Posted tagged ‘naps’

” It’s Christmas. Nothing bad is going to happen on Christmas!”

December 21, 2017

Today is the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year and the first day of winter. The days will start getting longer but we’ll hardly notice. It will still be dark early. I guess it’s a psychological thing, the idea that winter is very slowly losing its grip. Today is cold. Gracie and I were out early as she had another acupuncture treatment. She did well. When we got home, we both went to back to sleep. I just woke up. She’s still sleeping.

I’m going to make some cookies today. I did all my Christmas food shopping yesterday. I also made two other stops for dog food and Christmas candy. For Christmas dinner, the menu is set. We’re having bone-in rib roast. I have to pick the meat up on Christmas Eve. The rest of the menu will give our plates some color, in keeping with the season: white, green and orange, better known as potatoes, carrots and green beans.

My whole house feels like Christmas. The aroma of my Christmas tree fills the rooms. It makes me smile, and I tell the air how wonderful it is. I don’t even pretend I’m talking to Gracie.

I’m watching a Christmas movie, and it isn’t very good. The elves are tall and have names like George and Mindy. Their acting is over the top, hammy. The main characters are a family of a mother and two kids. The father passed away. One kid loves Christmas while the other is obnoxious and angry. She needs a slap. The mother is sweet and does her best only to be rebuffed by her daughter. The only parts of this movie I really enjoy are the scenes of the town and the snow. It looks like an old town with lots of brick buildings. Snow is everywhere. I don’t know why I’m still watching. I know how this horrible movie ends. It’s a Christmas movie so the ending will be happy and even the rude, obnoxious daughter will love Christmas again. Maybe I should watch Krampus again though even that has a happy ending.

“Never hesitate to go far away, beyond all seas, all frontiers, all countries, all beliefs.”

June 22, 2017

Today is lovely. I woke up to a blue sky and the brightest eye squinting sunshine I’ve seen in a while. My house is comfortably cool. Outside my window, I can see chickadees on the branches munching sunflower seeds. None of the leaves of the oak tree are blowing. It is a still day.

Though Gracie ate on Tuesday, around midnight she started panting and walking from room to room. She’d sit on the couch for a bit then get up and walk some more. Around 12:30 am, I took her to the emergency vet for the third early morning in a row. She was given anti-nausea medication which settled her down. The vet told me that this was treating only a symptom. I already knew that. She suggested a battery of tests, most of which I probably can’t afford.

Last night was different. During the day, she ate two small cans of dog food, not her usual as I was tempting her taste buds. She ate treats, new treats. She napped and last night slept through the night. I had anti-nausea pills for her, but she didn’t need them. She and Maddie, the cat, are having their morning naps now. I’m going to take one later. I am exhausted.

The best part of any summer has always been having empty days to fill.  When I was a kid, it was games and crafts at the local playground. I’d be there all day. During high school, I did little on summer days, but I was never bored. When I was in college, it was a summer job which I didn’t really mind. Working in the post office was easy and paid well. The pace was slow. Europe filled my summers when I was a teacher. My trips generally lasted 4 to 5 weeks. I knew how to travel on little money. I slept in hostels or on night buses. I ate as cheaply as possible sometimes buying bread and sandwich fixings. I found bars where I could get a drink and eat my way through happy hour. I had only a broad itinerary open to change. It was a wonderful way to travel. They were some of my favorite summers.

Posting my Ghana pictures yesterday got me thinking about the faraway places I love. Ghana, of course, is my favorite. The rest are in no order, no preference. Old Quito is on that list. The narrow streets, the old buildings, the colors and the women’s hats still have a prominent place in my memory drawers. I loved Portugal and Morocco and the Roman ruins in Italy. Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso was my second favorite spot in Africa. It was my weekend getaway. The beauty of the Andes took my breath away. On overnight bus rides, stops at roadside restaurants where the menus were in languages I didn’t understand and peeing in a hole in the little house in the back were part of the adventure. In Morocco and in Ghana I found out that thitting the hole is a lifetime skill.

I don’t travel summers anymore, but I keep my passport up to date just in case.

“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine to the mind.”

February 28, 2017

I feel much better, but I’m tired. I so envy Gracie and Maddie and their morning naps. They must be exhausted after having breakfast. Added to that, Gracie had a trip to the backyard. How tiring that must have been. Later, they’ll wake up and have their dinners then both of them will need another nap. Standing and eating can be so strenuous.

