Sunday, December 31, 2017

Saturday's Story

I woke up at a more reasonable 6:45 a.m. on Saturday. I grabbed a cup of coffee and filled in the rest of the Blog post.

The high yesterday was 18 degrees! But, they warned that the temps for the next seven days would not reach that. I can't wait to see my gas bill for this month!!! Oh, wait, yes I can...

I ate breakfast and took my pills. Then I shaved, showered and got dressed for another adventure. I left the house at 9:30 a.m. after sending a text to Amanda I was on the way.

I got to her house just before 10:00 a.m. She and Keldon were ready and waiting. I hopped in her car and she drove to the Detroit Institute of Arts. (DIA). We were going to check out the Monet exhibition.

But, of course, we wandered around first. We covered most of the first floor especially the Egypt section. Amanda, like my brother Carl, is fascinated by all things Egyptian.

Note: I could not get my flash to turn off, so the following are a few of her photos.










Then it was time for the Monet exhibit.

Unfortunately, it was too crowded to get close and take pictures of his paintings.

After that, we checked out the second and third floors.

We decided to eat lunch at the DIA. We went to the Kresge Court. Amanda ordered the chicken noodle soup. Keldon had the Woodward Avenue sandwich (Roasted turkey, applewood smoked cheddar, julienne red and green apples, spinach, cran-walnut bread with a cherry mayo). I ordered the Jake Brown Orchard Apple Salad (Arugula, grilled apples, pecans, cranberries, red onions, avocado, feta cheese with honey apple vinaigrette). Everyone agreed the food was excellent. I did try Amanda's soup and Keldon's house-made potato chips. Delicious!

Sidebar: We often taste each other's food, especially if its something new. Today was no different. But, I noticed no one asked to try my salad, LOL!

Kresge Court
Jake Brown Orchard Apple Salad
During lunch, Keldon needed to use the restroom, so Amanda left to help him find one. When they cam back , they had berets! Some sort of French movie handout. They brought me one, too! They took a selfie, but I took my selfie back home (I didn't want to mess up my hair, lol!)


After lunch, we left for their house. Once I warmed up the truck, I left for home. I got there about 3:30 p.m. I changed clothes and took a break on the bed. My legs were a little tired.

About 5:00 p.m., I started to slowly warm up the beef stew, stirring it so it wouldn't stick.

Meanwhile, I whisked up the dry ingredients for the dumplings.

- 2 cups A/P flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt

Once mixed, I slowly worked in milk (about a scant cup) until the mixture was thin enough to pick up with a wet tablespoon, but still stayed in a rounded mound.

I took out enough gravy so that the tops of the vegetables were showing. I set that aside to save in case I need to add it back when heating leftovers.

Important!!! The dumpling should touch the veggies, not float on the gravy. Also, do NOT let the dumpling touch each other when dropping them in.

So, I had the stew boiling. I turned it down to simmer. Then I dropped in the dumpling batter. Note: I could have probably got one more in but I didn't.


I let that simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Then I covered it and cooked it for 10 minutes more.


I took the top off and the dumplings were done.

So, I plated my dinner.

It was hearty, filling and delicious!!!

I let the pot sit on the stove to cool. However, that was just tempting enough that I had another, smaller bowl and a dumpling about a half hour later.

I couldn't find anything interesting on TV, so I read until the 11:00 p.m. news and then Saturday Night Live. Then I went to bed.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

One Pot Wonder

I woke up at an amazing 8:30 a.m. on Friday. It was a balmy 11 degrees. I checked the driveway and could still see most of the tire tracks, so the snow last night must have just been a trace.

It took me forever to get cleaned up. I can only assume it's because I had no plans to go out so there was no reason to hurry.  I finally shaved, showered and got dressed in shorts and a t-shirt.

I had another cup of coffee and then started prepping for this weekend's dinners. I was not using a recipe, per se. I was mostly making this up.

I was making beef stew, but not for tonight's dinner. Beef stew seems to taste better if made a day in advance.

