Posted tagged ‘sloth’

“I don’t know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot!”

January 5, 2018

You’re probably wondering why I am up at the crack of dawn. Okay, that’s an exaggeration as it is 7:30, but I am so seldom up this early that it seems totally out of character for me, the winter sloth. Gracie had a vet appointment at 8 for acupuncture, but I have cancelled. My road is a sheet of ice, and my car’s tires are encased in the ice which probably wouldn’t matter that much in getting it out to the road, but I just don’t want to make the effort. I haven’t even gotten the newspapers.

Bitter cold is the only description for today’s temperature. I am living on the tundra in the dead of winter. It is 18˚, close to the forecast of a high of 19˚. The low will be 4˚. I can see sunshine breaking through the clouds and shining in the backyard against the pine trees, but I am not impressed. It is only a prop. It carries no heat. The blue sky is pushing away the clouds. I’m glad for the color.

I am not bored staying home. Last night I read until close to one. My tree is still up and decorated though I have removed Christmas from three other rooms. The laundry still sits in the hall. In the old days, I seldom had undone chores as I used to feel guilty. I had a schedule I religiously kept. The laundry never sat in the hall and the finished laundry went right upstairs and was put away. Now the clean, folded laundry sometimes sits for a while on a living room chair. I don’t really care, an attitude which took me a long while to foster, but I’ve done well in espousing the sloth effect.

My trunk has trash and recyclables. It is dump time, but I’m thinking, “Tomorrow Is Another Day!” the Scarlet way of looking at life.

I am so glad I have missed the return of high heels, some so high you could get a nose bleed. I watch and wonder at the women wearing them. Their feet and calves must really hurt after standing on those heels for a while, but I figure it comes down to fashion. No self-respecting maven would be caught in small heels. The binding of women’s feet in China was all the rage, especially among the upper class. Think on that for a bit.

“It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it.”

December 15, 2017

Yesterday I hunted down and found the missing ornaments and decorations. Most have since been placed or hung so I am just about finished with the house. My errands were done in about an hour. I even found parking places right by the stores, a bit of Christmas magic.

I don’t know how it happened, but yesterday I forgot to tell you about the snow and the spawn of Satan. Snow first: starting early Thursday morning and ending in the afternoon, we got about 2 1/2 inches of snow. The amount must have seemed insignificant as there were no plows. The main roads were cleared by the traffic. My road remains snowy in places and a bit slippery. I didn’t shovel. I used my foot to push the snow away. I couldn’t find my car window brush so I used my sleeves on the side windows to clear them. The defroster in the back and the windshield wipers in the front cleared those windows. It was freezing yesterday as the night before had been in the teens, the coldest night so far, so it took a while for the day to get a bit warmer, all the way to the 30’s.

Now moving on to the spawn story.  I went out on the deck to check one of the back light timers. All of a sudden I stopped short out of amazement. As I had walked by the barbecue, I noticed the cover, a good thick cover, with a fleecy sort of inside. A huge, and I mean huge, part of the cover was gone. A perfect square had been chewed off and taken away as no part of it was on the deck or in the yard below the deck. I figured the spawn was either renovating or building a new nest and wanted it cozy inside and waterproof outside. I could do nothing so I just shook my head, turned around and came back inside.

Today I have been a sloth. I took my shower and that’s it for my accomplishments. I’m watching another Christmas Carol, my fifth so far. This is the Disney one. I’ve never seen it before. The faces of the characters are a bit strange, especially their eyes, but that’s its only drawback. The dialogue is true, as true as any.

I have a few cards to write and a new Christmas cooking magazine to read. That sounds like the start of a great day to me.

“There are two kinds of fears: rational and irrational- or in simpler terms, fears that make sense and fears that don’t.”

September 28, 2017

Sometime during the night it rained. I slept through it. The street and the yard were still damp when I woke up late, close to ten. The air is wet, humid. The sky is gray. There is a breeze but it does little to clear the air. Today is the last day of the heat, according to the weatherman. Tonight the temperature will go down to the low 50’s.

I filled all the bird feeders this morning. The bottoms of a couple of them had mold and the seeds were in a clump. I cleaned every one. Last I checked, the bird weren’t back yet.

Huzzah! Huzzah! The first load of laundry is in the washer. A second load sits on the floor waiting its turn. I can’t remember the last time I had so much laundry. These two full loads are testaments to my sloth.

In Ghana, I had my laundry done when I lived there and when I visited. During training we found women in the nearest village to do the laundry. Everything was washed by hand in buckets. The irons were heated with charcoal. It was the same forty years later.   On my last trip, shirts were 2 cedis, about fifty cents. Pants were four, a whole dollar. I came home with clean clothes.

I do everything I can to do nothing. My house gets cleaned and my yard is kept neat, except for the back which no one sees, and my groceries get delivered right to the kitchen. If I could afford more, I’d have my laundry done while I sat and ate bonbons.

