Friday, June 22, 2007

Just Goofin' Around...

Click on photo to enlarge - © 2007 jim otterstrom
The light shining through these bottles in our laundry room window caught my eye last week so I clicked a picture, and, a day or so later, played with the image a bit in Photoshop. Nothin' special, just goofin' around.
Boy, I've had a few interesting mornings lately...
Tuesday morning, I woke up early, stumbled down the stairs to use the bathroom, flushed the toilet, and went into the kitchen to start some coffee (yes mom, I washed my hands). That's when I heard the sound of a waterfall coming from the back of the house and ran back to find the toilet overflowing like some grand artesian spring!
I hate it when a day starts out like that, before you even get the crud out of your eyes...
I can't remember the last time the toilet overflowed, but it was probably before our adult kids were teenagers.
...then, there was Wednesday, our food co-op delivery day.
I got up early to print order forms to give our members Wednesday, so they'd have them for Julys' orders, and then went downstairs to start the day off right with a healthful bowl of the wheatless eight-grain cereal Peggy had just cooked up (Peg doesn't eat wheat).
As I dressed up my cereal with frozen organic raspberries, frozen organic blueberries, almond-cranberry trail mix, hemp-hearts and soy-milk, I splashed a little milk on the stack of order forms I'd just printed, so I cleared off the table before I ate to avoid making a bigger mess.
I was thinking about the busy day ahead of me, of sorting orders and totaling them up, and wondering if the truck would be late again, delaying my calls to the members who were waiting to pick up their goods, and also, about the welder who was coming by to fix a few broken things around here.
After breakfast, I set up a table and chair out by the gate, getting everything ready for the delivery, then swept off the 10'x10' slab of concrete there so the welder would have a place to work free of flammable material.
Well, of course, the co-op truck and the welder arrived at the same time (the food delivery was early & the welder was late), both requiring my immediate attention and cramping the three of us into a rather small space when you consider that cardboard boxes were stacked everywhere and welding was going on. While I was checking in the order, a few sparks from the welding bounced off the slab, starting a little fire in some pine-needles---nothing serious---and the fire was quickly stomped out, but it was an interesting moment or two. A bit later, when the co-op members began arriving to pick up their orders, I realized that I couldn't find next months order forms, the ones I had splattered the soy milk on.
Not wanting to waste paper, I looked all over the frickin' house, to no avail, even going through the trash in case I had accidently thrown them away. I knew the forms had to be right in front of my nose but I never found them and eventually had to print a new batch. That evening, when Peggy was reading the newspaper, she found my forms folded up in the comics section. Quite fitting, don't you think?
...then, there was this morning!
But first, let me begin with yesterday, and last night...
Yesterday, the Summer Solstice, was a very enjoyable & productive day here, with lots of clean-up and repairs getting done. A friend took a load of junk to the dump/recycling center for us and I greased up my newly welded pedal-stone and sharpened some tools. We worked outside until it was nearly dark before Peggy and I went in to make our solstice dinner together.
Spaghetti with Fresh Herbs & Turkey Meatballs and a Tossed Green Salad
Peggy had picked a bunch of fresh lettuce and spinach from our garden, along with some sage, oregano, chives, and chive flowers. We also had some fresh basil and thyme from the store (we don't have basil to pick right now, and, after several years of faithful service our thyme didn't come back this spring, probably because of our extremely dry winter).
Anyhow, to make a short story longer, I prepared the meatballs, chopping and adding sage, chives, chive flowers and garlic to the ground turkey. Then, just for fun, I threw in an egg, a teaspoon of horseradish, about 4 ounces of Feta Cheese, and some chopped olives. At this point, I realized the mixture was a getting bit thin & gooey, too many ingredients for the pound of turkey, so I added two crumbled rice-cakes and two tablespoon of quinoa flour (Peggy doesn't eat wheat).
Much better, now I could actually form the meatballs.
Once the meatballs were in the oven I went to work on the sauce. I started with a jar of organic garden-vegetable pasta sauce that we get from our food co-op, by the case, and chopped up the basil & thyme to add to it.
By this time, well after 9 o'clock, Peg had already finished preparing a beautiful green salad with celery, avocado, and tomato, so she helped with the spaghetti by chopping some onions and garlic for the sauce, grating some parmesan cheese, and boiling the water for the organic quinoa spaghetti, which we also get, by the case, from our food co-op (again Peg doesn't eat wheat).
Everything came together nicely and the salad, sauce, and meatballs were absolutely delicious. By the time we ate though, it was well after 10 PM, and getting quite cold outside, so we decided to eat our solstice dinner in the house by the light of a hand-dipped bayberry candle we saved especially for the occasion.
After dinner we made our bed out on the deck, and I poured some red wine and grabbed my guitar. Laying there, propped up with pillows, candle aglow, and Dallas at our feet, we watched a few shooting stars burn through the sky while I plunked out some soft little ditties I know, and shortly began drifting off.
A fitting end to a lovely solstice event. Almost...
For years I've had a hiatal hernia in my stomach, and sometimes, if I eat too close to bedtime, it causes me great discomfort, to where I can't sleep. So, there I was tossing & turning, trying to get comfortable, and keeping Peg awake. It was getting very cold and my fidgeting kept letting the frigid air under the blankets.
Understandably, Peggy likes her sleep, so we decided to move inside about half past midnight. Peg went to bed while I sat up reading, until my stomach settled down, and I fell asleep on the couch.
...and now, back to this morning.
At about 7:30, from my groggy restless sleep, I thought I heard Peg moving around, and called her name. Dallas, sleeping near me at the foot of the couch, heard my voice and started wagging his tail, which knocked over last nights unfinished glass of red wine, which then spilled all over the coffee table, several good books, and my new hemp t-shirt, before running onto the wool indian rug beneath the table.
All before I could even get my eyes open...
I hate it when days start like that!!!
But it's all over now, and really quite funny, I think.
And what does the laundry room window have to do with all this?
Absolutely nothing! I'm just goofin' around, that's all, and laughing at three little episodes from my own silly life.
So, have a wonderful, funny, weird, or goofy day...
...or maybe a little of each.
I'm not going to let this relentless human comedy screw up my day, even if the joke is on me.
I've had much worse mornings.
A lot.
Back out in the yard to play...

