Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Then it was Tuesday...

It was a tad warmer on Tuesday morning. I took the trash and recyclables out to the road at 6:30 a.m.

Sidebar: You can't see it from the following photo, but there was a small sliver of light from the moon and you could easily make out the dark, round shape. Under it (and brighter than it) was Venus. Absolutely stunning. Wish I had a better camera.

Back inside, I made some coffee and oatmeal. I ate that watching the news and then posted to the

I shaved, showered and got dressed in work clothes. This time I wore long pants as it was still chilly. I put on my work jacket and a ball cap (to keep the sawdust out of my hair).

I pulled the truck outside and began constructing yet another jig. It took a couple of variations, but I finally got it right. I locked in the rockers and began sanding.

I ate a lot of sawdust in the beginning (I should try and find those masks I know I have "somewhere") but when it warmed up, I opened the garage door. That was much better!

I left my hat and coat in the garage and took a break for lunch. I had split pea soup with crackers leftover from Sunday. I went back to work and, by 4:00 p.m., finally had them rough sanded into shape.

I pulled the truck back inside, got the trash and recycling bins back in the back and took in the mail.

Sidebar: The mail had two bills in it (one from my doctor and one from the place she had my lab work done). I swear I can't afford to be healthy anymore!!!

I took a rinse-off shower, dressed in shorts and a t-shirt (it was a nice 70 degrees out there) and then started planning dinner.

Now, as I said, Tuesday was National Pasta Day. I remember seeing a recipe for pasta with prosciutto and peas in one of my magazines. perfect! I have half a pound of prosciutto, sliced thin, that I never put out on Sunday (I forgot). And, I have frozen peas. But, I looked through the recent magazines and couldn't find it. Must have been in one I recycled.

Sidebar: I think it was in Bon Appetit.

I went online and found a similar one by Martha Stewart. So, I made that.

I did the prep work first (I'm learning, lol) while 10 ounces of frozen peas thawed. I finely diced a shallot and took half the prosciutto. I cut the prosciutto in half lengthways and then thinly sliced them crossways.

I put a pot of salted water in my pasta pot and brought it to boil. Then I added in a box of fettuccine.

I made the sauce while the pasta cooked. I put a tablespoon of butter in the large skillet and sauteed the shallots for about five minutes.Then I added 2/3 cup of heavy cream, the thawed peas and the prosciutto. I brought that to a gentle simmer over medium heat. I simmer that until the peas were cooked through (three to four minutes)

I drained the pasta, reserving one cup of the pasta water in case I needed to thin the sauce.

I added the zest of one lemon and a tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice to the sauce. I pour that over the pasta and added in 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, with a generous helping of salt and black pepper. I stirred that all together and ended up thinning the sauce with about a half cup of pasta water. Then I plated it up.

I must say, it was very, very good!

I watched NCIS, at taped TV show and then NCIS New Orleans. I skipped the 11:00 news and just went to bed.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tuesday, October 17

Tuesday, October 17 is National Pasta Day in the United States - Enjoy!!!

Monday, monday...

I woke up at 5:00 a.m. on Monday. It was 44 degrees, but not as windy as Sunday afternoon.

Sidebar: I have grown accustomed to the 70-90 degrees October days. This really feels like Fall. I don't like it!

I had more biscuits and sausage gravy for breakfast.Then I stripped the bed and put the bedding in the washer.

Sidebar: This was a Sunday chore I never got to.

I watched some of the morning news and then filled in the Blog. At 9:30 a.m., I shaved, showered and got dressed for a quick trip to various stores. First I went to Michael's. I need a heart to trace for the crib and I knew they had thin, unfinished wood ones. But, they were either too small or too big. I bought one of each, just in case I could somehow use them.

Then I went to Home Depot and bought a Styrofoam cover for the outside faucet.

I was still annoyed with those hearts, so I drove to Target. I figured I could buy some cookie cutters. I couldn't find any, so I asked a store employee. She checked and they do carry cookie cutters, but only on line.

I did find a heart-shaped little pottery dish about the right size, so I bought that, instead.

I stopped at the quarter car wash and vacuumed out the truck (it needed it).