So, I got the Dutch oven and added a stick of butter. Then I sliced up a box of huge button mushrooms I got on sale at Kroger's (probably because they were so big). I solved that problem by slicing them and then cutting the slices in half. I sauteed those until they reduced by half and then set them aside.

While they were cooking, I cut a large onion into one inch chunks and diced two stalks of celery. I also smashed and minced six cloves of garlic.

I added regular (not extra virgin) olive oil until I had about a half inch in the pot. I had 1 1/2 pounds of stewing beef (also bought on the discount shelf - gone are the days I can afford a chuck roast to cube up). So, I seasoned all of it with salt and pepper and browned it in three batches (so as not to overcrowd the pan). I kept turning it with my long metal tongs and. when each batch was done, I pulled them out with a slotted spoon and set them aside.

I added in the onions and celery and two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. I cooked them for about five minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot for the brown bits. In the last minute of cooking, I added in the garlic.

I preheated the oven to 325 degrees.

When the onions, celery and garlic were done, I added in 1 1/2 tablespoons of tomato paste and stirred that until it incorporated. Then I put in the meat and its juices. I sprinkled that with 1/4 cup of flour and stirred with a wooden spoon until the flour was dissolved (a minute or two).

Then I put in one box of beef broth, a cup or so of water, a splash of Worcestershire sauce (for umami), a bay leaf, a palmful of dried thyme and a sprinkle of sugar.  I scraped the pan bottom again with the wooden spoon as I brought it to a boil. I put the oven-proof lid on the Dutch oven and stuck it in the oven on the bottom rack to braise for two hours.

Helpful Hint: I have a decent (if somewhat stained) Dutch oven these days. But, back in the day, the cheaper one I used had a plastic knob on the lid (not oven proof). I solved that problem by buying a metal cabinet knob at a hardware store and replacing the plastic one.

I took advantage of the interval to clean up the kitchen (I learned that from Jake and Carla) and then went in the living room to read.

After the two hours were up, I took the Dutch oven out of the real oven. The liquid had really reduced! So, I took a spoon and carefully skimmed off as much grease as I could. I added another can of beef broth and half a can of water. I taste-tested it and decided it needed more pepper.

I added in four carrots, peeled and cut on the bias. Then I added one pound of Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into big chunks.

Note: Normally, I prefer Idaho potatoes for stews. I think they hold up better. But, all I had were the Yukon Gold ones, so I used them.

I stirred everything and stuck it back in the oven for another hour.

Sidebar: You could do all this on the stove top of course, but I prefer to just walk away from it, rather than worrying about it burning on the pan bottom, etc.

When the hour was up, I checked the potatoes and they were done. I put the Dutch oven on top of the stove and added in the sauteed mushrooms and a handful of frozen peas. I stirred that until the peas were thawed. Then I took off the lid to let it cool.

Note: I will reheat the stew tomorrow and add in the dumplings.

I cleaned up the last few items and started the dishwasher. I put the other oven racks back in the oven. Then I disinfected the counter tops.

I called my primary care physician's to see where this release form was at. They said that the person dealing with this at the surgeon's office was off work until January 2, 2018!!! I told Tina just to remember while all this nonsense was going on, I was slowly going blind, waiting. She apologized, and so did I. But, its frustrating!

Amanda and Keldon picked me up just after 6:00 p.m. The plan was to grab some dinner and then drive through the Wayne County Lightfest.

We went to Chili's. I got the Buffalo Chicken "Ranch" Sandwich, but asked for Bleu Cheese dressing, instead.

Sidebar: Buffalo chicken anything and ranch dressing? What is wrong with you people?

The sandwich was delicious, but very, very messy to eat.

Then we drove to the Lightfest. On the way, I learned why Scott absolutely refused to go this year. Seems last year, they waiting in line for almost an hour before finally just getting to the little shed where you pay your $5.00.

But, the Lightfest ends on Saturday. It probably will be really crowded then. So, tonight, its was now or never. And, for some reason, we breezed right up to the toll booth!

Disclaimer: In Scott's defense, a long line quickly built up behind us. We were just lucky.

