Posted tagged ‘sunny day’

“Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.”

October 13, 2017

The house was cold when I woke up. I stayed under the afghan not wanting to leave the warmth. Gracie was sleeping at the end of the couch, and she didn’t want to get up either.   Finally the need for coffee got me up, and I got Gracie up. We went outside and got the papers and Gracie went into the backyard. I waited while she finished then followed her back into the house. She got treats, and I got my coffee.

One of the cartoons in the paper mentioned today is Friday the 13th. I had no idea. Unless I have an appointment I lose track of the date, and it is only when I tear off yesterday that I see where I have to go today.

The day is lovely, a sunny day with a blue sky and a bit of a breeze. It is in the 60’s, average for this time of year, but it feels colder after the warm days.

The buses are here. I saw one at Chatham light. The passengers, all older people, were wandering on the beach and near the light. I saw another bus pulling into a seafood restaurant, the sort which has buoys, nets and plastic lobsters on the outside walls. I don’t need to see the menu to know it is mostly seafood but, it always includes hamburgers and for a bit more money, cheeseburgers. Both come with fries.

I’m not a big fan of cakes with one exception, Boston cream pie which doesn’t sound like a cake but don’t be deceived. I do like cupcakes as they are just the right amount of cake. I used to love Hostess chocolate cupcakes, and my local bakery has cupcakes like them including the white loopy line across the top of the chocolate icing. I buy one every now and then. Ice cream never belongs on or beside a cake.

My favorite fruit is a banana. It is easy to eat, can be eaten alone, or in cereal or with ice cream in a banana split. In Africa the peel made them safe to eat without washing them first. They were perfect food to buy when traveling as they were sold along the road and at every stop. I order them every time I do Peapod grocery shopping.

Eggs are great for any meal. Many times I make bacon and eggs for dinner. I like the yoke soft so I can slop it up with the toast. My egg salad must have celery and lettuce as it is a bit bland without them. Besides, I like the crunch.

I am not a picky eater. I eat with discretion.

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“And believe me, a good piece of chicken can make anybody believe in the existence of God.”

June 27, 2017

What was a lovely summer morning with a cooling breeze has become a cloudy day with a dark sky, a rain threatening sky. I shut the window behind me as I felt a bit chilly. The breeze has turned cold.

Yesterday I was able to cross everything off my to do list. That doesn’t usually happen. I felt accomplished.

Gracie got her first tick yesterday. I was patting her ears when I found one on the underside of one ear. It was small and hadn’t embedded yet. I hope it can swim.

I can hear the swishing of the leaves on the oak trees. That is the only sound. I wonder where the birds went.

I once raised chickens. My first laying hen was a gift from a Ghanaian friend. The hen was white and hatched 5 chicks. She was a horrible mother and the chicks began to disappear, eaten by one predator or another. Her second hatching was much the same. I ate her for dinner a couple of nights. Such is the fate of a bad mother hen.

I like to shop at farmers’ markets, especially the one in Bass River. Mostly I buy fresh vegetables though I have also bought cheese, local honey, candles, fresh herbs, desserts, jams and jellies and once some lamb. The market is set up in a circle so I do one loop. It is held every Thursday and Saturday.

One of my favorite places in Ghana was the market in Bolga. Every third day was market day. I had gone to my first market during Peace Corps training. It was a disaster. I got sick from the smells, but, by my live-in in Bawku, three weeks into training, I had stopped noticing. I loved my market. I’d bring my woven shepherd’s bags which stretched and fill them with tomatoes, onions, eggs, garden eggs, okra, oranges, bananas and pineapple. A chicken, bound by its feet, I’d slide onto the handle bar of my motorcycle. Sometimes I’d find a surprise. Once it was a watermelon. I could buy cloth, sandals, pots and pans, dishes, glasses and so much more. I always thought of the market as an adventure.

“It is beyond the imagination of the menu-maker that there are people in the world who breakfast on a single egg.”

May 4, 2017

Last night was downright cold. I huddled under the afghan wearing my sweatshirt. This morning the sun is shining, even glinting, and the sky is blue. It is still chilly but is, at least, a pretty day.

My back is a bit better. I just can’t walk upright. On the evolutionary chart, I most resemble homo habilis without the hair.

Yesterday morning, Gracie wanted out around 5. Always willing to oblige, I got up and walked her to the gate. The air was filled with the morning songs of birds. What gave me pause and a smile was among the songs I could hear the gobble of turkeys from what sounded like a street away. As the other birds sang, the turkeys kept gobbling. I figure a song is a song.

