Posted tagged ‘damp’

“Dinosaurs are extinct today because they lacked opposable thumbs and the brainpower to build a space program.”

October 16, 2017

That pesky sun is still among the missing. Everything is wet so it must have rained during the night. The weather report says sun later in the day, but I’m skeptical because of yesterday when the sun was everywhere but here.

I have been watching black and white science fiction films from YouTube on the TV. They have, thus far, been awful but good awful. I am watching 1951’s Unknown World. Scientists have predicted that the continued detonation of H-bombs will devastate the Earth; instead, scientists are suggesting the building of a Cyclotram, a space ship type machine built to bore through the Earth’s surface so they can find a place where humanity can live and escape the bombs. This movie has it all: the future visionary predicting the end of mankind whom few people believe, government skeptics, a fun loving playboy who has financed the trip as a lark and the pretty female scientist chronicling the trip who didn’t leave home without her hat.

When I was a kid watching these movies, I never noticed the bad acting, the terrible sets or the inaccurate science. It all seemed spectacular and amazing especially the space ships and the trips to Mars. I believed in all the possibilities.

My house is an indoor dust bowl. I could write my name on the surfaces in this room, my cluttered den. I’m in trouble. I see work ahead. When I went to the bathroom, I cleaned and dusted everything, not my intention at all. Now, looking around this room, I know I’m going to end up cleaning today. Luckily, this feeling is rare.

I did all my errands yesterday. The traffic was light so the going was quick. The animal food, though, is still in the trunk. I left bird seed, suet, cans of dog and cat food and cat treats there. It was all so heavy I brought in only what I needed. I’ll make a couple of trips today and clear the trunk.

Okay, the woman scientist just fainted. The playboy saved her. I don’t think there is any doubt as to where this plot is headed.

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“It was Sunday morning, and old people passed me like sad grey waves on their way to church.”

October 15, 2017

I’m wondering where the sun is hiding. The day is damp and cloudy. It’s a quiet day, no breeze rustles the leaves and no voices are loud enough to be heard. I have to go out and do a couple of errands later and tonight is game night. That’s like a full day for me.

When I was a kid, the expectations for Sunday were pretty much nonexistent. It was a nothing day much the same week after week. It started with church. The only unknown was which mass I’d attend. Would I go early with my dad, the usher, or later by myself or with my brother? Sunday dinner was the biggest meal of the week. It was always a roast, sometimes a roast beef and other times a whole chicken. It was the one meal all week where we all sat down to eat together though my mother sometimes stood by the counter to eat. On weekdays my dad was late getting home from work so he was never there for dinner. We were usually watching TV when he got home.

Once in a while, on a Sunday afternoon, we visited my grandparents in the city. I was amazed by the city. Houses were close together. The Italian bakeries sold pizza. A house down the street sold Italian ice through an open window. On the corner of my grandparents’ street was a private club. My uncle was a member. I remember going there once for a family party.

If we didn’t go out to visit, we’d sit around watching TV until my dad took over and turned to a football game. That sent us to the kitchen to play a board game or down the cellar to play. If I had a book, I’d go read it in my room away from the noise. My mother cooked in the kitchen. She peeled potatoes and opened cans of vegetables. We usually ate around two. Most times there was no special dessert. We’d grab cookies.

Sunday night we’d watch a bit of TV then it was early to bed because of school the next day. We always grumbled. That never got us anywhere except upstairs to bed at our regular time.

“There are no such things as curses; only people and their decisions”

October 7, 2017

The sun predicted for today has yet to appear. It is cloudy and damp. I could feel the moisture in the air when Gracie and I went out to get the papers. It made me feel a bit chilly and I wished I had put on a sweatshirt. The house, though, with all the doors and windows closed is warm.

We’re going out today, Gracie and I, to the dump, the market and Agway. My trunk is filled with trash from Thursday’s great cabinet clean-out. Gracie needs canned food and a treat or two, and I need the essentials for life: bread, coffee and cream.

