Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Monday, Monday…

I didn’t want to wake up on Monday, but I did. So, I went to work, for a change, LOL!

It was warmer and sunny, but with a wicked (30 mph) wind. I walked inside in the morning and didn’t notice a big change in my leg cramps.

I went to the Newburgh Grill for lunch and got a cup of the beef vegetable soup and a gyro. Both were excellent!

I walked out of the restaurant and right into Scott Pace (my old cubicle buddy Michelle’s husband) and his partner (whose name I can never remember – my bad). They were headed for the Subway (two door down from the Newburgh Grill) for lunch. They had been checking on their crew, installing furnaces and air conditioners in a new subdivision down the road.

We shook hands.

Sidebar: I have large hands. I also have over-sized wrists (I can’t buy a normal watch, for example, without buying an over-sized band). Back when I worked construction and then in the factory, my arms mirrored them. Years of working in an office have reduced my arms. But, my wrists and my hands are the same. None the less, I cannot get my hand around Scott’s. It’s like shaking hands with a 4x4!

Background: In case you don’t remember, Scott (and his partner) fixed both my furnace and my air conditioner when they went on the fritz. They are my heroes!!!

We chatted for a bit. There are already 20 homes built and already sold on the site of the old farm I used to buy my plants at. And, more coming every day! They moved on to getting some sandwiches and I just moved on.

Since it was still early, I drove down through Hines Park, looking for signs of spring. I saw an occasional splash of green grass, but no budding trees or bushes. There were three young ladies jogging so, none the less, it was a pleasant, soothing ride.

I walked outside in the afternoon. It was still windy, but warm and nice. However, my new shoes didn’t quite stop the cramping (maybe time???). So, I quit after six trips instead of my usual eight.

When I got home, I greeted my neighbor who was passing by (she’s an older, very tall black woman who arrives on the bus and then walks home). I went inside and treated the cat. I turned on the news to check on the rumor that we have two inches of snow forecasted tomorrow morning.

Well, sorta. It depends on the actual snowline that they can’t predict. It could be snow, a wintery mix or just hard rain. Either way, the morning commute will suck!

After changing clothes, I started working on the bedroom, office, hallway and main bath. I swept them with the electrical sweeper. Then I picked everything up and washed the wood floors with the WetJet and the wood floor juice.

I washed the bathroom fixtures and floor with Pine-Sol and hot water.

I had put my book in the living room, so when I finished, I read for a bit. When I got hungry, I added some mayonnaise and a splash of yellow mustard to my ham salad mix. I toasted two slices of sourdough bread. I got some leaf lettuce and built a big sandwich.

It was good (don’t get me wrong) but I screwed up. Since I wanted to use up my hard boiled eggs (they don’t last as long in the fridge as fresh), I put all four of them in. So, it tasted like egg salad with a hint of ham.

I checked the Blog (when the floors had dried) and the last time I made this I used the same amount of ham, but just one egg. Again, my bad!!!

I was disappointed, but it did taste good.

I went back into the bedroom and watched a little TV before bedtime.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Speaking of my Father...

One of the more interesting stories my Dad told was a time (before he met my Mother) when he and his friends from Germany he came over with went to get a drink during Prohibition. So, they went to Canada.

They got drunk as a skunk and, before heading home, each bought as many pints of booze as they could afford. They stuck them in their pants, held up with their belts, pulled out their shirts and drove across the border to Detroit.

The cop that stopped them asked if they had any booze with them. My Dad said, "Its all under my belt," patting his stomach.

The cop said, "I can see that!" and waved them through...

Birthday Shoutout!

March 30th would have been my Dad's birthday, if he was still alive. Sadly, he died in 1975. He was born in 1903 in Germany.

I can't tell you how many times I needed to ask him a question or get his advice since then.

Palm Sunday

I woke up at 6:00 a.m. and grabbed a cup of coffee. I immediately started filling in the rather extensive Blog entry from Saturday. It was 23 degrees F., BTW.

I watched the morning news until 10:00 a.m. and then finally shaved and showered (hey, it’s Sunday, dammit!).