At the Wayne County Lightfest, you drive your car through four miles of holiday light displays lining Hines Drive. There are 47 separate displays. It's all stop and go, so there are plenty of photo ops.

I tried to take photos, but couldn't get my flash to turn off. Amanda took a boat load, so I borrowed some of her best for you.

Note: Jake and Carla went with me years ago. But, there were probably double the displays this year as opposed to back in the day. They even had a "Time Tunnel" past which there were dinosaurs!













They drove back to my house and dropped me off around 8:30 p.m. I started watching the Red Wings game, and we won for a change!!!

I switched to reading in bed until I fell asleep around midnight.

Friday, December 29, 2017

My Puerto Rican Family Christmas Visit

I woke up early (6:15 a.m.) on Thursday. I ran through my routine, then ate some breakfast. I shaved showered and got dressed for a quick trip to the Credit Union. My "Low Tire Pressure" light was one, but it always does that when its really cold.

Sidebar: I have not idea why. Does the cold temperature condense the actual air in the tire or something? I dunno...

I stopped on the way back at that little grocery store and picked up some Pillsbury cinnamon rolls and a jug of orange juice. Not sure if snacks will be enough if they come at lunch or dinner time. And, what would I make if they do? We really should have discussed all this I guess.

Stopped at the quarter car wash next to the house and used the brush-less car wash bay to get all the damn salt washed off. Figured I could get to the garage before it froze solid and I did.

I dragged the empty trash and recycle bins around back before shutting the garage door and treating the cat.

I ate lunch (the last hot dog) while watching the news at noon.

Vicky sent me a text, saying they'd be here around 2:00 p.m. (that lets me off the hook for lunch or dinner, I think).

So, I set out paper plates and napkins, opened the cookies (pain in the ass as they were sealed in tape) and took the panettone out of the box (but not out of the inner plastic bag).

At 1:15 p.m., I started making the cinnamon rolls. First step was to find two round cake pans (they were in the downstairs closet). I greased them after preheating the oven to 350 degrees.

Then I popped the two tubes open. I set the frosting tubs aside and attempted to separate the five rolls. But they were stuck together and not coming cleanly apart (I am used to the ease that the biscuits separate). In a panic, I sent Amanda a text, asking her what I was doing wrong (I know she makes these for Keldon). She laughed and said to just do the best I could, and cut them with a knife if needed.

I popped them in the oven and set the timer for 25 minutes (directions said 25-28 minutes or until golden brown). When they were golden brown I took them out. It said to put the icing on, but I didn't know if I was supposed to do it immediately. So, back to the expert... Amanda said to let them cool a bit and then do it.

I was just finishing when my company showed up. Vicky, Evy Yanessa and a neighbor's son, Alessandro (he's the same age and Yanessa and goes to school with her) all piled out of the car. After the hugs, I took all their coats, hats and scarves and hung them up in the front hall closet (to minimize the cat hair).

Sidebar: Alessandro was wearing a knit hat that looked exactly like Batman's headgear. I said, "Well, who is this?" He said, "I'm Batman!" Evy took off his hat and I said, "So, you're Batman, eh?" He shook his head and said, "No!" I said, "But you just said you were Batman!" He said, "Now I'm Bruce Wayne!" Not bad for a four year old!!!

We visited for a while and then exchanged presents. I got a lovely birthday card, a gift card for Panera Bread and another card (in Spanish) for Christmas. I gave Vicky her birthday present and then everyone's Christmas presents. I apologized to Alessandro for not having a present for him and explained I didn't know he was coming (the neighbor asked at the last minute if they could watch him for a bit). He didn't seem to mind as he had brought some of his new Christmas presents to play with.

I offered them drinks and snacks. Vicky had some cranberry juice, while Yanessa and Alessandro had orange juice. Evy passed. Yanessa and Evy had a cinnamon roll, Alessandro had some cookies and Vicky passed.

Then we chatted about everything, especially the latest news from Puerto Rico. Evy told her sister Mundy they were coming over here and she told her to make sure and tell me Feliz Navidad. They still remember the crazy gringo Vicky brought with her, LOL!

