Posted tagged ‘sun’

“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.

“I make no secret of the fact that I would rather lie on a sofa than sweep beneath it.”

April 29, 2017

Today is cloudy and damp. It is supposed to be a warm day with the temperature reaching the mid 60’s, but it had better clear up quickly as it is a threatening sky. When Gracie and I went out, I waited for her and by the time I got inside I was chilly.

Gracie and I had a bad night. Falling asleep was difficult so I gave up trying around 2:30 and turned on the TV. It was 4 on my last time check before I finally fell into the arms of Morpheus. Poor Gracie was restless, and it was my fault.

When I was a kid, the Saturday night menu never changed. We always had hot dogs, baked beans, and brown bread. I never ate the beans, but I did eat the brown bread and loved the hot dogs. The brown bread came in a can. I used to butter it. Sometimes my mother fried it a bit. That was my favorite way to eat brown bread. I think it tasted better warm than cold. A while back, I bought a can of brown bread. I figure I was overwhelmed with nostalgia. When I opened the can of bread, I easily remembered the indentations circling it. I always thought they were a design. I toasted the bread then buttered it. I was shocked to find I didn’t like the taste all that much. I guess my memories have been tempered by time.

My dirty clothes have been sitting in front of the cellar door for over a week. When I was working, I did my laundry every Sunday. I lived by a weekend schedule. Now that I have all the time in the world, I do it when the mood hits me or when I am out of clean underwear. It’s the same with going to the dump which was another Sunday chore. I went the other day. I could smell the bag in my trunk. It was either leave all my windows open or go on an unscheduled dump run. Gracie was thrilled with my choice and so was I. The car smelled much better in a day or two with the windows cracked open.

I figure I inherited doing weekend chores from my father. Saturday was his big day. It was get a haircut or trim day, pick-up and leave his white shirts at the Chinaman’s, as my dad called the laundry, and drop in to say hello to friends like Pullo the druggist. When my dad retired, his schedule fell all to pieces. He didn’t need to get shirts cleaned. He let his hair get just a bit longer, and he didn’t go uptown anywhere near as often. I figure retirement means throwing out any schedule.

This morning I have a couple of errands. Tonight is Darci Rose’s tenth birthday dinner. She is a Westie who thinks of me as Aunt Kat or at least I think so. I need to buy her birthday presents.

The sun is coming out. Let’s hear a halleluiah!

“Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.”

April 13, 2017

You’re probably wondering where I am this late in the day. I spent the morning following Gracie as she had balance problems. That happens most mornings, but then she figures it out and adjusts her gait, but she didn’t today.  I walked her down to the yard a couple of times and sat waiting outside for her. I was glad she was quick as that famous Cape breeze is making it chilly despite the sun.

Captain Frosty’s opened today, and we made our annual pilgrimage. I had the shrimp plate with a couple of clam cakes and onion rings instead of fries. The plate was so filled it should have had an annex just for the onion rings. Captain Frosty’s is always the first of our haunts to open for the summer. The ice cream shop is usually next. I’m always excited as shops open for the season. Each opening brings us closer to summer.

Yesterday I was able to cross off all but the one errand which has graced every list I’ve made since the first of the year: getting my hair cut. It is now on the top of tomorrow’s list. Every day I am bound and determined to get it cut but I don’t and have no reasons why not.

Gracie is standing beside me on the couch. Her muzzle is about 6 inches from my face, and she is staring at me. I know all the signals. She wants out. That means slowly walking her down the stairs, staying out with her then calling her up the back stairs, an easier climb for her. The whole stair thing is strange. She won’t go down the easy stairs. No, I have to take her down one step at a time on the scary stairs, the ones she is afraid of as she slides, but Gracie, being a rather intelligent dog, figured out on her own that the other stairs are easy to climb. I’m glad as she doesn’t need my help.

I’m going to take Miss Gracie out now. She has barked once right at me in impatience. That drives me crazy, and she knows it. Smart dog!

“The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.”

April 7, 2017

We’re back from the appointment for Gracie at the vets. The good news is she didn’t have a stroke. The head tilt is probably from a lesion on her brain which may cause problems down the road, but she is fine for now. Her weak back legs are just that, weaker than her front. I should continue what I am doing to help her get around. Gracie was given a refill of her pain meds and got shots which were due anyway.

I had my MRI, but it is too early to hear the results. I figure there won’t be anything there, my lower back, as the earlier MRI’s showed nothing.

The most painful part of the last two days has been the $700 the two appointments cost me. I won’t ever be cured of that.

Yesterday it poured all day, a deluge to use my mother’s description, but today is the loveliest of days. The sky is a deep blue. The sun is bright, an almost need to squint bright. It is warm. When I left the house at nine, it was already 48˚. It is flannel shirt weather, a downgrade (or maybe an upgrade) from sweatshirt weather. I could do my outside work today. I still have that list, but I don’t want to for no reason except maybe relief. I was worried about Gracie. I still am, but it is a general worry about keeping an old dog healthy. The dread is gone. I just want to enjoy the afternoon, maybe sit on the deck with the sun on my face.

Lots of green shoots are appearing in my front garden. I saw the bumpy bud of a hyacinth this morning. Its color is starting to appear, a light purple. Daffodils are blooming. The yellow ones are first. The white ones are budded and waiting their turn. On my trip down Cape last Tuesday, I sat in a line of traffic on 6A. It was a long line so I had time to look around. I saw a tree with tiny, tiny buds. They were red and easy to see. I was thrilled. For me, that is the second sign of spring, after the bulbs flower.

My grass is squishy with mud. The ground wasn’t frozen when the days of rain began last week so the extra water just stayed right there, right on top, making the grass muddy. Footprints stay when you walk across the lawn. I try to avoid that.

I’m getting sucked in. I can feel it. Today makes me want to believe it’s really spring, but this is New England, and there are no guarantees so I’m still a bit skeptical, but the weather report is so amazing I can feel that skepticism draining away. By mid-next week, we may hit 60˚ and 50’s all the way to get there. That’s spring. No doubt about it.