Friday, March 31, 2017

The lake at 7:00 a.m. Friday

 We had officially 2 inches of rain yesterday!

Thursday, in the rain...

It was sprinkling on the way into work, but I was lucky. I got in before 7:30 a.m. By 8:00, it was pouring! At times it was sleet, then it would switch back to rain. We never got any snow here, but other folks in Southeast Michigan did.

Michigan! Sigh...

It wasn't too bad when I went to lunch at Time Out. For some odd reason, two of the items on the Specials card were breakfast!

Sidebar: It was either egg and cheese on two English muffins or on two bagels. I went with English muffins. But, both came with French fries. WTF? I mentioned to Dan that he might consider changing that to hash browns if he does this again.

It rained off and on all afternoon. But according the the news, the heavy rain was supposed to show up tonight.

Back home, the lake was back.

I ate more pizza for dinner.

I started watching the movie "Set it off" but it was was on from 8:00 to 11:30 p.m. with a sh*tload of commercials every few minutes. I really like the movie, but that was too annoying. So, I turned it off and went to bed around 10:00 p.m.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Hump Day

It was sunny, but cool on Wednesday. I was feeling a little better.

I had the chicken salad pita, but swapped the fries for some chicken noodle soup for lunch.

After work, I tried to unscrew Amanda's old toy chest. Every screw (and there are eight of then) broke when I was unscrewing them. I tried to console myself by reminding myself the damn thing is almost 30 years old.

Sidebar: I am no longer confident I can repair this. But, I will use it as the pattern for the new toy box/bench.

I ate two pieces of pizza for dinner and then watched TV until bedtime.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Tuesday's Tale

Still wasn't feeling all that great, but went to work on Tuesday. But, I spent a lot of time in the bathroom, on the toilet.

Sidebar: Since I wasn't throwing up, I don't think I have the flu or that nurovirus (sp). I think I just kept eating the chicken past it's time.

I got a bowl of cheesy potato soup for lunch.

Back home after work, I saw my neighbor, Rick, out picking up the winter's dog poop in his yard. So, I went out and apologized about the tree disappearing. He said it was no big deal, he was only going to cut it in four-foot lengths for his fire pit. He said he only burns maple wood in his wood burning furnace to keep the creosote down.

We talked about my ceiling painting and he said he'd send a guy over to give me a quote in the next week or so.

I made a frozen pizza for dinner, adding black olives and banana pepper rings, plus more mozzarella cheese. But, I couldn't even finish one piece of it.

I went to bed early.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Monday Moanin'

I didn't feel that much better on Monday, so I sent a text to my boss, saying I was taking the day off. I didn't even shave or shower, just went back to bed.

Around noon, I heard all this commotion outside. Then I remembered that this was the day Jon Boy was cleaning out my gardens. So, I watched them for a while.They'd put a big tarp next to each garden and first blow then hand rake all the leaves and sticks on to the tarp.  They'd carry the tarp out to the truck and dump it. And then repeat.

In the back, guys were picking up the fallen branches. Then they got their chainsaw and cut up the tree! Not quite sure how to explain this to poor Rick.

They even picked up all the trash!!! Good job, guys!!!

Vicky called me from her work and we chatted for a bit. She told me she had more to say, but should get back to work and that she'd call me later, after work. So, she did. We talked for about an hour.

I made some Campbell's split pea with ham soup for dinner. I got all the trash assembled for tomorrow and then went back to the TV until bedtime.


I started going downhill on Sunday. I just didn't feel that good. I went out to fill the bird and squirrel feeders. I did that and then decided to cut up the fallen tree. I got out my little electric chainsaw and set it on the bench while I got the oil. My neighbor called out to me (he and a buddy were sitting on his deck, but I didn't notice them) and said, "Hey, I'll cut that up if I can keep the wood." I said, "Sure!"

I put everything away and went inside. I started sweeping the kitchen floor. I got that done and did all the usual Sunday chores, but I was dragging it. So, I went and laid down on the bed.

Other than bathroom trips, I stayed in bed the rest of the day.

I threw the rest of the chicken away, just in case. I made a can of Campbell's chicken noodle soup for a late lunch/early dinner. I washed the pan and went back to bed.

It was a very unproductive day...


I set the alarm on Saturday. I had a 9:00 a.m. appointment at my dentist for a cleaning.

Sidebar: I hate getting my teeth cleaned, but who doesn't.

It was still raining when I got done at the dentist office. But, I needed some stuff from Kroger’s (just down Ford Road), so I got wet walking in and out of the store.
It was more of a mist than a rain by the time I got home. While I was unloading the truck, I noticed how pretty the crocus out front looked. So, I took a photo of them.

 I saw the hyacinths were coming up nicely.

Finally, I took a photo of the emerging tulips.

But the biggest surprise was that daffodils had already bloomed! They were beat down some by the rain, but still looked pretty.

It was after 1:00 p.m., so I made a quick chicken sandwich, started the weekend wash and went to take a nap.

After my nap, I started washing the windows so I can finally install my burglar alarm system (I've been paying on it for two months now).

I let those dry while I hung up or folded the first batch of clothes.

Then I watched the evening news, a couple of taped shows and was alseep by 10:00 p.m.

Finally Friday

It was noticeably warmer on Friday.And, no rain or snow in the forecast today!

Sidebar: the weekend's supposed to suck.

