Sunday, June 30, 2013

Vegetable Garden - June 30, 2013

Downspout Extension - Front

Downspout Extension - Rear

Return of the Pig!

Shasta Daisies

Another Saturday Story

I woke up on Saturday at (what else?) 5:30 AM. Since it was Saturday, I made some soft-boiled eggs for breakfast and lingered over my second cup of coffee.

But, all good things come to an end, and I had to get ready for my Saturday morning errands. First came my massage appointment, followed immediately by my long-overdue haircut. Since they were back-to-back, I was late for the haircut.

My barber is trying to find her old waffle maker. She saw something on the internet about using them to make other things, like Panini, crispy grilled cheese sandwiches or even brownies. So, she’s jazzed about trying it. If she can’t find it, she said she’ll start going to yard sales, lol!

Then I went to Kroger’s for supplies and weekend food. I got everything that I needed except for Blue cheese (oh, they have it, but, bah!) and Adobo seasoning (that they didn’t have). All my recent research into Puerto Rican dishes have led me to believe that, along with the Achiote oil, I need some Adobo seasoning or sauce. What kills me is that I had it in my hand at the Dos Hermanos market but put it back when Vicky said her mother never uses it.

But, my confidence in Westborn was shaken when I couldn’t find any. One of the young girls that work there is Hispanic and a friend of mine, so I hunted her up. She said she keeps telling them to put it on the list, but they haven’t so far. She asked what I was making, so I explained. She said I could make homemade Adobo sauce, if I didn’t mind a little work.

She took me over and got a packet of dried Ancho chiles. She explained how to make it and then said, “Wait a minute, I’ll write it down for you.” So, she went away for a bit and came back with the ingredients and instructions written down on the back of a receipt. I thanked her and checked out.

Sidebar: I had to laugh, she writes like Vicky!

Oh, yeah, I forgot. Instead of “Kroger blue cheese crumbles,” I got a small chunk of Gorgonzola Dolce from Italy. Granted, there was a slight price difference, but I only need a little bit and I’m worth it!

Back home, I unloaded and unpacked the groceries. I changed clothes and went out back. I attached the tomatoes to their trellis. I don’t know if it is all the rain we’ve had, but I believe this is the best vegetable garden I ever grew here (so far, anyway).

I took the two semi-flattened downspouts I had saved and cut off the bad parts. Then I slipped them onto the downspout in the front of the garage (which never had an extension) and the one by the wisteria in back (that I ran over with the mower). I used 1/2-inch self-tapping metal screws to secure them.

I put the pig and the gnomes back outside. I had put them away for the big mulch project and forgot to return them. I spotted them while cleaning out the garage.

Then I dug up eight clumps of tiger lilies for a lady who lives in the townhouses and had asked me where she could buy them a while back. I told her not to buy them; I’d give them to her. I left them in a garbage bag on her stoop, as per our prior arrangement. She has to have dialysis treatments and is gone a lot. I did notice she is one of the few people in the townhouses that has flowers planted around her door.

Then I opened the garage door and started working again. A little while later, the tiger lily neighbor walked over. She said the new landlord has raised the rent and she has to move! Worse yet, she’s moving to an apartment and will have no place to plant flowers.

She’s lived here for eight years, BTW. She said she was still going to plant the tiger lilies for whoever moves in next and would be coming back to water them. I told her they grow like weeds and not to worry about them. She asked to borrow a shovel, so I gave her one. A little while later, she brought it back.

She said she’s supposed to graduate from Wayne State in 2014, and if she gets a good job, she might move back. We said our goodbyes and I wished her well.

I was hungry, but didn’t want to spend too much time on food. So, I opened a can of beans and cut up two hot dogs in them. I took a break and ate a late lunch watching a DIY show. It had been clouding up and looking threatening all damn day, so I decided not to try and grill tonight.

I went back to working in the garage for a while. Then I took another load of “stuff” out to the shed. Despite my Brother Carl’s remonstrations, I took my time putting it all away.

I went inside again (after weeding about the reflecting pool) and was surprised to see it was 7:30 PM! I decided I’d done enough for today and quit for the evening. I took a rinse-off shower and then I did my last security walk-through o make sure everything was buttoned up for the evening.

I noticed my friends the fireflies are back and all over the yard. I love those little guys!

I watched uninspiring TV for a while, then switched to a book and finally bed. It never did rain...

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Rain, rain, go away!

It was cooler on Friday, which was nice. It also rained a lot, which was not.

And the rain was getting sneakier! Let me give you an example. I had to go to Office Depot at lunch (I lost my protractor). So, a wicked thunderstorm blew in about 11:45 AM. It had slowed to a drizzle by the time I left work though. I went to Office Depot, got a new protractor and checked out, Damn, it was pouring again!

