Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Monday Moanin'

It was back to the grind on Monday. It was cold and we had occasional light snow, but no real accumulation.

I went to Time Out for lunch. They had an intriguing sandwich on their specials list: an egg sandwich, with ham and cheese. So, I ordered that. It was messy, but delicious!

Back at home, I watched the news and then made dinner.

I had bought some button mushrooms for a recipe I never made. I didn't want them to go bad, so I sliced them up (oddly therapeutic) and sauteed them in butter. I added a little salt at the end and that was my dinner. It reminded me of my childhood.

I watched some taped TV but went to bed at 10:00. It was snowing.

Sidebar: we were supposed to get 1-3 inches of snow overnight.


Monday, January 30, 2017

There was something SERIOUSLY wrong with the Blog post...

Once I added in the pictures, it refused to accept any typing. So, what you don't know is that I still need to do some sanding, and some paint-able caulk, but then I can proceed to paint the room.

The rest of the evening went okay. I ate dinner (excellent) after I strained the liquid to use as gravy for the potatoes and carrots. I went to bed at 11:30.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Then there was Sunday...

I woke up early on Sunday (having missed SNL). I was a bit bummed, but managed to soldier through it.

So, I started my Sunday night dinner in the crock pot. Now, yesterday, at Kroger's, I bought a boneless chuck roast (buy one, get one free). The free one went into the freezer. The other one I had plans for.

I started by peeling all the carrots I had (less than a pound, but impressive enough). I cut them into half inch-sized bites.

I added to that a can of petite diced tomatoes, four cloves of roughly chopped garlic, a cup of beef broth, salt and pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme and 1/4 teaspoon of dried marjoram. Instead of the red wine the recipe called for, (I don't have any wine in house at the present), I added a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce. I put in the chuck roast (I was supposed to brown it in a skillet, but didn't want the mess), turned the slow cooker on low and mentally added up the 10 hours until it would be done.

Sidebar: I'll put the potatoes in about an hour before it will be cooked, so they don't turn to mush...

Then I got started on the usual Sunday morning chores.

Around 11:00 a.m., I shaved, showered and got dressed.

I forgot to tell you I made some queso dip yesterday. I made a double batch, so I could give some to Courtney, Mike and the kids.

Sidebar: It' a stupid simple recipe, rivaled by only my daughter Melissa's cabbage soup.

So, I headed out to their place (five minutes away) and dropped it off. I didn't go in (one of the kids and I forget who, had the flu last week).

I got several texts from Courtney, afterwards.

"Did you really make this? It's amazing!" "Seriously, the  best thing damn thing I've eaten in a week!"

I am paraphrasing, but you get the idea.

Sidebar: I have spent a long time (lifetime) in hospitals which is why I know that the two things that are fncked up are your smell and your tastes. So, I always used my seduction cologne (don't ask) when I went to visit her and thought the queso dip would would be a hit. And, apparently it was.

It was still too early for the post office, so I stopped at a nearby restaurant and ate breakfast. Two eggs, over easy, hash browns and linked sausage (with rye toast) I couldn't eat it all, but I gave it a good try!!!

Then it was afternoon and I hit the post office.

Back home (at last), I treated the cat and then went out back to refill the squirrel feeder and toss some bird seed on the ground. Back inside, I checked out the bathroom window and here's what I saw. You will note the fat squirrel on top the feeder if you click on it to enlarge. You will not see the red headed woodpecker who flew off from the suet cage seconds before I snapped this photo.



I changed clothes and changed out the laundry. The last load, I washed the oversized green blanket. I don't normally use it, except when it's really cold. Then I throw it on top of the bed. But, Caley (who insists on sleeping with me, despite my objections), had left it covered in her cat hair. So, I washed it.

The next thing I did was to finally cut, fit and install the window trim on the downstairs bathroom window (I had left the truck outside for more easy access to the saws). I used the air compressor and the nailing gun to secure it (I have a 100-foot hose, you see).

Before:

 
 After:
 
 








 




Saturday's Story

It was still lightly snowing on Saturday when I left for my haircut. After that, I went to the Laurel Park Place mall.

I bought two more pairs of pants (sort of). They didn't have the ones I wanted in my size, so I bought them but have to pick them up later in the week.

On the way out, I bought a hot pretzel. I ate it sitting in the truck.

From there I went to Kroger's and got my groceries. Next I stopped at Costco and got more peanuts for the squirrels.

I got home around noon. I left the truck outside to unload it.

When the cat had gotten her treat and the groceries were put away, I went out back. I refilled the feeders and put another suet cake out for the woodpecker.

Sidebar: I 'm not sure how they do it, but I am convinced the squirrels are eating the suet.

I was bushed, so I took a nap.

When I woke up, I stripped the bed and put the bedding in the wash.

I made a frozen pizza for dinner.

I watched TV but fell asleep before I could watch Saturday Night Live. I should have taped it.

Finally Friday

It was slightly snowing on the way into work on Friday. I noticed when I was pulling out the roof was coated, but not the grass.

That light snow continued on and off all day.

My boss informed me that Janet (our director) was buying lunch for everyone today. It was fried chicken and sides from Lee's chicken in Plymouth.

Sidebar: I don't know if this is a chain, but its a little tiny place in Plymouth, Michigan (I've been there) and it has the best damn fried chicken I ever tasted. Seriously. Forget the Kentucky Fried, forget Popeye's (love the sides, though - closest I can get to Puerto Rican red beans and rice without involving Victoria's family). The chicken is just OUTSTANDING!!!

But, I begged off. I did say if there was anything left, I'd take it home for dinner.

It wouldn't be the start of the weekend without my fish and chips at Time Out. So, that's where I went.

I never did see any leftover chicken, BTW.

It was a payday, so when I got home I paid some bill and balanced the books. Then I made up my grocery list, etc.

