Tuesday, October 31, 2006


I love it when a plan comes together!

Got home and hurried! With the change back from Daylight Savings, I only have about 45 minutes until dark now. Grab the leaf blower and went outside (beautiful day, BTW. 65 degrees F. and sunny!) Made quite the dust storm as I blew the ashes out of the chiminea. After I was pretty positive I got most of the ash out, blew off the patio (it will only last an hour or so... I still have maybe 1/4 of my leaves up on the trees. I hope they come down before the first big snow.)

Then I laid the chimnea on the grass and took in the stand. Then I carried in the chiminea (sorta). Some carry, some roll on the tile with the round bottom. Hey the things probably got 50 pounds of gravel in the bottom, plus all that thick clay. It ain't easy, folks!

So, as soon as I had it in place, I put in a thick bath towel over the gravel. Last winter when I brought it in, Scruffy immediately jumped inside, laid down and claimed it as his "lion den" so I wanted to prevent at least some of the soot mess I had to deal with back then.

For dinner I made Lu's old recipe for leftover turkey: cut up chunks of turkey, two cans of Veg-all, one jar of turkey gravy, all mixed together and put in a deep dish pie shell. Topped it with the other pie shell, crimped the edges (I brushed the top with an egg wash, but that's just me) and baked it.

I ate about half of it laying down, resting my poor back. Took some laundry downstairs and yep, sure enough, Scruffy was there, sleeping in the chiminea...

Monday, October 30, 2006


Sunday dinner, butternut squash with herbs


Sunday dinner, roasted turkey breast


Japanese maple turns scarlet


Last chiminea fire of the year!


Sunday morning, I carefully made coffee, lol! I also made myself some soft boiled eggs for breakfast. Jake and Carla will be coming back today with my car and the meat, so I thought I'd have something cooking (in case they are hungry) and anyway, I will need a Sunday dinner. So, roasted a turkey breast. They had given me a butternut squash someone had given them, so I cut it in half, scooped out the seeds, added two tablespoons of butter and sprigs of rosemary, thyme and parlsey to each cavity (to kick it up a notch).

Then cleaned the upstairs bathroom, The floor was still wet when they got here around noon. Not sure why, but my left leg is really killing me today, BTW.

We talked about our respective weekends for a while, then finally went out to unload the meat. Carla kept an inventory while Jake called off the items. I am charged with putting the data into a spreadsheet, so we can check off when we take stuff out and thus always know what we have on hand (new for this year). They also brought me some hunter sausage that I hung in the back room to age a bit.

As I suspected, they were beat and declined waiting a couple of hours for dinner. So off they went, now in their own car again. I begin basting the bird every 20 minutes.

Sunny, but windy day and its supposed to be warm and dry again tomorrow. So, I have a chance to get the last outdoor project done: Burn up all the scrap wood from projects in the chiminea. Then, tomorrow, I'll blow out the ashes and take it inside for the winter. Due to the wind, I had to keep the fire small and keep feeding it a little at a time. Took a picture of the last choiminea fire of the year, and my Japanese maple, which has turned a beautiful scarlet. But, Blooger is giving me problems again and I can't post them. Grrr!

Meanwhile, dinner was done. Sliced some turkey and mashed the squash after removing the herbs. Very, VERY good! Squash was particularily good, so I will definitely make it that way from now on!!

Satisfied, I decide to watch some of the Nascar race and see how our guys were doing. I fell asleep (I'd hoped I would) and had a very nice hour's nap. Got back up and there was just enough light left so I could blow the leaves off the front porch and away from the garage. Did a little more of this and that, getting ready for the week ahead.

Watched Extreme Makover and then Iron Chef America. Went to bed at 10:30 and slept soundly...

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Last fire this year in the chiminea

Scary Movie Update

Well, I was right... watching the Exorcist made me wake up during the night, walked around and couldn't fall back asleep...

Hey, wait a minute... I do this every night! Apparently the movie had no effect on me.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Saturday starts with tragedy...

I need to pick up some sink parts from Home Depot. Jake and Carla are coming to borrow the car (to go pick up the meat) but I don't know when. So, I put the water and coffee into the machine and hop in the shower. My coffee pot is the kind that you can theoretically pull out the pot before its done and it stops dripping. I don't normally do that, because the coffee's too strong.

However, after my shower, I went out to get a cup of coffee and found I had apparently cocked the coffee pot, so it wouldn't let the coffee drip through. So, water and coffee grounds overflowed the top, ran all over the counter, dripped into a drawer where the tinfoil and saran wrap, etc. is kept, and ran onto the kitchen floor! What a mess!!!

Got it semi-cleaned up, the drawer washed, its contents spread out to dry, etc., and rushed to Home Depot. Got back home and worked on the sink drain while doing two loads of laundry. Installed it after some minor cutting of plastic pipe, tested it for leaks, nothing!!! Bingo again! Installed the pedestal and took a picture. Another project completed, and it looks as good (or even better) than I'd hoped.

It was around 1:00 PM, so decided to take a break. Checked the TV (and I completely forgot about Halloween) and all that was on were horror movies. Finally settled for an old (and I do mean old- 1954) classic, The Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Jake and Carla showed up, I showed off my new sink (they were suitably impressed) and then they left. Movie over, its time to get back to work. Cleaned up the rest of the coffee mess. Swept the kitchen and downstairs floors (including the bathroom), then washed them all with Pine-Sol. Trapped upstairs while the floors dried.

I had thawed out three pork chops for my dinner. These were the last of a "Family Pack" I'd bought and, as is common, they weren't pretty (they put the "classic" pork chops on top, and the ugly ones on the bottom, you see). So, I covered them on both sides with Emeril's Essence, and left them to warm up on the counter while I started the charcoal in the grille (it had stopped raining by now, but was still very, very windy!) A LOT of people eat applesauce with pork, so I made a simple glaze of one cup of apple juice and two tablespoons of soy sauce, heated to boiling then reduced by half. Grilled the chops and brushed on the glaze. Meanwhile, baked a sweet potato in the microwave for the side dish. Finished up in the dark (it will only get worse next week after giving up Daylight Savings Time) and then ate at the table. Delicious!!!

Its almost 8:00 PM, and, checking the TV again, all that's on that interests an ex-Catholic like myself is the original Exorcist. Scared the crap out of me when it came out in 1973, and will probably do the same tonight. I'll let you know...


Just a reminder, here's where we started with downstairs bathroom remodel...


Finished lower bathroom (except for shower stall, but that will come later)


All the outdoor stuff, safe and secure for the winter months...

