Posted tagged ‘rainy’

“Cats have it all – admiration, an endless sleep, and company only when they want it.”

February 5, 2018

My Patriots lost the game. It was heartbreaking. The game, however, was what a Super Bowl should be and was exciting the whole way through. Brady being stripped of the ball was the end of hope. I did wear my new sweatshirt, now relegated to the closet. It is time to bring out my Red Sox garb.

Today is sunny. It would be warm if not for the wind. The top branches of the backyard pines are swaying. I stood outside for a while when I got the papers. The air smelled fresh, even sweet. It was quiet.

Last night it poured. The rain pummeled the roof. I loved it. I even wished I had a tin roof so the sound could surround me the same way it did in Ghana. The rain dissolved the snow. Only the smallest of piles are on the street corners where the plows had left them. They’ll be gone today.

Maddie is sleeping on my sweatshirt on the den table. She followed me to the kitchen meowing at me while I put my coffee on. She wanted a treat. I gave her some roast beef. I think Maddie is deaf. Even when she is near me she never responds to my voice. I could chalk that up to a cat being a cat, but she used to come when I called. She is the soundest sleeper.

When I was in the second grade, I became a brownie. My mother bought me my one piece brown uniform and a darker brown beanie with a dancing brownie on the front. The gold brownie pin was attached to the pocket. I loved wearing that uniform and could even wear it to school instead of my regular uniform when I had a troop meeting. Lots of my friends were brownies too. We all stood taller in our uniforms. We learned to hold up three fingers and recite the brownie pledge. It was always recited with great solemnity. I don’t remember what we did at meetings, but I remember marching in the parade every Memorial Day. It was my proudest moment as a brownie. I also remember telling my parents that everyone was out of step but me.

“Christmas cookies can’t help but be retro – they are memory first, sugar-flour-egg-redhot-gumdrop-sparkle reality second.”

December 23, 2017

Late again! I slept in this morning. Gracie had a restless night, and I sleep lightly now so I would hear her, wake up and check to make sure she was okay. She was fine. This week’s acupuncture really helped. She’s moving around better than she has been. I hope it lasts longer each time.

Christmas Eve Eve made waiting for the big day even harder. We’d beg my mother to let us open one of the presents under the tree, but she’d never give in. She’d even get a bit annoyed at our relentless begging. My sister Moe never asked. She already knew what a few of the presents were but so did we without looking. Every year it was the same. We’d each have new pajamas and new slippers, the socks kind which I still like.

Cookies are on the to-do list. I made snickerdoodles yesterday. It was the first time I’d even made them, and my nephew, who had dropped by, said they were delicious. I’ll accept that as a valid review.

Today is dark and rainy. It is in the high 40’s now and will get to the mid 50’s, but by dark it will be much colder, down to the 30’s. I always think rain at Christmas is just wrong.  Not a single Christmas song is about the joys of rain. Everything is snow. I figure the only kids happy with rain on Christmas morning are the ones with new bikes.

What I always really hated was leaving all my new stuff on Christmas Day to go to my grandparent’s house. All my aunts and uncles and cousins were also there. The place was chaos with kids running up and down stairs chasing each other. I have a lot of cousins.

No Christmas movie today. I watched Bright on Netflix. Will Smith is a police officer with an Orc as an partner. There are also fairies and elves. I think I saw a centaur manning or half-manning the entrance into the main police station. A magic wand that can destroy the world is the focus of the plot. I enjoyed it. This movie was a huge leap from all those  Hallmark moments.

It’s time to work on my Christmas cookies. The orange cookies are next.

“Christmas time! That man must be a misanthrope indeed, in whose breast something like a jovial feeling is not roused – in whose mind some pleasant associations are not awakened – by the recurrence of Christmas.”

December 12, 2017

Today will be rainy and warm with a temperature in the 50’s, but tonight will be  different. Old Man Winter, who’s tired of waiting in the wings, is coming back to lay claim to December. It will be in the 30’s all week during the day and even colder at night. One night is predicted to be in the teens. On that night, I’ll be cozy and warm in the house with all the Christmas lights glowing and spreading their warmth. I’m thinking I’ll have egg nog in hand, in keeping with the season of course.

It has been really difficult of late to maintain a bit of optimism. I hold on to mine with every muscle in my body especially now, at Christmas time, when all of my memories  surface and help me believe in goodness, generosity and faith. Even though we live distances apart, my sisters and I celebrate together when we honor family traditions. We keep our mother and father close. How could I be anything but an optimist at this time of year?

