Posted tagged ‘heat and humidity’

“Music is the universal language of mankind.”

July 7, 2016

I am behind closed doors and shut windows. My house is a fortress against the heat and humidity. If I happen to step outside, I feel overwhelmed by the heat, but mostly by comparison to the wonderfully cool house. The breeze is stirring the oak tree leaves, but it isn’t strong enough to keep the house cool as the day becomes afternoon. The afternoons are pure misery.

Last night was a delight. I went to the Payomet Performing Arts Center, a small, perfect venue. We sat in the cheap seats, but the tent is so small you can see the stage from anywhere, and we were mostly outside so there was a lovely breeze. We saw Ladysmith Black Mambazo. I don’t think I stopped smiling during the whole performance. It was wonderful. Their voices mingled in the most amazing harmony as they sang a cappella. Their hand gestures helped translate the words of their native language. They danced and kicked their legs as high as their heads. They sometimes did it over and over. I figured they must be exhausted at the end of each performance. The first time I had heard them was on Paul Simon’s Graceland album. Last night they sang Diamonds on the Souls of Her Shoes and Homeless, songs from that album. My friends were a bit hesitant to come because they had never heard of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, but they were fans by the end and thanked me for suggesting they come, but I figured the ice coffee and the blueberry dessert they brought were thanks enough.

It seemed a bit strange for me to be coming home at eleven. Usually I am watching the news or a movie and thinking about going to bed but last night was different. I was glad for an evening spent listening to great music and being with my friends who made the everything even better.

Today is a quiet day.

“Clearly, animals know more than we think, and think a great deal more than we know.”

September 5, 2014

The heat is still here and today it will again be coupled with humidity. It is the third keep the air conditioner running day this week. I am beginning to feel like a hermit behind locked doors and closed windows. Gracie is content sleeping in her crate. I can hear her snores all the way from the kitchen down the long hall. Boxers are wonderful dogs, but they do snore loudly and some drool, like Gracie when she wants what I’m eating. Sometimes she even has bubbles.

The red spawn of Satan has been hosed twice already this morning. The second time he took off into the next yard, but I don’t trust the sneaky spawn. He’ll come back thinking I won’t notice. I will and it will drive me crazy. That rodent is pushing me closer and closer to buying a have-a heart-trap for spawns which is sort of odd as I have nothing but contempt for them. I figure I’ll catch the beastie and relocate it far, far away from here. Good luck finding your way back to my bird feeders, spawn of Satan.

When I was young, I loved going with my family to the Boston Public Garden. We’d ride the swan boats and walk around to see the flower gardens. In the pond there were always ducks waiting for a handout and gray spawns romped all over the grass. I even fed them a few times, but what did I know? I was a kid.

I don’t remember a whole lot of wildlife romping around my neighborhood when I was growing up. Even on the other of the tall grass, where there was a bit of woods and the swamp, there were no critters, but here on the cape, in my yard and on the street, I have seen opossums, raccoons, skunks, wild turkeys, chipmunks, rabbits, foxes and coyotes and for a couple of years pheasants used my front yard as a shortcut to the next street. Gracie usually lets me know if we have company. She has been sprayed by a skunk, has run around the yard with a baby gray spawn in her mouth which I had to save and did the same thing with the adult possum who even convinced me it was dead. I watched her go in circles around a tree chasing a mouse doing the same thing just ahead of her. I collared Gracie and saved the mouse. Another time I had save Gracie from the giant raccoon she had cornered on the deck. She wasn’t happy with me. When Gracie barks and jumps on the front screen door, I know she’s seen something. I always check. Sometimes it is just a dog being walked or the cat who saunters on my neighbor’s lawn. That drives Gracie the craziest even though she lives with two cats. She barely notices the wild turkeys. I guess she thinks they’re humdrum.

A woman tells her doctor, ‘I’ve got a bad back.’ The doctor says, ‘It’s old age.’ The woman says, ‘I want a second opinion.’ The doctor says: ‘Okay – you’re ugly as well.’

