Posted tagged ‘outside lights’’

“I’m the nap champion.”

July 28, 2017

The deck is now perfect for summer. The rug is down. The umbrella lights up. The fountain gurgles. The grill is clean, its metal shiny. New white and multicolored lights along the rails brighten the night, but I wonder for how long. When will the spawns of Satan notice and chew off bulbs? I did buy a backup set.

My outdoor shower is all set. The rotten wood plank has been replaced and the inside is clean again. Nothing is better than an outside shower on a warm, star lit summer’s night.

The drip pan under the grill top held a surprise, a squirrel’s nest. It was filled with the fluff I had put out for the birds building nests and fir branches from I have no idea where. It’s gone now, but the fluff is available.

The morning glories are in bloom. They are in a huge blue pot at the end of the deck. Their tendrils are woven around the slats and the top of the rail. One plant is pink and the other blue. In the front garden the hollyhocks are filled with buds. Other flowers, their names unknown to me, have bloomed. Some look like baby Black-eyed Susans. They have spread all over the garden. When I get the papers, I always check the front garden.

I couldn’t get to sleep last night. I turned off the light around 12:30 then turned it back on at 1:30. I decided to watch Star Trek back in time episodes so I went hunting to find when, in each series, they were broadcast. The first, one of my all time favorites, is from Deep Space Nine. It is Trials and Tribble-ations when the DS9 bridge crew goes back to the original Star Trek and interact with Kirk and his crew and save the ship from a bomb hidden in a tribble. I next watched The City on The Edge of Forever from the original Star Trek. McCoy, temporarily insane fro hypospray, goes back in time and changes time. Kirk and Spock follow to restore history. Kirk has to let a woman he has come to love be killed. The last one was The Little Green Men from DS9. Quark, his brother Rom and nephew Nog on their way to Earth go through a temporal anomaly and end up in 1947 near Roswell, New Mexico. Odo, the shapeshifter, had hidden away on their ship. Quark wants to stay and sell technology, but Odo insists, and they escape through an atomic blast which propels them back to the future.

By the time, Quark, Rom and Nog get back to their to-ime, it was almost 4:30, my time, and was beginning to get light. I took Gracie outside so she wouldn’t have to wake me in a few hours so she could go out. I woke up at 9:30. I’m tired. It’s nap time.

“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat.”

July 3, 2017

Today is beautiful, sunny and clear, but it’s hot, already 84˚. Tonight the low will be 65˚,  far more to my liking. I was surprised when I brought Gracie out around 8 at how hot it already was. My AC has been on since yesterday. Last night I woke up and grabbed the afghan as I was a bit chilly. I snuggled, got warm and easily fell back to sleep for another hour or so.

Gracie slept with me on the couch for the first time in a while. I heard her panting around 3 and knew she needed to go out. We walked across the lawn to the driveway. It was just so dark the houses were mere shadows. In the backyard, I could hear Gracie walking on the bed of leaves so I knew where she was. While I sat on the steps waiting and enjoying the coolness of the night, she roamed the yard. After she joined me, we went back inside to the couch and both of us fell asleep quickly.

I have outside stuff to do. The lights the spawns chewed need to be replaced as does the string of lights from the huge star on the fence. Half of it went dead which drives me crazy. Three plants died in pots, all the same plant, but I have replacements ready. I need to water the deck plants and clean my outside shower. My fountain can be connected as I found its adaptor. Gracie will like that as she drinks from the fountain; however, that presents a problem as I love the sound of the water as it moves through the fountain, but Gracie often drinks it so dry that I can only hear a gurgling sound.

Often I’ve been traveling on the 4th. I remember Ghana where it’s just another day. I was in Venezuela for the bicentennial 4th of July. It went by me without my even noticing. It is easy to lose track of the date when there is no set itinerary, no expected times of departure or arrival, and that’s my favorite way to travel. I’m not big on escorted tours. Often the best trips are serendipitous.

I saw a chickadee, a nuthatch and a titmouse taking seeds from my feeder, but my favorite was watching a goldfinch remove lint from the container of nesting materials hanging from a branch over the deck. I wish I knew where she was building. I’d love to see the nest and meet her babies.

“All creatures must learn to coexist. That’s why the brown bear and the field mouse can share their lives in harmony. Or course, they can’t mate or the mice would explode.”

June 26, 2017

When I woke this morning, I had to take a minute to figure out what day it was. Yesterday’s newspaper was what came to mind so today, small paper day, is Monday.

Though the morning has been leisurely, my dance card for today has things to do and places to go. The deck needs attention, its plants need watering and the rail lights have to be replaced. I also have an outside plant to pot. Inside the house is a litter box needing changing and houseplants dying for water. The places to go include the dump and two different vets to pick up refills for Gracie’s meds. I have those listed for afternoon. Some place on that list, I need to sandwich in some nap time.

