Sunday, April 30, 2006

Sunday evening...

Quit just after 6:00 PM. I called my Mom, only big news is that Christa, my brother Joe's oldest daughter, still has not had her baby yet. We both wondered if Jeremy, Joe and Riese made it home safe, but neither one of us have heard from them or Luanne.

Was going to make dinner, but had so many leftovers it seemed silly. So, I ate the rest of the pasta salad, the rest of the baked beans and the last couple of drumsticks.

Watched "Extreme Makeover" and then Iron Chef America.

Now I'm headed for bed...

Sunday afternoon...

As you might have guessed by the times of the recent posts, I did not get much sleep last night. Finally got to sleep around 7:00 AM. Woke up at 11:00 AM, thoroughly ticked I'd wasted the morning.

Got back to spray painting. In between coats, did all the laundry and moved all the brush piles to the back (hopefully, the tree cutter guy will grind them up for me - for a price, naturally).

Jake and Carla came over around 2:00 PM to test drive the scooters. First time on the open highway! They were gone over two hours (I admit it, I was starting to worry) but came back grinning! They had successfully managed traffic, four way stops, stop lights, etc. Carla is really hooked!

Moved the finally painted furniture to the front porch. I need to get some seat cushions, but will do that later. Cleaned the last of the enamel paint off my hands and arms with paint solvent (Yuck - smells bad).

I cut more wood for the chiminea after they left. Not as thrilled with the "Piranha" blade as I'd hoped. Doesn't seem any faster than the original sawzall blade.

Next, I must call my Mom and russle up some dinner...


12 cans of spray paint later, the porch has a new look and more seating!


My rocker, revived!


I'll let the paint dry for a couple of days before buying some nice seat pads


Front porch, in the usual configuration.


Another example of what I had to deal with, wicker-wise...


Wicker furniture, worse for the wear...

Saturday Dinner

So, I'm still spray painting furniture, right? Then, Jake and Carla came over around 4:00, towing a U-Haul trailer (?!?!) In the trailer were two Honda Metropolitan scooters, a white and orange one for Carla and a white and blue one for Jake (urban transportation at it's finest!) They stored them in the garage while they took the trailer back.

Upon their return, they practiced driving up and down San Jose. Then, Jake fired up the grill (BTW, I noticed he didn't burn anything in the process). While he was cooking hamburgers, hot dogs and the chicken drumsticks I had thawed, (planning on deep frying them on Sunday), I made a quick pasta salad: tri-colored rotini pasta, cherry tomatoes, sliced mushrooms, sliced black olives, diced valadia onions, diced green pepper and celery, all covered with Italian dressing.

I also asked him to grill the three bunches of scallions I bought but had not used (trimmed, then coated in olive oil, salt and fresh ground pepper - cooked about two minutes on each side, just enough to see the grill marks - yummy).

We feasted like kings! They left, and I called it a night (tired, sore and limping a little).

I'll get back on the furniture restoration Sunday...

Saturday, April 29, 2006


Put the tube I bought for the wheelbarrow in. NOT easy! Could not get it in with the tire on, so managed to get one side off, using two screw drivers. Got the tube in and locked the stem in (or out, as the case might be) with a pair of channel locks. But, then, getting the tire back on the rim was incredibly hard! Finally got it (after only smashing two fingers).

Took it to the gas station to blow it up. Then did some banking and picked up a few things from Farmer Jack. Washed the car at the quarter car wash, and dried it off after getting back home (one of the nice things about living so close, I don't have to dry it off at the car wash).

The spacers I had made years ago out of PCV pipe for the wheel barrow were all worn out, so cut new ones out of galvanized pipe. Went through three hacksaw blades, and I can hardly move my right arm, but got it done and back together. Then moved on to the newest project...

Readers of my Blog, or even my poetry, know by now I love to sit on the front porch in my rocker, especially when I can't sleep. And, you may also recall, I needed a table, so I bought a real, used lobster trap from Maine (although, after two years, I still have not caught even one lobster!) However, when visitors are over who smoke, we usually go out on the porch, but only I can sit down. Not very hospitable!

