Posted tagged ‘Shopping’

“You can’t get too much winter in the winter.”

February 11, 2017

The tree is gone, reduced to its smaller pieces and stacked on the side of my yard. The lawn is covered in snow, sawdust, small sticks and pine needles. The only victim of that tree is one section of my front fence. It is standing only because it is propped by a pine branch. Come spring, it will be replaced.

Last night it snowed another inch or so. This morning, the car was covered as was the path from the house, around the tree to the car. The walkway got shoveled after the tree was gone so I can now use it to get to the car. As I have to go out today, that’s a good thing.

The day is in the high 30’s so some melting is happening. The roof line of my house has icicles hanging from it. They look pretty, almost like a postcard: Welcome to Winter in New England. Speaking of ice, I’ll have to remember to spread the meltaway on the front steps. It will get below freezing tonight.

The sky is gray and looks to be threatening rain. The snow always gets ugly when it rains. It becomes pock-marked then disappears from all but the huge piles left by the plows. The best day is the day after the snowstorm when the snow is still beautiful and clean and sparkles in the sun. That was yesterday.

My Christmas lights still come on every night. The centerpiece is the star with trails of lights. It shines from the top of my driveway fence. Last night my neighbor called to thank me for leaving the lights. She was surprised to see they had made it through the storm, but, if she had looked, she’d have seen them covered with snow but still shining through on the night of the storm. I love the lights. I just can’t take them down. They are my defense. They keep the darkness of the winter’s nights at bay.

“Here’s what we know about Santa. He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good. I think he’s with the NSA.”

December 22, 2016

I woke up to another dreary day and a very dark sky screaming rain. The weatherman agrees. Snow is predicted in some parts of the state, but we will be too warm, in the 40’s. Yesterday was the Solstice, the longest night of the year. By next week, we will be gaining a minute and a half of light a day then two minutes in February. That sounds so hopeful.

Christmas vacation begins today around here. I remember this last day and how excited the kids were, high school kids wearing Santa hats and sucking on candy canes. They used to sing Christmas carols at lunch, spontaneous outbursts from one table then another then on and on. The halls between classes were filled with cheer, with kids wishing each other a Merry Christmas. At the end of the day, the school emptied quickly. The festivities had begun!

I have errands today then cookie baking. I was out a long time yesterday, but I couldn’t finish my list. One store was closed so I have to go back today. I also have to go to the candy store and the grocery store. I’ll get everything I need so I won’t have to go out again between now and Christmas. (I’m laughing here. That will never happen. I’ll find out I need something else. I always do.)

The excitement started to get palpable around this time when I was a kid. The countdown was at two until Christmas Eve and three until that glorious morning, Christmas day. Every afternoon we watched Santa Claus at his workshop. I remember the channel was WMUR from New Hampshire. Santa talked to us as if he were in the room. He discussed all of the work being done by the elves to get ready to fill the sleigh. I don’t remember what he looked like, whether he had great whiskers or paltry whiskers, or if his voice was jolly. I just remember sitting on the rug and watching Santa.

We didn’t have a fireplace, but I was never in doubt that Santa would find his way to the living room and the tree. He was magical so nothing could stand in his way. I figured he just used the door, probably the front door. That the dog didn’t bark was just more of the magic. I figured Duke wagged his stubby Boxer tail and gave Santa lots of kisses.

It is when the questions appear that believing in Santa gets shaky. The how does he do it in one night is a biggy. It shows a bit of skepticism. I am five and seven years older than my sisters. I told them nothing after I found out and I even became part of the Santa conspiracy and teased them about the good or the naughty list. It was wistful for me.

“Christmas isn’t a parade or concert but a piece of home you keep in your heart wherever you go.”

December 2, 2016

Yesterday I expected to be welcomed home by a marching band playing and a couple of burly men waiting to carry my packages. I actually shopped for nearly three hours, a bit of a marathon for me. I had a list, and I finished it though it was close. I nearly gave up on the last item, but it was Gracie’s medicine so I went to CVS. The God of Parking was with me as I got a space directly across from the entrance. The line was long but I was patient. By the time I got home, I had set a new around town shopping record.

