Posted tagged ‘outside’

“Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.”

November 19, 2017

The rain started last night. That just added to the misery. Gracie wanted out every couple of hours. The second time we went out, around three, it was barely raining, but once we were outside, the clouds opened and the rain was heavy. Gracie and I got wet. She didn’t mind as much as I did. When I heard Gracie panting around five, I braced myself but was surprised to find the rain light. It was also quite warm. From then on, we all, Gracie, Maddie and I, slept until 10:30. Gracie was wedged between me and the back of the couch. One of my legs was hanging off the couch. It was then I got up and my morning began.

Sunday is game night, but the game is different tonight because the Patriots play at 4:30 so we’ll watch and cheer on Tom and the boys. My high school team, from the school where I graduated a long time ago and where I worked for 33 years, won big time on Friday. They are 11-0 for the year and have one game left: the state championship, the high school super bowl.

All the cooking shows are giving their slants on Thanksgiving. I save many of the recipes, but when I cooked Thanksgiving dinner, my menu changed little from all the other Thanksgivings we had when I was growing up. To me, Thanksgiving dinner is filled with family traditions. There’s my grandmother’s date nut bread, my Aunt Bunny’s squash dish, my Dad’s favorite creamed onions, my mother’s sage dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy. My mother also cooked another couple of vegetable dishes; sometimes it was green bean casserole and one of my favorites, turnips. There were always apple and lemon meringue pies. I was talking to my sister the other night, and she’s making a lemon meringue pie.

When I was driving home the other day, all of a sudden, the image of my Dad at Thanksgiving jumped into my head. My mother’s table was round but somehow where my Dad sat seemed the head of the table. His back was to the kitchen. In from of him on the table was a dish of asparagus just for him, canned asparagus. I remember the spears were like wilted flowers, their tops hung over. He’d fill his plate with mashed potatoes dripping with gravy, creamed onions and a turkey leg. I still can picture him munching on that leg.  It is one of my favorite memories of Thanksgiving.

“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!

“Don’t wait, just sweat.”

September 15, 2017

It is sunny and breezy, a strong enough breeze to chase the earlier humidity away. It rained last night but not much. The temperature will stay in the mid 70’s all day. Gracie is restless and already panting, a sign the day is too warm for her. I have given her treats, pulled her onto the couch and taken her outside, but she’s still not happy. I can’t take the staring. Maddie too is impatient. She keeps meowing at me. I give her treats but they’re not enough. Both these animals feel far too entitled, my fault I know.

I got most of my errands done yesterday but not the dump. I was gone a couple of hours in and out of stores so when I got home, I was too hot and tired for the dump. It will have to be today as I have no time tomorrow.

The paper explained that older people don’t have the capacity to adjust to temperatures as well as younger people because old people don’t sweat as much, and many take medication that affects body temperature. I mustn’t be at that stage yet as I was sweating yesterday. All my life I have been a head sweater (as in one who sweats not in reference to a garment to be worn). That might already have been obvious to you, but sweater just didn’t look right to me: hence the aside. I’m glad I’m not a pit sweater. That always looks gross to me.

When I was packing for Ghana, my mother and I looked for a strong antiperspirant knowing how hot it gets in Africa. We found one with maximum protection which keeps you smelling great for 48 hours. Who could have asked for more? Well, I used it and ended up with boils under each armpit, a carbuncle, meaning a cluster of boils, a word I wish I didn’t have to learn. I couldn’t even lift my arms to write on the board. I didn’t connect with the deodorant right away as Ghana has all sorts of diseases, but I stopped using the deodorant anyway. The boils did their thing and eventually broke. I wrote the Peace Corps doctor asking for information. He figured it could be an infection or even my deodorant and said to stop using it. I had guessed right. After the boils finally disappeared, I used powder. It didn’t provide 48 hour protection, but I didn’t care. Those boils were the worst.

“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.

“Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.”

June 2, 2017

Yesterday stayed warm and beautiful. It didn’t even rain. I was outside reading for a while in the sun, and before I came inside, I emptied the water from the deck furniture covers so they’d dry and be ready to store for the summer. Today is just as lovely as yesterday, sunny and warm. The tiniest of breezes barely stirs the leaves. I have only one item on my to-do list: buy my garden and deck plants.

