Archive for the ‘Musings’ category

“I went window shopping today! I bought four windows.”

September 20, 2019

The sun shines through the trees in the backyard. When I went to get the papers, it was warmer than I expected because the house is so chilly. I could have turned on the heat for a bit, but, instead, I put on my sweatshirt. It is enough.

When I woke this morning, the cat was sleeping at the foot of my bed. Henry was beside me curled into a ball. I think he was cold. Stuck between the two of them, I was uncomfortable. They didn’t care.

When I was. kid, fall Saturdays were perfect for riding my bike. The air was cool. I remember going up town and walking my bike on the sidewalk passed all the stores in the square. I loved window shopping. Hank’s bakery had pies, cakes and cupcakes in its window. I always wondered if they were real being in the window and all. I loved the smells from Hank’s, especially the baking bread. The fish market was my second favorite window. In it was a tank with lobsters. I knew they were real, but, despite the lobsters, I never stayed long at that window. I didn’t like the smells. Kennedy’s Butter and Egg store was at the corner of the square. Barrels were out front. One Christmas, my mother gave me a metal box with a Kennedy’s label on it. It was a memory, and I loved remembering. The electric company was on another corner. In its window were appliances: stoves and refrigerators. The jewelry store had a small window. In it were clocks and watches. I loved the Woolworth’s window. It was filled with all sorts of stuff including patterns for sewing, cookware and a few toys. Grant’s window was almost the same. Middlesex Drug was the largest one in town. It had a soda fountain and sold stuff like perfumes, make-up and men’s handkerchiefs.

Sometimes I had my fifty cents allowance with me. I’d buy some candy at Middlesex Drug or a trinket at Woolworth’s. I always felt rich. Fifty cents went a long way back then.

“So!” she said, without being startled or surprised; “the days have worn away, have they?”

September 19, 2019

The weather is sunny but chilly. It will be cold tonight. I’ve been keeping my windows closed, but the house is still morning cold. It gets that way this time of year. I often have to turn on the heat just to warm the house. A sweatshirt has been added to my ensemble.

When I was a kid, getting ready for school, I fought hats and heavy jackets. I knew by the afternoon they’d be too warm to wear and too heavy to carry. Sometimes I’d sling my jacket across my school bag which made the jacket easier to carry despite the bulk. I always wore socks. The upside was warmth. The downside was socks so old they didn’t have much elastic around the tops so they slid to my ankles. They were bulky. I guess a good part of my school day was bulky.

It is nap time for cat1 and the dog. They each occupy one side of the couch. I’m in the middle. Cat1 is leaning against me. I can feel the warmth of his body. He softly purrs. I’m hoping he’s home. As for cat2, I’m seeing more of her (I have no reason to say her but it is easier). She sleeps on the chair in the guest room. I stand outside the gate and talk to her. She doesn’t run under the bed. I’m hoping she’ll come downstairs soon. The poor kitty needs grooming as she is matted while Cat1’s fur is soft. He has endured countless brushings and de-matting. Both are long-haired.

Today is leave the wash by the cellar door day. If history is correct, it will sit there a long time or at least a few days before I get sick of looking at it.

My dance card is brittle and yellow with age, but I did have company on Tuesday so I haven’t quite yet transformed into Miss Havisham. Even though I have spider webs, like in Miss Haversham’s house, mine are small and don’t yet hang from the ceiling so there is still hope.

“The place where you continually return for love and acceptance—that’s home.”

September 17, 2019

This is me at my computer as it charges up from 1%. The mailman came so I ran across the street knowing my charger was to be delivered. I could barely wait for it to be connected. Being without my laptop and having to rely on my iPad was annoying at best and caused anguished cries. I was glad to see the little lightning bolt letting me know it was charging. I had this teeny fear in the back of my mind that it was something other than the charger. I breathed a sigh of relief fierce enough to ruffle the papers on my table.

Catching you up will be easy. Nothing really happened except my usual day to day doings. I’ve been reading, and I’ve watched mostly movies on TV instead of reruns. I was almost tempted to watch Sean Spicer on Dancing with the Stars, but I just couldn’t do it. Had I lost the impulse to skip the program, which I never watch anyway, I’d think I beyond hope.

I actually went into Stop and Shop, the first time in months. I needed a few things and didn’t want to wait until the end of the month when I usually do Peapod. I hated walking the aisles avoiding carts left in the middle, and I hated carrying the groceries to the kitchen.

