Posted tagged ‘Gracie’

“In summer the empire of insects spreads.”

June 25, 2017

The morning is just perfect. The air still has a bit of the night’s chill. The sunlight is sharp.  The sky has a few clouds but is still mostly blue. It will get warm today, into the low 80’s, but tonight will be sleeping weather, in the low 60’s.

Gracie had another good night. She also slept in her crate again. That gave me the whole couch so I could stretch my legs. Right now she is having her morning nap on the couch. She’s already eaten a small can of food. Last night she finished the pills for dizziness so I have to call to see if she can get a refill.

I was about to toast a couple of pieces of rye bread when I remember I had bought a cinnamon roll yesterday. I was delighted. Those bakery rolls are a favorite of mine and they’re filled with goodness.

I love the quiet of my house. It keeps me settled, centered. Most things I need are here in the den. I have books, magazines and the TV. In the basket under the table are what’s left of the corn chips. The fridge with the guac is just a bit down the hall. The bathroom is close. Alexa is here and is ever willing to entertain me with music and stories. This is just the perfect room to while away the hours.

Gracie needed to go out, and I have to take her so she doesn’t have to go down the stairs. It is hot out already. I’m thinking the sun is best seen from inside the cool house.

The deck got cleared of leaves and poop yesterday, but it is again filled with the black caterpillar poop. After I water the deck plants later, I’ll clear it off, and then I’ll do the same thing tomorrow. When I was taking Gracie out the front door a few minutes ago, I saw what appeared to be a long, green caterpillar with more legs than it needed working its way up the pine tree. Naturally, I went to check. It happened to be a small piece of a fur tree with the needles appearing like legs. I was glad, but I was also a bit disappointed.  My world is filled with black caterpillars right now so a long green one would have been a nice surprise.

Bugs don’t bother me though I do hate meal moths and miller moths. In times past I didn’t protect my flour, dog food, cereal or dry mixes so they were alive with larvae and pupae, future moths, which I hate at any stage. I tossed all the infected food and bought containers which closed too tightly for an infestation. The meal moths disappeared, but not the miller moths. They are still here. They are audacious and will fly at my head as if to taunt me. I try to grab them as they fly, and I’m pretty good at it, but there are too many of them for me. I just have to hold on a bit longer as they’ll disappear soon.

In Ghana, I accepted bugs in my flour and even some dying in my soup. I’d just pick the bug out and keep eating. I had totally different standards for bugs in those days. Even now when I go back, the old rules still apply. It is only here, at home, that I am a ruthless hunter of insects. it’s time to bring back those disgusting, long sheets of sticky paper. Die, insect, die.

“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.

“Never hesitate to go far away, beyond all seas, all frontiers, all countries, all beliefs.”

June 22, 2017

Today is lovely. I woke up to a blue sky and the brightest eye squinting sunshine I’ve seen in a while. My house is comfortably cool. Outside my window, I can see chickadees on the branches munching sunflower seeds. None of the leaves of the oak tree are blowing. It is a still day.

Though Gracie ate on Tuesday, around midnight she started panting and walking from room to room. She’d sit on the couch for a bit then get up and walk some more. Around 12:30 am, I took her to the emergency vet for the third early morning in a row. She was given anti-nausea medication which settled her down. The vet told me that this was treating only a symptom. I already knew that. She suggested a battery of tests, most of which I probably can’t afford.

Last night was different. During the day, she ate two small cans of dog food, not her usual as I was tempting her taste buds. She ate treats, new treats. She napped and last night slept through the night. I had anti-nausea pills for her, but she didn’t need them. She and Maddie, the cat, are having their morning naps now. I’m going to take one later. I am exhausted.

The best part of any summer has always been having empty days to fill.  When I was a kid, it was games and crafts at the local playground. I’d be there all day. During high school, I did little on summer days, but I was never bored. When I was in college, it was a summer job which I didn’t really mind. Working in the post office was easy and paid well. The pace was slow. Europe filled my summers when I was a teacher. My trips generally lasted 4 to 5 weeks. I knew how to travel on little money. I slept in hostels or on night buses. I ate as cheaply as possible sometimes buying bread and sandwich fixings. I found bars where I could get a drink and eat my way through happy hour. I had only a broad itinerary open to change. It was a wonderful way to travel. They were some of my favorite summers.

