Posted tagged ‘chatting’

“If you’re really a mean person you’re going to come back as a fly and eat poop.”

August 1, 2016

The reason for my tardiness is I spend Mondays with my neighbor. She is the neighbor who just became a citizen. We used to go over the citizenship questions, but mow we sit and talk just so she can practice her English. Usually I stay an hour or an hour and a half. Today we lost track of the time, and it was two and a half hours.

The day is just about perfect. All that’s missing is the sun, and I’m just fine with that. There is nice breeze keeping the house cool, the birds are singing loudly and the kids are quiet. I have nothing to do today. I was going to water the outside plants, but it rained last night. I don’t know how much or how long it rained as I slept through it. The wet deck was the only evidence.

The cat, Fern, woke me up the other night. She nipped my elbow. That was the first time in nearly 18 years she has ever nipped me. I woke up with a start. She was purring and then ran her head under my hand. She had woken me up because I was ignoring her need to be patted. After I had finished, she let me sleep.

The other day I bought cat food, dog food and dog treats. The treats are dried chicken strips. I put the bag on the floor as I was carrying so much, and that bag was quite heavy with all the cans. Later that night, Gracie was in the den, with me. She was scratching at the rug. I figured one of her toys must be under that rug so I got up to retrieve it. Well, it wasn’t a toy. It was the bag of treats. Gracie had gone into the bag, moved a couple of dog food cans out of the way and grabbed the treat bag in her mouth. That was the first time Gracie has ever done that.

My animals are getting brazen as they age. Gracie is nearly 12. Fern has been so sick I have been babying her so she must think I have given tacit permission to be harassed.

My father once said he would love to come back as a pet in any of our houses. Mine would be a great choice. He’d get the best dog food, canned and dried, the best dog treats and a couch to sleep on during the day and a bed at night. If a cat, my dad would get canned and dry food, pine litter instead of that awful clay and cat treats, mostly Temptations. He would be able to sleep on any couch, chair or bed. The only drawback would be those trips to the vets. My father always hated having to go to the doctor’s.

“Candy is childhood, the best and bright moments you wish could have lasted forever.”

July 17, 2016

It’s a later than usual start for me as I was on the phone with my sister. We talk every Sunday. Today we ended up chatting for two hours. For those of you thinking that in no way could you chat for two hours, believe me, the time goes quickly. We never ran out of things to talk about. We never do.

This morning, I tried to live for a bit without the air conditioning. I turned it off, opened the windows and the doors. I lasted an hour and a half.

There is a small breeze, but it is still hot and humid. When I let Gracie out the last time, I followed her to the deck. As soon as I walked outside, I was hit by the heat blast and stifled by the humidity. The day looked far better out the window. I figure I was taken in by that breeze ruffling the leaves.

My front garden has a few but is mostly in between flowers. Many of those flowers have so many buds I am anxious to see them bloom. The clematis has spread to three fence pieces and is filled with buds. Other flowers whose names I don’t know are tall and also filled with buds close to opening. In a short time, my garden will be glorious.

I ordered some Mexican hat jellies thinking they’d make good movie treats. I haven’t seen that candy in a while. The picture had a yellow, red, green and black hat. When I mentioned the candies to my sister, she said she liked the black ones. I do too. I also love Chuckles black jellies. Being my favorite flavor, I save them for last. Black jelly beans are also a favorite of mine. I was thrilled when they started selling only the black ones in a package. Anise cookies are my favorites. My uncle used to make the best-tasting anise cookies every Christmas. He said the secret was using anise oil, not anise flavoring. I actually hate black licorice. I like the red licorice but think the black tastes awful. My sister, strangely enough, has the same weird taste. She told me her son, Ryan, also hated black licorice but loves all the same black candy we do. She thinks it’s a strange gene the three of us have.

The only entry on my dance card this week is a follow-up appointment for Fern at the vets.   I guess I’m still in my solitary confinement.

“BELLADONNA, n. In Italian a beautiful lady; in English a deadly poison. A striking example of the essential identity of the two tongues.”

September 14, 2015

Every Monday I go next door to my neighbor’s house and we chat for an hour or two. She is from Brazil and wants help with her English. I find chatting the most comfortable way for both of us. Today we planned her son’s birthday party. The way the chatting works is that when we’re talking and Niecy makes an error in grammar or conversation, we stop while I explain. She also has me write it down so she can see what I mean. I love it when she says, “Good to know.” We have become friends.

I have the worst accent when I learn a new language. My ears hear it but my mouth doesn’t cooperate. I can never Iive in a country where you have to roll R’s. French was the language I learned in high school. We didn’t have a choice. I remember Sister Madeline Marie making us listen to learn. My memory grabbed all the words, and that was the best I could do. I got A’s on tests but cringed when I had to speak. I think Sister Madeline Marie did too.

