Friday, April 29, 2016

I find this disturbing...

Why is this chick so calm? I'd be shitting my pants!!!

Friday, at last...

It was cold and dreary on Friday morning and stayed that way the whole damn day! It felt like late Fall...

The bathrooms at work were back working, so that was good.

I went to Time Out for lunch and got the fish and chips.

Back home after work, I did some computer work for a while. Then I warmed up my dinner. Victoria had brought me in some of her Mother's chicken enchiladas and rice.  So, I warmed it up, sprinkled on the cheese she thoughtfully provided in a separate tinfoil bundle and warmed that up until it melted.


I watched a movie (again) and then went to bed.

Thursday (or, as I like to think of it, "Friday Eve")

It was freaking cold and rainy when I drove into work on Thursday.

Sidebar: the rain came and went in waves, but it never got out of the 40's, temperature-wise.

So, I walked inside...

I drove to Big Boy for lunch. I had my mind set on the cup of broccoli and ham soup and the half turkey sandwich on multi-grain bread.

Sidebar: Don't get your panties in a twist! I'm not getting all healthy here. It's just the right amount of delicious food to fill me up. I just can't eat as much as I am offered at lunch these days. I don't know why. So, I use the Carla method (not the way I was raised) and eat until I'm full and quit.

Sidebar #2: This is particularly embarrassing at Ten Yen. And I have complained to the owner about serving way too much food. After the Won Ton soup and the egg roll, I'm already stuffed. But, I am thinking of creating a new menu item: Won Ton soup, and egg roll and the delicious side of the rice. Skip the damn main items and I'll still pay you $5.00. I have yet to talk to the owner about this as I usually go on Mondays when he's off (but my favorite waitress is on, LOL).

Okay, back to Big Boy today. The parking lot was full and the place was a madhouse! People were lined up trying to pay and leave, and there was a line of people trying to get seated. I was four groups back in the line.

Finally, a waitress came and apologized to the first group and said, "Just find a table and we'll get to you."

I stood in line until a nice woman (who was leaving with her 13 or 14 year old daughter) stopped next to me and said, "Go somewhere else! We've been sitting here over 15 minutes and never even saw a waitress."

So, I split.

Sidebar: I don't know it there was a waitress shortage or a cook shortage, but there was a serious problem!!!

So, I left. I went to Red Robin on Six Mile (since the Max and Erma's at the mall is closed). I didn't want a burger and fries or onions rings (although they are great there) and, since it was almost 12:30 p.m., the lunch crowd was in full force. When the waiter showed up, I ordered the clam chowder soup and the side salad with bleu cheese dressing.

Sidebar: The clam chowder was just so-so, but the simple side salad was the best I think I ever ate.

I had a little trouble getting my bill, but I still made it back to work in time.

Back at work, there was a severe problem! "Something" had backed up the drains in the bathroom and they were all out of bounds...

So, there was a hand written note that directed us to go to Building 4 to use the rest room.


I'm old and need the bathroom more than most and did I mention it was raining?

Finally I was home with my own (close) bathroom, thank God!

There was a small box in the mail with no return address. So, I opened it up and found three baggies of small smoked sausages. WTF? Then it hit me! I had tried (unsuccessfully) to find the Duke's smoked sausages Jake and Carla have been raving about. So, they sent me some.

I tried one and they were right! They did taste a lot like the bigger ones at the Smoke House in Columbus. I tried another and then another (just to make sure). These things are like crack!

I made myself stop. Thanks, guys!

I couldn't work outside, so I putzed around inside.

I made the last of the steak, corn and potato leftovers for my dinner. I watched a little TV, but went to bed by 9:00 p.m.

Thursday, April 28, 2016


It was a littl chilly on Wednesday, but the sun was shining, so it didn't seem to matter.

I had a bunch of little errands to run at lunchtime, so I didn't eat at a restaurant. Instead, I went to the drive-through at Arby's. I wanted to try one of their "limited time only" sandwiches (I wish they would quit doing that). I bought the bourbon bacon brisket meal. I took it back to work and ate at my desk.

