Posted tagged ‘Laundry’

“I don’t know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot!”

January 5, 2018

You’re probably wondering why I am up at the crack of dawn. Okay, that’s an exaggeration as it is 7:30, but I am so seldom up this early that it seems totally out of character for me, the winter sloth. Gracie had a vet appointment at 8 for acupuncture, but I have cancelled. My road is a sheet of ice, and my car’s tires are encased in the ice which probably wouldn’t matter that much in getting it out to the road, but I just don’t want to make the effort. I haven’t even gotten the newspapers.

Bitter cold is the only description for today’s temperature. I am living on the tundra in the dead of winter. It is 18˚, close to the forecast of a high of 19˚. The low will be 4˚. I can see sunshine breaking through the clouds and shining in the backyard against the pine trees, but I am not impressed. It is only a prop. It carries no heat. The blue sky is pushing away the clouds. I’m glad for the color.

I am not bored staying home. Last night I read until close to one. My tree is still up and decorated though I have removed Christmas from three other rooms. The laundry still sits in the hall. In the old days, I seldom had undone chores as I used to feel guilty. I had a schedule I religiously kept. The laundry never sat in the hall and the finished laundry went right upstairs and was put away. Now the clean, folded laundry sometimes sits for a while on a living room chair. I don’t really care, an attitude which took me a long while to foster, but I’ve done well in espousing the sloth effect.

My trunk has trash and recyclables. It is dump time, but I’m thinking, “Tomorrow Is Another Day!” the Scarlet way of looking at life.

I am so glad I have missed the return of high heels, some so high you could get a nose bleed. I watch and wonder at the women wearing them. Their feet and calves must really hurt after standing on those heels for a while, but I figure it comes down to fashion. No self-respecting maven would be caught in small heels. The binding of women’s feet in China was all the rage, especially among the upper class. Think on that for a bit.

“The gaunt limbs, and stark, rigid, death-like whiteness of winter.”

January 4, 2018

The rain pelting the roof and windows is heavy and loud, and the wind is a freight train blowing its whistle. Pine trees have notoriously shallow roots so they bend and sway in the wind. I watched one tall pine in my backyard bend so much it should have split and fallen. I thought I saw a bird furiously flapping its wings while trying to land on a branch. I couldn’t see the sort of bird so I put on my glasses. It wasn’t a bird. It was a brown leaf hanging from the end of a small branch being tossed and spun by the wind.

The snow will be here later, a wet, slushy sort of snow which will freeze overnight when the temperature drops from the 40˚ it is now to 12˚. The deep freeze will continue tomorrow with a high of 17˚ and a low of 1˚. It won’t get above freezing until Monday.

The only room left to de-Christmas is the living room where the tree still stands filled with lights and decorations. I need to haul from the cellar the plastic tubs which hold my decorations. Three smaller boxes are filled and waiting to go downstairs, but they will be last as they sit on the tops of the big bins. I also have a laundry leaning against the cellar door making me feel a bit guilty as it has been there a few days. I figure I’ll be spending the afternoon hauling up and bringing down bins and more bins.

I did a bit of shopping yesterday but not the usual pre-storm bread and milk. I bought shrimp cocktail and sauce at the fish market. Their sauce is tangy and delicious with lots of horseradish. I bought freshly made chicken noodle soup from Spinners, cinnamon rolls from the bakery and prepared pasta with sausages from Nada’s Noodles.

I’m watching Nancy Drew and The Hidden Staircase. It was the first Nancy Drew I ever read. The movie differs from the book in any ways. Characters have changed while others have disappeared. I like the book better.

I watched a bit of the news this morning. Thee newscasters were giving advice about how best to handle the storm. Drive slowly but stay home if you can. Uncover outside vents, and my personal favorite, don’t touch live wires.

The rain is slanting from the north. That alone is scary.

“As long as we know in our hearts what Christmas ought to be, Christmas is.”

December 17, 2017

It was freezing cold last night, down to 19˚, and it is freezing cold right now. Today’s high will be 24˚ though I think calling it high is a misnomer. I’m glad for the de-icer on the front steps as the two steps are dry and safe for both paws and feet. The day is pretty with a blue sky and sun but both are best seen through the window. I am staying warm and cozy right here.

I don’t have a list for today. My laundry got done yesterday, a miracle for me as it usually sits a while, the house is decorated, presents wrapped and the cards written. Maybe I’ll decide what to make for Christmas or maybe I’ll just sit in the living room with the tree lit and read a bit.

When I was a kid, each day closer to Christmas made me even more excited. I remember watching Santa Claus on TV every afternoon, and he’d do a countdown to Christmas Eve, his busiest day of the year. He’d read letters from kids, tell stories and show off new toys. I don’t even remember if I thought he was the real deal or not. I was never skeptical about Christmas. I believed everything.

