Posted tagged ‘sun’

“Maybe lots of people go through life never knowing they’re peculiar.”

January 18, 2018

The sun is brightly shining, but it is only in the 20’s. Warmer weather is predicted for  the weekend when it will be in the 40’s which, at this time of year, seems more like a heatwave. I’m thinking flannel shirt weather.

The rhythm of winter life is slow. I sleep in every morning, linger over coffee and the papers and take my time getting dressed though sometimes I don’t even get dressed. I just loll.

I need to fill the bird feeders. They have been empty since the snow as I didn’t want to venture onto the deck for fear of falling, but yesterday’s rain uncovered a good portion of the deck so today I’ll haul out the seeds and fill all the feeders including the two suet feeders. I’ll  also throw millet seeds under the deck for the doves.

I used the top of Gracie’s crate for storage of sorts. I put her food, all her treats, cat food, both canned and dry, bird seeds and my flashlight on it. Now all of that is on chairs and on the top of the dining room table. My house is filled so I haven’t anywhere to put them, and it’s driving me crazy which, I suppose, isn’t all that difficult. For instance: I can’t stand crooked pictures no matter where I am. One picture in my house never stayed straight. I was driven crazy until I bought some blue clay like stuff meant to keep pictures in place. It helped me regain my sanity. Once, in a novel I was reading, an already dead character carried on a conversation, quite a lively conversion too for a corpse. The editor had missed it. That one I couldn’t resist. I had to replace the dead character’s name. My sister read the book after me and laughed when she saw the correction. My slippers are always side by side halfway under my bed when I’m not wearing them. My shoes have no particular spots and they stay where they landed when I kicked them off my feet. My bedspread needs to be even, but not the top sheet. I just tuck away the long side. My towels have to be folded in a certain way. When I’m inside, I dress comfortably. I don’t care if my clothes are tattered or if they don’t even match. I do chuckle at the thought of my passing in such an ensemble. I suspect I’d be referred to as the peculiar old lady who lived alone with her animals though I think that might even be a compliment.

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“Memories are like a garden. Regularly tend the pleasant blossoms and remove the invasive weeds.”

January 16, 2018

I woke up to the sun and a blue sky, but I knew it was just the sun with light, no warmth. The temperature is 33˚. My feet crunched on the grass when I went to get the papers. The dusting from yesterday’s snow has frozen. Nothing will melt. The snow covers the ice. I’m careful.

I don’t remember much about being really little. I have only fleeting pictures in my memories. I remember the nursery school where I lasted a single day. It was a brick building covered in ivy and was across the street from our apartment building. My mother told me I cried so much the second day she never sent me again. That part I don’t remember. I remember the backyard. It was filled with clothes lines stretched from metal poles. They were in boxes outlined by chain link fences, and each apartment building had its own lines in its own box. I remember how the lines were surrounded by the brick buildings filled with apartments. The front of my building had steps which were in a small round row.

When I was five, we moved from the city to the town where I would grow up. I don’t remember moving, but I do remember exploring and being found by the police who said I was lost. I didn’t notice. My sister lives on the same street only a block away from where I was found. Coincidence is funny. I have no recollection of my first day of school, but I remember being terrified by Sister Redempta. Mrs. Kerrigan was my second grade teacher, and she was old. I remember flowered dresses and gray hair and seeing her walk across the street from the church to the house where she lived. Her apartment was on the second floor. I loved my nun in the third grade, Sister Eileen Marie, and I remember our classroom was in the cellar of the rectory. I remember tables and chairs instead of desks, and I know I sat on the outside of a table toward the back of the room. I was eight that year. Going to school in the cellar was a sort of adventure.

From then on, my memories are more vivid, but they are fragmented as my memory drawers are nearly full. I cram the most recent memories way in the back of the drawer almost in a pile. I figure it is a good thing when I have sloth days as there is nothing memorable, nothing to keep in mind except warmth, comfort and a good book.

“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

January 13, 2018

My house is quiet, emptier. I keep expecting Gracie to be sleeping on her part of the couch. I know missing her will get easier, but right now it isn’t. I think dogs make us better people.

The rain poured last night. I was treated to the pounding of rain on the roof and the howling of the wind. It was weather from a Vincent Price movie. When I got up around 3 or 4, it was still raining. I fell back to sleep, and at 10, when I woke up, the rain was gone. Now it is sunny with the blue sky as a backdrop. Today will be warm. Tonight will be freezing, only in the 20’s. The weatherman described it as a quick freeze. It will be cold the rest of the week.

