Posted tagged ‘spawns of Satan’

“Life is an adventure, it’s not a package tour.”

July 22, 2017

When I woke up, the day was bright and sunny, but it isn’t any more. Clouds have blanketed the sky. The weatherman claims those clouds will be intermittent, but I’m skeptical. A little rain would be welcomed, forecasted or not.

The spawns of Satan have mounted a new assault. They are chewing my outside lights. The gate had a trail of white lights coming from the giant star near the back door. Last night I noticed the trail had gone dark. I checked and found chewed wires. On the deck rail, two sets of colored lights have been chewed. I found bulbs from the newest set laying on the deck, chewed off the wire. The spawns seem to like the red bulbs, cementing their Satan connection. What perplexes me is those lights have been untouched for a couple of years. I’m guessing there’s a new spawn in the neighborhood. The next set of colored lights is here, but I haven’t put it on the deck rail yet. I’ve ordered a new white set. It’s crazy I guess. I’m beginning to feel like Sisyphus.

I went to Russia in the 1970’s. My friend and I took a train from Helsinki to Leningrad. We were in the last car. When it got to the border, the car was uncoupled and joined to a Russian train. A Russian train lady boarded our car. She brought us tea over and over throughout the trip. In Leningrad I learned there were two lines for taxis, one for women and children and the other for the rest of us. At the hotel they asked for our passports. Visions of the KGB jumped int my head. When I refused, I was told no hotel room so I gave in. Yup, I gave in that quickly. We had a tour guide. In those days everyone had a tour guide. We liked her. She brought us to the Hermitage Museum. Women sat in chairs in every room at the Hermitage, and it was the same in every museum. They also sat at the bottom of escalators in every metro station and on every floor in the hotels where we stayed. We saw the Winter Palace and Peterhof and the Peter and Paul Fortress. We saw a memorial commemorating the Siege of Leningrad. On buses, the honor system was in effect. At the hotel, the food was terrible. We went to a few Beryozka shops, which no longer exist, where you could buy Russian goods for hard cash. We bought snacks and some beautiful small wooden figures.

When it was time to move to our next stop, we got a new guide. We didn’t like her. She told us nothing and didn’t answer questions. We then got on the train which the Frenchman, a fellow tourist, likened to a cattle car in France. We were on to stop 2, a city on the Volga whose name I can’t remember for good reason. The tours in that city included a dental school and a publishing plant where they gave us all sorts of Lenin material. It was the worst.

We had more adventures, but I’ll save those for another day. I will say we had a spy who was uncovered in Moscow.

“Mosquitoes, how wonderful! No one puts them in cages or makes pets out of them.”

July 1, 2017

I am late again. This time I can’t blame my computer. It is my fault. It was close to 10:30 when I woke up then I had two papers to read and a couple of cups of coffee to drink before I could face the day. Last night I was restless and woke up several times. Gracie was the sleep disruptor twice, the first at 3:30. When we went outside, it was so dark I had to feel with my foot to figure out where we were: the grass or the driveway. Once back inside, I had to read a while before I could get back to sleep, back to my restless sleep. It’s no wonder I’m tired.

Today’s weather is like yesterday’s but with a breeze instead of a wind. The leaves at the end of the branches are waving but only slightly. I don’t hear my chimes.

Summer has officially started. The house next door has its first renters of the season. I heard them this morning. They weren’t loud but the open window a bit above the couch where I sleep faces their small deck and slider. I haven’t figured out how many are there yet, but I think there is only a single car.

My house is dark though the clouds are light-colored, not like storm clouds. I can feel the humidity. I’ve nothing planned for today but I might switch out the spawn eaten lights for the new ones I have. The spawns prefer red for chewing.

We didn’t have many organized summer activities when I was a kid. The playground under the trees on the field at the end of my street was about the only close place to spend a summer day. The pool was another spot, but it was about as far away from my house as you could get and still be in my town. Sometimes we’d bike ride to a pond in the next town and go fishing. The library was another place to spend some time before leaving with an armful of books. Other times we didn’t do anything but stay around the house.

