Sunday, June 29, 2014

Saturday’s Story

I set the alarm for Saturday, as I had a full morning’s worth of errands. I had a cup of coffee and an English muffin for breakfast.

Something very weird happened next. I took off my glasses in the main bathroom and set them on the sink to shave. When I was done, I picked them up with my left hand (my right hand still held the shaver) and I picked up just one half! They broke cleanly on the bridge and the other half was still sitting on the sink!

Damn! I wonder if they come with a guarantee. I think I’ve only had them about seven months or so.

Anyway, I went out to the truck and got my old pair. Since my prescription only changes a little, if at all, I always keep the last pair in a hard case in the glove box for emergencies. And, this felt like an emergency!

I finished getting ready, loaded the cooler and an ice pack (for the perishables at the grocery store) and then left for my first stop, a massage. Margaret and I talked about current wood projects (she’s making new shutters for her house from reclaimed wood), travel plans and food. She gave me a great idea for tonight’s supper: Ham and Pea salad. She shared her personal recipe (minus exact measurements) and I decided to forgo the dinner I had planned and try it.

My stomach was making noises, so Margaret laughed and said I better go home and get some breakfast. I told I had already eaten, the problem was the four amoxicillin I had downed before going to the dentist.

From there I went to the gas station and filled the truck up. I checked the gas mileage and was bummed. When I trucked down the Interstate to South Carolina, I was getting 21-22 mpg. But in this stupid stop-and-go city driving, I’m only getting 15-16 mpg.

Next was the Post Office and then finally the dentist office on Ford Road for my six-month cleaning. I dislike all that scraping and probing, but everything was good, so I was glad.

It was after 11:00 a.m. when I left the dentist’s office. I headed west on Ford Road to Kroger’s. I was just getting some dinner rolls (to use for mini-buns) when an older lady with an oxygen tank on one of the handicap scooters ran into a display about six feet away from me. It was three wooden crates, filled with some "old time" soda pop in glass bottles. The top crate fell onto the floor and exploded. Something hit me hard, smack in the forehead (thank God it wasn’t on my glasses). I shook it off and looked at her. I asked her if she was hurt. She had her face in her hands, crying, and shook her head no.

I told her not to worry, everything was okay. Just then a young girl (well, I thought she was a young girl, but later I noticed she had a wedding ring on, so I guess she wasn’t that young) came up and put her arms around the woman. She rubbed her shoulders and told her it was no big deal.

Then the Kroger workers got there, took over and asked her if she was okay. She said yes, but she was just embarrassed. She didn’t see the crates sticking out.

I started to move away and then saw what hit me. It was the complete broken top of one of the pop bottles and I shuddered. I was thankful that the cap end hit me, not the jagged broken glass at the other end!

I ran into that girl again a few aisles over, so I told her it was a nice thing she did. She said both her mother and grandmother are on oxygen tanks and she just felt bad for the lady. She pointed out that I had been attentive to the poor woman as well. I told her that, as a crip myself, I have fallen or knocked things over many times, so I knew how embarrassed she was feeling.

I checked out and got back on the road, heading east this time.

I stopped in at Duke’s hardware, still on Ford Road. If you’ve ever been in an old time hardware store, you would love Duke’s. If you’ve only been to Home Depot or Lowe’s you would hate it.

You might remember me mentioning it 10 or 12 years ago as the only place I could find replacement parts for the old downstairs faucets. They’ve been there forever and carry a mix of old and new replacement parts.

Anyway, I asked where deck screws would be and the girl at the counter (a real counter, not a checkout) said, “Over there somewhere, I think.” I was looking for a small box of them (like Home Depot, lol), but I found them only in open containers. You grabbed what you needed and put them in small paper sacks.

Back at the counter, she asked me what the price was (no bar codes here!) I said, “$5.99 a pound.” She weighed them on a hanging scale and I paid three bucks for my sack, so I must have gotten about a half a pound.

