Posted tagged ‘deck’

“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.

“If a man watches three football games in a row, he should be declared legally dead.”

May 31, 2016

Today is warm and humid and still damp from the rain of the last two days. Only the middle of the street is beginning to dry. Much of the pollen has been washed away. My car is red again. Today I’m getting what I need to open the deck for summer. That would be paint for the planters, more clay pots, flowers and herbs. With my pad and pen in hand, I have to go on the deck and make a list of what I need then it’s off to Agway.

This morning I watched The Lone Ranger. Much of it was filmed outside on dusty roads among hills lined with rocks. It wasn’t really all that bad for being 59 years old. Tonto may have butchered the English language, but he was an equal partner to Kemosabe. Adam 12 was next. It hasn’t aged as well as The Lone Ranger filled as it is with 1970. After that, I was done with classic television.

When I was a  kid, we had only a few channels to watch. Saturday mornings were filled  with cartoons and half hour shows like Rin Tin Tin, Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley and Captain Midnight. I really liked Annie Oakley. She was a female sheriff, and that was a big deal to me. She wore what would later be called cullottes but the legs on hers were so wide they looked almost like a dress. Everything she wore was fringed. Captain Midnight was another favorite. I wanted my mother to buy me Ovaltine because that’s what Captain Midnight drank. She didn’t.

I remember well one of our TV’s, the one in the console, a huge cabinet for a small screen. It was against the wall near the window on the back wall of the living room. We’d sit close and watch until my mother made us move back to save our eyes. I know we had a color TV on the cape but the colors weren’t very bright. My father blamed cable, but it was just the TV getting old.

The TV I have now was the first HD set in the neighborhood. It caused quite the stir. Now everyone has HD. Mine is getting on in age as it is around 12, but it seems fine and the colors are still bright.

I like watching television, mostly at night. I have to be really bored to watch it in the daytime. Today I was bored.

“I’m so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark.”

May 28, 2016

My little nap seems to have done the trick. I fell asleep right away as the bedroom was still cool, and the outside world was quiet. The only sounds were from the chimes hanging off branches in the backyard and Gracie’s deep breathing. She had joined me for a nap. The two cats stayed downstairs for their naps.

Today is a perfect day. It is in the high 70’s, bright with sun and there’s a breeze to cool the air just a bit. We are 10 or 15 degrees cooler than Boston and a whole cooler than the western part of the state.

The deck is back to normal. All the furniture is in its usual place. Putting out the do-dads is all that’s left. When I say do-dads, I mean the rug, all the candles in the trees and on the tables, the window boxes, the flower pots, the prayer flags and the pictures for the wall. The shelf and the flower pots need to be repainted. I have new prayer flags and a couple of new strings of lights.

Yesterday while I was sitting in my car waiting for my friends, the wind blew, and I could see the pollen almost as dense as fog blowing off the tree. My car is covered in the greenish yellow pine pollen. I hate this season. When it gets hot, you don’t dare open windows as everything will be pollen covered. It’s like the harmattan in Ghana when the blowing wind brought dust from the Sahara, and it covered all the surfaces in my house. Dusting was a lesson in futility. It is the same with the pollen.

I drove my friends to the Logan airport bus because they were leaving for England early last evening. When I got home, the phone rang. It was Tony telling me Clare had left her pocketbook in the car, the pocketbook with the passports and plane tickets. Could I please hurry as the bus would be leaving in about 15 minutes, 10 minutes short of the drive. I drove like a maniac. The slowest I went was 75, and I cursed the car in front of me which kept me to that crawl. I swear G-force acceleration distorted my face. I drove into the lot and there they were, the last people. They smiled and threw their arms up when they saw my car. The driver was just putting the last piece of luggage in the bay. My timing was perfect. I handed them the handbag and Tony asked Clare if that was her bag. I wanted to say something sarcastic like I have 15 others you can choose from, but I figured it wasn’t the right time. Their gratitude was profuse. They immediately gave their luggage to the driver and got on the bus. Gracie and I went much slower on the ride home.

“Erratum. In my article on the Price of Milk, ‘Horses’ should have read ‘Cows’ throughout.”

