Posted tagged ‘barking dog’

“Be music always. Keep changing the keys, tones, pitch, and volume of each of the songs you create along your life’s journey and play on.”

July 10, 2017

Okay, a lady walks into a computer store, dead computer in hand. She waits while the technician tries a few things, but there are no easy fixes. She forks over $80.00 and leaves her computer for 3 to 5 days meaning the poor woman faces more time in iPad hell, but she is still a bit hopeful as she knows hope springs eternal. On the way out of the store a line of new computers are all connected and sitting in a row against the wall. She foolishly tries one. It’s magic she thinks. The computer is speedy, the touch needed is a delicate one and it has this changing sort of screen at the top of the keyboard. Wow, she thinks then calls over the guy and asks a few questions. There is still time to run, but she doesn’t. She stays and plays with the computer. In a short while, she walks out of the store with computer in hand, a new MacBook Pro with a 15 inch screen, Siri and all sorts of bells and whistles. The woman is smiling.

Today is a beautiful sunny day. It will be in the low 80’s, tolerable when there is no humidity. The breeze is ever so slight; only the leaves at the end of the branches move up and down. I have doors and windows open. Every now and then the chimes ring. It is the sweetest sound. It is the only sound now.

Earlier, the neighbor’s dog was barking for what seemed hours. Another neighbor had her landscaper mowing her lawn and cutting the front bushes. It was around 8 when the the mower started. I am against raucous noise in the morning.

On my school compound in Ghana the morning sounds at first were so different they woke me far too early, but soon enough they became part of my consciousness, and I didn’t hear them while I slept. Roosters were the first sounds I heard and the first sounds I learned to ignore. Next, I could hear the swish of hand held brooms made of stalks. My students were sweeping the whole compound including the dirt in front of my house. Afterwards, they lined up in front of two spigots to fill buckets with water for their baths.  I could hear the clicking of the buckets, the flowing water and the conversations in the line. By then, I was usually up and dressed and having my first cup of coffee while sitting outside on the small concrete porch in front of my house.

After a while, I took for granted those sounds, but I had stored them away in my memory drawers. When I went back to Ghana, to Bolga, the first morning sound I heard was a rooster. It woke me up, but I just smiled, turned over and went back to sleep.


“Sometimes me think, ‘What is Friend?’ Then me say, ‘Friend is someone to share the last cookie with.'”

December 4, 2016

Huzzah! Huzzah! My laundry is clean. The hall is empty of filled laundry bags. It was my only accomplishment of the day, but I consider it a huge one. I did binge watch a Netflix series called Between. I reasoned that sitting with pillows behind my back was a necessity as my back was aching from the trips up and down the stairs. In between changing loads from the washer to the dryer I brought up exactly two Christmas decorations. If anyone asks, I can truthfully say I have started decorating.

My heat is cranking. It is cold, down to the 30’s. It is also a gray day. The bare branches have an eerie look against the sky, sort of a Halloween vibe. There isn’t even a breeze. I have to go out later but I’m not looking forward to it. The warm, cozy house is just so inviting.

Gracie has been in and out all morning. She is restless, and I have no idea why. She does like the cold weather so maybe that’s a reason. She does bark, but when I check, I don’t see anyone or anything. Maybe her barking is what keeps the critters at bay.

My sister and I had our usual Sunday conversation. Today we talked food as both of us were watching the food channel with its Christmas programs. Moe is deciding what she’ll make for Christmas Eve when the whole family comes. Fondue is already on her list. She’ll have two fondue pots, one with oil for meat and one with cheese for breads and vegetables. Onion dip, of course, is a must. My mother always had it so the tradition continues. Moe usually has something Mexican like chili verde or corn tortillas. My brother-in-law usually smokes a roast and some chicken. The roast gets cut into bites and is served with a sauce. I’d want a horseradish sauce. Moe is trying to decide which sweets. Whoopie pies and sugar cookies are a must. She’s thinking maybe peanut butter cookies with a kiss in the middle but that’s as far as she’s gotten.