I went to Time Out for lunch for my usual Friday fish and chips. Amanda was back (she had that norovirus that's been going around that everybody keeps calling the flu).

Sidebar: This is particularly wicked. Amanda, for example, spent a day in the hospital getting an IV with antibiotics.

I must have flinched when she went to hug me hello, (It's been a week since I've seen her) because she assured me that her doctor said she wasn't contagious. Um... Okay... I was seated and she was standing, so it was a bit awkward.

Sidebar: I try to soldier on...

I ate my dinner, paid my tab and then went to the restroom to rinse out my bridge. Walking out, I noticed my old boss, Lenore, Courtney and her husband, Mike, sitting on one of the high top tables. So I stopped and chatted for a bit.

Then I waited in the aisle for Amanda and her goodbye hug. The kid has hug issues.

Courtney and Lenore left at 3:30 p.m. to pick up Janet's cake. Her retirement party was tonight.

Back home, my old cube buddy Michelle called me to see if I was at the party. I laughed and asked her, "What do you think?" We talked for a long time, mostly about her going back to college.

I mae a chicken sandwich for dinner and watched a little TV before going to bed.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Then it was Thursday

I woke up at 4:30 a.m. and decided it wasn't worth trying to fall back asleep, only to have the alarm go off at 5:15. So, I stayed up.

Once the sun came up, it was sunny and warmer with highs back in the 40's for a change.

I went to Big Boy's and got a Slim Jim with fries for lunch. The sandwich was excellent, the fries were soggy. You can't win them all, I guess.

I walked across the parking lot to Bush's grocery store and bought two big tomatoes (you can't buy tomatoes at a party store where I live).

Once home, I emptied the dishwasher and did the Wednesday night wash after treating the cat and changing clothes.

I made a great BLT for dinner with a couple of slices of the tomato, some leaf lettuce and two warmed up slices of bacon on toasted sourdough bread.

I thought I had a bag of crinkle-cut fries in the freezer, but the bag turned out to be Tater Tots. I figured, "What the hell!" and baked a serving as my side. Weird, but tasty.

I watched TV for a bit but wasin bed and asleep by 10:00 p.m.

Thursday, March 23, 2017


It was clear, but damn cold on Wednesday. The wind didn't help matters, either.

I got to work at 7:30 a.m., but then left at 8:00 a.m. to pick up Nichole (our admin at Building 3) from Belle Tire. I am paying it forward, you see. She's getting four tires on her car, but paying considerable less than I did.

I went to Newburgh Grill and had a cup of the tomato orzo soup and a mini-Greek salad for lunch. Both were good, although I couldn't finish the salad.

From there I went to Lowe's and picked up some wood and supplies for that bench. Today is the last day until next Tuesday that doesn't have rain in the forecast.

I had the 4x8-foot sheet of plywood cut down enough so it would fit in the truck. I'll cut the rest with my track saw.

Sidebar: They really need to replace their saw blade! Each cut knocked off splinters that I will have to deal with. I was not pleased.

I was going to stop and buy a lemon for dinner, but the whole cutting and loading wood took too long. So, I figured I'd just buy one on the way home.

However, on the way home, I went down Plymouth Road and tried to go to the 24-hour Foodliner. But the parking lot was roped off and tore up by large construction equipment. Dammit!

So, I continued down Plymouth Road until I had a bright idea. Party stores sometimes sell lemons and limes. So, I pulled into the Wine Barrel and, sure enough, they had one lemon on the checkout counter, so I bought it for a buck.

Back home, I unloaded the wood from the truck be and stored it safely away for the weekend.

After watching some of the news, I started dinner. I was using a recipe from Bon Appetit for "No-fail roast chicken with lemon and garlic."

Sidebar: While I was preheating the oven, I baked the rest of the bacon for BLT's.

Following directions, I made a slice of  the loose skin between the leg and breast on both sides. I had already patted the chicken dry, so I salted the hell out of it, everywhere. I put it in my big cast iron skillet and arranged the lemon halves (seeds removed) and a head of garlic, cut in half as well. Then I poured a half stick of melted butter on the chicken.

I also cut my last butternut squash from the neighbor's, took out the seeds and put butter in each cavity.

I stuck everything in the pre-heated 425 degree oven and set the timer for 45 minutes. It wasn't quite done by then, so I added another 10 minutes. That was a bit too long, LOL!

But, it all was delicious!!! I ate way too much and, when it cooled, put the rest in the fridge.

I watched a little taped TV, but went to bed by 9:00 p.m.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Tuesday's Tale

It was foggy when I woke up on Tuesday, but it had dissipated by the time I took the trashcan out to the road and then drove to work.

At lunch time, I had to go to the Credit Union to take out some money and pay my taxes. So, I stopped on the way back at Arby's and finally got my buffalo chicken sandwich. I have been craving that since Jake brought it up. It was messy to eat, way too spicy, but wonderful!

Back home, I got in the trashcan and the mail, then went inside to treat the cat.

I watched the news until it ended. Then I heated up the last of the fettuccine Alfredo with bacon for dinner.

I watched NCIS and then went to bed at 9:00 p.m. I was tired.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Birthday Shoutout!

Happy birthday to my grandson, Carl V! Enjoy your special day!!!


I was late for work on Monday. I had slept badly Sunday night and either shut off the aarm and went back to sleep or never set it at all.

