Posted tagged ‘popcorn’

“Every flower blooms at its own pace.”

August 21, 2016

Oh, what a beautiful morning. Oh, what a beautiful day! It is cool and sunny with that clear light of morning. Last night I didn’t even need air conditioning. Tonight we’re getting rain, but not just rain; we’re getting a thunderstorm. I don’t even remember the last time it rained.

I have noticed the darkness creeping in earlier now. We are losing two and a half minutes of light every day. According to the weatherman,  a couple of nights this week will be in the high 50’s, a warning that cool nights and crisp mornings are getting closer. They are harbingers of fall.  I love when it when late flowers color the front garden. The white clematis are starting to appear on the sides and tops of the front fence. Black-eyed Susans are still in bloom. A white flower whose name I’ve forgotten is budding in the garden next to the house. Soon it will bloom. That unnamed flower has spread across one whole side of the garden. When it blooms, it looks so lovely with the green house as a backdrop.

Tonight we are having our first movie. I have chosen Dick, but it is on order from Amazon prime, and they are saying by eight tonight. I’m hoping for sooner or we may have to choose another movie. The main dish for this evening is hot dogs. I have a hot dog machine which rolls the dogs over and over and also warms the rolls. It needs no tending. I’m going to pick up an appetizer or two, popcorn and some movie candy. We have birthday cake for dessert. I’m hoping my friends find Dick as amusing as I do.

I have two errands to do which makes this the third day in a row I have joined the outside world. Goodbye to comfy clothes.


“It’s a sure sign of summer if the chair gets up when you do.”

July 15, 2016

It feels like solitary confinement. The heat and humidity are keeping me inside the house, in the cool of the house. When I stepped outside to get the papers, I gasped because of the thickness of the air. It almost felt as if I were walking in slow motion. Every time I open the back door to let Gracie outside I am blasted by heat. She is out only a short time but comes in panting.

I think it might have rained a bit last night. The driveway was wet, and the outside table was filled with water, but it doesn’t matter. What little it might have rained isn’t enough.

The caterpillars are gone. My deck has very little frass. It has leaves and small branches from the trees but that is easily cleared. When my lawn is cut, they’ll blow the deck clean. I just hope for a cooler day so I can sit outside and read. Saturday night movies will probably start next week. I’ll have to get my hot dog machine and my popcorn maker ready.

My Saturday night deck movies will probably start next week. I’ll have to get my hot dog machine and my popcorn maker ready. Maybe I’ll test the popcorn maker this week.

I haven’t seen people in a while. I might as well be living by myself on a deserted island. Once in a while a car goes by the house. I hear it but don’t see it. My trunk is filled with trash and recycles.

My trunk is filled with trash, cardboard, papers and bottles. A trip to the dump is on my list but not today. The dump is always an extreme reflection of the weather. In winter it is a Siberian steppe. On days like today the heat is almost unbearable and reflects off the metal bins. Even a short stop is a sweaty stop. Maybe the afternoon will be cooler, but that, I suspect, is a faint hope.

“A pleasure is full grown only when it is remembered.”

February 18, 2016

I have amazed myself. This morning Gracie and I were out and about by 9:45. Perhaps that doesn’t sound early, but it was shortly after I woke up and it was accomplished without coffee, a feat in itself. The first stop on our list was for blood letting, the reason for no coffee. Next stop was the dump though it would be better described as the tundra where a freezing wind blew across the open areas. My trunk was filled, but I was quick to toss the bags into the receptacle then jump back into the warm car. CVS was next for Gracie’s pills. The last stop before home was Dunkin’ Donuts.

Most of my favorite places in my old home town are changed almost beyond recognition or are totally gone. I lived there for eleven years. I remember the sights, smells and sounds of that town. While walking in the square, I could hear the pins falling in the bowling alleys below the movie theater. The alleys as well as some pool tables were at the bottom of a set of stairs. I used to peek through the glass on the door, but I could only see the stairs and a bit of the wooden floor where the stairs ended. Never once did I venture down. I didn’t know anyone who did. I only remember the sound.