So, the kids played and the adults talked for a while. Then they said they had to get going. I sent everything food-wise home with them (no sense tempting myself). I carried out the food while they strapped the kids in the car. More hugs and I told Vicky to text me when they got home. I waved goodbye from the porch as they drove away. I checked the clock and it was almost 5:00 p.m.

Sidebar: She did send me a text when they got home.

I was hungry, so I warmed up more ham, the other sweet potato and more green beans. Not as good as the first go-round, but still pretty tasty!

I watched the news until 7:00 p.m. then switched to reading. I did watch the Michigan State Bowl Game that came on at 9:00 p.m. (why I don't know). That didn't end until 12:30 a.m., then I went to bed.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Wednesday

I woke up at 7:30 a.m. again. I ran through my usual routine while watching the news. Then I ate breakfast. I made scrambled eggs, but kicked them up a notch. I added in some shredded sharp cheddar cheese, not on top but in the scrambled egg mixture before putting them in the pan. I saw Amanda order them this way once. They were very good.

I called the barber (it's been too long!) and got a 1:15 p.m. appointment for today. So, I took my time shaving, showering and getting dressed. I had another cup of coffee while I waited.

I left and got my hair cut. I paid her double and told her Merry Christmas and Happy New Year (like I always do every year).

From there, I stopped and got a few things from Kroger's. Then I went home. I put away the groceries. After that, I warmed up two hot dogs for my lunch.

I worked on the computer and listened to the CD Jake and Carla sent me for my birthday. I can see why Jake likes Guy Clark. I'll have to listen to it many more times to decided for sure, but so far my two favorites are "Stuff that works" and "The Randall knife." Excellent!

Around 4:00 p.m.,Vicky called and said that Yanessa was doing much better and they were coming over. I said, "No! No! I thought you said you were going to call me in the morning and let me know. I already made other plans for tonight." She said, "I'm sorry. I don't remember. It was a long day and half the night."

Sidebar: She did take Yanessa  to the doctor yesterday afternoon. By that time, Yanessa's eyes were swollen shut! She called me around 7:00 p.m. from the pharmacy, picking up her prescriptions (amoxicillin and eye drops). The official diagnosis was a bad cold and an allergic reaction to Daniel's parent's dog.

I apologized and she apologized and we agreed to visit tomorrow.

My doctor's office called. They never got the clearance form from the surgeon and wanted to call his office, but they didn't know which one (he has three). So. I told her the Livonia office. She said she'd get it taken care of.

I left at 5:30 p.m. to go meet Amanda and her mother, Fran, at the Elks Club for Bingo. I didn't win anything (as usual) and left with a very sore butt. Those chairs are awful!!!

When I walked out, the cold was amazing! I don't think my heater ever warmed up on the mile ride home. It was 0 degrees here, but in the burbs it was -10 to -18 degrees overnight. I opened the cupboard doors under the sink and let the downstairs faucets drip so my pipes wouldn't freeze before I went to bed.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Birthday Shoutouts!

Happy birthday to my great-grandson, Travis Franz, who turns nine today. Oh, and to me, who turns 69 today as well.

Saturday's Story

It was cold on Saturday, but the sun came out and melted most of the snow (we had a trace come in overnight). I had oatmeal for breakfast.

My daughter Melissa called. She wanted to know if I received the package they sent. I said, "Nope, nothing yet." She was very upset, thinking it had been lost in the mail. I told her my mail doesn't come until about 4:00 p.m., so there was still a chance.

I had more pasta for lunch.

Sure enough I was reading my chair when I heard a thump on the porch. I looked out the window and saw the postman walking away.

I retrieved the package and called Melissa to let her know it made it. She insisted I open it right away.

Sidebar: Never try to open a Melissa package! The woman goes crazy with packaging tape!

Inside were several thoughtful gifts and cards (both funny and touching). Most interesting were the five pair of reading glasses. She bought them before learning my operation was a no-good.

