Patsy Porco

Posts Tagged ‘Summer’

Ode to July

In Humor, Summer on July 20, 2017 at 11:32 pm





fireworksI wait all year for you to show

And when you do, my heart’s aglow

I wear few clothes, but just enough

To hide the cellulite and stuff.





Your days are long and hot and funbeach

The water’s warm from all the sun

We swim, we picnic, we yell at raccoons

Who knock over our trashcans under the moon.




Rudy and Otto 4

Every day in July is a gift from aboveflip flops

There’s so much to do and so much to love

Swimming, sunbathing, water sports

Baseball, hotdogs, flip-flops, shorts.





Growing a garden, eating outsidesunset

Cutting fresh flowers, avoiding riptides

Biking, ice cream, watching the sunset

Kids, pets, adults … all soaking wet.





ice-cream-cone-1274894_960_720As long as it is, with its 31 days

It still goes by fast, in a sun-drenched haze

So, don’t bitch to me about the heat

Or I’ll kick you with my sunburned feet.





All photos were free/royalty-free from Pixabay.


All that Glitters …

In Humor on June 28, 2017 at 4:48 pm

My last post about body paint led several people to alert me to new bedazzling trends that are popular at summer festivals and on Instagram. If the crude terms for body parts offend you, please don’t glitter-bomb the messenger.

Click on the photos for the original articles.

Screen Shot 2017-06-28 at 4.27.38 PM

Screen Shot 2017-06-28 at 4.35.41 PM

I personally wouldn’t apply decals and sparkly paint to my chest, but I can see the usefulness of applying glitter to your bottom; it would cover a multitude of imperfections.

A similar effect could be obtained by sitting in the sand after being in the water. Just don’t brush it off like you usually do. When you eventually shower, the sand will wash off. The same can’t be said for glitter.

A Summer Dinner Party

In Humor, Summer on August 2, 2016 at 9:47 pm

I’m working in my office on the second floor of our house and the windows next to my desk are open. It’s 9:30 p.m. My next-door neighbor has been having a dinner party on her deck for the last few hours. She’s well into her eighties. So are some of her guests. Judging from their voices, there are also some people there who are middle-aged. One of the men has an Australian accent. There is also a young man who is 21. I know this because I heard them trying to figure out how old he was in 2004, when some event they were discussing occurred. One woman said he was ten, but then someone else said that he was only nine because he was born in November and it wasn’t November yet.

Initially, I closed my windows, but it got stuffy so I opened them again. It’s enjoyable to hear them having a good time outside. Summer is so fleeting and outdoor parties are wonderful, even if you’re only eavesdropping on them. I keep getting drawn into listening to their conversations. I caught myself several times before I yelled a comment out the window. My work, needless to say, is going very slowly.

One woman is loud, with a capital L. One man talks over everyone else. The Australian, sadly, doesn’t talk much. It’s a treat when he pipes up with a comment in that sexy accent. Oooh, he’s talking now. I can’t hear what he’s saying, but how he’s saying it is enchanting.

So far, they’ve discussed everything from how to convert Celsius into Fahrenheit, the 2016 presidential election, the song, “Hot Legs,” Warren Zevon, YouTube, casinos, and wearing war paint as kids. The conversation topics change quickly, as they do at parties. Occasionally, the loud woman yells out, “Woo-Hoo!” or “Loser!” and then cackles demonically. One man announced that he’s having a “Casino Night” at his house. I wish I could go, but I’m busy that night.

It’s dark now and the party continues. The loud woman is now, for some reason, talking in a stage whisper. It sounds like there are several different conversations going on at once. It’s hard to concentrate. I guess I might as well get back to work.

I have to say that I really enjoyed this summer deck party. Summer deck parties beat winter indoor parties any day. Even if you’re an uninvited guest.


The First Weekend of Summer

In cookouts, Humor, Summer on June 27, 2016 at 1:34 am

If you recall, a few weeks ago, I tried to sell giant hosta plants from my garden on an online garage-sale site, but the site’s administrator asked me to take down my post because my plants were not hosta, but garden-variety weeds. Several people I know asked why the site’s administrator cared if I was selling weeds, as long as they weren’t illegal ones.

