Posted tagged ‘to do list’

“As long as we know in our hearts what Christmas ought to be, Christmas is.”

December 17, 2017

It was freezing cold last night, down to 19˚, and it is freezing cold right now. Today’s high will be 24˚ though I think calling it high is a misnomer. I’m glad for the de-icer on the front steps as the two steps are dry and safe for both paws and feet. The day is pretty with a blue sky and sun but both are best seen through the window. I am staying warm and cozy right here.

I don’t have a list for today. My laundry got done yesterday, a miracle for me as it usually sits a while, the house is decorated, presents wrapped and the cards written. Maybe I’ll decide what to make for Christmas or maybe I’ll just sit in the living room with the tree lit and read a bit.

When I was a kid, each day closer to Christmas made me even more excited. I remember watching Santa Claus on TV every afternoon, and he’d do a countdown to Christmas Eve, his busiest day of the year. He’d read letters from kids, tell stories and show off new toys. I don’t even remember if I thought he was the real deal or not. I was never skeptical about Christmas. I believed everything.

I do love Christmas. My house is awash with decorations. The living room tree is as tall as it can be and still accommodate the star at the very top. Other trees, mostly wooden, are strewn around the house. The scrub pine in the dining room is lit every evening. The small wooden tree on the side table has white lights wrapped around it as does the driftwood tree in the bathroom. They all look so very lovely when lit. They make my house feel warm even on the coldest nights.

I seem to have run out of films of A Christmas Carol to watch. My number sits at six. Today I’ll watch another favorite of mine, The Bishop’s Wife. I know I’ve seen all these movies many times, but I still look forward to seeing them again. The Christmas season does that to me: it keeps the wonder alive.

“Yes! Yes I do! I like Christmas! I love Christmas!”

December 10, 2017

Winter wonderland skipped us. We got rain the whole day, heavy rain at times. In the late afternoon, when I let Gracie out and brought trash to the car at the same time, we both got soaked. She wasn’t thrilled. My sister got around 6 inches of snow. I watched the news and saw the snow in Texas, an unusual occurrence in San Antonio. I laughed out-loud when a kid did a snow angel. Obviously snow was new to him. He did the angel face down.

Yesterday was a day of doing little for me. I made four or five trips carrying stuff like the displaced by the tree living furniture upstairs, wrote out more cards and went through catalogs but mostly I just sat. All the hauling up and down stairs made me tired. Today I have more energy and a to-do list. Gracie and I are going to the dump, to the small grocery store for bread and such and Agway for cat and dog food. I will decorate my wreaths and put them outside, and I’ll bring up bins from the cellar with the tree lights and some decorations. If I have any energy left, I’ll at least put on the tree lights. Tonight I’ll make myself a nice dinner and have some egg nog and watch Hallmark.

When I was a kid, Santa Claus had power over me. If I did anything wrong or fought with my brother, my mother threatened to call Santa. That was enough to get us to stop. I remember trips to Jordan Marsh to visit Santa. We’d take the bus to Sullivan Square then the subway to the Jordan’s stop. In those days Jordan’s and Filene’s had entrances from the stores to the subway. They were destinations.

I love Boston at Christmas time. The city is filled with people, some shopping, some just enjoying the festivities. The trees in the Common are lit for the holiday. Frog Pond is open for skating or for just sitting and watching the skaters while drinking a cup of cocoa. The giant tree from Nova Scotia is covered in lights. Small push wagons around the common sell roasted chestnuts and hot popcorn. Garlands hang from stores and street lights. People just seem happier.

My town was always decorated for Christmas. Swags of evergreen were hung from one side of the main street to the other. The store windows had trees and wrapped gifts and Santas. Carolers sang every night. The aroma of sugar cookies and bread wafted from Hank’s Bakery and hung in the air. The fire station was outlined in lights, and Santa was climbing a ladder to the chimney. I loved going uptown at night, and I still remember singing in the square.

