Posted tagged ‘slippers’

“My wife has to be the worst cook. I don’t believe meatloaf should glow in the dark.”

January 28, 2017

Winter is back, and my heat is blasting to keep the cold at bay. I am wearing my winter around the house clothes: flannel pants, a sweatshirt and cozy slippers. Much to my chagrin, I have to leave the comforts of home to do errands because I didn’t do them yesterday. I just didn’t have the ambition; instead, I watched the last season of Star Trek Voyager. It is sort of sad to know there no more episodes for me to watch. I’ll just have to find another Netflix diversion to keep me away from TV news.

For get-togethers, my mother used to make a couple of dips. We’d have onion dip, the king of dips, and shrimp dip. The onion dip hasn’t changed in millennia: sour cream and dry onion soup mix, Lipton soup mix. For the shrimp dip, my mother would buy the small shrimp already cooked and floating in cocktail sauce. It came in small fluted glasses. Her cupboard had several of those small glasses, evidence of the popularity of that dip. She’d put the shrimp and sauce and some cream cheese in her blender, no food processor back then, and whip. That was it. Party on!

We were never a green salad family. For cook-outs, never called barbecues, my mother always made potato salad, and if we begged enough, Italian pepper and egg salad, my favorite. It was my aunt’s recipe: peppers, onions and eggs and a bit of tomato sauce. My aunt had married an Italian, and she learned the recipe from her mother-in-law. I am so glad she did. I still love pepper and egg salad.

My mother made the best meatloaf. My favorite was when she frosted the meatloaf with mashed potatoes and baked it a bit in the oven so the potatoes sort of looked like meringue. My meatloaves are always different tasting. They depend on what I have in the fridge. I’ve used salsa a few times, and it added a great flavor. What’s great about meatloaf is the leftover makes a fantastic sandwich.

The sky is grim, but I have to go out anyway. I can’t remain a sloth. Gracie will expect to eat tomorrow.

“Of course it hurts, it’s a spanking. How else would it work?”

October 25, 2015

Yesterday, when I rebooted the crazed machine, a new problem appeared. I kept getting a box wanting the password for something saved in the keychain. I’d cancel and another box would appear. Every password I could think of wasn’t the right one. I used my iPad to look for help but no suggestions worked. I finally opened in safe mode and read my mail but couldn’t do much else. I shut the machine down and rebooted too many times to count, but the same damn box kept appearing, and I kept putting in passwords I’d tried before which didn’t work. On one such attempt, the box disappeared and didn’t reappear. Horns blew, confetti fell, bands played and I was crowned queen with a tiara and a sash reading Miss MAC of 2015.

Today is dreary. The air is damp and cold. It’s a day to stay inside cozy and warm. I am just about better. The quarantine signs can come down. My neighbor dropped by yesterday to make sure I was okay as he hadn’t seen me. I assured him I was on the happy road to recovery.

My mother never liked to spank us. That privilege she reserved for my father. The infrequent times she did we had to pretend it hurt, but it really never did. She finally caught on and her tactics changed. She’d throw things at us. We could duck, but that didn’t stop her. She had a tactic for that too. After she’d thrown the slipper and missed, she’d tell whichever of us was the target to bring the slipper back. We knew she’d use the slipper on us if we brought it back. It was for us a no win situation. Bring it back and get hit or not bring it back and get it worse later. We usually brought it back. Luckily she wore soft slippers.

Spanking wasn’t really the main punishment in our house. We were usually sentenced to solitary confinement in our bedrooms, a punishment I loved. Spanking was reserved for the worst offenses. “I’m telling your father,” was always the bad omen. He was the ogre. The afternoon always stretched forever then he’d come home. Sometimes my mother never told him, and we could breathe again. Other times she was so angry she told him and I swear she always embellished the story. He never spanked us so long after the incident, but he did find ways to punish us, usually taking away something we loved or grounding us so we’d miss something we had been looking forward to. I always preferred my mother and her slipper.

“Possible outfits rolled in her head like a slot machine in Atlantic City.”

