Posted tagged ‘air-conditioning’

“cozy+smell of pancakes-alarm clock=weekend”

August 29, 2016

This morning I was forced to go to Dunkin’ Donuts. I had no coffee and no cream so Gracie and I jumped into the car and drove off for my morning elixir. When we got there, the outside line was long, but I had no choice. I hadn’t bothered to get dressed or even brush my teeth. Gracie didn’t mind the wait. She just poked her head out the window and took in the neighborhood and its smells. I listened to the radio. The line went faster than I thought it would. I was happy.

Today is already hot and humid so I am back in my fortress having shut the windows and doors and turned on the air conditioning. There are clouds but they do nothing except to obscure the sun. Rain is not in the forecast for the next couple of days. The weekend, though, will be lovely with daytime temperatures in the low 70’s and nights in the mid 60’s.  It is the Labor Day weekend, the traditional last hurrah of the summer.

My sister started work today. She is a pre-school teacher in Colorado. When I spoke to her last night, she was going to take a shower so she could get to bed early. I remember my mother sending us to bed early and reminding us we had school the next day. I also remember moaning and groaning and dragging my feet upstairs.

When I was a kid, I never kept track of the weekdays. I only knew when it was Saturday or Sunday. On Saturday my father was home. He did errands uptown and mowed the lawn. On Saturday nights he often barbecued. Sometimes we went to the beach all day Saturday or the drive-in on Saturday nights. Sunday had the only consistently distinguishing event, going to mass which also meant a change in wardrobe from shorts and a sleeveless shirt to a dress or a skirt and a blouse. After mass, the day was back to casual. We didn’t have Sunday dinners during the summer. It was more of a catch as catch can. Mostly it was sandwiches.

I think my favorite weekends were in Ghana, especially the Sundays. There was a service in the dining hall where the furniture had been reconfigured to look more like the inside of a church. The students wore their Sunday clothes. Each of the four classes had a different fabric for their traditional three piece dresses, their Sunday best. They wore a top, a skirt to their ankles and a cloth wrapped around at the waist. After the service, the older students could go to town. Visitors were allowed. A photographer wandered around taking pictures, always in black and white. I have a few of the pictures given to me as gifts. When I went to town, I could see the students walking in groups and stopping at kiosks to buy personal items like powder. Others went to the market to load up on snacks to keep in their school trunks, especially gari, made from cassava and easily stored.

Being retired, my days tend to run together. I sometimes have to check the paper to see what day of the week it is. My chores and errands aren’t confined to a single day. I don’t ever have to go to bed early.

“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.”

August 26, 2016

Today I’m back behind closed windows and doors. I went without the air conditioner for about an hour. The house went up 4˚ so on went the air. Last night it rained. I was in bed in that not quite asleep not quite awake stage when I thought I heard raindrops. I lifted my head from the pillow to listen and heard drops against the window. That was the sound which lulled me to sleep.

Th Mousetrap is the last play of the season at the Cape Playhouse. I saw it a couple of times in London so I’m not all that excited to see it again, but the play got a wonderful review in the Cape Cod Times so I’m back and forth about going tonight. Right now I’m in my cozy clothes and comfortable and cool. I’m even contemplating a nap. I figure laziness will factor into my decision as will a pizza delivery for dinner.

It is getting darker and cloudier. The sun has disappeared. The breeze is greater but is still hot. There is only a possibility of rain, but I’m hoping. I read an article this morning about how easy it is in Europe to recognize American tourists. Hoodies, running shoes, fanny packs, t-shirts with graphics, big tips, North Face, good teeth and water with meals were some of the identifiers. When I was young, I had a backpack which, back then, was probably screaming American. I wore sneakers and jeans. I couldn’t afford a big tip. When I was older, I used suitcases and dressed better.

I read an article this morning about how easy it is in Europe to recognize American tourists. Hoodies, running shoes, fanny packs, t-shirts with graphics, big tips, North Face, good teeth and water with meals were some of the identifiers. When I was young, I had a backpack which, back then, was probably screaming American. I wore sneakers and jeans. I couldn’t afford a big tip. When I was older, I used suitcases and dressed better. A red Marimeko bag I had bought in Finland was slung across my shoulders and carried what was important like money, my passport in a case I had made in Ghana and my camera. I still didn’t tip well.

My last three trips have been to Africa: one to Morocco and two to Ghana. It doesn’t matter what I wear or what I carry as my skin color is enough of an identifier though in Ghana they think I’m a European.

Now I bring one suitcase and a carry-on which has adapters, medications, my iPad, a change of clothes, a notebook and my camera. I still carry the Marimeko bag I bought in 1972 and it still carries what is important including the passport case made in the Bolga market in Ghana in 1970. They are the only continuity when I travel.