I went to bed around 9:00 again.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Thursday, waiting for the weekend!

It was raining on the way into work on Thursday.

Vicky and her mother, Evy, came to work at lunch time. I hopped in her truck and we drove up to St. Mary's to visit Courtney.

Courtney was 100% better than she was on my visit yesterday. They removed two gall stones and she was no longer on dilaudid. So, she was much more alert (perky, even). She's still on a liquid diet, but, if the blood work she is going to have this afternoon is good, she'll be going home tonight.

We stayed there the whole hour and then they drove me back to work. They offered to stop and pick me up something to eat, (they said they had a big breakfast) but I told them I'd be fine.

After they left, I just drove up to Time Out and got a bowl of soup (navy bean and ham).

Vicky called me about an hour later and asked again if they could get me something (they had been shopping at JoAnn Fabrics). I laughed and said I'd already eaten, but thanks for caring. She said she just didn't want me passing out or something.

Back at home, I putzed around. I got a text from Courtney, saying she was home.

I ate the rest of the chicken and rice dish for dinner.

I watched some taped shows, but was again in bed by 9:00 p.m.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Smitten by the Mitten!


Wednesday

It was gray and gloomy again on Wednesday. Oh, the sun did come out around 9:00 a.m. for about 10 minutes, but then it was swallowed up by clouds.

I went to Time Out for a quick lunch and then went to the Looney Bakery. I promised Courtney I'd smuggle her in a donut.

Sidebar: She's been in the hospital since Sunday night. It took them all this time to figure out the source of her acute stomach pain. Turns out she has a gall stone stuck in her bile duct. They are going to operate on her this afternoon.

She was sleeping when I got there. I asked Mike not to wake her up, but he did anyway. She was pretty drowsy form the pain meds, but insisted on giving me a hug. We chatted for a bit and then they came to prep her for surgery. I left and went back to work.

After work, I did the Wednesday night laundry. I ate more cabbage soup for dinner. I talked with Victoria for a long time (we normally text or email, so it was nice to hear her voice).

I went to bed just after 9:00 p.m.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Tuesday and still gloomy...

I woke up at 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning, after a disturbing dream. I dreamed I had to cut the cheek off a fellow soldier (never been one) with my Ron Wollschlager knife to get phosphorus out.

Sidebar: No, I never was in the army, nor did I ever have to cut somebody's cheek off. But I do have a Ron Wollschlager knife Jake had commissioned for me. It's about five pounds and more for chopping down trees than operating on people.

Despite the disturbing images, I did manage to fall asleep after taking a piss. But, I woke up with the same damn dream at 3:17 a.m. I gave up after 4:00 a.m. and started to read.

Sidebar: As an insomniac, I have learned that there is no sense to try and fall asleep after, say, 45 minutes.  So, I gave up and just read until the alarm went off at 5:15 a.m.

It was raining (again) when I took the trash can out to the road Tuesday morning. Sigh...

It was a light rain, but enough to be annoying on the way into work.

I went to Time Out for lunch. I wasn't that hungry, so I just got a cup of coup (creamy mushroom) and a grilled cheese sandwich. Then I went back to work.

I walked out and got the mail and the trashcan when I got home after work. Still no sign of the sun...

I was tired so I didn't do any real work. Instead I made my Sunday dinner (two days late).

Sidebar: I changed the recipe in two ways. I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts (I like dark meat better) and I served it on Uncle Ben's butter and garlic microwave rice instead of medium egg noodles (quicker and less mess).

So, I cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces. I put them into a shallow dish and sprinkled a flour mixture over them (one tablespoon flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teasoon of black pepper). I tossed them to coat.

Then I heated one tablespoon of olive oil in my non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. I added the chicken to the pan and sauteed it about four minutes (until browned). Then I took the chicken out of the pan and kept it warm.

I added another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and added one tablespoon of minced fresh garlic,one teaspoon of fresh chopped tarragon and eight ounces of sliced exotic mushrooms (sold at Kroger). I sauteed that for about three minutes (until the liquid evaporated and the mushrooms darkened).

Then I added 1/2 cup of white wine to the pan and cooked it for a minute. I stirred in one tablespoon of flour and cooked it another minute (stirring constantly). I added in 1/2 cup of chicken brother, another 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. I cooked that for about a minute, until slightly thick.

I returned the chicken to the pan, covered it and simmered for two more minutes. Then I uncovered the pan and cooked it for one minute more.

Sidebar: Here's where you would add the precooked medium egg noodles (four ounces) and cook another minute until heated.

Instead, I made the rice in the microwave. I topped the rice with some of the chicken mixture and sprinkled that with some grated Parmesan cheese.

Sidebar: I did take a picture of the dish for you. But something happened Wednesday morning while I was uploading it to the computer and I lost it. So, you will just have to imagine it...

It was excellent!

I let my Tuesday night shows tape and read until bedtime.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


Monday

I drove to work through light rain again, Monday morning,

It was more like a mist by the time I went to lunch. I went to Ten Yen and got the almond chicken, with won ton soup and hot tea. Lunch was a long time coming, though. When the waitress brought it, she proudly asked me to take a bite It was really, really good. She explained it took so long as the cook had used a fresh chicken.

Sidebar: I was going to ask her just what they had been serving me before, but then thought better of it. I have learned the hard way that sarcastic coments are often misinterpreted by people to whom English is a second language, LOL!

But, as always, it was way too much food. So, I took the rest of it home in a take-out box.

The rain stopped in the afternoon, but the sun refused to come out (again!)

I stopped at the corner gas station and filled up the truck.

After getting home and changing, I stripped the bed and put the bedding in the washer. I should have done that on Sunday, but was too busy reading.

I watched the news until the washer shut off. I put the bedding into the dryer and went back to news watching.

