Posted tagged ‘flowers’

“Summertime is always the best of what might be.”

June 12, 2017

The flowers are all bought. My trunk and backseat floor were filled with plants. I needed to take out a second mortgage to pay for them, but I am pleased with all the different plants and their colors. The perennials will go out front, the herbs in the wooden deck boxes and the other plants in a variety of pots, mostly on the deck. I also bought one hanging plant for the deck. I am a sweaty mess from pushing the cart and wandering through the flower rows in the sun. I’m not a pretty sight.

One of the things I love about having the herbs in the deck boxes is going outside to snip the ones I need. I always feel a bit like Julia Childs as I snip a little basil, some rosemary, and a few chives.

It is really hot and is already 87˚, which will be the high for the day. It will get down to 66˚ tonight. My air conditioner is on, and the house is pleasant. I have to go out later, but I’m waiting until late afternoon hoping it will be a bit cooler.

I never used to mind the heat, but the older I get, the less tolerant I am of the heat and the cold. My furnace cranks all winter, and my central AC is on now. I have become a creature of comfort. I make no excuses. I think I deserve it.

My plastic flamingo and my Travelocity gnome are still here in their winter quarters. They will be the last two summer decorations to be placed outside. I do wish I had a small band to play John Phillip Sousa’s music as we march to the deck. The Stars and Stripes Forever would do just fine.

I’m still wishing I had a tree house in the backyard. It would be my summer vacation spot. I’d make sure Gracie could join me. The skylight would let the stars in. I could lie on my back and look for the constellations or watch the summer meteor showers. A small heater and an outside light would let me watch the snow fall. That would be glorious.

I do love summer on my deck. Soon enough it will be my favorite spot. We’ll have movie nights. We’ll eat barbecue and potato salad then much on popcorn and movie candy as we watch some great movies and some B science fiction films which always make us laugh. In winter I am a bit of a hermit. In summer I am the consummate hostess.

“Sunday, the day for the language of leisure.”

June 11, 2017

The heat is here. It is already 80˚ and it isn’t even noon. Just last week we were complaining about the cold, and now we’ve in the middle of our comeuppance, compliments of Mother Nature. The next two days will also be hot until Wednesday when the 60’s return so we can complain about the cold all over again.

The first thing I heard this morning when I was taking Gracie out was the sound of a bouncing ball. One of the kids down the street was shooting hoops. He was all by himself.

Every Sunday my neighbor barbecues. The meat is either chicken wings or kielbasa, which he buys at the Brazilian butcher. The kielbasa is delicious and quite different from the kielbasa the grocery store sells. My neighbor usually yells hello from his deck and invites me over. I always say no as Sunday is game night. I figure my next trip to Hyannis will include a stop at the Brazilian butcher.

Flowers are postponed until tomorrow. I’m going to stay home with Gracie. She ate yesterday and held it down but isn’t hungry today except for treats. I’m thinking she’s maybe taking me for a ride.

My grandnephew turned five yesterday. When he was asked what he wanted to do for his birthday, he said pan for gold. His mother, my niece, had no idea where that came from, maybe TV was her guess, but they did find a place, it is Colorado after all, which included a tour of the gold mine, panning in the river and then pizza at the restaurant. My sister, the grandmother, said it was the best time, and the pizza was to die for. Nobody found any gold.

I bought a variety pack of cereals the other day. I remembered them from when I was a kid. The boxes opened along the perforations on the top and then the box became a bowl.  I always thought it was kind of neat.

I’ve dubbed today a lazy day. I’ll take my shower but that is the extent of my exertions. I’m thinking a nap. Sunday seems to lend itself to napping.

“Spring is a powerful spell. The blue. The clouds high up and puffy. The air warmer than it’s been for weeks.”

June 3, 2017

I have no flowers yet. Yesterday was a bust. I didn’t even leave the house except to walk Gracie to the back gate a few times during the day and into the night. I just had no ambition. Some days I’m like that.

