Posted tagged ‘errands’

“Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.”

February 23, 2017

Gracie and I were out and about yesterday. The weather was amazing. It was sunny and warm: sweatshirt weather. Today is much the same, and Gracie and I have a few errands: buying canned dog food at Agway, a few storage bins at Benny’s and my favorite sandwich at Buckies, number 14: bacon and cheddar with tomatoes, avocado, and horseradish sauce on a panini. Life is good.

Snow is still around on corners and in the shade, but it is warm enough that I can leave my inside doors open to the storm doors. Gracie goes in and out her dog door, and, best of all, she gets to watch the doings on the street from the front door. She sits and looks hoping for a bit of activity. Every now and then she barks. I check, and usually it’s someone walking a dog. Gracie does not like dogs walking on her street and makes no bones about it.

I have a new bird feeder, a bag of sunflower seeds, and two packs of suet. Cleaning the older feeders and filling them is on my to-do list for later. Loading my shotgun to attend to the spawns of Satan is next on the list (okay, I don’t have a gun, but I do wish the spawns would disappear).

I haven’t used real money in a while. The 3 dollars in my wallet are weeks old. Mostly I use my ATM to pay for stuff though sometimes I do use my credit card, mostly at the pharmacy. I don’t write many checks anymore. I pay my bills on line or have the amounts automatically deducted. I don’t really need much money. It seems to have gone out of style.

When I went to Ghana last fall, I brought some cash but mostly I used my ATM to get money as no one in the markets, the small stores and kiosks or the sides of the road take other than cash. I did use my ATM card at Zaina Lodge and my credit card in one large shop by the ocean in Accra. Money still counts in Ghana. I kept a pocketful.

Gracie is giving me the paw, her signal that it’s time to eat. I doubt she’ll accept that I have none left so I need to get going. Gracie want to eat!

“You can’t get too much winter in the winter.”

February 11, 2017

The tree is gone, reduced to its smaller pieces and stacked on the side of my yard. The lawn is covered in snow, sawdust, small sticks and pine needles. The only victim of that tree is one section of my front fence. It is standing only because it is propped by a pine branch. Come spring, it will be replaced.

Last night it snowed another inch or so. This morning, the car was covered as was the path from the house, around the tree to the car. The walkway got shoveled after the tree was gone so I can now use it to get to the car. As I have to go out today, that’s a good thing.

The day is in the high 30’s so some melting is happening. The roof line of my house has icicles hanging from it. They look pretty, almost like a postcard: Welcome to Winter in New England. Speaking of ice, I’ll have to remember to spread the meltaway on the front steps. It will get below freezing tonight.

The sky is gray and looks to be threatening rain. The snow always gets ugly when it rains. It becomes pock-marked then disappears from all but the huge piles left by the plows. The best day is the day after the snowstorm when the snow is still beautiful and clean and sparkles in the sun. That was yesterday.

My Christmas lights still come on every night. The centerpiece is the star with trails of lights. It shines from the top of my driveway fence. Last night my neighbor called to thank me for leaving the lights. She was surprised to see they had made it through the storm, but, if she had looked, she’d have seen them covered with snow but still shining through on the night of the storm. I love the lights. I just can’t take them down. They are my defense. They keep the darkness of the winter’s nights at bay.

“I believe in dressing for the occasion. There’s a time for sweater, sneakers and Levis and a time for the full-dress jazz.”

January 27, 2017

When I woke up and looked out the window, I saw a sunny day and a blue sky. The thought I might be dreaming crossed my mind, but I wasn’t. It is a lovely day, a bit chillier than it has been but still quite lovely.

Gracie and I are going out to do errands. My imagination has both of us shielding our eyes from the sun as if we’ve been living in a cave.

I have a list of places to go and things to buy. Gracie, as always, will be my co-pilot. Her favorite place is Agway. They give out free biscuits.

My return to Star Trek Voyager is almost over. I am watching the final season. Science fiction right now is far more hospitable than the real world.