Yesterday I had Frosted Flakes with a banana for dinner. I used my Animal Cracker’s bowl. I could have been six except my mother would never have allowed just cereal for dinner. It was breakfast. Dinner was meat, potatoes, and a vegetable. Lunch was soup or a sandwich or both.

My father hated breakfast in continental Europe. His complaint was the assorted cold cuts and cheeses were for lunch, not breakfast. He would usually have coffee and some sort of bread and butter and complain between mouthfuls. My mother and I enjoyed breakfast and the different sorts of cheeses and meats. In Ghana, I always had two fried eggs and two pieces of toast. Both were cooked on a small charcoal burner. The bread was leaned against the hot sides and turned so both sides browned. The eggs were fried in peanut oil. Ghanaians ate for breakfast what they had for any meal.

We affectionally called my mother the seagull. She’d eat whatever for breakfast. I can remember her standing one morning at the counter eating a sandwich of a cold but cooked hot dog with cucumber slices washed down with diet coke. If she had eggs, they were scrambled with cheese or whatever else she could scavenge in the fridge. When she visited me, I always had biscotti, a favorite of hers. She didn’t drink coffee but did use it for dipping the biscotti. I still have biscotti. The other day it was anisette.

I have some seagull in me as I am not bound by convention when it comes to meals; however, cold hot dog is out even for me.

“How often have the greatest thoughts and ideas come to light during conversations with the family over the evening dinner?”

April 2, 2017

The sunlight is wonderfully bright. The sky is a dark blue. It is warmer than it has been so it feels warm to me. When I helped Gracie into the yard, I stayed outside for a bit basking in the sun. She ran around the yard the way she used to when she was younger then bounded up the stairs into the house. She deserved her treat!

When I went to bed last night, it was close to 2 AM. I was watching television, going through those pesky catalogs and checking out recipes on Pinterest. I woke up this morning at 10:45. My mother would have called that the sleep of the dead.

I never used to need lists. My memory was enough. Now I need list after list. Alexa keeps my grocery list and stickies hold the rest. There is a great deal of satisfaction in crossing off completed tasks despite how mundane some of them are. I have to sweep the kitchen today. That’s an easy one to complete. One down!

Despite the season or maybe because of it, a few movies on the deck films have already arrived. Most are 50’s black and white B movies with aliens or gigantic creatures or both; also, I have ordered a few of my favorites like Gunga Din and Rear Window. Spring needs to step up so summer won’t seem so far away.

If I were to choose a favorite day of the week, I’d choose Sunday. I wasn’t keen on going to mass when I was young so I consider that the only blight on the day. Most Sundays when I was a kid were quiet. I’d read the Sunday funnies. After the Sunday matinee movies started on TV, we’d watch those in the afternoon. I remember watching Lassie, Come Home. We were all at Sunday dinner in those days, jammed into the small kitchen. On the cold days, the windows there got steamy. I remember my mother used Melmac plates and bowls. For some strange reason, I have a visual memory of a bowl heaped with mashed potatoes. Sunday night meant earlier to bed because of school, but I never really complained. I was usually tired.

Even now, Sunday is different than the rest of the week. I have two papers to read, and I like to take my time. Sometimes I make eggs, bacon, and toast for breakfast. I usually have dinner though I often buy it rather than make it. More than not I have mashed potatoes.

I figure more than any other day, Sunday holds the most family memories.

“Spring, summer, and fall fill us with hope; winter alone reminds us of the human condition.”

January 8, 2017

It hasn’t been the best of mornings though it is a pretty day with the sun glinting off the snow. When I let the dog out, I could see how much snow had fallen as it was piled high on the back deck. I had a bit of trouble opening the storm door and had to push the snow away. Gracie waited then slid out the door and stood at the top of the stairs wondering, I guessed, if she really needed to go that badly. She did. I worried, but she made it without falling. I opened the front door next and could see my papers lying on the top of the pile left by the plow. From the house to the papers seemed miles away. There had to be at least 10 or 12 inches of snow. It was if I was being taunted by the papers. How much did I want them? I put on socks and shoes and plodded my way to the papers then stepped in my footprints back to the house. My shoes and my pants to the knees were covered in snow, but I had my Sunday papers. I filled my cup with coffee then sat down to read the Globe. I reached for the coffee and missed. I overturned the cup and coffee spilled all over the table, the floor and parts of the paper. I cursed. That was my morning.

