Friday, September 30, 2016

Another Rainy Day

It rained, and rained hard every now and then, all day. Freeways in Detroit were shut down (one car floated away) and even driving around here was tricky.

I had to go to the Credit Union at lunch, so I went to the one at Seven Mile and Newburgh and ended up eating at the Big Boy again. This time I had the chicken Caesar salad. It was good, but I couldn't eat it all.

Sidebar: I got a soaker walking to the truck through the rushing water.

When I got home, I walked out back (in the rain) to check the gauge. It was just over four inches!!! This time I had to dump it as it only holds six inches.

During the afternoon, I had some ideas of what I would do when I got home. But, I was lazy. I watched the news, heated up some ham and bean soup for dinner, watched two taped DIY shows and went to bed early.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Debate Aftermath... Vote for Gary Johnson!!!


Rainy Days and Hump Day

It was chilly when I woke up. It started to sprinkle when I was taking my morning walk.

It rained off and on for the rest of the day. So, I got wet when I went to lunch.

I went to Big Boy and got a cup of soup and the Caesar side salad.

When I got home, I checked the rain gauge and I had just shy of one inch of rain in it. I didn't dump it, as it supposed to rain for the next four days and I want to get the storm total.

I ate some of the macaroni salad I made for the family reunion. I put the rest in the trash as it was already four days old.

I did the Wednesday wash and watched some taped TV shows. Then I went to bed at 10:00 p.m.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Vegetarian Dinner

It was chilly taking the trash out Tuesday morning!

I went to Newburgh Grill for lunch and got a cup of soup and their Pattie melt. Then I went to the Meijer's in Westland. I was looking for a light fall jacket, but couldn't find one I liked.

I think it was the wind that made it feel so raw today. Vicky said she took her usual mile walk at lunch on the Detroit Riverwalk and a couple of times was afraid the wind would blow her into the river!

I retrieved the trash can and got the mail when I got home after work. Before changing clothes, I took the used kitty litter out to the compost heap. Then I refilled the cat tray with fresh litter.

I changed clothes and then made dinner. I sauteed the two summer squash in butter. Delicious!

I watched NCIS and then went to bed.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


I was feeling a little better on Monday. But, my boss is always yelling at me for coming in when I'm not feeling well. So, I stayed home.

It rained for most of the day.

I spent most of the day in bed. When I got hungry, I ate macaroni salad.

I deliberately did not watch the presidential debate. There are four candidates running, not just two. When they put all four of them on the stage, I'll watch.


I still had stomach problems on Sunday but I still made the beans into soup for the family reunion. But, before I should have left at 11:00 a.m., I realized that there was no way I could drive for an hour without having a rest area.

So, I opted to stay home, next to my dear toilet.

But, there were three problems with that.

1. My brother Joe was bringing me a wood vise that I need to pick up.
2. My brother Carl bought me two hydrangeas so I need to pay him and take them off his hands.
3. My great niece Jamie will be deeply disappointed not to see me.

I couldn't help it.

On the bright side, between my soup and macaroni salad, I have plenty of food for the coming week.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Saturday, running errands...

I woke up late on Saturday. But, that was okay as I didn't have any appointments. so, who cares?

I watched the last of the news and then a couple of DIY shows (I was lazy). Finally, I shaved and showered.

I got dressed and headed out to the Kroger's on Ford Road. They carry the dried 15 bean mix I wanted.

Sidebar: I couldn't decide on what to make for the family reunion. It's been so warm I thought macaroni salad. But it looked like the temperature was going to fall, so I was thinking ham and bean soup.

So, I bought the ingredients for both, along with some needed staples. Plus a large package of (much needed) toilet paper - I've had the runs since Friday morning.

Sidebar: It's not only me. Michelle gave those turkey rolls to Vicky and I have since learned that both Yanessa and Evy had the same reaction as I did. They tasted great, but there was something in them that tore my guts up!

Back home, I dumped the truck in the driveway and hit the bathroom. Then I unloaded the groceries.

I put the bag of beans in water to soak overnight. Then I boiled the macaroni for the salad. When it was done, I rinsed it in cold water and let it cool. Then I roasted three red peppers on the stove grate.

I chopped those up and added the rest of the ingredients. I made the dressing and stuck the bowl in the fridge for the night.

Then I went outside to plant my latest acquisition, a "Thundercloud Stonecrop," it's a low, mounding perennial.

Since I was out there anyway, I watered all the recent transplants. I noticed that two of my roses finally (FINALLY) bloomed.