In college I decided to desert French and try Spanish. The problem in the beginning was I mixed my languages. I remember on the first test the professor circled all the French and Latin words I had used, but it didn’t take long before I knew the vocabulary and could understand most of what was said. The problem was I could barely be understood, but we had mostly written tests so I did well.

During second year Spanish, we were supposed to go language lab once a week. I did in the beginning but after a while I got bored and substituted a music tape. I generally got caught and had to go back to the Spanish tape and drone in repetition. I stopped going. My Spanish professor was an Augustinian and he was wonderful. He had fled Spain during Franco’s time and told us stories about hiding and wearing mufti. He brought me into the hall once and told me for a smart girl I was stupid. He had just gotten the attendance for the language lab. He said he could fail me, but he wouldn’t. He’d give me a D instead of the A I could have had. I meekly said gracias and went back to my seat.

I used my French vocabulary in West Africa all the time. I seldom spoke in sentences but strung words together which were usually understood. I could give directions, order food and shop in the market. Sister Madeline Marie would have been proud.

In South America I used my Spanish to go from Venezuela to Brazil. I could order food, buy bus or train tickets and chat a bit with fellow passengers using the strung vocabulary technique. I could understand almost everything said to me. I just couldn’t easily reply. Father Acanada would have had a few words to say about that. He’d tell me, “See, you should have gone to language lab.”

“Your families are extremely proud of you. You can’t imagine the sense of relief they are experiencing. This would be a most opportune time to ask for money. “

May 11, 2015

The sun is gone and clouds have taken over. Maybe rain they said in the paper. I’d be fine with that. It hasn’t rained in a long while.

My neighbor and I get together every Monday. She is Brazilian and wants to learn to speak English better so we just chat. First, though, I had to explain that you don’t need a computer to chat. Face to face works even better. She said that was good to know. Today was a strange word day. We talked about jimmies and sprinkles and frappes and milk shakes and rotaries and roundabouts. We also talked about singular verbs sometimes needing an S as she is prone to leave it off. Good to know she told me. Nicee, my neighbor, and I share a love for coconut ice cream. Her favorite in Brazil is corn ice cream. I was dubious but she swore it tasted the best of all. Her son is graduating from high school this year, and she showed me his new suit and wanted to know where the bottom of the pant leg should be: above the shoe, at the top of the shoe or covering the shoe. I told her I’d check on-line.

I graduated from high school in the days when girls wore dresses and boys wore suits and ties under their gowns. The girls wore white gowns while the boys wore green, our school colors. We sat on one side while the boys sat on the other. Our graduation was outside in front of the school. Some of us were on chairs while those in the back sat on a small bleacher. The Class of 1965 sign was hung above the top-tier of the bleacher on the front of the school. It fell during the ceremony and a few guys were knocked off the bleacher and one guy was knocked out for a bit after he hit the ground. The news traveled fast among us whispered one to another. It was the highlight of the ceremony. I remember the speaker was from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, and he was quite boring. We chatted a bit while he spoke and were careful not to be too loud. Scholarships were given out, and I remember reading my dad’s lips after getting mine and he was asking me how much. After what seemed hours came the awarding of our diplomas. My parents gave me a party, and I remember my mother made chicken and eggplant parmesan. My gift was a typewriter to take to college. I was thrilled. I still have it stored in the cellar. I last used it during my teaching years before the computer made it a relic.

“Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night.”

May 4, 2015

Today is one of those spring days when outside is warmer than inside. The day is absolutely gorgeous. It is warm, even t-shirt warm, while the house is still sweatshirt chilly. I’m hitting the deck as soon as I finish here.

Every Monday at ten o’clock I visit my neighbor who is Brazilian. Niecy and I just chat so that she can improve her conversational English. She offered to pay me but I refused. She is my neighbor after all, and it’s fun just sitting and chatting. Sometimes I even think we should be sharing tea and cucumber sandwiches.

The week is a quiet one for me but then again most weeks are. I have all this time on my hands, and I find ways to keep busy but most times it’s reading or cleaning or even taking a nap. I don’t go out much, but I’m fine with that. Gracie and I did take a ride the other day after the dump run, and I bought myself my favorite sandwich to eat at home which, I know, doesn’t sound all that exciting, but I enjoyed every minute of the ride and the sandwich. It doesn’t take much to make me happy.

Last night I watched The Man from U.N.C.L.E., an episode filmed in 1965. The girls’ sort of slinky dresses, the guys’ skinny ties and the swim were all part of one scene. I know I must have worn the same type clothes and danced in the same way, but it made me laugh anyway. The swim has to be one of the silliest dances.

Color has returned to the world. We are over the rainbow, no more Kansas. My spring flowers have all bloomed, and my neighbor’s front garden is filled with tulips of all colors. All the forsythia in the different yards is still bright and eye-catching. Even the male goldfinch is back to being bright yellow or gold I suppose. I can see buds and some leaves on a few of the trees. It is time for me to start wearing my bright colors, to start wearing spring.