Posted tagged ‘sliding’

“The true essentials of a feast are only fun and feed.”

December 18, 2017

Today is cloudy but it’s warm, in the 40’s. Last night was freezing.

In the dark last night Gracie went out and wandered down the hill by the side of my house. I went to check on her in the front yard and found her gone. I got my flashlight and looked but didn’t see her. I called my friends in panic, and despite the time of night and the cold, they came, one walking using his flashlight and the other driving. By then I had found Gracie at the bottom of the hill. She couldn’t get back up. I went down the hill to her and grabbed her, but I couldn’t get us back up the hill either. I kept sliding. Finally I found a route which got me and her to the front yard. We both went inside. She had a treat. I had an asthma attack.

Today I’m planning my cookies and the Christmas Day dinner. I have a method. I write down the name of the recipe, its source and the ingredients by aisle. I’m thinking 3 kinds of cookies. For dinner I’m leaning toward pork of some sort, but that’s just a maybe.

Yesterday’s Patriot’s game still has my heart atwitter. The last minute was amazing. My friends and I cheered, stood up, moaned and screamed. The final play was unbelievable. After a Steelers touchdown was called back as an incomplete pass, the Steelers decided to pass for the touchdown instead of spiking for a chance at a tie and overtime. The pass was batted away, it flew into the air and was caught by a Pat for an interception. End of game!

I saw a Facebook picture taken in the Tongo hills outside of Bolga. The caption mentioned the harmattan, the hot dry season with sand blowing in from the desert which is happening now. During my first harmattan, the back of the soles of my feet cracked from the dryness. I had to tip-toe. I started getting ballerina muscles. Finally the soles heeled (sorry-a written pun looks like a misspelling) into the ugliest thick callouses. I didn’t care. My feet felt fine.

I ate a lot of goat in Ghana. The first time I had no idea what I was eating. It was during Peace Corps training, and I was at my live-in, a three week span where we lived with a Ghanaian family. I was alone at dinner and was served soup with bony meat in one dish and in another dish, a glob of I had idea what. No fork or spoon mean I had to use my fingers. I grabbed some glob and ran it through the soup then ate it. The reddish soup was spicy hot, but I managed. I had to pick up the meat, also with my fingers, to chew around the bone. When next I saw my hostess, I asked why I was eating alone and what did I eat. She said she thought I’d prefer to be by myself. I didn’t. She said I ate t-zed with red soup and goat meat. Tuon-zafe, t-zed, is best described as a porridge of boiled corn meal, a glob. The goat meat was okay which is a good thing as I ate it often. I even found it once here in a Caribbean restaurant and ordered it as a bit of food nostalgia.

I don’t know how I got on to goat. I guess it was mentioning Christmas dinner as that’s what I had my first Christmas in Ghana. It was a feast.

“You spend the first part of your life collecting things … and the second half getting rid of them.

February 21, 2017

Today is lovely, sunny but cool at 42˚. The breeze is ever so slight. It’s morning nap time for the dog and cat. Maddie is 18 now. Gracie is 12. Lately, Gracie has had trouble maneuvering the stairs. Her back legs slide when she is coming downstairs so I am always in front of her just in case. When she was young, Gracie jumped the six-foot fence in the backyard, but now she and I share the infirmities of growing old and the dangerousness of steps.

I could never play a dead body. Yesterday I watched a few CSI New York episodes. In just about every one of those, one scene is in the morgue. The actor is lying on the slab while trace evidence is removed or explained. I’d be giggling.

I’m a slug. I have laundry to do, but the bag sits by the door. I have no ambition. When I was working, I was always busy on the weekends. I actually got more done in two days than I now finish in a week. Time is the reason. I always figure I have lots of time to do stuff so I procrastinate and stuff doesn’t get done. I used to feel guilty about that. I am now guilt free. The nuns would be horrified.

I collect cookbooks with literature inspired recipes. One whole shelf in my kitchen bookcase is filled with them. My first was a Shakespearean cookbook. When I did a medieval meal a long way back, I used many of the recipes from that book. Little House on the Prairie, Hemingway, Nancy Drew, Sherlock Holmes, The Boxcar Children, Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott are just a few of my cookbooks. I love sitting and reading the recipes and planning a menu in my head. I think about colors and melding herbs. I mix and match vegetables. Mostly I have one grand meat dish but sometimes I need two. The table decorations are part of the planning. One meal, inspired by Dickens, had laminated pages of old books for place mats. In the middle of the table were different piles of books. They held the hot dishes. For music, I played an album of authors singing. It was just horrible. I don’t even remember how I found it, I don’t remember its name and I have no idea what happened to it. Maybe it was burned at the stake by my guests.

When I was a kid, I collected stamps and belonged to a stamp club. We met after school and some Saturdays at John Hickey’s house. I filled an album then lost interest in stamps. Besides, it was actually John Hickey more than stamps which held my interest. Strangely enough, my aunt and uncle now live in what was John Hickey’s house. I have no idea where he is. We went to different high schools.

I haven’t collected anything in a while. I’d hard pressed to find room, but if something strikes my fancy, a new collection might just be born.

“Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one, is a life diminished.”