Back inside I cooked some Buitoni fresh pasta. I wanted the mushroom anga(whatever) but they were out. So, I bought a four cheese ravioli. I figured that was enough cheese, so I skipped the Alfredo sauce and went with a jarred tomato and basil sauce. I topped it with some Parm and dinner was done and delicious.

Then I went to bed early.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Finally Friday

There was a beautiful sunrise on the way into work on Friday. It clouded up, though, as the morning progressed.

I went to Time Out for lunch. I got a chicken salad pita, just for something different. It was pretty good!

It rained briefly in the afternoon, so Fred and I had to run out and close our truck windows.

Back home after work, I watered the container gardens in front. I dumped a full bucket on the dogwood. The hydrangeas and the transplanted Shasta daisies look really healthy!

Then I went out back and watered the kitchen window box and the three hanging plants. It's kinda sad. Now that the season is almost over, the hanging plants are finally filled out and looking great!

And the season is really almost over. The maples out back are starting to turn color and already dropping leaves.
I checked the veggie garden. The tomato plants are dying, but I found three summer squash! I picked the biggest two.
Back inside, I washed my pants that had I soaking since the painting class. Sadly, they will have to be my new "working around the house" pants as the stain did not come out.

I ate the last of the beef pot pie for dinner and then watched a little TV until bedtime.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Here's the group photo at Painting with a Twist

Picasso and me...

Today was the wort day of this week for heat and humidity. 86 degrees and muggy!

I went to Red Robin and got their Bleu burger and fries. I just felt like having something different for a change.

Since I had some time to kill, I went for a ride through Hines Park. I was surprised to see how many trees are beginning to change color!I thought they needed cold nights for that?

After work, I took a rinse-off shower and changed clothes after treating the cat. Then I headed back out into rush hour traffic. I had to get to Ferndale. Vicky and I were meeting with Michelle Pace and her daughter, Ashley (and three of Michelle's friends) at a "Painting with a Twist" session.

Sidebar: If you don't know what that is, it's a paint class (acrylic water-based paint) where a bunch of strangers sit and paint a picture, based on a theme (or, you can paint whatever the hell you want). People bring in wine and/or snacks. There is an instructor who shows you techniques and occasionally walks around giving suggestions.

So, I went down Telegraph to I-696. Telegraph was slow, but I-696 was a parking lot (literally). I was seriously worried I wouldn't make it in time (it was from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., but you were supposed to get there at 6:30 to sign in).

I got off on Woodward (next to the Detroit zoo) and went two miles south to Nine Mile. I turned right and I was literally there. But, with all the parking spaces taken! Their website mentioned parking the rear, but how do I get to the rear? There's no entrance or alleyway or even a cross street. WTF?

So, I drove west on Nine Mile for at least a quarter mile to find a cross street. Finally found one and then found the big parking lot. No to find a parking space! But I finally found a handicapped one all the way back and just behind Painting with a Twist! What luck!

I was not so lucking with the parking kiost. First timeI ever saw one, much less used one, so I ended up paying three times what I should have. Damn modern technology!

I went inside, carrying two bottles of wine (Michelle was bring snacks). I was the first one there so I requestered, got my canvas and found my seat. I then used the bathroom (thank God!)

I chatted with the two artists while I waited for the others. People slowly started trickling in. I took a photo to show you the set up.

 Note: This was just one section. It's a big place.

Michelle and Ashley showed up and then Michelle friends. But no Victoria.

Michelle had cheese and crackers and some very delicious turkey wraps. So, we had some food (nobody had time to eat dinner). Everybody got their apron and class began.

Michelle called Vicky. She was here, just trying to find a parking spot.

Now the theme was "Fall in Michigan" so each canvas had the Michigan outline drawn on it.

Some people got really creative, but I followed the instructor. I was trying to get the techniques, first.

Vicky finally made it, but she was about 15 minutes late and so behind. She was sitting next to me (Michelle and Ash were across the table from us) so I kept telling her what she missed.

We took a ten minute break about an hour through (mostly to let the painting dry). I had some wine and chatted with Vicky while Michelle and Ashley played with hulu hoops.

Then we went back to work.

I was having trouble making small branches. I followed the instructions (over and over) but kept making big ones. Vicky was doing it perfectly, so I finally gave up and asked the artist for help. She came over to show me, but siad, "Here's the problem! You've got a bad brush!!!" She gave me a new one and it worked!

All good thing some to an end and so did the class. We posed in a group picture for their Facebook page and a private one that Ashley took.

Unfortunately, the bottom of my painting wasn't quite dry, so I got blue paint on my brown pants. They gave me some Clorox wipes, but I think they are trashed.

