Posted tagged ‘flowers’

“If all the cars in the United States were placed end to end, it would probably be Labor Day Weekend”

June 23, 2017

Right now the day is beautiful with a breeze and sunny skies. The clouds will be intermittent, and there is a possibility of rain. I love days like this. The daytime is perfect, and it rains at night keeping the grass green and the flowers bright with color.

I have to go to Agway to pick up a flat of annuals. Four of the same plants in clay pots on the deck are dying. I also need dog and cat food and treats. I’m going to have to resist the temptation to buy more flowers.

Gracie has done well the last two days. She has eaten dog food and a whole bag of treats. She hasn’t had the dizziness and nausea of the previous three nights, and that is the best of all as she has slept through the night. I, however, am still exhausted. I don’t sleep deeply as I listen to check her breathing.

July is when all the hoopla begins here. The highways will have backups of cars trying to exit. The main roads will be filled with gawking tourists riding in slow motion so they don’t miss anything on either side of the road. It is even worse when it rains. I never leave the house in the summer on a rainy day because running into a traffic jam is cause for my swearing aloud and occasionally whacking the steering wheel.

I remember going to Islesboro, Maine one summer. We had to take the ferry as Islesboro is on an island. One day we went into nearest town, and my dad gave each of us some money to shop. I roamed through the store filled with postcards, individual inflatables, and all sorts of touristy kitsch. I ended up buying small dog magnets. One was white and the other black. They were both Scotties. I had them for years. They always reminded me of that vacation.

My deck is again a mess. It is covered in leaves and frass, the official name for caterpillar poop. I don’t even want to be out there under the trees, usually the perfect place as it is shady and gets any breeze. Now it also gets something else.

“I am alive, and drunk on sunlight.”

June 15, 2017

Okay, I am distraught. My post was just about finished. It was being saved. All of a sudden Safari shut down, and with it went my post. The saving never happened. Trust me when I tell you the post was spectacular, Pulitzer worthy. Now it is floating in limbo, words without structure, a story without an ending.

It mentioned pizza and a peanut butter cupcake, a new record for the number of errands in a single day and the highlights of my trip to the hardware store. The weather too was mentioned. I used the word glorious twice. I know that may seem repetitious, but the weather the last two days deserved the accolade.

I described the new, sort of snake, I bought at the hardware store. It is yellow plastic, pretty in a way for a tool, especially a snake. My upstairs sink and tub take forever to drain so something is blocking the water. The man at the hardware store highly recommended my new tool. He even gave a quick demonstration as to how to use it. He told me the results could be gross. I am glad I am not a plumber.

This morning I was busy with cleaning some weird spots like the cat’s dish, the dust on the cable box, and the dog’s area. I watered the plants. I watched MSNBC for a while but decided enough was enough. I’m watching The Longest Day.

Later I have to plant a few flowers in the front garden. I did ask my landscaper, but I suspect he forgot. There are only five of them so they shouldn’t take long. Afterward, I can boast I planted my garden.

I was taking Gracie to the backyard yesterday when a car stopped almost in the front of my house. I didn’t recognize the vehicle or the woman who got out of it. She waved. I said hi the way you say it to strangers, with a bit of question in the saying. She asked if the little library was mine and then gave me a thumbs up when I said it was. She told me her daughter had come upon it on one of her walks so the two of them have been by a few times. I was thrilled to learn that my little library has had visitors. She took a few books. I replenished the supply so the library is full again for the next passerby.

Today is cool and sunny. The air is clear and the sunlight is sharp. The day is glorious. I know, I know: that’s three times, but I did say I was distraught.

“Summertime is always the best of what might be.”

June 12, 2017

The flowers are all bought. My trunk and backseat floor were filled with plants. I needed to take out a second mortgage to pay for them, but I am pleased with all the different plants and their colors. The perennials will go out front, the herbs in the wooden deck boxes and the other plants in a variety of pots, mostly on the deck. I also bought one hanging plant for the deck. I am a sweaty mess from pushing the cart and wandering through the flower rows in the sun. I’m not a pretty sight.

One of the things I love about having the herbs in the deck boxes is going outside to snip the ones I need. I always feel a bit like Julia Childs as I snip a little basil, some rosemary, and a few chives.

