Posted tagged ‘bulbs’

“The best Christmas trees come very close to exceeding nature.”

December 5, 2014

I have already been out and about this morning and will go back out later. The day is chilly but not cold, in the mid 40’s. On my journey, I saw people wearing all sorts of outer garb including puffy jackets, sweatshirts, vests, just plain shirts and one guy in a t-shirt. I was among the vest wearers.

Gracie just brought me the most disgusting chew I’ve seen in a long while. It was crusted in dirt. She obviously had buried it in the backyard and now had a hankering to eat it. She dropped it at my feet, a gift of sorts I suppose. I took it in the kitchen and scrubbed it. The dirt swirled in the sink then went down the drain. I dried it as best I could and gave it to Gracie who wouldn’t take it. Maybe without the dirt it had lost its appeal. A bit later she went back and smelled it and decided it was okay. She is now eating it beside me on the couch. When I put things away for safe keeping, they often end up lost for good. I should have Gracie bury them for me. She never forgets.

The tree always went in the same corner, where the TV usually was. My father would lie on the floor to turn the screws on the tree stand while one of us tried to hold the tree straight and upright. He’d say let go, and when we did, the tree would sometimes lean. We’d hold it again, and he’d try to tighten the screws even more, this time with a screw driver to turn the metal loops. When the tree stayed straight, it was time for the lights. My dad always had tangled lights, and they always drove him crazy. It would take him a while to untangle the mess of all those sets. He was never patient. Once he’d finished that, he’d check to see if the strands would light. If they didn’t, he’d try to figure out which bulb had died. He was smart about that and would replace all the bulbs then check the ones he’d removed one at a time. When it was time to put them on the tree, he was always haphazard about it. My mother would say let the lights drape from branch to branch, but my father never did. He just walked around the tree and put the lights wherever. His only Christmas responsibilities, the outside lights, the tree and inside lights, were complete. He’d then watch TV. The rest was up to us.

“Autumn arrives in the early morning, but spring at the close of a winter day.”

February 28, 2012

Pseudo winter is the best I can call this. Today it is already 46° though tonight will be more typically winter, in the 20’s, but I don’t care. Night always finds me cozy and warm and at home. The weatherman says snow later in the week and predicts the cape will get less than an inch before the snow turns to rain. Boston may get more snow than we will but right now it may also have a new record for the least amount of snow as little more than 7 inches has fallen so far this whole winter, but March sometimes surprises us with a snow storm or two.

My garden is awash with green shoots, and the daffodil buds are prominent: there are four now. Last fall I planted all sorts of bulbs, and I don’t remember what is where on purpose. I want surprise when the flowers bloom and color returns to my garden.

Spring officially arrives on March 20th, and that is cause for celebration. My friends and I will go to the beach to see the sunrise on that first spring morning. Usually it is freezing. We sit in our beach chairs as if it were summer, but we wear winter hats and coats and wrap blankets around us as we wait and watch for the sky to lighten. The first beams appear then the top of the sun. We watch as more and more of the sun appears over the jetty. When morning has finally broken, we applaud and give a welcome to spring then we run for the warmth of the car. We go out for breakfast and toast the arrival of spring.

My mother was always surprised and wonderfully grateful when we gave her our bouquets, the dandelions picked off the lawn. She’d gush a bit, take our gifts and put them in a glass, usually a jelly glass, and then in the center of the table. We always thought they were the most beautiful yellow flowers ever, and I still think of that every time I see a dandelion. In my memory they are gifts.

“And for the season it was winter, and they that know the winters of that country know them to be sharp and violent, and subject to cruel and fierce storms . . .”

February 8, 2011

Slush covers the streets and sidewalks. It’s a dreary, cold day, but I have a smile. Yup, the shoots of the daffodils are up in my garden and so are shoots from the bulbs I planted last year. I don’t what bulb went where or how many were left after the squirrels dined, but bulbs are definitely appearing all over my garden. That smile stayed while reading the paper. The Red Sox equipment trucks left Boston today for Florida. Spring training is getting close. Did you notice that adjective? I said spring.

We New Englanders chose to live here and take pride in being hearty folk, especially during the winter. We chuckle a bit when folks living in the warmer states complain about the cold when the weather is in the 50’s, balmy for us this time of year. Well, I admit it. I have a winter complaint, but it isn’t about the cold. I am getting sick and tired of snow, sleet, rain and slush. Every step I take outside is done gingerly as ice is everywhere. My feet are constantly wet. Why don’t I wear boots? I have no answer to that except to say I haven’t worn boots in years. I don’t even know anyone who does except little kids. My plow guy wears sneakers when he shovels my walk. Right now it’s raining and later that rain will turn to ice when the temperature drops tonight. Tomorrow it will all melt, but tomorrow night it will freeze again. I feel like a hamster on a wheel.

I have some must do errands today so Gracie and I will be off as soon as I finish here. I’ll wear a sweatshirt, as it is 37°, well above freezing, and I’ll wear shoes and skirt whatever puddles I can (I bet you thought for a moment there I was going to wear a skirt ).

It’s not going to rain or snow for the next three days, but the high will only be 32°, the low 15°. It is, after all, winter in New England.

“A hamburger by any other name costs twice as much.”

September 30, 2010

Yesterday was summer, hot and humid summer. It was a back to the deck day which started with morning coffee and papers and ended with me sitting in the dark enjoying the night air and listening to all of its sounds. Today is a bit cooler and far breezier but still warm enough for lazing on the deck. The paper said cold Canadian air is on its way. The nights will drop to 40°, perfect sleeping weather.

I took a ride yesterday. First I went to the garden center and bought bulbs. I bought hyacinths, dafs, crocus, though I am tempted to call them croci, and a few tulips then I headed to the shore road. As I drove over the bridges, the air was clear on each side of me, but further out, fog sat over the water. It was beautiful.

Every day my mailbox is bulging with catalogs. Some of them go into the discard pile without a glance. Others get a look through, but if I find nothing interesting, they too are discarded. The ones I save have dog-eared pages where there is something I might just order. Yesterday, one item took me aback. It was a plastic form for making hot dog shaped hamburgers. It’s just wrong. Hamburgers are round.

I know ground beef can take many shapes. If it’s square, it’s meatloaf. If it’s squat and round and you add gravy, it’s Salisbury steak. If it’s in a small ball shape, you’ve got meatballs. If you dress it up a bit and add noodles, you’ve got ground beef Stroganoff.

Ground beef is versatile, but the one thing it can never be is a hot dog. We’re talking apples to oranges, (though Christer might say äpplen och päron). Some things are just sacrosanct and never to be messed with. Hamburgers are one of them.