The Ice Cream Dream

I was terribly sick in a dream. Not at first, though. First, ice cream chaos reigned. Ice cream was due to be served to people but supply issues and disorganization plagued the effort. Growing urgently angry, I stepped in to straighten everything out. The ice cream were mostly in little sealed cups. Varieties of flavors abounded. I tasted several before stepping in to fix the issues, and the ice creams were creamy and tasty. I felt I needed to step in because the incompetence on display insulted my sensibilities. Ice cream was being dropped everywhere. Melting. People were going without ice cream. That shouldn’t be, I thought. We have so much ice cream. Too much ice cream is being wasted.

I began organizing pods of people. Some were collecting the ice cream and taking them to marshaling points. Others were handing the ice cream out. Yet, people kept failing at their duties. Despite my efforts, the situation seemed as worse. I worked harder, faster, more demanding. Still no respite from the shortages and errors. The head honcho came down wanting to know the situation. I tried smoothing things over. He believed and accepted. Then he told me, “A little girl is at the front, Piper. Make sure she gets an ice cream.”

Right. I’d get right on that. I plunged my hands into a tub of ice cream cups. OMG, they were all warm. They’d all been opened, too. WTF! The honcho came back, shouting, “Where’s the ice cream for Piper?” “I’m on it,” I shouted back, then cursed, shouting, “All these ice creams have been opened. Why were they opened? Find me one that hasn’t been opened and take it up front to Piper.”

At that moment is when I began feeling sick. I rushed to a toilet, yanking my shorts down as I went. Too late; crap spilled out everywhere. The honcho came back and saw. “Oh, my, let me get someone to clean you up.” I replied, “We’re still looking for ice cream for Piper.”

A Day Like Others

They went to the library

because three new books were on hold,

ready for pick up

and they’d finished six books

so they needed to be returned.

Then they walked around town,

enjoying the mild spring day,

before deciding to go to the Co-op.

Because it’d been so long.

While they were there,

they picked up sandwiches,

chips,

and locally baked pastries.

Then walked back up to the car

and got a library book each,

and walked through the breeze in the park’s sun and shade

until they found a picnic table.

Whereupon they sat,

eating and reading in silence

until two hours later,

when she said,

“I’m cold. Let’s go home.”

Monday’s Theme Music

Spring sunshine again bathes the valley this AM, with the sun beaming in at 5:48 AM and expecting to hang around until 8:27 PM. Today is Monday, May 17, 2021. Happy Syttende Mai! We’re helping Norwegians celebrate the 1814 day when Norway’s constitution was signed. Weather for Syttende Mai in Ashland expects to peak at 85 degrees F again today. It cools at night but rain would be nice, you know?

Today’s music is inspired by food. I know it’s not fashionable to complain about having food to eat, but I’m weary of our recurring menu. Yeah, I know it’s first world blues. Though nutritious and I’m grateful to have food, it’s gotten stale. This is amplified by the tedium of routines. I want other food in other places, feel me? Sure, you do. Thinking about this conundrum — I have food but I’m weary of the entrees — I began singing, “Day after day.” That triggered Bad Finger to rise from my mental recesses to sing along to their 1971 hit, “Day After Day”.

Maskwise, I’ve chosen to continue wearing the mask as I’ve been doing. Frankly, there’s a percentage of population who didn’t want to wear a mask, don’t want to be vaccinated, don’t believe that COVID-19 is an issue, and don’t care if others get it or die from it. That’s what I take from their actions and behavior, at least. I have no doubt that these people will lie and say they’ve been vaccinated and not wear a mask, and give more life to the virus. As I’m vaccinated, my primary concerns arise around breakthrough cases or being an unwitting carrier spreading it to others. I’ll give it ten days to see if we have a new spike, and if vaccinations continue at the same pace in the meanwhile.

My resolution about masking for now firmed this morning. The spouse was on her Zoom exercise class. This was prior to the actual class, when people were joining and chatting. One woman admitted to being embarrassed. Her adult son said he’s not getting vaccinated. His reason: he doesn’t like people telling him what to do.

