Archive for the ‘Musings’ category

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”

April 7, 2020

Today is another lovely day, warmer than yesterday, and already 53˚. I have to go to the post office. I wonder how that will work. One at a time would make for a long line as there is always a line at my post office. I’m sending Easter to Colorado.

When I was a kid, I loved the first spring days when I got to put winter away. My heavy coat and mittens went into storage in the cellar. My spring jackets, though, were too lightweight so I sometimes had to wear a sweater underneath. I didn’t care. It was a spring jacket, not a winter coat. I remember walking to school in the chilly mornings. The birds were many and loud. The sunlight was sharp, the air clear. I knew the day would get warmer. Spring mornings have that feel about them. Even now, when I go out to get the papers, I stay outside a little while. I check out the garden and the new buds and flowers. A purple hyacinth has bloomed. The garden is full of surprises.

My grass is getting green. Its winter brown is disappearing. All my day lilies are above ground but not close to flowering yet. This is usually when all the landscapers come out of their winter hibernation. You’d see and hear lawns being raked and gardens being cleared but not this year.

My backyard needs clearing. There are some fairly big branches which fell during the winter. In the back, in about the middle of the yard, one daffodil always blooms. It is color among the grey oak and pine trunks. I wait for it every year.

“We will never finish everything on our to-do lists. It’s not possible, and that is life!”

April 6, 2020

Today is lovely with a warm sun and a beautiful clear sky. It is a bit chilly at 49˚, but I was out talking to my neighbor and didn’t notice. I went out for my newspapers, but they weren’t there. I even looked under the car. I am such a creature of habit that having no papers has broken my morning ritual and left a giant hole. I know I can read on line, but it just isn’t the same.

My neighbor really loves to bake and has been baking cookies. She told me she usually saves a few then sends the rest next door to the kids. Now she eats them all. I asked her why she baked. She said it is calming. It is what she likes to do.

I never did my list yesterday. I started to and saw dust on the table and chairs and so I ended up sweeping and dusting the living room and the dining room. I used a real duster, not the sleeves of my sweatshirt.

Before this, I didn’t go out all that much, maybe three or four times a week. I had my uke lesson and game night and nothing else on my weekly dance card, but I was always willing to add something, but now my dance card is completely empty.

Yesterday was Palm Sunday. When I was a kid, my parents had a picture of, I think, Jesus hanging on the wall over their bed. They kept the palm behind the picture. It was green at first then over time it turned yellow and the frond edges got sharp. Every year on Palm Sunday my father would get the new palm fronds and carefully take away the old ones. I don’t know what he did with them, and I never asked. I didn’t really care.

A car stopped at my little library. I was glad to see her. It is good to know people have found my library. I have a few books to add. I’ll put that on my to do list.

I talked to my friend the other night for close to two hours. You’d think we’d run out of things to say because every day is so similar to the day before, but we don’t. Even grocery shopping forays are fodder for conversation. My dump run had her mesmerized. More is coming. Wait until she hears about my changing my bed.

“Good riddance to bad rubbish.”

April 5, 2020

I slept late, we’re talking almost noon. My guess would be it was the dump run which did me in. It took me four trips to fill the car then when I was at the dump, it took a while to unload. I had to drag then lift the heavy bags. One bag is still on the deck. It wouldn’t fit.

No sun again today!! The day’s only redeeming factor is it is warmer than it has been.

Color is returning to my world. All the dafs are blooming. The hyacinths are almost ready to bloom. The forsythia has its yellow buds.

I took a ride yesterday on the beach road. This time of year people usually come down to open their summer houses, but most of the houses are still shuttered. Cars were on the main road, but there were only a few riding on the beach road. It reminded me of the dead of winter when the cape slows down, when the tourists have left. The water looked dark and cold, the beach uninviting.

I went to Ring, my favorite grocery store, on my way home as I needed cream and milk. I never get just one thing at Ring so I also bought lamb moussaka, a cinnamon roll and cut fruit, tropical fruit. Henry does enjoy kiwi.

Last night I slid off my bed. I woke up and realized I was headed for the floor so I tried to grab the other side of the mattress, but I couldn’t reach it so I slid to the floor. Henry slid with me. We weren’t hurt. It was the mattress topping, the egg crate, which had moved to the middle of the bed so half of it was hanging off, my half. I have to figure out how to keep it from moving.