Posting my Ghana pictures yesterday got me thinking about the faraway places I love. Ghana, of course, is my favorite. The rest are in no order, no preference. Old Quito is on that list. The narrow streets, the old buildings, the colors and the women’s hats still have a prominent place in my memory drawers. I loved Portugal and Morocco and the Roman ruins in Italy. Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso was my second favorite spot in Africa. It was my weekend getaway. The beauty of the Andes took my breath away. On overnight bus rides, stops at roadside restaurants where the menus were in languages I didn’t understand and peeing in a hole in the little house in the back were part of the adventure. In Morocco and in Ghana I found out that thitting the hole is a lifetime skill.

I don’t travel summers anymore, but I keep my passport up to date just in case.

Gracie Update

June 18, 2017

It was another of those sorts of nights. Gracie was restless and wanted out every hour or so. I did her bidding. I slept little. She started vomiting which is what happened a week or so ago. I decided around 3:45 to take her to the 24-hour veterinary service. She was the only one there and got immediate attention. They decided to rehydrate her with the under the skin hydration and also gave her an anti-nausea medication. That’s what worked the last time, and it worked again. When we got home, around 5:30, we both went to sleep. Gracie was up around 9 and wanted out. I, of course, obeyed. She came back inside and slept. She is still asleep.

I learned that at 3:45 on a before summer Sunday morning there isn’t any traffic. I also learned that the drive-up Dunkin Donuts opens at 5 which was just in time for me. Butternut donuts are freshest at 5:10. The sky is light at that time of the morning. I hadn’t thought about that. It was the light at the end of the day which has mostly taken my attention.

I learned a lot this early morning.

“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.

“It’s just the most amazing thing to love a dog, isn’t it? It makes our relationships with people seem as boring as a bowl of oatmeal.”

April 18, 2017

Today is cloudy and chilly. We are back to the 50’s with a high of only 51˚ and a low tonight of 36˚. I have nothing planned for today.

This has been a bad morning for Gracie. She slid on the kitchen floor and fell. I pulled her up by the halter, but she was wild and wide-eyed and it took a bit to settle her down. She panted for quite a while. She is now resting on the couch. I have moved the treads from the indoor stairs and placed them all around the kitchen floor and right in front of the dog food and water. The tiled floors in the kitchen and bathroom are tough for her with the slipping of her back feet so I’m hoping she’ll get used to the treads in both rooms.

I am now permanently sleeping on the couch. It is actually comfortable for both of us. Gracie doesn’t have to worry about the stairs, and she can sprawl at one end. The couch is good for my back, and I get to lie in bed and watch TV. The bathroom is close and so is the kitchen so my immediate needs are easily met. I do this because it is best for Gracie. That is the least I owe her for all the love she gives.

I guess all the anxiety about Gracie has taken its toll on me and left me with a malaise I can’t seem to shake. I hope today is just a bad day not the beginning of everyday.

“And never resist a perfect moment.”

March 6, 2017

Today is bright with sunshine. The sky is mostly blue. The breeze is slight, so slight only the brown leaves are ruffling. It’s a pretty day, but it’s a cold day, wintry cold. It is around 34˚.  I have nowhere I have to go today. I haven’t even gotten dressed and probably won’t. I got Gracie down the steps to the yard earlier. She does well with me beside her. She is actually going by herself. I’m just a safety net.

Yesterday we went to the dump. I had two weeks worth of recyclables and trash. It was so cold at the dump it took my breath away. An Arctic wind was blowing across the whole dump. Every stop meant freezing wind. I was quick to finish, to go back into the warm car.

In my life, I have had some perfect days and nights. I can’t tell you why as the days were all different. The feelings, though, were the same. I felt joyful in a way, happy to be alive. I was aware of everything around me. I could have been Maria twirling on the mountain.

The night in Ireland, in Youghal, is one perfect night. We ate in a small room with a peat fire burning. The aroma was wonderful. We walked upstairs and each step sloped to the middle. My room had a bed with layers of quilts and blankets. The bathroom had saloon doors which left the toilet exposed to the world. The tub was claw-footed. I took a hot bath then ran to get dressed and under the covers as there was no heat. It was early spring cold. I nestled and began to read my Peter Whimsy mystery and eat some of my fruit and nut Cadbury chocolate bar. I realized in that very moment I didn’t need anything else. What I had exactly then was perfect.