The day is sunny and is already 75˚, but there is no humidity and a slight breeze makes the air feel cooler. I’ll be happy to clean my deck later so I can get out there and enjoy the fresh air, the birds and the breeze.

We are all old here, Gracie, Maddie and I. Maddie, who is 17, mostly sleeps during the day alternating between my bed and the den chair. She has knotted fur on her stomach. I try to cut it, and she whacks me or pretends to bite me as a warning. Maddie, like most cats, roams at night. Sometimes she sits on the couch arm and purrs in my face. Last night she licked my arm a couple of times. I pat her then fall right to sleep. Maddie doesn’t always use the litter box, but she does use the puppy pads. Gracie, at nearly 12, has morning and afternoon naps. I take her into the backyard several times a day where she does her business and then sometimes just wanders the yard. Rabbits and squirrels still get her attention though she doesn’t chase them anymore.  I, at nearly 70, take a nap in the afternoon some days. On the days I have motivation and energy, I’ll clean or do laundry. I don’t go out much during the day, and that’s fine with me.

I know there is another mouse in the kitchen. I found fresh poop. So far there has been 1 dead mouse on the floor and two live ones in the trap. The two live ones are since the exterminator came. Either they are mouse zombies or the exterminator’s traps didn’t work. This morning I reset my trap with peanut butter. All I need now is one hungry mouse.

 

“The best Christmas trees come very close to exceeding nature.”

December 8, 2016

I think the sun went on vacation. Yesterday it rained in the morning and stayed cloudy the whole day though it was warmer than I expected. Today is also drab and gray. I am so glad that I was out for quite a while on Tuesday, the first sunny day in a while. I took the highway down cape but came back Route 28. It was a beautiful ride. I passed the ocean a few times. It was low tide and the water was still. It had a grayish tone. I saw a wild turkey fly. I hadn’t ever seen one fly before. It took a lumbering leap into the air and over a fence. I wasn’t sure the turkey had the height but it did. When I was passing the cove, the only boats moored, other than a single sailboat, were fishing boats. Most needed paint and had nets and lobster traps on deck. They all looked weathered and old. In Chatham, the store where I wanted to shop was gone. It didn’t matter. I really enjoyed the ride.

Last night my house was aglow. The front fence has strands of colored lights. The gate has a huge white star on top with trails of white lights coming from it. The top of the fence to and from the star is also white. Beside the driveway, bare branches on a bush are covered in huge Christmas ornaments. A floodlight shines on them. My deck rail has strands of colored lights atop it. I added bows to the three wreaths, put balls of colored ornaments in the basket on the steps and put my old sled with my ice skates beside the step. When it got dark last night, I went outside and stood on the street to check out my house. It is beautiful.

I did what I thought was quite a bit of wrapping yesterday. Come to find out I have so much more. All of the gifts are now downstairs filling the den and the hall. Maddie, though, is complicating the process by lying on the paper. She looks so comfy I don’t want to disturb her. I’ll probably just use different paper.

Tomorrow I’ll get the tree, the highlight of my Christmas. I love to sit in the living room just to look at it. Its aroma fills the house. I have a couple of new ornaments from Ghana. They aren’t really ornaments, but they’re big, round and colorful. They’ll do just fine.

“On Sunday mornings, as the dawn burned into day, swarms of gulls descended on the uncollected trash, hovering and dropping in the cold clear light.”

August 7, 2016

Sunday morning is always quiet for me. I read my two papers and drink my coffee. I always call my sister in Colorado at 11, and we talk for an hour or more. That’s what usually puts me behind the time.

Last night I had Chinese food for dinner. I have been craving it for a while and finally decided it was time to satisfy that craving. Dinner was scrumptious, and I have enough leftover for today. That’s a bonus.

My windows and doors are open, but I suspect it will only be a short while before the heat gets to me as the slight breeze just isn’t enough to counter the hot sun. If I were a tourist, I’d love today. I imagine the beaches are filled. Usually by this time of the day even the beach parking lots are filled.

This morning I started watching The Lady in White. I’ve seen it before, but I liked the movie enough to see it again. It takes place in 1962 at Halloween. The Lady is a ghost. The main character, Frankie, witnesses a murder in his class cloak room which had taken place 10 years earlier. The rest of the movie hinges on that event. When I saw the beginning of the movie this time, I hadn’t remembered how it started. I did remember the rest. That a ghost is an important character doesn’t bother me at all. She is woven into the plot and is as important a character as Frankie.

I have a few outside things to do this afternoon like water the plants on the deck, clean the outside shower before I take one later and check the connections to my lights on the deck and in the yard. None of the lights go on though they’re still connected to timers. One set is on the rail of the deck and two other sets are coiled around trees in the yard. My friend misses the lights and so do I.

