Monday, September 26, 2016

Saturday, running errands...

I woke up late on Saturday. But, that was okay as I didn't have any appointments. so, who cares?

I watched the last of the news and then a couple of DIY shows (I was lazy). Finally, I shaved and showered.

I got dressed and headed out to the Kroger's on Ford Road. They carry the dried 15 bean mix I wanted.

Sidebar: I couldn't decide on what to make for the family reunion. It's been so warm I thought macaroni salad. But it looked like the temperature was going to fall, so I was thinking ham and bean soup.

So, I bought the ingredients for both, along with some needed staples. Plus a large package of (much needed) toilet paper - I've had the runs since Friday morning.

Sidebar: It's not only me. Michelle gave those turkey rolls to Vicky and I have since learned that both Yanessa and Evy had the same reaction as I did. They tasted great, but there was something in them that tore my guts up!

Back home, I dumped the truck in the driveway and hit the bathroom. Then I unloaded the groceries.

I put the bag of beans in water to soak overnight. Then I boiled the macaroni for the salad. When it was done, I rinsed it in cold water and let it cool. Then I roasted three red peppers on the stove grate.

I chopped those up and added the rest of the ingredients. I made the dressing and stuck the bowl in the fridge for the night.

Then I went outside to plant my latest acquisition, a "Thundercloud Stonecrop," it's a low, mounding perennial.

Since I was out there anyway, I watered all the recent transplants. I noticed that two of my roses finally (FINALLY) bloomed.

Back inside I cooked some Buitoni fresh pasta. I wanted the mushroom anga(whatever) but they were out. So, I bought a four cheese ravioli. I figured that was enough cheese, so I skipped the Alfredo sauce and went with a jarred tomato and basil sauce. I topped it with some Parm and dinner was done and delicious.

Then I went to bed early.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Finally Friday

There was a beautiful sunrise on the way into work on Friday. It clouded up, though, as the morning progressed.

I went to Time Out for lunch. I got a chicken salad pita, just for something different. It was pretty good!

It rained briefly in the afternoon, so Fred and I had to run out and close our truck windows.

Back home after work, I watered the container gardens in front. I dumped a full bucket on the dogwood. The hydrangeas and the transplanted Shasta daisies look really healthy!

Then I went out back and watered the kitchen window box and the three hanging plants. It's kinda sad. Now that the season is almost over, the hanging plants are finally filled out and looking great!

And the season is really almost over. The maples out back are starting to turn color and already dropping leaves.
I checked the veggie garden. The tomato plants are dying, but I found three summer squash! I picked the biggest two.
Back inside, I washed my pants that had I soaking since the painting class. Sadly, they will have to be my new "working around the house" pants as the stain did not come out.

I ate the last of the beef pot pie for dinner and then watched a little TV until bedtime.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Here's the group photo at Painting with a Twist

Picasso and me...

Today was the wort day of this week for heat and humidity. 86 degrees and muggy!

I went to Red Robin and got their Bleu burger and fries. I just felt like having something different for a change.

Since I had some time to kill, I went for a ride through Hines Park. I was surprised to see how many trees are beginning to change color!I thought they needed cold nights for that?

After work, I took a rinse-off shower and changed clothes after treating the cat. Then I headed back out into rush hour traffic. I had to get to Ferndale. Vicky and I were meeting with Michelle Pace and her daughter, Ashley (and three of Michelle's friends) at a "Painting with a Twist" session.

Sidebar: If you don't know what that is, it's a paint class (acrylic water-based paint) where a bunch of strangers sit and paint a picture, based on a theme (or, you can paint whatever the hell you want). People bring in wine and/or snacks. There is an instructor who shows you techniques and occasionally walks around giving suggestions.

So, I went down Telegraph to I-696. Telegraph was slow, but I-696 was a parking lot (literally). I was seriously worried I wouldn't make it in time (it was from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., but you were supposed to get there at 6:30 to sign in).

I got off on Woodward (next to the Detroit zoo) and went two miles south to Nine Mile. I turned right and I was literally there. But, with all the parking spaces taken! Their website mentioned parking the rear, but how do I get to the rear? There's no entrance or alleyway or even a cross street. WTF?