I do love Christmas. My house is awash with decorations. The living room tree is as tall as it can be and still accommodate the star at the very top. Other trees, mostly wooden, are strewn around the house. The scrub pine in the dining room is lit every evening. The small wooden tree on the side table has white lights wrapped around it as does the driftwood tree in the bathroom. They all look so very lovely when lit. They make my house feel warm even on the coldest nights.

I seem to have run out of films of A Christmas Carol to watch. My number sits at six. Today I’ll watch another favorite of mine, The Bishop’s Wife. I know I’ve seen all these movies many times, but I still look forward to seeing them again. The Christmas season does that to me: it keeps the wonder alive.

“Look after your laundry, and your soul will look after itself.”

November 28, 2017

Yesterday and this morning were busy times, busy enough to keep me in sloth mode for the rest of the week. Yesterday I had an appointment in Hyannis then I shopped for dog food, two bags full, heavy bags full so I left one bag in the car. A repair man came yesterday afternoon and fixed my washer. He also checked the dryer which strangely enough worked for him. Once he was done and gone, I started doing the laundry which was piled in giant heaps on the cellar floor. One heap was from a couple of weeks ago and another from last week. The final heap, the smallest, was the afghan and a couple of  blankets from a few weeks ago which had had no immediacy so I let them sit on the floor a while. Once each heap was washed and dried, I carried it upstairs to this floor thinking to save my back but that made no difference. I killed my back anyway. It was so bad, I could have played Igor in Young Frankenstein. The laundry still sits on the chair in the living room waiting to be brought upstairs. It will be a long wait.

This morning Gracie woke me up early. She was restless and moving around on the couch cushion so I figured it was time for her to go out. Maddie was meowing just for the joy of it. She needed nothing. She was just being a cat. Gracie and I went out, and after Gracie was done, I went to get my mail from the box across the street. Gracie followed me. All of a sudden the hair on her back went up and she was growling. A lady was walking her dog, and Gracie hates other dogs so she went after this one. My arms were filled with mail, but I still tried too grab her halter. Gracie was moving better than she has in weeks. The other dog kept trying to get Gracie, but the lady walking her dog was wonderful. As we were both grappling, I told her Gracie has trouble walking so she held her dog with one hand and grabbed Gracie with other then transferred Gracie to me. There I was carrying the mail in one hand and bending over to hold Gracie’s halter with the other. When I got inside the house, I immediately sat on the stairs as I couldn’t move any further because of my back. I sat there a while and Gracie, looking a bit bewildered, watched me sit.

Here I am now, a few aspirins later, with a better back for the meanwhile. I will lift nothing heavier than a cup of coffee. The laundry can sit. I have no guilt leaving it there. That I did three heaps of laundry in one day is a new record for me, one I am quite proud for achieving.

“Her routine was as predictable as the rotation of the earth.”

November 11, 2017

Last night was bitingly cold. When I took Gracie out around 1:30, the cold took my breath away. Gracie didn’t like it any more than I so she peed as she walked. It was not squatting weather. Today is much warmer in comparison. I went into the yard with Gracie and didn’t mind waiting. She roamed a while then picked her spots. She squatted just fine.

I have all these patterns of movement every morning. I take Gracie out and fetch my papers then we both go to the backyard. Once Gracie’s finished in the yard and we’re back inside the house, I make the coffee then get Gracie’s dish. That’s kitchen to hall to den. On the way back from leaving Gracie’s dish, kitchen to den, I get the cat’s dish. That’s den to living room to kitchen. I fill the cat food dish then pour my first cup and head back to the den. That’s kitchen to living room to den. I read the Globe first then it’s back to the kitchen where I put the toast in the toaster oven and wait. Once it’s done, I fill my cup for the second time and walk back down the hall to the den to read my second paper, the Cape Cod Times. That’s where the usual pattern ends. The rest of my day is free form.

I didn’t make it to the dump yesterday. Even on warmer winter days the wind rips across the recycle center, and it’s cold. Yesterday the dump would have been freezing, frozen tundra like. I won’t be able to go until tomorrow as it is closed for Veteran’s Day.

Today I have an empty dance card. I’ll go through my recipes to find appetizers for game night tomorrow. I expect to get the laundry done. I’ve hit my breaking point. The pile is high enough to have my full attention and merits a sign: beware of falling laundry.

“The mercury sank in the mouth of the dying day.”

November 10, 2017

Last night was a strange one. Around 3, Gracie woke me with her loud panting. Because she doesn’t use the dog door anymore, panting is her way of communicating. I understand Gracie’s panting and knew I had a few options. I mentioned food, no response. I mentioned out and she perked so out we went. It was cold and windy. She was quick. I was glad.

