Thursday, August 28, 2014

Humped Day

Another apology! Sometime in the night, I had some sort of brownout or power loss. So, my alarm clock wasn't working. I barely got to work on time and didn't have any time to fill in the Blog. Sorry!

It was deliciously cool when I left for work on Wednesday.

I took a long lunch hour with my friend Vicky at the Westland Mall, picking out and then getting stuff engraved for our two departing co-workers. Note: It takes at least a half hour to get stuff engraved. Don’t kid yourself (like we did). We ended up about $50 bucks short, so I put it on my credit card. Sigh…

But, Vicky bought me lunch at Olga’s kitchen while we waited, so I felt better.

Back home after work, I changed clothes and started back on the shelf project. I used a kitchen towel to dust off every can and then put them back on the shelf, relocated in the garage.

I quit working at 7:30 p.m.

I had an idea, so I made a quick marinara sauce of whole canned tomatoes, garlic and olive oil in my Dutch oven. I added to that the rest of the onion sausage links, cut into rounds. Then I threw in the leftover thick spaghetti and jarred pasta sauce.

While that was heating up, I went out back and picked up all the large branches and threw them over the fence.

Back inside, I ate dinner. It was delicious (and I was so spot on about not adding onions to my marinara sauce - the onion sausage filled that void).

I read my book until I got sleepy and then went to bed.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Is It Only Tuesday?

Please Note: I apologise for this being late, but Brighthouse, my internet provider, suffered some sort of major meltdown last night.

Tuesday started out warm and humid and it got worse before it got better. It felt muggy just hauling the trashcan out to the road.

I went to Ten Yen for lunch and got the usual. Then I went to Lowe’s for some tung oil. I could have sworn I had some, but I couldn’t find it on the paint and stain shelves.

It turned pitch dark and the wind picked up around 4:30 p.m. Then the storm hit! Thunder, lightning and rain were accompanied by fierce winds (gusts up to 60 mph!) We lost power briefly in our building. I got soaked just getting to the truck.

I drove home on Schoolcraft (the I-96 service drive). It’s usually slower, but has only one lane so there are fewer crazy drivers. But, I had to dodge blown over construction barrels, signs and fallen branches. I was concerned driving down Inkster when I noticed all the lights on the west (Livonia) side were off. But, the lights in the businesses on the east (Redford) side were still on!

Sidebar: Thank God! Didn’t feel like spending the night without electricity!

So, I was able to open the garage door and pull the truck inside out of the rain. I still had to walk out and get the trashcan, so I got soaked again.

I treated the cat and changed into dry clothes. I checked for storm damage. I had a lot of clumps of maple leaves and two or three good-sized branches in the yard, but no large branches on the shed or house.

I got back to my garage shelf demo. I removed the boards that were screwed into the concrete and swept the floor.

Then I took everything off one of the shelves in the back room. I filled up a bucket with hot water and Pine Sol and took that outside. BTW, it was only sprinkling then, but the temperature must have dropped some 20 degrees!

I washed the shelves off and then rinsed it off with the hose. I had planned on letting them dry on the patio, but it was still lightly raining. So, I carried it around to the front. I blew it off with the leaf blower and set it inside to dry overnight.

I repeated the process on the second shelf. But then the project was stopped until the shelves dried. So I went inside. It was almost 7:00 p.m. and I was hungry.

I warmed up some of the tuna casserole for my dinner. I watched a little TV, but went to bed before 10:00 p.m.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


It was already warm and sticky when I woke up Monday morning. But, nothing like SC, so I wasn’t even fazed.

Before I left for work, I retrieved the game tail camera (I never know when they are coming to cut the grass). I just stuck it in the office.

I went to the Newburgh Grill for lunch and got yet another of their daily specials, a gyro and the beef vegetable soup. Both were excellent and only cost me $5.79 cents. Then I walked down to CVS and got two “going way” cards, since two folks are leaving this Friday. Now normally this is handled by Michelle (my cube-mate) but since she’s one of the ones who are leaving (after nine years), I felt it was my duty. Back at work, I passed the cards around to get them signed.

The afternoon dragged (as it always does). But, finally it was 5:00 p.m. and I headed home. For a change, it was quick (WTF?) and I got home about 5:20 p.m.

I checked the game trail camera and found 116 videos, all of them daytime shots and either squirrels, birds or wind-driven foliage.  No signs of foxes, skunks or large cats. Since they had actually cut the grass today, I reset the camera and stuck it back out my alternative tree.

Sidebar, I didn’t see any sign or scat to prove that either Marty or Tom had been here, but maybe somebody got their fur!

Back inside, I started demo on the built-in shelves next to the man door in the garage. I used to store vegetables in it, but haven’t for years. So, it’s just wasted space. I got everything down except for the two boards attached to the cement block wall. Sadly, I forgot to get a picture before I took it out.

For dinner, I heated up the rest of the eggplant Parmesan and a little more of the thick spaghetti.

I watched taped TV until about 9:00 p.m. and then read until bedtime.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Please Note!

Whatever was going on when my pictures didn't load this morning (and there were several, but I kept at it until only one was not there) it was fixed this afternoon. So, I posted the picture of the glued rounds of black walnut onto the correct space.