I finally made the bed and ate the rest of my lunch for dinner, watching Jeopardy. Then I watched a taped show (Shark Tank, which Jake and Carla turned me onto). When that was over, I switched to reading until bedtime.

Birthday Shoutout!

Happy birthday to my brother Carl! Enjoy your day!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Still foggy Sunday

I woke up late (again) on Sunday. We were still socked in with fog. I could barely see the wall at the back of the property. and could not see Inkster road at all. Fortunately, I had no plans on going out.

I was going to make pancakes with pork sausage for breakfast. It sounded good on Saturday, but Sunday morning it seems like a big hassle (not to mention a big mess). So I ate some toast with orange marmalade with my pills, instead.

I did my usual Sunday morning chores, then shaved, showered and got dressed in my work clothes. I pulled the truck outside to give myself more room. But, I went back inside and watched the rest of the Sunday morning news shows.

Then I started reading. That was a mistake.

So, the cat and I spent most of the day on the lift chair, with the fireplace turned on.

I was going to make chicken breasts with a mushroom and garlic sauce (with rice on the side).

Instead, I made Melissa's cabbage soup (only two ingredients: chopped cabbage and Spicy V8 juice) and ate that throughout the day.

I eventually had to turn on the light so I could see my book. That made me realize it was getting dark. So, no real work  in the bathroom (again). I went out and pulled the truck back in. It was dripping wet, BTW.

I got more soup and a blanket and went back to reading in the living room.

I eventually fell asleep. When I woke up, Caley was still sleeping in my lap. I turned the soup off and went to bed.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Saturday, In the fog...

It was really foggy here when I woke up at an amazing 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning. It was weird, as the weather on the news I was watching kept shifting from 1/4 mile visibility to 0.

Sidebar: Okay I get it. It sucks out there. It was still quite foggy when I left on my errand run.

First stop was the Feed Store for 40 pounds of Michigan Mix bird seed. I had them put it in the truck bed and then locked it.

Sidebar: My theory is that no normal person could reach over and pick up 40 pounds of bird seed to steal it. However, if somebody could, I'd probably just let him have it!

Then I dropped $109.00 at Kroger's, mostly restocking. Filled up the truck, though...

I did stop at CVS to talk to the pharmacist. If you remember, I picked up some prescriptions last week. I just went in and got them, without thinking. But, after having the Blue Cross Blue Shield prescription plan for some 30 years, this year Spacely Sprockets when to a CVS prescription plan. And, I forgot all about it.

So, I went and showed my new card to the pharmacist (I was worried it would be billed back to Blue Cross Blue Shield, get bounced and I'd have to pay for it).

He said not to worry, their database is continually updated and they did charge it to CVS.

Back home, I left the truck outside to unload it. When it was emptied (except for the bird seed) I locked it and put the garage door down. Then I put everything away.

Before changing clothes, I went out back to get the wheelbarrow from the shed.

Sidebar: I have gotten a lot of flack by mentioning I carried the bird seed from the front to the back. So, I'm going to truck it back in the wheel barrow.

And, I did.

But, there were a lot of little branches down on the grass from the last few storms.







So, I put on my work gloves and picked them all up.

Back inside, I locked up and changed clothes. The truck was still outside, so the garage (and the saws) were all mine.

I took a short break to eat a bowl of the smoked sausage, potatoes and sauerkraut for lunch.

Then I went and finished the framing out of the bathroom window. It was a bit tricky as each board had different dimensions. It took a long time, but I got 'er done.






I was beat when I was done. So, I took off my sawdust-covered clothes and took a naked nap.

I woke up around 6:30 p.m. I ate another slice of broccoli cheese quiche for dinner.

I did a few chores around the house and then went to reading. I watched the 11:00 p.m. news and then SNL (which was hilarious). Then I went to bed.

For Carla!


True that!


Finally Friday

It was softly raining on the way into work on Friday. It was just above freezing here in Redford, so I wasn't plagued with any ice issues.

It did occasionally rain harder during the morning hours but had subsided to just an annoying drizzle by lunchtime. I went to Time Out to get my traditional Friday fish and chips.

It was still misty on the way home.

I changed clothes after treating the cat. Since it was Friday, I had my usual computer chores: Making up the grocery list (from the Kroger flyer and from recipes I plan on making) and the errands I need to run come Saturday morning.

Sidebar: I rarely do the ToDo list anymore. It's gotten so long it's embarrassing.

I was getting very tired of broccoli and cheddar quiche, so I made some smoked sausage with sauerkraut and potatoes for dinner.

I started watching the hockey game, but fell asleep (again) before it was over. We were losing the last time I remember.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Thursday

It was another gloomy dawn on Thursday. I went to Big Boy for lunch and got the chicken noodle soup and the Caesar side salad.

Around 2:00 p.m., the sun came out!!!

Back home after work, I watched the news. I ate another piece of quiche for dinner and then ran the dishwasher (another fun-filled night!)

I read until bedtime.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

January Thaw...

Well, the January thaw has set in.

Sidebar: Scientists cannot seem to agree why, but it does occur almost every year in Michigan (maybe elsewhere, but I've never lived "elsewhere.") So, for at least the next 10 days we will be way above the normal temps. And the only precipitation will (might) be in the form of rain.

I support this!!!

It was again damp and dreary on Wednesday. But, warmer!!!

I talked with a co-worker who is at another building. It seems his stepson (he just remarried) has a bed somebody made for him that mimicked Thomas the Train. He said they has posted it on Craig's list (the boy's a little too old for that) and everybody wanted to know if it could fit a twin sized mattress. It couldn't.

So, he said he could extend the headboard and foot board, but asked me (as a woodworker) about extending the mattress slats.

Sidebar: I had to laugh, but didn't. It just reminded me of working as a carpenter, back in the day. All the old timer's used to ask the new guy to get the "board extender" and then laughed at you when you came back, embarrassed as fnck (Yes, I fell for that, too.)

