Posted tagged ‘colors’

“Smells are so powerful and evocative, sometimes stronger than visual cues.”

January 28, 2018

This is day 4 of the wash watch!

Earlier this morning I heard the rain and decided to turn over and get back to sleep. I slept for almost two more hours. Now I can face the rain.

Maddie is much better. I suspect the boneless chicken thighs I cooked for her worked miracles. She ate quite a bit yesterday and also ate all the pieces I had left on her plate when I went to bed. She is now meowing at me in her usual indignant voice. I’m even glad for that.

I have to go to the dump as I didn’t yesterday, and it is closed Mondays through Wednesdays. It won’t be busy in the rain .

I often buy flowers in the winter. My senses beg for stimulation. My eyes need colors. I just get so tired of grays and browns. I want vivid yellows and oranges. My nose craves the sweetness of flowers to combat the air in the house which gets stale from closed windows and doors. The Christmas tree helped for a while, and I was so sorry when its time had ended. I also burn candles, but nothing terribly sweet. I prefer aromas like apples, balsam and spices like cloves and cinnamon. I wonder about the candles with strange aromas. Who decided what Sweet Nothings or a Calm and Quiet Place smell like? I’m also curious about Sun-Drenched Apricot Rose. What does sun-drenched smell like especially when added to apricots and roses. I’m thinking maybe sweat.

I am getting forgetful; it’s a matter of aging. My word retrieval skills are blunted. I get distracted and forget what I wanted in the first place. Mnemonics have become my best friends, and I use my mother’s trick of going through the alphabet. Most times that works. My spelling skills often take a vacation. I wonder about the spelling of a word, and the longer I look, the stranger the word looks. I could use spell check but that only makes it worse.

It always amazes me that I am the age I am. I don’t feel old. I don’t think old. At least as far as I can remember.

” It’s Christmas. Nothing bad is going to happen on Christmas!”

December 21, 2017

Today is the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year and the first day of winter. The days will start getting longer but we’ll hardly notice. It will still be dark early. I guess it’s a psychological thing, the idea that winter is very slowly losing its grip. Today is cold. Gracie and I were out early as she had another acupuncture treatment. She did well. When we got home, we both went to back to sleep. I just woke up. She’s still sleeping.

I’m going to make some cookies today. I did all my Christmas food shopping yesterday. I also made two other stops for dog food and Christmas candy. For Christmas dinner, the menu is set. We’re having bone-in rib roast. I have to pick the meat up on Christmas Eve. The rest of the menu will give our plates some color, in keeping with the season: white, green and orange, better known as potatoes, carrots and green beans.

My whole house feels like Christmas. The aroma of my Christmas tree fills the rooms. It makes me smile, and I tell the air how wonderful it is. I don’t even pretend I’m talking to Gracie.

I’m watching a Christmas movie, and it isn’t very good. The elves are tall and have names like George and Mindy. Their acting is over the top, hammy. The main characters are a family of a mother and two kids. The father passed away. One kid loves Christmas while the other is obnoxious and angry. She needs a slap. The mother is sweet and does her best only to be rebuffed by her daughter. The only parts of this movie I really enjoy are the scenes of the town and the snow. It looks like an old town with lots of brick buildings. Snow is everywhere. I don’t know why I’m still watching. I know how this horrible movie ends. It’s a Christmas movie so the ending will be happy and even the rude, obnoxious daughter will love Christmas again. Maybe I should watch Krampus again though even that has a happy ending.

“The sun has come out… and the air is vivid with spring light.”

May 17, 2016

Today is a bit chilly somewhere between a sweatshirt and a long sleeved-shirt. The sky is cloudy though the sun is close enough behind the clouds that the day is bright and the sun sometimes shows itself. Many flowers are starting to pop up or bloom in my front garden. Now I know where the bare spots are, and I’m excited to buy new flowers to fill in the blanks (sort of blanks). I know I need some tall ones. Before I shop, I’ll do a bit of searching on line to find different flowers than I have.