So, I got soaked getting back to the car…

I also had to pick up a prescription at CVS, so I also picked up some chicken fried rice for my lunch.

It had cleared up enough to take my afternoon walk outside but, sure enough, 20 minutes before it was time to go home, it started pouring again! I mean, rain coming down sideways, storm drains backing up, water all over the expressway and so on.

The first thing I did when I got home was to reset the weather radio. The alarm was going off (I could hear it in the garage) and it makes the cats nervous. After treating the cats and soothing them, I changed clothes. I spent some time on the computer, making out my weekend ToDo list and a grocery list.

I checked and emptied the rain gauge. I picked up another inch-plus rain in the last 12 hours! Then I went out and worked in the garage. Since it was Friday night, I gave myself a break and quit at 7:30 PM.

I warmed up the last two grilled Polish sausages and ate them with deli mustard for my supper.

I watched a great movie called “Red” with Bruce Willis. Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren. It was an action-comedy about a retired black ops team being targeted by the CIA. John Malkovich’s character, Marvin Boggs, was over the top!

I went to bed when it finished a little after 10:00 PM.

Friday, June 28, 2013


I checked the rain gauge Friday morning. I picked up another inch of rain on Thursday. We've had over 6 inches of rain so far in June. This is unlike last year, when we only had 1 1/2 inches all June!


It was overcast and a tad cooler on Wednesday. I needed some achiote seeds (to make achiote oil, of course) for the weekend, so I decided to go to the Mexican market Jake had told me about a while back. It’s called Dos Hermanos Market and its in Westland on Ford Road. He sent me a text regarding its location, so I checked it out on the web. They don’t have a website, but they did have several reviews.

Reviews for a grocery store? Well, this is an unusual grocery store in that they also have a very small (10-15 tables/booths at the most) restaurant attached to it. According to the reviews, the authentic food rivals the best restaurants in the Mexican section of Detroit.

Since I was going there anyway, I asked Vicky if her Mother needed anything. She said she wanted to come and check it out. Michelle wanted to join us as well, so off we went at lunchtime.

Note: It’s a very little place and you could drive right by it if you weren’t looking for it. And, you have to park in back, but it’s a very little parking lot and there were no parking places left! So, I kinda left the ass end of the car hanging out into the side street (there’s no parking on the side street or on Ford Road for that matter).

Vicky was a godsend as she could tell them what I wanted. And, when the clerk couldn’t find any achiote, Vicky searched and finally found some. She grabbed me a can of pigeon peas as well. She wasn’t impressed with the freshness of their plantains, though, so she didn’t buy anything.

Meanwhile, Michelle had snagged a booth. I paid for my groceries and joined them. Michelle had some nachos, Vicky ordered a Torta Del Pollo (one of the sandwiches that Evy, her mother had sent me before, but this one had beans on it as well). I, of course, ordered beef enchiladas.

Michelle and I both had water to drink, while Vicky ordered something called ‘Fresh Water.” I asked what that was and she said it’s rice water with various additions. She chose the one that had cinnamon and sugar. It’s made in a machine I could see in the kitchen. She said we had to try it, so she asked for three straws. It was actually quite good!

The enchiladas were over the top, probably the best I ever had. And, I ate all three, the rice and the beans! Vicky’s sandwich and Michelle’s nachos were huge, so they both only ate half and took the rest back to work.

When I was leaving for home, Vicky asked if I wanted the other half of her sandwich for my dinner. So, I said sure. She warned me it had avocados on it (I didn’t eat the ones with her Mother’s sandwich, as I am not that fond of avocados). So, I had my dinner!

It was sprinkling on the way home. I stopped at O’Rielly’s as I noticed my right front turn signal was out.

When I got home, I treated the cats, and turned on the TV while I changed my clothes. The weather radio was blaring a warning and then the Emergency Warning System on the TV went off. Both were warning about a severe thunderstorm moving my way. It was supposed to hit Redford at 5:35 PM, with winds up to 70 MPH. I looked outside and it was sprinkling with almost no wind.

But, hit it did. The rain came down in buckets and it was windy, but I never saw 70 MPH winds here. The thunder and lightning were impressive, though.

I went out and opened the garage door. The storm had cooled down the temperature and it was quite pleasant to work out there and occasionally watch the storm.

By 6:30 PM, it had slowed to a drizzle. I finally closed up shop at about 7:45 and went inside. Since it was cooler, this was the first day I didn’t need to take a shower. I warmed up my sandwich and ate my dinner (avocados and all) checking out the TV offerings for tonight. Not much… I ended up watching a few taped DIY shows. BTW, Evy's sandwich was better - maybe because I didn't put avocados on it, lol!

The sun came out around 8:30 PM! I started dozing about 9:30, so I turned off the TV and turned in.