Posted tagged ‘game night’

“Talent is useful, but always keep your dagger sharp.”

February 18, 2018

The predicted snow stayed north of us. My sister who lives 14 miles from Boston got 5″. We got rain. The rain storm started around eleven and was still going strong at 12:30 when I fell asleep. Today is bright with sun. The blue sky is almost cloudless. The breeze is strong, and the pine branches are swaying and bending enough to make noise. It is a chilly day.

Tonight is game night, and we’ll also celebrate Chinese New Year. One year we did origami and folded the different color papers into dragons and kites and other symbols. I was horrible at it. I thought I had folded the papers just right according to the illustrations, but the finished produces had no resemblance to the pictures of them. It was frustrating, but I knew it would be as I had learned from experience I can put almost anything together by following the word directions and not the picture directions.  There’s that old left brain in action.

When I was kid in elementary school, we had art every couple of weeks. It alternated with music. There was no music teacher and there was no art teacher. The teacher or the nun I had did it all. Sister Hildegarde, my eighth grade teacher, had music class more often than once every other week. She had a keyboard which one of my classmates played. She also had pitch pipe which was round and had the keys listed next to the hole to blow. She’d blow the note then start us off with the first line. She sang so badly we had to hide behind our music books so she wouldn’t catch us laughing at her. I think it was also in her class I learned Gregorian chant notes. We even had tests of reading and writing chant.

I don’t remember much about my art classes. The only one I remember is when we made paper mâché puppets. We also had to write a small play and team up with classmates. I made a devil, and it was the best thing I ever created in any art class.

As I grew older, I found out that words strung together in the right way created beauty, a beauty of language which conjured images and memories and feelings. It was my talent.

“A good many things go around in the dark besides Santa Claus.”

December 4, 2017

It has already been a long day. Alexa woke me up at seven. I asked her for another half hour, and she obliged. I got up after the 7:30 Alexa call, got dressed and hit the road. Gracie had her second acupuncture appointment. She was good and stood patiently until it was over. It took about an hour. When we got home, she ate and I had coffee and read the paper. The morning was normal. Then I took a nap. Yup, a morning nap, and I just woke up, got another cup of coffee and turned on the TV. I’m watching Krampus. Nothing is better than a movie about a horned-beast at Christmas who punishes naughty children. That sure beats coal in the stocking.

Today has a muted sun hiding behind the clouds. Every now and then it appears and  brightens the day for a bit then the clouds take over again. At least it is warmish.

I did get a few things done yesterday, but I’m the only one who’d notice. The clean clothes piled on the rocking chair have disappeared. I carried them upstairs and put them away. The two bags of newspapers and the boxes which were by the front door are now in the trunk. I’ll bring them to the dump on Wednesday when it reopens. The kitchen floor and the hall are clean. I vacuumed. The pile of catalogues is greatly diminished. I went through most of them and ordered a few things on line. I’m sure, though, they’ll be plenty in today’s mail to take their places.

Last night was game night. This time I was a winner. At the last game night Tony and I won nothing. Clare won them all. Last night she won Phase 10, and I won two games of Sorry. Tony was stuck with the L on his forehead.

I’m going out later. Skip is coming tomorrow to do my outside lights so I need a few things: a spot light, a couple of wreaths and some lengths of pine garland for inside the house. Tomorrow, Skip and I will go and choose my tree so he can lug it inside and set it up for me. I’ll start decorating it and the house tomorrow.

I noticed last night that many houses have Christmas lights, more than usual this early.  Some houses are decked in all white lights, some are LED colored sets and others are regular colored bulbs. Mine will be a combination. The driveway fence already has a trail of white lights leading to a huge star. That is always lit to keep the darkness at bay. The front fence will have colored bulbs as will the deck rail in the back. One tree on the side of the house will have huge ornaments lit by a spotlight. An old sled will stand by the front door with ice skates draped on it. They’ll have regular lights.

Krampus is just about over now. It isn’t Hallmark, but it sort of had a happy ending. It just depends on your definition of happy.

“Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.”

November 19, 2017

The rain started last night. That just added to the misery. Gracie wanted out every couple of hours. The second time we went out, around three, it was barely raining, but once we were outside, the clouds opened and the rain was heavy. Gracie and I got wet. She didn’t mind as much as I did. When I heard Gracie panting around five, I braced myself but was surprised to find the rain light. It was also quite warm. From then on, we all, Gracie, Maddie and I, slept until 10:30. Gracie was wedged between me and the back of the couch. One of my legs was hanging off the couch. It was then I got up and my morning began.

