Friday, December 31, 2010

Last Day of Work in 2010

I must admit, I didn’t think I’d still have a job by now. But I do have my part-time one. So life isn’t horrible, just uncomfortable.

It was freezing rain when I woke up Thursday morning. So, it was a bit tricky getting up the incline and out of my driveway. And, San Jose was pure ice. But they must have salted Plymouth Road as the remainder of the trip was okay.

Work was work. I did make three trips to the front of the building to check on my guys. They did good and all of the critical wiring was in (whew!) They’ll be back on Monday to install the jacks and power them up.

It was over 40 degrees F. by lunchtime, so the ice had all melted and the snow on my roof was dripping. I guess our celebrated “January Thaw” came early this year. I ate the last of the beef vegetable soup (that I didn’t freeze) for lunch.

Since there wasn’t much going on (in fact nothing), the IT director let everybody (except probably Jake) leave at 4:00 PM.

I talked to B___ for a while, and then I warmed up some of the eggplant for dinner.

I fell asleep early, but didn’t get much rest. I had bad dreams and insomnia all night.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


it was another rough day at work with lots of walking. My legs were killing me by 5:00 PM.

But, after a two hour rest watching the news, I got out my breading pans and fried up an eggplant. I suppose I ate too much (four slices) but it was delicious!

I watched some TV, but dozed off about 10:00 PM. I woke up at 1:00, found my glasses, shut everything down and went to bed for real.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Back at it...

I took the trash out to the road just before leaving for work. It was 17 degrees F. with a strong wind here and I was cold for most of the day.

Work was a little hectic (I thought this week would be easy-peasy) and I did a lot of walking. The building where I work is huge. My main project is a major buildout in the front of the building and I, of course, sit way in the back.

I warmed up my leftover Irish sausage and the Colcannon for dinner and, since I found them, made the Brussels sprouts. I roasted them in the oven with olive oil, salt and (during the last 10 minutes so it doesn’t burn) minced garlic. But, I decided I prefer them boiled with salt and butter.

For some odd reason, I started watching a football game (I haven't done that in years!) It was good and Amy’s Minnesota Vikings won. But, that meant I stayed up until 11:30.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I used the two potatoes Jake and Carla left for breakfast. I cut both into slices and fried them in butter. I warmed up the last sausage patty in the microwave and then fried two eggs over easy. It was an excellent breakfast!

I forgot to mention this, but my printer took a dump on my birthday. So, knowing he gets the Sunday paper and looks at all the ads, I asked my friend B___ yesterday to see if there were any black laser jet printers on sale (this was Jake’s recommendation).

Sure enough, he called me this morning and said that Office Max (in Westland) had two of them on sale (a Brother and a Samsung), both for $80.00. So, I didn’t even shave or take a shower. I just threw some clothes on and headed out (I hate it when I hear about a sale but they are sold out by the time I get to the store). I checked out both and decided to get the Samsung. It’s a little bigger than the Brother, but it’s a name I know and trust.

I was going to pitch the old printer, but when I called B___ to thank him and let him know I got one, he suggested I keep it. It was a multi-function one and he reminded me I could still use it to copy or fax things.

I set the new one up and loaded the print drivers. I surprised myself when I tried to print the first test page and the damn thing worked! Working for IT has broadened my horizons, I guess.

I had taken some stew meat out to thaw. Now, I don’t want to make beef stew (I still have two containers in the freezer). But, I have eaten so many rich foods over the holidays, I thought some beef vegetable soup would do me good.

So, I warmed up some canola oil and sautéed a big onion in the Dutch oven. To that, I added a bag of leeks I’d cut up and stuck in the freezer. Then I browned the stew meat. I added a bunch of water and two beef bullion cubes (I am out of beef stock). Knowing how salty beef bullion cubes are, I only put in some fresh ground pepper, two bay leaves, garlic and some “fines herbes” (a French mixture of parsley, chives, chervil and tarragon).

Then I put in half a bag of frozen vegetables (peas, corn and green beans). I did Carla’s trick and “parboiled” two potatoes in the microwave. Then I cut them into chunks and added them to the soup. I opened a small can of whole tomatoes, squished them with my hands and threw those in, too.

I was feeling a little bad that I didn’t have any cabbage to add when it dawned on me. I had some Brussels sprouts I bought for a dinner I haven’t made yet. So, I took four of them, peeled off the outer layers and cut the stems off. I cut them in half, (so the leaves would come apart) and added them to the soup.

