Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Is it Monday or Tuesday? (Amended)

Note: Amended text will be in italics.

I woke up with the alarm on Tuesday. I ran through the oh, so familiar routine then took the trash out to the road before leaving for work.

Once there, I learned that the rain over the weekend had knocked out power to both our main data center and the backup data center. Both backup generators also failed! So, there was no network or phones (we recently switched to IP phones) all day Monday.

Most people went home, but not the IT department (it would look bad). So, while a few of them actually worked on the servers, the majority sat and twiddled their thumbs all day.

Sidebar: I'm glad I missed that. I hate to have nothing to do.

In my mind, it felt like a Monday. So, I went to Ten Yen. But, because it was really Tuesday, my favorite waitress wasn't there! Sigh... Oh, well, the food was still good.

It was warm and humid but, after South Carolina, it felt cool and nice, LOL!

I stopped at CVS on the way home. I had gotten their robo-calls all while I was down in South Carolina and again today at work. There was just one lousy $5.00 prescription to pick up. That's what all the damn calls were about?

When I got home, I took in the trash can. I put some water on to boil while I went out back. I harvested two green peppers, all the cherry tomatoes and a cucumber. I grabbed a handful of oregano on the way in.

Back inside, I cooked two cups (half a box) of tri-colored pene pasta (regular penne would be fine. I just wanted the color). Meanwhile, I prepped the vegetables. I diced the green peppers, peeled and sliced the cucumber (and then cut the slices in half) and cut the cherry tomatoes in half. I also diced up half a sweet onion. It was supposed to be a red onion, but that's all I had to work with.

I rinsed the pasta and let it cool while I made the dressing. I whisked together 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar, a tablespoon of lemon juice, two cloves of garlic (crushed), a handful of fresh oregano, salt and pepper and 2/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil.

I added the vegetables to the pasta, along with a small can of sliced black olives (drained) and a four-ounce package of crumbled feta cheese. I mixed that together and then added the dressing. One more good mix and dinner was done!

I ate my Greek pasta salad watching Jeopardy. I watched an NCIS rerun and then went to bed.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The long and winding road...

Carla woke me up on Monday at 5:30 a.m. by tapping on my door. I had slept normally (bathroom trip every hour or so). So, I shaved, showered and got dressed for the trip home.

Sidebar: Jake had an 8:00 a.m. meeting he needed to be at. So, I said my goodbyes to Carla and Whiskey and we headed out to the airport.

He and I said our goodbyes when he dropped me off and he reminded me again to check out the information on Lake Murray, next to the USO in the terminal. So, after getting my boarding passes and dumping my checked bag, I tried.

But there was nothing there. So, I thought maybe it was in the alcove. But all that was there was an elevator. So, I took it down, thinking there was a museum or something. But, no, just USO offices. So, I went back up and banged on the USO door. I asked the guy who opened it (they didn't really open until 8:00 a.m.) where the information on Lake Murray was. He aid, "Oh, they took those down a while back." No wonder I never saw them!

So. I went though Security, instead. Then I set about trying to kill three hours in a small airport (my flight didn't leave until 11:18 a.m.).

First, I bought a bottle of water like I always do, since you can't take them through Security. Then I went to the "Food Court" and ordered a sausage biscuit with the optional egg and cheese.

Sidebar: You may be thinking, "Man, he eats a lot of biscuits and pork sausage!" Well, this is the South! It's either that or fried chicken, y'all.

I dawdled over breakfast, eating it slowly and sipping my water while I read my book.

I cleaned up, washed up and sat in one of the rocking chairs, reading my book and watching the occasional plane take off.

After an hour or so, I went back and ordered a medium-sized black coffee. I toted that back to the rocking chairs and resumed reading and rocking.

Sidebar: I use the rocking chairs because I think airport waiting seats are about the most uncomfortable chairs in the world (no back support and seat is too deep).

Finally, after multiple bathroom visits, it was time to go. I sat in the very rear of the plane and was the only one without a seat partner. All the overhead bins were full and I couldn't find a place to stick my cane, so I stuck it under my seat (strictly a no-no) and hid it with my feet.

There was a bit of turbulence until we got over the cloud cover, then we made the short hop to Charlotte. I swear it takes longer to taxi to the gate than it does to fly there.

I had another two hours to kill before the next flight. I had to laugh. I usually have fifteen minutes to race all across the huge airport to my next gate. Today, I had two hours and my next flight was just four gates down.

I read for a bit and then went in search of lunch. I settle for an expensive Burger King Whopper meal.

Sidebar: That was a mistake! I was full about halfway through the burger. I should have gotten the Jr. Whopper or, better yet, the chicken nuggets.

We finally flew out at 2:45 p.m. I got into the "D" at 4:30 p.m. I let people know I made it alive and then retrieved my checked bag. I retrieved the truck and paid the ransom, then I headed home.

Unfortunately, it was rush hour, so I didn't get home until 5:20 p.m.

I inspected the house (everything seemed fine - Caley did good) and put the suitcase on the bed.

I changed clothes and went outside to water. I was shocked! Everything out front, except for the plants under the porch, was damp! WTF?

Sidebar: I had been checking the weather daily on my cell phone and never saw any mention of rain.

I watered those plants and went out back. There was 1-1/2 inches of rain in the gauge!

I sent a text to Courtney (who lives about a mile away). She said they had a big storm Saturday night, so big in fact that it blew out some of our severs at work).

I took some pictures for you and then buttoned up for the night.

I unpacked the suitcase and put everything away.