Now, I had to go to Lowe's at lunch (for light bulbs, if you remember) so I said I'd check on 1 x 4's prices, but that I thought it would be cheaper (and safer) to just replace them.

My old cubicle buddy, Michelle, stopped by to say hi and chat for a while.

I went to Time Out for lunch and got a grilled chicken sandwich with Swiss cheese and a cup of chicken noodle soup.

Then I went to Lowe's and picked up my light bulbs. I checked and an 8-foot 1 x 4 costs $3.22.

Back at work, it was a long afternoon.

When I finally got home after work, I refilled the bird and squirrel feeder and put out a new suet cake. Then I switched out the kitty litter. Finally, I went in the garage and installed the new light bulb in the garage door opener.

I watched the rest of the news and then made dinner. I adapted a recipe and made a broccoli and cheddar cheese quiche. Well, I made two, actually, since I had two store-bought pie crusts. If you are making two, you will have to double the ingredients like I did.

I preheated the oven to 350 degrees F. I pricked the bottoms of the pie crusts and pre-baked them for 10 minutes (I don't like soggy crusts). Meanwhile I steamed a bag of frozen broccoli florets. I added a chopped onion to my skillet and cooked them slowly until they softened. I added in the broccoli and a teaspoon of minced garlic. I let get warm.

Meanwhile, I beat four eggs. I added them to 1 1/2 cups of milk, one teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper and one tablespoon of melted butter.

I put the broccoli mixture into the pie crusts (on a half-sheet pan) and topped it with 1 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese. I topped that with the milk mixture and baked it for 40 minutes (when the center was set).

Then I cut into one and ate two slices for dinner. It was pretty good!

I turned on the hockey game, but fell asleep watching it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


Slip-sliding away!

They said on the news that the temperature would be just above freezing to the rain we were getting all night wouldn't freeze here. That wasn't quite true, as I learned the hard way taking the trashcan out to the road, Tuesday morning.

Then I drove into work, slipping and sliding. But, I made it without breaking anything on either me or the truck.

I was unlocking the door to work when there was a huge clap of thunder and lightning lit up the sky. The rain came down like buckets and I was soaked before I could get in the building.

I wasn't feeling all that great (my sinuses throbbed all day).

I did go to the Newburgh Grill and got a bowl of bean and ham soup for lunch. It was still damp and dreary, so I drove right back to work. I was supposed to get a light bulb for the garage door opener, but it can wait.

I retrieved the trashcan and buttoned up the house for the night.

I washed the two loads of laundry I should have done over the weekend,

I watched NCIS, read from 9:00 to 10:00 p.m. (not that impressed with "Bull") and then watched NCIS New Orleans. Then I went to bed.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The rest of the tale

I had to get my haircut on Saturday morning. Since I was out, I stopped at Kroger's and stocked up on soup and tissues. Then I went home. Other than eating, I spent the rest of Saturday, all of Sunday and Monday in bed. I had to get the kitchen trash bucket as I was filling up the little bathroom one too fast.

Friday

Friday was not as cold. I went to Big Boy's for lunch and got broccoli and cheddar soup and half a turkey sandwich for lunch.

When I got home after work I wasn't feeling well. So, I laid down for a bit. It finally dawned on me that I was getting the head cold everyone has been passing around at work. I made some Campbell''s chicken noodle soup for dinner and then to bed.

Friday, January 13, 2017

The day before Friday the 13th

I had another bout of insomnia so I woke up and stayed from 3:00 a.m. on Thursday.

It was more damp and chilly than cold on the way into work. It started raining around 9:00 a.m. here.

Sidebar: We were lucky. It stayed above freezing, so it was just rain. They had winter weather advisories for Oakland, Macomb and St. Clair countries, citing the possibility of freezing rain.

It rained hard for quite a while, but was only a drizzle at lunch time. So, I just went to Time Out. I ordered the chicken quesadillas. It was good, but I couldn't eat it all. Then I went back to work. It was too miserable to run errands.

There was a train stuck on the Levan crossing since Wednesday morning. Going home on Thursday night, it was still there! So, I (and a million other cars and trucks) had to take Amrhein to Newburgh to get to the expressway.

Back home, I was tired, even though I had a cup of coffee instead of my usual cranberry juice. So, I didn't work on the bathroom. I watched the news until 7:00 p.m., then ate dinner: Cheesy Potato soup. I froze some the last time I made it and thawed out the container on Wednesday.

I watched one taped show and was asleep by 9:00 p.m.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Wednesday

Wednesday was warmer, so I just wore my light jacket into work for a change. I didn't sleep well.

I went to the Newburgh Grill for lunch. I was bad and got a coney with onion rings. Both were excellent, but I'm sure I didn't need all the grease, LOL!

I debated whether or not to get the truck washed, but its supposed to rain or snow on Thursday, so I didn't bother. I just went back to work.

Back at home, I was pooped. So, I watched the news and then ate the other Panera lunch box for dinner. This was smoked turkey, which I liked, but the bagel was a little hard.

I watched the taped NCIS New Orleans and then went to bed.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Terrible Tuesday

It has snowed a good three inches and was still  snowing when I left for work. How do I know? Because I had to drag my trashcan through it out to the road. The little wheels on it were useless in the snow.

Knowing the roads between me and work would not be plowed (according to the news, they were still trying to clear the freeways), I put it in four-wheel drive, pulled out of the garage to proceeded with caution.

I made it with no problems, but I did see a lot of cars and trucks that looked like they were going to spin out when taking off from the traffic lights.

It switched to rain around 10:00 a.m.

I went to Time Out for lunch and got a 1/2 pound hamburger with mushrooms and Swiss and fries (it was on the specials list today. Dan (the owner) had to get my Dijon mustard down from the high shelf he puts it on because Amanda couldn't reach it. He puts it up there to save it for me!