October 7, 2014

Today is the best of fall with a warm breeze, a sunlit light blue sky and scattered clouds for contrast. The temperature should reach 70˚. It is a day to be out and about. I have a couple of errands including getting Miss Gracie’s nails trimmed, and she’ll be glad for the ride. I’ll also take her with me to the library as I can park the car in the shade. After that, she’ll stay home while I finish the rest of my list. It won’t take long.

When I was a kid, old people had a particular style of dress. I never once saw my grandmothers wearing pants. They both wore flowery house dresses lacking any particular style. They always wore hosiery though one grandmother used to roll hers down to her ankles. She mostly wore slippers with the backs flattened by her feet. In the kitchen, both always wore full aprons, the ones with bibs. Those too were flowery, and the flowers were always small. One grandmother was very tall and the other was very short, under five feet. The tall grandmother stooped. I always guessed it was because my grandfather was much shorter than she was. When I watched All in the Family, Edith reminded me of that tall grandmother.

My grandfathers mostly wore suits. They each wore a topcoat in the winter and a fedora every season. One grandfather always wore white shirts, even around the house. He was my mother’s father, and every year for Christmas some of his gifts from her were white shirts. Once in a while my other grandfather wore casual clothes, mostly when he did yard work. I remember his maroon jacket with a gold zipper. It was worn only in the yard, not in public. Later, after my grandfather had passed away, my father wore that jacket. He didn’t mind wearing it in public. I have a picture in my mind’s eye of my dad wearing it while he was standing next to a pile of burning leaves.

I am glad there is no longer an older lady’s dress code though I do admit two of the dresses I have are flowery.

“My last two girlfriends were named Anna, though the second one spelled her name backwards. So instead of Anna, it was spelled Anna, and that’s how I came to tell the two apart.

June 28, 2014

Today I was going to beg off from Coffee. I woke up with a headache, Gracie is barking at the world and I’m cold. Yup, I am also whining. The house is so cold my furnace would have gone on this morning. I even put on some socks and a sweatshirt. I really do miss my slippers, but they are gone now, gone where slippers go when they are passed their prime.

I got to thinking about names this morning. Who knows why? My brain just takes off on its own sometimes and brings me along for the ride. When I was growing up, there were, counting me, three Kathleen’s in my class and two or three Catherine’s. Mary by itself or combined with Alice or Ann was well represented. Patricia was a big one, and they were all either Pat or Patty, not a Trish among them and not one Patty with an i instead of a y. Susan, Donna and Carol rounded out many of the rest of the names of my classmates. My friend Maria was the only Maria, and there was only one Beatrice. My two best high school friends were Bobby and Jimmy. Add David, John, Michael and Tommy, and those were the names of most of the boys in my class. There was only one Henry, and he was called Henny.

It strikes me funny when nicknames are longer than the full names. Johnny is one of them and Pauly is another. I guess John is just too pedestrian. Nicknames also had to end in y, a rule of thumb back then. Think Billy, Larry, Ronny, Ricky or Joey. I knew them all. They were all in my class.

Now there are no rules for names. Make up one if you want. Name your kid after a city, maybe even the one where he or she was conceived, or after a planet or whatever strikes your fancy. If you’re a celebrity, be cutesy or even a bit strange. Think North West, Bodhi Rain and Cricket. I don’t know about you but I’d hate to be named after a bug. Hello, I’m mosquito!

My grand-nephews are Ryder, son of my nephew Ryan, and Declan, son of my niece Sarah. I have another grandnephew arriving in August and a grandniece in late July. Declan’s brother will be Jackson with the middle name George and will be called Jack a popular name in itself. Ryder’s sister will be Georgina, an uncommon name, and will be called Georgie. I like that. Both are named after my father. I like that part the most.

It’s easier to put on slippers than to carpet the whole world.

April 3, 2014

The day is bright and sunny and framed by a clear blue sky. It is a bit chilly but I don’t care. It’s the sun that matters.

