Posted tagged ‘Agway’

“In the winter she curls up around a good book and dreams away the cold.”

December 28, 2017

The high today will be about 12˚ and the low around 6˚. The rest of the week will have similar temperatures. I dread going out, but I haven’t any choice. My trunk is filled with trash, I’m out of bread and cream and Gracie is out of canned dog food. I fear the dump stop most of all. It is open land and the freezing wind whips across the recycling area. I think of it as the local tundra. Avoiding it today only postpones the inevitable. Warm weather won’t be here until after the new year.

Yesterday was a day of leisure. I didn’t even get dressed. I read most of the day and was so exhausted I needed a nap.  Last night I had leftovers from Christmas for dinner. They were delicious. Now, only a bit of green bean casserole and some beef are left. Soon they too will be gone and Christmas dinner will be a delicious memory.

I don’t love being out in the cold, but I do love the cold as an excuse to stay home, comfy and warm. When I take Gracie out, I plead and beg for her to be quick, but she doesn’t really need my exhortations as she doesn’t like the cold much either. Boxers have short fur and on their bellies they have virtually none. When we go out, Gracie wears her coat to keep her warm while I am in the stores. Her coat is quite fashionable.

After Christmas, I feel a bit letdown. Everything which made the day special is finished. The leftover wrapping paper and ribbons are stored until next year. The decorations will soon be stored down cellar. The tree will be emptied of ornaments and thrown outside. I hate that most of all. It seems like an ignoble end for something so beautiful, for something which has keep the dark winter nights aglow. Its pine aroma still fills my downstairs rooms.

After the tree is gone, it takes me a while to get used to the house as it always is. The corner where the tree was looks wrong. That’s the most difficult part of Christmas, the end of it.

“Yes! Yes I do! I like Christmas! I love Christmas!”

December 10, 2017

Winter wonderland skipped us. We got rain the whole day, heavy rain at times. In the late afternoon, when I let Gracie out and brought trash to the car at the same time, we both got soaked. She wasn’t thrilled. My sister got around 6 inches of snow. I watched the news and saw the snow in Texas, an unusual occurrence in San Antonio. I laughed out-loud when a kid did a snow angel. Obviously snow was new to him. He did the angel face down.

Yesterday was a day of doing little for me. I made four or five trips carrying stuff like the displaced by the tree living furniture upstairs, wrote out more cards and went through catalogs but mostly I just sat. All the hauling up and down stairs made me tired. Today I have more energy and a to-do list. Gracie and I are going to the dump, to the small grocery store for bread and such and Agway for cat and dog food. I will decorate my wreaths and put them outside, and I’ll bring up bins from the cellar with the tree lights and some decorations. If I have any energy left, I’ll at least put on the tree lights. Tonight I’ll make myself a nice dinner and have some egg nog and watch Hallmark.

When I was a kid, Santa Claus had power over me. If I did anything wrong or fought with my brother, my mother threatened to call Santa. That was enough to get us to stop. I remember trips to Jordan Marsh to visit Santa. We’d take the bus to Sullivan Square then the subway to the Jordan’s stop. In those days Jordan’s and Filene’s had entrances from the stores to the subway. They were destinations.

I love Boston at Christmas time. The city is filled with people, some shopping, some just enjoying the festivities. The trees in the Common are lit for the holiday. Frog Pond is open for skating or for just sitting and watching the skaters while drinking a cup of cocoa. The giant tree from Nova Scotia is covered in lights. Small push wagons around the common sell roasted chestnuts and hot popcorn. Garlands hang from stores and street lights. People just seem happier.

My town was always decorated for Christmas. Swags of evergreen were hung from one side of the main street to the other. The store windows had trees and wrapped gifts and Santas. Carolers sang every night. The aroma of sugar cookies and bread wafted from Hank’s Bakery and hung in the air. The fire station was outlined in lights, and Santa was climbing a ladder to the chimney. I loved going uptown at night, and I still remember singing in the square.