Today is dump day. I imagine Gracie will be excited when she sees me hauling the trash bags to the car. I’ll have to open the doors and start the AC before I put her into the car or she’ll pant. Her window has to be open despite the air as she needs to smell the world as we travel. I totally understand.

 

“Housework is a treadmill from futility to oblivion with stop-offs at tedium and counter productivity.”

March 30, 2015

Yesterday was a gold star day. I was busier than I have been in a long time. Maybe the weather prompted all the industry, maybe boredom. It’s difficult to decide. I emptied the litter boxes then checked the fridge for expired foods, packed the trash and recycle bags into the trunk then Gracie I went to the dump. My thinking had been to go late figuring the dump would be quiet. Wrong! It was filled with cars waiting their turns to get near the bins. We were lucky and didn’t have to wait long. When I got home, I filled three bird feeders and two suet feeders. This morning the birds were back. I watched them from my kitchen window. The regulars, chickadees, nuthatches, goldfinches, titmice and woodpeckers, flew in and out grabbing seeds every time. The woodpecker stayed a while eating suet. A gray spawn ran up and down the deck rail but didn’t go at the feeders. He was looking for spilled seeds. Yesterday afternoon I fixed all the timers so the outside decorative lights come on and go off at a decent time, not three in the morning. I did two loads of wash and didn’t leave a load in the dryer, so unlike my usual habit of letting a load sit for a week or two. This time I folded them and even put them away.

All that industry still perplexes me. Usually I plan those chores over a few days or even not at all. I don’t like to tire myself. Today I was thinking of cleaning out the cabinet but I was able to stop myself in time. Maybe I have caught the spring cleaning bug. I know I wasn’t immunized against that one. I guess I’ll have to use self-control.

When I was a kid, I didn’t have any chores to do. My mother pretty much did everything. She made my bed every day and did all the cooking and all the dishwashing. Sometimes I’d help clear the table, but that was it and it was voluntary. I never thought about it. That was the way it was in my house. My brother emptied the basket. That was his chore. He complained of inequality but nobody listened. I think it was sort of idyllic.

The day is decidedly ugly: damp, cold and grey. Showers are a possibility. My dance card is filled this week. Today is my only sloth day, and I’m taking full advantage. I figure I deserve it.

“Of course life is bizarre, the more bizarre it gets, the more interesting it is. The only way to approach it is to make yourself some popcorn and enjoy the show.”

March 29, 2015

Yellow and purple crocus are almost blooming in the garden. I now believe in spring.

Snow is still on the deck, but I could get to the bird feeders for the time in months. I am so happy to feed the birds again and will welcome their return. I just hope the red spawn has forgotten about me as it hasn’t been around since the seeds disappeared. Maybe he found better offerings elsewhere. With the snow nearly gone, I have a few outside chores to do. I have a metal holder for string and lint and yarn which hangs from the tree. The birds grab the construction material to help with building their nests. That has to go up yet. The lights on the backyard trees go on and off at weird times because the electricity died for a few hours this winter and I could never get to the timer to reset the clock. That I’ll do today. These are fun chores, spring chores, snowless chores.

My father used to make us popcorn. He always used the big pot with the lid. First some oil and a kernel or two were put into the pot. When the kernels popped, my father knew the oil was hot enough for the rest of the popcorn. He’d put in the rest of the kernels then hold the cover on the pot and then keep moving the pot in a circle on the stove so the bottom kernels wouldn’t burn. We always stayed to watch. It took a while, but then we’re hear the popped corn hitting the cover. More and more popping sounds meant all the corn was popping. When it came down to only a few pops, it was time to take the pot off the stove. Melted butter was always added to the bowl of popcorn then my dad would scoop the buttered popcorn into four bowls, one for each of us, so we wouldn’t fight over the big bowl.

The sound of corn hitting the lid with a pop, pop over and over and the smell of popping corn are permanently etched in my memory drawers. Even now when I smell corn popping, the image of my dad at the stove immediately comes to mind, and I can see him clearly standing at that stove just a bit bent over swirling the pot.

“Like snowflakes, my Christmas memories gather and dance – each beautiful, unique and too soon gone.”

December 7, 2014

The wind is howling and the trees are swaying and bending, especially the tall pines. I expect limbs to snap and fall. The brown dead oak leaves hanging from the ends of the smaller branches almost look frantic as they blow. The rain has stopped but a cold, grim day has taken its place. The wind is from the north, never a good thing.

