Saturday, December 31, 2016

Finally Friday

I woke up way too early on Friday morning. "Oh, well," I though, "I can always take a nap later."

So, I read in bed until the new came on. Then I got up and got a cup of coffee. I watched the news and, during it, ate my pills and ate my breakfast.

Then I emptied the fridge. I pulled out the drawers and the shelves and washed the inside down. Next, I washed the metal shelves, the glass shelf and all three drawers in the laundry tub. I dried them with a cloth towel, then paper towels and left them to air dry the rest of the way.

Meanwhile, I went through everything, looking at expiration dates. I threw away a ton of things!

I put everything back together and put the remaining items back inside.

Then I cleaned the microwave.

I shaved, showered and got dressed. I left for an errand run.

First stop was Barnes and Noble (Six Mile and Haggerty). I bought four books. It was just shy of noon. Since I was over that way, I swung by Time Out and ate a Reuben sandwich. Amanda showed me pictures of her family's Christmas.

From there I went to Kroger's.

Sidebar: I normally grocery shop after my haircuts on Saturdays and its crowded. I thought that if I went on Friday, it would be less crowded. NOT! It was a madhouse.

Next came Costco. That was even worse, and all I wanted was some peanuts for the squirrels.

By then I was beat. So, I just went to the Post Office, took care of business and then went home.

I left the truck outside and unloaded it.

I put everything away and got the truck in. Then I went out back and refilled the feeders. The suet cage was open and the suet cake gone. I put a new one in and wired the top with a twist tie so the squirrels hopefully can't pull it open.

Back inside, I changed clothes and washed all the towels and my bathrobe. I mixed a bag of coleslaw mix with half a bottle of coleslaw dressing and put that in the fridge to get happy.

I was tired, but not sleepy. So, I sat in the living room with the fireplace on. I sat in my lift chair reclined, with a blanket and a cat on my lap. I read a book until it was time to put the wash in the dyer. It was 5:30 p.m.

I went back to reading (so much for all the items on the ToDo list). When the dryer shut off, I folded the clothes and then started dinner.

I wanted something easy, so I browned up some ground chuck, drained it and added a can of Manwich. Then that was warmed through, I served it on sesame seed hamburger buns. I ate two with some coleslaw.

Sidebar: I forgot just how ketchup-y Manwich tastes.

I watched the evening news. I didn't see anything interesting on TV, so I went back to reading. I started to nod off (no nap), so I shut everything off and was asleep before 9:00 p.,.

Friday, December 30, 2016


It didn't feel as cold on Thursday (or maybe I'm just getting used to it).

I went to Ten Yen for lunch and got the Almond Chicken. It was delicious and I ate more than usual (SC seems to have helped my stomach problems). From there, I went and got the truck washed.

When I got home, I treated the cat, changed clothes and then started the mid-week laundry.

I heated up a can of Mary Kay Roast Beef Hash for dinner. Now, normally, I saute some onions and then add the hash. But I was lazy and didn't do any onions. I seriously missed them when I ate my hash. Can you say b-o-r-i-n-g?

I watched the Red Wings win one and then read until bedtime.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Back at it...

I went to work on Wednesday.

Sidebar: This has a familiar ring to it this year, lol! But, this time I actually had Monday and Tuesday off for the Christmas holiday.

It was chilly, but no precipitation. BTW, I was shocked when I got home. I left with 6-8 inches of snow on the ground and it was all gone when I got back.

I went to the Credit Union at lunch and then to Time Out for a quick lunch. I got one of their daily specials: a grilled chicken breast with Spanish rice. It was the first time I'd seen it on the menu but it was quite good.

Back home after work, I brushed the affected spots on the bedspread and put it in the washer. I cleaned up the kitty litter and refilled the main litter box. Then I went out and refilled the feeders and suet cage.

I browned a pound of ground chuck. I had this idea that it might be good to marry it with my favorite grillin' beans (sorta like the old "Texas beans"). I drained off the grease and added my birthday present can of beans. I warmed it through and tried it.

Epic fail! Grillin' beans are in a thick sauce, unlike the more watery pork and beans. So, while it tasted great, it was very, very dry. It was as though the meat sucked up the sauce.

I popped the bedspread in the dryer and watched the last of the news. I got a couple of magazines in my accumulated mail (they delivered it today). So, I perused them, waiting for Jeopardy. I watched that (not as much fun as with Jake and Carla - Caley never even tried to guess) and then a taped show.