I broiled some hot dogs for dinner. I forgot to tell you I found my Koegel's at Larry's Foodliner.

I watched the Viking's football game while reading a book. It didn't get over until 11:30 p.m., so I stayed until after midnight to watch myself turn another year older. It was not all that interesting, LOL!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Friday

I didn't do much on Friday. Mostly I read in the living room. I made mostaccioli for dinner.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

No, I am not dead.

Just haven't felt like posting to the Blog. Nothing all that interesting going on around here. Jake sent me a text yesterday and my brother Carl called me today.I am fine, people.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Dinosaurs!!!

I woke up around 7:00 a.m. on Saturday. My back finally quit hurting.

I shaved, showered and got ready for yet another weekend road trip. I looked outside, waiting for my ride and saw the biggest hawk I ever saw here! He had swooped down and grabbed a small squirrel. He was sitting on my fence with the squirrel in his talon (if you enlarge it, you can see the squirrel's tail hanging down). He was surrounded by at least five squirrels, all chattering at him. He was cool, looking like, "Go ahead. Start something."






Amanda and Keldon eventually showed up and we headed out to Novi and the Suburban Collection Showplace for Jurassic Quest. We made one stop for gas and Tim Horton's bagels. Amanda and I got plain ones (they don't have salt bagels there) while Keldon got a pretzel bagel, toasted with cream cheese. I pumped gas for her carr while she got the bagels. Then we were on the way!!!

Got a good parking place and headed in. Amazing!!!








Totally amazing robotics. They roared, they blinked, and as you can see, they walked with kids on their back. I was totally blown away.

We stopped at Bates Burgers in Livonia on the way home and ate lunch at the counter. Then they dropped me off, as Amanda had to work tonight.

I did a load of laundr while I watched the Lion's game (we won!!!)  Later on, I cooked some mushroom Agnolotti and served it with Alfredo sauce.

I watched some TV, read a bit and ended up going to bed around 12:30 a.m.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Friday

I chilled for most of Friday. My back still hurt.

Amanda called and asked if I would like to go to dinner with her and Keldon. I said sure because I was tired of being by myself.

So, they picked me up and we went to Archie's. Keldon got the mostacholli, Amanda the pot roast and I got the hot beef sandwich, They enjoyed their food, but I was not impressed with mine.

Then we drove up to Kohl's at Seven mile and Middlebelt. She went in to do some Christmas shopping and Keldon and I stayed in the car, with the car off, listening to music and talking.

She apparently stayed in too long, because when she got back, the car wouldn't start! She found a guy with a battery charger and the car started right up. They dropped me off (leaving the car running) and headed home. I got a text that they were home, so I went back to reading until bed time.

Thursday

I woke up just after 7:30 a.m. on Thursday. I watched the Today Show until I got hungry. Then I made scrambled eggs, topped with ketchup for breakfast.

I took a picture of the snow out the back door and finished the Blog post.

I decided I would take my shower after I did the driveway. So, I put on my hunting long johns (too big), gloves and hat and went out to try it.

Three things I learned:

1. B___ was right (You have no idea how much it pains me to say that). I should have done it in two stages. It was really hard to push the damn thing through eight inches of snow (even if it was light). And, the front of the driveway (here a snow plow went by and blocked me in was especially tough.

2. The extension cord was so cold, it was hard to deal with. So, when I finished, I took it inside where it will stay for the winter.

3. I could not push it all the way to the gravel driveway or it threw recks onto the lawn.

But, I got it done at the expense of my back. I should have spent the extra money to get a self-propelled one!


When it was done, so was I. After shaving and showering, I spent the rest of the day in bed, reading.

I made a tuna fish sandwich (with raw onions) for lunch and ate a can of Wolf chili for dinner.

I went to bed around midnight.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Taking a snow day...

I woke up at 6:00 a.m. I immediately turned on the TV to see if the forecast had changed (it hadn't). Still supposed to start snowing this morning but getting the heaviest between 5-7:00 p.m. (over an inch an hour!)

I went and got a cup of coffee and finished the Blog post. It was already lightly snowing (almost flurries) with small little snow flakes.

