Posted tagged ‘icicles’

“Marley was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that.”

December 16, 2017

When I let Gracie out at midnight, it was snowing, small slowly falling flakes. I watched for a minute or two then shut the door as it was cold standing there by the storm door. I think we got about an inch, but it was enough to cover my car. Good thing I bought a brush. I have to go to the vets today to get refills for two of Gracie’s meds and Maddie’s nails need cutting.

Last night was really cold. My afghan wasn’t enough. I’ll just have to hunt out one of the guest room comforters stored down cellar. I think I know where it is.

Today is sunny but cold, about 30˚ right now. There are dripping icicles hanging from the roof. They’ll keep dripping and getting longer until the sun moves around the house. The sky is pure blue and beautiful. The scrub pine tree branches have a layer of snow. When the wind blows, some of the snow falls in a flurry.

I had no mail yesterday so I wondered if the mail truck drove pass my box because I hadn’t shoveled. I called my neighbor whose box is next to mine, but he had mail yesterday. We chatted a while. He wondered where I’d been lately as he hadn’t see me. I mentioned hibernation, and he chuckled. I also mentioned I was going out later. Not long after the call ended, I heard a motor outside. It was my neighbor snow blowing the mail boxes and the area around my car. I yelled out the door to him and thanked him. He said no problem, glad to help. He is a wonderful neighbor.

The first load of clothes is in the washer. A second load is on the floor waiting its turn. I didn’t realize how many dirty clothes I had until I went down the cellar this morning. Most are my comfy clothes, evidence of my hibernation.

I am watching yet another version of A Christmas Carol. This one from 1938 stars Reginald Owen as Scrooge and Gene Lockhart as Bob Cratchit. From what I’ve read, this adaptation isn’t as accurate to the novella as other, later, films are. Anything scary or distressing is missing like the wandering souls Jacob shows Scrooge, the two children, ignorant and want, under the cloak of the Ghost of Christmas Present and the thieves who ransacked Scrooge’s belongings after he died. The studio, MGM, thought at the time these events were too disturbing for a family audience. I’m okay with all of that. The essence of the story is the same.

This film is my sixth A Christmas Carol so far this season. I don’t ever tire of the story, and I’ve found the films differ from one another in many ways. When I was a kid, Christmas was never complete until I’d seen what was usually the Sim version on TV. Sometimes it was on Christmas Eve, the perfect night for watching.

 

 

 

“…disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business….”

March 13, 2017

Today is bright and sunny and will even reach 34˚, but I’m not taken in, not beguiled by the brilliance of the sun. I’m on to Mother Nature and her tricks. I know all that sunlight is just a cover for what’s coming: more snow. This time, though, we’ll get less. The Boston area will get clobbered with up to 2 feet while down here we’ll only get 2-4 inches, a mixture of snow and rain. For some strange reason, though, I feel cheated. I’m thinking it should rain or snow. A combination is just a mess. Mother Nature should know better.

All my icicles are melting in the sun. I can hear the drops. The road is wet from melting snow. Along the sides of the road, small puddles have formed from the piles left by the plows. I just hope all that water doesn’t freeze.

I loud bang accompanied by the sound of a howling cat woke me up this morning. I figured the bang was a falling icicle. The cat howls every morning so nothing was wrong. I rolled over and slept another hour.

My dance card is totally empty for the week. The meeting scheduled for tomorrow has been canceled. I have a to-do list which still includes my laundry which is still leaning against the cellar door. I guess I’ll work on finishing the list or at least get the laundry done. I admit I’m tired of looking at it.

I want some elves like the shoemaker had. I want to wake up to clean, folded laundry, the aromas of breakfast baking in the oven, and of coffee perking. When I get downstairs, I’ll find the table set with flowered dishes and a small clear vase with a couple of daffodils. The elves will have left, but I’ll see small footprints in the snow leading to and from the house then just disappearing.

Too bad wishing it away doesn’t get my laundry done.

“I have a theory that movies operate on the level of dreams, where you dream yourself.”

March 12, 2017

Today is a repeat of yesterday. It is cold, bitterly cold. The day is pretty with a bright sun and a deep blue sky. The icicles hanging off the front of my house are melting. When I opened the door to get the papers, an icicle broke. I was reminded of a murder mystery I read where the weapon was an icicle which melted, and poof, the evidence was gone. I got the papers and stopped to check out the house. One of the icicles is long and very thick. It could be the weapon.

