Posted tagged ‘Sorry’

“The perfect antidote to dark, cold and creepy is light, warm and cozy.”

December 29, 2017

I had a bit of a shock when I opened the door to take Gracie out and to get my papers.  Snow covered the ground. It was probably an inch or less of fluffy white stuff, but it was still a surprise. My mother used to tell us it was too cold to snow, but yesterday was brutally cold, and it still snowed.

The dump was almost empty. I think there might have been only two other cars. The smart people stayed home, but I went. I froze the minute I got out of the car but then the man who works there told me to get back into the car. He emptied everything: bags of newspapers, boxes galore and several bags of trash. The poor guy was dressed for a polar expedition. His face was so covered only his eyes could be seen. It was about 12˚.

Today will be cold but a bit warmer than yesterday though I don’t think warmer really works here. Maybe I should say not as brutally cold as yesterday. It is 17˚ right now and could get up as far as 21˚. Deck weather?

My car gets serviced today, an oil change and a quick look over of everything else. I really want to stay home, but I need to get this done. I also have a couple of other stops so I’m doomed to face Old Man Winter.

Nothing much is happening. It is a quiet week. When I was a kid, weather like this meant a day of reading or playing in the cellar or playing board games. We’d set the games up on the living room rug and get ourselves comfortable. We’d play Sorry, Monopoly, Clue or cards. Our favorite card games were crazy eights and steal the old man’s pack. We all had the competitive gene from my dad so game times often got loud. My mother would yell from the kitchen about playing nicely or not at all, a typical mother comment. We mostly ignored it.

The sky is cloudy, the sort of color which looks cold, even steely. Though the house is warm a metal table here in the den is cold to the touch. Blasts of hot air from the furnace  seem to come one after another trying to keep the house warm. I’m wearing flannel around the house pants, a sweatshirt and slippers. Only my hands get cold.

The news last night showed pictures of sea smoke or steam fog which happens when very cold air moves over warmer water. It was a bit strange, even eerie, to see the smoke hovering over the white caps. I don’t remember seeing that before.

It is already colder than it was this morning, down to 12˚. I’m watching the news and the outside reporters look a bit like Randy in A Christmas Story. The weather lady is predicting polar like winds and maybe more snow. I am definitely going to layer my clothes and hunt for my hats and mittens. This is not the time to be fashionable.

“A good many things go around in the dark besides Santa Claus.”

December 4, 2017

It has already been a long day. Alexa woke me up at seven. I asked her for another half hour, and she obliged. I got up after the 7:30 Alexa call, got dressed and hit the road. Gracie had her second acupuncture appointment. She was good and stood patiently until it was over. It took about an hour. When we got home, she ate and I had coffee and read the paper. The morning was normal. Then I took a nap. Yup, a morning nap, and I just woke up, got another cup of coffee and turned on the TV. I’m watching Krampus. Nothing is better than a movie about a horned-beast at Christmas who punishes naughty children. That sure beats coal in the stocking.

Today has a muted sun hiding behind the clouds. Every now and then it appears and  brightens the day for a bit then the clouds take over again. At least it is warmish.

I did get a few things done yesterday, but I’m the only one who’d notice. The clean clothes piled on the rocking chair have disappeared. I carried them upstairs and put them away. The two bags of newspapers and the boxes which were by the front door are now in the trunk. I’ll bring them to the dump on Wednesday when it reopens. The kitchen floor and the hall are clean. I vacuumed. The pile of catalogues is greatly diminished. I went through most of them and ordered a few things on line. I’m sure, though, they’ll be plenty in today’s mail to take their places.

Last night was game night. This time I was a winner. At the last game night Tony and I won nothing. Clare won them all. Last night she won Phase 10, and I won two games of Sorry. Tony was stuck with the L on his forehead.

I’m going out later. Skip is coming tomorrow to do my outside lights so I need a few things: a spot light, a couple of wreaths and some lengths of pine garland for inside the house. Tomorrow, Skip and I will go and choose my tree so he can lug it inside and set it up for me. I’ll start decorating it and the house tomorrow.