I ate oatmeal and my pills for breakfast. I watched the morning shows on TV until 10:30 a.m. and then shaved, took a long shower and put my t-shirt and shorts back on. Once again, after the steamy shower, I could breathe much easier.

At 12:00 p.m., the snow had increased, but was still these little flakes.

Now, my friend B___, who has a little 18" gasoline powered snow blower, told me when it's supposed to be really deep, he goes out halfway through the storm and cleans his driveway and sidewalk. Then he does it again when the storm is over. He says it's easier that way. But, I think he meant heavy, wet snow which this is not. So, I decided to wait until tomorrow and then clean the driveway.

Instead, I took another long nap. I woke up choking on my own phlegm. It was NOT a pleasant experience.

I got one of those robo-calls from the drugstore, telling me I had a prescription ready. That made no sense as I'd just picked up all refills a little while ago. So, I called the pharmacy. It was for the Glipizide I'd asked the doctor's receptionist for. So, the doctor did get my message! However, when she had told me to stop taking it at my last appointment, I had just refilled it. So, I told the pharmacy I already had almost 90 of them left and they could put it back on the shelf.

Then, the doctor's office called to tell me my doctor had called it in. I thanked them and asked if the doctor has filled out the "permission slip." They said no, she wanted at least a week of low blood sugar reading first. Then she said my doctor would be on vacation for the next two weeks! So, obviously, the cataract surgery will be sometime in January, dammit!

Both Vicky and Amanda went into work today. Amanda (who was supposed to work until 5:00 p.m.) listened to her customer's stories about the road conditions (thank God - she wouldn't listen to me) and left work at 2:00 p.m. She drove to Keldon's school and picked him up. Then she went home and sent me a text that she had made it.

So, then I only had one chica more to worry about. The trouble is Vicky works four days a week, 10 hours a day. So, she was supposed to work until 7:00 p.m. If you knew Vicky, you would know she stayed! But, she only had to drive from downtown Detroit to the west side. She sent me a text that she got home safely. Whew!

Even though I didn't eat any lunch, I wasn't really hungry (especially for chicken limp-noodle soup). So, I just snacked on Ritz crackers and peanut butter, washed down with hot coffee.

The snow had tapered off but it was too dark to take a decent picture. So, I took one for you Thursday morning. Here's what I got here in Redford, yesterday:


I both read and half-watched TV until a 12:30 a.m. bedtime.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Tuesday's Tale

I woke up at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday. The snow had stopped sometime in the night. According to the news, we got four inches of snow total from this Alberta clipper. But, I doubt I have three inches of snow out there (but, I'm not gonna check, LOL!) It was wicked cold and windy, too.

Health update: I still felt lousy, but my throat didn't hurt as bad. Baby steps, baby steps...

I had thawed out half of a small ham steak last night (getting a bit tired of chicken noodle soup) so I fried that up, along with two eggs over-easy, for breakfast.

I was feeling good enough that I finally shaved, showered and changed my shorts and t-shirt. It was probably all in my mind, but I felt much better afterwards.

About 11:30 a.m., the door bell rang. WTF? It was a guy from DTE (I made him show me his badge). He said he was here to swap out something on the meter. I seem to remember a letter a month or so back regarding this. He said I wouldn't lose power, he didn't have to come in the house and it would take him five minutes. I told him, "Go for it!"

I ate more chicken noodle soup for lunch. The noodles were already getting a bit mushy.

Background information: You might or might not remember this (it's been a while), but back when I still had the Volvo, my neighbor used to plow my driveway. He has an ATV with a snow plow on it and, after he did his driveway, he'd do mine. But, after I bought the four wheel drive truck and he watched me walk it out of the drive in eight inches of heavy, wet snow, he stopped.

That was okay, I didn't need it. I'd just shovel in front of the mailbox so the postman could bring the mail.

