Monday, March 31, 2014

Pun of the Day


I woke up at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday. For some reason, the small of my back hurt like hell. Damn! I must have overdone something yesterday.

So, I slowly and carefully went through the Sunday morning routines after a cup of coffee and posting the Blog entry.

I was hungry (apparently beet greens are not that substantial a dinner). So, I made some sausage gravy. Sorry, Jake, but I just made a can of Grand’s biscuits instead of your magnificent homemade ones.

Breakfast was excellent! My friend B___ called and we caught each other up.

Then I finished watching the Sunday morning news shows, shaved and showered. I got dressed and went out back to check my traps. I really wasn’t expecting anything, but found a big dead rat. He managed to get out of the trap, but didn’t make it to the fence. I went back into the house and got on some latex gloves. I threw him into the field next door as a warning to other rats. Then I reset the trap.

It was sunny, so I checked on the crocus in Jake’s patio. They had just started blooming.

Back inside, I went out to the garage. I opened the door for more light and got back to work on the compound miter saw table. It took about another hour, but I got it put together. All that remained was to attach the saw. But, my back was hurting, so I took a break.

I took the Styrofoam covers off the rose bushes. I put out the birdbath. I put the gargoyle end onto the downspout. I set the frog in the tree garden. But, when I went to put up the birdhouse, I found the cleanout door on the back was missing.

I didn’t have any wood that thin to replace it with, so I cut a chunk of tin out of a coffee can. I pounded it flat, then cut it to shape. I bent the top end out a bit (so I could easily open it in the Fall). Then I hung it up.

I hung up the climbing gnomes and then decided that was enough. So, I buttoned everything up and went inside.

It was about 5:00 p.m. so I decided to make my Sunday supper. So, I started by making my mise en place.

I measured out two ounces of bread crumbs. I minced three cloves of garlic. I cut up enough fresh asparagus in 2-inch diagonally pieces to make 1 1/2 cups. I got out a cup of frozen peas and fine-diced 1/3 cup of sweet onion. I measured out one tablespoon of AP flour, 1/4 cup chicken broth, one cup of milk, three ounces of softened cream cheese and 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.

I filled my pasta pot up and started heating the water. I used my 12-inch non-stick skillet and melted a tablespoon of butter in it. I added in 1/3 of the garlic and sautéed that for about a minute. Then I added in the breadcrumbs and sautéed them about another three minutes until they were toasted and a golden brown. I put them into a bowl and set them aside. I wiped out the pan and added a tablespoon of olive oil.

I salted the pasta water and then added 8 ounces of dried fettuccine. Once it re-boiled, I set a timer for 12 minutes. I added the asparagus and peas to a saucepan of boiling water. I cooked that for three minutes or so until crisp-tender. I strained them, rinsed them under cold water, drained them and set them aside.

I added the onions into the skillet and sautéed them about three minutes (until tender). Then I added the other 2/3 of garlic and sautéed that another minute or so. Meanwhile, I put the flour in a small bowl and gradually whisked in the chicken stock. I added that and the milk in to the skillet, whisking constantly as I brought it to a boil. I reduced the heat and cooked it a minute until thickened.

I removed the pan from the heat. I added in the cheeses, salt and pepper and stirred until the cheeses melted. Then I added the pasta, asparagus and peas and tossed well. I plated some and sprinkled it with the breadcrumbs.

It was good, but just that. I ate two bowls and put the leftovers in the fridge. I left the breadcrumbs in a container with a lid, but not in the fridge. So, I can have it again this coming week. I’m not sure I’ll make it again, though.

I cleaned up the mess and found I had enough to run the dishwasher. It was then I remembered I hadn’t done the weekend wash! So, I ran the clothes in the basket through the washer.

I swept the floors and washed the main bathroom floor as well.  Then I put away the laundry and settled in for what was left of the night. Couldn’t find anything all that interesting on TV, so I watched a couple of taped shows and then went to bed.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bad photo of an old photo

 But, you can see the TT pipes on either side of the engine.

Pun of the Day

You can’t beet this Saturday’s story

I woke up at 6:45 a.m. on Saturday, after a restless night. I filled in the Blog and then got ready to meet the day. I showered in the main bath, merely to smooth out the wrinkles in the liner (which had sat so long).

I got dressed in my “bum” working clothes and headed out. It was cold! First stop was Home Depot. I had been asked to build a sofa table by the receptionist at work. It was not a big deal, as only the two ends and the top will be visible. But, the length of it is daunting: 123 1/2 inches long! When I asked why, she explained their couch is much like Jake and Carla’s: a sprawling sectional.

So, I got the wood I needed (after a long search for straight 1 x 8 boards) and the hardware (L-brackets and wood screws) and loaded up the truck. This was the first time I used my truck bed extender. It worked pretty well, except there were two straps that must lock into something I couldn’t find (Note to self: I gotta read the damn Owner’s Guide!)

Sidebar: First thing I found I didn't like about the truck: When the tailgate is down, the backup camera is covered. So, when you put it in reverse the trucks thinks you're hitting something and screams at you!

I took that home, unloaded the wood and then headed back out. I went to Costco for coffee for me and peanuts for the squirrels. I made two impulse buys: a big bag of Sunsweet dried plums (prunes) and a container of cashews. I haven’t had either in years!

