Posted tagged ‘catalogs’

“How often have the greatest thoughts and ideas come to light during conversations with the family over the evening dinner?”

April 2, 2017

The sunlight is wonderfully bright. The sky is a dark blue. It is warmer than it has been so it feels warm to me. When I helped Gracie into the yard, I stayed outside for a bit basking in the sun. She ran around the yard the way she used to when she was younger then bounded up the stairs into the house. She deserved her treat!

When I went to bed last night, it was close to 2 AM. I was watching television, going through those pesky catalogs and checking out recipes on Pinterest. I woke up this morning at 10:45. My mother would have called that the sleep of the dead.

I never used to need lists. My memory was enough. Now I need list after list. Alexa keeps my grocery list and stickies hold the rest. There is a great deal of satisfaction in crossing off completed tasks despite how mundane some of them are. I have to sweep the kitchen today. That’s an easy one to complete. One down!

Despite the season or maybe because of it, a few movies on the deck films have already arrived. Most are 50’s black and white B movies with aliens or gigantic creatures or both; also, I have ordered a few of my favorites like Gunga Din and Rear Window. Spring needs to step up so summer won’t seem so far away.

If I were to choose a favorite day of the week, I’d choose Sunday. I wasn’t keen on going to mass when I was young so I consider that the only blight on the day. Most Sundays when I was a kid were quiet. I’d read the Sunday funnies. After the Sunday matinee movies started on TV, we’d watch those in the afternoon. I remember watching Lassie, Come Home. We were all at Sunday dinner in those days, jammed into the small kitchen. On the cold days, the windows there got steamy. I remember my mother used Melmac plates and bowls. For some strange reason, I have a visual memory of a bowl heaped with mashed potatoes. Sunday night meant earlier to bed because of school, but I never really complained. I was usually tired.

Even now, Sunday is different than the rest of the week. I have two papers to read, and I like to take my time. Sometimes I make eggs, bacon, and toast for breakfast. I usually have dinner though I often buy it rather than make it. More than not I have mashed potatoes.

I figure more than any other day, Sunday holds the most family memories.

“After the rain cometh the fair weather.”

April 1, 2017

“It’s raining. It’s pouring. The old man is snoring. He went to bed and bumped his head, and didn’t wake up in the morning.” My mother used to sing this to us on rainy days when we were little. I thought of it this morning when I heard the rain beating the roof.

Yesterday Gracie and I got all our errands done even though the rain started just as we were leaving the house and I was loading the car for the dump. Of course, it would start then! Rain tends to be inconvenient.

The dump was our first stop. It was fairly empty of cars. People far smarter than I stayed home. Gracie watched as I emptied the trunk. She stayed dry. Our next stop was the pharmacy to pick up Gracie’s prescription. I got wetter. Gracie kept watch out the window. We next went to the central administrative office for the school district where I worked. I needed a notary stamp on a form to prove I am still alive for the retirement board. I was thinking a picture of me holding the day’s paper might have been a neater proof of life, but I balked. Our last stop was for dinner. I bought a fresh pot pie.

I crossed off every item on my errand list and none on my to-do list because of the weather as items on that list were outside. They’ll have to wait yet another day. I did bring my laundry down to this floor where it is leaning against the cellar door. Given my laundry history, I figure it’ll lean there for a while.

I have a bunch of catalogs, assuming that catalogs come in bunches. I’ll spend the afternoon going through them, whiling away the hours. Sometimes I get lucky and even find a Christmas present or two to order.

Gracie hasn’t been out since last night. She stuck her nose out the door this morning and pulled it right back inside. I tried later and still no luck. She’s sleeping. That dog stores water like a camel.

It’s time for lunch.

“Shut the door not that it lets in the cold but that it lets out the coziness.”

February 16, 2017

Last night we had a sprinkling of snow, less than an inch. The sun was out when I woke up but has since given way to clouds. The melting has stopped. Cold is creeping in, and it is down to 32˚. We’ll have flurries today.

Yesterday it poured most of the day. Gracie and I went to the dump, and, of course, it started to rain just then. I got wet.

I’m ignoring my lists. The last few days I have been lazy and have crossed off nothing, except the trash and the dump from Saturday’s list.

Winter is a time for hibernation, and I think I’m hibernating in my own way. My days are routine. I mostly stay inside. I find ways to keep myself occupied. I watch TV. I read, and every now and then I randomly clean. I live in my comfy clothes. Afternoon naps are common. The phone rings and strange phone numbers from all over the country appear in the corner of my TV. I don’t ever answer, and they don’t ever leave a message. They interrupt my naps.

Spring training has started. The Globe is filled with baseball stories. I read them all. Thoughts of baseball conjure green grass, warm days and steamed hot dogs.

I hate commercials, but I don’t hate them all equally. Some I hate more than others. The Dole fruit cup commercial where the haughty woman says to her husband, “Oh, they are drainers,” is the worst. She looks at the other couple as if they are plague carriers instead of drinkers of sweetened fruit juice. I change the station.

The catalogs stopped for a while, after the Christmas sales were over, but now they’re back. Some I toss right away into the recycle bag. Others I thumb through hoping to find a treasure.

It’s time for lunch: chicken noodle soup from one of my favorite places, Spinners. The soup is perfect for a cold winter’s day. It warms the innards.

“Shopping is a woman thing. It’s a contact sport like football. Women enjoy the scrimmage, the noisy crowds, the danger of being trampled to death, and the ecstasy of the purchase.”

