Posted tagged ‘hot’

”When I first looked back at the Earth, standing on the Moon, I cried.”

September 26, 2017

Last night I fell into a mirror under the nose deep sleep and woke up at 10:15. Gracie woke me up earlier wanting to join me on the couch, and from next door I heard sawing and hammering, but neither was enough to keep me awake. When I went to get the papers, the sun was shining. It is already hot and humid. I need to go to Agway, and that’s it for the day.

Gracie was sick this morning. She wouldn’t even take a piece of chicken, a bad sign. I immediately gave her a pill to settle her stomach. About a half hour later she ate her breakfast, and she seems fine.

I’m watching a really bad movie, The Green Slime released in 1968. The slime, a space remnant unknowingly brought onto a space station, produces creatures with one eye in the middle of what I presume are their faces. They have octopus like arms they flail about as they walk. They each have two legs, real legs badly disguised. The movie was made in Japan but has no Japanese actors. It takes place on a space station. The women in it, nurses and a doctor, scream, put their hands in front of their mouths in horror and are frozen to the spot when the creatures get closer. The electronics are primitive, mostly levers, buttons and lights. The crew is about to destroy the space station hoping to kill the creatures who have multiplied and are now so many that they cover almost the whole outside of the station. This movie is so bad I’m going to buy it for next summer’s movies on the deck.

When I was a kid, I loved all the science fiction movies filled with space ships, monsters, giant insects and aliens but when I was ten, space became real. Sputnik was launched. I remember the scare about the Soviets launching bombs at us from outer space. Duck and cover wouldn’t save us any more. All of a sudden we were in a space race and we were losing.

Science fiction didn’t fade away after the advent of real space travel. It got more sophisticated and complex. There were still monsters of a sort, think Alien, and computers like Hal, and space ships, filled with realistic controls, and there was exploration of space, of trips to Mars. It seemed real, within reach and filled with possibilities. It was my childhood imaginings come to life. It was a wonder.

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“I saw goats. A party can’t be all bad when you have goats,” Lucy said.”

September 25, 2017

Today is amazing. When I went to get the papers, I was surprised how hot it is. The sun is bright. There isn’t even the slightest breeze. It is a summer day in late June.

Okay, I admit I am more aware of English grammar than the average person. I was, after all, an English teacher so I cringe when I hear bad grammar. I liken it to a musician playing a wrong note or a singer singing out of tune. I am more tolerant of conversation sprinkled with bad grammar. I don’t acknowledge it. Television, however, is a different story. Writers are eliminating the objective case, especially after a preposition. It is between you and me, never between you and I. Today it has been three times so far that good grammar has been tossed on TV. Detective, military and police procedure shows use experts in each field to check the plot details. Maybe it is time to hire an English teacher to check scripts for bad grammar.

My laundry is now downstairs leaning against the cellar door, and I am actually going to wash it today, a monumental task. I am also going to do a couple of errands. I think the sun has energized me.

Last night was so very foggy, a halloween sort of night. I expected something dressed in black to jump from behind the bushes to scare me. Actually, I was a little disappointed when nothing happened.

I once milked a goat. At first nothing happened. My technique was bad so I kept trying. My fingers were about to give out when the first squirt of milk hit the bucket. I felt so accomplished.

A herd of goats were responsible for my only motorcycle injury. It was in Ghana. I saw the herd start to cross the road so I stopped and waited. It changed direction and ran right into me. The bike started to fall so I grabbed it, and in the process got a burn on my leg, a round burn which took a long time to heal. The burn and the boils were my only Peace Corps medical issues.

“Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos.”

September 14, 2017

The humidity is making the day sticky and uncomfortable. Last night was the same. I ended up cooling the house by turning on the AC. Both Gracie and I slept comfortably.

Today is sometimes cloudy and sometimes sunny. Rain is a possibility, a holdover from Irma. I don’t mind as it hasn’t rained in a while.

Yesterday I filled all the bird feeders and washed off the deck and the deck furniture with the hose nozzle on jet. It was a power wash of sorts. The birds had left calling cards.

Today I have errands. The lens fell out of my glasses so I need to get them fixed. The old pair I’m using sits at an angle on my ears so I have to keep tilting my head when I read. It’s a bit disconcerting. I also need a few grocery items with toilet paper topping the list.

My house is still dusty, and I still don’t care.