Remember the mac & cheese I couldn't eat Wednesday night? I mixed it with a can of Hormel Hot chili with beans, warmed it on the stove and ate about half of that for dinner.

Sidebar: Thanks Jake, sorry Carla...

I deliberately didn't turn on the TV as I knew I was tired. So, I climbed into bed and read until I fell asleep. When my bladder woke me up, I took care of business then turned out the light and went to bed for real.

What I came home to in the yard...

Front porch

Proch rail planter

Right side planter

Left side planer

Mailbox garden (rear)

Mailbox garden (front)

Section of front garden

Kitchen window box

Chives and oregano

Rain amount since I left!!!

Riased bed herb garden

Backyard hanging plant (1)

Backyard hanging plants (2 & 3)

Raised bed vegetable garden (note green onions, grown from cut-offs)

Odd green peppers this year

Cherry tomatoes


Summer squash (I picked this one)

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Slow Sunday

I woke up a little later on Sunday. Jake and Carla were already up. I got a cup of coffee and read my book downstairs while they got dressed. I was just getting another when Jake stopped me. "Did you forget we were going to breakfast?" he asked. I said I thought we would be going later. He said that down here, the restaurants fill up fast on Sunday.

So, I shaved, showered and dressed quickly. Then we headed towards Columbia.

We ate at the Egg Up Cafe. It is apparently a small Southern chain. We got there about 8:00 a.m. and the place was already about half full.

I forget the name of the breakfast I chose, but it was two eggs over-easy, with sausage patties, home fries or grits (I took home fries this time, just to try them) plus a biscuit with sausage gravy.

The food was good and the portion size much more to my liking. Compared to Michigan breakfasts, it was about half the size. For example, I think they must use small eggs as compared to our large ones.

The only complaint I had is that it didn't with toast. I need something to push things onto my fork, occasionally.

Sidebar: All the waitresses had something cute written on the backs of their t-shirts (like Jimmy Johns back home). Only here they said things like, "You crack me up!" or "Is my crack showings?"

When we got back, Jake cut the front lawn. I offered to trim it for him, but this time he declined. So, I got that second cup of coffee and read my book for a while.

In the afternoon, Jake prepped the lettuce for tonight's dinner. Then we watched the latest Quentin Tarantino movie, "The Hateful Eight."

The photography was marvelous, but it was a little more violent and WAY too much use of the "N" word than any of us felt comfortable with. Which was strange as we all are big Quentin Tarantino fans.

It was also very, very long (like 3+ hours long). We had a snack of hot, buttered popcorn about halfway through.

When it was over, we ate dinner: taco salad. Excellent! Perfectly seasoned, but I've come to expect that, LOL!

We sat and chatted, while we watched some taped TV shows. But, we called it a night and they went to bed at 9:00 p.m. I stayed up to write this.

Saturday down South

I woke up early on Saturday. I read in bed for a while and then gave up and went downstairs. I made a cup of coffee and read until the troops arrived. They ate an oatmeal breakfast (I declined) while I watched more news (I'm a news junkie, if you didn't know).

I was planning on riding along with Jake to run errands, so Carla came and told me I better change if I was going. I told her I hadn't showered or made my bed yet, but she said I should do it afterwards.
Down here, you do everything early, before the stores get crowded and/or it gets too hot.

Sidebar: Makes sense!!!

So, we went to Kroger's, where I picked up some mouthwash (another thing I forgot to bring) and another book. As Jake only had a few items, too, we went through the self-checkout. I did my thing and, after pressing "Pay Now" I reached back for my wallet. It wasn't there!!! I forgot it at home.

Sidebar: I rarely carry it down here.

So, I had to wait (while the machine kept yelling at me to pay or cancel) until Jake was finished and could rescue me. I felt stupid as hell.

Please note: I paid him back upon our arrival at the house.

He went out to cut the backyard grass and I offered to do the trimming. He agreed, so that's what we did.

When I finished, I finally shaved, showered and got dressed.

We had leftover pizza for lunch.

Carla started prepping for tonight dinner, but declined our help.  So, Jake and I watched "Lone Survivor" with Mark Wahlberg. I thought it was excellent, but then again, I like war movies.

Throughout the movie, exotic smells wafted from the kitchen.

Finally, we were called to  dinner. She had made chicken tikka masala served over rice with fresh naan bread.

Need I tell you it was delicious?

I wasn't allowed to clean up (I never am).

Sidebar: This is NOT because they are so nice and loving to me. They just don't think I will do it to their high standards, LOL!

So, I read on the couch. It was far too hot to venture outside (heat index of 106 degrees).

It did rain briefly, with the sun shining! I think the moisture in the air finally got too heavy for itself.

We watched several episodes of the latest "Project Runway" shows and then went to bed around 9:00 p.m. I read for another hour and then went to sleep.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Then there was Friday...

I got up early Friday morning (I woke up all night long). The alarm on my phone went off while I was reading in bed (sh*t! I forgot to turn that sucker off). Unfortunately, it woke up Jake and Carla as well. They politely asked me to "disable that damn thing" when I joined them downstairs for coffee...

I assured them it is only set for weekdays.

Jake and Carla both left, as she had a 10:00 a.m. appointment.

I did the Blog and shaved and showered while she was gone.

When she got back from her appointment, she took me to the Cracker Barrel for bunch. It was delicious and the most I've eaten in almost a week!

Then we drove to Jake's work. I don't know what "threat level" they are at, but I couldn't get onto the base. So, I had to wait in the Visitor Center (or what ever its called) at the gate. The lady behind the counter asked if she could help me and I explained I was instructed to wait here until Carla returned with Jake.

