Posted tagged ‘reading’

“God, it was hot! Forget about frying an egg on the sidewalk; this kind of heat would fry an egg inside the chicken.”

August 28, 2018

The air conditioner is a must. The heat is stifling. The little breeze has no effect. Getting my morning papers took a bit of effort. The one good thing was I noticed some buds of the clematis covering my fence have started to bloom. Soon enough the fence will be covered in a crown of white. Also, the white anemones in the garden next to the house are blooming. I started with one plant and now the flowers have spread across that whole side of the front garden. The other side doesn’t grow as quickly. Even the bushes on that side are shorter than the bushes on the other side. It’s all the sun’s fault.

Yesterday I bought some plants to replace the dead ones in some of the deck pots. The plants were on sale. I bought mostly lavender for the deck, and I bought some perennials  for a bare spot in the big garden. Those flowers will remain nameless because I can’t remember their name. By the time I got home, sweat was dripping down the sides of my face. I. was not a pleasant sight.

The heat has gotten to me. I am watching a really bad movie, even bad for me: Piranha 3DD. Gary Busey, David Hasselhoff and Ving Rhames are in it which might give you an idea of how really bad it is. The owner of a water park saved money by filling his pools with water from a deep lake in the ocean, a deep lake filled with piranha. They are eating their fill.

I finished my laundry, a huge accomplishment; however, it still sits in a basket in the living room. Getting it upstairs is a two step process. I’m still working on step two.

When small things go wrong, I am driven crazy. Right now it is the back screen door handle. It doesn’t shut tightly. That started yesterday. I have to take off the handle then go to the aluminum door store to get the right part. Henry goes out the dog door but wants me to let him in. That now stops. It took a while, but I got the screen door to shut. Henry will just after to understand.

My to do list is empty today. I have a good book, some leftover salsa and chips and a few catalogues to look through with an eye to Christmas. My most trying efforts today will be turning the pages and dipping the chips into salsa. I may need a nap.

“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”

January 22, 2018

When I woke up, I could hear the drops of rain. Still lying in bed, I looked out my window and saw a dark morning with a cloud covered sky. I looked at my clock. It was 10:55. I had gone to bed early for me but couldn’t get to sleep. I read a while until my hand was cold then snuggled under the blankets. I fell asleep but woke up a few times.  When I finally got up to face the day, I noticed my covers were askew and half the comforter was on the floor, evidence of my restlessness.

Maddie was strange yesterday, and it scared me. Her dish was filled as she hadn’t eaten the night before. She didn’t use the puppy pads but did use the floor in a variety of spots, totally not a Maddie move. She wasn’t having her usual morning nap but was following me. She didn’t eat her treats. In the kitchen, she started to squat on the floor. I stopped her. She then dragged her butt across the floor. I grabbed her and checked. Yup, she needed a little help in getting clean. I was thrilled which sounds like a strange reaction to having to clean a cat’s butt, but I was relieved she wasn’t sick. I couldn’t have dealt with that right now. She is my one and only. Maddie was fine this morning. Her food dish was clean, she’d eaten all the treats and used the puppy pads. She’s now asleep on the couch. All is well with my world.

The Patriots did it again. They were behind 20-10 at the half, but we weren’t worried.  Okay, maybe we were a little worried, but they are the Patriots, and we held on to that. They scored two touchdowns in the 4th quarter while the Jaguars scored only two field goals in all of the second half. The Pats won a trip to the Super Bowl with a score of 24 to  20.

I have nothing needing doing today. I have some stuff I could do but don’t have to do. I know that sounds a bit convoluted, but it just means I’m choosing to be lazy, a less than noble choice I know but one I love and continue to espouse.

When I was a kid, I was a busy kid. After school I played outside, and on Saturdays I roamed the town. I rode my bike all year including snowless days in winter. I never  tried to be busy. I just was. The only exception was when I had a good book or even two good books. I’d read all day long. Time passed, and I was unaware. I remember looking out the window once and being surprised it was dark. I still do that with books. I read all day and often into the night. It is never time wasted but rather time to be savored.

“In the winter she curls up around a good book and dreams away the cold.”

December 28, 2017

The high today will be about 12˚ and the low around 6˚. The rest of the week will have similar temperatures. I dread going out, but I haven’t any choice. My trunk is filled with trash, I’m out of bread and cream and Gracie is out of canned dog food. I fear the dump stop most of all. It is open land and the freezing wind whips across the recycling area. I think of it as the local tundra. Avoiding it today only postpones the inevitable. Warm weather won’t be here until after the new year.

Yesterday was a day of leisure. I didn’t even get dressed. I read most of the day and was so exhausted I needed a nap.  Last night I had leftovers from Christmas for dinner. They were delicious. Now, only a bit of green bean casserole and some beef are left. Soon they too will be gone and Christmas dinner will be a delicious memory.