I noticed last night that many houses have Christmas lights, more than usual this early.  Some houses are decked in all white lights, some are LED colored sets and others are regular colored bulbs. Mine will be a combination. The driveway fence already has a trail of white lights leading to a huge star. That is always lit to keep the darkness at bay. The front fence will have colored bulbs as will the deck rail in the back. One tree on the side of the house will have huge ornaments lit by a spotlight. An old sled will stand by the front door with ice skates draped on it. They’ll have regular lights.

Krampus is just about over now. It isn’t Hallmark, but it sort of had a happy ending. It just depends on your definition of happy.

“Life is more fun if you play games.”

August 13, 2017

The rain fell most of the day yesterday. Sometimes it was heavy and other times just misty. When I first woke up this morning, it was cloudy. When I woke up a second time, it was still cloudy but the sun poked through a couple of times giving me some hope for a nice day. It will be warm, low 80’s, but less humid.

Gracie and I did a couple of errands yesterday. We took 6A, but it too was filled with traffic, tourists looking to while away the rainy day.I learned in Ghana to see the bugs as protein I stopped at the candy store to get some peanut butter cups and chocolate peppermints for movie night. That shop was filled with more people than I’ve ever seen in there. I guess there is no better cure for a rainy day than chocolate. Actually, chocolates are a panacea for whatever ails us.

The other evening I was having a bowl of cereal, Rice Krispies, when I noticed a small bug swimming on top of the cereal. I flicked it out of the bowl and kept eating. I learned in Ghana to see bugs in my food, especially flour, as added protein. It is one of the strange things I learned.

I like Life Savers, but my favorites are made by Reed’s, root beer closely followed by cinnamon. Wintergreen is my favorite flavor of Life Savers. In a package I got in Ghana from my mother were a few rolls of Life Saver’s tropical fruits. I guess she figured they were a fun choice. The colors were the same as the fruit colors, even that green of honeydew melons and the light orange of cantaloup. The coconut was my favorite. We sat one night guessing all the fruits. It was our evening’s entertainment. It didn’t take much to amuse us.

My friends and I play games once a week. In the winter it is on Sunday night then we watch The Amazing Race which was DVR’d on Friday. We didn’t like it on Friday so we continued with Sunday. Creatures of habit I guess. Now it is Saturday night, movie night. We have some appetizers then play Phase 10 before the movie. If we have time, mostly in the winter, we also play Sorry. We never seem to tire of either game. We even keep a list of winners from each week. There is usually a bit of gloating. I was the gloater last week.

“I told my dentist my teeth are going yellow. He told me to wear a brown tie.”

April 9, 2017

My skepticism is draining away. Perhaps spring really is here as today is another sunny, warm day, a lovely day. It is already 57˚, today’s high. Gracie and I slept on the couch last night. She had such a difficult time with the stairs yesterday morning I didn’t want to put her through that again. The rest of the stair treads should be here tomorrow so we can move back upstairs. She went outside with me helping her down the stairs. I waited, but she disappeared from view. All of a sudden she reappeared from the other side of the deck. She came up the easy stairs. That’s one smart dog.

Tonight is game night. We’re having pizza and playing Phase 10 and Sorry. We’ll watch The Amazing Race recorded the other night. That’s been a long time tradition.

When I was going through catalogs the other day, I saw jelly nougats for sale and a memory jumped into my head. When I was nearly 8, I started wearing braces. Back then, braces were not all that common. I remember closing my mouth for my school picture so you couldn’t see the braces. I was a bit self-conscious. There were only a few orthodontists. The office I went to was in Boston on Commonwealth Ave. My mother had to get a babysitter for my two sisters then she and I would walk uptown to get the bus to Sullivan Square then the subway close to the office. The office was on the first floor of a beautiful old house. It was a living room with comfy sofas. The nurse’s desk was there, and the doctor’s office was behind a door in the front of the room. His name was Dr. Nice.