Cat1 is still around and about. I got a chuckle watching him (her) last night. I went into the cats’ room to feed them and decided to sit for a bit in case cat2 decided to appear. I had bought a scratch pad for the cats. It is in a cardboard case which slopes. Cat1 sat at the top of the slope, scratched his claws on the bottom then slid down the scratch pad to the floor. I thought it was a mistake, but he did it a second time. He was like a little kid at the park using the slide. Cat2 didn’t come out, but I saw him (her) this morning. I stayed outside of the room and spoke sweet nothings. It actually stayed and listened. We are moving forward, slowly but still forward.

The other night cat1 was snoring so loudly it woke me up. He was lying on the floor in front of my bureau. My first thought was a marauder had gained entry without Henry knowing, but that would be impossible. Henry is a constant barker if anyone comes near the house. It was the cat, no question.

Today is dump day. I bet you’ve missed that.

The weather has been superb, sunny and warm. I’ve been doing some outside chores. I cleaned my little library and added books, I filled the bird feeders and I pulled up a few weeds. My fall flowers are all in bloom. The clematis covers the fence. Some yellow flowers which resemble sunflowers though smaller are in the front garden, and lovely white flowers are in the small garden right by the house. Bees are all over the clematis so I run by them. I was bite once when I was a kid so running comes naturally.

I am so glad to be back on-line, to be writing Coffee. There was a huge hole in my morning routine which has now been filled. I find it amazing I have been writing for 15 or maybe 16 years. Luckily I haven’t run out of words.

“Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.”

September 13, 2019

I am back! It took a bit of fiddling but all is well with my computer. The adaptor is now doing its job, and I’m up to 40%. Meanwhile, I chatted with Comcast and got my bill lowered and a free tech visit to install a new box and modem, all for less than I’ve been paying. I kept complaining, and the person to whom I was speaking kept giving me more for less. That changed the whole complexion of the day.

When I was a kid, moving the rabbit ears on the antenna was the only way to get a good picture. We didn’t have an antenna on the roof as it wasn’t allowed so it was up to the rabbit ears. My father covered the ears with aluminum foil, his low tech way to improve the picture. I’m not so sure it did any good for the TV, but it did inspire people to make and wear aluminum hats to shield their brains from electromagnetic fields and mind control.

We had all sorts of superstitions when I was a kid. Step on a crack and break your mother’s back was a popular one, but we weren’t brave enough to test it. We didn’t want to be responsible for my mother breaking her back. I remember carrying a pink rabbit’s foot. I wonder why I never stopped to think that there are no pink rabbits. I also remember crossing my fingers, closing my eyes and wishing. I never walked under a ladder though I really wasn’t sure why I shouldn’t. It was the same with opening an umbrella in the house. Even now I knock on wood. I don’t believe it does anything, but it doesn’t hurt. We didn’t believe black cats were bad luck as we had one. I have two right now. The only bad luck is cleaning their dirty litter boxes.

“Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.”

September 12, 2019

The sound of pouring rain was what I heard when I first woke up this morning. One bedroom window was open so I could hear the rain hitting the roof and deck, but it is a west facing window so I didn’t get up to close it. Rain seldom comes from that direction. I stayed in bed a bit more until I needed my coffee so I dragged myself out of bed. The first things I saw at the bottom of the stairs were pieces of paper. I knew right away what they were. I had left four envelopes by the front door so I’d remember to put them in my mailbox. Cat1 had had a wonderful time last night. All four envelopes have been chewed, and pieces were all over the living room and the kitchen. That cat had chewed off the stamps and both ends of the envelopes. I’m going to mail them in new envelopes with apology notes and a picture of the cat.

I bundled up and went to get the papers and yesterday’s mail. My jacket and shoes got soaked, but that’s no never mind. I got my papers. My morning is compete.

I love sitting in my house on a rainy day. I put on the scallop shell and pepper lights in my kitchen. They lend a comfy glow to the room. I light the lanterns in the living room. The only full light is here in the den, my spot. I need the light for reading and as backlight for watching TV.

The cat has taken to whacking Henry when he goes by him(?). Henry hesitates before passing by the cat and then he runs. The cat’s paw sometimes does get poor Henry, but luckily the cat doesn’t use claws. Henry is not innocent in all this. He is forever sniffing the cat and takes to chasing the cat when he can. All of this makes for a lively house.

When I was a kid, rainy days meant getting soaked walking to and from school. My shoes took the worst beating. They squeaked and water bubbled. As soon as I’d get home, my mother had us take off our wet school clothes. She’d put them on hangers to dry. Our shoes went boy the radiator if it was winter. If not, they were lined up in the kitchen for drying. I always got into my pajamas instead of my play clothes. Most times I’d read and while away the afternoon.

