Posted tagged ‘mess’

“…freshly cut Christmas trees smelling of stars and snow and pine resin – inhale deeply and fill your soul with wintry night…”

December 5, 2017

The morning has been a busy one here at the Ryan estate. The staff has decorated the grounds with multi-colored lights. Large ornaments hang from trees, and a spotlight gives the ornaments a twinkle. The back deck is awash with lights. A smaller star joins the big star on the fence gate. A wooden sled draped with white skates is now by the front steps and is lit by a string of colored lights. A wreath is on the front fence gate and hanging in the middle of it is a wooden fish. The front door also has a wreath but hanging from its middle is bright coral. The crowning achievement is the tree. It is in the stand in the living room where it will sit for a day or two before being decorated. The tree, even naked, is beautiful and full of branches and soft needles. Already the aroma of pine has begun to waft through the living room. A bayberry centerpiece is ready to take its place in the middle of the dining room table once the Christmas runner has been found.

The outside is finished. All I need to do is check the lights tonight to make sure the timers are correct, and the front and back lights are turning on around the same time.

The living room is a chaotic mess. All the presents are now downstairs. They are piled on the couch and chair and even the floor. They need to be catalogued and wrapped, but that is for another day. I did vacuum the dirt and needles which came in with the tree but that’s it. I’m done for the day.

I’m watching the 1966 Andy Williams Christmas show. Already his brothers have dropped by as have his mother and father. His mother is wearing a fur stole. His wife Claudine, not yet notorious, wants help picking the tree. The Osmond Brothers are now singing. They are dressed in pink shirts and white bib overalls and singing about peppermint. Donny is tiny compared to his brothers. I probably saw this back in the day as we never missed an Andy Williams Christmas.

Though the temperature is in the 40’s, the dampness has made the day feel even colder. There have been clouds all day, but the clouds are darkening. The rain will soon be here.

I’m thinking I deserve a bit of egg nog.

“Now Autumn’s fire burns slowly along the woods and day by day the dead leaves fall and melt.”

October 27, 2017

Some mornings I’m Cinderella with singing bluebirds flying around bringing me a  ribbon for my hair, tying on my apron and helping me do chores. Today was not one of those days. The house was cold as it was down to the 40’s last night. I put my sweatshirt on, took Gracie outside, picked up the papers and went back into the house. I noticed the middle cushion on the couch looked wet. I checked and saw Gracie had gotten sick during the night. I slept right through it. I cleaned it up off the floor and washed the  pillow which bore the brunt of Gracie’s discomfort. I hadn’t even had my coffee yet.

The best find of the day was seeing that the second season of Stranger Things has been released on Netflix so I am watching the first episode. This makes up a bit for the morning even though I’m not seeing bluebirds.

I have a new coffee maker so I had to read the instructions before I could make my  coffee. They were easy to read and accomplish, but I do have a complaint. According to the measurements on the side of the carafe, I was making 12 cups. After filling my first cup, I was down to a little lower than 10 and with the second cup down to below 8 cups. The only thing I can figure is I should be using demitasse cups. Who drinks coffee from tiny cups?

One white flower is left in the garden. The cold nights are taking their toll. Winter is getting closer. My sister in Colorado had 80˚ weather a few days ago. Last night was supposed to be around 18˚. She had some snow flurries in the afternoon.

The sun is bright today and is framed in a deep blue sky. It’s a pretty day with a breeze strong enough to sway a few branches and knock off more leaves. The oak tree leaves are the first to succumb to the breeze. Many are brown and dead. I figure they are Mother Nature’s metaphors for the changing season.

 

“When I die,’ I said to my friend, ‘I’m not going to be embalmed. I’m going to be dipped.’ Milk chocolate or bittersweet was the immediate concern.”

August 6, 2016

Last night I watched the end of the opening ceremonies and the last few innings of the Red Sox game so I was up until quite late. By then the house had begun to feel sticky and close so I turned on the air conditioner. It was a delight to fall asleep in the cool air of the house.

