Posted tagged ‘deck’

“All creatures must learn to coexist. That’s why the brown bear and the field mouse can share their lives in harmony. Or course, they can’t mate or the mice would explode.”

June 26, 2017

When I woke this morning, I had to take a minute to figure out what day it was. Yesterday’s newspaper was what came to mind so today, small paper day, is Monday.

Though the morning has been leisurely, my dance card for today has things to do and places to go. The deck needs attention, its plants need watering and the rail lights have to be replaced. I also have an outside plant to pot. Inside the house is a litter box needing changing and houseplants dying for water. The places to go include the dump and two different vets to pick up refills for Gracie’s meds. I have those listed for afternoon. Some place on that list, I need to sandwich in some nap time.

The day is sunny and is already 75˚, but there is no humidity and a slight breeze makes the air feel cooler. I’ll be happy to clean my deck later so I can get out there and enjoy the fresh air, the birds and the breeze.

We are all old here, Gracie, Maddie and I. Maddie, who is 17, mostly sleeps during the day alternating between my bed and the den chair. She has knotted fur on her stomach. I try to cut it, and she whacks me or pretends to bite me as a warning. Maddie, like most cats, roams at night. Sometimes she sits on the couch arm and purrs in my face. Last night she licked my arm a couple of times. I pat her then fall right to sleep. Maddie doesn’t always use the litter box, but she does use the puppy pads. Gracie, at nearly 12, has morning and afternoon naps. I take her into the backyard several times a day where she does her business and then sometimes just wanders the yard. Rabbits and squirrels still get her attention though she doesn’t chase them anymore.  I, at nearly 70, take a nap in the afternoon some days. On the days I have motivation and energy, I’ll clean or do laundry. I don’t go out much during the day, and that’s fine with me.

I know there is another mouse in the kitchen. I found fresh poop. So far there has been 1 dead mouse on the floor and two live ones in the trap. The two live ones are since the exterminator came. Either they are mouse zombies or the exterminator’s traps didn’t work. This morning I reset my trap with peanut butter. All I need now is one hungry mouse.

 

“To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers is a delectable form of defeat.”

June 1, 2017

The rain yesterday was torrential at times. We even had thunder and lightning. Not once did the sun make an appearance. It was too busy shining in Boston. Gracie and I left for the dump when the rain was misty, but by the time we got there, it was pouring. I figured I was there anyway and might as well get rid of the trash. My sweatshirt got soaked. I decided right then and there I deserved one more stop, the chocolate store, the best decision of the day.

My eye is clear, but I still have to take eye drops four times a day. My other eye will be done June 6th.

The early morning was lovely. The air had a crispness almost more fall than summer, and it had the best after the rain smell, both fresh and clean and smelling of flowers and mulch. I stood on the deck watching Gracie and taking in the morning. Finally, we both went inside: me to coffee and the papers and Gracie to her morning snack. It will be warm today, a welcome change in the weather. I’ve already opened a window.

I’ve got to empty the water in the outdoor furniture covers so they can dry and then be put away. My deck still looks like it’s winter. A lot needs to be done. Plant shelves need to be sanded then repainted. The clay pots need cleaning before they can be filled with flowers, the same with the deck boxes. Placing the candle hooks in the pine trees will take a bit of ingenuity as some of the branches were lopped off during the fall clean-up. Lights on a few backyard trees have to be replaced. They died over the winter. I’m hoping for lots of warmth today, enough to dry everything so I can be outside on the deck reading and enjoying the air. I’ve had enough of the house.

“An optimist is a fellow who believes a housefly is looking for a way to get out.”

May 27, 2017

We have some blue sky and a sun which can’t quite make up its mind about coming or going. It is also chilly, not a morning chill: it’s just cold.

My dance card is empty today. I do have some Gracie stuff to wash but nothing else. Yesterday’s amazing spurt of industry has left me with nothing needing doing except to put my banners and flags on the fence.

The lawns are green and lush from the rain. Even the leaves seem to glint in the sun which seems to have made up its mind and is staying for the duration. I’ll go on the deck later and empty the water from the furniture covers hoping they’ll dry so they can be put away for the season. Next week is buy my flowers and open the deck week.

My neighborhood is eerily quiet for a Saturday. Once in a while the dogs across the street bark but usually at Grace and me walking to my backyard. I don’t know where all the kids are, but I’m glad they’re missing. I’m happy for the peaceful morning.

