Posted tagged ‘sunny’

“You spend the first part of your life collecting things … and the second half getting rid of them.

February 21, 2017

Today is lovely, sunny but cool at 42˚. The breeze is ever so slight. It’s morning nap time for the dog and cat. Maddie is 18 now. Gracie is 12. Lately, Gracie has had trouble maneuvering the stairs. Her back legs slide when she is coming downstairs so I am always in front of her just in case. When she was young, Gracie jumped the six-foot fence in the backyard, but now she and I share the infirmities of growing old and the dangerousness of steps.

I could never play a dead body. Yesterday I watched a few CSI New York episodes. In just about every one of those, one scene is in the morgue. The actor is lying on the slab while trace evidence is removed or explained. I’d be giggling.

I’m a slug. I have laundry to do, but the bag sits by the door. I have no ambition. When I was working, I was always busy on the weekends. I actually got more done in two days than I now finish in a week. Time is the reason. I always figure I have lots of time to do stuff so I procrastinate and stuff doesn’t get done. I used to feel guilty about that. I am now guilt free. The nuns would be horrified.

I collect cookbooks with literature inspired recipes. One whole shelf in my kitchen bookcase is filled with them. My first was a Shakespearean cookbook. When I did a medieval meal a long way back, I used many of the recipes from that book. Little House on the Prairie, Hemingway, Nancy Drew, Sherlock Holmes, The Boxcar Children, Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott are just a few of my cookbooks. I love sitting and reading the recipes and planning a menu in my head. I think about colors and melding herbs. I mix and match vegetables. Mostly I have one grand meat dish but sometimes I need two. The table decorations are part of the planning. One meal, inspired by Dickens, had laminated pages of old books for place mats. In the middle of the table were different piles of books. They held the hot dishes. For music, I played an album of authors singing. It was just horrible. I don’t even remember how I found it, I don’t remember its name and I have no idea what happened to it. Maybe it was burned at the stake by my guests.

When I was a kid, I collected stamps and belonged to a stamp club. We met after school and some Saturdays at John Hickey’s house. I filled an album then lost interest in stamps. Besides, it was actually John Hickey more than stamps which held my interest. Strangely enough, my aunt and uncle now live in what was John Hickey’s house. I have no idea where he is. We went to different high schools.

I haven’t collected anything in a while. I’d hard pressed to find room, but if something strikes my fancy, a new collection might just be born.

“The most serious charge which can be brought against New England is not Puritanism but February.”

February 19, 2017

Today is a bit of a gift from Mother Nature, and considering how many times I cursed her this winter, I am surprised by her generosity. It is sunny and warm, even springlike. A few puffy clouds add texture to the blue sky. A breeze ruffles the brown leaves. It is a day to be outside. I’m working on getting there.

My neighbor put my newspaper on the front steps for me this morning. I saw it and one other paper when I opened the door. The other paper is the Cape Times from February 13th. I have no idea where he found it. I didn’t  miss a paper. I figure it must be my neighbor’s, and it got tossed here with the snow when her driveway was shoveled.

Small mounds of snow are still visible but only on the corners of the streets. Between the rain and the above freezing temperatures, the snow had no chance. I’m glad it’s mostly gone.

My front lawn, mostly on one side, is a total mess. It is covered with branches and needles from the tree sized branch which fell. There are long gashes on the grass. I’m thinking that whole side of the lawn may need a reboot.

This is school vacation week. I used to like traveling to one place for the whole week. My mother and I spent this week in Rome on our last vacation together. We saw it all. One of my favorites was the catacombs, a couple of bus rides and a long walk away.

Each night we’d have a drink in the bar before going to our room. My mother had cognac. That was a shock. My mother was a whiskey and coke drinker. When I mentioned my shock, my mother said it was vacation mode when anything goes. I loved that.

My week will be quiet. Actually, the rest of February will be quiet. I have an empty dance card until March.

Gracie needs to be fed, and I need to get dressed in my outside the house clothes. We are going out to enjoy the day.

“Truth is as straight as an arrow, while a lie swivels like a snake.”

January 22, 2017

Today turned out to be a pretty day. It was sunny and warm, too warm for this time of year,  but I’m complaining. I love sweatshirt weather in January.

When I was a kid, my mother had a great way to find out the truth. If something was found broken and no one admitted to it, my mother asked the four of us who did it. We all said we didn’t know. She didn’t believe us. She knew one of us was guilty. She told us when we lie our tongues turned black then she’d ask us to show her our tongues. The guilty party always gave himself away by refusing to show his tongue. Running to the mirror to check didn’t help. She told us only mothers could see the black tongue. We believed her. We were young.

Step on a crack, break your mother’s back. I didn’t know if that was true or not. It sort of sounded silly to me, but I didn’t want to take chances. I jumped over every crack. When I walked the railroad tracks, I jumped over every wooden tie with double zeros in the middle for the same reason. I did not want to be responsible for my mother’s broken back.

When I was in grammar school, if some other kid called me a name, I’d give the standard comeback: I know you are but what am I. There was really nowhere to go from there so it ended the name calling. Another, a more sophisticated comeback, was I’m rubber; you’re glue; whatever you say bounces off me and sticks on you. It didn’t have a comeback either.

The women’s marches were extraordinary. I watched them on MSNBC for a good part of the day. I also saw Trump’s speech at C.I.A. headquarters and Sean Spicer’s denunciation of the press in the filled press room at the White House. Words fail me. I’m angry and I’m sad.

“Sometimes you have to grow up before you appreciate how you grew up.”

January 19, 2017

Today is a beautiful winter’s day. It is sunny and warm. Given how much it rained yesterday, I’m thinking today is a bit of a reward. Gracie and I are going out later. Today is not a day to waste.