“After luncheon the sun, conscious that it was Saturday, would blaze an hour longer in the zenith,…”

August 20, 2016

The mornings are fresh and cool. It is in the afternoons when the days become uncomfortable, hot and  humid. I turn on the air conditioning and shut out the world. I prefer comfort.

Another birthday celebration was last night. We had appetizers on the deck, played a game which I lost then dined inside. We had ribs, one of my favorites. I opened my present which was a hoodie with a boxer outlined on the front in a facsimile of the flag in muted colors. It is perfect. We watched the Red Sox win handily. I drank cosmos. It was a wonderful finale for my birthday.

On TCM today is Humphrey Bogart day. This morning I watched Across the Pacific, a movie filmed in 1942 reuniting Mary Astor, Sidney Greenstreet and Humprey Bogart. In a secondary role is Victor Sen Yung, famous for being Charlie Chan’s number 2 son Jimmy and Hop Sing, the cook for the Cartwrights. Humphrey stars as Rick, a familiar name for Bogart from my favorite movie, Casablanca, also released in 1942, which will be on later. In Across the Pacific, Bogart is a passenger on a Japanese ship and working undercover: pretending to be a disgraced US military officer who is willing to trade information for money. One of the minor characters was described as having dipsomania, much more polite than calling him a drunk. Aside from the pidgin English of the Japanese, I liked the movie.

Saturday used to be my chore day. I’d clean the house, grocery shop and do an assortment of errands. Today I have only one errand: Agway for animal food. The house doesn’t need any cleaning, but I just might change my bed.

I have been retired for twelve years. Even I can’t believe how long it has been. Leisurely days have been an easy fit for me. I found out that most things, other than appointments, can be delayed. I used to feel guilty if I didn’t get everything done. Now I don’t care.

“To travel is to shop.”

August 18, 2016

Yesterday was a wonderful birthday. I walked outside to get the papers and right away saw balloons tied to a new solar garden light stuck in the grass. Now, every time I see that light, I’ll remember how fun the morning was and how wonderful my friends are. My sisters called to wish me a happy birthday as did Grace from Ghana. She once was a student of mine, but now she is a friend. More friends called during the day and the internet was crushed by the number of well wishes on Coffee and on Facebook. Two of my friends took me out to eat at Karoo’s last night. It is a South African restaurant we all like, and the food was even better than we remembered. My friends gave me a beautiful puzzle box which I could not open because I am spatially incompetent. Step by step instructions got the box opened. Instead of a cake, my friend made brownies. Chocolate is perfect for any occasion. I still have one more birthday celebration to come. It is like birth-week instead of birthday. How wonderful!!

My house is open to the air. The morning has gone from sunny to cloudy and back again, but this den where I spend most of my time stays dark and cool until the afternoon. There is even a slight breeze. If I can last through the day, the temperature will get down to the high 60’s tonight, and I won’t need the air conditioning; however, I do like the sensation of feeling cold on a hot summer night.

Around here Hyannis is the big city. It has lots of heavy traffic and stores tucked into a variety of big and small malls. The main route in and out of town has four lanes, two of them for turning. Most times I avoid Hyannis. There are stores I love, but I don’t want to hunt for a parking space or sit through light cycles. The exception is when I have an appointment and have no choice, like today, but I’ll do some shopping because I’m there. It makes the trip fun and worthwhile.

“The Harvard Law states: Under controlled conditions of light, temperature, humidity, and nutrition, the organism will do as it damn well pleases.”

July 22, 2016

Last night I went to bed early, around 10:30, but couldn’t fall asleep so I decided to check out Netflix as my iPad is beside my bed. That was a huge mistake. I started watching Stranger Things and was hooked. It was close to 4 o’clock before I put down my iPad and went to sleep. Episodes remain, and I’m thinking I’ll watch them this afternoon. I won’t do that late night binging again. Okay, I admit I probably will.

As of late yesterday afternoon, the house was closed again, and the air conditioner became a necessity. All of a sudden it was very humid, and the breeze did nothing to cool the day. Poor Gracie was panting, a sure sign the house was too warm. Today is also hot and somewhat humid. Boston is officially in the middle of a heat wave. We are not though heat wave or no heat wave it is still a really hot day.

