Saturday, October 6, 2018

Friday

I woke up with bad diarrhea and throwing up on Friday. I didn't dare to eat anything and was still sick when it was time to go the Henry Ford hospital. So, I called. Nobody answered so I left a voicemail asking for another appointment.

I took a long nap in the afternoon. I did a load of laundry Friday evening.  And I ate another ham and Swiss cheese sandwich and potato salad for dinner (first thing I ate all day.) I didn't stay up that late.

I was woken up by a heavy thunderstorm around 4:00 a.m. and couldn't go back to sleep.

Thursday

I didn't do a damn thing on Thursday except for making a sauteed mushroom, ham and cheese omelet for lunch. I had two ounces of mushrooms left from the Salisbury steak recipe. It was delicious!

Wednesday

It finally dried out enough so I could cut the front lawn. I was surprised at how many black walnut leaves have already fallen!

I made my slow cooker Salisbury steak. Unfortunately, I chucked the recipe so I can't tell you exactly how I did it. But, I put six ounces of sliced mushrooms and half of a sliced onion in the bottom. Then I layered the six patties on top. Then I mixed together 12 ounces of beef broth, a clove of minced garlic, two tablespoons of ketchup, two tablespoon of fresh Italian parsley, one teaspoon of Dijon mustard and a packet of McCormick's  brown beef gravy. I whisked it all together and poured it in the slow cooker. Then I turned it on low for the next five hours.

When  the time was up, I took the patties out and kept them warm. I mixed up some cornstarch and water and added that to the slow cooker. I turned it on high until the liquid had thickened. Then I added the patties back in  and turned the slow cooker on warm.

Then I peeled three large russet potatoes, cubed them and turned them into mashed potatoes. I put a patty and some mashed potatoes on a plate, topped both of them with the mushroom gravy and feasted!

I watched DIY shows until the Tonight Show came on. I switched channels and watched that until bedtime.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Tuesday (October 2nd)

It rained most of the morning on Tuesday. That was the third day of rain. I checked the rain gauge (which I not emptied since last Saturday) Wednesday morning and found I had gotten 1 1/2 inches of rain in the past three days.

I made a quick trip to Starbuck's and got a large hot chocolate (with whip) then stopped at the Looney bakery for some powdered sugar donuts (her favorite). Then I dropped both off at Time Out. Dan (one of the owners) was so happy to see me I stayed and ate lunch there. I had a cup of beef noodle soup and a grilled cheese sandwich with tomatoes on it. Sounds a bit weird, but it really tastes good. Next time I make grilled cheese at home, I'm gonna try it.

Back home, it was way too wet to cut the grass. So, instead, I made the patties for Wednesday night's dinner. I combined 1 1/2 pounds of ground chuck with an egg yolk, 1/4 cup of minced onions, 1/3 cup of Panko bread crumbs, three tablespoons of milk, one clove of minced garlic and salt and pepper to taste.

I divided that into six patties and then browned them over medium heat (about three minutes per side).

I let that all cool down and stuck them in the fridge.

I ate yet another ham and Swiss cheese sandwich (with Italian bread and Kraft Horseradish sauce) and a healthy amount of potato salad for dinner.

Sidebar: You know me and my troubles with deli potato salad.  I generally hate it and I don't make it myself as the mayo gets weird after a few days (I don't know how to make a small batch). But somebody (and I forget who) told me about Jack's potato salad. I only found two places that they have it (certainly not my go-to grocery store, Kroger's) but I can get it at VC Market (Six Mile and Inkster). It costs a bit more, but it's worth it. Tastes like homemade!!!

I watched my NCIS shows until bedtime.

So, this ain't working

Most of my notes were written without my reading glasses and are illegible. So, I'll summarize.

One of my doctor's test were for the nerves in my left hand. first it was shocking me (literally) and then needles. Turns out I have neuropathy and carpal tunnel in both arms, but it's only noticeable in my left arm and hand (some of which is numb).

Sidebar: I knew I didn't have a stroke!

The other test was a stomach ultrasound. That revealed a growth on my pancreas. So, I had to get an MRI in Ann Arbor at St. Joe's. My greenfield filter wouldn't let me get one at St. Mary's. 

The MRI confirmed the tumor. So, my doctor had me go to a doctor at St. Mary's. He reviewed the MRI findings and said I needed a biopsy. But they don't do the kind I need at St. Mary's so he referred me to a doctor at Henry Ford in Detroit (my choice). The other two options were both in Ann Arbor which is father out.

That doctor's office called and said my appointment for a consultation was on October 5th. They also requested a CD from both the ultrasound and the MRI. I said, "Didn't the doctor at St. Mary's fax over my records?" She said he did, but that was the results. This doctor wants to review the actual test. So, I made another road trip after calling both places.

Sidebar: Pain in the ass, but at least I know the guy is thorough. 

Other stuff: Mike Esper installed the Trend Micro software and fixed my computer.

His wife, Courtney, is going to drive me to the biopsy.

I finally got out of the house on Friday night (September 28th). I met Amanda in Dearborn (fifteen minutes away) at Painting with a Twist. I had to go to the bathroom a couple of times during the two hour class, but it was fun! I told her I owed her some donuts and a hot chocolate for making me get the hell out of the house. Here's my painting:

 

I completely missed my son Jeremy's wedding to Stefani last Sunday (I wrote 3:00 p.m. on the calendar but it was at 2:00). That really sucked and I felt bad. But I did make it to some of their reception. It was a circus (really).

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Thursday, August 23rd

The wind was calm, so I sprayed the grass in the driveway with Ground Clear.

I ate two fried eggs with toast for breakfast.

I went to my appointment with Dr. Mehta (infectious disease doctor). I told her the damn yogurt was not working, so she discontinued the Cipro (side effects can be diarrhea and vomiting) and ordered more blood work.

Back home, I rested for a bit. Then I went out and trimmed the back yard. I also cut down the low hanging branches on the arborvitae that had been slapping me in the face when I cut the lawn.