Yesterday I actually vacuumed and then washed the kitchen floor. I can only think an alien had taken over my body.

I remember so much from when I was growing up. Without realizing it, I had filed away small things into my memory drawers. On the way to school, we crossed the railroad tracks. Sometimes we were even lucky enough to see a train. The bathroom at school always had a cleaning smell. The stalls and the overhead pipes were painted white. I remember the pipes sometimes had peeling paint.

The bowling alley was never quiet. The air was filled with the sounds of pins hitting the wooden floors. I remember the size of the shoes was on the backs of each rented pair. I never gave a thought about wearing shoes lots of people had worn.

Santoro’s Sub Shop was a block away from school. It was a small shop with a few stools at a counter attached to the wall. Mr. Santoro worked there with two of his sons. I remember Mr. Santoro was short. The bread, two different sizes, was in baskets and the toppings were in a case. The hot stuff like meatballs and sausages were on a stove top in big silver pots. I never got a hot sub. Mostly I got chicken salad or an Italian. I always added pickles and hot peppers.

There were four drug stores. I never thought that was strange. Now I wonder how a small town could support so many.

When it was hot, the firemen sat on big wooden chairs in front of the bays at the fire station. I always stopped to say hello.

The post office felt cool even on hot days, but the church sweltered in the summer.

I have the best memories, mostly simple memories etched forever in my memory drawers

“Youth is when you’re allowed to stay up late on New Year’s Eve. Middle age is when you’re forced to.”

December 30, 2016

Today is sometimes sunny and sometimes windy. The big storm yesterday was a disappointment. Not that I wanted snow, but I was hoping for a nor’easter and the loud  drumming of rain against the windows. I wanted to see branches fiercely blowing left to right and almost reaching the ground; instead, it just rained.

Today is quiet. Even the dog is bored looking out the front door. She kept hoping for foot traffic where there was none. She is now napping on the couch.

I went to bed earlier and woke up earlier. I’m working on getting up before nine, okay, maybe by nine thirty.

When I was a little kid, I always wanted to stay up to greet the new year. I seldom did. I’d fall asleep before the ball dropped or Auld Lang Syne played. When I got a bit older, I managed to stay awake but found out it was no big deal. Blow a horn and yell Happy New Year was the sum total of my celebration. Come to find out, all the celebrations are almost the same. Add a kiss and a drink then yell Happy New Year.

Nothing much is going on around here. I scoured the paper looking for diversions. All the local New Year’s Eve festivities were listed. There is an indoor farmer’s market tomorrow and an antique fair on Sunday. None of these tempt me to brave the cold.

In the Globe today was a picture with the header, “Seniors ring in New Year with a bit of rock and roll.” At the party yesterday they counted down to noon. They ate mashed potatoes and chicken. They twisted and shimmied and danced away the afternoon.  That, I guess, is full circle.

“All writers have this vague hope that the elves will come in the night and finish any stories.”

December 3, 2016

Winter is poking its head in the door. Last night was downright cold. This morning is warmer but is still chilly. The sun is shining but seems to serve little purpose except as scenery. I’m hanging around today though I do have an errand or two on my new list. I’m thinking I might just get to that laundry still sitting in front of the cellar door.

I’m using sticky notes for my lists. There are three notes attached to my table which conveniently is metal. The notes are a bright pink. One is a list of things to do and places to go. It looks long. Another reminds me of fairs and an open house at my potter’s  tomorrow. The last list is just a couple of gift items for Christmas presents and where I can get them. Luckily my table is big so there is plenty of room for more bright pink lists.

I figure to start making a list (yup, another one) of the cookies and candy I want to make for Christmas and the ingredients I need. Some traditions still hold. I’ll make fudge for my sister, orange cookies for Clare and if I have time, toffee for Moe and Rod. I’ll also pick some other cookies yet to be decided. I like to try new cookies year by year.

I sometimes wish The Elves and the Shoemaker was real. It would be so neat to wake up and have everything done. I’d be happy to leave a list for the elves. I have plenty I’m willing to share. While they’re at it, they might just do my laundry.

“Everything I buy is vintage and smells funny. Maybe that’s why I don’t have a boyfriend.”

December 1, 2016

Today is more than enough to make up for all that rain. Mother Nature is back in my good graces. The day is warm. I went to get the papers in a short sleeve shirt and wasn’t even cold. The sun is brilliant and perfectly framed by the blue sky. A little breeze has the brown leaves dancing at the end of their branches. I made a list of places to go today so I can enjoy the day.

The dog door is complete. Yesterday I ran into my friend and explained my problem with the plastic part of the dog door. His dog also has one so I figured he might have a solution. Washers! That was it, all I needed. I went to the hardware store and gave the man one of the small screws, asked for some with larger heads and some washers. He brought me both for the grand total of 98 cents. Two of the holes used the larger headed screws while the other holes needed the washers. Gracie has been in and out that door all morning.

It rained again yesterday, but I still went to do errands. Gracie needed dog food. That was enough incentive to get me out into the rain, but I did treat myself and bought lunch and some anise cookies. Life is good.

This week I will start decorating my house for Christmas. One side of my cellar is filled with bins of decorations. I have a whole collection of plastic lighted figures, mostly Santa Clauses. On the back wall are bins I haven’t opened in a few years. I’m hoping I can make my way back there to see what’s in those bins. I like surprises. Many of my decorations, like the Santas, are vintage and some are mighty ugly, but I don’t care. I think everything Christmas has an intrinsic beauty, even the ceramic angels, Santa mugs and really gross elves with scary faces. I was thrilled last Christmas to find out my nephew collects those vintage plastic lighted figures. He got a snowman as a gift last year. I didn’t know anyone else shared my taste.

That load of washing is still in front of the cellar door. Maybe I’ll get to it tomorrow. But then again, maybe not.