When I lived in Ghana, it was during the birth of the Second Republic. The army had overthrown Kwame Nkrumah in 1966. They called it Operation Cold Chop. I love that. Chop is food in Ghana and roadside chop bars were the places to eat. We used to get food just about every Sunday from a chop bar in the lorry park. Anyway, the CIA backed coup   was for a multitude of reasons, one of which was Nkrumah’s close ties to Russia.

I used to love to watch the lobsters swimming in their tank in the front window of the fish market. I remember the guys behind the counter wore white aprons with bibs. They sold fish fillets from a display case. I didn’t care about the fish. Back then, the only fish I ate was tuna from a can.

I used to wear dungarees lined with flannel when I was a kid. Girls’ dungarees had a zipper in a front pocket. I wore blouses. If I got cold, I’d put on a sweater, a cardigan. Mostly I wore white sneakers. My clothes weren’t very colorful. They were heavy on the blue. I think every girl my age wore the exact same outfit.

My brother wore dungarees and striped jerseys. He even wore dungarees all summer. He wore white, high top sneakers, Converse sneakers. Mine too were Converse. Every boy his age wore exactly the same outfit, including Beaver Cleaver.

Last night I had a peanut butter and Nutella sandwich for supper. I would have used Marshmallow Fluff instead if I had any. My supper choices are quite limited. It’s time to shop. I’m keeping a list in Alexa. I just added Fluff.

“I think insomnia is a sign that a person is interesting.”

January 20, 2017

The clock just struck one. I’m not even tired. I went up and down the TV dial and checked out Netflix, but I didn’t find anything I wanted to watch. I tried to read, but I just couldn’t settle down and pay attention. Gracie and Maddie had slept most of the night away, but Gracie just woke up, had a snack and a drink of water then climbed back on the couch to go back to sleep. In about two minutes she was snoring. I envy her.

The weather stayed lovely all day. It hit 43˚. Gracie and I did our errands. We went to the dump, and she got her nails cut at the vets then we took a ride. Gracie liked the window down.

When we got home, the alien took over my body again. The kitchen is gleaming. This sudden spurt of housecleaning has to end.

When I was a kid, I read all of the time. I visited the library just about every week in the summer and every couple of weeks in the winter. I can close my eyes and still picture the children’s side of the library. The librarian sat behind a round counter made of wood set in the middle of the room across from the door. The shelves filled with mysteries were against the wall behind her. The tables and chairs were all wooden. The chairs were spindlebacks though I didn’t know back then that’s what the style was called. Some of the chairs had arms. The tables were different lengths. I’d sit for a bit and look through books to decide which ones I wanted to read. When I was ready, I’d bring the books to the librarian who would stamp the lined sheet in the back with the due date.

I loved mysteries. My favorite detectives were Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. The library didn’t have those books, but I’d use my fifty cent allowance to buy the Trixie Belden books and just about every birthday and Christmas I’d be given new Nancy Drews. I loved that they were girls solving mysteries. Nancy drove a roadster. I had to look up what kind of a car a roadster was. Trixie was much younger, closer to my age. I always envied their sleuthing. I would have loved stumbling on a mystery.

Well, I finally settled on a Netflix film about conspiracies. Hitler and Eva were replaced by doubles who were shot. The two of them were then spirited out of the country. Now I’m going to find out what really happened to Nazi gold.  This program was a great choice. I’m getting sleepy from watching it.

“I am taking time to relax, renew and revive.”

December 26, 2016

Happy Boxing Day!

Yesterday was a wonderful Christmas Day. We opened presents, played games and had a fantastic dinner and a delicious dessert. I got an amazing present, A David Ortiz commemorative bat. It is beautiful. It is also heavy. David’s stats are etched on the bat as is an outline of David in his characteristic pose: fingers pointing to heaven after a home run. I was totally surprised and totally thrilled. It will be displayed here in the den right near the Fenway Park brick, a replica of the one laid on the concourse at Fenway which says Kathleen Ryan Peace Corps Ghana 1969-1971. It too was a gift from my friends.

I have errands to do today. I guess it’s back to the real world, far too quickly I think.

