Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Tuesday

I woke up late on Tuesday. I don't know if you can oversleep when you are retired (Vicky said it was impossible) but, if you can, I did.

I took my pills and did my eye drops. Then I ate cold cereal for breakfast.

I went outside to check the rain gauge. We picked up another 3/4 inch of rain overnight.

Sidebar: We supposedly had thunderstorms overnight, but they didn't wake me up if we did.

I felt like crap. I was watching the morning shows when I started to sweat. Uh, oh. I sweated so badly my bathrobe was soaked. I now know what that means: My blood sugar was too low.

I checked and it was 74. Average is 140. So, I took off my robe, ate two mini candy bars and went back to bed.

Sidebar: Whenever my blood sugar is low, I go to bed. Why, because I not only sweat profusely, but I feel dizzy and don't want to fall down if I pass out.

I slowly started to feel better. Not great, but better.

It was warmer, but overcast. I did water the hanging plants, but I decided to stay inside today.

Sidebar:  I forgot to mention this, but I realized just why I went to the porch rail planter. It cost a lot, but I was working then. Even now, with buying potting soil and the plants, I spend about $20.00 a year for a nice arrangement. These three hanging plants (admittedly beautiful)  cost me over $50.00!!!

I had a hot dog for lunch.

I had another two hot dogs and the rest of the beans for dinner.

I started to watch NCIS, but fell asleep around 8:30 p.m. I just did not feel good.

I woke up around 2:00 a.m. I took my night pills and did my last eye drops. Then I went back to bed.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Monday, Monday...

I woke up at 5:00 a.m. on Monday. That gave me plenty of time for eye drops (five minutes between each application), breakfast (oatmeal and coffee) and the morning pills.

Then I watched the news until 10:00 a.m.  Amanda called me at 10:25 (she's supposed to be at work at 10:30, BTW). It turns out instead of hitting the snooze button, she turned the alarm off! So, she's late and hustling to work.

I asked her if she wanted to meet at the Big Boy after she got off work. Why? Because:

1. Monday is the only day they serve the Canadian cheese soup we both love.
2. It's supposed to rain on Tuesday.
3. I haven't seen her in a week.

She said (garbled) that she was supposed to meet somebody after work to do something, but it might not happen and she would give me a call.

Sidebar: I don't know why, but when she's in her car  and talking on the phone, I can't understand half the shit she says. I don't know if it's road noise or wind noise or whatever. I get tired of asking her to repeat things. I just say, "Um hum."

So, I shaved, showered and got dressed. Vicky, in her morning text, asked me how my eye was doing and what I had planned for today. I told her my eye is getting better and I hoped to work up the herb and vegetable gardens to prepare them for planting.

Amanda sent me a text, saying she was waiting on her last table and had time to go to lunch. She asked if I minded if her mother joined us. I said, "Hell, no. She's my bingo buddy!"

So, I hauled ass to get there, but they still beat me. They already had a table, so I joined them. Fran (Amanda's mother) ordered the soup and a Slim Jim. Amanda asked if, with our soup, I wanted to share a turkey club (no tomato). I said sure.

Sidebar: Along with her hatred of mustard, Amanda hates tomatoes. I don't understand it, but I've learned to live with it.

The soup was delicious, as always. I ate my half of the club sandwich (also good - would have been better with tomatoes, lol!)  Amanda ate her soup and a quarter of her club sandwich. She put the other quarter on my plate. I told her I couldn't eat it. Fortunately, her mother ate just a little of her Slim Jim and got a box to take home for Amanda's father, so she took that, too.

Amanda ordered dessert. I didn't catch what it was called only that she changed the vanilla ice cream to strawberry. It was ice cream on top of a piece of chocolate cake with chocolate sauce on the side. We all had some. It was pretty good but way too rich more me.

Amanda had to run off, so Fran and I sat and talked for a while. Then we left.

It started sprinkling on the way home.

I did get the reflecting pool filled up and a couple of the statues out of the shed. But then it started raining for real.

Back inside, I was annoyed at not completing my work. So, I took it out on the bedroom. I swept and mopped the floor. I read in the living room until it dried. Then I went in and cleaned out the first of the four little drawers in the top of the dresser.

