Posted tagged ‘breezy’

“In my South, the most treasured things passed down from generation to generation are the family recipes.”

July 14, 2018

Today is already hot, but I am cool here in the den though I do expect the air conditioner will be needed in the not too distant heat of the day. The breeze is steady. I can see it ruffling the leaves in the backyard. I’ve started a new book so I may relocate to the deck a bit later and read the day away.

My neighborhood is quiet now. I could hear mowers earlier, but they’ve moved on. The birds are singing. My feeders are filled so they’ll be dropping by to munch. I saw chickadees earlier.

I have to water the deck plants. That’s it for the day’s chores. I suppose I could find more to do but I can’t imagine why I’d look.

Yesterday I read a book and munched on Twizzlers while I was reading. An order had come from a candy site. The box had those Twizzlers, anise bears and some candy and nuts for movie night. I love the taste of anise especially those round cookies with white frosting and colored sprinkles. My uncle used to make some for me every Christmas. He did share his baking secret. Use anise oil, not anise extract. He even gave me the recipe.

My mother once gave me a small, three ring notebook. It was for recipes. The cover had pots and pans and kitchen utensils on it. My mother had given some blank pages to mostly relatives and asked them to write down recipes for me and to sign each page. I thought that one of the greatest Christmas gifts. I have made apple cake, the anise cookies, a strawberry dessert, some bread, a grasshopper pie and a couple more. Three of the contributors have passed, but I have this wonderful legacy from each of them.

The clouds have started coming and going though rain is not predicted. The breeze has picked up a bit; maybe it has even become a wind. I can feel it blowing through the back door screen. I may just sit here with my Twizzlers and watch bad black and white science fiction. I’m thinking that’s a perfect Saturday afternoon for me.

 

“Green grass is Happy grass.”

June 8, 2018

richI saw lots of sun and hoped it was warm, but the breeze makes the day cooler than I expected. It is only 65˚. The high will be 71˚, and it will go back to the 50’s tonight. I’m still hoping the predicted heat wave will make an appearance, maybe tomorrow.

Skip, my factotum, is here and has a long list of chores ranging from replacing fence posts to cleaning deck furniture. When Skip is done, everything will be ready for the warm days of summer.

When I was a kid, our house had only a small front garden. It was anchored by bushes, and the flowers had to be planted around the bushes. My father was a perfunctory gardener. He planted geraniums and pansies, all of one in the back and all of the other in front. But my father was a master when it came to his grass, his front lawn. That square plot of green got all the attention and care the flowers never did. He mowed and fertilized and watered that patch of grass. I remember it was always lush and green. He allowed but didn’t like the kiddy pool as it squashed the blades of grass. He always yelled when I rode my bike down the small grass hill which bordered the sidewalk. He could see the tire tracks.

My father used a hand push mower and a hand trimmer which sort of looked like scissors. The trimmer clicked and the mower whirred, the two sounds of summer I most remember from my childhoodI . My father never went to a power mower. He did go to electric trimmers, a Father’s Day gift from me.

I can remember summer weekends visiting my parents. My father always gave me a guided tour of his yard. On Saturday I’d sit on the front steps while he mowed. He went back and forth in rows, never deviating from that pattern. When he was finished, he’d ask me how it looked. I always told him the lawn was beautiful. He never said anything but he did smile.

“Stay low, stay quiet, keep it simple, don’t expect too much, enjoy what you have.”

October 20, 2017

Today is another beautiful sunny day in the high 60’s. There’s an intermittent breeze strong enough to sway the branches. It is a perfect day to take a ride.

Lately I have been quite lazy. I haven’t even made a single list. There’s no reason. It’s just inertia.

Laundry is piling up in the hall. A few dishes are in the sink. I figure I’ll get to all that later. There’s no hurry. I don’t have to do something every day.

The flowers beside the house are still blooming. The pumpkins are on the front steps and corn hangs on the gate. I saw a tree covered in yellow leaves. Fall is so filled with color. I always think of it as Mother Nature’s last gift before winter.

My lawn is disappearing under dead leaves from the tall oak tree and brown needles from the pine. It will be raked a few times before the lawn reappears. The irrigation system will be blown cleared of water and my outdoor shower will be turned off until the spring. It’s the same every year. All the pieces of summer disappear in turn.

I think being retired has brought me back to a simpler life. My wardrobe is mostly casual, and I seldom add to it. Once in a while I go out to eat, but mostly I spend time with friends. I watch TV movies but every now and then I treat myself to a newer movie though I do complain about the $5.99. I get books from the library. I used to buy the newest hardcovers, but now I get then for free. I don’t deny myself stuff. I just need less stuff.