So, I drove west on Nine Mile for at least a quarter mile to find a cross street. Finally found one and then found the big parking lot. No to find a parking space! But I finally found a handicapped one all the way back and just behind Painting with a Twist! What luck!

I was not so lucking with the parking kiost. First timeI ever saw one, much less used one, so I ended up paying three times what I should have. Damn modern technology!

I went inside, carrying two bottles of wine (Michelle was bring snacks). I was the first one there so I requestered, got my canvas and found my seat. I then used the bathroom (thank God!)

I chatted with the two artists while I waited for the others. People slowly started trickling in. I took a photo to show you the set up.

 Note: This was just one section. It's a big place.

Michelle and Ashley showed up and then Michelle friends. But no Victoria.

Michelle had cheese and crackers and some very delicious turkey wraps. So, we had some food (nobody had time to eat dinner). Everybody got their apron and class began.

Michelle called Vicky. She was here, just trying to find a parking spot.

Now the theme was "Fall in Michigan" so each canvas had the Michigan outline drawn on it.

Some people got really creative, but I followed the instructor. I was trying to get the techniques, first.

Vicky finally made it, but she was about 15 minutes late and so behind. She was sitting next to me (Michelle and Ash were across the table from us) so I kept telling her what she missed.

We took a ten minute break about an hour through (mostly to let the painting dry). I had some wine and chatted with Vicky while Michelle and Ashley played with hulu hoops.

Then we went back to work.

I was having trouble making small branches. I followed the instructions (over and over) but kept making big ones. Vicky was doing it perfectly, so I finally gave up and asked the artist for help. She came over to show me, but siad, "Here's the problem! You've got a bad brush!!!" She gave me a new one and it worked!

All good thing some to an end and so did the class. We posed in a group picture for their Facebook page and a private one that Ashley took.

Unfortunately, the bottom of my painting wasn't quite dry, so I got blue paint on my brown pants. They gave me some Clorox wipes, but I think they are trashed.

I washed up and made my goodbyes (Michelle and Vicky were still chatting away). I thanked both the artists and headed home

It took me half the time to get home as it did to get there in rush hour.

I took a close up of the painting for you.

It's okay for a first attempt. I put my pand on a bucket with some laundry soap to soak overnight. Then I went to bed.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Hump Day!

It was another warm, muggy day.

I went to Big Boy and got a cup of the broccoli and ham coup and a half sandwich (three cheese and tomato, grilled.)

Then I went and filled the truck up.

When I got home, I did the Wednesday night wash.

I heated another piece of the beef pot pie in the microwave for my dinner.

Then I watched the taped season premiers of NCIS and NCIS New Orleans.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Tuesday's Tale

It was chilly on Tuesday morning when I took the trash out to the road. But it warmed up to a beautiful summer day.

Sidebar: Summer is clinging on in Southeast Michigan, despite what the calendar says.

I went all over hell at lunch. First I went to Larry's Foodliner (open 24 hour) and bought a bottle of Kitchen Bouquet. I remember my Mother using this in her gravy, so I thought I'd try it.

Then I went to Newburgh Grill. They had their bean and ham soup, so I just got a big bowl of that.

From there I went to Lowe's. I wanted to get two more hydrangeas, but they were all gone! They replaced them with tons of mums. Dammit!

Finally, I got the truck washed.

After work, I took out the roast and two pie crust. I thawed the pie crusts while I cut the roast, potatoes, carrots and onions into smaller pieces (I like big chunks with my roast). I mixed them all up. and they filled the two other frozen pie crusts.

Then I made my gravy. I had four cups of au jus, so I doubled the recipe. I put in 1/2 cup of butter into a large saucepan and melted it. Then I whisked in 1/2 cup of flour until there were no lumps. I added in 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and cooked it over medium heat for about five minutes, until it started to turn light brown.

I turned the heat to low and SLOWLY added my au jus, whisking constantly. I added two teaspoons of Kitchen Bouquet and turned the heat back to medium. I continued to stir until the gravy boiled and thickened.

I tasted it and it was great! Not exactly like my mother's (but she used beef drippings and mine was broth-based) but damn close!

I put the gravy over the beef and veggies, put the thawed crust on top (this wasn't easy or pretty) and stuck them into a preheated 350 degree preheated oven. I baked them for about 30 minutes until the crust was golden.