July 1, 2014

I made it! What took so long was I ran into people I hadn’t seen in years and it takes a while to catch up on years. When I realized how late it was, I added an errand: lunch. I went to a new place with Greek take-out, and I did, a gyros and Greek iced coffee. When I got home and walked into my house, I was hit with a blast of hot air and humidity. I quickly closed all the windows and turned on the air-conditioning. It is 79˚ outside, sweat weather, and when you add humidity, you have intolerable weather. My back almost made it. Adding the extra errand did me in. I will now do nothing more today except loll in the cool house and drink iced coffee. All I’m missing are bon-bons.

Last night Gracie was panting so much she shook the bed. I swear I was getting sea sick. It felt like being on a boat in rough seas because the mattress was going up and down and up and down over and over. I kept the air-conditioner in my bedroom window for times such as those so I turned it on and Gracie finally stopped panting and went to sleep. Right now she is enjoying the cool house and is sleeping on the couch. When I finish here, I think I’ll join her.

The birds this morning were amazing. The male Baltimore oriole was perched on a tall yellow flower and was eating its seeds. He flew off and came back a couple of times. The Mrs. was having grape jelly. There were so many chickadees I lost count, and I do think there was some spooning as a few birds were feeding other birds and they flew off together for a bit of privacy I suspect. I watched gold finches, titmice, nuthatches and a couple of cat birds.

Don’t forget the USA plays Belgium at 4:00. For those of you stuck at work I found a helpful page entitled How to Watch the US vs. Belgium Match at the office:

I hope you’ll excuse the short post today.

“Shopping is a woman thing. It’s a contact sport like football. Women enjoy the scrimmage, the noisy crowds, the danger of being trampled to death, and the ecstasy of the purchase.”

July 16, 2013

Enough! Enough I say! It is the heat and it is the humidity. The low this week will be 85˚. Early last night I was on the deck watering plants, and even then it was still uncomfortable. Today I have to fill the feeders, but I’ll wait until the sun goes down a bit before I venture. I have a couple of errands, necessities, or I would stay comfortable in my air-conditioned house. Just before it gets dark, I’ll take my outside shower, one of my favorite parts of the day. I’ll bring my phone just in case I get locked in again.

I haven’t had any adventures in a long time. Sitting around the house makes for boring days. I miss our rides. I’m sure Miss Gracie does as well, but she loves the cool house. I let her out, she goes into the yard, squats then runs right back inside the house. She sprawls on the couch. Hers is a wonderful dog’s life.

Grace, my student, called me the other day. She’s in Bolga, and the rain that day was so tremendous she couldn’t go outside. I could picture exactly what she was talking about: thunder and lightning and rain so heavy you get drenched in a minute. I used to stand on the porch to watch it rain. The storms never stopped amazing me with their ferocity. My mother would have said it was a deluge. She would have been right.

I never buy clothes any more. The last time I did was two years ago when I went back to Ghana. I needed a couple of pairs of decent pants and a few short sleeve shirts. I didn’t bring all that much as I knew I could get my laundry done. I even came home with all clean outside clothes. Lately, though, I have been on a bit of a spending spree. After having tolerated my third back surgery, I figured I rated a few gifts. The first thing I bought was a shower curtain, a vastly expensive shower curtain made in Ghana and sown with squares of different Ghanaian cloths, some of which I recognize. I sent Grace a picture, and she has found some of the same cloth so I can have a matching curtain made for the bathroom; of course, the bathroom will have to be painted and I’ll need all new towels and a bath mat. Everything is connected. Next I bought a spread for my bed. It was on sale, and it was cheap compared to its original price. The spread was made in India, is composed of multi-colored squares and has hand stitched decorations; of course, I needed new curtains and two throw rugs, but the room doesn’t need painting. I found and ordered curtains from an Indian shop, and they were on sale. I felt thrifty! I still haven’t found rugs, but the hunt is the best part.

I’m done now with my gift giving, but I do go through catalogs with an open mind. I’d hate to miss a good find!


“But I’m really enjoying my retirement. I get to sleep in every day. I do crossword puzzles and eat cake.”