When I was a kid, all my TV heroes always won. The bad guys were alive when nabbed. The only violence was usually a fight or a bullet to the arm or hand. Good guys never lost their hats in any fights. The animals, mostly dogs and horses, had names and were important to the plot. I remember Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, his dog Yukon King and his horse Rex.  I learned history and geography from watching this program. I remember at the end of each show he’d tell King this case is closed.  Sometimes there was even a bit of humor. Pat Brady provided that in the Roy Rogers Show. I never questioned that Roy and Dale rode horses while Pat had a jeep, Nellybelle. I was a kid. I just believed.

“Don’t wait, just sweat.”

September 15, 2017

It is sunny and breezy, a strong enough breeze to chase the earlier humidity away. It rained last night but not much. The temperature will stay in the mid 70’s all day. Gracie is restless and already panting, a sign the day is too warm for her. I have given her treats, pulled her onto the couch and taken her outside, but she’s still not happy. I can’t take the staring. Maddie too is impatient. She keeps meowing at me. I give her treats but they’re not enough. Both these animals feel far too entitled, my fault I know.

I got most of my errands done yesterday but not the dump. I was gone a couple of hours in and out of stores so when I got home, I was too hot and tired for the dump. It will have to be today as I have no time tomorrow.

The paper explained that older people don’t have the capacity to adjust to temperatures as well as younger people because old people don’t sweat as much, and many take medication that affects body temperature. I mustn’t be at that stage yet as I was sweating yesterday. All my life I have been a head sweater (as in one who sweats not in reference to a garment to be worn). That might already have been obvious to you, but sweater just didn’t look right to me: hence the aside. I’m glad I’m not a pit sweater. That always looks gross to me.

When I was packing for Ghana, my mother and I looked for a strong antiperspirant knowing how hot it gets in Africa. We found one with maximum protection which keeps you smelling great for 48 hours. Who could have asked for more? Well, I used it and ended up with boils under each armpit, a carbuncle, meaning a cluster of boils, a word I wish I didn’t have to learn. I couldn’t even lift my arms to write on the board. I didn’t connect with the deodorant right away as Ghana has all sorts of diseases, but I stopped using the deodorant anyway. The boils did their thing and eventually broke. I wrote the Peace Corps doctor asking for information. He figured it could be an infection or even my deodorant and said to stop using it. I had guessed right. After the boils finally disappeared, I used powder. It didn’t provide 48 hour protection, but I didn’t care. Those boils were the worst.

“Quiet diplomacy is far more effective than public posturing.”

August 18, 2017

Yesterday was a perfect day. The weather was warm but breezy enough to keep the heat at bay, the sun shined all day and we even found a table by the water at lunch. My sisters arrived with cake and presents. We went to lunch at one of my favorite places. As a surprise my sisters had invited my friends, and I was definitely surprised. My lobster roll was filled with huge chunks of lobster and the fries and onion rings were perfect. Just ask the gulls who snapped up the French fries we threw on the rocks. After lunch we came back to my house for cake and ice cream and presents. My sisters had chosen the best cake, mocha, and my favorite ice cream, coconut. After that, I opened my presents and was overwhelmed by the generosity of my sisters and my friends. We then sat on the deck a while chatting and laughing. I can’t imagine a better day, a better birthday.

Today is cloudy and a bit humid. The breeze is blowing the top branches of the oak trees. Rain is predicted for later. I do have to go out but not far and off the main roads. The bird feeders need to be filled again, and the fountain is empty of water. Gracie drinks much of the water away. The fountain is the perfect height for her. I fill it, she drinks it and we do this several times a day. She has a water dish on the deck but she ignores it. Dogs aren’t logical.

Quiet seems to be the order of the day after the excitement of yesterday. I don’t hear a sound: not a kid, not a car and not even a bird. I had Alexa play sixties rock, but I kept singing with the music instead of writing so I turned on the TV to MSMBC. It is still reacting to Trump’s latest diatribe so I turned that off. Instead, I watched the Food Channel with Giada who was making a Peruvian chicken dish and showing pictures of her trip to Peru. I suppose I could just turn off the TV, but I’m not in the mood for quiet, for silence. I have stuff I could do, but I don’t want to do them. I’m just fine with being a sloth, napping on the couch, wearing my comfiest clothes and going barefoot.

“Mosquitoes, how wonderful! No one puts them in cages or makes pets out of them.”

July 1, 2017

I am late again. This time I can’t blame my computer. It is my fault. It was close to 10:30 when I woke up then I had two papers to read and a couple of cups of coffee to drink before I could face the day. Last night I was restless and woke up several times. Gracie was the sleep disruptor twice, the first at 3:30. When we went outside, it was so dark I had to feel with my foot to figure out where we were: the grass or the driveway. Once back inside, I had to read a while before I could get back to sleep, back to my restless sleep. It’s no wonder I’m tired.

