Posted tagged ‘Fern’

“What greater gift than the love of a cat.”

October 29, 2016

I knew yesterday that Fern wasn’t doing well. It was my hope that she would bounce back the way she had in the past. It didn’t happen. Last night she could barely stand up. I had to carry her. She wouldn’t eat even her favorites. She couldn’t walk to the cat box. I was afraid it was time to say goodbye.

I brought Fern to the 24-hour veterinary clinic where the vet confirmed my fears.

I told Fern what a great and funny cat she had been, and I thanked her. I held her at the end so she’d know how much she had been loved.



“How we behave toward cats here below determines our status in heaven.”

October 27, 2016

There won’t be a post today. Fern isn’t having a great day. She disappeared for a while but I am happy to say she reappeared when I called her though she was meowing over and over. She is limping on that back right leg again so I need to keep an eye on her. A bit ago she got off the couch without my being aware. I found her at the water dish and followed her back to the den and the couch. I just can’t get my thoughts together; instead, I’m going to load pictures on Here and About, some from last winter. I will also try to get Ghana on-line.

Check out Here and About.

“Superman is, after all, an alien life form. He is simply the acceptable face of invading realities.”

June 26, 2016

Right now I’m watching Superman, the series from my childhood. I’d forgotten how high Superman’s boots are and how many places Clark Kent disrobes. I love the cars, the fedoras and Lois Lane’s many hats. She goes off to work in suits, matching hats, high heels, pearls, gloves and a leather bag. The operating table scenes were wonderful. I saw a worried doctor, a concerned nurse and a watchful Superman. I never did see the patient.

The end of this spectacular weather is tomorrow when the humidity will be back to join with the temperature to produce a hot, muggy day. I’m figuring it will the first day of air conditioning.

Fern is downstairs already. She even slept on my bed for a bit, and today is the first day she didn’t hide under the bed. It is still difficult to get her to eat the pills she needs so I’m going to try crushing them in food I’ll only give to her.

Today is tend to my deck plants day. I have been lax in getting out there, and the plants are screaming for water. I forgot to buy a new pot to replace the ones the spawns broke when they were running up and down the deck rail so I’ll have to find something to use as a planter. This morning I caught one standing on his hind legs grabbing seeds from the feeder. It was a grey spawn. They haven’t been around for a year or two. It was the red spawns who drove me crazy.

I have been watching a variety of stations, not the major networks. Most of the movies and programs have been old and fun to watch for that reason. Right now I am watching Decades and last night it was MeTv. The commercials are horrible with poor acting and weird products, and they tend to be repeated over and over. Pans and knives seem to be popular.

I have Chinese food in mind. I’m thinking about lo mein and chicken wings. Every now and then I get a craving for something. A week or two ago it was chocolate. I went to Nancy’s candies and bought six chocolates and a piece of fudge. They were delicious. I’ll just have to fit in Chinese food. I can already taste it, hot mustard and all.


“That moment, when you first lay eyes on that field — The Monster, the triangle, the scoreboard, the light tower Big Mac bashed, the left-field grass where Ted (Williams) once roamed — it all defines to me why baseball is such a magical game”

October 20, 2013

We’re going to the World Series! We’re going to the World Series! Shane Victorino hit a grand slam in the bottom of the 7th which put the Sox ahead 5-2, and that’s all they needed. Shane was amazing running the bases. He was like a little kid on Christmas morning who got the present he really wanted. My friends and I were in touch by phone, and Rod, my brother-in-law, and I were iPad buddies. Now we wait until Wednesday for the first of the Series.

I was awakened early this morning. Okay, at eight, which I know isn’t really all that early, but I went to bed late. The Sox game didn’t end until 11:30 or so, and I was too pumped for bed so I stayed up until close to 2:30. Well, anyway, what woke me up was Fern being sick. She started on the down comforter, which I didn’t hear, then she turned to the floor from the bed. That’s what I heard. The bed is high. She continued in the hall. I dragged myself out of bed and cleaned up the mess. That started laundry day. I folded the clothes which had been sitting in the dryer for a week then washed the down comforter. It’s now in the dryer with a few tennis balls to fluff the down. I can hear the banging noise up here. I had no excuse so I started the rest of the laundry. I already hate today.