I agreed with them, but I preferred not to look like a moron who thought giant weeds were hosta, so I took down the post and spent this Saturday ripping those plants up by the roots. Then today, my husband and I went to a backyard party hosted by our friends, a husband and wife we’ve known for years. While we were there, the husband showed me his very impressive vegetable garden. He was especially pleased with the progress that his rhubarb was making. I took a closer look at the rhubarb and realized that I might have just thrown out ten or fifteen of those plants. The rhubarb plants sure looked like my weeds. But then again, so did hosta. I’m glad that the plants are gone, though. This way, there’s no temptation to make a rhubarb pie that might turn out to be a weed pie.

After the garden tour, we went over to the screened-in deck, where a few of the younger guests were comparing their tattoos. Only one of the older people there had a tattoo — the rhubarb-growing husband. His tattoo was temporary, and was bought and applied by his wife. Temporary or not, his was the popular favorite.

Mike's tattoo

When we got home, I was inspired to check on my vegetable garden. I know that what I planted are actually vegetables because I bought seed packets and they were clearly marked with words and pictures. My vegetables aren’t showing any progress yet, but that’s to be expected since I just planted them a week ago.

The bird feeder, on the other hand, has seen lots of action. I have one of those square suet cages that you fill with a cake composed of congealed fat and seeds. There are small openings in the cage so that only birds can feed from it. Somebody didn’t tell the squirrels, though. For the past few mornings, they’ve been hanging upside down from the lattice fencing around our deck, grabbing the cage with their little squirrel hands, and demolishing the suet. I’ve refilled that cage three times so far this week.

Always the optimist, I also bought a cylindrical bird feeder that is guaranteed to attract finches, and a bag of bird seed. I don’t even know if Connecticut has finches, but since I wouldn’t recognize one anyway, any bird is welcome. Yesterday, I put the new feeder and the bag of seed on our picnic table out on the deck. Today, while we were at the party, my brother was at our house, and he said that he looked out the window and saw at least six squirrels romping on the table. The squirrels had poked holes in the bag and were gorging on the seeds and drunkenly tossing handfuls into the air. He politely told them to go away, and when they ignored him, he threw flip-flops at them until they left. Then he hid the seeds.

After relating this harrowing experience, he suggested that I consider washing down the table before our next cookout. I definitely will, with bleach. But things could have been worse. My next-door-neighbor regularly sees raccoons copulating in broad daylight on her picnic table. Washing that table wouldn’t be an option. I’d have to burn it.


In Humor on June 9, 2013 at 1:07 am

A few weeks ago, my husband, Frank, took a week’s vacation from work. He didn’t go anywhere, so it was a staycation, but he christened it a Frankation. I’m not exactly sure what he did on his vacation, but I’m pretty sure bathing wasn’t high on the list. (As soon as he reads this, I’m going to have to take it down, so read fast).

Maybe he did bathe. He actually smelled fine, but he always seemed to be wearing the same two shirts. On the first day of his Frankation, he went to Walmart and bought a neon yellow sleeveless T-shirt and a neon orange one. I was extremely envious. I love neon clothes in the summer. To me, they signify summer, or Department of Transportation uniforms.

Anyway, I didn’t see much of him during his Frankation, since I had to work. Two nights before he had to go back to work, he seemed depressed. When I asked him why, he said that his Frankation was coming to an end.  At 10:55 p.m., while I was upstairs playing Word Whomp on the computer, I heard him at the bottom of the stairs.

“Hey,” he called. “Doesn’t an ice cream run sound like a good idea?”

I walked to the top of the stairs and looked down at him. He was wearing pajama pants and the ever-present neon shirt. He was also barefoot.  I, too, was dressed in total neon from head to foot, but I was wearing shoes. It was immediately apparent who was going to make the ice cream run at 11 p.m.

The funny thing is, I didn’t mind at all. That’s what’s cool about our family. We’re all nuts. So, I got in the car and went to the 24-hour Walgreen’s for ice cream. I picked up several varieties so that I wouldn’t have to make a return trip. Our son, Luke, was also psyched about my ice cream trip, so I didn’t want to let anyone down. I have to admit, I was very surprised at the number of people at the pharmacy at that hour. Frank thinks they were all watching the hockey playoffs, like he and my son were, and needed refreshments.