So, I have been thinking about ways to increase the seating capacity. A friend offered a church pew he was no longer using, which was a cool idea, but it was too long. Then, this week, it hit me: the wicker furniture! I had two wicker chairs and a table that sat on the porch in St. Claire (although, most people, including myself, sat on the porch swing - which I miss!). When I moved here, I put them out on Jake's patio (where they were also never used) for two seasons.

Unlike the covered porch in St. Claire, on San Jose, they were exposed to the elements, and sun, wind and rain worked on them. When I put them in the attic a year ago, they were gray and rapidly becoming unwound (see photo). So, Friday night, I got out the hot glue gun and began to fix them all as needed.

Saturday, I began to spray paint them and the rocker (the rocker has also suffered from the sun and I was going to refinish it, but instead I sanded it and painted it). Murray's hardware only had 4 cans of almond (the final color I want them all) so I bought white enamel as the primer. I had to go back and get more white paint, but so far I've gone through 8 cans of spray paint, and have two more white left, then will finish them with the almond. It was a long, slow process, that leads up to:


Catching up...

Last night, I came home and trimmed the other forsythia bush. Then I moved more leaves from the pile (I'm currently more than half way across the back wall, but am running out of leaves!) Then, I gave all the new-sowen grass seed a real good soaking (no forecasted rain until Tuesday).

I decided to grill a bunch of brats, so I would not have to take time out this weekend to make meals (also planned on making a pasta salad on Saturday - again, for no-fuss meals).

Went to light the cowboy charcoal after applying a liberal amount of charcoal lighter, but the lighter wouldn't work. Not sure why I did this, but closed the lid and went in search of another lighter. Finally found one, went out, opened the lid, and clicked it...

WHOOSH! I lost most of my eyebrows and a lot of my mustache!

Ate dinner, watched TV, and then went to bed, smelling of burnt hair.

Maybe my imagination, but even after this morning's shower, I still smell it...

To Those Hoping to Inherit When I Die...

All I plan on leaving you is alone...

(Grinning) Sure, I stole that from the song "Papa was a rolling stone" but, damn, I like it!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Making my bed...

Did you ever try to make a bed with a cat in it? I do, every day! Scruffy won't get down, she just complains and moves to another spot while I tug the bedclothes from under her and try to get them smooth.

Fat, lazy cats are a pain in the butt!


Jake and Carla stopped by Thursday night after work. Jake got down the wicker furniture from the attic (I've got a plan!) while Carla perused the freezers for something to make for dinner. Another long discussion followed, but we finally agreed on breaded porkchops (made with a unique "Jake" sauce), while Carla made a wild rice, mushroom, shallot and garlic mixture.

Hey, I helped out, too! I microwaved the frozen corn!!!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Last night

Went out to dinner with Tracey. We both had something to celebrate: me buying the house and her buying a brand new Ford F-150 extended cab pickup!

Went to a place in Plymouth called Station 885. It's an old train station, converted into a restaurant. Neat murals on the wall, a long HO gauge train that runs around the walls near the ceiling and, sure enough, twice while we were having dinner, real trains went by (so close you could only see just a part of them)! Good food, good company, good celebration.

Got home around 7:00 PM and went and pitched more leaves into the newest garden. Haven't quite figured out what to plant back there. Was thinking of a rock garden with herbs, but I don't have any rocks!

Hmmm... I'll have to think about this...

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Got home...

...and found a nice surprise! A new-mowed lawn! Looked great (it was getting a bit shaggy). So, while I was thinking about it, went and reseeded the couple of small, bare spots in the front. Dragged out the hose to water the new seed, then dragged it back (didn't have to water all the other seeded spots as it rained this morning).

Then went in the back and moved more leaves. Posted some pictures so you will understand my daunting task. Also, took a lesson from my old in-house therapist and, "pre-medicated" by taking a couple pain pills at 5:00 PM, knowing they'd kick in by the time I got home and was ready to work. Bingo! No backache, so I got in about a 1/2 hour's worth of leaf moving.

Next, I tried the new Sawzall blade I bought yesterday. It was a 9-inch "Piranha" made for pruning by Black and Decker. While the little tab and the little hole matched a Sawzall blade perfectly, the original Sawzall blade had a bend to it that this Black and Decker doesn't. So, I wondered if it would work...