While I was waiting, a little old black lady came in with her two small grandkids (both boys and maybe 3 and 4 years old). The man behind the counter asked if he could help her. She said she was supposed to pick up her son, but now she was going to jail!

It turned out when she stopped at the gate, the soldier noticed neither kid was in a car seat, so he told her to pull off and wait while he called the civilian police.

Sidebar: It seems that he daughter-in-law had dropped off the boys, but forgot the car seats. She had to get her son,  so she put them in the back seat, put their seat belts on and drove in.

So, she sat and waited for the police. Her grandsons kept saying, "Please don't go to jail!" The older one said, "I promise to be good if you don't go." She turned to him and said, "Why, you're not bad! You sometimes don't listen, but that doesn't mean you're bad."

Broke my heart!

Eventually, a woman police officer showed up, along with the daughter-in-law and the car seats. There was a long discussion, the seats and kids were installed in Granny's car and everyone went their separate ways. So, Grandma didn't go to jail, but I think she had a ticket in her hand as she left.

Jake and Carl finally rescued me and we went back home.  Carla and I visited while we watched some taped TV shows.

Going outside was like going into a sauna, BTW.

We decided on pizza for dinner. I still felt full from brunch, but I did manage to eat two pieces of excellent pizza.

We watched some taped TV shows we all like and then finally went to bed. It was funny, as in Jake and Carla world, we "stayed up late."  Bedtime was 9:15 p.m!

Friday, August 26, 2016

And, I don't even do that!

Traveling man...

So, I slept terrible on Monday night. I finally just gave up and got up around 4:00 a.m. I ate one piece of dry toast and my morning pills.

I was headed for North Carolina for a late celebration of Carla's birthday. My plane was supposed to leave at 10:45 a.m., so I did the math, backwards. Boarding begins 20 minutes early, two hours to make sure I get through the security lines in time, 15 minutes to check in, 15 minutes or more to find a parking spot and a 30 minute drive to the airport meant I should leave by 7:30 a.m.

I left at 7:15 and, of course, traffic was light, I found a parking spot right away, I breezed through both check-in and security and ended up with more than two hours to wait!

I normally would just eat breakfast to kill time, but my stomach's still not so hot. So, I sat and read my book until it was time to go.

When it was time to board, nothing happened! A large Middle East family (grandparents, parents and three small children) started looking around (like I was). Finally they called all our names to go to Gate 26 (we were all at Gate 30) for finally boarding. Never heard the gate change announcement!

But we all made it in time. We had a relatively smooth flight to Charlotte, NC.

Sidebar: I had to smile. When we landing, the Middle easterners all clapped, just like they do in Puerto Rico!

For some reason or another, landing in Charlotte is just the beginning of a long road to the next plane. The taxi from the runway to the gate always seems to take FOREVER. Must be the way the runways are laid out or something, because you start to taxi, then wait, move a little more and then wait, over and over again.

But, we finally got there and I made it to the next gate (all the way  across the airport)

Sidebar: I must look like sh*t. At Detroit, they asked me if I wanted a wheelchair. At Charlotte, they told me I should wait for one of the electric carts. I declined both times.

We boarded and made the short hop to Columbia. I retrieved my check bag and waited a bit for Jake to show up. While I was waiting, I sent my boss and Victoria texts, letting them both know I made it okay.

Jake arrived, loaded my stuff and we headed for home.

Carla and Whiskey greeted my enthusiastically while Jake carried my stuff upstairs. Carla had bacon made for BLTs and she said we could either eat them for lunch or dinner. I explained my stomach was not doing so good and would rather wait.

So, Jake and I both changed into something more comfortable then we all sat and visited.

When dinner time came, Carla suggested I might like a leftover breaded veal cutlet and a spring salad, rather than the greasy bacon. So, I opted for that. It was delicious, although I could only eat about half of it.

Sidebar: I must admit, their BLTs looked pretty damn delicious.

We watched some TV and then went to bed around 9:30 p.m.

Thursday, August 25, 2016


I went to work on Wednesday. I made it to around 11:00 a.m. and then my boss told me to go home. I spent the rest of the day in bed drinking water and trying not to throw up. This GIRD is kicking my ass!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Catching up

I couldn't fill in the Blog over the weekend. I somehow lost Firefox and couldn't figure out how to get to the Internet. Vicky suggested using IE but that's not in my programs.

It didn't help that I have been sick since Sunday morning.

I finally figured out that IE has been replaced by Microsoft Edge. So, I downloaded Firefox and I'm back in business.

I almost made it to work on Tuesday. I shaved, showered got dress and got in the truck. I pulled out of the driveway and then thought, "Oh, hell no." So, I pulled back in the garage, undressed and went back to bed.

But, I made myself go in on Wednesday. I'll let you know how that goes...

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Finally Friday

I got a lot of sleep on Thursday night, so I made it a point to get into work early. It was another hot, humid day.

Sidebar: I heard on WDET news that scientists have confirmed that, across America as a whole, this July was the hottest on record since records were kept (1885?). Oh, and that the polar ice cap is now mush (think the difference between an ice cube and crushed ice). No global warming? Get real. We are fncked. The only good thing is that I'm old enough that I'll be dead before it gets too bad...

Speaking about long-term problems, I also heard on the news that they are going to rebuild I-75. It will be a total gut and rebuild (entrance and exit ramps, over-passes, the roadway, etc. - like they did my section of I-96). The project is expected to take 14 years to complete!