But, that recently all changed. Mi querido amigo, Vicky, had to turn in her beloved, but leased, Chevy truck  and is now trying to adjust to driving an Equinox (she hates it, compared to the 4x4 Silverado). And Amanda drives a Saturn Aura. So, I figured I would need to do something this winter to allow them access to the house. But shoveling the driveway by hand was out of the question. So was paying for a service to plow it, due to financial concerns.

So, a couple of months ago (when they were on sale), I bought an inexpensive electric snow blower. The box has been sitting in the garage all this time as I figured I wouldn't need it until January. But yesterday's 3-4 inches of snow and the predicted 5-7 inches that supposed to fall on Wednesday altered my timeline.

So, I managed to drag the box into the living room (the garage was too cold, trust me). I spent the afternoon drinking coffee and putting it together,

It's a greenworks corded electric snow thrower (I have plenty of 100 foot extension cords). I would have preferred the battery operated one, but couldn't afford it. Once I put it together, it looked like this.

It's not self-propelled (you have to push it) but it's light weight and I think it will do the job.

When I was done, I pushed it out the front door and put it in the garage. I put the box out to the road next to the recyclable bin. Then I went in and took a nap.

Sidebar: You may be wondering why I didn't do the driveway. It's because the last snow was the light, powdery stuff. I probably could have used the leaf blower to clear it off. Nobody will get stuck in this shit.

I ate the last two pieces of lasagna for dinner.

It was dark by the time both the recyclable bin and trash bin were emptied. So, I put on some pants and dragged them to the back. I also brought in the mail, but there was nothing there but sale papers (not worth the trip).

I watched my Tuesday shows and then the late night news to see if the forecast had changed (it didn't). Then I went to bed.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Birthday Shoutout

Happy birthday to my dear sister-in-law, Kathy Goerlich! Enjoy your day!!!

Monday Moanin'

I woke up on Monday, feeling like shit! My throat felt like I'd been gargling razor blades, my nose was running like a faucet and my face felt like somebody hit it hard with a shovel!

Sidebar: I can only assume I caught this cold from somebody in the theater yesterday.

I ate breakfast and took my pills. I put a pot of water on the stove, brought it to a boil and then turned it so simmer to get some warm moisture in the house. I gargled with salt water to ease the pain in my throat.

I put some pants over my shorts and hauled the trash and recyclables out to the road (before it started snowing).

The snow started falling around 10:00 a.m. It was just a slow, steady snow, the kind that can really build up the inches! The snow quit for a while at 12:30 p.m. (it was supposed to get worse from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.).

I thought I'd make some comfort food for lunch - Campbell's chicken noodle soup. But when I went to the pantry to get some, it was all gone! There was only cream of mushroom, tomato and split pea with ham. Not exactly the light, healthy broth I was hoping for.

So, I decided to make my own!

Sidebar: Yesterday, when I was going through the freezer, looking for a Sunday supper entree, I came across a bag of Tyson Oven Roasted Diced Chicken Breast. WTF? Then I remembered I'd bought it to make chicken salad sandwiches (I like chicken salad) but never used it.



So. I sliced up an onion, diced three celery sticks and three carrots. I salted them and sauteed them in olive oil until they were soft. I added a handful of the still frozen diced chicken and a box of chicken stock. I also added water (about 3/4 of the amount of stock).



I threw in a big handful of dried parsley (you always need more than you think) a pinch of red pepper flakes, a bay leaf, salt and a lot of fresh ground pepper. I let that simmer and get happy for about 20 minutes.

Then I brought it to a boil and added in a half bag of wide egg noodles.

Sidebar: I went with wide egg noodles, rather than Kluski noodles, as I had no plans to freeze leftovers. Wide egg noodles turn to mush once frozen.

I cooked the egg noodles for seven minutes. I taste-tested it and ended up adding more salt. I let it cool a bit, fished out the bay leaf and dished up my lunch.



It was pretty damn good just for using what I had on hand.

I had another bowl for dessert. Then I took a  long nap. When I woke up, my throat hurt again (I must be breathing through my mouth while sleeping). So, I gargled with salt water again.

It started snowing again around 5:30 p.m. It came down pretty heavy at times. I saw video on the local news of the mess it caused during the afternoon rush hour! Glad I was not out in that!!!