Today is sunny and warm, but there is a possibility of showers. It is in the mid 60’s now and may get as low as 51˚, normal spring time weather for New England. I’m happy with showers. They tend to come quickly and leave as quickly. Rain stays around.

All the rain has made for a lush, green world. My lawn has new grass in spots, Gracie squat spots. The rest of the lawn is filling in nicely, and every day new blooms open in the garden. I noticed some of the flowers have seeded themselves and are blooming in new spots. The irises have buds, large purple buds close to blooming. Every day a different delight in the garden catches my eye.

While I’ve been writing this, the sun has disappeared. Clouds have covered it, and I’m not so sure it will be back. The chance of showers is closer to a certainty.

The longer days confuse me. I’m surprised when I check the clock and find out it is still early afternoon but therein lies a problem. I’m a bit confused as to when early afternoon ends and late afternoon begins. I’m leaning toward 4 o’clock.

I’m having hot dogs for dinner tonight, but I’m skipping the beans and brown bread. I never did eat the beans, and I can’t remember when last I ate brown bread. Regardless, though, I’m still calling tonight’s supper a Saturday tradition.

“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.

“The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.”

April 7, 2017

We’re back from the appointment for Gracie at the vets. The good news is she didn’t have a stroke. The head tilt is probably from a lesion on her brain which may cause problems down the road, but she is fine for now. Her weak back legs are just that, weaker than her front. I should continue what I am doing to help her get around. Gracie was given a refill of her pain meds and got shots which were due anyway.

I had my MRI, but it is too early to hear the results. I figure there won’t be anything there, my lower back, as the earlier MRI’s showed nothing.

The most painful part of the last two days has been the $700 the two appointments cost me. I won’t ever be cured of that.

Yesterday it poured all day, a deluge to use my mother’s description, but today is the loveliest of days. The sky is a deep blue. The sun is bright, an almost need to squint bright. It is warm. When I left the house at nine, it was already 48˚. It is flannel shirt weather, a downgrade (or maybe an upgrade) from sweatshirt weather. I could do my outside work today. I still have that list, but I don’t want to for no reason except maybe relief. I was worried about Gracie. I still am, but it is a general worry about keeping an old dog healthy. The dread is gone. I just want to enjoy the afternoon, maybe sit on the deck with the sun on my face.

Lots of green shoots are appearing in my front garden. I saw the bumpy bud of a hyacinth this morning. Its color is starting to appear, a light purple. Daffodils are blooming. The yellow ones are first. The white ones are budded and waiting their turn. On my trip down Cape last Tuesday, I sat in a line of traffic on 6A. It was a long line so I had time to look around. I saw a tree with tiny, tiny buds. They were red and easy to see. I was thrilled. For me, that is the second sign of spring, after the bulbs flower.

My grass is squishy with mud. The ground wasn’t frozen when the days of rain began last week so the extra water just stayed right there, right on top, making the grass muddy. Footprints stay when you walk across the lawn. I try to avoid that.

I’m getting sucked in. I can feel it. Today makes me want to believe it’s really spring, but this is New England, and there are no guarantees so I’m still a bit skeptical, but the weather report is so amazing I can feel that skepticism draining away. By mid-next week, we may hit 60˚ and 50’s all the way to get there. That’s spring. No doubt about it.

“Every flower blooms at its own pace.”

August 21, 2016

Oh, what a beautiful morning. Oh, what a beautiful day! It is cool and sunny with that clear light of morning. Last night I didn’t even need air conditioning. Tonight we’re getting rain, but not just rain; we’re getting a thunderstorm. I don’t even remember the last time it rained.

I have noticed the darkness creeping in earlier now. We are losing two and a half minutes of light every day. According to the weatherman,  a couple of nights this week will be in the high 50’s, a warning that cool nights and crisp mornings are getting closer. They are harbingers of fall.  I love when it when late flowers color the front garden. The white clematis are starting to appear on the sides and tops of the front fence. Black-eyed Susans are still in bloom. A white flower whose name I’ve forgotten is budding in the garden next to the house. Soon it will bloom. That unnamed flower has spread across one whole side of the garden. When it blooms, it looks so lovely with the green house as a backdrop.

