Sunday, August 21, 2011

Another Busy Day of Doing Nothing and Accomplishing Things

“YOU get to get up early today.”

That’s how I remember my day starting as I heard Liam wake up and gave my wife the boot from the bed. (Turns out it wasn’t all that early; around 6:45, which is pretty standard, but in my head it was early like it was yesterday and I wanted more sleep.) I tried to sleep on, and might have caught a few more Zs…but if I did catch ‘em, there weren’t too many and I lost ‘em. Regardless, I laid there in bed, pillow over my head, trying to sleep. I could hear Liam running. I could hear bits of music. I could smell bacon. But I fought it all and laid in bed. Until I couldn’t anymore, and I got up and it was about 8:00.

I was grumpy.

~~You’d think from my blog I’m grumpy a lot which is not really true—I just started this blog at an atypical time in my life and have been grumpy. If I stick with this blog thing, you’ll probably read things going back to a more normal me. I’m not explaining this, I’m just stating it.~~

I got up and pressed my Mexicans as the French would, left ‘em black (I know: Mexicans aren’t black…unless they are), and put some bacon on double fiber bread. I drank a Naked Juice, and I think it was a Blue Machine, and I know it was the last one we had.

~~I don’t ALWAYS drink Naked Juice daily, either—this is also relatively blog-new, although I do love me some Naked Juice and do tend to drink some often...just not daily...but it's on sale...and Berry Veggie sneaks veggies passed Liam (and me) without him (or me) even realizing it.~~

I went out to do some garden watering. It was a busy day, but full of busy-time around the house. I kinda forget all that happened. My morning, when my mood was subpar, is a bit less memorable. I played with Liam some, although not as much as I probably should have given a lazy Sunday morning. I did some typing. I uploaded photos from my wife’s art show yesterday and shared them on facebook. I wished I didn’t rely so much on facebook.

I ate almonds. I’ve been eating too many almonds. I need to cut back on that snack attack. They’re just there, and I didn’t really have a lunch—just almond/banana/apple grazing, and ultimately my wife made popcorn (on the stove, no microwave shit) and I ate some of that, but that was after her nap. I had a lot to do in the garden today, what with my miniature fruit and vegetables and my fertilizer-eating dogs. I needed more temporary fencing. So while Angie napped, I went to Home Depot and bought a bit more. I also have some pests I’m dealing with out there. This is unacceptable. Gardening should be easier.

But it isn’t, necessarily.

I got back and my wife was still sleeping and Liam was, too (they napped at the same time), so I did some research and typing. Angie woke up and I did a full yoga workout, which I haven’t done since this knee thing, and it felt mostly okay. There’s still a touch of swelling. I’m gonna make a doctor appointment.

I plan to begin starting all my doctor appointments with, “I was doing some research on the internet and I think [insert ailment] is what’s wrong with me.” My guess is doctors love that. And seein’ as how I have a friend who’s a doctor, I KNOW they love that.

I did my yoga, about 45 minutes worth, probably, including sun salutes and all kinds of balance things and other yoga-what-nots (I’m never confident of the names), and I considered that my workout for the day. That and everything else I was doing.

Angie went to Whole Foods to get some groceries for the week and Liam and I put away the dishes. “A FORK! Thank you! A spoon! Thank you! Another spoon! Thank you!” (He loves to hand me things from the dishwasher. I don’t discourage this…except when I’m loading the dishwasher with dirty things.) I washed some things by hand because that’s sometimes necessary, and I cleaned the countertops. I got some laundry going, although I’m still staring at a pile of unfolded clothes on the couch, but at least they’re different clothes from the last time I mentioned such a thing.