When I was a kid, the last thing I’d ever do would be to waste any part of my day by taking a nap. In college I took some afternoon naps mostly to recharge after a party or a night on the town. In Ghana, everything closed down for naps. Because it was the hottest time of the day, a nap, to get out of the sun, was inviting. My students had to be in their dorms resting on their beds. In town the post office closed as did a few stores and kiosks. I got to like that time of the day. It was quiet on the school compound. Nothing much moved. I started taking naps. I haven’t ever stopped.

My outside Christmas lights are gone. My factotum, Skip, came yesterday to do some odds jobs, and the lights were first. Last night was really dark. There are no streetlights so the only lights were shining from the windows of a few houses but not in the houses nearest mine as people don’t live in them full time. If you walked around at night, you’d need a flashlight to navigate the neighborhood.

It was in the 40’s yesterday, not warm, just seasonable. Today will hit 50˚ but it is raining on and off. Tomorrow may set a new record in Boston. It won’t be warm enough for that here.

My front garden has flowers. Snowdrops and yellow crocus are blooming. They look beautiful, especially the yellow crocus. My eyes crave color during the drab winter. That yellow just pops and screams spring is coming.

I love that the day is getting longer and longer.

“My life is better with every year of living it.”

August 19, 2016

This morning I was up and out early to have some lab work done. On the way, I had to stop to let a turkey hen lead her brood of five across the road to the other side. The five were walking all in a row and moved quickly to stay behind their mother. After the lab, I went to Dunkin’ Donuts as I hadn’t yet had my coffee. The ride through had fifteen cars in line so I parked out front and walked inside. I was second in line and got my coffee quickly. I also treated myself to a croissant lemon donut. It was my prize for remembering to get the lab work done.

Today is quite hot but dry. The doors and windows are still open. My neighborhood was noisy earlier. I could hear a radio blasting from the house next door, and I could hear voices from the rental. I shut the door, started to read the papers and fell asleep for about an hour, a weird time for me to be napping. I must have inspired the animals as all three are in the den here with me, and all three are asleep. Gracie is lightly snoring.

Only two weekends left until Labor Day weekend. The summer is speeding away. This has probably been my quietest summer in a long while. We didn’t see a movie on the deck though I am determined to have three, one on each remaining weekend. I have spent most of August behind closed doors and windows with the AC at full blast.

Tonight is another birthday celebration at my friends’ house down the street. They are the balloon friends. We’ll play a few games, drink a little and have dinner. I’ll open another present. Nothing is better than celebrating a birthday over and over.

“Home-grown pears are best eaten in the bath – they’re so juicy, it’s the easiest way to stay clean!”

August 23, 2015

It is so quiet. The animals are having their morning naps, the birds aren’t singing and I don’t hear a sound from any house, not dishes, not voices, nothing. The air is still so even the leaves aren’t moving. The day is cloudy and damp. It rained yesterday and last night. The sun was out once this morning but disappeared quickly. It is the sort of day which saps my energy and makes me want to lie around and read or even nap.

If I were to rate the days of the week, Saturday would be my favorite day and Sunday my least favorite but Monday is close to Sunday at the bottom. This rating hasn’t changed since I was a kid. Saturday was the freest day of all. I had no obligations. I could do whatever I wanted. Cartoons and kids’ shows ruled the morning airwaves. I could eat my cereal in the living room in front of the TV. In the winter I could go to the movies. Saturday did have a few traditions like supper was always hot dogs, beans and brown bread. I think having that menu was a rule if you lived in New England. Saturday night was bath night. I never gave it a thought that we only had a bath once a week. I guess as long as the parts people saw were clean was enough until Saturday.

I can do anything I want any day of the week now so I try not to do much on Saturdays because it is a busy day around and about town. People are grocery shopping, doing other errands and going to the dump. This time of year tourists are coming and going as Saturday is change-over day. If you don’t go out early, you don’t go out at all. Mostly that means I stay home.

Movie night is tonight, postponed from last night. The crowd has two choices: The Haunting and What’s Up Doc? I’m hoping the vote is for the second movie. I could use the laughs.

“Winter changes into stone the water of heaven and the heart of man.”