Today has no list, no errands. I did bring the laundry down, but it has been known to sit by the cellar door for days. I think, though, that it may end up being washed as I need to go downstairs to get my Christmas cards. Because I’m going anyway, I might as well haul down the laundry. Yesterday I brought up my first decoration: the ugly fake scrub pine I always put in my dining room. It is decorated with old, vintage ornaments and on the top is a plastic lit up star from the 50’s. Two of the ornaments hanging from the tree are small square candy boxes. They have a white string for carrying and scenes on both sides, of the Nativity and the kings. The boxes were filled with hard Christmas candies which usually stuck together. The nuns always gave each of us one as a Christmas gift. Last night I lit the tree for the first time this season, rearranged a few of the ornaments and straighten some branches. To me the tree looks beautiful.

My outside lights aren’t synced too well even though I did set them to come on at the same time. One side of the front is first followed a few minutes later by the other side and then a while after that the deck lights come on. The two front timers are the same kind on the same setting so I’m bewildered as to their idiosyncratic lighting. The back is different, and I’m okay with the later lighting as you can’t see it from the front.

Lots of houses are already lit. Soon enough it will be time for my annual light tour. Gracie gets to come, and I give her a running commentary on the houses we see. A few are must visits every year. One of my favorites is the simplest. A lit tree sits in the middle of a cranberry bog. It is take your breath away beautiful.

“A Christmas candle is a lovely thing; It makes no noise at all, But softly gives itself away.”

December 2, 2014

My house smells of rosemary. I just came from Agway. I needed dog biscuits, and I ended up also buying two wreaths for outside, a rosemary plant for here, two small poinsettias, and I scooped some greens off the cutting area for my outside bowl. It is definitely beginning to look like Christmas. I went outside last night and admired my lights. They are lovely. I’ll take pictures, but I am so bad at posting. A bunch are sitting in my camera.

After 60˚ yesterday, we have a raw, cold day today. I was out before ten as I had PT then I  had a list of places to go and things to get. I made it to all six places, and it took me two trips to bring everything into the house. Most are for decorating though I did buy myself a new pair of shoes. My physical therapist kept telling me I needed new shoes as even the treads were gone on my old ones. At the shoe store the clerk told me I had certainly gotten my money’s worth from the old ones. The new ones feel great.

Cats tend to throw up. Sometimes it is just hairballs, gross I know but not gag worthy. Fern will sometimes eat too much too fast and then get sick. This is the story of one cat and her throw up. I got up during the night to go to the bathroom and in the darkness I stepped in cat vomit and was totally grossed out. I tried to walk without using the affected foot, but ended up with a weird limp.I cleaned both me and the floor then went back to bed. This morning I went to put my slippers on and saw that Fern had left her mark on one of them. I cleaned the slipper but didn’t choose to wear it.

I have one small errand to do later, but I’m going to read a bit and have lunch. My book is a Clive Cussler. I find his fun to read. I don’t have to think a lot about the plot or the characters. They are perfect for when I put my feet up, brew a new pot of coffee and just relax.

“The rooms were very still while the pages were softly turned and the winter sunshine crept in to touch the bright heads and serious faces with a Christmas greeting.”

December 1, 2014

You might wonder where I have been all day. It is quite a story. The guys came to put up the lights. First thing was they broke the floodlight by dropping it on the floor in the hall. They couldn’t find the dustpan, but I was assured they had cleaned up the shards without it. I was skeptical for good reason as later I found several pieces, and I also found the dustpan they couldn’t. It was on the stairs, and they went right by it several times. The next problem was an order I had placed on-line with Amazon. I love Amazon and have bought many items from them, and this is the first glitch. Yesterday they verified my order by e-mail. Today I found another e-mail from Macy’s that they had sent my order. I hadn’t ordered from them. They were sending similar items, not quite the same and not the right number and the cost was higher. I called Amazon. They are flummoxed. The man I spoke to for a long time said that order was not given to Macy’s and is coming directly from Amazon. All the information I had given Amazon was there. The guy thought it could be a scam, and I have a virus. The e-mail was not a scam, and I explained about my MAC, but the tech guy just couldn’t figure out why the Macy’s order and wanted me to run a virus scan. I had to download Norton and am running it now, but there won’t be a virus. Amazon is on this as they haven’t ever seen anything like it before. They told me to have my sister, the recipient of the order, refuse the Macy’s order. I had an another problem with a different company but that was far more easily solved. I’m exhausted and I haven’t done a darn thing.

Today is beautifully warm with muted sun. I’ve been on the deck a couple of times just to enjoy the day and will go out again to fill the feeders. Gracie has been outside a good part of the day. She didn’t even take her morning nap.

I am so excited my Christmas lights will be lit tonight. I’ll go outside just to admire the house. Later I’ll bring up the dining room tree, the scraggly scrub pine I always put in the corner and decorate with vintage ornaments. The house will be a multi-day task, a few things at a time. I get excited when this time of year rolls around. Like so much of my family I am a Christmas bug as my mother used to say. We all caught it from her, and we’ll all glad we did.