Part of the fun of Christmas is the cooking and baking. The house usually smells great and I swear everything is delicious.

“Morning is wonderful. Its only drawback is that it comes at such an inconvenient time of day.”

October 17, 2016

Summer has dropped back to visit for a few days. Today will be in the 70’s, and it is already warm. I haven’t anything to do, but I think I’ll go out and about to enjoy the day. It ought not to be missed.

I am now sleeping to a respectable hour. Today it was 7:30. I am surprised how long it took to sleep later than 4:30 as the rule of thumb is one day for each hour. Ghana is 4 hours ahead, but it took well over a week for my system to adjust. I figure it probably had to do with the day I came home when I didn’t get to sleep until 2 in the morning, 6 in the morning for my body. A day with little or no sleep wreaks havoc on any schedule.

My oak tree’s leaves are yellow. White flowers have recently bloomed in my front garden. I have no idea what those flowers are. I know they are perennials, late bloomers and white.

Gracie loves the open front door. She sees any interlopers who dare walk on her street and barks to let them know they are unwelcome. She runs outside to bark even more loudly should a dog walk by the house. The hair on her back stands up. She looks and sounds fierce. People walk faster to get pass the house. I chuckle. Gracie isn’t going anywhere. She is stuck in the yard. Her bark is her only weapon.

I bought Christmas presents in Ghana. When I travel, I always try to bring presents back, unique gifts. This trip I was especially lucky in shopping at two great places. One was Hakim’s, a jewelry store specializing in silver. The other was an artisan gallery. Both were in Accra. The gallery had every sort of Ghanaian craft. It was a fun place to shop despite the musty smell and the heat.

I actually came home with money. It was because I used a credit card at a couple of places  including the lodge. Usually, my American Express is useless in Africa. I wouldn’t even have brought it except I had to show the card I charged the flights on at the airport. I’m glad for that. Having money left over made me feel parsimonious, not an adjective ever applied to me.

The animals are sleeping. The house is quiet. It is a typical morning.

“Different cocktails for different Saturday nights.”

June 6, 2015

The rain started during the night and has just stopped. Rain, even a bit of it, seems to dampen sounds. I don’t even hear birds. I did hear Gracie barking in the back yard, but I couldn’t find what prompted the warning. She has since come in and settled down for her morning nap, probably exhausted from all her barking. Fern too is napping for no other reason than just because she is a cat, and that’s what cats do.

My list did not get finished yesterday so I have to do the errands today. That’s okay as the tourists aren’t here yet for weekends, other than Memorial Day weekend, so I’ll find a place to park and not have to wait in line. I have three stops.

My father used Saturday mornings for his errands. Sometimes he would invite one of us but mostly he went alone. My Dad knew everybody in town so his errands took a while. He went to a two-seater barber shop. The one in Mayberry always reminded me of the one uptown. There was no Floyd but there was the same barber for years. He never had to ask how my father wanted his hair trimmed. He knew. The Chinese laundry also knew how my father liked his shirts. Back then my father only wore white shirts and they were always starched. I never thought about my dad taking his shirts to a laundry and not having my mother do them. That was just the way it was. Much later my father wore different colored shirts which didn’t need to be ironed fresh from the dryer. The first was a yellow button down collar shirt I gave him one Father’s Day. My mother said he’d never wear it, but he did. Another stop for my father was to visit his friend, a pharmacist at his own drug store. It was a small store crammed with anything and everything that bigger drug stores had. It even had a four stool fountain. Those stools had red covers. The last stop for my dad was sometimes at the Red Men where he’d have a beer with the guys. My dad was a member for a long time and one year was even Sachem. The organization is the nation’s oldest patriotic fraternal organization of American origin. I never knew that until I was much older. I just thought it was place for guys to sit around and have a beer or a drink. Come to find out it is both.

Some days develop personalities. Sunday is church day. Monday is the dreaded back to work day. Tuesday and Thursday are just days of the week that nobody seems to mind. Wednesday is hump day, the middle day, the starting line for the countdown to the weekend. Friday opens the weekend. We used to go out Friday afternoons when there were happy hours. It was a weekly ritual. Saturday is for chores and errands but it the best night of the week. Anything special happens on a Saturday night.