This is a busy medical week. Fern goes to the vets today to see if the medicine has helped her kidney remain stable without any further deterioration. I have two appointments of my own. My house is beginning to resemble a pharmacy. All of us are on some sort of medication.

Spring is a noisy season. The birds start singing early, a bit before dawn. The kids are outside in the morning screaming and playing while they wait for the bus. I can hear lawn mowers most mornings and today I heard hammering. Generally I prefer the quiet, but this time of year I’m happy for the noise. It means people are coming out of hibernation. They are no longer hunkered down in their warm houses but are outside in their gardens or just walking the neighborhood. People are especially friendly this time of year. We all survived the winter together so a wave or a hello is a reconnection.

Riding in the car this time of year has its danger. My eyes are attracted to colors, and I can’t help but look: along the sides of the roads. I have to be careful to take quick peeks as a couple of times I found myself heading toward the sidewalks-no people but plenty of trees.

I haven’t taken pictures in a long while, but my camera has plenty of pictures needing to be uploaded and posted. Most are from last year. I’ve got to put the camera on my to do list.

Right now the sun is out. It is quiet. The only sound is Gracie’s deep breathing while she sleeps. A bit of a breeze has appeared and the tops of the pine trees are swaying. It is a lovely day.


“The seasons are what a symphony ought to be: four perfect movements in harmony with each other.”

April 11, 2016

The world is finally waking up from its winter’s sleep. The forsythia are starting to bloom so pockets of bright yellow are sitting along the roadside. The hyacinths have bloomed and are scattered in the gardens in a variety of colors. Mine are pink, purple and white. In the front garden I see small shoots getting taller every day. I don’t know what they are. I think maybe I just have to be patient to see what they’ll become.

In winter I abide the weather. That’s just the way it is. But as winter finishes its cycle, I get impatient for spring. I want gardens bright with flowers. I want warm days. I want color. Summer is another season I abide. When it first arrives, I am so happy to feel the warmth, to sit on the deck and to have all the windows open to the sounds of the birds and the sweet smell of the season. By August, though, the summer is too hot and humid. It is time to be inside with the air conditioner. I want cooler days. I am ready for the end of summer and the first stirrings of fall, my favorite of all the seasons. Fall never seems to last long enough. All of a sudden we have our first frost, and I am reminded it will be winter’s turn again, but now we are as far away from winter as we’ll ever be. I am so happy for the coming of spring.

The air is a bit chilly, but we have sun so I’m not going to complain. This morning it rained a bit, and I expected a cloudy, damp day. What a nice surprise to see blue skies and the sun so rare of late.

When I was a kid, this would be bicycle weather. My bike stayed in the cellar all winter and it was quite an ordeal to get it out of the cellar and up the stairs. A concrete wall was a step or two across from the cellar door. It was one side of the set of stairs. The other side was the foundation of the house. My bike couldn’t come straight out of the cellar as there wasn’t enough room because of that wall. It had to be turned in creative ways so it faced the cellar steps. I used to lift it as I was going out the cellar door so only the back tire was on the ground. I’d hold the bike as best I could and pivot on the back tire so the whole bike faced the steps. I’d then squeeze to get in front of the bike so I could pull it up the stairs by the handlebars. That was slow going, step by step. When I was finished and was finally in the backyard, I’d mount my bike, ride it across the grass then ride down the forbidden hill in pure triumph with my arms raised, a sort of Tour de France gesture. I didn’t care that I left wheel marks. I deserved that hill.

“There are moments, Jeeves, when one asks oneself, ‘Do trousers matter?'” “The mood will pass, sir.”

January 17, 2016

Today is cloudy and damp and colder than yesterday. According to the weatherman, it will continue to get colder. Tomorrow night will be in the teens and Tuesday will be in the 20’s. I suppose I ought not to complain as this is really a warm winter. I’m thinking that’s probably an oxymoron.

Two of my warmest shirts are flannel. When I was a kid, my jeans were lined in flannel. I’m even wearing flannel pants right now, the kind you only wear around the house, never outside. If I wore a hat, it would have flannel inside and on the ear flaps. Comfort, not style, now dictates my choice of wardrobe.