But, I was really tired, so I turned the TV off and switched to reading. I fell asleep reading about 9:30 p.m. When I woke up for a bathroom break, I turned the reading light off and went to bed for real

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Oh, I almost forgot...

When I went to unpack my suitcase, there was a printed note inside, saying the TSA had to inspect it. It was probably the wooden crate...

The Long Journey Home...

I got up to my alarm. I shaved, showered and got dressed. Then I finished packing. I did a quick review to make sure I didn’t forget anything and then went downstairs.

I had a cup of Jake’s special coffee. I said goodbye to Whiskey and then the rest of us left for the airport.
I made my goodbyes (always bittersweet) and headed into the airport. I got my return tickets, made it through my pat down and headed to the bookstore. I picked up a book for the ride home and bought a bottle of water.

It was about 8:30 a.m. and my flight didn’t leave until 10:09, so I got a sausage biscuit with the optional egg and cheese and a cup of coffee. I ate breakfast reading my new book. Then I went and sat in one of the rockers (I love those rockers) and read some more.

A while later, I heard somebody crying. Puzzled, I looked around. There was a young woman, sitting about five or six rockers down, sobbing her heart out. She turned and looked at me, with tears running down her face. I felt bad, but also embarrassed. So, I moved away and left her to cry in peace.

I went to the terminal (about 110 feet away – it’s a small airport). It was close to boarding time (9:39 a.m.) but I noticed there was no plane. 10:00 a.m. came and went, but still no plane! Finally, they announced our plane had been delayed at its last stop due to mechanical difficulties.

They said that anybody who had a 1:00 p.m. or later flight connection would be okay, but anybody with less should come to the desk. Mine was 1:00 p.m. exactly, but I joined the line anyway. Before I could get up there though, (I was still five people back) the plane showed up. After the incoming people off-loaded, they hurried us on and we took off.

Of course, we landed at one end of the airport (Gate E-15) and I had to get to the other end for departure. So, I ran.

Sidebar: Well, I ran as best as I can run. Sort of more like a race-walk… I was still winded.

When I got to my gate (B-13), the plane was still there and it wasn’t yet 1:00 p.m. But, the lady said I was too late and they had booked me on a special flight at gate C-3.

So, I limped over there. I figured I need some energy, so I bought a Coke on the way. I got to my gate and there was a plane there! Hurray!!! I drank my soda and read my book. When it was time to board, nothing… I checked and they had changed the time to 3:15 p.m. take-off. WTF?

Then they changed it to 3:35 p.m. They announced the flight crew that was supposed to fly us home were all still in Nashville! Then they changed it to 4:15 p.m., but they said they had a replacement crew right here, right now, except for a pilot.

Sidebar: By this time, I was resigned to my fate. Plus, I thought it would be a good idea to have a pilot…

Finally, we had a pilot, but they had to record the new crew and flight plan with the FFA. We were taxing away from the gate at 5:15 p.m.

Sidebar: They had put me in first class. While I appreciated getting coffee and snacks whenever I wanted, IT WAS NOT WORTH IT!!!

It was a little after 7:00 p.m. when we finally landed in Detroit, in the dark. I stopped in the restroom (too much coffee) and then went to collect my checked bag.

It took quite a while until the suitcases for my plane coughed up. My fellow passengers finally collected their bags and left. Mine never showed. So, I went to the American Airlines office and asked where it was (all my pills were in that suitcase). They said their records showed it had arrived here. So, minions went out to search. They finally found it on another carousel!

I went out into the cold and fetched my truck.

It was way too late to make the dinner I’d planned but I was starving, so I stopped at the Burger King on Plymouth Road and ordered a Whopper meal. Just after I ordered, I saw the sign for a deal on chicken nuggets. Damn!

Sidebar: I don’t mind the Whopper, but I dislike Burger King fries. So, a couple of orders of chicken nuggets would have been cheaper and better!

I pulled into the drive and off-loaded the suitcase. I treated the cat and pulled the truck in. I ate dinner at the kitchen table. Then I went to unpack my suitcase. Sure enough, the cat had barfed on the bed. Perfect!

I put the bedspread in some water to soak (she had apparently done it early on as it was dried on, not wet). I got out a blanket, unpacked my suitcase and then went to sleep.