It was after 6:00 p.m. when I thought about the mail. It was pouring rain, so I decided whatever was in the mail could wait until Tuesday.

I warmed up two hot dogs and a can of Bush's Grillin' Beans for dinner.

I half watched TV and read until bedtime.

Sunday

I woke up early on Sunday, so I read in bed until it was light out.It was still overcast.

I had a cup of coffee and made over-easy eggs (fried in bacon grease) with toast for breakfast. Then I did the Sunday morning chores.

It sprinkled off and on all morning. It seemed to clear up around 2:00 p.m., so I drove to Westborn. I wanted to see if they had any sweet corn yet. Turns out they did! I bought five ears of bi-color sweet corn for $1.99. On the way to the register, I spotted some big, fat Michigan-grown asparagus. So, I bought a bunch of those as well.

It sprinkled again on the way home... I trimmed the sweetcorn and put it in a water-filled stock pot to soak.

Around 4:00 p.m.the sun came out. So, I got the new mower out and went to cut the rest of the back lawn. It took about 50 minutes. The mower walked right through the long grass. The only difficulty was I had to empty the grass catcher after every two passes.

I put away the mower and then read a bit in the living room with my legs up. Then I loaded up the charcoal chimney and fired it up (took a while to find some newspaper - I ended up using the Kroger circular).

When the coals were ready, I scrubbed the grate and oiled it. First I grilled a pack of Kogel's Vienna hot dogs for next weeks dinners. Then I grilled the sweet corn.

I shucked it outside (less mess), put it on a half sheet pan and stuck it into a 200 degree oven to keep warm. Then I grilled a small T-bone steak I had thawed out.

Lastly, I rubbed the asparagus in olive oil and grilled them. They really were beautiful!

Back inside, I cut the steak up (I can't eat that much meat at one time), put some butter and salt on the asparagus and buttered and salted an ear of corn. Then I plated my Sunday supper.

I had seconds of another ear of sweet corn and more asparagus. Then I declared the first barbecue of 2018 to be a rousing success!

I watched an old movie, "Smokey and the Bandit." Haven't seen it in years, but it was still funny. Then I watched the end of the Billboard music awards. I turned the TV off at 11:00 p.m. and went to bed.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

True!


Saturday

It rained off and on most of Saturday, so grass cutting or mower repair was out of the question.

I did three loads of laundry and some light housekeeping, instead.

The I read in the living room. I finished the book and got another one.

I had another bologna sandwich and the rest of the mac & cheese for dinner.

 I stayed up to watch Saturday Night Live but fell asleep halfway through it, dammit!

Friday

Friday morning, when I woke up, my eye ached! I had my eye guard (or whatever its called) taped on, so I know I didn't rub it. My eye was watering yesterday, which didn't happen either on the last operation.

I went to my post-op appointment at 10:30 a.m. and told them everything I'm telling you. They tried to give me an eye test, but other than the big "E" everything was too cloudy (I aced the right eye, if you remember). They said not to worry, sometimes it takes longer to heal than others. They said to keep doing the drops and set my next appointment for three weeks instead of two.

Heading back home, I was hungry, so I stopped at Bates and got a burger and fries (they stop serving breakfast at 10:30). Then I went to Kroger's and got a few items I needed.

Last stop was Home Depot. I decided to skip the porch planter this year and go back to hanging plants for a change. So, I bought some light chain and three hanging plants. I had to ask a biker in line in front of me to get them down. They were too heavy for me to pick them up and off the bar they were hanging on!

Sidebar: Because the front of the house faces east, I am limited to plants that don't need full sunlight. So, I picked deep red impatiens.

So, when I got home, I tried different lengths of chain to get them to the right height. I wanted to be able to water them, but not low enough they blocked the view of the road from either the porch bench or the couch. I finally got it right and cut the chain. Then I used tape measure (allowing for the difference in the porch height) to get the one to the left of the garage door.




I have yet to rant about what a pain in the ass reading glasses are. I figured I'd keep a pair next to the bed for reading my books. Turns out you need them every five seconds (looking at the phone, finding buttons on the TV remote, checking the herbs in your cupboard, etc.) I only had the one pair so I started wearing them up on the top on my head (like Amanda does with her sunglasses). But, I stopped at CVS on the way home from the doctor's and got three more cheap pairs. So. I have a pair in the office, one in the bedroom and one in the truck. The pair Melissa gave me is a roving pair, going where needed.