I washed up and made my goodbyes (Michelle and Vicky were still chatting away). I thanked both the artists and headed home

It took me half the time to get home as it did to get there in rush hour.

I took a close up of the painting for you.

It's okay for a first attempt. I put my pand on a bucket with some laundry soap to soak overnight. Then I went to bed.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Hump Day!

It was another warm, muggy day.

I went to Big Boy and got a cup of the broccoli and ham coup and a half sandwich (three cheese and tomato, grilled.)

Then I went and filled the truck up.

When I got home, I did the Wednesday night wash.

I heated another piece of the beef pot pie in the microwave for my dinner.

Then I watched the taped season premiers of NCIS and NCIS New Orleans.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Tuesday's Tale

It was chilly on Tuesday morning when I took the trash out to the road. But it warmed up to a beautiful summer day.

Sidebar: Summer is clinging on in Southeast Michigan, despite what the calendar says.

I went all over hell at lunch. First I went to Larry's Foodliner (open 24 hour) and bought a bottle of Kitchen Bouquet. I remember my Mother using this in her gravy, so I thought I'd try it.

Then I went to Newburgh Grill. They had their bean and ham soup, so I just got a big bowl of that.

From there I went to Lowe's. I wanted to get two more hydrangeas, but they were all gone! They replaced them with tons of mums. Dammit!

Finally, I got the truck washed.

After work, I took out the roast and two pie crust. I thawed the pie crusts while I cut the roast, potatoes, carrots and onions into smaller pieces (I like big chunks with my roast). I mixed them all up. and they filled the two other frozen pie crusts.

Then I made my gravy. I had four cups of au jus, so I doubled the recipe. I put in 1/2 cup of butter into a large saucepan and melted it. Then I whisked in 1/2 cup of flour until there were no lumps. I added in 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and cooked it over medium heat for about five minutes, until it started to turn light brown.

I turned the heat to low and SLOWLY added my au jus, whisking constantly. I added two teaspoons of Kitchen Bouquet and turned the heat back to medium. I continued to stir until the gravy boiled and thickened.

I tasted it and it was great! Not exactly like my mother's (but she used beef drippings and mine was broth-based) but damn close!

I put the gravy over the beef and veggies, put the thawed crust on top (this wasn't easy or pretty) and stuck them into a preheated 350 degree preheated oven. I baked them for about 30 minutes until the crust was golden.

I cut a piece for my dinner, but couldn't get it out pretty enough to take a picture for you.

On the other hand, it was delicious. Thanks for the idea, Jake!

I watched TV for a bit, but went to bed early.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Monday and back to work...

Note: I actually think I work more on my weekends than I do all week long at Spacely Sprockets.

It was yet another beautiful day here in Southeast Michigan. It warmed up to 80 degrees but, with the low humidity and light winds, it didn't feel "hot".

I went to Ten Yen for lunch and had the almond chicken. I took half of it back with me to work in a take-out box.

Then I went to Lowe's. If you remember, the checkout girl with the odd colored hair told me the sale on nursery stock would start after the 15th. So, I went to see if it was true.

My friendly cashier wasn't there, but everything was 25% off.

Sidebar: Not as good as my brother Carl's Mt. Clemens Lowe's but, oh well... We can't all live in Mt. Clemens.

So, I bought the Cloud Nine Dogwood I had had my eye on. Cost me $23.00.

Next problem was putting it in the truck. I was unprepared. Had I thought about it, I would have brought a garbage bag and wrapped it around the container (to keep the dirt from falling out) and then just laid it in the back (the sucker's 5+ feet tall). But, I went on a whim and now had to deal with it.

So, I ended up putting the passenger seat back, sticking the pot under the dashboard and laying the branches on the seat. It was a little unstable, but I made it back to work. Then I put small boxes in appropriate places to shore it up for the ride home.

Back home after work, I noticed they hadn't cut my lawn (again). This time I'm gonna call and complain.

I changed clothes and then went outside to determine the spot for the dogwood. Unfortunately, the exact right spot (I think) is where I had planted some of the farm Iris from Sadie!


So, I manned up and moved the Iris to two new spots. I probably won't get flowers next year, but gardening is a waiting game.

Then I dug a big-ass hole and planted the dogwood. My only hope is that the roots do not get into my sewer tile.

Since I was out there, I screwed the big pumpkin on for Halloween.

I went inside after securing everything and was surprised to find it was 8:30 p.m. Too late to try Jake's beef pot pie idea, so I just made a roast beef sandwich with hot mustard for dinner.

