“Pensive they sit, and roll their languid eyes.”

It’s still winter. I still live in New England. It’s still cold.

Before I go to bed every night, I send the dog outside to do the last of her night’s business then I shut off lights. Before I went upstairs last night, I pretty much did the same thing, but the light in the kitchen was already off and the dog was back inside so we went to bed. When I came downstairs late this morning, I noticed I had left the back door open all night. Right away I thought of the woman and the raccoon. In yesterday’s paper was the story of a woman who was awakened by a raccoon chewing her lips and face. She managed to throw it to the floor and lock it in the bedroom. The raccoon was captured and found to be rabid. The woman started rabies shots right away and also had to get several stitches on her face. It seems the raccoon got into the house through the cat door. Gracie’s door is even bigger than that so I’m thinking lions and tigers and bears, oh my, but actually I believe we’re safe as the 6 foot back fence will keep out most critters. I do pity the woman those shots. When I first got to Ghana, we had shot day, including a rabies shot. As the vaccine went into my arm, my knees buckled and I think I yelped or even screamed. I’m not sure which. The pain blotted my memory.

I’m going to count yesterday as productive. I did a load of laundry, went to have blood drawn and stopped at two stores. In one I bought doo-dads. I bought some watch faces and can’t tell you why. They were just neat looking.

My student Grace called this morning. She is trying to finish her house in Bolga. In Ghana houses are finished a bit at a time when money is available. Her house only needs a roof for the outside to be finished. Grace said when I next come to Bolga I have to stay with her. I said I would if she made jollof rice, Guinea fowl and kelewele. She laughed and said she would. I’m hoping I can go back in 2015 so I need to start saving money: no more doo-dads and no more shopping. The trip is expensive so austerity is my new life-style.

Okay, I just re-read this to check for errors. I have decided my life is boring when laundry is part of the conversation.

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18 Comments on ““Pensive they sit, and roll their languid eyes.””

  1. flyboybob Says:

    I would not have a doggie door because only the deity will know what kind of critter will come from the cold. Besides, my dog is not smart enough to wipe his own feet before coming into the house when it is muddy in the back yard.

    Have you thought about light therapy to help overcome the winter doldrums. Studies have shown that we get down in the dumps in winter because of the lack of sunlight. Many people have reported that they are helped, many of them living in the Northwest, using a rack of florescent lights in front of a reflector to bath themselves in the photons. It sounds like ‘crappola’ or sudo-science to me, but who knows. Some people get results from acupuncture.

    It’s difficult to save money for a wonderful trip. Prices never go down and income is hard to increase. Have you thought about a part time job to earn the money to go to Ghana? Can you substitute teach for extra money after you have retired from the school system? I could never just retire and do nothing. We had several instructors who work part time a couple of days a week just to keep busy. Unfortunately, a couple of them who were in their 80s passed away.

    • katry Says:

      Gracie needed only one day to learn her dog door. It is wonderful. She comes and goes as she needs and wants. This time of year, though, cold air comes in through the edges so I have to keep the bak door closed. If Gracie wants out, she rings her poochie bells. With the high fence no walking creatures get into the yard. A possum does but they aren’t the type to venture in the dog door.

      I’m not in the doldrums, just bored of winter. A warm day would be enough. In the summer I am a million things going on including a couple of plays a week so I don’t have time to get bored.

      It is called SAD, seasonal affective disorder. People in Alaska and other places where the sun barely appears for any time seem to suffer the most. I get sun but it is still cold.

      I am good at saving money once I start. Every year I used to save enough to go to Europe, and I didn’t make much money in those days. I have a year and a half and should be able to put it away.

      I don’t want to work. I love being retired. The last place I would work would be the school. I had my fill of 33 years.

      I’ll just be frugal.

      • flyboybob Says:

        You have trained the dog to wipe her feet when she comes through the doggie door? I don’t think that light will help boredom but maybe playing some Caribbean music would help. 🙂

        Frugality is better than working. Who wants to be a greeter at Walmart? 🙂

      • katry Says:

        I bought a special mat which traps the dirt in her paws when she comes in-ther prints are wet but not dirty.

        No, I was just saying that’s what they use for SAD. For boredom, we’re on our own.

