Posted tagged ‘lovely day’

“Adding kidney beans to his cottage cheese and pineapple was an act of bravery Dave had not intended.”

August 28, 2015

We are blessed with another lovely day, sunny but cool.

In the Cape Times was an article about the cranberry. The article explained how the cranberry is one of only three native fruits, the others being the blueberry and the Concord grape. It is close to cranberry harvesting time which usually starts in late September. I have sometimes been lucky enough to happen upon a harvest, always a wet harvest. I love seeing those beautiful red fruits floating in the water. The color is extraordinary.

There are two kinds of harvests: the wet and the dry. In the water harvest, the bogs are flooded the night before. The next day a paddle boat of sorts churns the water. The berries are dislodged and float to the surface because they are hollow inside then they are gathered together and finally loaded onto trucks. The other sort is a dry harvest. A mechanical picker acts a bit like a lawnmower and combs the berries off the vine and deposits them in burlap bags hanging off the harvester. The best berries come from the dry harvest.

Once my brother, urged on by me, ate a red berry. It was poisonous and he had to have his stomach pumped. Now it makes me wonder who was the first to try cranberries or anything growing wild. I can imagine it now: the circle stands around the tribesman who volunteered. He takes a few berries, chews then swallows. The circle waits to see if he’ll survive. If he doesn’t, that’s one more berry crossed off the list. I’d watch the birds. I read it is safe to eat what they eat.

In Ghana I saw pineapples and bananas growing. I thought it was kind of neat to see them, not many chances around here. The pineapples surprised me. I figured their weight kept them close to the ground, but I was amazed to see them standing tall in the middle of a plant, one fruit to each plant. Bananas grow just like I imagined.

I like fresh cranberries and cranberry sauce from the can. I have made my own sauce but I have a warm spot for the canned sauce with the decorative rings. I love pineapples and bananas.

I would never volunteer to taste a berry.

“Babies have big heads and big eyes, and tiny little bodies with tiny little arms and legs. So did the aliens at Roswell! I rest my case.”

July 25, 2015

It would seem a bit egocentric to believe we are it in this universe. Those science fiction movies about aliens can’t all be make-believe though I admit most of the the aliens are a bit much, totally unrealistic, in the looks department, but I digress so it’s back to the news. What has happened is the plot of one of those movies is bumping into real life. At the start of the movie Battleship, the scientist notes that they have found a planet in orbit around a sun almost equidistant from its sun as we are from ours. They speculate it has conditions similar to Earth’s and could sustain life. They are sending a beacon to that planet from a communications array in Hawaii; of course, the aliens directed by the beacon find Earth and set out to conquer it. We defeat the aliens, no surprise there. Okay, here’s real life: scientists have discovered an Earth like planet orbiting its sun just a bit further away from its sun than we are from ours. It is the third planet from the sun. Sound familiar? I’m thinking no beacon.

Today is an on again off again sunny day. Earlier it was all sun then all clouds. Now the sun is making a return engagement. The day feels pleasant, no humidity. It is in the mid 70’s. Tonight will be cooler, perfect for sleeping. It is also movie night. We are going to watch Breaking Away. My friends who were apparently brought up in closets haven’t ever seen it. I’m going to buy movie candy: Junior Mints and Malted Milk Balls and they’ll be popcorn.

Everything this morning is very quiet. I don’t even hear a mower. When I was a kid, my neighborhood was never quiet. Every house had multiple children so the place overflowed with kids. The little kids stayed close to home and played in the backyard. I can still see my two sisters sitting on the back steps playing with their dolls. The rest of us were nomads traveling for the sake of traveling. We had the world to explore.

“My first car was a motorcycle.”

July 23, 2015

Today is lovely with very little humidity and a cooling breeze. I slept in until nearly 10 o’clock. Last night I was tired so I went to bed early (for me) but was still awake at 3. To pass the time I watched a movie on my iPad, A Foreign Field. I kept thinking I’d finish it in the morning, but I watched it through to the end.