I watched a little TV but fell asleep early. I was beat...

Monday, September 19, 2016


Sunday was just doing routine chores around the house: Three loads of laundry, minor housecleaning, etc.

I made a BLT for my lunch with store-bought tomatoes. It tasted so good I made another one for dinner.

Lazy day. Read a lot, watched some TV and generally screwed off.


I woke up to the alarm clock on Saturday. I had a 9:00 a.m. doctor's appointment in Sterling Heights (six-months check-up). So, I shaved, showered and got ready. Then I got a call from them saying my appointment was rescheduled to October 15 at 9:00 a.m.

Well, that's okay, I guess. It will give me more time to lose weight (always a concern of my dear doctor) But, can a doctor get sick? I dunno. Doesn't seem like a stellar recommendation.

On the other hand, my pharmacist's recommendations seem to be working. My left hand is looking much better!

The only thing that annoys me is that I have to wait to 1:00 p.m. for my hair cut.

It was raining. so I putzed inside.

I made a half sheet pan of bacon in the oven (Please don't tell Vicky - she has banned me from using the the stove until after I see my doctor). But seriously, when have I ever listened to a woman?

I made two eggs over easy and toast and, with some bacon, had a nice breakfast.

I finally went and got my hair cut. Then I went to Kroger's. I was pulling out after checking out when I realized I forgot the pie crusts. So, I turned around and parked again. I went back inside and bought them.

I stopped at the Chinese take-out next to CVS and got a quart of chicken fried rice. I was hungry and it sounded good. And, it was. I ate about half of it for my late lunch.

I left the truck outside to unload it.

I changed clothes and then pulled the Big Thumper outside as well. Then I started moving wood to the back wall. I have to get the area in front of the old fuse box cleared out. I still haven't gotten a confirmation date yet, but I don't want to be surprised by them showing up and not being able to put in the new fuse box.

Finally, I rolled the chop saw table and the router table to the back. I started the bike and drove it in. Then I did the same to the truck.

It was after 6:00 p.m., so I heated the rest of the fried rice up and ate dinner.

I watched some DIY shows until bedtime.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Finally Friday

It was cool again in the morning, but warmed up quickly  Another perfect day!

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

They still haven't found a new waitress, so Amanda (the only night waitress) was pulling yet another double shift. She was yawning when she took my order. Poor kid!

When I got home after work, I started watering plants. I did all the container gardens in front with my watering can. Then I dumped a bucket each of water on the hydrangeas. They are still laying down but are now turning pink.

Brother Carl: Is this falling over normal for hydrangeas or is it just because they are newly transplanted? Should I cut them back?

I also put a bucket of water on the transplanted shasta daisies. They look healthy!

Speaking of pink, the mysterious plants (I don't remember their name) are now turning pink as well.

Then I went out back and watered the kitchen window flower box and the three hanging plants.

Back inside, I finally changed clothes.

I made a a salad for my dinner (I'm trying to lose the weight I usually do over the summer, but haven't this year). Plus, I'm also trying to use up all the damn cherry tomatoes.

Sidebar: I still have gotten only one heirloom tomato. No wonder they went to hybrids, LOL!

The cucumber made me burp all night or maybe it's the Gerd (I spelled it right, Jake).

I watched a little TV but went to bed at 9:00 p.m.

Friday, September 16, 2016


It was cool again on Thursday and I loved it!

My two blisters had broken during the night so, after I showered, I treated them with the Neosporan and put on wide bandages to keep them clean. Then I went to work.

For some reason, I thought it was Friday when I went to lunch. So, I went to Time Out for the fish and chips. Instead, I got a grilled ham and cheese sandwich with fries. It was good (don't get me wrong) but just not what I was expecting.

Somehow, I have picked up those little Redford ants on my kitchen counter (and only on my counter so far). So, I took everything off (wiping each thing with Clorox wipes) and put it all on the table. Then I opened the windows and sprayed the tile counter and back splash with ant spray. I let that sit for a couple of hours.

I used the roast beef to make an excellent sandwich, with Red pelican hot mustard (Vicky had suggested I take a break from using the stove, LOL!)

Then I went back to the counter. I washed it with hot soapy water (to get the oily ant spray off) and then, when it dried, I used antibacterial spray and paper towels to clean it once again.

When that dried, I put everything back and went to bed.

It took along time and half a roll of paper towel, but the ants are gone!