Friday Night...

What a drab, dreary day!!!

Got home Friday and found, if I took out the ice cube trays, I could fit the remaining items in the chest freezer into the fridge freezer. That being done, I unplugged the chest freezer to defrost it.

Meanwhile, I went back to the bathroom sink and finally finished screwing it to the wall. Hooked up the water lines and tested them: Bingo! No leaks. Problem with drain though. I will need to pick up an extension tomorrow as the new sink drain pipe is about three inches higher than the old one.

Ate leftovers for dinner and wasted the rest of the night watching the Tigers lose the World Series. After that, checked on the freezer and all the frost/ice was melted, so I washed it out with a mixture of warm water and baking soda (recommended in the owner's guide), dried it with a towel and plugged it back in again. We are now officially ready for the new shipment of beef arriving tomorrow.

Halloween Quote:

"Hey, I've coughed up scarier things than that!"

Grandpa Simpson

Friday, October 27, 2006

Thursday Night's Work

Well, I have to beat the clock tonight! So, I only changed my jacket, not my clothes when I got home. Last dry day for a while and I want to get the outdoor stuff done as much as I can.

Blew the leaves off both patios and the furniture. Then carried the four chairs, the two footstools and the two tables to Jake's patio. Then carried the picnic table (ouch! Heavy!) and the two picnic table benches over there as well. Got the bench from the wild flower garden and lugged that over, too.

Took down the 150 foot hose way in the back and drained it. Then coiled it and set it on a chair seat. Did the same for the two hoses next to the house. But, didn't want to take the hose off the fence (if you remember, it's attached with a gazillion wire ties), so had to get creative.

Got the leaf blower and a funnel. Shoved the funnel into one end of the house, shoved the blower against the funnel and turned it on for two minutes. I probably didn't get all the water out, but I doubt there is enough left to freeze and break the hose. We'll see...

Now its getting dark. How do I know? Because every time I move about, the motion detector turns my two spot lights on. I feel like an escaping prisoner!

Still, I am close to being done. Got the new tarp I bought (remember the old one was blue and WAY too big). This one is brown and just about the perfect size. Threaded a clothesline through each grommet, then tightened it up. After tying that nice and snug, attached it to a heavy cement block and I'm finished! (see Photos)

Went in and changed. Then made a simple supper (pasta with Italian sausage and tomato sauce). Ate that watching the Tiger's lose another game... sigh...

Thursday, October 26, 2006


(I was tempted to write "Warm Wednesday" but I won't be able to do that for 6 months or so).

Took out everything in the freezer in the garage, marked all the paper meat packages "2005" and inventoried them. Fit everything but three items into the refrigerator freezer. I need to defrost the garage freezer as, this weekend, its getting filled up with this year's cow.

Then back to sink bolting. Used a larger ratchet and socket to eliminate that slippage problem. Still bad though. As I said, I have to lay on my back, with my legs up the opposite wall, reaching up and around the pedestal part. And the pocket that each screw is in is so small it only allows me to turn the screw maybe, maybe, 1/4 turn at a time. Now, on a three inch screw, that's a LOT of little turns. Kept at it until my arms felt like they were gonna fall off, then quit. I'm about 1/2 away from the wall. Jeremy called in the middle of this, but I welcomed the respite.

Then made myself some beef and cheese enchiladas and refried beans for dinner (topped with sharp cheddar cheese, onions and hot sauce). Great!

Well, game is rained out in St. Louis. Watched some of my taped shows until about 9:30 and then decided I was tired (mostly from staying up late last night). So, turned everything off and went to bed.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Forgot to Mention...

...I got my flu shot yesterday at the CVS drug store.


I was a little disappointed when I got home to find the old brown sink still sitting out where I'd put it for the garbage pickup. I know, I know, its not household garbage, but sometimes they do take stuff like that anyway. So, I lugged it back in the garage.

Put a blanket on the kitchen table and started to assemble the new sink. Opened the faucet box and found (did you already know this?) a drain assembly. So, I'll have to take the one I just bought back. But, got the faucet installed, the drain installed and the new water lines attached.

Now, to put it in (although its around 7:00 PM). Problems with the ratchet I am using to put in the two wall screws. It keeps slipping. Screw is in a recess that makes it very difficult to tighten. And, my position doesn't help - I'm laying on my back on the tile floor, with my legs up on the opposite wall (hey, its a very small bathroom) and having to work around the pedestal.

Screws are about three inches long. I've got about 1 inch screwed in on each one. So, frustrated, I gave up before I wrecked anything. Sink is sitting on pedestal and attached (or semi-attached to wall) so I think its okay to leave it until I can come up with a better way to tighten the screws.
Went out and heated up some chicken strips and French fries in the oven for dinner and went off to watch TV.

World Series Update

I stayed up until after 11:30, waiting for the Tigers to come back from some stupid mistakes made earlier in the game.

They didn't.

We're down two games to one.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Happy Belated Birthday!

Yesterday was the birthday of the Smurfs! They were first drawn by Belguim artist Peyo on October 23, 1958 and became popular in the States in the '80s. So, Happy Birthday, Papa Smurf!

Monday, Monday...

Picked up the drain assembly and some water lines at lunch. After work, went to Meijer's and did the grocery shopping I'd put off on Sunday. Got home around 6:30 PM and tired. Put everything away and made some dinner.

Only other thing I did was to dig out my Halloween pumpkin (but couldn't find the light for it!)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sunday morning, in the rain...

Woke up at 5:30 AM, as per usual. This time did not try and go back to sleep. Made coffee and breakfast (pork sausage and scrambled eggs). I need fuel for today. Cleaned up the mess and went back to the bathroom sink project...

Oh, no!!! Am I the only living idiot who didn't know that the drain doesn't come with the sink? Well, got the sink leveled on the pedestal (not as easy as the instructions would lead you to believe). Marked where the holes had to be drilled for the retaining screws.

I am not impressed with the way this sucker fastens to the wall, but for $39 bucks, what could I expect. Old sink sat on two big metal hangers, screwed into studs. This one uses "fasteners" that go into the drywall. I would guess the theory is that the weight of the sink is supported by the pedestal. But, none of that really matters, as I need the drain assembly before I can go much farther.

However, gave it a lot of thought, sitting on the porch with my third cup of coffee and watching it rain: No, I am not going to the store today. I have enough of the usual stuff to do (that I've not been attending to because of the laundry project). So, I put the sink back in the box and started on cleaning the house.

