Posted tagged ‘sun’

“Coffee first. Save the world later.”

August 20, 2017

The morning is just so beautiful with a bright, bright sun, the bluest of skies and a slight breeze, deck weather for sure. It is already getting hot, an August heat, but the deck has branches hanging over it and an umbrella to keep the sun at bay. Tonight is movie night.

My next door neighbors barbecue every Sunday. He cooks, and it is always chicken wings, just plain chicken wings, no sauce, no sides. I can usually smell the wings cooking so I go outside to yell hello from my deck to theirs. They always invite me over.

As soon as I wake up, I look forward to my first sip of coffee. I can hear it dripping into the carafe, and the house fills with the aroma of that coffee brewing. My sense of smell works overtime. I impatiently wait and sometimes even stand in the kitchen to watch. I could take it mid-brew, but I choose to wait, to heighten the expectation.

Recently I’ve been drinking African blend which is a bit funny as I never had real coffee in Ghana, only instant. I got used to it but was never a fan. On my last trip, my friends brought coffee bags, and they tasted far better than the instant, but we had had real coffee at Zania Lodge which spoiled me a bit; however, I adjusted to the instant though my taste buds were severely disappointed.

My house is a full cape which means it has two front windows on each side of the door. In the back, there is a dormer which gives my house three floors in the back but only one floor in the front. My deck is off the second floor in the back. I like being suspended above the ground.

I have to go out to get the fixings for tonight’s movie food. We’re having a jalapeño dip with blue corn chips and maybe a Stromboli. I have the ingredients for that on my shopping list, but oftentimes my trip to the store means seeing something already made which looks delicious so I change the menu right then and there. I’m nothing if not flexible.

“Life is more fun if you play games.”

August 13, 2017

The rain fell most of the day yesterday. Sometimes it was heavy and other times just misty. When I first woke up this morning, it was cloudy. When I woke up a second time, it was still cloudy but the sun poked through a couple of times giving me some hope for a nice day. It will be warm, low 80’s, but less humid.

Gracie and I did a couple of errands yesterday. We took 6A, but it too was filled with traffic, tourists looking to while away the rainy day.I learned in Ghana to see the bugs as protein I stopped at the candy store to get some peanut butter cups and chocolate peppermints for movie night. That shop was filled with more people than I’ve ever seen in there. I guess there is no better cure for a rainy day than chocolate. Actually, chocolates are a panacea for whatever ails us.

The other evening I was having a bowl of cereal, Rice Krispies, when I noticed a small bug swimming on top of the cereal. I flicked it out of the bowl and kept eating. I learned in Ghana to see bugs in my food, especially flour, as added protein. It is one of the strange things I learned.

I like Life Savers, but my favorites are made by Reed’s, root beer closely followed by cinnamon. Wintergreen is my favorite flavor of Life Savers. In a package I got in Ghana from my mother were a few rolls of Life Saver’s tropical fruits. I guess she figured they were a fun choice. The colors were the same as the fruit colors, even that green of honeydew melons and the light orange of cantaloup. The coconut was my favorite. We sat one night guessing all the fruits. It was our evening’s entertainment. It didn’t take much to amuse us.

My friends and I play games once a week. In the winter it is on Sunday night then we watch The Amazing Race which was DVR’d on Friday. We didn’t like it on Friday so we continued with Sunday. Creatures of habit I guess. Now it is Saturday night, movie night. We have some appetizers then play Phase 10 before the movie. If we have time, mostly in the winter, we also play Sorry. We never seem to tire of either game. We even keep a list of winners from each week. There is usually a bit of gloating. I was the gloater last week.

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

August 11, 2017

The early morning was cool. Gracie wanted out before six so out we went. It was quiet. My newspapers hadn’t yet been delivered. Gracie finished her business, and when we came back inside, both of us fell back to sleep.

The sky is gray for a while then the sun breaks though for a short time, but the grey clouds never quite disappear. The sun does. The humidity is returning today.

Next door is still noisy but not as much as yesterday. The digging has stopped. The rest of the neighborhood is quiet. Even the birds aren’t singing. I figure they feel as oppressed by the clouds as I do. It seems to be getting darker though rain is not in the forecast.