My first Christmas in Ghana was my first Christmas away from my family, but my mother made sure I had a bit of home. She sent ornaments from our family tree. She also sent a small plastic tree to hang them on. I used the brick-like paper from the box to make a fireplace on the wall. From it I hung the small stocking she had sent. A few Christmas cookie cutters were also in that wonderful box. Though I had never made sugar cookies, I did that Christmas. They were delicious and shaped like a star, a tree and Santa. I found out much later that my mother and my aunt Mary had split the huge cost of sending that box airmail so I’d have it in time for Christmas.

I have many memories of that first Christmas in Ghana, but I think my favorite happened while I lying in bed waiting to fall asleep. It was cold, and I was bundled in a wool blanket I had bought and even still have. At that time of the year the harmattan is in full force. The days are hot, usually over 100˚ hot, but the nights and really early mornings are delights when the temperature drops sometimes even 30˚. On that night, I heard a boy’s voice singing. I think it came from a family compound just outside the school walls. The boy sang all the verses of We Three Kings in a sweet, clear voice. It was the only sound in the cold night air. It brought delight and joy to me, and I knew I’d be fine that first Christmas away. I always think of that boy as my Christmas miracle.

“Christmas is a bridge. We need bridges as the river of time flows past. Today’s Christmas should mean creating happy hours for tomorrow and reliving those of yesterday.”

December 9, 2017

Today is cloudy and the rain has started again. When I took Gracie out at one, it had already rained a bit and was cold and damp. I expected a bit of snow when I woke up, but the cape is too warm so it’s raining. My sister, north of Boston, is getting snow. She says it’s pretty.

Yesterday the Christmas spirit took a short hiatus. I brought my ugly fake spruce pine tree up from the cellar one step at a time and put it in the dining room. First I uncovered it then I worked on the branches which had bent and given the tree more of a bush look. Ornaments had fallen to the bottom of the cover so I put them back on the tree. I plugged in the lights which always stay on the tree. They didn’t work. The strand had 200 lights and was intertwined in the branches. Getting the strand off was a monumental project which frustrated the heck out of me so I went with scissors and cut off the strand a piece at a time. I threw each piece to the kitchen floor accompanied by a few curses. I then put new lights on the tree. After the tree was lit, I sat and looked at it for a while. It was beautiful and worth all of that trouble.

Today is decorate the tree day, and I love to decorate my tree. First go on the lights then the garlands then the ornaments. Many of the ornaments carry a story. A few were needlepointed by my mother. One is a K for Kathleen and the three kings which are on the ornament. Another is Father Christmas holding a steaming pudding. Many of the ornaments came from my travels. Pinocchio came from Italy, the felt stars from Hungry, the tassels from Morocco, the fish from Portugal, a string puppet from England, old clip glass ornaments from Russia and round compounds and Black girls in bright cloth from Ghana. Glass ornaments from my childhood, some a bit scratched, go in prominent places. Other ornaments I found here and there, even in thrift shops. An ugly angel with wispy hair, a gift from mother, a circus lion tamer, a pink flamingo, Mark Twain, Sherlock Holmes and Peter Pan are some favorites which come to mind. One of my garlands made up of realistic pop corn and cranberries reminds me of Shauna, a boxer of mine, who ate the real popcorn off the tree by dragging the garland with her teeth.

Christmas is filled with warm memories.

“Chocolate symbolizes, as does no other food, luxury, comfort, sensuality, gratification, and love.”

November 16, 2017

Last night was a long one. I wasn’t at all tired so I watched a movie, Sink the Bismarck. At around 2:00 I turned off the lights. At around 3, Gracie’s panting got my attention. I have learned to move fast and get her out the door when she pants. I didn’t even stop for my sweatshirt, and it was cold. Gracie decided to walk around the yard to find the perfect spot. Finally, she squatted and the two of us went back inside to bed or at least I thought that’s where we were headed, but Gracie stood right beside and stared. When I didn’t move, I got the paw. She wanted to eat so I fed her. Gracie has me totally trained. Well, we went back to bed, but at 8:00 the panting began so out we went. When we got inside, I went back to sleep and slept until after 11. Gracie did too. When we woke up, we finished the usual morning routine. Gracie and Maddie are back asleep. They live stressful lives.

I have hit the wall, not the famous yet to be built wall, but the news wall. When I turned on MSNBC, I swear it was a repeat. I heard about another Moore victim, Trump’s triumphant trip to the Far East, in Trump’s words, of course, the best trip ever by a US president and the tax bill. That was it. I would have screamed, but I didn’t want to wake Maddie and Gracie. I turned to YouTube and am now watching a Yeti like creature, the Snowbeast, mauling and killing skiers. I find it more optimist than the news. At least you know where you stand with a murderous beast, not so with the tax plan.