Sunday is game night, but the game is different tonight because the Patriots play at 4:30 so we’ll watch and cheer on Tom and the boys. My high school team, from the school where I graduated a long time ago and where I worked for 33 years, won big time on Friday. They are 11-0 for the year and have one game left: the state championship, the high school super bowl.

All the cooking shows are giving their slants on Thanksgiving. I save many of the recipes, but when I cooked Thanksgiving dinner, my menu changed little from all the other Thanksgivings we had when I was growing up. To me, Thanksgiving dinner is filled with family traditions. There’s my grandmother’s date nut bread, my Aunt Bunny’s squash dish, my Dad’s favorite creamed onions, my mother’s sage dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy. My mother also cooked another couple of vegetable dishes; sometimes it was green bean casserole and one of my favorites, turnips. There were always apple and lemon meringue pies. I was talking to my sister the other night, and she’s making a lemon meringue pie.

When I was driving home the other day, all of a sudden, the image of my Dad at Thanksgiving jumped into my head. My mother’s table was round but somehow where my Dad sat seemed the head of the table. His back was to the kitchen. In from of him on the table was a dish of asparagus just for him, canned asparagus. I remember the spears were like wilted flowers, their tops hung over. He’d fill his plate with mashed potatoes dripping with gravy, creamed onions and a turkey leg. I still can picture him munching on that leg.  It is one of my favorite memories of Thanksgiving.

“There is a child in every one of us who is still a trick-or-treater looking for a brightly-lit front porch.”

October 29, 2017

It rained earlier and it’s still cloudy and damp, but I don’t mind as we’ve had such lovely days of late. There is a high wind warning for all of tonight into tomorrow. Despite the damp, it will be warmish, in the mid 60’s.

Last night I watched Lady in White, one of my favorites this time of year. Despite no blood, no masked killers and no hatchets and knives, the movie is scary. The characters, including the murderer, are regular people living in a lovely small town. It is this ordinariness which makes what happens even scarier than watching a crazy man in a mask.

Tonight is game night with added Halloween fun. We’re going to decorate sugar cookies first. If that is anything like when we make and decorate our gingerbread houses, we’ll all be concentrating so much on our artistic endeavors we won’t be conversing, just decorating.

When I was a kid, we’d all be on Halloween countdown with only two days to go. Finalizing costumes and deciding our candy route were prime topics of conversation as we walked to school. Our costumes were always homemade, and my mother was imaginative. The only thing she bought was a new mask for each of us. We carried pillowcases as they had plenty of room for all the candy. My two sisters went out early and stayed in the neighborhood. My brother and I wandered all over town.

I loved movies which made me jump from something unexpected. It was sort of fun to be scared but the fun was mostly afterwards once our breathing normalized. When I was about ten, I was watching The House of Wax and got really scared when Vincent Price’s mask fell off his burned, scarred face.

I remember seeing Jaws for the first time. When Hooper scuba dives to look for the shark, he finds Ben Gardner’s boat. He and I both jumped when Ben’s face appeared out of a hole in the boat. I think that’s the scariest scene in the movie.

Afternoon football games on Sunday always remind me of my dad. He sat in his spot on the couch to watch the games. Right beside his spot was a table which was perfect to hold his game snacks or his lunch depending on the time of the game. He loved his snacks and he loved football. My mother and I didn’t watch and were usually at the kitchen table playing a game or two. We didn’t have to be with my father to know how the game was going. He was never a quiet fan.

“Sleep is good, he said, and books are better.”

October 3, 2017

Words are never enough. We can throw around sympathy, sadness, sorrow and tragedy, but none of those salve our feelings or change the situation. Sarah Huckabee Sanders at her press conference said, “And it would be premature for us to discuss policy when we don’t fully know all the facts, or what took place last night.” What more does she need to know? 59 people were killed and over 500 wounded by a man who had legal weapons according to Nevada law. She continued, “And this isn’t a time for us to go after individuals or organizations. I think that we can have those policy conversations, but today is not that day.” We know there will probably never be a day that strict gun control becomes the law of the land, especially now.

Last night I watched a variety of news programs until I couldn’t stand them any longer. I switched to Cozi TV and watched, of all things, The Munsters. Finally I just turned the TV off and read and tried to lose myself in the pages. That didn’t ‘work. It was a long night.

I slept late this morning. That put me way back. The house was cold when I woke up. I’m thinking it will be that way every morning for now on. Good thing I had my sweatshirt handy. I fed Gracie and Maddie and then took care of myself. I’m on my third cup of coffee. I had an English muffin slathered with butter and jelly. I shared with Gracie.