I had a turkey sandwich for dinner and popcorn for a TV snack later.

Wednesday, August 22nd

It was chilly on Wednesday and I had to wear a jacket all day when I was outside.

I went to the bank to exchange about $5.00 worth of Canadian coins I had (probably left over from visiting Canada Cathy). They said there was an $8.00 charge for that! I took them back.

I stopped at Home Depot for some furnace filters. On the way out, I got a hot dog for lunch and ate it in the truck.

I harvested the chives again and snipped them into usable lengths while sitting on the bed.

I ate the rest of the steak and sweet corn for dinner.

Tuesday, August 21st

Sidebar: I am trying to update the Blog with notes I scribbled while computer was down.

At my request, I had a 9:30 a.m. appointment with Dr. Pop (my primary care physician). I told her to pretend I wasn't taking massive antibiotics and what would she diagnose this damn diarrhea and upchucking as?

So, she ordered a variety of tests and discontinued the metformin (side effects can be diarrhea and throwing up). She said if I wasn't better in two weeks, I'd probably have to have another colonoscopy and endoscopy.

I wasn't feeling good, so I skipped visiting either B___ or my brother Carl (my usual routine after driving this far) and left for home.

I needed to use the restroom, so I stopped at the National Coney Island on Groesbeck. Damn! They had a big sign that restrooms were for customers ONLY! So, I ordered a half order of biscuits and gravy.

Sidebar: They were pretty damn good. Bates is still first, now National Coney Island is second and Leo's Coney Island is a distant third.

I stopped at St. Mary's and picked up the stool kit I needed. Then I went to Best Buy and bought the antivirus software they used at work, Trend Micro.

I got home and was wiped out, so I took a long nap.

I tried to install Trend Micro, but it wouldn't load because of the McAffee that the Geek Squad installed.

I gave up and ate a sandwich for dinner.

I watched DIY shows until bedtime.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Update

Blog posts are officially on hold until computer problems have been resolved. I will take notes on daily occurrences, however.

Sorry.

Monday, August 20, 2018

The Sunday Story


I woke up late again after another long night. I had a cup of coffee while watching the morning news. Then I ate some Eggo blueberry waffles, still watching the morning news.

Sidebar: The Sunday morning news lasts until noon!

I finally got dressed and went outside. The battery for the trimmer was fully charged, so I trimmed around all the rocks that line my front gardens. That left a hell of a mess, so I got out the push mower and cut near the rocks to disperse the grass. Then I got out the blower and cleaned off the tops of the rocks. It looked great!!!

I was on a roll, so I got out the cordless chain saw and cut up all the rest of that pine tree. I put the logs in back (so they don’t disappear). I still need to cut the stump as flush as I can get to ground level and split about five or six of the bigger logs. But, at least the dead tree is gone.

They were predicting occasional spotty showers in the afternoon. So, I skipped lunch and started my early dinner around 3:00 p.m. I took the steak out so it could come to room temperature. The I fired up the charcoal chimney and drained the water that the sweet corn was soaking in.

When the coals were ready, I cleaned and oiled the grate. I put the corn on (five ears just fit, BTW), got a glass of Simply Lemonade and got comfortable on the patio.

It took longer than usual (the Michigan corn was much fatter than I was used to) but the corn was finally done. I shucked it outside and put it on a half sheet tray. I popped that into the oven (170 degrees) to keep them warm while I cooked the steak.

I seasoned the steak with salt and pepper (that’s all you ever need) and grilled it to medium rare. Then I took it inside, added a pat of butter to the top and let it rest for five minutes.

I posed the steak and one ear of corn for a photo shoot. I used my camera, forgetting that, since the hacking incident, neither of my USB ports are working. So, I can’t show you, dammit!

Then I really prepared my plate. I cut the steak in half and sliced that half into strips. Then I cut the corn off the cob on two ears (way too much corn) and topped it with butter and salt. Finally I feasted!

The steak was perfect and the sweet corn was juicy and, well, sweet. I was stuffed (mostly with sweet corn) but happy.

By then, the rest of the food had cooled so I put it away in the fridge. I cleaned up the minimal mess, started the weekend wash and quit for the night.

I watched TV until bedtime.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Fall


Just a joke I thought was funny

Why should you never fight a dinosaur?

You'll get jurasskicked!

Saturday

I woke up around 7:00 a.m. after another restless night. I had a cup of coffee while watching the news. Then I shaved, showered and got dressed for town. I had errands to run!

It was sunny, warm and humid, even at 9:00 am.

First stop was Bate's Diner. I had to get that flour taste from yesterday's biscuits and gravy out of my mouth. So, I ordered a half order of them. OMG! Perfect biscuits topped with delicious gravy that had huge hunks of sausage in it. No doubt about it. If you want biscuits and gravy, Bate's is the best!

I stopped at Kroger's but just to use their bathroom. So, my next real stop was Westborn. I bought five ears of Michigan sweet corn (they were 10 for $3.00 but I can't eat 10 - I don't even have room on the state park grill to cook 10) and a small bone-in rib eye steak. I wanted a rutabaga for later in the week, but they didn't have any. So, I bought a head of cauliflower instead. I also did an impulse buy of a big bunch of radishes (they looked great).

Next stop was at Costco for paper towels and much needed toilet paper.

I drove home and unloaded the truck (after I treated Caley so she would shut up, lol).

I put everything away, except for the toilet paper. I have to figure out where to put that big package!


The grass was still damp, so I decided it was time to deal with the computer. I need it clean of viruses so I can start changing passwords. No point in doing that if the bad guys can see what I'm doing.

The problem is I don't know any Roush techs these days who might live nearby. Mike Esper came to mind, but he's like Jake. Neither one has worked as a tech for years (Mike runs a data center) and probably doesn't have the latest anti-virus software.

I gave up in the end and called the Geek squad. Of course they tried to talk me into getting their protection plan ("it even covers remote start in you vehicle," etc.) I explained I just wanted one-time assistance. They finally gave up and worked on my computer.