Anyway, when I got home, I distributed the ice cream and got out the vacuum. As long as everyone was up, it seemed like a good time to get some cleaning done. The dog wasn’t thrilled, though, until I put some vanilla ice cream in his bowl. Once he saw the ice cream, I could have vacuumed him without his noticing.

The Sporting Season

In Humor on May 26, 2012 at 12:24 am

It’s spring, the most uplifting season of the year … unless you live with sports fans. Then it’s crazy season–a time when three major sports are on television. It’s the playoffs for basketball and hockey, and baseball season. It’s a time when your spouse and children ignore you, unless you’re bearing food. I love this time of year, but I also dread it.

I love baseball announcers. My father was a baseball fan. I never paid enough attention to how much of a fan he was, but I recall my youthful summer days overlaid with the soundtrack of baseball announcers. Even today, I love the heat of summer and the sound of baseball announcers in the background. It doesn’t really matter who’s playing, as long as it’s hot, flies are buzzing, and laconic baseball commentators are droning on. That’s summer to me.

I have grown quite fond of my local Yankees announcers but, in a pinch, any announcers will do. Summer heat and low-pitched, measured voices announcing hits and catches go together like swimming and sunbathing (and margaritas and guacamole).

My favorite things to do during the summer are to go for a swim and then take a nap, with a baseball game being announced in another room while a light breeze blows over my sunburnt skin. That combination brings back memories of napping with my six siblings in a loft in Rehobeth Beach, Delaware. After returning from the beach, my parents would put up the steps leading to our sleeping loft so that they could be alone downstairs for an hour or two. Meanwhile, we would either sleep or terrorize each other. We couldn’t escape, but we could wreak havoc. Or, we could spy out of our A-frame cottage’s window on the people at the pool.

During the day, all you saw was families and kids. At night, it was a different story. The maids who cleaned the A-frames during the day were men. During the night, some of them adopted women’s names. All of the maids, along with other men, partied poolside at night. Looking back, it should have been apparent that we were at a gay resort since there was only a men’s room by the pool. The sign for the women’s room was indicated by an arrow that led out of the pool area. My parents knew, of course, but they liked the A-frames and their proximity to the beach. They minded their own business. We, the kids, minded the maids’ business.

After dinner, we would gather up in the loft with binoculars and look over the fence into the pool area. My parents were aware of what was going on—we were reported at least once to the management—but I think they liked being alone downstairs. Having to placate the manager was a small price to pay.  But back to sports.

Several weeks ago, after work, I had a problem of sorts. You see, three years ago, I encountered a great deal at our local supermarket, Stop and Shop, on slingback patio chairs, but I could only find three of them. I needed six. After visiting four Stop and Shops in neighboring towns, I gave up. Today, I found the same chairs at a local Stop and Shop. I bought them. I knew that I was driving our sedan, but I figured I would somehow get them into the backseat. And I did. However, it took almost an hour. I have to congratulate the people in the parking lot. The majority of them were exceptionally helpful. But nobody could get the chairs into the backseat of my car. I managed to get two of them in, but I couldn’t get the last one in to save my life. Finally, with the encouragement of the parking-lot crowd, I called my husband to come get me with our SUV.

My husband is the most patient and understanding man that I have ever met. However, the Devils, Knicks, and Yankees were all playing within the hour. That changed everything. When he heard that I needed him to come get me and my chairs, he became less reasonable than usual. He even compared me to Lucille Ball, but not in a good way.  After the phone slammed down on his end, my adrenaline kicked in. I forcefully jammed the last chair into the car and called him back to say that he didn’t have to come.

When I got home, we wolfed down dinner and then he and my son disappeared. My son commandeered the family room to watch the Knicks, while my husband went downstairs to watch two televisions, one featuring the Devils and one the Yankees.

I did laundry. It was surreal going from one floor, where my son was groaning over the the Knicks’ loss, to the lower floor where my husband was celebrating the Devils’ win and grieving over the Yankees’ loss. Fortunately, the Yankees’ loss didn’t matter that much, since there are many months left in the baseball season. However, it’s the end of the basketball and hockey seasons, so I had to remember who “we” were rooting for, and congratulate, or console, whoever needed it. I hate seasons when sports overlap.

