Posted tagged ‘quiet’

“If I’m out of town and I’m in a situation where I have to be creative, it has to be hot dogs because that’s my comfort food.”

July 23, 2017

The song of the morning is “What a Difference a Day Makes.” We have a breeze. The humidity is much less than it has been the whole week. I have doors and windows open. The air from the window behind me is even a bit chilly. Earlier I did see a bit of blue but now the sky is gray. It is only 72˚ and the high will be just 75˚. That’s delightful, gray skies or not.

Sometimes, when I wake up, I have no idea what day of the week it is. It’s not all that important in the scheme of things, but I admit to being somewhat curious. Mostly what I did the day before is the key, but if it was a sloth day, I have to think a bit harder. It was so much easier when I worked. The days never blended together. Which day of the week made a difference then. It doesn’t anymore.

I was busy on the deck yesterday. I replaced dead with living plants in the smallest pots. I watered all the plants and filled the bird feeders. The birds seem to prefer the feeders hanging from tree limbs. I still need to get the fountain working and put the new lights on the deck rail for the spawns to eat.

I’m beginning to feel like Old Mother Hubbard. My cupboards are bare. When I open the fridge, I’m blinded by the light as the fridge is mostly empty, but I have some cheese so all is not lost.

I think the kids in my neighborhood have been kidnapped. My advice is not to pay the ransom. The quiet is wonderful. I hear only the singing birds. If this makes me a crotchety old lady, then so be it.

I really like hot dogs in toasted rolls. They are best grilled or fried though I’ll even eat them boiled. At Fenway they do both. First the dogs are boiled then fried. I’m not a fan of kraut on my dogs, but I do like chopped onions. I’m a mustard and piccalilli aficionado but relish will do. I like all sorts of mustards though yellow mustard is low on my list. When I was a kid, yellow mustard was all we had. No one ever used ketchup on a hot dog. It was for burgers, one of my all time favorite foods. I, however, am partial to mayonnaise on my burgers. I even use it with French fries.

I haven’t had seafood for a while. I’m thinking scallops or fish and chips. I have to go out later so I’m going to treat myself at Captain Frosty’s. Their onion rings are the best. I’m already salivating at the thought.

“Whoever thinks of going to bed before twelve o’clock is a scoundrel.”

June 16, 2017

The weather is wonky. When I woke up, it was sunny. A little while later it got cloudy then it got sunny again. Now it is back to cloudy and is chilly and windy. It is 64˚ and the intermittent clouds foreshadow the rain predicted for later in the day.

The black and white science fiction movie I just finished watching was awful, which, as you know, is one of my favorite sorts to watch as I find the awfulness of the movie  wonderfully entertaining. From Hell It Came was released in 1957. Doctors are on an island which is suffering from plague and is the site of fallout from a nearby nuclear blast. One native, the prince, Kimo, is accused of murdering his father the chief by Tano, the witch doctor, the real murderer; however, the real reason for the accusation is because Kimo befriended American doctors. Kimo is found guilty and is executed by having a knife driven into his heart. He is boxed and buried where there is radiation which transforms him into Tabanga, the walking tree stump with the perpetual scowl. He even develops legs. Tabanga seeks vengeance. He throws his unfaithful wife into quicksand. Tano decides to kill Tabanga and lures him, or it, into a pit which is set on fire; of course, Tabanga doesn’t die. His bark just takes on a charcoal complexion. I’m going to stop here as I don’t want to be a spoiler, but I will say the rest is perfectly awful.

I brought Gracie outside at 1 this morning. The darkness was almost impenetrable. The only sound was the jingle of Gracie’s tags as she walked. She stopped for a bit in the middle of the driveway and just listened. Hearing nothing, she moved to the gate, and I opened it to let her in the yard. I sat on the steps to the deck. She triggered the lights off the deck, and the yard was lit. I could hear her as she walked through the dead leaves on the ground. Finally, she was ready to go back inside the house. We went out again at 5:30. There was daylight, and there were birds singing. When we got back inside, we both slept until nine. She is sleeping again, and I’m thinking that’s one smart dog.

My mother and father were wonderful actors. They always acted surprised and thrilled by the gifts and cards we’d make for them. I remember popsicle stick creations like a coaster for under a drink, and I remember making a popsicle stick plaque and using macaroni letters on it to express my love. The letters were crooked and you could see all the glue holding them to the sticks, but it never mattered to my parents. They called it a work of art.

