Posted tagged ‘Amazing Race’

“It is a happiness to wonder; — it is a happiness to dream.”

January 14, 2018

No doubt about it. Winter is here. The day is cold, a biting, damp cold, and it will get even colder tonight. When I went to get the papers, there were snow flurries, and they’re still around, small flakes from the north. It is a dark, cloudy, snowy day, the sort of day which gives winter a bad name. When I was a kid, I’d stay in all day near the hissing radiator. I’d color at the kitchen table or lie in my bed and read. I’d be wearing my flannel pajamas and slipper socks. Okay, I admit that it even sounds a lot like me now. I’m talking flannel bottoms, a sweatshirt on top and new slipper socks. Add a coloring book, and I could be ten again. I guess cozy doesn’t change much over the years.

Tonight is game night. We’ll play our two games, Sorry and Phase 10, and we’ll eat something while we’re playing and then we’ll have dessert after the games. Rumor has it we may be noshing on tacos. I’m doing the dessert this week, and I’m thinking chocolate pudding. I have all the ingredients and even have heavy cream. After the games, we watch The Amazing Race saved from Wednesday. It was always on Sundays before this so we maintain the tradition of games, food, the Race and dessert.

Poor Maddie got called Fern and Gracie this morning. She didn’t seem to care. That name mixup reminded me of my mother who used to take care of her younger brothers, Jack and Joe, long before she was married. If she wanted our attention or wanted us to stop what we were doing, she sometimes went through a litany of names to get to us. She’d say Jack, I mean Joe, I mean Kat. I never took offense.

My niece just posted pictures and videos of her two boys, ages 5 and 3, on Christmas morning. The older one stood in the entry way to the living room with his mouth wide open when he saw the toys left by Santa. He was amazed. I remember those days of walking downstairs on Christmas morning and seeing the lit tree surrounded by toys and gifts. It is one of the wonders of the world.

 

“Poor, dear, silly Spring, preparing her annual surprise! “

March 8, 2015

When I went to get the papers, I could hear a bird singing. Its song was so beautiful I stood outside in the cold to listen. All of a sudden it was a spring morning when every bird greets the first light of day and the air is filled with music. This one bird is the beginning of that chorus. Though it was perched on a branch covered in snow, it still found reason to sing. The bird had found its own spring. Now I’m looking for mine.

Warmer weather is on the way. I used to think warmer was the 40’s this time of year. Now I’m happy with above freezing. Yesterday, a sunny day, I could hear the snow slide off the roof and fall to the deck. The thick icicle on my outside front lamp has melted and only a few icicles are left hanging off the edge of the house. Maybe, just maybe, we’re starting to turn the corner from one season to another.

Gracie and I are doing some errands today. She gets her dump run, her stop for dog food, and I get my stop for human food. Tonight is our Amazing Race night. We DVR it on Fridays and do our traditional Sundays starting with games and appetizers and ending with the Race and dessert. I’m the designated appetizer server. We’re having one with apples, walnuts, honey and cheese; another, a hot appetizer, with cherry tomatoes, bacon, mozzarella and goat cheese and, if I have the time and energy, a third with feta, tomatoes and scallions. They all sound so delicious on paper I hope they translate well to real life.

This is a quiet week for me. Last week was totally busy with something every day except the storm day. This week I am booked for a couple of hours of PT and lunch with a friend. That’s it for the whole week so I am adding a bit of excitement by trying a new spot for lunch. I also need to buy a new toilet seat. My cup runneth over with delight.

“It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”

September 29, 2013

Gracie has spent most of the morning in the yard. She nows the day is too lovely to waste inside the house. Every now and then she comes in to make sure I’m still here, gets petted, wags her tail and goes right back outside. I can hear her on the deck and know she’s sticking her between the railing pieces so she can see over the fence. The birds are both noisy and hungry this morning. They wait for their turns at the feeder. The thistle feeder twirls when a bird or two lands on it. It is the only one they don’t seem to mind sharing.

