Garry likes to quote lines from “Airplane,” such as “I guess this was a bad day to give up sniffing glue.” That was, by the way, Lloyd Bridges. There were a series of these, starting with “I guess this was a bad day to give up smoking,” “… a bad day to give up drinking,” and ending with “… sniffing glue.”

I used to be a crazed hoarder of toilet paper. There are things I can’t live without. Coffee. Half-and-half. Dogfood. Birdseed. And absolutely toilet paper. One day, I decided I didn’t really need 30 or 40 rolls of TP in the closet at all times, so I started buying like a normal person. You know. A dozen rolls because we could always go back to the store for more.

Today, I sent Garry to buy stuff to drink, and a few other miscellaneous items. On the very top of the list was toilet paper. We were down to three rolls — not nearly enough.

The entire paper aisle at Hannaford’s was empty. No toilet paper and a few paper towels.  Undeterred, Garry went to Stop & Shop which is technically in Northbridge, but it’s almost in Uxbridge. They didn’t have any toilet paper either.

Garry came home and announced: “There is  no toilet paper in Uxbridge.” He decided to go out one more time to see if there was some across the state line. He managed to get four very small rolls of TP,  the last toilet paper in North Smithfield, Rhode Island.

I guess this was a bad time for me to give up hoarding toilet paper.

I went online. Amazon was sold out of all the normal kinds of toilet paper. Even the off brands were out of stock and not be available until the middle of April or later. I finally found some no-name toilet paper which would be available in about a week, so I went wild and bought two packages of 10-rolls each. For $19.

A little overpriced you say? Yes, but the whole thing about not price gouging because of the virus has not reached the sellers on Amazon or any of our grocery stores. And our three remaining rolls will barely last us that long.

Ellin’s toilet paper decor in the powder room

Usually, we can buy a full week of food and still have money left to fill the car with gasoline disappeared for about $120. Garry came home with three bags of bread, stuff to drink, half-and-half, mouthwash, toothpaste … and that’s all. No meat or vegetables. This would have cost about $40 or less a week ago. Actually, it did cost less than $40 a week ago. Today it cost $105. Owen said that the shopping he did this week cost twice as much as the same shopping he did last week. In the same store.

It’s hard not to resent people using this pandemic as a chance to cash in on other people’s distress. And still, there is no toilet paper in Uxbridge.


Cee’s B & W Challenge: Tables, Chairs, Picnic Tables, etc.

At a time when we are clustered in the house, it’s good to think about summer days and green grass. It has been so warm this winter, it’s hard to remember how cold winter can be around here.

I hope it doesn’t mean a very hot summer.

Picnic table with a camera

Bench on the lawn at River Bend

Western fence — Photo: Garry Armstrong

Overlooking the valley

Along the porch

Cee's Black-White

LIVING IN THE ZOO – Marilyn Armstrong

And meanwhile …

Note that one ear goes up and the other down. His muzzle is crooked. Really smart. Ask him, he’ll tell you.

The dogs want treats. The raccoons are hungry. The little white flying squirrels are hungry too. And during the day, masses of finches hang on the feeders, oblivious to the news, politics, primaries, and elections. Fill the feeders and there will be good seeds for dinner.

A masked pair

We had the camera up last night and we got flying squirrels and raccoons. I never get regular squirrel pictures anymore because they are here very early in the morning, long before I’m up. Owen sees them because that’s when he leaves for work.

All the creatures come in waves. At night there are the flyers and the raccoons. In the earliest morning, regular squirrels. From about 10 in the morning and later, it’s all about birds. Lots of finches. Goldfinches, House Finches, woodpeckers of various kinds. Titmouses, Chickadees, Purple Finches. Cardinals. Doves. Blue Jays and Cowbirds. Juncos. Nuthatches.

Red and yellow finches

The bird in front is a Tufted Titmouse and the bird in the back is a woodpecker, either a downy or a hairy.

Goldfinch and flying Titmouse

Red-bellied woodpecker and his friend, the Tufted Titmouse

But you don’t see them all at once. The finches come in flocks and all the others come singly or in pairs. And everyone is hungry.