Gracie is just fine. She scared the heck out of me last night when she barked at me. She had been standing beside me and staring for a while so I had blocked her out. The bark made me jump. It was an I’m hungry bark even though she had already eaten dinner and her after dinner treats. I tried to ignore her but it didn’t work. I got the paw, twice. I fed her another small can, and she was fine. I bow to her whims and wants.

I like ice cream. My favorite changes with my moods. Coconut was a favorite last summer. Couple it with hot fudge or caramel, both salted or unsalted, and it’s food bliss. Lately I’ve bought mint chocolate chip gelato. It needs no enhancements. Vanilla by itself is boring to me. It begs for toppings like hot fudge or peanut butter cups and maybe some jimmies (sprinkles to those of you not in New England). I like a sugar cone. It adds to the ice cream, but a sugar cone often ends up with a hole in the bottom. That means licking the ice cream from the top and the bottom. It’s a talent to keep the drips away. I’m very talented.

Some memories are unforgettable, remaining ever vivid and heartwarming!

August 4, 2017

The air is dripping. The humidity is so thick it seems to coat my skin when I go outside. This morning’s gray clouds are giving way to blue skies and intermittent sun. It is already hot. Here in my den, it is still cool. It won’t get hot until the afternoon after the sun moves from front to back.

The bird feeder I filled yesterday is already half empty. The birds flying in and out seem endless. One eats and two wait. They are mostly chickadees, black capped chickadees, the state bird of Massachusetts. I like to sit and watch them. The birds fly right over my head almost close enough to touch.

I can’t seem to find a story or a memory. That is rare for me as I have a huge memory drawer overflowing with scraps and pieces of my life. I guess I’m going to visit Ghana today, and I’m bringing you with me. There are so many stories yet to tell.

One day there was a knock at my door. It was a man I didn’t know. He greeted me. I returned the greeting. He told me he was looking for a white woman and was I interested. I said no. He asked me if I knew any Canadians. I said no again. He thanked me and left.

A blind beggar was being led by a small boy. The beggar was holding one end of a stick and the boy was holding the other. The beggar stopped in front of me and asked for money. This was while I was in training. It was my first beggar. I said sorry and sent him off with good wishes as you have to give a beggar something. He called me batoria, white woman. I wonder what gave me away? I also wondered if he was really blind.

I always went to the same vegetable lady in the market. I bought tomatoes and onions from her. She gave me my change the first time I bought from her, and I put it in my bag. She didn’t speak English but indicated with her hands that I should count it. I shook my head no. That cemented our relationship. After that she would dash me extra tomatoes and onions. Once she had a small watermelon. I have no idea where she got it, but she had saved it for me. When I was leaving to come home, I went to say goodbye. She was crying and gave me a hug. She also gave me a small gift. It sits on the table here in the den. She always comes to mind when I see it.

I loved the mornings in Ghana. The roosters crowed. The air smelled of charcoal fires. I could hear water filling the metal buckets where my students waited in line to take their bucket baths. I’d sit outside my front door drinking my first cup of coffee before breakfast. I had the same breakfast every day: two eggs cooked in groundnut oil (peanut oil) and two pieces of toast toasted against the sides of the small charcoal burner. I’d watch the school children cutting through my school compound to go to schools outside the gates at each end of the school. At one end was the primary school and at the other was the middle school. I was an object of curiosity until the students got used to me then they’d wish me, “Good morning, sir. How Are you? I am quite well thank you, ” all said one after the other without a break. I’d have one or two more cups of coffee between classes.

It seems my bemoaning my lack of memories was massively premature.

“Hope is a waking dream.”

July 31, 2017

Movie night was a success despite a couple of things. First, as I was taking the DVD of The Four Feathers out of its case, I broke it in half. Luckily I had a back-up, Robin Hood, with Errol Flynn and Basil Rathbone. The crowd applauded at the end. It was a hit. The second issue was the cold. By the end of the movie it was 57˚. We had sweatshirts at the ready, but really, 57˚ and cold noses are late September, not mid-summer.

As I was getting the deck set for movie night, I was pelted with acorns. I knew it was a spawn of Satan hiding somewhere on a branch above me. I kept checking from the direction of the falling acorns, but I couldn’t see it. I saw a branch moving, but the spawn was well hidden, a sniper of sorts.

Today is warm and promises to be hot by early afternoon. I’m thinking some deck time under the umbrella with a cold drink and a good book will be a perfect way to spend the afternoon.

My laundry is in limbo. I washed it but left it in the washer so I’ll wash it again today then put it in the dryer. I haven’t anything else needing to be done. Yesterday was busy getting ready so today will be a vacation of sorts. I have leftovers so I don’t need to cook. There is still room in the trash so no dump. The den is back to being the den for the daytime as I folded and put away the sheet and pillow until tonight.