Today is a bit different than yesterday. I won’t be going anywhere, and my list of chores is simple: bring up the clean laundry, change the bed, water my plants and fill the bird feeders. I think I’ll sit outside for a little while, maybe play fetch with Henry. I got dressed yesterday. I don’t have to today.

“We’ll find it again, the sun”

April 4, 2020

Do you hear that horrible sound, the one giving you shivers? That’s me screaming because it is raining again. The day is grey and dismal. I want sun.

I need to go to the dump. After I changed the cat box yesterday, my trash hit its maximum level. The front and back seats are filled with boxes. The trunk has three or four trash bags and bags of newspapers. I’ve lost count.

My sister told me about a friend of hers whose dog could no longer wag its tail. They brought the dog to the vets where the diagnosis was a sprained tail. It seems the dog is so excited to have its family around all the time it is constantly wagging its tail. Overuse caused the sprain.

My sister in Colorado had snow yesterday. She said it was freezing.

I can’t get myself interested in much for too long. I play games on line, clean a little, nothing taxing, do laundry and water my plants, all mostly busy work. The day crawls from morning until night. I read in bed. Last night I read for nearly two hours. It was around three when I turned out my light. I woke up at nine.

When I was a kid, we lived in the project, on one side of a duplex. My best friend lived up the hill in another duplex, one we had lived in until my sister Sheila was born. My friend and I walked to and from school together until the ninth grade when she went to the local high school while I went to a Catholic high school two towns away. I never minded living in the project. We didn’t have much money, but I didn’t know that. I always figured we had more than enough. My parents were amazing. I always thought myself lucky to have them.

Hot dogs are my go to meal. My sisters make fun of me, but I don’t care. I really like hot dogs. Sometimes I even go crazy with wild abandon and add cheese. I’ve always been fearless.

“Then the storm broke, and the dragons danced.”

April 3, 2020

I woke up and heard the rain. It was heavy for a bit but has since stopped. The sky is a light grey. The wind is strong enough to bend the tallest, thickest pine branches when it blows. Even the tree trunks sway. I can hear the train coming.

I’m watching Godzilla, the third American one I think. The creature looks the same in all of his films: tall with its back lined with armored plates, a throwback from the age of the dinosaurs. This Godzilla saved the world from another creature then took its leave and disappeared into the ocean. I always liked these disappearances. They usually mean a sequel.

Gwen is making her voice heard. Last night she was meowing from the hall upstairs. I thought it was Jack then I noticed he was asleep on the chair. It’s a sign. Gwen is getting bored upstairs.

I stand on the deck every now and then, mostly when Henry is out in the yard. It is unusually quiet. I don’t hear any traffic. I do hear birds.

Last night I went downstairs to get some paper bags. On the way down I noticed what I thought were paper towels still packaged. I decided to move them where I can easily reach them. That’s when I noticed it was toilet paper, three ply, ultra plush. I had found a treasure.

When I was a kid, we would have eaten ourselves out of house and home by now. The cookies would have been long gone, the same with the crackers. We’d be eating peanut butter and jelly for lunch and maybe even dinner. I doubt we would have cared. We’d have eaten anything put in front of us.

I remember the hurricane when the huge tree fell across the road. I was only around seven, but I was never scared. I kept looking out the window to watch everything being blown by the tremendous wind. I felt exhilarated as if I were standing into the wind with my arms spread hoping I could fly. I remember snow storms and blizzards. I wanted lots of snow, feet of snow. I watched the snow fall from the living room window where I could see a streetlight on the sidewalk below my yard. I loved watching the snow under the light of that lamp.

I miss people.

“Perhaps the world’s second worst crime is boredom. The first is being a bore.”

April 2, 2020

It was cloudy yesterday then it rained all night. It is still cloudy and damp. The wind is strong, and even the thinnest pine branches are swaying. I am so very tired of this weather. I need the sun.

I have been making a daily list of things to do, but every day I do nothing so every morning I tear up the list and toss it then I make another list. That has been happening just about every day. Yesterday, though, I had a surge of energy. I vacuumed the whole house. I watered plants, and I dusted the den, the room where all of us spend most of our time. I used the sleeve of my sweatshirt.