After my appointment, we’d backtrack to Sullivan Square. We had to walk upstairs to the bus station. Right in the middle of that station was a news kiosk. It sold papers, magazines, and candy. My mother often let me choose a bar of candy. I remember picking the jelly nougat. I liked the colors of the jellies, and the way they looked in the nougat. With tightened braces, the nougat was a bit tricky to eat, but I managed. We’d get to Stoneham, and sometimes we’d stop to buy my lunch to take to school. I remember the bread was toasted. My mother would then walk me to school a few blocks away from the squar

I always liked the before and after of those appointments. I got to be alone with my mother, ride the subway, be late to school and eat a lunch bought from a restaurant. The day would have been perfect if we took away the orthodontist.

“Keep some souvenirs of your past, or how will you ever prove it wasn’t all a dream?”

January 3, 2016

Today is sunny and in the high 40’s. I have no complaints about this winter’s weather, at least not yet. We’ll see what January and February bring. A New Englander is an eternal skeptic about the weather.

When I went out for the papers, I found one of my decorative vases broken into several pieces all over the middle of the road. It had been taken from my front garden and smashed. I picked up the pieces, and in typical fashion managed to cut myself three times.

Every kid had a sled and a bicycle. Some of us also had roller and ice skates. These were all every kid needed, the rest was just icing. If stuck in the house, games kept us sane. We got a new one every Christmas so we had lots of choices. I still don’t like Monopoly. It took too long and was boring. My favorite from back then which we still play today is Sorry. I have even introduced it to my friends who are now fans in a Sorry kind of way. It’s a game you love because it can change in a heartbeat, and it’s a game you hate for the same reason. My sisters used to cry when I’d send one of their pieces back to start. My friends curse. It’s a grown-up game of Sorry.

When I was young, I had scrapbooks filled mostly with newspaper articles. I remember one book was all about the new Pope, Pope John XXIII. That was a huge thing in my life, the death of one Pope and the election of another. I sat in front of the TV watching the smoke and hoping for white.  That was the last Pope inspired scrapbook I ever made. I had one filled with articles from the paper which mentioned my name, no matter how slight the mention.  The drill team scrap book had programs, local articles, pictures and articles from the Globe when we won big.

I still have a couple of those scrapbooks. The tape no longer holds the pictures to the page. Where the tape was is discolored in the shape of the tape mostly in the corners. Every now and then I pull one out of the eaves and carefully turn the pages. At the playground one summer, I was the checkers and the horseshoe champion for my age group. I do have hidden talents.

“Life is more fun if you play games.”

February 10, 2015

Winter has been kinder to us than we expected. We didn’t the amount of snow the rest of the state did. Saturday it rained all night and yesterday it sleeted. Even now we are a tick above freezing. The roads, though, are still horrible. The ruts are difficult to navigate and going around corners is dangerous because of the sliding and the blocked views of on-coming cars. I can’t even remember the last time I saw sun. I think one glimpse of that light would be enough to bolster my spirit.

Last night was game night, and it was so much fun. We had great eats: cheeseburger sliders, chips and fruit and brownies for dessert. We played Phase 10, Sorry and Uno, a game we haven’t played in years. I had such a fistful of cards at one point I could have used an extra hand. There were so many cards I couldn’t even fan them. I didn’t win. I did win a game of Sorry.

My parents were game people so we grew up playing games. For that I am grateful. I was the only kid who actually knew what to do with dominoes besides setting them up to fall one after the other in a spectacular display. I was taught whist at an early age because my parents were grooming my brother and me to be their partners. It was always girls versus boys, and we usually won. My mother was a patient partner who never yelled even if I made a mistake. My father, on the hand, was a passionate player who did yell. I was glad he wasn’t my partner. I never liked Monopoly. It was boring and seemed to last forever. Parcheesi was fun until someone set up a blockade.

When I was older, we played card games all the time. My dad and I would play cribbage until he won, we’d all play skat and untold games of high-low jack, our favorite. Friday nights at my parents’ house were always get-together nights. My uncle would usually come and stay all night. We’d sit at the kitchen table playing cards. At some point in the evening the singing would start. I remember the phone ringing at my house on a few Fridays in the wee hours. I knew exactly who it was. When I picked up the phone, my uncle began to sing. He always called me Leeny when he was in his cups. I enjoyed those phone calls despite the hour.