A snow storm is coming our way. Alexa says a 77.7 % chance on Tuesday. She also predicted close to 5 inches of the beastly white stuff, but that amount deserves only a wave of the hand dismissal. Is that the best you can do, Mother Nature?

I love the sound of crusty snow breaking as you walk across it, especially at night when the moon and the stars are shining. There are no sounds except the ones my feet make. My footsteps echo. Few people venture out on a freezing winter’s night. I always feel like I’m the only one awake.

If I were a movie, I’d be a Hallmark Movie. I’m a sucker for happy endings, and every Hallmark movie has one. In December, I was on a sugar overload. I got to eat cookies and watch at least one Hallmark Christmas movie a day.

My second choice, if I were a movie, would be a science fiction movie. I’d throw in some sort of disease, maybe an alien or two, a post-apocalyptic world where the cities are in ruins and heroes of every ilk who wear the same clothes throughout the entire movie. The aliens would lose. They usually do, even in my movie.

“Poor, dear, silly Spring, preparing her annual surprise! “

March 8, 2015

When I went to get the papers, I could hear a bird singing. Its song was so beautiful I stood outside in the cold to listen. All of a sudden it was a spring morning when every bird greets the first light of day and the air is filled with music. This one bird is the beginning of that chorus. Though it was perched on a branch covered in snow, it still found reason to sing. The bird had found its own spring. Now I’m looking for mine.

Warmer weather is on the way. I used to think warmer was the 40’s this time of year. Now I’m happy with above freezing. Yesterday, a sunny day, I could hear the snow slide off the roof and fall to the deck. The thick icicle on my outside front lamp has melted and only a few icicles are left hanging off the edge of the house. Maybe, just maybe, we’re starting to turn the corner from one season to another.

Gracie and I are doing some errands today. She gets her dump run, her stop for dog food, and I get my stop for human food. Tonight is our Amazing Race night. We DVR it on Fridays and do our traditional Sundays starting with games and appetizers and ending with the Race and dessert. I’m the designated appetizer server. We’re having one with apples, walnuts, honey and cheese; another, a hot appetizer, with cherry tomatoes, bacon, mozzarella and goat cheese and, if I have the time and energy, a third with feta, tomatoes and scallions. They all sound so delicious on paper I hope they translate well to real life.

This is a quiet week for me. Last week was totally busy with something every day except the storm day. This week I am booked for a couple of hours of PT and lunch with a friend. That’s it for the whole week so I am adding a bit of excitement by trying a new spot for lunch. I also need to buy a new toilet seat. My cup runneth over with delight.

“The bigger the darkness, the easier it is to spot your little light.”

February 22, 2015

Last night it poured. I could hear snow and icicles sliding off the house to the deck. Even the dog woke up a couple of times, listened, heard nothing else and went back to sleep. Today has been a medley of rain and snow and rain again. My street is a sheet of ice. This morning I went across the street to get my yesterday’s mail and started to slide. I caught myself but the going and coming was so slippery I had to keep stopping to regain my balance. Finally I got to a snow bank and the walking was easy. That I didn’t fall is a miracle and soon enough the pilgrims will arrive to this holy spot.

Today is above freezing but tonight will be in the 20’s, the start of another cold trend. Tomorrow night will be 2˚.

When I was young, I thought of snow as a wonder. I loved to stand outside with my face raised to the sky and my eyes wide opened as I watched the snow fall. The individual shape of each flake reminded me of the doilies on the backs of my grandmother’s chairs. As the snow fell, the lawns and branches would get a light covering, but I could still see the tops of the grasses taller than the snow. The roads looked wet and the snow took longer to cover them.

Newly fallen snow undisturbed by cars or people is beautiful. Tall trees alone stand above the white carpet. Everything else is covered. My favorites are always the fir trees. They have snow but they also have greenery, mostly at the ends of their branches.

The strand of Christmas lights I didn’t take down from a section of my deck rail shine brightly every night. In the storm to end all storms, though they were covered in snow, I could see the different colors shining through. They looked as if they were covered by a white veil. Each night the little heat from those lights melted a bit of the snow and the bulbs’ colors got brighter. There is now no snow left on the rail. Tonight the lights will shine in all their brilliance and push back a bit of the darkness.