Turning 70 is a huge milestone. I’m thinking I need to do something amazing to celebrate the occasion. I have no idea what that is. When I was a little kid, I dreamed about the future, what I’d do and what I’d become. Though my life has been even larger than those dreams, I still have dreams. I’d like to sky dive and learn to dive in the ocean. I want to travel across America by train. I’d like one more visit to Ghana, in 2021, fifty years since I left the first time. Seeing Asia is also on my to go list. The only obstacle to both trips is, as always, saving enough money, but if I want to go badly enough, I’ll just have to do that. Dreams are hopes. We always need hopes.

“Clutter is my natural habitat.”

July 21, 2017

Today is hot. It is 83˚. I’m in the cool air of the house looking at the world through my den window. The most I can see is the blue sky and the still leaves of the oak tree. Later, in the cool of the afternoon, I have some deck stuff to finish: replace the burned out lights on the rail and get the fountain working. I also need to bring the flamingo and the gnome to the deck where they’ll reside all summer. A few of the flowers in the smallest pots have died so I’m hoping to get replacements at Agway today. I’ll be braving the heat.

When I was young, I knew what old was. No question it was those blue-haired ladies in their dresses and clunky heeled shoes with wrinkled faces and hands who dragged wire baskets on wheels behind them when they shopped at the grocery store. They never wore pants. Their shoes were sensible. Their dresses had flowers. I never stopped to  think how old they were. They just fit my vision of old so age didn’t seem to matter.

Despite my current wardrobe, if my young self knew I was soon to turn 70, I suspect I’d think myself old, but I’m not. The definition of old changes as we age. I’m now thinking 90+ might be old, but I’m not sure anymore. I admit, though, I’m thinking of buying one of those wire baskets so I can haul stuff from the car to the house.

I hate clutter yet my den is cluttered, but I’ve come to ignore it as the alternative is to go crazy. I had to move the dog’s dishes here as she slid on the kitchen floor. Her toys are in a wooden box and usually a couple are on the floor. Gracie tends to paw her toys to the floor until she finds just the right one. My cloth from Ghana is stored in a pile here but not out of sight. Most of my cookbooks are on shelves which cover one whole wall. My hat collection hangs from the shelves. My table is a huge metal one with three overflowing baskets underneath. I do have sorting through them on my whenever I get to them list of things to do. I sleep on the couch so my pillow and sheets are on the desk chair. This is the room where I spend the most time so everything is here except snacks and drinks. They’re down the hall, and the bathroom is between them. My inside world is small, but I’m content.

“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.”

July 20, 2017

The weather has settled into monotony. Every day is sunny and hot. We reached the mid 80’s yesterday while Boston was over 90˚. The shade was bearable, but the sun was unrelenting. The only times I went outside were to bring Gracie to the yard where I sat in the shade and waited for her.

I did nothing yesterday and will probably do nothing today as well. A dump run is in our future but probably tomorrow. I do need to water the plants, inside and outside, but that’s it.

When I was a teacher, I traveled every summer, mostly to Europe, and went for three or four weeks. I traveled on the cheap. Go Europe was my travel Bible. University housing and hostels were my hotels as such. Meals were sometimes at bar happy hours where I’d nurse a single drink until I’d eaten my fill or at railroad stations which had kiosks with cheap sandwiches. I usually traveled with a friend. B&B’s were sometimes our stops mostly through Ireland, Scotland and England. I remember one in London, in Earl’s Court. The owner barely spoke English and played music quite loud from the kitchen which was next to my room. The song I remember best is Cielito Linda with the damn ay, ay, ay. I swear it was played over and over. My favorite B&B was in Dingle Ireland. It was over a grocery store. The woman was old. She entertained us with stories about guests including the Frenchman who didn’t know how to eat Corn Flakes and another who wanted a facecloth. She laughed at the thought that the face had its own cloth. Breakfasts were eggs, bacon, toast and coffee and sometimes a grilled tomato. The hostels were cheap enough but didn’t offer breakfast, but they had a value of their own. Hostels were where I’d trade books and information with other travelers. All these trips were cheap enough that I could saved enough money every year for a summer in Europe.

Last year’s trip to Ghana was expensive enough for a couple or even close to three trips to Europe in the old days, but I was perfectly fine with that. I enjoyed the lap of luxury as if I had been born to it.