Thursday, September 15, 2016


And then it was Wednesday

Wednesday morning, I got ready for work. Then I got out my oval slow cooker. I put in the veggies, then the herbs. I threw in two dried bay leaves as well. I snuggled the roast into the vegetables and added a box of beef stock. Finally, I added a splash of soy sauce as my mystery ingredient. I turned the slow cooker on low when I left for work.

I drove to work in light rain. It ended before my morning walk.

I went to Eastside Mario's for lunch. I got a bowl of Italian wedding soup and a Caesar salad. Both were delicious. I had plenty of time left, so I drove down Merriman to Hines Drive and drove through the park back to work.

I stopped at CVS on the way home and talked to the pharmacist. I asked him if they had burn cream. He said that burn blisters like mine go either way: either they shrink by themselves or burst. He said if they burst, the important thing is to keep them covered with antibacterial cream (like neosporan, which I have at home). So, I'm good.

The house smelled delicious when I walked in. I made myself wait until 6:00 p.m., then I took out the roast and veggies. I cut off enough of the roast for tonight's dinner, added some veggies to the plate and topped it all off with some of the au jus.

Dinner was excellent and perfectly paired with the fall-like feel of the day.

The rest of the au jus went into a container (to make into gravy). The rest of the roast and veggies went into another container and both containers went into the fridge.

I watched a taped TV show but went to bed early.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A few photos from the last few days

The neighbor's butternut squash offering

Caley, being nice for a change

The blisters on my left hand from the grease (you can't tell by the photo, but my whole hand is burnt and red).

Tuesday, Tuesday

Tuesday sucked. I woke up and turned the TV on. I missed the weather, so I used the TV remote to try and go back.


WTF? Are my remote control batteries dead?

Sidebar: Back in the day, the cable box had buttons on it to change channels or fast forward or go back.  But these days, all I have is a power on, power off button.

So, I went back and got two new batteries. NOTHING!

So, I gave up and went to work, carrying the remote with me.

I called Brighthouse (my cable company) first. They said bring in the old one and they would replace it, free of charge. Great!

Next, I called my barber and got an appointment for 9:00 a.m. on Saturday.

Finally, I called my doctor for an appointment for my six-month checkup. Turned out she was available this Saturday (she's only in one Saturday a month) but the only appointment was at (you guessed it) at 9:00 a.m.

So, I took it and rescheduled my haircut for 11:00 a.m.

I left for lunch at 11:30 a.m., so I could beat the lunchtime crowd at Brighthouse. I lucked out as there were only two folks in front of me. Turned out the remote I had was broken in the front (I never noticed). Must have fallen off the bed one too many times.

From there I went to Sam's Place (right down the road at 5-Mile and Farmington). I got the six pierogie special I always wanted to try. You can customize it if you want but, as is, it comes with two potato, two cheese and two sauerkraut homemade pierogies, sour cream and a hunk of Texas toast.

Sidebar: DO NOT attempt to eat them when they first come out. Cut them up and let them cool. I learned this the hard way. Also, ask for extra sour cream.

Result? The potato and cheese ones were excellent (once cooled). The sauerkraut ones were a little intense and upset my stomach. I didn't have room for the toast, so I can't comment on that.

From there I went down the road to Kroger's. I bought a bag of onions and a three-pound chuck roast.

Sidebar: They had "buy one, get one free" on chuck roasts when I went in on Saturday. But, they were huge and around $28.00 each. No way could I eat that much meat. But, with the cooler weather, a pot roast sounded good.

So, today I bought a smaller, three-pound one (not on sale) and some onions. Then I went back to work.

The afternoon passed slowly, but I stopped at the Post Office on the way home.

Once home, I got to work. I went out back and harvested a couple handfuls of cherry tomatoes. While I was out there, I also grabbed a handful of thyme stalks and three stalks of rosemary.

Back inside, I started to prepare the roast for tomorrow's slow cooker. I put some canola oil in the 12-inch pan and (after closing the bedroom and office doors, cracking the kitchen window and turning on the fan) heated it up. I seasoned the roast with Kosher salt and a lot of fresh ground pepper and put it in the pan.

Here's where I made a terrible mistake. I grabbed the short tongs (with the red rubber ends) instead of the big ones. I was holding the pan with my left hand and turning the roast with my right when it slipped out of the tongs. It splashed hot oil all over my hand, the front of the stove and the floor!

Damn that hurt!

When I got the roast browned on all four sides, I took it out and set it on a plate. Then I ran cold water on my poor hand, dried it off and rubbed Vaseline Intensive Care lotion all over it.

I went back to work and browned some Yukon Gold potatoes, then some carrots and finally the onions. I set all those aside to cool as well.