Cleaned it from top to bottom! Vacuumed, dusted, swept, washed floors, washed the glass table tops in the living room and my bedroom, etc., etc., etc. Meanwhile, I parboiled some beef short ribs for almost two hours while making up some barbecue sauce. Instead of draining all of the water off, I saved some for vegetable soup later in the week (it was just beef short ribs, two bay leafs and three cloves of garlic, so it should make a good soup base). Kept out two short ribs for meat in the soup as well). Covered the rest of the short ribs with the BBQ sauce for grilling, later.

Worked the most on the upstairs bathroom, using "chemicals," baby! Sprayed, scrubbed and rinsed for soap scum, then mold, then washed everything down with Pine-Sol Orange. Keeping the window open so me and Scruffy don't die from the smell...

Took a break at 1:30 PM. Tried for a nap, but couldn't fall asleep. So, gave up and went back to work (now getting junk out of my bedroom closet, BTW) Around 3:00 PM I started the grille (its just sprinkling now,m so should be okay). Put on the short ribs and made macaroni and cheese as the side dish.

Result: Not impressed with the barbecued beef short ribs. This was the first time I tried them, and maybe it was the sauce, but I like barbecued pork ribs MUCH better.

Now relaxing into the night. Read for a while in the living room, with the electric fireplace on (nice and cozy), then went and watched TV, switching back and forth from shows to the Tigers game. We won, and I went to bed...


Next project - replace ugly brown sink


I knew it would look like this!!!


Sink spot, after painting


Test fit of new pedestal sink


Finally finished!!!

Busy Saturday

I tried to sleep in Saturday morning, but it only worked until 7:00 AM. Decided to forego breakfast and coffee and get to work. Put on the next coat of paint in the laundry area. Let it dry while I investigated the downstairs bathroom sink. I also called my daughter Melissa and wished her Happy Birthday. She sounded awful (she has that cold/upper respiratory infection thingie that I had a while back) which is problematic as her birthday present from her husband was a plane ticket to North Carolina to visit their grandson. She's got to get better quick!!!

Showered and shaved, then left for Lowes. Picked up some appliance white paint (top of the dryer is looking a little worn), a pedestal sink I saw that was cheap ($39.00 US!) and a bathroom faucet that was not. Also picked up some clothesline (to secure the tarp over the outdoor stuff) and a three-pack of Brita pitcher filters (after this week's brown water, I've decide to go back to filtering my drinking water - some day I'll install a built-in, under-the-sink one, but for now, this will work)

It was around 11:30 AM when I left Lowes, so bought two polish sausages and a bottle of water from the hot dog girl at the exit for my breakfast/lunch. Took Newburgh to Hines Drive and drove through the park on my way home. Still a lot of beautiful, blazing-color trees, but they are falling/fading fast. Saw a lot of couples (old and young) jogging and thought how much I would like to be able to run again...

Got home and dragged in all my stuff. Changed clothes and put another coat of paint on. Then I disconnected the brown sink and took it off the wall. Thank God for that drill Jake bought me, because each hanger had three huge wood screws in it. I still be unscrewing if it wasn't for that drill!

As I suspected, the wall behind the sink was not painted (which is why I wanted to get this done while I had white paint open - I really, REALLY hate painting!) so, put a coat of paint on it. Now its after 4:00 PM and I am beat. So, went and took a nap for an hour or so.

Back to work. Took the film off the top window pane over the wash tub. Nice! Lets in more light and lets you see the back yard, yet, you would have to be 8 feet tall to look in from outside.
Put on the last coat of paint in the laundry and the second in the bathroom.

Started putting the laundry room back together, gathering up tools, etc. Kept checking out my work and decided, yeah, it took way too long, but its worth it! Painted the last coat in the bathroom, then cleaned up all the painting stuff (lol! Had to clean me up as well - I paint messy!)

It was now after 9:00 PM, so I popped in a frozen four-cheese pizza and settled in to watch the World Series (we lost the first game). When it was done, so was I and turned out the lights to sleep.

World Series...

First game...


Words I like...

I love the word "Psuedointellectual" because I know so many of them...

Song Lyrics...

"I drove a tank,
with a General's rank,
when the Blitzkrieg raged
and the bodies stank..."

"Sympathy for the Devil"
~Rolling Stones

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Friday Night

Made up my mind during the day I was taking Friday night off. Been working all day, then into the night all week. I deserve a break!

I did stop at Home Depot for this weekend's supplies, though. And, when I got home and unpacked, I thought it might not hurt just to put the new switch and plug plates on, so I did. Looks nice!

Now, off to that break... warmed up some leftover chili (trying to get as much stuff out of my freezer as possible - will explain that later), opened a beer and laid down to watch TV. This worked until about 9:00 PM... Then, I realized how bored I was...

So, put up the masking tape I needed, opened up the new can of paint and touched up the spots from yesterday and put on the first coat in the little spot I didn't finish before.

Am I becoming obsessive or what?

Friday, October 20, 2006


Every now and then I think I really should invest the time and spiritual energy to "find" myself...

But, then I think, "Why?"

Hey, Weather Channel Guys:

The first time one of you was talking about storms and said heavy rain "turned roads into rivers" it was great! Nice phrase!!

Now, after hearing it a gazillion times, its pretty old. Come up with something new, please...


After arriving home and changing clothes, I started a load of laundry, then started prepping the shelves so I could spray them with polyurethane (see photos). Then I sprayed... What a stink!

So, now I'm worried, as the furnace is downstairs, too (albeit in a closet). What if the furnace ignites the fumes? So, I opened all the windows downstairs about four inches to air it out. I have to wait a couple hours for the second coat, so swept and then mopped the kitchen floor.

Heated up some leftovers to eat while the floor dries. When it did, I went back and sprayed the second coat on the shelves. Now I can safely put everything back in 72 hours (Sunday). Removed the masking tape and, wouldn't you know it, it pulled off some paint in two spots. Oh well, I'll retouch it when I paint the small unpainted area this weekend (after I get more paint). This project is taking FOREVER!!!

Closed the windows about 10:30 PM and then went to bed.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Painted shelves, taped off (in green masking tape) so I can spray polyurethane


Dendranthopology -
Study based on the theory that man had sprung from trees.

~T. Lewis Davies's Supplemental English Glossary, 1881

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Wednesday's child is full of woe!

Okay, so here was the plan for tonight. This back room laundry alcove has taken up ALL my time. I never did get the bedding washed, including the bedspread with the hair-ball stains on it. And, worse yet, the debris in the back room has been steadily tracking into the main house. The topper was when I woke up this morning for work, and started limping on the way to the bathroom, because something was on my foot. Turned out to be a little chunk of self-stick tile! I was p*ssed!!!

