Posted tagged ‘Tree’

“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

January 13, 2018

My house is quiet, emptier. I keep expecting Gracie to be sleeping on her part of the couch. I know missing her will get easier, but right now it isn’t. I think dogs make us better people.

The rain poured last night. I was treated to the pounding of rain on the roof and the howling of the wind. It was weather from a Vincent Price movie. When I got up around 3 or 4, it was still raining. I fell back to sleep, and at 10, when I woke up, the rain was gone. Now it is sunny with the blue sky as a backdrop. Today will be warm. Tonight will be freezing, only in the 20’s. The weatherman described it as a quick freeze. It will be cold the rest of the week.

All of Christmas is packed away until next year. Leandro and Roseana came to clean but did so much more. Lee took down my tree and put it outside. He brought my pine tree down the cellar. He and Roseana rid the living floor of pine needles though we all know they never really disappear. One or two will pop up every few days. Lee took Gracie’s crate to the cellar leaving a huge, open space behind.

Last night my friends took me out to dinner. We went to a Thai restaurant, Bangkok Kitchen, new to all of us. It was tiny and had only 8 tables and all of them were filled. People were waiting. After tasting the food, I knew why there were no empty tables. I had a dish called Massaman Yellow Curry. It was assorted vegetables and roasted peanuts in a coconut massaman curry sauce. The coconut drew me right away. It was a great choice: the dish was a delight.

My dance card is empty for the weekend. I’ll watch the Pats play Tennessee tonight but that ‘s as far in the future as I’ve gone.

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“When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things — not the great occasions — give off the greatest glow of happiness.”

December 11, 2017

Yesterday I finished my chores but did little else. Today I need to send packages and cards, and I’ll do that as soon as I finish here which leaves me the best of the afternoon to decorate the house and tree. I am always ambitious in the mornings.

I’m watching yet another Christmas Carol, this one with Patrick Stewart. Every Christmas it doesn’t matter how many times or how many Scrooges I watch. I still love this story. The Cratchits here are presented poorer than in other films which makes their Christmas feast seem grander with its goose and Christmas pudding. The Ghost of Christmas Present shows Scrooge and us Christmas in a lighthouse, on a ship and at a coal mine. Scrooge has no words to describe what he sees.

My mother, sister and I saw A Christmas Carol at the Wang in Boston. At the point where Scrooge is as “giddy as a schoolboy” the fire alarm went off, and we had to evacuate the theater. It was a false alarm. I was so very disappointed not to see Scrooge and his total reclamation. I know the ending of A Christmas Carol and I remember much of the dialogue but watching Scrooge open his heart is the best part.

My mother always teased me about my Christmas presents. “Wait until you see what you’re going to get,” she’d say to me every year. It didn’t matter if I was in my 30’s or 40’s. Teasing was part of the ritual. She and I used to buy every Christmas issue of all the magazines. We’d chat about the decorations and the recipes. Some we even tried. I remember her gingerbread biscotti and the bread which looked like teddy bears. One year she made figgy pudding because the song made us wonder what it was. The best gift  my mother gave us was Christmas. I remember making ornaments, frosting cookies, shaking presents and hanging my stocking with much fanfare. I always went to my parents’ house for Christmas, but I always had a tree here and decorated my house. I remember once being asked why I had a tree if I wasn’t going to be here for Christmas. I thought that the silliest question of all.

“…freshly cut Christmas trees smelling of stars and snow and pine resin – inhale deeply and fill your soul with wintry night…”

December 5, 2017

The morning has been a busy one here at the Ryan estate. The staff has decorated the grounds with multi-colored lights. Large ornaments hang from trees, and a spotlight gives the ornaments a twinkle. The back deck is awash with lights. A smaller star joins the big star on the fence gate. A wooden sled draped with white skates is now by the front steps and is lit by a string of colored lights. A wreath is on the front fence gate and hanging in the middle of it is a wooden fish. The front door also has a wreath but hanging from its middle is bright coral. The crowning achievement is the tree. It is in the stand in the living room where it will sit for a day or two before being decorated. The tree, even naked, is beautiful and full of branches and soft needles. Already the aroma of pine has begun to waft through the living room. A bayberry centerpiece is ready to take its place in the middle of the dining room table once the Christmas runner has been found.

