Posted tagged ‘breakfast’

“One should not attend even the end of the world without a good breakfast.”

September 24, 2017

We have sun and a blue sky, both among the missing for the last five days. I was surprised by how warm it is when I went out to get the papers. My lawn and deck are a mess. Leaves and branches cover both. The leaves are so wet they are pasted to the lawn and driveway. The deck is slick. I had to take mincing steps to keep my balance. I hope the leaves are quick drying in the sun.

Breakfast is my favorite go out to eat meal. I like my bacon crisp and my eggs over easy. My toast is usually rye. I love to use it to sop up the yoke. Sometimes I get French toast. I slop on maple syrup, the real stuff. I also get crisp bacon with my French toast. Some places offer home fries, but I only like them seasoned so most times I just pass.

In Ghana, my breakfast was the same every day. I had two eggs fried in peanut oil, toast and coffee. Butter was expensive so I used margarine from a tin. The coffee was instant with tinned milk. The eggs and the bread were fresh. Sometimes the eggs came from my own chickens. The rest of the time I bought them in the market. The bread was fresh and sweet. Cooking the eggs in peanut oil added a wonderful taste. I always had two giant cups of coffee, one with breakfast and the other sitting out on the steps in the front of my house. I’d watch the little kids walk to schools close to my school fences.

Every place I’ve stayed on return trips to Ghana serves a complimentary breakfast. It is generally two eggs, toast and coffee, and yes, the milk is still tinned.

I don’t often cook breakfast for myself. Usually I just have coffee and, of late, toast or an English muffin. I don’t ever use margarine, and I use light cream in my coffee. I like to indulge myself. My favorite coffee is called African blend, but I like to try different coffees. I just bought some Ugandan coffee. It was expensive partly because it came in a red striped cloth bag with beadwork. I admit I was drawn by the bag.

Peapod has come and gone. The driver was nice enough to leave freezer and refrigerator items in bags near the fridge so I’ve already put them away. When I finish here, I’ll put the rest of the groceries away. I had to be inventive to fit everything in the freezer, and my fridge is hardly ever this filled. My kitchen has become a land of plenty.

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Some memories are unforgettable, remaining ever vivid and heartwarming!

August 4, 2017

The air is dripping. The humidity is so thick it seems to coat my skin when I go outside. This morning’s gray clouds are giving way to blue skies and intermittent sun. It is already hot. Here in my den, it is still cool. It won’t get hot until the afternoon after the sun moves from front to back.

The bird feeder I filled yesterday is already half empty. The birds flying in and out seem endless. One eats and two wait. They are mostly chickadees, black capped chickadees, the state bird of Massachusetts. I like to sit and watch them. The birds fly right over my head almost close enough to touch.

I can’t seem to find a story or a memory. That is rare for me as I have a huge memory drawer overflowing with scraps and pieces of my life. I guess I’m going to visit Ghana today, and I’m bringing you with me. There are so many stories yet to tell.

One day there was a knock at my door. It was a man I didn’t know. He greeted me. I returned the greeting. He told me he was looking for a white woman and was I interested. I said no. He asked me if I knew any Canadians. I said no again. He thanked me and left.

A blind beggar was being led by a small boy. The beggar was holding one end of a stick and the boy was holding the other. The beggar stopped in front of me and asked for money. This was while I was in training. It was my first beggar. I said sorry and sent him off with good wishes as you have to give a beggar something. He called me batoria, white woman. I wonder what gave me away? I also wondered if he was really blind.

I always went to the same vegetable lady in the market. I bought tomatoes and onions from her. She gave me my change the first time I bought from her, and I put it in my bag. She didn’t speak English but indicated with her hands that I should count it. I shook my head no. That cemented our relationship. After that she would dash me extra tomatoes and onions. Once she had a small watermelon. I have no idea where she got it, but she had saved it for me. When I was leaving to come home, I went to say goodbye. She was crying and gave me a hug. She also gave me a small gift. It sits on the table here in the den. She always comes to mind when I see it.

I loved the mornings in Ghana. The roosters crowed. The air smelled of charcoal fires. I could hear water filling the metal buckets where my students waited in line to take their bucket baths. I’d sit outside my front door drinking my first cup of coffee before breakfast. I had the same breakfast every day: two eggs cooked in groundnut oil (peanut oil) and two pieces of toast toasted against the sides of the small charcoal burner. I’d watch the school children cutting through my school compound to go to schools outside the gates at each end of the school. At one end was the primary school and at the other was the middle school. I was an object of curiosity until the students got used to me then they’d wish me, “Good morning, sir. How Are you? I am quite well thank you, ” all said one after the other without a break. I’d have one or two more cups of coffee between classes.