Today’s weather is like yesterday’s but with a breeze instead of a wind. The leaves at the end of the branches are waving but only slightly. I don’t hear my chimes.

Summer has officially started. The house next door has its first renters of the season. I heard them this morning. They weren’t loud but the open window a bit above the couch where I sleep faces their small deck and slider. I haven’t figured out how many are there yet, but I think there is only a single car.

My house is dark though the clouds are light-colored, not like storm clouds. I can feel the humidity. I’ve nothing planned for today but I might switch out the spawn eaten lights for the new ones I have. The spawns prefer red for chewing.

We didn’t have many organized summer activities when I was a kid. The playground under the trees on the field at the end of my street was about the only close place to spend a summer day. The pool was another spot, but it was about as far away from my house as you could get and still be in my town. Sometimes we’d bike ride to a pond in the next town and go fishing. The library was another place to spend some time before leaving with an armful of books. Other times we didn’t do anything but stay around the house.

My mother kept the living room dark. All the shades were down. She believed this was the best way to keep the house cool. We didn’t have AC back then, and we didn’t have any fans. Upstairs was a hot box. It took a while to fall asleep.

My father had an obsession about mosquitos. He always yelled for us to close the outside doors quickly; somehow, though, that didn’t work. My father hunted down mosquitos.  They were his prey. He had a rolled-up newspaper as his weapon of choice. He’d jump on beds to whack the mosquitos on the ceilings. He woke us up a lot when the beds rocked as he walked across the mattress swatting bugs. All the ceilings had smashed bug marks and a few splotches of blood. My father announced each kill, each triumph. He was a mighty hunter.

“In wildness is the preservation of the world.”

June 30, 2017

I love this morning. It isn’t sunny but it is windy and cool. I can hear the leaves rustling and the tinkling of the chimes from my backyard. Out my window I can see the branches being tossed by the wind. They look like dancers swaying and bending in the same direction. The weather report said sun, but I don’t miss it. A cloudy day has its own beauty.

The kids from down the street woke me again this morning. It was around 8:30. They were playing in front of one of their houses. I heard a couple of them singing, but I have no idea of the song. I also heard a couple of them yelling and a couple of them screaming. They’re gone now except for one, the oldest. He is shooting baskets. I can hear the ball when it hits the road and when he dribbles. I have no idea what happened to the rest of them.

Our girl scout camp, Camp Aleeska, was in the woods at the end of a sandy road across the street from the zoo entrance. The camp was in a pine forest and had been built by the fathers of scouts. Inside was one huge room with a tall fireplace and storage benches lining two walls. The kitchen and bathroom were off the big room as was a small room where the adults slept. Cots, the old canvas type with the wooden bars at each end, were stored in the benches. A couple of times, my troop went on overnights at the camp. After we had brought in the food, we set up our cots with a lot of laughter as sometimes they collapsed. We went on hikes and followed trails in the pine woods. Other times we did stuff to earn another badge for our sashes. We all had jobs like cooking, cleaning, doing dishes or sweeping. I remember the stew we usually had for dinner, poor man’s stew. It was hamburger, a can of soup, potatoes, carrots and sometimes canned corn. The stew cooked a long time on the stove. It was always delicious. I remember cooking breakfast with eggs and bacon and toast. We each had a single task at every meal. I always hated it when I had to wash dishes.

I loved the inside of that camp. It had the aroma of a wood fire. It was always quiet as there was nothing near us. We made the only noise.

The camp is gone now as are the trees that kept it hidden. It is the site of construction equipment and piles of sand. I don’t know when the camp was demolished. I’m sorry for its loss as no one else will make memories there.

“You get what anybody gets – you get a lifetime.”

June 29, 2017

I have been sitting here cursing aloud since 11 am. My computer stuck on the WordPress starting page and refused to go any further. I shut it down a couple of times, but the restart was still stuck. I have renamed my computer Hal.

Gracie has become a Hobbit in her eating habits. She snacks when she wakes up, constantly demands treats when she comes inside the house and has already had her elevenses.  Her afternoon and evening meals will be starting soon.

The day is breezy and cloudy. Every now and then the sky lightens, but the clouds don’t disappear. Rain is not in the forecast through the weekend.

This morning kids screaming woke me up. It was the brood from down the street. They go out and play before the school bus comes. It seems their play must be accompanied by screams, not words, just screams. They left and I fell back to sleep.

Most of the caterpillars must now be Gypsy moths. There is much less poop on the deck. (That sounds a bit nautical, but then it is Cape Cod.) I’ll be glad when the deck stays clean. I watered all the flowers out there this morning. I haven’t yet put down the rug or started the fountain. They’re for another day.