July 16, 2013

Enough! Enough I say! It is the heat and it is the humidity. The low this week will be 85˚. Early last night I was on the deck watering plants, and even then it was still uncomfortable. Today I have to fill the feeders, but I’ll wait until the sun goes down a bit before I venture. I have a couple of errands, necessities, or I would stay comfortable in my air-conditioned house. Just before it gets dark, I’ll take my outside shower, one of my favorite parts of the day. I’ll bring my phone just in case I get locked in again.

I haven’t had any adventures in a long time. Sitting around the house makes for boring days. I miss our rides. I’m sure Miss Gracie does as well, but she loves the cool house. I let her out, she goes into the yard, squats then runs right back inside the house. She sprawls on the couch. Hers is a wonderful dog’s life.

Grace, my student, called me the other day. She’s in Bolga, and the rain that day was so tremendous she couldn’t go outside. I could picture exactly what she was talking about: thunder and lightning and rain so heavy you get drenched in a minute. I used to stand on the porch to watch it rain. The storms never stopped amazing me with their ferocity. My mother would have said it was a deluge. She would have been right.

I never buy clothes any more. The last time I did was two years ago when I went back to Ghana. I needed a couple of pairs of decent pants and a few short sleeve shirts. I didn’t bring all that much as I knew I could get my laundry done. I even came home with all clean outside clothes. Lately, though, I have been on a bit of a spending spree. After having tolerated my third back surgery, I figured I rated a few gifts. The first thing I bought was a shower curtain, a vastly expensive shower curtain made in Ghana and sown with squares of different Ghanaian cloths, some of which I recognize. I sent Grace a picture, and she has found some of the same cloth so I can have a matching curtain made for the bathroom; of course, the bathroom will have to be painted and I’ll need all new towels and a bath mat. Everything is connected. Next I bought a spread for my bed. It was on sale, and it was cheap compared to its original price. The spread was made in India, is composed of multi-colored squares and has hand stitched decorations; of course, I needed new curtains and two throw rugs, but the room doesn’t need painting. I found and ordered curtains from an Indian shop, and they were on sale. I felt thrifty! I still haven’t found rugs, but the hunt is the best part.

I’m done now with my gift giving, but I do go through catalogs with an open mind. I’d hate to miss a good find!

 

“The odds of going to the store for a loaf of bread and coming out with only a loaf of bread are three billion to one.”

October 12, 2012

Today was an unexpected sleep in late day. I won’t even admit what time it was when I finally crawled out of bed. Because I had no cream, the dog and I, as soon as we came downstairs, went to Dunkin’ Donuts to buy my morning coffee. Good thing they have a drive-up as I didn’t even bother to get dressed.

As soon as the sun goes down, it gets cold now, a lingering cold, the sort you know is here to stay. Tonight is supposed to be in the 30’s, yup, I said the 30’s. This morning, during my jaunt, the sun was out, but it has since disappeared and has left us with a gray, ugly day, the sort of day which invites coziness and a good book, but, alas, I do have to go out to get the cream for my coffee.

My mailbox will soon disappear. Everyday the pole on which it sits sinks further into the ground weighed down by the   catalogs my mailman has to deliver day in and day out, but, luckily, this is a rural route so Bob, my mailman, has a truck which is a good thing as I figure most of his route, maybe even much of the world, is being inundated by catalogs. Yesterday there were twelve catalogs in my mailbox. Three of them had threats, “This is your last catalog unless you order;” however, I am undaunted by these threats. Go ahead, stop my catalogs. I dare you!!

I admit some catalogs make me salivate. William Sonoma and Crate and Barrel are two of them. I also love Napa Style and VivaTerra. I look through each of them and make a mental list of what I’d buy if I had money and room for all the purchases. I even turn down the corners of the pages so I can go back and be tempted.

Back when we were kids we only needed one catalog, the king of catalogs: the Sears Catalog. It had everything anyone ever needed. I always thought it had a bit of magic about it. From its toys pages came our lists for Santa, including catalog numbers so Santa would have no doubt exactly what we wanted. We looked through those pages so many times they got wrinkled and dirty, but we still looked over and over again. Maybe we’d changed our minds or just maybe we might have missed something the first ten or twelve times we looked through those pages.

 

“A hamburger by any other name costs twice as much.”

September 30, 2010

Yesterday was summer, hot and humid summer. It was a back to the deck day which started with morning coffee and papers and ended with me sitting in the dark enjoying the night air and listening to all of its sounds. Today is a bit cooler and far breezier but still warm enough for lazing on the deck. The paper said cold Canadian air is on its way. The nights will drop to 40°, perfect sleeping weather.

I took a ride yesterday. First I went to the garden center and bought bulbs. I bought hyacinths, dafs, crocus, though I am tempted to call them croci, and a few tulips then I headed to the shore road. As I drove over the bridges, the air was clear on each side of me, but further out, fog sat over the water. It was beautiful.

Every day my mailbox is bulging with catalogs. Some of them go into the discard pile without a glance. Others get a look through, but if I find nothing interesting, they too are discarded. The ones I save have dog-eared pages where there is something I might just order. Yesterday, one item took me aback. It was a plastic form for making hot dog shaped hamburgers. It’s just wrong. Hamburgers are round.

I know ground beef can take many shapes. If it’s square, it’s meatloaf. If it’s squat and round and you add gravy, it’s Salisbury steak. If it’s in a small ball shape, you’ve got meatballs. If you dress it up a bit and add noodles, you’ve got ground beef Stroganoff.

Ground beef is versatile, but the one thing it can never be is a hot dog. We’re talking apples to oranges, (though Christer might say äpplen och päron). Some things are just sacrosanct and never to be messed with. Hamburgers are one of them.