I didn’t fall asleep until close to four. Jack was on my bed snoring fairly loudly. Henry was on his side of the bed and made noises every now and then. I have no clock in my room, but I was reading from my iPad so I kept loose track of the time. I turned off the light at two but tossed and turned enough to drive Jack off the bed. I recognized Morpheus had deserted me so I gave up, turned the light back on and read for another couple of hours. Jack never came back.

When I was a kid, I spend most summer days at the playground on the field at the end of my street. I tossed horseshoes, played tennis and pitched on the softball team which played teams from the other playgrounds around town. We won more than we lost. I did crafts. I wove lanyards and braided bracelets from gimp. I made potholders, and this is where today meets yesterday, proverbial yesterday. A long while back, I bought a potholder kit with the square metal loom and bags of colored loops. Last night I watched videos from YouTube about designing patterns for the potholders. The kit is still here on the table. I found a jigsaw puzzle I haven’t ever made. I opened it and hunted through for all the edges. I got three quarters of the edges together but ran out of table space so I carefully placed the pieces in the top cover until I can make room. I bought a Lego set a few weeks back. I haven’t ever made Legos. I looked through the box and decided to put my Legos away until later. I am running out of diversions. I’m thinking paint by number could be fun.

On my newest list is cleaning my closet. Believe me, that is a last resort.

“A cloudy day or a little sunshine have as great an influence on many constitutions as the most recent blessings or misfortunes.”

March 31, 2020

It is cloudy, the same as it is most days. My weather has become cliché. You’d think Mother Nature would realize we need a sunny day. I want to sit on my deck. I want to feel the warmth of the sun on my body. I want the sun to reinvigorate my soul.

I watched War of the Colossal Beast this morning. It was as bad as I expected so I loved it, but it got it weird at the end when the black and white picture was in color for the last few minutes. The Colossal Man, having regained his memory, realized what he’d become so Glenn aka the Colossal Man decided to grab all the electric wires and electrocute himself. When he grabbed the wires, sparks flew, and his body shook. That’s when it became colorized.

I saw one of the neighborhood kids yesterday, the first I’ve seen. He was riding his bike on the street. He never got close to me. He turned around and went back toward his house.

All the trash is in the car. I’ll go tomorrow.

Yesterday I went out to do an errand. I went to the candy store to pick up Easter candy. I called first, gave her my credit card number and my order. It was curbside pick up. I didn’t even get dressed. I went in my cozies. Life has changed dramatically.

Dunkin’ was open yesterday. I craved a Boston cream donut so I stopped. I also wanted a lemon but there were no lemon. I ordered toasted coconut. None of those either. I ordered the classic jelly. She told me to move to the window. I paid and gave her a tip, and she gave me my coffee and donuts. She said there was a gift. She had given me a half dozen assorted donuts including classic jelly and Boston Cream. I had some in the afternoon, had classic jelly after dinner and had a donut this morning. Henry has shared the largess.

A box of trash bags I ordered from Amazon came today. They were not wrapped. The label with the address was on the front of the box. It was strange for only a minute or two. Not so much is strange anymore.

“Can’t you shut that dog up?” The boy gave me a pitying look. “Not really,” he said. “Vlad’s a believer in free speech.”

March 30, 2020

Last night it poured. I could hear the rain hitting the roof. Henry went out anyway. He doesn’t seem to mind rain.

I never did go to the dump. The rain came. I did do my laundry. One load is still in the dryer. I’ll get it later. All the clothes are parts of my quarantine wardrobe: t-shirts, sweatshirts and flannel pants. None of the dirty clothes were for outside. I washed three sets of sheets. I hated folding them even though I had looked up on YouTube how to fold a fitted sheet. I watched twice. I failed miserably.

When I was a kid, I never noticed my mother cleaning or doing laundry except in the summer when I was home from school. During the rest of the year, she did all the house stuff while I was in school. She didn’t drive until we lived on the cape so she either walked or stayed home. I remember her pushing a carriage uptown. Not driving was common. Most of the neighborhood mothers didn’t drive. My mother eventually learned, and we became a two car family.

My mother had an eclectic collection of silverware and unlatching plates. The only plates which matched were Melmac with sheaves of wheat as decorations. Those plates lasted forever. I have bought a few items which are exactly like ones my mother had. She was with me when I found the tulip nesting bowls. There are three of them. My mother’s held mash potatoes and green beans and appeared every Sunday on the table at dinner. Mine are on the fridge top and are rarely used. I have a pitcher and six glasses of red-ware. My mother had some plates. I bought the pitcher at an antique store and the glasses were a Christmas gift. I don’t know what happened to my mother’s plates.