Back home I left the truck outside. I treated the cat. I put the bedding in the dryer and then went out back. I rolled the hose box back in place (if you remember, I left it on the sidewalk, half way back - that sucker is heavy!) and then I put the cover on the faucet.

Back inside, I made some lunch. It was still in the 40's (it never got to 50 degrees all day) and I was chilly. So, I made a can of Campbell's bean with bacon soup and ate it all!

I changed clothes and went to work in the garage. I sanded the hell out of the cradle bottom and added wood putty where needed. That will have to dry overnight.

Then I cut out the other rocker. By then, my arms were aching. So, I took a break after blowing the sawdust off me. I made the bed up. It was 3:30 p.m. and I fell asleep waiting for the 4:00 p.m. news on Channel Four. I woke up around 5:30 p.m. and watched the rest of the news until 7:00.

I reheated the kielbasa, sauerkraut and potatoes and had a bowl of them for dinner.

I watched the Red Wing game. They lost 3-2, but it was a good game. Then I went to bed.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Sunday Story

I woke up early on Sunday. It was warm (70 degrees) but still spitting rain. I ate some more biscuits and sausage gravy for breakfast while I watched the Sunday morning news.

I swept the floors and washed the kitchen and main bathroom floors.

While they dried, I shaved, showered and got dressed. Then I headed towards Westborn. I had visitors coming but I couldn't decide on what to make for lunch. So I went with a cheese platter.

I bought red and green grapes, regular green olives, black olives and bleu cheese stuffed olives. I bought spinach dip with small pita rounds. I got some thin-sliced prosciutto. For the cheeses, I picked havarti, sharp cheddar, bleu cheese and brie. Finally, I got a baguette, some water crackers and Town House crackers to go with the cheese.

Jake had called while I was out, but he called back and we caught each other up (with their busy life and my boring one, LOL).

I got out the dishes for the stuff, but only put the grapes out (after I washed them). Then I cut half the baguette into thin slices and cut some of the pita rounds in half. All that, plus the two types of crackers went into a bread basket. I set the cheeses out (still in their wrappings) to come up to room temperature.

A little after noon, the doorbell rang, and I welcomed my son, Jeremy and my granddaughter Riese. He introduced me to his girlfriend Stefani and her son, Rory.

We sat in the living room and chatted for a while. Then I excused myself and set up the cheese platter. I took off the wrappers and set them on a platter with one knife apiece (so as to not mix cheese flavors). I put out plates and napkins. I set some of the various olives in my cut glass veggie tray. The spinach dip went into a glass bowl in the middle of that tray. I figures I was all set, so I invited them to snack.

Sidebar: I wish now I had taken a photo of the spread, but I didn't think about it at the time. In fact, I didn't take a single photo!

And, like my mother before me, I forgot to put out the mixed nuts or the prosciutto.

I had let Jeremy know beforehand what I had to drink (lemonade, orange juice, Lipton's peach flavored ice tea and coffee). Jeremy did have a coffee with me, but they brought their own drinks (I didn't catch what they were).

Nobody ate a lot, BTW. No, seriously. I am going to be stuck with a ton of leftovers! Jeremy and Stefani shared some stories about their recent trips and Riese and Rory talked about their plans after graduating from High School (Riese is a senior and Rory a junior).

It was an interesting visit and then they left around 3:00 p.m. I put everything in baggies and refrigerated the cheeses, olives and spinach dip.

Then I changed clothes and dug out the router table (it was behind the Royal Enfield, so this was not small feat!)

I set the router depth up and the fence and then rounded the edges of the cradle bottom. Again, there was a blizzard of sawdust.

I was tired, so I blew my clothes off and put everything back where it belonged.

Then I took a short nap.

When I woke up, I watched TV (the movie Pulp Fiction - again). When I got hungry, I nibbled on some of today's snacks.

I started yawning around 10:30, so I shut off the TV and went to bed.

Sunday, October 15, 2017


Amanda and Keldon picked me up on Saturday just after 9:30 a.m. We were going to the Great Pumpkin Fest on Maybury Farm in Northville, Michigan. It had the usual stuff: hayride, petting zoo, pumpkins, etc. plus apple picking.

We drove through periods of rain. Amanda kept checking to see if it was cancelled, but nothing was posted on their website. We finally got there and was at the gate to pay. The lady in the booth told us it had just been cancelled!!!

