First, I want to Thank Dr. Gulara Vincent for publishing my “Family Threads” story on her blogging series The Story Behind the Story. I truly am touched. Here is my “Family Threads” story
An Abbott and Costello Evening
“ Cooking Rule: If at first you don’t succeed… order Pizza!” Unknown
“I came… I saw…I decided to order take out!” Unknown
“Old cooks never die, they just get deranged!” Unknown
Friday afternoon the creativity bug bit me! I decided to make the super delicious Chicken Pot Pie recipe that my daughter gave me. I pulled out all the ingredients: chicken, potatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, peas, celery, chard, onion, and started sautéing away. Heck, I even rolled out a crust for the top and the bottom of the dish. It even calls for some cream, thyme, and sherry… YUM! I spent all afternoon throwing ingredients into the pot pie as it only takes 30 minutes to bake. I even had leftover dough to make a sugar and cinnamon pastry for dessert.
I threw the potpie and the pastry into the oven, closed the door, and set the timer. About ten minutes after I closed the oven door, I heard a sharp click. Lights started to light up on the oven’s control panel and I KNEW that my oven had just automatically popped into the self-clean mode. I yelled at my husband to flip the power breaker as I scrambled to fan the smoke alarm that is now screaming at us as the steam poured out of the stove’s burners. Since the auto-clean had not been going for long, I thought and hoped that I could easily pull my meal out of the oven before it overcooked.
We waited for a while, until the oven was cool then flipped the power breaker back on. I didn’t receive any crazy messages on my panel, so I thought all was fixed… UNTIL I went to open the oven door and noticed the red glow shining through the glass door. Hmmm, what is that glow? Next, steam billowed out of the burners on top of the stove. The smoke detector is NOW screaming at the top of it’s lungs at me. I’m jumping up and down fanning the detector while I cussed at it. I screamed at my husband to flip the breaker again. But even after he finally reached the breaker in the garage, the smoke continued to stream out of the stove. I’m yelling at my husband to pull out our floor fan as the fan on the oven is insufficient to stop the boisterous smoke detector. One problem-my husband doesn’t know how my fan works so he can’t figure out how to turn it on. I convince him… OK, I yank my husband over to the ceiling smoke detector to fan it with a hot pad while I set up the floor fan.
I’m screaming orders, the smoke detector is yelling back at us, and smoke fills the house. The house now looks like a haze-filled haunted house just waiting for a ghoul to jump out at us, and my husband and I are Abbott and Costello reincarnate as we fall over one another!
Now, keep in mind that this is the third time this oven decided on its’ own to move into self-clean when I had dinner in the oven. Now WHAT is this oven trying to tell me? I actually thought I was a pretty good cook! The first time the oven flipped into self-clean the power had flicked due to a wind storm, but we were eventually able to open the door and rescue my salmon, albeit a tad bit overcooked. Then two weeks ago, I had just finished cooking a pizza and the oven went into self-clean. Fortunately I had pulled the pizza out BEFORE it was cremated. I did notice the next morning that the oven was much cleaner.
Friday, this time when the excitement took place it was slightly after 5:00. I called the property manager. The first number I called I received a recording. The second number I called connected to a live person… as if that did me any good. The response I received was… “Well, after all it IS Friday night after 5:00 all the appliance places will be closed.” (I think it was more that she wanted to go home and didn’t care about my cremated dinner… still locked in the oven.)
Saturday morning, my husband went on-line to find out how to unlock the oven and it worked. Oh MY!! My pastry looked like a charcoal briquette. It immediately vanished into the garbage can. However, my pot pie is in a 9’ x 13” pan. How do I throw all this food away? I scraped at the crust and discovered it could be peeled off. So the crust visited the pastry in the garbage can while we put the pot pie in the refrigerator. Then I managed to connect with the property manager as she assured me that she called five appliance companies and that NONE of them were open… Yeah Right!
Now Monday morning with an oven and stove that don’t work, I heard from an appliance company that they would have someone come out on Tuesday. The question of the day is… Will they be able to fix the oven OR will the oven have to be replaced? How much longer will we be without an oven and stove? Don’t you LOVE caring property managers? Ok, she did save the owner of the house a few dollars… but WHAT about us???
