Posted tagged ‘cold house’

“Glittering tinsel, lights, glass balls, and candy canes dangle from pine trees.”

November 26, 2017

The first thing I saw when I opened my eyes was the strikingly blue sky. I could see it out the window beside the couch where I sleep. I stayed there, on the couch, a little while just looking at that beautiful sky but then I got up to take Gracie outside.

It is a windy, warmish day. The temperature will hover around 50˚ but will fall to the 30’s tonight which makes me suspect winter is reminding us he is waiting in the wings. My house feels cold though it is at the usual daytime temperature. Maybe I just need another cup of coffee.

Last night I shopped some more on line. I know I haven’t finished buying for everyone on my list but my list is incomplete. Uncatalogued bags and boxes still sit on the guest room bed. Last year, before the list was complete, I bought two or three presents for a few people so I saved them until this year. They’re at the bottom of the pile. I don’t remember what they are.

My cat is too old, at 18, to care about a Christmas tree and its ornaments, but my cats from long ago loved batting the ornaments, especially the colorful glass balls. I learned to leave the bottom third of the tree bare of ornaments and later also bare of garlands which attracted the cat but for pulling not swatting. A couple of my cats even honed their climbing skills on the trunk. I can remember looking at the tree and seeing a cat’s face looking out at me from near the top. The older cats slept on the tree skirt under the lights which kept them warm. Only one of my dogs liked the tree. That was Shauna who stood by the tree eating the corn kernels from the popcorn-cranberry garland I had made. She pulled the tree down one year. That was the last tree with the popcorn. I stopped putting icicles on my tree after I caught one cat eating them. That was the year the litter box seemed decorated with all the silver icicle strands glinting from the cat poop. I stopped putting ribbons on gifts, mine or my sisters’. The cats, always the cats, chewed the bows and the ribbons, more cat box decorations. The last few years none of the animals have touched the tree. Gracie sniffs it. Maddie ignores it. But despite their lack of interest, I will decorate with them in mind. I really like the tree without icicles, and I bought a realistic looking popcorn and cranberry garland. I found wonderfully colored wrapping paper which could use ribbons but doesn’t need them. I know my Christmas was nonetheless though the animals were always a bit disappointed. .

“Now Autumn’s fire burns slowly along the woods and day by day the dead leaves fall and melt.”

October 27, 2017

Some mornings I’m Cinderella with singing bluebirds flying around bringing me a  ribbon for my hair, tying on my apron and helping me do chores. Today was not one of those days. The house was cold as it was down to the 40’s last night. I put my sweatshirt on, took Gracie outside, picked up the papers and went back into the house. I noticed the middle cushion on the couch looked wet. I checked and saw Gracie had gotten sick during the night. I slept right through it. I cleaned it up off the floor and washed the  pillow which bore the brunt of Gracie’s discomfort. I hadn’t even had my coffee yet.

The best find of the day was seeing that the second season of Stranger Things has been released on Netflix so I am watching the first episode. This makes up a bit for the morning even though I’m not seeing bluebirds.

I have a new coffee maker so I had to read the instructions before I could make my  coffee. They were easy to read and accomplish, but I do have a complaint. According to the measurements on the side of the carafe, I was making 12 cups. After filling my first cup, I was down to a little lower than 10 and with the second cup down to below 8 cups. The only thing I can figure is I should be using demitasse cups. Who drinks coffee from tiny cups?

One white flower is left in the garden. The cold nights are taking their toll. Winter is getting closer. My sister in Colorado had 80˚ weather a few days ago. Last night was supposed to be around 18˚. She had some snow flurries in the afternoon.

The sun is bright today and is framed in a deep blue sky. It’s a pretty day with a breeze strong enough to sway a few branches and knock off more leaves. The oak tree leaves are the first to succumb to the breeze. Many are brown and dead. I figure they are Mother Nature’s metaphors for the changing season.

 

“Sleep is good, he said, and books are better.”

October 3, 2017

Words are never enough. We can throw around sympathy, sadness, sorrow and tragedy, but none of those salve our feelings or change the situation. Sarah Huckabee Sanders at her press conference said, “And it would be premature for us to discuss policy when we don’t fully know all the facts, or what took place last night.” What more does she need to know? 59 people were killed and over 500 wounded by a man who had legal weapons according to Nevada law. She continued, “And this isn’t a time for us to go after individuals or organizations. I think that we can have those policy conversations, but today is not that day.” We know there will probably never be a day that strict gun control becomes the law of the land, especially now.

