Posted tagged ‘errands’

“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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“A rainy day is like a lovely gift — you can sleep late and not feel guilty.”

October 14, 2017

It was a late night so it is a late morning, actually an early afternoon. I was still awake at four when Gracie finally settled, Maddie got comfortable on my sweatshirt, and I was snuggled under the afghan to stave off the chill.

This morning when I took Gracie out I was surprised to see everything was wet, and the air was a bit chilly from the dampness. I came back inside and put on my sweatshirt which Maddie had been kind enough to leave for me. It’s raining again. I opened the window behind me to hear the drops on the leaves in the side yard. It started as a gentle rain but is now heavier, a steady storm.

I have no lists today. I could do a couple of errands but I’ll wait until tomorrow. Today I have designated a do nothing day.

My friend Bill keeps track of the weather in Bolga where we lived. I checked today, and it is currently 94˚, a cool day. Tomorrow will be 99˚ and every day for the rest of the week will be over 100˚ but will drop to the low 70’s at night. I used a woven wool blanket this time of year as the 30˚ drop was chilling. It was an unexpected but wonderful feeling being cold. I still have that wool blanket.

My house is dark except for a lit nightlight and a small driftwood tree lit with white lights in the bathroom and a strand of scallop shells and a cluster of red peppers lit in the kitchen. They give the house a cozy feel.

I’m watching a really bad movie called Deep Space. You’re probably thinking of course you are. The creature sort of looks like giant bug with lots of legs and sharp teeth. I had to laugh when it traveled on a sidewalk as it looked like a wind-up. None of its legs moved. It attacks by jumping at the necks of its victims. A few babies just as lethal as their mama have been born. The death count of their victims is rising.

It feels strange to have a Saturday with no baseball.

“Each day has a color, a smell.”

October 8, 2017

The day is cloudy dark. Rain is predicted. It is also windy which makes it feel colder than it is. I had to shut the back door. Last night was Gracie busy. She had me up every couple of hours, and we went out at 3:30. I went back to sleep but woke up when I heard her moving around at 8:00, but she readily jumped on the couch with me, and we both slept until 10.

I did all my errands yesterday. I had a route in mind, but the cars in long lines at the lights had me reconsider how to get there from here. I should have realized they’d be lines as this is, after all, a three day weekend, sort of summer’s last hurrah. Today is a stay off the roads day as the weekenders will be driving around looking for something to do.

I can smell wood burning again. The smell has again triggered memories. I remember overnights at Camp Aleska, the Girl Scout camp in the town where I grew up. The camp was up a dirt road across from the zoo and was surrounded by tall pine trees. Paths were behind the camp and led all through the woods. There was one big room in the camp with a huge fireplace. My favorite part of the overnight was falling asleep as the fire waned and the embers glowed in the dark. I have mentioned mornings in Ghana several times. The air smelled of wood fires as breakfast was cooked over wood charcoal. In the market, huge bags of charcoal were for sale. In some villages tree trunks were slowly burned into charcoal and bags of it were for sale on the sides of the road. Even the irons were filled with wood charcoal.

At night, aunties, older women, sitting along the sides of the main road in Bolga cooked food over wood charcoal and sold it.  I remember the smell in the air was a combination of the wood charcoal burning and food cooking at my nighttime snack stops. That was the first time I ever tasted grilled corn and deep fried plantain and yam chips. Guinea fowl was rare, but I always bought it if I found it. I remember the spots of light from the lit lanterns up and down the street and the blazing embers under metal bowls filled with groundnut oil where the food cooked.

I am ever so thankful for having served in Ghana and for the memories still strong and vibrant.

“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.

“Look after your laundry, and your soul will look after itself.”

September 11, 2017

I’m late this morning. I slept in and so did Gracie. She sleeps in her crate for most of the night then joins me on the couch at no particular time. Today it was close to 7:30. I helped her get on the couch then got comfy and went back to sleep. That has become our daily ritual.

Last night was an afghan night, and the chill is still in the air mostly in the back of my house, in the shade. I wear a sweatshirt now while I wait for Gracie to finish in the yard. While I was outside, I noticed the bird feeders were empty so I filled two with sunflower seeds and another with thistle. Immediately, chickadees went for the sunflower and gold finches for the thistle. They arrived so quickly I figured they were hanging around on branches waiting and hoping. I’m glad I didn’t disappoint.

My dance card is pretty empty. I do have two errands which I’ll finish this afternoon. My inside plants need watering so that’s on my other list. The dust in this room is almost bad enough to force me to clean it but not yet. Maybe in a few days. I espouse the maxim that dusting today still means dusting tomorrow. It is a never ending chore.

When I was a kid, my mother cleaned the house while I was in school. It was a miracle of sorts. I’d leave for school and when I got home, the house was clean, the dishes washed and the beds made. My mother was like the shoemaker’s elves. The only chores I ever saw her do were cooking dinner and doing dishes at night and taking clothes off the line in the backyard.