Damn! Sure enough, it fit in easily, but popped out under usage. Not ready to give up on it, I studied it and realized that because it did not bend like the Sawzall, the first tooth of the blade hit the collar and prevented it from locking in. So, got out my Dremmel tool, ground off the first tooth, and "BINGO," works perfectly!

Used the last of the turkey left-overs and a jar of turkey gravy to make a open-faced, hot turkey sandwich for dinner (along with the last left-over twice-baked potato and some canned peas I heated up).

Watched some TV, fell asleep, but thanks to the magic of insomnia, I am up and writing this, now!


Rear garden, from North side fence (still a lot of leaves to spread!)


South side of new garden


Last Fall's leaf pile, soon to be this year's garden

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Monday Night

I had a bunch of errands to run after work (including getting more mulch and the hook for the gnomes) and didn't get home until almost 6:30 PM.

Installed the hook and the gnomes, then got the pitchfork and headed out back. Laid out the tree trunks to define the new garden in front of the back wall, then began pitching the last year's leaves (in a big pile by the compost heap) into the space.

Back gave out after about 20 minutes, but it's a start. I figure a little bit every evening and I'll get 'er done!

Decided I needed good, old-fashioned comfort food for dinner (after all the exotic meals of the weekend). So I "semi-homemade" some pasta and sauce, Here's how I did it:

Sauted 1/2 of a sweet Vidalia onion (first of the season, God, I love these onions!); 1/2 pound Portobello mushrooms (Manager's special - $2.00 off, but use it or lose it); one green pepper and three cloves of garlic, (minced).

I browned 1 pound of hamburger, drained the grease and added the above ingredients. Then I added a jar of Classico Traditional Sweet Basil and a can of petite diced tomatoes with basil.

Set that all on simmer while I made Penne pasta, cooked "al dente." I froze half the sauce and used the rest on my pasta, served with shredded Parmesan cheese.

Watched some TV and took a pain pill for my poor back.

And, that's me, up to date.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Adding a bit of whimsy...

... to the front garden. I saw these guys in CVS while picking up my prescriptions. Got a five-foot tall garden hook (at Home Depot for $7.00, Lowes only had 6 foot ones for $11.00) and hid it in the bush.

Anyway, I'm always the one decrying garden gnomes, but I thought if I hid them in the bush, I'd get the whimsy, without the "trailer park trash" look.

Go to Photographs and you be the judge.

I think it works...


Added a little whimsy to the front garden with some rope-climbing gnomes...


Top Dog, reaching for the stars!


Middle of the pack, and just holding on (do I know that feeling, or what?)


Low man (er, Gnome) on the totem pole...

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Smaller lamp from office replaces the old big lamp. mUch better "fit."


New torchier in living room


Smoking a turkey breast, in the rain...


Tiger Lilies, mulched (neighbor's side)


Tiger Lilies, mulched (my side)


Decided I wanted to try and smoke something on my grill, so thawed out a 8 pound turkey breast beginning Friday night and asked Jake and Carla over for Sunday dinner.

Saturday, made the brine (apple juice, brown sugar, salt, three oranges, quartered, whole cloves, garlic cloves, bay leaves, and fresh cracked pepper) and put it in a stock pot with the turkey breast and refrigerated it for 24 hours.

Today, I built a fire with "Cowboy charcoal" at the end opposite the chimney, When it was going good, I put wet hickory chips on top. The turkey breast was at the other end, sitting over an aluminum foil drip pan. Monitored it for the next four hours, adding more hickory chips when the smoke was dying. I also had to add more charcoal three times. Took it off when the internal temperature reached 165 degrees F.

Served it with twice-baked potatoes and (as a surprise treat for poor Carla) collard greens made with ham hocks.

I was a little bummed about how it looked. Most of the cooking cycle, it was a nice golden brown. But, by the time it was ready, the skin had blackened and split.

But, it tasted GREAT!!!

I was also bummed when I came in LAST at Scrabble...