Tonight is game night, postponed from Sunday. It is my turn to bring food so I’m making Mexican. Yesterday I shopped for all the ingredients. That leaves most off my day free. I do have bird feeders needing to be filled, but that takes only a little time. I got a new book from the library yesterday but I’m working on another, the one I tried to read last night.

I’m thinking what I need is a B movie, a black and white science fiction movie from the 50’s. They hold my attention. They make me laugh. I’m going hunting. Talk to you on Thursday.

“With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.”

August 14, 2017

Gracie wanted out close to seven this morning so out we went. I was surprised at how cool it was. When she wanted out again, it was close to ten. I was surprised at how warm it had gotten. My house, though, still feels cool from the AC last night. I wanted to open doors this morning to all that cool air, but all I could hear from my neighbor’s yard was the beep-beep machinery makes when it goes backwards. Shutting the door helped, but I still had trouble getting back to sleep with all the noise, but I did manage. I’m a good sleeper.

We had game night last night and an early birthday for me as my friend will be out of town for my real birth date. I wore my Happy Birthday tiara and blew out the candles to a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday. To make the night perfect, I won all three games we played. I was the birthday girl and the champion.

When I was a kid and it was close to my birthday, I’d sit on the front steps waiting for the mailman. I was hoping for birthday cards with money tucked inside. Usually it was a dollar, a huge amount in those days when even a quarter went a long way and my fifty cent allowance every week made me rich. One grandmother sent money while the other usually gave gifts. I still have a couple of Bobbsey Twin books with a Happy Birthday message from my grandmother. I was eight.

It was sunny earlier but is now cloudy. The weather says partly sunny today. I figure that’s an optimist’s view like the half full glass.

Today is a quiet day for me, on purpose. I am foregoing a dump run. I’m just not in the mood though I’d be hard-pressed to define a no dump mood. It is just a sense of it. I will go to Agway as I need small cans of Gracie food, the ones she has in the morning. I am also going to buy some plants on sale to fill in empty spots in the front garden. The bird feeders need filling again. The hungry avians emptied them in two days.

That’s all. I got nothing else. Oops, one more thing: tomorrow I am having my other eye done so no Coffee. I’ll see you on Thursday.

“I told my dentist my teeth are going yellow. He told me to wear a brown tie.”

April 9, 2017

My skepticism is draining away. Perhaps spring really is here as today is another sunny, warm day, a lovely day. It is already 57˚, today’s high. Gracie and I slept on the couch last night. She had such a difficult time with the stairs yesterday morning I didn’t want to put her through that again. The rest of the stair treads should be here tomorrow so we can move back upstairs. She went outside with me helping her down the stairs. I waited, but she disappeared from view. All of a sudden she reappeared from the other side of the deck. She came up the easy stairs. That’s one smart dog.

Tonight is game night. We’re having pizza and playing Phase 10 and Sorry. We’ll watch The Amazing Race recorded the other night. That’s been a long time tradition.

When I was going through catalogs the other day, I saw jelly nougats for sale and a memory jumped into my head. When I was nearly 8, I started wearing braces. Back then, braces were not all that common. I remember closing my mouth for my school picture so you couldn’t see the braces. I was a bit self-conscious. There were only a few orthodontists. The office I went to was in Boston on Commonwealth Ave. My mother had to get a babysitter for my two sisters then she and I would walk uptown to get the bus to Sullivan Square then the subway close to the office. The office was on the first floor of a beautiful old house. It was a living room with comfy sofas. The nurse’s desk was there, and the doctor’s office was behind a door in the front of the room. His name was Dr. Nice.

After my appointment, we’d backtrack to Sullivan Square. We had to walk upstairs to the bus station. Right in the middle of that station was a news kiosk. It sold papers, magazines, and candy. My mother often let me choose a bar of candy. I remember picking the jelly nougat. I liked the colors of the jellies, and the way they looked in the nougat. With tightened braces, the nougat was a bit tricky to eat, but I managed. We’d get to Stoneham, and sometimes we’d stop to buy my lunch to take to school. I remember the bread was toasted. My mother would then walk me to school a few blocks away from the squar

I always liked the before and after of those appointments. I got to be alone with my mother, ride the subway, be late to school and eat a lunch bought from a restaurant. The day would have been perfect if we took away the orthodontist.

“Even though it’s dark and cold there is always a shade of light.”

November 27, 2016

The turkeys know they are free to come out of hiding. Yesterday I saw 14 of them taking their time strolling across a lawn, stopping to scratch for food or just standing there looking majestic which is quite a feat for turkeys to pull off. I got out of the car and used my phone for pictures wishing I had my camera with me. They began moving away one by one from me while still looking for food. I watched as the stragglers caught up with the rest of the rafter then I drove away.