Uptown sometimes smelled like popcorn. Down a narrow street off the square was a small place where candy and popcorn were made. It had a counter at the front of the store where you could buy the candy and popcorn, always cheaper than at Star Market. They were packaged in plastic bags with only the name of the contents on the front. I didn’t know the name of the small plant which made them. I only remember the smell, the aroma.

Two drugstores were in the square. One was small with only four stools at the soda fountain while the other had a long marble counter and several stools. I could get a free coke from the small one if I was with my father. I had to pay at the other drug store, but it was only a dime. I always ordered a vanilla coke. The soda jerk started by putting the vanilla syrup in the glass, then added coke syrup and finally the fizzy water as we used to call it because we didn’t know what it was. The drink was never served with ice. I used a straw from the metal container to sip my drink. I don’t think I have ever tasted a better coke.

I remember every store. I could give you a tour of what was. I remember the green police box which stood in the middle of the road where three streets met until someone hit it and the box could not be saved. During the day shoppers walked up and down Main Street. Some shoppers carried paper bags while others wheeled wire baskets behind them. At night the movie theater marquee was lit. The stores were closed for the night. There were some street lights which were decorated every Christmas. Even now after all these years I can close my eyes and see it all.

“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.

“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

November 8, 2014

The red flag on my mail box has disappeared. It isn’t on the ground anywhere. I find that confusing. Where is it? Are there marauders stealing red flags as trophies and leaving behind holes on the side of my box? My postman, Bill, would never check the mail in the box without a red flag flying, proverbially of course. I had to put my outgoing mail in my neighbor’s box. He’ll probably wonder why his red flag is up.

Today is sunny with blue skies but is a bit chilly. The sunlight always seems muted this time of year as if the sun’s best just isn’t enough. I chased the red spawn a couple of times earlier, and I picked up the hose so he ran, but the water has been drained from the hose so I have no weapon. I’m thinking I might get a potato gun. Any other sort of weapon would run out of ammo. Potatoes are plentiful.

I seldom go see a movie at night. It is more expensive than those in the afternoons but really not by much. I think it is because matinees are ingrained, a part of my psyche, as I went to the matinee almost every Saturday when I was a kid except in summer when there wasn’t one. Just about everyone I knew went to the Saturday matinee. My mother was probably thrilled. My brother and I were gone while she just had my two sisters at home. They were a bit young though I did take them once. It didn’t work out. I had to take them home before the movie was over. I was not happy.

The food in the movie theater is exorbitant. I admit I sometimes sneak in a candy bar and even some bagged popcorn, usually cheddar. I always buy a drink which makes me look less of a smuggler. I sometimes wonder how popcorn and the movies became forever joined. I’ve been in theaters where they sold hot dogs, ice cream cones and smothered tacos. That seems wrong somehow.

When I was young, I used to buy candy which lasted a long time, but they don’t sell Sugar Daddies any more, and I’d be afraid for my fillings even if they did. Nonpareils, Raisinettes and popcorn are now my three favorite movie foods.

“Everything is ceremony in the wild garden of childhood.”

February 10, 2014

The sun has appeared, disappeared and reappeared. I totally understand why even the sun is despairing. Who’d want to hang around stuck in what feels like a polar weather pattern? We even have a morning breeze making the day feel colder. The dead leaves still hanging at the ends of branches are being blown about as are the tops of the pine trees. We had snow flurries last night which put a soft layer on top of the snow from last week. It wasn’t even an inch, but it is more than enough. I checked the week’s weather in the paper this morning, and it looks as if Thursday may be our salvation. It might just reach 40˚.

Popcorn was one of our TV treats. They were the old fashion kernels. Once one popped, the whole pan had to be shaken or the popcorn would burn. Nothing smells worse than burnt popcorn. My mother was a true believer in butter. She’d melt the butter, put it on the popcorn in stages then use her fingers to mix the popcorn around so you could taste butter all the way to the bottom. My mother had a set of nested white bowls with tulips on them. She used the biggest bowl for the popcorn. Once when she and I were shopping in an antique store, I saw a set of tulip bowls exactly like the ones my mother had. I bought them all because of that popcorn.