By then I really was hungry, so my next stop was the “Something” Neighborhood Grill on Ford Road (Shame on me, I didn’t notice the name!). I thought about second breakfast, but decided to order a patty melt “deluxe” (fries and coleslaw – either creamy or vinegar, your choice). It was very good!

I was close to Telegraph now, so I went there and stopped in at Harry’s Surplus. After last week’s tearful ride, I know I need to order motorcycle glasses. But, I don’t want to be side-lined waiting for them. So, I thought I’d get some army surplus goggles, like I used back in the day.

Unfortunately, they no longer have the kind I had. In fact, when I described them, the lady at the counter said, “Those sound like World War II surplus goggles” (and they probably were).

So, I tried several pair on over my glasses (please note, my old glasses were much wider than my current, broken ones) and found only one would fit. They look way too modern for my taste (picture the troops in Afghanistan) but if they work, what the hell.

I got home a little after 1:00 p.m., dead tired. I pulled the cooler out and put away the perishables in the fridge. Then I changed clothes, grabbed a glass of cranberry juice and lay on the bed for a while, hoping to take a nice nap..

I didn’t feel sleepy though, so after a bit, I gave up on the nap idea. I finished putting away the groceries. Then I grabbed my empty milk jug and then watered all the container gardens and the mail box garden. I didn’t plant anything in the mailbox garden this year as I noticed the Shasta daisies were growing back. Well, now they are starting to bloom. So, I added mulch to the garden and watered it again. Then I took pictures of the daisies and the spirea bush, now in full bloom. After the spirea blooms die, I will trim it (there are too many different levels). By the time I finished the front and back container gardens, I was sweating like a pig. I decided it was too hot to work in the garage until later tonight.

Daisies in the English garden

The long and short of the spirea blooms

Back inside, I made the salad for tonight’s dinner. She said she had used rotini, but I thought it sounded perfect for bow-tie pasta. But, when I checked my pantry shelves, I found I had no bow-tie pasta, so I used tri-color rotini. I cooked it until it was al dente, then I drained it. I rinsed the pasta until it was cool. I also thawed half a bag of peas.

Then I made the dressing, She said it was just mayonnassie and Ranch dressing, but more mayo than Ranch. So, I tried 1/2 cup of mayo and 1/4 cup of Ranch. I tasted it. Ranch level seemed okay, but it was too sweet So, I added a splash of red wine vinegar, some fine sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Sidebar: I am not that fond of Ranch dressing and, upon reflection, I think Blue Cheese dressing would have been a far better choice.

I covered the bowl with cling wrap and put it in fridge to chill. Next I ran the dishwasher. It was not totally full, but I was running out of silverware.

It was almost 6:00 p.m., but I went out in the garage for a bit and took some measurements. It was 87 degrees F. and still too hot and humid, though. It had clouded up during my stay inside and now looked like rain. But, a breeze had sprung up from the west, so I set up my sanding station on the grass south of the garage (so the wind would hit me and carry some of the sawdust away) and commenced carving and sanding again.

I quit at 7:30 p.m. I blew the sawdust off me and buttoned up the garage for the night. Inside, I stripped and jumped into the downstairs shower. I put on clean shorts and a tee shirt and took the rest of the night off.

I ate some ham and pea salad about 8:30 p.m. Now here’s what’s weird: You remember me ragging on the taste of Ranch when I taste-tested the dressing by itself? Well, after being mixed with the pasta, ham and peas and then siting in the fridge for a few hours, it was gone! You didn’t taste “Ranch,” you tasted herbs and, oddly enough, onions. I noticed the onions right off the bat because when I was making the salad I thought, “Shouldn’t there be green onions or at least chives in here?”

Anyway, it was pretty good! And I even had a second bowl to double check!

I watched an old spaghetti western I had taped called "Death Rides a Horse" (it probably sounds more dramatic in Italian). It wasn’t a Clint Eastwood one, but it did have Lee Van Cleef in it. It was lame, but funny. Then I went to bed.

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