More Mulch

I noticed that the Tiger Lilies in front were spreading into my grass and (worse) my neighbor's lawn. So, I took the weedwacker and cut them down, then spread 6 bags of mulch to discourage the traveling Tigers. Will post a picture.

It's all fun and games 'til somebody gets hurt...

I was just about to cut down the 6 dead trees against the back wall when Jake and Carla stopped by and offered to help. So, I got all my extension cords and the sawzall (still haven't gotten a longer blade). Jake pooh-poohed the sawzall and used a handsaw to cut his trees down. Meanwhile, I showed Carla how you cut a notch on the side you want the tree to fall, then cut the other side.

She was a pro! Especially at cutting off the branches after the trees were down. Then Jake suggested using the electric hedgetrimmer to cut down the pickers, weeds, etc. So, I started that and then Carla wanted to try it.

After a bit, it bounced off a springy branch and towards her leg. She put her hand down to ward it off and cut the hell out of her finger!

Jake had her apply pressure while he drove her to the Emergency Room. End result? Three stitches and a tetanus shot that still hurts today...

Friday night...

Friday night, Jake, Carla and myself gathered here to discuss the past week. After that discussion, we decided that we were hungry. Another, more intense, discussion followed...

Carla and I leaned towards Kentucky Fried Chicken (hey, can you ever get too much fried chicken?) but Jake wasn't interested...

So, we finally decided on tapas. "Tapas" is a Spanish word for "Any of various small, savory Spanish dishes, often served as a snack or with other tapas as a meal."

So, off they went to the grocery store (remember, I emptied my fridge before leaving on vacation)

Our dinner consisted of :

Crab Rangoon - Deep-fried wonton, filled with cream cheese, crab and seasonings
Bacon Wrapped Scallops
Alaskan King Crab Legs with Clarified Butter

I had never eaten crab legs before, because it seemed that, no matter how good they might taste, it wasn't worth all the effort it took to crack them open. But, unbeknownest to me, those two took care of it. Jake first tried to roll over them with a rolling pin, but that didn't work so good. So Carla cracked the legs for like twenty minutes to get the meat out!

It was delicious (I think maybe better than lobster tail, but I'd have to do a side-by-side test) the bacon wrapped scallops were fantastic and the "Crab Rangoon" excellent.

Okay, so my Kentucky Fried Chicken idea was lame...

Friday, April 21, 2006


This will serve as the "before" picture when the grass (hopefully) grows!

Last couple of nights...

I have been working on cleaning out the leaves, branches, etc., from the entrance to my backyard. I cut up that pine tree I had chopped down, moved the evergreen branches (from the trimming of the trees by the garage) and then raked with a leaf rake. Then I sowed more grass seed and raked it in with the regular hard-tined rake. Then I watered the heck out of it. Finished up just before dark last night. Posted a picture so you can see if the grass takes hold.

But, my back hurts this morning...


"One thing you sometimes forget is, no matter how hard your day is, no matter how tough your choices or complex your ethical decisions, you always get to choose what you want for lunch."

Denny Crain
Boston Legal

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


The hammock restored to its Summer home, under the watchful eyes of Mr. Tree

Easing back into reality...

I never go back to work the day after I get home from vacation. Oh, I used to when I was younger (you know, drive all day to get home from somewhere, unload the car, catch a few hours sleep and then go into work), but I can't any more. Getting old, I guess, but I need a day to ease back into my normal life's routine.

So, got up at the usual time (5:30 AM), made some coffee and started putzing. Did all my laundry, cleaned up the extra food and water dishes from Scruffy, and put the excess kitty litter in the trash. Then I took the trash out to the road (Tuesday's trash day).

I emailed Jyl the pictures of Riese, Joe and Jeremy (I told Jeremy I would). Posted all the Virginia pictures on my old website and answered a few emails. Then I went to lunch with Bill and we shared stories of the weekend.

Picked up a few groceries at Farmer Jacks on the way back to tide me over until the weekend. Washed the car at the quarter carwash, then vacuumed it out.

When I got home, I watered the grass seed (which is just now sprouting) then cleaned out and refilled the reflecting pool. Blew the red thingies from the maple trees off the patio. Put my carry-on suitcase and the winter blue tarp (it was dry) up in the attic and got down the hammock. Hung up the hammock and took a picture for this website.