The spawns of Satan are at it again. Last night I noticed my new lights on the end of the deck weren’t lit. I went to check this morning and found a couple of bulbs chewed off the strand. I’m only sorry the spawns weren’t shocked. I can visualize a cartoon spawn with a bolt of lightning through its body.

When I was a kid, the last day of school was always a half day. We did a bit of room cleaning then we sat around waiting to get our final report cards. Once we had the cards in hand, we all turned to the back side where it said promoted to on the bottom. That’s all we cared about, even more than grades, but then I didn’t know a single person who wasn’t promoted. Bad behavior and poor study habits were never tolerated by the nuns.

Today is a sloth day. I deserve it after two busy days. Leandro and Rosana are here cleaning the house. Lee also fixed a cabinet for me and hung a shelf. He is quite a talented fix-it-guy.

My larder is filled. I have choices for meals instead of having to scavenge through the fridge and the cabinets. I even had to rearrange to make room. Life is good!

“Whoever thinks of going to bed before twelve o’clock is a scoundrel.”

June 16, 2017

The weather is wonky. When I woke up, it was sunny. A little while later it got cloudy then it got sunny again. Now it is back to cloudy and is chilly and windy. It is 64˚ and the intermittent clouds foreshadow the rain predicted for later in the day.

The black and white science fiction movie I just finished watching was awful, which, as you know, is one of my favorite sorts to watch as I find the awfulness of the movie  wonderfully entertaining. From Hell It Came was released in 1957. Doctors are on an island which is suffering from plague and is the site of fallout from a nearby nuclear blast. One native, the prince, Kimo, is accused of murdering his father the chief by Tano, the witch doctor, the real murderer; however, the real reason for the accusation is because Kimo befriended American doctors. Kimo is found guilty and is executed by having a knife driven into his heart. He is boxed and buried where there is radiation which transforms him into Tabanga, the walking tree stump with the perpetual scowl. He even develops legs. Tabanga seeks vengeance. He throws his unfaithful wife into quicksand. Tano decides to kill Tabanga and lures him, or it, into a pit which is set on fire; of course, Tabanga doesn’t die. His bark just takes on a charcoal complexion. I’m going to stop here as I don’t want to be a spoiler, but I will say the rest is perfectly awful.

I brought Gracie outside at 1 this morning. The darkness was almost impenetrable. The only sound was the jingle of Gracie’s tags as she walked. She stopped for a bit in the middle of the driveway and just listened. Hearing nothing, she moved to the gate, and I opened it to let her in the yard. I sat on the steps to the deck. She triggered the lights off the deck, and the yard was lit. I could hear her as she walked through the dead leaves on the ground. Finally, she was ready to go back inside the house. We went out again at 5:30. There was daylight, and there were birds singing. When we got back inside, we both slept until nine. She is sleeping again, and I’m thinking that’s one smart dog.

My mother and father were wonderful actors. They always acted surprised and thrilled by the gifts and cards we’d make for them. I remember popsicle stick creations like a coaster for under a drink, and I remember making a popsicle stick plaque and using macaroni letters on it to express my love. The letters were crooked and you could see all the glue holding them to the sticks, but it never mattered to my parents. They called it a work of art.

My dance card has been fairly empty, but I haven’t minded. I’m enjoying doing nothing. I’ve become quite good at it.

“If one mouse is a spark…then ten thousand are a conflagration.”

May 19, 2017

I should be outside singing Oh What a Beautiful Morning. I see the scene somewhat like the opening of The Sound of Music: me singing about the morning as I walk and twirl down the street.

The sun is bright, almost shiny. The sky is breathtakingly blue. There is a strong breeze keeping the morning cool and the heat at bay. The high today will be 78˚, quite warm for May on Cape Cod. The low will be a seasonal 52˚.

When I brought Gracie to the yard, it was 7:15, and the morning was alive with sound. The birds were singing all around me. I heard the lawn mower cutting grass in the backyard next door. The air was sweet with the aroma of that cut grass. The dog across the street was barking. Gracie stopped to listen then continued to the backyard. I could hear her walking on the top layer of dead leaves. She finished then ran to the steps and up onto the deck. She used the dog door to come into the house then waited for her treat. She has new biscuits: a combo of peanut butter and carob. She loves her biscuits.

My house got cleaned yesterday, and my furnace and air conditioning unit were also cleaned. The guy who cleaned my furnace said there was a lot of mice poop. That’s it, the end! I’ve had enough of those wee varmints so I called an exterminator who will come next week. Of all things, the events in Watership Down did pop into my head.

I have an empty dance card for the next few days though I do have one errand today. It will be a quick out and back. I’m in the mood for a lazy day. I think it’s the sun’s fault.