In Ghana I had to wear a dress every day everywhere I went. When I started teaching here, it was the same thing except pantyhose was added. Later, pants were accepted as appropriate when teaching, but then, when I became an administrator, it was back to dresses, an unspoken but expected choice of wardrobe for an administrator. Every school day morning I’d stare at the clothes in my closet trying to decide what dress to wear. Now fast forward to retirement. The clothes in the closet have completely changed. I have two all purpose dresses, one dress a bit heavier for colder weather and three from Ghana. It has been so long since I wore a dress, I don’t even remember the occasion. I’m thinking it might have been a wedding. All the other clothes in my closet are mostly pants, shirts and other kinds of tops.

The day after I retired it happened. My fashion world was upended. I started dressing for comfort all the time. Style be damned! I have some dressy pants should I need to upgrade my usual choices, but I don’t even remember wearing those either. Now when I look in the closet, I wonder what color I’ll wear today.

“The truth is that everyone is bored, and devotes himself to cultivating habits.”

February 1, 2014

This morning is already 41˚. That’s a hot spell, time for sunscreen. Gracie, my weather barometer, has been outside pretty much the whole morning. She comes in every now and then for water and to make sure I’m still here.

The feeders have lots of different birds today, even mourning doves and winter robins. Hopeful is the best description for a day like today. It’s nature’s way of reminding us that winter won’t last forever. There will be more snow, that’s inevitable, and chilling to the bone temperatures but soon enough every day will be in the 40’s and then the 50’s then climbing from there. Green shoots will start appearing in the front garden by the end of this month and will become a calendar of sorts. As they grow taller, we’ll be closer to spring. Once they bloom color fills the garden and spring finally gains hold. The air gets that smell of freshness, of growing things, of flowers and grass. Cold mornings give way to warmer afternoons. Some vestiges of winter hang around for a bit longer but that’s okay. I always think of them as a last gasp.

This has been a strange week. Little holds my interest, not even books I usually devour. I won’t even mention television. I haven’t seen anyone to talk to since Sunday; I don’t count the man at the dump or the woman at the pharmacy. We didn’t converse. I could be the main character in a last person on Earth book, soon to be made into a major movie. In my empty world, there would be no vampires or zombies running around trying to drink my blood or eat my entrails. I imagine blue birds singing and flying above my head sort of like in Song of the South or Cinderella. Flowers are always in bloom. The sun shines, and the day is perfect in the 70’s. Yup, I’m living in a Disney movie. I don’t know, though, how long I can go without people and conversation, but I figure I’d be talking to myself a whole lot, but I do that now. I usually direct my comments to Gracie who listens with a cocked ear but doesn’t ever answer. She’d be in the book too. I do have an ending for this book. There I am surrounded by blue birds, my faithful dog by my side as I walk through the park. All of a sudden I hear someone whistling a tune, yup, a happy tune. I stop and gasp, my hand in front of my mouth, and say,”Hello?” I hear, “Hello” right back, and it isn’t an echo. I am not alone. It’s a happy ending.

Now you can understand I really need to get out more!

“In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.”

September 21, 2013

Gracie was on the deck and barking so I went out to check to see which critter was within sight. I didn’t see any, but I did see a water spray near the top of the driveway. A bird was having the most wonderful bath in a puddle from my irrigation system. The drops of water were flying in the air as the bird flapped its wings. That bird was having a great time and so was I while watching it.

The morning is a beauty. It is quintessential autumn on Cape Cod. The sun is bright and the day is warm. Fall flowers are in bloom, and my garden is filled with mums, anemones and my favorite of all, autumn clematis. In autumn, I always think Mother Nature gives us her best and final show before winter’s turn in the year.

I need bird seed: sunflower and thistle. Lately, with so many birds, the big feeder empties quickly. I think word of beak must be the reason. Yesterday, after I had filled the feeders with the last of the seeds, a chickadee flew so close by me I swear its wing touched my cheek. I love to stand by the deck rail and watch the birds eat. They are barely an arm’s length away as the feeders hang off the deck. The chickadees are the most fearless. The seeds are what they want, and my being there doesn’t give them pause. The thistle feeder spins each time a goldfinch or chickadee lands on it. The birds just hold on and go with the spin.