I went to Applebee's for lunch and got mu usual:  The three cheese cavatappi and the French onion soup.

It looked like it was going to rain all afternoon, but it never did here. But all the snow finally melted.

I stopped and filled up the truck after work. Back home, I watched the news while I ate more of the fettuccine Alfredo with bacon. That gave me just enough dishes to run a load through the dishwasher.

I took a non-snow picture of the fallen tree for you.

When the news was over, I gathered up all the trash for tomorrow morning. I watched Jeopardy and then two taped NCIS shows. Then I went to bed.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Weekend Update

I didn't set the alarm Friday night. With my random sleep patterns, I woke up way to late Saturday morning. So, forget the Blog, I hit the shower. I took a super quick one (head, pits, crotch and rear end) I made it to my 9:00 a.m. haircut at 9:02.

From there, I went to Kroger's and bought a bunch of groceries. It had started snowing by then, so I skipped the Feed Store (birdseed) and the gas station (gas). I left the truck outside to unload it. By the time I emptied it and pulled it inside, it had switched to rain.

I made an interesting supper on Saturday: Fettuccine Alfredo with Bacon. I put the pasta in my pasta pot and while it was cooking I cooked three slices of bacon that I had chopped into lardons. I cooked it until crisp then removed the bacon from the pan, reserving the drippings. I added a teaspoon of minced garlic  and cooked that for a minute (stirring constantly). The I covered it with one tablespoon of A/P flour and cooked it for about 30 seconds (again stirring constantly). I slowly added one cup of milk, still stirring. I cooked that about two minutes until it was bubbling and slightly thick.

I reduced the heat to low and gradually added 2/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. When it had melted, I stirred in some salt and added in the pasta. I ended up adding about a 1/4 cup of my reserved pasta water to thin it out some. I sprinkled the top with the bacon, some Italian parsley and black pepper.

It was very good. I was going to roast a chicken on Sunday, but ended up eating the pasta again  instead.

I slept in again on Sunday. It was foggy outside when I did get up, so I decided to stay inside.

I cleaned the house and did the weekend wash (it's so nice to have my washer working again!)

I tried taking a nap Sunday afternoon but the phone woke me up. So, I talked with Melissa instead.

I watched some taped TV shows Sunday night and went to bed after watching the news at 11:00 p.m.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Oh, crap!

I just heard that Chuck Berry died yesterday. He was more than a rock and roll legend, he was a life coach to me. He kept telling me. "Johnnie, be good!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

It was warmer still on Friday, St. Patrick's Day. But the weather was supposed to get bad around noon.

I went to Time Out for lunch. Dan had promised me that they would have a corned beef and cabbage platter. Since I didn't have any corned beef and cabbage in my slow cooker (I have learned the hard way that you are talking WAY too many leftovers), I figured this was as Irish as I could get today.

Sidebar: I did wear a green shirt...

I had to smile. Amanda had a plastic green bowler hat on, a green tie hung around her neck and two temporary tattoos (Shamrocks, one on her cheek and one just above the neckline of her shirt). She looked so cute, I asked her if I could take her picture. She said yes, so I did.

Sidebar: I didn't ask if I could post it here, so sorry.

My lunch came and it was HUGE!

Sidebar: As I have often complained, they always give you too much food (like Ten Yen). I can never eat it all. Sometimes I ask for a takeout box, but usually, I just let it go...

There was a huge whole redskin potato, half of a giant carrot, a big wedge of cabbage and it was all topped with thin sliced corned beef (the kind they make their Reuben's with).

It was delicious! I ate as much as I could without exploding. But I left about half of the potato, some of the carrot, a lot of cabbage and three or four strips of corned beef.

Sidebar: I could have finished the potato if I had just asked for a pat of butter. I learned that as a youngster. Whenever my Mother just served boiled potatoes, my Dad would get a pat of butter. He'd cut off a piece of the potato, pick up some butter with his fork, stab the piece of potato and pop it in his mouth.

I paid my check and was headed for the door, when Amanda showed up, demanding her hug. So, I hugged her and then left. BTW, her silly hat fell off during our embrace.

Sidebar: Lets talk about the hugging thing for a minute. I know it sounds like I'm hitting on a 29 year old kid, or she's sucking up to an old guy to get better tips. But it's not like that.

It started out a couple of months ago. I have to sit in the alcove where they have three regular tables. The rest of the place has high tops and they kill my knees. My old massage therapist, Margaret, who used to run restaurants, explained to me once that you can get more people in a space using high tops (which made/makes no sense to me).

Anyway, I was walking out along the short side of the bar, when Amanda came barreling around to get an order. I was on the right side, so I expected her to step left and continue on. Instead, she looked at me, gave a long pause, and then hugged me. I was freaked out!

Now, at my age, I've had a lot of hugs. Some of them were exuberant (Like my old cubical buddy Michelle or my new one Courtney, where they practically jump on you).

Sidebar: This is especially scary if you have a fused spine.

I also had a lot of lovely, friendly hugs (like Carla, Evy, Victoria and even Yanessa, who hugs my leg).

I've also had some sexy hugs (but its been a while and I am not naming names).

But this is more like a long, sweet, sad hug which I never understood until she mentioned that she had lost her Dad last year. I think I am a fill-in. Which I understand and is okay with me.