We lived in a duplex so we shared the backyard with our immediate neighbor. We each had our own clotheslines, either two or three apiece. I forget which. The end of the lines were attached to metal poles which were green but always seemed to need paint. I remember the silver-colored metal underneath the green. Below the lines was pitch or what we called hot top. It was square-shaped except for the small walkway leading to the back door. The rest of the yard was grass. My mother kept her clothespins in a bag which attached to the line and could be slid up and down so she had easy access to the clothespins.

My mother hung the laundry upside down. I never asked her why. I just figured that’s how laundry is hung. What I remember the most are the sheets doubled over the lines. In my mind’s eye, they are all white. I can still see them billowing and flapping, and I remember the sound of the sheets in wind. I also remember running between and under the sheets. My mother always yelled at us.

“we can watch x-files together while we browse the internet for info on area 51?”

August 27, 2017

I’m not sure the adjectives running through my head are quite descriptive enough to tell you about the morning, but I’ll give it my best shot, the old college try. (Every now and then I do like to pepper my musing with a few idioms.) Today is a delight filled with sunshine, blue skies, cool temperatures and no humidity. It is a quiet day, almost a throwback Sunday from the 50’s when church and Sunday family dinners were the highlights of the day.

I have a couple of errands. I need bird seed and the two things I mentioned yesterday: hot dogs and toilet paper. I also need to plant the flowers I bought the other day and any other perennials I might find today. Those are the only items on my lists, and my dance card is totally empty for the rest of the week. The plays are done, my friends are traveling and my larder is filled. I do have some laundry, as usual, but I haven’t yet run out of underwear. I was thinking a Mad Hatter move and ordering some new ones so I don’t have to do wash quite yet, but even I think that’s might be a bit extreme and massively lazy.

I heard acorns hitting the deck again yesterday. The spawns are at it again. I don’t go barefoot out there anymore, and poor Gracie yelped when she stepped on an acorn. The spawns seeking vengeance against me. I swear I heard cheering when I first stepped on an acorn remnant.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind is celebrating its 40th anniversary. I’m watching it now which I expect explains my delay in posting. I can’t take my eyes off the screen when the UFO’s are on it. They are amazing with their colored lights, just like Barry said when he called them ice cream and toys. I smiled the whole time. It is still a wonder of a movie.

I’m in the camp of those who believe there is intelligent life elsewhere, not just on Earth, though I admit I sometimes wonder about Earth. It seems a bit of a conceit to think we are it.

“I can make another list because the choice is mine. A list of what to do. So I won’t be listless ever again.”

August 10, 2017

My eye survived the laser though it felt as if something irritating were in it, something I couldn’t remove. I also had a headache, a common after-effect I was told. I took some Tylenol and had a nap. Both helped. Everything now is just fine. My other eye is scheduled for Tuesday.

My neighbor is putting in a new septic tank. His giant truck is parked in my driveway so Gracie and I had to maneuver around it to get into the yard. While I was doing that, I was attacked by a wild rose bush. My usual morning on the deck with my coffee and newspapers had to be cancelled. I could smell the old septic. All my doors and windows are shut and the AC is on, all to thwart the aroma of septic.

Yesterday was a glorious day, cool enough will lots of sun and no humidity. I did a few errands, and when I got home, I filled the bird feeders. All of those exertions made me tired enough to need a nap though I confess I could have done nothing all day and still have needed a nap.

When I lived in Bolga, in Ghana, the post office and most kiosks closed every day between the hours of one and three. My students had a mandatory rest period. It was Ghana’s siesta time. It was also the hottest time of the day. Despite the heat, I enjoyed afternoon naps. The school compound was quiet for the first time since very early morning, and the heat made me drowsy. I learned the value of an afternoon nap.

Yesterday I had three sticky sheets on my table filled with schedules and things to do. Today there are none. I finished all the items on the lists. There is now a hole, a space needing filling. I love lists. They keep me organized and sort of compel me to accomplish something. If it is on paper, I pay more attention.

I don’t remember when I started to make daily lists. I do remember when I was having company for a big dinner I always made flow charts and lists. One list had all the ingredients I needed to buy and another had the names of each dish and their sources. I learned that last one the hard way when I had ingredients but didn’t remember the dishes and when, a couple of times, I forgot to serve a dish. The flow charts listed what I needed to do and when I needed to do them, things like shop on Thursday and what to start making on Friday. On the day of the event, the flow charts were explicit and intense. One would list what I did in the morning, the final preparations, while others listed the times to put in and take out stuff from the oven and at what temperatures to cook them. I used to tape the lists to a cabinet above my work space. and check off my progress. My sister made fun of my flow charts. I didn’t care.