March 5, 2015

Yesterday, after the day and night of heavy rain, I could see my entire brick walkway and sections of my street right down to the pavement. Grass was sticking up in a couple of places in the backyard. When I went out, yup fifth day in a row, I noticed the plowed snow piles on both sides of the roads had become ugly and black. Today, however, everything has disappeared or has been changed. Out my window I can only see fresh snow, heavy fresh snow covering everything and it is still snowing. The layers on the tops of the branches are getting taller and taller. The Cape is the only part of the state with no school. What a horrible distinction. To add to the misery, biting cold is coming starting tonight. My string of five days ends today. I will not be going out nor will I even be getting dressed. I am wearing my around the house flannel pants, a sweatshirt, socks and slippers. I am in my winter uniform, my sloth clothes.

All three animals are asleep in here with me. One cat, Maddie, is on her chair while Fern and Gracie are asleep beside me and each other on the couch. All I can hear is deep breathing, mostly from the dog, but if I pat Fern, she begins to purr. They are my inspirations for a warm, cozy afternoon nap under the comforter. A roaring fire and some cocoa topped with marshmallow Fluff melting on the top would make this the idealized picture perfect winter’s day, a card-worthy day, but it’s freakin’ snowing again and its prettiness wore off quickly.

The first look at snow is the best, an oh moment. After that come the darker, less welcomed visions of shovels and plows, of me throwing and re-throwing de-icer on the steps for the dog and my cleaning off the car for what is, I swear, about the hundredth time. Why I bother I don’t know. The car will just slide up and down the road and right pass my street. My shoes will get snowy and wet. I don’t own boots. I don’t want to own boots. I don’t want to hear the crunch of my tires on newly fallen snow. I want grass and flowers. I want the songs of birds heralding the day and the sweet scent of a spring morning. I don’t think I am asking all that much.

“I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room.”

November 30, 2014

Yesterday I gave the local economy quite the boost as did so many others. Some shops were filled with people. One store, a small one, had too many shoppers. You could barely move or even get close to the displays, but I still managed to find a few treasures and some unique gifts including the perfect one for my friend. I also found small ornaments to dress the wrapped packages. I do that every year. It’s a small gift, a remembrance for the tree. The book store was a wonderful stop. I got help in choosing just the right books for my 8-year-old grand-nephew and a couple for the 2-year-old. I also bought myself one. Gracie and I were out for almost three hours. She napped in the backseat between trips to the stores and watched for me whenever I parked. I napped when we got home and so did she. Today I have a few things to get: cat food, coffee filters and candle bulbs for the windows, nothing fun, just utilitarian. I’ll go before the football game.

Today is still grey, but it’s warm, in the 50’s, and will be for the next few days. I called my factotum about putting my lights up, and he hopes to be here tomorrow. Last year it was in the teens when he was doing the lights.

Birds galore at the feeders this morning. There were even a few battles for space. One bird swooped in and the poor bird already perched at the feeder took off in a bit of a fright. I have yet to fill the thistle, and I have a bag of sunflowers seeds to fill the big feeders. From my kitchen window I get to watch the birds. I sometimes stand there for a while drinking my coffee.

Yesterday my Turner Classic movies arrived. I now have 6 different 1950’s science fiction movies to watch. It will be black and white movie heaven. One of the films, Them, is actually a fine movie which always gets 3 stars. The rest I haven’t seen, and they  tend to get one or maybe 2 stars: The characters in two movies, Beyond the Time Barrier and The Time Travelers, arrive in futures decimated by plague and nuclear war. Only a handful of normal humans survive. Satellite from the Sky is another one I have never seen. It is about the outer-space detonation of the feared tritonium bomb, but it doesn’t go as planned, of course. I figure a cold night, a howling wind, popcorn and maybe malted milks balls will make for a perfect evening to view those old science fiction B-movies I love.

“Rainy days should be spent at home with a cup of tea and a good book.”

November 7, 2014

The morning has been a busy one already. First I was awakened by the ungodly sound of the alarm ringing at 7:30. I know it seems silly that I need an alarm for 7:30, but for me that is still early morning. I groaned out of bed, shuffled down the stairs and went to get the papers. I had my coffee, a necessity that early, and read the papers. I then got dressed and left as I started physical therapy this morning. My back or rather my hip has been horrific with painful spasms at night. I am rudely awakened by a woman howling in pain. Shockingly I am the screamer. The doctor decided physical therapy might help so I started my two days a week today.

Gracie is herself. The last test determined she has an irregular heartbeat, but they still don’t know what happened. The vet speculated that her blood pressure went down when she had multiple irregular heartbeats in a row and that caused her to fall. There were two other possibilities but the vet thinks this is the reason. Gracie is starting today on fish oil and some pills from the pharmacy to maintain her heartbeat. In a week and a half she’ll have a second test on her heart. I watch her all the time. One of my Boxers had cardiomyopathy so I worry about Miss Gracie. The vet doesn’t seem to think so, but they didn’t think Maggie did either. In a bit Gracie and I are heading to the dump. The vet called too late to go yesterday.