A flicker, a bird I haven’t seen in a long while, and a huge woodpecker were the stars this morning at the bird feeders. The usual complement of birds also dropped by, but they, especially the chickadee, looked tiny compared to the flicker. The red spawn hasn’t been by in a long while. I think it has to do with the spawn having gotten caught a few times inside the wire feeder while the full brunt of the jet spray of the nozzle was directed at it. The spawn just couldn’t escape fast enough to avoid the spray.

In Ghana, during my second year, Peace Corps relaxed its rules and allowed us to buy motorcycles. I bought a small motorcycle, a Honda 90. It was designed for modesty, with no middle bar, perfect for me as I had to wear dresses all the time. I learned the gears and the brake when I bought the moto, as it is called it in Ghana, and then rode it over 100 miles from Tamale to Bolgatanga. It was exhilarating. I loved the road and the wind on my face. The bugs were not so welcome. I learned to be exhilarated without smiling. A few inhaled bugs and a choke or two taught me that lesson. I rode along singing out loud to pass the time. I figure a few villagers told stories later about the crazy baturia (white woman) on the moto screeching as she rode.

The road home was a good one, paved all the way. It was called the road to Bolga and it went straight there so I never worried about getting lost. The ride was a long one so I stopped to stretch my legs and once I bought a warm coke at a store along the road. Kids from villages beside the road followed a bit and waved. I was even comfortable enough driving by then to wave back. When I got to the school gate, I honked so the gateman would let me in. He smiled a toothless grin and pointed to my bike. I smiled back and nodded.

I would love to have another motorcycle, but I dare not given how often I bang my leg or fall up or down stairs. Traffic here goes far too fast and hugging the sides of the road is a recipe for disaster. I’m liable to hit a giant rock or branch or have something from the sky fall directly on my head, such is my luck.

“I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.”

May 31, 2015

Clouds dot the sky this cool morning. A breeze comes and goes. The sunlight is bright. Today is another in a string of perfectly lovely days.

I didn’t do much yesterday other than potting a plant. Today I’ll plant the rest of my new flowers and sweep the deck. I do have to get a few things to make my dessert for game night, and I’ll go shortly. The morning is the best time to shop once the tourists arrive.

Last night I watched To Kill a Mockingbird. It is among my favorites and a superb movie. I used to teach the novel to ninth graders. Prior to their reading it, I gave my students a sense of the time and the place, essentials to understanding the events of the novel. Usually my kids were pulled into the book, and they found they liked reading it despite themselves. For some it was the first novel they ever finished. I remember how indignant they were with the outcome of the trial. Their senses of right and wrong were dependent on circumstances, not race or color.

My first encounter with a person of color was when I was three. My mother and I were in an elevator at a Sears, the big Sears near Fenway Park which has been closed a long time. Three of us were alone in an elevator, the other person being a woman of color. I had only seen white people all my life so I asked my mother about the woman’s color. The woman took offense and started screaming and calling us names like white crackers and white trash. My mother was embarrassed. I was scared. I didn’t understand why she was screaming. I was only three.

I don’t remember what my mother said to me afterwards, but whatever it was both comforted and reassured me, just what I needed right then.

“Space is disease and danger wrapped in darkness and silence.”

May 24, 2015

If I were prone to burst out in song, I’d be singing Oh What a Beautiful Morning. The sun is squint your eyes bright, and it’s warm even bordering on hot. I have already been busy. I potted the last of the deck plants and polished the old silver butter knives with the names of the herbs on them then stuck them in the planters.

The deck is still a mess from the last rain storm, but I’m hoping I can get my landscaper’s guy to blow it clean and save me the sweeping. I have an errand today in a bit as I’m making appetizers for game night tonight and need a couple of ingredients for the brie and strawberries, mostly brie and strawberries.

Gracie had a tough night so we were up until 2:30. I don’t know what she ate but she had indigestion again. I gave her sea grass and it did the trick though I needed to do the clean-up, but that’s a small price to pay for a happy dog.