I haven’t anything to do today. My house is clean, the laundry isn’t worth washing, too few clothes, and I don’t need any groceries. I suppose I could clean things like the bookcases filled with stuff, but I figure that’s over the top and good for a winter’s day. The downstairs plants do need watering so I guess I’ve found something to do. Hurrah!

I’m seeing commercials for survival food good for 25 years. I’m going to pass.

Many of the commercials are aimed at my generation because we, the baby boomers, are a bulge on the population chart and are so much older now. Today I watched one for the stair climber. Reverse mortgage is Tom Selleck’s ad. Another one is for insurance to pay off all the bills left when you die. Local Cape ads tout retirement communities with all the amenities including a doctor on call. AARP is all over the dial, okay not the dial but the remote though it doesn’t matter, you get the idea. I chuckle at the commercials for Consumer Cellular. Every actor is older, my age older, as in the older woman who reminds us we had to go to the library to look up stuff. She uses her cell phone for a walk in a field with her friends, a GPS app I figure, and says we can learn new technology. I’m so glad to hear that!

“An optimist is a fellow who believes a housefly is looking for a way to get out.”

May 27, 2017

We have some blue sky and a sun which can’t quite make up its mind about coming or going. It is also chilly, not a morning chill: it’s just cold.

My dance card is empty today. I do have some Gracie stuff to wash but nothing else. Yesterday’s amazing spurt of industry has left me with nothing needing doing except to put my banners and flags on the fence.

The lawns are green and lush from the rain. Even the leaves seem to glint in the sun which seems to have made up its mind and is staying for the duration. I’ll go on the deck later and empty the water from the furniture covers hoping they’ll dry so they can be put away for the season. Next week is buy my flowers and open the deck week.

My neighborhood is eerily quiet for a Saturday. Once in a while the dogs across the street bark but usually at Grace and me walking to my backyard. I don’t know where all the kids are, but I’m glad they’re missing. I’m happy for the peaceful morning.

My around the house cozy pants have permanent creases from sitting down when I wear them. One crease has given way. I didn’t figure sewing it would work as it wasn’t torn so I did the next best thing. I duct taped the worn area.

Some of the best things I learned in Ghana were to make-do, throw nothing away and repurpose. Tires became soles of shoes and sandals. Beer bottles were filled with palm oil or groundnut oil for sale in the market. Cones made from newspapers held rice for sale. In the butcher’s market, newspapers were used to wrap meat being sold. That mightn’t sound all that healthy, but the butcher’s market was filthy anyway. Newspapers might have been a step up. I always think it’s amazing what I learned to ignore or tolerate during my time in Ghana. Water with floaties (our word for whatever was in the water sold in beer bottles ), food from the street vendors or from the tables of aunties (older women) who were selling along the sides of the roads and, my favorite, eating in a chop bar ( usually a hole in the wall with a few wobbly tables and mismatched chairs serving local food) never gave me pause after my first few months of Peace Corps training. I even shooed flies off my food before I ate it and sifted my flour for as many weevils (small worms) as I could get. The rest just became protein. All of that became a part of life in Ghana and didn’t merit second thoughts.

The tolerance and forbearance I learned are forever a part of me. I admit my standards are definitely higher now, but I’m not squeamish about most things. I still flick flies.

“I love California; I practically grew up in Phoenix.”

May 23, 2017

The lateness of the hour is due to a visit to the vets for Miss Gracie. She is still having night problems, but the main reason was blood on the puppy pad. The good news was also the bad news. Gracie had blood tests and a urine test. The vet said she hadn’t ever seen an old boxer this healthy. There was no infection, no kidney issues, no diabetes and no to everything else. The vet said we might assume a urine infection because Gracie drinks so much water that finding an infection is difficult. Gracie now has more pills to take.

Last night it poured. I could hear the rain pounding the roof as I fell asleep. It had rained on and off all day, but it wasn’t such a heavy rain as I didn’t get all that wet walking Gracie to the backyard. Today the sun was out for about a half hour before the day got cloudy, damp and cold. The sun is supposed to return, but I am a doubter.

I’m thinking today is a nap day. I slept fitfully last night so I’m tired. Besides, the cold and damp make it an afghan day, a day to get cozy, warm and comfy. Gracie already is.