I didn’t go to bed until 2 this morning because I watched a movie called Gun Crazy made in 1950. It was so good I can’t understand why I haven’t heard of it before. It was based on a short story by McKinlay Kantor who with Millard Kaufman wrote the screenplay but not really. Millard Kaufman’s name was used to hide the actual screenwriter, Dalton Trumbo, who had been blacklisted. I have never heard of either of the two stars: John Dall and Peggy Cummins. Both were good, but she was amazing. Her eyes were often filled with a fury and anger which the camera caught and highlighted. You never had to question her motives. The film was too good not to watch until the end so it was a really late night; consequently, it was one of those get the mirror to see if she’s breathing sort of sleep. I didn’t wake up until late this morning. My mother would have said I must have needed it. 

Today I get to watch the Sox play their last regular season game. The playoffs for them begin on Friday so no baseball until then though I’ll check in on the wild card games once the teams are finalized. I can’t believe that a season of 162 games will end today. I reconciled myself to the end of summer, but I can’t seem to grasp that baseball too will soon end.

The Amazing Race begins tonight as does our tradition. My friends and I get together early, eat appetizers and play a few games until the start of the race. Dessert comes during the race as do our discussions about the teams. Tradition also calls for each of us to pick a favorite team. Sometimes we even pick the right one.

Sort of an interesting day with the end of one thing and the start of another.

“I didn’t know that the world could be so mind-blowingly beautiful.”

March 4, 2013

The sky is so blue it defies description. The sun is shining brightly, but it’s not enough. The day is still cold. A breeze, maybe even enough to be called a wind, is keeping the warmth at bay. Spring is always late to Cape Cod, and I know that wind which seems to blow most days is to blame.

My garden has more buds and even has some flowers, but the pile of snow by the driveway has only melted a little. I think it’s winter’s way of reminding us that it still holds sway. Last night we had a snow shower.

The garden centers are still empty.

Today Gracie has a well dog visit at the vets. Next week I have my annual physical. I have a feeling Gracie will do better than I. She eats better food, has more exercise and stays away from sweets. She gets checked for heart worm. I get checked for cholesterol. I’d rather be checked for heart worm. I stand a better chance of a low number.

I always watch The Amazing Race. I love to see the countries they visit. On this race they have already been to Bora Bora and are now in New Zealand, two strikingly beautiful countries. I’ve watched the program so many years I know what the teams can expect though I don’t know the specific tasks. I know swimming is probably involved as is driving a car with a shift. Heights too often come into play. If I know that, why don’t all the teams? On most races there is at least one team member who can’t swim or is afraid of heights or doesn’t know how to drive a shift. On this race, a team of brothers didn’t know how to swim. One of the first tasks was, of course, in the water. They were eliminated that week. Last night driving was involved: one member of a team had only a couple of lessons driving a shift. Her car stalled and you could hear her grinding the gears, but she did finally manage the task after several tries. I’m too old for The Amazing Race. It is a younger person’s race and most of the older couples are eliminated fairly early, but I do have a job in mind. I want to be that person who goes from country to country setting up the tasks and planning each leg. I was born for that job!

“Africa is less a wilderness than a repository of primary and fundamental values, and less a barbaric land than an unfamiliar voice”

May 15, 2012

It’s an acceptable day: not too cool, not hot, and varying between sunny and cloudy. Rain is predicted for this afternoon but right now the sun holds sway. I have a bunch of stuff to do today, a listful, and it’s been a while since I’ve needed a list. A couple of the errands are for tomorrow, but I figured I’d add them anyway while I was listing, so to speak.

I need a little excitement. Over the winter, my life was a bit humdrum. Okay, it was hugely humdrum. I didn’t go anywhere. Even my night out for trivia was sporadic. The one social event I could count on was on Sunday nights when my friends and I had our Amazing Race evening together. We’d play games before hand and eat dinner while watching the race, but that was the sum total of my excitement.

In Ghana, there was little to do at night. The occasional movies were shown at the Hotel d’Bull and many of them were Indian with all the singing that goes with them. It wasn’t Bollywood back then, but all the pieces for it were in place. Mostly we played games, but I was never bored. Life was never humdrum. All around me was Africa with sights and sounds I never knew existed. I couldn’t have dreamt them as I had no idea what Africa was like. I had to experience those sights and sounds, absorb them and etch them into my memory so I could draw on them and bring them back.