I got some Pine-Sol and hot water and washed the kitchen floor in front of the stove.

Then, I made a nice salad with lettuce, the tomatoes and cucumber. I topped that with store-bought blue cheese dressing and ate it for my dinner.

I put the roast and veggies in the fridge for tomorrow.

Then, I watched a little TV. I rewashed my hand and applied more lotion before going to bed.

Birthday Shoutout!

Happy birthday to Jerica Garcia, my grandson Joe's wife. Enjoy your special day!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Monday, Monday...

It went down into the 50's overnight. Unfortunately, I had opened my bedroom window. So, it was chilly, except under the covers. So, I kept hitting the snooze button and promising myself I'd get up "next" time.

As a result I had to hustle to get to work on time.

I went to Ten Yen for lunch and got the chicken sub gum.

After work, I went out and picked a cucumber. I peeled it and sliced it. Then I made a cucumber sandwich. I ate that with a small bag of chips I bought from the vending machine at work. Nice light dinner.

I watched the final episode of America Ninja Warrior and then went to bed at 10:00 p.m. I left the window closed this time.

Monday, September 12, 2016


I took Sunday off. Oh, I did the chores I needed to do, including two loads of laundry. But I mostly read or watched TV.

I noticed a Meijer's bag hanging on my fence, so I went out to investigate. There were two big, beautiful butternut squash in it (a present from the neighbors).

I ate the last of the leftover pasta for dinner.

Come Saturday morning (one of my favorite songs)

Unfortunately, my first task on Saturday was not one of my favorites. I had to go to my 9:00 a.m. dentist appointment. No biggie, just my six-month cleaning. But I hate all that scraping and water-boarding.

From there, I went down Ford Road to the Kroger gas station and filled up the truck. My gas points only knocked off 10 cents this time, but 10 cents is 10 cents!

I went to Kroger's next door and did my shopping.

I got home just after 11:00 a.m. It was sprinkling, but I left the truck outside so I could unload it.

I put everything away and then got the truck back inside.

My neighbor across the street was walking to somewhere and waved and said hello. So, I said hello back. She is a very attractive middle-aged black woman with the skinniest legs I ever saw.

I went out back and checked the rain gauge. We got an astonishing 1 1/2 inches of rain over night!

The rain was picking back up, so I spent the rest of the day inside.

I spent a lot of time cleaning up. My house wasn't dirty, but it was definitely messy.

About 3:00 p.m., I started making a pasta sauce. I had half a bag of frozen meatballs from GFC, so I baked them in the oven for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, I sauteed two diced onions and two green peppers in olive oil. I threw in some minced garlic during the last minute or so. Then I dumped in two cans of Cento whole Italian plum tomatoes (pricey, but worth it). I squished them with my hands (I love it, but you know that, right?)

I added a small can of tomato sauce and an even smaller can of tomato paste. Then I went outside and grabbed a handful of fresh basil and oregano. That went into the pot, along with the meatballs.

I seasoned it with salt and pepper and some red pepper flakes, taste-testing all the while.

In the end, I made the best pasta sauce, EVER!

I put two jars of it in the freezer for another day. Then I made half a box of thick spaghetti and added that to the remaining sauce, topped it with Parmigiano-Reggiano and had a wonderful dinner.

I watched "The Hobbit, an unexpected journey" (apparently AMC is having a festival weekend) and then went to bed.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Make You Feel My Love - Bob Dylan | Voice: Peter Head | Video Charlie Ch...

This is one of my favorite Bob Dylan love songs. Trouble is that the old silent film makes you forget to listen to the lyrics. Both are brilliant. I miss being in love, but not the messy aftermath...

Finally Friday

It was a little foggy Friday morning, but it quickly burned off with the sunrise.

I drove to work behind some clown talking on a cell phone. He or she was all over the damn road. I swear these idiots are worse than drunk drivers!

I went to Time Out for lunch and was surprised to see Amanda there. The place was packed and both her and Nancy (my waitress) were overworked and stressed. But, Amanda did come over and talked with me briefly. Yes, she is working nights now. But the new waitress already quit so she was working a double shift, taking time off to pick her son up from school and taking him to Dearborn for her parents to watch.

Once home, I did some work on the computer. Then I ate the rest of the chicken fried rice for dinner.

I watched a movie, True Grit (the newer one with Jeff Bridges, but I like the John Wayne one as well) and then went to bed. It was raining.

Friday, September 9, 2016


I drove through light rain on Thursday morning to work. There goes my car wash...

We didn't have any real storms today, just occasional splash and dash showers. But the skies looked ominous all damn day. It wasn't all that hot, but the humidity was awful.