Boxing Day

Happy Boxing Day to all my Canadian friends!

Boxing Day (December 26) in SC was a day of rest. I went to the grocery store with Jake (he waited for me for a change). 

We just had a few items to pick up so it was quick.

I did a load of laundry in preparation for my departure. That way I’m not faced with a chore the first thing when I get home (Jake taught me that).

We ate leftovers from my birthday dinner for lunch.

I took the dog for walk in the afternoon. Unlike the 70 degrees and sunny weather on Christmas, this was a little chilly and misty (not really raining, but close).

We ate the leftovers from Christmas dinner for our dinner.

Sidebar: They both still tasted great!

We chilled until bedtime.

Instead of reading, I packed most of my suitcase. It was a little more difficult this time as I had to fit in my Christmas present as well (the “taste of the South” came in a small wooden crate).

Then I set my alarm on my phone and read for a bit. I made myself shut off the lights at 11:00 p.m.

True Story

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Day

I slept in a little on Christmas. It was my Christmas gift to myself!

I grabbed a cup of coffee and joined the group. We chatted for a while until I went back upstairs to clean up. I shaved, showered and got dressed. Then I filled in the Blog.

Meanwhile, Jake was frying up the ham steaks and cooking the kale for the Christmas dinner.

I rejoined the group downstairs and we opened Christmas presents. Mine was perfect! It was an assortment of Southern food delicacies in a wooden crate ("Like a taste of the South in your mouth!")

Jake and Carla seemed pleased with my poor offerings.

It was a lot of fun.

Jake cleaned up the mess while Carla and I started watching TV.

Sidebar: Sounds rude, I know. But, Jake does NOT like help cleaning up anything, especially in the kitchen. That's his thing...

I got a call from my Brother Jim, wishing me a Merry Christmas. He was curious about my daughter Melissa's Facebook post, referring to frog legs for Christmas. He asked, "How in the world would she know that?" I laughed and told him it had become a family legend and EVERYBODY knows that.

I took the dog for a walk in the back yard. It was over 70 degrees and I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt, on Christmas!

Carla made grilled salami and cheese sandwiches with potato chips for lunch. Delicious.

We all watched a movie until after 4:00 p.m. Then we warmed up dinner.

Ham steaks, potatoes au gratin and kale? Can you say "Yumo!"? Some serious good eats, here.

Sidebar: I don't know the brand of ham steak it was, but it tasted light-years above the stupid Smithfield ham steak I bought a couple of weeks ago.

A little while later, my friend Leon called to wish me a happy birthday. I told him he was a day late, but he insisted my birthday was on Christmas. I said, "I should know. I was there." He said he had it marked on his calendar as Christmas, so that's when it is.

Sidebar: I have strange friends...

We watched a little more TV and then I went to bed at 8:30 p.m.

I had read myself out of the books I'd brought, so Jake lent me one. It was interesting, so I read it until  I finished it and went to bed around 1:30 a.m.

Scary! I am becoming my Mother...

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

My Birthday/Christmas Eve

I was supposed to be ready to go grocery shopping with Jake by 7:00 a.m. on Saturday. He said I shouldn't hold him to that (it might be 10:00 a.m.) But, he wanted to be in and out before all the last minute shoppers hit the road.

With all the tossing and turning and weird dreams, I overslept. I got up at 7:15. I looked downstairs and all was dark. So, I shaved, brushed my teeth, hopped into the shower and took a quick one. I got into my clothes and was downstairs by 7:40 a.m. (a new world's record for me).

Carla was in the kitchen, so I asked her where Jake was. She said he had left at 7:00 a.m. I was bummed...

So, I went back upstairs and changed into shorts and a tee shirt. Sigh...

Jake came home about an hour later with a ton of groceries from three separate stores, which he promptly put away.

After a bit, Jake and I turned sous chefs, under the watchful eye of the executive chef, Ms. Carla.

We were prepping both my birthday dinner and part of Christmas dinner.

As is tradition in the Goerlich family (dating back to my Mother), I got to pick my birthday dinner. This time I chose meatloaf, mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts.

Sidebar: They asked if I was sure that I wanted something so humble. But, I have been jonesing about meatloaf for several weeks. The trouble is, if I make it at home, I have way too many leftovers. And, in a restaurant, it's usually instant mashed potatoes, too much gravy and mixed vegetables. I am not a big fan of all three of those.

