Posted tagged ‘Dog’

“Today, watching television often means fighting, violence and foul language – and that’s just deciding who gets to hold the remote control.”

January 19, 2018

Everyday I make a list and every day I do nothing. I’ve read a bit, and that’s about it.  Losing Gracie is still so close. I keep looking for her, and I call poor Maddie Gracie. The house is quiet. Today, though, I have no choice but to go out. I’ve made a list with three stops, maybe four if I add the dump.

Today is a pretty day with a bright sun and a soft blue sky. The air is chilly but hints at being warmer. It is a good day to be out and about.

I watch television. It has been with me all of my life. When I was a kid, we had a cabinet  for the TV. It had doors which hid the screen. It was in one corner of the living room. A chair faced it, another chair was beside it, and you could get a great view from the couch.  My brother and I sat on the floor in front of it. My mother made us move back from the screen so we wouldn’t go blind. We had an antenna, rabbit ears, for fine tuning the stations. It sat on top of the cabinet. Most of the time it had aluminum foil around the ears. My father thought the foil brought in a clearer picture. I remember how often the TV screen was filled with snow. It made a static sound. The screen sometimes had lines and the picture kept jumping. If the TV didn’t work, my father would take some tubes from the back and bring them to the TV store to be tested. He’d do that until the offending tube was found. TV tubes were like Christmas bulbs. If one burnt out, none of them worked. It was hit or miss. When my father removed the back cover of the TV, I remember the tubes looked a little like Frankenstein’s lab with the lit filaments and their lights bouncing up and down the wires.

When my father couldn’t put the bulbs back in their original spots, it was time to call the repairman. We’d watch. My father would stand beside him and chat about the TV as if he knew something about it. The repairman wore a belt with all his tools and brought in a bag with bulbs. He always found the offending bulb.

TV’s now don’t get fixed. They get replaced and usually upgraded at the same time. The set I have now was one of the first HD sets on the street. I remember my neighbors coming to dinner and wanting to watch TV. They were amazed. This TV is 13 or 14 years old, and it still works fine. My next set will be a 4K UHD. I watched one at my friend’s house and I was drop jaw amazed.

Well, it’s time to get myself in gear, a fine metaphor, a suitable ending.

“I love Christmas, not just because of the presents but because of all the decorations and lights and the warmth of the season.”

November 27, 2017

It was just after seven when I woke up. I would have gone back to sleep, but Gracie was staring at me with her I need to go out look so out we went. I was a little chilly as I didn’t grab my sweatshirt. Maddie was sleeping on it, and I decided one of us, at least, ought to be still asleep at this early hour. Once we were back in the house, I fed Maddie and Gracie, started my coffee, turned on the TV to find out if there had been any jaw dropping news overnight and then started reading the papers.

The animals wolfed down breakfast, the coffee was delicious, there was no big news, and I finished the Globe crossword but not the Cape Times cryptogram.

Gracie has a bit of anxiety. I figured this time she’d be fine as we’d already been outside. I was wrong. When I go upstairs to shower, Gracie waits and watches at the bottom of the stairs. She also goes the bathroom sometimes on the floor and sometimes on the treads. Today she hit both. While I showered, Gracie always waited for me. She used to lie on the bathroom rug. Now she can’t do stairs so she gets upset. I understand. I also wish for summer so I can shower outside.

Today is cloudy and cold. The wind is strong enough to sway the pine limbs. Nothing about outside looks enticing, but I’m stuck going out to an appointment. I’d much rather be comfortable reading on the couch. I’ve started a new series about Flavia de Luce, an eleven year old who enjoys chemistry and murder. The series was recommended by two avid readers so I bought the first two novels. I love the title of the first one, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.

Two houses on my street are already decorated for Christmas. I’m thinking I need to call Skip, my factotum, to do mine. I always have white bulbs on the fence to the backyard. They are the trail of a giant star attached to the fence. The front of my yard has colored lights across the top of the fence. On the side, a small tree is decorated with giant ornaments highlighted by a flood light. In the back, the top of the deck rail sports colored bulbs.

I do love Christmas lights. They brightened the darkness of winter. They celebrate the season, and most of all they remind me of all the family rides we took to see the lights. That is one of my favorite Christmas traditions, and I still take a ride to see the lights. I bring Gracie so I can comment aloud without feeling silly. She’s a good listener.

“Few women and fewer men have enough character to be idle.”