The sandwich was very good! Slow roasted brisket, topped with cheddar and bacon on a fancy bun? Yum! The only thing I would have done differently was to ask for some barbeque sauce, since about halfway through eating it, it started to feel a bit dry.

Back home, I went out back and took some photos for people at work. We had been talking about the reflecting pool and the raised bed herb garden. So, long time readers can skip these, LOL!

I noticed the tulip I planted out front last fall are starting to bloom.

I moved three wheelbarrows of sand and then went inside.

I baked more bacon and made a BLT with an heirloom tomato I bought last weekend at Westborn. Delicious!

I watched some TV, but was asleep by 9:30 p.m.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016



It was chilly (54 degrees) and drizzling on Tuesday morning when I took the trash out..

I left for lunch at 11:30 a.m. to go to Sam's Club for coffee (you want to be there before the lunch crowd). It took me longer to find a parking place than to get the coffee!

On the way back, I stopped at the Newburgh Grill and got a coney and some onions rings.

When I walked outside in the afternoon, it had gotten windy and the temperature had noticeably dropped. Wish I'd worn a coat this morning!

Back home after work, I retrieved the trash can. There was no mail, which was weird.

When I looked out back, I noticed one of those birthday balloons floating in my little reflecting pool. Dammit! I had no plans to go outside, but I went and got it out.

Back inside, I started the Wednesday wash a day early. My friend B___ called and we talked for a bit.

I was going to make dinner, but it was getting late. So I just ate leftovers.

I watched a rerun on TV and then went to bed at 9:30 p.m.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

True That!

Monday Moanin'

It was still warm on Monday morning. So I didn't wear a jacket to work and walked outside both times.

I dropped off some of my soup to Michelle and am anxiously waiting for her critique.

I went to Ten Yen for lunch again and then went to Larry's Foodliner and got some sour cream.

Back home after work, it still hadn't rained, so I changed clothes and moved more sand.

Back inside, I started warming up my supper. I cut the sweet corn kernels off of two of the cobs. Then I cut one of the baked potatoes up. I sliced the rest of the steak into small strips and added one half to the plate. While it warmed up in the microwave, I mixed some horseradish with mayonnaise for a dipping sauce.

I got the plate out and added some butter to the sweet corn and potato. I topped the potato with sour cream and seasoned everything. Dinner was delicious!

I was tired, so I went to bed around 9:00 p.m.

I was awakened by the thunderstorm at 1:00 a.m. I watched the light show from the couch for a while and then went back to bed.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Sunday, Food Day

I woke up early again, but managed to fall asleep and slept until 5:30 a.m. I finished the Saturday post and then turned on the news at 6:00 a.m.

It was cold again (38 degrees), so I got a cup of coffee and waited in bed for the furnace to catch up.

When it got to 72 degrees F., I got out of bed. I farted around doing the usual Sunday morning chores. Then I finally shaved, showered and got dressed. Since I missed it yesterday, I figured the first order of business was to make my Irish beer and cheese soup.

So, I turned off the TV and turned the radio onto Acoustic Café on WDET.

Then I started prepping. I chopped a large onion and minced two cloves of garlic. Next I got out the food processor and installed the grating plate for the cheese.

Sidebar: I had a lot of difficulty securing the exact ingredients. The recipe called for two bottles of Harp Irish Style Lager. I couldn’t find that at either Kroger or Westborn, so I settled for Guinness Blonde. And, as far the cheese went, I didn’t even bother with Kroger. I showed my list of possible cheeses to their cheese guru (Dubliner, Irish cheddar or Skellig) at Westborn. 

He said the only one they had was the Dubliner. But, he said, they had an excellent Wisconsin white cheddar that was cheaper and I should try it (he always wants me to taste-test the cheese). So, I did and he was right! It was the best damn white cheddar cheese I think I ever tasted!!!

But, as I told him, this was for Irish beer cheese soup and I would need to get a pound of the Dubliner…

Anyway, I cut up the Dubliner cheese into manageable pieces and grated them with the food processor. I used the kitchen scale to measure out the 14 ounces I needed. The rest went into a baggie (or my mouth, LOL).

Note: This is not cheddar cheese. It is a really interesting cheese, though.