“Sunday is the golden clasp that binds together the volume of the week”

July 20, 2014

This morning is still and overcast, white cloud overcast. The sun may appear but in its own good time. Meanwhile, I’ll enjoy the coolness of the morning. The only sound is a dog endlessly barking. It is somewhere down the street, and the bark is unfamiliar.

My eyes are a bit better. The swelling has gone down, and I can “clearly now” from the worst eye. The strangest symptoms are the bumps still in the corners below the eyes and the red underneath both eyes. I look like some science fiction writer’s vision of the raccoon from hell. The second symptom, the itchiness, is only spotty now so that too is on the mend.

A giant branch broke off one of the pine trees in the backyard. I never heard it. It must have happened last night when I was sleeping. I was surprised to see it when I did my morning survey from the deck.

Today seems like a throw back Sunday. It is so very quiet. Even the barking dog has stopped. I am reminded of Sundays when I was a kid. We never really played outside or made much noise. All the lawn work was finished on Saturday, and there were no Sunday errands. The stores were closed. Sometimes I wish we could go back to those Sundays.

The other afternoon I watched a movie new to me: The Wasp Woman made in 1959. It was wonderfully bad. The owner of a cosmetic company is visibly aging so women aren’t buying her stay youthful products. A doctor who has been experimenting with enzymes from a wasp successfully used his formula to make Guinea pigs younger. Janice Starlin, our cosmetic queen, wants to be the first human. The doctor is reluctant but agrees. Believing the process is going too slowly, Janice, our soon to be wasp, breaks into the lab and injects herself several times with the formula. Now here’s my favorite part: the doctor realizing the formula causes test subjects to become violent goes to tell Janice but gets hit by a car and falls into a coma; of course, he’d get into an accident. Telling her would ruin the plot. Janice then keeps using the serum causing her to transform into a murderous queen wasp wearing a dress and high heels. I’m thinking a dressy queen wasp beats a fly any old-time, even a talking fly.

“Listen! the wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”

October 5, 2013

The Cape Times gave me a chuckle this morning. The Sox beat the Rays 12 to 2, but the headlines on the Times sports page announced Breakthrough for Sandwich who beat Falmouth in football. The Sox were relegated to the bottom of that first page.

It rained yesterday and must have rained again in the early morning as the streets were still wet when I woke up. I’m not complaining as we haven’t had rain in a while. Today will also be chillier, in the 60’s. Again, I’m not complaining. This is, after all, October.

The houses around are all decorated for fall. Corn stalks stand next to front doors, pumpkins are on steps, a few stuffed Draculas sit waiting for victims and colorful gourds fill baskets. My neighbors across the street always put out a scarecrow and some pumpkins. My front step has a basket with gourds and I have hung out my fall flag, the one with apples. This is such a pretty time of the year.

Today syfy is presenting scary monsters like the boogeyman. My sister always thought he lived under her bed. Lots of kids did. If he wasn’t under the bed, everyone knew he was hiding in the closet. The boogeyman only came out at night. Things just aren’t scary in the light of day. If I hear a noise and the dog barks, I throw caution to the wind in the daytime and throw open the front door to see what might be going on, something which made Gracie bark. At night I proceed far more slowly. I turn the outside light on and look out the windows at the top of the door. Gracie is usually right behind waiting for that door to open. She’s as curious as I am. When I open the door, we never see anything.

I remember one night when Maggie, another Boxer of mine, jumped out of bed, stood at the top of the stairs and barked her scariest, deepest bark. I jumped out of bed and turned the hall light on and was ready to go downstairs. Just as I did that, Maggie turned around and jumped on the bed. She had scared the bejesus out of me but there she was unconcerned and back to sleep. I wondered if maybe a fox or a coyote had walked by the house. I never thought about the boogeyman.

“Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.”