A pelting sound against the window jolted me awake. I’m not sure if it was before or after Gracie. I just remember it was loud. I knew it had to be rain, heavy rain, though I did venture and quickly discard the notion that hundreds of BB’s were being throw at the window at the exact same time. I figure we can chalk that absurd idea up to my drowsiness and the sound of the rain and the window.

Today is chilly, in the high 40’s, and windy but sunny. There is a freeze warning starting tonight at seven through 8 am tomorrow. Already, the heat keeps cranking. This is our first freeze.

I have laundry to do. Of all the household chores, this is the one I dislike the most. I think it has to do with the two sets of stairs and carrying the clean laundry up both of them. I keep putting it off and the pile just is getting bigger and compounding the problem.

My mail box is overflowing with catalogues, tis’ the season. I actually look through most of them and have had some great finds, some odd finds and some perfect Christmas presents. Yesterday, I finished my gift shopping for two people on my list.

Right now I’m watching a scientist freeze to death in the movie Gog. The woman scientist  found him, and guess what, she raised her hands in front of her mouth and screamed. The door to the freeze chamber just mysteriously closed and locked with her in it. She’s next. Who will scream for her?

A note: I got notified that two of my posts, one from 2012 and the other from 2013, violate copywrite laws, both are Procol Harum. The links no longer worked, but that didn’t seem to matter. I wrote an answer to WordPress explaining that the songs in question could be heard only, but I think that too may be a violation. I further explained that any posted videos came from youTube. I don’t know what might happen. In case I am shut down, you can find me at a familiar place, Blogger. I have taken possession of the old blog destroyed by Blogger. The URL is different than it was. Here it is in case: http://keepthecoffeecoming.blogspot.com 

Today is dump day!

“I love being home, reading the paper in the morning and having a cup of coffee, doing laundry, going grocery shopping and running daily errands. For me, it’s important to have that balance in my life.”

November 9, 2017

Last night was cold, not quite wintry cold but close enough. Saturday night will be in the 30’s. That’s winter to me. The sun is resting elsewhere so the sky is all over cloudy, not a single break of blue. It is a still day.

I was out yesterday and am going out again today. I can’t remember the last time I was out two days in a row. Maddie and Gracie are my incentives today. They both need canned food, and Gracie is almost out of treats. I also need sunflower seeds. That’s the first stop, Agway. As for me, I’m out of bread and butter. It is a two stop day.

When I was a kid, my parents always went grocery shopping on Friday nights. My father had to take my mother as she didn’t have a driver’s license and wouldn’t have one until after we had moved to the cape. Saturday was my father’s day for errands and chores. When I go by the Chinese laundry still in my home town, I think of my dad. He’d go to the “Chinaman” every Saturday with his long sleeve white shirts. He wore one every day to work and liked them starched. He wouldn’t start wearing colors until much later. I gave him a button down collar yellow shirt for Christmas one year, and that was the start of colors and buttoned down collars. My father surprised me when he abandoned white.

My father seldom deviated from his usual anything. He didn’t easily try new foods and wouldn’t eat familiar foods if they were changed even in the smallest way. The key to my dad was to work around him. When he was here visiting, he ate a pork roast to which I had added garlic in slits around the meat. My dad loved the meal. When my mother was making the same dish, he caught her adding the garlic. He told my mother no way would he eat it. Only shrimp scampi had garlic. He wouldn’t eat hummus because he said it looked like wallpaper paste. Chinese food was exotic to him, a man who loved Spam, sardines and instant coffee.

“Stay low, stay quiet, keep it simple, don’t expect too much, enjoy what you have.”

October 20, 2017

Today is another beautiful sunny day in the high 60’s. There’s an intermittent breeze strong enough to sway the branches. It is a perfect day to take a ride.

Lately I have been quite lazy. I haven’t even made a single list. There’s no reason. It’s just inertia.

Laundry is piling up in the hall. A few dishes are in the sink. I figure I’ll get to all that later. There’s no hurry. I don’t have to do something every day.

The flowers beside the house are still blooming. The pumpkins are on the front steps and corn hangs on the gate. I saw a tree covered in yellow leaves. Fall is so filled with color. I always think of it as Mother Nature’s last gift before winter.

My lawn is disappearing under dead leaves from the tall oak tree and brown needles from the pine. It will be raked a few times before the lawn reappears. The irrigation system will be blown cleared of water and my outdoor shower will be turned off until the spring. It’s the same every year. All the pieces of summer disappear in turn.