November 13, 2017

Drab is the perfect description for the today. It rained during the night, and the clouds and the dampness have hung around, but the day is warm enough to keep the cold at bay, at least for today when the high will be 54˚. Starting tomorrow the cold weather is moving in mostly at night. The days will be in the 40’s while the nights will dip to the 30’s. The sun will make an appearance on Wednesday.

I was up until after 3 this morning so I slept in and Gracie joined me. When I woke up, my legs were off the couch as Gracie had moved to the middle, and I had no room so I compensated. The vet called this morning and will keep Gracie on pain pills as they seem to help. I scheduled Gracie for her first acupuncture session. The vet explained it is mostly exploratory to see if Gracie will co-operative. Good luck to the both of us on that one.

Okay, I have dropped to a new low. I am watching Killdozer. The machinery is possessed by an alien presence. It starts itself and chases its victims, a crew building an airstrip on an uninhabited island. First, it destroyed the only way of communicating off island, a two-way radio. After that, the killing rampage began. So far we have two down and four to go. The movie has familiar faces. The big star is Clint Walker who was Cheyenne Bodie in the western series Cheyenne during the heyday of TV westerns. Carl Betz, Donna Reed’s husband, is still alive as is James Wainwright, the sort of actor whose face you recognize but not his name. Robert Urich was the first to die. The dozer does stuff like hide in the bushes at night, bulldoze tents and supplies, chase a man to death and follow the crew riding in their jeeps. It  is a canny opponent.

I already can tell today will be a nothing day, a day when I hang around in my cozy clothes, eat whatever I don’t have to cook, watch comically bad science fiction and  probably join the animals in taking an afternoon nap. To me that sounds glorious.

I love that I have the option of doing nothing. Before I retired I was a bit nervous about filling my days. Since then I have come to realize that filling the day has all sorts of meanings, including doing nothing. Time passes no matter what.

“It’s just the most amazing thing to love a dog, isn’t it? It makes our relationships with people seem as boring as a bowl of oatmeal.”

November 3, 2017

Today is cloudy but still quite warm. It is 64˚ without the sun and will get warmer by the afternoon. I have given up on fall despite the wonderful weather. Skip, my factotum, is readying the deck for winter. He is putting the decorations and candles in boxes, taking up the rug and covering the furniture and umbrellas. He has done it for so many years he just moseys along from one task to another. He’s already cleared the backyard of branches including a couple big enough to be called limbs. He has removed the fallen post from my front fence which had been broken this winter when the huge pine limb fell on the lawn. He’ll replace it. He has some inside stuff as well. Yesterday my house cleaners came and today I have Skip. Life is good.

Gracie and I will be going to the vet’s today. She has a one o’clock appointment. My friend reminded me to ask if acupuncture will help. Last night was not a good night for either of us. Gracie started panting and woke me up several times. At 3, I took her outside hoping that’s what she wanted. It wasn’t though she did take the opportunity to squat. At 4, I fed her some treats. That didn’t work so I helped her off the couch to the bathroom where the water dish is kept. She ignored it and wanted back on the couch where she continued to pant. I finally got up and brought the water dish to her. She drank and drank then settled down to sleep. We were both exhausted. I’m beginning to think she has decided our roles need to be reversed. She will be pampered. I will respond to wishes and commands. She’ll find I am good with Sit!

When I woke up last night, I thought I’d left outside lights lit. Through the back window, I could see so much light the trees had shadows. It was the moon, big and bright and gorgeous on its way to being a full moon tomorrow night. This full moon is called the beaver moon by some as at this time of year beavers are building their winter dams in preparation for the cold season. Because beavers are mainly nocturnal, they will keep working under the light of the full moon. I suppose busy as a beaver would work here but would be just cause for groans.

I lament the closing of my deck.

“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.”

November 2, 2017

The days have been getting cooler, not cold yet, just cooler. The nights, though, are chilly, cold enough for an afghan. The other night my heat went on even though it is set to 65˚.  Soon, the afghan will not be enough to keep me warm.

I was out yesterday for one chore and two stops for shopping. At the first stop, I bought a Christmas present for a friend. The next one was the Italian store where I bought mortadella, fresh bread, pasta and sauce. When I got home, I was in a shopping mood and bought a few more Christmas presents on line. One bed in the guest room is filled with gifts so I have to start writing them down to see what I have and what I need. After all, it’s November all ready.

Gracie is not doing well. Her back legs are much worse. I am scared for her and for me. I hope there is something we can do as she is otherwise fine. She eats, demands treats and gives kisses. We have an appointment at the vet’s tomorrow.