So, decided to clean out the back room, sweep the bedroom and the kitchen, then wash the kitchen and backroom floors. In the mean time, I'd put on some onions to saute, then some yukon gold potatoes, sliced thin and, last, some smoked sausage, cut on the bias, for my dinner, later.

Was transporting the outdoor knicknacks (turtle, Chinese lantern, windchime, etc., etc., etc.) into the attic for the Winter, when I heard a siren and somebody talking! Got downstairs to see a Redford Twp truck with sirens blasting and then the message "Attention all residents, the water will be turned off in five minutes!"

So, gave up on the kitchen floor, filled my bucket with Lysol and just hot water, and a pitcher of cold water for me that I stuck in the fridge, for the night. The bedding was on the final rinse, so I hoped it would be okay.

Put away all the tools I'd used, the bedding in the dryer, the left-over tile and baseboard, etc. Then swept the kitchen and downstairs. Since my food was not done yet, (still had to add the sausage), I went downstairs and washed the floor.

Came upstairs, added the sausage to the pan, and came in here to write the draft blog. I hope the downstairs tile floor is dry when the bedding is (I could use another set of sheets, but they are flannel and way too warm for now). We'll see. As for now, gonna eat my dinner on the mattress, watch some TV and hope the water's back on before tomorrow's morning shower...

Authors note: The water came back on around 9:00 PM, but it was a lovely shade of brown...

Old quote I've always liked!

"I've always been crazy but it keeps me from going insane."

~Waylon Jennings

New Quote I like!

"I'll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there's evidence of any thinking going on inside it."

~Terry Pratchett

Tuesday Night

Stopped at Home Depot and picked up some self-stick white baseboards and grey caulk. After changing clothes, I carefully moved the washer and dryer back out, then started installing the baseboards. Not too bad, but hard to cut a good 45 degree angle in plastic with a pair of scissors.

Anywhere the tiles weren't tight, I caulked the seams (hey, it is a laundry area and water does get spilled now and then).

Then pushed the washer and dryer back and took a minute to enjoy the look of it all! Still have a small area left to paint (ran out) and I want to polyurethane the shelf tops before putting everything back, but this project's winding down!

Made eggplant for dinner, with a twist. I wanted to try using tempura instead of the traditional egg, then flour, breading. But, it didn't work out as well as I'd hoped. Eggplant "taste" seemed to somehow get lost in the mixture.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Kitchen fire extinguisher, mounted under the sink (these last few photos are old, but Blogger wasn't working, so you're stuck seeing them now).


Compost pile, still growing (wait till all the leaves get put in there!) If you click to enlarge, you'll see a volunteer morning glory, on the fence. How'd that get there?


Front garden, cleaned out and fertilized, waiting for Winter


The posting photos function is back working! Posted a bunch of the laundry alcove project for you.


Tiles laid up to washtub - old linoleum after (yuck!)


New tile being laid over the old linoleum


More cutting in!


Counter top removed and masking tape applied


Cutting in the paint


Space now filled with floor leveler compound


Space between old linoleum and ceramic tile


New cover for water shutoffs


Water shutoffs in laundry alcove


Reflecting Pool, set for Winter

Miserable Monday

So, forgot to mention I had a recorded phone call from Redford Township Sunday night, saying they were going to flush out the water mains on Monday morning, They said it might be discolored at first, but it was safe to drink. No big deal, right? However, when I got home Monday night, I had no water!

Went to check my email - no internet connection. Checked the phone - its dead too (I have voice over IP through the cable company). Got out my cell phone and called the cable company repair line - its busy!!!

Went back to work in the laundry area. Found two tiles I'd put in Sunday night that had something (little rock or more likely, kitty litter) under them, so pulled them and replaced them. There was something spilled on the linoleum (paint? varnish?) at some time or another that caused it to buckle. So, got a razor knife and tried cutting the damaged section out. NOT easy! Stuff is 1/4 inch thick, so one knife cut wasn't enough, and it was very difficult to get the blade in the same spot for the second and third cuts.

Finally got a section out, then made a template and cut out a replacement piece from some linoleum that was left in the garage. Then laid down the remaining tiles. It was about 8:30, so quit for the night.

Took the roast beef from Sunday and cut it into strips. Sauteed a whole onion that I sliced, added the roast beef, then took the remaining potatoes and carrots, ran my knife through them in a rough chop and threw them in the frying pan. Made probably the best roast beef hash I ever had (no kidding - and I wasn't even trying!)

Water came back on about that time. Internet and phone back on line during the night.

Monday, October 16, 2006


"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
~ George Bernard Shaw

Sunday with a deadline...

Okay, so no more fooling around. I have GOT to get the back room finished, so I can wash clothes. Checked the job so far: Aaauuugghh! Paint I cut in did not cover (okay, so I bought cheap paint. It's just a laundry room, for God's sake!) So, cut it all in again.

While waiting for it to dry, I threw a roast in the crock pot, for dinner, later. Then rolled the first coat on (I know it's gonna take at least two!) When I finished, I got cleaned up and went to take a nap. Did finally fall asleep for an hour or so. Then went back and rolled on the second coat.

As it was drying, I started to install the self-stick tile. Got as far as the wash tub, then stopped (problems with the floor after the tub). So, I moved the washer and dryer back (used the vacuum to clean out the dryer vent, first) and did a load of laundry.

It was almost 8:00 PM, so I made a plate of roast beef and quit for the night. My daughter Melissa called around 10:00 PM. She's back home after spending some time this week as a caregiver for Dave's (her husband) mother.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Saturday, in the park...

... Okay, so there was no park. It just sounded good!

Slept in today (after being awake most of Friday night). Made myself coffee, but no breakfast (I have a luncheon engagement). Since I had some time, go everything ready for painting the back room laundry area.

Met my friend Molly for lunch at an Irish pub in Berkley. Had a bit of a problem determining "Irish" food on the menu, lol! Knockwurst, bratwurst and kielbasa constitutes the "Irish Lad's sausage platter"? I think I now understand why the potato famine was such a tragedy, as it seems potatoes might be the extent of Irish cuisine! Well, be that as it may, I had a lovely time eating and talking. Erin go braugh!

Came back home and started cutting in the white paint. Now that I've learned, I got much less paint on me this time (but still managed enough that anyone would know I'd been painting!) I had the Tiger's game on the TV, turned up loud.