My friend B___ called. I answered the phone by saying, "Hello." he said, "What the hell is wrong with you?"

We hadn't talked in a while, so I filled him in on the operation that wasn't.. When we finally hung up, I heated up yet another bowl of soup for my supper.

Courtney sent me a photo of Mike, putting on the insulated hunting suit I gave him. He's not going hunting, he's just going out in the frigid cold to shovel the driveway and sidewalk. Note: She said it fits him perfectly (it was way too big for me these days - I'm melting in my old age). Glad somebody can use it!


I watched the Red Wings lose again. Then I switched to reading until a midnight bedtime.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Alabama

I used to work in IT, so I know this...


Sunday

I woke up at a more reasonable 6:30 a.m. I ate breakfast and took my pills. Then I did the normal Sunday chores, including stripping the bedding and starting the wash.

I shaved, showered and got dressed. Then I headed out to Home Depot. Backing out of the driveway, I slid halfway across the road! Apparently, the road had froze overnight and was now ice.

I inched my way to Plymouth Road, where the salt was still working.

I got some wood I needed and bathroom caulk.

Back home, I unloaded the truck and then shut the garage door.

I took the caulk and applied it to the edges of the wash cloth rack I had glued. I was not trying to hide the seams (the tile is blue/gray and the caulk white) but just make sure a washcloth (or whatever) will not snag on the rough edges.

Then I got another cup of coffee and watched the rest of the Sunday morning news. When the dryer was done, I remade the bed.

Amanda and Keldon came to pick me up for today's adventure: Watching the movie "Polar Express" at the Redford Theater. They couldn't get in the driveway as it was blocked by a USPS vehicle, delivering a package to me. I set in on the bed and we left. We grabbed a bite to eat and got to the theater early.

Sidebar: The nice thing about the Redford Theater is that the organist plays before the movie and during the intermission.  Yes, it makes the movie event longer, but it's way more laid back.

Both Amanda and I bought five tickets for the 50-50 raffle (first prize is $100.00, second is a t-shirt)

We took our seats and the organ started to rise. I am really fascinated by the organ, by the way. It is so very old and yet, beautiful.



This time the organist was a woman.


They also had a huge display of model trains in front of the stage.




Finally, the movie came on. I had never seen it before or even read the book, but it was excellent!

At the intermission, they did the 50-50 drawing. Neither of us were even close for the $100.00, but Amanda won the t-shirt (which she gave to Keldon).

When the movie was over, they had Santa in the lobby with a photographer. I sat and watched the coats and her purse while they went out to see him. When they came back, Keldon ran back to check out the trains. That's when I noticed Amanda was crying. I asked her what was wrong and she said she realized this was probably the last year Keldon would sit on Santa's lap. I gave her a Kleenex and then gave her a hug.

The theater is run by volunteers, so at the end of the movie they announced that anyone who would stay and help clean up would be given a free ticket, with a popcorn voucher, to any upcoming movie if they volunteered. So, she asked me to watch Keldon and went to clean up the balcony.

Sidebar: What I didn't realize was that she told them she was with a handicapped old man and a little kid. She asked if she did three times the work, could we all get the tickets? They said yes, so we are all set for what she called our next "cheap date."

They drove me home and left immediately to go pick up Scott from work. While I was unlocking the front door, I saw another package on the porch!

I changed into shorts and t-shirt. I was rooting around in the freezer to see what I could make for my Sunday supper. I came across a box of Stouffer's meat lover's lasagna.  So, I preheated the oven to 375 degrees and went to make a salad (it took an hour to bake, so I had plenty of time).

But, when I took out the lettuce, it was squishy and black. Dammit!

I let the lasagna rest for the required five minutes and then served up a piece. It wasn't as good as homemade, but it was nice and spicy.

Since I didn't have my salad, I took a second piece instead, LOL!

I half watched a football game while I read in bed. I noticed my throat felt scratchy, but I thought I'd just used too much Copenhagen during the day.

I went to bed at 12:30 p.m.