ODD BALL PHOTO CHALLENGE WITH GLASS TEAPOT

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: 2015 Week #9

glass teapot - 2

This week’s pictures were originally illustrations for a different post. About tea, actually. Surprisingly, I just loved the way they came out … the clarity of the glass, the textures and tones. So, this week’s oddballs are about tea and a glass teapot.

Tea pot and canister - 2

brewing tea in glass teapot 2

All taken with an Olympus PEN PM-2, f1.8 45mm lens, without flash.

IN THE KITCHEN – CEE’S BLACK-AND-WHITE PHOTO CHALLENGE

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Things Found in a Kitchen

kitchen BW spices

What a great challenge this is. I love taking pictures in the kitchen. There is so much stuff in a kitchen … so much going on.

kitchen utensils BW

howling coyote cooking jar BW

sepia kitchen wide monochrome

So many textures and moods. I have taken a lot of my favorite photographs in the kitchen, usually in the morning when its east-facing windows catch the light. I was happy to take this today. Because the sun is shining.

copper kettle BW kitchen

THE COMMITTEE

My cousin called. It’s nice hear from her, good to remember I have some living family remaining. There used to be a lot more of us. When we were all a good deal younger, we used to see each other sometimes at family events. Anyway, we got to talking about insomnia. It’s part of the “older person” package of goodies. I commented my problem is the committee. Its endless meetings. Just when I want to sleep, the meetings begin.

First up, the Scheduling Committee. Dental, doctor, and veterinary appointments. Vacation dates. Taxes. When the snow melts, we’ll have to get someone to take a look at the siding and the roof. See what needs repair.

Enter the Maintenance Committee. They get to worry about the aging heating system. The once new, now not-so-new refrigerator, range, freezer. Water heater. Doors, windows. And let’s not forget the well. Exhausted, I drift off for a while, but I’m awake and alert in time for the Family Concerns Committee.

Indian corn in kitchen window

The Family Concerns Group obsesses over health issues. Is Garry just tired, or is there some lurking disease? Is my shortness of breath because I’m old and out of shape, or something more sinister? Next up, worry about the kids and the granddaughter’s college education. And the dogs. Can’t forget the dogs.

I don’t even want to discuss the obsessive number crunching of Ways and Means. Complain, complain, complain. They just want to know where I’m going to get the money for everything. Shut up, already. I have no idea how I get from month to month and I’d just as soon not examine it too closely!

Wait! Another committee? Oh, right. Now it is time for the meeting of the Ecological and International Affairs Committee, an umbrella group that focuses on the economy. War. Global warming — which admittedly seems less an immediate threat right now than usual.

Melting ice caps. Disappearing polar bears. Besieged elephants, lions, tigers, rhinoceroses, and wolves. Where are the birds? Have they have survived this terrible month of bitter cold, snow, and ice? And the swans? I worry about swans. And geese. And ducks. Let’s not forget bats. We no longer have bats. They are all dead from an accidentally imported bat plague.

Bees. We are running out of hives. If we have no bees, there won’t be food. Which might be good for the planet. Fewer people equals less pollution. By the time the committees adjourn, the sun is up and I’m exhausted. Aren’t you? How are your committees? Had any good meetings lately?

What’s on tonight’s agenda?


Think Global, Act Local – “Think global, act local.” Write a post connecting a global issue to a personal one.

A COLD DAY

It was bitterly cold outside and downright nippy inside when I got up yesterday morning. The temperature was below zero, so I figured our aging heating system had been over-matched. I slipped into sweatpants. Added heavy socks and a pair of house booties. Warm sweater. Poncho over sweater. I was still cold.

ice dams february

Cruelly, I forced the poor doggies to go outside. I apologized with biscuits and wrapped them in blankets when they came back. They brought winter with them. Damn. The house was cold. I looked at the thermostat. It read 64, but it felt colder.

ice dam februrary 2015

I got a cup of coffee. Drank it. Got another cup. Drank it, too. Still not warm. Especially my hands.

Owen got back from work and came up to tell me the boiler wasn’t working. Which explained the lack of heat. It’s a testament to how good our insulation is the house remained as warm as it did. Meanwhile, I realized my bathroom window was sealed tight by a thick layer of ice in the window. On the screen. In the frame itself. That in addition to the ice dams along the eaves.

72-One-More-Blizzard_09Owen had found a kid to come over and get the snow off the roof. He and the boiler repair guy showed up at the same time. The kid couldn’t move the ice dams at all and he’ll be back today to finish the snow. He was late getting started. Suddenly, it was too dark to work.

ice dam February 2015

Nothing but warmer temps and sunshine is going to melt that ice. At least it won’t get worse if the roof is clear of snow. Today’s storm is supposed to be tiny, just a couple of fluffy inches. I hope they are right. We have had more than enough.

Last night, I heard the funniest weather report. The meteorologist said there would be snow “somewhere in northern New England, probably New Hampshire or Maine. It will be very cold.” He wasn’t sure how much snow, or exactly when it would start, but he was sure there would be snow. Somewhere in New England.

You could give that forecast anytime during January or February in New England. You would always be right. You don’t need a weatherman to know which way that wind blows.

Next weekend? We’ll cross that storm when we come to it.

72-One-More-Blizzard_07

Winter is ending. A glance at the calendar screams “spring is just around the corner,” even though it looks like winter in Siberia. It’s warm again, inside. Our boiler is chugging away. The cold spell won’t last forever.

Although I have no empirical evidence to support my opinion, I firmly believe spring will come.

POINTY END DOWN

I just read a post on Facebook warning me to store my eggs pointy-end down to keep them fresh longer. This is the kind of important issue I’m prepared to deal with this snowy morning.