Today is a stay home day, a day for the mundane. The wash sits in the hall waiting to go down stairs, the watering can for the plants is on the counter, the litter is by the door where the litter boxes are and the clean sheets are by the bed. I’ll stay in my grubbies all day. It’s that sort of a day.

I forgot to switch from slippers to shoes when I went out the other day. My slippers are a bit worse for wear. Each one has a hole in the toe, the right slipper’s hole being much larger. They fit fine so I don’t know why the holes. I figured it is old lady syndrome though I really don’t think of myself as an old lady. I remember my grandmother wearing her house dress covered by an apron and wearing slippers with the backs down and stockings rolled around her ankles. My other grandmother would never have worn slippers or had stockings rolled around her ankles. She also wore a fancier dress usually flowered, never a house dress, and she smelled like lilacs. This grandmother was not my favorite. My other grandmother always had spaghetti on the stove and cheese you had to grate yourself on the table. She had eight kids and six of the eight were married, and we were all there every holiday to visit, cousins galore. My grandmother had chocolate bunnies for us each Easter and a present every Christmas. My grandfather hid in his bedroom from all the bedlam, but he used to give us dimes if we dropped into say hello. He kept a pile of them on the table beside his bed. My other grandfather was an imposing figure with whom we had little interaction. He was not a favorite either.  It was the slippers which brought all this to mind.

“We move in and out of darkness and light all our lives. Right now I’m pleased to be in the light.”

March 4, 2014

The sun is intermittent in a cloudy sky. Right now we’re at 27˚. Last night was even colder, in the low teens, but the hope for spring is not yet lost: it may be buried in the snow but a glimmer of it survives. Supposedly Friday and Saturday will be in the 40’s, but I have become skeptical of weather predictions. This one, however, I need to believe for the sake of my psyche. I need a respite from winter. I need a day with the warm sun on my face.

This feels like the longest of winters. The snow falls, covers everything then melts so we can see the grass and the garden then it snows again. The amount of snow doesn’t matter any more. It is the mere act of snowing which has made this an intolerable winter. The 1 and 1/2 inches we got on Sunday aren’t much in the scheme of things, but it covered everything yet again. I have to terms with the cold but not with the snow.

I seem to be wearing an inside the house uniform every day. It is always my slippers with socks, flannel pants and a sweatshirt. Today I switched to my Italia sweatshirt friends brought me from Italy and my Christmas flannel pants covered in wrapped presents. The colors of the presents are bright and I needed some brightness.

All over my house are strands of lights which I plug in most nights. The kitchen has lights inside scallop shells and a swag of red pepper lights hanging from a shelf. The living room has lights in a gourd and around branches in a huge vase. The dining room has a set of lights around a shelf. The bathroom has a snowflake night light which, given my attitude toward snow, is a generous gesture. The den where I spend most of my time just has regular lamps as I need the light. In those other rooms, no lamps are lit. The strings of lights are enough. The rooms feel cozy and the lights reflect on the ceilings. Before I go to bed, I go around and pull out the plugs. It is my last nightly ritual. When Gracie and Fern, the cat, see what I’m doing, they both head to the stairs and wait there for me so we can all go upstairs to bed together.

“Cold! If the thermometer had been an inch longer we’d have frozen to death.”

December 5, 2011

Today is warm; it’s 56°. That’s not winter the way it should be with Christmas only three weeks away. I remember walking to school this time of year bundled against the wind and the cold. My head was covered; my legs were encased in snow pants under my skirt and my fingers were barely warm inside my mittens. A scarf  kept my face from the worst of the wind, but the walk to school was always a cold one. It was actually a relief to arrive at school and hear the hiss of radiators as we stood in the cloakroom and shed our outer skins.

At the foot of my bed was a radiator. Above it was a window. The window was never very good at keeping out the cold nor was the radiator much better at keeping my room warm. Often, on a freezing winter morning, the inside bottom panes of the glass were covered with frost. I remember taking my fingernail and using it to write my name across the frost. We wore flannel pajamas to bed and always had slipper socks to keep our feet warm on the cold floors. I still wear slipper socks. I like the sound the soles make on the floor, that scuffing sound. Every Christmas we always got a new pair. Back then the slipper socks were all grey with brown leather soles. Now they come in every color.

