Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Three Little Things

Three little things got done today. Well, it's easy for me to say they were little because I only did one of them.  The other two took some muscle work.

OK, the side patch of our driveway that had been overgrown with yucca and other vines was leveled today and flagstone went in.  We'll be getting more pea gravel to fill it in.  We did also have a little bit of fill work done in the foreclosure yard next door because pooling water there is not helping us at all.  I am just thrilled to have this small strip of real estate free of growth.  It was hit with Round-Up and that is something we'll probably have to do periodically as a lot of root had to be pulled and there was no way it was all found.
Extra flagstone was used to rebuild this border up front.  Smaller pieces had been here before and were forever being kicked out of place.  This might not seem like much but it does look better.  We'll do some more in the larger flower bed in front of the stoop.
Dinner was an easy mash up.  One package of yellow rice and one cup of plain with some extra stock added to water.  There's black beans, chicken, peppers, onions, spinach, fresh corn, mushrooms and shrimp plus a topping of cheese.  I just tossed it all in the pot (except for the cheese of course) and let it go. I added the shrimp the last 8 minutes of cooking.   This was actually a small effort but we got a big pot of food out of it.

There are a few more tasks remaining in the yard.  We have to stain and do some small projects -- flower boxes, the wire trellis, hanging stuff, etc.  But from here on in, it's small stuff.

It's nice when small stuff can make a big difference!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Capicolla Meal 3...

This our third and final meal with the half pound of capicolla.  The sauce is made of chopped garlic, oil, capicolla, shrimp, tomato and fresh baby spinach.  Plus a healthy dose of oil.  Let's not forget the massive quantity of fresh parm I like to dress the top with.  I grated more after I took this picture.

There is enough left behind for TBG to have lunch tomorrow.  I really can't believe it's just Tuesday and I have to more week night meals to make.  It is tough to keep churning them out on  my schedule.  Tomorrow we'll enjoy fresh corn on the cob. I'll figure out what kind of protein but it will probably be a mix of shrimp and chicken.

As bad as it might seem for me, I am trying to do a slow jog maybe two days a week. Nothing fast and nothing far.  The town pool has been closed for repair and I can't necessarily swim with Teddy in the river every night.  Last night I thought she was going to drown me because I wouldn't relinquish the ball so she kept swimming at me and being a jerk in general.  She has a way of trying to jump on you and wrestle even when you're swimming.  So some nights, I just need a swim break from her!  Woody our Border Collie would come in the water and just swim circles around you.  Not Teddy.  She has to be engaged and causing trouble.

It does look like warm weather is coming back so the AC is on.  That means it will probably feel good to swim tomorrow no matter how much of an idiot my dog tries to be.  We are dog sitting for two dogs next week and that should take up most of my free time.  A friend and her husband drove to our camp and picked up Teddy then kept her for the week Tommy was in the hospital after his heart attack.  The least we can do is watch two of their four dogs while they go on a cruise.

I'm going to enjoy my freedom for the rest of the week while I can!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Capicolla Pizza

Fresh locally made capicolla is $6.99 at the pork store on the West side.  I picked up a half pound the weekend before last.  Last Thursday night, we had a dinner guest and I made a pizza.  Then I made another pizza tonight.  Tomorrow I'll be tossing it with pasta and a little shrimp with freshly grated parm and some chopped baby spinach and fresh farm-stand tomatoes.  A little bit goes a long way and while it might have a high cost per pound, if you can get three meals out of it, that makes it a lot more affordable -- and practical.  TBG has three slices of pie left for lunch.

This time of year, I buy my tomatoes and other veggies from stands in front of country homes and farms.  These are picked fresh daily and not produced by big agriculture or shipped from Mexico.  When it comes to summer time goodness, locally grown may seem more expensive if you go to farmer's markets in the city -- but it's a bargain when you are willing to drive down a country road, pull over and stuff some cash into an honor box!

Sunday, August 17, 2014


This huge stash of braziers will come to work with me tomorrow.  That probably sounds wildly inappropriate.  There must be two dozen boob-slingers in this pile.  None of them fit me anymore and rather than donating them, I'm passing them on to a co-worker who has a busty teenager.  The poor girl is beside herself over her constantly growing state and I feel her pain.  While she is a 34DD (the size I was in high school too), that was a size I purged one wave ago.  However, the 36D and DD bras I have on hand may fit her since many of them ran small which was why I never wore them.  Also, it is likely her size will increase and decrease over the next few years.