I had originally decided to eat ham salad sandwiches during the day, since I really, REALLY need to clean the house. So, I fine-diced half of a yellow onion, then an equal amount of celery. I peeled and cut up four hard boiled eggs and they went into the bowl. Then I added a package of small-diced ham.

I was just about to mix up some mayonnaise, a dab of yellow mustard, salt, pepper and some dried herbs when I realized I really wanted a Sunday supper, instead. So, I covered the bowl with cling wrap and stuck it in the fridge.

I have a bag of sauerkraut in the fridge, so I checked the freezer. Bingo! I have one package of Dearborn Brand smoked kielbasa.  So, I stuck that in cold water to thaw it out.

I checked the pantry in the garage, but only came up with three small russet potatoes. Damn! Then I had what may be an inspiration (I don’t know just yet). I still had two large parsnips. They have a mild flavor and might be (might be) a good substitute for potatoes.

I realized I missed an errand yesterday, so I put on my winter coat and headed to CVS. I got what I needed and got my butt back home.

I saw that leaf rake and told myself to bite the bullet. So, I started raking out the garden on the south side of the garage. I got it all done, but then watched the damn wind blow most of it back!!! So, I gave up and went inside.

I grabbed a cup of coffee and tried calling my friend B___ again (we’ve managed to miss each others calls for the past three weeks). Finally, he picked up.  We chatted for a while and caught each other up.

I had to go in the attic, so I did. Brrr…

Back downstairs, I put together my dinner in the Dutch oven.

Sidebar: I realized today that I seem to use the Dutch oven more than any other cooking utensil I own. Which is okay (I love it) but it’s such a b*tch to clean! I usually end up using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to "try" and get the stains off.

I turned on the Michigan State basketball game for background noise. Now, I am not that big a fan of basketball (NBA or college), but it’s a crucial game, they are the underdogs, and a lot of my biker-chick friends were watching.

I swept (broom and dustpan) the downstairs and washed the cat box (I set out a temporary one while it dried). There was enough yelling on the TV that I went in to see how the game was going. It was close enough that I ended up watching the game until it ended in overtime. State won!!!

Oh, crap! Do I really need to set my couch on fire? I dunno… I’m new to college b-ball.

Sidebar: That’s a Michigan inside joke. The only college sports sh*t I’m sure of is “Roll, Tide, roll!” That may get you an extra piece of pie in a diner in Alabama!!!

Now I was late! I moved the kitchen chairs and the rolling cart into the living room and vacuumed the kitchen (works better than a broom on cat hair). Since I was “cleaning” rather than “maintaining,” I mixed up a bucket of Pine-Sol and hot water, got the mop and got ready. I used a sponge to wash the bathroom fixtures and then mopped the floors.

I stopped when I got to the stairs leading to the kitchen and dumped the bucket. The dirty water was disgusting and added to my shame…

Note: I try to “maintain” with the Swiffer WetJet, but apparently I’ve been slacking…

Sidebar: It was about 5:30 p.m. and I looked outside. The winds were still strong, but along with the blowing leaves (and trash) I had snow...

I fixed a plate for dinner and set it in the bedroom. Then I refilled my bucket and washed the hell out of the kitchen floor.

So, now I was locked into the bedroom, office, main bath and the living room (if I take a giant step).

I watched the last of the evening news while eating dinner. It was excellent. The parsnips, instead of mimicking potatoes, added a new, strange, taste element. I will probably add them from now on.

It was around 8:00 p.m. when the kitchen floor had officially dried. So, I moved everything back from the living room. Had I not watched the damn basketball game, I would be sweeping the rest of the floors and washing them with the WetJet.

But, it was late. I checked the cable menu and didn’t see anything to watch (several of my favorite movies, but nothing new). So, I watched taped shows until I got sleepy, switched to reading (without my glasses, thank you) and then fell asleep around 10:30 p.m.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

'nuff said!

Random Thought

More and more people are noticing my trailer hitch cover. Riley at work said, "I bet people don't tailgate you anymore!" I laughed. but then realized that, even on I-96, people tend to say far back from me. I wonder...

Saturday’s Story

I actually was there for my massage appointment at 9:00 a.m. for a change, LOL! It’s been a long time. I had to cancel from that virus infection and then cancel the rescheduled appointment because of my eye.