There is, however, a redeeming factor about the day. Syfy is showing movies about creatures gone amok. Right now flesh-eating locusts are meeting their doom; however, they did manage to dine al-fresco at a carnival. It was a tough time to be on a ride. Next up is the movie Bats: Human Harvest. I doubt you need any clarification about the plot. Genetically enhanced wasps will be a bit later. That one makes me wonder. I can’t imagine the value of wasps being genetically enhanced.

The day is sunny and bright with a blue sky. It’s still pretty warm, but that will change by Wednesday when the temperatures will drop possibly as low as the 30’s. It will time to turn on the heat.

“…I have to go home and get a few things done. If I don’t get out the Pledge soon, the dust bunnies are going to be leaving tracks on my furniture…”

January 15, 2013

When I went to get the papers, I notice green shoots, probably dafs as they are usually the first. I wanted to yell and tell them to stay down as winter still has the stage. I suspect they have been fooled by all these days in the 40’s, like today. Even the nights have been warm.

No sun again. It is a damp, grey day, the sort where there must have been fog over the river early this morning, but I slept in even though I had set my alarm. I had a couple of mice get trapped last night. They each made so much noise I got up and went outside to let them go. No car this time. I just walked a bit down the street and freed each from the trap. It was a good thing I did as I found a package on my front steps. It was raining then so by morning the package would have been soaked. I was home all day so I have no idea why the package was left outside.

I have been busy of late cleaning weird places in the house, like the fridge, and last night I cleaned my bookcase, the travel route for the bedroom mice. I was tired so I went upstairs around ten and that’s when I noticed the bookcase near my bed was dusty, a Miss Haversham type dust. It’s only a two-shelf bookcase so I figured why not. I’m a near-sighted fool sometimes. Besides books, there are old Barkley lead figures on the shelves, and they were so dust-covered it was difficult to see their colors. I got on the floor, took them all off, cleaned the shelves then cleaned each of the figures. When that bookcase was done, I went to the big one, the one which is the length of the side wall and has four shelves all the way across. On the top shelf, I found the mouse route. I cleaned that shelf first then cleaned everything: the other shelves, all the old toys on them, the banks, the framed pictures and the other stuff I somehow collected over time. When I finished, it was close to 11:30, so much for an early night. I got cozy, grabbed my iPad and started reading when to my surprise a mouse strayed into the trap. I got up, Fern got up and Gracie got up. The three of us went downstairs. I went outside and freed the mouse. The three of us went back upstairs, got cozy in our usual spots, and I read for a while then turned out the light and fell asleep. At 1:15 I heard a racket. It was an unhappy mouse caught in the trap. I got up, grabbed the trap and went downstairs. This time I was alone. Fern and Gracie stayed in bed. It was still raining when I went outside to free the mouse in about the same spot as the first. I’m hoping he finds his friend and the both of them take up residence at someone else’s house. I’d even throw a housewarming party.

Two house finches were at my feeders this morning, and the flicker was back. He is such a huge bird especially in comparison to the finches and the chickadees who were also dining at the feeders. It was a busy bird morning.

Gracie and I have a few errands. She’ll be happy. I’m not.

“Do the unexpected. Take 20 minutes out of your day, do what young people all over the world are dying to do: vote.”

October 11, 2012

Earlier this morning, Fern and Gracie vied for the prime spot on the mat in the sun by the front door. Gracie beat out Miss Fern, but the wily cat found her own spot where the sun shined through the glass onto the floor. I don’t need a thermometer. I have the two of them letting me know the house is cold.

Caller ID saves me. The number of political calls is outrageous, but I don’t answer. The robo-callers tried to disguise themselves by phoning from everywhere: California, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Washington, state that is, but I’m not deceived by their duplicity. Most of the calls seem to tout Scott Brown for the senate. The calls don’t endear him to my heart.