It took them over an hour and cost me $49.00, but they finally said I was all set. I checked it out and everything I'd saved was gone! No documents, no pictures, no bookmarks, etc. Damn!

I sent a text to Jake, asking how I restored my computer for the external hard drive. Then I called the Geek squad to ask WTF. They checked and said, "Sir, all your saved data is there. If you remember, we had you log in as admin so we could work on it remotely. If you restart your computer and log in as John, your data will be there."

Okay, I admit, I felt stupid as hell. I sent another text to Jake, asking him to disregard the first text (although it would be nice to know how to do that if I ever need it).

I warmed up the leftover sausage, potatoes and onions for a late lunch.

I never did get outside. About 4:00 p.m. it started clouding up until it was really dark. I watched DIY shows on TV.

A quick but noisy thunder storm blew through. I didn't notice the time though as I was eating dinner (the last of the leftover pepper steak and rice).

Sidebar: It did seem quick, but when I checked Sunday morning, I had picked up a much needed half an inch of rain!

I went to bed after Saturday Night ended.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Fucked up Friday

Friday just sucked.

It was another drizzly day. It stayed damp all damn day, so no outside lawn work happened.

I was tired of eating my own cooking, so I took a walk across the vacant lot to Markos Cozy Diner(it's not really a diner, it's a variation on a Coney Island) around 10:00 a.m. Now I've eaten breakfast there before. I've had their two eggs over easy, link sausage and hash browns. It's been a while, but as I recall, the link sausage wasn't the greatest (but I am picky about pork sausage). And I think I ate an omelet there once.

But, this time I ordered the biscuits and sausage gravy. It came and I dug in. Crap! The biscuits were fine, really good in fact. But that gravy? It tasted like uncooked flour with the occasional random little bit of sausage! I could barely choke it down. I gave up halfway through (and it was just a half order) and asked for the bill. I left the waitress a good tip (it wasn't her fault) and walked back home.

Later on in the afternoon, I got hacked! I was looking at Facebook and saw a partial recipe that sounded good. So, I clicked on the link. Everything immediately froze. I couldn't even shut down the browser.

Sidebar: In hindsight, I should have just shut off the computer and restarted it. Instead, I clicked on the "Microsoft" link.

Sidebar #2: I am telling you this, not so you can laugh at me, but just warning you Facebook users.

I gave him access to my computer (hey, the techs at work used to do that to solve problems) and he said I had no firewall! I argued with him and he showed me. He said I needed a Microsoft software product that cost $199.00 per year or $699.00 for a lifetime. And, that I needed to buy a firewall immediately!

So, I bought the lifetime software. My credit card sent me a notice, saying this was an unusual purchase and did I really want to make it. I said sure.

So, when he went away, I shut off the computer. But this firewall business bothered me, so I sent a text to Jake (who set the computer up for me) asking about the firewall. He asked why I was asking and I explained. He said I got hacked and sent me a link that explained the scam.

Sidebar: I assume the reason I had to buy the firewall immediately was to give them time to process the charge.

So, I immediately contacted the credit card folks and explained. They said they would flag my account and when the charge came through, they would reject it. One down, one to go.

Jake also pointed out there was no telling what had been installed on my computer. Now I did sit here and watched what he did with the cursor, but I suppose that's no guarantee. Jake said it needed to be scanned for viruses.

Sidebar: The problem is I don't know a nearby tech. Mike Esper is close, but he's like Jake. They have been out of the tech end of IT for years. And Vicky works, has Yanessa and Evy to take care of, etc.

In the end, I sent a message to Vicky, asking for help. As of this moment, I have not heard back...

For dinner, I peeled and parboiled some russet potatoes and sliced a large onion. I sauteed the onion first, then pulled it and set it aside. Then I fried the potatoes in butter and then set them aside as well. Finally I cut up some smoked sausage. When the sausage was heated, I added the potatoes and onions back in, warmed everything back up. I seasoned it with salt and pepper and had a decent meal.

I watched TV until bedtime.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Thursday

Thursday was a washout, literally!

It was cloudy and drizzling for most of the day. So, I couldn't use the line trimmer on the rocks around the front garden. The sun did come out briefly around 4:00 p.m. And then it really rained for about a half hour, before switching back to a drizzle.

Sidebar: When I say drizzle, it was more like a heavy fog. You couldn't see raindrops, but you could feel it on your face if you went outside.

It must have rained again overnight because everything was much wetter Friday morning. I checked the gauge and we picked up a little less than 1/4 inch of rain total.

None of which mattered as I was sick all day and all night. I never spent more than an hour, day or night, without visiting the bathroom.

Since I was housebound, anyway, I spent almost on hour on the phone with Blue Cross Blue Shield trying to resolve a problem with one of my medical bills. In the end, I think (and hope) we worked it out.

Now onto food:

I had hard scrambled eggs with ketchup, along with some toast, for breakfast.

I made a tuna fish sandwich for lunch.

I ate left over pepper steak with rice for dinner.

Since I couldn't really "sleep" sleep, I stayed up until the end of the Late Show with Seth Meyers. Then I slept for about an hour and the cycle began again...

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Sad News

Rest in peace, Aretha Franklin.You touched all our lives.

Hump Day

Breakfast on Wednesday was a cup of coffee and a bowl of oatmeal.

It was supposed to be another hot day. But, I found myself reluctant to go outside early (my original plan). So, I worked inside (emptying the dishwasher, starting the Wednesday wash, etc.)

Amanda called me from her work in a bit of a panic. She had gotten up early to take Keldon for his physical (before school starts). Then she drove him to his Uncle Buck's house (Uncle Buck was babysitting him today).

When she pulled in his driveway, the almost full bottle of Rock & Rye soda she had in her console cup holder tipped over onto her lap! She couldn't go all the way back home to change or she would be really late for work.