I let that get happy for two or three hours and then tasted the broth. It needed more salt, so I added some sea salt and let it simmer some more. I took pictures of my meager Christmas decoration and posted them, mainly to satisfy the cabbage-phobic readers of this Blog.

I got a big bowl of soup around 8:00 PM and went in to eat it in front of the TV. It was mighty tasty! I stuck the rest into the fridge when it cooled (I’ll put it into freezer containers tomorrow). I went to sleep just after 11:00.

Monday, December 27, 2010


2010 Christmas Decorations #1

2010 Christmas Decorations #2

2010 Christmas Decorations #3

2010 Christmas Decorations #4

2010 Christmas Decoration #5

Sunday Road Trip

I headed out on Sunday about noon to go to B___’s house. Family was everywhere and there was a TON of snacks. I ate and drank and visited and had a wonderful time.

When I left, they gave me a present and a special plate of German cookies (without frosting). I think I got home around 8:00 PM. I’d planned on watching TV, but fell asleep the moment my head hit the pillow. It was another good day!


I woke up early on Christmas and made two of those breakfast sandwiches. But, around 10:00 AM, I went back to bed and took a nap. I woke up around noon and got ready to go to Jake and Carla’s.

Our original non-traditional Christmas plan was to do a Jeff Bridges movie duo and eat out. So we would watch Tron, go to a restaurant and then go see True Grit. But Jake couldn’t find any movie theaters or restaurants open on Christmas Day. So we are watching movies at their house.

I brought over snacks: some of my Mom’s liver pate (I made it on my birthday), some big olives stuffed with blue cheese and spinach dip with little pita rounds.

For dinner they made Irish Sausage (aka bangers) and Colcannon (which is Irish mashed potatoes with cabbage in them). It sounded a little strange, but both the sausages and the Colcannon were delicious!

The movies we watched were “Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia” and “Stardust.” I started nodding off on the couch, so I left for home (with some sausages and Colcannon).

All in all, it was a great Christmas.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Birthday to me!

I woke up at 6:30 AM on my birthday, but decided to stay in bed until 7:30. Apparently Scruffy and Caley thought that was a good plan, because they didn’t get up, either.

After showering and shaving, I got dressed and faced my sixty-second year here on earth. I used the electric sweeper to tidy up the house (mostly removing cat hair) and, after turning on the Christmas tree lights, sat in the living room reading a magazine.

Jake and Carla showed up (they’d told me they wanted to make me a birthday brunch), But before we get into that, let’s talk about the calls and presents.

In chronological order, I had phone calls from my grandkids Joe and Riese (Joe played guitar and Riese sang “Happy Birthday”, Jake, my brother Joe, B___, Luanne, my brother Jim, and my daughters Amy and Melissa.

I also had posts on my Facebook page (which I never use) from my nieces Caroline, Mary and Hannah, my sister-in-law Kathy, my ex-wife Fran and my daughters Amy and Melissa. I also had one from my friend Tracey.

I opened the packages I’d received and both were from Lu and Sadie. One was a wine bottle, filled with dried beans and a spice packet to make a Texas bean soup. The other was a big sawdust block infused with shitake mushroom spores. It takes a little up front work and minor maintenance work, but I’m supposed to get two or three harvests out of it. Sweet!

So, Jake and Carla came and took over my kitchen (not the first time). Jake made handmade buttermilk biscuits, while Carla made her potatoes home fries. Then she made some pork sausage patties.

So, we had breakfast, or brunch, The trick was that you cut the biscuits in half, you smeared the bottom half with cream cheese and the top with fig preservers, You plopped in the pork sausage pattie and you had a gourmet breakfast sandwich. With the home fries, it was excellent!!!

Jake cleaned up everything and then I opened my birthday present: a non-stick grille pan. I really appreciate this as the cast iron, two burner grille pan I had was a pain in the ass. Then they took off.

When we walked outside, there was another Fed-ex package on the porch. It was from Melissa and I opened the “Happy Birthday” one (with two funny cards) which was a cook book. Thanks! I saved the Christmas one for tomorrow.

I spent the rest of my birthday resting and watching movies on TV. It was a good day!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Birthday Eve

Well, we didn’t get any snow here on Thursday and it finally got just above freezing. Of course, that meant the icicles on the back roof started to grow.