Think about that for a moment...

Little Yanessa will be driving by that point.

So, any trips you wanted to take to Frankenmuth, or Birch Run, or bow hunting or to the UP (I-75 is the only expressway north) will be screwed...

That old Chinese curse (may you live in interesting times) has come true...

I went to Time Out for lunch and got the fish and chips. This time it was excellent as ever. It was slow there, so my waitress sat and chatted with me while I ate. She went to her concert last night (I forget who it was, not that I recognized his name). But, she got her nails done (not easy on a waitress salary) and was thrilled by him coming into the audience. She actually touched him! She had pictures to prove it.

Sidebar: Okay, that sounds silly. But, if you remember, I was the one who was struck dumb when meeting Michael Simon at the Roast (thank you again, Jake and Carla). So I understand hero worship.

She also showed me pictures of her son's seventh birthday and her current boyfriend's picture. He was smiling and she was proud of that.

From there, I went and got the truck washed.

Later in the day, around 3:00 p.m., we had a brief shower. So much for the car wash. I can't catch a break here.

I talked briefly with Michelle Pace. They are going to the Woodward Dream Cruise again this year this weekend (so is Fred).

I also chatted with Vicky. She finally tried one of the food trucks (never had the chance, but love the idea) on Campus Martius. She said she had an excellent corned beef sandwich and a drink for less than $10.00. The weather was perfect. So, she ate it on a bench in Campus Martius, listening to a young girl singing a song. Damn! That sounds excellent!

Back home, I treated the cat and changed clothes. I went out back and started harvesting the cherry and Italian tomatoes.

Sidebar: The Big Boy tomatoes Margaret had given me are now being attacked by the skunks (or whoever.

My neighbors were out harvesting their crops too. They offered me a butternut squash, which I appreciated.

I warmed up two brats and a can of Grillin' beans for my dinner. Then I watched the Olympics until bedtime.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Thursday's Department Picnic

I said I didn't sleep well and I meant it. I must have shut off the alarm on the clock and ignored the one on the cell phone, because I woke up at 8:10 a.m.!!

Which was a problem. Today was the department picnic. I had put together the dry ingredients for my macaroni salad but still needed to make the dressing.

So, I sent a text apologizing to my boss, put together the dressing and finished making my dish. Then I shaved, showered and went to work.

Sidebar: I got there at 9:40 a.m. Jesus! How embarrassing.

By this time, Courtney had already gone to Meijer's with my corporate credit card (she picked the lock in my desk with a paper clip - so much for security) and bought paper plates, napkins and plastic silverware.

But, for the first time in some nine or ten years, I didn't have to run around picking up lasagna or chicken (since I have the only department credit card). This years picnic was orchestrated by Dan Rotermund, who had joined the PeopleSoft team. He had Mediterranean food catered in (which I paid for on the credit card, LOL).

So, at 11:30, I drove my butt over to Rotary Park and joined my crew. Everything was set up!

Salad bar

The main menu was cicken skewers with a cucumber, garlic and yogurt sauce; ham and cheese stromboli; a broccoli, cauliflower and carrot vegetable medley; Patatas Bravas with garlic aoli and a Strawberry, walnut and arugula salad. This was all catered by Olivo, American & Mediterranean cuisine. Of course, as people showed up, the tables filled up with their personal offerings.

Finally, we all sat down to eat.

Dan had also set up some games!


Corn Hole

I tried to teach Courtney to play horseshoes with limited success (I blew out my knee on the first toss) and she taught me to play corn hole.

Sidebar: My first toss at corn home went right in the hole! Courtney's did the same! But, it was all downhill after that...

I went back to work the second time I needed the bathroom. There were bathrooms in the park, but not nearby.

They brought the leftovers back to our building and we set them on the folding tables for the mechanics to eat.

There was still a lot left by the time we went home. I took a small tray of the vegetable medley.

Back home, I messed around on the computer, (processing my pictures, etc.). I warmed up some of the vegetables for my dinner and ate them watching the Olymics. Then I went to bed early.

Thursday, August 18, 2016


It was another hot, humid day. My arthritis was officially killing me.

I went to the Big Boy and got the broccoli and ham soup with a half turkey sandwich on multi-grain bread for lunch.

It started to rain about 3:00 p.m. Naturally my windows were opened on the truck, so naturally I got wet closing them.

It had stopped by the time I left for home, but the freeway traffic was terrible  (stop and go all the way home).

There was a big puddle in my driveway, so I used the hoe to make a trench to the ditch.

I watered the container gardens on the front porch and the two big urns next to the garage door. They are all under the overhang of the roof, so do not benefit from rain.

I checked the gauge and we picked up a quarter of an inch from the afternoon storm.

I did a load of laundry and ate the rest of the steak with more sweet corn.

I watched the Olympics until bedtime, but didn't sleep well.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Tuesday's Tale

It rained hard here Monday night through Tuesday morning. I took the trash out to the road before leaving for work. In addition to the trash can, there was a garbage bag of debris from the drywall demolition.

I went to lunch at the Newburgh Grill. I had a cup of the ham and bean soup (my favorite) and a mini-Greek salad.

Then I went to Lowe's and returned the extra drill bit, so I got my $18.00 back. I turned around and spent it (and more) on a work light that costs $29.00.

Sidebar: I know Jake left me one, but it's in one of the boxes, somewhere.

It rained occasionally, but not long or hard in the afternoon.

Sidebar: This damn humidity is wreaking havoc with my arthritis! Both my knees and my left ankle are killing me.