My mother kept the living room dark. All the shades were down. She believed this was the best way to keep the house cool. We didn’t have AC back then, and we didn’t have any fans. Upstairs was a hot box. It took a while to fall asleep.

My father had an obsession about mosquitos. He always yelled for us to close the outside doors quickly; somehow, though, that didn’t work. My father hunted down mosquitos.  They were his prey. He had a rolled-up newspaper as his weapon of choice. He’d jump on beds to whack the mosquitos on the ceilings. He woke us up a lot when the beds rocked as he walked across the mattress swatting bugs. All the ceilings had smashed bug marks and a few splotches of blood. My father announced each kill, each triumph. He was a mighty hunter.

“You get what anybody gets – you get a lifetime.”

June 29, 2017

I have been sitting here cursing aloud since 11 am. My computer stuck on the WordPress starting page and refused to go any further. I shut it down a couple of times, but the restart was still stuck. I have renamed my computer Hal.

Gracie has become a Hobbit in her eating habits. She snacks when she wakes up, constantly demands treats when she comes inside the house and has already had her elevenses.  Her afternoon and evening meals will be starting soon.

The day is breezy and cloudy. Every now and then the sky lightens, but the clouds don’t disappear. Rain is not in the forecast through the weekend.

This morning kids screaming woke me up. It was the brood from down the street. They go out and play before the school bus comes. It seems their play must be accompanied by screams, not words, just screams. They left and I fell back to sleep.

Most of the caterpillars must now be Gypsy moths. There is much less poop on the deck. (That sounds a bit nautical, but then it is Cape Cod.) I’ll be glad when the deck stays clean. I watered all the flowers out there this morning. I haven’t yet put down the rug or started the fountain. They’re for another day.

The spawns of Satan are at it again. Last night I noticed my new lights on the end of the deck weren’t lit. I went to check this morning and found a couple of bulbs chewed off the strand. I’m only sorry the spawns weren’t shocked. I can visualize a cartoon spawn with a bolt of lightning through its body.

When I was a kid, the last day of school was always a half day. We did a bit of room cleaning then we sat around waiting to get our final report cards. Once we had the cards in hand, we all turned to the back side where it said promoted to on the bottom. That’s all we cared about, even more than grades, but then I didn’t know a single person who wasn’t promoted. Bad behavior and poor study habits were never tolerated by the nuns.

Today is a sloth day. I deserve it after two busy days. Leandro and Rosana are here cleaning the house. Lee also fixed a cabinet for me and hung a shelf. He is quite a talented fix-it-guy.

My larder is filled. I have choices for meals instead of having to scavenge through the fridge and the cabinets. I even had to rearrange to make room. Life is good!

“Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.”

February 23, 2017

Gracie and I were out and about yesterday. The weather was amazing. It was sunny and warm: sweatshirt weather. Today is much the same, and Gracie and I have a few errands: buying canned dog food at Agway, a few storage bins at Benny’s and my favorite sandwich at Buckies, number 14: bacon and cheddar with tomatoes, avocado, and horseradish sauce on a panini. Life is good.

Snow is still around on corners and in the shade, but it is warm enough that I can leave my inside doors open to the storm doors. Gracie goes in and out her dog door, and, best of all, she gets to watch the doings on the street from the front door. She sits and looks hoping for a bit of activity. Every now and then she barks. I check, and usually it’s someone walking a dog. Gracie does not like dogs walking on her street and makes no bones about it.

I have a new bird feeder, a bag of sunflower seeds, and two packs of suet. Cleaning the older feeders and filling them is on my to-do list for later. Loading my shotgun to attend to the spawns of Satan is next on the list (okay, I don’t have a gun, but I do wish the spawns would disappear).

I haven’t used real money in a while. The 3 dollars in my wallet are weeks old. Mostly I use my ATM to pay for stuff though sometimes I do use my credit card, mostly at the pharmacy. I don’t write many checks anymore. I pay my bills on line or have the amounts automatically deducted. I don’t really need much money. It seems to have gone out of style.