I did a lot of walking at work (had to take two separate vendors through a build site so they can quote the wiring) so my legs were pretty tired.

I watched the evening news while eating leftover tortellini. Then I went out in the garage and started to rearrange it. I left it in grass cutting mode, so its difficult to get to the workbench.

I quit about 8:30 PM, came in and watched TV until I fell asleep.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


We had a light snow overnight. That made the roads a little slippery on Wednesday morning.

After work, I watched the evening news and then made supper. I boiled some frozen tortellini and added it to a jar of garlic Alfredo sauce I’d warmed. It tastes great, but I really need to go shopping!

I keep the cat brush by the bed, so when the cats are relaxing I can occasionally brush them. I did Caley a few days ago, so I was determined to do Scruffy tonight. He stood it for a little while, but then he turned around and bit me on the arm! I had four puncture wounds and it took quite a long time to get them to stop bleeding.

I went to bed early again.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Super Supper

There was supposed to be 1 – 3 inches of snow on Tuesday, but I never saw any.

At lunch, I went and got my Holiday haircut. Then I went another mile to the Value market and picked up some much needed supplies (not my real grocery shopping, but things like milk, butter, potatoes and onions).

After work, there were two packages on my front porch. Although I was intrigued, I didn’t open them as I supposed they were birthday or Christmas presents.

I watched the nightly news and then made supper. I made pierogies. Well, I didn’t “make” them, I cooked some Mrs. T frozen pierogies. You can cook them in several ways, but I did it the way my old neighbor, Sue, did. I sautéed two sliced onions with butter in a large skillet. Then I boiled the pierogies in batches. When they were done, I put them in the skillet and fried them until the bottoms were browned. I plated some and added sour cream. Delicious!

I watched TV until bedtime after deciding I’d done enough over the weekend to take a night off.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


It was still cold here on Monday (I think the high was 26 degrees F. or so) but it was sunny in the afternoon. That always lifts my spirits!

Work was a typical Monday: three meeting, constant crisis, miscommunication, etc. I was very glad (and tired) when it was over.

The first thing I did when I got home (after treating the cats, of course) was to go through the fridge with a fine tooth comb. Tomorrow is trash day, so I checked the expiration date on EVERYTHING. I threw away about half of a kitchen bag’s worth of old stuff.

Then I put on my boots and trucked three bags of garbage to the road. Snow is forecast for tomorrow, so I’d rather do this in the dark than in the snow.

I did have a dinner planned, but realized I didn’t have any onions. So, I dug though the chest freezer and found my last Marie Callender’s chicken pot pie. I made that in the microwave and ate it watching TV. I went to bed early.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Workin' Man Blues

I woke up at 5:30 AM on Sunday and couldn’t fall back asleep. So, I made a fresh pot of coffee and drank two cups sitting on the couch. But, I got bored sitting on the couch, so I went to work.

I stripped the bed and started a load of wash. I put yesterday’s dinner plate and silverware in the now full dishwasher and fired that up. Then I started sweeping and vacuuming the living room. When that was done, I moved the kitchen chairs and the rolling table into the living room. I put the bedding in the dryer, filled up a bucket with hot water and Pine-Sol and mopped the kitchen floor.

Since I was now trapped in the living room, the bedroom, the office and the main bath, I used the electric sweeper to clean the wood floors and the bathroom tile. When the kitchen floor was dry (about an hour and a half), I moved everything back. I remade the bed.

I refilled the bucket and washed the sink and toilet with a sponge, then mopped the bathroom floor. I took the drip pans off the stove and scrubbed them clean in the laundry tub. I went out in the garage and got the drill and took off the cover to the plumbing in the backroom. I turned off the outside faucet (I should have done that when I put the hoses away). I went outside to check that it was really off and it was. Since I was out there with boots on anyway, I went in the front yard and lugged off a branch that had come down in last weekend’s snow.

When I came back in, it was 3:30 PM and I was hungry. So, I opened and drained a can of tuna fish and ate it out of the can, topped with a little sea salt (I shared some with Caley and Scruffy). I decided I’d done enough, so I took the rest of the day off (except for one thing I need to do later).

I tried to take a nap, but that didn’t work. About 7:30 PM, I made my supper. I just reheated a Salisbury steak, the noodles and some gravy. But this time I added sweet corn and this time I read the microwave instructions first.