I went to Lowe's afterwards and bought another board I needed for the bathroom.

Back at work, Courtney was still waiting for a delivery from Panera Bread. Janet, our Director, asked to have 14 lunch boxes delivered with assorted sandwiches for a 1:00 p.m. meeting with a vendor.

Sidebar: Panera lunch boxes come with a sandwich, a bag of chips and a big cookie.

The delivery man didn't come until 1:30 p.m. He apologized and said they were so busy at lunch, the ran out of bread! So, all the sandwiches were on plain bagels.

Sidebar: You wouldn't think a place called Panera Bread would run out of bread.

Anyway, the vendor didn't bring as many people as the originally said, so there were five left over. Lenore brought them back to us. Courtney took one for Wednesday's lunch, Lenore took two for her and her husband and I got the last two.

I took both home with me when I left.

The roads were slushy, the trucks were splashy and I was glad I'd refilled the windshield wash fluid.

Back home, I noticed all the squirrels were digging in the slush, trying to find food. So, I got my coat and went out to refills the feeder for them. I soaked my shoes in the watery snow.

I changed clothes and watched the news until 7:00 p.m.

I ate the ham and Swiss lunch box. It came with a package of mayo, but I skipped that and added some grainy mustard. It was really good, but the filling kept slipping out from the bagel.

I was not motivated to work on the bathroom, so I watched NCIS and then went to bed.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Monday

It was still cold again on Monday. But, it's supposed to warm up on Tuesday. Of course, with the warm-up, we will get snow, then freezing rain and then all rain. Should be interesting!

I went to Ten Yen for lunch and got the chicken subgum. This time my waitress advised me not to drink cold water in the wintertime. She said it's healthier to drink warm water when its cold. Chinese  women can seem strange at times.

Back home after work, I checked out the one board I had glued in place in the downstairs window and found it was still too high. That's a problem!!! I thought about various scenarios to cut down a board that glued in place without damaging the window, but most seemed a bit "iffy."

I finally screwed a board onto the wall under the window as a guide and ran the Skil saw on it after setting the blade at the correct depth. It made quite a mess with sawdust, but it worked like a charm. 

For dinner, I made my favorite fresh pasta: Buitoni mushroom agnolotti with Alfredo sauce, topped with grated Parmesan cheese. Delicious, as always.

I watched a couple of taped shows and then switched to reading until bedtime.

When I woke up at midnight for a bathroom break, it was snowing and we had about an inch already on the ground. At 3:00 a.m., there was a good two inches of snow out there...

Monday, January 9, 2017

Sunday

I woke up early on Sunday, so I read in bed (with a cup of coffee) until 6:00 a.m. and the morning news. I had another cup of coffee while I filled in the Blog post. Then I ate my pills and refilled the pill box for the coming week.

I ate some toast with orange marmalade for breakfast.

It had snowed overnight. Not a big amount, but enough to cover the driveway and road.I watched the Sunday morning local and national news shows. Then I shaved, showered and got dressed for another Home Depot run.

One of the things I forgot to get there on Saturday was two furnace filters and it was definitely time to change them. Since I was there anyway, I checked out propane heaters. They didn't have the kind I bought before (of course) but I bought that some ten years ago. They had some expensive, serious ones but I bought a radiant tank top heater for $44.00.

I stopped at the gas station on the way home, but I couldn't get the locking gas cap off! Thank God I wasn't on empty. So, I drove home, pissed off.

I left the truck outside after locking it. I shut the garage door and, after reading the instruction manual, I hooked up the heater.

Sidebar: You needed a wooden match to light it. I didn't have any wooden matches, so I improvised with a Bic lighter and a wooden shish kabob skewer.  I got it fired up and then went into the house to let the garage warm up.


I gave it two hours (I read in the living room) and then went out in the garage. It wasn't "warm" but it wasn't freezing. So, I got out the table saw. I cut the six-foot pine board I bought down to three feet with the compound miter saw.

Then I used the table saw to rip four 3/4-inch wide boards. I had to rip the first one down a little more to custom fit it. When I had it right, I glued it to the drywall.

By then, it was getting dark and I was getting hungry. So, I turned off the heater and brought the truck back inside.

I warmed up more of the Beef Stroganoff.

I watched some of the taped shows (they are building up again). I started nodding off around 9:00 p.m., so I shut the TV off, took my glasses off and read in bed until I feel asleep.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Birthday Shoutout

Happy birthday to my sister Jean! Enjoy your day!


Saturday

I woke up early on Saturday and read my book until 6:00 a.m. when the morning news came on. It was 5 degrees in Detroit. But according to the weather station off of Schoolcraft (about a mile from me) it was 4 degrees here in Redford. The only saving grace was that the wind had died down to 1 mph.

I had a cup of coffee and then made scrambled eggs. Then I shaved, showered and got dressed for a shopping trip. Before I left, I stripped the bed and started another load  in the washer. Then I got on my down jacket, gloves and knit hat and waddled out to the truck.

First stop was Kroger's for some groceries. I didn't think I bought that much stuff, but it cost me $86.72!

Next stop was Home Depot for wood molding and more "stuff." That cost me an even $50.00. Can't remember when a bunch of stuff added up to an even amount.

Then I went home. I left the truck outside to unload it. Then I locked it and still left it outside, so I could work in the garage.

Before I shut the garage door, I started the bike (been meaning to do that). Unlike the last time, it fired right up. I must not have had the battery tender plugged into the bike all the way or something, the last time. I ran it for at least five minutes. It felt good to be sitting on it again, LOL!

Sidebar: Only 2017 New year's resolution I made was to ride the bike more.  I would love to take it to B___'s or (eventually) ride it up to West Branch and hook up with Tracey, Heather, et al... I love those crazy biker bitches!