So, she asked if I would mind going to Target or Walmart and buying her a pair of jean shorts (size 2) and dropping them off. She said she'd give me the money back when I got there. I told her I wasn't doing much anyway, and I'd head out just as soon as I put some pants on.

Sidebar: I kinda wish I had shaved and showered before getting this phone call. But I'm getting more and more lazy these days.

I put the empty gas can (for the mowers) in the back of the truck and headed out.

I went to Target (I hate Walmart) and got the shorts. Then I drove down Plymouth Road to Time Out.

Amanda met me at the door. I gave her the shorts and she gave me the money and a large takeout container of Chessey Potato soup. It happened to be today's soup (they only make and serve one soup each day) and one of my favorites from Time Out.

Since I was out anyway, I stopped at Home Depot and bought a yellow mum. I never replaced the dead daisy in the mail box garden and thought this might work for the Fall.

I stopped at the gas station and filled up the gas can then topped off the truck tank.

Since I was out anyway, I ran the truck through the touch-free car wash. Then I finally drove home.

I left the truck outside and went inside to eat my lunch. The soup was great!

Then I grabbed a towel and finished drying off the truck. Then I pulled the truck into the garage.

I laid on the bed to rest for a while. Then I got up, went outside and cut the front lawn with the mower.

When that was done, I took the mower out back and cut all the areas I couldn't get to with the riding tractor.

Sidebar: Now all that's left is to trim around the garden rocks with the line trimmer.

I planted the mum. I deliberately bought one where the flowers had not yet opened (hoping it might last longer) so I didn't take a picture for you yet.

That took two hours or so. I put everything away and went inside.

Dinner was the leftover Mushroom Agnolotti. I toasted two slices of the Italian bread, buttered them and then sprinkled the butter for a makeshift garlic bread.

I watched TV until bedtime.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Tuesday's Tale

I got up at 6:20 a.m. and made a cup of coffee. I drank it while I finished up the Blog entry and then posted it.

Breakfast was two eggs over easy with Italian bread toast.

I shaved, showered and got dressed for town. I have to fetch my Sawzall. Also, I told Courtney I would stop by and drop off the boys birthday present. She had a party for all three kids that I couldn't make.

Sidebar: One of the items on the short list of suggestions were bubbles. The boys like to blow bubbles. Now, I figured lots of people would be buying them those little bottles of bubbles. So, I went to Party City and got a gallon of bubble juice to refill them. I also bought some wands that were different (stars, etc.). I couldn't find those big circle wands that make those huge bubbles (which is what I wanted) locally.

I stopped at the Looney Bakery first and bought a dozen mixed donuts for them (I always do).  Then I headed back to Middle Belt and up to Eight Mile and Marsh Power Tools. I gave them $28.00 and asked what was wrong with it. They said there was debris on the brushes, so all they had to do was clean it.

I went to Courtney's house, but no one answered the door! Odd, because she said she'd be home all morning. I was making her little dogs go nuts with my knocking, so I gave up. I put the present and the donuts on the rear steps (the ones that they use) and drove home.

Sidebar: She called a little later and apologized. Since I was so vague on the time (and I was) and the kids were bugging her to go to the park, she took a chance. I told it it was no problem, I wasn't going to stay long anyway, just wanted to drop off the gift. I told her I'd drop by another day to see them all.

I changed into shorts and a t-shirt. It was hot (hotter than yesterday) but the was a nice breeze that made it more bearable. So, after lunch (another sandwich - the last of the salami, thank God) and an hours rest I went out back.

I got the tractor out of the shed and cut the back yard. Since I was just sitting there (with my Minneapolis-Moline hat on so I didn't sunburn my head) it wasn't too bad. Now the back yard is done, except for trimming.

Speaking of trimming, after I put the tractor away, I got out the trimmer and went to the front yard. I trimmed the front ditch. This was not as easy as it sounds, due to the angles. It took a long while, but I got 'er done. I had just started trimming around the rocks that line the gardens when the battery died.

So, I went inside, put the battery on the charger and swapped my sweaty t-shirt for a dry one. It was just after 2:30 p.m. I decided I'd start dinner after 5:00 p.m. (early for me, but I need to make my Sunday dinner) and watched DIY shows until then.

At 5:00 p.m., I started prepping for dinner. I was making Pepper Steak over Rice.

Now, when I was researching Pepper Steak over Rice, I found about a gazzion different recipes. Most involved adding some sort of canned tomatoes. But, I found one (just one) where you added fresh tomato wedges at the end. Different, so, I went with that.

First I sliced up a one pound round steak into half inch slices. Then I pounded each one to 1/4 inch.

Sidebar: Sounds like a lot of work, but it wasn't. Took a couple-three wacks to get them thin. At first I thought, "Why not just cut them 1/4 inch in the first place?" Then it dawned on me it was probably to tenderize them

I sprinkled them with a tablespoon of paprika and set them aside while I prepped the rest of the vegetables.

I sliced up two green peppers. I crushed two cloves of garlic. I diced up one cup of a sweet onion (you were supposed to use green onions but I didn't have any). And I cut two large tomatoes, each cut into eight wedges.

I put two tablespoons of butter in my non-stick skillet and browned the meat. Then I added the garlic and 1 1/2 cups of beef broth. I let that simmer (covered) for 30 minutes. Then I added the green peppers and onions. I covered it again and let it cook for five minutes more. 

I whisked together two tablespoons of cornstarch, 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of soy sauce. I stirred that into the meat mixture and let it cook, stirring until it was clear and thickened (about two minutes). Then I added in the tomato wedges.

Now, I must admit, I cheated on the rice. I used one of those Uncle Ben's microwave pouches (butter and garlic - it seemed fitting). I made a bed of the rice and topped it with the meat mixture.





Then I ate dinner. It was good, but not great. Not enough tomato taste. Next time I'll go with a recipe that adds in the canned tomatoes and maybe stick in a few tomato wedges just for looks.