Swept the kitchen and downstairs floors and then washed them. Left to pick up Jake after putting the spareribs they had left for me in the oven to warm up. On the way home from dropping off Jake, I picked up a pint of potato salad and a small can of baked beans. Warmed the beans and ate dinner (fantastic ribs, BTW - Thanks!) Excellent!!!

Settling in for a bit of TV and then an early bedtime.

I'm baaaccckkk...

Got home around 5:30 PM last night. Should have been earlier but (you'll never believe it) we had problems on the flight home. Boarded on time in Philidelphia, but sat on the tarmac for almost an hour while they tried to fix the air conditioner. Think about it: all those people crammed (and I do mean crammed) into a tiny plane as the temperature kept climbing. Everybody was in the same boat (er, plane I guess) as I was and sweat was literally pouring down my face. Yuck!

But we finally took off, and the A/C started working about half way home. I did manage to catnap on the way (had a very bad night's sleep the night before). Got back and it took forever to find my car (although I wrote down the exact location) because the parking structure was under construction and the rows are no longer sequential.

But, I finally got here! Scruffy wouldn't stop meowing! (Although, come to think of it, Newt didn't say much)

Jake and Carla came by to hear about my adventures and we shared a pizza and talked. They left and I went directly to bed at 8:00 PM and slept until the alarm went off this morning.

For those of you who are interested, I took some photos for my Mom while I was there. I'll put them on the old picture website for your viewing pleasure. Give me a bit and then go to:


Original forsythia, now blooming amid the Winter's trash


Hyachinth that bloomed while I was gone.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Doctor Doolittle

Since I've been here, I've taken to leading the little goats in the morning from their stall out to their mini-pasture (temporary fencing surrounding honeysuckle, farm roses and brush - Lu's using them as a brush-cleaning crew) and back again at night. Yesterday it was over 80 degrees F. and alternated between sunny (I think I sunburned the top of my head!) and rainy.

Luanne explained that goats do NOT like to get wet (I wondered what "real" wild goats do? Hunt for caves in the mountains?) so every time it started raining, I had to go out and lead them back to the barn. Then, when the sun came back out, I walked them back. Over and over again...

Well, Precious (the horse) and Gypsy (the dog) thought this Easter parade thing was pretty cool, so they'd follow along, too...

I looked like the Pied Piper or Doctor Doolittle or something...

Friday, April 14, 2006

Never again!!!

I will never, EVER buy a cheap airline ticket again! At Detroit, we did use the tunnel thingie to board the plane. However, my head brushed the top of the plane when I boarded. They said my carry-on was too big for the overhead compartments (it was... you could put a briefcase or a laptop up there, but that was it) so I had to give it up before boarding (I did at least remember to grab my book out of it).

The seats were about 12 inches wide and the plane was FULL. Luckily, I had a little, thin guy sitting next to me, but I still couldn't move or breathe deeply.

In Philadelphia, we exited the plane by walking down the ladder that came out when you opened the outside door (try that with a cane!) and, after about two hours, I had to climb on the next plane the same way. We boarded at 1:50 PM. We took off at 2:40 PM. They said since the flight was so short, there would be no beverage service (and I didn't buy any bottled water).

Then, when we got to Richmond airport (about 35 minutes late) we again climbed down the ladder (I refuse to call them steps!) got my carry-on and had to climb up portable steps into the tunnel thingie (try that will a cane AND a heavy carry-on) so at least it "looked like" I had flown on a real airline...

All just to save a few bucks... NEVER AGAIN!!!

But, I made it, and even though this dial up is like driving an antique car, I'll try and keep you posted...

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Blog, interrupted?

As I mentioned before, I am leaving for Virginia tomorrow morning. Depending on computer availability, timing and the temperament of a 56K dial-up modem, I will try to keep the Blog going while I'm gone.

However, if it doesn't work, I'll fill you all in Monday night!

Happy Easter, one and all!


Today, I fulfilled a vow I made four years ago. At 2:00 PM, I officially owned my own home again.