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Blogger anna maria said...

Well, I hope the meatballs and the glass of wine made up for some that!

10:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love these peeks into the lives of others. Sorry about your stomach ache. I sometimes have that same problem.

I love the photo of the bottles!

5:18 AM  
Blogger Tim Hodgens said...


Hey, the universe would wobble and hobble if it was just sunshine and lollipops all the time. And, oh, can I hear that tale of woe...grin, grin.

But the part I liked the most (and I liked all of it - particulary since it was your tale of woe and not mine - this time) was that you socked it in the eye by going out to your yard to get a helping of the other stuff to help balance your universe again.


6:34 AM  
Blogger Richard Sterzen said...

Dear Mr. and Mrs Otterstrom,
I am not a blogger or read many. The reason I am writing is about a trip we were recently on and we met your daughter Jamie. My wife Janet and I had our flights canceled and were stuck at Binghamton airport along with your daughter. We were delayed for a very long time and began talking with Jamie. It was refreshing to meet such an honest, happy, nice person. My wife and her got along very well since they had many of the same interests such as sewing, scarf’s, art,etc. We also spoke about things such as raising butterflies. I also have a daughter that is 31 and lives in Vermont. Your daughter reminded me of her and her friends when they were in their 20's. Again you must be congratulated and very proud for raising such a fine young girl. She definitely made the time pass by faster with conversation and doing crossword puzzles with my wife Janet. I gave her my seat in the plane so they could sit together and Janet showed her what she was knitting to keep her mind off of flying. I hope this comment is ok since I did not have your e-mail to relate this story.

Rich Sterzen

6:57 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

anna maria, pablo, & tim-


All in good fun, and I'm glad you got that...

9:17 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Rich and Janet,

Peggy and I just read this blogpost about your encounter with our daughter Jamie, and we both had tears welling up.

We are proud of Jamie and love our girl very much, and it's so nice when someone has good things to say about your kids.

Jamie told us about you, and how much she enjoyed meeting and spending time with you.

She doesn't really like flying, because she's had some terrifying experiences in bad weather, but she said meeting the two of you made the whole trip worth it.

I'm very grateful that you and your wife were there for Jamie when she needed some companionship, and I'm also very pleased that you found her to be good company.

And, with parents like you, I'm quite certain that your daughter is a wonderful young woman too.

Your compliments about Jamie will brighten our day today as we're working in the garden.

Thank you very much for taking the time to contact us through our blog, and feel free to e-mail, call, write us, or comment at the blog, anytime.

Jim Otterstrom

9:17 AM  
Blogger Madcap said...

Hi Jim, just making sure the e-mail arrived, since you mentioned you'd been having problems. There's still an e-mail contact on my profile if this needs to be initiated from your end.

6:55 PM  
Blogger roger said...

oooh. i just hate it when a toilet overflows.

i had to google hemp hearts. very interesting. eating them must be healthier than smoking them.

7:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah. One of those Shakespearean-type of domestic days: One comedy of errors after another. (Shaking my head.) We all have 'em and they are tiresome in the moment they are occurring. Hope your toilet is back to full working capacity, and that the wine stains came out of everything. - Kathy in Ky

1:35 PM  
Blogger Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

Really lovely photo of the bottles! Sorry about the toilet & other mishaps - thought that kinda junk only happened to me! lol! :)

6:55 AM  

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