I don’t love being out in the cold, but I do love the cold as an excuse to stay home, comfy and warm. When I take Gracie out, I plead and beg for her to be quick, but she doesn’t really need my exhortations as she doesn’t like the cold much either. Boxers have short fur and on their bellies they have virtually none. When we go out, Gracie wears her coat to keep her warm while I am in the stores. Her coat is quite fashionable.

After Christmas, I feel a bit letdown. Everything which made the day special is finished. The leftover wrapping paper and ribbons are stored until next year. The decorations will soon be stored down cellar. The tree will be emptied of ornaments and thrown outside. I hate that most of all. It seems like an ignoble end for something so beautiful, for something which has keep the dark winter nights aglow. Its pine aroma still fills my downstairs rooms.

After the tree is gone, it takes me a while to get used to the house as it always is. The corner where the tree was looks wrong. That’s the most difficult part of Christmas, the end of it.

“I love Christmas, not just because of the presents but because of all the decorations and lights and the warmth of the season.”

November 27, 2017

It was just after seven when I woke up. I would have gone back to sleep, but Gracie was staring at me with her I need to go out look so out we went. I was a little chilly as I didn’t grab my sweatshirt. Maddie was sleeping on it, and I decided one of us, at least, ought to be still asleep at this early hour. Once we were back in the house, I fed Maddie and Gracie, started my coffee, turned on the TV to find out if there had been any jaw dropping news overnight and then started reading the papers.

The animals wolfed down breakfast, the coffee was delicious, there was no big news, and I finished the Globe crossword but not the Cape Times cryptogram.

Gracie has a bit of anxiety. I figured this time she’d be fine as we’d already been outside. I was wrong. When I go upstairs to shower, Gracie waits and watches at the bottom of the stairs. She also goes the bathroom sometimes on the floor and sometimes on the treads. Today she hit both. While I showered, Gracie always waited for me. She used to lie on the bathroom rug. Now she can’t do stairs so she gets upset. I understand. I also wish for summer so I can shower outside.

Today is cloudy and cold. The wind is strong enough to sway the pine limbs. Nothing about outside looks enticing, but I’m stuck going out to an appointment. I’d much rather be comfortable reading on the couch. I’ve started a new series about Flavia de Luce, an eleven year old who enjoys chemistry and murder. The series was recommended by two avid readers so I bought the first two novels. I love the title of the first one, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.

Two houses on my street are already decorated for Christmas. I’m thinking I need to call Skip, my factotum, to do mine. I always have white bulbs on the fence to the backyard. They are the trail of a giant star attached to the fence. The front of my yard has colored lights across the top of the fence. On the side, a small tree is decorated with giant ornaments highlighted by a flood light. In the back, the top of the deck rail sports colored bulbs.

I do love Christmas lights. They brightened the darkness of winter. They celebrate the season, and most of all they remind me of all the family rides we took to see the lights. That is one of my favorite Christmas traditions, and I still take a ride to see the lights. I bring Gracie so I can comment aloud without feeling silly. She’s a good listener.

“Let it all go and enjoy the profound gifts found in your quiet places.”

November 17, 2017

The sun has decided to reappear and the blue sky frames it perfectly. The wind is strong enough to make the day seem colder than it is. I was out early this morning, at 7:50, when the wind was so strong it made me run to the comfort of the car to get away from the cold.

Gracie had her first acupuncture appointment at 8:10. She did quite well. The vet had some tasty, or so I assumed, dog food frozen in a small jar. Gracie kept lapping and was totally unconcerned about the vet and the needles. Gracie stood there until the very end when she decided it was time to sit down. The vet has the gentlest manner and she spoke softly and soothingly. Gracie gave tail wags. We go back in two weeks for another session.

When we got home, I went back to sleep as did Gracie, and the two of us just woke up. 6:45 is far too early to get up unless it’s Christmas or I have a flight to catch though getting up that early gave me time for one paper and a cup of coffee. I’m about ready for another cup. It is sort of my second morning.

I need to go through a few catalogues I’ve saved because I dog-eared some of their pages for second looks at possible presents. Making a list of what and for whom I’ve already bought gifts still hasn’t been done so it is the only item on my to do list. I’m figuring this weekend.

I watched the Celtics last night. I used to watch them all the time, but my interest had fallen back in the lean years. When I was a kid, I used to go to games at the garden. It was a quick bus ride to Sullivan Square then the subway to North Station and the old Boston Garden, the one which once fogged up during the playoffs. The last time I saw them live was about three or four years ago. Last night they won their 14th straight. It was against the Warriors, the world champion Golden State Warriors, and the game was jaw dropping. It was a test of sorts for the Celts to show how good they really are. They came back at one point from a 17 point deficit to win with a score of 92-88. Charles Barkley, never a favorite of mine, now an analyst for TNT, was all over the Celts before the game and at half time. I just hope when he ate his words they soured his mouth.