I get excited for Christmas even now. I love the lights, and I could eat a dozen sugar cookies. Christmas music plays in the car and around the house when I’m decorating or baking. I sing along, out of tune, but that doesn’t matter. It’s Christmas!

“In football everything is complicated by the presence of the opposite team.”

November 12, 2017

The sky is cloudy again, and it’s chilly, low 40’s chilly. My heat is on almost constantly. Nothing is moving. I can see the backyard through my den window and not a branch, even the smallest, is moving. I’m glad for the stillness. It helps to keep the cold at bay. There is a chance of rain later.

Gracie and I have to go to Agway. I am out of canned dog food, and that’s a calamity. I also need to buy biscuits, dog and cat treats, cat food and bird seed. Shopping at Agway is, for me, never an inexpensive stop. My animals expect and do get the best. Gracie is pickier than the cat and drives me crazy when she turns her face away from the treat I’m offering and holds out for something better which she usually gets. It is too late now to alter the behavior I have fostered in Gracie, the spoiled dog.

This morning I enjoyed biscotti with my coffee. It was, of course, chocolate biscotti. My  mother wasn’t a coffee drinker except with biscotti which she loved. When she came to visit, I’d give her a half cup of coffee purely for dunking purposes. One Christmas she even made her own biscotti, and it was delicious. She kept a few but sent most of it home with me as the rest of the family didn’t eat biscotti. What fools they were!!

The cloudy days make me feel languid. I need a bit of sunlight, a natural pick-me-up. It is so easy to love a sunny day and feel like conquering the world; instead, I just sit here hoping for a sudden jolt of energy.

Having lived here for so long, I am familiar with all the quirks of my house. I can identify the sounds. That’s the ice maker adding water or dropping cubes in the tray.  I can hear the clicks of the furnace before the heat blasts. The thump is Maddie jumping off the couch or from one step to another. I used to hear the scurry off the mice in the eaves, but the exterminator took care of that. Just a few minutes ago, I heard an unfamiliar sound. I stopped typing to listen. The sound had a rhythm, a rat-tat. I knew it had to be a woodpecker. I banged the wall, but the sound stopped for only a minute. I had to go out to the deck to scare the bird away. The sound has stopped.

Tonight is game night and football night as the Pats are playing the Broncos. We’ll all be watching. My sister in Colorado is working on her football game menu. The Pats never do well in Denver, but this year Denver is not doing well. They are last in their conference with a 3 and 5 record. The Pats are first in theirs with a 6 and 2 record. The Pats are favored. I hope that comes to fruition.

My dance card is not empty for a change thanks to game night.

“I love being home, reading the paper in the morning and having a cup of coffee, doing laundry, going grocery shopping and running daily errands. For me, it’s important to have that balance in my life.”

November 9, 2017

Last night was cold, not quite wintry cold but close enough. Saturday night will be in the 30’s. That’s winter to me. The sun is resting elsewhere so the sky is all over cloudy, not a single break of blue. It is a still day.

I was out yesterday and am going out again today. I can’t remember the last time I was out two days in a row. Maddie and Gracie are my incentives today. They both need canned food, and Gracie is almost out of treats. I also need sunflower seeds. That’s the first stop, Agway. As for me, I’m out of bread and butter. It is a two stop day.

When I was a kid, my parents always went grocery shopping on Friday nights. My father had to take my mother as she didn’t have a driver’s license and wouldn’t have one until after we had moved to the cape. Saturday was my father’s day for errands and chores. When I go by the Chinese laundry still in my home town, I think of my dad. He’d go to the “Chinaman” every Saturday with his long sleeve white shirts. He wore one every day to work and liked them starched. He wouldn’t start wearing colors until much later. I gave him a button down collar yellow shirt for Christmas one year, and that was the start of colors and buttoned down collars. My father surprised me when he abandoned white.