Back inside, I started my dinner, Beef Stroganoff, in the slow cooker. First I sprayed the inside with canola oil.

Then I sliced my steak. I was supposed to get 1 1/2 pounds of round steak, but Kroger's was out of round steak. So, I bought four beautiful boneless eye of round steaks. I trimmed off what little fat was on them and sliced them about a half inch wide. The steak strips went into the crock pot.

I added 8 ounces of sliced crimini mushrooms. Then I diced half a medium yellow onion.

Sidebar; I nicked my left thumb with the Shun knife. WTF? I haven't cut myself in years. I put a band-aid on it, secured that with some tape and put a latex glove on my hand.

I minced up two cloves of garlic. Then the mushrooms, onion and garlic all went into the pot.

In a medium-sized bowl, I mixed together 1 1/2 cups of beef broth, one tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, one tablespoon Dijon mustard, one tablespoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and one teaspoon of dried thyme. I whisked that and then poured it over all the ingredients in the slow cooker and stirred it all. At noon, I covered it and cooked it on low for six hours (or you could cook it on high for four hours).

I decided it was just too damn cold to work in the garage today, so I pulled the truck in.

Sidebar: The goal here is to paint the downstairs bath with a coat of Kilz this weekend. Bit, I need to put some trim around the window first. It never had any and always looked "unfinished" to me. So, I need to use the table saw and the compound miter saw and they are in the garage.

Instead, I did household chores, remade the bed, read a little, and so on.

At 6:00 p.m., I added four ounces of softened cream cheese and 3/4 cup of sour cream. I stirred that in (not easy) and continued to cook it for another 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, I made some wide egg noodles. When I drained them, I added in some butter.

I put some of the noodles in the bottom of a bowl, added in the beef Stroganoff and topped that with fresh parsley (cut with my Brother Carl's herb scissors - I'm getting better at using them).

I ate at the kitchen table. OMG! The sauce alone was fantastic!!! The only thing I didn't like was that some of the mushroom were too big. But that was my fault. I bought the pre-sliced ones and should have cut the big ones in half.

Really, if you have a slow cooker, you should try this recipe.

It was back to reading after cleaning up. Then it was time to watch the Lions play in the playoff game. I should have stayed with the reading...

Saturday, January 7, 2017


Finally Friday

Why is it that short weeks seem so long?

Also, are you getting as tired of reading just how cold it is as I am writing it?

Anyway... It was single digit temps when I woke up Friday morning. But it did get to a balmy 16 degrees in the afternoon.

I went to Time Out for lunch and got the fish and chips and a nice hug from Amanda.

I spent the rest of the work day trying to locate and identify all of our printers. There are a lot of them (big and small) and the information on our print server is somewhat out of date.

Back home after work, I changed clothes and started a load of laundry. I watched the news until 7:00 p.m., then I popped a pizza in the oven. I ate two slices while watching Jeopardy.

I turned the TV off at 8:00 p.m. and read until bedtime.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Thursday

It was colder on Wednesday, but the wind wasn't blowing as hard, so the "feels like" temperature was about the same: TOO DAMN COLD!!!

I went to Applebee's for lunch and got my usual: Three cheese chicken cavatappi and French onion soup. I broke my own rule and ordered coffee with it (so I could warm up my hands while waiting for my food).

I stopped at CVS on the way back and bought this year's humidifier. I usually do this in December, but winter snuck up on me this year.

Back home after work, I noticed that the bird feeder was almost empty, the squirrel feeder was empty and the suet was gone. Sigh...

So, I suited back up and filled everything. I didn't wear gloves and my hands were numb when I got back inside.

I set up the humidifier and turned it on. I watched the rest of the news until 7:00 p.m., then I made dinner.

I grilled a salami and cheese sandwich, like Carla made for me. Mine didn't taste as good as hers did, because I only had American cheese. She used some deli cheese.

I read until the hockey game came on, then I watched that until I fell asleep. I found out in the morning the Red Wings won 4-0.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Hump Day

It was 21 degrees Wednesday morning. Which doesn't sound too bad. But, couple that with 10-20 mph winds and snow flurries and it felt damn cold!!!

I went to Big Boy for lunch. The wind pushed me across the parking lot! I was cold and hungry, so I got the veal Parmesan with spaghetti on the side and a small Caesar salad. It was good and (more importantly) WARM.

It snowed off and on all afternoon, with nothing sticking. It was just a light, powdery snow.

When I got home, I treated the cat and got a glass of cranberry juice. I was drinking that and looking out the kitchen window. Holy crap! A big branch had come down from one of the maples out back and the heavy end was on the shed roof!!!

I hadn't changed clothes yet, so I put all my stuff back on (scarf, hat, gloves and pea coat) and went out back. I got the branch off and checked both inside and outside. It didn't look like it damaged the roof, but it put a good-sized dent in the gutter.

Back inside, I changed clothes and watched the news. When it ended at 7:00 p.m., I made dinner. I heated up a can of Wolf brand chili. I was going to top it with some shredded sharp cheddar. But when I opened the cheese drawer, I found a block of aged New York extra sharp cheddar I'd bought last time I was at Westborn. So, I cut a few slices off that and ate it between spoonfuls of chili. Excellent!

I didn't see anything interesting on TV, so I read in bed until I fell asleep.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Tuesday

It was back to work on Tuesday. After, of course, rolling the trashcan out to the road.

It was warm but, without the sun, it didn't feel like it. It was a dreary, damp, almost foggy day.

Courtney was thrilled to learn her picture was repaired and in the truck.

I went to the Newburgh Grill at lunch. I had a cup of the ham and bean soup and a mini-Greek salad.

Back home after work, I got the trashcan back inside. Then I buttoned everything up for the night.

I made another hot turkey sandwich for dinner, along with leftover mashed potatoes and sweet corn.

