Posted tagged ‘The Amazing Race’

“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.

“Sunday, the day for the language of leisure.”

March 9, 2014

Today is another pretty day though nowhere near as warm as yesterday when we got to 49˚. The sun this morning is bright and the sky is a dark blue, but the air is chilly. It’s only 37˚, the new average temperature for this time of year. I was outside on the deck chasing red spawns away from the feeders and watching Gracie running in the yard, but I got cold and came back inside to a hot cup of coffee to warm the innards as my mother used to say.

I easily fall into a Sunday mindset and find myself lingering over the newspapers. I am one to read from front to back, each section in turn. It relates, I suspect, to my need for straight pictures, alphabetical herbs and spices and things in their rightful places. That last one helps me to find what I have lost. I know where to look, where it ought to be and most times that’s exactly where I find it. Peculiarities are sometimes a good thing.

I am still a gas hog. The report came in the mail yesterday. I think it strange as from eleven at night to eight in the morning my house is only at 62˚.  During the day it is always at 68˚. I wonder if my neighbors sit with afghans around their shoulders and on their feet and knees so their thermostats can be kept at lower temperatures. I can imagine them exhorting each other: walk around, flap your arms, get another blanket and stop complaining.

It is Amazing Race night. I am doing desserts this week, and we’re having brownies with hot fudge and vanilla ice cream. Just think about it: an evening with friends, one of my favorite shows, fun games, appetizers and dessert. What a wonderful way to start a week.

“Most people gaze neither into the past nor the future; they explore neither truth nor lies. They gaze at the television.”

May 6, 2013

The weather today is the same as it has been in days: sun, blue skies and a temperature in the 50’s. Wednesday we’ll get some much-needed rain, and I’m hoping it will pour.

Every morning when I go get the papers, I check out the front garden. It is filling up with the shoots of flowers, and I noticed some of the flowers I planted last year have spread, and in the garden close to the house, some have already bloomed. It is still too early to plant as the evenings get cold, but that will give the flowers time to fill in so I’ll know if I have any space for new plants. I love shopping for plants. I do need to shop for herbs to plant in the side garden and for vegetables to plant in the garden below the deck. Last year I had tomatoes, cucumbers and beans. I never thought I’d become such a gardener.

Today is a lazy day. I could go get my new dump sticker, but that can wait as the dump isn’t open on Mondays and Tuesdays. I am going to do a peapod order later so maybe that will count as grocery shopping. The end of my book is close, under a 100 pages, so this afternoon I will get comfy on the couch and finish it. I could do some house cleaning stuff, but I won’t.

The Amazing Race ended last night, and I was happy with the results. Three teams were left for the final hour. There was only one team, a newly married couple, I hoped wouldn’t win, and they didn’t. They came in second, and I suspect the results stuck in the guy’s craw for a long time. Usually we don’t know when the race took place, but this one was in December as we saw Christmas trees and lights in some of the cities. They went to amazing places on this race, as promised by the title, including Botswana, a country on my list.

I am not a fan of reality television except for the Race. I could care less who dances or sings the best or who gets a rose or even why a rose is given. I won’t watch people make fools of themselves, and I don’t care who survives. All of these programs got me thinking about the movie Running Man. I wonder how close we’ll get to that reality or even how close we already are.

“I saw old Autumn in the misty morn Stand shadow less like silence, listening To silence.”

November 4, 2012

As fall days go, this one is just about perfect. The sun is sharply bright, the air is clear and it’s chilly, around 45˚ chilly, not quite coat weather yet. When I went to get the papers early this morning, I could smell fall. I could smell the fallen leaves and the crispness of the air. Someone had a fire going. I noticed the yellow maple leaves had fallen on the grass in a pattern drawn from a painter’s palette. I stood and took in my little bit more of my world then grabbed the papers and went inside to a house filled with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. My senses were in overdrive.

Gracie got loose this morning. We had just gotten back from breakfast and were on our way into the house when she pulled her head out of her collar and took off down the street. She did me the courtesy of looking back at me as she ran. I called her and was totally ignored. I took out my phone and called my friends, but no one was home. Then I saw my neighbor moving his car and asked him to call Gracie. She, of course, went right to him, gave him a hug and a bunch of kisses. He held on to a wiggly, happy Gracie until I could put her collar back on. Right now she is sleeping, resting from her exploits.

Sunday has a different feel about it than any other day of the week. Saturday was the day for errands so Sunday is a slow day, a day for taking time. On Sunday mornings, breakfast with my friend is a ritual for us. It is when we catch up with one another. Our breakfast is slow by intent and always has plenty of time for an extra cup of coffee. When I come home, I finish reading the papers. The crossword puzzle is saved for last, and I keep going back to it during the day until I finally give up. A nap is inevitable. Tonight my friends and I will play a few games, eat some appetizers as we play then we’ll watch The Amazing Race together.

I love traditions and rituals. They are connections over time, and they are to be cherished even in such simplicity as a morning breakfast or a game of cards.

“I didn’t know that the world could be so mind-blowingly beautiful.”

