Posted tagged ‘Laundry’

“Daffodils are yellow trumpets of spring”

March 9, 2018

If this is a test of my sanity, I am on shaky ground. In Ghana there was a rainy season and a dry season. I knew what to expect and around when to expect it. My friends and I, during the dry season, would look at the sky and wonder if it was going to rain. That was a joke of sorts. We knew the rain wouldn’t come until April. The sun would beat down and dry everything until then. The ground became dust, blown and whirled by the winds from the desert, the harmattan winds. Our lips cracked from the dryness, but it wasn’t unexpected. We were ready for all that heat and no rain.

I haven’t seen the sun in days. The clouds are darker now, a bit more menacing. I need the sun. I want it to be so bright outside I have to squint my eyes. I want to stand on the deck and be warm. My patience is almost gone. I want to scream, “No more! No More!”

Today I have to go to the dump. Gracie would have loved the trip.

My laundry is back to its usual spot, leaning against the cellar door. My plan is to do it today before it grows and takes on a life of its own. That’s what happened the last time. Had I been a character in a Disney movie, my laundry would have been singing and dancing. I’m picturing a conga line of shirts followed by a line of pants doing the can can and singing a catchy tune as they make their way to the washing machine.

My house is nice and clean. Roseana and Lee came yesterday. My contribution was lifting my legs so Lee could vacuum under them. He even put all the trash and recycling bags into the trunk for today’s dump run. I also have a couple of other stops. I have streamlined my to do’s so I waste only a single day.

My garden doesn’t mind the gray days. It still grows. I check it every morning and every morning I notice more and more green shoots have been appearing in my front garden. I see daffodils joining the already blooming crocus or croci if we use Latin’s second declension masculine plural for words ending in us. I had four years of Latin in high school, a feat of no small dimension.

“Your words become your world.”

March 6, 2018

No sun again today, just clouds, darker than yesterday. The wind is brisk and cold. It is another stay cozy and warm at home day. I have a few things I could do like the laundry and changing the bed, but I don’t want to do anything so I won’t.

When I was working, I got everything done. The house got cleaned, the laundry washed, the groceries bought and the trash dumped. Now I have all the time, day after day of time, but I procrastinate. Like Scarlett, I think,”After all, tomorrow is another day!”

I have redefined my lexicon. I have removed words like lazy and non-productive; instead, I stress lifestyle words like settled and describe myself as comfortable and undemanding. I still long to travel, and that won’t ever change. It is in all capital letters should you look it up in my lexicon.

I live on a small street with nine houses. Three of the houses have kids. Three have dogs. This time of year I hear only an occasional dog barking. I know when the mailman comes. I can hear his truck. A few cars go up and down, but they usually belong to neighbors. If I’m out, we always wave. Some of us have lived on this street since the beginning when the houses were first built. My neighbors across the street are the oldest residents. I don’t see them much anymore. He has Alzheimer’s and she is his caretaker. Seldom do I see any of my other neighbors. I rarely see any of the kids. I’m beginning to think we’re all in a hibernation of sorts.

Another nor’easter is predicted but not fierce or damaging like the last one. We will get rain; snow is north of us. The rain in winter always seems to come in at an angle, driven by the cold wind. It lashes against the windows in a constant barrage of heavy, noisy drops. The cold air is so damp it chills to the bone. Streets flood. The ground is hard, and the rain has nowhere to go. I have no affection for winter rain.

“How strange it is to view a town you grew up in, not in wonderment through the eyes of youth, but with the eyes of a historian on the way things were.”

February 22, 2018

For two days Boston has hit 70˚. We hit a high of 55˚. The sun has deserted us. It is cloudy again and damp and chilly. Last night it rained a little. I was lying in bed reading and heard what I thought at first was a mouse gnawing. It wasn’t. It was the patter of rain falling quite slowly at first then more heavily, but it quickly stopped.

Yesterday I went to the deck and did a bit of cleanup. I also filled the bird feeders. The cover for the barbecue has disappeared. I checked the yard from the deck but didn’t go under the deck. My first thought was an army of squirrels has set up camp somewhere close and my cover, which already had a huge section chewed off, was perfect for their tents. Two bricks were on the top to prevent the cover from blowing off. I found those on the deck. Maybe a spawn of Satan will be back to get the bricks for their camp walkway.

I actually cleaned most of this room. I polished and washed all the curios on shelves. I did such a good job I need sunglasses now because everything shines. I also caught up with the laundry. I feel accomplished.

When I sleep, I look a bit like a question mark as I still make room for Gracie to sleep beside me.