I cleaned up the kitchen and ran the dishwasher. Then I watched my NCIS shows (both reruns) until the news and bedtime.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Monday

I had another rough night. I got up at 6:30 a.m. and made a cup of coffee. I sipped it watching the morning news. But, I fell asleep again. and woke up at 8:30!

I ate the remaining three muffins for breakfast after heating them one by one in the microwave.

I spent a very frustrating morning trying to get my sound to work on the computer. I checked the connection (thinking the cat might have knocked it loose) and then ran the Microsoft diagnosis three times (and you have to restart every time). If I had the actual discs, I would just reload the drivers, but with this cloud crap, I'm not sure how to do it!

Never got it to work...

Marsh Power Tools called to say the Sawzall was ready. I asked what was wrong with it and she said debris had gotten under the brushes, so all they had to do was clean it out. I asked how much it would cost me and she said $28.00. Sweet! I told her I'd pick it up tomorrow.

I ate another sandwich for lunch.

I re-read the recipe for the salad I was supposed to make on Sunday. There was a foot note I had missed regarding the balsamic vinegar. It said you could use regular balsamic vinegar but it will darken the mozzarella. They suggested using "golden" balsamic vinegar.

So, I put on my pants over my shorts and drove to Westborn (I figured if anyone would have it around here, it would be Westborn) Sure enough, they did! So, I bought it (luckily, it only came in a small bottle).

I was going to do so work outside, but it was just too damn hot. So instead, I walked around the back yard, picking up fallen sticks. I hope to cut the lawn tomorrow and don't want to mess up the mower. I piled them in the fire pit. I took the trash and the recyclables out to the road.

I picked a load of basil for the salad on the way back in.

I laid on the bed for a while to rest my legs. Then I got up to start on the salad.

Now, like most things I make, I cut the recipe in half. But, let's pretend you are making the whole recipe.

I chopped up 1/4 cup of basil (I picked way too much and that went in the trash - now my trash smells great!) and mixed that with 1/4 extra virgin olive oil. I added in one pound of those cherry-sized mozzarella balls. I added salt and pepper to taste, covered the bowl and stuck it in the fridge.

Note: You have to let it marinate for at least 30 minutes.

I went and watched a DIY show.

After an hour, I took it out. I added in one pint of grape tomatoes (you can also use cherry) and 3 tablespoons of the golden balsamic vinegar (as I said, you can also use regular or white balsamic). I tossed it all to combine. I taste-tested it and added a little more salt and pepper.

You are supposed to serve it immediately, so I took a quick picture and ate it. It was delicious!



I cleaned up the minimal mess and noticed it was getting dark. That gave me an idea! As you know, I have not been feeling well for eight months now, so I missed a lot of the Spring and Summer fun stuff. That included bonfires. So, I grabbed the camera, went out back and lit the sticks and pine cones.



It was very nice, peaceful even, until the mosquitoes found me. Unfortunately, I was stuck out there until the fire died down (didn't want to set anything on fire). Finally, it died down enough I felt it was safe to get my itchy ass inside.

I watched TV until bedtime, scratching all the way.

Sunday

I have been wanting some muffins for breakfast but can't really afford good bakery ones. So, I had picked up a box of Jiffy blueberry muffins on my last grocery trip. I made them Sunday morning. I think it took longer to get the oven heated than it did to bake them!

When they cooled a bit, I got them out. I ate three of them, cut in half and buttered. Not perfect, but not bad.

I washed the bedding and did the other Sunday morning chores.

I put some pants on over my shorts and went down to the Dairy Whip to take those pictures.

My Japanese maple looks stressed. I'm guessing it's lack of water. So, I put the hose end next to the tree trunk and turned the water on low. Those other flowers (I can never remember their name) are in bloom. When I went to take their picture, I found a tree growing next to them!


I need to start using more herbs! Both the sage and the basil are out of control!!!


I had a sandwich for lunch. I have a lot of hard salami and Italian bread to use up!

I cleaned out my linen closet and threw away a whole bunch of stuff I never had used.

I took the trash from the linen closet and the kitchen trash out to the container. Just as I got back inside, my daughter Melissa called. We talked for a while. Well, mostly she talked, giving me her helpful health tips, lol!

I went outside and trimmed the front Forsythia. It should look great next spring when it flowers.

I got out the line trimmer. I finished the south side of the driveway and got half of the north side done before my back gave out.

As I was finishing up, I heard thunder. I looked up and the sky to the north was almost black. So, I hurried to water the porch plants and then buttoned everything up. But I was disappointed again as it just sprinkled here.

I laid on the bed, hoping to take a nap. Unfortunately, I left the TV on and got involved in watching several shows.

I had a real Sunday supper planned. But, it was getting late and I wasn't all that hungry. So, I made a bowl of popcorn instead.

I watched TV until bedtime.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Come Saturday morning...

I woke up late on Saturday after another long night. I had cold cereal for breakfast. I watched the news for a while and then shaved, showered and got dressed for town.

I went to CVS and finally got all my prescriptions.

Lunch was more pasta salad. I am quite sick of pasta salad.

I spent the afternoon putzing in the house (when I should have been trimming the grass).

It got dark and cloudy around 3:00 p.m. but it never did rain here. The sun came back out around 4:00 p.m.

I realized I forgot some crusty bread for tonight's dinner. I knew better, but thought I'd try FreshValue. On the way, I saw that the Dairy Whip was empty. Dairy Whip looks like it was an old school Dairy Queen before they went upscale, although Dairy Whip recently put in a drive-thru. If you are a walk up, you order through windows and so on. I went over there Sunday morning and took pictures to show you what I mean (They were closed).




So, I pulled in and got a small vanilla cone dipped in chocolate. I ate it sitting on one of their picnic tables, watching the cars go by. Most of the ice cream ended up on either my hands or the ground. FreshValue did have Italian bread, but no hard crust bread, dammit!

For dinner, I made a salad with the leftover cherry tomatoes and some baby spinach with a simple oil and vinegar dressing. Then I warmed up some Mushroom Agnolotti with jarred Alfredo sauce. I sopped up some of the Alfredo sauce with the soft Italian bread.