I need bread, and I could go to the dump though I’m thinking tomorrow is the better day Just because I don’t want to go today.

I don’t mind clowns or bugs. I have a black cat. Heights don’t make me dizzy, but rides which go around and around make me throw up. Stopping at the top of a Ferris wheel isn’t a problem for me. I like the view. I don’t get the fear of spiders, but scorpions are a different story. Once I had a scorpion roaming on my living room floor, and my student killed it with my sandal. She asked permission first. I said yes because scorpions bite. Sometimes I hear noises I can’t explain. They give me pause. I lower the TV and listen. Usually I don’t hear it again. If I did, I’d pass it off as an animal or a bird. That’s the easiest answer and the one which doesn’t make me afraid.

“Nothing irritates me more than chronic laziness in others. Mind you, it’s only mental sloth I object to. Physical sloth can be heavenly.”

August 12, 2016

I didn’t leave the house yesterday except to water the plants on the deck. That has become a daily chore. The plants dry and wilt from the sun and the heat so I feel guilty unless I water them. I do have to go out today, but I figure the traffic will be light. Tourists will be wherever they can feel cool, and I doubt in cars and on the road won’t be their choices. The weather report has the possibility of rain here today and tomorrow. I don’t believe it.

Before I had AC in the house, I used to go to a matinee and sit in the air conditioning to watch a movie. It was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

In the paper today was an article about Massachusetts investigating the possibility of changing time zones from Eastern Standard Time to Atlantic Standard Time. People are dreading winter when the sun sets at 4 o’clock, and it sometimes starts to get dark at 3. We already fall back and spring ahead so changing wouldn’t be all that unfamiliar. The only drawback was being on a different time than New York and Washington. Someone suggested Massachusetts Savings Time but that seems a bit ego-centric.

 

I’m not doing much in the heat, but there isn’t really a whole lot to do. I have a couple of cabinets needing to be organized, but cabinet organization is really far too deep on my list to consider. It seems more like a winter chore.

When I worked, my life was far more departmentalized. My daily stuff mostly revolved around work. I got up at 5 or 5:15, watched the early news as my papers weren’t delivered yet and had two cups of coffee. I left for work around 6:20, arrived by 6:30 and then  organized my day. I got home around 4. I read the papers and my mail, made dinner, showered and went to bed no later than 10. Monday to Friday never really varied.

The weekends were for cleaning the house, doing the laundry and going to the dump. Friday and Saturday nights were empty dance cards waiting to be filled.

Now, despite having all the time in the world, I run out of time. My lists seldom get finished so I move the undone items to the next day. I do the same thing every day so I always have a never ending list, but I have learned not to care. It took some time but I’m now quite comfortable with lazy days, with being a sloth and with unfinished lists.

“A true friend should be like a privy, open in necessity.”

September 12, 2015

Today is the finest of almost fall days. The sun is brightly shining, only a few clouds drift around the blue sky and the temperature is 71˚. The house is cool but standing outside in the sun is warm. I was on the deck for a while which partially explains my lateness. Sloth explains the rest of it.

I have nothing to do today. Even the dog laundry was done yesterday. That amazes me as usually my own laundry is moved from floor to floor and then sits around for a few days. Gracie jumped right into her crate and went to sleep on the fresh, still warm bedding when I put it back on the bottom of her crate. I could hear her snoring most of the afternoon.

In Ghana, Thomas who worked for me did all my laundry except for the unmentionables. I did those myself. I had to use a bucket and hand wash them. I hated it and after a while went commando. Keep in mind I wore dresses all the time as that was the custom for women. It presented a problem only when I had to climb up to get into a mammy lorry. The only way to get to the seats was to climb then swing one leg at a time over the side of the truck while holding on to the top. I made sure nobody was waiting below me for obvious reasons. There were a few advantages to going commando and the most important was the ease of going to the bathroom over a hole. Squatting was minimally involved, but I won’t describe the rest of the process; just use your imaginations. I was an expert.

Peace Corps gave me a whole new skill set. I had expected to learn new things about Ghana: its history, its culture and most of all its wonderful people. I never expected to learn to pee over a hole or go to the bathroom in the bush. Those were just extras.

“Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.”

June 29, 2015

The morning is sweatshirt weather, cloudy, damp and chilly. Everything is still a bit wet. We need sun, and luckily, the weather report is hopeful: sun in the afternoon. I hope it’s right.

My neighbor and I chatted this morning, and I sat on the damp steps for so long I could get piles. Okay, I know that’s not true, but that’s what I used to hear: sitting on cold ground was never a good idea because it caused piles. It wasn’t until I was much older that I found out piles are better known as hemorrhoids. Their connection to damp concrete was just an old wife’s tale, a bit of a weird one I think.