So, when I got home, I got in the trash can and the mail. I treated the cat, took an extra Celebrex and quit for the night.

I did go out back to check the rain gauge. I officially got 1 1/2+ inches of rain here.

Sidebar: Some places got over three inches of rain. The news was filled with stories of flooded freeways, abandoned cars and people with flooded basements. So, I'll settle for what I got, thank  you.

I ate two more brats and the rest of the coleslaw for dinner.

I watched the Olympics until I fell asleep.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This

It was Monday morning and so back to work. It wasn't as warm, but still very humid. In fact, my boss sent us a text saying her asthma was so bad she had to stay home.

I got ready, grabbed a couple peaches and headed out.

It was a quiet day for the most part. I guess I never realized how rowdy my boss is, LOL!

I went to Ten Yen for lunch and got the won ton and egg roll. Excellent as always. My favorite waitress always put extra dumplings in the soup.

Sidebar: She seems very concerned about my health. Last time our discussion was about walking. She thinks I should walk more. Today she wanted to know how much sleep I get every night. Maybe she's working as a waitress to get through med school? Or, maybe I just look old and frail...

Our conversations are difficult, because of her accent and poor English, but if I can figure out a Puerto Rican, I can figure out a Chinese woman, I reckon.

From there I went to Lowe's.

Sidebar: There were two things I forgot to tell you. One was that when I was vacuuming yesterday, my vacuum crapped out. I thought I blew a fuse or something, so I tried another plug. Nothing. Dead as a door nail!

Now I can get it repaired (I have done that with other vacuums in the past) but, I hate that sucker! It's way too big for the task. I only have the 6' x 8' area rug in the living room. But, the cordless sweeper is too lightweight to get the cat hair off. So, I need a real vacuum, just not that heavy-duty (and heavy).

The other thing I didn't mention was that I realized without the can lights I'd imagined in the kitchen, my antique light fixture would leave the kitchen too dark. So, I think I'll leave that project for later and a real electrician. But, I can't just leave that temporary light bulb up there. It's not enough light and looks like shit.

So, I bought the drill bits I thought I might need, a smaller vacuum and a modern ceiling fan with four lights.

Sidebar: Yes, I know... I had a perfectly good three light ceiling fan I took down (with great difficulty) and tried to give to Vicky's family. That turned out to be a bad idea and it ended up in the trash.

Well, live and learn.

It was sprinkling on the way back to work, but it was only a brief shower. Then the sun came blazing back!

I volunteered for and started a new project. It was boring, mundane work, but somebody has to do it.

At 4:30 p.m. I sent Vicky a text, saying "Buenas noches, chica!" I have done that every night since forever, using our internal Skype feature. But this time I had to use a text. She sent me back one saying "Buenas noches, chico!" as she always did. So, we're good.

I left work under some trepidation. The sky was overcast and looked angry. My biggest fears were realized when a rain that Noah would have recognized hit while I was on the freeway. Even with the wipers on high, I couldn't see spit! Traffic slowed to 45 mph and the spray from the overloaded drains didn't help.

I finally got home and sat in the driveway. Here was my conundrum: I have to unload the truck outside and it was pouring! I sat there about 10 minutes, waiting for it to pass. Then I gave up. I got the ceiling fan and the vacuum (both big boxes) inside and then pulled the truck in.

I was drenched! I ignored the wailing cat, went to the wash machine and stripped. I toweled off and then I went in and treated the cat. I set my shoes on the shoe rack to dry off and got dressed in short and a t-shirt.

I watched the news for a while and then put together the vacuum. Easy-peasy. I tested it out and it worked great.

Then I went out in the garage and tried one of the drill bits. It worked, so I'll take the other drill bit back. Sounds like nothing, I know, but it cost $18.00 and I'll never use it.

BTW, the rain stopped and the sun was shining again.

I ran the wire with great difficulty, but by then it was 7:30 p.m. and with the overcast skies, I had no time to  strip the wires and hook everything up without lights.

So, I went inside and warmed up two brats. I ate them with yellow mustard on potato hot dog buns with more coleslaw.

Sidebar: That's another thing I forgot to mention. I made coleslaw on Sunday with a bag of coleslaw mix and half a bottle of Marzetti original Slaw dressing. Outstanding.

I watched the Olympics until I fell asleep. I can't make it to midnight anymore...

Monday, August 15, 2016


Steamy Sunday

I woke up early on Sunday. As soon as it was light enough, I went out and checked the rain gauge. We picked up another half inch here in Redford. Bringing the weekend total to one inch. I know some other places got up to three inches, but I'll take what I got. Grass looks better already!

I did the usual Sunday morning chores, then shaved, showered and got dressed. Around 9:00 a.m., I headed out for the Kroger's on Ford Road.

Sidebar: Why not my usual one on Five Mile? Because the Ford Road one has a gas station where I can redeem my fuel points and my gas tank was almost empty.

So, I got my seedless grapes and Kikkoman soy sauce and the went to the gas station. I got 50 cents off each gallon (I rarely redeem fuel points so they build up) and paid just $1.79 a gallon!!!

I was pleased, so I treated myself to a sausage and egg McMuffin and a hash brown on the way home.

I left the truck outside while I changed. Then I went out to the shed and got the wheel barrow and rake.

Sidebar: The temperature wasn't that bad but the humidity was awful. I was sweating before I got up front!

Then I put the last four bags of mulch on the landscape fabric.

Sidebar: I was embarrassed. Here's all these black families, coming home from church. The men were dressed in suits, the women in lovely dresses and hats. And here's this old, sweaty white guy in shorts and a ripped t-shirt waving to them as they said hello to me...