Sidebar: When I was just a kid I heard a Frank Sinatra quote that made sense to me and still does: "Whatever gets you through the night - booze, broads or religion." Personally, I prefer broads, but booze is easier to come by these days, LOL!

Anyway, from there I went and got the truck washed. Yes, I knew it was supposed to snow this afternoon, but I wanted to get the salt off the truck and clean the crap off the new tires.

It started snowing round 2:00 p.m.

Back home after work, the bedroom door was opened (it does that sometimes with temperature changes) and the damn cat had puked on the green blanket. I laughed (ha, ha!) and threw it in my restored washer.

I ate the rest of the pasta for dinner.

I was tired, so I dozed off watching TV. I woke up here and there and watched some of the news, a little bit of the Tonight show and some of the Late Night with Seth Meyers.

Friday, March 17, 2017


It was a little warmer on Thursday. It was also sunny, which was nice.

With all the excitement regarding the trip and the tires, you probably thought I completely forgot the washing machine. Well, I didn't. So, first thing Monday morning, I called a local washer repairman. The firm was called Homeline, located here in Redford and it's supposed to be a husband and wife team.

I described the problem and gave her my guess that it was a defective computer module. She said, "Maybe" but added sometimes the locking lid mechanism gets out of wack and, when it starts to spin, the lid opens and shuts off the machine.

Sidebar: I hadn't even thought of that.

She said her husband was already booked for Tuesday and Wednesday. Since I lived so close, she said she would get me on his Thursday list for either the first thing or the last and she would call and let me know.

So, today, she called at 9:00 a.m. and said he would be there in 10 minutes! I said, please make it 20 as I was at work and would have to drive back home. So, she did and I did.

He pulled in about 10 minutes later.

Sidebar: When I read in the reviews that hey were a husband and wife team, I pictured him as middle aged or even older. But, he did look much older that, say, 30 years old!

I got another surprise.He took out a piece of paper with holes in it that corresponded to the lights over each cycle. They had numbers over the holes. He turned the dial through each of the various wash cycles (delicate, heavy, etc)  The lights would all go on and then only one was left. He wrote the number down. Intrigued, I asked him what he was doing. He said he was getting the fault codes!

Sidebar: Makes sense with the on-board computer. Just never realized a washing machine was that smart. It turned out I had a bad actuator. He had one in his van, so he went and got that and a work light. He tipped the wash machine up enough to work under it and replaced it.



Sidebar: This tells the computer the spin cycle has started and keeps the spin at the appropriate speed. My old one apparently wasn't always telling the computer it was spinning,so it would shut off.

It took him about 20 minutes, tops. He cleared the fault codes and then did a trial spin. It worked perfectly!

It cost me $206.00 which is less than half the cost of a new washer.

Sidebar: He did say that, if it had been either the computer or the transmission, it would be cheaper to just buy another washer. Good to know.

I got back to work just after 10:00 a.m.

I had a Reuben sandwich with fries for lunch. It was 37 degrees and sunny at lunch time, BTW.

On the way home, I stopped at the Chinese takeout next to CVS to get some chicken fried rice (I didn't take anything out for dinner). But they were closed! Hmmm... Odd... Then I noticed there were no cars in front of Planet Fitness (there are usually 50-75 cars parked with more coming and going all the time). Then I noticed a DTE boom truck, next the wall behind my house, with a guy up in the bucket, working on the lines. Ah, I get it.

So, I went home and treated the cat. I went out back and refilled the bird feeder with soggy seed. I put the rest of the seed (frozen) on the patio to thaw and turned the can upside down to get therest of the frozen seed out. I searched and finally found the lid near the house. I set that on the raised bed herb garden to thaw as well.

Back inside, I made some pasta and heated up a jar of sauce. I ate some of that watching the last of the news.

Then I turned off the TV and got started on the built-up laundry. I did two full loads, reading in between switching loads, hanging up shirts and pants and folding up the rest. i was done by 10:30 p.m., so I just went to bed.

Thursday, March 16, 2017


Wednesday was the worst day this week for cold. With the stiff wind, the wind chill was below zero here.

I dropped the truck off at Belle Tire just after 8:00 a.m. Courtney followed me and drove me back to work. About two hours later, Chad (from Belle Tire) called and said they checked the alignment and it was off a bit. So, I had them fix that as well.

It was a little after 11:00 a.m. when Courtney drove me back there. They had knocked off $20.00 because of where I work (I appreciate that) but it still cost me $1,033.07!

I went to Time Out for lunch. I got one of the daily specials. It was an egg, ham and cheese sandwich on toasted bread. I got a cup of creamy mushroom soup instead of the fries. I liked the soup better than the sandwich, but b other were interesting.

On the way back home after work, I noticed these tires ride rougher than my old ones

I was getting a drink of water at the kitchen sink when I saw a squirrel pop out of the birdseed can! Apparently the falling tree knocked the lid off. My first impulse was to go out and put the lid back on. Then I realized the tree had fallen before all the snow, so the seed was damp. It would just mold. So, I left it or the squirrels to clean up.

Jake called to find out how the tire situation went. We chatted a bit about work.

Jerica called to tell me they had moved into their house and that she emailed me their new address. We chatted for along time about a wide range of topics.

I ate the rest of the pizza for dinner.

I didn't feel like watching TV, so I read until bedtime.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

I'm just saying...