Last night I watched a variety of news programs until I couldn’t stand them any longer. I switched to Cozi TV and watched, of all things, The Munsters. Finally I just turned the TV off and read and tried to lose myself in the pages. That didn’t ‘work. It was a long night.

I slept late this morning. That put me way back. The house was cold when I woke up. I’m thinking it will be that way every morning for now on. Good thing I had my sweatshirt handy. I fed Gracie and Maddie and then took care of myself. I’m on my third cup of coffee. I had an English muffin slathered with butter and jelly. I shared with Gracie.

Tonight is game night, postponed from Sunday. It is my turn to bring food so I’m making Mexican. Yesterday I shopped for all the ingredients. That leaves most off my day free. I do have bird feeders needing to be filled, but that takes only a little time. I got a new book from the library yesterday but I’m working on another, the one I tried to read last night.

I’m thinking what I need is a B movie, a black and white science fiction movie from the 50’s. They hold my attention. They make me laugh. I’m going hunting. Talk to you on Thursday.

“I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.”

May 15, 2017

The house was cold when I woke up this morning. I had turned off the heat so it was only 63˚. Outside is damp and cold and filled with clouds. It will rain again. Right now it is 49˚. Such is spring near the ocean.

Mother’s Day was wonderful. My friend Tony feted his wife Clare and me. The table was lovely. Beside our place settings were cards and wrapped chocolates. My candy was wintergreen patties, one of my favorite. We started with shrimp cocktail and salad followed by dinner: chicken and mashed potatoes and hot rolls. I do love my mashed potatoes. Dessert was a light, creamy lime tart. Everything was perfect except I didn’t win our game of Phase 10. Clare exalted in her victory.

I have despaired of ever seeing the sun again. I have memories which are beginning to fade over time. Gracie and I have to go out today. Three stops are on my list. She will like two of them: Agway and the dump. I’ll like the third: Ring Brothers. There I can get the few items on my shopping list and maybe lunch. I’m thinking a thin crust pizza or maybe the soup of the day.

Gracie and I have to go out today. Three stops are on my list. She will like two of them: Agway and the dump. I’ll like the third: Ring Brothers. There I can get the few things on my shopping list and maybe lunch. I’m thinking a thin crust pizza or maybe the soup of the day.

 

 

I bought my house when I was 29. It came with nightmares. The mortgage was half my monthly salary. Out of the rest of my salary, I had to pay everything else including groceries. I was penurious. Buying the house meant no more traveling every summer, no more eating out and a moratorium on new clothes. It was make-do. I had little furniture. The phone guy came in and remarked I seemed to be living primitively. My desk was also my dining room table. My couch was my bed. All the furniture was in the downstairs bedroom renamed the den. Gradually I filled every room with furniture and doo-dads. My pay went up while my mortgage remained the same. It took five years, but I was finally able to travel again. I went to Europe. I was fulfilling my childhood dream to see the world, and, for the first time, I had a house and home waiting for me. I’m thinking life doesn’t get much better than that.

“Don’t allow your life to become just a dead ritual. Let there be moments, unexplainable.”

April 24, 2017

The house was cold when I woke up. I needed my sweatshirt so I had to dump poor Maddie off. She had slept on it last night. Gracie and I went to get the papers. It was warmer outside than the house. I wanted to cheer. It’s a sign of spring.

When I was a kid, my dog was named Duke. He was a boxer, a fawn boxer. In those days there was no leash law. Duke was a wanderer. Some mornings he’d follow us to school. My father would see him, call him and then go crazy when Duke ignored him so my father would hop in the car and go get him. Duke used to visit my aunt and get Sam to go play with him. Sam was his son. My favorite Duke story is when he followed my grandmother uptown. She wasn’t a dog lover. To try and get away, my grandmother went into Woolworth’s. Duke followed. Once inside, he lifted his leg on the comic book carousel. My grandmother was asked if he were her dog. She said no which was technically true. She left quickly. Duke, not her dog, followed right behind her.