My friends are coming on Tuesday for a couple of days. These are the friends I traveled with to Ghana last year. We first met in 1969 at Peace Corps staging in Philadelphia at the Hotel Sylvania. Staging is the first time the whole group of trainees get together before leaving for in-country training, and it is where we got shots, had interviews and were introduced to PC staff from Ghana. Right away we became friends and co-conspirators. The three of us skipped some of the orientation to tour Philadelphia. It didn’t take a whole lot of convincing. They were supposed to be posted in Tamale, a city 100 miles from Bolga. That would have made us neighbors. Instead, after Peace Corps found out Peg was pregnant, they were posted to New Tafo, in the south. I visited them every time I went south, and we traveled together. Just before our second year, there was an open post at my school. They were willing to join me in Bolga, and the principal agreed to make the request to Peace Corps so we became neighbors living in a duplex on the school compound. Bill had a red motorcycle. I had a grey one. We used to take day trips around Bolga. He’d take Kevin, their son, and I’d take Peg. We had adventures. I remember a couple of picnics during school holidays, one by a watering hole and another in the hills of Tongo where school boys stood and watched us the whole time. It was there an old man threatened us with the gods because he claimed we had desecrated a sacred rock by putting our small charcoal burned on it. The schoolboys said he just wanted money. We decided to take our chances. As we were leaving, Bill’s motorcycle stopped dead. It just quit running. We sort of chuckle and hoped the old man didn’t see us. The motorcycle did start right away, but it gave us pause.

“Ever director has at least 10 bad films in them.”

September 21, 2017

Jose has found a home. It is sitting right over Cape Cod and bringing rain and intermittent winds. This is day three of the rain. It is also day three of gusts up to 65 MPH. Out my window, I can see my backyard trees bending and swaying and the top branches of the oak trees are whipping back and forth. Jose, now a tropical storm, will hang around for a few days more.

The winds don’t bother the birds. Five gold finches were sharing a thistle feeder and a chickadee was waiting in the wings. I had filled all the feeders a couple of days ago so I’m hoping they’ll last just a bit longer, until the rain stops.

Yesterday was thick with humidity. I turned on the AC for a while just to clear the house. This morning, even with the windows and doors closed, the house is a bit chilly. It is 64˚ out but with the rain and the dampness, it feels colder.

I have to go out later to pick up two refills of Gracie’s medications, and I’m going to get my flu shot. These are the least thrilling errands ever.

The only problem with subtitled movies is I have to pay attention. When I watch TV, I like to be doing something else as well. Right now The Brainiac is on, a 1962 old B&W movie about Baron Vitelius. The movie is from Mexico and is in Spanish with subtitles so I can’t write Coffee and watch at the same time. Vitelius is burned at the stake by the Mexican Inquisition. Before he dies, he vows to return with the next passage of the comet seen as he is burning and slay the descendants of his accusers. Vitelius returns and takes advantage of his abilities as a sorcerer to carry out his threat: he is able to change at will into the hairy monster of the title in order to suck out the brains of his victims with a long forked tongue. He is also able to render his enemies motionless or force them to act against their wills. The special effects are awful at best. The comet is a blurry picture as are the rest of the backgrounds. The telescope looks like a skinny old muffler. The comet lands with a thud and then turns into the creature, Brainiac. The monster’s clothes have burn marks. It did after all arrive in a meteor. I keep getting drawn to this awful movie.

When Gracie was young, she was a runner. She’d take every opportunity to get loose, and when she did, I could never catch her. She played keep away. She’d stop and wait, and when I got close, she’d run. My neighbors, friends and even complete strangers easily caught her. She went right to them, even to climbing into my friend’s car. Now that Gracie is so much older and has unsteady back legs, she doesn’t even need a leash. She walks ahead of me into the backyard and right to the stairs when she’s done. This morning I took Gracie in and out by the driveway as I was afraid the back steps would be slippery. She walked ahead of me and waited by the door for me to catch up. She and I are both too old to run.

“A cold wind was blowing from the north, and it made the trees rustle like living things.”

September 19, 2017

The window by my head was open. When I first heard the rain falling, it was so gentle I thought it might have been a breeze rustling the leaves, but when the sound continued, I knew it had to be rain. It stopped and started again and again, and that’s been the morning. I opened and shut the window a few times as the dampness was chilly. Finally I grabbed the afghan and left the window open. Gracie joined me and we both fell back to sleep.

Tropical storm conditions are expected on the Cape within 36 hours. What is left of Jose will bring rain, 2 to 4 inches, and heavy winds of around 65 MPH. The surf will be high,  and there will be rip currents and coastal flooding. I’m going out to the deck later to take down the decorations hanging from the trees. I’ll leave the bird feeders until the last. I have to go out later as I have no dog food. She had her morning can but will be looking for more this evening. Besides, I need bread.

The flies are still here, but their numbers are far smaller. I see two on the ceiling in this room, and I killed four buzzing around a dining room window pane. Three others were set free. They had been on the door screen. This was quite the infestation. I’m trying to figure out what offense of mine has caused such wrath.