Tireless Tuesday

It was damn cold on Tuesday when I took the trash out to the road. I went to work with the wind just beginning to pick up. I had turned the four-wheel drive on to get up the driveway and out of the side street.

I left for lunch without my gloves, figuring I didn't need them just to go from the truck to the restaurant. The truck sounded funny, so I turned off the four-wheel drive. I glanced at the dash and saw the low tire pressure light was on. I stopped at Plymouth road and got out to look. I was driving on the rim!!!

Now, just across Plymouth is Belle Tire (much closer than going back down Market Street to my building). So, I manged to get across the road and into the tire store.

I tried to buy another tire, but the guy said they no longer make the ones I have on the truck. And, it is NOT recommended on a four wheel drive vehicle to put on a non-matching tire, so Belle Tire won't do it. They only thing they could do was to sell me four new tires.

Sidebar: I have just over 20,000 miles on these tires and they still have like-new tread!

So, I asked him to see if the tire could be repaired. If not, I asked him to just put on the spare and I'd take it to the dealer on Saturday.

I tried to call my boss for a ride back to work, but just got his voicemail. Courtney was not in today, BTW. So, I decided to walk back to work (it's not that far). And, that's what I did. But the damn wind was blowing hard, I didn't have my gloves and I did have my cane. Which meant I had to have at least one hand out of my pocket at all times.

I got back to work with icy hands and a runny nose. My boss, John, was there and said, "I just got your message. What's up?" I explained and he apologized (seems he left his phone on his desk while he went to the restroom).

I called the dealership and talked to the parts department. It came as no surprise when they said that tire had been discontinued and they couldn't help me. Sigh...

Meanwhile, Belle Tire called and said there was no way to fix the tire (sidewall was damaged), so they put the spare on it. So, we talked about replacement tires. He suggested I not go with the low cost solutions as they come and go and I might be in the same situation a year or two later. Four of the mid-grade Cooper tires would cost me $800+ but four higher-end Michelin tires (guaranteed for 3 years and/or 90,000 miles) would cost me just a grand. I went with the Michelin tires.

Sidebar: If I only notched 20K miles in three years, I'll be long dead before the new ones wear out.

My boss drove me back there and I got the truck back. They didn't charge me anything (they'll get their money back tomorrow, trust me).

It started snowing again in the afternoon.

When I drove home after work, I realized they hadn't reset the low tire pressure sensors.The warning light stayed on all the way there.

I retrieved the trash can and the mail. Then I went inside, treated the cat, changed clothes and settled in for the night. I watched the news until 7:00 p.m. and then went in search of dinner.

I dug out a small pizza from the freezer. I added banana peppers and more mozzarella and then baked it.

I let it rest a bit and then used the pizza wheel to cut it in fours.

This is how I cut carbs!

I ate that watching the end of Jeopardy. After that, I watched NCIS and then a two hour episode of NCIS New Orleans. I was bushed, so after that, I went to bed.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

For the Columbia, SC airport

True Story!

Monday, back to work...

When I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I glanced out the window. It was dark, of course, and I couldn't really see, but something looked weird in my yard. I went back to bed and forgot about it.

When I woke up to the alarm, it was already snowing. We are under a Winter Weather Advisory until 11:00 p.m. So, I hustled to get to work before it got too bad.

Sidebar: Thank you again, Jake, for driving me to Charlotte. If I had stayed until Monday, I would have never gotten back home!

I didn't notice it on Sunday, but my legs ached on Monday from that hike with Jake and Whiskey.

By noon, we had at least two inches of snow on the ground. But, I went to Time Out for lunch. I'd promised Amanda I would see her when I got back. I got their version of chicken cordon bleu but swapped the fries for a cup of potato and bacon soup. The soup was excellent, the chicken cordon bleu was good, but filling. Amanda and I swapped stories and then I went back to work.

I got really sleepy around 2:30 p.m., so I drank a couple of cups of coffee.

It snowed steadily all afternoon, so I drove home in four wheel drive. I got all the mail (I'd put a hold on it, of course) and went inside.

I treated the cat and changed clothes. Then I went to the bathroom. I glanced out of the window and saw what had caught my eye in the middle of the night. One of the pines surrounding my wild garden had blown down! It was snow covered, but I went out and took a quick picture for you.

Sidebar: This one was dead and I was going to cut it down last fall, but never got around to it. However, it couldn't have fallen more perfect. It didn't hit the shed and fell right between the firepit/birdseed can and the bench/bird feeder.

There were also many, many smaller branches down. I've got quite the spring cleanup coming...

I was too tired to make dinner, so I opened up a can of Campbell's bean with bacon soup and ate most of that. I watched the news and a rerun of Shark Tank.

Sidebar: According to the news we got 4.5 inches of snow today. I was just glad it was light and fluffy and not heavy and wet.

I turned off the TV at 9:00 p.m., filled in the Blog post and then went to bed.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Stuck in the Snow!

With this damn Daylight Savings time, I'm not sure exactly what time I really woke up on Sunday morning. I had another toasted English muffin with orange marmalade for breakfast.

It was cold outside and then it started snowing. At fist it was just sticking to the top of the fences and the rooftop. but melting on the grass. Then it started sticking to the grass as well.

Whiskey was intrigued, watching it out the window. But when Jake took her outside, she did NOT want to step in it.