With the kitchen cleaner and Angie still gone, I decided to sauce most of the tomatoes I’d harvested from the garden this week (we just aren’t big on raw tomatoes, although we eat the bejesus out of some tomato sauce), so I got started with that. It’s not a prompt, lazy process: boil water, score the tomatoes, drop ‘em in boiling water, boil them ‘til the skin loosens up, pluck ‘em out and put ‘em in an ice bath, let ‘em cool, peel ‘em, cut ‘em and squeeze out the seeds, puree them, then put ‘em on the stovetop and cook ‘em down a bit. By the time I got to cooking ‘em down Angie was in the kitchen putting the zucchini to good use (bread, muffins, and chocolate cake, all with zucchini), so I headed to the garden. Her baking and my saucing looked a bit like—no, exactly like—the pictures below (which are process pics of these processes).

With the sauce cooking down and Angie on watch, I took Liam out to the garden and picked a bunch of green beans for dinner…and maybe someone else’s dinner. (We ended up with a mason jar full of sauce, which pleases me.) Much to my surprise, there were some ears of corn to be harvested. Now don’t get me wrong, they weren’t LARGE ears of corn. In fact—and I should get pictures but haven’t—some of them are probably about as long as my pinky finger. But they’re corn, with full kernels, and a couple of them were longer than my middle finger (so take that!) and they became part of dinner. Liam picked a tomato, too. He likes red things but doesn’t realize they aren’t all strawberries. At least it was ripe.

I took the beans and corn and tomato and Liam inside, then went to work on the garden chores. Not watering—this was the fence work and pest killing. There’s plenty of pest-killing to come, I suppose, but this was the…continuation. And the start of a more rigorous control regiment, for the time being. I finished all that and started the charcoals.

~~Never briquettes, if avoidable. Sure, lump charcoal is sorta weird, it’s irregular in shape, it crackles and pops as it burns, and it burns hotter and faster, but it’s not full of weird fillers and it’s healthier for you and it smells better, too. And we always use a chimney starter because it’s faster and WAY better than squirting lighter fluid all over the place. These things make differences. WE make differences...even if only to ourselves...but what's more important that that, in our whole scheme of things?~~

With the charcoals started and my wife doing the dinner prep, I got into the shower because I was stinky and, more importantly, itchy from reaching into all the miniature corn to pick the beans. I really need to get a picture of that madness; that mess of vegetation. I will. Just you wait.

Out of the shower, corn and ‘taters on the grill, I took over the rest of dinner. Team efforts are a good thing. There are no "eyes" in team--we do it blindfolded. There was still some baking going on. Dinner was running late. I got the steaks on. I got the beans on. Liam got his bath on. Dinner finished cooking. I poured myself some meritage. (Right now I’m drinking petite syrah.) So dinner, on my plate, was petite-cut sirloin (about as lean a cut of steak as you can get) which my wife had put some soy sauce and balsamic vinegar on then rubbed with some of our leftover pesto (it may sound weird, but…); two small ears of corn from the garden with real butter, salt, and pepper; grilled potatoes with garlic and some garden-grown gypsy pepper, olive oil, salt, and pepper; and garden-grown green beans also with the gypsy pepper, olive oil, salt, and pepper. (The gypsy pepper, as it turns out, is a reasonably large, bright red pepper with only a mild spiciness, but enough that I wouldn’t quite call it a sweet pepper.) My dinner looked like this:

and it was DAMN good. That possibly weird-sounding steak marinade was pretty awesome. Our steaks were well-done.

Liam’s bedtime was pretty much immediate after dinner, so I took a bit of that zucchini chocolate cake and ate it while drinking some wine. It was super good. It IS super good. There’s plenty more. It has chocolate chips on it.

I just yawned. I’m sleepy. It has been a busy day, ultimately. Or at least one that didn’t find me on my ass all that much. Things got done, even if the house still isn’t clean. Our house is never clean—we have a toddler, two big dogs, two cats, and two messy adults. We do our best.

So good night, dirty house. I have a long work-week ahead. I already dread tomorrow, only hours away. It’s 10:30. I could read. I might read. Or I might just go to bed. Bed sounds nice. Hopefully I don’t dream I’m wondering an endless stream of farmers’ markets along the American River with John Goodman and ultimately end up in some weird room with some strange drug situation I’m completely uncomfortable in tonight. Repeating that would be awful and weird.  

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