I loved the rain in Ghana. It was sometimes dramatic. I’d stand on my little porch and watch the rain. I had to walk to and from the classroom block, and I’d get wet, no umbrella, no rain clothes, but it didn’t matter. Everything dried quickly. All three times I have been back to Ghana have been in the rainy season.

“My favorite time of day is to get up and eat leftovers from dinner, especially spicy food.”

September 10, 2019

The string of lovely days continues. The sun, the blue sky and the warmth make it a day to be outside. I have to fill the bird feeders, and I’m going to add books and clean my little library. I also have a new set of outside lights. I just have to figure where and how to place them. The spawns of Satan eat wires. I wished electrocution on them but that didn’t happen.

Cat2 was sitting in front of the bed when I checked the cats’ room this morning. Cat2 is pretty. (She or He?) has white across half of (his or her) face. I sweet talked to the kitty hoping it would become less afraid of me. I didn’t go in the room. The cat kept moving its head from me to Henry who was just outside the gate. I’ll go in after a few more sightings and more sweet nothings.

Last night I actually made dinner for myself. Lately I have been eating cereal or yogurt or crackers and cheddar. I did make the most delicious grilled cheese the other day, but I just haven’t care to make anything else. Last night I caramelized Vidalia onions then added a yellow pepper. Once it was fried, I added sweet freshly made Italian sausages. I had also bought a fresh loaf of boule bread and used it for my sausage, pepper and onion sandwich. Cole- slaw was my side. I added Za’atar seasoning, and that brought the cole-slaw to a whole new level. My dinner was scrumptious. Even better is I have leftovers for lunch.

When I was a kid, my mother often made one of my all time favorite dishes, peppers and eggs. She’d make it to take to the beach and for barbecues. She fry peppers and onions add the eggs and finally add some tomato sauce. Just the right amount of sauce was the key. She’d serve it in rolls. That it was cold didn’t matter. It was delicious.

Food and my mother and my growing up are intrinsically connected. My holiday table is always graced with memories of my mother. I serve the food she made every year, the dishes which made holidays so very special.

“Always lists to be made, as if writing items in neat vertical rows might stave off randomness and chaos.”

September 9, 2019

Today is cloudy at times but warm, in the low 70’s. It is a perfect day for errands. I have 4 stops. I’ve numbered them based on geography. I’m doing a loop starting at the library and ending at Agway.

The morning I watched the interaction between Henry and Cat1. Henry was sniffing the cat’s interesting end so Cat1 turned around and almost whacked the dog who jumped away, but Henry didn’t care. He kept harassing the cat who kept whacking Henry with his paw. Henry thought it a game. I’m not sure what the cat thought, but Cat1 didn’t run away so maybe he saw the interaction as benign.

I did go out to dinner last week, but other than that, I haven’t been anywhere or done anything. I don’t count errands. I’m thinking fun things to do. I know it’s time. The signs are here. When I woke up, I went into the bathroom and ended up cleaning behind stuff. I took everything out of a basket and washed tops and covers. I also cleaned picture frames. When this weird cleaning frenzy starts, I know I need to change my routine before I spend the whole day cleaning odd nooks and crannies. I’ve already been eyeing the three baskets here in the den under the table, a monumental task. I need help, a diversion, entertainment, company.

When I woke up this morning, both Henry and Cat1 were on my bed. The cat was by my head and the dog by my feet. They are still beside me but on the couch. The cat is sprawled between me and the arm of the couch with its paws hanging. The dog is curled. Both are sleeping. They are living the good life!

When I was a kid, we always had a dog. I know my mother had a dog but my father had no pets. His parents weren’t pet people. My aunt gave us our first dog, Duke, the boxer. We got our first cat when I was in high school. At the time, my father was working all week in Maine and coming home only weekends. He said the cat needed to go before he got home. He didn’t like cats. My mother said keep it. He’d adjust. He did, and from then on, my parents always had cats, but only one other dog besides Duke, Beebe. I’m a multi-pet person, usually two cats and a dog.

I need to finish Coffee so I can get going. Where is that list?

“A Road Trip Is A Way For The Whole Family To Spend Time Together And Annoy Each Other In Interesting New Places.”

September 8, 2019

Today is a perfect fall day through it isn’t quite fall. The air is warmish, the sun bright and there is no breeze. I’m thinking I might go for a ride. I do need to get a few things at the grocery store, yogurt and cream, but that stop will be at the end of my ride. I think I’ll go up Cape.