So, stay positive, test negative, figure out what to do about a mask, and get vaccinated, for crying out loud. What an interesting expression that last is, you know?

Here’s the music. Ciao.

Post Mother’s Day Post

I read an interview with Calvin Trillin today. He said, every family has a theme that runs through it.

I can dig that. I grew up with some very Catholic and Jewish friends. Lessons and classes were always interfering with plans. I went to Bible School every summer for a few weeks, for a couple years. Other than that, I think we were Presbyterians. We attended church on some Christmases.

Religion wasn’t my family’s theme. Neither was education. Mom and Dad took the attitude, don’t bring home a bad grade and we’ll be okay. Several other themes were possible. Mom married multiple times in a quest for happiness. She’d taken private vows not to be like her mother, cold, hard, distant. Mom would be friends with her children. We would play games together.

Man, did we play games. Card games, ball games in the backyard, board games, Mom was always up to playing a game with us. Tripoley, a card game Mom picked up from her in-laws, became the go-to game. There was a board, in our case, a green plastic sheet. On it were different card combinations, along with poker, and ‘out’. Everyone paid into some pots, usually two to three cents each hand. A dummy hand was dealt. The dealer had the choice to keep their hand and sell the second hand, or to pick up and use the second hand. When you evaluating a hand to see whether you would bid on the extra hand, you were looking for pay cards, like the King and Queen of Hearts, or the 8-9-10 combo, or if it was a good poker hand or one that would allow you to go out.

We always played for pennies, and had great old Maxwell House coffee cans filled with coins, because sometimes, those pennies started adding up. “Look at that King and Queen, is that silver in there? There must be eighty cents in there.” Such a large amount. No one counted it, though; counting a pot drew bad luck down on you.

My wife quickly learned about the game but most of the spouses stayed away from it. They didn’t understand how we could sit and play for several hours for a few pennies, coming away with a beam for winning almost three dollars. Woo hoo.

The theme also could be hiding. Mom taught us all to hide whenever someone came to the door. I never heard why we were hiding. Someone knocks, we freeze, falling silent, eyes wide, like it’s WW II and the Nazis have found us. “Who is that?” we’d mouth at one another. Someone would sneak to a window. Carefully peek out. We also did not answer the phone. Whoever was calling us needed to know the code: let it ring twice, hang up and call again. If you don’t use the code, we’re not answering your call.

Our family’s theme could be fragmentation. I left Mom to live with Dad when I was fourteen. The older sister moved out of state when she was nineteen. We lost contact with her. Mom moved many times in her quest to be a good single mother, work, and find joy in marriage. It just didn’t work out. Yet, whenever I returned home, it was like I’d never left. We picked up having good times, laughing at everything, playing games. My wife noticed it after a few visits.

Pressing myself for the truest answer, what is your family’s theme, I laugh and answer, “Food.” Of course. Many people probably say the same. Mom loved to cook. She loved making us happy with food, and she was a damn good cook. The sisters took it up. Holidays Fare always encumbered with too much food, too many munchies, too many desserts. Typically, there’s pies and cakes, because Mom and sisters didn’t want to overlook anyone’s favorite. There are salads as an homage to health, along with something Italian — spaghetti, ravioli, maybe, but usually lasagna — along with turkey or ham. Depends, you know? Thanksgiving always required turkey. Ham was on Easter. Burgers, bbq chicken, and hot dogs on Memorial, Labor, and Independence Days, along with the Italian entree. There is lots of food. Leftovers get divided for consumption. It was often enough to supply troops invading another country. Desserts are usually frozen for other occasions. It’s not weird in our extended family to offer someone dessert from the freezer. “I have some leftover birthday cake from Gina’s birthday.” That Gina’s birthday was two months ago didn’t matter. It was frozen; it’d still be good.

Mom loves a cook out. That’s what she calls it: cooking out. We call it grilling. While my wife and I grill vegetables, sometimes chicken, fish, or beef, Mom always grilled burgers and hot dogs. Both needed to be well done because Mom worried about food poisoning from undercooked food.