It seems my bemoaning my lack of memories was massively premature.

“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.”

July 20, 2017

The weather has settled into monotony. Every day is sunny and hot. We reached the mid 80’s yesterday while Boston was over 90˚. The shade was bearable, but the sun was unrelenting. The only times I went outside were to bring Gracie to the yard where I sat in the shade and waited for her.

I did nothing yesterday and will probably do nothing today as well. A dump run is in our future but probably tomorrow. I do need to water the plants, inside and outside, but that’s it.

When I was a teacher, I traveled every summer, mostly to Europe, and went for three or four weeks. I traveled on the cheap. Go Europe was my travel Bible. University housing and hostels were my hotels as such. Meals were sometimes at bar happy hours where I’d nurse a single drink until I’d eaten my fill or at railroad stations which had kiosks with cheap sandwiches. I usually traveled with a friend. B&B’s were sometimes our stops mostly through Ireland, Scotland and England. I remember one in London, in Earl’s Court. The owner barely spoke English and played music quite loud from the kitchen which was next to my room. The song I remember best is Cielito Linda with the damn ay, ay, ay. I swear it was played over and over. My favorite B&B was in Dingle Ireland. It was over a grocery store. The woman was old. She entertained us with stories about guests including the Frenchman who didn’t know how to eat Corn Flakes and another who wanted a facecloth. She laughed at the thought that the face had its own cloth. Breakfasts were eggs, bacon, toast and coffee and sometimes a grilled tomato. The hostels were cheap enough but didn’t offer breakfast, but they had a value of their own. Hostels were where I’d trade books and information with other travelers. All these trips were cheap enough that I could saved enough money every year for a summer in Europe.

Last year’s trip to Ghana was expensive enough for a couple or even close to three trips to Europe in the old days, but I was perfectly fine with that. I enjoyed the lap of luxury as if I had been born to it.

“Every day my mother had tea. My dad has his ritual cigar. They had their evening cocktail. Those rituals were done nicely, with flair and feeling.”

March 27, 2017

Today is chilly, damp and cloudy. Last night it rained, and the ground is still wet. More rain is expected today. My dance card is empty so I’m staying close to hearth and home. I’m declaring today a sloth day. It’s a sit on the couch, watch TV, and snack day. It is comfy clothes including a sweatshirt that has seen better days. It is not fit for public viewing.

It has been a quiet news day. The front page of the Globe had only a single Trump article, and it was at the bottom of the page: “Trump girds for tax fight and Prepares to reverse Obama climate plan.”

When I’d visit my mother, she and I had rituals. We’d sit for hours at the kitchen table playing Big Boggle. We’d order take out for dinner. She paid and I picked up. On Saturday, we did some shopping. Both she and I liked off-beat places, never a mall. Sometimes we’d venture afar. One Saturday we went as far as North Conway, and we shopped and had lunch. We were gone so long my father figured we were lost, wandering aimlessly from backroad to backroad. Little did he realize that my mother and I loved backroads, even when we had no idea where we’d end up. On Saturday night, depending on the season, my father barbecued. It was always a couple of different meats, chips, a potato salad or pepper and egg. Chinese sausage was the favorite meat one year, but my mother’s marinated steak tips were perennial favorites. On Sunday morning my dad went out early for donuts. He was a plain donut guy, and he spread butter on it. He’d then start cooking breakfast. It was always eggs, bacon and toast. The eggs were easy over and the bacon crispy. I’d sit at the kitchen table to keep him company    Sometimes I was on toast duty. Sunday afternoons were for cribbage. When I won, it was the luck of the draw. When my dad won, it was expertise. I lived to skunk him.

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”

March 20, 2017

Happy Spring!

Good reasons are responsible for the lateness of my musings today. First off is Miss Gracie. I grabbed her as she started to fall going up the stairs. I was filling Maddie’s dish on the stairs so Gracie tried to go by me but lost her footing. We went up the stairs, got to my room, and she was hesitant to jump to the bed. I helped. She tried to settle down but just couldn’t. Finally, I grabbed my pillow and a blanket, took Gracie downstairs, and we both slept on the couch. She snored so I knew she felt better. On the first day of spring every year, my friends and I go the beach to welcome the sun. We sing Here Comes the Sun and Rockin’ Robin. We recite a poem by Frost, Two Tramps in Mudtime.

