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Location: DownByTheRiver, Central Iowa, United States

Husband of the world's most wonderful wife, father of the world's four most brilliant children, grandfather to the world's eight most beautiful granddaughters and two handsomest grandsons

Monday, November 13, 2006

A Day Described


A simple description of a day in the life of the RRR. This morning the clock was set for 0445 for Mrs. RRR to get up to go to work. As usual I awakened about 30 seconds before the alarm went off. I groaned and rolled off the pallet in front of the gas fireplace and was stretching when the buzzing of the alarm started. Mrs. RRR also groaned and covered her head with the quilt. I stumbled about and shut off the clock and went into the kitchen and peered out into the pitch blackness. Why do the days have to get shorter? Yes, yes, I KNOW why, but I don't want them to. I poured fresh water from the water filter into the tea kettle and started Mrs. RRR's morning libations. She begins every day with a cup of Columbian Supremo coffee, a cup of green tea with ginger, and a half cup of home made tomato juice with a tablespoon of cider vinegar in it and hot water added. In a few minutes the cups were in a row and the tea kettle was beginning to hum and pop, clearing its throat to sing. She hurried out to face the day and I returned to the pallet before the fire to finish the dream my anticipation of the alarm clock had interrupted.
I was vaguely aware of the quick kiss and the cool blast of frigid outside air as she went out to walk Bay Toe Ven and warm up her car. The door slammed. Bay Toe Ven padded by and curled up with a sigh by my pillow. I heard the noise of her car turning around... saw the flash of light from the headlights... heard the rumble as she drove over the plank bridge and I was back in dreamland. At about 0615 I was awake again. I groaned and stretched some more and called Mrs. RRR at work. We talked a little about how her job was going and then I checked my blood sugar. 136. Not a bad fasting sugar for a diet controlled diabetic who loves fresh fruit. Then it was time for the daily visualization.
I draped the heating pad over my liver and leaned back in the recliner. Next came the deep breathing exercise, then I visualized as I've described before, striding through the caverns of my liver, destroying the vicious little bright yellow Hep C birds with my sword. Now I've added the kidney and adrenal cysts. They are clear globules hanging now and then from the sides of the tunnels. I slice each open with my sword and drain it. After an hour the heating pad timed out. I sipped back from trance state to sleep, then awakened. It was full daylight outside. I folded up the sleeping pallet and put it away.
Now it was time for my breakfast soup. A quart of water, a tablespoon of beef bullion, a left over hamburger patty, 3 carrots cut up, an onion cut up, cilantro, parsley, a large double handful of chopped chinese cabbage, a half cup of tomato juice and the whole mess allowed to simmer. Meantime I sat and watched the squirrels in the yard scamper about while I sipped my own cup of green tea with ginger. Then I read in the current book as I sipped the soup. I savored it for a long time and finally pulled myself together to begin canning tomato juice.
Yes, Ranger Readers.... though it's the 13th day of November, there are still tomatoes to can. We thought there would be almost no crop at all, then rains came in September and the plants bloomed anew and put on hundreds of tomatoes. But they were all green and not nearly mature when the first hard frost came in October. Mrs. RRR refused to part with them. She picked 45 gallons of green tomatoes and stored them on a large table out in the shop and covered them with a blanket. Then she brought in a five gallon bucket full and spread in trays in the sun to ripen. As they turn red, it becomes time to preserve some. And today was time. We have it down to a science.
I dumped them into the kitchen sink and rinsed and sorted. The bad places I cut off, along with the stems, then halved or quartered based on the size and put in the large pot to boil. eventually the 20 quart pot was almost full of simmering tomato goo. While this was happening, I clamped the Victorio strainer to the table. Then I lifted the pot over to the table and started ladling the stewing tomatoes into the hopper of the strainer. Mr. Victorio of Italy has my undying appreciation for his invention. I turned the crank. Tomatoes juice flowed into one pot and the seeds and skins into another. Within 25 minutes I had over 10 quarts of juice. I put that pot on the stove and sat up my jars and lids. They were sterilized in a roasting pan. I fished out a jar with tongs lifted it to the other side of the stove, put in the funnel, added a heaping half teaspoon of sea salt and ladled in the boiling juice. Then I took a lid and ring from the boiling water and placed on the jar and screwed it down tight. One more quart of juice. There were ten full jars and a half cup left over to sip hot while I listened to the lovely "ping" of lids sealing.
Then I took all the pots, strainer, etc., out to the hydrant and sprayed the excess tomato off with the high pressure hose. The seeds, skins and other tomato scrap went into the creek to feed the raccoons, muskrats, and other assorted members of my clean up crew. I started washing the pots and equipment and was almost done by the time Mrs. RRR arrived home from work. She made a fantastic lunch to celebrate us going over 100 quarts of tomatoes canned. We had left over turkey, asparagus with cheddar cheese melted on, lettuce and cottage cheese salad. And then dessert... oh... oh... oh... dessert. Fresh apple crisp from the apples I'd peeled and sliced a few days ago with a scoop of ice cream! No one eats better than the RRR... no one. After lunch I again visualized my battle with the Hep C's and Mrs. RRR and I and Bay Toe Ven and Sam the Outside Dog took a long walk in the woods.
It didn't take long for me to realize that I am still far from recovered from the trauma of my Cardiac Ablation. I was very fatigued by the time we got back to the cabin. But how beautiful that walk was. Birds soared above us. Rabbits and squirrels bounded out of our way and we saw some huge deer tracks. The leaves are almost all gone from the trees now and the woods have reopened so that it's easier to see the cycle of nature moving through them. I collapsed in a chair after I cleaned the mud from our boots while Mrs. RRR picked out another 5 gallons of tomatoes to ripen. We had a half cup of her homemade yogurt with strawberries in it for supper. Then she started doing paperwork for her job while I wrote letters and now this blog.
One day in the life of the RRR. One more day.

2 Comments:

Blogger visithra said...

lovely narration - ive always loved the way you enrich a simple day ;)

glad that ur bag - n it went well at the hosp

ps : i couldnt read it fully - im quite familiar with the proceduer - my dad had it done twice

8:51 PM  
Blogger Mid-kid said...

You are such a good writer! For heaven's sake write a book, already!

6:49 AM  

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