Then I did the last thing for the day. I put the stove grates into the oven, locked it and turned on the “Clean” setting. My theory was if I was going to use up all that gas anyway, I may as well do it at night and keep the furnace from running so much. And that part did work. The thermostat was set at 66 degrees F. and it was 72 in here!

I went back in and watch some of my Sunday night shows. However, about 9:30 PM, a spill or leftover or something in the oven started to smoke and stink. All the smoke detectors went off. The only way I could keep it on “clean” was to turn on the vent fan and crack the window in my bedroom (this also helped with the acrid smell in the house). I guess I don’t clean my oven often enough!

I went to bed at 11:00 PM and the oven still had two more hours to go. At my first bathroom break, it was done, so I turned off the fan, shut the window and went back to bed, content with the day.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Saturday Supper

I slept badly, but long and finally got out of bed at 10:00 AM. Without having a plan for Saturday breakfast, I just ate the last two pieces of cold pepperoni pizza (groan) washed down with fresh coffee.

My plan was to “deep-clean” the house. However, I started out by just straightening things up. That took up most of the afternoon.

I’m a little mystified about the birds and squirrels. Yesterday I had hundreds of visitors (Caley was in her glory) but I haven’t seen even one at the feeder or the two suet cages today (and I’ve walked past the kitchen window a lot). They usually only do that when a big storm is coming, but there’s nothing like that forecasted. Weird...

Maybe the new seed tasted like crap...

I quit at 5:00 PM and took a break. The “deep-cleaning” never got going, but the house is straightened up. Before I took my break, I made up the mise en place for tonight’s supper, so I’m good to go. I went in and watched some TV cooking shows that taped today.

Since I just had a meat sauce with pasta, I had searched for an easy recipe for Salisbury steak with mushroom gravy. I found one earlier, so I started supper.

I mixed the pound of ground beef with one egg, three tablespoons of crushed Ritz crackers, two tablespoons of finely minced onions, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of poultry seasoning. Then I formed it into one inch thick patties (the recipe said six, but I only got three).

I fried the patties in a skillet over medium-high heat until I got a nice sear on both sides (about 3-4 minutes). I drained off the grease and removed the patties and kept them warm.

I added three tablespoons of butter to the same skillet and, when it had melted, I added two 4-ounce cans of mushrooms, along with the juice. I cooked and stirred this for about two minutes. Then I sprinkled three tablespoons of all-purpose flour and mixed it in until blended. Then I added three sups of milk and three beef bouillon cubes. I whisked that over medium heat until smooth and starting to thicken.

I put the patties back in and let it cook uncovered over low heat for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, I made some wide egg noodles. When they were done, I plated it up and wandered in to watch TV. Not the best Salisbury steak I ever had, but not bad!

When they were cool, I put the leftovers in the fridge and then went to bed.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Random Thought

In spite of making them myself and ordering them in Southern restaurants, I am still in search of the perfect fried green tomato.


I forgot to mention (I was grieving) that Jake let me know that yesterday, Captain Beefheart, aka Don Van Vliet, died at age 69. I only had one of his albums (yes, vinyl) but he was one of my heroes.

Even if it's only me, he will be missed!

Finally Friday...

(And I mean that - it's been a tough week, work-wise with my projects)

I made a can of Campbell's split pea with ham soup for lunch. I was little tired of pizza and the pizza farts were becoming increasingly embarrassing. I was now out of all my go-to soups (except for tomato) such as chicken noodle, bean with bacon and split pea with ham and there's no Hormell chili in the house either. I have GOT to go shopping!

After work, I started the weekend wash and then did some stuff on the computer (my grocery list and the ToDo list).

I called my friend B___ to see how he was doing and mentioned my plan to go grocery shopping this weekend. He cautioned me that, due to last weekend's storm, nobody was able to buy Christmas dinner or pick up last-minute presents. So, stores this weekend would be mobbed. Good point! I hadn't thought of that!

I guess I'll get by with my pantry items and my freezer until Monday or Tuesday.

I warmed up the last two slices of pizza supreme for dinner. Then I went in to watch a movie (Tears of the Sun) on DVD. It took about twice as long to finish as, about half way through, the damn thing started either stuttering or stopping altogether. I kept pushing "Play" and it would start back up. I dunno...

I don't have much experience with DVDs. I only own about 20 of them and never rent them or get them on Netflix. Can they get dirty? How do you clean them? I dunno...