A grilled cheese sandwich is on tonight’s menu. If I had tomato soup, that would be too. I’m trying out a new kitchen helper, a sleeve of sorts which cooks grilled cheese in the toaster. I’m a bit skeptical.

I find myself addicted to MSNBC and Netflix. I just finished the documentary series of The Keepers and a remake of Anne of Green Gables called Anne with an E on Netflix. The Keepers was a one day binge. Yesterday on MSNBC, I was surprised to learn from Mr. Trump that Israel is not in the Middle East. All this time I was thinking it was. Mr. Trump also taught me to curtsy if given a large gold chain by Saudi royalty. Now it is on to Rome and my next lesson whatever it might be.

“The eyes of spring, so azure, Are peeping from the ground; They are the darling violets, That I in nosegays bound.”

May 18, 2017

My wish came true. Yesterday was sunny and hot, 75˚ hot. I’d complain, but Boston hit 90˚ so I’m content at 75˚. It will be the same today.

The morning has a languid feel to it. I do hear a single bird, but the rest are gone, probably perching in the shade. This room where I spend most of my time is a refuge from the heat as it is in the back of the house and stays dark and cool until the afternoon when the sun moves to the west and streams through these back windows.

I went to the dump yesterday, one of my three errands. Poor Gracie stayed home as the other errands would have meant her sitting in a hot car. I tricked her by bringing the trash bags out early then sitting down for coffee and the papers. She forgot all about the trash and hopped on the couch for a morning nap. She is now back to getting into her crate. Her back legs were iffy, but they seem fine now. She gets in the crate and sticks out her head for a treat. I never refuse.

When I was a kid, I gave my mother dandelion bouquets. She always gushed at the beauty of the flowers then she’d put them in a vase, usually a jelly jar, which exalted them from their weedy status. I remember making a wish then blowing the dandelion seeds and watching the wind take them.

In my mother’s backyard, she had lilies of the valley and violets growing on the top dirt shelf of a rock wall. Some of the lilies were blue from their contact with the violets. I dug up and took some lilies and some violets home with me so I could plant then in my yard. They have spread all over. The lilies are in a front side garden with only a few violets here and there among them. The violets in the backyard took a while to grow while the lilies dug in right away and are now in clumps around the fence and some trees. Every time I see them, I think of my mother and her garden.

“Yes, I deserve a spring–I owe nobody nothing.”

April 30, 2017

The sun decided to make an appearance yesterday, and it was warm enough for appetizers on the deck. Today is a bright sunny day with a beautiful light blue sky, but the weatherman warned us about being deceived as clouds are just waiting in the wings and today will be in the mid-50’s. Tonight will be sweatshirt weather in the 40’s. My sister in Colorado got a foot of snow the other day. She sent pictures of the trees by her deck so laden with wet snow they had bent over and were touching the deck. It had been in the 30’s. I’ve decided I won’t complain about the weather here.

Peapod came this morning. My larder overflows. I remember when I was a kid, my mother and father went grocery shopping on Friday nights. My mother couldn’t drive so she was stuck with my father who went up and down the aisles with her and drove her crazy about the cost of what she was buying. He wanted cheaper. She ignored him.

We used to attack the kid food as if we were locusts so my mother would stow away the desserts she was saving for our lunches, and we were threatened with bodily harm if we dared eat them. The cookies were the first to go. There were always Oreos. Sometimes there were the original Fig Newtons which I really liked. You could dunk Oreos in milk but Fig Newtons were just to eat, no dunking. Saltines were always around. They were for soup and for peanut butter or just butter. I remember putting so many Saltines in my soup bowl no liquid was left. If I needed a snack, I’d have Saltines with peanut butter and marshmallow. At kids’ parties, one game was to fill your mouth with Saltines then try to whistle. Saltines were an all-purpose cracker.

I haven’t eaten beets in years because when I tasted them a long time back, I didn’t care for their taste, but I’m thinking of giving beets another try. Maybe I’ll start with baby beets. Somehow that seems right.

I need Skip, my factotum, to open the deck for summer. I know it can still get chilly, but the sun warms the deck in the afternoon, and I want to take full advantage. Life is sweet and is the sweetest in summer.