I was very tired (not used to this going to work thing, I guess). But, I was surprised that I fell asleep during a new NCIS show! I woke up midway through NCIS New Orleans.

Sidebar: Since they are my two favorite series, they were being taped. So, other than being annoyed, I won't miss anything.

So, I set the alarm clock, turned off the TV and went to bed for real.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

January Second

I woke up with the alarm on Monday. I had a "Spectrum" technician coming over between 8-10:00 a.m. to give me a new modem.

Sidebar: When I dropped the home phone from my package, it not only saved me $40.00 a month, but they said, with a new modem, it would increase my internet speed.

Before he showed up, I did a speed test on the old modem. The results were:

Latency/Ping: 27 ms
Download speed: 23.5 mbps
Upload speed: 4.27 mbps
Packet Loss: 0

He didn't show up until almost 10:00 a.m. But, it didn't take long to switch out the modem.

Sidebar: I asked him why I couldn't have just picked it up (like I have with the cable box in the past). He said that, since the switch from Brighthouse to Spectrum, they don't do that with modems.

Sidebar: The new modem is much, much larger and barely fit on my stand.

I signed his papers and he was on his way. So, I did a speed test on the new modem. Results?

Latency/Ping: 27 ms
Download speed: 70.2 mbps
Upload speed: 7.73 mbps
Packet Loss: 0

Since it didn't cost me anything, I was well pleased.

Well, for a little while, anyway. I went to check my email and there was a message, saying my account was disabled and to contact the Administrator. So, I tried it through web mail - same thing! WTF?

So, I called Brighthouse, er Spectrum. After waiting 10 minutes, I finally talked to a tech. He said that happens when you disconnect the modem. So, he reactivated it.

It was 11:30a.m. already.so I grabbed my coat. I was just about to get in the truck when I remembered the driveway wands. I forgot to install them in December. But the ground isn't frozen yet, so I put them in today, just in case.

Then I drove to Home Depot and picked up another can of Kilz and a gallon of light yellow paint. I grabbed spackling  and some 18 gauge galvanized wire while while mixed that up.

Back at home, I left the truck outside so I could finish fixing Courtney's picture frame.

Sidebar: Courtney's picture fell of the wall a while back (the tiny wire they put on it broke). Miraculously, the glass didn't break, but the bottom of the wood frame broke off. She was going to spend the money to re-frame it, but I told her I thought I could fix it. Yesterday, I took out the glass, matte and backing. Before I left for the Brother's party, I glued and clamped it together.

Today, I took it into the garage and, using the air compressor and the brad nailer, I shot a 1 1/4-inch brad into every corner. I reassembled it on the living room rug (so I wouldn't scratch the face of it) and then bent back all the staples that held in the picture.

Finally, I attached the thick wire I bought. Then I put it in the truck and pulled the truck inside.

I was going to watch Western Michigan in the Cotton Bowl. It was not on TV, so I watched it on the computer on ESPN.com. It's a sad commentary that I have sunk to the college football level from the NFL and the Lions...

Sidebar: What's next, "Roll, Tide, Roll?"

Good God!

Regarding the downstairs bathroom paint job, I was running out of time and natural light. So, I put that on hold.

I warmed up the lasagna for my dinner. I made a little side salad of spring greens, dressed with olive oil and red wine vinegar.

I didn't see anything interesting on TV, so I read until an early bedtime at 9:00 p.m.

Monday, January 2, 2017

2017's Quote of the Year

"No amount of security is worth the suffering of a mediocre life chained to a routine that has killed your dreams."

~ Maya Mendoza

New Year's Day

I woke up late on Sunday. I assume it was from watching the ball drop on New Year's Eve.

I made myself some soft boiled eggs for breakfast.

Now, my original plan was to run out and buy some paint, then come back and paint the bathroom with Kilz.

But, I was sore all over from washing the damn little room. So, I decided to forego that plan.

I did the usual Sunday morning chores and one last load of wash (the bedding). Then I read until 1:00 p.m.

At 1:00, I leisurely shaved, showered and got dressed. I left at 2:00 p.m. for St. Clair Shores and the Brother's Party.

Traffic was light and there was no construction, so I breezed down I-96 to I-94 and went through the D with no problems. I got off at 10 mile road and went to Joe and Kathy's house.

I was about 15 minutes early and the first one there. I sat at the counter, munching on mixed nuts and drinking tonic water. I found out the Jim and Coletta were not coming. She slipped and fell and the doctor thinks she may have an infection. So, she's in the hospital, getting antibiotics in a IV drip.

Carl showed up and the four of us sat at the kitchen table, snacking on a variety of hors d'oeuvres and chatting.

Kathy put dinner in the oven and made a salad bar. Carl asked her why she was bothering, since it was just the four of us. He also suggested we just eat at the kitchen table, but she said no.

Sidebar: It turned out that, when they learned Jim and Coletta weren't coming,they took a leaf out of the dining room table, found a different, smaller tablecloth and set up the plates and napkins, etc. 

When dinner was done baking, we retired to the dining room after making our salads. Then Kathy served a fantastic lasagna with fresh steamed green beans as the side. A bread basket of garlic bread completed the meal.

Sidebar: Kathy confided me that she was worried about too much or too little herbs in her sauce, but it was spot on!

The dinner dishes cleared, she brought out two trays of Christmas cookies for dessert. I must confess I ate way more than I should have.

Throughout it all, we talked and talked and talked - old stuff, new stuff, politics and so on.

Faced with too any leftovers, Kathy asked both me and Carl to please take some lasagna home. She didn't have to ask us twice, lol!

I left at 9:00 p.m. The drive home was still easy-peasy and I was home before 10:00 p.m.