Sidebar: Amanda was PISSED!

When she calmed down a bit, she checked for events nearby that were inside. The closest was a Comic-Con at Cleary University in Howell.

So, we drove to Howell and checked it out.

We left there after Keldon won the door prize. We hustled to get back to Livonia (Amanda had to work that night because the usual night waitress quit abruptly). We stopped at the Subway on Stark and Plymouth Road and had a quick lunch.

Then we hurried to Hines park for "Halloween at Hines Drive Park." They had games, two magicians a putt-putt course and (supposedly) hay rides and free trick or treat candy.

The hay ride was eventually cancelled due to the rain. And, instead of the usual tent for the candy distribution, they moved the tables under the pavilion (due to rain and mud).

But, we had a good time!

Keldon as Iron Man!

Our candy haul!

When it finished, we drove to my house. They dropped me off and went on to Amanda's parents house (about a mile away). Amanda took a shower and changed for work. Keldon was staying there until Amanda got off work.

It was only 3:30 p.m., but I was beat. So, I took a long nap. When I woke up, I did a load of laundry and cleaned the house for my Sunday company.

I should have worked on the cradle, but my legs still hurt a little. So, I watched Alabama roll over Arkansas on a college football game.

I made kielbasa, sauerkraut and potatoes for a hearty supper.

I fell asleep watching TV and didn't wake up until 11:15 p.m. So, I stayed up and watched Saturday Night Live. Then I went to bed for real.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Cracking Black Walnuts with the WALNUT SAW™

Friday the 13th!

I woke up to the alarm on Friday. I didn't realize it was Friday the 13th until I was making my bed. I flipped the blanket to straighten it out and knocked over a full, tall glass of water! It shattered on the floor and the combination of water and clear glass made it tricky to pick up without getting cut or missing any.

Background story: Friday was Grandparents Day at Keldon's school (Guardian Lutheran School in Dearborn). But Scott's parents live up North and neither Amanda's mom or dad could get off work. Didn't want him sitting alone, so I volunteered.

I left the house at 7:45 a.m. (program started with a church service at 8:45). Scott had just dropped of Keldon and spotted my truck, so we chatted for a bit. Then I went inside.

First we had a prayer service with songs in the school's sanctuary.

Then the kids went to their classroom and the Grandparents and VIPs (I was a VIP, LOL) went and had coffee and snacks. 

 Then we went to the classrooms and played games with our charges.

Next, everyone went back to the sanctuary and played two games: Name that Tune and Family Feud.
They used a mix of teacher, students and grandparents/VIPs, changing them after each round.

Sidebar: I watched the folks play Name that Tune and the first category was "Christmas Songs." I mentally got every one right. Same with the second and third categories. So, I volunteered for the fourth one. When I was up there, they announced the category: Miscellaneous. Damn!!! They were all recent songs and I didn't have a clue. But, I won the last song. It was the theme from "Mash." I think they took pity one me!

Keldon was picked for one round of Family Feud.

Sidebar: I was impressed with the Family Feud. They a very real looking board up on the monitors and it worked just like the one on TV.

After a brief closing prayer, we were all dismissed at noon. I eventually found Keldon and we went to the Book Sale (his mom authorized one book ONLY).

So, he picked out his book and paid for it then we headed home.

Sidebar: I asked him if he was hungry, but he said no. (his dad packed a ton of snacks and he had been munching on them all morning.

So, we went to my house and waited for his mom to get off work. He gave me two things he had made in school to thank me for coming. So, I put them on the fridge (like Grandparents and VIPs do).

He read his book for a while (until he got bored). So, I put him to work, picking up black walnuts with the the pecan picker.

Amanda eventually showed up and we headed out again to Apple Charlie's orchard on New Boston, Michigan. She WAS hungry, so we stopped and grabbed a bite to eat at Wendy's on the way.

Apple Charlie's is an old orchard. First thing was to take a hayride (of course). But this one was perfect! It was so low that the step was a metal milk crate.

Disclosure: Other than the picture of the milk crate all photo credits go to Amanda.

Then we checked out the petting zoo.

Yes,  that is an ostrich!