Then I put my biggest sauce pot on medium heat. I added a tablespoon of butter, the onions, and garlic, and sautéed for 3-5 minutes.  I scooped the softened onions into the food processor and added one cup of chicken stock. I pulsed the onions and stock until they were completely smooth.

I poured the onion mixture back into the sauce pot, and added the rest of the 32 ounces of stock and both bottles of beer. I brought that to a boil.

NOTE: The beer broth will foam up quite a bit when boiling. Make sure to use a large pot, so it doesn't boil over.

I tossed the shredded Irish cheese with two tablespoons of corn starch. Then I added the shredded cheese, 14 ounces of cream cheese (cut into cubes), and 1 ½ tablespoons of Dijon mustard to the broth. I whisked it to melt the cheese and break up the cream cheese cubes until the soup was completely smooth and slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

I tasted it and decided to forego adding salt. Then I ate a bowl of it for brunch. It was delicious!

Oh, I forgot to tell you, the garnish is crumbled bacon and snipped chives.

I cleaned up the considerable mess and then went outside to move more sand.

I was back inside and ready for a nap by 2:00 p.m.

When I woke up, I went outside and lighted the charcoal starter. While that burned, I went inside and wrapped five small ears of Florida sweet corn in aluminum foil (they don’t have any ears in their husks yet). I seasoned my bone-in rib eye steak with salt and pepper and “baked” four big russet potatoes in the microwave.

When the charcoal was ready, I spread it out and oiled the grate. I grilled the sweet corn first and then the steak. I took everything inside and let it rest.

I oiled the potatoes and then crusted them with Kosher salt. I took them outside and put them directly on top of the coals. I kept turning them until the skin stared to blacken. Then I took them inside as well.

I ate some of the steak and an ear of corn for dinner. Both were excellent.

My daughter Melissa called and we talked for a long time.

I watched a movie, but fell asleep before it was over. When I woke up for a bathroom break, I turned everything off and went to bed for real.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Saturday Story

I woke up WAY too early on Saturday (3:00 a.m.). I tried to fall asleep, but every time I was almost there, Caley started choking. Freaked, I would knock her off the bed! I can easily clean up the floor, but the bedspread is a bitch.

She never, ever, did hack up that hairball and I never, ever, got back to sleep.

I finally gave up and got up around 5:00 a.m.

I was hungry (chicken salad sandwiches are delicious, but not that filling...) so I went out on the patio in my robe and snipped some chives. The security light came on, but I didn't give a shit...

Sidebar: It was damn cold out there (38 degrees) in just a bathrobe!

Back inside, I cracked three eggs, adding in a touch of whole milk, the chives, salt and pepper. I whisked that until the butter in my small skillet melted. I scrambled them soft while my sourdough bread was toasting.

Excellent breakfast!

I eventually shaved, showered and got dressed for the morning errands. First came a haircut, then Kroger's, Westborn and finally Home Depot.

I took Schoolcraft (the I-96 service drive) to get back to Inkster. I noticed the Holiday Inn Express hotel they are building on the corner is up to four stories so far. I wonder how tall they are going to make it? I drove around to get a picture for you.

I stopped at the quarter car wash and hosed the truck down. It's supposed to rain on Monday so there's no sense in getting an expensive one, but a bird pooped on my truck Friday.

I left the truck outside so I could unload it. I put the stuff that needed refrigeration away and then grabbed an old towel. I went outside and dried the truck off.

While I was drying the truck, a little old lady walked over from the townhouses. She said, "Papa John, do you remember me?" I said yes. She said, "I hate to ask, but I need a favor. Can you loan me two dollars?" I was getting out my wallet when she said she couldn't pay me back until next Friday. I said, "Are you sure two dollars is enough?" She said yes, all she needed was two dollars. So, I gave it to her.

I swept out the garage and got onto my first project. Now that its getting warmer, I want to move that big drying rack for the cabinet door out of the downstairs room. It's been in the way all winter, but it was the only way I could paint. I rearranged the garage so it would fit. The birdbath I stuck out front.

Then I got to work on the rack itself. This took a long while as I had to unload it, disassemble it, haul it into the garage and put it back together again.

I finished up around 3:30 p.m., parked the truck in the garage and decided to take a nap.

