Posted tagged ‘errands’

“There are mysteries buried in the recesses of every kitchen – every crumb kicked under the floorboard is a hidden memory. But some kitchens are made of more. Some kitchens are everything.”

May 25, 2018

Summer has returned. Today is already warm and sunny with a slight breeze. The pine pollen is starting. I saw a thin film of yellow on my car when I got the papers. I’ll have to keep my windows closed for a while or the pollen will cover every surface in my house. Even the deck gets a layer of pollen so I leave foot prints when I walk.

My backyard is filled with pine trees. Come to find out they have both male and female pine cones. I had no idea pine cones have genders. I never gave thought to the difference in the sizes of the cones. Now I know the smaller cones are the male cones. They produce the pollen. So, if your car is yellow, blame a male.

I did every errand yesterday. It was a triumphant day. I no longer have to skulk around at the dump.

The plumber is here. He has fixed the outside faucet leak and now has to leave to get a part for the shower. He called from his truck. His name is Doug. He saw Maddie and told me he had a cat who lived to be 20. He said he cried when it died. I like Doug.

I remember the small kitchen in the first place we lived in Stoneham. When I close my eyes, I can see the whole room. The door to the yard was on the back wall. To its left was the sink, fridge, stove and counter tops. There was a small window over the sink. To the right of the door was another window and the table and chairs were against that window wall. The kitchen was so small two was a crowd. We lived there until after my sister was born. We then moved down the street to a bigger place, one with 3 bedrooms. Until I bought my own house, that is where I lived for the longest time.

My kitchen has gadgets, things like a strawberry huller, a jalapeño corer, a corn zipper, a mandolin, three different size food processors, a panini grill and a mixer. I have actually used all but the jalapeño corer. That was just bought. It is a funky looking tool.

The only tools I remember my mother using when I was a kid were the hand potato masher, the peeler, the cookie press and her standing mixer. She seldom baked from a package. When I was older, out of college older, I loved working in the kitchen with her. I was her sous chef. My favorite time was around Christmas. We listened to music while we worked. We talked and we laughed. Those are cherished memories kept close to my heart.

“Life is more fun if you play games.”

March 5, 2018

I am reminded of the scene in War Games when it appeared as if ballistic missiles had destroyed bases in the US. Using the radio, the general asked the radio operator at one base if anyone was there: if anyone was left alive. There was silence then a voice, “We’re still here. We’re still here.” Well, I’m still here too. I have no idea if the powers that be have commuted my death sentence. I think so, but I could be off by a day or two.

My morning was a busy one. I was out early to finish two errands. I was thinking about  rewarding my efforts with coffee and a donut, a Boston cream donut, from Dunkin’, but I decided to go home, put the coffee on and get comfortable.

The weather is still ugly. The day is chilly and raw. We have clouds and wind gusts. Some people are still without electricity. Another nor’easter is coming this week but will be far less destructive as the moon is no longer full. We could get rain or even snow.

I used to love to play jacks. Every Christmas in my stocking and most Easters in my basket I’d get a new set of jacks. I’d sit on the floor and toss the ball then hurry to pick up the jacks, starting with onesies. For some reason all the numbers were like that. After onesies came twosies then threesies then on and on. The throw was always the key. Another small favorite toy was the wooden paddle with the red rubber ball attached by an elastic. At first I’d be totally frustrated. I’d hit the ball, and it would fly back and hit me in the face or some other part of my body. Sometimes I’d get so frustrated I’d even throw the paddle but then I’d always pick it up and try again and eventually I’d coordinate my eye and hand. My mother sent me one of those when I was in the Peace Corps. My friends and I would stand in the back of one of our houses and have contests. We got really good and paddled into the hundred’s. It was, until the elastic broke, one of our favorite diversions. We didn’t need much to keep us occupied.

In Ghana, the day started early and ended early. It was in the evening that my friends and I would get together. We always ate supper together. The table and chairs were brought outside during the dry season. When it got dark, we’d go inside. We played word games and listened to music. Once in a while they’d be a movie in town at the Hotel d’Bull. It was usually really old or Indian, but we didn’t care. It was a grand night on the town.

I never got bored in Ghana. What I didn’t have didn’t matter. Living there was more than enough.

“You can’t teach people to be lazy – either they have it, or they don’t.”

February 6, 2018

We’re back to clouds. Everything out my window looks grey, particularly the pine branches and the sky. Today has no wind. Every branch, even the smallest, is still. The air feels damp even though rain is not in the forecast. I have to do a couple of errands. Getting cat food is at the top of my list.

Lately I just haven’t wanted to do anything. I’m calling it my winter doldrums. Up until early January was almost a frenzy with Christmas shopping, wrapping, decorating, baking and entertaining. My house is dusty. My laundry is unwashed. Recycled newspapers, cardboard boxes and a trash bag sit by the front door. I think they’re growing roots. I wake up every day resolved to get stuff done, but I go to bed without having done much of anything. I’m glad Maddie needs food so I’ll definitely have to go out, and I’ll take all the trash and stuff to the car when I go. The dump isn’t open until Thursday.