I get excited for Christmas even now. I love the lights, and I could eat a dozen sugar cookies. Christmas music plays in the car and around the house when I’m decorating or baking. I sing along, out of tune, but that doesn’t matter. It’s Christmas!

“Autumn is the time of picturesque tranquility.”

September 22, 2017

Last night the wind sounded like a freight train. I know it’s a cliche, but it perfectly describes what I was hearing. The wind blew in gales. In between the gales it was quiet if only by comparison. I think it was the wildest wind since the start of the storm. This is day four of the remnants of Jose. Earlier this morning it was raining loudly enough to hear. At other times the rain has been misty, quiet. The wind is still raging.

My deck and yard are filled with fallen leaves and smaller branches. Every time I go out, a few leaves are blown inside the house. All of them are shriveled and dead.

The birds are at the feeders in such numbers the sunflower and thistle feeders need to be refilled. I’ll just have to brave the rain. I don’t want to disappoint all those birds.

I did finish my errands yesterday. At the doctor’s they had snacks to thank us for getting our flu shots. I had a chocolate chip cookie and a mini-cupcake. Last night the spot where I got the shot itched a bit, and the spot hurts a little today. I’ll just have to be brave.

Last night I was cold so I grabbed a light blanket and snuggled a bit under it. This morning when I woke up the house was at 67˚. Since then, the temperature has risen a couple of degrees but not enough as I’m still a bit chilly, but I refuse to turn on the heat this early in the season. I’m still taken aback by having to use the AC the last couple of days because of the humidity. It is late for the AC and too early for the heat. Weather has gone amok.

Today is the autumn equinox, a beginning and an end: the end of summer and the beginning of fall, autumn. The nights will now be longer than the days.

When I was a kid, I loved when the leaves were falling. On our way to school, we would walk in the gutters kicking leaves and watching them fly. I remember yellow the most.

The only things on my to do list are to order groceries and finally get the laundry finished, or rather get it started. It is still upstairs. I have no ambition whatsoever, but I guess I could scare up enough energy to order groceries on line.

Rain is predicted for tomorrow as are wind gusts up to 45 MPH. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday are supposed to be sunny and in the low 70’s. I’ll believe it when I see it. All this rain has made me gloomy and skeptical.

“we can watch x-files together while we browse the internet for info on area 51?”

August 27, 2017

I’m not sure the adjectives running through my head are quite descriptive enough to tell you about the morning, but I’ll give it my best shot, the old college try. (Every now and then I do like to pepper my musing with a few idioms.) Today is a delight filled with sunshine, blue skies, cool temperatures and no humidity. It is a quiet day, almost a throwback Sunday from the 50’s when church and Sunday family dinners were the highlights of the day.

I have a couple of errands. I need bird seed and the two things I mentioned yesterday: hot dogs and toilet paper. I also need to plant the flowers I bought the other day and any other perennials I might find today. Those are the only items on my lists, and my dance card is totally empty for the rest of the week. The plays are done, my friends are traveling and my larder is filled. I do have some laundry, as usual, but I haven’t yet run out of underwear. I was thinking a Mad Hatter move and ordering some new ones so I don’t have to do wash quite yet, but even I think that’s might be a bit extreme and massively lazy.

I heard acorns hitting the deck again yesterday. The spawns are at it again. I don’t go barefoot out there anymore, and poor Gracie yelped when she stepped on an acorn. The spawns seeking vengeance against me. I swear I heard cheering when I first stepped on an acorn remnant.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind is celebrating its 40th anniversary. I’m watching it now which I expect explains my delay in posting. I can’t take my eyes off the screen when the UFO’s are on it. They are amazing with their colored lights, just like Barry said when he called them ice cream and toys. I smiled the whole time. It is still a wonder of a movie.

I’m in the camp of those who believe there is intelligent life elsewhere, not just on Earth, though I admit I sometimes wonder about Earth. It seems a bit of a conceit to think we are it.

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.”