Jake and Carla showed up, with Jake's disabled car (AAA brought it on a flat bed truck). They wanted to make burgers for dinner and I said, "Sure!" So, while I finished cutting in the paint, they went and got the fixin's. Jake used the electric griddle to first make bacon, then grilled cheese burgers. Carla cut up tomatoes, lettuce and sliced an onion. I sat on my butt and visited. When everything was done, we had BLT cheese burgers that were excellent!

Not sure if I've ever mentioned this, but I HATE painting! So, them being here gave me a good excuse not to finish the laundry area. Instead, we played cards. It was sorta close, but Jake ended up kicking our butts. I tried wearing Carla's lucky hat (I look pretty in pink, I think) but it didn't help.

Her hat did help the Tiger's, though. They were tied until she went in the bedroom (with her hat on) and then the Tiger's got a home run and won the series!!!

After they left, I was faced with a choice. Go back to painting, then do the flooring, get the washer and drier back in place (so I could at least wash my bedspread - Scruffy deposited a fur-ball on it while I was at lunch - groan) or just call it good and take the rest of the night off. Wanna guess which one won?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

TGIF, again!

Okay, so I gotta tell you about lunch. I talked B___ into going to Applebees, because, unless your TV is broken, or you only watch the "Mass for Shut-ins" (love you, Mom!) you would know that Applebees has contracted with Tyler Florence (renowned chef, Food Network host and one of my personal heroes) to create several dishes for them. Since I probably won't be going to New York and visiting Bobby Flay's, Wolfgang Puck's or Emiril's restaurants any time soon, this is the closest I can get to taste that kind of food. I knew it would be pricey, but, for just this once, I felt it was worth it.

I had the herb-glazed chicken breasts, topped with an arugula salad (arugula, cherry tomatoes, big chunks of fresh mozzarella, shaved Parmesan, etc.) for $9.99. B___ had the bruschetta burger (beef burger, with bruschetta and pesto sauce, more big chunks of fresh mozzarella on pannine bread, served with garlic fries for $7.99.

B___ said, although it was a flavor he'd never tasted before, his burger was excellent and the fries were good, too!

Both my salad and the herb-crusted chicken breasts were excellent! I would love to get his recipe! Although it certainly was excellent, it was WAY to much food. So, given the flavor, etc., for the first time in my life, I asked for a food container to take the rest home with me. [I feel so dirty and cheap]

Rushed home and changed clothes. Started what will be the last load of laundry until this project's finished. While the clothes were churning through wash and dry, I wiped down all the walls and ceiling (cobwebs) and then patched all the little holes with spackling compound.

After hanging up and/or folding the laundry, I disconnected the washer and then the dryer, then pulled them out of the alcove into the main room. Using that blue masking tape, I taped off all the relevant areas. Got my stepping stool (you remember it from the porch, right?), a paint pan, a three-inch roller, a two-inch brush and the primer and went to work. Had the Tigers game on TV, turned up LOUD so I could hear it if not watch it...

Got everything that was not painted, primed. But, at what a cost? Area is REALLY tight, so had primer on my shorts, my t-shirt, on my arms and hands, and worst of all, a big glob in my hair!!! It was almost 9:00 PM, when I finally got cleaned up.

Warmed up some leftovers for dinner, didn't even bother with TV but went straight to bed.

Friday, October 13, 2006

According to the Weather Channel

A rare early October snowstorm (author's note: Yes, from Canada!) brought snow, high winds and gusts, and cold temperatures to the region beginning on Wednesday, October 11. By Friday, many cities saw snow records broken. In Detroit, we had the earliest measurable snow, breaking a 98-year record.

For Amer's Work-Wife

Pasta Puttanesca
Copyright, 2005, Ellie Krieger, All rights reserved.

8 ounces whole-wheat thin spaghetti, vermicelli or angel hair
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup pitted chopped Spanish or Greek olives
2 tablespoons capers
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, preferably "no salt added"
1/4 cup chopped fresh arugula
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add pasta and cook according to the directions on the package.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over a medium flame. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the parsley, olives, capers, anchovy paste, oregano and crushed red pepper to the skillet, and saute for 2 minutes more. Add the tomatoes and simmer for about 5 minutes. Stir in the arugula and simmer for 1 minute more, until the greens wilt slightly.

When the pasta is done, drain it and add it to the skillet, tossing it with the sauce to combine.

Top with grated cheese.

Friday, the Thirteenth

No, this is not an entry about Friday the 13th, but rather a historical reference. Today is the Feast Day of Edward the Confessor, also known as Edward II, who built Westminster Abbey in the eleventh century.

Thursday Night

Got home late after having to stop for some Arugula (try finding THAT at Farmer Jacks!) for dinner tonight. Changed clothes and got to work.

Added the floor leveler/filler between the ceramic tile and the linoleum. Stinky stuff! Not very specific on how long it takes to dry. So, quit to give it time (and so as not to mess it up accidentally).

Needed to do some real cooking for a change, so made a recipe I've wanted to try for some time now: Pasta Puttanesca. It was by Ellie Krieger (one of those "eat healthy" chefs). For example, the pasta she called for was whole-wheat thin spaghetti or angel hair. Well, I don't stock that, but fettacinne worked just fine.

Legend has it that Pasta Puttanesca was a dish made by Italian "ladies of the night" because it was inexpensive, but filling, and had a bold taste. The sauce is made with garlic, Italian parsley, capers, anchovy paste, chopped olives (I used Greek olives), oregano, and crushed red pepper, all sauteed in olive oil. Then you add a can of diced tomatoes and simmer. Then stir in the chopped arugula (sort of like spinach) until it wilts slightly. Add in 8 ounces of cooked pasta and you're done.

It was very, very good (in spite of being vegetarian, lol!) and the only thing I would have done differently (and did on my second helping) is to add salt and pepper.

Wading my way through shows I had taped but not yet watched. Got two one-hour shows and two 1/2 hour shows viewed, then went to bed.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Happy Columbus Day!

For those of you old enough to remember when, this is the REAL Columbus Day!


More grape hyacinths planted on this side of garage mandoor


Wednesday night, stopped at Home Depot on the way home (in spite of the howling wind) and picked up some floor leveler and a trowel for the laundry area. I need to get the sub floor at least up to the linoleum level.

Read the directions after changing clothes. Has to be a clean, dry surface. So, swept the area I wanted to level. Then, since there was a lot of dust from the kitty litter, got out the vacuum and sucked it all up with the hose. Since I had it out, sucked all around the washer and dryer (moving them as needed), too.