So, I went to bed late.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Pizza Party

Thursday it got up to 26 degrees F. at 4:00 PM. But, when I was running errand at lunch, it was nowhere near that! I went to PetSmart for cat food, treats and kitty litter. Next I went to Home Depot for more rock salt and another doorbell (I never could get the other one to work). Finally I went to ACO Hardware and bought 40 pounds of wild birdseed and some suet cakes that were all on sale.

I left everything in the car and went into the house to eat some lunch. I warmed up the rest of the potato soup I’d thawed. I must say, freezing does NOT improve the texture of my potato soup. No wonder Mom liked Jake’s better!

I left work at 4:00 PM. It had been a rough day and I didn’t have any dinner plans, so I stopped at a Little Caesar’s and picked up a pizza. When I got home, I stuck the box in the oven (set on warm) while I did chores.

The birdseed was big and bulky, but I wrestled it outside and refilled the feeder. The rock salt (50 pounds in a very small bag) was killer! But, I eventually got everything done.

Back inside, I had two pieces of pizza while I watched the evening news. Then I returned a call from my brother, Jim. He thought he had put the wrong address on my Christmas card, but I reassured him that I got it.

I watched TV until bedtime, with another slice of cold pizza for a late-night snack.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Quote of the Day

"But don't get me wrong! I'm not saying you have to be in a relationship. Tons of people love to be single.

When you're single, you call the shots. You set the pace. You die alone."

~ Nadia from Bitchin' Kitchen

Wednesday, Switching to Glide...

I woke up at the amazing time of 10:00 AM on Wednesday. It was still damn cold, but no snow. I went out to the kitchen and started a 6-cup pot of coffee.

I drank the first cup, sitting on the couch, enjoying my Christmas decorations. I eventually posted the Blog entry, still having more coffee. I started a load of wash and then thought about brunch. However, I was really not that hungry, so I let it go.

Since I missed the morning news, I watched the noon version to get caught up. I went out to the garage and took out a pound of hamburger to thaw (hopefully it will be ready by tonight). Then I went in and watched a taped show of Iron Chef (Japan).

I finally fried up the rest of that packet of ham and made two eggs over easy for an afternoon brunch.

I didn’t do too much. I noticed the salt I put on the driveway didn’t do much, either.

The hamburger was still somewhat frozen, so I gave up on it for dinner tonight. Without having a backup plan, I just made a box of mac and cheese for dinner. I watched a movie and then went to bed at 11:00 PM.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Today was my department’s Christmas potluck. But, I had two problems with that. I thought it was on Wednesday (my enforced day off) and I hadn’t really gone grocery shopping yet. So, I didn’t sign up. The other problem was that my hip was throbbing like hell. So, despite the pleas from my co-workers (they like my food) I didn’t go.

Instead, I went home, ate some homemade potato soup I’d thawed and then took an hour nap to rest my hip.

The high temperature was a little warmer (20 degrees F. with less wind) so the salt they’d put on the road was working better. It was slushy on the way home after work, rather than ice. But, when I tried to wash off my windshield, the passenger side was frozen (and I use the good stuff).

Back home, Caley was at her usual station, crouched under the kitchen windowsill, watching the birds eat the suet just outside. She is determined to someday get one of those birds. Scruffy never does that (I think he knows there’s a window and a birdy dinner is out of the question).

Since the salt on the road seemed to be working, I went back outside and used the last of my rock salt on the packed down tracks of my tires (Note to self: buy more salt!)

Inside, I rearranged my few Christmas decorations and they looked better. Then I called my friend B___ to see how he weathered the storm. He’s okay; he just had to do his driveway three times during the snowfall.

When I thawed out the potato soup, I also thawed out a packet of the leftover Honey-Baked Ham. I tried Jake’s suggestion and cut about 1/2 inch of the crust off and fried it. I also made a small pot of mashed Yukon gold potatoes on the stove and some frozen peas in the microwave.

I ate dinner watching the evening news. The ham was better, but still a little too sweet for my taste. The potatoes were excellent, but the peas tasted like crap (little hard rocks – I checked the bag and I should have added some water).

I watched TV and dozed through the night. I finally shut everything down and went to sleep around 2:30 AM.

Quote of the day

“I’ve reached the age where life stops giving you things and starts taking them away.”