We have favorites, right? Mom’s potato salad and fried chicken are amazing. All say so, if I do say so myself. It ruined it for anyone else offering me those things. I’ve searched the world for Mom’s potato salad and fried chicken. Nowhere else comes close to her product. Mom’s Fried Chicken. It could be a thing, except we’d need to answer the door.

I guess we’ll set up a code.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Season’s greetings from the Pacific Northwest. Today is Wednesday, May 5, 2021. But you knew all that already, didn’t you? Summer is creeping into the region. The sun was creeping over the horizon at 6:01 AM. The outside temperature is already creeping past 71. It’s believed the sun will creep out of sight at 8:14 PM.

The cats are enjoying the weather for sure. Out through the pet door (which I think would be a pretty good album title, or maybe a novel) before sunrise, they find places to flooze all day. Cool. Youngblood (formal name, Papi) likes the cushioned patio chairs. Boo (the big mini-Panther) prefers grass just in the shadow. Tucker stomps around to the front porch (“Ain’t no one getting past me”), curling up just off the porch, behind the pillar, under a bush.

Such warmth has stirred gardening aspirations again. My wife made the call yesterday. “We’ll grow lettuce, squash, and tomatoes. To the Grange!” Masks on, we stormed the nursery. Plants were selected, six-packs and pots purchased, plans were made. Fingers are crossed that we’ll have water. Meanwhile, the garlic is almost ready for harvesting, though my wife worries, “It’s thirty days too early!” Her giant onion is bolting. She’s letting it do so, figuring it deserves it after all it’s been through. The only worry is that we’ll have the water to, well, water the garden for the entire season. Fingers crossed, knock on wood, etc.

Musically, Ima on wavelength with a 1979 Talking Heads melody. Lyrics crept in like sunshine breaking through the clouds after a heavy afternoon rain.

This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco
This ain’t no fooling around
No time for dancing, or lovey dovey
I ain’t got time for that now

h/t to Genius.com

Yes, it’s time for “Life During Wartime”, which could easily be repurposed as “Life During Pandemic”. Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get that vax. Cheers

Sunday’s Theme Music

Today finds us at Sunday once again. I was just looking at the calendar, confirming that it’s April 25, and was surprised to realize there’s another Friday in the month. Just not paying attention.

The sun made it to Ashland at 6:15 AM and will make its departure at 8:03 PM. We’re getting close to almost fourteen hours of sunshine, which I do like. Like my cats, I am a sunshine fan. Don’t know how much sunshine we’ll see. The weather is continuing a drizzly, damp, chilly pattern. It’s 42 F right now, and we’re not expecting much higher. As I read on the net, the weather slowed down like a driver doing 75 in a 55 when he sees a cop behind him.

“Wedding Bell Blues” by the Fifth Dimension (1969) is looping through my mind. The great Laura Nyro wrote and originally recorded it. Her songs were hits by several others, like “Stoned Soul Picnic”, “And When I Die”, and “Eli’s Comin'”. She died way too young, 49, done in by ovarian cancer.

And while I like all those songs, I’m in the mood for something upbeat this morning. I challenged the mind for something. After a period of crickets singing and playing, the Foo Fighters crept in with “I’ll Stick Around” from 1995.

Upbeat? Up-tempo, I guess.

By the way, the three-day green-smoothie fast ended for me yesterday, day eight. Energy level just felt too low. Tired while walking, and didn’t achieve twelve miles for the day. Been a while for that. So I’m back on solids, and just finished a bowl of gluten-free oatmeal with peanut butter, cranberries, and pumpkin seed/flax granola.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get the vax, including the second dose, if you’re going the Moderna/Pfizer route. Cheers

Saturday’s Theme Music

Welcome to a chilly, drizzly, southern Oregon Saturday. The date is April 24, 2021. We’re almost to a wrap on the fourth month of 2021. Whizzing by for me. What about you?