I finally finished that project and locked the wheel barrow and rake back in the shed. I went inside to cool off. That took about an hour!

I washed the kitchen floor as I was walking out.

Then I went out in the garage. I opened the door (hoping to lure an errant breeze inside) and then sanded the drywall mud down. That left an incredible amount of fine drywall dust everywhere. So, I spent a lot of time cleaning it up with a broom and the wet-vac.

Next, I started to break out the drywall from the light switch to the new back wall. I used the skill saw set at 1/2 inch depth (this worked really good on the other wall). But, it didn't work so well here.

Note: I cut out an area way too big at first.

What I found was that, underneath the drywall, was tar paper and another 1/2 of some sort of pressed cardboard (or something) board BEFORE you got to the studs.

I cut a much smaller section out of the second board. I drilled through the 2x4's that I could.

Sidebar: This is starting to look really do-able!

But, the project was halted when I got to where Rick had attached his wall end (consisting of two 2x4's) to the existing stud. I don't have a drill bit long enough to go through three 2x4's.

So, I quit for now. I pulled the truck back inside and buttoned everything up.

Inside, I stayed downstairs. I washed the dust off my crocs and stripped down. I took a rinse-off shower to get the dust off of me. Then I went upstairs and laid on the bed. My back was killing me!

I turned on the Olympics and watched for a bit until I fell asleep (which was what I was hoping for - I needed a nap!)

When I woke up it was just after 4:00 p.m., so I got the steak and brats out of the fridge to come to room temperature.

I went outside and fired up the charcoal.

Sidebar: The sun was gone. It was still hot, but overcast. The promised cold front had still not moved through.

I grilled the sweet corn first. Then I shucked it and stuck it on a half sheet pan in a 200 degree oven to keep warm.

I grilled the brats next. I know its a lot of brats, but it was buy one, get one free. I'll freeze half of them.

Then, I grilled the steak. It started sprinkling about then, so I went inside and got the warmer lid so the charcoal wouldn't be drowned out.

While the steak cooked, I mixed up a horseradish and mayo sauce to top it with.

Finally, I cut thin slices of half the steak and drizzled my dressing on it. I buttered two ears of sweet corn and salted them. I ate a delicious dinner!

Sidebar: I never ate lunch, so I was hungry and forgot to take a picture of the dinner plate. Sorry...

I cleaned up the mess and ran the dishwasher.

I quit then and went and watched the Olympics until bedtime.

Sunday, August 14, 2016


It rained again on Friday night. I don't know if it was a thunderstorm (I never heard any thunder) but I picked up a total of a half inch of rain by Saturday morning! Yes!!!

It wasn't as hot on Saturday, (only 85) but there was 98% humidity. It was so bad that the picture window in the living room was frosted over!

The same thing happened to my glasses whenever I went outside from the house or truck.

Before I left, I went and harvested my cherry tomatoes. I needed them for tonight's pasta salad.

I wore one of my lightweight golf shirts to run my errands. Unfortunately, that meant I didn't have a shirt pocket, so my carefully crafted grocery list was forgotten and stayed on the kitchen table...

I realized this at the barber shop when I had to ask Michelle to set my glasses down. I told myself that, since I had just filled it out an hour before, I could just remember what I needed.

It was sprinkling a little when I walked into Kroger's. We were supposed to get occasional showers all day, due to the heat and humidity.

I walked the aisles, "remembering" what I needed. I made two impulse buys: peaches and plums (both looked fantastic).

Then I stopped at Westborn and bought some sweet corn. It's so cheap now! $1.98 for 12 ears. I can't fit 12 ears of corn on my state park grill (much less eat them all) so I got six.

I made a quick stop at Home Depot and got some tree fertilizer stakes. My Japanese maple is starting to look poorly. I have been watering it, but I think it doesn't like this weather, either.

I left the truck outside to unload the groceries. As I put them away, I checked them off the list. I missed two items. I wanted a back-up bottle of Kikkoman soy sauce for the pantry (so no big deal), but I needed seedless green grapes for tonight's dinner!

Sidebar: Dammit! I think I got distracted by the peaches and plums.

I changed my clothes and went out in the garage. I put the second coat of mud on the drywall tape and then pulled the truck inside.

It was raining again. I decided today would be a good day to stay inside and clean the house (something I've been neglecting). So, I did.

Sidebar: I deliberately did NOT turn on the Olympics so I wouldn't get hooked into watching them. I turned on the radio, instead.

I dusted, swept the floors and them mopped them. I deep cleaned the downstairs shower.

I took a break and ate some braunschweiger on rye bread with hot mustard and a pickle on the side. Excellent sandwich!

Then I went back to cleaning.

I went room by room, so the floor would dry as I did the next one.

About 5:30 p.m., Dave Montgomery called and we chatted for a bit. He said he hadn't talked to me in a while. Then he said, "Your daughter wants to talked to you for a few minutes (yeah, right, LOL!) and gave the phone to Melissa. We talked for a long, long time (as usual).

By the time we hung up, I'd lost my ambition and was hungry again. So, I quit for the day and warmed up the rest of the refried beans. I ate them on tortillas again.

I turned on the Olympics and watched it until I fell asleep.

Saturday, August 13, 2016


I just realized I had not mentioned that, during this little heat wave, the rooftop A/C unit that feeds our little office and the vestibule has been broken. The temperature, despite keeping the door open and using fans to try and suck in some of the other, cooler, air, was 81 degrees on Thursday and 84 on Friday.