I was excited when I could vote for the first time. I turned twenty-one in late summer before my senior year in college and immediately registered at the town hall as an independent, a designation I still have. I needed an absentee ballot to vote during my first election, the Nixon versus Humphrey one, as I was at school. When the ballot came in the mail, I didn’t ponder at all. I knew right away who would get that historic vote. It was Hubert Humphrey.

I love to vote and seldom miss even the smallest of elections. I vote in presidential years, off-years and in my town elections for the selectman, the school committee and the other offices small towns always seem to have. It amazes me when people proudly declare they never vote. I consider voting an obligation of citizenry. Most times local questions or state referendums are also on the ballot so not liking any candidates is only an excuse, not a reason, for staying away from the voting booth.

I vote at the police station where I can count on one thing every time I go to vote: someone will have set up a bake sale, usually for a school club or a sport at the local middle school. Not only do I exercise my franchise, but I also get cookies, usually peanut butter or chocolate chip, more good reasons to vote.

“I’ve long believed that good food, good eating, is all about risk. Whether we’re talking about unpasteurized Stilton, raw oysters or working for organized crime ‘associates,’ food, for me, has always been an adventure”

July 22, 2012


Another beautiful day today: it’s cool and sunny and bright. I was up early and even had time for a dump run before I went out to breakfast. I need to do a few errands later as it is movie night, and we’re out of malted milk balls. They are essential for movie viewing. We’re going to watch the one we didn’t see last week: The Night of the Hunter.

It is so quiet today. I don’t know where everyone has gone. I don’t hear a single kid or even a barking dog. Gracie just came inside the house. I think it must be morning nap time. Fern is already asleep in the sun from the front door. She is stretched out in the way only cats can stretch. I don’t know where Maddie is, but I suspect she’s on my bed. That is her favorite nap place.

My breakfast spot is busy every Sunday. All the breakfast spots are busy every summer Sunday. I go early to snag a booth as my friend doesn’t believe in waiting. She’d drive right through at the sight of a line. Today for breakfast I had dropped eggs on toast as my mother always called them. I didn’t learn until I was older they’re called poached eggs, but I still prefer calling them dropped eggs. It is far more descriptive and leaves no doubt as to how the eggs will arrive.

Other than in England and Ireland, my father hated breakfast in Europe. He thought cold cuts and cheese were lunch, never breakfast. I remember once in the Netherlands when an egg arrived in an egg cup. My father’s delight was evident in his smile and he immediately went for the egg. He tapped it with his knife the way he always did when served a boiled egg. Nothing happened so he tapped it again. Nothing happened the second time either. My father picked up the egg and tapped it on the table. That was when he found out it was hard-boiled. He put it on the table and never touched it again.

On many of my trips I had no idea what I was eating. I didn’t know the language so I couldn’t read the menus or the signs. Sometimes I had a book of English to whatever language, but usually I didn’t carry one as it was just extra weight in my back pack. I pointed and hoped for the best. Luckily I don’t remember ever hating what was placed in front of me. I also think not only probably had its advantages.


“All will come out in the washing.”

June 26, 2012

Last night I woke up to thunder and lightning, and I was so glad I did. I’d have hated to miss that storm as I’ve been hoping for such a boomer with all its sight and sound effects. My room lit up several times. The animals didn’t even move; Fern and Gracie stayed asleep on my bed while I enjoyed the display. Today is damp and cloudy, leftovers from yesterday and last night’s rain. The morning is cool the way damp mornings always are, even in summer. On one hand I really like a cool day but on the other I don’t because a day like today removes any and all excuses about doing chores. I can’t say the heat is too much so I’m stuck doing what I’ve put off for a few days. The first wash, all the dog’s blankets and stuff, is already in the machine. The kitchen floor has been swept, and I used my foot to swab the kitchen tiles with a Lysol wet cloth. When the dog wash is done, I’ll bring down one of the storm doors then I’ll bring the other when my washing is ready for the dryer. I feel like I should be wearing a t-shirt which says I am crazy for cleaning, and I mean that in a couple of ways.