August 24, 2017

Okay, we’re starting with the gross part of my day’s musings. Maddie, my cat, now 17, has surprisingly shown the prowess of her youth, her long ago hunting days. Last night I heard a thud, a loud thud, and knew it had to be Maddie as she wasn’t with me. Being both worried and curious, I got up to investigate but Maddie came into the room before I could. She was on the other side of the table, out of my sight, when I heard crunching (here’s where it gets gross so if you want to leave, please do so). I checked and saw she was eating the remains of a baby mouse, actually only half a mouse, the top half. I made suitable sounds of being grossed out, shooed Maddie away and used two catalogues to pick up the remains which I then tossed outside. My big takeaway from this is there are mice again even though I paid my own Pied Piper. I’m putting a trap down in case there are more.

The day is beautiful. It will be 79˚ or so, but the humidity seems to have disappeared. I have a few things on my list to keep me busy, and I have to drive friends to the Boston bus, but that’s it for the planned part of my day.

Less tomorrow is a Ghananism, my identifier for English adaptations Ghanaians have coined. Less tomorrow was used when something was promised for a certain day but wasn’t ready. For example, when I was told a dress from the seamstress would be ready on Tuesday, I’d go to pick it up, but it was never ready. The seamstress would tell me less tomorrow which didn’t necessarily mean Wednesday. It just meant sometime in the future. I came to believe Ghanaians used less tomorrow for Europeans, white people, who seemed to need a specific day. Ghanaians are more casual with time.

It wasn’t long before I embraced loose time, before I accepted Ghanaian time, which really meant anytime, instead of European time. If I tell my friends to arrive here at 5:30 for a soirée, I expect them around 5:30. Were I to tell my Ghanaians friends the same, they could arrive at 7 or even 8 and still be considered on time.

My training college worked on clock time, a necessity to keep the day on task. Planes left Kotoka Airport in Accra pretty much on time, but the rest of Ghana had its own pace, and I, after a while, also fell into that pace. If I hadn’t, I would have been driven crazy.

In my retirement, I have gone back to whenever time, to Ghanaian time, with some exceptions like doctors or plays or dinner reservations. I figure what I don’t get done today will get done less tomorrow.

“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!

“A flower blossoms for its own joy.”

June 10, 2017

Summer has arrived. Today is already a lovely day with lots of sun giving lots of heat. It will be in the low 70’s here. This room is still dark and cool as the sun hasn’t yet worked its way around the house. I went out earlier and needed to turn on the car’s AC as Gracie was with me. I left it on when I stopped. She threw up all of yesterday’s food so I was hoping to find something to entice her. I bought a frozen dog treat but she didn’t want it. I gave it to the dog in the next car, and he licked every bit of it. I know she is hungry as she keeps checking her dish,  but I can’t find anything she wants. The lady whose dog ate the frozen treat suggested tuna dog treats. I came home and checked the recipe on-line. I just have to go and buy the tuna. I’ll try anything.

It is a noisy Saturday. I can hear lawn mowers from all over the neighborhood, no kids though. I wonder where they are. I’m guessing baseball and t-ball.

A warm, summer Saturday is about the best of all days. It invites us outside to enjoy the weather. It is a day meant for sitting on the deck to enjoy the warmth tempered by a slight breeze. Inside the house can stay dusty, and the laundry can wait a day or two or even more. I know that from experience.

My deck is still closed. The furniture covers got soaked the other night so yesterday I emptied the water caught in the folds. The deck floor is covered with leaves and debris from that last storm. My factotum, Skip, is coming Monday. I have a long list for him to do. He has to clean out the shower as it is filled with the gnawed pieces of pinecones. I still see the spawn of Satan around that shower. He is in for a rude awakening.

The exterminator came back yesterday to plug the mouse holes around the foundation. He figured by now the mice would have moved to a more exalted place, and the cellar does have a peculiar odor. I’m thinking dead mice or decomp as they call it on TV.

I still have flowers to buy before Skip comes, at least the deck flowers. I always think flower shopping is about the best of all shopping sprees. I just can’t help myself and always load the cart. Flowers are intoxicating.