Tonight we are having our first movie. I have chosen Dick, but it is on order from Amazon prime, and they are saying by eight tonight. I’m hoping for sooner or we may have to choose another movie. The main dish for this evening is hot dogs. I have a hot dog machine which rolls the dogs over and over and also warms the rolls. It needs no tending. I’m going to pick up an appetizer or two, popcorn and some movie candy. We have birthday cake for dessert. I’m hoping my friends find Dick as amusing as I do.

I have two errands to do which makes this the third day in a row I have joined the outside world. Goodbye to comfy clothes.

 

“Candy is childhood, the best and bright moments you wish could have lasted forever.”

July 17, 2016

It’s a later than usual start for me as I was on the phone with my sister. We talk every Sunday. Today we ended up chatting for two hours. For those of you thinking that in no way could you chat for two hours, believe me, the time goes quickly. We never ran out of things to talk about. We never do.

This morning, I tried to live for a bit without the air conditioning. I turned it off, opened the windows and the doors. I lasted an hour and a half.

There is a small breeze, but it is still hot and humid. When I let Gracie out the last time, I followed her to the deck. As soon as I walked outside, I was hit by the heat blast and stifled by the humidity. The day looked far better out the window. I figure I was taken in by that breeze ruffling the leaves.

My front garden has a few but is mostly in between flowers. Many of those flowers have so many buds I am anxious to see them bloom. The clematis has spread to three fence pieces and is filled with buds. Other flowers whose names I don’t know are tall and also filled with buds close to opening. In a short time, my garden will be glorious.

I ordered some Mexican hat jellies thinking they’d make good movie treats. I haven’t seen that candy in a while. The picture had a yellow, red, green and black hat. When I mentioned the candies to my sister, she said she liked the black ones. I do too. I also love Chuckles black jellies. Being my favorite flavor, I save them for last. Black jelly beans are also a favorite of mine. I was thrilled when they started selling only the black ones in a package. Anise cookies are my favorites. My uncle used to make the best-tasting anise cookies every Christmas. He said the secret was using anise oil, not anise flavoring. I actually hate black licorice. I like the red licorice but think the black tastes awful. My sister, strangely enough, has the same weird taste. She told me her son, Ryan, also hated black licorice but loves all the same black candy we do. She thinks it’s a strange gene the three of us have.

The only entry on my dance card this week is a follow-up appointment for Fern at the vets.   I guess I’m still in my solitary confinement.

“Almost anything is edible with a dab of French mustard on it.”

June 17, 2016

Today is beautiful. The breeze is keeping the air cool. The sun is bright and shines with the deep blue sky as its backdrop. When I went for the papers this morning, I checked my front garden. Every day something new is in bloom. Today it was a tall purple flower. I don’t know its name. I never know the names of my flowers. I buy them for color. The purple flower was a wonderful choice.

Today is dump day. I haven’t yet told Gracie. She tends to get a bit excited at the thought of the car ride and the dump. It will be a surprise.

My neighborhood is quiet today. The kids are still in school. Only the songs of birds break the silence.

I have a list for today, but none of the items make for too much effort. I bought a new flag which needs to be put on the flag pole in the front yard, my new hose will be connected to the outside faucet, plants in and out need watering and I have to connect the umbrella to the adaptor. They are all silly tasks but they still need doing.

We have a place to stay in Accra. It is where I stayed in 2011 for a week. The people are wonderful, the rooms big and clean, and they’ll pick us up at the airport. There is even a Lebanese restaurant right down the street. Ghana is where I first tasted Lebanese food. We used to go to a place called Talal’s. It was close to the PC office. I had hummus for the first time there. They served it in a flat dish with hot pepper around the top of the hummus and sesame oil in a well in the middle. I also had falafel, kibbeh and tabbouleh for the first time. I came to love Lebanese food. I had it often. The fact it was a cheap was also a good draw. I still love hot pepper sprinkled on my hummus and sesame oil in the middle. What I miss here is the fresh pita they always served.