I stayed inside yesterday but have no choice today. I have to go out. I need a few groceries and I have to stop at the pharmacy.

Today is bleak and rainy. It was raining at 3AM so I knew what to expect. Luckily, it is warm, in the 50’s. We are in a weather pattern of cold nights, warm days and no sun. I just can’t conjure energy amid the clouds. I need to treat myself out of this weather induced funk, but I’m sure how yet. I just know it will include chocolate.

“A great wind is blowing, and that gives you either imagination or a headache.”

October 30, 2017

Last night was amazing and scary. When the wind blew, I could hear furniture on the deck being tossed about. I could hear the rustling of the leaves on the trees and the creak of branches as the wind swept through them. The gusts got as high as 55 MPH. The rain came heavily at times and smashed against the windows. The deck and the front lawn are covered in pine needles blown from the scrub pines. Small branches and one bigger branch litter the backyard. Today is still windy with gusts strong enough to sway the tallest and strongest branches on the trees in the yard. More rain is predicted.

Gracie was heavily panting last night usually a sign she needs out or is hungry. I fed her a small can, and she ate all of it. I changed the water three or four times, and she drank each time slobbering drops of water on the tile floor. I opened the front door so she could see the rain. She backed away. Gracie wanted on the couch and off the couch. I helped her up and down as she has bad back legs. I was getting testy. By this time it was 3:30, and I had been trying to go to sleep since 1:30, but I was attuned to Gracie and her panting and couldn’t fall asleep. Finally I figured she might be frightened by the wind. I moved beside her and started patting her head and ears and talking gently to her. Gradually her breathing slowed down. She settled and went to sleep knowing I was beside her. That meant I was squashed on half a couch with my legs bent at the knees and was beside a dog with wind problems of her own, unpleasant wind problems, but I was so tired I fell asleep anyway around four.

Gracie woke me up at 7. She was moving around, and I heard her. I keep an eye and an ear on Gracie’s movements on the couch we share as it is too soft for her back legs to establish a hold. I pleaded with her to go back to sleep, and she did. I moved and got comfortable as Gracie didn’t need my reassurances any more. Outside was quiet in comparison to last night. We both woke up at 10. I turned on the coffee, got dressed quickly and drove to Agway. I was out of dog food, an emergency in this house. When we got home, I fed Gracie before getting my coffee and toast. She is now happy and sleeping soundly. I’m exhausted.

Today I have a dentist appointment but only a cleaning.

“The world is quiet here.”

July 24, 2017

Today is rainy and cold. It is sweatshirt weather, closer to early spring than late summer.  My papers were soaked from the middle to the bottom. I have a large front parking space, but the carrier managed to throw them in the only puddle. The plastic cover was useless. Like in the old days, my fingertips had printer’s ink on them.

Gracie had a tough morning. She woke me when she was throwing up. Her head tilt was extreme which caused her dizziness. I grabbed her as she was having trouble walking and put her on the couch. In a few minutes, she had her small tilt back so we went out in the rain while she did her morning business. I got cold waiting.

I find the whole idea daunting, but I have to go out today. From experience I know rainy day roads will be the stuff of nightmares. There will be lines of bumper to bumper cars filled with tourists looking for something to do. They’ll gawk, and their heads will swirl from one side of the road to the other, a mimic of the Regan head moves in The Exorcist. Today will be shop for souvenirs day, maybe a Cape Cod t-shirt or more appropriately for the weather, a sweatshirt. How about some salt water taffy? It is most decidedly not a day to go the movies. That’s for sunny days, for beach days.

I like the quiet of today. I like the dark house. It seems to surround me, to hold me close. I remember being on vacation in Maine one summer when I was young. I remember a rainy day. I wanted quiet from the noise in the house so I took my book and went to the car where I stretched out on my stomach on the back seat. I read all day. The rain on the roof and the windows was soothing. I fell asleep in the car on a rainy day in Maine.

“The family is always the family but during vacations it is an extended family and that is exhausting.”

July 15, 2017

They’d be cornToday is another dreary day, cloudy and damp. Movie night is postponed as it may rain and the deck is still wet from the rain yesterday. Tomorrow night we’ll be watching Gunga Din and munching appies and assorted movie candy. We pause for bathroom breaks.

My old MAC is totally defunct. It needs a new fan, a new battery and a new hard drive. May it rest in peace.

The house next door is rented this week. A car is in the driveway, and I can hear their voices. They have a kid or two.

I went to the library this morning. Traffic was bumper to bumper even on the back roads. I dread the rest of my errands as I have to go on main roads. Beaches are empty on days like today so tourists take to the main roads to find something to do and souvenirs to buy.