Two wreaths and a swag are sitting on the lawn. I think I’ll put them up today. My lights will be put up on Monday or Tuesday. I need to get my tree, probably Sunday. Meanwhile, the scrawny scrub pine artificial tree will take its place in the corner of the dining room. I’ll bring it upstairs when I bring my laundry down. Yup, it is still in the hall, and I have added to it. I don’t know what it is about laundry that makes me so loath to do it.

Yesterday, I was browsing the shelves looking for a bag for the Christmas tree. On one shelf, I saw stencils and a can of white spray for windows. Seeing them whisked me back in time to when I was a kid, and windows were covered with Santas and trees and bells. Our picture window was artfully stenciled by us taking turns. One would hold the stencil while the other sprayed. My fingers were covered in white by the time we were finished. My mother kept an eye to make sure we didn’t overdo. We’d run outside after spraying each stencil to see how it looked. We always thought they were perfect.

I remember the Christmas cards taped around the doorways, the colored candles in the windows, the tree in the corner with the hanging icicles, the Santa and Mrs. Santa salt and pepper shakers and the four small Santa cups which spelled out noel. I always said I got the N because I was the oldest.

“At the heel end of the day, I need my glass of wine. Christmas lights for the brain.”

November 25, 2016

Dinner was delicious yesterday, and I even brought home a doggy bag so they’ll be a dinner  of leftovers this evening. The restaurant was bustling when we arrived but quieted down as we sat and dined.

The day is cloudy as it has been seemingly forever. I don’t remember the last time I saw the sun. The temperature has been in the high 40’s, but without the sun, it seems colder. The trees are bare with only a few brown leaves clinging to the ends of branches. Winter is coming with all its starkness.

Some houses have their outside colored lights lit, and I saw a few Christmas trees through living room windows as we drove home last night. One strand of lights on my deck rail comes on every night. It is my way to beat back the darkness, but within the next week or two, all my outside Christmas lights will be put up on the fence, the gate and the deck to brighten the night. I need to buy a few wreaths, one for the door, one for the front gate and one for the fence off the deck.

Gracie and Maddie are napping. Neither of them was good company last night. They had no problem sleeping the night away. Gracie woke me up this morning by tapping the mattress near my head with her paw. That dog has no patience. I, of course, got up to let her outside. I don’t toy with a dog needing out.

I will avoid going out today because of the shopping crowd and the uninviting weather. Tomorrow I’ll do some local shopping for small stocking type gifts. Sunday will be dump day. I didn’t get to sleep until after 3:30 this morning. I have no idea why this sudden insomnia. I entertained myself by watching the new Anne of Green Gables, Star Trek Deep Space Nine and by looking through catalogues and magazines. I cut out recipes and dog-eared pages with interesting stories. I found a few neat things to order. I like shopping in my comfy clothes from my warm house.

“Leaves leave this world in beautiful fall colors and songs.”

November 5, 2016

I have returned. My computer is working just fine; Gracie is outside barking, and I am in a far better mood. I went to the ATM and got $100.00. I then got gas as the little gas pump had appeared, and finally, I went to a vintage/handicrafts fair. Now I have $10.00 and several bags. Spending money and buying presents were just what I needed to get me out of that funk. I bought Christmas presents and a few stocking stuffers. I still need bread and cream, maybe later.

Today was another lovely day. If I were a kid, I’d want to jump into a pile of leaves. It’s just that sort of day.

I remember the piles of leaves up and down the street on a Saturday afternoon. All the fathers raked on Saturdays as if it were a rule. My dad had a bamboo rake. I remember he had a pattern to his raking. He’d leave a few small piles here and there then join them into a giant pile he’d rake then sweep to the street. After that was the burning. I loved the smell of burning leaves, and I loved to watch them burn. First came smoke in the middle of the pile then they’d be a small flame. My dad watched and monitored the burning. He always warned us not to get too close, but we got as close as we dared. After the burning, I loved how my jacket always smelled like the smoke.