I cut a piece for my dinner, but couldn't get it out pretty enough to take a picture for you.

On the other hand, it was delicious. Thanks for the idea, Jake!

I watched TV for a bit, but went to bed early.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Monday and back to work...

Note: I actually think I work more on my weekends than I do all week long at Spacely Sprockets.

It was yet another beautiful day here in Southeast Michigan. It warmed up to 80 degrees but, with the low humidity and light winds, it didn't feel "hot".

I went to Ten Yen for lunch and had the almond chicken. I took half of it back with me to work in a take-out box.

Then I went to Lowe's. If you remember, the checkout girl with the odd colored hair told me the sale on nursery stock would start after the 15th. So, I went to see if it was true.

My friendly cashier wasn't there, but everything was 25% off.

Sidebar: Not as good as my brother Carl's Mt. Clemens Lowe's but, oh well... We can't all live in Mt. Clemens.

So, I bought the Cloud Nine Dogwood I had had my eye on. Cost me $23.00.

Next problem was putting it in the truck. I was unprepared. Had I thought about it, I would have brought a garbage bag and wrapped it around the container (to keep the dirt from falling out) and then just laid it in the back (the sucker's 5+ feet tall). But, I went on a whim and now had to deal with it.

So, I ended up putting the passenger seat back, sticking the pot under the dashboard and laying the branches on the seat. It was a little unstable, but I made it back to work. Then I put small boxes in appropriate places to shore it up for the ride home.

Back home after work, I noticed they hadn't cut my lawn (again). This time I'm gonna call and complain.

I changed clothes and then went outside to determine the spot for the dogwood. Unfortunately, the exact right spot (I think) is where I had planted some of the farm Iris from Sadie!


So, I manned up and moved the Iris to two new spots. I probably won't get flowers next year, but gardening is a waiting game.

Then I dug a big-ass hole and planted the dogwood. My only hope is that the roots do not get into my sewer tile.

Since I was out there, I screwed the big pumpkin on for Halloween.

I went inside after securing everything and was surprised to find it was 8:30 p.m. Too late to try Jake's beef pot pie idea, so I just made a roast beef sandwich with hot mustard for dinner.

I watched a little TV but fell asleep early. I was beat...

Monday, September 19, 2016


Sunday was just doing routine chores around the house: Three loads of laundry, minor housecleaning, etc.

I made a BLT for my lunch with store-bought tomatoes. It tasted so good I made another one for dinner.

Lazy day. Read a lot, watched some TV and generally screwed off.


I woke up to the alarm clock on Saturday. I had a 9:00 a.m. doctor's appointment in Sterling Heights (six-months check-up). So, I shaved, showered and got ready. Then I got a call from them saying my appointment was rescheduled to October 15 at 9:00 a.m.

Well, that's okay, I guess. It will give me more time to lose weight (always a concern of my dear doctor) But, can a doctor get sick? I dunno. Doesn't seem like a stellar recommendation.

On the other hand, my pharmacist's recommendations seem to be working. My left hand is looking much better!

The only thing that annoys me is that I have to wait to 1:00 p.m. for my hair cut.

It was raining. so I putzed inside.

I made a half sheet pan of bacon in the oven (Please don't tell Vicky - she has banned me from using the the stove until after I see my doctor). But seriously, when have I ever listened to a woman?

I made two eggs over easy and toast and, with some bacon, had a nice breakfast.

I finally went and got my hair cut. Then I went to Kroger's. I was pulling out after checking out when I realized I forgot the pie crusts. So, I turned around and parked again. I went back inside and bought them.

I stopped at the Chinese take-out next to CVS and got a quart of chicken fried rice. I was hungry and it sounded good. And, it was. I ate about half of it for my late lunch.

I left the truck outside to unload it.

I changed clothes and then pulled the Big Thumper outside as well. Then I started moving wood to the back wall. I have to get the area in front of the old fuse box cleared out. I still haven't gotten a confirmation date yet, but I don't want to be surprised by them showing up and not being able to put in the new fuse box.

Finally, I rolled the chop saw table and the router table to the back. I started the bike and drove it in. Then I did the same to the truck.

It was after 6:00 p.m., so I heated the rest of the fried rice up and ate dinner.

I watched some DIY shows until bedtime.