We never came to the cape when I was a kid. If we were going away, we went north. My father’s friend had a place in Ogunquit, Maine. It was a tiny cottage in a row of side by side tiny cottages. There was a small kitchen with a table and chairs, and there were beds, lots of built-in beds. We never slept one to a bed as there were too many of us. In one room were two sets of three bunks. It was like a couchette on a train.

The Maine water was so cold only my father went swimming. He used to body surf. We’d go at low tide and try to catch the small swift fish in the tidal pools. We’d walk the dunes. I remember my horror at seeing naked people sunbathing among those dunes. Meals were mostly catch as catch can except for dinner which was usually hot dogs or burgers on the grill. They’d be corn on the cob and sometimes potato salad. The informality of the meals was part of the vacation.

When I reached my mid-teens, the last thing I wanted was a family vacation in close quarters with nothing for anyone my age to do. My father had to threaten me with dire consequences if I continued moaning and complaining. I used to pout with all the teenage angst I could muster.

The last family vacation I remember was the one to Niagara Falls. I was sixteen that summer. Woolworth’s was a summer away.

“You either get Africa or you don’t…”

July 7, 2017

“Okay, I am in crisis mode as my laptop isn’t working. It stopped last night. Now it makes a noise and the battery isn’t recharging. The computer boots but I am warned about the low battery. I’m going to have to visit an Apple Store. I am using my iPad, and I hate it for typing. The keyboard is either too small or my fingers are too large.

Today is humid and chilly, the sort of chill that goes to the bone because of the dampness. It wasn’t raining when I went out with the dog, but as soon as we got outside, the rain started. Of course it did.

Last night the back outside lights didn’t come on. I have to check them, but I’m thinking the spawns ate them again. They ate red lights off the last sets so I’m wondering what color attracted them to this set. I swear the spawns who come here are crazy. There was the summer of the paint eating spawn who gnawed all the black paint off the chair arms. This one may be related.

The mouse trap is still vacant of any resident. It is filled with peanut butter. Either the mouse isn’t hungry or there are no more kitchen mice.

The summer has been uneventful. It is still early, I know, but nothing is planned. Last year I had Ghana ahead of me. That set the bar so very high that little will compete with the excitement and the countdown of the days watching the trip get closer and closer.

When I look at my pictures from Ghana, there is still a sense of amazement. I was in Africa. I wonder if my far younger me would believe I had lived there and it had an every day quality about it. I know I mention Ghana here often, but it is so much a part of whom I am I can’t help but write about it. It shines so brightly in my memory banks. The colors and sounds are so vivid. Going back has only intensified my feelings about Ghana and the wonderful Ghanaians.

I can only hear the rain.

 

 

 

 

“Pizza is like the entire food pyramid!”

April 25, 2017

What a surprise! Today is dank: cloudy and damp. Rain is expected, heavy at times. I’m glad to stay inside dry and warm.

It is my fault. Gracie woke me up at 3:00 AM. She was panting. Now that she can’t use the dog door, her panting is a signal she needs to go out. The reason it’s my fault is I didn’t take her out after nine last night. She was sleeping so deeply I didn’t want to disturb her so, at the ungodly hour of 3, she and I went outside. We both paused on the front lawn. The street was dark except for my house. A few birds were singing. It had rained as the concrete front steps were wet. We got to the gate, I opened it and she ran to her favorite outdoor privy spot. Afterward, she met me at the back door and we went inside. I gave her a treat and we both went back to bed, well, back to the couch. Gracie went right to sleep. I didn’t, couldn’t, so I turned on the TV and watched Hawaii Five-O on Netflix. I was driven crazy. They carry on conversations in the car, and during them, they look for the longest time at each other and not the road. They should have been killed in horrific accidents. The other bone of contention is a small one. They live in Hawaii. It gets hot, but they wear long sleeve shirts with the sleeves folded up to above the elbows. Why in the heck didn’t they just buy short sleeve shirts? Is it a weird guy thing? A fashion statement?

It’s now raining. I can hear it on the windows.

I still haven’t emptied my camera. The pictures of Ghana from my last trip are still there. Laziness is the only excuse. I have added posting the pictures to watering the plants, my only other chore today, but I can’t make a promise. My camera has been sitting in front of me on the table for a week.

My diet of late has been sketchy. Yesterday I ate some of a chocolate bunny starting at his ears and a grilled cheese sandwich. That sounds like lunch when I was ten. Part of the problem is an empty larder. The other part is nothing is appealing. The solutions would be the delivery of a pizza or the hiring of a cook. My favorite is the cook, but the pizza is all I can afford.

Today I am going to take a nap.