Her mom wanted to pay me for these and there's no way I'd accept money.  For one, bras are outrageously expensive yet I always manage to find them for cheap, and secondly --  I'm not likely to be wearing these.  Yes, in a few years I might drop some of my work weight -- but I'll just buy more then.  It's not worth it to have them taking up space when they could be put to good use supporting this girl's growing breasts.

Having large hooters is no fun and it's especially difficult to deal with during the teenage years.  There are some things her slim and flat-chested mother can't really advise her on because of the lack of experience.  Although it's not likely all of these will fit, I am assuming many will -- and I'm happy to be rid of them!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Mystery Meal

Tonight's dinner was made from left-overs that were made from left-overs.  There are so many past meals from this week in it that I didn't know what to call it!  After we were done, we walked to the hotdog/ice cream stand on the corner and got dessert.  It is cool and not raining here right now but more will precipitation should be coming our way.  I fit in a "Teddy Trifecta" after work - swim (for her), long walk (for us), tosses in the field (for her).  She had a treat so I decided we could get one too!

I did figure it wouldn't hurt to sneak in another back yard picture.  Since it wasn't too late to get a shot, I took this one from upstairs.  It gives an idea of the big flagstone we had put in place.  We are now mulling over stain choices and there are a few more odd jobs to do with the wood.  But other than that, all we have to do is enjoy it!

I started pizza dough for tomorrow night when I hope to make a capicolla pie.  If it's dry enough, we will eat outside!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Small Details

The cat walk got put on the top of the fence today and it really gives it the effect I was looking for.  Rather than looking just like a fence, it looks like woodworking.  It poured buckets this evening and the wood got a soaking.  I'm now convinced to stain it using a very light tint with a cedar hue and to do it all in the same color.  The grain looks so nice wet and that is what I'm going to try to capture with the stain.  Jimmy also built us a bench out of a rough piece and used posts for legs.  The original plan was to fix it to the fence but this way it can get put in the garage in the winter and it should last longer.  Flower baskets are back up but we have not hung lights or the screen.  The area around the back of the garage is visible here (I know it's dark) and it is so much neater looking without the chain link and the view into the abandoned yard.
The corner where the wood is stacked still needs to be built out and the rain barrel has to actually be attached.  Jimmy put up my little resin owl.  I wanted a statue for the corner and this guy was marked down at Big Lots for five bucks.
Here's a closer look at Mr. Owl.  His coloring is perfect for the fence.  I don't know what the squirrels will think of him but they can at least scoot around him as they run the fence line.  That is something they couldn't do before.
Here's a better look at the bench and the cat walk capping the fence.  We'll be stringing led lights under that ledge and that is one reason I wanted it.  It also makes the sight line a lot neater.

I'm really happy with how this has come together.  It was a bigger project than I originally thought but we will get years of enjoyment out of it.  And of course I will be tweaking it more as time goes by.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Just a Boring Dinner Post!

It's been a while since I posted about a dinner.  Well, this one might not look like much but it was delicious!  On Saturday I was in our old part of town to get my hair cut.  Sparr's Eurpean Sausage is a block away.  I hit the green grocer's first then stopped by to pick up a few brauts.  It was two in the afternoon and most of their stock was gone!  Luckily, they had a good quantity of beer brauts made with Flying Bison ale.  It doesn't matter which one of their brews they use for the sausage, it's all good -- and these were so delicious I just wanted to eat and eat until I burst and would have room for more.

We love to eat but I am a frugal shopper, however a treat like this is worth $6.99 a pound -- and these are hand crafted goodies made on the premises.  The asparagus were grilled in foil and I just squeezed fresh lime and salted, peppers and put some dill in.  I drenched them in a mixture of spicy brown and yellow mustard with a glob of sour cream/yogurt.  Of course I made enough potatoes for other meals.  Since I only ate one sausage and a single bite of another, I negotiated the leftover link for getting out of doing the dishes.  Heck, I would have given TBG the link anyway...