It was about 5:00 p.m. when I went out to cut the back grass. To my delight, the riding mower fired right up! I backed it out and started cutting the grass leaving long rows of grass clippings.

I got about 3/4 of the way done when I heard a weird noise and the blades stopped turning. Damn! I hoped the belt just came off, rather than it broke. It was getting late, so I put the mower in the shed and buttoned up everything for the night.

I made a bologna sandwich and some blue box mac & cheese for dinner. I watched some TV but went to bed by 1:00 a.m.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Next Operation

I was NPO since midnight, so breakfast wasn't a problem. I shaved, showered and got dressed. Then I waited in the living room for Courtney.

She picked me up just before 9:00 a.m. and we went to the surgery center. This time my nurse was a pretty blonde who was enormously pregnant. I told her that I normally don't ask women this (having made mistakes in the past), but when was she due? She laughed and said three weeks.

The routine was the same and in no time at all I was wheeled into the operating room. This time, though, the twilight sleep worked better and I slept through the whole procedure.

I offer to buy Courtney breakfast, but she said she'd have to take a rain check, as she had a dental appointment in Milford at 1:00 p.m.

She dropped me off. I drank a couple of gallons of water and ate more goulash for lunch. Then I went to bed.

Sidebar: As before, I was not to drive, not to drink and not to even do housework for the rest of the day.

I tried reading (with my new reading glasses, but I fell asleep. I slept for five hours!!! I woke up around 5:30 p.m. and I went out to get the mail.

I noticed that the lilacs were out. There were not as many blooms as last year, but they still smelled fantastic

 When I walked over, I noticed tulips that were not visible from the driveway.

I went out back and noticed the small iris along the garage were starting to bloom
.

And in the back yard, the lily of the valley in the wild garden were in bloom as well.

Before I went back inside, I got a few lilacs for my bedroom to bring that lovely smell inside.

Back inside, I ate the rest of the goulash for dinner. Then I went back to reading and/or watching TV. My nap allowed me to stay up until 2:00 a.m.! I taped on my eye guard and went to sleep.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Wednesday

I got up on Wednesday and had some oatmeal and coffee for breakfast. I read in bed until about 10:00 a.m. Then I went out in the back. It was already warm. I walked the backyard but it was still either damp or muddy in the low spots.

Well, it was supposed to be warm and sunny, so maybe I can cut it today.

I went out again at 2:00 P.M. and then 6:30. Still couldn't cut it. Damn!

Back inside, I made what my Mother called Goulash (now they are calling it "American Goulash")

First, I boiled a cup of uncooked elbow macaroni in my biggest saucepan. When it was cooked, I drained it and set it aside.

In the same saucepan, I browned a pound of ground chuck along with a small diced onion and two cloves of minced garlic. When the meat was done, I added in one 15-ounce can of crushed tomatoes and one 8-ounce can of tomato sauce. Then I added in one teaspoon of sugar, one teaspoon of Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste.

I had a bowl for my supper and saved the rest for tomorrow (when I wouldn't feel like cooking).

The recipe I was using said to sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top (which my Mother never did) so I tried that. Not bad!

I read in the living room until the 11:00 p.m. news came on. I watched that and then went to bed.

Tuesday

A thunderstorm woke me up at 3:00 a.m. I went to take a pee and saw the sky light up. So, I went to sit on the couch and watch the lightning. But other than the occasional light in the sky, there was nothing spectacular. I went back to the bathroom and got a great light show.

Sidebar: This makes some sort of sense, as storms usually move from West to East here in Southeast Michigan. The bathroom window faces West, the living room window faces East.

So, I put down the toilet lid and sat on it, watching the show. The rain pounded on the window and I could hear it on the roof.

Most of the time, the clouds diffused the lightning and it was just a bright flash in the sky. But, several times, I saw the actual, forked lightning strikes. Magnificent!

I sat there until my butt fell asleep. I decided my butt was smarter than I, so I got up and went back to bed.

I woke up at 5:30 a.m. I got a cup of coffee and watched the news. When it was light enough, I went out back and checked the rain gauge. We picked up just under another half inch of rain last night.