Maddie is still driving me crazy. She meows at me all the time. She sounds insistent and a bit angry. I change the water, give her a little roast beef, fill her dish and pat her almost endlessly but she still meows. I think she misses Gracie. This is the first time in her 18 1/2 years she has been the only pet. Right now she is sitting beside me on the couch while I pat her and scratch her ears. She’s purring.

I woke up at 6 this morning, looked out the window and saw how dark it was so I turned over and went back to sleep. I woke up at ten.

The TV news was interesting today. A woman found a lizard in her salad mix from the grocery store. She poked her fork into an avocado or what she thought was an avocado and out came a lizard, a lizard from California. It seems the controversy about Doritos being un- friendly to ladies continues. Women it seems don’t like to crunch too loudly in public so Nooyi, the CEO of PepsiCo, said the company is preparing to launch chips for women that will be “low-crunch” with a “full taste profile” that will “not have so much of the flavor stick on the fingers” and can fit in a handbag because “women love to carry a snack.” Doiritos responded, “We already have Doritos for women – they’re called Doritos, and they’re enjoyed by millions of people every day.” Snow is coming but the Cape will have the least amount, 0-2 inches.

Well, I need to finish here. Maddie is stirring. I know she wants something. She just howled at me.

“Killing time is not an easy job.”

January 29, 2018

The sun is on vacation. Every day is dark and cloudy.

The sides of the street were wet this morning so it must have rained during the night. It is also going to rain this afternoon, and later the rain will be replaced by a few stray snowflakes. Tomorrow has the same forecast. A total of one to two inches is expected.

The world is catching up with me. I prefer cocooning, but sometimes I have no choice but to go out. Today I have errands, those mundane little chores which I generally eschew. Actually, I have a few days worth of errands. Little stickies are all over the house reminding me what I need, and the stickies have no room to grow. I’d much rather rummage through the cabinets and the freezer than go grocery shopping, but I need to get some cat food Maddie might eat. I cooked the last of the chicken for her this morning, and I could also buy a few groceries for me, quick foods which take little effort to cook. I need to go to the hardware store for some strange round light bulbs for the upstair’s hall light and I want nails for hanging pictures. The last stop will be the library to return and pick up books. I can’t successfully cocoon without books, without diversions to help pass the time.

I have been going to bed late, usually no earlier than two. It’s just a weird phase. I read, watch TV or play around on the computer. I’ve found the late night commercials are the worst. I figure stations think they have a captured audience so they throw on all the locally produced ads and the infomercials. Many of these late ads tout the talents of local attorneys who guarantee a pay day or you owe them nothing. Last night I saw two of these commercials, over and over. The stars of each were the attorneys themselves. In one, the attorney wore a suit and a cowboy hat, a really big cowboy hat. In this part of the country, cowboys are rare, practically nonexistent, so I wondered why the hat. I was speculating about it so much I never did hear the commercial. I figured the attorney was trying to be folksy or maybe he was thinking metaphor and hoped we’d jump to him corralling the bad guys. After all, the hat was white. But then again, I might just be giving him far too much credit. The second attorney had fake hair, a rug which looked a bit like a helmet. He sat at his desk, looked right into the camera and was heartfelt. He had clients give testimony to his skills and talents. My favorite client was an old lady who waxed eloquently about her experiences with the firm. She said they were more than attorneys. They were human beings. I’m still laughing.

“My theory on housework is, if the item doesn’t multiply, smell, catch fire, or block the refrigerator door, let it be. No one else cares. Why should you?”

January 20, 2018

The day is warmer than it has been. The little snow left is melting. It’s cloudy and breezy. I did go out yesterday and got my errands done so today is an around the house day. That laundry I keep talking about is still upstairs and needs to come downstairs to get washed.  I put that on the maybe list.

Last night I used the sleeve of my sweatshirt to dust the bottom shelf of the desk. It had so much dust I could have written a whole novel, okay maybe a short story, in the dust the same way Clean Me is often written on cars’ back windows. I then moved to dust around the TV. I even did the remotes. I stopped there before the dusting could take hold of me.

I get absorbed into tasks which then lead to other tasks which then go on and on with me in a bit of a frenzy. The dusting in here would have led to the living room and then the dining room and kitchen. From there I’d move on to sweeping floors and wet mopping the kitchen floor. I wouldn’t just go to bed when I was done. I’d change sheets first.