When I was a kid, my town was my world. I never thought it was small. Uptown had wonderful stores, and the library and the post office anchored the beginning and the end of the square. Some days the square smelled like fresh bread from Hank’s Bakery or popcorn from the candy makers behind the square. O’Grady’s Diner was across the street from the library. Once in a while, my father took me to breakfast there. We sat at a booth with red vinyl seating. I used to beg for dimes or a quarter to play the juke box. Every booth had a small box, and I’d turn the pages in our booth to find a favorite song. On Saturday mornings seats at the counter were mostly filled with all men. Saturday was their errand day with stops at the Chinamen, the barber and maybe the drug store or the Redmen then finally the diner. I loved my little uptown

“You can’t teach people to be lazy – either they have it, or they don’t.”

February 6, 2018

We’re back to clouds. Everything out my window looks grey, particularly the pine branches and the sky. Today has no wind. Every branch, even the smallest, is still. The air feels damp even though rain is not in the forecast. I have to do a couple of errands. Getting cat food is at the top of my list.

Lately I just haven’t wanted to do anything. I’m calling it my winter doldrums. Up until early January was almost a frenzy with Christmas shopping, wrapping, decorating, baking and entertaining. My house is dusty. My laundry is unwashed. Recycled newspapers, cardboard boxes and a trash bag sit by the front door. I think they’re growing roots. I wake up every day resolved to get stuff done, but I go to bed without having done much of anything. I’m glad Maddie needs food so I’ll definitely have to go out, and I’ll take all the trash and stuff to the car when I go. The dump isn’t open until Thursday.

Maddie is still driving me crazy. She meows at me all the time. She sounds insistent and a bit angry. I change the water, give her a little roast beef, fill her dish and pat her almost endlessly but she still meows. I think she misses Gracie. This is the first time in her 18 1/2 years she has been the only pet. Right now she is sitting beside me on the couch while I pat her and scratch her ears. She’s purring.

I woke up at 6 this morning, looked out the window and saw how dark it was so I turned over and went back to sleep. I woke up at ten.

The TV news was interesting today. A woman found a lizard in her salad mix from the grocery store. She poked her fork into an avocado or what she thought was an avocado and out came a lizard, a lizard from California. It seems the controversy about Doritos being un- friendly to ladies continues. Women it seems don’t like to crunch too loudly in public so Nooyi, the CEO of PepsiCo, said the company is preparing to launch chips for women that will be “low-crunch” with a “full taste profile” that will “not have so much of the flavor stick on the fingers” and can fit in a handbag because “women love to carry a snack.” Doiritos responded, “We already have Doritos for women – they’re called Doritos, and they’re enjoyed by millions of people every day.” Snow is coming but the Cape will have the least amount, 0-2 inches.

Well, I need to finish here. Maddie is stirring. I know she wants something. She just howled at me.

“I haven’t been falling all this time. I’ve been flying”

February 1, 2018

We had about 4 inches of snow. My factotum Skip, came on Tuesday afternoon, and shoveled the walk and got the car free. Yesterday morning I went to get the papers. I put my foot on the mat outside the door and my foot slid out from under me. I used my right hand to break my fall. I landed hard on the first step and just sat there a while trying to get my wits about me. My wrist and my foot hurt. My butt was getting wet from the mat I was sitting on. My door was still open. Finally I gingerly got up and limped to the road and got my papers. Today my right wrist is swollen and sore and has a big lump. My left foot is swollen and my knee is painful but only if I move it ( a little humor here). I limp. I’m the walking wounded.

When I was a kid, my first fall resulted in a broken wrist. I was around 4 or 5 and considered that cast a badge of honor. My next memorable fall was down the stairs. I ended up with a huge gash on my chin. I was about 10. I don’t remember any more falls until I moved into my house. Four times I have fallen down stairs: 2 inside, 2 outside. I broke a cheekbone and some teeth during the most memorable fall inside. The other falls only resulted in black and blues. I fell off a ladder outside and broke my shoulder bone. I was lucky with that one as my head just missed the top of a concrete wall. Another fall was down the outside backstairs and over the side. I knocked myself out but that was it.

I know I have mentioned that falling is part of my DNA, a gift from my father. Given my druthers, I would have preferred eye color.

We have a little sun today. I have to squint in the brightness. It is warm at 44˚. Tonight will be below freezing. Tomorrow night will be 13˚. I have no plans to go out for the rest of the week. I have plenty of food from Peapod yesterday and lots of books from the library.