I’ve chosen today to be a quiet day with some music and some more of the mystery I’m reading, The Crossing Places, by Elly Griffiths. Gracie will have to fight me for the couch.

“Sleep is good, he said, and books are better.”

October 3, 2017

Words are never enough. We can throw around sympathy, sadness, sorrow and tragedy, but none of those salve our feelings or change the situation. Sarah Huckabee Sanders at her press conference said, “And it would be premature for us to discuss policy when we don’t fully know all the facts, or what took place last night.” What more does she need to know? 59 people were killed and over 500 wounded by a man who had legal weapons according to Nevada law. She continued, “And this isn’t a time for us to go after individuals or organizations. I think that we can have those policy conversations, but today is not that day.” We know there will probably never be a day that strict gun control becomes the law of the land, especially now.

Last night I watched a variety of news programs until I couldn’t stand them any longer. I switched to Cozi TV and watched, of all things, The Munsters. Finally I just turned the TV off and read and tried to lose myself in the pages. That didn’t ‘work. It was a long night.

I slept late this morning. That put me way back. The house was cold when I woke up. I’m thinking it will be that way every morning for now on. Good thing I had my sweatshirt handy. I fed Gracie and Maddie and then took care of myself. I’m on my third cup of coffee. I had an English muffin slathered with butter and jelly. I shared with Gracie.

Tonight is game night, postponed from Sunday. It is my turn to bring food so I’m making Mexican. Yesterday I shopped for all the ingredients. That leaves most off my day free. I do have bird feeders needing to be filled, but that takes only a little time. I got a new book from the library yesterday but I’m working on another, the one I tried to read last night.

I’m thinking what I need is a B movie, a black and white science fiction movie from the 50’s. They hold my attention. They make me laugh. I’m going hunting. Talk to you on Thursday.

“All was silent as before, all silent save the dripping rain.”

September 23, 2017

Last night was a restless dog night. I have been a light sleeper since Gracie has been sick so I hear her moving around and usually turn on the light to check on her. Last night I turned on the light at 2 as I heard her having a problem settling in her crate. She finally gave up on the crate and got on the couch with me. I couldn’t sleep so I checked my e-mail and turned on the TV. By the time I went back to sleep, it was close to 4. Gracie meanwhile had returned to her crate. This morning I woke at 9. Gracie slept. I just sat for a while. I turned on the news and still sat. Gracie still slept. At 10 I roused myself from my stupor, made coffee and took Gracie outside while I got the papers. She is now sleeping on the couch. I am still awake.

The wind and rain are gone but the dampness and the clouds are still here. The paper says partial sun today. Being a bit literal, I’m figuring only a bit of the sun will appear. Parts of it will be missing. I’m thinking all of the sun will be missing given the weather right now.

When I was a kid, a wet Saturday was the worst. Too much rain meant staying inside the house trying to find stuff to keep me occupied. At noon, there was always Creature Double Feature. I figure that’s where I got my love for old black and white science fiction movies. I’d read if I could find a quiet place in our small house filled with too many people. I could play in the cellar and ride my bike in a circle around the stairs, but that got old quickly. Sometimes my mother would let us out, more for her sanity than anything else. If it was still matinee season, we’d convince my dad to drive my brother and me uptown to the movie theater. My dad always said yes. He was only too glad to be rid of us. That was about it for a rainy Saturday.

When I was kid, I used to eat sardines. I’d open the can with the attached metal key, slide the flap thing into the key and then roll back the top with the key hoping to get the can open. Sometimes I’d lose the lid when the can was only partially opened. That meant digging out the sardines in pieces. I’d eat the sardines, whole or in pieces, on Saltine crackers. The idea of eating sardines grosses me out now. They look disgusting arranged in rows in the tins.

I have no idea what today will bring. I don’t know if I’ll muster the energy to do the laundry. The only certainty is I’m going to take a nap.

“No rain but thunder, and the sound of giants.”

August 19, 2017

Last night we had the best rainstorm complete with thunder right over my house and lightning bolts striking in the sky above my backyard. One clap of thunder made Gracie and me jump as it was both unexpected and close. The rain pelted the roof and windows. It was so loud I had to turn up the sound on the TV. At one point, around 10:30, the rain stopped so I raced to take Gracie outside. The rain started again only minutes after we had gotten back inside. The drops were so heavy and loud they were the only sounds I could hear. I figured it was serendipity the rain stopped for just that small while. Gracie lasted the rest of the night and into the morning.

