Posted tagged ‘flowers’

“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.

“Every flower blooms at its own pace.”

August 21, 2016

Oh, what a beautiful morning. Oh, what a beautiful day! It is cool and sunny with that clear light of morning. Last night I didn’t even need air conditioning. Tonight we’re getting rain, but not just rain; we’re getting a thunderstorm. I don’t even remember the last time it rained.

I have noticed the darkness creeping in earlier now. We are losing two and a half minutes of light every day. According to the weatherman,  a couple of nights this week will be in the high 50’s, a warning that cool nights and crisp mornings are getting closer. They are harbingers of fall.  I love when it when late flowers color the front garden. The white clematis are starting to appear on the sides and tops of the front fence. Black-eyed Susans are still in bloom. A white flower whose name I’ve forgotten is budding in the garden next to the house. Soon it will bloom. That unnamed flower has spread across one whole side of the garden. When it blooms, it looks so lovely with the green house as a backdrop.

Tonight we are having our first movie. I have chosen Dick, but it is on order from Amazon prime, and they are saying by eight tonight. I’m hoping for sooner or we may have to choose another movie. The main dish for this evening is hot dogs. I have a hot dog machine which rolls the dogs over and over and also warms the rolls. It needs no tending. I’m going to pick up an appetizer or two, popcorn and some movie candy. We have birthday cake for dessert. I’m hoping my friends find Dick as amusing as I do.

I have two errands to do which makes this the third day in a row I have joined the outside world. Goodbye to comfy clothes.

 

“Candy is childhood, the best and bright moments you wish could have lasted forever.”

July 17, 2016

It’s a later than usual start for me as I was on the phone with my sister. We talk every Sunday. Today we ended up chatting for two hours. For those of you thinking that in no way could you chat for two hours, believe me, the time goes quickly. We never ran out of things to talk about. We never do.

This morning, I tried to live for a bit without the air conditioning. I turned it off, opened the windows and the doors. I lasted an hour and a half.

There is a small breeze, but it is still hot and humid. When I let Gracie out the last time, I followed her to the deck. As soon as I walked outside, I was hit by the heat blast and stifled by the humidity. The day looked far better out the window. I figure I was taken in by that breeze ruffling the leaves.

My front garden has a few but is mostly in between flowers. Many of those flowers have so many buds I am anxious to see them bloom. The clematis has spread to three fence pieces and is filled with buds. Other flowers whose names I don’t know are tall and also filled with buds close to opening. In a short time, my garden will be glorious.

I ordered some Mexican hat jellies thinking they’d make good movie treats. I haven’t seen that candy in a while. The picture had a yellow, red, green and black hat. When I mentioned the candies to my sister, she said she liked the black ones. I do too. I also love Chuckles black jellies. Being my favorite flavor, I save them for last. Black jelly beans are also a favorite of mine. I was thrilled when they started selling only the black ones in a package. Anise cookies are my favorites. My uncle used to make the best-tasting anise cookies every Christmas. He said the secret was using anise oil, not anise flavoring. I actually hate black licorice. I like the red licorice but think the black tastes awful. My sister, strangely enough, has the same weird taste. She told me her son, Ryan, also hated black licorice but loves all the same black candy we do. She thinks it’s a strange gene the three of us have.

The only entry on my dance card this week is a follow-up appointment for Fern at the vets.   I guess I’m still in my solitary confinement.

“Almost anything is edible with a dab of French mustard on it.”

June 17, 2016

Today is beautiful. The breeze is keeping the air cool. The sun is bright and shines with the deep blue sky as its backdrop. When I went for the papers this morning, I checked my front garden. Every day something new is in bloom. Today it was a tall purple flower. I don’t know its name. I never know the names of my flowers. I buy them for color. The purple flower was a wonderful choice.

Today is dump day. I haven’t yet told Gracie. She tends to get a bit excited at the thought of the car ride and the dump. It will be a surprise.

My neighborhood is quiet today. The kids are still in school. Only the songs of birds break the silence.

I have a list for today, but none of the items make for too much effort. I bought a new flag which needs to be put on the flag pole in the front yard, my new hose will be connected to the outside faucet, plants in and out need watering and I have to connect the umbrella to the adaptor. They are all silly tasks but they still need doing.