It is a dismal day, a dark day. I need to go to the library as I have finished the books I got last week, and I can’t imagine being housebound without books and snacks. Need I mention chocolate?

From when I was a kid, I only remember hurricane Carol. I suspect there were probably more but Carol was so exciting it still hangs around my memory drawers. I was too young to notice damage or destruction so I only remember the wind and the pelting rain.  I watched out the picture window as the trees bent and the tops of the bushes seemed to touch the ground. After Carol moved on, we went outside. The streets and the yards were filled with debris, mostly branches. Some of the leaves still on the trees had died; they were shriveled and brown. Some of the trees had healthy leaves on one side and dead ones on the other.

Tomorrow is my Coffee day off, but if Jose lives up to its hype, I’ll keep you updated.

“The uniform makes for brotherhood, since when universally adopted it covers up all differences of class and country.”

August 29, 2017

Yesterday was a lazy day. I watered the newly planted flowers and took a shower. That’s it for the day except for the two naps I had. My mother would have said I must have needed the sleep. Today, however, will be different. It is the dreaded laundry day. It’s not the doing but the carrying I hate, the lugging of all that laundry up two flights of stairs. I do it in shifts: one flight, a pause then the other flight. Sometimes the pause lasts a day. The laundry sits on the rocking chair glaring at me.

The day is cloudy and a bit dark. I felt chilly so I shut the windows. It is only 67˚ and won’t get much higher. What happened to the dog days of August?

I remember late summer and school shopping with my mother. The first stop was always the shoe store. My mother had to drag the four of us though only my brother and I needed new shoes. My sisters were still young and didn’t go to school yet. At the store, they’d measure our feet with that silver slide and then have us put each foot, one at a time, into the x-ray machine. I always thought it was so neat seeing the x-ray of the bones in my feet. My mother bought sturdy shoes for us hoping they’d last a while. The next stop was for new uniform clothes. I needed white blouses, a blue wool skirt and a blue cowboy looking tie. My brother needed white shirts and a blue tie. The Children’s Corner, a clothing store up town, carried the uniforms. Uptown was sort of close so we’d walk. My mother bought me a few blouses but only a single skirt. She’d also buy a couple of long-sleeve shirts for my brother. From there we’d head to my favorite stop, Woolworth’s, for school supplies. I got to pick out my pencil case, lunch box and school bag. We’d buy crayons, always Crayola, glue and pads of paper, the ones with the Indian chief on the front. I was so excited with all the purchases and was thrilled to carry the bag home.

When I was working at the high school, I used to call my mother this time of year and asked her when she was taking me school shopping. My mother would laugh, and that was her only response. I hoped for more, shoes at least.

“Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. ”

July 25, 2017

I apologize for the lateness of the hour, but I have been trying to find out why my new computer keeps telling me it has run out of application memory. I have been deleting files like crazy. I found pieces of files I thought I had wiped from my computer were still lurking in a variety of places. I went looking for duplicate files and found several. I don’t know if I have solved the problem, but I’m hopeful.

This morning when I woke up neither Gracie nor Maddie was around, and my stirring did nothing to alert them. I got worried. Gracie started moving in her crate when I called her. Maddie didn’t respond to my calling her or making that come here cat sound with my lips. I went upstairs and found her sound asleep on my bed. I was so relieved.

Today is dark and damp and really cold. The only word which comes to mind is ugly. It rained most of yesterday, and I got wet taking Gracie into the yard. She dried quickly. I didn’t.

We have to go out in a bit and one stop is at CVS for Gracie’s pills. I’m thinking the parking lot will be filled with cars, and I’ll have to park miles away. I curse tourists on days like today. On sunny days, I can be patient and tolerate, but my mood on a day like today mirrors the weather.

It isn’t bad enough I have to stay up to watch a Sox game from the West Coast which doesn’t start until 10, but I also have to watch them lose. Such misery and pain!

The Patriots have started training camp. Tom Brady just turned 40. He lives for football and his whole regimen, his whole diet, is meant to maximize his physical well being and strength. I, on the other hand, believe that life without ice cream is barely worth living.

The trap in the kitchen is still empty. Maybe the four mice I caught are the end of the infestation. The other two floors, upstairs and the cellar, have no evidence of mice, no poop. Now, if I could only get rid of the spawns. I still haven’t put up my new backyard lights. I miss them as the yard is dark when I take Gracie outside before bed. Last night I heard a noise. Gracie did too. We both looked in the same direction. I kept looking. She went and peed. I took that as all is well.