I read in bed until it was light out. Then I had another cup of coffee and some cold cereal for breakfast. I had the morning shows on while I read some more.

Around 10:30 a.m., I shaved showered and got dressed for town. Then I headed out to Home Depot for some more trimmer line. I bought a packet of sweet peas seeds on the way out.

Sidebar: The rain was gone, but it was still cloudy.

They I went to Kroger's (again) to try and find the elusive fried clams.

Sidebar: Amanda had told me Scott had made fried clams and tater tots for dinner. I asked her where she got them and said Kroger's. Now, I love fried clams. My friend B___ introduced me to them WAY back in the day when I was helping him remodel the farmhouse he bought off of the other end of Palms Road. He took me up I-94 to the end in Port Huron on a Friday night to the Howard Johnson's (long gone) where they had "all you can eat" fried clams and fries. We went there every Friday night until construction was done and I doubt if they made any money on either of us.

Around here, the only remaining Big Boy around here (Five Mile and Newburgh) still offers them "all you can eat" on Friday nights, but I've never made it there. I should.

Anyway, I went down the frozen food aisle the other day (you know, where they have several rows of freezers with potatoes, entrees, breakfasts, pies and pizza). I checked out the frozen seafood and didn't see squat (I even checked out the empty slots to see if they said "frozen clams.") Nothing!

So, I told her my Kroger didn't carry them. She said, "Bullshit! Every Kroger I've ever been to has them. They are right there with the other SeaPack stuff (frozen popcorn shrimp, etc.)"

I told her I never saw the word "SeaPack" and I spent a long time looking. She said, "Where in the hell are you looking? They are in the little freezer between the deli and the butcher counter!" Well, duh? That would have been nice to know.

So, I picked up a box of clam strips, a bag of Kroger-brand tater tots and a bottle of tartar sauce.

Back home, I sat on the porch and tried to put the new line into the trimmer. It was complicated! This trimmer uses two lines, both on the same spool. One is wound one way, the other the other way.

I kept track of how many times I turned the one way (80) and did the same the other way - I didn't want to do this again anytime soon.  I tried it out after putting it back together. It worked until I tried to advance the line. Then, BAM! One of the lines let loose and blew onto the lawn. I tried again and the same thing happened!

I gave up for the moment. I had promised Amanda to meet her for lunch, so I washed up and waited for her call.

Sidebar: We try to hook up at least once a week, since during the winter months, we don't go on many adventures.

She finally called (she had two tables come in at the end of her shift) and I left to meet her at Archie's (Plymouth Road between Merriman and Middle Belt).

Background: We often talk about food and area restaurants. She claimed that Archie's has the best omelets. I said, "We'll see!"

So, we ordered breakfast for lunch. I got a mushroom omelet with Swiss cheese, hash browns and rye toast. She got the mushroom omelet with American cheese, pancakes and white toast. Pancakes or hash browns were the side options, BTW.

Sidebar: Speaking of hash browns, I must say I liked the Archie's portion. There was a nice couple of spoonfuls on the plate and I only left a little bit. One thing I hate about most restaurants (Ram's Horn, Leo's Coney Island, etc.) is they give you half a platter of hash browns, pushing your eggs and sausage/bacon to one side. Who the hell can eat that much potatoes? Such a waste!

Amanda was right (she often is about food in the area). Nice big slices of sauteed mushrooms and just the right amount of cheese. It was excellent!

We said our goodbyes in the parking lot and I drove back home. It was about 3:30 p.m. I took the trashcan in the back and checked out the back yard. It was still muddy or wet in all the low spots, so no grass cutting back there today.

I went back to the trimmer. This time I only used two short pieces on line and it worked perfectly!

I wasn't hungry for dinner, due to my late lunch. I did eat an apple while I watched my NCIS shows. I watched the 11:00 p.m. news and the first part of the Tonight show before going to bed.


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

True that!!!


Monday Moanin'

I got up to the alarm at 6:00 a.m. on Monday. I ate a packet of instant oatmeal so I could take my pills without throwing up. I watched the morning news and was totally confused with the weather! The last time I saw it, they said Monday would be warm and dry, so I hoped to cut at least the front lawn. Now they were predicting thunderstorms!