All of Christmas is packed away until next year. Leandro and Roseana came to clean but did so much more. Lee took down my tree and put it outside. He brought my pine tree down the cellar. He and Roseana rid the living floor of pine needles though we all know they never really disappear. One or two will pop up every few days. Lee took Gracie’s crate to the cellar leaving a huge, open space behind.

Last night my friends took me out to dinner. We went to a Thai restaurant, Bangkok Kitchen, new to all of us. It was tiny and had only 8 tables and all of them were filled. People were waiting. After tasting the food, I knew why there were no empty tables. I had a dish called Massaman Yellow Curry. It was assorted vegetables and roasted peanuts in a coconut massaman curry sauce. The coconut drew me right away. It was a great choice: the dish was a delight.

My dance card is empty for the weekend. I’ll watch the Pats play Tennessee tonight but that ‘s as far in the future as I’ve gone.

“We all have our time machines. Some take us back, they’re called memories. Some take us forward, they’re called dreams.”

January 9, 2018

That sun is back in favor with me. It is here again, and it brought along the blue sky. Outside is warm at 41˚. Very little snow is left, only piles along the sides of the road from the plowing. Those piles are ugly, pockmarked and dirty. Snow has a short shelf life once the sun appears.

When I began to think of snow as a nuisance, I was caught in a dichotomy. I still loved to watch the flakes fall and would turn on the outside lights so I could see the snow, but I didn’t want the flakes to touch the ground; I didn’t like shoveling, and I didn’t like cleaning off the car. There I was caught in the middle where I still stay sit.

I watch TV, not as much as Chance the Gardener, but I watch. I also bitch and moan. Even with a zillion stations, I sometimes find nothing to watch. HGTV is one of my stations of last resort. I’ve watched so much I can now throw around phrases like curb appeal, focal point and window treatment. I know to look for hardwood floors, a master suite, a farmer’s sink, stainless steel, tile and granite or its ilk. Mirrors will make the room look bigger. Neutral colors are best.

I am getting forgetful; it’s a matter of aging. My word retrieval skills are blunted. I get distracted and forget what I wanted in the first place. Mnemonics have become my best friends, and I use my mother’s trick of going through the alphabet. Most times that works. My spelling skills often take a vacation. I wonder about the spelling of a word, and the longer I look, the stranger the word looks. I could use spell check but that only makes it worse. I figure given the way I’m going my lists will soon be scrolls furled because of their lengths.

It always amazes me that I am the age I am. I don’t feel old. I don’t think old. At least as far as I can remember.

“It doesn’t matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was.”

January 7, 2018

This morning felt almost balmy at 7˚. The wind was gone, and the sun was breaking through the clouds and bringing blue sky with it. Gracie took her time, another weather indicator, and I didn’t mind. The long term weather says a heat wave is coming starting tomorrow when it will be 39˚. By Friday, it will be 50˚. It will also be rainy but I don’t care. 50˚ trumps rain.

This is a morning of black and white science fiction. I first watched The Behemoth from 1959. The special effects gave me a chuckle especially when the Behemoth upended the ferry. Toy cars fell into the Thames. Once the Behemoth was on land, the fun began. The same car got flattened twice. In the crowd scenes, I kept an eye on an old lady wearing a white hat. I saw the same scene twice with the old lady front and center, and she appeared later in a couple of other scenes. That old lady could run. Screams took the place of action. You had to imagine what was happening. The ending was no ending. It was a radio report of thousands of dead fish on the shore of some US state: I forget which. That meant another behemoth.

Them is on now. It is one of my favorites. “No place for you or any other woman,”  was an acceptable comment in 1954. It was said to the woman scientist who insisted on going  into the giant ant hole as she had the necessary knowledge to identify the ants. She also has a wardrobe of several hats, necessities in 1954. The film has some great scenes of real ants. What I love in these movies are the street scenes, the cars and the women’s clothes. Leonard Nimoy has a bit part with a couple of lines. Fess Parker also has a small part but with far more lines. I know what’s going to happen, but I’m glad to watch anyway.

Sunday mornings have always been my favorites ever since I was young. I wasn’t big on going to church, but some Sundays I didn’t mind so much as I’d go with my dad, the usher. I had to wear a dress or a skirt because that’s what girls and women wore in the 50’s to church. My father wore a suit with a white shirt and and a tie knotted in a full Windsor. In the winter he added an overcoat and a fedora. He wore tie shoes which he polished every Saturday night. It was one of his rituals to pull out the can of polish, the rag and the brush. I remember he always spit into the can. It never seemed disgusting to me. The bristles of the old wooden brush were black from all the polish. My father always brushed the tips of his shoes first.