My around the house cozy pants have permanent creases from sitting down when I wear them. One crease has given way. I didn’t figure sewing it would work as it wasn’t torn so I did the next best thing. I duct taped the worn area.

Some of the best things I learned in Ghana were to make-do, throw nothing away and repurpose. Tires became soles of shoes and sandals. Beer bottles were filled with palm oil or groundnut oil for sale in the market. Cones made from newspapers held rice for sale. In the butcher’s market, newspapers were used to wrap meat being sold. That mightn’t sound all that healthy, but the butcher’s market was filthy anyway. Newspapers might have been a step up. I always think it’s amazing what I learned to ignore or tolerate during my time in Ghana. Water with floaties (our word for whatever was in the water sold in beer bottles ), food from the street vendors or from the tables of aunties (older women) who were selling along the sides of the roads and, my favorite, eating in a chop bar ( usually a hole in the wall with a few wobbly tables and mismatched chairs serving local food) never gave me pause after my first few months of Peace Corps training. I even shooed flies off my food before I ate it and sifted my flour for as many weevils (small worms) as I could get. The rest just became protein. All of that became a part of life in Ghana and didn’t merit second thoughts.

The tolerance and forbearance I learned are forever a part of me. I admit my standards are definitely higher now, but I’m not squeamish about most things. I still flick flies.

“There’s nothing more beautiful than watching trees getting dressed up for Spring and Summer”

May 20, 2017

Today is much cooler than yesterday. Last night or rather this morning when I took Gracie out around 1:30 I was chilly, taken by surprise by how cold it had gotten. Today will be 57˚ and tonight will go down to 48˚. Yesterday afternoon I had my air conditioner on.

It rained yesterday for about fifteen minutes. The drops started out huge. They fell almost one at a time before they became smaller and more persistent. After the storm, the air smelled of summer rain.

Today is quiet. There are no kids playing or dogs barking. I don’t even hear a lawn mower. Even my house is quiet. Maddie and Gracie are sleeping.

I’ve seen three rabbits this week. One was a bit burly, and the other two were small. Gracie noticed the burly one in my front yard and scratched the door and barked hoping to get out. She didn’t. That we have rabbits tells me the coyotes are elsewhere. That also means the skunks are probably around.

I have one errand today and nothing else on my to-do list.

I hope to open my deck this week. It would have been the spot to be on those two hot days. The furniture needs to be uncovered and scrubbed. The decorations and candles need to be hung on the branches though finding enough spots might be trouble as some of the branches were cut down. The rug needs to be brought out. I have to buy my flowers for the window boxes and the herbs for the side garden. I have to buy gas for the grill as the first movie night means grilling for dinner. The list is long before I can welcome summer.

“The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.”

April 7, 2017

We’re back from the appointment for Gracie at the vets. The good news is she didn’t have a stroke. The head tilt is probably from a lesion on her brain which may cause problems down the road, but she is fine for now. Her weak back legs are just that, weaker than her front. I should continue what I am doing to help her get around. Gracie was given a refill of her pain meds and got shots which were due anyway.

I had my MRI, but it is too early to hear the results. I figure there won’t be anything there, my lower back, as the earlier MRI’s showed nothing.

The most painful part of the last two days has been the $700 the two appointments cost me. I won’t ever be cured of that.

Yesterday it poured all day, a deluge to use my mother’s description, but today is the loveliest of days. The sky is a deep blue. The sun is bright, an almost need to squint bright. It is warm. When I left the house at nine, it was already 48˚. It is flannel shirt weather, a downgrade (or maybe an upgrade) from sweatshirt weather. I could do my outside work today. I still have that list, but I don’t want to for no reason except maybe relief. I was worried about Gracie. I still am, but it is a general worry about keeping an old dog healthy. The dread is gone. I just want to enjoy the afternoon, maybe sit on the deck with the sun on my face.

Lots of green shoots are appearing in my front garden. I saw the bumpy bud of a hyacinth this morning. Its color is starting to appear, a light purple. Daffodils are blooming. The yellow ones are first. The white ones are budded and waiting their turn. On my trip down Cape last Tuesday, I sat in a line of traffic on 6A. It was a long line so I had time to look around. I saw a tree with tiny, tiny buds. They were red and easy to see. I was thrilled. For me, that is the second sign of spring, after the bulbs flower.