“Boredom can be a lethal thing on a small island.”

January 30, 2015

Drab is about the best description for today. The sky is grey, and it is very damp outside. At times it is spitting rain as my mother would say. I’m okay with that as my sister outside of Boston is getting snow again: 4 to 6 inches. I’d be screaming.

Gracie can get outside through the dog door and has a patch of driveway at the end so she can do her business. The only problem is she likes to go into the backyard for her more substantial business and she can’t get there. After I let her out this morning, I saw her squat then I went to get my coffee. When I got back to the door, I saw she was gone which is surprising as there is nowhere to go then I noticed her head and one paw poking out between two back steps from behind. She had gone under the farmer’s deck. I ran and switched from slippers to shoes and then ran to the door to go help her. Well, she had already figured out to follow her way under to get out and was walking up the steps.

Water is dripping from the roof and icicles are forming at the edges. The beauty of the snow is disappearing because the day is above freezing and the rain slowly pits and erodes the snow. Nothing about today is pretty.

It’s a short post today mostly because my inactivity has made life a bit boring. I read, picked appetizers to make for Super Bowl watching, play backgammon against the computer and caught up with Grantchester, a wonderful series on PBS. I even napped in the afternoons. I suppose I could clean but that is the last desperate measure.

It’s time to get moving. Gracie and I are going to the dump for one of our errands. She’ll be thrilled: as for me, not so much.

“In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.”

January 29, 2015

I am still house-bound. My factotum got stuck in high drifts yesterday and didn’t make it. He said few side roads in his town were plowed yet. I cleared off the two front steps with a broom because poor Gracie was beside herself in wanting out. When I was done, I opened the door, and she went out and squatted for what might just be a new Olympic record. Before we went to bed, she completed her business. This morning, she went right to the front door to go out. I am feeling so much better and far less guilty.

I am beside myself. For the last two days I have been reading the paper on-line, a most unsatisfying experience. I want to be turning pages. This morning I could see the papers sitting on a tall drift next to the driveway. There are two bags, one I’m supposing is filled with the two days I missed. I can’t get to them. They might as well be on the moon.

Today is bright and sunny. It is even winter warm. The icicles on my house are dripping. I can hear them when I stand by the front door. A very, long thick one was hanging off my outside light. I tried to break it, but I couldn’t though I did manage to break off the thinner lower parts.

I was just in the kitchen getting coffee and toast. I love the smells of both. My bread is scali bread or, as I just found out, scala bread for a single loaf. It makes the best toast. My friends from New Jersey had never heard of scali bread. I looked it up and found out, “Scali bread is an Italian style of bread made predominantly in the Boston, Massachusetts area. It is a braided loaf that is covered in sesame seeds.” That hardly describes the taste of scali, and how when it is toasted, the bread turns a delightful brown and the butter melts lovingly into the bread. Definitions seldom do reality justice. Snow is precipitation in the form of crystalline water ice that falls from the clouds. How boring that sounds.

My doorbell just rang. Gracie barked, and I wondered who it could be. It was my neighbor, and she had my newspapers in hand. I am delighted. I am done here as I am itching to get my hands on those papers.

“Silent icicles, Quietly shining to the quiet moon.”

December 11, 2014

I may have seen the sun a bit earlier, but I can’t be sure. It’s not raining-that much I can say with certainty. I watched Gracie from the back door after I let her out and noticed birds in the side yard and one woodpecker on my back step. The birds were juncos, and there were many. I had a mixed seed bag so I threw some into the yard in case the juncos come back. They haven’t been around much so I figured I’d give them some incentive. Today is a one errand day, for dog food, and a wrap like crazy day. I need to get the Colorado gifts wending their way westward.

The old tinsel controversy has reared its head. My family called the silvery garlands tinsel. They were wound around the tree and draped for effect. We also had a red tinsel garland and a construction paper one we had made once. It was the worst for wear, but it was part of the tree tradition. The tinsel was put on the tree just after the lights. My mother did the honors as she knew exactly how the tinsel should look from branch to branch. The ornaments were next. The big breakables were put around the top by my mother. We always thought of them as the fancy ornaments, the untouchables. We all put on the rest of the ornaments including the small glass ones. I have some of those and I have one fancy ornament. My mother gave each of us a box filled with the ornaments of our childhood including one fancy ornament I still put high up on the tree. Last of all to be put on the tree were the icicles. We’d each take a handful and drape one at a time on a branch. After a while draping became boring, and mayhem ensued. We’d take handfuls and toss them on the tree to get rid of our piles. My mother would yell,”One at a time. One at a time.” We didn’t care. We were lost in the throwing frenzy. Finally my mother stopped us and took all our icicles. She then removed the piles on the branches and put the icicles on the tree one at a time. We watched television.