We used to run to be the first to turn on the window lights. You had to turn the bulb as there was no switch. Back then our living room was the only one with window lights. My favorite was the one with five bulbs which always went in the picture window. The bases of all the lights were plastic, and when the bulbs were added, they sometimes got top-heavy. My father used to tape the bases to the window sill so the lights wouldn’t fall off. Sometimes they did anyway and the bulbs would shatter. I remember the small pieces of an orange bulb all over the floor.

Each night one of us had to crawl under the tree to the outlet to plug in the main cord to the lights. I remember there were lots of cords attached to one another, but we never had a problem with the cords or the fuses. I do remember a few times when the tree fell. It always fell slowly loaded down as it was with lights and ornaments. My dad would lift up the tree, one of us would hold it by the trunk, and he’d lie down on his stomach to tighten the screws in the base. That didn’t always work and the tree would sometimes fall again. My dad’s solution was always a hammer, some wire and some nails, never a bigger tree stand. I think he enjoyed the challenge.

“When the bold branches Bid farewell to rainbow leaves – Welcome wool sweaters.”

November 8, 2011

Glorious comes to mind in describing today. It is warm and beautiful. Earlier, at 9, I had a library board meeting then came home and went to the deck and filled the bird feeders. I then stayed outside a while in the sunshine and watched Gracie in the yard. She is enjoying the day as much as I am.

Lately I have had the urge to bake and have been going through cookbooks. I always used to bake, more during the holidays of course, but I would also spend a Saturday in the kitchen making my favorite chocolate cake, the family’s whoopie pie recipe or some cookies I might have been waiting to try. I think I’m going to bake this week. I want the house to fill with all those wonderful aromas wafting from the oven. Maybe I’ll give pumpkin whoopie pies a try. I’ll let you know.

The older I get, the more the cold and heat bother me. I think I am becoming a spring and fall person, especially a fall person. My sister chuckled that in all my pictures from Ghana, my head was soaked from sweat. She was absolutely right. This time of year I never used to wear a sweatshirt around the house or socks on my feet, but now I wear them all the time. Oddly enough, though, I don’t wear a winter coat. My sweatshirt seems to suffice, and besides, I am seldom out long enough to feel the cold. It’s a run from the house to the car or the store to a car.

At night, in winter, the animals and a quilt keep me more than warm enough. I wear a t-shirt to bed and though the temperature is set at 62° I am never cold.

My heat is programmed so when I get up the house is warm, but I still put on my flannel pants, my sweatshirt and my socks and slippers., and now I’m beginning to think I might have to add mittens to my winter ensemble.

“Old age is the most unexpected of all the things that happen to a man.”

February 12, 2011

The sun was here earlier but now it’s gone.  Somehow its presence made the morning seem warmer even though it is still the winter sun. Only a gray sky with a small of patch of blue is left. Tomorrow is supposed to be in the 40’s. It will seem like summer.

Saturday, when I was a kid, was always the best day because Sunday, another day off from school, was next and Saturday morning TV was spectacular. When I got older, into my teens, Saturday was sleep-in day and still the best day of the week. When I became an adult living on my own, Saturday was chore and errand day. Its only saving grace was I could still sleep-in. It was about then Friday started edging Saturday as the favorite day because it meant no work for two whole days. I have no favorite days now, but I still harbor a tinge of dislike for Mondays, leftover from so many years of working.

The other day I had to do a quick errand, a one stop errand. It only took me about 15-20 minutes. When I got home, I realized I had left my slippers on. Granted, a quick look would say clogs but the edging most decidedly said slippers. I was shocked beyond belief. For that one errand, I had crossed a line. I had jumped to old age where stripes and plaids matched and slippers were the preferred footwear. Would aprons with bibs be next? How about tied shoes with clunky heels? I was struck to the quick by the implications of one errand and slippers. I vowed never to let it happen again.