June 11, 2015

Yesterday was a busy day for me. Gracie and I did a dump run then I did some home chores. One was to attach the umbrella light adapter to the bottom of the umbrella then plug the other end into an outlet. Last year I was clever. I had a hole drilled in the deck for the adaptor to go through then I unbent a wire hanger. The top loop of the hanger was left intact and stayed in the hole on the deck, but the rest of the hanger went into the hole and hung down under my deck. I went and tied the adapter to it, climbed upstairs to the deck and pulled the wire through the hole then attached the adaptor to the umbrella. It was a brilliant idea and well-executed. This year I went to do the same thing. On the first try I got the adaptor tied and through the hole to the ground under the deck. I went to attach it to the umbrella but dropped the wire which immediately fell through the hole. It took me four more tries to get that stupid adaptor end connected. That’s four times under the deck standing on my tiptoes to tie the adaptor, four times up the long staircase and four times on my knees trying to attach the adaptor.

My next job was replacing the storm in the front with the screen. I didn’t do the back door screen, the dog’s door, as I figured nights might still be chilly, and the inside door is kept open. That storm door pane weighed what seemed a ton and it was awkward to move. Going down the cellar stairs was a bit dangerous for me given my penchant for falling. I imagined a fall, shards of glass and a penetrated femoral artery. Luckily all went well.

It was hot yesterday, in the high 70’s. Today is supposed to be the same with some rain later, but there is a cloudy sky and a wonderful breeze. The house is cool.

The Globe this morning had an interesting tidbit of news. The State Police captured one of their most wanted, Keith Truehart. He was found in a hide-out built of wood and sheetrock under a sink in an apartment. It seems no one knew he was there. I’m thinking I’d notice a hide-out under my sink. Anyway, he was wanted for assault and battery on a child, a nine month old baby. From the article I gleaned the baby was his girlfriend’s baby, but this is what I read,”The baby was Truehart’s girlfriend, who lives in the North Main Street apartment where he was captured. His girlfriend is not under arrest at this time.”Whew!

“Petting, scratching, and cuddling a dog could be as soothing to the mind and heart as deep meditation and almost as good for the soul as prayer.”

May 7, 2015

We have had such beautiful days, warm days, short-sleeve shirt days. The sun is even so bright it makes me squint. By the afternoon the sun has made its way around the house to the back so I go and sit on the deck to take in the warmth. Gracie stands beside my chair and watches the birds until she gets sleepy and lies down for a nap in the sun.

Yesterday I was sitting at a red light when I noticed a hawk high above me riding the thermals in ever smaller circles. I got lost in the hawk, and it took a honk from the driver behind me to bring me back to the now green light.

I have seen foxes, rabbits, coyotes, wild turkeys, deer, skunks, opossums and the common raccoon around here where I live. Actually it was only one deer which ran across the road in front of my car just down the street from my house. I pulled over to watch until it disappeared near the power lines.

I don’t remember seeing many animals when I was a kid even though we spent a lot of time roaming the woods. I remember snakes the most. They seemed to be everywhere. They were, for the most part, garter snakes. We’d pick them up just to check them out, but we never hurt them and we always let them go. They’d slither so fast when freed they seemed to disappear. I can’t remember the last time I saw a snake around here.

I liked scary when I was a kid. I don’t mean afraid. I never wanted to be afraid. Scary was mostly a product of my imagination when I heard footsteps behind me or that hook scratching the screen. Scary made me giggle a little, a sort of defensive reaction to prove I wasn’t really scared. Once, when I was an adult, my dog Maggie, another boxer, woke me from a sound sleep when she leapt out of bed, stood at the top of the stairs and barked her fiercest bark several times but then she just turned around, jumped back on the bed and went to sleep. I wasn’t as fortunate as it took me a while to calm down enough to go back to sleep. I wasn’t sure what to think about Maggie’s barking. Maybe she had a nightmare was one thought, but I didn’t really think so because she usually just sort of barked in her sleep when she was dreaming. I really believed she heard something, something loud enough to put her on alert. Whatever it was left because of Maggie’s deep, fierce barking. She was my protector, and I was really glad to have her. Gracie has that role now, and she is great at her job.

