Posted tagged ‘duct tape’

“An optimist is a fellow who believes a housefly is looking for a way to get out.”

May 27, 2017

We have some blue sky and a sun which can’t quite make up its mind about coming or going. It is also chilly, not a morning chill: it’s just cold.

My dance card is empty today. I do have some Gracie stuff to wash but nothing else. Yesterday’s amazing spurt of industry has left me with nothing needing doing except to put my banners and flags on the fence.

The lawns are green and lush from the rain. Even the leaves seem to glint in the sun which seems to have made up its mind and is staying for the duration. I’ll go on the deck later and empty the water from the furniture covers hoping they’ll dry so they can be put away for the season. Next week is buy my flowers and open the deck week.

My neighborhood is eerily quiet for a Saturday. Once in a while the dogs across the street bark but usually at Grace and me walking to my backyard. I don’t know where all the kids are, but I’m glad they’re missing. I’m happy for the peaceful morning.

My around the house cozy pants have permanent creases from sitting down when I wear them. One crease has given way. I didn’t figure sewing it would work as it wasn’t torn so I did the next best thing. I duct taped the worn area.

Some of the best things I learned in Ghana were to make-do, throw nothing away and repurpose. Tires became soles of shoes and sandals. Beer bottles were filled with palm oil or groundnut oil for sale in the market. Cones made from newspapers held rice for sale. In the butcher’s market, newspapers were used to wrap meat being sold. That mightn’t sound all that healthy, but the butcher’s market was filthy anyway. Newspapers might have been a step up. I always think it’s amazing what I learned to ignore or tolerate during my time in Ghana. Water with floaties (our word for whatever was in the water sold in beer bottles ), food from the street vendors or from the tables of aunties (older women) who were selling along the sides of the roads and, my favorite, eating in a chop bar ( usually a hole in the wall with a few wobbly tables and mismatched chairs serving local food) never gave me pause after my first few months of Peace Corps training. I even shooed flies off my food before I ate it and sifted my flour for as many weevils (small worms) as I could get. The rest just became protein. All of that became a part of life in Ghana and didn’t merit second thoughts.

The tolerance and forbearance I learned are forever a part of me. I admit my standards are definitely higher now, but I’m not squeamish about most things. I still flick flies.

“He who would travel happily must travel light.”

August 4, 2016

When I woke up this morning, Gracie was right beside me. The bedroom was still cool from the late night air so I was body warmth for the dog. When I went downstairs, it too was cool and dark so it was quite a shock when I went outside to get the paper. I was assailed by unexpected heat.

The light from the sun is strong. It looks hazy around the bushes and flowers. A slight breeze ruffles the leaves of the oak tree. I think it will be a lovely day.

My first load of laundry is in the dryer. My second load is in the washing machine. The bags of laundry had sat in front of the cellar so long I had no choice. I don’t deal well transient clutter.

I have started to get ready for my trip back to Ghana. First off was new undergarments, not that you really need to know this but I seldom buy any without a good reason. Even as an adult, I always embarrassed my mother with the state of my undergarments. My contention was nobody ever saw them. The last time I bought any was for my first trip to Ghana. It’s a good thing I travel. I have also bought three new shirts. The last new shirts were Christmas presents from my sister the Christmas before that same trip to Ghana as the undergarments. There is an obvious pattern here worth repeating: it’s a good thing I travel. On my list still is a pair of new pants, rub on insect repellant, a small roll of duct tape and moist towelettes. I think I already have everything else I need.

When I think back to my Peace Corps first time arrival in Ghana, I remember what I had brought. I was allowed 80 pounds. Most of them were taken up with clothes, sheets and towels and lotions and potions enough for two years. I had been given a packing list, and after my mother and I shopped, we crossed off most of the items. If I were going today for the two years, my 80 pounds would be a whole lot different; however, there would still be undergarments.

This morning was Corn Flakes and banana for breakfast. I thought it the perfect way to start the day.

“Sunday is the core of our civilization, dedicated to thought and reverence.”

February 23, 2014

The sun is elsewhere, but it is warm, winter warm. Only very small snow piles are left here and there. Earlier I gave Gracie a special biscuit which she then buried in the yard. I know that because Gracie came in with her face and jowls covered in dirt. I ran to clean her, but she shook off most of the dirt onto my cabinets and floor. I did manage to clean what was left off her face then I cleaned the floor. I’ve watched Gracie bury her prizes. First she digs a hole, drops in the biscuit then uses her nose to push the dirt back over the hole. Later she’ll bring in the most disgusting, dirty biscuit and eat it on my rug.

I’m getting itchy. This will be the second year I haven’t traveled because my bank account is almost non-existent so my austerity campaign has begun. A pair of pants I bought for my first trip to Ghana wore out at the crease on the leg so I used duct tape and you can’t even tell. My slippers have a hole in the toe so I put on socks. I figure I can save enough money to go back to Ghana in 2015. Besides, there isn’t really too much I need except maybe a new pair of pants come warmer weather. The duct tape gets sticky.

I am most decidedly bored today which is a good thing. No leaks, no car scrapes, no broken bones as of yet, but the week is young. Given my mood, I think it’s time to start playing Pollyanna’s happy game.

When I was growing up, I was content with a quiet Sunday. It was most decidedly a day of rest. Nobody did outside chores, the stores were all closed, and we were expected to stay around for dinner. The day started with mass then home and the paper though in those days I only read the funnies. I’d watch some TV or read until my mother called us to the table. Mashed potatoes were part of the meal every Sunday, and there was always gravy. I’d make a well in my potatoes and try not to let the gravy spill over the edge.  It was my weekly challenge on every quiet Sunday


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