One of the best parts of my Peace Corps experience was all the different foods I ate. Chinese food was considered a bit exotic when I was a kid, and I brought that with me to Ghana. The first day there I was served what looked like leaves from the tree and a soup of unknown origins. I didn’t eat it. I ate only breakfast as I recognized eggs and bread. Eventually, though, I started trying the Ghanaian food. Some I came to love, but I never did like kontomire, that soup from the first day. It is made with cocoyam leaves. That I know that makes me chuckle a bit. I went from Chinese food to cocoyam-a huge leap.

“If you don’t like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes.”

June 12, 2016

The morning is beautiful. The sun is shining, and it’s warm, even hot. The wind is blowing so my deck is dirty again from the trees all around it. I had already decided today would be outside day. The rug goes down, the feeders get filled, the chairs scrubbed and the table cleaned. The rest of the deck will have to wait to be blown clean.

I turned on the news this morning, on channel 7, my only choice. I don’t ever watch this news, but I was stuck this morning. It was awful. I won’t go into particulars because I am trying to forget, to erase the experience from my mind. The anchors had silly repartee, inane comments. They don’t seem to do well without a script or a teleprompter. I want real reporters of the news. I want Cronkite and Chet and David. I don’t want any of the newsmen on the 10 best-dressed list from Vanity Fair.

I am not a complainer about the weather. I do make observations like it’s a bit cold for June or I really hate humidity. I think those are New England things as the weather here can change in a heartbeat. I remember my mother and I were shopping in Boston one day. It was so hot my mother’s face was bright red. I made her sit down and drink something cold. By the afternoon, though, we had to buy sweatshirts to keep us warm.

I am out of coffee, a traumatic event. This afternoon, when I’m done outside, I’ll go to the farm stand which sells Ugandan coffee. I bought it once and thought it delicious. I’ll also buy a few vegetables and a loaf of freshly baked bread. If they have different flowers for my garden or the deck, I might just buy a few of those. I am a sucker for flowers.

“Birds are the eyes of Heaven.”

June 4, 2016

We’re back! Comcast solved the problem though it was vexing for a bit. It seems during the night my modem short circuited. The light was on, but it couldn’t connect. I now have a new modem and a technician is coming today to install a new box to match the new modem.

My deck is all ready for summer. All it needs now is some sun and a warm day. Yesterday it rained all afternoon, a light rain which didn’t stop the decorating and the planting. I had just enough flowers for every pot. I also planted my basil and rosemary. The basil joined the tomatoes in my small vegetable garden. The rosemary is in deck boxes which have new coats of paint. My fountain was also repainted its bright red. The only thing I couldn’t find was the adapter for my umbrella lights. I looked in all my usual spots then remembered I had placed it in a canister of coins on the floor. I have no idea how I remembered and no idea why I would have chosen such an unlikely spot. Tucked into another canister was the adapter for the fountain. I didn’t even know it too was among the missing as I haven’t yet connected the fountain.

The best of all news is my house sitter will stay here when I go to Ghana. She loves the animals and is always around the house as she doesn’t work. Gracie followed her around after her greetings to me then I got home the last time. I figured Lu, my sitter, was good for treats and Gracie had taken advantage. The hunt for flights is on. We have a tentative time of mid-September for going and we’re working on returning 2 and 1/2 weeks later. My friends have decided to go first class as they expect this will probably be their last trip to Ghana. I had been willing to go premium economy to be with them but I do like first class. I think I like the attention and the pampering. I definitely like the seat becoming a bed. It took me a long while to save enough for this trip given the flight cost, the pay to my house sitter, food and lodging and fun money so I’m thinking that it may also be the last time for me. I do want to travel more but to new places, closer places. I’m thinking the DR or Jamaica or even Cuba.

For a Saturday it is a quiet day. I did hear one mower earlier but now I hear only the birds. Their sound is so lovely I keep stopping to listen. I don’t know which birds are singing, but I know there are two or three different ones. That birds greet every day by singing is one of nature’s great gifts to us and the birds. I can’t imagine how wonderful it must feel that every day deserves a song.