The couch in here, the den, isn’t all that old, but Fern used it to sharpen her claws so the stuffing is popping up behind the pillows, but I’m the only one who knows because the white stuffing is hidden by the pillows. Gracie slept in the same spot on the couch, but I have washed the couch covers many times. I know I’ll have to break down and buy a new couch, but the problem is you never just put in a new couch. Instead, there is the domino effect. The three baskets under the large metal table here will have to be cleaned out. Books will go down to the cellar to make the room less cluttered, but I’ll have to put up shelves for those books and clean the cellar to make room for the shelves. I’ll need a dumpster. The cellar is the repository of anything I no longer use. Most of what’s there can be tossed, but I’ll have to hire someone for the heavier stuff, maybe a couple of someones. I’ll need bins for storage on those shelves which I don’t have yet. I’ll probably need hooks from the ceiling for my bike and some of the more awkward items.

First I dusted then I wet mopped then I bought a new couch. After that, I winnowed stuff from the baskets in this room and finally moved on to reorganizing and cleaning the cellar; however, all of that, except for the dusting, is from my imagination where I choose to keep it because winter is not the time for cleaning. That would be in spring. Until then I’m very good at doing nothing and waiting, especially the doing nothing part.

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”

December 31, 2017

It is 1:49 AM. I was up late, and it was getting cold. Because the thermostat is programmed to go to a lower temperature at 11:30, I went and moved it from automatic to manual and put up the heat. The furnace did not kick in. I turned the thermostat up a bit higher and still nothing. I went down the cellar and the furnace was silent so I came right upstairs and called the emergency service. The house is now down to 64˚. The pleasant woman who answered the phone at this ungodly hour said someone would be right there. Of all times for my furnace to die it has to be in the middle of a record breaking freeze.

I did some errands yesterday. One was to the hardware store, another for dog food and the third to the grocery store for toilet paper. I also bought two pieces of pizza for supper as a sort of reward for going out when the temperature was only 19˚.

The snow started before dark. It was a fluffy use a broom to clear sort of snow. The weather man even suggested using a leaf blower. I don’t know when the snow stopped, but it must have been quick as only an inch or so is on the lawn.

Gracie was shivering a bit. My hands are cold and so is my nose. Maddie is curled in a ball on the chair and sleeping soundly. I put an afghan on Grace, and she stopped shivering and has now fallen asleep. I’m glad the two of them are comfortable.

I checked the thermostat. We’re down to 62˚. It’s been longer than I expected for the furnace guy to come, but then I don’t know where he is coming from, and I’m guessing he was sleeping. Being roused at this hour to go out in the cold has to be unpleasant at best. Luckily I have a movie to watch: Alien Tornado. I’m thinking the title is a spoiler. I already know the plot.

I’m getting tired, but I know I can’t go to sleep not only because the repairman is coming but also because in every movie about people freezing they die if they fall asleep. Okay, I know that’s silly, but I couldn’t resist.

Girls scouts came today selling cookies. I didn’t really want any, but I figured they deserved to make a sale considering how cold it was. The oldest one said her mother told them not to come home until they’d sold at least half their cookies. She said they were just about there.

Today is going to be a nothing day. I don’t need to go out for anything except to bring Gracie out. I have another new book to read, and I’m really hoping I can say I’m going to be warm and cozy because I am neither right now. It has been almost an hour. I am getting impatient.

“It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it.”

December 15, 2017

Yesterday I hunted down and found the missing ornaments and decorations. Most have since been placed or hung so I am just about finished with the house. My errands were done in about an hour. I even found parking places right by the stores, a bit of Christmas magic.

I don’t know how it happened, but yesterday I forgot to tell you about the snow and the spawn of Satan. Snow first: starting early Thursday morning and ending in the afternoon, we got about 2 1/2 inches of snow. The amount must have seemed insignificant as there were no plows. The main roads were cleared by the traffic. My road remains snowy in places and a bit slippery. I didn’t shovel. I used my foot to push the snow away. I couldn’t find my car window brush so I used my sleeves on the side windows to clear them. The defroster in the back and the windshield wipers in the front cleared those windows. It was freezing yesterday as the night before had been in the teens, the coldest night so far, so it took a while for the day to get a bit warmer, all the way to the 30’s.

Now moving on to the spawn story.  I went out on the deck to check one of the back light timers. All of a sudden I stopped short out of amazement. As I had walked by the barbecue, I noticed the cover, a good thick cover, with a fleecy sort of inside. A huge, and I mean huge, part of the cover was gone. A perfect square had been chewed off and taken away as no part of it was on the deck or in the yard below the deck. I figured the spawn was either renovating or building a new nest and wanted it cozy inside and waterproof outside. I could do nothing so I just shook my head, turned around and came back inside.

Today I have been a sloth. I took my shower and that’s it for my accomplishments. I’m watching another Christmas Carol, my fifth so far. This is the Disney one. I’ve never seen it before. The faces of the characters are a bit strange, especially their eyes, but that’s its only drawback. The dialogue is true, as true as any.

I have a few cards to write and a new Christmas cooking magazine to read. That sounds like the start of a great day to me.