August 18, 2013

This morning I woke up early to go to the bathroom. The bathroom window was open so I rested my arms on the small sill and looked out. It’s the same view as from this room but so much higher, a third floor view. I was in the trees. I could see movement in and around the branches, but I couldn’t see the birds. I could smell the morning air, a combination of so many things. I could smell dampness, not the sort a moist cellar brings, but the sort which comes from humidity and a wet driveway and dewy grass; the sweet aroma of flowers was strong, mixed as it was with the dampness. It seemed to circle me on all sides and come from all the gardens. The best smell of all, though, was the one only a morning brings. It was the smell of freshness in the air, the smell of a new day, of another start. I stood for a bit at the window, took it all in then went back to bed. The morning was still too new, too early. Fern and Gracie hadn’t moved. They were both still asleep in the same spots on the bed as when I’d left. I slid in between them and fell back to sleep.

Today is dark, cloudy dark, with a chance of rain, but I don’t think it’ll rain. Today will stay humid and close. Right now nothing is moving in the dense air, and it is quiet except for Gracie’s every now and then bark. She sounds so loud I keep wanting to hush her. I want the quiet I love so much.

When I was little, my dreams were enormous. I thought I could do and be anything. The worse part of growing older was learning I had limitations. Math was out of reach. Once it got too complicated for my fingers, I knew it wasn’t for me. I loved nature and bugs and snakes and all sorts of crawly things, but I didn’t want to learn about them from books. I wanted to watch them crawl and slither. I learned early, third grade, that I couldn’t hold a tune so singing was out. I had begun whittling the list of what I could do and be. Amazingly I wasn’t disappointed that some doors had closed for me because I figured there were plenty out there just waiting for me to find them, and when I did and turned the door knobs, I knew I’d find treasures. I started to like some things over others and was better at the ones I liked. I tolerated the ones I didn’t. Soon enough, I got to pick, and I chose to study English. It was the best of all choices for me. It gave me the world.

The first time I ever taught was in Ghana. I remember those first few months. I was awful. I stood in front of my students day after day, and they had no idea what I was saying. I spoke too quickly, and they couldn’t hear my English accent though they spoke English. I was having the same trouble but in reverse. Somehow, though, over time, I stumbled into teaching so that we all learned. Franciska still remembers much of what I taught her. The best thing she said was I told them the sky was their only limit. They could do and be whatever they wanted. They just had to keep reaching.

I still do that-I still keep reaching.

“I think the discomfort that some people feel in going to the monkey cages at the zoo is a warning sign.”

June 27, 2013

This morning I have reconnected with the world. The air conditioner is off, and the windows are open. The only noise is Gracie’s annoying barking. I used to go check to see what was she was barking about but never saw a thing. I swear she barks just to drive me crazy, sort of a dog’s Gaslight. I know her intruder bark but this annoying bark has no definition; hence, the gaslight reference. When last the windows were open, my neighbor’s house was being reshingled and I could hear the nail gun. That job now seems to be finished, and I couldn’t be more delighted. My morning is back.

My sister left yesterday, and the house feels so empty. She was a great nurse but she was better company. It will take me a few days to get used to being alone again. Soon enough I’ll be back to talking out loud to no one.

Every day is better. My back has very little pain. The mornings are still the roughest, but I no longer have to grab stuff like the bureau or the table to walk from my room to the bathroom. I’m seeing the doctor this morning so he can check the incision. The nurse was a bit concerned, but that was long enough ago that the soreness is just about gone, and I probably really don’t need to see the doctor. I can already tell this surgery went better than the last. I am walking almost completely upright. I keep seeing that picture of the stages of the evolution of man. I was, for a long while, the chimp on the left, at the low point of evolution but am happy to say I am moving up the scale. That second chimp and I are far more similar than we’ve been. I’ll celebrate when I moved all the way to the right.

I have a few catalogs with dog-eared pages. I am going shopping. My psyche needs a lift. I’ve had my eye on a few things I thought too expensive and frivolous, but today I’m in a frivolous mood. Hang the expense!  I deserve a treat!!

For dessert this evening I’m going to have coconut ice cream with chocolate caramel sea salt sauce. Today I am a hedonist!!

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