It rained on and off as I shopped yesterday. I didn’t go to many stores, but I still managed to spend a bit of money. My last stop was for a few groceries and lunch. I treated myself to a quesadilla, a pulled pork quesadilla with a side of guacamole. I bought Gracie a special biscuit. I bought all the ingredients for a chocolate cream pie for game night tonight, but we’re not having a game night. I don’t dare to make the pie anyway as I’d eat it all.

Today is a lovely day, sunny and seasonally warm. My dance card has only a single item, the dump. I’ve already filled most of the trunk and have only a couple of bundles sitting by the front door waiting to be put into the car. Gracie will go crazy when she sees me going outside. She’ll know it is dump day.

I put a new plastic on the dog door. The old one was disgusting. Gracie now stands on the deck and looks through the clear plastic to the kitchen. I have no idea what she is looking for, but whatever it is makes no never mind. She comes in when she sees me. This morning the plastic was on the ground. The four screws didn’t seem to hold it. Two of the holes were bigger than the screws, but they were the same as on the old plastic which held for years. I must have forgotten the trick of making the screws stay in the holes. I tried again this morning and screwed them back into the plastic. I have high hopes.

Some of my neighbors have their houses lit for Christmas. It makes me anxious to have my house and deck lit. I love the way the colored lights in the front and the bright white star on the gate shine through the darkest of nights. I sometimes sit in my car just looking at my house and yard.

 

“The leaves fall, the wind blows, and the farm country slowly changes from the summer cottons into its winter wools.”

October 16, 2016

Warm days are coming back starting tomorrow. That’s a good thing as last night was cold. When I woke up, the house was 61˚ so I gave in and turned on the heat. It’s cozy now.

The sunlight seems sharper this time of year. In summer the light touches everything. In the fall the light is more focused. Summer light is scattered and strewn about. It shines through the leaves. This time of year the light is behind the leaves as if the sun is getting stingier. Winter is not so far away.

I wore socks yesterday. My sandals are back in the closet. Just a short while ago I was sweating from the heat of Ghana where the coolest day was 95˚. Now I’m staying warm by wearing a sweatshirt inside the house. I’m just fine with that.

I don’t want to watch the news anymore. I don’t want to hear about the election, about drug tests, sexual assault or threats of violence. We have always taken pride in the peaceful transition of government. I’m afraid that will no longer be true.

Yesterday I treated myself to lunch and a whoopie pie for dessert. I had my favorite panini: avocado, cheddar, bacon with horseradish sauce on focaccia bread. The whoopie was filled with cream. It was the perfect finish for the meal.

My sister makes whoopie pies all the time. Her kids, a little old to be called kids but I still do, ask for whoopie pies on their birthdays instead of cake. The recipe is an old one from my other sister who first made the whoopies in home ec class in elementary school. The whoopies from that recipe are the best ever. My sister hasn’t yet passed along that recipe though she has been asked by her daughter-in-law. It has now become a family heirloom, a secret recipe.

Tonight is game night. I haven’t won recently. I’m hoping that trend will end.

“The wisest are the most annoyed at the loss of time.”

September 18, 2016

2 days to go!

Yesterday I got some errands done and had game night with my friends. We also watched two awful science fiction movies. My house/pet sitter came by to learn what she needed to do. It will be easy as she has stayed here before, and her son and daughter-in-law have been cleaning my house for ten or eleven years. Today Fern’s visiting nurse comes by to learn what meds Fern has to have. She is actually a pet sitter, but I like to think of her as Fern’s personal home nurse.

Yesterday I got some errands done and had game night with my friends. We also watched two awful science fiction movies. My house/pet sitter came by to learn what she needed to do. It will be easy as she has stayed here before, and her son and daughter-in-law have been cleaning my house for ten or eleven years. Today Fern’s visiting nurse comes by to learn what meds Fern has to have. She is actually a pet sitter, but I like to think of her as Fern’s personal home nurse.

Rain is definitely coming. The day is getting more humid. The breeze is intermittent but strong. I can hear the rustle of the leaves and the chiming of the bells every time it blows. It is a north wind.

I have to go to Stop and Shop today to pick up a few things. Before I go, I’ll have to remind myself to practice patience. People don’t take kindly to having their carts pushed out of the way even if they are parked in the middle. The slowest of all shoppers who walk down the middle of the aisle drive me to distraction, but I will curb my tongue and clench my jaw  and say nothing though every fiber of my being wants me to yell, “Move it.”

Suitcases are upstairs, a few shirts are folded and some toiletries are on the bureau. It looks like a trip is in the offing!