D*nm!!! Moved the washer just a tad too far and the discharge hose popped off. Washer spit out about a quart of water that ran over the linoleum and settled (you guessed it) right in the trench I was gonna level!!! Got a towel and sopped it up, but no leveling tonight.

So, I pulled out the countertop (runs from the wall to the wash tub). The North wall has the access to the water and drains in the downstairs bathroom. It was badly covered by somebody sticking a piece of old paneling against the water pipes (When Carla lived here and had her kitten, he got behind there and stayed for most of the day - that's how loose this was).

So, I cut 2 x 4's down to 2 x 2's and built a frame for it. Then cut down a piece of plywood, fit it around the pipes and drain pipes, then screwed it on. Much, much better.

Checked and it was almost 8:30 PM, so quit for the night. Made some brats on the stove top grill and ate a quick dinner. Fell asleep watching TV.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Here's where the grape hyacinths got planted

In case you were worried...

(I know I was) I checked and gold fish only eat insects and plants, not Newts. However, Newt is still pretty wary of the big guy and spends a lot of time on the rocks or in the shallows where the big fish can't go.

Tuesday night, before the cold comes...

Got home after stopping at Home Depot to pick up supplies for the next project. Still not too bad outside, weather-wise, but supposed to get cold and rainy soon (another Canadian cold front. Thanks, guys!) So, I probably should have done something "outside" but instead (I was beat, for some reason) started work inside.

I want to paint the alcove where the washer and drier sit. I never painted it yet and it looks pretty bad. Also, the flooring is a sheet of VERY old, ugly linoleum that does not butt up against the ceramic tile in the main room. The raw wood shelves I put in the week we moved here are still that: raw wood.

So, started the project by emptying those shelves, sorting as I go. I had a LOT of old cleaning products I took from St. Clair, put here and have never used, so in the trash they go!

Since the liquid laundry detergent is on those shelves, there was some soaked in soap. So, washed the shelves with a brush and sponge. That took about an hour, and I really was tired, so I quit for the night.

Warmed up some of the leftover chili I cleverly took out of the freezer this morning. This was the hot stuff I made last week, so was going to put crackers in it to chill it out a bit. Instead, I had an inspiration and used Cheezit, instead - not bad! Had a beer with it and watched the Iron Chef I taped. Then went back to Rome- Engineering an Empire. Fell asleep again (okay, so maybe its NOT as fascinating as I thought, lol!)

My daughter Melissa called and woke me up around 10:30 PM. We talked a while and when she hung up, I checked and the Tiger's game was still on, so I watched the last inning. We won!

Went back to sleep...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Tiger lily "hedge" before cleanup (I'm getting like one of these posted per day. Really ticks me off!)

Forgot to mention...

...my ever-helpful Webmaster posted that Asparagus and Wild Mushroom Frittata recipe under Misc., if you are interested.


Tiger lily hedge, cleared

Monday, October 9, 2006

Weird as hell!

Got home tonight and it was still nice out (going to hell this Thursday, with snow in the forecast, thanks to Canadian air) so I thought I would drain the reflecting pool. For first time readers, this is a galvanized wash tub, sunk in the ground, surrounded by flat slat (check out archived pictures if you want to see it). First took out the water lily. Once drained a bit, leaves cut back, then put into a plastic bag and then stored over the winter in a cool place, (I'm thinking front door closet) its supposed to come back. Cost more than $25.00 US, so it's worth the try.

Flashback to last year. I had bought some "feeder" goldfish for the pond. Jake and Carla pooh-poohed them and bought some more expensive ones. It was fun feeding them, as they would come up to the top and thrash around. However, tragedy struck! Went out one morning and found the water lily and water hyacinth ripped to shreds and all the fish gone. Figured it was a hungry raccoon who thought he's found the Big Boy Breakfast bar.

Flash forward to this year. Secretly bought 4 feeder goldfish. Less than two weeks later, couldn't find them. Actually ran a fish net through the pool but nobody's home. Gave up on fish.

Over the summer I refilled the pool several times, but not in a while, so water tonight was black. Bailing it out with a plastic bucket, I got down to the bottom. Suddenly, I saw a flash. It was a 3 1/2 or 4 inch fat goldfish!!! What the hell did it eat? I stopped putting in food in June!

Got a net and fished (lol) it out. Put him in with Newt, who's not happy. Newt always liked it when I would buy some little guppies or zebra fish (thinking he needed friends) because then he would eat them when I wasn't looking. However, he's not too sure about this monster fish.

Ate the last of the fried chicken and cauliflower soup for dinner (Tuesday's trash day and wanted all the bones outta here!) Started watching a fascinating series on the History Channel - Rome, engineering an Empire - Two hour show and got about halfway through before falling asleep. Oh well, I taped it anyway...

Oh, Canada!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends!

Just curious... Do you have the same menu as we do for Thanksgiving (turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, etc.)?


North side of house with Tiger Lilies cut down.

Sunday, October 8, 2006


Woke up before dawn. Started a pot of coffee (not sure when the last time I made coffee was, but there were white floating things in the coffee left in the pot. YUCK! Washed pot and continued...).

Made breakfast (I promised myself yesterday I would). Simple, though. Three biscuits and three sausage patties. Cold outside and misty, but sat in the porch rocker to eat my little sandwiches and drink my coffee.

Can't wait until it warms up (have to go to Mom's today), so, in spite of a killer backache (overdid it a tad yesterday!), went and planted the remaining daffodil bulbs. That Fall project's done, at least. Saw on the Weather Channel earlier this morning they are predicting rain/snow mix for Thursday. YIKE!

Got back inside and baked some chocolate chip/walnut cookies for today's dinner dessert (I don't have a sweet tooth, but my Mom does!) Tried to load some of the gazzillion photos I took yesterday and today, but the Blogger's not cooperating. D*mn!

Did some prep work for today's dinner. Sliced the wild mushrooms (oyster, shittake and crimini) and minced two shallots. Chopped up about 1/2 teaspoon of fresh thyme. Why? My Mom doesn't have a decent sharp knife in her house and I don't feel like taking the Wustof and my cutting board over there.

While I was at it, loaded the crock pot with carrots, parsnips, potatoes, onions and a chuck roast, topped with onion rings and sliced mushrooms, fresh thyme and sprigs of rosemary. Put it on low (10 to 12 hours cook time). If I'm hungry later tonight, I got supper. If not, Monday's dinner will be already done.

Did I mention my back's killing me? Muscles in my arms, too. Nothing in the house mild enough to take and then drive though... Have to just tough it out.