I watched TV and, after Saturday Night Live, went to bed.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Oh, no!!!

I heard late last night they are going to stop making crocs. Now what the hell am I supposed to do?

Finally Friday

I woke up later than usual on Friday. This was probably the result of getting up to shit almost every hour on the hour all night long.

Sidebar: I will say it again. I would much rather be woken up having to poop rather than the alternative. Sleeping through it would be messy!

I made two Eggo waffles for breakfast. After my second cup of coffee, I got dressed for town. I didn't go to town, just down to the little market on Joy and Beech Daly (it's called FreshValue). I bought more Italian dressing. Then I made two impulse buys. They had the small flour tortillas on sale, so I bought a bag of those.

Then I did a really bad thing (and I know better). I bought  bottle of Faygo Red Pop. I don't know why. I just saw it and thought, "I used to love that stuff!"

When I got home, I added more dressing to the pasta salad. Then I cracked open the Red Pop. The funny thing is that it didn't taste nearly as good as I remembered.

I put new line on the trimmer. First I trimmed the patio (it really needed it). I blew off the resultant mess. Then I went out front and did most of the south side of the driveway. The battery on the trimmer gave out just before my back did.

Sidebar: The trimmer is a lot lighter than, say, a gas trimmer, but it is not light.

I put the battery on the charger and ate some pasta for lunch. They I laid on the bed, waiting for my back to recover. It never really did.

The plumbers (there were two of them) showed up around 3:30 p.m. I explained the problem and they got to work.

Then they stopped work and came to tell me my flange was broke!

Sidebar: The flange is the pipe in the floor that the wax ring hooks into.

Since my crawl space is so short, they said all they could do was to cut out the old one and lead in a new one. They said they might have the correct one and some lead on the truck.

They checked and they did (thank God). They brought in the old one to show me the damage. It had rusted through (it was probably the original from when the house was built in the '50s). I could have tightened the toilet forever and never got it to quit rocking

So, they continued to work while I continued to worry about just how much all this was going to cost me...

They finished up just before 5:30 p.m. and the one guy went out to the truck to write up my bill. I almost kissed him when he got back and said it would be $217.28!!!

Sidebar: I thought it would be at least $500 - $700.00.

I have to use the downstairs bath until 24 hours have passed to let the caulk dry. No problem!!!
After they left, I shut the bathroom door and made a sign so I didn't forget during the night.


I couldn't handle more pasta salad for dinner but I had nothing planned, so I had to improvise. I diced up half of a sweet onion and set it aside. I opened a can of refried beans and warmed them up in the microwave. Then I charred a couple of flour tortillas on the gas stove grates (takes about 10 seconds and you really have to watch them).

I put the beans on one side and topped them with some onions. I added splashes of Frank's Red Hot Sauce. Then I folded it over and ate it. Very messy at first (you bite one end and it squishes out the other) but I soon got the hang of it. I ended up eating five of them!

I cleaned up the minimal mess and then watched TV until bedtime.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Birthday Shoutout!

Happy birthday to my dear daughter, Carla! xoxo

Thursday

Breakfast on Thursday was hot coffee and toast. This time I used Blackberry jam on the toast. Definitely different from orange marmalade, but still delicious.

My back was a little bit better, but my legs were still shot.

I shaved,  showered and got dressed for town. I left around 11:00 a.m. to take my Sawzall into Marsh Power Tools. It hasn't worked in over two years, but I may need it this weekend. I think it's just the switch but I dunno. I never knew where to take it for repairs, but somebody from Livonia asked about getting a drill fixed and this recommendation was the closest to me. It's located at Middle Belt and Eight Mile.

Since I was coming back on Middle Belt, I stopped at Westborn to get some veggies for another pasta salad.

I stopped at CVS and they had two more prescriptions ready. Three more had not yet been approved by my doctor and they suggested I call her.

Back home, I changed clothes and lay in bed, thinking about grass cutting. I thought about it long enough I fell asleep.

When I woke up, I started prepping for the pasta salad (I wanted it to be able to stay in the fridge to get really cold for dinner). I did the usual green onions, cherry tomatoes, sliced black olives and a diced green pepper. Then I added my extras to kick it up a notch (I saw this in another recipe and thought, "Hmm...").  I added in a couple of handfuls of baby spinach. Then I took four slices of hard salami and cut each into six pieces (like a pizza).

Sidebar: They cut theirs into quarters, but that seemed way too much.

Meanwhile, the pasta (tri-color rotini) was done, so, I drained it and then rinsed it in cold water.

I mixed everything together, added in some feta cheese, topped it with the last of my bottled Italian dressing and stuck it in the fridge.

I watered the porch plants and walked around the yard, looking at plants, weeds and "stuff."

I got in the mail.

I watched the news until 7:00 p.m. Finally it was dinner time. I got out a cold drumstick and served up some pasta salad.

BIG FAILURE!

In my efforts to "kick it up a notch" I wrecked a perfectly good pasta salad. I didn't like the addition of the baby spinach (I have nothing against baby spinach, I just didn't like it in the pasta salad.) And the hard salami was too peppery.

Sidebar: I went back and found that recipe to see if I should have bought a different kind. But all it said was "salami." I don't know if there is a milder salami I should have used.

Also, there wasn't enough dressing.

Disappointed, I watched TV until bedtime.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Wednesday Woes

I woke up Wednesday morning with a sore back and weak legs. There would be no lawn cutting today!

Breakfast was soft scrambled eggs and toast. Both were good.

I officially gave up on fixing the toilet (it needs a new wax ring and the bolts). I was so fixated on getting the nuts off the bolts it never dawned on me I wouldn't be able to pick the toilet up even with the nuts off. So, I called a plumber. He's supposed to come out Friday afternoon.

I set up an automatic payment plan with WOW to avoid problems in the future.

Lunch was the last hot dog and the rest of the mac & cheese.