While he was out there, Jake made a little, tiny snowman.

Jake and I were going to leave at noon to take me to the airport. That would give us time to eat lunch (Jake said he has been craving a buffalo chicken sandwich). But, when he checked the airport, he found my flight from Columbia to Charlotte had been canceled, due to weather conditions!!!

Not knowing who to talk to (Expedia, where I booked it or American Airlines, the carrier) Carla called Expedia and I called the airline (or maybe it was vice versa). The wait time on the call was about 30 minutes, BTW. The whole eastern seaboard was affected by the storm.

Expedia said to talk to American Airlines. American Airlines said there was nothing they could do. No, they wouldn't pay for ground transportation for Columbia to Charlotte (they did that once for me, but I was at the airport). They did have one more flight to Detroit today. But that left at 7:30 p.m. with the layover in Washington D.C. and got into Detroit at 12:30 a.m.

Carla suggested taking a Monday morning flight, but Jake nixed that idea.

In the end, Jake said he would drive me to Charlotte to catch the next flight. It's about and hour and a half one way. I didn't like that idea, because it didn't seem right to take three hours out of his day off. But it is as hard to argue with Jake as it is Carla so, in the end, that's what we did.

Goodbye Carla. Goodbye Whiskey. Goodbye buffalo chicken sandwich... We threw the suitcase in the car and headed out.

The snow was done, the sun was out and, if it wasn't for the fact that I was screwing Jake over, it was a pleasant drive. I got to the Charlotte airport  about the time I should have been at the Columbia airport.

I got the ticket at the kiosk, made it through security and had about two hours to kill. So, I went to get some over-priced lunch. I went to the Burger King I knew of, but the line was long. So, I took a chance with a French-inspired food counter right next to it called Brioche Doree.

I got a simple sandwich. It was Prosciutto and mozzarella with grape tomatoes and basil on a six-inch baguette. They heated it, so everything was nice and gooey. It cost me $9.00, but it was delicious!

I waited at my gate, reading my book. The plane was there, but not the crew. So, we boarded about a half hour later that we should. But, finally, we took off and then finally we landed and I was back in the D. I retrieved my suitcase and then the truck and headed home.

I treated the cat and went into the garage to plug the garage door opener back in. I was plugging it in when I remembered I had rerouted the cord when I got the fuse box replaced. So, when I thought I was foiling the bad guys, I had really just unplugged the compound miter saw, LOL!

I let Vicky know I was "in da house" and then unpacked my suitcase. I fiddled with the wash machine and finally got it to spin out. I changed all the clocks. I was beat, so I didn't wait for the sheets to dry. I just put on another set and went to bed.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Saturday's Stroll

I woke up early Saturday morning. I stayed in bed reading until I heard somebody stirring, then I went downstairs.

We settled on good old-fashioned oatmeal for breakfast.

Then I shaved, showered and got dressed.

Jake, Whiskey and I piled into the car to go for a walk. We went to the Clemson Scientific center (behind the farmer's market (empty this time of year) and walked around several small lakes on hiking trails.

Sidebar: One of the lakes had a sign warning against going too near the lake or (God forbid!) swimming in it. It seems that's where they put rescued alligators! I didn't see any, but I didn't get that close!

It was a nice stroll, with occasional other dog walkers and joggers. The rolling hills, although they looked easy enough, were hard on my knees.

We dropped Whiskey back home and did another Kroger run. I asked Jake, while he was picking up the few items he needed, if he minded that I grabbed a couple more books (I read all the ones I brought). He said no problem.

So, I went and got a couple and went through the self-checkout machines. I started walked out to the truck (figuring he was done) when I realized I didn't have my cane. Dammit!

I went back inside, figuring I'd left it on the book rack. It wasn't there! Just then Jake showed up to check out. I told him of  my problem and he suggested maybe I left it in the truck and walked in without it.

After he paid, we went out to the truck. We unloaded our purchased, but no cane!!!

Back in the store, I went to the courtesy counter. There were three people in front of me, so I asked Jake to double-check in the book aisle. It wasn't there! So, he started walking through the store, checking everyone's basket thinking somebody and found it and was going to give it to the checkout girl when they were done shopping.

Sidebar: He almost accosted an old man with a wood cane in his basket. But, he realized at the last minute it wasn't mine. Mine is distinctive. It has the words "Michigan Livestock Exchange" wood-burned into it.

Meanwhile, I though maybe I'd left it at the self-check out kiosk, but I didn't want to get out of line. Wehn my turn finally came, I asked if anybody had turned in a cane. He pointed to a bucket with a few canes and umbrellas in it. I said, "No, none of those. It was wood." He asked when I lost it and I said, "10 minutes ago." He said nobody had turned in one today.

I caught up with Jake and suggested we search the self-checkout aisle. So, we did. No cane! I said, "Where's Kelly?" He said, "Who's Kelly?" I said the short girl with the long hair and great legs who was watching the kiosks and helping people who needed it.

He said,"Oh, I know who you mean, now." But we couldn't find her, either! She finally came back from wherever she was and I asked he if she had seen a cane.  She said, "Sure, I put it behind the desk for safe-keeping." So, she handed me the cane and we walked back to the truck.

On the way back, Jake said, "So, how did you know her name was Kelly?" I said, "Um, it was on her gold name tag?" That boy does not look at women, other than Carla, LOL!