Today, I’m going to worry about which my eggs are pointing. Really. Even my health food obsessed mother didn’t worry about positioning he eggs properly.

storingeggspointedenddown

I’m sorry if I am a disappointment to egg lovers the world round, but I cannot be bothered to check the positioning of my eggs in their cardboard beds. I feel proud of myself if I know whether or not they are too old to eat. Sometimes, the eggs are so old, I’m not sure during which calendar year I purchased them, much less which of their little eggy ends are up.

Honestly, of all the things I to worry about. I think I’ll slip my concern over the position of my eggs neatly between my fears about the failure of world peace and the failing ecology of our planet. Which brings me to … The Daily Prompt.

WordPress suggests I make a case for the continued existence of my favorite person, place, or thing. To keep him, her, it or them from vanishing, without a trace. I hope no one is counting on me. I can’t come up with good reason I shouldn’t vanish. I have trouble figuring out why the human race should not be obliterated.

I think eggs should be spared. Pointy or blunt end up, I’ve never known an egg to do anyone any harm.


Do or Die – You have three hundred words to justify the existence of your favorite person, place, or thing. Failure to convince will result in it vanishing without a trace. Go!

MORNING AGAIN AND AGAIN

Two Right Feet - What are the things you need to do within 30 minutes of waking up to ensure your day gets off on the right foot? What happened the last time you didn’t do one of these things?


I didn’t have a good night. I’ve got some kind of … what … virus? Whatever it is, I feel like the Marne in September 1914. If the Germans are a viral infection and I am six French field armies and the British Expeditionary Force. I will ultimately win this encounter, but there will be casualties. Many.

Nan and Bishop

These days, I take my victories where I find them.

Which in no way means my morning will progress any differently than usual. Life is a checklist. Don’t argue, just do it. And the dogs run the place and wrote the checklist.

75-Kitchen-Morning-6

The worst part of the process is the beginning. Getting out of bed. Getting dressed. I can’t do life from the bed, not even on a bad day. I get to stay only if I am too ill to get up. Any other time, I have to wend my weary way to the recliner in the living room, where my computer lives. With a cup of coffee. There are a few steps I need to take along the way.

96-Bonnie-OnGuard_03

Did I mention the dogs run the place? Four furry faces greet me. I tell them to go out. No biscuits until they do their business. While they’re out — all of two minutes — I press the button on the coffee machine.

The dogs do not have a water dish. They have a water trough. It’s big enough for a camel and there’s a second bowl, too. Both need washing and refilling. Sometimes, a bit of moisture remains in one of them, but usually, both are dry. I’m sure they have drinking contests during the night, because the last thing Garry or I do before bed is fill both bowls. Is there a 12-step program for this?

They get a round of Greenies. I wash some dishes. put an English muffin in to toast. The dogs are watching. They are focused. Bonnie is jumping up and down. What a thrill! Mom is IN the kitchen. Magic time!

Round 2 of Greenies. I start the computer, then back to the kitchen. The dogs are trying to convince me they’ve never had a treat and will collapse from starvation any moment. This would play better to a different audience. I’m the one who — mere moments ago — gave them two rounds of Greenies. It’s a bravura performance, but they’ll have to do it for Garry a little later. I’m not buying the act.

Nan - 14

I have a headache plus a sore throat. And a cough. I feel sorry for myself, but it could be worse. It’s not snowing or raining. They don’t mind snow, except Nan who minds everything these days. On snow days, we go through a lot of towels.

But rain is a different story. They don’t like it and make their feelings known. Beep. The piercing cry of the toaster alerts me my toasted English is ready. As is the coffee. I’m ready for coffee.

What would happen if I didn’t do this stuff? You’re kidding, right?

SAVING SANDY

A bunch of us had gathered at Sandy’s house. She was a cook, aspiring to be a professional. When she invited us for a meal, it was good. Always a good feeding and delicious. We were her test subjects, never knowing what great idea she’d come up with. Whatever, we were happy to eat it.

On this day, Sandy was dressed — as always — in a loose Indian blouse and long skirt. The blouse had angel-wing sleeves. Very pretty, if slightly inappropriate for working in the kitchen. All of us had been smoking a little hashish. Hashish was ubiquitous, available everywhere. The appetizer for dinner to come.

75-FireSquare-ART-1

“Hey,” I said. “Sandy! You are on fire.” Sure enough, the wings of her blouse had passed smoldering — I’d missed that — and were in flames.

“Oh,” said Sandy, flustered.

All the friends stood there, staring at the pretty fire. Dummies, I thought. “Hey,” I yelled, “Don’t just stand there. DO something.”

Then, I put out the fire. Cotton doesn’t flame up quickly and if one is attentive, it’s easy to douse. Sandy thanked me profusely for a perfectly normal thing I’d have done for anyone. What was puzzling was how come the rest of the gang had stood there with their mouths open, apparently at a loss to know what to do. “Not good in a crisis,” I surmised.

“No one else tried to put out the fire,” Sandy pointed out.

“Not a big deal,” I said. And it wasn’t. I don’t know why I was the only one who realized that “Sandy is on fire” should be followed by putting out the fire.

Sandy stopped wearing loose clothing in the kitchen and stopped inviting those particular friends for dinner. Shortly thereafter, following a misunderstanding with the local constabulary about growing certain plants on her balcony, she moved to San Francisco and opened a chain of take-out restaurants.

I visited her there. She’s doing fine and no longer feels obliged to grow her own on the balcony. In any case, it’s legal.


Author’s Note: Today’s Daily Prompt: Daring Do, is another rerun. My original is still posted. This version has been lightly edited. I also changed the picture. I do have to thank WordPress for this unexpected opportunity to get another run out of an archived post.