I shaved, showered and got dressed for my eye doctor's appointment. I left the house at 8:00 a.m. It started to sprinkle on my way there.

This time the wait was longer, but the actual eye exam was just as quick. The thunder started while I sat in the waiting room. Then the rain came down in sheets.

This was a post-op for my right eye and a pre-op for the left. They gave me an eye exam on my right eye and told me it was a perfect 20-20! Of course, I will need reading glasses.

Sidebar: The technician said I could always go with bifocals with the reading prescription on the bottom and clear glass on top. Oh, hell no! I have worn glasses since I was seven years old (so 62 years now, lol). So, I think I'll tote around the reading glasses if and when I need them. She said then I should go to the drug store and try on some to see what works. She recommended 250.

I told her that my daughter, Melissa, had my back and already bought me four or five in different strengths for Christmas.

The other doctor came in, checked me out and cleared me for my next operation on my left eye this Thursday.

I left in a light rain a little after 9:30 a.m. I realized I was hungry so I stopped at Bates. The place was empty! I sat at the counter and ordered a half order of biscuits and sausage gravy and a cup of black coffee. I bullshitted with the waitress and the cook (they are both in full view from the counter) while I ate. Then I drank two cups of coffee while I watched the rain and the cars outside.

Sidebar: I eat a lot of biscuits and gravy and I think Bates has the best (at least so far).

I left and stopped at Kroger's to pick up a few items. That parking lot was only about half full! I got my stuff and got my ass home. The rain has stopped by then.

I treated the cat and changed my clothes. My back and legs still hurt from yesterday, so I laid on the bed and watched DIY shows for a long time. I also read the Owner's Guide for the new mower.

I also checked out the reading glasses. 250 worked and so did 275. I think I'll wait and see what works with my left eye before I buy two or three more (one for the house, one for the truck and one to carry, if needed).

Finally, around 3:00 p.m., I went out and filled the mower with gasoline and oil. I attached the pull cord to the handle (the only thing they didn't do). Two pulls and it fired right up!

I used the grass catcher (they don't recommend the mulcher or the side discharge chute with wet grass). My first pass was a disaster. I was concentrating on figuring out the speed control for the self propelled feature but after one row, I realized I was scalping my lawn!!!

I checked the Owner's Guide and found they had the rear wheels set at high, but the front wheels were set as low. I fixed that and then cut the front lawn. I had to empty the grass catcher twice and I couldn't get as close to things as I would have liked, but the mower worked flawlessly.

I put the mower away and got out the trimmer. I got one side of the driveway and the ditch done when the plastic string on the trimmer ran out. I spent way too long looking for the replacement string I knew I had, but never found it.

So, I gave up. I'll buy more at the Home Depot on Tuesday and finish the job.

Anyway, other than the trim, the lawn looked nice. It's a little longer than I would like, but I didn't want to wreck the grass by cutting it too short this time.

Back inside, I was finally hungry again, so I made tuna and peas and served it over wide egg noodles for dinner.

I watched an old movie until 11:00 p.m. Then I watched the news and the first part of the Tonight Show. Then I shut the TV  off and went to bed.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Re: Rainy Days and Saturdays post

For some odd reason, the post wiped out my edit when I tried to add in the food drive information and it won't let me update it (tried four times) It let me add "The Detroit" and that's it.

Here's the paragraphs I couldn't add:

"The Detroit news stations kept saying the Post Office was putting on a non-perishable food drive Saturday. I have participated in these before, but I usually get a note from the mailman in my mail. But, I grabbed a used Kroger plastic bag and raided my pantry. I hung the bag full of canned soups and chili on the hook I had put out on the mail box post (expressly for that purpose) a while back."

(later in the post)

"It was after 5:30 p.m. and the bag was still hanging there. WTF? The mailman usually comes before now. So, I walked out in the rain and, sure enough, the mailman had come. Apparently, this was a Detroit only food drive. I took the dripping wet bag back in the house (it had set out in the rain all day long) and hung it up in the garage to dry."

Sorry about that...

Sunday's Story

It wasn't raining when I woke up on Sunday, but it had rained again overnight. I looked outside and the lake was back, this time with two ducks!