October 15, 2012

The day is perfectly beautiful; it’s so warm and sunny I have “unbattened” down the hatches and opened windows. I feel as if  sitting inside is wasting the day so I keep going out to the deck and just standing there to enjoy the warmth before the rain starts or it gets cold though I don’t know if either is predicted. Weather just changes so quickly this time of year. It rained last night. I never heard it. The only way I knew we had rain was the wet street.

Yesterday it rained during the ceremony. Fewer people were there than expected, but the hardy ones came anyway armed with umbrellas and wearing rain gear. I was a fashion statement, a fashion statement for Ghana anyway. A reporter from the Cape Times took my picture and interviewed me. She asked what were some of the difficulties of living in Ghana. I came up with a lack of cole slaw. She also asked about Peace Corps, and I said it was the most remarkable experience, an unequaled experience. She wanted to know about what I was wearing. I swear it was the matching hat which caught her eye!

I’m going out and about today. I have an appointment at noon then I can roam. I have no set destination, but I’ll stop if something catches my eye. Back roads are favorites of mine. I like to go places I’ve never been. You can never get lost on the Cape. When you hit the ocean, just go in the opposite direction. Almost any road will lead to a main road as there are so few of those. Figuring out where you are is usually easy.

On The Amazing Race last night they were in Bangil, Indonesian, and it was beautiful, strikingly beautiful. I immediately put it on my wish list of place to visit. I haven’t ever been to Asian so I’m figuring it might be, in a year or two, my next destination. That will give me time to plan the trip and save enough money.

I love my life, but for this, I wish I were wealthy. I could just pack a bag, book a trip and leave.

“We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are.”

March 4, 2011

When the sun is bright, I am easily duped into thinking the day is warm. It isn’t, but I’ll accept being easily duped. Looks like the birds need their feeders filled. I’ll bundle up a bit later and go out on the deck with my bag of sunflower seeds.

Tonight is chili night while we watch The Amazing Race from last Sunday when we watched the Oscars instead. The chili is cooking and will cook all day long. I’ve  some corn bread and toppings to serve with it. I haven’t made my guacamole yet and won’t until just before my friends come. The only thing left is the dessert, and I have no idea what we’ll be having yet.

Italian and Chinese were the most exotic foods my mother served us. That was a good thing as we probably would have turned our noses up at most other foods. She started us out with American chop suey, not at all related to its Chinese cousin, but it was her way of sneaking bean sprouts into our diet. Later we’d order out at the China Moon. It was until my two years in Africa that I was introduced to all sorts of exotic, strange foods.

I ate Indian food at the Maharajah. It was near High Street and was on the top floor of a retail building. The walls went only halfway up so we could hear the hustle and bustle from the street below us. We sat on cushions, and I thought the restaurant was the most one exotic one I’d ever seen. There were lots of red cushions and curtains and tassels. I don’t even remember what I ate, but I must have enjoyed it as I still like Indian food. Hummus, tabbouleh and falafel were next, and it was a good thing I didn’t know anything about them because the mere mention of chickpeas would have put me off. I still like my hummus the way it was served at Tahal’s in Accra: a ring of hummus on a flat plate with sesame oil in the middle and red pepper in a ring around the outside of the hummus.

I ate food from the street vendors. Lots of times I didn’t know what I was eating, and I knew not to ask. I decided if it tasted good, that was enough. I have made Ghanaian food here for my friends to taste, but that was a long time ago. I am hankering for some kelewele and jollof rice. Maybe that will be my next offering. Luckily my friends are adventurous and will try most anything. They too have learned not to ask what is in any dish I serve.

“No great work has ever been produced except after a long interval of still and musing meditation”

September 27, 2010

The day has a welcome dreariness. Rain is in the forecast. It’s a great day to go to the dump.

A woodpecker woke me up this morning. I could hear it tapping on the side of the house. It was one persistent bird until I opened the window and scared it away. Later I noticed the feeder is out of suet. Maybe the bird was just reminding me.

It’s one of those days when my muse has taken a vacation and left no forwarding address. I’ve combed my memories and nothing jumps out at me. Today will be a mishmash.

Last night was the start of the new Amazing Race, and I laughed out loud a few times. My favorite part was the turtle shell boats. The background music was wonderful as the boats slowly sank and teams were left standing in waist deep water wondering what the heck happened. A few boats sank three or four times before the teams learned to balance themselves in their boats. One of the teams is at a distinct disadvantage as the race travels the world from country to country. They were looking for Stonehedge and were unimpressed when they found a pile of rocks. At the castle challenge they needed to find a flag on the battlement, and the team went from person to person asking each if he or she was the battlement. That same team couldn’t find the small turtle shell boats right behind them, and they answered London when asked what country they were in. There was  a preview of next week. The teams will be in Ghana.

The house is quiet. The windows are closed against the damp chill, and the animals are napping. I can hear even Gracie breathing. She’s on the chair in this room; Fern is on a pillow in the living room and Maddie is on the bed upstairs. I am the only creature stirring.

Every day I’m on the hunt for a trip, but nothing has appealed to me. The only criterion is I can’t have been there before. With so much of the world still there for me to see, you’d think I’d find something.

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