I put off doing laundry because I hate to fold it after it dries, and I hate hauling it up two flights of stairs. Usually I leave the clean laundry sitting in the dryer wrinkling away until I need to do another wash or I’m just about out of clean underwear. I guess I shouldn’t complain as I remember my mother doing a load of wash just about every day, and she had a wringer machine when I was a kid and no dryer. Our cellar back then had two huge, deep sinks at one end, and the washing machine water flowed into one of them. I remember watching my mother push clothes through the wringer then catch them on the other side. When I see a pasta machine being used, I’m reminded somehow of that wringer.

Well, the machine just beeped so I need to move the clothes to the dryer. Is a woman’s work never done?



“I think insomnia is a sign that a person is interesting.”

May 27, 2012

The morning is perfectly beautiful and amazingly quiet. It is already 71°. The branches over the deck leave shadows across the wood, highlighted by the brightness of the sun. I hear nothing except a few birds and the clicking of Gracie’s tags when she runs around the backyard. The deck is almost clean of pollen. I took the hose to it yesterday and drenched my pants and flip-flops in the process. The table still needs a bit of cleaning as do the backs of the chairs, but the rest are summer ready.

Last night was the strangest night. I didn’t go to bed until 1:00, and I couldn’t get to sleep. I kept hearing the noise I’ve been hearing the last few nights. I had already figured out a mouse was up to something, but I had to figure out what it was. I decided the sound was metal against glass. I knew then the mouse was probably cleaning the cat food cans in the eaves where I keep Fern and Maddie’s dishes safe from the dog. I turned on the light and opened the door to the eaves, but, of course, he was gone. I put the cans in a new garbage bag and brought it out of the eaves then went back to bed. The next sound was easily identified. It was the bag of dried cat food. The mouse had moved to something new. I turned on the light again, got up and went into the eaves and took away the bag. The sound disappeared. I then heard scratching, and I gave up figuring that one out. I also gave up figuring out why Fern and Gracie could sleep through all of this and never even hear the mouse. By this time it was 2:30, and I still couldn’t sleep. Gracie had deserted me for the rug forced out of bed by my restlessness. I settled back into bed, turned off the light and Gracie returned. She started dreaming, making a muted barking sound and moving her legs. I called her name and she got quiet. I think I fell asleep, but I woke up again, and it was still dark, but I didn’t know the time. The electricity was off. I didn’t care and finally fell asleep.

This morning I came downstairs, and it was around 8, too soon to be awake, and I found the rest of the house had electricity. I knew then I needed to go to the breaker box in the cellar. I pushed every breaker then went up two flights of stairs to make sure all was well. It was. Electricity had returned to my room. I then came back down the stairs and reset all the devices which were now blinking furiously. I made myself coffee and finally settled into the morning. That brings us right to now.

“Childhood smells of perfume and brownies.”

April 15, 2012

Today is beautiful with no breeze and the brightest sun hanging in the sky. Fern is so relaxed lying in the sun shining through the front door that I had to check to make sure she was breathing. Gracie is outside sitting in the sun. She has a favorite spot on the back side of the yard where she sprawls on the grass. When she comes in to check on me, her fur will feel hot to the touch.

Yesterday I heard dogs barking, including my own, mowers and kids playing but not today. My neighborhood is Sunday quiet as if there was reverence still left for the day.

I have favorite smells. The every day favorite smells give me a sense of comfort and continuity like the smell of coffee brewing first thing in the morning or the smell of the ocean borne this far by the wind or the fog. Other smells transport me to different times and places. Last week I smelled leaves burning and saw a man tending his small fire, rake in hand. I slowed down and lowered my window when I went by him and his leaves. All of a sudden I was a little kid again watching my father tend to his fire burning on the street beside the sidewalk. The smell of wood burning brings me back to Ghana. During the harmattan, when the mornings are chilly, the family compound behind my house had smoke whirling into the air from fires lit to keep everyone warm. The smell of that burning wood was almost sweet as it filled the air. Food in Ghana is still cooked on small, round charcoal burners, and the charcoal is still made from wood. Last summer when I smelled the cooking fires I was transported forty years in time to when I lived in a small white duplex and behind my house was a field with a family compound. I can still see and smell the smoke from that compound as it rises into the air. My mother and the smell of sugar cookies baking are forever linked in my memory.

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