I can’t watch the news anymore. The anxiety of what might be next has me watching Netflix and YouTube. This morning I’m watching Space Probe Taurus from 1965. It is awful. There they are, a crew of three men and one woman, in a space ship with several rooms and lots of space. The control room is about the size of my downstairs. So far two of the men have hit on the woman scientist who was expected to prepare dinner, well sort of dinner. Pills substituted for food. One scientist had lobster Newburg, another had fillet mignon with mashed potatoes and gravy. Right now their ship is stranded underwater on an alien planet and is surrounded by creatures the woman declared were ugly and frightening. They actually look like crabs. The crew is trying to free the ship from the water. One guy is going out in scuba gear. He is being followed by a humanoid looking creature and has no idea of the danger. I’m sitting on the edge of my seat!

My dance card is pretty empty for the next few weeks. Sundays are the only days with any entries, game nights. Last Sunday we decorated Day of the Dead sugar cookie skulls and then managed to play one of our games. The skulls were our best artistic endeavors to date. It seemed a shame to eat them, but I did.

I love my life even when I have an empty dance card.

“Anything seems possible at night when the rest of the world has gone to sleep.”

July 18, 2017

Today was gray when I first woke up. I went back to sleep, and it was sunny when I awoke the second time. I stayed awake. After two coffees and two newspapers, I was ready to face the day. The animals got fed, I took Gracie outside, put dishes away and  cleaned the kitchen counter. That’s it, my chores, for the day. I do have to take Maddie and Gracie to get their nails cut, but that goes into the errand column and is the singular entry in that column. Most of my day will be lazy and quiet.

I take Gracie out for her last outside trip just before I go to bed. It can be any time between 12:30 and 3. It was around 2 this morning. I turn on my outside light, and it is the only light. All of the houses around me are dark. I walk gently and slowly to the driveway feeling with my foot the change from grass to hardtop. It is downhill to the gate and I shuffle my feet for safety. Once Gracie and I are inside the gate, I sit on the deck steps and wait. After she triggers the yard lights, I can see when she’s done and when we can to go back inside to bed. Sometimes I sit outside a bit longer because the night is so lovely. Gracie recognizes my mood and leans against me, her pat me signal. I listen to all the night sounds. I check out the stars. After a while, I drag myself inside to bed.

The night sky in Ghana was ablaze with stars. Nights were never dark. When I slept outside, during the harmattan, I watched for shooting stars. I saw many. Despite the heat, I slept soundly in my back yard. Roosters were my wake-up calls. When I think back, I realize it all seemed ordinary to me, a usual night. When I go back to Ghana, I have the sense that all of it is familiar especially that rooster outside my window crowing as the day dawns.

“All creatures must learn to coexist. That’s why the brown bear and the field mouse can share their lives in harmony. Or course, they can’t mate or the mice would explode.”

June 26, 2017

When I woke this morning, I had to take a minute to figure out what day it was. Yesterday’s newspaper was what came to mind so today, small paper day, is Monday.

Though the morning has been leisurely, my dance card for today has things to do and places to go. The deck needs attention, its plants need watering and the rail lights have to be replaced. I also have an outside plant to pot. Inside the house is a litter box needing changing and houseplants dying for water. The places to go include the dump and two different vets to pick up refills for Gracie’s meds. I have those listed for afternoon. Some place on that list, I need to sandwich in some nap time.

The day is sunny and is already 75˚, but there is no humidity and a slight breeze makes the air feel cooler. I’ll be happy to clean my deck later so I can get out there and enjoy the fresh air, the birds and the breeze.

We are all old here, Gracie, Maddie and I. Maddie, who is 17, mostly sleeps during the day alternating between my bed and the den chair. She has knotted fur on her stomach. I try to cut it, and she whacks me or pretends to bite me as a warning. Maddie, like most cats, roams at night. Sometimes she sits on the couch arm and purrs in my face. Last night she licked my arm a couple of times. I pat her then fall right to sleep. Maddie doesn’t always use the litter box, but she does use the puppy pads. Gracie, at nearly 12, has morning and afternoon naps. I take her into the backyard several times a day where she does her business and then sometimes just wanders the yard. Rabbits and squirrels still get her attention though she doesn’t chase them anymore.  I, at nearly 70, take a nap in the afternoon some days. On the days I have motivation and energy, I’ll clean or do laundry. I don’t go out much during the day, and that’s fine with me.

I know there is another mouse in the kitchen. I found fresh poop. So far there has been 1 dead mouse on the floor and two live ones in the trap. The two live ones are since the exterminator came. Either they are mouse zombies or the exterminator’s traps didn’t work. This morning I reset my trap with peanut butter. All I need now is one hungry mouse.