After work, I celebrated by treating myself to the pork chop dinner special at the Coney Island (hey, I gotta watch the pennies, ya know. I got a house to pay for!)

I may regret this someday, some way, but tonight, it feels good...

Interesting Test

Jake gave me the idea, but I used my Sawzall last night to cut some of the black walnut branches up. I want to dry the wood out and in a couple of years, use it for carvings.

Only had the four inch blade that came with it, so on the bigger cuts had to go "around" the branch instead of just through it. But it worked pretty good (and I can always buy longer blades).

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Forgot to mention...

Sunday, I replace the "flapper" in the downstairs toilet. Some months ago, it had occurred to me that my water bills hadn't gone down significantly since Jake and Carla moved out. I checked the bills, and the water amount was just about the same. I then checked everywhere for a leak, but couldn't spot one. Hmmm...

Then one day a couple of weeks ago, I was ironing downstairs without the radio or TV on, and I heard the downstairs bathroom toilet filling up as though someone had flushed it. Hmmm... Strange, as its rarely used by anybody.

As a test, I shut the water off to the toilet. Couldn't see a leak. Couldn't hear a leak. But, when I went back a couple hours later, the toilet tank was empty!!!

So, Sunday I took off the old flapper and went to Murray's. I lucked out as they carried that exact brand, so I didn't have to buy a "universal" one and make it fit.

Another problem solved!

Mild Monday Night

It was 64 degrees F. last night at 5:30 PM when I got home. After changing clothes, I watered the sown grass seed. Then I moved the big blue tarp into the garage to further dry out before storing in the attic.

It was so nice out, I got the shovel and started digging around the stump of that pine tree I recently cut down (not easy, BTW). Then I got the axe and, after some difficulty, chopped it out to below ground level. Filled the hole with dirt, and we're good to go!

Monday, April 10, 2006

With a tip o' the hat to the Webmaster...

Did you hear the one about the dyslexic devil worshiper?

He sold his soul to Santa.

Sunday, April 9, 2006


A closer view, but still hard to see details. Sorry! These are the only two pictures I have.


Melissa: This is the box we discussed.

Sunday morning, over easy...

I slept in until 7:30 AM, then got busy. After a shower and shave, emptied the dishwasher, made my grocery list, then went outside and dispersed the 4 bags of mulch I'd gotten yesterday. Watered the grass seed and took some pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Decided rather than pitching the forsythia branches I'd forced, I'd try and get one to root (Luanne has done that before). So I dug out the sod, added some slow-release fertilizer and then some potting soil in the hole, and watered it. Then I just stuck the branches down into it. I'll let you know if any (or all) take root.

Also added the slow-release fertilizer to the mailbox mini-garden and the tree box, along with more potting soil.

After posting this, going grocery shopping and picking up some prescriptions (a man's work is never done!)

And, that's me, up to date!

Easter Dinner .v1

Jake and Carla decided that, since I'll be gone for Easter (going to Virginia for the weekend) we'd have Easter dinner yesterday. So, after my morning errands (hair cut, shopping, picking up more mulch, etc.) I acted as prep chef and cooked 2 pounds of redskin potatoes, cubed and cooled them off and 10 slices of bacon for something called Texas Country potato salad. I also made some shrimp cocktail for an appetizer while we worked.

They got here around 5:00 PM, Jake fired up the grill and Carla started making the salad. It's basically potatoes, hard boiled eggs and crumbled bacon with a mayo sauce. Carla added celery for some crunch. Jake cooked the delmonico steaks I'd thawed out Saturday morning and then we ate. A bit non-traditional, I suppose, but a great Easter dinner, none the less.


First I tricked them into blooming in the house, now I'm trying to trick them into growing into a bush! I'm such a little scamp!


Tree garden, ready for planting!


Garage side garden, mulched


St. Francis with his new mulch


Patio garden with full mulching done!

Saturday, April 8, 2006

Rainy Friday Update

It's been so long since it was outside, I forgot to look at my rain gauge until just now. We had almost one inch of rain Thursday night through Friday afternoon.