Margaret looked awful and I told her so! She said she’d been working too hard on projects. I met her father and we chatted a bit. He’s just recovering from an artificial knee implant, so we swapped stories.

I got my massage. We set up my next appointment, I paid the lady and then I put on my shoes (I leave them at the door). I surprised myself by hugging her. She surprised me by hugging me back. I told her, “Get some rest. You look like shit!” She laughed and said, “Thank you for being so brutally honest.”

From there I went to the Credit Union (withdrawal) and my bank (deposit). Next came Home Depot. I got what I wanted and was leaving when I realized the hot dog lady was open. So, my Saturday breakfast was two hot dogs with yellow mustard and raw onions. Delicious!!!

Next I went to Famous Footware. I have been getting cramps in my thighs when I walk on the concrete and it finally dawned on me my shoes (which I’ve worn for over two years) were probably worn out and not giving me the proper support.

So, I bought some Rockport walkers. We’ll see if this helps…

I got home and unloaded my treasures after treating the cat. I entered the receipts in my spreadsheet check register. I realized I had two checks to write and mail (the doctor and the water bill). I filled them out when I realized I was out of stamps. Dammit!

So, I drove to the Post Office and got some.

Back home again (treating the cat again) it was after 2:00 p.m. I took care of a few things. I sent Margaret a photo of my last year’s front clemantis. She’s building an arbor in her back yard (and redoing her gardens and putting aluminum siding on her garage – no wonder the lady looks tired!) Anyway, she was wondering what climbing plant to put next to it. Now, B___ has grapes growing on his big one, I know people who really like wisteria, but my clemantis comes through year after year. So, I had told her I’d send a picture of what it looks like.

I sent Vicky the name of the salvage store in Detroit that Margaret gave me. I was there once, but forgot where it was. They rescue stuff from the houses in Detroit before they are being torn down and resell them CHEAP. The only downside is that it’s huge and there’s usually only one guy at the counter, so you’re on your own.

Then I decided it was time for a weekend nap. So, I took one.

When I woke up, it was almost 4:00 p.m. It was sunny out and looked great, so I thought I’d spend some time picking up the trash out back. I decided “before and after” photos might be appropriate. So, I grabbed the camera, the shed key and some suet and headed out back.

I refilled the feeders. I was struck by the vast amount of peanut shells under the squirrel feeder. So, I took some photos.

Then I documented my trash blight that I posted yesterday.

By the time I walked the entire backyard, I was freezing! It was sunny, but only 35 degrees!

I went into the shed and got out the leaf rake (I’d planned on cleaning out the front gardens as well). I was pleased to see that everything was the same as when I last saw it some four or five months ago. No water intrusion, no rodents, nothing! That is one tight shed!!!

When I came out of the shed, I saw my neighbor, Rick, in his back yard with the puggles. So, I went over and we had a chat. I asked him to give me a quote to repair the back wall of the garage. I know exactly what to do, but am not sure I can physically do it. I told him up my upcoming travel plans and he agreed to watch the house.

I set the rake on the gate and went back inside to warm up. I processed my photos and posted the trash ones.

I never did get back outside. I sat on the bed with a cup of coffee and started watching DIY shows.

So, time passed, it got dark and I got hungry.

Now, I had used half of a box of beef stock for my pot roast. Opened stock does not last long in the fridge. So, I decided to use it.

I fine-diced half of a yellow onion and sautéed it in olive oil. When they were translucent, I added about a tablespoon of butter. When it melted, I added 1 1/2 tablespoons of AP flour. I continually whisked that for a couple of minutes. Then I slowly streamed in the beef broth. After I was sure there were no lumps, I let that boil for a bit and then simmer until it thickened. I added in salt, pepper and thyme.

I put two slices of sourdough bread on a dinner plate and then topped it with roast beef slices. I microwaved that for a minute to warm it up (the roast beef came straight from the fridge).

By then the gravy was ready, so I topped my open faced sandwich with a lot of gravy.

Sidebar: No pictures, it was a hot mess!

It was excellent!!!

I watched shows on the DVD for the rest of the night. It was getting quite full (again). I have to cull the programs I record, I suppose…