I went to Big Boy for lunch and, to abstain from my lunchtime sins of yesterday, I got a Caesar side salad and the half sandwich of turkey on multi-grain bread. I also got my favorite waitress there, which was even better.

The wind picked up in the afternoon.

I had yet another robo-call from CVS, so I stopped on the way home to pick up a prescription. Since I was there anyway, I popped in next door and ordered a quart of chicken fried rice. This time I ordered from the daughter (I assume) but I was pleased to see when I got home there was no packets of soy sauce, a spork, napkin or fortune cookie.

Sidebar: I told the mother years ago to save the money as I didn't use any of those things. Nice to know they still remember me!

I stuck the bag in the microwave to keep warm while I changed my clothes.

I checked the rain gauge and we barely got a quarter of an inch of rain today.

As I said, the heat wasn't obsessive, so I decided to plant the other hydrangea. I got out the wheel barrow, shovel and my work gloves.

Sidebar: I noticed my work gloves had worn through in spots. So much for mule-skin gloves! Time for a replacement.

I picked the spot, pushed aside the mulch and cut through the landscape fabric with the box cutter. I dug the hole deep and wide, then filled it in a bit with potting soil. I dumped a bucket of water in and let it settle. Then I roughed up the root ball and stuck the hydrangea in. I filled in the gaps with potting soil, tamped it down, put the mulch back and dumped another bucket of water on it.

I noticed that yesterday's intense rain had beaten down the flowers on the first hydrangea I planted.

Since I had to take the old dirt back to the compost heap, I took the time to cut back the farm iris in that garden for the winter.

You can tell by these photes just how effective the "weeding I paid for was...  Bastards!
 I saw one (and only one) of my roses finally flowered (the heat has been particularly hard on them this year).

I also noticed that one species of plants (and I forget their name) was flourishing!

I dumped the old dirt and the iris clippings on the compost heap and then put everything away.

Back inside, I washed up and plated half the chicken fried rice. I ate a great dinner (their egg rolls suck, but they make the best chicken fried rice I ever had).

I didn't even look at the TV, but read until bedtime. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Hot Hump Day

I took the trash out to the road before I left for work. I remembered (although a lot of my neighbor's didn't) that when you have a Monday holiday, the trash pickup is on Wednesday, not Tuesday. It was 75 degrees but with 95% humidity!

Sidebar: I kept the windows in the truck up (unusual for my morning drive) and relied on the A/C to give me relief.

I walked inside both times. I ain't crazy...

I went to the Newburgh Grill for lunch. And, here's where I have to make a confession. I had planned on eating a cup of the soup of the day (tomato orzo) and the mini Greek salad. Healthy, right?

Instead, when the waitress (Lila) came, I blurted out, "I want onion rings and a coney!" I felt bad, but it tasted good!

Sidebar: Not sure what the hell came over me...

From there, I stopped into the nearby CVS and bought a birthday card for my grandson Joe's wife, Jerica.

Next, I stopped at Lowe's and asked if their dogwood trees were on sale. The checkout girl (she's short and slim and has weird colored hair, but I like her) checked and she said they won't go on sale until after September 15.

Sidebar: So, that's your answer, my brother Carl. You Mount Clemens people are way ahead of us "southerners" down here. We apparently don't give up this early.

I exchanged a few emails with Victoria, as we always do (buenas diaz, buenos noches) ). She said her new company had brought in a  Chef Rob (or Bob - I don't remember) for the next 60 days and he was going to make breakfast and light snacks, free of charge for employees. WTF? I want to work there!!!

It started to cloud up in the afternoon. I checked the weather and it seemed like showers were either going north or south of us. But, it looked like Detroit got dumped on.

I got home after work and was changing clothes (with plans on planting the other hydrangeas) when it started to thunder. Then it poured!!!

It rained less than an hour, but with wind, thunder and lightning. I walked out to the rain gauge after it stopped and found we got over 1/2 inch in that short period of time!

So, no planting tonight, but no watering, either.

I had no dinner planned, so I made tuna and peas over wide egg noodles.

I couldn't find anything interesting on TV after Jeopardy, (why do I pay for cable, I wonder), so I read until bedtime.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Back to Work...

I went back to work on Tuesday, after enjoying the time off. It was only 70 degrees at that time of the morning, but it was already very muggy.

After eating lunch at Applebee's (the three cheese chicken pasta and French onion soup) I went to Lowe's. Now my brother Carl's Lowe's may have everything half off, but my Lowe's just had sale prices. Carl said he paid $12.00 for a $24.00 hydrangeas. My store had the $24 plant on sale for $16.