Facilities worked on it both days. Friday afternoon it finally seemed to be working correctly and the temperature was down to 76 by the time we went home.

Once I got home,I changed out of my soggy clothes and into a t-shirt and shorts. I did not go outside, except to attach the hose to the soaker hose in the vegetable garden and then again to disconnect it.

Sidebar: With the heat and humidity (the heat index was 101 degrees here in the D today) they predicted pop-up thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening. We got one at work (I got wet closing my truck windows) for about 10 minutes. But I saw no sign of rain at the house, so I watered my veggies. I also took in four more tomatoes.

Sure enough, it rained here about 8:00 p.m.! But it was more a quick splash and dash than a real thunderstorm and over, again, in about 10 minutes.

I was going to make another salad for dinner, but then remembered I used up all the lettuce last night. Hmmm... So, I went with my homemade easy-peasy Mexican dish.

Sidebar: It's not necessarily a true Mexican dish, but it has enough of the elements that I think I can call it that.

So, I warmed up a can of refried beans on the stove. While they were heating, I toasted two 8-inch flour tortillas on the stove grate over the open flame. When the beans were done, I put some of them on the tortillas, topped them with diced sweet onions and a little taco sauce. I added some shredded sharp cheddar cheese, rolled them up and ate dinner.

I watched the Olympics again until midnight.

Friday, August 12, 2016


It was stiflingly hot on Thursday!

We all chipped in and bought pizza, wings, cheesy bread and soda for Vicky's farewell lunch. We ate it in the conference room. The pizza was HUGE (like three feet in diameter) but excellent. I excused myself after eating and went to Lowe's for more mulch.

After work, some of us went to Time Out to say goodbye to Vicky. I got there first and warned Amanda, the waitress and Dan, the owner, to get ready for 15-20 people. It was mostly current co-workers, but Matt and Michelle showed up as well. People were buying appetizers and some bought dinner. I thought about it, but decided not to.People started leaving around 7:00 p.m. so I decided to as well.

Vicky's brother Luis showed up about then. So, I shook his hand and then hugged women goodbye.

I thought about spreading the mulch, but when I got out of the bar, my glasses fogged up from the heat and humidity. So, I decided it was too damn hot to work outside.

I made a salad  for my dinner from the tomatoes and some lettuce and watched the Olympics until midnight.

Thursday, August 11, 2016


I overslept on Wednesday, due to the damn Olympics. I still made it to work on time, just not as early as I like.

I took Vicky to lunch at Red Lobster. As we were walking to our booth somebody said, "Hi, Vicky! Hi, John!" I automatically said "Hi!" back even though I couldn't place the face. So, when we sat down, I asked her who that was. She said, "He works at Building 50 and his name is John Towns."

No wonder I couldn't place him! Last time I saw him, his hair was coal black. Today he was all gray!

Had another "moment" when Mark Slack came in to talk to Fred. I hadn't seen him since I worked up at Building 73. He shook my hand and I remarked how skinny he looked. He said he'd lost 40+ pounds!

Sidebar: I wish I could do that...

Back home after work, I called Carla for her birthday. Then I went outside and hooked up the oscillating sprinkler and watered the English garden out front.

I made one of the smaller DiGiorno pizzas for my dinner after I added some banana peppers and more mozzarella cheese.

I watched the Olympics until midnight (again).

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


Toasty Tuesday

It was muggy and hot again on Tuesday.

That made me rethink my original idea of getting the rest of the mulch I needed at lunch, as I knew it would be too hot to spread it after work.

Instead, I went to the credit union and got the lien released on the correct title for the bike. It took a while to convince them that nothing fishy was going on, and that the Secretary of State just messed up the original one.

On the way home, I stopped at CVS for more band-aids. I got a wicked blister on my finger that burst and I only had one at the house. Since I was there anyway, I popped in next door and bought a quart of chicken fried rice for dinner (I am tired of leftovers).

Back at home, I watered the rear gardens and then stuck the hose on the soaker hose in the vegetable garden. I harvested the few tomatoes (Italian and Big Boy) that were ripe. I eat all the cherry tomatoes whenever I visit.  Like the peas were, they are a nice snack.

I'm thinking BLTs!

I took a picture of the front garden work so you know what I am talking about.

My daughter Melissa called. I turned her onto Scott Pace to fix her AC problem and he had contacted her. So, she thanked me.

I warmed up the fried rice and ate that for dinner watching the Olympics.

Sidebar: These are addictive to me...

I finally turned them off around midnight and went to bed.

Birthday Shoutout!

Happy birthday to Carla. I hope you enjoy the hell out of your special day. XOXO!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Monday Moanin'

It was a little warmer on Monday, but still with low humidity and a nice breeze.

I went to Ten Yen for lunch, but this time I broke with tradition. I wasn't that hungry, so I ordered just a bowl of won ton soup and an egg roll. Perfect!

From there I went to Lowe's and bought four bags of mulch (I still had one at home in the shed). I don't know how many it will take to cover up the torn out tiger lilies, but its a start.

So, when I got home, I quickly changed and got to work. I got the wheelbarrow, a rake and the bag of mulch from the shed, along with a roll of black landscape fabric.

I put the landscape fabric down and held it in place with rocks. I had to cut it out around some of the plants.

Then I put down the mulch and spread it around with the rake. It looks like another three or four bags should do it!

In spite of the nice breeze, I was hot and sweaty when I finished up around 7:00 p.m.