Sunday Morning, Coming Down…

I woke up at 5:30 a.m. on Sunday. I got a cup of coffee and read until 6:00 a.m. When the news came on, I found I wouldn’t be testing the bike glasses today. Today is the annual “Cruise Hines Park” Nobody is allowed on Hines Drive (from Outer Drive in Dearborn to Ann Arbor Trail in Plymouth) except for classic cars.  They expect 30,000 of them today from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

I froze the lunch meat yesterday, except for three slices of deli ham. So, I prepped the yellow onions I would need later for dinner. I sautéed a handful of diced onion in butter along with the ham I diced. Then I added three eggs I whisked with a splash of heavy cream. When the middle was set, I added two slices of American cheese (more for the easy melting than taste). I popped an English muffin in the toaster. I plated the omlet and the muffin and had a great breakfast!

I cleaned up the kitchen and ran the dishwasher. Then I did the usual Sunday morning chores: wind the clock, water the indoor plant and refill my new medicine box (Carla bought me a better one when I was down there). I watched the NBC news until 10:00 p.m., then I shaved and showered. I was going to go to Home Depot (I forgot that yesterday) but I decided I had enough things to do around the house without killing the grass in my driveway.

So, I started the weekend wash. Oh, I forgot to tell you, I turned my hot water heater down to the “recommended” temperature. I am tired of getting these letters from DTE telling me I used more electric/gas than 65% of my neighbors. So, now I have to get used to adjusting the shower, and sink faucets.

When the washer was done, I threw that load in the dryer and put the bedding in the washer.

My friend B___ called around noon and we chatted for a while.

I pulled the truck outside, took the black walnut log and cut it square. Then I cut two rings out of it. I cut off the bottom of one ring so it was about the same size as the other ring. Then I adjusted the compound miter saw to 30 degrees and cut a very little notch into the whole ring.

I used Elmer’s carpenter’s glue and a clamp to join the two (I was afraid to nail or screw it, thinking the wood might split). I’ll let it dry a couple of days and then rub it with tung oil. I don’t want to ruin the look of the black walnut. This will become my stand for my challenge coin.

I went out back and thinned the radishes.

Back inside, I hung up my shirts and pants when the dryer buzzed.

I went out back and refilled the squirrel feeder. Then I opened the shed and got out the lawn tractor.  I drove it up to the garage and then (after opening it) drove it inside.

I removed the one remaining blade and then sharpened the two new ones. I think I’ve said this before, but the new blades are covered with paint and thick plastic so they are NOT sharp. I used my Dumore with a stone and then trimmed the rough edges with a bastard file. I love that name: bastard file!

Then I began the laborious task of leveling the deck. By the time I got that done, it was too late to start another project. So I put the tractor in the shed, pulled the truck inside and buttoned everything up for the night.

Inside, I made dinner. This dinner came about after a discussion I had with Carla in the grocery store. She asked if I ever used soup (like cream of chicken) in a dish. I said the only soup I use is cream of mushroom in tuna and peas. That got me thinking. Is there a way to amp up tuna and peas? So, I searched. I couldn’t find any recipe for just tuna and peas, but I found a Tuna noodle casserole recipe from Sunny Anderson that sounded interesting.

So, I preheated the oven to 375 degrees F. and buttered my 9x13 glass ovenproof dish.

I cooked a 12-ounce bag of egg noodles in salted boiling water until al dente, about eight minutes. I drained then and immediately put the noodles in a large bowl filled with ice water to stop the cooking. Once cooled, I drained them again and then poured the pasta into a large bowl with one pound of drained, flaked tuna (in oil), 10 ounces of thawed frozen peas, 1 ½ cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese and 1 ½ cups of shredded Irish cheddar (I had to shred that myself). I tossed it to combine.

In my skillet, I heated two tablespoons of butter and one tablespoon of olive oil. I added 1 ½ cups of diced onions and one teaspoon fresh thyme. I seasoned that with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and cooked them on medium heat until the onions were tender and translucent, about five minutes. I added eight ounces of sliced crimini mushrooms, seasoned them with salt and cooked gently until tender and darkened, about five minutes more. I added in four teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce and one tablespoon of horseradish, and then I sprinkled two tablespoons of A/P flour over the entire pan. I stirred that to help the flour soak into the vegetables and cooked a minute more to lose the flour taste.

I raised the heat to medium-high and added 1 ½ cups of chicken stock. I cooked that until slightly thickened, about five minutes, and then slowly stirred in two cups of heavy cream. I let that simmer until the cream was thickened slightly, about one minutes more. I taste-tested it and seasoned with a little more salt. I poured the mushroom sauce over the prepared noodles in the large bowl and quickly stirred everything to combine. Then I immediately poured  the bowl into the prepared dish.

Next I made the topping. In a small bowl, I combined three cups of Panko breadcrumbs and three tablespoons of olive oil. I seasoned that with a sprinkle of salt and a grind or two of pepper. I stirred that until the crumbs soaked up the oil evenly. I sprinkled the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the top of the dish and placed it, uncovered, in the oven. I baked it until the sides were bubbly and the top was golden brown, about 35 minutes. Then I let it rest five minutes before serving.

It took a while and I had dirty dishes everywhere, but it was worth it! Excellent!

I cleaned up the kitchen and then watched mountain Man (commercials and all). I went to bed when it was finished.