I have a few errands for later but that’s it for the day. My back is feeling better so I don’t want to chance hurting it again by doing anything. It’s a great excuse to lie around and do nothing, as if I really needed an excuse.

Every now and then I lose a day. I find something to hold my attention and before I know it the day has gone to afternoon. Often it is a good book as I am always loath to put down a good book. Sometimes I sit on the deck, get drowsy and fall asleep on the lounge. When I wake up, the sun is lower in the sky.

I seldom check clocks and I don’t wear a watch. If I need to be somewhere, I leave early enough to get there. My bedroom has a clock because once in a while I need to set the alarm, usually to meet friends for breakfast. My den has the clock on the cable box. I check it to make sure to watch a particular TV program. I think this dislike of clocks and watches comes from my life having been driven by time. I had to get up in time to have breakfast and to walk to school, later to catch the bus to school. Ghana was where time was of the least importance, but I still needed to know when my class was starting, and I had to set the alarm to catch an early bus. Beyond those, time meant little. You waited until the lorry was filled before it could leave. Nobody knew how long that would take. People arrived whenever which was defined as Ghana time. I got used to that. I learned to wait, to while away the time.

When I got home, I was again ruled by clocks and watches. Wasting time was sinful. It was the alarm clock every morning and bells all through the day to start and stop classes. Buses and trains left on time.

Retirement is glorious as time is of little importance. I go to bed when I’m tired and wake up whenever. I list appointments on the desk calendar, the one with Jeopardy questions, the one my sister puts in my stocking every year. I don’t keep a daily calendar in my bag the way I used to when I worked. I am a lady of leisure who has no need to know the time.

” Juggling is sometimes called the art of controlling patterns, controlling patterns in time and space.”

January 9, 2015

I should be out on the deck replenishing my vitamin D except I can’t. The sun has gone. One day here, the next day gone. It is, however, warm, 32˚. That may sound cold, but it was minus 1 yesterday morning. Today is almost tropical.

Late again I suppose you’re thinking. Well, I had PT this morning then did a couple of errands. I figured I was out anyway so why not. Yesterday I got the tree down and outside by myself. Only a few needles fell on the floor when I dropped the tree. Using one hand on the trunk and the other to move the base to get at the plastic bag was like juggling. I have been productive this week in stark contrast to being a sloth the whole of last week.

One of today’s errands was really self-serving. I bought my all time favorite sandwich for lunch: a panini with avocado, cheddar, tomato, bacon and spicy mayo. It was a reward of sorts.

Last night I thought I heard a noise coming from the living room so I muted the TV to listen. I heard it again. Neither Gracie nor Fern the cat stirred from sleeping beside me on the couch, but I went to investigate anyway. The sound came from the chimney and sounded like an attack on the flue. A raccoon one time tried to get in by pulling at the flue but the chimney has since been capped so I couldn’t imagine it was anything but the wind. Just in case, though, I banged the fireplace screen a few times. When I went out today, I checked and the chimney was still capped.

I have no weekend plans. I’m perfectly happy being comfy in the warmth of my house. My friend Peg sent me a tin of cookies and an ornament of Elvis singing Winter Wonderland. I’m all set. I have food and entertainment!

“Progress is made by lazy men looking for easier ways to do things.”

March 5, 2013

It is, as my mother would have described it, a raw day, the sort where you feel chilled to the bone from the cold and damp. Right now there is a snow shower with small flakes being blown about by the wind. It won’t amount to anything, but its mere existence is beyond the pale. “Too much, too much,” I whine to no one but myself.

The weather in today’s Cape Times predicted the rest of the week much like today. Each day has the possibility of rain or snow showers. Saturday will be the first sunny day, if the paper’s prediction is correct. I went out earlier and filled the bird feeders. Gracie didn’t even bother to get off the couch until she heard me drop something. She then came to the deck, checked out what I was doing and then went right back inside the house, back to the couch.

Last night I was so tired I went to bed around 9:30, unheard for me, the night owl. I slept through until 8 and stayed in bed under the covers a little bit longer. I was too warm and cozy to face this day. I could see the sky through my window and nothing about it was inviting. When I came downstairs, Gracie went right outside. That surprised me as usually I have to open the door. Not this time: I never closed the back door last night. I guess I didn’t force Gracie out one more time but, instead, just shut off the light in the den and went upstairs to bed.

My legs are still wobbly from the vet bill yesterday. It was closer to $400 than $300, and this was a well dog visit, but the outcome couldn’t have been better. Gracie is healthy, and the vet said she is beautiful. If she didn’t have some grey on her muzzle, the vet said she’d think Gracie is still a puppy. She told me whatever I’m doing is working well as most boxers she sees tend to be overweight, but not Miss Gracie. She also got her nails done yesterday, like a sort of mini-spa.