Left at noon to go to Mom's. Light traffic, so I made it just under an hour. Hauling in all my stuff and then visited with Mom. She looks pretty good, BTW. It was nice to see both her and Lu.

Around 3:00 PM I started dinner. I made and asparagus and wild mushroom frittata, some biscuits, we had a side salad and for dessert, the cookies I baked earlier. Both Mom and Lu seemed to really like the food (or else they were just being polite, lol!) Cleaned up the mess, more visiting, then headed for home around 5:00 PM.

Little heavier traffic so got home about 6:10 PM, BEAT! Turned off the crock pot, got my clothes ready for Monday, etc. Watched Extreme Makeover at 8:00 and then fell asleep at the beginning of Iron Chef America. Not to worry though, as I woke up at 11:30. Put away the roast, watched the taped version of Iron Chef and then went to bed for real.

Sunday morning and...

... oh, my aching back!!!

And, I took tons of pictures yesterday, but can't get the photo's to upload with the Blogger! @#$^&%!!!!

Busy Saturday

Started out Saturday morning with a 9:00 AM appointment for a haircut. Then went to Westborn Market to pick up some stuff for Sunday's dinner at Mom's (gonna make a wild mushroom and asparagus frittata). Next over to Home Depot, where, among other things, I picked up 40 daffodil and 12 grape hyacinth bulbs. After that, went to the credit union to get some cash, then over to Zerbo's to pick up some special vinegar for Luanne (it was funny, the older saleswoman who I asked where the vinegar was said, "Oh, you must drink it right?" I said, "No, I drink bourbon. Its for somebody else." Health food store employees are funny... You should have seen the look on her face!) Finally I got the car washed. Got home around noon.

Unpacked everything, changed clothes, and went outside to work! Was so focused on my To Do list, I forgot lunch (after foregoing breakfast). First planted half the grape hyacinths in the St. Francis garden. Oh, yeah, sprinkling a little of slow release fertilizer in each hole. Covered the planting spot with a light application of mulch.

Then moved to the south side of the garage. A little more tricky here, because I wanted to keep as much of the ground cover as possible, So raked it carefully one way then the other and planted the rest of the grape hyacinth on one side of the door, then daffodils on the other. Again, using slow-release fertilizer and a light covering of mulch. Then used the weedwacker to cut the long strands of ground cover. Refuse went onto the compost heap.

Went inside and cleaned up enough to start my laundry. Grabbed a chicken drumstick on the run. Still using the weedwacker, cut down the tiger lilies on the North side of the house and the row between my house and the neighbors. Raked up the mess and made two more trips to the back compost heap. Then back in the house.

Installed the fire extinguisher I picked up at Home Depot on the cupboard door under the sink. Folded clothes, ate another drumstick, started the last laundry load, went back outside. This time I worked slow release fertilizer into the front garden soil. Still have more daffodils to plant, but running out of daylight (and energy!) I'll try and finish Sunday morning.

Gave up and went inside. Decided I needed something to go with the drumsticks, so made a box of Mac and Cheese. Ate watching TV, but barely finished eating before I feel asleep!

Friday, October 6, 2006

Happy Belated Birthday!!!

This one goes out to my old boss (whoops, NOT old! Let's say, "Former" boss) who turned 44 on Monday, October 2nd!

Happy Birthday, Paula, and my best wishes to you!

Friday, Payday, does it get any better?

Damn cold when I went outside this morning. Went back in and got a jacket.

Work was l-o-n-g and hectic. So, I was thrilled when my boss said, "You guys can knock off at 4:30, if you want to!" Having a bit a free time, I stopped at Farmer Jacks to get a jump on my weekend grocery shopping. Got home, put everything away and took a well-deserved break...

But, it's not a break unless you go back to work, right? Still sunny and just enough daylight left, so I went and pulled out all the annuals from the front garden. Then I worked in some slow-release fertilizer, cut off all the woody flower stems on the hostas and cut down the daylily. I talked briefly with Jake and Carla (who came to get some tools) and a couple that live two streets over who were looking for their missing dog. Raked all the mess into a pile (I'll move it to the compost heap tomorrow - now am seriously running out of daylight).

Came in, cleaned up and started dinner. Southern-fried a bunch of chicken drumsticks. Used eggs, buttermilk and red hot sauce as the "wet" in my breading station. Not a bad dinner (plus, I have a convenient snack for the weekend!)

Watched TV, fell asleep, woke up, got dressed and went outside to check out the full moon (I'd read today it was supposed to be the brightest full moon this year, due to the closeness of the orbits or something). It was bright and beautiful, with moonshadows everywhere! (I think I was being followed by one, lol!) Went back to bed... TGIF

Thursday, and now its really cold in the mornings...

Went over to Tracey and Samson's last night for dinner. I took over some beef stew and reheated it there. She seemed to like it.

I got to meet Samson's new kitty, a cute tiger-striped ball of energy. Hey, Scruffy! I am no longer falling for your explanation that cats are "supposed to lay around and sleep all day and night!" Get off that couch and do something cute!

Anyway, we caught each other up on work and life "stuff" and then I left around 7:00 PM, partly so she could get some sleep (she works l-o-n-g hours) and partly because I could no longer feel my fingers and toes! (She is refusing to turn on her heat yet!)

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Song Lyrics...

The years rolled slowly past
And I found myself alone
Surrounded by strangers I thought were my friends
I found myself further and further from my home

And I guess I lost my way
There were oh so many roads
I was living to run and running to live
Never worrying about paying or even how much I owed

Against the wind
A little something against the wind
I found myself seeking shelter against the wind

"Against the Wind" by Bob Seger

Wet Wednesday

Rained, and rained hard off and on, most of Wednesday. Lunchtime there was a downpour! But, it settled down to a drizzle by the time I drove home from work.

My daughter Melissa called just when I was starting dinner (reheated the leftover steak and sweet corn), so we didn't talk long. She did thank me for the Blog correction and just wanted to inform me that she wasn't supposed to be doing ANYTHING at that moment, she just wanted to talk.

Did a load of laundry, and watched TV - not too memorable of a night...

Wednesday, October 4, 2006


Woke up to rain. Nice to listen to if you get to stay in bed, but I don't. Worse yet, its garbage day. So, got ready for work, then trudged through the rain out to the road with three bags of garbage.

I had a 3:00 to 4:00 PM meeting at our Building 50, which is two seconds from my house, so I told my boss if it ran until 4:00 or later, I was just going to go home, rather than drive all the way back, just to turn around again. He said, "Sure!" So, I got home about 4:20 PM (about 55 minutes early). Not really a lot earlier, but somehow it felt like a vacation day, as the rain had stopped around lunch and it was very warm. Took advantage of this summer-like day and toured my yard, checking things out, deciding what's next for Fall cleanup, etc. Very nice and relaxing...