I woke up after 5:00 p.m. and went out back to shovel some sand.

Sidebar: If you remember, when I had my Puerto Rican crew here, installing the landscape timbers, I had them put the leftover sand (and there was a lot of it) in my raised bed vegetable garden. I didn't know where else to put it.

So, I picked out a spot back by the compost pile and am slowly moving it there. I just need most of it out before its time to plant.

I was only filling up the wheelbarrow halfway, so I didn't hurt my back.

I noticed it was getting dark, so I stopped for the night, put everything away and locked the shed.

When I got in, I was surprised to see it was almost 8:00 p.m. So, I gave up making soup today. Instead I microwaved two hot dogs and ate that for my dinner.

I watched some taped DIY shows for inspiration and then went to bed.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Prince, Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne and others -- "While My Gui...



Okay, so I admit it. I wasn't a big Prince fan. He came after my generation. My daughter Amy, however, was a HUGE fan.

Sidebar: Melissa, on the other hand, was all about Bruce Springsteen, and I could relate. "Down by the river?" OMG!

With Jeremy, it was the Grateful Dead's clone band, whose name I forgot.

Jacob was all over the place (as usual).

Anyway, Amy posted this on Facebook and two thing struck me. He was a damn excellent guitarist and Dhani looks so much like his father, George Harrison.

I may have to revisit my adoration of Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck...

I looked up the use of hazard flashers by states...

...and this is what I found:

South Carolina

Hazard lights may be used while driving for the purpose of warning the operators of other vehicles of the presence of a vehicular traffic hazard requiring the exercise of unusual care in approaching, overtaking or passing.

Foggy Friday

It was damp, chilly and foggy Friday morning. It stayed mostly overcast the rest of the day (the sun did peak out a few times).

I walked outside both times, although it felt more like London than Livonia.

My old cubicle buddy had asked me if we wanted to go to lunch. Vicky said she was in, so we agreed to meet at Los Tres Amigos. Somehow this spiraled out of control and it ended up a party of eight!

Which would have been fine, I guess. Except I ended up at the opposite end of the two tables pushed together and couldn't even hear a word she said!

Our usually interesting conversation consisted of me saying "Hey, how you doing?" when she hugged me hello and "Bye, take it easy!" when she hugged me goodbye (Michelle's a hugger). The food was good, but it was a very disappointing lunch!

Late in the day they distributed tee shirts to all the employees, celebrating our company's 40th anniversary.

It was a payday so, back home, I worked on the computer while listening to the news. Then I got some glass cleaner and the paper towels and washed the glass surfaces in my room. Cleaning the house, baby-steps style, LOL!

I ate another chicken salad sandwich for dinner. But, I forgot to buy a bag of chips from the machine at work, dammit!

I got two new magazines in the mail, so I read them until bedtime.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Rainy day and Thursdays...

It was drizzling when I went to work on Thursday. I reassured myself that the gardens and my lawn needed it.

So, I walked inside.

I grabbed a quick lunch at Big Boy: the broccoli and ham soup and the half of a turkey sandwich. Then I headed up to Farmington and the eye doctor. They had gotten in a pair of clip on sunglasses for my new specs and wanted me to come in to see if they fit. They didn't, so drove back to work in the rain.

Back home, I decided to use up the leftover chicken breasts. So, I cubed them. I added in a half cup of chopped celery, 1/3 cup of finely chopped onion, 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, salt and pepper, and a teaspoon of Dijon mustard. I stirred that altogether and had chicken salad.

I toasted two slices of sourdough bread, put on some lettuce and topped that with the chicken salad and had an excellent dinner.

I watched the Red Wings lose and eliminate themselves from the playoffs. Dammit!

Then I went to bed.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Hump Day

It was a little cloudy and cool on Wednesday morning. I walked outside anyway.

I went to Applebees and got the three cheese pasta with chicken, but this time I got broccoli and chesse soup with it.

Then I went to Lowe's and window-shopped.

Back at work, Victoria gave me some rice and beef her Mom made. Dinner is done!

Once home, I treated the cat and changed clothes. It looked like the mulch out back was applied, so I went and checked. Looks a lot beter!