Sorry its a bit blurry, but they were way in back and that's the limit to my camera's zoom.

Curious, I went out in my robe to check the rain gauge (I deliberately didn't empty it the entire weekend. I had just under three inches in the gauge!

I ate cold cereal for breakfast while I watched the morning news shows.

I putzed around until 11:00 a.m., doing Sunday chores, taking the trash out, cleaning the main bathroom and reading (I wanted to make sure it wasn't going to rain again). Then I shaved, showered and got ready to go shopping.

I have been completely unable to get the push mower started. Since I haven't used it in more than five years, I suppose that makes sense. I should have kept starting it yearly, like I did the riding mower and the motorcycle, but I didn't. I do have a lawnmower repair shop right down the road, but I know they will have to replace the air cleaner, the spark plug, the blade and fix the one wheel, even before getting to whatever is wrong. So, I estimate it would cost $150-200 and what would I have? A 15 year old push mower.

Sidebar: When I bought it, I could still push a mower. Now my legs are so shot, pushing it over the front lawn seems a daunting task

So, I checked out several places and found a relatively cheap self propelled mower ($269.00 for a Troy Built) at Lowe's. The Lowe's website said there was one left at the Westland store. So, I headed there after a stop at the Post Office (I had bought a tee shirt I wanted to send to Carla). I then took Beech Daly to Warren Road and Lowe's

But, when I got there, there was none left! Not even the floor model!!! I asked the guy to check if there was any in the back. He did and said, "No." Then he checked nearby Lowe's and said there were none, anywhere.They are all back-ordered.

The next step up (also a Troy Built) cost $299.00 and only the floor model was left. I asked if I could buy that. He said "Sure, and tell them at the register it is a floor model and to give you 10% off."

Sidebar: The only difference is the upgrade has variable speed (same engine, same size). Not sure what the advantage is. But with 10% off, it's the same price as I was willing to pay. So, I bought it.

I made one impulse buy. The one mini-blind in the bedroom had many broken blinds (mostly from Caley but a few from me). I could live with that, but now the mechanism that turns the blinds quit working. So, I grabbed the smallest one ($6.00) and headed to the check out.

I got my discount, paid with my Lowe's card and asked if I could get somebody to load it in the truck. A little later, a guy showed up and I watched carefully how he grabbed it to put it in there. I bungie corded it in and left for home.

I stopped at the Kroger gas station at Warren and Middle Belt and used my fuel points to fill up my gas can and the truck. Note: With gas prices continuing to creep up, I didn't feel like I had saved all that much.

I drove back on Inkster and was shocked going over the Hines Drive bridge. The Rouge River had flooded so badly that the gazebo in the park itself had water halfway up the posts! I wish I could have taken a picture, but there was no place to pull off and stop.

I was getting hungry but wanted a break from potato soup. So, I stopped at Arby's and got a buffalo chicken sandwich meal.

Back home, I left the truck outside and went in to treat the cat and eat my lunch. Then I went back outside.

My original idea was to ask my neighbor to help me unload the mower.  But he had company (two cars in the drive). So, I duplicated the Lowe's guy's handholds and managed to get it on the ground without dropping it.

Sidebar: I did get it down, but at a price. My back hurt the rest of the day.

My plan was to pop in the mini blind and then read the owner's manual for the mower.

But, when I went to put in the mini blind, it was too long. It was 32 inches and apparently, the old one was 30 inches! Damn!!!

So, since I knew the one I had just bought was the smallest they carried, I decided to move the holders it snapped into.

What a pain in the ass!!!

I had to use my stepping stool to get up and down, as well as a kitchen chair to give me something to hold onto. I couldn't get the screws to start, so I ended up getting a finish nail and used that to make an initial hole. It took almost three hours until I finally got the old holders off and the new holders on. Then I got the new blinds installed. I cleaned up the mess I'd made, put away all the tools and put the old mini blinds in the trash.

So, now my knees hurt, along with my back. It was after 5:00 p.m. so I took a long break laying on the bed.

When I finally got up, I warmed up another bowl of potato soup and put the rest in the freezer.

I watched the movie "American Sniper" until 11:00 p.m. and then went to bed. I had an 8:30 a.m. appointment at the eye surgeon's Monday morning.