I’ve nothing on my to-do list for today. The roads will be filled as Saturday is turn-over day at cottages, and tourists will be looking for something to keep kids busy on a dark day, on a no beach day. Board games can only work for so long.

The remnants of the storm are a gray sky and high humidity, the sort of humidity my father used to say you can cut with a knife. The small breeze does nothing to change the close, damp air. We won’t see the sun until tomorrow.

I remember when I was a kid and the thunder and lightning kept me inside. I’d take a book and find a quiet place to read. Sometimes it was in my room because everyone else was downstairs watching TV. It was dark enough I needed a light to read by, the light on the headboard behind me. It seemed to shine only on me and the pages of my book. I felt safe and cozy.

Thunder never scared me even when I was a kid. I remember being told thunder was angels bowling in heaven. I also remember reading Rip Van Winkle’s thunder was the men in the mountains, Henry Hudson’s crew, playing nine-pins. Either way, it was just bowling.

I love lightning, jagged and bright in the sky. One lightning bolt hit the ground right in front of my house in Ghana. It was magnificent. I’ve never seen the like.

“Mosquitoes, how wonderful! No one puts them in cages or makes pets out of them.”

July 1, 2017

I am late again. This time I can’t blame my computer. It is my fault. It was close to 10:30 when I woke up then I had two papers to read and a couple of cups of coffee to drink before I could face the day. Last night I was restless and woke up several times. Gracie was the sleep disruptor twice, the first at 3:30. When we went outside, it was so dark I had to feel with my foot to figure out where we were: the grass or the driveway. Once back inside, I had to read a while before I could get back to sleep, back to my restless sleep. It’s no wonder I’m tired.

Today’s weather is like yesterday’s but with a breeze instead of a wind. The leaves at the end of the branches are waving but only slightly. I don’t hear my chimes.

Summer has officially started. The house next door has its first renters of the season. I heard them this morning. They weren’t loud but the open window a bit above the couch where I sleep faces their small deck and slider. I haven’t figured out how many are there yet, but I think there is only a single car.

My house is dark though the clouds are light-colored, not like storm clouds. I can feel the humidity. I’ve nothing planned for today but I might switch out the spawn eaten lights for the new ones I have. The spawns prefer red for chewing.

We didn’t have many organized summer activities when I was a kid. The playground under the trees on the field at the end of my street was about the only close place to spend a summer day. The pool was another spot, but it was about as far away from my house as you could get and still be in my town. Sometimes we’d bike ride to a pond in the next town and go fishing. The library was another place to spend some time before leaving with an armful of books. Other times we didn’t do anything but stay around the house.

My mother kept the living room dark. All the shades were down. She believed this was the best way to keep the house cool. We didn’t have AC back then, and we didn’t have any fans. Upstairs was a hot box. It took a while to fall asleep.

My father had an obsession about mosquitos. He always yelled for us to close the outside doors quickly; somehow, though, that didn’t work. My father hunted down mosquitos.  They were his prey. He had a rolled-up newspaper as his weapon of choice. He’d jump on beds to whack the mosquitos on the ceilings. He woke us up a lot when the beds rocked as he walked across the mattress swatting bugs. All the ceilings had smashed bug marks and a few splotches of blood. My father announced each kill, each triumph. He was a mighty hunter.

“To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers is a delectable form of defeat.”

June 1, 2017

The rain yesterday was torrential at times. We even had thunder and lightning. Not once did the sun make an appearance. It was too busy shining in Boston. Gracie and I left for the dump when the rain was misty, but by the time we got there, it was pouring. I figured I was there anyway and might as well get rid of the trash. My sweatshirt got soaked. I decided right then and there I deserved one more stop, the chocolate store, the best decision of the day.

My eye is clear, but I still have to take eye drops four times a day. My other eye will be done June 6th.

The early morning was lovely. The air had a crispness almost more fall than summer, and it had the best after the rain smell, both fresh and clean and smelling of flowers and mulch. I stood on the deck watching Gracie and taking in the morning. Finally, we both went inside: me to coffee and the papers and Gracie to her morning snack. It will be warm today, a welcome change in the weather. I’ve already opened a window.

I’ve got to empty the water in the outdoor furniture covers so they can dry and then be put away. My deck still looks like it’s winter. A lot needs to be done. Plant shelves need to be sanded then repainted. The clay pots need cleaning before they can be filled with flowers, the same with the deck boxes. Placing the candle hooks in the pine trees will take a bit of ingenuity as some of the branches were lopped off during the fall clean-up. Lights on a few backyard trees have to be replaced. They died over the winter. I’m hoping for lots of warmth today, enough to dry everything so I can be outside on the deck reading and enjoying the air. I’ve had enough of the house.