Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Not Quite Accurate

Weasel Zippers snagged this tweet today.  It is somewhat...um...how shall I put this...accuracy challenged.  Or it is stupid.  One of the two.  Or both.

Are the people going "Yay!" at this really so dumb that they don't know that SOMEBODY pays for this - the American taxpayer?

Monday, April 29, 2013

"On the road again, I just can't wait to be on the road again..."

Actually, I can.  After virtually living in Baltimore for a while, then heading off to St. Claire Shores, MI, for a while, I still had one more trip to make.

Brief summary, since now I have a lot of catching up to do.  A year ago I agreed to be head of set-up for a directed women's retreat in Howesville, WV.  Getting there as far as team planning (not to mention physically) was another song in itself - "The Long and Winding Road".  Illness and injuries knocked out so many of the original volunteers that kitchen staff was down to 2 people at one point.  But everyone pitched in, and by Wednesday we were on the ground pulling everything together and appreciating all the work the men's group that preceded us had done to get things prepped for us.  By Friday a group of men was also sneaking around, dashing around buildings and hiding behind cars so that the women wouldn't know of their presence and lending a hand wherever needed.

As part of staff and head of a group of very busy (and incredible) volunteers I couldn't be at all the talks and activities, but we still had plenty of opportunities to participate, so it was a much needed spiritual retreat for us as well.  Also a time of much laughter, joking and clowning.  Our spiritual directors are not only holy, deeply spiritual men but completely nuts.  At one point we had our own version of the Popemobile, courtesy of Fathers Arthur and Dennis:

Got back late last night after a delay west of Cumberland, MD.  Keyser's Ridge was blanketed in rain and heavy fog.  One of the crew turned on her wipers only to see the blade on the driver's side go flying off into the gloom.   Fortunately, one of the guys spotted them pulled off by the road.  And had duct tape in his truck.  The passenger side blade was switched over to the driver's side, and they made the rest of the trip with a sock taped around the bare passenger arm to protect the windshield glass.

I think I've about gotten through my e-mail.  Now there's a bunch of other things to catch up on.

Monday, April 22, 2013


It's always a scramble in the Spring - things grow faster than you can get gardens and flower beds cleaned up and ready.  This year I was away for a lot of the time that the prep work would have been done, so now I'm racing.  Trim, weed, rake, mulch and oh-dang-I'm-not-going-to-get-that-moved-this-year-again.  Yesterday involved some mulch moving, and as I tossed a shovelful into the wheelbarrow, I saw what I thought was a big earthworm.  I hate it when I accidentally whack earthworms apart, so I separated it out to move it to safety.  Except it wasn't an worm - it was an eastern wormsnake.

My neighbor tried to get a pic for me, but the little guy wouldn't hold still and pose:

Very pretty little thing, others out on the web have snapped better pictures than I got:

A rich caramel brown on top, peach pink underneath, and scales that were iridescent in the sun.  I moved him to the woodpile, where he can choose between there, a mulched flower bed, or rocks in which to hunt his buggy meals and where there's less chance of him getting stepped on or having an unfortunate run in with my shovel.

I do love Spring.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


It's been such a lovely week.  Boston.  Ricin letters.  Now the explosion in Waco, which most likely is an accident but that doesn't make the news any better.  And there's also the trial of Gosnell, abortionist extraordinaire, so carefully buried by the media and ignored by hypocritical pro-choicers.  Not to mention charges lodged against Planned Parenthood mills in various states recently.

Add all that to the unending media and political attack on my beliefs and my integrity (I'm a conservative, therefore I caused and support every evil happening in the world), I'm just sick of it. 

If it wasn't for other obligations I think I'd make a phone call and then go hole up in family place out in the middle of the boonies of Preston County.  No radio, no internet, no bathroom, no problem.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Odds and Ends

Text from daughter:

11:35:  hear suspicious sound emanating from baby.  Discover major poop blowout.  Take 15 min to clean fallout.   11:50:  lift baby to put on clean outfit and feel tell-tale warmth on butt.  Change diaper again and dress baby.  12:05  Baby becomes fussy.  Discover pee leak-out.  Change diaper and outfit again....
That seems to be my daughter's life right now.  I had forgotten how much a parent's life revolved around a baby's butt...

