at 7 in the morning, and tumbled into bed.

So – what caused my tumble, other than my own innate clumsiness? Well, for a change it wasn’t me. The culprit was the wooden step stool. This stool is at least as old as I am; I remember sitting on the top step, and using the seat as a desk before I even started school, and it may possibly have been at my grandparents’ house before it came to live with us. I don’t know if it was simply old and tired, or just not built to hold my excess avoir du poids.

Who’s That Knocking at My Door?

16 Oct

I was sitting here at the computer thing morning when I heard a thumping and banging outside the porch. I could see a large, dark wing, and at first I thought perhaps a hawk had gotten tangled up in the bushes. They often come sailing after a squirrel and miss the mark. Nope. When I peered around the corner I could see a youngish Great Blue Heron pecking at the sliding glass door, but he flew away before The Squire could come take a look.

A few moments later, the bird was back, banging away at the glass. We tried to get a photo, but by the time we’d moved the lace curtain, and tried to shoot through the living room window and the porch door the bird had decided not to cooperate.

Later, the Squire looked out and caught the silly thing banging on the van window! The only thing we can think is that the Heron was attacking his reflection, thinking it was another male.

Just a normal bit of crazy to start the day!

Another City Slicker?

9 Oct

When The Squire went out this morning to collect the mail, the woman who had just moved into the house next door approached him with something brown in her hand.

“Can I ask you a question? Do you know what these are?” She opened her fist to show him four or five acorns.

He told her what they were, and assured her they were not good to eat. “Squirrels like them, and most livestock will gobble them down, but they really aren’t good for humans.”

“Oh? Well, where did they come from? They’re everywhere all of a sudden.”

stock photo

He had to explain that they were called acorns, and were basically “oak seeds”. “Just leave them. The squirrels and the deer will eat them.”

“We have deer? Are they dangerous?”

Back in 2015 I posted about a woman who was terrified of the frogs in her yard, and was afraid they would bite her. Apparently, this gal is her sister, in spirit, if not in body. She’s going to need help!