July 15, 2013

When I let Gracie out this morning, I couldn’t believe how hot and humid it already was at 7:15. When I went out for breakfast later, my glasses fogged as I was walking from the car to the restaurant, a matter of only a few feet. It was already 82˚ at 8:30, and I suspect it will get hotter. My plans for the day are to stay inside the cool house and look out the windows if I want to view the world.

Yesterday I heard squealing from my deck. I feared Miss Gracie had found herself another friend who was objecting to Miss Gracie’s attention. I went to go out to save the creature when I saw Gracie was asleep in her crate so I went to the window instead to see what was happening. I felt like a voyeur. The spawns of Satan were spawning right there on my deck. The Mrs. was doing the squealing whenever the Mr. was doing his business. It went on for a while as I could hear the squealing. When I looked again, I saw the Mrs. jump on a branch hotly followed by the Mr. I assume they went somewhere more private than my deck.

It must have rained a while last night as everything was still wet this morning. The flowers and herbs looked perky. They give the deck so much color. I still have to replace the third broken clay pot. I’m buying a larger one than I’ve had hoping it will be too heavy with potting soil and flowers for the spawn to break it again. I’ll do that tomorrow. I like having an errand or two each day now that I’m allowed to drive. I’ll go to the farm so I can pick up some fresh vegetables at the same time, and on the way home I’ll also stop and buy some fruits. I’m thinking cut watermelon, strawberries and maybe some honeydew. Sounds like a great lunch to me.

My friends Bill and Peg are leaving September 14th for Ghana. I am envious. We traveled together all the time in Ghana, and it seems strange not to be with them. Bill has a 1970 map of Accra so he is going to try and find the old Peace Corps hostel in Adabraka, one of the districts in Accra, and Talal’s, a Lebanese restaurant which we volunteers loved. It wasn’t far from the PC offices. Talal used to make a sandwich with pita bread, tomatoes and melted cheese. He used to call it the Peace Corps pizza. Talal’s was where I first tasted hummus, and I usually ordered it every time I was there. The first time I went back to Ghana in 2011 I tried to find the hostel but I just couldn’t remember where it was, and most of the landmarks have changed. I told Bill to take plenty of pictures when he found our old stomping grounds.

I’m going to get changed from my outside to my inside clothes, and I’m going to read while lolling on the couch. I will have no productivity whatsoever today. I wish you the same!!

The secret of a good old age is simply an honorable pact with solitude.”

July 15, 2012

Here I am a sort of shut-in behind closed doors in the comfort of air conditioning. When I went to get the papers much earlier, I walked outside and gasped from the heat and, even worse, the humidity so I scurried back inside the house. Given the weather, I don’t see much going out today except to the dump later. The larder is full and the animals have food; that’s all we need.

The Hallmark Channel is playing Christmas movies this weekend. I even watched a couple. I find Hallmark movies comforting in a way. There is no violence and you know all of them will end happily. I especially like seeing the snow, the lights and the fireplaces glowing. In the heat of the summer, the idea of winter is appealing; of course, in the winter I long for the heat of summer.

Last night the deck was the best spot to be. The breeze blew, the insects were elsewhere and dinner was delicious. It got me to thinking about when I was a kid. Back then there were no decks, only patios always made of brick. We didn’t have one, but the white house on the corner did. Their patio furniture was ornate and made of black metal. The table and chairs sat under the grape arbor. They grew big purple grapes.

Most of the houses in my neighborhood have back decks. One exception is my neighbors across the street. They have a patio, a brick patio, and they have metal furniture, ornate white metal furniture. They are much older than the rest of us, and they are a bit of a throwback to my parents’ time. She works in the yard and wears a wide- brimmed hat. When they go out with friends, the men sit in the front and the women in the back. They live behind locked doors. The only time I see their front door open to the screen is when they are expecting company. If I go over, I ring the bell, she looks out the window to see who it is and then opens all the locks when I pass muster. I joke with them all the time. They are good-natured about it, but as she says,”They are who they are.”