This is short as I’m taking a mini-vacation of mostly today and all of tomorrow. I’ll be back on Thursday.

15665938_10208265867273240_1178058966471787105_n

“Here’s what we know about Santa. He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good. I think he’s with the NSA.”

December 22, 2016

I woke up to another dreary day and a very dark sky screaming rain. The weatherman agrees. Snow is predicted in some parts of the state, but we will be too warm, in the 40’s. Yesterday was the Solstice, the longest night of the year. By next week, we will be gaining a minute and a half of light a day then two minutes in February. That sounds so hopeful.

Christmas vacation begins today around here. I remember this last day and how excited the kids were, high school kids wearing Santa hats and sucking on candy canes. They used to sing Christmas carols at lunch, spontaneous outbursts from one table then another then on and on. The halls between classes were filled with cheer, with kids wishing each other a Merry Christmas. At the end of the day, the school emptied quickly. The festivities had begun!

I have errands today then cookie baking. I was out a long time yesterday, but I couldn’t finish my list. One store was closed so I have to go back today. I also have to go to the candy store and the grocery store. I’ll get everything I need so I won’t have to go out again between now and Christmas. (I’m laughing here. That will never happen. I’ll find out I need something else. I always do.)

The excitement started to get palpable around this time when I was a kid. The countdown was at two until Christmas Eve and three until that glorious morning, Christmas day. Every afternoon we watched Santa Claus at his workshop. I remember the channel was WMUR from New Hampshire. Santa talked to us as if he were in the room. He discussed all of the work being done by the elves to get ready to fill the sleigh. I don’t remember what he looked like, whether he had great whiskers or paltry whiskers, or if his voice was jolly. I just remember sitting on the rug and watching Santa.

We didn’t have a fireplace, but I was never in doubt that Santa would find his way to the living room and the tree. He was magical so nothing could stand in his way. I figured he just used the door, probably the front door. That the dog didn’t bark was just more of the magic. I figured Duke wagged his stubby Boxer tail and gave Santa lots of kisses.

It is when the questions appear that believing in Santa gets shaky. The how does he do it in one night is a biggy. It shows a bit of skepticism. I am five and seven years older than my sisters. I told them nothing after I found out and I even became part of the Santa conspiracy and teased them about the good or the naughty list. It was wistful for me.

“Winter is not a season, it’s an occupation.”

December 10, 2016

The day is mostly cloudy with only a bit of blue. It is really cold. Last night was in the teens. Right now it’s 24˚. The weather will stay cold until Wednesday when we’ll be back to the 40’s.  I’m going off Cape today to see the play Mame. My sister and I do a play then dinner every Christmas season. My mother started the tradition. One of the plays she took us to was Death of a Salesman with Brian Dennehy. It was superb but was the fodder for jokes about Christmas cheer and the season to be jolly. I love this tradition.

I wanted a band to greet me when I got home yesterday from my errands. The Christmas boxes are wending their way to Colorado, the trash is dumped, and the last present bought. I even stopped and picked up clam chowder for dinner. It was delicious.

Last night I made the fudge for my sister. It didn’t look right, but I put it in the fridge expecting it to harden. When I checked it later, it was soft. Around 1, before I went to bed, I checked it and it was still soft. I knew I did something wrong, a first for me with this fudge. I figured I’d make it this morning but then realized I wouldn’t have time. I made it last night. While stirring to the soft ball stage, I realized I had read the thermometer wrong on the first batch. A silly mistake! By the time I was finished making the fudge and cleaning the kitchen, it was close to 2, but I am glad I am not disappointing my sister. This batch hardened.My mother often forgot one of our presents hidden in the house. When we’d open the gifts on Christmas morning, she’d remember because it was missing. Sometime during the day, a brand new present would appear under the tree. I remember one year she forgot the ice skates she had bought me, not the white ones I already had but an antique pair with straps you attached right to your shoes and a single blade with a curl at the ends. She had tucked them behind my other presents as if I had overlooked them. I didn’t care. I liked the surprised of this really neat gift.

The sun is now out but the day isn’t any warmer. I’ll bundle up.