Outside, it be 49 degrees under a sky rich with clouds and miserly with blue. Rain has dumped off and on through the night and morning. Nothing major; just enough to wet our lands and deter the cats from looking for sunshine. The sun’s morning appearance arrived at 6:16 AM. Sol will no longer be visible after 8:02 PM.

We’ve arrived at day 8 of our three-day green smoothie fast. Yesterday’s experiment was using cauliflower in the smoothie, with strawberries. My taste buds said, “I don’t like that. Don’t do it again.” I remain moderately hungry throughout the day with my stomach singing love songs to foods that I enjoy, but it’s all good. Last night was the first time I really thought hard about breaking the routine and eating something like a pizza, sandwich or burrito.

Good having rain. We experienced a relatively dry winter and spring. A friend sent numbers for the acre-feet of our local reservoirs, the Howard Prairie Dam. The measurements were taken on the same day, which they’ve been doing since 1968. In most years, it’s 40,000 plus acre-feet. 60,000 plus was not uncommon.

Then we have the last four years.

2018-04-17    38726.00

2019-04-17    27675.00

2020-04-17    16681.00

2021-04-17    05833.00

The reservoir was below 20,000 acre-feet only one other year in its history, 1992. It’s never been below 10,000 acre-feet, until this year.

That rain has my brain singing the 1982 song, “It’s Raining again”, by Supertramp. Think I’ll deploy it as today’s theme music, especially since rain has again begun pecking on the window.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get the vax. Cheers

Thursday’s Theme Music

Day six of the three-day green smoothie fast. Hello, it’s Earth Day. Happy Earth Day! It’s also Thursday, April 22, 2021. Huzzah.

We achieved sunrise in Ashland, Oregon, at 6:19 AM. Sunset won’t come until almost fourteen hours later, at 8 PM. Huzzah. We reached 72 degrees F yesterday and expect more of the same, what with a clear blue sky, loads of sun beams, and a current temp of 52. Huzzah.

I am quite hungry this morning. That prompted me to sing a bit of “Cheeseburger in Paradise” by Jimmy Buffett in my head. We eat Beyond Burgers in our household, which are plant-based burgers. My wife is a vegetarian. We also put vegan cheese on them. The side is usually a garden salad, but oven-baked tater tots often make the plate. Although, myself wouldn’t say no to a nice steak nor some roasted chicken. Yeah, for breakfast.

The 1971 Three Dog Night song, “Out in the Country”, came to me last night, though, as I gazed at the declining sunshine being flashed off the clouds in shades of pink and gold above the darkening, forested mountains. We’re out in the country, in a small town kind of way, a nice combination in a multitude of ways. I thought it would be a good song for Earth Day, so I post it here. It’s pleasantly green now. But…sigh, the rain has faded, the land is drying, and the heat is climbing. Much of it will soon turn brown. More will blacken with fire.

Or maybe not! Maybe not this year. Fingers crossed. Stay positive (boy, I’m trying – hope you’re better at it than me), test negative, wear a mask, and get the vax. Cheers

