Posted tagged ‘damp’

“It is a great Nostrum the composition of this Pasty,”Christmas Pye”; it is a most learned Mixture of Neats-tongues, Chickens, Eggs, Sugar, Raisins, Lemon and Orange Peel, various kinds of Spicery, etc.”

December 3, 2017

Today is yesterday without the small breeze. The clouds are white grey. No rain is expected but the air is damp. It will be in the mid-40’s most of the day. I’ll be watching the Patriots play starting at one.

This morning was the same as most mornings. Maddie and Gracie now with full bellies are back to snoozing. I woke up too late to read both newspapers, but that’s okay as I’ll read the rest tonight. I held my breath, as I usually do, when I turned on MSNBC. I’m always afraid of what I might hear and especially afraid about any news from the White House. I’m beginning to think I’m being masochistic. Nothing I read or watch gives me hope, but there is still a piece of me that won’t give up.

I  woke up around 2 because my back was killing me. It was Gracie’s fault. She had moved from the other end of the couch to my end and was leaning against me with her head resting on my legs which were bent to accommodate her. She was so asleep she didn’t stir when I moved her. I stretched my legs and got comfy. My back was none the worse for wear this morning.

My house is cluttered. Boxes and bags of papers and magazines are in the living room until I can move them to the trunk. My clean clothes haven’t yet made it upstairs, but I’m determined to move them today. The vacuum is still leaning against the couch. I’ll use it during commercials then put it back downstairs to gather dust of its own. A few dishes are on the dish towel on the counter and are probably dry so I’ll put them back into the cabinet. I will then be decluttered.

I did watch Hallmark last night though I toyed with watching Krampus, but my good mood countered my dour mood. I watched the vet fall in love with the doctor after they had known each other just a few days, but that’s the magic of Hallmark. I know the movies are schmaltzy, but I don’t care. Those movies drown out politics and help me forget what’s going on so I get to hold on as tightly as possible to Christmas and all the joy it brings, compliments of Hallmark.

I’ve been watching Christmas cooking shows; however, I doubt I’ll make many of the dishes. On The Kitchen they made shaved Brussels sprout salad with pomegranate vinaigrette and pecans. What?

Christmas dinner has never been as traditional as Thanksgiving. My mother alternated roasts like crowned pork roast, crowned beef or honeyed ham. We always had some sort of potato but not usually mashed. My favorite was roasted potatoes. The vegetables included creamed onions so my Dad wouldn’t complain and root vegetables like turnip. The table was always lovely. My mother used her Spode dishes, and her red or green tablecloth and napkins. There was always a centerpiece of flowers. We lingered at the table. I’d usually clear, put the coffee on and start washing pans and such. When I finally sat, I’d grab a cookie or two or maybe even three to eat with my coffee.

I think if you visited any of our houses on Christmas you’d see Christmas dishes, flowers and holiday tablecloths. My mother lives in all of us.

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“Few women and fewer men have enough character to be idle.”

November 13, 2017

Drab is the perfect description for the today. It rained during the night, and the clouds and the dampness have hung around, but the day is warm enough to keep the cold at bay, at least for today when the high will be 54˚. Starting tomorrow the cold weather is moving in mostly at night. The days will be in the 40’s while the nights will dip to the 30’s. The sun will make an appearance on Wednesday.

I was up until after 3 this morning so I slept in and Gracie joined me. When I woke up, my legs were off the couch as Gracie had moved to the middle, and I had no room so I compensated. The vet called this morning and will keep Gracie on pain pills as they seem to help. I scheduled Gracie for her first acupuncture session. The vet explained it is mostly exploratory to see if Gracie will co-operative. Good luck to the both of us on that one.

Okay, I have dropped to a new low. I am watching Killdozer. The machinery is possessed by an alien presence. It starts itself and chases its victims, a crew building an airstrip on an uninhabited island. First, it destroyed the only way of communicating off island, a two-way radio. After that, the killing rampage began. So far we have two down and four to go. The movie has familiar faces. The big star is Clint Walker who was Cheyenne Bodie in the western series Cheyenne during the heyday of TV westerns. Carl Betz, Donna Reed’s husband, is still alive as is James Wainwright, the sort of actor whose face you recognize but not his name. Robert Urich was the first to die. The dozer does stuff like hide in the bushes at night, bulldoze tents and supplies, chase a man to death and follow the crew riding in their jeeps. It  is a canny opponent.

I already can tell today will be a nothing day, a day when I hang around in my cozy clothes, eat whatever I don’t have to cook, watch comically bad science fiction and  probably join the animals in taking an afternoon nap. To me that sounds glorious.