Sidebar: That probably seems like a lot of fuss over a stupid cane, and I do have more canes at home, but I've had that one for over 20 years...

Back home, I changed into something more comfortable. It was chilly and overcast today. It was okay if you were, say, walking outside. But unpleasant if you were just sitting outside.

Carla was taking an online test and Jake was doing some reading for one of his classes so I started reading one of my new books.

I did a load of laundry after Carla finished (I didn't want to disturb her). Carla told me to go upstairs and take a nap when I started dozing off watching TV with her in the afternoon. So, I did.

We ate the left over pulled pork, coleslaw, potato salad, hush puppies and gizzards for dinner, along with the fried okra I forgot to mention yesterday.

We watched some TV and stayed up late! It was almost 9:30 p.m. when we finally called it a night.

Saturday, March 11, 2017


Friday,  I was woken up by thunder and lightning with a hard rain. But the storm passed quickly and, by the time Jake left for work, it was just a light drizzle. They were both disappointed. Apparently, you need about four  hours of rain to effectively wash away the damn yellow pollen that covers everything down here this time of year (and blows up Carla's allergies).

I took Carla out to breakfast. We went to the Cracker Barrel, one of the few restaurants in this State where you can get real hash browns (although you still have to ask for them). I, of course, just got the normal hash brown casserole (I can get hash browns anywhere in Michigan).

We both got the same meal. However, Carla chose bacon, while I went with sausage patties. And, as always, I got her grits and all the sausage gravy.

We ate until we were both about to bust, yet neither one of us totally finished our breakfast.

We ran a few errands and then went back home.

We went back out again around 11:00 a.m. and picked up tonight's dinner: Barbecue takeout. We got a container of pulled pork, potato salad, coleslaw, hush puppies and fried gizzards.

Sidebar: The BBQ joint not only does takeout, but also has a buffet. It's damn fine BBQ and if you don't get there early, you can't find a parking space!

On the way back home, I got a call from Jerica, my grandson Joe's wife. She apologized for not calling me sooner, but wanted to thank me for the cards at Christmas. Seems they been very, very busy. We talked for a while. Joe's been having some health issues and they have been looking for houses. The good news is they finally found one south of Port Huron and will be moving in soon.

Back home it was already hot again (77 degrees and sunny), so I changed into shorts and a t-shirt.

Carla and I watched some TV or sat on the screened-in patio until Jake got home from work.

After he changed and relaxed a bit, Carla warmed up the food and toasted the hamburger buns we bought this morning. Then we ate dinner. Man, that was good!!!

We watched some TV, but I turned in around 8:30 p.m.

Friday, March 10, 2017


I woke up a little later on Thursday. Jake was just getting ready to go to work and Carla was getting ready to take Whiskey to the dog groomers.

Myself, I was taking it easy. After everyone left, I took my morning pills and ate breakfast. I had an English muffin with some orange marmalade that they graciously had gotten for me. I ate that watching the Today show.

I shaved. showered and got dressed in shorts and a t-shirt. Then I grabbed another cup of coffee and went out on the patio. It was around 50 degrees, but if I sat in the sun, I felt quite warm.

Jake sent me a text, saying he was coming home at 11:30 a.m. and he would take me out for lunch. So, I went and got dressed in better "going to lunch" clothes.

We went to a Mexican restaurant. I got a beef enchiladas with rice and beans and a taco. It was really good!

By the time we got back, Carla had returned. Jake left for work again while I was admiring Whiskey's sleek new look and Carla's new hair style.

Carla had math homework to do, so I went back to reading (so as not to distract her).

Around 2:00 p.m., I started getting sleepy. So, I went upstairs and tried to take a nap. I tried for about an hour and then gave up.

Carla was making more rice for tonight's dinner - The leftover pork belly and kimchi.

 I took the dog for a walk while Carla picked up dog poop.  I suppose I could have volunteered to switch places, but I was good with just walking the dog, not cleaning up after her, LOL!

Jake came home and we talked about how each of us spent our day. We ate dinner, then Jake went upstairs to do some of his homework. Carla and I watched TV or sat out on the patio.

We all watched some TV then until bedtime.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

I love this one!!!

Wednesday, winging it!

I got up with the alarm and watched the weather. We were under a strong wind advisory today (not good).

I decided to leave the bedroom door open for the cat (I close it while I'm at work to avoid hairballs on the bed). So, I thought I would wash the sheets so they'd be fresh and clean when I got home. I left a big blanket on the bed as the hairball catcher.

I loaded up the washer and shaved showered and got dressed. I put the last of the toiletries in the suitcase and went to put the sheets in the dryer. That's when I noticed the washer conked out again! The sheets had never even drained, much less spun. I was pissed! I decided to deal with it when I got back.

I left for the airport in plenty of time, found a parking space and went into the terminal.

I went to the kiosk to check in. It asked me if I wanted to upgrade to first class for $55. Forget the snacks and the drinks, two hours of more leg and elbow room was well worth it.

It instructed me to insert my credit card, but it wouldn't go in. Hmmm, I thought. Was there a chip slot. I bent over to look and saw another credit card was in there. So, I pulled  it out. When I looked back up, the screen read, "Thank you for your payment" and started printing out my tickets.

