Tag Archives: snow

Jonas

23 Jan

Well, how many ways can you say “it’s snowing”? It started yesterday around 4PM, and has not slowed down. About midnight last night, with the wind blowing a gale and visibility down to a few feet, some obliviots were racing up and down Rt. 7 on ATVs. Darwin candidates.

We had just a foot of snow when we got up this morning and now (almost 7PM) it is over two feet, with no sign of stopping. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We did see one lonely squirrel this morning. Heaven knows how he managed to get to the feeder in all this mess.  Mostly, we have had “vultures” – red-winged black birds,

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grackles, starlings… I know they are God’s creatures and need to eat, but Lawsy, they are a pain. They will eat just about everything in sight, including the cheap bird seed we purchase at the grocery for emergencies.

The Squire shoveled a path around the house, from the carport to the front door. Twice. I went out and cleared a “pooping place” for Blazer, as the snow is too deep for him to walk, never mind doing anything else. He made quick work of it this morning, but he has refused to do anything else the rest of the day. Well, he can’t walk around with his legs crossed forever, so I suppose he’ll decide to go eventually. Mind you, with over two feet of snow and blowing between 35 and 50 MPH I can’t exactly blame him.

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It’s a shame he can’t manage the litter box.

How deep is it? Well, the picture of the chair is not mine (I “borrowed” it from Twitter), but that is Eddie, looking out the den window this evening.  7PM and still coming down.

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chair in snow

And So It Begins

22 Jan

It was cloudy this morning, but unless you’d been following the weather reports, nothing unusual. Except that the squirrels were out in force, scouring the ground for every possible shred of food.  There are eight in this picture, plus three more in the tree.

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Chowing Down

And this fellow, trying to empty the “Squirrel Proof” bird feeder. We went up to the Y after breakfast, and when we came home, the feeder had been unscrewed – again – and was on the ground. The little buggers jump up onto the suet feeder and scamper across the top, then hang upside down and shovel the seed onto the ground.

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Squirrel Guard? What’s that?

It started to snow about 4 PM, and is supposed to continue for the next 24 hours, at least. Church has already been cancelled, and since our policy is to remain closed when Harford County school are shut down, we may not even have service on Tuesday evening.

We were supposed to go to a viewing tomorrow evening and a funeral on Sunday, but both of those have been pushed back a day, with a suggestion we call to double check before we sally forth.

Snow?

20 Jan

Depending upon whom you ask, and when, we are supposed to get anywhere from a dusting of snow to two feet, anywhere from Friday morning to all day Saturday.

I had to run to the store today for a prescription and you’d have thought it was Black Friday. What is it with snow storms and toilet paper? And people renting more movies than they could watch in a month, for a one or two day “snow in”? And if the power goes out, those movies aren’t going to do much good, any way.

A  gal who used to work with The Squire died on the 17th. The viewing is Saturday evening, and the funeral is on Sunday (never heard of such a thing, to quote the Late and Unlamented) so we shall have to make every effort to get to one or the other – or both. She and her husband  did not use the same name, and we only discovered by one of those crazy flukes that I worked with him at the same time she was working with The Squire.

Speaking of working – I worked Monday and Tuesday (yesterday) at BD. The Squire fixed dinner for us both nights. Chicken Marsala on Monday, and last night was a vegetarian stew; he found the recipe on line last year and it’s his go-to for his night to cook. Purchased the ingredients when he went to the Y, and had it ready to put on the table when I got home. After we ate we decided to run up and get the laundry out of the way and swing into Aldi’s for a few perishables such as milk and eggs.

Our kitchen door has always leaked cold air. The house is in constant motion from the ground settling and even though we replace the weather stripping every winter, the shrinkage from the dry winter air and the movement of the building means the door is about as airtight as an orange crate. Many years ago I purchased a pair of cotton duck, tab top, curtains and a tension rod to put over the door. We lay the curtains on top of each other and then run the rod through both sets of tabs, so we have a double thickness of heavy fabric. Last night, the spring broke in the tension rod.

Fortunately, The Squire remembered we had some hooks that clipped onto the rails of the suspended ceiling, so between those and an old broom handle we got the blasted curtains up. The cat tries his best to refuse to use the front door (“We’ve never done it that way before!” You’d think he was an Episcopalian – or a Lutheran.) but Blazer is up for whatever involves going out. Besides, if he’s in the living room, there’s a chance he can sneak into Poppa’s chair for a quick nap. He still hasn’t completely reconciled himself to sleeping in a dog bed on the floor. (“You think I’m some sort of animal, or something?”)

After the curtain fiasco, I went to put the soup pot on the porch and didn’t bother to turn on the dining room lights. I hadn’t finished my drink at supper and when I sat the pot on the table so I could open the door I knocked over the glass. We have a plastic tablecloth, so I had to run and get a bath towel to clean the table, the chairs, and the rug. It’s amazing how much space a small amount of liquid can cover. Finally got the pot on the front porch and managed to break a finger nail as I came back inside, just to add insult to injury.