My dance card has been fairly empty, but I haven’t minded. I’m enjoying doing nothing. I’ve become quite good at it.

“An optimist is a fellow who believes a housefly is looking for a way to get out.”

May 27, 2017

We have some blue sky and a sun which can’t quite make up its mind about coming or going. It is also chilly, not a morning chill: it’s just cold.

My dance card is empty today. I do have some Gracie stuff to wash but nothing else. Yesterday’s amazing spurt of industry has left me with nothing needing doing except to put my banners and flags on the fence.

The lawns are green and lush from the rain. Even the leaves seem to glint in the sun which seems to have made up its mind and is staying for the duration. I’ll go on the deck later and empty the water from the furniture covers hoping they’ll dry so they can be put away for the season. Next week is buy my flowers and open the deck week.

My neighborhood is eerily quiet for a Saturday. Once in a while the dogs across the street bark but usually at Grace and me walking to my backyard. I don’t know where all the kids are, but I’m glad they’re missing. I’m happy for the peaceful morning.

My around the house cozy pants have permanent creases from sitting down when I wear them. One crease has given way. I didn’t figure sewing it would work as it wasn’t torn so I did the next best thing. I duct taped the worn area.

Some of the best things I learned in Ghana were to make-do, throw nothing away and repurpose. Tires became soles of shoes and sandals. Beer bottles were filled with palm oil or groundnut oil for sale in the market. Cones made from newspapers held rice for sale. In the butcher’s market, newspapers were used to wrap meat being sold. That mightn’t sound all that healthy, but the butcher’s market was filthy anyway. Newspapers might have been a step up. I always think it’s amazing what I learned to ignore or tolerate during my time in Ghana. Water with floaties (our word for whatever was in the water sold in beer bottles ), food from the street vendors or from the tables of aunties (older women) who were selling along the sides of the roads and, my favorite, eating in a chop bar ( usually a hole in the wall with a few wobbly tables and mismatched chairs serving local food) never gave me pause after my first few months of Peace Corps training. I even shooed flies off my food before I ate it and sifted my flour for as many weevils (small worms) as I could get. The rest just became protein. All of that became a part of life in Ghana and didn’t merit second thoughts.

The tolerance and forbearance I learned are forever a part of me. I admit my standards are definitely higher now, but I’m not squeamish about most things. I still flick flies.

“Youth is when you’re allowed to stay up late on New Year’s Eve. Middle age is when you’re forced to.”

December 30, 2016

Today is sometimes sunny and sometimes windy. The big storm yesterday was a disappointment. Not that I wanted snow, but I was hoping for a nor’easter and the loud  drumming of rain against the windows. I wanted to see branches fiercely blowing left to right and almost reaching the ground; instead, it just rained.

Today is quiet. Even the dog is bored looking out the front door. She kept hoping for foot traffic where there was none. She is now napping on the couch.

I went to bed earlier and woke up earlier. I’m working on getting up before nine, okay, maybe by nine thirty.

When I was a little kid, I always wanted to stay up to greet the new year. I seldom did. I’d fall asleep before the ball dropped or Auld Lang Syne played. When I got a bit older, I managed to stay awake but found out it was no big deal. Blow a horn and yell Happy New Year was the sum total of my celebration. Come to find out, all the celebrations are almost the same. Add a kiss and a drink then yell Happy New Year.

Nothing much is going on around here. I scoured the paper looking for diversions. All the local New Year’s Eve festivities were listed. There is an indoor farmer’s market tomorrow and an antique fair on Sunday. None of these tempt me to brave the cold.

In the Globe today was a picture with the header, “Seniors ring in New Year with a bit of rock and roll.” At the party yesterday they counted down to noon. They ate mashed potatoes and chicken. They twisted and shimmied and danced away the afternoon.  That, I guess, is full circle.

“And falling’s just another way to fly.”

October 18, 2016

The morning is cloudy and damp. I could smell the ocean when I went to get the papers so I lingered outside a while. It was quiet. I knew my neighbors were awake as their shades were up, and their paper was gone. I don’t see them much. Thinking about it, I don’t see many of my neighbors. When I do, we always wave.

My groceries arrived right on time yesterday. My fridge is now filled. I bought some plantain hoping to make kelewele. I’m also going to try my hand at jollof rice. It’s fun making something new, especially dishes filled with memories.

