Posted tagged ‘dismal’

“Violence isn’t a Democrat or Republican problem. It’s an American problem, requiring an American solution.”

February 15, 2018

Last night it rained. I heard it when I was in bed, and it was still raining when I fell asleep. Today is the aftermath of the rain, a cloudy, dismal and damp day. I’m glad I have nowhere to go.

The furnace was fixed by the time my house was down to 56˚. Maddie stayed beside me on a section of the afghan. Her fur was chilly to the touch. It didn’t take long for the furnace to start blowing that wonderful hot air.

My arm still hurts. I yelp out loud. The worst was on Tuesday when I ordered food delivery, clam chowder and a BLT. I couldn’t get the top off the chowder. I tried to do it one handedly. The top didn’t move. I tried my scissors but my left hand had no idea how to use scissors. I finally used a church key. That worked. I have learned I am totally inept without my right arm. I have an appointment with an orthopedic doctor on Tuesday.

When I was a kid, we did duck and cover to protect ourselves from an atomic blast. We ducked under our desks or against the walls in the corridor. When I started teaching in the high school, we did fire drills. We left our belongings in our rooms and followed the arrows outside. We waited for the all call to go back inside. The drills were timed. Much later we did shelter in place drills. The teachers locked doors, put out the lights, drew the blinds, covered the door window and directed students to go to the safest spots in the classrooms. They then waited for the all clear. Kids did what they were supposed to but  many didn’t take the drills all that seriously. Needing them seemed remote. That’s no longer the case. Schools have become targets. Since Columbine, 150,000 students in 170 schools have experienced school gun violence. President Trump has continued to say mass shootings are a “mental-health problem,” not a gun problem yet he signed a measure into law that rescinded an Obama-era rule aimed at blocking gun sales to certain mentally ill people. He rescinded the law because it violated due process. I don’t know what to say except it only happens here.

“He shoveled the bacon out on a plate and broke the eggs in the hot grease and they jumped and fluttered their edges to brown lace and made clucking sounds.”

February 11, 2018

Today is a dismal dark day. The rain started last night around eleven, and it’s still raining.  The weather report says rain on and off for most of the day. The only saving grace is the warmth. It is 47˚. I have to go to the dump. I’m thinking it will be quiet. The rain keeps people away.

When I was a kid, I mostly walked to church on Sundays. Sometimes, though, I’d go with my father to an early mass where he was an usher. I always wished I was an usher, but only men were ushers. My father stood in the back of the church waiting until the right time to pass his basket. He never kneeled. The baskets were at the end of a long pole which reached to the halfway point of the pew. My father would pass the basket then move to the other side of the church to get the rest of the pew. I always had a dime for the offering. After church my dad bought his paper from the guy in front of the church who was always there. The guy had a gray cart with a cover so he could protect his papers from the rain. After that my father and I sometimes went to get donuts to bring home. My father only ate plain donuts which he buttered. He’d also buy jelly, lemon and glazed donuts. I loved butternut, but he never remembered. My father kept with the traditional donuts. It made choosing easy.

I love eggs and their versatility. My favorite breakfast is two eggs over easy, crispy bacon and toast, usually rye. Eggs are often dinner for me, and once in a while I make an egg salad, but only if I have celery and lettuce to add as egg salad by itself is a bit bland. I love deviled eggs. My mother made them for all her barbecues, and my friend Clare often does the same. Most people have a favorite recipe for potato salad, but for just about every recipe, eggs are a critical ingredient. Coloring Easter eggs is a family tradition. You not only get to decorate the hard-boiled eggs but you also get to eat them.

St. Patrick’s drill team used to take part in the Halloween parade in Woburn, a town next to my own. We all hated marching in it because during the parade we’d get egged. I remember getting hit in the leg and having the egg slide down into my boot. It was gross marching on shells and uncooked eggs. I was glad when the decision was made not to march.

In Ghana I was close up and personal with eggs. I had chickens, and I also bought eggs in the market and sometimes from some small girls selling door to door. If I wasn’t careful in buying the eggs, I’d sometimes crack an egg the chicken had sat on for a bit. I was never bothered by that. It was just the way it was in Ghana sometimes.

“My weak spot is laziness. Oh, I have a lot of weak spots: cookies, croissants.”

November 14, 2017

I was awakened at five by Gracie’s panting so I got up and opened the front door. I didn’t go with her but did check a couple of minuets later, no Gracie on the grass. In a panic I ran barefooted outside to the wet, cold lawn then noticed the lights, the motion detector lights, were on in the backyard. I had left the gate open and Gracie saw it, went in the yard and did her business. She showed up a bit later at the front door. I was thrilled. That means on the coldest nights Gracie can go alone while I stay inside and man the door. During the daytime, though, I’ll go with her.