I spent most of the afternoon laying in bed with my feet up. I was binge-watching the HGTV show "Property Brothers." I did do the Wednesday wash, though.

Ran out of shows at 9:00 p.m., so I made dinner. I fried six chicken drumsticks (using the non-breading method) and roasted a package of Brussels sprouts.

Sidebar #1: Fried chicken that is not breaded is also not nearly as pretty as breaded. But, it tasted so damn good!

Sidebar #2: Every roasted Brussels sprouts recipe calls for putting the olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and tossing the Brussels sprouts in it. I don't do that. I put the oil, salt and pepper in a gallon baggie, add the Brussels sprouts and massage it. Much less messy!

I watched a fascinating show on PBS's "Nova" and then the 11:00 p.m. news before going to bed.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Tuesday

As I mentioned, Tuesday morning I checked and I got a half inch of rain on Monday. The garbage man came early (well, early for him) so I went out to retrieve the receptacle at 10:30 a.m. As I was walking it back to Jake's patio, my crocs got soaked. So much for cutting the grass early.

So, back inside, I cleaned out the Keurig (it's been a while).

I had a text from CVS, saying my prescription was ready.

Sidebar: I miss the little robo-calls.

So, I got dressed for town and went over there. My prescriptions were NOT ready. The only one ready was  one of the ones I told her yesterday I didn't need. She apologized and said she had no idea how it got back on the list. She offered to fill the rest immediately. I told her I didn't need any one today and I'd just come back tomorrow.

On the way out, I realized it had been a long time since I'd had the chicken fried rice from next door. So, I popped it and the lady made up my order without asking. I sat and waited but, trust me, it doesn't take her that long.

When I got home I ate almost half of it for my lunch. Delicious!!!

Then I took nap.

When I woke up, it was almost 3:00 p.m. I checked and the grass was now dry. I used the lawn tractor to cut the back lawn first. So that was cut although not trimmed.

Sidebar: I had to cut it one speed less than I normally do. I couldn't get my left leg to respond in time  to hit the clutch/brake and almost crashed into the fence!

Then I got about 75% of the front lawn cut before my legs gave out.


It was warm and quite humid, BTW.

I ate the rest of the fried rice for dinner while watching TV.

Later on, I was checking Facebook. I was surprised when Amanda posted that Scott had just gotten home from work and she and Keldon were walking in the rain to get some ice cream. Rain?

I checked Wednesday morning and I did have a trace amount of rain in the gauge.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Monday Moanin'

I ate some toast with orange marmalade for breakfast on Monday.

I heard my neighbor cutting his grass and I should have, too. But I had some work to do on the computer, first.

But, when I was ready, I found I needed more lawn mower gas. So, after taking the trash to the road, I went and got some, filling up the truck while I was at it. Since I was there anyway, I went to CVS to pick up my prescriptions. Unfortunately, I had waited too long and they put them all back on the shelf!

So, they made a list of the ones I needed and said they'd refill them for me.

Driving back home, it began raining. We had a light rain between 3:00-4:00 p.m. I was glad I missed the real storm as it ripped down trees in the Grosse Points and on Belle Ille.

Then from 6:30-7:00 p.m. we had thunder and heavy rain. But still no high winds, thank God!

I ate a hot dog with a side of some blue box mac & cheese for dinner.

From 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. we had a lot of lightning and thunder with just moderate rain. But the thunder was right overhead, really loud and Caley was scared.

Sidebar: A quick check Tuesday morning of the gauge showed I picked up just over a half inch of rain total.

I watched TV until bedtime.


Monday, August 6, 2018

Sunday's Story

I had soft boiled eggs for breakfast on Sunday.

I made a quick trip (those are the only kinds of trips I can make these days, LOL) to the Post Office for stamps and to mail a package.

Lunch was cottage cheese.

My daughter Melissa called and we talked for a while. She was supposed to be cleaning the house (so was I, in fact).

After we hung up, I did a load of laundry and ran the dishwasher. I took the kitchen trash out to the container. I noticed that even though it was warmer than Saturday, it wasn't as oppressive because there was a nice breeze.

Dinner was two more hot dogs and the last of the potato chips. I watered the porch plants.

I watched TV until bedtime.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Saturday

I woke up at an amazing  9:30 a.m. on Saturday. This was probably due to having to get up almost every hour on the hour all night long to use the toilet.

I ate two Eggo waffles for breakfast and the last cucumber sandwich for lunch. For dinner, it was hot dogs and the last of the potato salad.

I didn't go to the Esper boys birthday party. I apologized to Courtney and told her I'd drop off their present as soon as I was feeling better.

Sidebar: I missed Yanessa's birthday party last week as well.

It was another hot day and an ozone action day, so no lawn cutting got done. I watered the porch plants at 7:00 p.m. and it was still stifling.

Friday

Sidebar: Sorry this is late. My cable was shut off on Saturday (my fault) and it took a while on the phone to get it turned back on. The TV came back right away, but the Internet took forever!

I went and got my hair cut Friday afternoon. I stopped at Kroger's just to use their bathroom. Then I took Merriman to Six Mile and Six Mile past Haggerty to Barnes and Noble. I am still a bit housebound and am getting tired of watching TV.

I was hoping one or more of my favorite authors had written a new book. But, they hadn't. So I drove back home in a funk.

It was way too hot to grill outside, so I broiled some hot dogs in the oven. I ate two of them with some more potato salad for dinner.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Thursday

Thursday was a perfect day here in Redford. I finally got off my ass and went grocery shopping.

This time I did manage to get all the way through the store! Getting the groceries into the house was more difficult, though.

I did an impulse buy of a big, beautiful cucumber so, after I rested a bit, I made myself a cucumber sandwich for lunch. It was so good I made myself another one for dessert, lol!

My friend, B___ called and we talked a long time (it's been a while since we chatted).