I left my windows open last night. I had thought them closed for the season, but yesterday was warm. Today will be even warmer. I got to hear the birds sing when I woke up. They were far less intrusive than that Ghanaian rooster. It doesn’t really matter where I am. I love mornings the best. My dad used to switch to storm windows around this time of year. It took him the whole day. He had to get each window on hooks, and it wasn’t easy because he also had to lean on the ladder for balance. We all watched.

It is from my dad I inherited the gene associated with all my falls. His falls were sometimes spectacular. They were also sometimes funny like the sawing himself out of the tree fall I have mentioned before. He didn’t fall far. He did break his hip on a fall from a high ladder when he was painting his house. He always limped after that. I have been luckier with only a broken bone in my shoulder, and no after effects because of physical therapy. I just accept falls as a fact of life.

“Wisely and slowly; they stumble that run fast.”

October 13, 2016

hinesThe morning again came early. I was awake at 4:30 but stayed in bed until 5 hoping to fall asleep again. That didn’t work. I brewed coffee, checked my e-mail and watched the TV news. When I went outside to get the paper, the air had a bit of the ocean about it. Most of the houses were still dark. My neighbors across the street still had their shades down. It was quiet. I miss the hubbub of Bolgatanga’s mornings. I even miss that rooster.

Getting back to the usual takes time.

Ghana wasn’t my last trip. My wanderlust has only been sated, not eliminated. I figure in three years or so I’ll have enough for a trip somewhere. I’m thinking the Dominican Republic.

The last couple of days have been delights. The temperature has been in the 60’s. The sun shines and the sky is a lovely pale blue. Today a few clouds are hanging around to legitimize the possibility of rain predicted on the early weather.

Fern, Maddie and Gracie survived quite nicely. The housesitter favored Gracie, and all the dog’s treats were gone. The home health aid, the person I paid to come every day to give Fern her medicine, did a great job. Fern looks good though a bit skinny. She has been eating up a storm including lots of cat treats. I suspect the cats missed me. Cats are like that. Either they will eat everything or very little when upset. There were too many unopened cans. They are now making up for lost time.

My dance card is empty for today. I could do a second wash, and I need to water my plants, but all in good time is my current view of life. I had to go to Hyannis yesterday and I have a dentist appointment tomorrow. That is far too much excitement.

“I think insomnia is a sign that a person is interesting.”

August 30, 2016

Most mornings are starting the same way. I turn off the air conditioner because the air is cool. The sun bobs in and out of the clouds. It gets dark for a while then lightens. The animals nap. Maddie prefers the chair, Fern the couch and Gracie her crate. I have a couple of cups of coffee, one with each newspaper. It is quiet both inside and outside.

Yesterday I did laundry. Today we’re going to the dump. Peapod came last night so now my larder is full. Mostly I order the same things, but this time I added a few new items. I bought popsicles. They didn’t have root beer so I went with the combo of cherry, orange and grape. I’m not a big grape fan, but I do love cherry. I also bought bagels, onion bagels. I like them toasted crispy and slathered with cream cheese. I also went wild and ordered crunchy peanut butter.

I had a hankering for Chinese food yesterday so I ordered take out for dinner. It was delicious: jumbo shrimp, spare ribs and house special fried rice. I added the hot mustard to the sweet sauce for dipping. My eyes watered from the heat of the combination. It reminded me of my father who used the mustard straight. He had to blow his nose a lot. It was a good thing he carried handkerchiefs.

Usually I fall asleep almost as soon as I go to bed. Last night was an exception. I didn’t even go upstairs until after one and then tossed and turned for an hour. I gave up the idea of sleeping and watched Netflix on my iPad. It was The Fifth Wave, not a great movie but good enough for two in the morning. It wasn’t enough. I was still wide awake. I watched a few episodes of The Last Ship. By then it was after four. Finally, I fell asleep. I’m tired.

“There is no sincerer love than the love of food.”

August 15, 2016

My doors and windows are open. I have rejoined the world if only for a while. There is a breeze coming from the north, the window behind me, keeping the den cool, and the sun is still working its way around so it’s also dark. The weather report is for heat but less humidity so I’m taking advantage and giving the house some fresh air before the onslaught of the heat.

My life of late has been boring. Staying inside the house doesn’t make for adventure, for stories. I do have to go to the dump, but that’s not a plot line for a good story. It’s just trash.

My neighborhood is quiet. I have no idea where the kids are. There are 9 of them on this street. I’m thinking it’s difficult to hide them all. Perhaps their parents are using gags and tricking the kids into thinking it’s a game. When you’re little you believe everything your parents tell you. That’s why I didn’t eat Chinese food until I was around ten or eleven.