I went back inside and washed all the floors, except the living room and the downstairs. I used the Wet Jet on the wood ones and PineSol, a mop and a bucket on the kitchen and main bath.

I sat in the living room, reading, until it all dried.

I warmed up Evy's dinner. It was delicious!

I went back to reading until bedtime.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Tasty Tuesday

It was noticeably 20 degrees cooler on Tuesday. I took the trash out and then drove to work with the window up.

I still walked outside, but I walked faster, LOL!

I went Newburgh Grill for lunch. I got a cup of split pea soup and the grilled ham and cheese. Then I went next door to CVS and bought some more hydrogen peroxide.

The sun was out, off and on, but it only got to 62 degrees, with a wind.

Back home, I retrieved the trash can and the mail. I noticed the daffodils I planted last fall had finally bloomed, so I grabbed the camera and took a picture for you.

Back inside and at the kitchen window, I was again struck by how pretty that tree out back was. I was disappointed in the picture I took before. I realized it looked better from the house than it did close up (something about the light when viewed from far away). So, I took another one from the patio with a little zoom (mostly to fill up the frame).

Back inside, I changed clothes and got to work. I believe I've mentioned how dirty the house had become from me working outside. So, I got to down to it!

First I dusted, then I vacuumed.  I had to empty the vacuum twice because of the cat hair!

I moved all the kitchen chairs into the living room and swept the kitchen floor. I was going to get a bucket and wash it, but by then it was after 7:00 p.m. and I was hungry.

So, I warmed up Michelle's French pork chop with cabbage. It was an excellent combination that I would have never thought of! Also, the chop was the best breaded one I think I ever ate!!!

I watched both new NCIS and NCIS New Orleans and then went to bed.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Hot Time in the City!

It only got down to the mid sixties overnight from that beautiful Sunday to Monday. Felt like summertime when I drove into work!

My friend Michelle from Facilities popped in and gave me a French pork shop, served over boiled cabbage. Looks pretty tasty! She also gave  me a copy of the recipe, which was nice.

I went to Ten Yen for lunch and got the almond chicken, won ton soup and hot tea. Way too much food for me!

I walked outside both times and it was actually uncomfortable on the afternoon walk. It was 80 degrees!

When I got home, I treated the cat and changed into shorts and a tee. I noticed how pretty the flowering tree out back looked, so I went to take a picture of it.

Then I noticed how much trash had accumulated since I paid to have it all picked up! Tomorrow's trash day, so I went and got a trash bag, my stick with a nail and my gloves. I worked until I had the whole bag stuffed.

Back inside, I sat in the AC to cool down. Michelle's dinner sounded a bit too warm for the evening meal, so I made a BLT.

I watched a couple of shows but went to bed by 9:30 p.m.

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Sunday story

I woke up around 6:00 a.m., per usual. I turned on the news and watched it for a while and then posted to the blog.

I hurt like a son of a bitch. When the wheelbarrow went over, yesterday, so did I. The damn right hand handle punched me in the ribs (that hurts the most) and my left hand and arm scraped the patio blocks. I had two (2) big bandages left so I cleaned out the wounds on my arm and hand and called it good. But, today, I freakin' hurt.

I finally shaved and showered and got dressed around 10:00 a.m.

Then, I got out the bike (first time this year) and drove over to CVS for some big bandages. I stuffed them in my leather coat and went riding.

I didn't go far. I took all the side streets between Joy road and Plymouth. I had not done Jake's bike check (I forget the acronym) and didn't even check the tire pressure, so I stayed close to home, in case something broke down.

Back home, I pulled the truck out of the garage, put the windows down an inch and then locked it (just so I could use the garage).

I changed into shorts and a tee shirt. Then I went out back and got to work. I picked up all the newly fallen little branches (I think a squirrel's nest blew down).

I cleaned out the raised bed herb garden and put the rest of the dirt in it.

I took the bag of bird seed out of the truck, put it in the wheelbarrow and took it out back.

I moved the push mower from the garage to the shed. While I was in the shed, I hooked up the battery charger to the garden tractor and ran the 100-foot extension cord from the house.

I put the gargoyle onto the drain pipe out front.