Turning the clock back means I get an extra hour of sleep, but then again I figure I am just getting the hour which was taken in March. I still don’t get the need for daylight saving time. It seems you can pick and choose which seems to complicate the whole time thing. Hawaii and most of Arizona don’t observe daylight savings (the exception is the Navajos, who do observe daylight saving time on tribal lands). Throw it out is my advice.

I wore a flannel shirt outside today, and I was plenty warm. I thought about adding a vest, but sometimes I live dangerously.

“I may just be on the outskirts of being okay.”

November 3, 2016

Neither of my two newspapers had the results of the game last night so it’s a good thing I stayed up until the end. This game 7 of the World Series had everything: a come from behind team who tied the game, a rain delay and extra innings. It was exciting. I was happy for the Cubs. They reminded me of the Red Sox who had gone so long before winning a series. They also had former Sox players and Theo Epstein who guided this, his second, team to a spectacular win.

I slept late this morning, a mirror under the nose late. It was eleven before Gracie and I woke up, but it didn’t matter. My routine stayed the same. I put the coffee on, went to get the papers and yesterday’s mail, came back inside, greeted Maddie and gave her morning treats, filled Gracie’s dry food dish, changed the dog’s water, put bread in the toaster, got coffee and my toast then sat down to read the papers. By this time it was closer to 12 than 11.

Gracie and I are going out today. I have a few errands I can do and a few places where I can shop. I am in the mood. It’s been a while since I last shopped just for the sake of shopping.

I’m finding myself talking out-loud more and more. Usually I start my conversations by naming Gracie or Maddie so it seems as if I am actually chatting with my pets. Maddie tends to ignore me. She even keeps her back to me. Sometimes I clap to make sure she hasn’t gone deaf overnight. So far she is just ignoring me, doing that superiority of a cat thing. Gracie is a wonderful conversationalist though she doesn’t say a word. She looks into my eyes the whole time I’m talking. She cocks her head every now and then which makes me think she might have a question. I don’t usually explain. I end most conversations with Gracie by patting her, a thank you for listening. Maddie just walks away.

 

“Sometimes our stop-doing list needs to be bigger than our to-do list.”

July 18, 2016

The gypsy moths are everywhere. They are brown and small. They flit from spot to spot. When I opened the back door for Gracie to go out, there were three hanging around the screen, but they didn’t stay long. The males are hunting for a mate and are flying to find the females who are too heavy to fly. The female moths exist only to reproduce once with the male moths  After they lay their eggs, moths of both sexes then die. I figure it is no wonder that they spend so much time flitting.

I am still in my house behind closed windows and doors with the AC at full blast. It is far too humid to be out. The forecast is for a heavy thunderstorm tonight. I am skeptical.

Going to the market is on my short to do list. I am out of bread and fruit. Watermelon is my favorite fruit right now. It is perfect for hot summer days. When I was a kid, my mother gave us slices. We had to eat it outside as watermelon slices are messy mostly because the rind always curved because the watermelon was oval. My cheeks got wet from the juice, and it often dripped down my arm. I read that the Japanese started growing square watermelons about ten years ago. I first I thought how strange they’d be then I realized the shape doesn’t matter. It’s the fruit inside. I also need bananas as I have a new box of Corn Flakes, a boring cereal which definitely needs a lot of help.

When I still worked, I had far less time but got everything done. On the weekend, I grocery shopped, went to the dump, did my laundry, changed my bed, watered the plants, prepared lessons and corrected papers. Now I am the queen of delay. When I do a single chore on any day, I feel accomplished. My laundry has been leaning against the cellar door for a few days. I don’t care. Maybe tomorrow I’ll do a wash. But then again, maybe I won’t.