Every now and then I have a craving for something salty. When I do, I am reminded of the episode from the original Star Trek about Nancy, the shape-shifting salt fiend. Kirk, McCoy and a red-shirted crewman go down to the planet to administer physicals to the two inhabitants, Nancy and her husband. Well, it doesn’t take long until red shirt dies. That is a rule in Star Trek-all red shirts are doomed. Two more crew members beam down, both wearing red shirts. Nancy kills them then shape shifts into one of them and goes back to the Enterprise. Well, Nancy isn’t Nancy-she is a salt sucking fiend who attacks Kirk, but McCoy kills her before she can suck all the salt and kill him. I don’t use much salt but when I do, thoughts of Nancy come to mind.

“November always seemed to me the Norway of the year.”

November 10, 2014

Today is a lovely fall day with a slight breeze, mottled light shining through the backyard branches and birds at all the feeders. It is a quiet day. I don’t even hear cars. I do hear the snoring, especially Gracie’s. She seems herself. The next test for her is Saturday.

I have to buy cat food and litter today so Gracie and I will be out and about later. I also need some cold cuts so I can keep hiding the horse-sized pill she takes each morning.

I have started my Christmas shopping. Everything I’ve bought is on one of the guest room beds so I have to start checking what’s there and making a list of what I need. My sister in Colorado never helps. I ask and she says she’ll have to think about it. That drives me crazy. My other sister usually has one big item in mind and always asks if it is too expensive. It never is. The best part of Christmas presents is getting something you really want. I may drive my sister crazy this year as I have nothing in mind. I’ll just let her surprise me.

The three boys are getting Hess trucks for one of their gifts. They get one every year. The baby will only be 5 months by Christmas, but I figured I’d start his collection. Both babies got hand-knit stockings already, and I have ordered each of them a wooden box containing three handmade ornaments including Baby’s First Christmas. Kids are easy. Adults seldom are. To some I give magazine subscriptions including Afar, Smithsonian, Bon Appetit and Yankee. They are always a big hit as gifts. I’ll also do some hunting in local stores as I love to find different and off-beat gifts, and there are a few stores I can always count on for something special.

Well, my back is horrific today. I did too much yesterday. That’s always the way with me. It happens all the time. I am a slow learner.

“I couldn’t help thinkin’ if she was as far out o’ town as she was out o’ tune, she wouldn’t get back in a day.”

September 7, 2014

The rain arrived sometime after 1:30. At 5 I woke up and could hear drops hitting the window. I don’t know how long it rained, but it rinsed away all the humidity and heat. This morning is a delight. The deck is dappled with sunlight. The air is dry and cool. All the windows and doors are open letting in the feel and smell of fresh air. Gracie is sleeping on the rug by the front door. She knows a good thing.

I sing but am always off tune. I wish I weren’t. Mostly I sing at home or in the car. I never sing in front of people. In the third grade I was told to mouth the words during the May procession. I was eight. Luckily that never dampened my love for music. I still remember that nun, Sister Eileen Marie, who was one of my favorites until that fateful practice. She was the only nun who let my dog stay in the classroom when he followed me to school. With other nuns, I had to leave school to take him home which was actually sort of fun. It was permission to take a field trip of my own, just the dog and me. My mother was always surprised.

Duke slept on a rug on the floor under the clock. Our classroom was in the cellar of the rectory as the school had run out of rooms and no one knew except us that Duke was allowed to stay. I thought that pretty neat, like we had a mascot. We had tables instead of desks, and the windows were high up and small like cellar windows are. We entered through a door beside the garage as the cellar was mostly above ground. We were the only class not in the school, and I loved having a private room. I loved the tables and folding chairs instead of desks. We piled our books and supplies in front of us down the middle of the tables. We had our own bathrooms: one for girls and one for boys and it was one at a time like a real bathroom. There were no bells. In the old building a student would stand on the top floor and ring a hand bell to tell us to change subjects, eat lunch or go home. In the cellar we kept an eye on the clock especially as we got closer to the end of the school day. We didn’t want to stay an extra minute.

The next year we were back in the old building on the top floor. We were one among many. It just wasn’t as fun.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,139 other followers