Fried the eggplant for dinner. I was going to make a tempura batter, but didn't have any soda water in the house. So, to be a little different, I went with one cup of flour and 1/4 cup of bread crumbs (I make it with all bread crumbs for eggplant Parmesan, so its really crispy) Very good - not too crispy, but not just blah.

Tuesday night's the most active night of the week for my favorite TV shows (the cable DVDR box is set to tape 5 shows that night). So, I pick and choose which ones I want to watch that night, and view the others later. Last night I watched "NCIS" and "The Unit." Then read a bit and went to bed. Did not sleep well, however...

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Hey, folks, I don't make this stuff up...

... I just report it!

On a rather ordinary-looking mother's T-shirt at Farmer Jack's tonight:

"I'm so good, I call my own name out during sex!"


"You suck! You suck hard, sucky Mcsuckington!"

~Unknown comic book caracter

Monday, October 2, 2006

Monday moanin'

Monday was a l-o-n-g day at work. Seemed to drag on forever! I left work late, had to stop and get some money from an ATM and then fill up the tank. So, I never made it home until around 5:45 PM.

It had rained hard during the day, but had subsided before I left (which was good).

When I got home, I started the charcoal for the steak and the sweet corn I was originally supposed to grill on Sunday. Noticed yesterday while unpackaging the sweet corn, they left 1/4 of the husk on each ear (probably for looks). But, I thought it might be just enough if, when wet, it would steam the corn (like I normally do with the husk-on corn) while being grilled. So, the corn had soaked overnight. I am not a big fan of "butter, herbs, garlic, salt and pepper, etc., wrapped in tin foil and then grilled" corn. To me, grilled corn, with just salt and butter is perfection!

The steak I had seasoned Sunday with Paula Dean's "The Lady's House Seasoning" (now you long term readers probably remember, but just in case, repeat after me: 1 cup kosher salt, 1/4 cup coarse ground pepper and 1/4 cup garlic powder, stored in an air-tight container).

So, put the corn on, turning every 3 or 4 minutes, until the tinfoil turned golden, then moved it off to the side and threw on the round steak, after putting on some wet hickory wood chips for smoke/flavor. Here I messed up (just a little) not sure if the coals were too close, or what, but cooked it 4 minutes on a side (like normal) but, instead of my favorite medium-rare, got medium-well done steak, No biggy. Still tasted good.

I had thawed out some blue cheese compound butter I'd made a while back to top the steak with, but realized I had blue cheese on Saturday (with Jake and Carla) and blue cheese on Sunday (for a snack) so it might not be all that special. I put it back in the freezer and got out some A1 sauce. Let the meat rest for 5 minutes while I finished off the corn, then feasted! And, (maybe the best part) I still have three ears of corn and half the steak for leftovers!

Woke up around 1:00 AM, wide awake. Read for a bit, but that didn't work, so I threw on my sweats and sat on the porch rocker for about 1/2 hour until I felt sleepy again. It was mild out and not raining, so it was nice. Then went back to bed.

Another Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Molly!

from a fellow blogger!

Sunday, Sunday...

Got up and had coffee and way too many of the homemade donuts Jake and Carla left me for breakfast. They also left the rest of the snacks from yesterday (thanks, guys!) so I am all set if I get the munchies.

Called my Mom for her birthday. I actually called three times, but the first two she was watching the Mass for shut-ins. Finished all the housework by 11:00 AM. Since it was such a beautiful day, I decided to thaw a steak and use the grill. Needing a side (and still craving that eggplant), I drove over to Westborn Market for some sweet corn. Saw several trees in full glorious Fall colors on the way. Another sign of Fall? Westborn didn't have any sweet corn still in the husks - too late in the season! :o(

But, got 5 ears in a package without the husks (I'll wrap them in tinfoil - not the way I like it, but oh, well...) and two eggplant. Picked up more caulifower (cheap there) as well.

Since I had the half of Friday night's cauliflower left, I thought I'd make that cauliflower soup again. Problem! No chicken stock (how the heck did that happen? I usually never run out of stuff!) I did have vegetable stock, so I thawed out some chicken breasts and boiled them in the vegetable stock, along with fresh parsley and a bay leaf. While that was simmering, went to work outside.

Got all the container gardens cleaned out and put away, and the plant refuse back to the compost heap. I hung up my Fall wreath and other decorations on the porch. I didn't do the tree box, as the flowers there are still blooming and beautiful. I'll wait on those until the frost gets 'em. Then I got the weedwacker and cleaned out the mint garden. Found a beautiful patch of lemon balm behind the raised garden that the lawn cutters have left alone, so I picked it and hung it in the kitchen to dry. Since its been years since I drank herb tea, I'll send it back to Virginia for Luanne and Sadie.

So, tired and proud of my outside work, I went back inside and cleaned up to make the soup. Turned out great. Decided that grilling the steak and corn was a bit much after the soup (it was already after 5:00 PM) so I'll do that Monday night (in the rain, I bet).

Spent about an hour trying to draw pictures of a goat for Lu. She's doing some PR work for a Virginia goat cheese maker. They all looked disappointingly stupid to me, but I emailed them and a link to some free clip art that featured goats (in case she wants a better drawing).

Oh, yes, when I got back in there was a voicemail from my daughter Melissa, who asked me to revise my Saturday posting regarding her phone call. Now, you faithful readers know my rule for both blogging and writing poetry. If I write it, I don't change it, even if it sucks. But, since she asked in such a nice way, disregard the earlier posting and substitute this one:

"My daughter Melissa called. I think its great how, in spite of how busy she always is, she still takes the time to call me."

Watched Extreme Makeover (I am such a sucker for that show) and Iron Chef America (snacking on cheeses and sausage) and then went to bed.


My photo, updated by a reader

Sunday, October 1, 2006


The newly harvested lemon balm (and you guys thought those hooks were just for looks!)


"Volunteer" lemon balm the grass cutters let be (Thanks, guys!)


I have dug out TONS of compost from this spot this Spring and Summer.


Filling in the compost heap with the Summer's refuse


Fall has been hard on the mint garden


The mint garden, after weedwacking (behind it is some volunteer lemon balm)


The front porch, in summertime (the "before" picture)


Admitting it's Fall, my new look...


Total effect for Fall front door


Indian corn, for Fall


Fall decorations: Wooden leaves


Fall wreath

Happy Birthday!