I am not a lover of daily rituals yet I have a few. I take Gracie into the yard first. I start my coffee. While it is perking, I feed the cat, fill the water bowl and, after she comes inside, I give Gracie her treats. I drink a cup of coffee with each of the two papers. I thoroughly read each paper though I admit I only read baseball news on the sports pages and articles which catch my attention in the business section. I check my e-mail then hope for divine inspiration when I open WordPress. I have been writing Coffee for 12 years. Divine inspiration is all I have left after all this time.

The rest of the day is open. When I worked, I went to the dump on Sundays. Now I usually go on Thursdays, a quiet day at the dump, but any day will do. If I have any errands, I make a list and do them all in one day in geographic order hopping from village to village. Sometimes I get that favorite sandwich of mine at Buckies in Dennisport. I consider it a reward for doing all those errands.

When I get home, I put on my comfy clothes. The rest of the afternoon is for reading, maybe napping, doing chores like the laundry and if something is going on, watching the news on MSNBC. I check Facebook.

Dinner is whatever I have on hand which is sometimes as simple as an egg sandwich or cheese and crackers.

I go to bed, actually on the couch, whenever I’m tired. I seldom go early. Gracie sprawls at one end. I try to get comfortable around her.

That’s it. That is sort of my day every day.

 

“There are three things that I’ve learned never discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.”

October 24, 2016

I was snuggled under the covers, and Gracie was right beside me with her head on the other pillow. She is my thermometer so I knew the house was cold, but I got out of bed anyway. The temperature was down to 63˚. I turned on the heat for a bit. I also put on socks and a sweatshirt. This is the time of year when the house is colder than outside. Last night it rained. I heard the drops before I fell asleep, but the morning was sunny. The day is rather pretty.

We have a couple of errands today. The most important is for dog food. Gracie seems to expect to eat every day, and I always oblige. When she’s ready for dinner, she sits in front of me and stares. Sometimes she is hungry early and other times much later. I used to keep her to the clock, but I realized I eat when I’m hungry and so should she.

When I got home from Ghana, I was really worried about Fern. She seemed so delicate. I could feel her bones when I patted her, and she didn’t have much energy. Lu, my house and pet sitter, said Fern didn’t eat much. I knew she had gotten her medicine as another pet sitter came by every night to give it to her, but usually she is quite the eater. I started giving her treats, lots of treats, and I bought several cans of her favorite food. Fern has bounced back. She demands treats and eats her canned food. Yesterday she wouldn’t let Gracie go by her. She just sat in front of Gracie immobile and threatening. Gracie went the other way. That’s my Fern.

I’m thinking I need to do a bit of baking. Apples and pumpkins are two stars of this season. Time to go through my recipes.

I have been avoiding it, shutting down the deck. It seems like giving up, giving in to the change of season, admitting winter has its toe inside the door. Turning on the heat this morning was another admission that summer is really over and fall is starting to pack.

“I left the fairy tales lying on the floor of the nursery, and I have not found any books so sensible since.”

November 8, 2015

Autumn has returned. The air is chilly. It is 54˚, a seasonal temperature. Last night the wind blew and howled. This morning more branches are bare, their leaves covering the ground and deck. The house was cold when I woke up so I had to turn the heat back on. Gracie and I are going to the dump and Agway then we’ll watch the Patriots.

It is a quiet day both inside and out. Gracie is sleeping and breathing deeply. The keys make noise when I type. Those are the only sounds I can hear. The quiet is a Sunday thing. That’s the way it has always been. I know the stores are all opened, but my neighborhood has no shouts from kids playing in the street and no dogs barking one after the other. Noises like leaf blowers, instead of rakes, and lawn mowers are Saturday things. They were when I was young and still are today. The rest of the days of the week haven’t as much personality as the weekend.