~from the movie “Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull”

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monday Moanin’

As I said, the snow depth around here wasn’t bad (although the "official" total at the airport, a few miles south of here, was 6 1/2 inches). But the problem was the temperatures. It got warm Sunday afternoon (well “warm” may be an overstatement) so the snow got slushy. Then the temperature dropped like a rock! It was 11 degrees F. when I woke up Monday morning. And, I think the high today here was 14 degrees. So, all the slushy snow turned to ice, making driving treacherous.

And, did I mention the wind (20 MPH sustained, gusting to 40)? So, all in all, driving or walking to and from work was a real pain. Starting off at a stoplight, all that happened was your wheels spun. You didn’t move!

I had soup for lunch (I needed it).

I had an accident at work in the afternoon. I came out of the bathroom stall and the little janitor was washing the tile floor with a rag mop. We exchanged a few words about the weather (we chat a lot) while I washed my hands. Then I tried carefully to get across the room to the paper towels (they are no where near the sink, for some reason). I didn’t make it.

I came down hard on my left hip and forearm. Now, it was unfortunate that the janitor was washing the floor, but fortunate he was there, because without his help, I couldn’t have gotten back up. So, I spent the afternoon with damp pants and slowly increasing aches and pains.

I slip-slided back home after work. Later on, Lu called and we chatted a little. She said it was raining, and then it got cold and turned to snow. So, the storm seems to be expanding. I still think Amy got it the worst (14-17 inches of snow!)

When I got undressed for bed, I had a very impressive purple bruise on my hip.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Then there was Sunday

When I woke up at 2:00 AM for a bathroom break, it was raining. When I woke up at 5:00 AM, it was snowing. I decided it was a “snow day,” so the only real work I did was to do the weekly wash.

I did talk to my friend B___. He had gone deer hunting up in the Upper Peninsula and got home just before the snow.

I ate leftover pasta for both lunch and dinner, watched a LOT of TV and read a book. I went to bed at 11:00 PM. We got maybe (maybe) two inches of snow here.

Saturday’s Story

I set up my Christmas decorations on Saturday morning after making some scrambled eggs and four cups of coffee.

I went “minimalist” this time, knowing nobody is coming over this year. So, I went with the two-foot tree, a sleigh with Christmas bulbs and pinecones (from my own trees, I might add) and one Santa. I got about half of my Christmas cards done before the mailman came.

I started a meat sauce for some pasta about 2:00 PM. I browned up a pound of hamburger and then removed it from the Dutch oven. Then I heated up a diced red onion and a diced shallot. I put the meat back in when they were translucent. I also added four cloves of minced garlic. Then I added two 28-ounce cans of whole tomatoes and squished them with my hands (I like that). I threw in a small can of tomato paste and two teaspoons each of basil, oregano and thyme. I added one teaspoon of red pepper flakes and let it all simmer until dinner time.

I made a pound of rigatoni pasta and added it to about half of the sauce (the rest I froze). I ate some of that for dinner.

I talked to my daughter Melissa after dinner. When we hung up, I watched TV until bedtime.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Finally Friday.....

Well, it did snow overnight, but nowhere near the projected 1-3 inches. I would be surprised to learn we got more than 1/2 inch here in Redford. However, people at work who live north of 8 Mile said they got a lot of snow.

It was slippery driving into work, though. But the temps had risen to 38 degrees F. by the time work was over, so it was more slushy than slippery going home.

Since it was above freezing, I made two trips into the attic for Christmas decorations. I’ll put them up over the weekend.

I watched the news and then two taped episodes of “Bitchin’ Kitchen.” I made dinner (toasted cheese sandwich and tomato soup in a mug) and ate it watching “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” I went to bed at 10:00 PM.

But, I woke up, wide awake, at 1:00 AM. Since I don’t have work tomorrow, I watched Jimmy Fallon (my favorite late-night show) and then went back to bed.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thursday’s Tale

After work on Thursday, I did a load of wash. For dinner I heated up the last of the roast beef and vegetables. I ate that watching TV but went to bed early.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I took Wednesday off (which is why there was no Blog post). The only thing I did do was to use half of a 10-ounce bag of frozen blueberries to the usual Goerlich recipe (in the paperback blue book).

I thawed the blueberries in a sieve over a bowl. I kicked the recipe up a notch by using buttermilk instead of whole milk. I added the blueberries and made myself some brunch.

I read, watched TV and then ate pancakes for dinner. I went to bed around midnight.


