Slept lousy, finally gave up on getting any real rest and got up at 7:00 AM. It's chilly outside (47 degrees F. or 8 C.) but I knew it would be, because the furnace kicked on during the night. None the less, I put on a pot of coffee, threw on my clothes and went outside. There are an awful lot of birds milling around the feeder, but no seed.
After doing my duty to the birds and squirrels, I came inside. Coffee was done, so I had a cup and contemplated breakfast. I'm not sure I'm really hungry as I had a snack around 2:30 AM. An interesting snack, too, BTW. I may have invented something (or maybe people have been eating this for years).
Remember, all the leftovers were gone, so I made roast beef. I didn't want to eat any of that because I'm planning on using those leftovers for either roast beef hash or French dip sandwiches. So, there's not much to work with. Hmmm... how about a cheese sandwich? Nah, too bland. Hey wait a minute, there's still a few of those Vlasic dill pickle Stackers left! That might kick it up a notch! For those of you not familiar with them, Stackers are dill pickles cut lengthwise (so they are long and flat) rather than crosswise (which gives you the more traditional hamburger dill chip pickle).
So, I put yellow mustard on two slices of Italian bread, then took some American cheese slices and some Stacker pickles and made a sandwich. But I'm looking at it and it looks b-o-r-i-n-g! So, I buttered the outside and grilled it in a frying pan. Voila!!! It looked great and tasted pretty good (crispy, crunchy, warm and cheesy). I think the CaptainK Midnight Stacker Snack Sandwich was just born (unless of course, as I said before, people been making these for years and I'm just late to the party!)
Anyway, gave up on breakfast, got another cup of coffee and sat on the front porch drinking it, after wiping off the rocker (Lu had mentioned it was covered with dust, and so it was. Hey, I live on a dirt road, what can I say?). I rocked and watched the leaves and the nuts falling out of the black walnut tree. The nuts make a loud thump and bounce as much as a foot when they hit the ground.
Amusing sidebar: Normally, the squirrels either ignore me or run up the nearest tree when I first come out. But, today, a feisty black squirrel sat on the ground under the walnut tree and chattered a long challenge to me. I ignored him and then a nut fell out of the tree and landed with a thud about 6 inches from him. He took off like a rocket up into the tree and I yelled after him, "Hey, mess with me some more and I'll do that again!" (Good times, good times, lol!)
Finished my coffee and went in to perform my morning ablutions. Then, I'm off, running errands. Stopped at that meat market I told you about before and got another pound of hunter sausage. Big difference today, though. The last time it was 5:30 PM on a weekday and I was the only customer, served by one guy who also rang up my purchase. This time I had to wait over five minutes for just a parking spot! Inside was PACKED and you had to take a number. Since I had the time, I looked around and discovered this is an old-time neighborhood Polish meat market (they even had the Polish Times newspapers on the counter) There were 5 butchers and one woman at the checkout register. Everybody seemed to know everybody and the butchers joked with the customers, and the customers kidded back. And, whatever cut of meat a person asked for (not the hunter sausage, of course), the butcher would hold it up in his bare hands (no sissy plastic gloves here) and let the person inspect it and approve. God, I LOVE this place!
On the way back, I stopped at the fish store I'd found in the Yellow Pages. There was one guy behind the counter, reading the paper. When he started to stand, I said, "No, sit back down. I'm not here to buy anything; I pass by here a lot and just wanted to see what you carry." He said, "We've been here over 20 years, and we will also cook the fish for you if you like." Okay, now I know where I can go and get a whole trout or some smelt, but it was just one long display case, the shrimp looked a bit tired and they didn't even have any scallops. So, I am still in need of a fish monger! (Carla, HELP!)
Then, back to the gas station by my house (for gas for the lawn mower), the CVS Pharmacy for two prescriptions and the quarter car wash (I gotta look good at the party tomorrow, right?) When I got back home in my garage (driving slowly so as not to raise any dust on the wet car) I got out a towel and dried the car off.
I took that towel (and all the other used ones), along with my dirty clothes and started a load of laundry. Now I'm back on housecleaning duty. Started in the main bathroom (the only room left I had originally slated for a "deep cleaning" - every other room was done last week and just needs touching up). BTW, it's supposed to be a high of 74 degrees F. today, so I have the furnace turned off and all the windows open, airing the place out (which later proved to be a terrible mistake).
So, now I pulled the lawn mower out of its hiding space and started to cut the lawn. It's a more tedious process this time, as I am only cutting in a way that always blows the leaves, grass clippings and dust outward to the edges of my property. So, there is a lot of wasted time (and gas) driving around without the blade engaged, moving to the next spot. Okay, front lawn first, then the back.
Damn, but this thing throws the dust! I really need to find out what the mulching attachment costs (they don't sell it at Lowes, but Troy-Bilt does make one). Well, I finished up around 4:00 PM and I am covered with dirt, except for where my glasses were - I look like a damn raccoon or something! The lawn mower is filthy, the patio is filthy, the reflecting pool is filthy, even my clothes and Crocs are filthy!
So, I get out the blower and clean myself up, and then the mower. I put it away and do the front porch and drive. Next, I move back to the patio. It's REALLY bad back here, so after I blow away the big stuff, I get out the hose and hose everything (furniture, concrete slab, bird bath, etc.) down.
Then I come inside and see just what I didn't want to see. Because I'd left the windows all open, there is probably a 1/8 inch layer of black dust everywhere on the back room floor! Auuggghhhh! Well, first thing first. I took a shower (my second of the day if you're counting) and threw my clothes in the laundry basket.
Next, I cut up the remaining six or seven redskin potatoes into bite-size chunks and put them on to boil. I grabbed the vacuum while they were on the stove and cleaned the downstairs. Then I sliced and diced some sweet onions and some radishes and put them in a bowl. When the potatoes were fork-tender, I drained them and put them in the fridge to cool.
Next I washed the downstairs floor and left it to dry. So, clean, tired and with dinner more or less taken care of, I retired to my bed and book to read and then (hopefully) nap at 5:00 PM.
I woke up just before 7:00 PM. I cut four ribs off the half slab I'd frozen a while ago. The I took the potatoes, radishes, onions and two hard boiled eggs (sliced up) and mixed them all together. Next I made a simple dressing of mayo, milk, yellow mustard, more house seasoning and some dried parsley flakes. I tossed it all together with the cut up veggies, and they all went back in the fridge while I went back in my bedroom and watched a show on the "Military" channel about the US Army's 10th Mountain Division. Interesting!
It still amazes me how young the soldiers in WW II were (I mean like the lieutenants were say, 20 years old) and how naive. I mean, to know you were going to climb up a mountain ridge and be exposed to the German 88's (a gun originally developed for anti-aircraft, but then later used as deadly accurate, devastating field artillery) and just do it? What a bunch of guys! Hell, what a generation!
So, now its nearly 9:00 PM and the potato salad is cold. I put the ribs on a plate and microwave them. I top them with Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce on my plate; add a good helping of potato salad and go off to watch more TV.
And. thus ends the night at Casa San Jose. Mi casa es su casa (but nobody gets a key, baby!)