I ate leftovers and then watched the Olympics until after 11:30 p.m.


Monday, August 8, 2016

Sunday's Story.

Sunday was more or less a repeat of Saturday, but without the big meal. Mostly, I watched the Olympics. I did do some outside work, mostly in the back trimming bushes, etc. That's when I discovered the weeders had been here.

I gave my neighbor a cucumber and later, he hung a bag of hot peppers on the fence. I'll take them into work and give them to Fred.

I watered the container gardens that needed it and checked out the front gardens. It was a little more dramatic as they not only pulled out all the weeds, but most of the tiger lilies!

Oh well, the things are weeds. They'll grow back. But I should put down some landscape fabric and mulch.

I went back inside and back to watching the Olympics. Dinner was leftovers and more Olmpics until I finally fell asleep.

Slow Saturday

I slept like crap on Friday night. I woke up around 1:30 a.m. and didn't fall back asleep until almost 6:00 a.m. I slept until an amazing 10:00 a.m.

When I woke up, I was starving. So, I made some eggs over easy and baked some tater tots. I had an excellent brunch.

I realized I was almost out of chewing tobacco, so I ran up to the corner gas station. My phone rang while I was standing in line, so I jut shut it off. I checked when I got back in the truck and it was my daughter Melissa.

So. I called her back when I got home and we talked for a long, long time.

When I got off the phone, I started my crock pot dinner. I took out some beef western ribs and browned them in the cast iron skillet.

I cut some baby redskin potatoes in half and quartered a peeled onion. The went into the crock pot, topped by the ribs.

Next came a bag of sauerkraut.

I turned the slow cooker on high and set the stove timer for four hours. Which meant I'd be eating just after 8:00 p.m.

I pretended to clean the house while I really was watching the Olympics.

Dinner was good. I watched the Olympics until they ended after midnight.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

The real finally friday...

It was ungodly hot and muggy on Friday. But, an approaching cold front promised rain and cooler temps over the weekend.

I  walked outside in the morning but didn't like it.

I went to Time Out for lunch and got one of their "today's specials" - a barbecue chicken sandwich and fries for $6.99. The fries were as good as always, but I was unimpressed with the sandwich. It was a chicken breast with Swiss cheese and some barbecue sauce dumped on it afterwards. It lacked a barbecue "flavor."

I checked with my waitress, Amanda, on the availability of 15-20 of us descending on them next Thursday after work for Vicky's going away party. She said it would be fine, she would take care of me (and she always has...)

The humidity was messing with my arthritis, big time. So, I ended up getting my cane out of the truck (where I keep it for emergencies) and just limping around. The afternoon passed slowly (as it does on a Friday)  but finally I was headed home. Still no rain here, BTW.

Once home and in the air conditioning, I decided to take the night off.  So, I did.

When I was hungry, I warmed up a hot dog and two ears of corn.

I watched the start of the summer Olympics until I fell asleep. It never rained here...

Friday, August 5, 2016

Finally Friday


It was an ozone action day on Thursday (high in the 90's and muggy).

I ate at the Newburgh Grill for lunch. I decided to treat myself with a coney and onion rings.

Five minutes before I left for home, it started pouring. I drove on the expressway with the wipers on high and it was still difficult to see!  But, it was just a pop-up shower and it was done by the time I got to Inkster and it never even rained at my house.

It was way too hot to work in the garage so I watered the container gardens, hanging plants, mailbox garden, etc., while the hose watered the vegetable garden.

My sister-in-law Coletta called with an update on my sister-in-law Jean.  When I got back inside and cooled off a bit, I called my brother Carl.

I ate two slices of the leftover quiche for dinner while I watched a special about the Olympics.Then I went to bed.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Another humped day...

It was another hot day, but still not that muggy.

I went to lunch at the Big boy. I got the grilled chicken Caesar salad again. It was delicious and I was feeling very smug about eating healthy.

At least I was, until I got back to work. Vicky and Courtney had just gotten back from the gym and were talking about salad dressing when Courtney said, "The trouble is, my favorite is the dressing they put on Caesar salad and that's the worst, calorie-wise." Damn!

I walked inside in the afternoon.

I finalized arrangements with Jon Boy Landscaping to weed my front garden. The big one by the north wood fence is out of control with some kind of grass. The trouble is, my back won't let me bend over that long and my knee prevents me from kneeling. I'd pay the little San Jose Irregulars, but am afraid they'd pull up plants. Sigh...

When I got home, I left the truck outside for a bit. After I changed, I went in the garage and sanded down the drywall mud I'd put on. I cleaned the mess up and pulled the truck back inside.

I went out back to check on the container gardens. Turns out they'll be okay until tomorrow.

I checked out the vegetable garden and (I'll be damned) one of the green onion roots I planted is growing!

Imagine that! You can plant things you normally throw away!!! That gave me an idea...

We'll see how this turns out.

The plants under the office window are blooming. I think they are hyacinths (help me out here, Brother Carl).

Back inside, I started making dinner. I made a broccoli and ham quiche. Actually, I made two. When I checked recipes, they were evenly split between sharp cheddar cheese and Swiss cheese. So, I tried one of each.

I cut a slice of both. The Swiss cheese was still a bit runny, so I stuck it back in the oven. I ate dinner watching TV.

Sidebar: I still prefer the sharp cheddar, but both needed more salt and some herbs (or something). I just used salt, pepper, ground mustard and a pinch of nutmeg.

When I finally took my plate out to the kitchen, I remembered the quiche in the oven. I burned it!!!

I watched a taped TV show and then went to bed.