I think being retired has brought me back to a simpler life. My wardrobe is mostly casual, and I seldom add to it. Once in a while I go out to eat, but mostly I spend time with friends. I watch TV movies but every now and then I treat myself to a newer movie though I do complain about the $5.99. I get books from the library. I used to buy the newest hardcovers, but now I get then for free. I don’t deny myself stuff. I just need less stuff.

When I was a kid, all my TV heroes always won. The bad guys were alive when nabbed. The only violence was usually a fight or a bullet to the arm or hand. Good guys never lost their hats in any fights. The animals, mostly dogs and horses, had names and were important to the plot. I remember Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, his dog Yukon King and his horse Rex.  I learned history and geography from watching this program. I remember at the end of each show he’d tell King this case is closed.  Sometimes there was even a bit of humor. Pat Brady provided that in the Roy Rogers Show. I never questioned that Roy and Dale rode horses while Pat had a jeep, Nellybelle. I was a kid. I just believed.

“After enlightenment, the laundry.”

September 29, 2017

Today is a lovely fall day. The air is clear. The sun is sharp and bright. It is in the low 60’s and will stay that way until tonight when it will drop into the 50’s. Last night was downright cold. I took Gracie out around eleven and wished I had worn a sweatshirt. I kept urging her to hurry. She didn’t. She sniffed all over until she found her right spot.

I love my mornings. Lately I have been waking up late, but I still take the time to enjoy the start of my day. The pattern never changes. Gracie and I go out to get the papers then I take her to the backyard. She is quick to finish so we go inside. I put the coffee on then tend to Gracie and Maddie. The cat is loud and demanding. I fill her dry food dish then give her a can of cat food, always meat, never fish. Gracie is next. I fill her dry food, ready her medications then give her a can of dog food with the meds hidden beneath. It is then I can grab a cup of coffee and start reading the papers. I never hurry despite Maddie’s exhortations.

I wish I were handy, but I have inherited my father’s ineptitude when it comes to working with my hands. He was the man who sawed himself out of a tree. My mother and I watched from the window. We could have warned him but he wasn’t all that far off the ground. He so destroyed the toilet when he was fixing it, though fixing is loosely used here, that the plumber was amazed and wanted to know who did the destruction. He cut all of his fingers when fixing a fan. My father never gave up trying to be a Mr. Fixit. My mother kept a list of repairmen and their numbers. She knew she’d need it.

My laundry is done. It was quite the task. The first load didn’t spin. I had to wring out the wettest clothes, but the dryer did its job. I put in the second load anyway. I wanted no dirty laundry left. When I went to move the second load to the dryer, I was surprised to find them spun. I figured the first load had to have been uneven, and I didn’t hear the warning. I was thrilled.

I think it is a sad commentary that I can find laundry thrilling. Ho Hum!

“There are two kinds of fears: rational and irrational- or in simpler terms, fears that make sense and fears that don’t.”

September 28, 2017

Sometime during the night it rained. I slept through it. The street and the yard were still damp when I woke up late, close to ten. The air is wet, humid. The sky is gray. There is a breeze but it does little to clear the air. Today is the last day of the heat, according to the weatherman. Tonight the temperature will go down to the low 50’s.

I filled all the bird feeders this morning. The bottoms of a couple of them had mold and the seeds were in a clump. I cleaned every one. Last I checked, the bird weren’t back yet.

Huzzah! Huzzah! The first load of laundry is in the washer. A second load sits on the floor waiting its turn. I can’t remember the last time I had so much laundry. These two full loads are testaments to my sloth.

In Ghana, I had my laundry done when I lived there and when I visited. During training we found women in the nearest village to do the laundry. Everything was washed by hand in buckets. The irons were heated with charcoal. It was the same forty years later.   On my last trip, shirts were 2 cedis, about fifty cents. Pants were four, a whole dollar. I came home with clean clothes.

I do everything I can to do nothing. My house gets cleaned and my yard is kept neat, except for the back which no one sees, and my groceries get delivered right to the kitchen. If I could afford more, I’d have my laundry done while I sat and ate bonbons.

I need bread, and I could go to the dump though I’m thinking tomorrow is the better day Just because I don’t want to go today.

I don’t mind clowns or bugs. I have a black cat. Heights don’t make me dizzy, but rides which go around and around make me throw up. Stopping at the top of a Ferris wheel isn’t a problem for me. I like the view. I don’t get the fear of spiders, but scorpions are a different story. Once I had a scorpion roaming on my living room floor, and my student killed it with my sandal. She asked permission first. I said yes because scorpions bite. Sometimes I hear noises I can’t explain. They give me pause. I lower the TV and listen. Usually I don’t hear it again. If I did, I’d pass it off as an animal or a bird. That’s the easiest answer and the one which doesn’t make me afraid.


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