We have a place to stay in Accra. It is where I stayed in 2011 for a week. The people are wonderful, the rooms big and clean, and they’ll pick us up at the airport. There is even a Lebanese restaurant right down the street. Ghana is where I first tasted Lebanese food. We used to go to a place called Talal’s. It was close to the PC office. I had hummus for the first time there. They served it in a flat dish with hot pepper around the top of the hummus and sesame oil in a well in the middle. I also had falafel, kibbeh and tabbouleh for the first time. I came to love Lebanese food. I had it often. The fact it was a cheap was also a good draw. I still love hot pepper sprinkled on my hummus and sesame oil in the middle. What I miss here is the fresh pita they always served.

One of the best parts of my Peace Corps experience was all the different foods I ate. Chinese food was considered a bit exotic when I was a kid, and I brought that with me to Ghana. The first day there I was served what looked like leaves from the tree and a soup of unknown origins. I didn’t eat it. I ate only breakfast as I recognized eggs and bread. Eventually, though, I started trying the Ghanaian food. Some I came to love, but I never did like kontomire, that soup from the first day. It is made with cocoyam leaves. That I know that makes me chuckle a bit. I went from Chinese food to cocoyam-a huge leap.

“If you don’t like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes.”

June 12, 2016

The morning is beautiful. The sun is shining, and it’s warm, even hot. The wind is blowing so my deck is dirty again from the trees all around it. I had already decided today would be outside day. The rug goes down, the feeders get filled, the chairs scrubbed and the table cleaned. The rest of the deck will have to wait to be blown clean.

I turned on the news this morning, on channel 7, my only choice. I don’t ever watch this news, but I was stuck this morning. It was awful. I won’t go into particulars because I am trying to forget, to erase the experience from my mind. The anchors had silly repartee, inane comments. They don’t seem to do well without a script or a teleprompter. I want real reporters of the news. I want Cronkite and Chet and David. I don’t want any of the newsmen on the 10 best-dressed list from Vanity Fair.

I am not a complainer about the weather. I do make observations like it’s a bit cold for June or I really hate humidity. I think those are New England things as the weather here can change in a heartbeat. I remember my mother and I were shopping in Boston one day. It was so hot my mother’s face was bright red. I made her sit down and drink something cold. By the afternoon, though, we had to buy sweatshirts to keep us warm.

I am out of coffee, a traumatic event. This afternoon, when I’m done outside, I’ll go to the farm stand which sells Ugandan coffee. I bought it once and thought it delicious. I’ll also buy a few vegetables and a loaf of freshly baked bread. If they have different flowers for my garden or the deck, I might just buy a few of those. I am a sucker for flowers.

“Birds are the eyes of Heaven.”

June 4, 2016

We’re back! Comcast solved the problem though it was vexing for a bit. It seems during the night my modem short circuited. The light was on, but it couldn’t connect. I now have a new modem and a technician is coming today to install a new box to match the new modem.

My deck is all ready for summer. All it needs now is some sun and a warm day. Yesterday it rained all afternoon, a light rain which didn’t stop the decorating and the planting. I had just enough flowers for every pot. I also planted my basil and rosemary. The basil joined the tomatoes in my small vegetable garden. The rosemary is in deck boxes which have new coats of paint. My fountain was also repainted its bright red. The only thing I couldn’t find was the adapter for my umbrella lights. I looked in all my usual spots then remembered I had placed it in a canister of coins on the floor. I have no idea how I remembered and no idea why I would have chosen such an unlikely spot. Tucked into another canister was the adapter for the fountain. I didn’t even know it too was among the missing as I haven’t yet connected the fountain.

The best of all news is my house sitter will stay here when I go to Ghana. She loves the animals and is always around the house as she doesn’t work. Gracie followed her around after her greetings to me then I got home the last time. I figured Lu, my sitter, was good for treats and Gracie had taken advantage. The hunt for flights is on. We have a tentative time of mid-September for going and we’re working on returning 2 and 1/2 weeks later. My friends have decided to go first class as they expect this will probably be their last trip to Ghana. I had been willing to go premium economy to be with them but I do like first class. I think I like the attention and the pampering. I definitely like the seat becoming a bed. It took me a long while to save enough for this trip given the flight cost, the pay to my house sitter, food and lodging and fun money so I’m thinking that it may also be the last time for me. I do want to travel more but to new places, closer places. I’m thinking the DR or Jamaica or even Cuba.

For a Saturday it is a quiet day. I did hear one mower earlier but now I hear only the birds. Their sound is so lovely I keep stopping to listen. I don’t know which birds are singing, but I know there are two or three different ones. That birds greet every day by singing is one of nature’s great gifts to us and the birds. I can’t imagine how wonderful it must feel that every day deserves a song.

“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.