Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Just'a Walkin' The Dog

Click on photo to enlarge - © 2007 jim otterstrom

Dallas and I out for a walk at 8:23 in the morning.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

~Pine Needle Basketry Class~

Click on photo to enlarge - © 2007 jim otterstrom

Peggy and I taught a Pine Needle Basketry Class for The Big Bear Sierra Club group at the local U.S. Forest Service Discovery Center last night.

Twenty some folks gave it their best shot and I think about a third of them actually got the hang of it and will finish their baskets.
Everyone seemed to be having a good time and we enjoyed ourselves too.
We've taught the craft to several friends, on a one to one basis, but teaching over 20 people at once is a whole new experience.
Peggy and I were both so busy helping people with their projects that we didn't have time to take pictures, so the one above will have to do.
Now that most of my obligations are out of the way for awhile maybe I can get around to catching up with my backlog of posts before I jump into the mountain of yardwork and gardening I also need to catch up on.

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Sunday, November 25, 2007


Click on photo to enlarge - © 2007 jim otterstrom

That may be a worn out old phrase from the '60s but we're still havin' fun with the practice of it in my 60s!

Yeah, I know we're silly, but Peggy and I have shared 28 years of life's ups & downs together, and we're not about to stop being silly, or having fun, or enjoying each other until one or both of us drops in our tracks.

As with water, not one drop of life, or love, or friendship should go to waste!


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Friday, November 23, 2007

Peggy's Leaf...

Picture Of The Day
Click on photo to enlarge - © 2007 jim otterstrom

Peggy found this leaf with an interesting pattern to the colors, and I thought it was pretty photogenic, so I stuck it in a gap in the porch railing and gave it a close-up.

I'm still working on the two lengthy posts I've been mentioning but here's some color to look at in the meantime...

Have you noticed that I seem to spend a lot of time looking at leaves and windows?

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Thankful Day Of Cooking Together...

Acorn Cornbread Ingredients-Used For Stuffing
Click on photo to enlarge - © 2007 jim otterstrom
We had California Black Oak Acorn Flour left over from the delicious class Orchid Black taught on our deck last Sunday (detailed post coming soon) so I decided we should use Acorn Corn Bread in our turkey stufffing this year.
The ingredients in the foreground are what was used in the recipe except that I was going to add the sunflower seeds (in the jar at the right) to the batter but we deciced to use pine nuts in the stuffing mix, so the sunflower seeds were left out.
The wine is to drink later, and the home-blended trail mix is just a staple we keep on the table to munch on, add to hot cereals, salads, or whatever.
Oh, and no pepper in the corn bread either, it's just on the table.
Peggy is on a wheat-free gluten-free diet, and she doesn't eat sugar, so there's no wheat flour in the corn bread and Stevia is substituted for sugar.
The Acorn Corn Bread Mixture is ready for the oven.

Stuffing Ingredients And A Waiting Turkey
Click on photo to enlarge - © 2007 jim otterstrom
My Acorn Corn Bread is cooling as we assemble the ingredients for the stuffing.
Peggy Mixes Up The Acorn Corn Bread Stuffing

Click on photo to enlarge - © 2007 jim otterstrom

Acorn corn bread, onions, celery, fresh parsley, pine nuts, garlic, one egg, vegetable broth, sage, thyme, salt & pepper.


Peggy Basting The Stuffed Bird With White Wine & Butter

Click on photo to enlarge - © jim otterstrom

So the turkey's been in the oven for an hour or so, the house smells really good, and I'm about to uncork that bottle of wine.

May you all...


To the turkey above, the chicken embryos, and the plants too, whose lives were sacrificed to nurture our bodies, we bow in humble thanks. One day, in the not too distant future, our bodies, back into earth & the food chain, will nurture the lives of your own relatives, and all the rest of our biological cousins, in the never-ending exchange that enables life to exist.

And, to all the Native Americans whose ancestors showed the white man how to survive here on Thanks-Giving Days so long ago, I also humbly apologize that we proved ourselves to be such ungrateful assholes.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sunday, November 11th, 8:45 A.M.

a fallen leaf on Webster Street
Click on photo to enlarge - © 2007 jim otterstrom
Ten days ago I found myself walking down Webster Street in Alameda, California, where this leaf happened to be lying on the sidewalk near an iron planter-grate.
I noticed how the morning light glorified the rather ordinary scene, so I laid down on the concrete trying to capture the moment.
It occurred to me that there was a police cruiser in the neighborhood, and that I very much resembled the homeless guys waiting for the liquor store on the corner to open, and that it might not be in my best interest to be horizontal on the sidewalk at that particular moment, but I took the picture anyway and continued on my walk without incident or interrogation.
I had just been talking with those homeless fellows, both disabled Viet Nam Veterans, and contributed a couple of bucks to their delinquency, hoping they might buy some food with it. But more likely it went for a bottle, which, if it brings some temporary comfort to their shattered lives, is OK with me. Who am I to judge? I suppose most people are somewhat fearful of desperate characters like that, but I'm more wary of those who command the police cruisers.
For me, the photograph can be a metaphor for fallen lives and bygone times. A complex leaf, once integral to a thriving community of leaves feeding a tree, is now just so much colorful refuse deposited along a hardened urban streetscape, compost for tomorrow's world.
By the way, I still haven't had time to finish the posts on my recent train trip or the acorn processing class, but they're in the works.
Anyhow, I thought I'd share a quick photo this morning to keep the blog from sitting empty.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Home Again...

Baby Toy In Window Click on photo to enlarge - ©2007 jim otterstrom

I just got home Friday night from a two week trip to the Bay Area.

I took the train up to visit relatives and have lots of pictures to share but it may take me a few days to put that together.

Also, Peggy and I hosted a class yesterday, here at Earth Home Garden, on processing acorns into acorn meal and flour.

Our friend Orchid Black teaches the class and we have great pictures of that whole process too, which I hope to have posted sometime this evening.

I apologize for not being able to respond to comments on the previous post while I was gone but I didn't have access to a computer.

I will respond to those comments as soon as I catch up a bit, but let me say this for the record.

There was a lot more going on in the '60s, than "just protest, dissent, and demonstration".

I'll elaborate more on that later...

I made the above photograph on Sunday, November 11th, at the home of family I was visiting.

The fun shape of the teething-age toy, the cheerful colors and the softness & safety designed into it contrast interestingly for me with the rectangularity of the window, the lock on the frame, the grid of the screen, and the world outside, of thorns, spider webs, trumpet vines, and fences.

The toy belongs to a very handsome 10 month old boy, Levi (you will see pictures of him soon), and the window is at the foot of a staircase, a sort of divide between the living and dining rooms of his home.

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