Hung across from the toilet in our bathroom when I was young was a picture of a little boy just getting ready for his bath. He carried a brush, soap and a towel and had a halo over his head. His bathrobe was blue and was fuzzy the way old cards and books sometimes were. Santa’s red suit was often fuzzy in the same way. I used to sit and read the verse on that picture. I read it so many times I can still recite from memory. In a B&B in Ireland that same picture with the fuzzy bathrobe hung in the bathroom. I tried to buy it, but the woman didn’t want to sell it. When I got home, I googled the verse and found a metal reproduction. I really wanted fuzzy, but I bought the metal one anyway for my mother’s stocking. She couldn’t believe I remembered it let alone found one. It hung in her upstairs bathroom. Now I have it hanging in mine. The verse, by Mabel Lucie Attwell, starts “Please remember don’t forget, never leave the bathroom wet…”

My childhood lives in my memory drawers, but some of it is also strewn about the house.

“Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap.”

October 19, 2013

Last night Morpheus grabbed hold, and I slept for twelve hours. My mother would have said I needed it, and I agree. I woke up not feeling up to par (another one of my mother’s sayings) so I’ll just sort of wait around and see what happens. The TV is filled with aliens and monsters so I’ll have plenty of entertainment.

I can hear leaf blowers and mowers, the sounds of Saturday. I went out on the deck and the air smells fresh, of cut grass and fall flowers. There is a morning chill I expect will be gone by afternoon.

I do have a couple of errands today and laundry to wash. I don’t feel like doing either, but I did finish the last of my bread for toast this morning, and I’m out of cheese, two good reasons to get out and refill the larder.

My mother shopped every Friday evening. My father drove her to the supermarket as she didn’t drive, but he never went shopping with her. When they got home, we all helped to unload the trunk. It was filled with paper grocery bags. The next few days were bountiful as  cookies and snacks were back in the house though some snacks were untouchables as they were for lunches. Oreos were always a standard. They were everyone’s favorite cookie, even the dog’s. My sisters used to feed him the sides once they’d eaten the middle. He sat right by them on the steps while they snacked. He knew what was coming. My mother always warned us to go slowly because once the cookies were gone, that was it until the next shopping day. We were kids: slowly wasn’t in our vocabulary.

We used to pop corn on the stove in a pan with a lid. It was less expensive than Jiffy Pop, but it took more attention and constant shaking of the pan or the popcorn would burn. My father made the best popcorn. He never burned a single kernel. My mother would melt butter and put it on the top then mix the popcorn around to spread the butter. She then sprinkle a bit of salt. The popcorn was served in a huge bowl. In my mind’s eye, I see a green bowl, but I’m not sure as my mother also had a set of white bowls with tulips, and that set also had a large bowl. When I was shopping with my mother once, we found a set just like it at an antique store and I bought the set. It sits on my fridge and holds all sort of memories.

“Books and movies, they are not mere entertainment. They sustain me and help me cope with my real life.”

May 26, 2013

The house was winter cold this morning. I actually turned on the heat to warm it up. 61˚ is just too uncomfortable, and I refuse to dress in layers inside the house. My cousin in New Hampshire had snow. The weather has gone topsy-turvy. My sister in Colorado had her air conditioning blowing at full force. Hope, however, springs eternal. If the weatherman is right, tomorrow will be 68˚.

Turner Classic Movies has been my go to channel all weekend. World War II has been the subject of most of the films. Yesterday seemed to be submarine day. Today I get to go back to Bataan, and I just watched John Wayne, the captain of a German freighter, being chased by a British destroyer at the start of the war. Yup, John Wayne was a German, but a good German.

I do need to go out today and I fear the roads. It may not be raining but it is cloudy and damp. I suspect people will be looking for something to do, and they need to ride up and down the main roads to find it.