I had to carefully pick up the mulch in the St. Francis garden. It had compacted into a thick, moldy mat. Used a pitchfork and a lot of care, but still think I trashed some of the emerging ferns that were trapped under the "mat". Then put down a fresh, thin coating of mulch. I'll add more when the plants are up (if they make it).

Me, in a previous life...

(dedicated to Shabetia... love ya, babe!)


Bruce Springsteen

In the day we sweat it out in the streets of a runaway American dream
At night we ride through mansions of glory in suicide machines
Sprung from cages out on highway 9,
Chrome wheeled, fuel injected
and steppin' out over the line
Baby this town rips the bones from your back
It's a death trap, it's a suicide rap
We gotta get out while we're young
`Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run

Wendy let me in I wanna be your friend
I want to guard your dreams and visions
Just wrap your legs 'round these velvet rims
and strap your hands across my engines
Together we could break this trap
We'll run till we drop, baby we'll never go back
Will you walk with me out on the wire
`Cause baby I'm just a scared and lonely rider
But I gotta find out how it feels
I want to know if love is wild
girl I want to know if love is real

Beyond the Palace hemi-powered drones scream down the boulevard
The girls comb their hair in rearview mirrors
And the boys try to look so hard
The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist
I wanna die with you Wendy on the streets tonight
In an everlasting kiss

The highway's jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive
Everybody's out on the run tonight
but there's no place left to hide
Together Wendy we'll live with the sadness
I'll love you with all the madness in my soul
Someday girl I don't know when
we're gonna get to that place
Where we really want to go
and we'll walk in the sun
But till then tramps like us
baby we were born to run

Friday's rainy, gloomy day...

... turned into a clear, cold night. An almost half-moon and glittering stars lit up the back yard. Went out on the patio to look for my moon shadow (found it!) but didn't stay out long. Too cold for just a bathrobe and slippers!

I finished my taxes tonight...

... and will mail them tomorrow.

No comment...

Friday, April 7, 2006

Fun Facts to Know and Tell

For centuries, Scottish witches were believed to convene annually on the first Friday in April.

Mulch and munch

I stopped on the way home last night and got four more bags of mulch for the patio garden. Spread them and then went in to make dinner.

Made an interesting dish I'd been wanting to try (it's a Rachel Ray recipe and I'll send it to you if you're interested). It was meat loaf slices (fried on the stovetop), smashed potatoes (redskin potatoes mashed with sour cream, scallions and milk) and a really good pan gravy.

But, it was the side dish that was the star. Quick and easy and here it is:

Micro-way-cool Bacon and Green Beans
Recipe courtesy of Rachel Ray

6 slices microwave ready-crisp bacon (I had some regular bacon already cooked)
1 (16-ounce) bag frozen green beans
A drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Place bacon between paper towels and microwave for 60 seconds on high. Cool bacon and chop or crumble it up.

Place green beans in a bowl and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and microwave green bean on high for 5 minutes. Sir and cook 5 minutes more. Remove wrap and top green beans with crumbled bacon.

Hey! What veggie doesn't taste better with bacon?

Thursday, April 6, 2006


First daffodils begin to bloom! Does anyone else smell Spring in Redford?


"After" Hey, I promised you an "after" shot of the forced forsythias, didn't I?

Last evening

I took the night off after watering the grass seed outside. Baked some chicken strips and coated them with buffalo chicken sauce, then made myself sick dipping them in blue cheese dressing for dinner. Watched TV and went to bed early.

Forgot to mention...

...but I WAS awake the night before for an important numerical event! At 2 minutes and 3 seconds past one in the morning yesterday, it was 1:2:3 4/5/6. Doesn't seem so special, I suppose, but it won't happen again for over 100 years!

I was going to invite a bunch of friends over, make some great snacks, etc., when I remembered I only have two friends and they both can sleep through the night.

Oh well, I was there, man!

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Last Night Part II

I also replaced a burned out headlight on my car and put cup hooks on my grille to hang my BBQ tools.

Last Night

I totally trashed my kitchen last night making dinner. Tried to make grilled chicken thighs on my stove top grill pan. Big mistake (hey, they did it on TV) as I got grease splattered everywhere. Took longer to clean up than it did to eat!