Both cats are upstairs sleeping. Henry is down here with me and is barking incessantly. When I tell him to stop, he runs from the living room to the den doorway and gives me a look, a sort of incredulous look at my having dared to quiet him down then he goes back to the door and his barking.

I’m going out later. I have to go to the post office. I’m wondering how that will work. I need to buy padded envelopes to send Easter to Colorado. I’m also going to stop at Dunkin’. I’m craving a Boston Cream Donut.

I found out Henry is barking with a purpose. There are trucks on the street in front of my neighbor’s house and one behind his house. I also saw a small front end loader digging a hole in the back. I almost barked. It is the most interesting thing I’ve seen in a couple of weeks.

“Everyone is a bore to someone. That is unimportant. The thing to avoid is being a bore to oneself.”

March 29, 2020

Spitting rain is what my mother called it, but it doesn’t matter what you call it. The day is dismal regardless. It is warm, in the mid 40’s, but the rain makes the day feel chilly, like spring on Cape Cod. Henry was wet when he came back inside the house. I could see the mist when I got the papers.

I am going to the dump. I called, and it is open for trash only. All the recycle areas are closed. Everything goes into the same bin. I put some boxes in the car earlier and have at least two more trips to the car with more boxes and 2 bags of trash.

I’ve been rearranging. I moved a few things from one room to another and from one table to a different table. I think I’m just doing busy work.

I’ve been going through my cookbooks. I know I can find what I want on line, but I like the pictures and the backstories in the books. I have some yeast so I might try my hand at bread. I have chicken, lots of chicken. I have plenty of ground beef. My larder is full of food but missing treats so maybe I’ll make brownies. Chocolate salves a fretful soul.

HUZZAH!!!! Last night I was passing through the living room, and lo and behold, I saw Gwen sleeping on the throw on the living room chair. That was an amazing moment. Gwen is getting comfortable enough to move around down here although I do wish she’d stop hissing at Henry. I chose not to spook her and just kept walking.

Life has a monotony now. When I could go out, I often didn’t. I waited until I had a list. Now, I just want out for the sake of leaving the house. Henry and the cats see no difference. The cats sleep upstairs a lot while Henry stays here and drives me crazy. He jumps on and off the couch then runs up and down the hall. He goes out then turns around and stares through the door hoping I’ll go let him in. I don’t anymore. He’s got it.

“And her old Uncle William used to say a lady is known by her shoes and her gloves.”

March 28, 2020

I keep putting everything off until tomorrow so nothing gets done. I feel like Scarlett O’Hara.

Yesterday I filled my new pillow covers and put them on the living room couch. I have two more coming. I’m calling it a redo as in I just redid my living room. I got no mail yesterday. Society is beginning to break down. The loss of catalogs is first.

My new across the street neighbor whom I don’t know well was out spraying his bushes this morning. He was using a small spray bottle. It will take a long time to do front and back.

Henry started his intruder bark, loud and deep. He was right. It was FedEx.

When I was a kid, being housebound would have tired quickly. I figure we’d have been at each other’s throats after only a few days of boredom, of watching the same old TV programs and playing the same old board games. Don’t get me started about Monopoly.

On weekends we’d make our own lunches. I was a bologna fan. I was also an American cheese fan. A few hot peppers from the jar spiced up the boring bologna, but the bread was so porous that the middle, where the peppers were, got soggy and a bit mushy. I didn’t care. I could do mayonnaise or mustard. It didn’t matter. We only had yellow mustard back then, my father’s only mustard. We’d add more like Dijon and horseradish, as we got older. I have several jars of different mustards in my fridge. I always have mustard on my hot dogs with the piccalilli.

I still have a pair of saddle shoes. They are about forty years old. I found them in a cave of a small shoe store. It was in an old building. The store was filled with boxes. They were stored one on top of the other until the piles were close to the ceiling. The salesman, also the owner, was little and old and bent over. He wore pants with a belt and suspenders. When I told him what I wanted, he went over to one pile, counted up and pulled a box. In that box were my saddle shoes. They fit perfectly. I’ve only worn them a couple of times. I think I’ll wear them today. I designate today as a dress up day. Wear something unusual, something you seldom wear. Make a statement.