Finally we took a long walk in the orchard. Th woman who sold me the bag said all the nearby trees had been picked and she was right. The walk back was worse as Amanda and I had to keep sharing and switching the big bag of apples when it got too heavy.

We got some fresh squeezed cider and three donuts on the way out. Amanda also got an apple cinnamon loaf of bread and some jam for Scott.

They dropped me off around 6:30 p.m. and Keldon changed into his costume. They were going to a Trunk or Treat somewhere. When they left, I changed clothes and laid down.

I ate my donut and a big glass of cider for dinner. I fell asleep watching taped TV. It had been a long day!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Then it was Thursday

I woke up at 5:00 a.m. on Thursday. I was wide awake, and even more so after a cup of coffee. I was getting tired of eating the same-old same-old, so I decided to make a proper breakfast.

I made the old Southerner favorite, biscuits and gravy.

Sidebar: This is so stupid simple, it's almost embarrassing. Especially if you cheat like I do and use Pillsbury Grand biscuits instead of making homemade.

Needless to say, breakfast was delicious. It could have used a bit more black pepper, but that was a mute point once I began to eat.

Sidebar: For some reason I don't understand, sausage gravy demands a lot of black pepper. But, I'm always afraid of over-seasoning it, so I end up under-seasoning it.

I decided to shave, shower and get dressed later (after working on the cradle). So, I threw on my shorts and t-shirt  and headed to the garage.

I pulled the truck outside. It was a raw day, BTW, overcast, chilly and occasion misty rain.

I put the sawhorses in the truck bay and got out all the parts to the track saw. I spent the next four hours cutting angles!

Sidebar: You cannot screw this up and still have everything fit together, so it was really tense and exhausting.

When I had enough, I blew the sawdust off me (the track saw throws a lot of sawdust) and swept out the garage. I pulled the truck back inside. Then I stripped in the back room and finally shaved and showered. When I got out of the shower, I found the downstairs floor drain had overflowed, again!!!

Sigh... I guess it's time for the $500.00 treatment...

Amanda called and said she was picking Keldon up from her mother's after work (around 6: 00 p.m.). She asked if I would like to join them for dinner. Depressed ($500.00?) and not wanting to face another night of leftover pasta, I said, "Sure!"

We went to Red Lobster (just down the street). The food was good, but the service sucked! We were there almost a half hour before a waitress took our order!

Then we went to the DAV Thrift Store. Amanda got four pairs of jeans for work and Keldon got three for school.

They dropped me off and I changed back into a clean pair of shorts and a t-shirt.

I watched some taped TV and went to bed at 10:00 p.m.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Black walnuts

Brother Carl, see all the little crannies inside a black walnut? Not like a regular walnut. You have to dig the nut meat out with a nut pick. I used to have to do that for Mom when I was small so she could bake you those cookies. That's why I let the squirrels eat them and don't use them.

Wet Wednesday

It was raining when I woke up on Wednesday and the high today was predicted to be only 57 degrees.

I ate peanut butter on toast for breakfast and then shaved, showered and got dressed for town. I left at 8:45 a.m. for a 9:00 haircut.The rain had let up some, but the roads were flooded.

I stopped at Kroger's afterwards and bought six cans of herb/spices I had deemed were essential. I also stopped at Office Depot to get some copies made. Then I drove home through pouring rain.

I left the truck outside so I could get something done on this cradle. Besides, its a free car wash, LOL!

I was chilled so I had some canned soup for lunch (after discovering I was out of canned chili).

Then I went out to the garage and began the laborious task of marking up the wood for the cradle ends and sides (it's all angles). I quit at 4:30 p.m. when I saw the mailman out front. I moved the wood and the sawhorses out of the way.

Sidebar: I'll cut everything out on Thursday.

I walked out in the rain (where was this in July and August?) to get the mail. Then I pulled the truck inside, shut the garage door, went inside and treated the cat.

I watched the news until I got hungry. I warmed up the pasta (just one serving left) and ate that for dinner.

I watched two different shows about Stonehenge. One was on NOVA (PBS). The other one was a two hour show I had taped. My friend B___ called and I paused the TV while we chatted.

Sidebar: I skipped the pie tonight. 

I went to bed when the second one was done.