  2. olof1 Says:

    Spring-like weather over here today, we even almost had sunshine for a big part of the day. The clouds were so thin that the sun shone through. I love this winter now when it is as warm as it is 🙂 But we still have plenty of it left so it might turn towards snow and bitterly cold again any day but not in the coming five if we are to believe the predictions 🙂

    I’m so glad we don’t have to worry about either rabies or raccoons here yet. I say yet because we do have raccoons here now further south. I’m not too fond of hunting but I do hope they get those raccoons no matter how cute they look ;:-)

    Perhaps I should move to Ghana, it sounds so much better to sort of building a house as the economy allows instead of as it is here in northern parts of the world, build the house in one step no matter how much it costs. I would then finally have a mango tree in my garden, something I have always wanted to have 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • katry Says:

      It is so cold my metal seed barrel got stuck to the ice. It is in an inconvenient spot to get at, but I did manage to fill the feeders. The weather is cold all week long. I want one day in the 40’s!

      We didn’t have rapid raccoons until about 20 years ago. I guess the first one must have walked over the bridge to get here.

      You could have a mango, an orange, pineapple and banana tree in your yard. Fresh fruit is one of the perks of living in Ghana. In the south is where all the fruit except pawpaw grow, and it is also the best climate in the country. It stays green there all the time.

      Enjoy your evening!

  3. Beto Says:

    A colleague adopted a West Highland Terrier from rescue and was impressed with the little fellows pugilistic bent. When a Raccoon came in through the new doggie door it left pieces behind and the dog was unscathed. He passed away last year but I still have some scars to remember the brave pooch by.

  4. katry Says:

    Westies are hunters so finding out one did in a raccoon doesn’t surprise me. They are small but can be fierce. They are also cute.

  5. Cuidado Says:

    I think we both have a bit of cabin fever. Luckily I work three days a week so I am forced to go out. Otherwise, I might hole up inside for the winter. I have always been an avid snowshoer and skater. With my bad hip I can go out on snowshoes for only short hikes and I can’t skate at all ( that pushing motion).

    I am normally painting, and crafting. Instead I am doing bits and pieces, not inspired work as I have no inspiration right now. It has been cold but the sun shines most days I am glad for that but I need a kick of some kind…a good thing we have our music

    • katry Says:

      I used to take the dog and go for rides for no reason, just to get out. I haven’t really done that for a while. Today we’ll go to the dump, big deal for the dog but not for me. I don’t see people much either. We all seem to have the same malaise.

      If I polish the furniture, I think job well done and count the day as industrious. I did start and finish a book the last couple of days so at least I did something I enjoy. I guess I’ll have to force myself.

  6. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    My sister-in-law let her shitzu cross out for the last visit of the evening, forgot that she had and went to bed. My brother came home in the morning and found poor Ginger shivering up against the glass slider waiting for someone to let her in. They have coyotes roaming through their yard on nightly basis so Ginger was very lucky not to end up as dinner.

    I would have to install fencing, replace doors and redesign the house in order to have doggy doors. Right now there would have to be three doggy flaps just to get out the back. Even to get out of the cellar or the front of the house would require two. And then Rocky would be free to roam all over the neighborhood and beyond. He’d like that.

    Anyone who talks on the phone to friends in Ghana and buys watch faces just because does not have a boring life. 🙂

    I use laundry as an opportunity to spend time photographing stuff in the yard while I wait for the washing machine to do its thing. I have a little series going that I call View from the Laundry Room Door. It has impressed some folks on ShutterCal who think I have fabulous scenery from my laundry room. 😀 😀 😀

    Sunny and sort of cold although 21ºF has begun to sound almost tropical this winter. 🙂

    Enjoy the day. Spring is coming.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I leave the back door open so Gracie can come in on her own. I don’t forget her, just the door. I had a friend who heard her dog screeching. When she went out, a coyote was trying to drag it away; it was a sheltie. My friend got the coyote to drop the dog who had only teeth scrape marks on its side. Another person had her dog on a run in the back yard. A coyote grabbed it and ran, but the dog popped out of the coyote’s mouth when they got to the end of the run. Yup, that dog was lucky.

      Thanks for that! I guess I didn’t think of those two things as out of the ordinary!

      That is cool, and I love the title: View from the Laundry Room. I need to take my camera with me when I go out. Even average would be fun to snap.

      It is 34˚ right now, almost balmy!

      • Caryn Says:

        Coincidentally enough this morning’s view from the laundry room door offered me 6 deer down in the back woods nibbling twigs. Often times trying to make the ordinary picturesque reveals fascinating things.

      • katry Says:

        I remember taking pictures in my dentist’s office. That was fun.

  7. sprite Says:

    If your fence is made of wood or stucco or anything that offers a toehold, I wouldn’t rule out raccoons breaching your yard. My MIL has raccoons in her attic and I dread the day when they become our problem.

    • katry Says:

      They are made of wood, but I don’t see any toeholds. I haven’t had a raccoon in the yard since the fence went up. Before that, Gracie let me know we had an intruder. Another time she had cornered one on the deck, and I had to pretty much carry Gracie to get her away. That was one huge raccoon.

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