My father seldom deviated from his usual anything. He didn’t easily try new foods and wouldn’t eat familiar foods if they were changed even in the smallest way. The key to my dad was to work around him. When he was here visiting, he ate a pork roast to which I had added garlic in slits around the meat. My dad loved the meal. When my mother was making the same dish, he caught her adding the garlic. He told my mother no way would he eat it. Only shrimp scampi had garlic. He wouldn’t eat hummus because he said it looked like wallpaper paste. Chinese food was exotic to him, a man who loved Spam, sardines and instant coffee.

“A great wind is blowing, and that gives you either imagination or a headache.”

October 30, 2017

Last night was amazing and scary. When the wind blew, I could hear furniture on the deck being tossed about. I could hear the rustling of the leaves on the trees and the creak of branches as the wind swept through them. The gusts got as high as 55 MPH. The rain came heavily at times and smashed against the windows. The deck and the front lawn are covered in pine needles blown from the scrub pines. Small branches and one bigger branch litter the backyard. Today is still windy with gusts strong enough to sway the tallest and strongest branches on the trees in the yard. More rain is predicted.

Gracie was heavily panting last night usually a sign she needs out or is hungry. I fed her a small can, and she ate all of it. I changed the water three or four times, and she drank each time slobbering drops of water on the tile floor. I opened the front door so she could see the rain. She backed away. Gracie wanted on the couch and off the couch. I helped her up and down as she has bad back legs. I was getting testy. By this time it was 3:30, and I had been trying to go to sleep since 1:30, but I was attuned to Gracie and her panting and couldn’t fall asleep. Finally I figured she might be frightened by the wind. I moved beside her and started patting her head and ears and talking gently to her. Gradually her breathing slowed down. She settled and went to sleep knowing I was beside her. That meant I was squashed on half a couch with my legs bent at the knees and was beside a dog with wind problems of her own, unpleasant wind problems, but I was so tired I fell asleep anyway around four.

Gracie woke me up at 7. She was moving around, and I heard her. I keep an eye and an ear on Gracie’s movements on the couch we share as it is too soft for her back legs to establish a hold. I pleaded with her to go back to sleep, and she did. I moved and got comfortable as Gracie didn’t need my reassurances any more. Outside was quiet in comparison to last night. We both woke up at 10. I turned on the coffee, got dressed quickly and drove to Agway. I was out of dog food, an emergency in this house. When we got home, I fed Gracie before getting my coffee and toast. She is now happy and sleeping soundly. I’m exhausted.

Today I have a dentist appointment but only a cleaning.

“To this day, I have the most fond memories of some of my old toys.”

September 3, 2017

It has been raining since the early morning. The dampness coupled with the strong breeze has made it a cold day. The house is chilly. I put on a sweatshirt. The heat is off but were it on, the temperature is 1˚ from triggering the furnace.

When I first went to take Gracie out, she backed away from the door. I had to grab her by the halter to get her outside. She squatted right by the walkway.

Gracie needs canned food, and the bird feeder needs thistle so we’ll be heading to Agway sometime later. I think I’ll stop at the new Thai place and treat myself to lunch. I know I’ll order coconut shrimp then I’ll check out the menu to see what else appeals to me.

This room is so dusty I could write my name on just about any surface. Actually, on the larger surfaces I could write adages, messages and things like Wash Me or Dust Me with several exclamation points following behind. I used to feel guilty about the dust, but now I don’t care. I subscribe to the if I clean it now, it will be dusty again by tonight school of thought.

I got a few boxes yesterday from Amazon. I haven’t opened them yet. They’re still on the floor by the door. My lack of curiosity is explained by the e-mail confirming my orders have been delivered. I bought two balsa airplane kits for two of my grandnephews. I remembered flying the same sort of plane when I was a kid. I’d buy it at Woolworth’s for ten cents. The plane had to be put together slowly and gently or the wood would split. The front had a red plastic nose to give the plane a bit of weight. The back had two pieces: one like a fin and the other a small wing-like piece. The pieces had to be slid into their positions. The main part was the wing. It was slid through the middle of the plane really slowly and required a deft hand or the wing would split. Moving the wing up and down in the slit made the plane fly different ways like in loops. We’d fly the planes in a field so they could land on grass. The wood was too flimsy to save the planes if they hit anything. We hated losing the planes but knew a dime would buy us another one.

