Wednesday, December 5, 2018

"I'm Barbara Bush."

We watched President Bush's state funeral today on TV.  I have been to many a funeral at my  Episcopal church in recent years. I became an Episcopalian in 1987. I grew up a Methodist and attended the Presbyterian Church from the time I was in college until maybe the mid-70's, when our pastor had a mid-life crisis and I had had enough.  Anyway, as a newby amongst the "cradle Episcopalians," as they call themselves, I have come to cherish certain words from the service for "The Burial of the Dead" in the Book of Common Prayer:

"For so you did ordain when you created me, saying 'You are dust, and to dust you shall return.' All of us go down to the dust; yet even at the grave we make our song: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia." 

Also:  "Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your servant (name). Acknowledge, we humbly beseech you, a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming.

The TV commentators, who blah-blah-blahed throughout the day, sometimes referred to the Bushes as "an American dynasty."  Well, maybe they are, but what sticks in my mind is a story my friend told me about her friend.  This friend went to a quilt show somewhere in the Washington, DC suburbs during the time of Bush 41. Admiring a quilt, she noticed a woman who seemed strangely familiar.  She approached her and said, "Excuse me, you look like someone I should know, but I can't think of your name."

The other woman simply smiled and replied, "I"m Barbara Bush." 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

How I Got A Free Thanksgiving Turkey

That's not me. That's my sister-in-law sneaking tidbits to our dog, as usual  It was the only picture I could come up with that was vaguely suggestive of Thanksgiving. I tried to find a picture of a turkey on one of those "free pictures" internet sites, but got scared off by the confusing terms and conditions and a loud voice that proclaimed, after a few clicks, that "You're almost done!"  I bailed out.

So, anyway, it was a year ago when I got the free turkey.  Our younger daughter hosts Thanksgiving for the extended family (the older one does Christmas and I do Easter), so we didn't need a turkey for just the two of us. Last year, my husband and I once again volunteered to roast a 20-pound turkey for our church's community Thanksgiving dinner, so I needed to get a turkey for that. 

I found a bargain at Food Lion.  A 21-pound turkey @ $0.89 a pound.  I added a number of other items to my cart and paid with my debit card, my mind wandering off in other directions.  When I checked the sales slip at home, I was horrified to see that I had been charged over $50 for the bird. 

The next day I returned to the supermarket, sales slip in hand. When I complained about not getting the bargain I'd expected, the manager said, "You have to spend at least $35.00 on other items in order to qualify for the lower price on the turkey."

"What!?!"  I was incredulous.

"It says so on the sign by the turkeys," she replied.  A little smugly, I thought. 

I went to check. Sure enough, under the eye-catching "89 cents a pound"  someone had written "with a purchase of $35" in very small green letters. 

Returning to the manager, I said, "OK, so now I've read the sign.  Yesterday, I didn't buy enough to get the lower price. Can I just make up the difference today and get the lower price?"

"I'm afraid not, " she said. "You'll have to bring the items you bought back to the store so we can void the sales slip. Then you'll need to buy . . .

"OK, OK, I get it, " I said, crossly. "I'll be back." Why was she making things so complicated?  Maybe she hoped I'd just go away.  No chance of that.  I was not about to pay top dollar for a turkey we were going to donate.

I drove the 4 miles back home to retrieve the items I'd bought yesterday. When I got back to the store, the manager wheeled the cart to a counter where a young man waited. It was probably his first day on the job. He looked scared and confused as she rattled off her instructions. "Just give her a refund for all these items on the sales slip and set them aside for re-shelving."  

Meanwhile, I went shopping once again for the re-shelved items, plus as many more as I needed to reach $35.00. 

The same young man totaled up my new order. He was nervous. I was rattled. I just wanted to get out of there.  Once in my car, I looked at the sales slip. Something was wrong. This time the amount was too low. I soon saw why. The young man had neglected to charge me for the turkey.

I went back in the store, sales slip in hand. The manager wearily shot me a "You-again-what-do-you-want-this-time?" look. 

"He forgot to charge me for the turkey." 

She snatched the sales slip and studied it. The young man looked on anxiously from his counter.  It seems he had voided the higher price for the turkey, but had forgotten to charge me the lower price I was now entitled to. 

"Oh, forget it!" she finally exclaimed, exasperated. "I'm got going through all that again. You got yourself a free turkey." 

Thursday, November 1, 2018


When our grandson was about 12 (he's now 16), he spotted similar jars of  homemade hummingbird food in our refrigerator.

"Grandma," he asked, "why do you have moonshine in your refrigerator?"

How did this child even know there was such a thing as moonshine?

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Our Butterfly Nursery

This story is from an e-mail my husband sent to his friend:

Cynthia and I are anxious every day about our many monarch caterpillars, chrysalises, and adults.   They are in all sorts of states.  But this is pretty much the end of the nursery.  There are barely any uneaten milkweed leaves left.  Today I stepped on, or rode my bike over, a mature caterpillar on our driveway. Broke my heart. When they stop feeding they begin a long journey away from their feeding area to a high place—such as the ceiling of a porch-- to form their chrysalises . We have a high stool under our porch mailbox that they really like.  It has about 10 chrysalises hanging from under the seat right now.  When a mature caterpillar finds a place to its liking, it fastens one end of itself to this spot, releases its hold at the other end and hangs for a day or so.  While hanging, it forms a “J” shape.  When it's ready, it forms its pale green chrysalis seemingly instantly.  I've never seen it happen.  I look, and it's a hanging J, and 10 minutes later I look again, and it's a fully formed chrysalis.  After about ten days the chrysalis turns black and in another half day or so the adult butterfly emerges.  It stays put for some hours, drying and flexing its wings.  And then it's gone. Off to Mexico.