When I was young, I loved nursery rhymes. The way the words fit together and the rhythm appealed to my ears. I always said them sing-songy. We used to tease my brother by calling him Georgie Porgie then we’d run before he could catch us. I used to wonder about the ten o’clock scholar, “A diller, a dollar,  A ten o’clock scholar, What makes you come so soon? You used
to come at ten o’clock, And now you come at noon.” How could he be earlier if he came later? I looked this up one time and found out the word ‘diller’ is a Yorkshire term for a boy who is dim-witted and stupid. The ten and twelve o’clock lines are the other students making fun of him. It still doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

I don’t know if I have a favorite nursery rhyme as I liked so many of them. I always felt bad for Old Mother Hubbard’s dog, Humpty Dumpty and poor Jack of Jack and Jill fame. I used to wish on the first star, Star Light Star bright, The first star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might, Have the wish I wish tonight. Actually I often still do. I don’t think many wishes ever came true , but I thought I’d keep giving it a try in case. I liked the days of the week one because I was a Sunday child: But the child that is born on the Sabbath day Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay. Maybe my favorite one is Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat, Please to put a penny in the old man’s hat; If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do, If you haven’t got a ha’penny then God bless you!

I accepted this rhyme without too many questions. It was the Christmas is coming which I loved the very thought of. Bob Cratchit and his family ate goose so that was okay with me. I got the penny part and my mother told me a ha’penny was a half penny. I wondered if you had to cut the penny in half. It took a while before I got the answer to that one.

“A book is a garden, an orchard, a storehouse, a party, a company by the way, a counsellor, a multitude of counsellors.”

September 27, 2015

The morning is warm, but the house is still nighttime cold. The sun was so pleasant I sat outside for a while then with great resolve went inside to brave the chill of the house. The animals were huddled beside me when I woke up. If this had been winter, the furnace would have gone on triggered by the low temperature.

I’ve decided I am stuck in a rut, not an unpleasant rut but a rut nonetheless. This last week I stayed home most of the time by cramming all four of my errands into a single day. The reason for this inactivity is a new book. It was slow reading at first, but not anymore so I read and keep reading. Every now and then I take a nap then I read again. Last night I was in bed well before midnight but didn’t turn the light off until 1:30. I kept telling myself I’ll finish this chapter then go to sleep. That went on for several chapters. Today I’ll finish my book when maybe I can rejoin the world. (In case you’re wondering: The Nature of the Beast: A Chief Inspector Gamache novel.)

Losing myself in a book is one of my favorite ways to spend time. I’ve been doing it since I was a kid. I devour books sometimes reading them in one sitting, one very long sitting well into the night and into the next morning. I used to hide my books when I was in school. I’d pretend to be reading the textbook but instead was caught up in a mystery or a suspense novel smaller than the textbook so easily hidden between the pages. In biology class we read the text a lot. Among many I finished The House of the Seven Gables during that class. I never once got caught. I’m thinking I looked intensely interested in my text.

I remember my mother reading Treasure Island to my brother and me. That novel whetted my appetite for more. I think I’ve read most of Stevenson’s books, but Treasure Island will always be my favorite. I am so grateful my mother gave us a love of reading. What a wonderful gift!

” People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.”

May 19, 2013

The day is again beautiful with that deep blue sky and plenty of sun. The air outside has a morning chill which I think will get warmer as the day gets older. Gracie has been outside all morning and barking every now and then. I went out with her while the coffee was brewing and saw nothing to prompt the barking, but I’m keeping an eye out for a coyote. My friend saw one twice yesterday morning, and the second sighting was right by my house. None have been around lately as the rabbits are fat and greedy. Two were eating in my garden yesterday. When we have coyotes, we have no rabbits or skunks.

Next week I’m going to buy the flowers for my deck planters and the herbs for the window boxes and the herb garden. A few herbs are up already: thyme, oregano and chives. I need lots of rosemary, one of my favorite of all scents. I try to find summer recipes which call for the fresh rosemary, and I love rubbing my hand up the stems and then smelling the rosemary on my hand. Even the dead rosemary from last summer still in the window boxes had that great smell.

While I was driving the other day, all I could think of was how beautiful everything is. I saw the contrasting greens of the trees, the leaves finally out and unfolded, flowering bushes in so many different colors and a bright sun glinting through all the branches. The lilacs are out. I saw white and the usual purple. Mine too have flowered, but they are a deep, deep purple, a color I don’t usually see. My violets and lilies of the valley have flowers. Both plants came from my mother’s yard, from her back yard. Like her lilies, mine have taken over. The side bed is filled with them. I put a few in the backyard and they came up this year and have spread a bit. They can have the whole yard. Gracie won’t mind.

Having memories of my mother in the garden every spring gives me joy.