Still, they were beautiful and I did buy two.

I managed to get them in the cab of the truck (they are both about three feet tall) so, on the way back to work, the truck smelled fantastic! What a lovely scent!!!

Just standing in line outside took its toll, though. I was drenched with sweat and I'm pretty sure my deodorant failed.

The afternoon passed slowly. I walked inside (it was 94 degrees outside with 87% humidity).

When I got home, I treated the cat and changed into shorts and a t-shirt. Then I went out to plant.

Somewhere between the digging, and hauling water, I decided planting one would be enough for today. So, I finished putting the mulch back and took a photo for you.

Back inside, I took a rinse-off shower. Then I ate the other two pieces of pizza and the rest of the cucumber salad for dinner.

I watched a rerun of NCIS and then went to bed.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Labor Day

I didn't set the alarm on Labor day, but I forgot the damn alarm on the phone (again). So, I woke up abruptly at 5:45 a.m. on Monday.

I contemplated going back to bed, but then thought, "Screw it. If you're up. you're up." So, I made a cup of coffee and eased into the day.

I made soft-boiled eggs for breakfast.

I shaved, showered and got dressed for a Home Depot run. I bought the drop cloths, paint rollers and tray I needed to paint the kitchen ceiling. I am determined to paint it before I install the new ceiling fan (and I really want to put up the ceiling fan - this temporary lighting sucks).

I also stopped in at Meijer's and got some kitchen trash bags and kitty litter. I was back home by 9:45 a.m.

I changed clothes and got to work.

I decided that, since it was still cool outside, it might be the perfect time to finish the wiring in the garage. But, first, I had to turn off the circuit at the fuse box.

Now, if you remember, I have an old, piece of shit fuse box and only three circuits are labeled (and I labeled them, through trial and error). So, I turned the light on (the one I want to tap into) and then started turning the breakers off.

Funny thing. I turned every one off and then back on, but the light never went off! WTF? I repeated the process with the same results. Disgusted, I gave up. I went back inside and reset all the clocks and the cable box.

Sidebar: All I can figure is one of the old "push-o-matic" breakers is broke and won't shut off. That's scary. I really need to replace this fuse box.

Next on my ToDo list was to replant the perennial daisies I bought for the two container gardens. So, I moved away the mulch in two places in the new area of the English garden. I used my box cutter to cut a circle in the landscape fabric. I got the wheelbarrow and the shovel from the shed.

Sidebar: About that time, two of my little crew showed up, asking for work. I had to disappoint them, because I had nothing for them to do. I told them to come back in a week or two.

I dug out the holes and put the dirt in the wheelbarrow. Then I went and popped out the two daisies. I dumped a bucket of water in each hole. Then I planted the daisies. I used potting soil to fill in the rest of the hole.

Sidebar: I used potting soil instead of my usual "magic mix" soil, as I want the roots to take hold before the first frost. I put the mulch back and gave each plant another bucket of water.

Now I had to deal with the container plants. I took one coleus from the one planter and put in in the other. I filled in the hole with the dirt from the garden. Not perfect, but I'm not going to give up on them just yet.

Since I had the camera, I took a picture of my new bumper sticker. Apparently, I am an honorary Puerto Rican, even if I can't make pernil, LOL!

Sidebar: There were like 10-15 people eating and I didn't see a whole lot of leftover pork. So, it might not have been authentic, but it was good, dammit!

I put away the shovel and the wheelbarrow in the shed and then locked it up.

Back inside, I washed up (the temp and the humidity were rising and I was both dirty and sweaty). Then I took a short nap.

When I got up, I stripped the bed and started the last load in the washer. I went out back and grabbed the biggest cucumber. I peeled it and used the mandoline to thin-slice it. To that, I added half of a sliced onion. Since I was only using one cucumber, I cut my Mother's recipe in half: I mixed a half cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of white vinegar, 1/4 cup of water and salt. I stirred that into the cucumber and onion and stuck it into the fridge (minimum of three hours, but the longer the better).

I read in the living room and then remade the bed when the dryer was done. When the time was up, I turned the oven to 400 degrees. I took out one of the smaller sized frozen pizza. I dressed it up with some sliced black olives and yellow banana peppers. I topped that with more mozzarella cheese and then popped it in the oven. 15 minutes later, my Labor Day dinner was ready.

I ate it watching American Ninja Warrior. The cucumber salad need more salt, but the pizza was excellent. I cleaned up the mess and read in bed until I fell asleep.