I also hate seasons where clothing choices overlap. The temperature was in the 80’s on Monday, so I wore a light dress and sandals to work. The next day, it poured and the temperature was in the 50’s, so I wore a turtleneck and boots. Other people at work wore sandals and tank tops. They must have been freezing. The next day was milder, so a sweater was needed over light clothing. Some of my coworkers opted for winter clothes.

Dressing at this time of year in Connecticut is a challenge. You can’t totally switch over to your summer wardrobe until July. And then, by the time you get everything ironed, it’s time to start wearing winter clothes again. But at least with clothes, you know that eventually you will be wearing one season’s worth of clothing.

With sports, however, seasons are always overlapping. As soon as basketball and hockey have wrapped up, football season encroaches upon baseball season. I don’t know where soccer, lacrosse, tennis, and golf come in, but no doubt all together.

Maybe if I were a sports fan, I would love the lunacy. But I’m not and I don’t. So today, when sports dominated the inside of our house, I went out back with the dog and settled myself into one of my new patio chairs. I closed my eyes and listened to the sounds of the insects and birds. And then, I heard it: the sound of a baseball announcer coming through a neighbor’s window. Finally, summer seemed within reach.

I’m Going to Kill a Mockingbird

In Humor on August 26, 2011 at 3:45 pm

When we were in our twenties, I remember that my sister–let’s call her Monica–would be amazed when her friend Lisa knew things that she didn’t know. They weren’t earth-shattering things, just stuff like spray starch comes from vegetables or dogs are descended from wolves. Anyway, when she would ask Lisa how she knew whatever it was she knew, Lisa would always say, “It’s common knowledge.” This bugged Monica no end.

Monica might have missed out on the common knowledge gene but I was absent the day they assigned our places on the learning curve. I probably didn’t understand the concept and got out of line. Anyway, I got put on the lowest, or the highest, end; it all depends on whether being a slow learner means you have a high or low learning curve. I haven’t figured that out yet. Suffice it to say that things that are obvious to others aren’t to me. For instance, there’s this bird–or a flock of them for all I know–that lives right outside our upstairs hallway window. We’ve lived in our current house for more than five years, and it took me until today to realize why, during the summer months, I always think the phone is ringing in the morning when it isn’t. I can’t count the number of times I’ve stood by the open window and heard the phone ringing in my bedroom. Yet everytime I picked up the phone, all I heard was a dial tone.

Today I realized why nobody is ever on the other end of the telephone line–the phone isn’t ringing. It’s the bird that is ringing–or perfectly imitating our telephone’s ringtone. I had to hand it to the bird; he or she had the sound down pat. I wondered what kind of bird it was. It occurred to me that a good name for the bird would be mockingbird; it was too bad that that name was already taken. Unless. And here’s where the learning curve thing comes in. Maybe, I thought, the bird actually was a mockingbird. Maybe mockingbirds were so named because of their mimicry. A quick search on Wikipedia confirmed my suspicion.

I was floored. I always thought that mockingbirds got their name because they were nasty and made fun of other birds. That isn’t as far-fetched as you may think. Animals can be evil just like humans. When we lived at our former house, we had vindictive squirrels. They would sit in the tree outside our house and toss hickory nuts at my husband’s head while he raked leaves. It got so bad that he had to wear our son’s bicycle helmet whenever he raked. So it didn’t seem unlikely that mockingbirds would mock any bird who wasn’t in their cool-bird flock. It turns out, though, that they mock or mimic the songs of other birds, and the sounds of insects, amphibians and telephones. The Wikipedia entry didn’t actually mention telephones, but that’s probably because it’s common knowledge.

I wonder why they don’t also mimic mammals, like people and pets. Maybe they do. Our dog seems to bark more than usual in the summer when the windows are open. Whenever I scold him, he looks at me quizzically. Maybe it’s actually a bird that is barking. What a thought. There’s another bird that wolf-whistles at me every morning and it never fails to lift my spirits. Now I’m thinking that maybe the wolf-whistling bird is a mockingbird who is imitating a construction worker. Who knows? Maybe someone higher, or lower, on the learning curve could tell me. I’m so confused. There’s only one thing I know for sure: starting today, I’m keeping the upstairs hallway window closed.


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