I blew off the dirt from the patio mishap. I went inside and did the weekend wash. I opened all the windows to let the house air out.

I thought it was the perfect time to take a nap, so I did. When I woke up, I put the clothes in the dryer and started my Sunday supper.

I fried boneless, skinless chicken breasts in canola oil after seasoning them with salt and pepper. I cooked them about three minutes on each side. Then I moved them to a plate and stuck it in the microwave to keep warm.

I added 1/4 cup of chopped shallots and an eight-ounce box of presliced baby bella mushrooms to the pan I sauteed those until browned. I added two minced garlic cloves and sauteed them for another minute, stirring constantly. I added in 1/2 cup of dry white wine, scraping the pan. I brought that to a boil and cooked until the liquid had almost evaporated. I sprinkled in 1 1/2 teaspoons of AP flour and cooked it for a minute. Then I added 3/4 cup of chicken stock. I brought that to a boil and cooked it a couple of minutes, until it thickened. I added in two tablespoons of butter and a teaspoon of fresh thyme.  I cooked that until the butter melted. I poured some of the sauce over a chicken breast and ate it with some Uncle Ben's butter and garlic rice.

Sidebar: I love those microwave pouches of rice. 90 seconds and you've got a side dish!

I cleaned up the mess after eating, then I went outside and wound up the extension cord (the battery was charged by then). I locked the shed and came inside. I shut all the windows and then watched taped TV shows until almost midnight.

Which is why I overslept and this post is so late!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Just something to think about...

An oldie but a goodie!


Saturday started out a little chilly, but it got up to a beautiful 72 sunny degrees.

I talked to Jake a little bit before I took my shower. I got dressed and headed out on my errands run.

First stop was my massage. Margaret dropped a bombshell on me. She, her father, her fella and his mother are all moving to a big house (six bedrooms, but only one bath) on a half acre of land in (of all places) Columbia, South Carolina!!!

Her fella (I wish I could remember his name) is a construction worker and they already have plans to convert the house to four bedrooms, each with their own bathroom.

They bought the house already, but won't be moving right away. She has to sell the house here in Livonia first.

I asked her if she could recommend another massage therapist and she said, "Why? You go down there four or five times a year, anyway. Just keep an hour open to stop by."

I guess that's doable...

She had started her tomatoes in the house and gave me three little ones as a present. They had outgrown their little container, so I will repot them at home.

From there, I went to Kroger's and picked up a few things. Then I went to the Feed Store and got more bird seed. Next I went to Costco and got more peanuts for the squirrels.

Finally, I went to Home Depot for more dirt. It was almost noon and the garden center was packed!

Back home, I unloaded everything and put it all away. I was changing my clothes to go outside and work. But, I decided to take a nap, first. So, I did.

Then I went out to the shed and got the wheelbarrow. I mixed up more dirt and finished filling up the porch rail planter. Then I went around to the back.

I noticed the chives needed cutting, so I got the scissors out and gave them a trim. I put the in a bowl and will cut them to length and put them in a baggie in the freezer for winter.

I was moving the wheelbarrow onto the patio when I hit one of the garden blocks next to the chives and the damn wheelbarrow tipped over! It made quite a mess and I spent a lot of time cleaning it up.

I filled the window box planter. This also took a long time, as I have to  use a coffee can. It's too heavy to lift if I fill it on the ground, and too high when its in place to use the shovel. Sigh...

I used more of the dirt to fill an old flowerpot. Then I put the three tiny tomatoes in it. I put in in the front window to get some sunshine. I'll probably move them outside during the day and inside at night until it gets warm enough to plant them.

I put everything away and washed up. I was hungry (having skipped breakfast and lunch) and thought a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup sounded good. But, when I checked, I didn't have any tomato soup! WTF? So, I went with bean and bacon, but it wasn't the same...

I watched some TV, but switched to reading before I went to bed.

I was just falling asleep when I remember I should have opened the windows in the house during the day to air it out! Damn! Well, I'll try doing it tomorrow (it's supposed to be even warmer).

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Jake, 67 years later, I finally learned this..

Thanks for the call...

Three miles from my house!