Tuesday was another crappy day, weather-wise. It was snowy and cold (the high never got much above 30 degrees F.) The wind cut like a knife!

My biggest event today was procuring Christmas stamps. I stopped at CVS to get my Christmas cards and then headed to the Post Office. But, when I got there, there wasn’t an empty parking slot.

So, I went back there after work (about 4:30 PM – I had a late meeting) and stood in line behind four people with boxes to mail. Each of them had to decide how quick they wanted the package shipped, insurance, etc.

It was finally my turn and I just asked for two books of Christmas stamps. I was told they’d sold them out about 10:00 AM! So, I went home, empty handed and annoyed.

I warmed up the pot roast and veggies and topped them with jarred beef gravy for dinner.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Monday, getting it done...

When I got home at lunch on Monday, I had two goals. One was to wash the bedding (that didn’t get done over the weekend) so I stripped the bed and started the washer.

The next was to make that roast I’d thawed out on Saturday (so everything would fit in the freezers). So, I got out the oval slow cooker and peeled a couple of carrots. I cut them on the bias and threw them in. Next came two yellow onions, peeled and cut into quarters, two cloves of smashed garlic and about six Yukon Gold potatoes (not peeled).

I seasoned the roast with salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary leaves. I pressed those in and put the roast on top. I added a couple of cups of chicken stock I needed to use up, topped it with button mushrooms and, as an afterthought, some dried parsley. I turned it on high and made a sandwich for my lunch.

When I got home, I turned the slow cooker to “Warm,” threw the bedding in the dryer and took two bags of trash and two boxes out to the road. Even though I had my leather jacket, my hat and gloves on, I was freezing when I got back inside. That wind cuts like a knife today. I kicked the thermostat up two degrees to try and get warm again.

About 8:00 PM, I made a plate of food (it was excellent, BTW) and ate dinner watching TV. About 10:00, I put the leftovers (and there were lots) into my Tupperware bowl and into the fridge.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sunday's Short Story

Sunday morning I woke up late. Even though I had a good night's sleep, my back was still killing me. So, I took a look at the long ToDo list and said "Screw it!"

I spent the day relaxing, reading, watching TV and/or sleeping. Instead of making the roast I'd planned (I had to thaw one out to make everything fit) I just made a chicken pot pie in the microwave.

I watched my usual TV shows and went to bed at 11:00 PM.

Another Road Trip

Remember that doctor’s appointment for today? Well, my doctor rescheduled it for January. But, I had already committed to pick up our portion of the cow in St. Clair (near Richmond, where my doctor is) so I left about 10:00 PM.

Unfortunately, I took 8-mile and got stuck by a train. That made me late for picking up my friend, B___. I’d discussed this with him earlier and asked if I could visit his house before I went to St Clair. He suggested riding along instead and we could chat on the way. So, that’s what we did.

I was late, due to the train, and he told me that he was just about to change his clothes but I guess I got there in the nick of time. So, we headed out.

We got to Jerry and Kathy’s about 12:30 PM. They meticulously sorted out the meat (B___ helped while I stood and watched). Kathy wanted to show me the receipt but I refused. If you can’t trust your friends, who the hell can you trust?

I couldn’t lift the first box, so B___ helped me carry it out to the car trunk. The second one I did carry out (although it was heavy) and put it in the trunk as well.

We made our goodbyes and took off. I suggested lunch so we went to O’Malleys in town. I had a Rueben with pickles and homemade potato chips. The waitress was great and had an English accent I found appealing. The sandwich was absolutely excellent but the potato chips sucked. They didn’t salt them! I LIKE SALT!!!

We headed back and I dropped him off. Then I took Groesbeck to I-696, then I-275 to Ford Road. When I got to Jake and Carla’s, Jake, too, meticulously sorted out the meat.

I left there and got home at 4:00 PM – beat! But, I still needed to put my meat in the freezer. It’s a problem because I use my freezer a lot and it’s pretty full. So, I rearranged both my chest freezer and my refrigerator freezer and finally got everything in.

By then I was tired and sore (and my back hurt) But, I went up in the attic and made a hurried search (I didn’t have a coat on) for my hunting clothes. I didn’t find them before the cold forced me back downstairs.