My grass is squishy with mud. The ground wasn’t frozen when the days of rain began last week so the extra water just stayed right there, right on top, making the grass muddy. Footprints stay when you walk across the lawn. I try to avoid that.

I’m getting sucked in. I can feel it. Today makes me want to believe it’s really spring, but this is New England, and there are no guarantees so I’m still a bit skeptical, but the weather report is so amazing I can feel that skepticism draining away. By mid-next week, we may hit 60˚ and 50’s all the way to get there. That’s spring. No doubt about it.

“I used to cover my windows in heavy curtains, never drawn. Now I danced in the sunlight on my hardwood floors.”

March 21, 2017

Today is a wonder. It is bright and warmish, almost springlike. I stood outside on the deck for a while watching Gracie, but I got a bit chilly so I came back inside. She stayed outside. Both doors are open. The sun is streaming through the front door working its way to the back, to the south. A day like today recharges my batteries. I have a long to-do list, but I have already crossed off two chores. Granted, they were quick and easy, but I still feel accomplished.

I figure my energy is a reflection of the warmth and the sunlight. Winter days make it easy to do nothing but lie on the couch under something cozy and read or watch television, but I’d feel guilty wasting a day like today.

When I was a kid, I loved to go miniature golfing. It was at Hago Harrington’s where the windmill was my nemesis. It had three lanes at the bottom leading from under the mill to the green. I don’t know how many times I missed them all. I still remember the thud sound of the ball hitting the wooden windmill, not the lanes. It was frustrating. My favorite had a slope which, if played right, dropped the ball right into the hole. On the last hole, a hole in one got you a free play. Hago Harrington’s is still there.

On the way to the beach yesterday, I saw a couple of houses still lit with Christmas lights. The colors lit up the darkness. I have new lights, all white bulbs, I need to put on the gate trailing the new star I bought. I also have a multi-colored set for the deck rail. They are on my to-do list. My neighbor will be glad. She called me a while back to say how much she loved my lights.

I’ve been watching CSI: New York on Netflix. They have a plethora of dead bodies, a necessity for the crime lab. After watching murder after murder, I’ve decided that being a murder victim would be the perfect role. There are no lines to learn so all I’d have to do is lie down and try not to breathe or blink. Sounds easy to me.

“Busy is good because it shows you’re alive.”

June 2, 2016

The last two days have been busy. I need a vacation. Yesterday I spend two hours chatting with my neighbor. We usually get together on Mondays but she couldn’t this week. She just became an American citizen and wants to improve her English so we chat and I help her with her grammar and pronunciation. She and her husband call me Miss Kath. It makes me feel 85. They make me part of the family which is quite nice. We have a graduation dinner on Saturday. Their middle child is graduating from high school. I love the food Niecy serves as it is Brazilian. She always makes sure there is plantain as she knows it is a favorite of mine.

In the afternoon I went to the pain clinic for the next episode of the bad back. The doctor injected steroids between bones in my back. The pain was bad enough my body stiffened until the procedure was over, four shots one at a time. I came home and took a nap.

Today my morning was filled. First I chatted with three technicians at XFinity because my On Demand won’t connect and the called ID is gone from my TV. Each tech sent my call to a higher tech. The final tech gave me an appointment time for Monday. The next call was to the Global On-Line government office; of course, all their lines are busy.

Skip, my factotum, is coming tomorrow to open the deck so I needed to have everything bought. I went to the hardware store for spray paint and brushes. My window boxes need to be painted, that was the spray, and the side fence needs to be repainted, brushes. My next stop was Agway. I bought soil for potting and several plants for the window boxes and the clay pots I bought the other day. The flower colors are vivid and wonderful. I have a mixture of pinks, purples and blues for the big pots and red, white and yellow for the smaller pots. As usual I have no idea what I bought. I had a friend with me who works at Agway, and she made all the choices except for the basil and rosemary. My car smelled wonderful on the ride home. The only plant left to get is catnip. They were out of it. I use it in the pots near the table to keep the mosquitos away.

My last stop was Ring’s, an occasion of sin for me is what the nuns would call it. I go for one thing and end up buying many things. Today I wanted a treat for all my labors, a cinnamon bun, but then I also bought a leek and spinach hand pie, some flowers, dog biscuits and a package of dried vegetable chips. One thing always expands to become many when I shop at Ring’s.

Today is damp and humid and will be in the low 60’s. I’m thinking I have earned a nap and a vacation. My dance card is empty until Saturday.