 

The View From the Other Side

17 Jan

Our regular organist was away today, and the substitute was somebody we’ve had before. The Squire and I had a chance to visit with him for a while during coffee hour.

Henry came to America from mainland China in 1947, when he was himself just seven years old. He said the most amazing thing to him was – and still is – the amount of meat we consume. “In China, meat is a condiment! In America, you treat the vegetables as condiments.” He still sounded in awe of the entire thing.

When they arrived in America, it was not too long after the war, and Japanese people were not exactly greeted with open arms. Being Oriental, he was automatically treated with suspicion and segregation as the Law of the Land in Virginia, where they settled. “Which bathroom do I use? I’m not white, but I’m not black, either.” His dad guided him toward the “Whites Only” facilities. I admitted that most Caucasians couldn’t tell the difference between  Koreans, Chinese, and Japanese, but I knew they knew the difference. I had been with a girlfriend at a museum and she’d walked over to another family and began chattering away in Korean, but as much of a cliché as it may be, they all look alike to me. Henry laughed and said people had told him that, but he couldn’t see why. “It’s so obvious.” Ah, but can you look at a white face and know that person is German or Irish?

Well, no.

Henry is a chemical engineer, and does all of the cooking in their house. He says he tends to think in terms of reactions and interactions. At least he understands why you shouldn’t put baking soda in the string beans!

He no longer has a permanent job as an organist, so he hops all over the Diocese, playing at various churches. The “highest” churches in Baltimore are St. James, Lafayette Square (former home of Michael Curry, our new Presiding Bishop) and St John’s in the Village. He admitted he’d never been to Grace and St. Peter’s, which was a bit of  a surprise to me, as that is the home church for the Chinese community in Baltimore. For a long time, they even had services, including Sunday School, in both Cantonese and Mandarin. “Well, at least they don’t have to reprint the bulletin.”

We had our first snow of the year today. It flurried almost all day, but honestly didn’t amount to a thing. The temps have been around 40 during the day so the ground was too warm for the snow to stick. Mind you, it’s been in the 20s at night, so maybe we might have gotten a quarter inch if it had fallen after sundown.

 

Two Inches of Snow

20 Mar

1st day of springBut not to worry – it’s supposed to be in the 50s tomorrow.

Playing Hide and Seek

6 Mar

We got a call from the vet at 7:45 this morning, saying that we could come up and get Blazer any time we were ready. We went to the Y and worked out, then swung over to grab the dog, who was mighty glad to see us. The tech said the vet had decided to close the clinic yesterday because of the snow, rather than risk somebody falling on the parking lot, and she had come over about noon to feed the animals. I must have just missed her, as she remarked “somebody had walked up to the door”.

Before we left for vacation, The Squire had backed up both computers and put the hard drives in a “safe place”, so now, of course, he can’t find them. I told him yesterday (after listening to him moan and groan all day) that if he thought about it really hard before he went to bed, the answer would probably come to him in his sleep.

This morning, he said he had been on an ocean liner, and had given the hard drives to the ship’s purser. When he got ready to leave the ship, he had asked the captain – who happened to be Jean-Luc Pickard – for his tapes. The purser had jumped ship at the previous port and taken the tapes with him.

So much for that theory.

Me? I hide the family silver. Him? He hides his Family Tree records. Just makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

Two Very Frustrated People

6 Mar

In spite of what it says, this was written Thursday evening, the 5th. If I don’t post it before 7 PM, it shows up as the next day.

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After a lot of wobbling back and forth about the oncoming storm – should we stay or should we go – we left Winchester, Virginia about 6: 45 last night, with warm-ish weather and a steady rain. Not too hard, but steady. We made excellent time, getting back home a little after 9:30, and that included a trip to the grocery store for milk and eggs, plus topping off the gas tank.

Eddie was extremely glad to see us! He insisted upon sitting in each of our laps while we checked our email, and then tried to sleep with us, which is simply not allowed. I did not know a cat could make so many different sounds! He sat outside the door and cried from 10:00 until about 2:30. When I came back upstairs, he was on the bed, and stayed there all night. He followed The Squire down in the morning and actually sat on his lap while he ate breakfast.

When we woke up this morning at 7:30, it had just begun to snow. I called the vet to see about picking up the dog, and got a recording. OK, maybe they don’t open that early, so I just left the house at 9 and drove on up.

Nobody there, and the lot had not been plowed. I went on up to Bel Air and picked up 40 pounds of birdseed and a dozen blocks of suet and headed back down the road. The vet’s office was still not open.

To say I am distressed is an understatement. It is bad enough that Blazer is not being cared for (although I’m reasonably sure they must have automatic food and water dispensers, the dog can’t get outside to take care of business) but there must be other animals there who have had surgery or need some sort of attention, and they have also been abandoned. I sent an email to a friend who worked there before she moved to Chicago, to ask if she had any personal phone numbers to I could contact somebody at home, but haven’t heard back.