Today has quite a breeze and is sunny, but rain is due late this afternoon. There may even be thunder and lightning so I’m going to hunker down. Tonight’s movie on the deck is postponed. If I were in Accra, Ghana, rain wouldn’t matter. I remember sitting and watching Is Paris Burning? when it started to rain. We all just picked up our chairs and moved them under the overhangs along the sides of the theater. The movie continued.

I don’t love spaghetti all that much. It is just too much work spinning it on the spoon with the fork, making sure I don’t look silly eating it and quickly wiping the sauce off my cheeks from the flying end of the spaghetti. I do like pasta especially ziti and penne, but I don’t ever make it at home. I think pasta is seldom just for one person. It is a crowd food.

Chocolate chip cookies are comfort food. My mother made them often though never often enough. She made special cookies at Christmas, but chocolate chip cookies were for any time. I loved them hot from the oven when the chocolate was still runny. I have made all different sorts of chocolate chip cookies. Some were made with macadamia nuts instead of walnuts. In others chocolate chunks took the place of chips. I’ve even tried mint chips, but I didn’t like them all that much, the same with butterscotch. I learned you don’t mess with the chocolate. It’s almost a holy food.

The sun has already disappeared behind grey clouds making the day a bit darker. I really think rain is coming, finally.

“You don’t get anything clean without getting something else dirty.”

January 10, 2013

Some days are memorable. Others are a matter of course. Most days I just go about my business whatever it happens to be. I have my sloth days, favorites of mine, when turning pages is the most activity I get. The industrious days aren’t all that frequent by choice. I figure I was industrious every week day for years, and that was more than enough. The last two days have been rotten days, an adjective I seldom use. I don’t care for it much, but right now it is the only word which comes to mind. My sister called them typical days for me, but they didn’t include falling off a ladder, tripping over something or falling downstairs so they weren’t all that typical. They were just plain rotten. The events which soured the days weren’t all that memorable so you can stop here if you want. If you’re curious, read on, but I warn you that in the course of human events these don’t really merit much attention. Because they happened to me, I’ll remember.

Tuesday early evening and yesterday afternoon were fiascos. On Tuesday I cursed, sweated and screamed in frustration as I cleaned the refrigerator because I couldn’t remove the bottom drawers and the shelf which held them as the left fridge door, the exit point, was blocked by the microwave table. I had to move the microwave, the table, the cookbooks under the table (it’s really an old student’s desk, but I figured you didn’t need that information) and the jars around it. By then I was exhausted and dripping sweat, an ugly sight, but I couldn’t stop. Finally one drawer came out easily. By manipulating the other this way and that I finally got it out and then I tried the same technique on the the shelf which holds the drawers, but it wouldn’t budge. One side did but not the other. I was so frustration I went outside on the deck to cool down and to scream just a bit with clenched fists. When I came back inside, I was able to get the shelf out by turning it sideways. I washed the drawers, the glass top of the shelf and the shelf holder, manipulated them and got them back in the fridge. I was done until Wednesday.

Om Wednesday, I decided to clean the deli drawer which was easy to get out as was the piece which holds the deli drawer, but while removing it, I knocked over a bottle of apple cider on the shelf beside it, and the cider spilled all over the bottom of the fridge, the same bottom with the drawers about which I ranted and cursed the day before when I cleaned it. Luckily, I had some curses left over I could use, and I did. I also spent nearly an hour cleaning up the mess I had made.