So, I stuck to my guns! And there I was, peeling three pounds of potatoes (enough for both meals). Jake diced up some for the mashed potatoes, while I ran the rest through the madoline for tomorrow's potatoes au gratin.

I helped by measuring stuff for Jake and soon both types of potatoes were bubbling on the stove. Carla and I retired to the living room, while Jake made the meatloaf and roasted the Brussels sprouts. Then the potatoes au gratin went in the oven.

Sidebar: They like to cook the meal and then let it cool while they relax. Later, when it's time to eat, they warm it back up (either in the oven or microwave). It initially sounded silly to me, because I prep it, cook it and then eat it. But, I have noticed that by that time, I'm usually too tired to enjoy it. I hate to admit it, but their way seems to work out better.

While the food all sat out to cool, Jake started on making tomorrow's dessert: homemade banana cream pie, topped with fresh whipped cream and toasted shredded coconut.

Sidebar: Of the three of us, Jake is the baker, so we are NOT allowed to help.

He made the pie dough and while it rested, visited with us in the living room. Then he went back to work. Soon, the smell of toasting coconut joined the smell of meatloaf and potatoes au gratin. My stomach was growling! So, I ate the leftover fried chicken for my lunch while they had sandwiches.

Around 4:30 p.m., we sat down for dinner. Oh, my God! Delicious, simple meatloaf, excellent mashed potatoes and Brussels sprout to die for. And, everything was perfectly seasoned. Thank you both for an excellent birthday meal.

Back in the living room, in my spot, was a present and a card (how did that get there?). All in all, I got a very touching card, a Lowe's gift card and, in the wrapped box, a can of Bush's Grillin' beans! Perfect.

Later on, while watching TV, Jake asked if I wanted to taste the pie. I said, "I thought that was for tomorrow?" He said, "One piece won't hurt." So, I said, "Sure."

He went to get it and when he brought it back, there was a lighted birthday candle in it. I thought about my wish while they sang to me. Then I made, it, blew out the candle and ate a delicious piece of pie!

I turned in around 8:30 p.m. I read in bed until I ran out of book. Then I went to sleep.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

I almost forgot...

Took a picture at the Charlotte airport of a Christmas tree, made of poinsettia plants. Neat!

Last Night's Main Dream

When I finally did fall asleep, I had the weirdest dream...

I dreamed I was young and at Waconda cottage with my whole family. The Japanese had just invaded Lake Orion! There was a Japanese gunboat with a ridiculously long, cartoon cannon on it that would occasionally shoot off and belch fire. It was circling Sweet Island. Machine guns and rifles were going off everywhere!

My dad and mother and all my brothers were on the front porch, watching.

The was a knock on the back door so I went to see who was there. It was a Japanese family who said they needed to hide. So, I let them in. My family was freaked out at first until I explained they were refugees who need to hide or they would be captured.

Just then my sister noticed the picket fence gate at the top of the stairs leading to the dock (there never was one, BTW) was unlatched and swinging freely. She told my Dad, who decided since I was the the smallest one, I need to crawl out there and put the hook back on.

So I crawled out the back bedroom window and crawled on my stomach (with bullets whizzing over my head and that damn cannon going off). I finally made it, grabbed the hook and put it back into the eye.

Then I woke up...

Friday Follies in SC

I woke up early on Friday morning. I didn't sleep well (it always seems to take a day or two for my old body to adjust to a new bed), but I stayed in bed reading. I didn't want to get in Jake's way as he had to work today.

But, I came down in time to say goodbye. I got a cup of coffee and Carla and I watched the morning news and chatted.

Sidebar: It always amazes me just how much I talk when I am here. I sit at work and don't talk all that much. Then, when I am home, I will occasionally talk to the cat or myself, but still not a lot. It's like I store it all up until I get here...

I had another cup of coffee and some cold pizza for breakfast.

Jake came home early and we both had more cold pizza for lunch.

For dinner we had takeout from a soul food restaurant (I forget the name). But, its claim to fame is that it was the first black woman-owned restaurant in South Carolina and had been in the same family for 85 years!

You got to pick a main entree and three sides. I picked fried chicken (dark meat), mac & cheese, buttered sweet corn and rice and gravy (sounded interesting). Plus the obligatory corn bread.