It’s funny what memories stick with us. I can see that shoe brush and the can of polish.  I remember my father holding a shoe with one hand inside it while he held the brush with his other hand. The brush went back and forth and back and forth vigorously. My father would stop, check the shine then shift the shoe and start to shine another part, back and forth again. When I visited, he always asked me if my shoes needed to be polished. They always did. I made sure of it. It was a connection to my father I still hold dear.

“And people who don’t dream, who don’t have any kind of imaginative life, they must… they must go nuts. I can’t imagine that.”

January 6, 2018

The sun is shining and the sky is blue. Both are tempting me to get out of the house, but I’m not going to take the bait. It is freezing and no sun or blue sky will help. I did go out with Gracie as she is quite unsteady. When she was done, we both hurried inside to the warmth. I gave Gracie and Maddie chicken this morning as Gracie didn’t eat her dog food yesterday and only had a little the day before. I got worried that she isn’t eating, but she did manage to eat all the chicken, a Christmas snowman biscuit and a beef treat. She is fine, just picky.

I gave in and did two loads of laundry yesterday and brought up a load which has been sitting in the dryer since Christmas. I didn’t bring up either of the new loads, but I did take them out of the dryer and fold them. I also put away more Christmas. The snowmen and the tree remain, and there are boxes in the kitchen which need to go down stairs but not yet. The ornament box has to be at the bottom of the pile.

Tonight will be an actual 0˚. I don’t know how much cold the wind chill will add. Winter is having its way.

For some reason, I have been a night owl of late. I don’t really mind as I can sleep in or I can set Alexa for an alarm if I have to be somewhere. Most nights I keep busy by puttering around the house, playing on the computer, reading or watching TV. Last night it was mostly reading.

Winter seems the season for dreaming. We are stuck inside, victims of the weather, and our minds take us worlds away. I plan trips, even check out flights. That I haven’t the money never limits the planning. I read through recipes and choose menus for dinners I will probably never give. It’s the fun of the hunt which draws me. I make a list of summer party themes and think about the decorations. I read adventure novels, science fiction and mysteries. The other sorts I leave for summer when the world is bright.

I keep my travel documents and even my shots up to date. You never know if someone might knock on the door and tell me to grab my passport and let’s go. I’ve seen it in the movies, and I want to be ready.

“Stars of heaven, clear and bright, Shine upon this Christmas light, Vaster far than midnight skies Are its timeless mysteries.”

December 19, 2017

Last night it rained. The snow became pockmarked by the raindrops then most of it disappeared. The last of the snow is soft and wet. It was cloudy this morning, but I can see blue sky now and a hint of sunshine. Today is already 49˚ but it will be cold again tonight.

When I was a kid, the closer we got to Christmas the more difficult it was for me to breathe. I was in a constant state of excitement with all the Christmas doings. I loved the late afternoon when my brother and I raced to turn on the window candles. The best, a five candle tier, was in the picture window. It had all orange bulbs. The candles were sort of an off-white plastic, and most were taped to the window sill so they wouldn’t keep falling over from the weight of the bulbs. We had to screw the bulbs on as there were no switches. We had to screw them off as well, but we never raced for that. The bulbs were always hot to the touch. I used to lick my fingers before I touched the hot bulbs.

My mother kept us busy to distract us, to keep us calm, a huge undertaking. My favorite day was when we decorated sugar cookies. My mother made Santas, bells, trees and angels. She’d have bowls of white frosting and colored frosting in green, red and yellow. None of us were particularly talented. The trees were the easiest. I’d color them green, naturally, then I’d make strings of yellow and red lights. Santa was a bit more complicated because of the white pompom on his hat and his beard. The key was to frost the red parts first and try to leave space for the white. My Santas tended to look all the same. The angels got the yellow frosting. Sometimes we’d cover the whole cookie in white then we’d sprinkle with green or red or colored jimmies. That was usually when we had gotten tired and maybe a bit bored.

I always thought that at Christmas time everything seemed to look different, as if the world around me was covered by an aura. Even now I sometimes think that, especially at night when the air is clear and the sky star-lit and Christmas lights shine from the houses. Last night I went around and turned on my tree lights. In the kitchen I turned on the red pepper and scallop shell lights entwined around a shelf. I stood for a while enchanted by how lovely my house looks at night, how warm it is, how perfect for Christmas.