Meanwhile, Gracie was sick. She had been salivating all afternoon, hadn’t eaten and couldn’t settle down. I gave her green fronds from the spider plant. They settled her stomach for a bit but then it started again. A few more times of green fronds and settling a bit brought us to 11 when we went upstairs to bed. Gracie settled right beside me so that her body was against mine. Not comfortable for me but comforting for her. At 12 and 1:30, Gracie started again so we went downstairs where she ate some more greenery. I decided to stay downstairs and fetched my pillows, cleared off the couch and tried to find room around Gracie  who was in the middle of the couch. The afghan I used as a blanket was crocheted so it has holes and wasn’t warm. I was cold despite the sweatshirt, pants and socks. I was also uncomfortable and tired. Gracie woke again at 3:30, and I figured it was just about emergency vet time, but she ate more fronds and fell asleep for another hour. No fronds and no sleep for me. At 4:30 Gracie rang her bells to go out. When she came back inside about ten minutes later, she jumped on the couch and fell asleep until 9 Wednesday morning. She was fine all day. She ate her dry food and her supper and had her usual naps. All is well with Miss Gracie.

Meanwhile, I am exhausted from wrestling with a refrigerator and barely sleeping on the couch. I have used all my allotment of curses for the next three months. The only good thing is I have a really clean refrigerator. I’m hoping for company so I can show it off!

“Gee, do they still make wooden Christmas trees?”

December 10, 2012

Last night it started raining and it has yet to stop. I find rain a bit dismal this time of year as I always think of Christmas as snow time. Maybe it’s the carols that have me hoping for an inch or two or Santa’s sleigh or how pretty the snow looks. I remember looking out the window and seeing snow falling and yelling in excitement for everyone to come and see.

Today I’m bringing you the story of my Christmas tree. I bought it yesterday, and it is beautiful, shorter than usual but just as full. I went to Hart Farm, and that wasn’t easy. You can no longer get there from here. The bridge right before Hart’s is closed for repair so that means going all the way around on Route 28, my least favorite road, but Gracie and I made the trek anyway. Walking among the Christmas trees made it all worthwhile. The smell was wonderful, and I found 2 trees, either of which could grace my living room. The man who works there is a former student, and I asked which of the trees he’d choose. One, he said, would shed its needles quickly but the other would keep them. It was an easy choice; of course, the price was hefty on the second one, but I bought it anyway, and I also bought a centerpiece of boxwood. The tree was put in my trunk and all the way home I had to hear the beep, beep, beep, the incessant beep of my car telling me the trunk was open. Did you notice it was all the way home, the long way.

I got home and tried to get the tree out of the trunk. It was stuck, but I yanked and pulled and got it out, leaned it against the car then decided to attach the new tree stand before bringing the tree inside the house. I bought the new tree stand anticipating a smaller tree. The stand fit but wouldn’t go up the trunk far enough so the tree could have water. Two nubs of branches were in the way. I cursed as I took the stand off and then went down the cellar to get the other tree stand, the stand easy enough for one person to use. I attached the bottom of the stand to the trunk then carried the tree into the house. No, carry is wrong. I lifted and stopped, lifted and stopped because of the weight of the tree. A few times the tree wouldn’t move; I couldn’t lift it. I finally figured out that’s what happens when you step on lower branches. At last the tree made it to the living room. Three low branches were broken, stepped on too many times. I lifted the tree, put in into the stand then moved it around until it was straight. I pushed in the pedal which secures the tree in place then got the funnel with the long tube. That’s new this year. It for watering the tree so I don’t have to crawl on my stomach to give it water. I hid the tube in the branches then sat on the couch to fill the funnel with water when all of a sudden the tree started to lean. I thought it would fall so I grabbed it. The funnel filled with water angled when the tree leaned and spilled water all over the floor and all over me. I cursed, cleaned up the mess and was about ready to turn this tree into a yule log but decided to try again. I went down the cellar to get a dry sweatshirt and the directions for the tree stand. Ah, the directions, why didn’t she get them in the first place. She didn’t get them because she thought she remembered how to use the stand. Wrong!

I lifted the tree out of the stand, pulled out the pedal as directed, held my foot on it, a step I hadn’t done the first time, and then placed the tree back into the stand and moved it until it was straight then I pushed in the pedal. The tree stayed straight and tall. I stopped cursing.

The tree is sitting in the middle of my living room as I have to move a few small pieces of furniture before it can sit in its rightful place then the decorating will begin. I’m betting the finished tree will make everything worthwhile.