I know I won’t be able to stop myself from roaming the flower aisles when I go to buy the bird seed. Perennials are on sale as are the fall flowers. I just happen to have a few spaces in the small round garden where a tree used to stand and some spots in the back of the big front garden. I also want to harvest the rest of my herbs. The rosemary is ready to hang in the house, and its aroma will spread about the kitchen to remind me summer will be back. I just have to be patient.

“All seasons have something to offer”

April 7, 2013

Still a bit on the chilly side, but the weatherman promised 50˚. I, however, am skeptical. Breakfast was tasty at the diner this morning: French toast with Canadian bacon, sort of an international meal says I with tongue in cheek. Gracie and I made one stop on the way home, and that should do it for the day.

On my way home I got to thinking about the seasons. Maybe it was all the flowers I saw as I passed by front gardens. I decided spring is a flamboyant old woman who wears boas and flowing scarfs and dresses. She is bright with color. Her movements are  exaggerated. She speaks quickly and her hands are always in motion. Her purple boa is around her neck like a scarf and the fluffy part waves from her breath when she speaks. Spring’s clothes are never color coordinated. That’s not her point.

Winter is an old man hunched by age. He wears a long dark coat almost to his ankles. It has large black buttons. He wears a hat, a fedora, which doesn’t cover his ears. They are perpetually cold. He keeps his hands clenched in his coat pockets hoping for a bit of warmth which doesn’t come. His fingers are stiff from the cold. Winter shuffles when he walks. He wears galoshes which are never snapped and barely stay on his feet. Winter is always sad-looking.

Summer wears orange and yellow and flip-flops. Her shirts are covered in huge flowers that look like orchids. Her face and arms are tanned. Her freckles have returned. There is a lightness to her, a reflection maybe of the warmth of the sun. She is joyful at the beauty of the day.

Fall is the season with the most difficult of all personalities. It is a bit of summer and a hint of winter. The last flashes of color are in the garden. The trees are ablaze with reds and yellows. I always think fall is giving us a warning of what is to come and is playing with us a bit. The mornings have a chill while the afternoons are warm, and, once the sun goes down, the evenings are cold. Fall dresses in muted colors and, after the summer, seems quiet, even contemplative.  Sometimes I think of fall as a long line of monks wearing brown robes with their cowls over the heads as they walk slowly and sing a Gregorian chant.

“It gives one hope, this great strength of Africa”.

April 9, 2012

Easter Sunday was a wonderful day. The weather was chilly, but that didn’t matter. My friends and I went to our usual restaurant and sat at a window by the water. We looked out and saw across the horizon the light gray sky and below it were small white-capped waves and the light brown sand of the beach. A rock jetty jutted into the water. Some people walked the beach, a couple with dogs. One small dog played as he walked, jumping into the air and chewing on his leash. A family stopped to watch the waves. Their little girl wore a pink wide-brimmed hat with a matching pink purse. Pink was the perfect color against the backdrop of the ocean.

We were dressed up for Easter Sunday as were most of the people in the restaurant. Though I am more comfortable in my grubbies, the day was special so I dressed accordingly. I wore shoes which needed pantyhose, but as I had none, I wore knee highs which were hidden by my dress, and that made me chuckle. It was sartorial splendor with a small nod to quirkiness.

My friends dropped me off at my car, and I went home to take a nap as did they. We intended to watch The Amazing Race together, but it was running late so I just stayed home. The race was in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, and it was so beautiful I decided to add that country to my list of places to visit. The teams took small planes to their destination in the bush, and they flew over a huge flock of flamingoes. From the air, there were so many birds it looked like an ocean of bright pink. The teams landed near a Masai village, and the colors of the cloths the Masai wore and the bead work around the women’s necks were breath-taking. The last team, knowing they were probably going to be eliminated, had the car stop so they could watch a herd of elephants, including a baby, go by them, something they would probably never see again. They weren’t eliminated, but, even better, they made a memory I doubt they’ll ever forget.

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