It needed salt (of course) but was very, very good. And that rice and gravy? Excellent.

But, I wish I'd swapped out the buttered sweet corn (which I can get up North) for the fried okra Carla got, LOL! That was good eats!

We watched some TV until about 8:30 p.m. and then I went to bed. I wasn't that tired (but then again, I didn't go to work today) so I read in bed until about 11:00 p.m. Then I tried to fall asleep. But, just as I would start to doze off and dream, the dream would wake me up and I had to start over again.

Example: I was falling asleep and I was picturing myself falling asleep. Then I "saw" a snake crawl out from the closet and start climbing on the bed! I turned the light on and checked: No snake. But, try falling asleep after that!!!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Quote of the Day

"Reality is a nice place, but I wouldn't want to live there."

~ Stephanie

En Route...

I slept through the first alarm but the alarm on my phone woke me up (thank God!) So, I didn't have time to write the Blog post. Instead I shaved, showered and got dressed.

I finished packing the stuff I need this morning. Then I set up the cat stations (automatic feeder, three big water bowls and three litter boxes).

I backed the truck out and loaded my suitcase into the right side. This is a big security concern for me. Talk about advertising you're going on a trip! But, due to the tight confines in the garage, I have no other choice.

I secured the house and deliberately left the bedroom door open (I close it before going to work each day). I figured, since I am leaving her alone for Christmas, I can wash the bedspread if needed. Besides, Caley likes sleeping on the bed sometimes.

I was concerned I was leaving too late (big travel week), so I hustled. But, when I got to the airport, it was all very strange! There was plenty of parking, minimal lines at the airport and most amazing was the TSA checkpoint. Where there are usually 50 people in line, there were maybe 10 or 12!!!

What happened to the busy travel?

I sat and read my book until boarding.

I was seated next to a guy who lived in Columbia. I joked and said, "Maybe we'll be sitting together on the next plane as well." "No," he said. He said its quicker for his wife to drive to Charlotte and pick him up that to wait for the layover, wait for the plane to take off and land, taxi to the terminal in Columbia, etc. Makes sense, I guess.

I had to get from one end of the terminal to the other (and Charlotte is a big airport) so I started my hike. Now the coat that was so needed in Michigan was just a pain in the ass and I was starteing to sweat.

I was about halfway down Terminal C when an airline employee walked up to me and asked me my name. I said, "John" and she said, "Thanks."

Then, in the main concourse (I think that's what you call the place with all the shops and restaurants) another airline employee asked me the same thing. Weird!

Halfway down to Terminal E, yet another airline employee stopped me and said, "Is your name Paul?" I said no and then figured it out. Some old guy with a cane and possibly dementia had wandered off and they were trying to find him.

I was hungry and still had about 25 minutes before boarding. There were no high-priced Burger Kings in this terminal, so I ended up going into an upscale bar ang grill. I asked the waitress if the service was fast and she said, "Of course."

So, I ordered a mushroom and Swiss burger (no, no lettuce, tomato, onion or pickles) on a pretzel bun and a cola. I asked her to please bring me some Dijon mustard as well. Then I waited, and waited, and waited...

I had drunk most of the cola before my sandwich showed up (with a bottle of French's Yellow mustard, BTW). I had eaten less than half of the burger and a few fries when it was definitely time to go. Damn! So, I pushed the button on the table for the check (fancy). Luckily, she came right away. And I paid $17.00 (plus tip) for a lunch I couldn't finish!!!

I finally got to take my coat off and stuff it under the seat. The flight to Columbia was uneventful and short as always. I think it took longer to taxi in than to fly there.

I retrieved my bags. Jake was about two miles out, so I went outside and sat on a bench while I waited. The warm air and sunshine felt wonderful!!! I sent my two obligatory texts that I had made it safe and sound.

We got back to the house and I got enthusiastic greeting from both Carla and Whiskey.

Jake took my suitcase upstairs and I started settling in.

Downstairs we chatted for a while and then they ordered pizza for dinner.

My brother Carl called to ask me when I was leaving for SC. I told him I was already sitting in Jake & Carla's living room.

We watched TV and talked until 9:00 p.m. when I decided it was bed time. I read for a while in bed until I felt sleepy. So, I turned off the light and went to sleep