Maybe I can't throw a telephone pole or feel comfortable in in kilt, but I can eat Scottish shit all day!!! BTW, I did like the fairy and that kinda makes me uncomfortable...
But, I guess letting the boys air out might be healthy. Stay tuned on that kilt thing..

 Ackroyd's Scottish Bakery

In honor of our sponsorship with Outlander Cast : The Outlander Podcast with Mary and Blake, we will be creating Outlander inspired dishes all season long.
Our first Outlander Special is a steak and dark ale pie - coarse ground steak, onion, dark ale beef gravy, and seasoning sitting beneath flaky puff pastry. They will be available in store and online starting tomorrow throughout the entire season of Outlander.

Finally Friday!

I overslept and it was a rushed morning on Friday. But, it was a beautiful day!

I went to lunch with Vicky. She wanted some sushi, so we went to a little Japanese restaurant on Haggerty, just across the parking lot from Mitchell's. I let her order (I don't eat enough sushi to know what's good). She got five different kinds. I loved two, liked two and didn't much care for one kind.

All in all, I ate way too much!

So, when I walked in the afternoon, I walked outside and longer than usual (it was so nice to walk outside again).

When I got home, I changed and got to work.

I dug out the old soil around the mailbox and used it to fill in the spaces in the retaining wall. Then I mixed up my magic dirt. I had enough to fill up that garden and the porch rail planter.

Sidebar: Now I just need a little more to fill the kitchen window box.

One of my neighbors (the family next to Rick's house) stopped their car in the street next to me. The wife rolled down her window and said, "John, you're making us look bad. We haven't even started our yard work!" I told her it's to early to plant outside, I was just fixing the mailbox.

I took some photos of the hyacinths, now in full bloom.

I put everything away in the shed and came in for the night. I ran the Kuereg empty after filling the reservoir up with white vinegar. Then I ran three more full tanks of just water to rinse it. I had an almost full load in the dishwasher, so I put the removable parts of the coffee maker in and fired it up.

My daughter Melissa called and we talked for a long time. Then I watched the end of the Red Wings game. They lost again and I went to bed, disgusted.


It was chilly again on Thursday morning. They keep saying there's a spring warm-up coming but it doesn't feel like it in the mornings.

I went to Big Boy for lunch and got the "Pick Three." I chose a Caesar side salad, the cup of broccoli ham soup and the half turkey sandwich on multi-grain bread. It's my go-to lunch and I've convinced myself it's healthy.Well, probably not the soup. And maybe not the Caesar salad. But the half turkey sandwich on multi-grain bread is good, right?

Victoria surprised me with dinner. She said her Mom, Evy, had tried branching out and made Chinese shrimp fried rice and she wanted my feedback.

Sidebar: Oh, crap! A Puerto Rican, making Chinese food and I'm supposed to give my opinion? Seemed fraught with peril...

When I got home, I quickly changed clothes and went outside. I got the bricks from Jake's patio and hauled them out front. I glued them in place and I left them to dry.

Then I checked out the front yard. The forsythia is in bloom and there are lots of buds on the lilac. 

I buttoned everything up and went inside. I had to treat the damn cat again. She seems to think anytime she hears the garage door close, she gets a treat.

It was after 7:00 p.m., so I warmed up Evy's shrimp-fried rice. It was excellent! So, I sent Victoria a text, telling her that, (to relay to her Mother) but mentioned I didn't taste any sofrito. She laughed (well, LOLed).

Sidebar: Sofrito is the main ingredient in most all of Puerto Rican food.

I thought I would check Facebook and saw a post from my new cubicle buddy, Courtney. It seemed her younger brother tried to commit suicide but was saved by his dorm (monitor?) 

That immediately took me back 35 fucking years to my sister Anne's suicide. I apparently can't forget that day. So, try as I might, I couldn't fall asleep. Every time I dozed off, I saw horrible shit I didn't want to ever remember again.

Which meant that I finally fell asleep way too late and overslept, leaving me enough time to rush to work, but not enough to write the Blog post.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Carla, true?

Wednesday's Tale

I woke up at 4:00 a.m. on Wednesday but didn't feel like getting up.

Sidebar: My new sheets are so soft and comfortable I can't believe it! And, I don't want to leave them!!!