Now, were they icicles or were they tinsel? What about the garlands? Were they tinsel too? I say there is no question, no confusion. Those silvery strands were icicles because that’s what they looked like hanging from the branches. They looked like the real icicles which hung from the edges of our roof. I do admit the real ones never hung in clumps.

“It’s not a destination, it’s on the way to someplace.”

February 4, 2014

The sun is beautiful and bright and the sky is a light blue. Snow is melting off the roof, but the snow on the ground is crusty and slippery. Weakened by the sun, snow melts off the pine tree branches. From my window I can see blobs of it falling to the ground. Spawns of Satan are busy jumping from branch to branch then to the deck hoping to find seed there. They’ll be lucky later as I have to fill the feeders, and I always drop seeds. When I went to get the papers, I walked gingerly. I noticed my car windows are covered in crusty snow. They’ll have to be scraped. I won’t need to shovel. My steps are clear and the walk has little snow. The car will easily ride over the small pile of snow in front of it. It is just another winter day.

I have an empty dance card today and the rest of the week. The weatherman says snow again tomorrow, but we are getting very little, only 2-4 inches. I’d call that a dusting worthy of a broom, not a shovel.

I miss Howard Johnson’s. My town had one right on Main Street, and I remember another one on the Expressway just before it split. A HoJo’s on Route 3 was a signpost of sorts for me. When I was in college, I’d take the bus from Park Square to Hyannis and always fell asleep not long after leaving the bus station. I usually woke up just about at the Howard Johnson’s, more than half-way home. The building is still there and is a restaurant, but I haven’t ever stopped. There was something comforting about a Howard Johnson’s. You always knew what to expect no matter where you stopped, and it was a real restaurant with a hostess and waitresses in uniforms with handkerchiefs in their pockets. I usually ordered a cheeseburger and fries which came with cole slaw, and I never could leave without an ice cream cone. I remember they used to have 28 flavors, and I’d pore over the choices. Most times I tended toward mocha chip, but the chocolate was delicious, creamy with a deep flavor. The cone was crispy and sweet, but you had to be careful of the hole which sometimes appeared on the bottom. By the register was a counter with Howard Johnson’s candy. I loved the fudge bars. 

I still stop at real restaurants when I’m on the road. I take the time to relax and enjoy a meal, usually a cheeseburger and fries.

“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.”

January 31, 2014

The day isn’t pretty, but it’s warmer than it has been so I’ll take it. Icicles are dripping and falling off the eaves. Gracie barks at the sound of them falling thinking we have an intruder. The snow is melting off the roof to the deck and sounds like rain. Miss Gracie has been in and out all morning, another sign of a warmer day. Her paw prints cover the kitchen’s tile floor. Maddie the cat, on the other hand, sits with her head inside the lamp shade close to the bulb. I’m thinking it is her way of fighting seasonal affective disorder. The light isn’t needed for reading any more but I’m leaving it on for Maddie.

I am bored with winter. I am sick of staying inside and tired of being cold. I want the snow gone. I want spring. This weariness, this languor, isn’t unexpected. It happens the same time every winter, at the beginning of February, two weeks from pitchers and catchers and three weeks from position players reporting for spring training. My mind gets filled with images and sounds. I can see the grassy, plush outfields and hear the crack of the bat hitting the ball. I think about watching the ball arc and sail over the wall followed by shouts and cheers. I can’t wait for baseball to start. I check the sports pages every day for even the smallest tidbit about the Sox. Forget the Celtics, easy to do this year, and the Bruins. Bring on my Red Sox.

My sister gave me a Red Sox sweatshirt for Christmas. I now have three: a blue World Series 2007, a green one with Red Sox across the front and now the new red one with Boston emblazoned on it for all to see. No one will doubt my allegiance.

I’m more than ready to hear Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to Fenway Park.