The sunrise was at 6:28. It was a cold, windy early morning. We sat in the car facing the east and waited. When we realized clouds were hiding the sun, we stayed in the car to sing our welcome. We watched seagull after seagull carrying breakfast then dropping it on the parking lot. We figured they were opening small crabs. We saw geese along the shoreline and ducks in the marshes. It was an amazingly high tide. The water in the marsh was all the way to the edge of the road. We didn’t get the sun, but the clouds were jaw-droppingly colorful. Red and orange spread across the sky in all directions strikingly set against the white of the puffy clouds. My friend Clare braved the wind and cold to get our shells, a first day of spring tradition. We stayed a while then went to breakfast, another tradition.

When I got home, I took Gracie out then settled on the couch and slept over two hours. When I woke up, I put on MSNBC to watch the hearing questioning James Comey and Admiral Mike Rogers. That is still holding my attention., makes me hopeful

Today will have a high of 44˚. I’m thinking that’s hardly spring, but I am hopeful. Spring does that to me. It makes me hopeful.

“…disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business….”

March 13, 2017

Today is bright and sunny and will even reach 34˚, but I’m not taken in, not beguiled by the brilliance of the sun. I’m on to Mother Nature and her tricks. I know all that sunlight is just a cover for what’s coming: more snow. This time, though, we’ll get less. The Boston area will get clobbered with up to 2 feet while down here we’ll only get 2-4 inches, a mixture of snow and rain. For some strange reason, though, I feel cheated. I’m thinking it should rain or snow. A combination is just a mess. Mother Nature should know better.

All my icicles are melting in the sun. I can hear the drops. The road is wet from melting snow. Along the sides of the road, small puddles have formed from the piles left by the plows. I just hope all that water doesn’t freeze.

I loud bang accompanied by the sound of a howling cat woke me up this morning. I figured the bang was a falling icicle. The cat howls every morning so nothing was wrong. I rolled over and slept another hour.

My dance card is totally empty for the week. The meeting scheduled for tomorrow has been canceled. I have a to-do list which still includes my laundry which is still leaning against the cellar door. I guess I’ll work on finishing the list or at least get the laundry done. I admit I’m tired of looking at it.

I want some elves like the shoemaker had. I want to wake up to clean, folded laundry, the aromas of breakfast baking in the oven, and of coffee perking. When I get downstairs, I’ll find the table set with flowered dishes and a small clear vase with a couple of daffodils. The elves will have left, but I’ll see small footprints in the snow leading to and from the house then just disappearing.

Too bad wishing it away doesn’t get my laundry done.

“It was a morning like other mornings and yet perfect among mornings.”

October 25, 2016

When I first got home from Ghana, I was waking up around 4, or if I slept in, around 5. Now I am waking up at 8 or, like today, closer to 9. In Ghana, I was asleep by 9 or 9:30 at the latest. Every morning, the rooster woke me up when it was still dark, and I’d sleep fitfully until 6 or so. I go to bed much later now, and there are no roosters or calls to prayer   in the early mornings to wake me up. Where am I going with this? Well, I am writing Coffee so much later now. I take my time in the mornings and read both papers. I also do the crossword in the Globe and the cryptogram in the Cape Times. Sometimes I have breakfast, but most mornings I just drink coffee. I am in no hurry. That’s a piece of Ghana still with me, and I’m holding on to that for a while. Mornings should be leisurely. I can think of no better way to start the day.

For the first time, Massachusetts is allowing early voting. I figure on hitting the booth today. I figure it is a foregone conclusion as to who will win the state. Massachusetts is about as blue a state as there is. We even voted for McGovern, and I think we were the only state which did. Later, after President Nixon resigned, bumper stickers appeared which said, “Don’t blame me. I’m from Massachusetts.”It was wonderful being clairvoyant.

This morning I watched an Edward G. Robinson movie on TCM called Confessions of a Nazi Spy which was released in 1939. EGR played an FBI agent who hunts down Nazi spies one at a time by capturing members of a spy ring operating in the United States. I did a bit of sleuthing and found out it was based on the articles of former FBI agent Leon G. Turror who had been active in investigating Nazi spy rings in the United States prior to the war and lost his position at the Bureau when he published the articles without permission. The movie was banned in Germany, Japan and many Latin American and European countries. The music played during the credits was God Bless America. I liked the movie and figure the obvious propaganda was well timed.

My laundry is sitting in front of the cellar door where it has been for five or six days. I have plenty of clean clothes of all sorts. Needing clothes seems to drive my doing the laundry; however, I am getting tired of looking at that laundry bag so I have a couple of choices. I can throw the bag down the cellar stairs and shut the door or I can do the laundry. I’m leaning toward doing the laundry. I can be a sloth for only so long.