January 21, 2016

This morning I was up at the crack of dawn, around 6:30, as I had a dental appointment at 8. I hate that alarm. To wake up to it again was jarring. It was almost a leap out of bed reaction. I tried to ignore it but couldn’t so I got up, got dressed, retrieved my papers and had a cup of coffee which salved the pain.

I got home around 8:30, had more coffee, finished the crossword puzzle then went back to bed. I sleep another couple of hours.

I have a tale of Miss Gracie and ice, but the story has to be from my perspective though I’d love to know what Miss Gracie thought.

On Tuesday night, the little snow we had turned to ice. I didn’t realize how slippery it was when I let Gracie out. She slid on the top step right outside the door and kept sliding to the stairs where she tried unsuccessfully to get her footing. I tried but couldn’t catch her so I watched helplessly and afraid as she lost the battle to get her footing and tumbled and rolled down the last 4 or 5 stairs. When she hit the driveway, she rolled a couple of more times. When she got up, she was almost falling from one side to the other. I yell her name over and over as I made my way down the stairs as quickly as I dared, got to her and held on to her for a while. I then held and walked her to the stairs. She didn’t want to go up, and I totally understood, but we had to get into the house. I lifted her to each step with my arms around her body and her legs on the stairs. For the last few steps she was okay by herself. She ran inside and I was quick to follow. I checked every bit of her, but she seemed fine. I wasn’t all that fine. I was still scared after watching that fall and her tumbling. I think the leaning from side to side when she first got up was from her being dizzy with all the rolling. I gave Gracie her treat then she turned around and went right back outside and down the stairs to the yard. I figured she wanted to finish her business, but I found it amazing she wasn’t afraid to go down those stairs again.

I immediately hauled the bag of paw friendly deicer up from the cellar and tossed it on the two steps outside the door and the stairs to the yard. The next morning, I could see the sun and the deicer were working their magic when I let Gracie out. I expected her to be sore and limping but nope, nothing. She was perfectly fine. That whole incident was terrifying for me as I had to watch and could do nothing, but she seems just fine for which I am grateful.

Usually I spread around and talk about many things, but today had to be Gracie’s day.

“The bigger the darkness, the easier it is to spot your little light.”

February 22, 2015

Last night it poured. I could hear snow and icicles sliding off the house to the deck. Even the dog woke up a couple of times, listened, heard nothing else and went back to sleep. Today has been a medley of rain and snow and rain again. My street is a sheet of ice. This morning I went across the street to get my yesterday’s mail and started to slide. I caught myself but the going and coming was so slippery I had to keep stopping to regain my balance. Finally I got to a snow bank and the walking was easy. That I didn’t fall is a miracle and soon enough the pilgrims will arrive to this holy spot.

Today is above freezing but tonight will be in the 20’s, the start of another cold trend. Tomorrow night will be 2˚.

When I was young, I thought of snow as a wonder. I loved to stand outside with my face raised to the sky and my eyes wide opened as I watched the snow fall. The individual shape of each flake reminded me of the doilies on the backs of my grandmother’s chairs. As the snow fell, the lawns and branches would get a light covering, but I could still see the tops of the grasses taller than the snow. The roads looked wet and the snow took longer to cover them.

Newly fallen snow undisturbed by cars or people is beautiful. Tall trees alone stand above the white carpet. Everything else is covered. My favorites are always the fir trees. They have snow but they also have greenery, mostly at the ends of their branches.

The strand of Christmas lights I didn’t take down from a section of my deck rail shine brightly every night. In the storm to end all storms, though they were covered in snow, I could see the different colors shining through. They looked as if they were covered by a white veil. Each night the little heat from those lights melted a bit of the snow and the bulbs’ colors got brighter. There is now no snow left on the rail. Tonight the lights will shine in all their brilliance and push back a bit of the darkness.

“Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice; Pull down your pants, and slide on the ice.”

January 28, 2012

Today is warm and sunny with a sharp blue winter sky. I woke up earlier than usual but lolled a bit until Gracie rang her bells to go outside then I came downstairs, let her out and started the coffee. When I came back inside from getting the papers and something from the car, the house had the wonderful smell of fresh coffee. I could barely wait for that first cup.

Today is chore day. I have a list; I always have a list. Yesterday I did nothing so today I expect to be industrious, but I never begrudge a day like today. I figure once it’s over I get to loll again. That’s my reward.

The winter is speeding by and hasn’t really made its impact yet. We’ve only had a few really cold days and very little snow. It is 43° right now, and the day is still, not even a brown leaf flutters from the end of a branch. This would be the January thaw most years but not this one. It’s become the typical day. Now we complain when it’s in the 30’s. We used to reserve our complaints for days in the teens or ones in single digits. I fear we New Englanders are getting spoiled and may no longer be considered hardy.

My mother and father lived in the city when they were young so we never heard stories from them about walking in several feet of snow to get to school. I don’t remember several feet either though I do remember walking on the street to get to school as the sidewalks weren’t plowed. In those days the plows usually left a thick layer of snow on the streets which sometimes turned icy in spots. Those icy sections glinted in the sun and invited us to run and slide, each trying to out-do the other in distance. Falling was not uncommon and always made us laugh. We’d almost forget we were on our way to school.