It is only 18˚ but I have a high of 25˚ to look forward to this afternoon. The low will be 10˚. I am not going anywhere even after Skip comes to free my car and shovel the walk. The pretty day doesn’t entice me at all to leave the warmth of the house.

Winter waited in the wings a long time, but it has arrived with great fanfare. All last year we didn’t have a winter storm which dropped as much snow as this one. We got walloped, but the snow is light and fluffy which is a good thing. The tree branches have almost no snow left on them. The wind took care of that.

I’m sitting here comfy in my sweatshirt, flannel pants and warm slippers. I just poured a cup of coffee destined, I hope, to stay in the cup. It is hot and delicious. The animals are asleep. Music is playing. Alexa has chosen well. All is now well with my world.

You can live for years next door to a big pine tree, honored to have so venerable a neighbor, even when it sheds needles all over your flowers or wakes you, dropping big cones onto your deck at still of night.

May 29, 2016

I woke up early for me, tried to go back to sleep, couldn’t so I gave up and headed downstairs. I started the coffee then went outside for a bit. The day is much cooler than yesterday but no less lovely. The sun is summer bright, a squint your eyes to the light bright. The birds are in and out of the feeder. While I was there, I decided to water the plants on the deck. I noticed the nozzle was leaking and tried to fix it. I never checked in which direction the nozzle was facing so I was taken aback when the water hit me full force on the legs. My pants were soaked, and I felt silly.

My phone and my wifi wouldn’t work this morning. The TV did which seemed strange as I thought all three were connected, but then I remembered the TV has its own box. I noticed my modem, which is the phone and computer connector, didn’t have enough lit buttons so I tried to reset it. I couldn’t find anything thin enough for the hole. Finally I used a twisted paperclip. It didn’t work. I tried it again, and it actually worked the second time.

If things come in threes, I’m in trouble.

Nothing is on my dance card for today; in fact, I have only a doctor’s appointment later in the week. I don’t mind unscheduled days. I figure I can find something to keep me busy, and the day is open should an invitation come my way.

My car has disappeared; instead, a pile of pollen is parked in front of my house. It has the shape of a car but no distinct features. The horrible part of all of that is the pollen has just started. I think I need to wear one of those white face masks.

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”

March 22, 2016

A lovely day with lots of sun, a deep blue sky and a little breeze greeted me this morning. Most of the snow has disappeared. The only bits left are in shaded areas. I’m being hopeful and putting my primroses on the front step. They’ve been in the house keeping warm since I bought them, but I think it is warm enough to introduce them to the world.

Today I have lists, but I’m quite behind my time because I spoke to both of my sisters this morning. One sister is sick so it was a short conversation, but my other sister, in Colorado, and I spoke close to an hour. Yes, we did find plenty to talk about for all that time. Lulls are generally not part of our conversations.

I still keep in touch with a few of my childhood friends. We talk every couple of months and get together about twice a year. My college friends and I lost track of each other while I was in Ghana. We wrote for a while but the time between letters got longer and longer and then the letters stopped. We were living far different lives a long way from each other. I still have Peace Corps friends that I met in 1969, and I feel as close to them now as I did when we worked and lived together. We shared an experience few are fortunate to have and built a bond which has stayed strong. We have stories which make us laugh every time we tell them. I think it is the same with just about every volunteer no matter the country of service. We all have a bathroom story, but I use bathroom loosely here. Outhouse, hole in the ground or a quick run into the bushes would be better choices. I know I’ve tried them all. We have great stories about medical problems and try to top each other in the telling. The conversations usually include worms, boils, tropical skin diseases, infections, cracked lips and feet and diarrhea, the bane of most volunteers. We graphically describe the symptoms and are never offended or grossed out by what we hear. Sometimes we even applaud the story, the grosser the story the longer the applause.

My closest friends live down the street. We are an odd family of three. We celebrate major and rare holidays together, rare holidays like Cowboy Day. We decorate and wear special clothes to help celebrate. I still have my cowboy hat and my sombrero from Cinco de Mayo. We greeted the sunrise together at the beach on the first day of spring. I’m working on their Easter baskets. They are fun friends. My life is enriched by knowing them.

I have no idea how I got where I did. I guess mentioning childhood friends set me on my way. I’ll just end here with how lucky I am with my friends.