In the meantime, The Squire was doing battle with Comcast.  Over a week ago, he asked them to change us to  their “Triple Play” program, which includes TV, Internet and phone service for less than we are currently paying for just TV and Internet, and would eliminate the $40 we pay to Vonage for our phone line, which includes unlimited overseas calling. I don’t understand it, but apparently it would save us a considerable amount of money per month. Of course, we may end up paying that back out to cover The Squire’s nervous breakdown.

Instead of more TV channels, he has lost some of his favorites, and Comcast still has not managed to change over the phone line. Today the young lady to whom he spoke insisted it would be impossible to do this and allow us to keep the same number. Mind you, we were able to change from Ma Bell to Vonage without any problems, but Comcast is not able ( unwilling, more likely) to do this. We’ve had the same number since 1972, and it is an easy one to remember, with a nice rhythm to it.  He was on the line with them when I left to go get the dog, and was still on the line when I returned. He had been transferred five times, disconnected twice, and was about to completely explode when I got home.

Some young lady with a heavy accent called here in mid-afternoon, and said they would call us tomorrow to arrange to switch the phone number, but she still didn’t know if we cold keep the number. That may be the deal-breaker. We can always go with Vonage if Comcast can’t get their act together.

Aaargh!

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Looking for a Good Book?

22 Jan

Well, the snow yesterday was a bust. I got up extra early (believe me, getting up at 5:45 is bad enough!) because it was supposed to have started around 4 AM. Nada. It didn’t start until around 10, and then really didn’t amount to much. It’s been so warm here that while the snow stuck to the grass and bushes – and looked beautiful – the roads and sidewalks stayed clear. Today, the high was 43, so all we have is mud.

Lots of mud.

However, the forecast is for it to start snowing again tomorrow night and snow into mid-afternoon on Saturday, with 3 to 6 inches accumulation. My attitude is that the weather is like the economy. It’ll do whatever it wants, regardless of what the “experts” say.

I wasn’t able to make the bread I had planned Tuesday night, so yesterday morning before I left for work I put everything but the water into the bread machine for a plain white bread;  The Squire would get it started when he woke up. The thing got about half through the first kneading when it gave a mighty groan – and quit. He cleared a spot on the counter, dumped everything out, kneaded the bread by hand, and got it finished up and into the oven. I’m telling you, that guy is a keeper! He took apart the machine and ordered the piece needed to repair it, so we should be back in business in a week or so.

From time to time, I check out God’s Facebook page, which I think it pretty funny, and often very wise. He frequently thanks atheists, Wiccans, and other such folks, for not going off and starting wars, and promises that He will let them into Heaven, just for being so well behaved. He may have a point. Sometimes I think major religions embarrass Him.

Today, there was a posting about some real books which people have written, apparently with a straight face, about God, the bible, and other aspects of religious life. I will leave it to you to figure out which one I’d really like to read.

http://guff.com/21-absurd-religious-book-titles-that-are-actually-real/

Hoo-boy.

One Week, Four Seasons

25 Mar

The tulips and daffodils are poking their little green heads above the ground. Saturday is was warm enough that I was able to go to my meeting with just a light shawl over my shoulders. It cooled off a bit Sunday and yesterday, but it is snowing at the moment. Old Man Winter is back for one last fling, but like most old men, this “fling” shouldn’t amount to much, as it is supposed to be near 50 tomorrow, and in the 60s by Sunday. We also have a number of trees here that don’t drop their leaves until the old ones are pushed off the stem by new, green growth, so I suppose you could say we are even having Fall.

March seems to have come in like a lion, and is going out the same way.

Oh! It is snowing, and we have ants – again.

Here We Go Again

17 Mar

We woke up this morning to six inches of heavy, wet,  snow and about six million grackles and starlings, all shouting at once. Honestly, we had three days of fairly warm weather, and now this! I pulled on my boots and went out to fill the birdfeeders and put out peanuts for the squirrels.

We really need to get some new feeders. The two small ones have been dropped, tossed, and rolled across the yard more times than I count, thanks to the busy fingers of our local raccoons. What was once a lovely copper colored globe with a clear plastic tube is now a badly misshapen ghost of its former self.  The squirrels managed to reach through the wires and ate the two bottom feeding perches, so The Squire had to use hot glue to insert some sort of plastic plumbing doohickey to keep the seed from running out. As it is, the whole business is so crooked, the seed runs out anyway.

This is the better-looking of the two feeders. The grill is supposed to sit inside the bottom plate, and the tube should be perfectly vertical. The wires obviously are not supposed to be broken in several places.  All in all, I’d say we about ready for couple of new ones. These have served Trojan duty and are ready for a proper burial.

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