I don’t remember when the weather started to bother me enough I complained. When I was a kid, the weather never mattered. Summer was for being outside as long as I could be. I always dreaded my mother yelling out the back door for us to come inside the house. Snow was always fun. It was for sledding, making snowmen and building forts. Sometimes snow even gave us a free day from school. Where I lived in Ghana was the hottest part of the country. It was savannah grassland with few trees. I could look across the fields to the horizon. Nothing stood in the way. I was hot in the 100 plus degree heat, but I found ways to be cool. At night I’d take my cold shower and not dry off. The air cooled and dried me and I easily fell asleep. After every snow storm, I used to shovel my walk and driveway. Now I pay someone and wait patiently inside until he comes. My house has central air conditioning. I used to have a fan I carted from den to bedroom at night, and I was cooled enough to sleep. Maybe this intolerance is because I am getting older or maybe it is because I no longer want to abide too hot or too cold. I aim for comfortable.

Tomorrow is our first deck movie night. I have several from which my friends can choose including Charade, The original Thomas Crown Affair, Cabaret,  the Equalizer, Three Days of the Condor and Beginning of the End, our awful science fiction B movie for the summer, a movie where giant grasshoppers wreak devastation wherever they go. I’m serving grilled sausages and sauteed peppers and onions and fresh bread for sandwiches. I’m making a couple of appetizers and a new drink, a blue drink. I have my shopping list ready.

Gracie is sleeping and is snoring. I envy her the nap, not the snoring.

“Candy is childhood, the best and bright moments you wish could have lasted forever.”

July 17, 2016

It’s a later than usual start for me as I was on the phone with my sister. We talk every Sunday. Today we ended up chatting for two hours. For those of you thinking that in no way could you chat for two hours, believe me, the time goes quickly. We never ran out of things to talk about. We never do.

This morning, I tried to live for a bit without the air conditioning. I turned it off, opened the windows and the doors. I lasted an hour and a half.

There is a small breeze, but it is still hot and humid. When I let Gracie out the last time, I followed her to the deck. As soon as I walked outside, I was hit by the heat blast and stifled by the humidity. The day looked far better out the window. I figure I was taken in by that breeze ruffling the leaves.

My front garden has a few but is mostly in between flowers. Many of those flowers have so many buds I am anxious to see them bloom. The clematis has spread to three fence pieces and is filled with buds. Other flowers whose names I don’t know are tall and also filled with buds close to opening. In a short time, my garden will be glorious.

I ordered some Mexican hat jellies thinking they’d make good movie treats. I haven’t seen that candy in a while. The picture had a yellow, red, green and black hat. When I mentioned the candies to my sister, she said she liked the black ones. I do too. I also love Chuckles black jellies. Being my favorite flavor, I save them for last. Black jelly beans are also a favorite of mine. I was thrilled when they started selling only the black ones in a package. Anise cookies are my favorites. My uncle used to make the best-tasting anise cookies every Christmas. He said the secret was using anise oil, not anise flavoring. I actually hate black licorice. I like the red licorice but think the black tastes awful. My sister, strangely enough, has the same weird taste. She told me her son, Ryan, also hated black licorice but loves all the same black candy we do. She thinks it’s a strange gene the three of us have.

The only entry on my dance card this week is a follow-up appointment for Fern at the vets.   I guess I’m still in my solitary confinement.

“Superman is, after all, an alien life form. He is simply the acceptable face of invading realities.”

June 26, 2016

Right now I’m watching Superman, the series from my childhood. I’d forgotten how high Superman’s boots are and how many places Clark Kent disrobes. I love the cars, the fedoras and Lois Lane’s many hats. She goes off to work in suits, matching hats, high heels, pearls, gloves and a leather bag. The operating table scenes were wonderful. I saw a worried doctor, a concerned nurse and a watchful Superman. I never did see the patient.

The end of this spectacular weather is tomorrow when the humidity will be back to join with the temperature to produce a hot, muggy day. I’m figuring it will the first day of air conditioning.

Fern is downstairs already. She even slept on my bed for a bit, and today is the first day she didn’t hide under the bed. It is still difficult to get her to eat the pills she needs so I’m going to try crushing them in food I’ll only give to her.

Today is tend to my deck plants day. I have been lax in getting out there, and the plants are screaming for water. I forgot to buy a new pot to replace the ones the spawns broke when they were running up and down the deck rail so I’ll have to find something to use as a planter. This morning I caught one standing on his hind legs grabbing seeds from the feeder. It was a grey spawn. They haven’t been around for a year or two. It was the red spawns who drove me crazy.

I have been watching a variety of stations, not the major networks. Most of the movies and programs have been old and fun to watch for that reason. Right now I am watching Decades and last night it was MeTv. The commercials are horrible with poor acting and weird products, and they tend to be repeated over and over. Pans and knives seem to be popular.

I have Chinese food in mind. I’m thinking about lo mein and chicken wings. Every now and then I get a craving for something. A week or two ago it was chocolate. I went to Nancy’s candies and bought six chocolates and a piece of fudge. They were delicious. I’ll just have to fit in Chinese food. I can already taste it, hot mustard and all.