I’ve tried salmon a couple of times but I still don’t like it. It’s the only fish I haven’t liked. No respectable fish is pink and why don’t you pronounce the l?

I make a great chili. It is a recipe from my brother-in-law. In his recipe, Rod has beans listed. For my copy, he also has a footnote: if making chili for me, don’t add the beans. I have never made chili with beans. My defense is that real chili has no beans.

I eat a lot of chicken. It’s not all that expensive and chicken recipes number in the millions. I like chicken thighs and think they are the tastiest part of the chicken.When I go out for a casual dinner, I usually order a cheeseburger.

When I go out for a casual dinner, I usually order a cheeseburger with onion rings on the side, but one pub where I eat doesn’t make onion rings at night, only during lunch, so I order French fries. I don’t eat my fries with ketchup; instead, I dip them in mayonnaise. I seldom use salt, but I do salt my fries. They seem to taste better that way.

My mother told us stories about World War II and rationing. She said they seldom got butter so they used oleo instead. It was white but it came with packets of yellow to make it butter-like. When I was a kid, my mother never bought oleo. Having it in the war was enough for her; instead, she always bought butter. My sisters and I still do.

I remember a lunch at a friend’s house.  She made sandwiches with salmon and dessert with peaches. I ate both of them out of courtesy. It rates as the worse lunch in my memory drawers.

“Sunday, the day for the language of leisure.”

July 31, 2016

It is a still morning. Not a leaf blows on the trees overhanging the deck. Not even a bird disturbs the silence. The day is cloudy and feels close. The humidity is higher than the last few days but still tolerable. My house is 74˚, not time for AC yet. Gracie likes the doors open so she can survey the neighborhood. The cats just sleep. That’s what cats do.

Last night I was awoken two times. The first was Fern meowing and looking for attention. She has figured out that waking me up means she gets her pats. I scratch her by the tail, pat her a few times then fall back to sleep. She is content and sleeps the rest of the night beside me. The second time was when my bed was shaking. I knew Gracie was panting. That meant she was uncomfortable and needed to go out. We went down stairs, and when I opened the door, she was out like a shot. She was back about 5 minutes later, and we both went back to bed. She fell asleep right away. It took me a whole lot longer.

My to do list is short today. I just have to water plants inside and out, but if truth be told, I don’t even feel like making that small effort. Sunday is a quiet day for me, a throwback from my childhood. When I worked, it was dump and laundry day. Now, I can’t imagine doing both of those in one day. The effort seems monumental. I went to the dump late yesterday afternoon with two weeks worth of trash. I have laundry I could do, but there is still laundry in the dryer from last week. I have embraced a lazy lifestyle.

“A single gentle rain makes the grass many shades greener.”

July 29, 2016

Rain! Finally we have rain, a gentle but persistent rain.

I shut off the air conditioning and opened the windows so I could hear the rain falling on the leaves. The day is extremely dark. I needed a light when I read the papers. The only light now is from my computer. The day is quiet. Rain does that, mutes most other sounds. According to the weather report, it will rain most of the day, and the Cape is under a flash flood warning.

It is only 72˚, the coolest day in a few weeks. I like having the doors and windows opened connecting me with outside. I was happy to turn off the air conditioner.

In the paper this morning I learned a new word for a grouping. The reporter wrote, “A flock of purple, white and red balloons was released.” Who knew many balloons were designated a flock?

I can’t imagine being on the road today. Tourists will be out and about trying to find something to while away the hours. Movie theaters and their parking lots will be filled so some cars will be parked outside the lots on grass and beside all the roads leading to the theaters. Souvenir shop owners love a rainy day.

During college summers I worked in Hyannis. It was crowded with people even on rainy days. Tourists didn’t seem to mind the weather. Cars crawled on Main Street in what looked like rush hour traffic. All on street parking spaces were taken. The store with the most customers sold penny candy, now a nickel or a dime. The Planter’s Peanut store also had a line of customers. I think they were drawn by the aroma. Every restaurant had lines. My favorite was the deli.

I’ll find enough around the house to keep me busy. I do need to make a dump run, but I’m not anxious to fight with the traffic. The dump is a few streets and three long lights away and one of them means waiting a few cycles before I get the green light.

A nap actually sounds good for today. I always think falling asleep to the sound of rain drops is the best nap of all.


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