It is dark, ugly, damp and cold today. It’s a jacket or heavy sweatshirt weather. I didn’t wear one this morning, and I was cold.  I think it is a perfect stay in the house day, wear comfy clothes, read and have a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch. I might even make meatloaf and mashed potatoes tonight. I’m in a comfort food mode.

Sunny days lend themselves to activities, to being outside, to taking in all that vitamin D. Dark days are an excuse for staying home and being comfortable. Black and white horror movies should be on the TV. The house should smell like popcorn. I’m going to post my music, take Gracie to the dump, pick up her pills then come home and enjoy being cozy and comfy. I’ll bring out the afghan and lie on the couch. I suspect Gracie will lie with me. I see a nap in both our futures.

“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.”

July 18, 2014

Today is the sort of day Adam and Eve gave up when they ate fruit for lunch. The morning is cool and there’s no humidity. The sun is sharp bright and everything seems to pop in the light. The breeze is just right. I stood on the deck for a while and watched the birds, so many birds at the feeders I filled.

I never left the house yesterday. Truth to tell, I never even got dressed. It was just that sort of a day, one which lent itself either to pure leisure or sloth. You can decide which it was. I choose leisure. It has a more pleasant connotation. I did at least make my bed which gave me a sense of accomplishment. Everything is relative.

My dance card is empty today. That’s fine with me as I have settled into a summer mode of living. The deck is my go-to-it spot, and I love a little nap in the afternoon. Meals are catch as catch can, whatever I can scrounge from the refrigerator. I’m not fussy. It’s a permanent summer vacation.

My eye is swollen and has a bump right below the corner. I’m thinking a bite of some sort, maybe a spider. It’s creepy to think that while I was sleeping something was crawling on my face looking for dinner. If this were a science fiction movie, that bump would be where the man-eating spiders are gestating. The bump would get bigger, start to pulsate and a hungry brood would emerge looking for food, and there I’d be. The plot has more to it, but I’ll leave the rest up to your imaginations. Just think open mouth screaming and go from there.

I was never afraid of snakes or bugs when I was growing up. I was curious more than anything though I do admit to screaming in pain when I got bitten by a bee on the top of my head. The most amazing bug I ever saw was a centipede. It was walking down a tree trunk near where I was sitting behind my house in Ghana. If I had been Ghanaian, I would have grabbed it, roasted it and eaten it with soup.

Around here there are no spectacular bugs. I’m not sure whether I should be glad or disappointed.

“Strangely enough, I really think that shoes are a communication tool between people.”

October 25, 2013

My Red Sox lost last night done in by their own errors just as St. Louis had been in the first game. The next game isn’t until tomorrow, in St. Louis. Peavy is pitching for the Sox which makes me a bit nervous. His last outing was horrific.

The house was cold when I woke up this morning so I turned on the heat. Now it is nice and cozy. Last night must have been chilly as Fern and Gracie were huddled beside me on the down comforter. Maddie was asleep in the guest room, her favorite spot. Now all three animals are having their morning naps. Such a life each of them lives!

When I was young, all my every day shoes had laces while my dress-up shoes had buckles. In high school, the school uniform included black loafers, no dimes. I liked loafers, and when I was much older, I had a couple of pairs. One was black and the other cordovan. They were always stiff at first then they’d get really loose the more they were worn. By the time they had fulfilled their usefulness, they were as loose as slippers. My school loafers  periodically needed new heels and soles so my dad would bring them to the cobbler in the square. In the meantime, I’d wear old loafers saved for such shoe repair emergencies. My dad would polish them for me. He used Kiwi polish, and the first thing he did was spit in the can to moisten the hard, dry polish. He always used the same rag to polish the shoes, and it was covered in brown and black stains. After the shoes were polished, they were left to dry, in pairs, then my dad would brush them so much they shined almost like new. His shoe polishing supplies were in the drawer to the left of the sink. Sometimes when I’d go to visit, he’d have me get his supplies so he could polish my shoes. I always loved that. It was a wonderful Dad thing. After he was finished, there was a little ritual. He’d hold up my shoes and ask me if they didn’t look like new. I always said they did, and I didn’t lie.