The outside is finished. All I need to do is check the lights tonight to make sure the timers are correct, and the front and back lights are turning on around the same time.

The living room is a chaotic mess. All the presents are now downstairs. They are piled on the couch and chair and even the floor. They need to be catalogued and wrapped, but that is for another day. I did vacuum the dirt and needles which came in with the tree but that’s it. I’m done for the day.

I’m watching the 1966 Andy Williams Christmas show. Already his brothers have dropped by as have his mother and father. His mother is wearing a fur stole. His wife Claudine, not yet notorious, wants help picking the tree. The Osmond Brothers are now singing. They are dressed in pink shirts and white bib overalls and singing about peppermint. Donny is tiny compared to his brothers. I probably saw this back in the day as we never missed an Andy Williams Christmas.

Though the temperature is in the 40’s, the dampness has made the day feel even colder. There have been clouds all day, but the clouds are darkening. The rain will soon be here.

I’m thinking I deserve a bit of egg nog.

“Nothing burns like the cold.”

December 15, 2016

Today is a busy day. Peapod is due to arrive so I’ll have to put my groceries away, and my house will be getting cleaned this afternoon. I just have to lift my feet for the vacuum and the mop.

The Polar Vortex has appeared again. I always think it sounds like the title of a low budget scifi movie, but it isn’t. Tonight we will get down to single digits and there is a high wind warning for down here. Winds will be 25 to 35 mph with gusts between 55 and 65 mph. Bitterly cold wind chills are expected overnight. The warning also says there is a danger of power failures. If that happens, we’ll freeze to death (note: overly dramatic).

My tree is just about finished. It needs a few ornaments in the middle, in a spot with few branches, and it needs to be moved. I couldn’t move it, too heavy for me. When Lee comes to clean, I’ll have him move it to the corner then I’ll finish decorating. Last night I sat in the living room looking at my tree. It’s beautiful.

Many ornaments on the tree are memories. My mother needle-pointed my sisters and me ornaments with our initials. Mine is K for kings, the three kings. One Christmas I cross-stitched ornaments for everyone’s gift. My mother collected sheep so a few of her ornaments had sheep. I have them now. Pinocchio was bought in Florence, in a small toy shop my mother and I found. There is a stitched ornament from Hungry, a harp from Ireland my friends gave me, molas from Panama we got at the San Blas Islands, beaded ornaments from Ghana, a wooden angel also from Ghana and a small red and green Bolga basket I hang at the end of a branch so it doesn’t get lost. My mother gave us ornaments from our childhood for our trees. A few are mssing paint but most are in wonderful shape for being old. I love putting them on the tree.

My house is almost decorated. Gracie’s crate is getting some lights this year. A small plastic Santa is on the counter in the bathroom as sort of a night light. My kitchen has the pepper lights. Gracie has a holiday collar. I love festive!

“I call this season fake weather. The sun is shining but it cold like the north pole outside.”

December 12, 2014

Piles of Christmas bags filled with wrapped presents sits on the couch ready to be boxed and mailed. My marathon wrapping session of Colorado gifts has ended. When I finish here, it is over the river and through the woods to UPS where they will box and sent. I will pay and breathe a sigh of relief.

I don’t have my tree yet. That will have to be on Sunday as tomorrow is booked with the annual play then out to dinner with my sister. The play this year is Meet Me in St. Louis. The dinner will be Italian. It always is.

I need to get in gear. My house isn’t the magical Christmas scene it usually is by now. My back is to blame. It hurts when I carry things and hurts when I don’t. The only time I get relief is sitting with pillows behind me. I’m thinking that sounds like a bon-bon day. I’ll wear frills and call for the maid to indulge my every whim.

A spawn of Satan came in the mail. im6 sent it to me. The spawn is grasping a bag of acorns, ammo I suspect. It is in this room with me. I swear its eyes follow me, and I think I heard the acorns rattling. The spawn is cute which is its weapon. You get drawn in and then whack. The spawn has you. Gracie thought it was hers. She does have several stuffed toys so it was a natural mistake, but I saved the spawn from Gracie clutches. I don’t know why. I’ll regret it. I’ve seen all the movies. Chucky comes to mind.

Today is sunny and the sky is blue. I almost didn’t recognize either one as it has been so long since their last appearance. They are welcomed, but neither is enough to keep the cold at bay. It’s in the mid 30’s and will stay that way all day. It’s a bundle day.

“Once the rain starts falling it’s hard to tell it to stop…”

December 9, 2014

The wind is howling and the rain is falling sideways. My backyard trees are again dancing in the wind, back and forth and back and forth. The rain has flooded roads and is falling so heavily that even a quick dash means getting cold and wet. This morning I made four stops. First was the library board meeting, then the post office, then PT and finally the store for life’s essentials: bread, cat food, chicken and a chocolate bar.

I am so happy to be back inside my warm, dry house. When I finish writing, I’m going upstairs and put on my cozies. I bought some clam chowder for dinner. It seemed perfect for a day like today.

Yesterday I brought up a few Christmas decorations from the cellar and later today I hope to decorate some more. The tree in the dining room is lit. I like to go the long way around to the stairs so I get to see the tree. I can hardly wait for the big tree, but now I have to hope for a couple of dry days.

The gold finches have braved the rain and are at the feeder though it swaying in the wind. The red spawn doesn’t seem to like the rain. He is probably in a cozy nest snacking on my sunflower seeds. If he were a character in The Wind in the Willows, his nest would have comfy furniture, a fireplace and a filled pantry. He’d be sitting by the fire with his feet on an ottoman as he drinks afternoon tea from a dainty China cup.

The last wind storm took down several of my outside decorations. I had to go down the side hill which is covered with brush, thorns and branches. Getting down is never the problem. Getting back up always is as I have nothing to hold on to help pull myself up. The other day I threw the ornaments I had retrieved onto the grass above the hill so I could have both hands free. I made it safely up the hill, a major accomplishment for me.

Now to my slippers and my cozies and maybe, just maybe, a nap.

“Easter tells us that life is to be interpreted not simply in terms of things but in terms of ideals.”

March 31, 2013

The sun is shining on this Easter morning. The air is still, and the day is getting warmer. No winter coats will cover pastel Easter dresses. I can hear birds singing even though the windows are closed. Yesterday I saw a few buds on one of my bushes. The buds are tiny and closed tightly, but they are another sign that spring is gaining hold.

The alarm rang at 6:15 this morning, and I turned it off and went back to sleep for an hour. I had set it early so I could sneak down my friends’ house and decorate the tree which hangs over their deck: it’s an annual Easter surprise. Though if it’s annual, is it really a surprise? Anyway, when I realized how late it was, I was afraid they’d be awake, but Gracie and I went anyway. The car was covered in frost so I scrapped the windows and off we went. At their house, all the shades were down so they were still abed. I went on the deck and started decorating. One of the giant decorated paper lanterns fell over the deck rail. That meant walking off the deck then all around the outside of the deck and through the underbrush to retrieve it. That was an adventure. The leaves and branches were soaked and sucked up one of my slippers. I had to yank it out of the muck. I found a bird feeder covered in wet leaves and put it on the deck rail. I also saw a mango. I’m still perplexed a bit about the mango, strange spot for one. While I was mucking about, the door opened and out came Darci, their dog. Whoever let her out never looked so I wasn’t caught. I walked back to the deck, petted Darci for a while, hung the lantern then sneaked away. I just got a call thanking me for the surprise and telling me how lovely the tree looks.

I remember so well Easter Sunday mass when I was young. The church was always beautiful and filled with light. The sun shined through the stained glass windows. The dark purple of lent had been replaced by white and all the statues were uncovered. Flowers decorated the floor in front of and all around the altar. I remember the lilies because they were the tallest. The church was always crowded. Women wore hats, fancy hats with veils, small see through veils that went down as far as their eyes. The men wore suits and carried their hats into the church. Little girls wore dresses in pinks and blues and all the different shades of pastel. They wore short white gloves and round hats with ribbons. Their shoes were patent leather, both black and white, and were worn with fancy white socks with lace around the edges. Some boys wore suits, ones with jackets checkered in the front. Others wore white shirts and ties and new pants with deep creases. The shoes were always new and always with laces. The choir sang at Easter. If I had known the word back then, I would have said it was majestic, mass on Easter Sunday.

Happy Easter!