I turned on the Lions game and watched the bitter end of it. I turned it off after midnight and went to bed.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Sunny Saturday

I woke up at the normal time. I ate some breakfast with my pills and had two cups of coffee. I watched some of the news to get up to speed and then got ready for another errand run.

First stop was my barber for a long overdue haircut. If I don't get it cut every two weeks, I start to look like a gray-haired Wolfman Jack.

From there, I went to Westborn. I picked up a pound of turkey breast, sliced thick. I made an impulse buy of 1/2-pound of hard salami, thinking of Carla's sandwiches. I snagged some celery on the way to the checkout (I threw away the limp little bit I had when I cleaned the fridge).

Then I headed to the Westland Mall and J C Penney. Amanda had told me she bought her father a new wallet for Christmas. I need one (bad), so I asked her where she got it. She said J C Penney.

So, I picked up a new wallet and some socks. When I got to the checkout, he rang me up and asked for $80! I knew the wallet was less than $30, so I said, "How much are those socks?" (they came two on a little sock hanger and I grabbed two). He said, "$22.00 each." I said, "Put those back. I thought they were $5.00 or so." (I didn't look).

My next stop was across Warren Ave to Burlington Coat Factory.

Sidebar: I didn't report this yesterday, but I was wearing my old leather jacket whenever I was outside. It really cuts the wind and it was pretty windy. But, when I went out back to refill the feeders, I snagged the sleeve on something on the storm door. I put a big rip in it!

Now, I've had that coat for some 30 years. I did put a tear on the upper arm way back when and repaired it (badly - it was pretty noticeable). But, both pockets are worn through and now it's even more f*cked up. Time for a new coat! I'll keep the old one for winter chores.

It took me a while to decide (I really like one, but it didn't have a collar and I wanted a collar). I finally found one I liked, so I bought that and cheaper socks.

Note: This is just a leather jacket, not a real motorcycle jacket. The leather is not thick enough to protect you from road rash. Obviously, neither was my old one.

On the way home, I stopped and filled up the truck. It wasn't empty, but on January 1, the gasoline sales tax in Michigan will rise seven cents a gallon. Oh, and vehicle registration will go up 20%. This is "supposed" to all go for much-need road repairs. So, I support it. But, I thought I'd grab the gas at the cheaper price while I could.

Sidebar: I checked the candy shelves and, sure enough, found the Altoids Arctic. Just like Jake said...

Now, there was a problem. I was screwing the gas cap back on and it broke off in my hand! Shit!

A quick trip into CVS for a couple of cards for January birthdays and I headed across the street to O'Reilly's Auto Parts. I asked if they carried locking gas caps for a Nissan Frontier (I wanted one anyway, to address security concerns). They had to look it up and it turned out they did, but only for certain models. So, I had to go outside and get my registration (for the VIN number). It turned out they carried them for my truck! So, I bought one and two bottles of deicing windshield washer fluid.

I left the truck outside, not for unloading, but for minor maintenance. After putting away the meat, I went back outside. I opened the hood (no, I can't do that inside - it hits the canoe) and refilled the windshield washer fluid. I checked the oil while I was at it (clean and full).

I got out the rest of the old gas cap and then I removed the cable that had attached the broken top of the old gas cap. I installed the new and put one of the keys on my key ring (the other went in the key box)

I took down the few outdoor Christmas decorations and replaced the Christmas wreath with my winter one.





I pulled the truck inside and shut the door. Of course, that meant I had to treat Caley again. 

I changed into my work clothes and then warmed up some Manwich for my lunch.

After lunch, I took an hour break and read in the living room. After that, I called my friend, B___, to wish him a Happy New Year. We hadn't talked in a while so it took some time to catch up.

I got some bad news. A dear friend of mine is in intensive care with COPD and pneumonia. I visited her the last time she was in the hospital. But, she lived down here, then. She has since moved back home to West Branch, so it would be a hike.

Then I got back to work. I took everything out of the downstairs bathroom and swept the floor.


I mixed up some TSP per instructions (1/2 cup to two gallons of water). I put on my long, neoprene gloves (the stuff is nasty) and started washing the walls and ceiling. The soot was bad (I don't think this room got the sponge treatment) and I had to switch out the water four times!!!

Then, of course, I had to rinse everything with warm water. But, I finally finished.

In spite of my precautions, I did manage to drip some of that crap on my arm and clothes. So, I threw the clothes in the washer and took a shower in the main bath (first time in a long time).

Sidebar: First time using that shower, not taking a shower, LOL!

I got dressed in my shorts and t-shirt and went in the kitchen to start dinner. I peeled potatoes and cubed them for mashed potatoes. I put them on to cook and put a half a jar of turkey gravy in a sauce pan to heat up.

I got out some sweet corn from the freezer and heated it up in the microwave.

When the potatoes were done, I drained them and mashed them with some milk, butter and one raw egg. I covered them and let them sit. I put a slice of sourdough bread on a dinner plate and layered it with turkey. I heated that up in the microwave. I topped it with some gravy and then another slice of bread. I added some of the potatoes and corn. I topped the sandwich and the potatoes with more gravy. The sweet corn just got butter and salt.

I sat down and ate an excellent dinner!

I chased it with a cup of coffee (I wanted to stay up and watch 2016 die).

They were showing all of the Lord of Ring trilogy (which I love) so I watched "The Return of the King" to pass the time until midnight.

About 11:45 p.m. I switched the channel to watch the ball drop. When it did, I turned it off and listene to all the guns going off. It sounded like a war zone, here in Redford. Every year, they beg people not to do it, but they always do, LOL!

Sidebar: I used to do that, too, when we lived on the farm in Columbus. But I was using a shot gun with bird shot, so it wouldn't hurt anyone when it came down. These people are using handguns!!!

Then I went to bed.

Happy New Year!!!

Birthday Shoutout!

Happy birthday to my only granddaughter, Riese. May the force be with you!!!