I went in to watch TV until bedtime. I didn’t make supper (that Rueben really filled me up) but I did make some popcorn for a snack around 10:00 PM.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Yankee hurmour

Here's a bit of Yankee humor. A motorist stopped his car on the outskirts of town and asked directions from an elderly farmer working in a field with a horse-drawn plow. The farmer appeared to be in his late sixties, and the stranger was impressed with the vigor with which he tackled his chores.

"Aren't you a little old to be doing heavy work like this?" he asked.

"Ain't so bad," the farmer replied. "My pa is an awful big help."

"Your father is alive?"

"Yup. That's him up by the barn there, pitching manure."

The stranger spotted the old gentleman in the distance. "But that's amazing. How old is he, anyway?"

"Pa's 86."

"I can't believe it. A man his age ought not to be exerting himself like that."

"Well, ordinarily Grandpa is around to help."

"You have a grandfather? Good heavens, how old would he be?"

"Hundred and three."

"This is astonishing. Where is he now?"

"On his honeymoon."

"You mean to tell me that he just got married? Why on earth would a man his age want to do that?"

"Didn't want to. Had to."

Quote of the Day

"Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if vegetables smelled as good as bacon."

~ Doug Larson

Saturday, December 4, 2010


It was 22 degrees F. when I woke up on Friday and never got much over 32 degrees all day. But no snow (Amy’s got our back on that).

After work, I plugged in the door bell and then tested the button before installing it outside. Nothing! I tried it and tried it and finally it rang. I tried it again and – nothing! I spent like the next half hour trying it but it never rang.

So, I checked the installation manual and there is a “Troubleshooting” section, but it involves taking the back of the doorbell (six tiny Phillips head screws) and making sure the electronics match the doorbell button. However, I’m tired already and pissed (no, really pissed because I threw away the bag and the receipt when I bought it). So I decided to let it go for now.

Since I was tired and pissed, I was uninspired about dinner. So, I cooked up the rest of the cheese tortellini and warmed up the sauce. I ate that watching TV and then went to bed.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Another snowy day

It was snowing again Thursday morning and this time it’s sticking. No real accumulation, but it is here! However, I am no longer going to bitch about snow as Minnesota (where my daughter Amy’s family live) has been getting dumped on.

I went to Home Depot at lunch and got a new wireless doorbell (mine’s been broken for about a year). Then I stopped at CVS and picked up my prescriptions.

Back home after a rather frantic day at work, I put out the driveway marker wands, (if I have to be plowed out this year) Then, I took the night off. I thought I’d treat myself, so I made cheese tortellini with mushrooms and Alfredo sauce for dinner.

I used half a bag of frozen cheese tortellini and made it according to the directions on the package. Meanwhile, I sliced up and sauteed eight ounces of white button mushrooms. When they had reduced (I always cut them thick), I added a pinch of salt and a jar of store-bought Alfredo sauce.

I reserved half the sauce for another night and added the tortellini to the remaining sauce. I tossed it about and then plated it.

I wandered in and watched TV until bedtime.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


It was snowing and cold when I got up Wednesday morning. It still was when I left for lunch.

Today, I went and got a haircut at lunchtime (which I never have done). Why? Because my haircut is about two weeks overdue and I have a doctor's appointment on Saturday at 9:30 AM. The doctor's office isn't open on Wednesdays and is only open this coming Saturday for the whole month of December.

I raced home after the haircut and warmed up some potato soup for lunch. It was just as good as the first time. The snow had stopped, BTW.

Back home after work, I took a break on the couch. Then I did more small chores until dinner time. I didn’t have quite enough leftovers, so I added in some frozen sweet corn to the mix.

I ate dinner and then watched “Stagecoach” a 1939 movie starring John Wayne and directed by John Ford.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Rainy Days and Tuesdays...

Well, it did rain overnight (I heard it on the windows during the night). The rain gauge has been inside for a while, so I can’t tell you exactly how much. It had slackened down to a drizzle when I left for work, though. It stayed damp and drizzly (but warm) all day. We go into the icebox tonight for the rest of the week (hell, who am I kidding? For the rest of the winter).

When I got home after work, I took care of a myriad of chores that I’d put on hold to finish up outside. I filed bill receipts, put my bike title in the fireproof box, vacuumed cat hair out of the bedrooms, got the leftover potato soup into the freezer, etc.

I stopped at 8:00 PM and reheated my chicken dinner leftovers (I think I still have one meal left, there). I ate that watching TV and then went to bed at 10:30 PM.