I brought them back often. I’d close my eyes and remember. I’d see the road to town and all the stores across from the post office, and I’d remember market day with all the bustle and noise and the stalls filled with fruit and vegetables. I remembered the beautiful colors and patterns of the cloth and how women carried babies on their backs and baskets on their heads. I kept my memories vivid.

Last summer I saw all of those things again. My town was huge compared to forty years earlier, but its essence hadn’t changed. The market is enormous now but still filled with color and with women carrying baskets on their heads and babies on their backs. I heard the sounds of FraFra, the local language, everywhere I went. I greeted people just as I used to but in Hausa, the language the Peace Corps taught me, and the Ghanaians always greeted me back. I didn’t have a TV, and there is no more Hotel d’Bull with its Indian movies, but none of that mattered. Just as before, I wasn’t bored once.

“Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.”

May 6, 2012

Yesterday, poor Miss Gracie missed her dump run. I remembered the new stickers were in effect, which we didn’t have, so we were out of luck. She’ll just have to wait until Wednesday as the dump is closed Monday and Tuesday. Good thing I hadn’t loaded the truck yet!

We have SUN! The day is perfectly lovely though still a bit chilly at 55°, but the temperature doesn’t really matter much. It’s the sun shining so beautifully in the deep blue sky which takes center stage. Many of my neighbors were cleaning their gardens in anticipation of planting. My garden is all ready and soon enough I’ll be at the garden center filling my cart with this year’s plants and herbs. I can already taste the fresh basil!

If I could choose the ideal job, I’d be the person who sets up each leg of the Amazing Race. I’d get to travel to so many countries, meet all sorts of people, learn local traditions and have fun deciding the tasks, some of which are really gross while others take your breath away. Tonight are the last legs of the race, a two-hour program. I’m guessing during the first hour one team will be eliminated as there are still four remaining then the second hour will decide the winners. The cry baby lady drives me crazy. I’d have punched her a long time ago if I were her partner. It is like when I was a kid crying and my father would tell me to stop or he’d give me something to cry about. My favorite team, the guys from Kentucky, were eliminated last week. The remaining teams are among the least likeable I’ve ever seen. I sort of wish all of them would lose. The team with the pilot and the blond have won more legs but they carp at each other too much.

My speakers have bitten the dust. My computer is mute. I went hunting and found out it is really a frayed wire so I’ll try to get another one tomorrow; of course, while I was hunting for the wire, my printer ceased to be recognized and now I also have a cord without a home  and an HP adaptor connected to nothing.

My Prince Charming would be a computer superman who rings my doorbell, raises his crown in greeting and says, “I’m here to solve all your computer woes.”

“It gives one hope, this great strength of Africa”.

April 9, 2012

Easter Sunday was a wonderful day. The weather was chilly, but that didn’t matter. My friends and I went to our usual restaurant and sat at a window by the water. We looked out and saw across the horizon the light gray sky and below it were small white-capped waves and the light brown sand of the beach. A rock jetty jutted into the water. Some people walked the beach, a couple with dogs. One small dog played as he walked, jumping into the air and chewing on his leash. A family stopped to watch the waves. Their little girl wore a pink wide-brimmed hat with a matching pink purse. Pink was the perfect color against the backdrop of the ocean.

We were dressed up for Easter Sunday as were most of the people in the restaurant. Though I am more comfortable in my grubbies, the day was special so I dressed accordingly. I wore shoes which needed pantyhose, but as I had none, I wore knee highs which were hidden by my dress, and that made me chuckle. It was sartorial splendor with a small nod to quirkiness.

My friends dropped me off at my car, and I went home to take a nap as did they. We intended to watch The Amazing Race together, but it was running late so I just stayed home. The race was in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, and it was so beautiful I decided to add that country to my list of places to visit. The teams took small planes to their destination in the bush, and they flew over a huge flock of flamingoes. From the air, there were so many birds it looked like an ocean of bright pink. The teams landed near a Masai village, and the colors of the cloths the Masai wore and the bead work around the women’s necks were breath-taking. The last team, knowing they were probably going to be eliminated, had the car stop so they could watch a herd of elephants, including a baby, go by them, something they would probably never see again. They weren’t eliminated, but, even better, they made a memory I doubt they’ll ever forget.