“If you stand still outside you can hear it… Winter’s footsteps, the sound of falling leaves.”

October 27, 2013

If you looked up fall in the dictionary, they’d be a picture of today. The sun is shining, the sky is a pale blue and the breeze is brisk with a bit of a chill. Fall is in full burst. My front yard is filled with fallen leaves and pine needles. The grass doesn’t needed mowing any more. Yesterday my irrigation system was shut down for the season, and today I’ll clear the water from my back yard hoses. It’s time to close down the deck for the season though I’ll save a place to sit on a sunny day, my big wooden chair. I love fall, but I find it sad when fall begins to move toward winter.

Summer is always exuberant. It is warmth and colors and the sweet smell of flowers wafting through the air. Every morning I’d get the papers and then stop to look at my front garden. I’d lean against the car and marvel at the beauty of the flowers. I always noticed a few empty spots and would get excited at needing to buy new flowers. I can never have enough flowers. I’d finally pull myself away and go into the house, get my coffee and go outside on the deck. It takes me a long time to read the papers when I’m outside. I stop and watch the birds at the feeders and Gracie in the backyard. I listen to the singing. I raise my face to the sun and close my eyes. Summer fills me.

Fall always seems to have a faster pace than summer, and I think of October, nearing its end, as the bridge between fall and winter. Fall has a unique beauty when the leaves turn, and the trees are filled with color, muted color. My garden celebrates the season with fall flowers. The plants I put in last year were in full bloom this fall, and I was surprised as I had forgotten planting them. This year I added three more fall flowers, and they must have been happy to be planted as they bloomed a week or two later. Of all the seasons fall surprises me the most. The days are sometimes as warm as summer while the nights get downright cold. The sunlight slants in an odd direction. Darkness comes earlier and earlier.

My heat comes on in the mornings now. I can hear it as I’m waking up. The days seem to be warm enough to keep the furnace at bay, but I doubt that will last too much longer. Winter is coming.

“I love how summer just wraps it’s arms around you like a warm blanket.”

May 16, 2013

Today is supposed to be warm, maybe even hot. Yesterday Skip, my factotum, was here all day getting the backyard and deck ready for summer. Looks like the timing was perfect. The vegetable garden was weeded, its fence mended, candles hung in the trees, furniture uncovered and cleaned, Gracie’s holes filled, including the one closest to China, backyard ornaments put into the ground and my favorite new addition set up from the heavy pine tree: two stars hung together with five tails extending from them all in white lights. I put them on the timer and last night the stars were beautiful. A few things remain, like planting the veggies and adding flowers and herbs to the pots and getting the shower ready, but that’ll wait until it’s warmer every day. I can’t help it. Seeing the deck ready makes me excited to be out there every day.

When I was a kid, and it was summer, we never stayed in the house, even when it rained. We’d find a leafy tree and stay under it to keep as dry as we could. Most days, though, we’d spend at the playground on the field at the bottom of our street. There were two college students there and at each of the playgrounds in town. They ran all the activities. One summer I painted a tray, and it was the best painting I’d ever done. Every summer I’d make lanyards or bracelets out of gimp. I could do all different knots. The first one I learned was the square knot then the round and then the flat. The round was for the lanyard and the flat was the best for a gimp bracelet. I made pot holders on that square loom with the hooks where you wove the cotton. I think I gave my mother one for every Christmas for years. I played horseshoes, checkers and softball and learned to play chess and tennis. For years I spend the entire day at that playground. The local paper, The Independent, had a playground section once a week,and I got my name in the paper a few times for winning at horseshoes and for being the winning pitcher in softball. Nothing makes a kid happier than to see her name in print.

I out grew the playground and spent summers round the house more. By the time I was a teenager, my friends and I were at the go out at night stage. I was on a drill team and we had drill practice two nights a week, and once every couple of weeks we’d go the drive-in. Some nights we just hung around the way teenagers do. My mother didn’t seem to miss the potholders.