I love that I have the option of doing nothing. Before I retired I was a bit nervous about filling my days. Since then I have come to realize that filling the day has all sorts of meanings, including doing nothing. Time passes no matter what.

“I’ve just been bitten on the neck by a vampire… mosquito. Does that mean that when the night comes I will rise and be annoying?”

November 5, 2017

Outside is dark, damp and cloudy. A wind blows every now and then and adds to the misery of the day. My heat went on during the night. It must have been really cold as the thermostat is set at 65˚. Before I had pets, I used to keep it set at 62˚ at night, but that’s too cold for Gracie and Maddie. I found that out when I patted them. Their ears and their body fur were cold. That’s why the heat is higher.

Last night, Gracie was panting so much I kept waking up. I did the food, treat, water thing, and she still was panting and moving around. I finally fell asleep around four. When I woke up, Gracie was in the middle of the couch lying right beside me, and my legs were bent to accommodate her. It was another bad back this morning. She, of course, is now sleeping soundly. I am tempted to keep waking her up, but that’s a human response she wouldn’t understand. Besides, she’d just go to her crate and sleep, probably snore too just to drive me crazy.

Even though all the stores are now opened on Sunday just like every other day, I still have a bit of solemnity for the day probably leftover from when I was a kid. I don’t big time shop on Sundays, and I tend to stay close to home. I watch a little TV, usually football, and I often nap. I honor Sunday as a day of rest.

I was browsing through youtube the other night looking for something to watch. I noticed the film choice of Thousand Plane Raid. Seeing that zoomed me right back to Africa but to Niamey, Niger this time, not Ghana. It was Christmas vacation, and I was traveling with a couple of friends. The trip didn’t go as planned, but trips seldom do in Africa. The bus broke down twice. Each time, we had to wait for the driver’s assistant to hitch back to Ougadougou for parts. That put us way behind time so we had to stop for the night at a post office for which the bus carried mail. The night was freezing. It was harmattan time and we were closer to the desert than in Ghana. I had only a piece of cloth to keep me warm, and it didn’t. Anyway, by the time we got to Niamey, I had defrosted. We stayed at the Peace Corps hostel. In those days U.S. embassies showed movies on Saturday nights. We found out where and went to the screening. Yup, it was Thousand Plane Raid. You don’t need to know any more about the movie. The title is the whole plot. That night was the worst. The movie was shown in an open room of sorts with 4 low concrete walls and no screens.  I was eaten alive by mosquitos bigger than my hand. They mimicked the movie and dive bombed in groups to attack me. I think I left before the end of the movie, but I was so woozy from loss of blood my memories just blurred. I only remember the name of the move and the hordes of mosquitos.

“There is a child in every one of us who is still a trick-or-treater looking for a brightly-lit front porch.”

October 29, 2017

It rained earlier and it’s still cloudy and damp, but I don’t mind as we’ve had such lovely days of late. There is a high wind warning for all of tonight into tomorrow. Despite the damp, it will be warmish, in the mid 60’s.

Last night I watched Lady in White, one of my favorites this time of year. Despite no blood, no masked killers and no hatchets and knives, the movie is scary. The characters, including the murderer, are regular people living in a lovely small town. It is this ordinariness which makes what happens even scarier than watching a crazy man in a mask.

Tonight is game night with added Halloween fun. We’re going to decorate sugar cookies first. If that is anything like when we make and decorate our gingerbread houses, we’ll all be concentrating so much on our artistic endeavors we won’t be conversing, just decorating.

When I was a kid, we’d all be on Halloween countdown with only two days to go. Finalizing costumes and deciding our candy route were prime topics of conversation as we walked to school. Our costumes were always homemade, and my mother was imaginative. The only thing she bought was a new mask for each of us. We carried pillowcases as they had plenty of room for all the candy. My two sisters went out early and stayed in the neighborhood. My brother and I wandered all over town.

I loved movies which made me jump from something unexpected. It was sort of fun to be scared but the fun was mostly afterwards once our breathing normalized. When I was about ten, I was watching The House of Wax and got really scared when Vincent Price’s mask fell off his burned, scarred face.

I remember seeing Jaws for the first time. When Hooper scuba dives to look for the shark, he finds Ben Gardner’s boat. He and I both jumped when Ben’s face appeared out of a hole in the boat. I think that’s the scariest scene in the movie.

Afternoon football games on Sunday always remind me of my dad. He sat in his spot on the couch to watch the games. Right beside his spot was a table which was perfect to hold his game snacks or his lunch depending on the time of the game. He loved his snacks and he loved football. My mother and I didn’t watch and were usually at the kitchen table playing a game or two. We didn’t have to be with my father to know how the game was going. He was never a quiet fan.

“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.

“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.