I love that my friends are all game players.

“If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live.”

November 22, 2014

It might as well be spring. Okay, a slight exaggeration here but today will be 47˚ and Monday may hit 60˚.  Right now it is sunny and a strong wind is whipping the trunks and leaves of the pine trees in the backyard. I had a really late start this morning as it was a mirror test morning. I didn’t even go upstairs to bed until three and slept fitfully. When I woke up, Fern and Gracie were deep asleep, each on one side of me. They seemed to have slept well.

My delay was further complicated when my computer went wanky, and I could only open Safari with that looping message about a security issue and could go no further. Luckily my iPad was handy, and I found the fix, a simple one.

Staying inside in the winter when I was a kid was usually make your own fun. The TV didn’t have programming until the early evening and then when I was a bit older the late afternoon so sitting and watching was not even a choice. One of our favorite ways to while away the time was playing board games. We’d set the game up on the living room rug and sit around it to play. Sorry was our favorite. Vengeance made the game more exciting, and we yapped back and forth after sending our opponent’s man back to start. That yapping would now be called trash talk. Often the game ended because one of us would get mad and start yelling then the other one would yell back so my mother would yell from the kitchen and tell us to put the game away. That was another argument. Who was going to put the game away?

Boy and girl roles were quite definite when I was a little. Coloring was for girls. I remember afternoons spent sitting at the kitchen table with all my crayons arrayed in front of me so I could choose the exact color to fill in the drawing. The crayons were all sizes, some whole, some mere stubs. The paper had been torn off each crayon as it got smaller so we never remembered the name of the color. We all wanted to color like my mother who shaded the colors like an artist might.

Spending the afternoon reading was always a joy for me. I was a library devotee. I’d take out as many books as I was allowed. I think it was three or four. Quiet spots were hard to come by in my house, but I’d manage. Getting lost in a book was about my favorite thing.

Today I am going nowhere. I think I might not even get dressed. On my table are some catalogues and a book. I’ll do Christmas shopping while watching some Christmas movie then I’ll get comfy and read. I’m thinking that sounds like the best way to spend an afternoon.

“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”… “It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”

March 6, 2014

I could see my lawn yesterday morning. It was a touch of green in a grey world then it snowed, and my lawn disappeared. I wanted to scream. I think maybe I should have.

Last night was cold, really cold. On the news at 11, the weatherman said this is the coldest start to March in history. The paper this morning described tomorrow’s weather as becoming mild with temperatures from 37˚to 40˚. Mild?  In what world is 37˚ to 40˚ mild?This morning we have sun, but we also have snow showers. I went and filled the bird feeders off the deck. It took fewer than ten minutes. My hands were freezing when I was done.

It struck me as funny, the wording, though the incident isn’t funny at all. A man sawed off his thumb yesterday, but the weather precluded the use of MedFlight. The man and his thumb were taken by ambulance to Boston.

Yesterday I was busy in the kitchen. My friends and I always watch The Amazing Race together but last Sunday I stayed home and watched the Academy Awards instead. We DVR’ed the race so last night was race night. We have a weekly tradition. We take turns making appetizers and desserts and play games before the race. We play Phase 10, a card game, and Sorry, the best game we know. I’ve been playing it since I was a kid, and I introduced it to friends who now love the game or hate it depending upon what happens. It is often cause for cursing, something I never did as a kid but probably wanted to but didn’t dare.

To get the food ready for the games, I spent a good part of the day chopping, slicing and mixing. It was my turn for appetizers. I made pineapple salsa, fried ravioli and quesadillas. They were all delicious, but the salsa with the quesadillas was spectacular, says I the chef. I used a red, yellow and green pepper, onion and some cumin fried together, mixed three different cheeses then used it all to fill the quesadillas which were then baked. I was a chopping maniac for the pineapple salsa. It had fresh pineapple, a tomato, red onion, a jalapeño pepper and chopped parsley. It was worth the effort and the backache.

The salsa and quesadillas are now on the list of foods for summer if it ever comes.