Ended up not only washing the stove, the wall behind the stove, all my hanging utensils, the counter top, the things that were on the counter top, etc., but had to wash the kitchen floor, too.

Tasted good though... It was rosemary-crusted chicken thighs with a wild mushroom sauce (chicken stock, portobello mushrooms, shittake mushrooms, shallots, garlic and red wine). I made wild rice as the side dish.

Tuesday, April 4, 2006


from the TV series "House"

"The great thing about being an adult, you don't 'have' to do anything you don't want to!"

Daylight Savings, Part II

This daylight savings thingie is kicking my butt! I can't fall asleep early enough at night and am dragging myself out of bed in the morning. And, being sore everywhere from overdoing on Sunday isn't helping, either.

You could make the case that it's because I'm older, but I think it's because my body ain't dumb. Just moving the clock hands forward doesn't mean it's not really 4:30 AM when that alarm goes off!

Monday, April 3, 2006

Catching you up, again...

Yesterday was a l-o-n-g day! I have the insurance company coming over today (Monday) to take some pictures for my homeowners insurance, so cleaned the house from top to bottom. It was nice enough (both Saturday and Sunday) that I could turn off the furnace and air out the house.

During the warmest part of the day, I took the four bags of mulch I'd bought on Friday and spread them in the patio gardens (need about four more to finish). Looked so nice, I started hauling out all the patio "stuff". Took off the plastic and wood cover from the reflecting pool, filled that, brought out the monk and lantern and then carried out the chiminea (that was stupid, BTW. I should have waited and asked Jake to do it.)

Sowed grass seed under the pines and watered it, cut down one of the many troublesome pine trees, pulled the picnic table and benches out, put them in place and washed them off. Put the chairs and table on the patio, washed them off...

Went back inside, washed the floors, took a nice nap, talked to Melissa for a while, etc., etc., etc.

Upshot is that the back yard is starting to shape up. Downside is I had to take a pain pill this morning just so I could move...


Ready for my first picnic!


The monk and the lantern have come out of storage, too!


It is nice to see the chairs and such again.


The patio returns from its Winter sleep.


Cut this one down! Too bad it's not Christmas!


Here's another tree that's growing into the maple. This one also blocks you from driving into the back yard.


One of my troublesome trees. See how its growing right in the other tree?


Forsythia branches (before)


Was just now awoken by loud thunder (it's just after 1:00 AM). Went out on the porch and watched the rain for a bit. It was a long day, and most of my muscles hurt. I'll fill you in on the details in the morning.

I'm going back to bed...

Sunday, April 2, 2006

Carla, What Big Mussels You Have!

Jake and Carla stopped by Saturday night with three pounds of live mussels. She had a recipe she wanted to try for mussels, kale and smoked sausage.

Having never watched anyone prepare mussels, it was fascinating. She put them in a big bowl of water, salt and flour. This encourages them to drink and expel the mud they normally have in them. We snacked on some five year old cheddar cheese, some aged Roquefort and crackers they brought while dinner was being prepared.

Anyway, I didn't get the recipe, but we feasted like kings! There were some leftovers and, while I had entertained thoughts of making fresh pasta and a seafood medley, I have to confess, I just warmed them up and ate them for lunch...


I cut some forsythia branches and put them in water Saturday to try and force them to bloom early. I'll post the "before" pictures for you, and, if it works, the "after" pictures, too.

Friday Night

Jake and Carla stopped by and I warmed up the chicken stew for dinner. After a consensus agreement, we added sliced Portobello mushrooms to the pot. I'd picked up a loaf of sourdough bread from Panera Bread. Carla sliced it, brushed it with garlic-infused olive oil, toasted it and then melted a slice of mozzarella cheese on each piece.

Good eats!

You Might Not Believe This, But...

Carla is the only girl I know who has Jeff Gordon ogling her every time she's at my house and smoking on the porch.

I'd explain that, but she'd get all ghetto on me!

Saturday, April 1, 2006

"Not on my watch!"

...okay, so I admit it! I've always liked that phrase. It's sounds like you're so confident, so well trained, dare I say, so macho?

Anyway, I like it, but never get a chance to say it.

Now I did...