I made another cucumber sandwich and ate that with chips for dinner.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Wednesday

The National Weather Service did confirm a that a weak tornado did touch down in Taylor during Tuesday's nights storm. It  ripped roofs off several stores, but nobody was injured.

Wednesday it was cloudy all morning, but no more rain. However, the sun came out around 3:00 p.m. It wasn't all that warm,  but it was pleasant.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

For my brother, Carl


Tuesday's Wicked Storms

It started sprinkling around here about 1:00 p.m. I thought, "Here we go again, the storm will pass me by." And it did for a long time.

But by 8:00 or 9:00 p.m., the storms got much worse. Lots of thunder and lightning, heavy downpours against the house. We even got tornado warnings later on in the evening (fortunately I was not the tornado warning area).

I went out Wednesday morning to check the rain gauge and found I had just under 3 inches of rain.


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Catching Up.

I had an appointment with the infectious disease doctor last Thursday, but I was too sick to make it. So, I rescheduled for this coming Thursday.

I spent most of the weekend in bed. My neighbor and the mechanic came and got the mower on Sunday. They brought it back Sunday evening, but I was sleeping. So, they just put it in the shed and shut the door.

I went out and locked the shed on Monday, but now I didn't pay the guy. Never saw my neighbor that day, but saw him out back on Tuesday. So, I went out and gave him the $500.00 to pass onto the mechanic.

My brother Carl called on Tuesday.

I got just under one inch or rain all weekend long. They said best chance of rain would be on Tuesday, but it never rained a drop here in Redford.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Hump Day

I slept great! I think it was all the fresh air. So, I left the windows open when I woke up. I figured I'd close them if and when the A/C kicked on.

I had an appointment with the WOW technician Wednesday morning. Which meant I was more or less trapped in the house between 8-11:00 a.m. I even got a robo-call on Tuesday in Kroger's, reminding me of this.

So, I made sure I got dressed and both I and the house were presentable before 8:00 a.m.

I watched the Today Show (I like it and can't change the channel, anyway) while I waited.

And waited...

And waited...

I ate another chicken leg (cold this time) and the last of the potato salad for lunch.

BTW, I always just buy the little tubs of potato salad. I wonder if it would be better if I got it from the deli instead. I do like potato salad, but it's a pain in the ass to make and, since it's only me, I end up throwing most of the homemade potato salad away when the mayo turns watery.

I gave the guy (or gal) until 1:00 p.m. before I called to bitch. The woman I talked to put me on hold for a long while as she tried to call the local office. She finally came back on the line and said she couldn't get in touch with them, but would call me back when she did. She finally did call back and said somebody would be here on Thursday morning. I told her I had a doctor's appointment in the afternoon, so it would definitely have to be in the morning.

Eric Knapp and his wife stopped by on the way to the airport (I think they were picking up a relative). I had told him last summer that I had a charcoal smoker I bought but never used. He's a big smoked meat man. He had asked what I wanted for it. I told him nothing, I just needed the room in the shed.

So, they had driven over from Massachusetts (where they live) for a family reunion and stopped by to pick it up. I met them at the door and told them to go around back and I'd bring the key for the shed.

Sidebar: I didn't invite them in. Not sure now if that was very friendly, but I figured if they were anything like me, getting to the airport in time was the first priority.

Anyway, I offered him the wheelbarrow or the wagon to get it up front. Instead, he just picked it up and carried it!

Sidebar: Why are people doing this to me all of a sudden? First it was Amanda and the hanging plant I couldn't pick up (she picked it up with one hand and raised it over her head to hang it back up, if you remember) and now Eric, easily carrying the smoker I would had trouble just getting it in the wheelbarrow or wagon.

Anyway, we all shook hands and they took off.

I ate the last of the pasta salad for dinner and then washed out my Tupperware bowl.

The A/C never did come on, even though they said the high today was 81 degrees. So, I kept the windows open for another straight night.

I watched TV until an early bedtime.

Tuesday

I made two eggs over-easy with toast for breakfast on Tuesday, then I shaved, showered and got dressed.

I had a 10:00 a.m. appointment with my eye doctor in Farmington. When I went by Bates (Five Mile and Farmington) there was just one truck  in the parking lot. Hmmm.

I passed every eye test with flying colors! The doctor tried to also sell me on clear glasses with readers in the bifocal area. I told him to forget it, I am enjoying not wearing glasses way too much.

I had thought it might be fun to call out all my locations on Facebook, but I forgot to do it at the eye doctors. I remembered it about half way back to Kroger's.

I wanted some bone-in pork chops, but couldn't find any. I did see a 12 pack of fat chicken legs, so I got that instead.

Before I left, I checked in on Facebook. Then I drove to Bates for an early lunch. The place was packed! No a single parking space left!!! WTF? It was only 11:40 a.m. Why aren't these people at work?

No point in checking in on Facebook. So, now instead of the eye doctor, Kroger and Bates, I just had Kroger's and look like a dork.

So, I drove home instead. I put the cold stuff in the fridge, changed clothes and laid on the bed to rest.

I got up after an hour or so and split the chicken legs into three bags of four each. Two went into the freezer and one in the fridge for tonight's dinner. I took the last five eggs and hard boiled them (I bought a new dozen).

I took the last kitchen trash bag out to the trash container by the road. Then I watered the hanging plants and the mailbox garden.

Back inside, I took a nap.

When I woke up, I started making dinner. I wanted the chicken legs, but not a big mess or fuss in the kitchen. So, I made them the way I had seen Carla's mom do it once. I patted them dry with paper towels and sprinkled them with Lawry's seasoned salt and garlic powder. Then I just fried them in my big cast iron frying pan, filled about one third of canola oil and topped with my grease splatter screen.

I put them on a rack over paper towels to drain.

I ate two of them (they were really big) with some store-bought potato salad I got from Kroger's. The potato salad was just so-so (it always is), but the chicken was excellent!

I retrieved both the trash container and the mail then I watched TV until bedtime. I left the window in the bedroom and the window downstairs open to the safety latches (it was that nice out).