Both the boys have grown up with electronics, but maybe the novelty of the planes will pique their interest. Watching them loop and fly was the best fun. I hope it still is.

“Life, now, was unfolding before me, constantly and visibly, like the flowers of summer that drop fanlike petals on eternal soil.”

August 7, 2017

This morning is a delight. We have bright sun and a blue sky. The birds are singing: better described as the hungry birds as so many of them are coming to my feeders I have to fill the feeders again. I also need more seed, and I need dog food as well so a trip to Agway is on my list today. Gracie and I are also going to the dump. I’ll make two trips as I don’t want Gracie waiting in the car while I shop at Agway. I also need bread so I’ll add the grocery store to my errand list.

The temperature is in the 70’s and will go down to the 60’s tonight. It will be the same the next couple of days. That’s perfect for me. The weather report says showers tonight. I hope so. We haven’t had rain in a while. Summer showers are my favorite of all sorts of rain though thunder showers are a close second.

I do the Globe crossword every day. It seems to be getting easier as I get older. I figure the puzzle maker is young and thinks his clues are head scratchers. The historical stuff I’ve lived through so they’re really easy. The capital of Ghana is often one of the clues, a no-brainer for me. The clues which stump me are often about current singers or television programs I never watch. I can only hope to fill in from the clues around those.

Last night the crowd chose Creature with the Atomic Brain as our movie. It is black and white and was made in 1955 but is a tick better than most we’ve watched. Richard Denning is the star. The evil scientist is a former Nazi and his boss a deported gangster who has returned illegally. They both deserved hissing. We had a few appetizers, played a game of Phase 10 and enjoyed meatballs in marinara sauce, frozen from last week, and a great salad for supper before the movie. We, of course, had candy for movie watching.

When I retired, I had no idea how I’d spent my time, but I wasn’t worried. I knew I’d find something to keep me busy or not. It will be thirteen years this summer, and I have enjoyed every day especially days when I did nothing. I have a routine for the mornings, but the days are come what may. That’s my favorite part, the spontaneity of it all.

“Clutter is my natural habitat.”

July 21, 2017

Today is hot. It is 83˚. I’m in the cool air of the house looking at the world through my den window. The most I can see is the blue sky and the still leaves of the oak tree. Later, in the cool of the afternoon, I have some deck stuff to finish: replace the burned out lights on the rail and get the fountain working. I also need to bring the flamingo and the gnome to the deck where they’ll reside all summer. A few of the flowers in the smallest pots have died so I’m hoping to get replacements at Agway today. I’ll be braving the heat.

When I was young, I knew what old was. No question it was those blue-haired ladies in their dresses and clunky heeled shoes with wrinkled faces and hands who dragged wire baskets on wheels behind them when they shopped at the grocery store. They never wore pants. Their shoes were sensible. Their dresses had flowers. I never stopped to  think how old they were. They just fit my vision of old so age didn’t seem to matter.

Despite my current wardrobe, if my young self knew I was soon to turn 70, I suspect I’d think myself old, but I’m not. The definition of old changes as we age. I’m now thinking 90+ might be old, but I’m not sure anymore. I admit, though, I’m thinking of buying one of those wire baskets so I can haul stuff from the car to the house.

