Friday, February 5, 2016

Opposites Attract

I made a list of things I wanted to be done in the next few days. Every item on the list is to complete a project. The list is long and I won't even show it to He Who seems to be incapable of finishing anything .... other than mowing.

We purchased a Mr. Heater recently and I had to move things to find a spot to hang it on the wall. It came with optional feet, but I knew that Oscar would want to mark it. He likes for any nose to know what belongs to him. Being the alpha, you know. I didn't relish the thought of cleaning it daily .... or the fact that heated up Oscar smell would be a bit much.

We read the directions and noted that there needed to be 8" on either side and directly in front of the heat source. We managed a spot the met the requirements. There was a skinny floor cabinet on the wall with the monitor for the security cabinets mounted above it. I took care of the cabinet and the contents and He Who is in charge of all things electrical removed the monitor and all the different feeds from the cameras. He laid the components willy-nilly throughout the living area.

I grabbed a box and had him put all the gadgets with wires in it. I gave him a look when he placed the monitor on MY chair and he picked it up and took it to the extra bedroom. The control box, that is about the size of a DVD player was left on the table, covered in dust. The table upon which we partake of food. I cleaned it off and stuck it in a cabinet in the hall.

This all happened a couple of weeks ago. The heater is a dream. It uses very little propane and the spot I chose was close enough to hook up to the same line the central unit uses. We don't like to use the central unit because it heats the entire building. We only want to heat the living quarters. The old unit sucks up the propane like crazy.

He Who loves to build a fire was going to mount it on an outside wall so that he could drill a hole through the wall to the outside, where he intended to put a small propane tank. The spot he chose would have pretty much eliminated the small dining table and chairs. I like my plan better. Just so you know, he still builds a fire every day. Still gets the temperature too high every evening.

Today, with the weather being mild, I mentioned moving the Wi-Fi modem and hooking it up to the antennae he bough 18 months ago. He planned to move the modem inside to make it a lot easier to re-boot it when necessary. So, with my suggestion (along with my reasoning), fresh in his mind, he decided to re-mount the monitor and controller for the security system. This particular chore requires no reason to be outside. It is supposed to be colder tomorrow and he could have done it then .......

Okay, I am just happy he is tackling any of the chores on my secret list. When he removed the big bracket that held the monitor I was painting the broom closet and re-arranging all my cleaning supplies. There was a big toggle bolt that went through the wall and I distinctly remember handing the back part of the assembly to him, since it was on my side of the wall he was working on. Today he asked me where I put the toggle thingies. "In your hand." I said. He says he can't find them.

I have played this game before and knew that he was getting ready to go buy more. I insisted that he stop for a minute and think about where he might have put them. He found something else that he said "would work" and located a stud in the wall. Then we had the "where did you put" all the rest of the components conversation. I located all of the items. "I need a power source to plug all of these in." He looks at me as if I might just have that in my pocket as I am washing the dishes.

Once again, I stop what I am doing to run down all the surge protectors we own (and it is a lot of them). None of them met his requirements. The four things he has to plug in are long, so that one would cover the space of two outlets. He showed me the problem and said he needed one with the outlets that are "sideways". He is on a shopping spree as I write this. I did not argue, or point out that he had made it work before without a shopping trip. Instead I just handed him a list of things I needed from the grocery and the drug store and sent him on his way.

See, I told you he does not shop like I do. I make a list and try to anticipate what I need and get it all in one trip. He would rather get one item a trip and run back and forth. I guess opposites do attract.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

He Who Is In The Dog House

The current weather has been so nice. Hasn't been so cold at night. I could have slept with the window open last night.

At midnightish, as usual, 3 sneezes and a whimper had me stumbling out of bed, cradling Oscar in my arms. I had not been covered, I was a little too warm. When I entered the sitting room that houses the infamous wood stove, it was stifling hot! I took the dog out and returned to check the thermostat. 90 DEGREES!!! I grabbed my phone to get a picture for proof. Took only 7 tries to get one, as I had not bothered to turn the light on.

He Who stuffs the wood into the stove every night always accuses me of exaggerating. So I wanted proof. I was trying to fiddle with the damper and such, but the stove was so hot I was burning my fingers. I looked at the thermostat again as I went to wake the man who stuffed the stove full of wood. 91 degrees!! The temperature was rising!!

I cannot sleep when it is that hot. I wanted to open the windows, but He Who tends to whine about being cold had a small fit. I did not have a restful sleep. It did cool down eventually, but I felt like I had just dozed off when the cellphone of He Who plays with ring tones went off. Just guess what the ring tone was? Barking dogs.

He Who is in the dog house.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Turnips ... It's What's For Supper

Being a true southern girl, I plant "greens" every year, and I ain't talkin' 'bout no salad greens. I speak of turnip greens and collard greens. No mustard greens, since they are not my favorite.

I always have an abundance and have tried to offer them to my friends and those I only know in passing. Not a one of those I have offered to share my garden bounty with have had any clue what my greens are. How can this be? I know about foods that are not from the deep south. I am not above trying new foods.

I grew up eating these greens. Always cooked the same way. Ham of some sort boiled in water, add the greens and cook it endlessly. The turnip roots are put in last and boiling continues. Some like a good sprinkling of pepper sauce, and you have to have cornbread (a southern law) on the side. In the event of not having any ham product on hand, a big dollop of "seasoning", aka bacon fat, is added to the water. The water left in the pot after the greens have been removed is referred to as "pot liquor". This is sopped up and eaten with the aforementioned cornbread.