First, I am delighted to announce that the talented Artist, Author, Director, and Producer, Dianne Lynn Gardner accepted my challenge to the 5 Day 5 Photo Challenge. In fact she was so excited about the challenge she has already started. She has already posted Day 3. You can see her blog here: https://diendrial.wordpress.com/2015/08/03/5-day-5-photo-challenge-day-1/ Then check out her incredible website: http://www.gardnersart.com/
As for me, while Dianne is working away, I’m enjoying the view from my balcony, across my neighbor’s yard down to Miller Bay. Nature provides incredible shows with otters or seals swimming and chasing fish. Bald eagles and Osprey often swoop from the trees to go fishing. Bunnies charge across the lawn. Heck, a raccoon even knocked on my sliding glass door looking for food. Sorry buddy, the restaurant is closed. Amazingly, I haven’t seen any deer, but a bear decided to cross the road in front of my husband while he was on his morning walk. The good news is that the bear was more interested in avoiding cars than looking at my husband.
The people across the bay thoughtfully provide music for the 4th of July as they bring in a band. We can sit on our deck, barbecue, drink our wine, and absorb the fun music, as we enjoy the beauty of our view. Tough life, huh?
Now down at the end of my road is the small community of Indianola. It is a fabulous place for kids to play on the beach, swim, or kayak. The town originated in 1886 and could only be accessed via water. The dock has been improved and upgraded over the years as originally it was built for the mosquito fleet. Once the Agate Pass Bridge was built between Bainbridge Island and the Kitsap peninsula, a road was built to Indianola so the ferries were no longer needed. Consequently, the state purchased the ferries and moved them to other locations. As of the 2010 Census, Indianola consists of 3,500 people. They have a General Store, a Post Office, and a Community Center.
The General Store is a fabulous place to go enjoy a cup of coffee to learn what your neighbors have been up to. If you are curious, the local gossip (don’t tell anyone) is that the Powers-to-be are considering putting a Ferris wheel and roller coaster up at the end of the dock. Watch out Coney Island! (Stay tuned!) The kids visit the general store for ice cream cones, and sodas. It is an idyllic location for simply enjoying nature as you stroll the beach, sit on the driftwood admiring the view, or plunging off the dock into the water. Ahhhh, Summer time!
Summer provides many fun and colorful options for playing. What have you been up to this summer?
Are you appreciating life and the beauty that surrounds you? Are you taking the time to be a kid and play, or did you forget how? Take time to smile and find some joy in life… it will do WONDERS for you!
Have a Happy and Fun Summer!!
A New Beginning
As the day ends, what is your perspective on life? Do you see the beauty in the world? Or are you so caught up with day-to-day living that you forget to look beyond your nose? Now, here I could say the world is going up in flames as you look out at the 4th of July fireworks. But I call it a “spark of life!” I look forward to the new day dawning. Do you?
In the following picture, the area is quiet and serene. I love it. Also, in my mind’s eye I see a peacock strutting its’ stuff. Do you see it? I love the quiet of the woods that surround me. I see life as it once was … a new beginning. I moved from a busy town to the quiet countryside. Some people see wild and desolate, but I see peace and nature. Change is good. A new day brings new beginnings.
Here you can see CHANGE zooming across the sky preparing you for the beautiful day yet to come.
Once you look forward to joy and happiness, your whole world will brighten up. The clouds will blow away and the sun and sunny skies will come out to greet you. See sunny skies and clear sailing ahead… look what you accomplish when you look for the joy in your life.
Mystical and Imagination
When you look at the three pictures I placed here, what do you see and where does your imagination take you? Or do you look at the pictures and say, “This lady is NUTS. The pictures are boring.” So, pray tell, what opens up your imagination?
To me, the first picture shows a cottony mantle nestling on Dyes Inlet. I imagine Pete’s Dragon or a Unicorn to come swooping up from the depth of the clouds any minute. I love the magic of the earth slumbering in the cloudbank. The world seems to have evaporated. Maybe I’m the only person who exists high up on my perch.
The clouds also appear to be a giant tsunami bubbling up and over the world. Maybe this is the earthquake and tsunami that is rumored to destroy us? I can see the waves crashing on the shore… Surf’s Up!
What do YOU see in the clouds?
Now, what do you see? SMILE! You’re on Candid Camera! This is my Happy Face that travels with me everywhere I drive. Two cute little eyes, a button nose, and a great big grin… can’t you see it…
Some people simply see a Honda steering wheel. Not ME!! When I’m feeling down, this smile brightens my day. I see a funny little monkey grinning from ear to ear. So, do you even see the smile or the silly monkey?
Now, most of you have seen this picture before, but I LOVE it. This picture depicts nature sending its’ sign of love to me. Some people will only see a puddle of water but I see a heart. They might even stomp on it since the heart is in the middle of the walkway. I treasure this spot as it is near the path that I walk every day. I immediately say “THANKS” to nature for providing me such beauty.
Or you can be like my daughter’s youngest daughter who says, “GRANDMA, it’s JUST a puddle!”