So, I read in bed until the alarm went off.

It was cold again in the morning, but supposed to warm up to 50+ degrees in the afternoon. I dawdled in the shower ( the warm water felt good) and didn't get to work until 7:40 a.m.

Sidebar: That's late for me. I like to get there early (always have).

Sidebar II: I seriously need some form of hydrotherapy. I am vacillating between a walk-in tub with jets (like my brother Carl has) and a small 110 volt hot tub on Jake's patio.

BTW, I was told by people who know that the walk-in tub would lessen my home's resale value.

I dunno... And, Carl, your saleslady never called me... Unless you gave her my home phone number (which I never answer) instead of my cell phone number.

I went to Time Out and got a chicken salad pita and substituted their "cheesy potato and ham soup" for the fries my waistline doesn't need. Both were excellent.

I over-tipped the waitress, Heather. She's got a one year old son and needs the money.

I had a lot of time left, so, I took a run down Hines Drive through the park. I didn't see that many signs of spring.

The afternoon passed slowly (as they always do). But finally, I was on my way home.

I treated the cat and changed clothes. I started the Wednesday night wash, then I got the wheelbarrow out of the garage and went to work. I took all the bottom layer blocks out back and hosed the dirt off them.

Then I set them on Jake's patio to dry.

Next, I went to the front and dug out the dirt when they would eventually end up. I filled in the gaping holes with sand.

I put the wheelbarrow and the shovels in the garage and buttoned everything up for the night.

Back inside, I treated Caley again (the garage door is her trigger). I watched the last of the evening news and then went and heated up the taco meat and refried beans for dinner.

I turned on the Red Wings game and watched them lose. Then I went to bed.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Tuesday's Tale

I woke up, wide awake at 3:30 a.m. Dammit! I tried for an hour or so to fall back asleep with no luck. So, I gave up and read until the alarm went off.

I got up and got ready. I took the trash out and still went to work way too early. I stopped at Larry's Foodland (my 24-hour grocery) and got some yogurt (I'm still trying to beat the GIRD with "pro-bionics).

Sidebar: I never tasted yogurt until I hooked up with Rosalie, long after my first divorce. Back then, it was "fruit on the bottom." I ate the sour yogurt and then used the "fruit on the bottom" as like a dessert. I don't seem to be able to find that, these days. I miss it as much as I do Rosalie...

There is something about Jewish women...

Anyway, there is a big bush next to the handicapped parking space. There was a noisy Mallard duck, protecting the space. I assured him I would not bother his nest (or whatever he had going on).

I couldn't shut him up, so I took his picture.

I went to the Newburgh Grill for lunch. I had a cup of split pea soup and, just to be different, a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. Both were delicious.

From there I went to Lowe's and got some Liquid Nails. Finally, (since it's not supposed to rain until at least Sunday night), I got the truck washed.

The afternoon was sunny and the 30 degree low this morning warmed up to a nice 50 degrees.

So, when I got home, I got in the trashcan and the mail, treated the cat and quickly changed clothes. Then I went outside to tackle the mailbox garden. I took out the wheelbarrow with the sand, the two shovels and the four big blocks.

I dug down a couple of feet and filled the hole in with sand.

I laid in the big blocks. I used my hands to "level" the sand, and then a rubber mallet and a small level to get them all close to perfect.

I put the next course of smaller blocks on next, adding generous amounts of the Liquid Nails.

Sidebar: I know its not made for this, but it has worked well in the past to keep them secured.

Now, that was the original top course of block. The bottom course was in the dirt and covered with crud. I thought about hosing them off, but then I'd have to let them dry. And, I wanted the glue to compress and dry. Plus, I'd been working for over an hour and my right arm was killing me.

So, I put the dirty bricks on top of the clean ones as a weight. I'll hose them off tomorrow, let them dry and install the last course on Thursday.

I put the wheel barrow back in the garage and buttoned everything up.

Sidebar: I (finally) noticed that they had come and cut the lawn for the first time this season. Looks good!

I warmed up the rest of the eggplant Parmesan and ate that with some of the macaroni salad as the side.


I watched a little TV. I took some Advil for my arm and was fast asleep by 8:30 p.m.