So, when I checked my bag, I explained to the man that I found this credit card stuck in the machine. He immediately paged the woman. I asked if he could reverse the charge and let me pay it with my credit card. Unfortunately, he said that was impossible. So, I told him when she came back for her credit card to tell her I said thanks.

Sidebar: I also found out I had NOT upgraded to first class for the Detroit to Charlotte two-hour flight, but rather the 49 minute hop from Charlotte to Columbia!

The early flight up to altitude was very rocky due to the wind gusts, but it went smoothly after that.

While I was waiting in Charlotte for the next flight, I sent Courtney a text. She had asked if I wanted her to anything at the house while I was gone and I initially said no. But I asked her if she would swing by the house on Thursday (after the winds died down) and make sure that no heavy branches had fallen on the roof. She said no problem.

The flight to Columbia was short, but nice. I declined the tray of snacks but did get a ginger ale.

When I landed, I sent the obligatory texts and fetched my suitcase. I sent Jake a text that I was outside and he drove up in less than a minute, before I could really enjoy sitting on the park bench outside, in the sunshine and warmth!

Sidebar: Jake was concerned that I might not be able to get in his truck (it doesn't have running boards). I assured him I can get into Vicky's truck (no running boards either) easy enough and that I learned the trick by watching very short Puetro Rican women climb in.

We chatted and caught each other up on the drive back. When we got to the house, something smelled great! I said hello to Carla and Whiskey (although not in that order) while Jake carried my suitcase upstairs.

I started unpacking stuff and getting my room in order. I sent Victoria a text, letting her know I was in the house.

Sidebar: Bear in mind, I had sent her texts from the DTW, Charlotte and finally Columbia airports. But, it's some kind of Puetro Rican thing. She specifically needs a text when I am "in the house."

Carla wanted no help with dinner. At one point when she added something to the skillet, she told me to go outside as it would be too spicy inside. She was right, I could smell it deep in my lungs before I could hit the door!

We sat down to dinner when it was ready. It was fried pork belly mixed with kimchi and a variety of Koren spices. It was served over white rice mixed with toasted black sesame seeds and topped with sauteed tofu and some kimchi on the side.

It was spicy, but tasted fantastic!!! I have been a kimchi virgin, but I really liked my first time.

We watched some TV, but opted for an early bedtime (which I supported - I was beat).

I had a lot of trouble falling asleep, so ready myself sleepy. Then I turned out the light and slept like a baby.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


It was damp and chilly on the way into work.

My new glasses should have been in by now, so I called the eye doctor. They said not that they knew of, but they would check today's shipment. Lucky for me they were in there!

So, I left for lunch at 11:00 a.m. (when you go at noon, one or more of the women are at lunch so, it takes longer). It was raining (of course), so I got wet walking into the place. It took just a few minor adjustments and I was out of there, making the long journey back to work.

Sidebar: My eye doctor is in downtown Farmington.

I stopped in at Time Out to say goodbye to Amanda. She gave me a hug (of course) and wished me a safe journey.

Around 1:00 p.m., the sun came out! Just my luck!

When I got home after work, I started filling my suitcase.

Sidebar: I am flying down to Jake and Carla's Wednesday morning.

I set up the three kitty litter boxes and set out extra water for the cat, then gathered up what I could pack tonight.

I was done in time to eat the last of the linguine with clams while watching NCIS. Then I set the alarm and went to bed.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Monday Moanin'

It was yet a little warmer on Monday, but rainy.

I checked my phone for my home email and then realized I had to change the settings to the new password. Sigh... But, I got it to work.

I had a bowl of chicken noodle soup for lunch and then drove to Lowe's to window shop. It was just drizzling then, so I didn't get too wet.

Back home after work, I gathered everything for tomorrow's trash day (I celebrate it this way every week, LOL!)

I warmed up some of the Linguine with clams for my dinner.

I had some things I wanted to do, but I was tired. So, I took the rest of the night off and went to bed early.

Thunder and/or bathroom breaks woke me up all night long.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Birthday Shoutout!

Happy birthday, Jyl. Enjoy your day!

Sunday! Sunday!

I got up around 7:00 a.m. on Sunday. It was a little warmer and there was more sun. I ate breeakfast and did my Sunday morning chores. Then I went to check my email.

Sidebar: I had some trouble with my email on Saturday. It asked me for my password (which it never does) and then said it was invalid. So, I called Brighthouse>Spectrum. It took the guy about 15 minutes to get it working again.

Sunday morning, it did it again! So, I called them again. The poor girl at the Help Desk worked with me for over 1 1/2 hours! We tried different browser, temporary passwords. cleaning caches, etc., etc., etc. What was maddening for me was that she could log in, using my credentials, but I couldn't.

Finally, she asked me what I wanted my new password to be. I gave he the one I use at work (so I'd remember) but she said it couldn't have any characters, just upper and lower case letters or numbers. So, I had to make a new one up on the spot (difficult as mine are usually more involved).

She changed it for me and finally (finally) I could log in again.

Sidebar: I was not in the greatest of moods, but she was very patient with me. I was impressed!

I got back to cleaning the house and, other than filling the squirrel feeder, did that until around 5:00 p.m. I stopped to make dinner: Linguine with clams.

I ate dinner watching the news. The I moved all the kitchen chairs into the living room, swept the kitchen floor and then mopped it. I watched TV while waiting for the floor to dry. Then I moved all the chairs back and went to bed.