It’s time to decide my theme for summer movies. Last year it was movies made in Boston. This year I’d go with B science fiction, but I don’t think those movies would get a warm welcome from some members of my audience. July 4th is, of course, reserved for Jaws and Independence Day. I am not a fan of musicals so they’re out except for West Side Story. I’ve always liked that one. Westerns are also not among my favorites though She Wore a Yellow Ribbon is one I could watch, and there’s always Blazing Saddles which makes me think of a Mel Brooks medley of movies. Young Frankenstein always makes me laugh as does The Producers. I’m thinking to put them on the marquee. I love old movies, black and white movies, but they don’t have the best sound for the projector, too low for a couple of people.

For the first film of the season, whatever it is, we’ll have the red carpet and dinner, a deck dinner from the grill. I’ll put out my movie signs and get the popcorn ready. All I need is summer.


“An optimist is someone who gets treed by a lion but enjoys the scenery.”

January 2, 2012

Winter is in the wings. The weatherman says single digits by tomorrow night. As soon as I finish here, I’m going to fill my feeders so the birds won’t go hungry. The bird man on NPR this morning said the birds would be at the feeders even more when it gets cold. I’m also going to hunt for the heater for the bird bath as that same bird man said birds need water this time of year even more than food.

Yesterday I was far busier than usual: the list of those accomplishments is long so today I have declared a day of rest as my back is a bit sore, and I’m tired. Today I’ll hunker down and watch the Tournaments of Roses parade and maybe read a bit later, but I suspect by late afternoon I’ll be a bit antsy and will probably haul up some bins to put more of Christmas away.

The new year has me thinking about my life. I don’t think I’d change much about it.

On summer mornings, I stand outside with the papers in my hand and listen to the birds, smell the flowers in the front garden and let the breeze touch me.

The star filled night sky awes me. At the ocean, the sky almost runs out of room for any more stars. I like to lie down in the cool sand and look at those stars in all their wonder and glory. I still wish on the first star I see.

A few snowflakes, then a few more and I run to the back door and turn on the light so I can watch the snow fall. I see the individuality of the flakes highlighted in the light. Sometimes I stick out my tongue and catch the snow.

I love to take a ride with no destination in mind. Out of curiosity, I take streets I’ve never been down before and sometimes I’m surprised by what I find: an old house, a field of flowers, a graveyard hidden by weeds and even a few horses, heads bent munching the grass. Sometimes I take all rights and other times I take all lefts.

I am still hopeful about the world, and I believe the best of people. I don’t think I could live my life any other way.

“I’m someone who believes the only way to see a movie is in a big theater, on a big screen, with a big bag of popcorn.”

June 11, 2011

Today is sweatshirt weather. It’s cold and damp with rain expected. Two days ago it was in the 80’s; today is 61°. I’m thinking of staying close to home. The Science Fiction channel has cold and ice movies, perfect choices for the day. Yeti is now attacking. Keep in mind he doesn’t like pepper spray. It infuriates him, and the last thing any of us need is an infuriated Yeti.

No plumbers, electricians, EMT’s or the like have darkened my doorstep in a couple of days. I think the proverbially black cloud has passed. I pity the person above whom it looms.

Today is a perfect movie matinee day. I’ll buy my ticket for a quarter and use my nickel for vanilla Turkish Taffy or a Sugar Daddy. They always last a good part of the movie. I wonder what cartoon they’ll show first. Bugs Bunny is always a good guess. I, however, am more of a Daffy Duck fan. The paper said the movie today is It Conquered the World. There better not be any ugly monsters or scary aliens as they’ll be screaming girls all over the theater. I, however, am never one of them. I love being scared. I know the back seats will be filled early. That’s where the teenagers go to make out. I always sneak a look at them on my way to the bathroom. Too bad they’re missing such a good movie.

It never occurred to me back then that my mother spend under a dollar to get rid of us all afternoon. I figure she thought it a wise investment. We had to walk up town, wait to buy a ticket, stand in line to buy candy, pick a seat, watch the movie then walk back home. She had the whole afternoon to herself or with my two little sisters. It must have seemed like heaven.

It’s sort of funny, but I’m back to matinees. They’re cheaper and far less crowded on a weekday. I buy popcorn and a drink. The theater is always filled with people my age, just like back then.

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