I had an early morning meeting, early for me anyway, at nine. Alexa’s dulcet tones were set to wake me, but I beat her to it and woke up on my own. That gave me a chance for coffee and a tiny bit of the paper. I was meeting ready.

Dismal is still with us. The sky is cloudy but not as dark as it has been. It will get down to the 30’s tonight. I am not enthused.

This time of year, my mother and I used to buy just about every issue of the Christmas magazines. We’d talk on the phone discussing the recipes and the decorations and then we’d decide what new recipes to try. My usual Christmas goodies to make were two or three kinds of cookies, one being orange cookies, my mother’s favorite, date-nut bread, fudge and toffee. My mother made mostly cookies, one kind was always sugar cookies. They were my favorite. She made great sugar cookies. My father was thrilled this time of year. All the goodies were in tins on the dining room table. He’d make several trips every day. Every morning he had date-nut bread slathered with butter. I used his mother’s recipe, about the only good thing she made. To say she wasn’t an inspired cook is an understatement, but the weird thing is the date-nut bread recipe is the only recipe handed down from my grandmothers.

Every Wednesday both newspapers have food day so I cut out recipes I know I’ll  probably never make but want to have just in case. I also cut out recipes from magazines for the same reason. Under my table here in the den are three huge baskets. The middle one is overflowing with recipes. Every now and then I pull them out and go through a few piles in case one inspires me to action. I keep telling myself the recipes need to be organized but that’s as far as I get.

I have a couple of house things to do but none are pressing. That might have to do with my having three new books to read from the library. They are right where I can see them, and I swear I can hear them calling my name.

“A cold wind was blowing from the north, and it made the trees rustle like living things.”

September 19, 2017

The window by my head was open. When I first heard the rain falling, it was so gentle I thought it might have been a breeze rustling the leaves, but when the sound continued, I knew it had to be rain. It stopped and started again and again, and that’s been the morning. I opened and shut the window a few times as the dampness was chilly. Finally I grabbed the afghan and left the window open. Gracie joined me and we both fell back to sleep.

Tropical storm conditions are expected on the Cape within 36 hours. What is left of Jose will bring rain, 2 to 4 inches, and heavy winds of around 65 MPH. The surf will be high,  and there will be rip currents and coastal flooding. I’m going out to the deck later to take down the decorations hanging from the trees. I’ll leave the bird feeders until the last. I have to go out later as I have no dog food. She had her morning can but will be looking for more this evening. Besides, I need bread.

The flies are still here, but their numbers are far smaller. I see two on the ceiling in this room, and I killed four buzzing around a dining room window pane. Three others were set free. They had been on the door screen. This was quite the infestation. I’m trying to figure out what offense of mine has caused such wrath.

It is a dismal day, a dark day. I need to go to the library as I have finished the books I got last week, and I can’t imagine being housebound without books and snacks. Need I mention chocolate?

From when I was a kid, I only remember hurricane Carol. I suspect there were probably more but Carol was so exciting it still hangs around my memory drawers. I was too young to notice damage or destruction so I only remember the wind and the pelting rain.  I watched out the picture window as the trees bent and the tops of the bushes seemed to touch the ground. After Carol moved on, we went outside. The streets and the yards were filled with debris, mostly branches. Some of the leaves still on the trees had died; they were shriveled and brown. Some of the trees had healthy leaves on one side and dead ones on the other.

Tomorrow is my Coffee day off, but if Jose lives up to its hype, I’ll keep you updated.

“You are never too old to set a new goal or to dream a new dream.”

November 1, 2014

Today is rainy, dark and dismal. It will get colder tonight and by tomorrow night will be in the 30’s. Mother Nature’s weather this time of year seems confused about its identity. Is it fall or is it beginning of winter? 60˚ will be back by Wednesday.

My short sleeve shirts are in the bin, my sandals are in the back of the closet, the movie projector and screen will be put in the cellar and the deck will be closed on Monday. I’m wearing my slippers and a sweat shirt. It is the start of winter mode. I always feel sad to pack summer away.

I have some errands today so I am glad for the rain. It keeps people home.

Last night I had 18 trick or treaters, a big number for me. Most were little kids, but a couple were high school age. I didn’t care. They got candy anyway. My large size Necco Wafers were a hit. Kids were yelling to their parents waiting on the street about the size of the candy. My neighbors across the street turned out their light at six. Mine went out at 7:30.

For the most part I don’t mind growing old. The grey hairs are a badge of honor. The wrinkles aren’t as bad as I thought they’d be by now; however, I do worry about one thing: the old lady temperament. I am already impatient enough without adding old lady to the mix. What if I start scowling for no reason? Will I get pushy? I think old people believe they are entitled simply because of longevity. The whole aisle in the store is theirs. To ask nicely to pass by merits a tsk or two or even a look. I don’t mind growing old. I just mind being old.