Wednesday Wuthering

  1. On day five of the three-day green smoothie fast. Yesterday, besides three green smoothies, I enjoyed a few celery sticks, four prunes, a boiled egg, a cup of cubed watermelon, eight raw almonds and a handful of raw walnuts. I feel great, so why not continue? Sure, I was constantly mildly hungry throughout the day. And yes, my stomach talks to me in squeals, growls, and grunts all day, too.
  2. Okay, I cheated and ate a protein bar in the mid-afternoon.
  3. Well, the credit card ordeal might be over. Brief recap: was given new cards after reporting fraud on the previous cards. New cards received and activated. Wife wasn’t given chance to set her PIN. We tested: her old PIN didn’t work. Neither did my new one work on her card. Calls were made. A new PIN was set to her. We tested it. Nope. So, I commenced to pursue a fix. After spending over an hour on the phone with three different credit union reps, calling the numbers they specified, etc., I was turned over to a person in the credit card payment division. She listened to the tale. “You’ve been calling the wrong number.” I’d been calling the number the reps had given me. She gave another number. I called it. PIN changed, at least telephonically. We won’t be certain until we use it.
  4. Makes me wonder, though, you know? Why did it take so long for that number to emerge? Why is there a different number? Customer service and focus continues to die a slow death.
  5. Ah, technologically. I have a telemedicine call tomorrow. Video with a new family nurse practitioner. Annual event, to renew my meds for BHP and hypertension. Did the hardware check yesterday. Couldn’t connect to the video. Whaaat? The webcam worked last year. Went through all settings for hardware, software, security, privacy, etc. All was as should be. Even said that website had been given permission to use the camera. So…?
  6. Searched the web for advice and ideas. Microsoft, Kaspersky, HP. Talked to Chatbots for support. Uninstalled, reinstalled, updated drivers, rebooted machine several times, installed new webcam software, checked the device manager, registry, and so on. After three hours, the hardware check claims it works but I get nothing. Tested it on Zoom. Nothing. Nothing, nothing, nothing, except exasperation and frustration. Tested it this morning, just in case. No change.
  7. Forums are a joke in this regard. Many people reporting the same issue. No solutions found that work. Hell, most solutions were the previously-tried solutions. Ditto, the search engines on every browser and search site tried. They all regurgitate the same results. Remember GIGO? Garbage in, garbage out. Yep.
  8. Screw it, is my final position. I can use the iPad, which would be tres small. My wife generously offered me her iPad. That might be the way I go.
  9. Dad is out of the hospital. He was in at least two weeks, but don’t have greater details. He’d told me, don’t call, I’ll call you in a few days. That was weeks ago. He finally called yesterday. Has issues with fluid in legs. Turn bright red, swell, blister, etc., Medicos finally concluded, yep, heart weakening, kidney issues contributing. Wasn’t surprised, as he’s had COPD for decades. Some pulmonary issues were bound to reveal themselves. He’s in great spirits, mind remains sharp. That’s a tale I hear with many, many friends, though. I see the signs, and know where he’s going. Not unexpected, as that’s where we all go. Primary questions are about how long he’s in this declining state, how much pain and suffering he endures, and what his wife and family will experience during this watch.
  10. Dad and I are both retired military. Twenty-year vets. We receive pensions and healthcare. He retired about twenty-five years before I joined. That makes all the difference. He’s not paying anything for care. Tricare covers everything for him. Then launched into a “no wonder this country is going broke” stand. My Tricare is good, but I have co-pays. Dad does not. I have monthly premiums. Dad does not. I pay a small amount for prescriptions; Dad doesn’t. He also lives in San Antonio. A large military and retired presence there helps him. I live in rural southern Oregon. Time, age, location: that sums up the changes, right? Oh, yeah, and people are living longer, healthcare is constantly evolving, and it all costs. For example, he now has five people coming in each day to help him with different functions, from PT and leg exercises to bathing. He is married, and his wife is there, but I know how hard it is for a spouse to be a care-giver. She’s but a few years younger than him and has her own issues.
  11. Dissatisfied with offerings from U.S. television, we now watch a lot of foreign stuff. Mostly European. Dramas and comedies don’t work well, but thrillers, mysteries, and procedurals do. We try American offerings. We find them shallow, formulaic, and simplistic. Pretty people with fake issues to enhance tension dominate. Cry us another, you know? Right now, we’re watching Swedish, German, French, Italian, and British offerings. Don’t have anything coming out of Canada that entices me, which is a surprise. Same with the Aussies. But this might be the streaming gap, you know?
  12. Watching foreign television shows, we’re often entices by the settings. The procedurals often take place on the coast, an island, or a lake. They’re beautiful, intriguing places. I told my wife that we should set up tours to these places. That would cost a mint, and it’s impossible during the pandemic. If I had to chose one, I’d go to the Stockholm archipelago where “The Sandhamm Murders” is set.
  13. Okay, have my coffee. Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: