Posted tagged ‘weather’

“My doctor told me I had to stop throwing intimate dinners for four unless there are three other people.”

October 23, 2017

My back is a bit better. I can walk without holding on to anything. Yesterday was a sit on the couch day, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, the back aside. I have to go out today so I hope for the best.

I think I’ve used every adjective perfect to describe our weather of late. Think warm, sunny, deep blue sky and nearly breezeless. My house is again cooler than outside. In here it is sweatshirt weather. Outside is short sleeve weather.

My mother used to make fried dough for supper on Fridays, the no meat day. We’d all hang around the kitchen counter making sure we got our dough turn. My mother’s frying pan held three small or two big pieces of fried dough. She used to buy the dough at the supermarket. I remember it came in a blue and white box. We slathered butter and sprinkle salt on it. Fried dough was one of our favorite suppers.

We ate a lot of hamburger growing up, but my mother was a whiz at cooking hamburger so many different ways we never got tired of eating it. I still love meatloaf and American chop suey. She made spaghetti sauce with ground beef, another fake oriental dish of hamburger with water chestnuts and crispy chow mein on top,. The fall back was always  burgers. I love cheeseburgers.

My food in Ghana didn’t really vary a whole lot. We were lucky to live in the only area of the country which bred beef so we could always buy meat in the market. There was even a meat factory where we could buy some sort of tubular meat masquerading as a hot dog. The meat from the market was always tough. Only old cows were slaughtered. The meat was cooked in a broth like sauce with tomatoes and onions which tenderized the meat. I think we had that most nights though we also ate chicken, free range chickens because the chickens wandered all over the place all day but did came home to roost at night. We mostly ate mashed yams  but also had rice on occasion. Breaking teeth was a PC volunteer problem as the rice always had a few rocks. You needed to spend time cleaning it, but it was easier not to. When volunteers got together, food was always a topic of conversation.

Living alone means I don’t always make dinner. I improvise with whatever is in the fridge. I’m content with cheese and crackers or hummus and pita bread. I’m even happy with cereal. I do have meat in the freezer, heavy on the chicken, but I usually forget to take it out. Last night, though, I took out some Chinese sausage to defrost and I have some rice I can cook. That’s like a gourmet meal for me.

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“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.

“Interesting fact: a shark will only attack you if you’re wet.”

August 1, 2017

The day is beautiful but warm and getting warmer. Gracie and I spent the earlier morning on the deck. I read the papers and watched the birds. Sometimes, though, I was so taken I put the paper aside and just watched. The chickadees are the most numerous. I saw two chasing each other. I don’t know if they were amorous or angry. A few nuthatches and tufted titmice also flew in for a few seeds. They waited patiently on branches for the chickadees to leave. I could hear a woodpecker at a pine tree. The fountain, filled with water, splashed and burbled. Gracie thinks it’s a bubbler, a water fountain, so I have to keep filling it. The loud sound of a mower from next door broke the magic of the deck so Gracie and I came inside.

I have to leave the house today to do three errands. I’m hoping they won’t take too long. I have mapped the route, a summer necessity to avoid traffic though today is too nice a beach day to expect tourists on the road.

It will be hot today. It is already 82˚ but won’t get much higher. Tonight will be in the 60’s.  If I controlled the weather, I would make today just the way it is and the way it will be tonight.

I brought my camera with me to the deck and took pictures of the deck and the birds. The flowers in the clay pots are blooming. They are mostly on the long rail, but a few big ones are the deck where it ends. I love the look of the clay pots and the wooden flower boxes planted with herbs which are on one smaller rail. When I sit at the table, I can smell basil.

I’m still watching shark movies on Syfy. With most television programs being reruns, I watch baseball or sharks. The Sox won last night and so did the sharks until the end of the movie. We get to watch them devour people before the sharks are blown up which seems to be the only way to kill dinoshark, atomic shark, ghost shark, ice shark, roboshark and so many others, all man eaters. That five headed shark, Sunday’s movie, shared the victims. One head ate a half while another head ate the other half. The front end of the shark had four heads so I felt gypped until they showed the fifth head on the tail. It never seemed to eat but its jaw kept opening and closing.

Jaws was made in Cape waters, and when the first great whites showed up off the coast, there was a sort of Jaws frenzy. Last year 68 various kinds of sharks were spotted off Cape Cod. If they ever start feasting on tourists I may do nothing, but that could prickle my conscience so I’ll explain from my Syfy experience that blowing them up is the only solution.

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“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.”

July 20, 2017

The weather has settled into monotony. Every day is sunny and hot. We reached the mid 80’s yesterday while Boston was over 90˚. The shade was bearable, but the sun was unrelenting. The only times I went outside were to bring Gracie to the yard where I sat in the shade and waited for her.

I did nothing yesterday and will probably do nothing today as well. A dump run is in our future but probably tomorrow. I do need to water the plants, inside and outside, but that’s it.

When I was a teacher, I traveled every summer, mostly to Europe, and went for three or four weeks. I traveled on the cheap. Go Europe was my travel Bible. University housing and hostels were my hotels as such. Meals were sometimes at bar happy hours where I’d nurse a single drink until I’d eaten my fill or at railroad stations which had kiosks with cheap sandwiches. I usually traveled with a friend. B&B’s were sometimes our stops mostly through Ireland, Scotland and England. I remember one in London, in Earl’s Court. The owner barely spoke English and played music quite loud from the kitchen which was next to my room. The song I remember best is Cielito Linda with the damn ay, ay, ay. I swear it was played over and over. My favorite B&B was in Dingle Ireland. It was over a grocery store. The woman was old. She entertained us with stories about guests including the Frenchman who didn’t know how to eat Corn Flakes and another who wanted a facecloth. She laughed at the thought that the face had its own cloth. Breakfasts were eggs, bacon, toast and coffee and sometimes a grilled tomato. The hostels were cheap enough but didn’t offer breakfast, but they had a value of their own. Hostels were where I’d trade books and information with other travelers. All these trips were cheap enough that I could saved enough money every year for a summer in Europe.

Last year’s trip to Ghana was expensive enough for a couple or even close to three trips to Europe in the old days, but I was perfectly fine with that. I enjoyed the lap of luxury as if I had been born to it.

“It isn’t how much time you spend somewhere that makes it memorable: it’s how you spend the time.”

July 13, 2017

The weather is crazy. It is sunny then cloudy then sunny again. The humidity is so thick you can cut it with a knife (my father loved that old saw. The wording is repetitive, I know,  but what the heck). It is supposed to rain later today and again tomorrow. I have nowhere to go so I’m just fine with rain.

When I was a kid, I loved summer rains. We used to stay outside and get wet, even soaked. The stronger the rain, the more the fun. We’d splash at each other with the rainwater running down the gutters in the street. Sometimes the water ran so strongly it resembled a river with white rapids, or at least it seemed that way to us. Paper boats never had much of a chance. I think my love of the rain came from the joy we felt during summer storms.

We didn’t always go on vacation when I was a kid. Mostly we stayed home and did day trips, what they call a staycation now. I think my family invented that. We kids didn’t care. My mother and father planned great excursions. We did beach days. I remember swimming in water left by low tide and surrounded by sand bars. The sandwiches always had a bit of grit. We’d walk the beach and collect shells. By the end of the summer, I’d have quite a collection.

I remember the museums. They weren’t air conditioned in those days, but they always felt cool, the way my hometown library and post office did. I have two vivid memories of stuff at museums. At the Museum of Fine Arts, I remember the sarcophagi. They were in one giant room and they looked enormous to me. I was impressed and amazed they once all held mummies. At the Peabody Museum at Harvard I remember the outrigger hanging from the ceiling and the ape heads in jars. For some reason those heads fascinated me. They were in rows, jar after jar.

We went to the drive-in often as my grandfather had a pass so our car got in free. Bringing bug juice and popped corn from home and candy from the store made it a fairly inexpensive evening. There were always two movies and an intermission. The first movie was for kids and the second for adults as kids were expected to have fallen asleep by then or why the pajamas?

We’d go out to dinner one night during our stay at home vacation which was such a treat as we seldom went out to dinner. We’d go to Kitty’s in the next town over. It was always busy and cheap enough. I remember the waitresses carrying huge trays with several plates of foods on them. I watched kind of hoping to see plates hit the floor. They didn’t.

It never occurred to me we stayed home because we didn’t have the money for an away vacation. All the wonderful day trips are what I remember the most. I love museums thanks to those trips. I have seashells on display in the kitchen. Our Saturday outside movie nights are like the drive-in without the car but not without the candy.

“A movie is not a movie, it is a potential nuclear furnace of inspiration, courage and conscience.”

July 6, 2017

The last couple of days have been beautiful: sunny, clear and free of humidity. The nights have been wonderfully cool for sleeping. The weatherman is predicting rain for tomorrow. I’m fine with that as we haven’t had rain in a while.

The tourists have descended. The weekend started Thursday night and lasted until yesterday when the line of traffic wanting to cross the bridge reached back 6 miles.  Local traffic too has been horrific. Trying to get out of a parking lot and cross a line of traffic is nearly impossible. Yesterday I sat so long that I finally went right when I really wanted to go left. I pulled into a street on the left and turned around so I could converge with the single lane of traffic. It does seem silly this roundabout route but waiting is futile and even sillier. My patience will be constantly tried until after Labor Day. My vocabulary will be reduced to four letter words.

I’m back to watching MSNBC. My short hiatus made me hungry for news especially with Mr. Trump in Germany meeting with Merkel and Putin with no script, just off the cuff. I find that scary. He has little command of English vocabulary and reverts to simplistic words when specific words would carry so much more weight. My favorite Trump quote today is that the US will confront North Korea’s, “Very, very bad behavior.” Is a time-out an appropriate response for bad behavior? Sometimes, but I’m not sure it is enough for, “Very, very bad behavior.” That sounds like cause enough for being grounded.

Gracie has an appointment today off-Cape with an internist, a specialist. Other than the weakness in her back legs and the head tilt, everything else is back to normal. Her vet said there are brain lesions probably causing the two issues.

I have a few things on my to-do list. I finally bought replacement flowers for the dead ones in the pots. I’ll plant them when I get back from the vets. The deck still has a bit of caterpillar poop that needs cleaning so I’ll water the pots then spray the deck.

The premier for 2017’s movie night will be this Saturday. For opening night, we always have dinner first so I have to figure out what to serve. Also, the red carpet has to go down, the corn needs popping and I have to choose the movie candy. I have three or four new movies and will let my guests decide. I’ll let you know.

“Whoever thinks of going to bed before twelve o’clock is a scoundrel.”

June 16, 2017

The weather is wonky. When I woke up, it was sunny. A little while later it got cloudy then it got sunny again. Now it is back to cloudy and is chilly and windy. It is 64˚ and the intermittent clouds foreshadow the rain predicted for later in the day.

The black and white science fiction movie I just finished watching was awful, which, as you know, is one of my favorite sorts to watch as I find the awfulness of the movie  wonderfully entertaining. From Hell It Came was released in 1957. Doctors are on an island which is suffering from plague and is the site of fallout from a nearby nuclear blast. One native, the prince, Kimo, is accused of murdering his father the chief by Tano, the witch doctor, the real murderer; however, the real reason for the accusation is because Kimo befriended American doctors. Kimo is found guilty and is executed by having a knife driven into his heart. He is boxed and buried where there is radiation which transforms him into Tabanga, the walking tree stump with the perpetual scowl. He even develops legs. Tabanga seeks vengeance. He throws his unfaithful wife into quicksand. Tano decides to kill Tabanga and lures him, or it, into a pit which is set on fire; of course, Tabanga doesn’t die. His bark just takes on a charcoal complexion. I’m going to stop here as I don’t want to be a spoiler, but I will say the rest is perfectly awful.

I brought Gracie outside at 1 this morning. The darkness was almost impenetrable. The only sound was the jingle of Gracie’s tags as she walked. She stopped for a bit in the middle of the driveway and just listened. Hearing nothing, she moved to the gate, and I opened it to let her in the yard. I sat on the steps to the deck. She triggered the lights off the deck, and the yard was lit. I could hear her as she walked through the dead leaves on the ground. Finally, she was ready to go back inside the house. We went out again at 5:30. There was daylight, and there were birds singing. When we got back inside, we both slept until nine. She is sleeping again, and I’m thinking that’s one smart dog.

My mother and father were wonderful actors. They always acted surprised and thrilled by the gifts and cards we’d make for them. I remember popsicle stick creations like a coaster for under a drink, and I remember making a popsicle stick plaque and using macaroni letters on it to express my love. The letters were crooked and you could see all the glue holding them to the sticks, but it never mattered to my parents. They called it a work of art.

My dance card has been fairly empty, but I haven’t minded. I’m enjoying doing nothing. I’ve become quite good at it.