I hate clutter yet my den is cluttered, but I’ve come to ignore it as the alternative is to go crazy. I had to move the dog’s dishes here as she slid on the kitchen floor. Her toys are in a wooden box and usually a couple are on the floor. Gracie tends to paw her toys to the floor until she finds just the right one. My cloth from Ghana is stored in a pile here but not out of sight. Most of my cookbooks are on shelves which cover one whole wall. My hat collection hangs from the shelves. My table is a huge metal one with three overflowing baskets underneath. I do have sorting through them on my whenever I get to them list of things to do. I sleep on the couch so my pillow and sheets are on the desk chair. This is the room where I spend the most time so everything is here except snacks and drinks. They’re down the hall, and the bathroom is between them. My inside world is small, but I’m content.

“If all the cars in the United States were placed end to end, it would probably be Labor Day Weekend”

June 23, 2017

Right now the day is beautiful with a breeze and sunny skies. The clouds will be intermittent, and there is a possibility of rain. I love days like this. The daytime is perfect, and it rains at night keeping the grass green and the flowers bright with color.

I have to go to Agway to pick up a flat of annuals. Four of the same plants in clay pots on the deck are dying. I also need dog and cat food and treats. I’m going to have to resist the temptation to buy more flowers.

Gracie has done well the last two days. She has eaten dog food and a whole bag of treats. She hasn’t had the dizziness and nausea of the previous three nights, and that is the best of all as she has slept through the night. I, however, am still exhausted. I don’t sleep deeply as I listen to check her breathing.

July is when all the hoopla begins here. The highways will have backups of cars trying to exit. The main roads will be filled with gawking tourists riding in slow motion so they don’t miss anything on either side of the road. It is even worse when it rains. I never leave the house in the summer on a rainy day because running into a traffic jam is cause for my swearing aloud and occasionally whacking the steering wheel.

I remember going to Islesboro, Maine one summer. We had to take the ferry as Islesboro is on an island. One day we went into nearest town, and my dad gave each of us some money to shop. I roamed through the store filled with postcards, individual inflatables, and all sorts of touristy kitsch. I ended up buying small dog magnets. One was white and the other black. They were both Scotties. I had them for years. They always reminded me of that vacation.

My deck is again a mess. It is covered in leaves and frass, the official name for caterpillar poop. I don’t even want to be out there under the trees, usually the perfect place as it is shady and gets any breeze. Now it also gets something else.

“Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.”

February 23, 2017

Gracie and I were out and about yesterday. The weather was amazing. It was sunny and warm: sweatshirt weather. Today is much the same, and Gracie and I have a few errands: buying canned dog food at Agway, a few storage bins at Benny’s and my favorite sandwich at Buckies, number 14: bacon and cheddar with tomatoes, avocado, and horseradish sauce on a panini. Life is good.

Snow is still around on corners and in the shade, but it is warm enough that I can leave my inside doors open to the storm doors. Gracie goes in and out her dog door, and, best of all, she gets to watch the doings on the street from the front door. She sits and looks hoping for a bit of activity. Every now and then she barks. I check, and usually it’s someone walking a dog. Gracie does not like dogs walking on her street and makes no bones about it.

I have a new bird feeder, a bag of sunflower seeds, and two packs of suet. Cleaning the older feeders and filling them is on my to-do list for later. Loading my shotgun to attend to the spawns of Satan is next on the list (okay, I don’t have a gun, but I do wish the spawns would disappear).

I haven’t used real money in a while. The 3 dollars in my wallet are weeks old. Mostly I use my ATM to pay for stuff though sometimes I do use my credit card, mostly at the pharmacy. I don’t write many checks anymore. I pay my bills on line or have the amounts automatically deducted. I don’t really need much money. It seems to have gone out of style.

When I went to Ghana last fall, I brought some cash but mostly I used my ATM to get money as no one in the markets, the small stores and kiosks or the sides of the road take other than cash. I did use my ATM card at Zaina Lodge and my credit card in one large shop by the ocean in Accra. Money still counts in Ghana. I kept a pocketful.

Gracie is giving me the paw, her signal that it’s time to eat. I doubt she’ll accept that I have none left so I need to get going. Gracie want to eat!