Posted tagged ‘coloring’

“Poured a cup of hot sepia coffee in a wisteria flowered mug, dandelion sunshine spilling through the periwinkle sky.”

February 3, 2017

Gracie is home. A multitude of tests gave me nothing new. She has a heart flutter, but she has been taking meds for that. That she was dehydrated was the only concrete diagnosis. She is still skittish about the backstairs and wouldn’t go down them this morning so I took her out front. I’m going to try and get her down the other outside stairs which aren’t as steep.

I have decided not to lift 68 pounds again.

We are at the midpoint of winter. Behind us is only a little snow and too warm for winter temperatures. Ahead of us is February with the reputation of often being the snowiest month. It has already started out a cold month. My windshield has been covered with ice every morning. I notice it when I get the papers. In the old days, I would have been out scraping, but not anymore. It just melts.

I used to like to color. I always got a new box of Crayola crayons to start school and another new box in my Christmas stocking and sometimes one in my Easter basket. Crayons almost never got thrown away. I used to keep mine in a cigar box. The crayons were all sizes from almost brand new to stubs with barely enough room for fingers and no paper left to identify the crayon color. They became just blue or green or red and lost fancy names like Venetian Red, Cerulean Blue or Pine Tree. We didn’t have sharpeners for our crayons back then so the tips would blunt and could only be used in big areas. I never used the white. You couldn’t see it, only feel it. Faces got left uncolored. My finished works got more sophisticated as I got older. My young stuff was mostly in the lines and I used basic colors, nothing fancy. My older coloring, when I was 9 or 10, was shaded, nuanced. I’d spent time choosing just the right colors as if my pictures were works of art. My mother always put them on the fridge.

When I was in Ghana, in one of my Christmas boxes, was a paint by number. It was one of my favorite gifts. I took time finishing it as I wanted the fun of it to last. When it was done, I hung it on the wall. It was a vase and flowers, a still life masterpiece.

 

“Air, I should explain, becomes wind when it is agitated.”

November 15, 2016

Today I am accomplished. The first load of laundry is in the washer. I finally got tired of walking around the overflowing laundry bags in the hall.

The wind is blowing. When I look out the windows, I see brown leaves falling almost as frequently as snow falls. The weather feels chilly because it is damp. Rain is predicted for today, and the cloudy sky makes it probable. It is getting darker.

Maddie howled again last night. It is from loneliness. When Gracie and I slept downstairs, she slept the whole night. I feel so bad for her and wish she would join Gracie and me upstairs. She knows Gracie won’t chase her as she stands on the couch beside the sleeping dog when she wants to be patted. Gracie doesn’t even notice.

When I was a kid, I never got all that excited about Thanksgiving. There was no countdown like for Christmas. It sort of it just arrived. In school, we colored turkeys and wrote down why were thankful. I always said my mother and father. I was probably thankful for them, but I was even more thankful for knowing what to write down. The short school week was also a blessing but not one I mentioned.

Even though every week was the same when I was a kid, except for holidays, of course,  I never really tired of the day to day. I ate the same breakfast every morning unless it was so cold my mother felt the need to make oatmeal to insulate us for the walk to school. We walked the same route to school every day. It didn’t take us long, maybe 20 minutes or so. On cold days we walked a whole lot faster both to keep warm and to get to school sooner.

I remember walking backward against the wind on days like today. My clothes would sometimes billow, especially my skirt. Every now and then I did need peeks to make sure I was walking straight on the sidewalk and to know to face the front when I reached the curb to cross.

I need the lamp lit to keep the darkness away. It was the same when I was a kid. I was never afraid of the dark, but it wasn’t good for reading, my favorite pastime when I couldn’t go out to play after school. I remember lying in bed, comfy and cozy, with the lamp lit behind and above me and an open book in my hands. It felt perfect, almost like paradise.

“If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live.”

November 22, 2014

It might as well be spring. Okay, a slight exaggeration here but today will be 47˚ and Monday may hit 60˚.  Right now it is sunny and a strong wind is whipping the trunks and leaves of the pine trees in the backyard. I had a really late start this morning as it was a mirror test morning. I didn’t even go upstairs to bed until three and slept fitfully. When I woke up, Fern and Gracie were deep asleep, each on one side of me. They seemed to have slept well.

My delay was further complicated when my computer went wanky, and I could only open Safari with that looping message about a security issue and could go no further. Luckily my iPad was handy, and I found the fix, a simple one.

Staying inside in the winter when I was a kid was usually make your own fun. The TV didn’t have programming until the early evening and then when I was a bit older the late afternoon so sitting and watching was not even a choice. One of our favorite ways to while away the time was playing board games. We’d set the game up on the living room rug and sit around it to play. Sorry was our favorite. Vengeance made the game more exciting, and we yapped back and forth after sending our opponent’s man back to start. That yapping would now be called trash talk. Often the game ended because one of us would get mad and start yelling then the other one would yell back so my mother would yell from the kitchen and tell us to put the game away. That was another argument. Who was going to put the game away?

Boy and girl roles were quite definite when I was a little. Coloring was for girls. I remember afternoons spent sitting at the kitchen table with all my crayons arrayed in front of me so I could choose the exact color to fill in the drawing. The crayons were all sizes, some whole, some mere stubs. The paper had been torn off each crayon as it got smaller so we never remembered the name of the color. We all wanted to color like my mother who shaded the colors like an artist might.

Spending the afternoon reading was always a joy for me. I was a library devotee. I’d take out as many books as I was allowed. I think it was three or four. Quiet spots were hard to come by in my house, but I’d manage. Getting lost in a book was about my favorite thing.

Today I am going nowhere. I think I might not even get dressed. On my table are some catalogues and a book. I’ll do Christmas shopping while watching some Christmas movie then I’ll get comfy and read. I’m thinking that sounds like the best way to spend an afternoon.

“My childhood smells like a box of Crayola crayons.”

November 30, 2012

I won’t bore you with a description of today’s weather. Ditto ought to be enough.

We all slept in this morning: Gracie, Fern and I. It was really late or early morning depending on how you look at time before I finally went to bed. It was 10 o’clock when I woke up. Gracie and Fern are already back to napping. Maddie is also napping. She is beside me on the couch and right next to the dog. This is monumental. Gracie has been chasing Maddie since Gracie first walked in the door when she was a puppy. Lately, though, Gracie ignores Maddie more than she chases her. They have even sniffed noses, an intimate move in the animal world. I don’t know if its familiarity after 7 years or just boredom which has caused Gracie to give up the chase. Poor Maddie has finally stopped running.

In grammar school, when I was in the first or second grade, we sometimes colored pictures near Christmas. The pictures were always of the manger scene, no Santa and no reindeer. The nun would have us pull out our boxes of crayons and we’d get busy. I remember I always made the straw yellow, a bit bright, but that was as close I could get to the real color of straw as shading colors was way off in my future. The halo over the Baby Jesus was the same color as the straw; a box of Crayola crayons in those days had limitations. The scene also had Mary and Joseph, the manger, always colored brown, a donkey and a shepherd with a lamb across his shoulders. I colored Mary’s dress blue because every statue had Mary in blue, different shades but still always blue. Joseph wore brown. The shepherd wore green and brown. The lamb wore white.

I’d scrawl my name at the top. It usually went all the way across the paper as I hadn’t yet mastered sizing my letters. Most time only Kathleen R. fit, and it was never written in a straight line. It sloped on the right and started going down the page. It didn’t matter. I was always proud of my work. It was perfect for hanging on the refrigerator art gallery.


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