Sunday rides were fun when I was a kid. My parents would load us into the car and off we’d go. My father always took side roads instead of the highways. I remember seeing cows and red barns and little towns with white churches near grassy commons. My father sometimes gave us a running commentary. I had one back window, and my brother had the other with my sister in the middle. My youngest sister sat up front. Those were the days when the front seat extended across from one window to the other. My mother often packed a lunch, and we’d stop at a roadside place with picnic tables under the shade of trees. It also gave us a chance to run around and play. After lunch, we’d get back on the road for a bit. Sometimes on the way home we’d stop for ice cream cones. It was usually a stand alone ice cream shop with so many flavors it was difficult to choose one. For a while chocolate chip was my favorite. The ice cream was always served in sugar cones which were tasty for eating after the ice cream was gone, but for some reason they always leaked at the bottom. That meant licking the top so it wouldn’t melt down the cone and licking the bottom so the melted ice cream wouldn’t get all over my hands. It was tricky to master. My mother used to put napkins around the bottom of my sisters’ cones. They never ate that far down as the paper stuck to the cones. I finished every bit of my ice cream, and the last taste was always from the bottom tip of the cone.

I am watching It, one of the scariest movies made from a Stephen King novel. It is a good thing I am not afraid of clowns.

“There is nothing more universally commended than a fine day; the reason is that people can commend it without envy.”

September 7, 2019

We had rain, and we had wind, but neither was out of the ordinary. I woke to a dark, damp day with the leaves on the tree nearest my house blowing back and forth close to my window. I got up to look, but, by then, the wind gust had died down though the trees in my backyard are still swaying from the wind. I’m happy at the plain old ordinary wind and rain, but I wouldn’t have objected to a bit more weather dramatics.

I have been on the phone with AT&T since I was eleven: okay I’m exaggerating, but it seemed that long. Today I received a bill more than twice my usual mobile bill. It seems that connecting my new phone caused a variety of problems. The AT&T person I was on the phone with seemed to understand what was wrong and corrected it, but last week the problems were supposedly corrected as well, but they weren’t, but after so long a conversation, I think I’m happy. I went to pay my bill, and everything looked good. My new bill is even less than my old bill.

When I was a kid, I remember my mother and her budget envelopes. She had a red plastic case with several brown envelopes inside. My father was paid every week, and my mother divvied the money among all her accounts. She also had a Christmas club. Those were the days when bills were delivered at the start of the new month. My mother was always ready.

When I was growing up, our apartment was in the project. We lived in a duplex which had a front garden, grass and trees. Our house was on the corner so we had a big front lawn, a slight hill, we shared with the other side of the duplex. My father usually mowed the shared lawn. He liked to mow. It was a man thing. He was never one for flowers but he loved his lawn.

I have no plans for today. It will be a sloth day. I bought groceries yesterday so my larder is full. I’m close to finishing my book, and there are always movies to watch. It sounds like a fine day!

“the comfort of reclusion, the poetry of hibernation”

September 6, 2019

The house was cold this morning even though all the windows were closed. It was 63˚. I threw on a long sleeve shirt, but a sweatshirt might still be a better choice. When I woke up, the cat, a monumental beast, was on my hip and purring away. The dog was asleep at the end of the bed. I asked Alexa the time. She wished me a good morning.

We are under a tropical storm warning and are expecting wind and rain starting this afternoon. The storm will intensify during the night. Right now the day is cold, dark and windy. All my windows and doors are shut. I do need to go out today to the dump and to Agway for cat food so I’m hoping to finish before the rain. I’m thinking being warm and cozy all afternoon.

Today is a day for comfort food. When I was a kid, I had favorites like American chop suey, grilled cheese with tomato soup for dipping and mac and cheese. I don’t think my larder has the necessary ingredients few though they are, but I can always stop at Ring’s grocery. I’m leaning toward a grilled cheese with fresh tomatoes from the farm store. Looks like I’ve added a couple of stops.

I have a book I’m in the middle of and several catalogs to browse. I have that potholder kit and my new ukulele. I can only play a couple of chords and neither all that well. My fingers keep getting in the way.

Last night I had dinner with friends at Karoo’s, the South African restaurant. The food was, as always, delicious, and I really enjoyed being with my friends as I hadn’t seen them in a while. I have been a bit of a hermit lately, content to be home. I guess I’m preparing for winter hibernation.

I am watching Cosmic Monsters. They are giant bugs in a feeding frenzy. Though not spiders, they build webs for catching dinner. The schoolteacher is being attacked. She just fainted. The female computer operator is caught in a web. She just fainted. Will she be saved?