And back here in Grandma's land the other shoe has dropped:  the furloughs the agency was dodging have proved to be unavoidable and the paycheck is going to shrink painfully each payday for a while. Fa.  Guess that takes care of the kayak I was looking at.   I can use an occasional day off but having the money to do something would be nice.

Monday, April 15, 2013


A beautiful weekend, and a dash to catch up on yard work delayed by my absence. So this morning I find this appropriate:

Friday, April 12, 2013

We Won't Need Bombs

If North Korea actually decides to launch on somebody, conventinal weaponry will be unnecessary.  Just fly over with big magnets and their officer corps will be decimated.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

So Let Me Get This Straight

If I understand correctly, the Manchin/Toomey gun bill requires background checks for gun show and online gun sales, but not for private gun sales.  So... that will reduce crime because criminals will not buy guns on the street?


adjective \ˈkri-mə-nəl, ˈkrim-nəl\

Definition of CRIMINAL

1:  relating to, involving, or being a crime <criminal neglect>
2:  relating to crime or to the prosecution of suspects in a crime <criminal statistics> <brought criminal action>
3:  guilty of crime; also : of or befitting a criminal <a criminal mind>
And, Mr. Manchin, I would appreciate a response to my e-mail on the subject from months ago. Well, not really. You are a liberal who is either as corrupt as your party or too stupid to see the corruption. Either way, I wouldn't vote for you if my life depended on it.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I'm so tough...

...I vacation in Detroit.

Or so the t-shirt my daughter says she's going to get me says.  It wasn't really a vacation, although I've pretty much burned up my vacation leave for the year.  It was moving daughter and granddaughter to St. Claire Shores, MI, so the family could finally be together for good.

Lesson No. 1:  I hate moving.  My next move will involve hiring people to do it for me.  I'll take the cats and my few serious valuables and hope for the best.  Or torch the place.  The inside of houses are larger than the outside.  You keep packing and packing and still the amount doesn't diminish.  You keep lugging things out to the U-Haul and the pile that needs to go out never seems to get smaller.  And as you haul out stuff that hasn't been moved in years you are faced with the fact that you are supposed to leave a place "broom clean" and the amount of dust and pet hair hiding in places in no way constitutes "broom clean".  And we were packing while juggling a 6 week old baby and while friends came by to say good-bye.

That was Wednesday the week before last.  That night daughter and Amelia, plus dog and cat, spent the night with me while hubby finished up.  Which as always took longer than expected.  Dwight finally got to my place to pick up the animals, and we left right behind him.  He drove straight through, we stayed on the east side of Pittsburgh for the night.  Finally rolled into St. Claire Shores Good Friday evening.  I usually attend all the services during Holy Week, but, sadly, not this year.  Not my first choice, but it was what it was.

Lesson No. 2:  I hate long drives.  Amelia was a good traveler, sleeping most of the time except to announce that she had a dirty butt or was hungry.  But every nerve in my neck and lower back ended up pinched from the hours behind the wheel and I was hobbling from it.  Good thing Detroit has an airport.

Saturday began the merging of two households.  That's still going on.  Also cleaning - hubby has been commuting back and forth for 2 years now and house needed a good go over.  But it's a lovely big house, renovated 2 years ago, situated in a beautiful, clean neighborhood on a circulating canal on Lake St. Claire.  A big difference from the gritty, trash-strewn neighborhood on the edge of Baltimore that my daughter had been living in.  No gunshots at night from the drug dealing across the streets - what a concept!

The view looking east toward the lake from the back yard:

They've left behind their friends and families, but I know for sure that there are folks involved in some of the things they enjoy in the Detroit area and I hope that after they get settled in they can start getting involved, too.

They both love shooting.  Dwight has a few trophies from competition days, and a dive suit hanging in the closet:

We did take a couple days for sightseeing - I must say the Henry Ford Museum is incredible, and I can see many returns to it in the future.  One afternoon is not nearly enough.  

Fortunately, Amelia is a good little tourist:

So now they are there and I am here and I'm not happy about that.  But I am happy about their home and community and the fact that life can finally stabilize a bit for them.