From there I went to Meijer’s. I got the few items on my list and made another impulse buy: a beautiful bunch of beets with lovely greens.

I dropped all that off at the house and ran my final errand: the post office. I was home and done with errands just before noon.

When I got everything put away, I headed out back to refill the squirrel feeder. It was cold, and cloudy, BTW, so I had my hat and work gloves on. I had to open the shed to get the rake, so I checked it all out. No visible signs of winter damage or water leakage.

From there, I raked the ground level herb garden and then cut off the dead herbs in the raised bed garden.

I walked the yard, picking up branches. When I got to the back wall, I took a long time pulling as much kudzu (or Virginia creeper) off of it. I got everything except for the two places I had put up chicken wire back in the day. The chicken wire was supposed to support morning glories but now it holds kudzu. Sigh…

I heard a diesel-powered something so I looked over the wall. A big front end loader was dropping chunks of the wall from somewhere else onto a pile in front of mine. That’s cool. Less trucks potentially backing into my section. When he had unchained the piece he was carrying, I called him over. I asked him if he owned the loader or just drove it as I had a side job for him. He said no, but he could get me a card from the company he worked for.

Sidebar: I need “somebody” to scrape that mud off my driveway!

I noticed the flowering plum was leaning a bit (again). If you remember, this happened several years ago (they must have shallow roots) so I added a metal stake pounded deep into the ground. Then I added a wire to hold it straight. Where the wire touched the tree, I ran it through a rubber hose (so it wouldn’t damage the tree).

I was going to loosen the wire and retighten it when I noticed the tree had grown around the rubber hose! I’d seen that as a kid with barb wire stapled to trees on the farm, but never a rubber hose.

I also noticed I didn’t trim back the raspberries I have been trying to introduce back there. I should have done it in the late Fall, but I figured it was still cold enough I could do it today, so I did. We’ll see…

I finished picking up the branches and then checked the bait boxes. One was empty and the other just had a little bit left. Am I killing these damn rats or just feeding them? So, I donned some latex gloves and refilled them with the last bait I had in the garage.

Sidebar: I am using Decon mice and rat poison. Is there something stronger I could be using?

I remembered I had bought two rat traps last fall that I never used. I was afraid if I baited them with peanut butter, I’d catch squirrels instead. So, today, I dug them out. I baited them with cheese, then I wired them with heavy-duty picture wire to the trailer.

Why? Because I KNOW I shot at least three of them with the pellet gun. I saw them flip up, go down and stay there until it was too dark to see. But, the next morning, all there was left was a big blood spot. I swear they carry off their dead! So, I’m looking for body count!

Before I went inside (I was getting really cold), I went to check on the emerging daffodils and hyacinth. I showed you a picture a few days ago, if you remember. I was dismayed to see they were all gone! The only things left were holes. My guess is the squirrels ate the bulbs! Maybe I should have put peanut butter in those traps!

Last Sunday

This Saturday

Back inside, it was almost 4:00 p.m., I was cold and hungry. So, I warmed up some of my Ham and Bean soup I had thawed last night. I ate that watching a DIY show.

I really wanted to just take a nap, but I had things to do. Before I can build the sofa table, I had to assemble the miter saw utility vehicle (LOL! That’s seriously what they call this heavy-duty cart).

Let me backtrack. When I got my tax return, I put most of it into my savings account for retirement. But, I did buy that compound miter saw and cart I wanted. It wasn’t for this project (I didn’t even know about this project then), but it will let me cut a 1” x 8” board. That’s something my chop saw couldn’t do. If you remember, I had to cut out the boards for Yanessa’s crib with a circular saw and the angles were a damn pain!

So, I started to assemble the cart. Unfortunately, the instructions were vague and the illustrations were not under each step, but all together in the back of the book. I got about half of it put together when I suspected I had used the bolts I needed for the next step somewhere else (they did not have pictures of the hardware and all the lengths were metric). I got p*ssed and decided I better quit while I was behind. So, I put away my tools and shut off the garage lights.

Back inside for the night, I washed up. I wasn’t all that hungry, but needed to eat something with my evening pills. So, I cut up and boiled the beet greens. I drained them, splashed them with white vinegar and topped them with a little salt. Excellent!

I turned off all the lights in the house from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. for Earth Hour (to proclaim my commitment to protecting the planet). Nobdy mentioned the TV, so I left that on...

I watched the newest taped episode of the Vikings. Then I went to bed.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Pun of the Day

(Another horse one...)


It was surprisingly warm Friday morning, but the temps were supposed to fall all day and the winds to pick up. Before I went to work, I went to Meijer’s to see if they had my squeeze bottles. Nope! Where the heck did I buy them???

I stopped at Time Out for lunch again as I had to go to Best Buy. It didn’t dawn on me to walk next door to Bed Bath & Beyond to check there for squeeze bottles until after I was back at work. Duh!

Sidebar: It was definitely colder and windier by then.

When I got home, I had to take care of some computer work. I paid bills, wrote out checks for others (why don’t doctors allow you to pay online?), balanced my check register, filled out the ToDo list and a shopping list, etc.

When I finished, I was hungry, but uninspired. So, I made a grilled cheese sandwich and some Campbell’s tomato soup for dinner. Cliché comfort food, but still good!

I tried to catch up on my taped shows, so I watched as many as I could before I got too tired and went to bed.