When I was a kid, we had a boxer named Duke. He never had a well dog visit. He got rabies shots I think but nothing else. My father used to douse him in flea powder periodically. He ate canned dog food with horse meat. He was free to roam anywhere he wanted, and he did. He wasn’t supposed to get on the couch, but he always slept there when we weren’t around, and we could hear him get off the couch in the mornings when we’d go downstairs. Duke lived a long, long life for a boxer though he wasn’t pampered, didn’t eat all natural foods, ate Oreos my sisters fed him and anything else left on our plates. I don’t know if there is a lesson in that. I know we people are less immune to germs because our lives are so antiseptic. Maybe it’s the same with dogs.

I had an idea to do a couple of errands today but that thought disappeared with the first flake. I’m not even going to bother to get dressed. I will out-sloth a sloth today! Maybe I’ll pay some bills so I can claim a bit of industry.

“Diligence is a good thing, but taking things easy is much more restful”

July 26, 2012

The last few days were lovely, but now the air is thick with humidity. I could feel it as soon I woke up so I closed the upstairs windows, came downstairs, closed the rest of the windows and turned on the AC. I gasped when I went outside to get the papers. Gracie, a bit of a barometer herself, spent little time outside this morning. She came in quickly and collapsed on the couch in the AC. She is now deep asleep and snoring.

The older I get the more my life seems, in different ways, to get easier. When I first lived here, I didn’t even have a fan. When it was really hot, I just slept downstairs with the back door opened all night. When I bought a standing fan, I used it down here and then carried it upstairs so I’d have a breeze all night. I couldn’t sleep without it. It was just too darn hot. Finally I got a window air conditioner for my bedroom. The afternoon sun pours in there, and because it is on the third floor, it stays really hot. I used it at night all summer and many times in the afternoons if the heat felt unbearable. On those afternoons the dog and I would go upstairs in the cool air where I’d stretch out and read. The both of us usually napped. Now I just turn the thermostat and the whole house gets delightfully cool.

My lawn gets mowed every week by my landscaper’s crew. I used to mow it myself on a late afternoon or a Saturday. It is amazing how many chores and errands I used to squeeze in on a weekend when I worked. Now I don’t even enough time over the course of a seven-day week to do everything. I keep telling myself I’ll do it tomorrow. My house gets cleaned every two weeks though I do some spot cleaning in the meantime. I used to clean my house every weekend. The only chore I still consistently do is the washing but no longer do I need to iron a single thing. Wrinkles are perfectly acceptable. I do turn on the dishwasher, but most days I hand wash the few dishes I use. I look out the window as I wash and I do some of my best thinking. Most days I make my bed. It makes my bedroom look neater, but if the cats are sleeping on it, I wait, and if they sleep on the bed all afternoon, I don’t make it at all.

I make no apologies for my sloth. I earned the right to do nothing after all those years of working and getting up at 5 in the morning. My new motto is whatever makes my life easier is just fine with me.

“Nothing irritates me more than chronic laziness in others. Mind you, it’s only mental sloth I object to. Physical sloth can be heavenly.”

January 20, 2012

Last night’s dusting of snow barely covered the backyard. Under the trees had no snow at all. Now it is melting and all I hear are drops from the roof. When I went to get the papers, I saw paw prints on the driveway. I wondered about them. Might the coyote be back or was it Cody, Gracie’s friend, walking to the school bus stop with her family?

The birds are swaying and spinning with the feeders, and they remind me of a carnival ride, the sort which always made me sick. I filled the feeders yesterday in case we get snow tomorrow. I’m not ready for snow, even the paltry 3 to 5 inches predicted. It may turn to rain, and I’m holding on to that. This winter has spoiled me.

I need new slippers. These are too well-worn. My feet get cold unless I wear socks. I remember never being cold. At night I used to put the temperature down to 58° and it was never higher than 66° when I was awake. Partly for the animals and partly for me, the night is now left at 62°. Even then Gracie tries to steal the covers and Fern huddles or sleeps on my hip. I hate that but mostly I’m asleep and don’t notice. My heat is programmed up to 65° at 7 then up to 68° at 8:30. I tend to sleep late so the house is warm when I wake up. Yesterday I had a fire going all afternoon. I sat in the living room with my book and my laptop, but mostly I watched the fire burn. It was mesmerizing. It was also one of the best fires I’ve made. My father would have called it a Hollywood fire, like the ones in the movies, because it burned so evenly and so long. The house smelled wonderful.

I haven’t been out much this week. My house has been the hub of activity though activity may be just a bit too strong a word. I did clean two rooms, change the litter boxes and my bed and folded and brought upstairs the wash that had been in the dryer since last week so maybe activity works even though I usually think whirlwind and activity go together. Maybe I’ve just lowered my expectations. Since folding the wash, I haven’t done anything. I guess I’m considering my current state of sloth a reward for such exertion.