Gracie slept well last night. I didn’t. First off, she was snoring while I watched TV so I kept nudging her. She got annoyed and went to her crate where she fell asleep. I could hear her snoring from all the way down the hall. At 11:30, I turned off the TV and fell asleep. Around midnight, Gracie woke me up so we went outside. Other than my house, every other house on the street was lost in the darkness. The star on my fence was still lit and illuminated the way to the gate. After we came inside, Gracie got on the couch and fell asleep. I couldn’t get comfortable so I kept moving my feet hoping for a comfy spot. I didn’t find one: not on the floor, the table or the couch under the dog bed. Gracie slept while I tossed and turned. I’m tired. She’s sleeping again.

I wish I could make things, build stuff. I’d make some sort of ride for Gracie to go down the outside deck steps. It would be similar to those people chairs that go upstairs. Gracie would enjoy going and coming whenever the mood strikes her.

Today is national donut day. Dunkin’ Donuts will give out a free donut with each drink. My favorite is a butternut donut, but it goes fast. I sometimes have to make do with a Boston Cream. Make do and Boston cream seem incongruous.

“As they say, ‘It’s all downhill from cupcakes.”

April 27, 2017

Any discussion of the weather is off the table, but if I ever see the sun again, I’ll let you know.

Gracie had a great day yesterday. I did not. She drove me crazy. Whenever she wants out, I walk her through the driveway gate and let her loose into the backyard. At her insistence, we went out together at least 8 times before dark. Dinner is served in the late afternoon, but around eleven, she started hounding (notice the pun) me. When I ignored her, she hit my leg with her paw a few times. I gave in and fed her. Before she got sick, she’d stand in her crate and poke her head out when she wanted a treat. She hasn’t done that in a while, but she did yesterday. I was thrilled so I gave her treats. She was never satisfied. Gracie ate her dry food yesterday, a second dinner course. She used to eat every bowl of it but hasn’t for a while. She did yesterday and ate half a bowl this morning. I hope her driving me crazy continues.

Yesterday my friend made me the recipient of an act of mercy. I have been home with Gracie so my larder is pretty empty. My diet has consisted of cheese, eggs, and bread. I had only one cup of coffee yesterday morning so I’d have enough cream for a cup today. I nursed a can of Coke as I had only one other can left. I told my friend how conservative I’ve had to be. She surprised me with cokes and cream and a package of green Hostess Sno Balls. I was over the moon. I consider anything Hostess to be a gift from the gods and Sno Balls have it all: the chocolate cupcake, the cream middle and a special coconut and marshmallow top which comes off easily so it can be saved for last.

When I was a kid, my mother surprised us once in a while by putting Hostess cupcakes in our lunches. I was so excited I wanted to stand on my desk, demand attention and announce the treasure I’d found. Mostly it was the iconic chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting and a vanilla swirl. I used to eat around the middle so I could savor the cream at the end. Back in those days, most neighborhood stores had a display of all sorts of Hostess products. I loved Ding Dongs and Ho Hos. How can you go wrong with chocolate covered in chocolate? I found Twinkies a bit boring. Every now and then, I’d have a coffee cake but that was when I was older. Coffee cakes didn’t have a taste attractive to kids. Cinnamon was not a big draw. I never ate the muffins and only once in a while ate the pies, always apple.

I have to go out today. It’s about time I gave up being a recluse. I’ll take Gracie. She always likes a car ride.

“Winter dressing is all about having chic outerwear.”

March 16, 2017

Last night I was freezing though I was only outside for about 5 minutes. It was Gracie’s last trip before bed. She sniffed the air, checked out a couple of sounds and walked around outside the fence. She didn’t seem at all inclined to do her duty. I begged. She ignored me. I begged again. She sniffed the ground, but that was it, no squatting. It was the end for me. I brought her inside. We went to bed. She slept the whole night, but I got up once.

When I was a kid, my room was upstairs on the left. The bathroom was also on the left. The stairs were a quick right turn from my room. In the small hallway outside my door was the dirty clothes hamper and the linen closet recessed in the wall. When I was 10, I walked out of my room and turned right. I fell down the stairs. You’d think the sound of me falling would wake someone up. It didn’t. Either I fell quietly or my family slept like the dead. That is an important memory for me, a milestone of sorts. It was my first fall down stairs, the first of many.

Yesterday we didn’t go to the dump. It was because of the weather. The dump is generally cold, and if it is a windy day, like yesterday, the dump is as cold as Siberian steppes. The wind whips and freezes you to the bone. This morning I brought the trash to the car. I decided to bite the bullet and go despite the cold, 33˚ which will be the high today.

My front yard is still covered in branches from the huge pine tree branch which fell on the lawn. The small stones from my front parking space are on the street and in the garden. They were moved around by the plow. My back yard has several different size branches lying where they fell during this winter. One skinny pine tree breathed its last. Another leans and its future is doubtful. Winter is harsh.