Posted tagged ‘Christmas presents’

“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.

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

May 16, 2016

Home! Gracie and I got home late yesterday afternoon. It had been a wonderful visit for both of us. Gracie had Bill who walked her every day and Peg who fed her goodies. Peg and I went to the glass blowing shop where I bought some Christmas presents and to a wonderful craft fair where I bought more presents and some stocking stuffers. I also bought myself a few things, that seemed only right. All the area around Mont Vernon where Bill and Peg live is lovely. There are dairy farms, lots of wooded areas and old houses, big old houses. A few miles from their house is a wonderful view from the top of a hill. Stretched out before me were hills, small hills, tall hills and some hills tall enough to be called small mountains. The hills were different color greens and looked like a landscape painted on canvas. The sky was blue and the clouds had the most wonderful shapes. I stopped for a few minutes at the top of the hill to take in that wonderful view.

We laughed a lot, Bill, Peg and I. We share so many memories and have made a few more. Bill said he always wondered how they knew I was coming to visit them in Tafo, in Ghana. I always wondered the same thing. We figured it must have by mail, and in Ghana it was truly snail mail. I used to visit them on my way home from somewhere, usually Togo. I always took the train. They moved to my school for our second year. That’s when we had so many adventures.

The trees near Boston and on the South Shore are filled with leaves. I could see them rippling and turning when the wind blew, but as I continued toward the cape, the trees got barer. By the time I crossed the bridge, I was seeing trees with buds and tiny new leaves. Spring is slow to come to Cape Cod.

A dump run is coming up, and I have a wash to do. Everything is as it was.

“Games lubricate the body and mind.”

December 27, 2014

Okay, yesterday I was a woman of my word. I didn’t even get dressed. Most of the day I lolled. Today I need to get my laundry out of the dryer where it has sat for at least a week then I can do another laundry which will also probably sit for a week. I woke up at 10:20 this morning because I didn’t go to bed until three. I just wasn’t tired. Mostly I watched Doctor Who and then finished my book.

Winter sunlight is muted and seldom warm but still welcomed. It is here again today with its frame of blue. I was out on the deck to stop a barking Gracie, and though it isn’t as warm as it has been, it is still warm for late December. Gracie has been out most of the morning enjoying the yard. She has yet to take her morning nap, a most unusual occurrence.

One of favorite Christmas presents was my bike. I was around nine or ten. When I came downstairs Christmas morning, I saw it beside the tree leaning on its kickstand. I knew it was mine, not my brother’s, because it was a girl’s bike. I remember that was the Christmas of no snow, and on Christmas morning I was glad. I’d get to ride my bike. When I took it outside for the first time on the day after Christmas, my mother took a picture of me standing beside the bike holding it by the handlebars. I have the biggest grin on my face. I remember how proud I was riding my new bike.

Every year we’d get a new game. On Christmas day, after dinner and seeing family, we’d set up the new game by the tree, lie on the rug and play. If we didn’t know the game one or the other of my parents read and explained the directions as we went along.

I give my friends a new game every year, my way of keeping the tradition alive. It’s getting more and more difficult finding real put your hands on the pieces games instead of video games, but I usually am lucky to find a couple.

I love game nights, our weekly get-togethers. We have appetizers and drinks. We have moaning and cursing. Sarcasm rules the evening. Someone is always dubbed the loser with finger L on forehead. Sorry and Phase 10 are the usual games. Phase 10 is civilized. Sorry never is and never has been. That’s the fun of it.

“I like these cold, gray winter days. Days like these let you savor a bad mood.”

November 29, 2014

When I woke up, it was cloudy and dark. Now the sky is blue and the sun has returned for the first time in days, but it is mostly light and a bit of show. The early morning, even with the sun, was so cold my car windshield had frost for the first time this year.

Last night was the coldest night since March. Gracie got under the spread and stayed there all night which is unusual. Most times she starts to pant from the warmth and uncovers herself again. Right now she is napping, exhausted from barking outside at nothing and from playing fetch down the hall. She is finally back to her chipper self. I was a bit worried.

Today we’re going to the dump then we’ll Christmas shop along 6A. Gracie will be my co-pilot. Once the cold weather arrives, she gets to wait in the car, not something we can do in summer. She always keeps an eye out the closest window for my return.

One of the guest room beds is filled with boxes and bags, all Christmas presents. When something arrives, I just put it upstairs without marking anything down so I need to check and make a list of what I have for whom. Naughty or nice doesn’t count. I do love to Christmas shop, to find just the perfect gift. I never last-minute shop. All year-long I put gifts into my Christmas box. Over time I have learned to buy it when I see a perfect gift no matter the time of year as it might not be there the next time.

The gold finches have taken root at the feeders. They stayed around last winter, and it looks as if they’ll be here again. I did notice a few other sorts of birds in and out, but most take a seed and fly to a branch to eat it. The finches just hang around. A woodpecker stopped at the suet feeder. It stayed a while. I noticed the thistle feeders need to be filled, but I’ill wait for a warmer day.

“November always seemed to me the Norway of the year.”

November 10, 2014

Today is a lovely fall day with a slight breeze, mottled light shining through the backyard branches and birds at all the feeders. It is a quiet day. I don’t even hear cars. I do hear the snoring, especially Gracie’s. She seems herself. The next test for her is Saturday.

I have to buy cat food and litter today so Gracie and I will be out and about later. I also need some cold cuts so I can keep hiding the horse-sized pill she takes each morning.

I have started my Christmas shopping. Everything I’ve bought is on one of the guest room beds so I have to start checking what’s there and making a list of what I need. My sister in Colorado never helps. I ask and she says she’ll have to think about it. That drives me crazy. My other sister usually has one big item in mind and always asks if it is too expensive. It never is. The best part of Christmas presents is getting something you really want. I may drive my sister crazy this year as I have nothing in mind. I’ll just let her surprise me.

The three boys are getting Hess trucks for one of their gifts. They get one every year. The baby will only be 5 months by Christmas, but I figured I’d start his collection. Both babies got hand-knit stockings already, and I have ordered each of them a wooden box containing three handmade ornaments including Baby’s First Christmas. Kids are easy. Adults seldom are. To some I give magazine subscriptions including Afar, Smithsonian, Bon Appetit and Yankee. They are always a big hit as gifts. I’ll also do some hunting in local stores as I love to find different and off-beat gifts, and there are a few stores I can always count on for something special.

Well, my back is horrific today. I did too much yesterday. That’s always the way with me. It happens all the time. I am a slow learner.