I still have that damn laundry to do. I threw it down the cellar stairs yesterday.  Now, though, I actually have a real excuse for not doing it, and it has nothing to do with laziness or being a sloth. I can’t walk down any stairs because my knee, leg and foot hurt enough for me to complain out-loud, and how can I fold with one hand? I got a lot more out of this slide than I ever expected.

“Each day has a color, a smell.”

January 25, 2018

Winter is back. It gets quite cold at night and hangs in until late in the morning. The air was brusque when I went to get the papers. It will get warmer over the weekend, the mid- forties, then winter will again rear its hoary head. It is 28˚ right now.

Today is a pretty day with lots of sun and a blue sky. The air is clean and colors seem to pop. The breeze is slight and only the tops of trees sway a bit.

Maddie is sick now. I took her to the vets yesterday as she hadn’t eaten and had trouble going to the bathroom. When I called and described what was going on, they had me bring her in right away. They gave her blood and urine tests and a couple of x-rays. She has a urinary track infection, a high potassium level and a high thyroid count. They gave her an antibiotic and fluid under her fur to hydrate her and I got three meds to give her twice a day. Things aren’t going great. I gave her the meds easily last night and she didn’t seem to mind all that much. This morning, though, she disappeared after getting the meds. I took my flashlight and went upstairs and found her under the bed in the guest room, an old haunt of hers. I patted her and talked to her hoping she’d come down stairs, but she hasn’t. I’ll go back up in a bit. I don’t want to overwhelm her. The vet is calling today so I’ll see what she recommends. Maddie is 18 and a half so anything is upsetting, especially now.

Nothing is on my dance card today. A trip to the dump is in the near future, but that’s it. My cleaning couple can’t come today so, aghast and horrors, I will have to vacuum. I hope I remember how. The laundry bags are still by the cellar door. This is day two of the wash watch.

I love the smell of burning candles. Last night it was cinnamon and before that it was coconut. This Christmas my sister gave me squares of peat and a small ceramic thatched Irish cottage to hold the burning embers. The other night I lit the peat. When it was burning, I was reminded of the old b&b in Youghal, Ireland. It was springtime and cold and damp. We were the only guests. The owner lit a peat fire in the grate in the dining room. The smell of peat filled the room. It stuck to my clothes. I could smell it even when I got home and opened my suitcase. Burning peat is, for me, the smell of memories.

“My theory on housework is, if the item doesn’t multiply, smell, catch fire, or block the refrigerator door, let it be. No one else cares. Why should you?”

January 20, 2018

The day is warmer than it has been. The little snow left is melting. It’s cloudy and breezy. I did go out yesterday and got my errands done so today is an around the house day. That laundry I keep talking about is still upstairs and needs to come downstairs to get washed.  I put that on the maybe list.

Last night I used the sleeve of my sweatshirt to dust the bottom shelf of the desk. It had so much dust I could have written a whole novel, okay maybe a short story, in the dust the same way Clean Me is often written on cars’ back windows. I then moved to dust around the TV. I even did the remotes. I stopped there before the dusting could take hold of me.

I get absorbed into tasks which then lead to other tasks which then go on and on with me in a bit of a frenzy. The dusting in here would have led to the living room and then the dining room and kitchen. From there I’d move on to sweeping floors and wet mopping the kitchen floor. I wouldn’t just go to bed when I was done. I’d change sheets first.

The couch in here, the den, isn’t all that old, but Fern used it to sharpen her claws so the stuffing is popping up behind the pillows, but I’m the only one who knows because the white stuffing is hidden by the pillows. Gracie slept in the same spot on the couch, but I have washed the couch covers many times. I know I’ll have to break down and buy a new couch, but the problem is you never just put in a new couch. Instead, there is the domino effect. The three baskets under the large metal table here will have to be cleaned out. Books will go down to the cellar to make the room less cluttered, but I’ll have to put up shelves for those books and clean the cellar to make room for the shelves. I’ll need a dumpster. The cellar is the repository of anything I no longer use. Most of what’s there can be tossed, but I’ll have to hire someone for the heavier stuff, maybe a couple of someones. I’ll need bins for storage on those shelves which I don’t have yet. I’ll probably need hooks from the ceiling for my bike and some of the more awkward items.

First I dusted then I wet mopped then I bought a new couch. After that, I winnowed stuff from the baskets in this room and finally moved on to reorganizing and cleaning the cellar; however, all of that, except for the dusting, is from my imagination where I choose to keep it because winter is not the time for cleaning. That would be in spring. Until then I’m very good at doing nothing and waiting, especially the doing nothing part.