It is really hot and is already 87˚, which will be the high for the day. It will get down to 66˚ tonight. My air conditioner is on, and the house is pleasant. I have to go out later, but I’m waiting until late afternoon hoping it will be a bit cooler.

I never used to mind the heat, but the older I get, the less tolerant I am of the heat and the cold. My furnace cranks all winter, and my central AC is on now. I have become a creature of comfort. I make no excuses. I think I deserve it.

My plastic flamingo and my Travelocity gnome are still here in their winter quarters. They will be the last two summer decorations to be placed outside. I do wish I had a small band to play John Phillip Sousa’s music as we march to the deck. The Stars and Stripes Forever would do just fine.

I’m still wishing I had a tree house in the backyard. It would be my summer vacation spot. I’d make sure Gracie could join me. The skylight would let the stars in. I could lie on my back and look for the constellations or watch the summer meteor showers. A small heater and an outside light would let me watch the snow fall. That would be glorious.

I do love summer on my deck. Soon enough it will be my favorite spot. We’ll have movie nights. We’ll eat barbecue and potato salad then much on popcorn and movie candy as we watch some great movies and some B science fiction films which always make us laugh. In winter I am a bit of a hermit. In summer I am the consummate hostess.

“Sunday, the day for the language of leisure.”

June 11, 2017

The heat is here. It is already 80˚ and it isn’t even noon. Just last week we were complaining about the cold, and now we’ve in the middle of our comeuppance, compliments of Mother Nature. The next two days will also be hot until Wednesday when the 60’s return so we can complain about the cold all over again.

The first thing I heard this morning when I was taking Gracie out was the sound of a bouncing ball. One of the kids down the street was shooting hoops. He was all by himself.

Every Sunday my neighbor barbecues. The meat is either chicken wings or kielbasa, which he buys at the Brazilian butcher. The kielbasa is delicious and quite different from the kielbasa the grocery store sells. My neighbor usually yells hello from his deck and invites me over. I always say no as Sunday is game night. I figure my next trip to Hyannis will include a stop at the Brazilian butcher.

Flowers are postponed until tomorrow. I’m going to stay home with Gracie. She ate yesterday and held it down but isn’t hungry today except for treats. I’m thinking she’s maybe taking me for a ride.

My grandnephew turned five yesterday. When he was asked what he wanted to do for his birthday, he said pan for gold. His mother, my niece, had no idea where that came from, maybe TV was her guess, but they did find a place, it is Colorado after all, which included a tour of the gold mine, panning in the river and then pizza at the restaurant. My sister, the grandmother, said it was the best time, and the pizza was to die for. Nobody found any gold.

I bought a variety pack of cereals the other day. I remembered them from when I was a kid. The boxes opened along the perforations on the top and then the box became a bowl.  I always thought it was kind of neat.

I’ve dubbed today a lazy day. I’ll take my shower but that is the extent of my exertions. I’m thinking a nap. Sunday seems to lend itself to napping.

“Spring is a powerful spell. The blue. The clouds high up and puffy. The air warmer than it’s been for weeks.”

June 3, 2017

I have no flowers yet. Yesterday was a bust. I didn’t even leave the house except to walk Gracie to the back gate a few times during the day and into the night. I just had no ambition. Some days I’m like that.

Today is sunny and warm, but there is a possibility of showers. It is in the mid 60’s now and may get as low as 51˚, normal spring time weather for New England. I’m happy with showers. They tend to come quickly and leave as quickly. Rain stays around.

All the rain has made for a lush, green world. My lawn has new grass in spots, Gracie squat spots. The rest of the lawn is filling in nicely, and every day new blooms open in the garden. I noticed some of the flowers have seeded themselves and are blooming in new spots. The irises have buds, large purple buds close to blooming. Every day a different delight in the garden catches my eye.

While I’ve been writing this, the sun has disappeared. Clouds have covered it, and I’m not so sure it will be back. The chance of showers is closer to a certainty.

The longer days confuse me. I’m surprised when I check the clock and find out it is still early afternoon but therein lies a problem. I’m a bit confused as to when early afternoon ends and late afternoon begins. I’m leaning toward 4 o’clock.

I’m having hot dogs for dinner tonight, but I’m skipping the beans and brown bread. I never did eat the beans, and I can’t remember when last I ate brown bread. Regardless, though, I’m still calling tonight’s supper a Saturday tradition.

“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.

“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.