When I went to Ghana last fall, I brought some cash but mostly I used my ATM to get money as no one in the markets, the small stores and kiosks or the sides of the road take other than cash. I did use my ATM card at Zaina Lodge and my credit card in one large shop by the ocean in Accra. Money still counts in Ghana. I kept a pocketful.

Gracie is giving me the paw, her signal that it’s time to eat. I doubt she’ll accept that I have none left so I need to get going. Gracie want to eat!

“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.

“It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.”

June 29, 2014

The day is breathtakingly beautiful. My day lilies in the front garden have started to bloom with orange flowers tilted to the sun. The deck pots are awash with flowers, and the vegetables seem to double in height each day. Birds are plentiful at the sunflower feeders, and the grape jelly needs to be refilled. It seems the orioles have found their feeders. On the deck this morning were two grey spawns, two huge grey spawns, chasing one another. I watched them jump from chair to chair then jump off the deck to scurry up trees one after the other. I think love is in the air.

My neighbors at the other end of the street had company last night. Their voices carried through the chilly night air. I felt like an eavesdropper so I shut my windows, but those voices brought back a flood of memories of summer nights when I was a kid. All the neighborhood back doors faced each other from houses at the top and bottom of a tall grassy hill. I’d lie in bed on a summer night trying to fall asleep in the heat, and I could hear the neighbors. The closest neighbors had distinct voices, whole conversations, while those from up the hill seemed more like whispers. I’d hear the clink of dishes and silverware being washed. The houses were duplexes, and their floor plans were all the same. The sinks had windows above them and they all faced the hill. Soon enough, though, as the night got older, the sounds from the kitchens faded.

One of my bedroom windows faced the living room of the duplex beside ours where my Aunt Ruby, Uncle Billy and Cousin Susan lived for a while. I used to listen to their TV. Most nights it was the last sound I’d hear before I fell asleep.

My street is busy this week. The house beside me, the rental, has people. The other usually empty houses, all second homes, have owners down for the weekend or even the week with July 4th coming Friday. Mornings and evenings are noisier than I am used to, but I’ll adjust. Besides, I’ll be making my own noises soon enough when Saturday night movies on the deck begin. I can hardly wait for the premier.

“Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.”

January 10, 2014

The alarm went off at eight as it is breakfast Friday, the once a month get-together of women I worked with for years. I turned off the alarm, looked out the window, saw snow and went back to bed for another half hour. The breakfast is a come-if-you-can sort so I wasn’t expected. I’ll go next month.

The day is dreary. The snow, only a dusting, covers everything. Even the pines look sort of nice with their branches layered in snow. The birds were missing from the deck feeders during the coldest days, probably holed up in tight clumps of bushes or branches somewhere, but they returned in yesterday’s warmth, a word loosely used here, but they aren’t around again today. Only the red spawn was at the sunflower seeds. He does his trick of jumping from the deck rail to the squirrel buster feeder (note the feeder’s name), grabs a seed in flight then lands back on the rail to dine. I get crazed and usually chase him off the rail into the yard. I think I have him so paranoid that the door opening scares him right off the deck away from the seeds for most of the day. Banging my feet on the deck as I run at him probably helps too. I suspect the birds will return tomorrow when it is supposed to be 50˚.

I was all set for a dump run today, but now I’m not so sure. The dump is always cold with a strong wind which cuts to the bone, and I’ve had enough of bone-chilling cold this week. I’ll stave off my conscience by doing laundry, but if the afternoon looks better, Gracie and I can still do the dump run.

Christmas gives such color and brightness to the winter that I miss it terribly when it’s gone. I left my outside lights and my fake inside pine tree lit until the day after Little Christmas. My neighbors did the same. Now we have all gone dark except for my palm tree. It stands on deck near the backdoor and is bright green with a yellow trunk. My neighbors love my palm tree.

I crave color in winter. Even my winter wardrobe tends to be drab, utilitarian. The clothes are meant for warmth, not fashion. I could remedy that I suppose, but since my retirement I am seldom inclined to buy new clothes. I did buy a flannel shirt this winter, but that’s it. Maybe I’ll add a jaunty scarf in brilliant pink to my winter ensemble.