I don't cook mine the same way, I like to leave the fat out. I add my greens to salted water and cook just until they are tender. They can be a little bitter, so I taste mine early in the cooking and will sometimes add a tablespoon of brown sugar. As much as I might prefer my cooking method, I am not at all opposed to eating them at my Mama's, should I be pulling my chair up to her table.

These greens can be frozen, but I prefer mine fresh. Today I strolled the garden and noted that I had quite a few turnips peeking out of the ground. Greens are cool weather plants. The green tops were beyond edible, the snow and freezing temps rendering them yellowed and withered. The turnips were nice and firm, though. So, why not have a big pan of roasted turnips?

I like to roast all kinds of veggies and root veggies lend themselves nicely to this method. So, I cleaned them and cut them into bite-sized chunks, and decided they would pair well with some carrots. I sprinkled them with fresh ground pepper and kosher salt and tossed them in olive oil. Into the oven for about 30 minutes.

I have a favorite new dinner vegetable. They were so good. I am still confused, though. The grocery stores sell them here. How is it that nobody knows what they are? I eat Mexican food, but I am not from Mexico. Love middle eastern food, never been there, though.

Monday, February 1, 2016

More Paint

Exhausted from my day of painting (yesterday), I am staying inside today. The temperature has dropped, too. I set a very small goal yesterday. I asked He Who moves stuff to get the Pepsi machine moved so that I could paint behind it and above it. I am happy to report that I exceeded my less than lofty goal! With He Who painting the ceiling, we managed to complete the entire side!

The gray paint seems very light, almost white. I am pretty sure that I picked one a shade darker. I sent He Who runs many errands to have the paint mixed. He usually thinks my paint choices to be "too dark", so I think he switched things up on me. He won't admit it, and I don't want to re-do any of it, so .........

 Today I sit here, computer in my lap. I did manage to wash the dishes and then start dinner. I plundered through the freezer and landed on a package of beef short ribs. I put them in water to thaw and sat down to peruse Pinterest for a new recipe to try.

I know how to cook them, but I just wanted to try something different. As we "speak", they are cooking slowly in a 300 degree oven wrapped tightly in foil. The most amazing aroma is sneaking out and filling the air. It was a little more labor intensive than I was looking for, but appears to be so worth it.

It called for a cup of "Bacon Barbeque Sauce". I had to make the sauce. It is cooling down and ready to be put in jars. I am not a big fan of BBQ sauce, but this stuff is like a little heaven on your tongue. I chopped the onions and the garlic and the tomatoes and from there went to whiskey and honey and real maple syrup. So good!!

I see a family on the TV enjoying some Banquet TV dinners. Ack.

Saturday, January 30, 2016


My big adventure wore me out and I have had a headache for two days. I dare not add that to all my other symptoms and go on-line to see what I find. Think I will just wait until I see the new doctor ..... in two weeks.

I started to feel a little more like my old self yesterday afternoon. The weather was so nice that I decided to paint the front of the building. I painted it the last time it was painted and it was no big deal. It is cedar and really sucks down the paint. First time we painted, the building sucked up 15 gallons of paint, and still needed a second coat.

We are changing the color this time and going lighter. From barn red to light gray. I decided to go with the color of gravel dust, hoping it will be easier to maintain. He Who is a sloppy painter had painted the new siding and for some reason he decided to start painting the front. Yes, he did. I did mention that he is not neat and precise, didn't I?

He decided to start to the left of the door in an area with a lot of trim. Since we are staying with the same trim color, I did not intend to have to paint it. You already see where I am going, don't you? The trim will now have to be painted. He painted just a couple of the boards beside the door, then painted another board on the outer side and the one side of the partician that separates the porch. Why, you ask, did he not start at one end or the other? I really can't say, other than, I was not surprised at all.

He did this in December, when we had that warm spell. I was incarcerated in the hospital and unable to stop him. It looked ridiculous, that goes without saying. So, yesterday, I set out to remedy the situation.

Had an audio book going and my handy paint spattered step stool and got going. I do not remember being so very slow! I had thought I would knock out one side, ceiling and all. I have done it before. I did not accomplish my task. I made a good dent in it, but I am not happy with my slow progress!

I plan to finish today. It is a beautiful day and the temp should hit 60. I am determined, just hope I hold out.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Stay Away From Big Trucks

The sun was shining brightly when I woke this morning. Most of the snow is gone. I had my bare minimum of coffee, then hit the shower. I was out the door by 11:00 .....

So, I move a little slower these days. I drove myself to the store! First time I have gone anywhere on my own in over a month. I hit four stores and took my time meandering slowly, gathering all the items on my list ...... and a few other things. My pantry was looking bare. It was time to restock the basics.

He Who loves me offered to go with me. You know, that offer they make with that look in their eye that begs you to say no? The look of relief on his face when I denied him the pleasure of escorting me was priceless.

I hate shopping with him. He doesn't shop the way I like to. I am thorough. I scan the aisles carefully, lest I miss a bargain. You never know what could be lurking in the clearance section! I have a couple of consignment stores I like to browse. Sometimes I leave with nothing, but today I lucked out. Scored a king bedspread for a mere $7! Faded light blue, but I can dye it. I end up washing mine every week. Paw prints .....

So, I had a good day, just pondered the last bit of advice from my erstwhile chauffeur as I drove along. "Stay away from the semi's." I nodded okay when he said it, as I walked out the door. Didn't really register until I was on my way. As I replayed the words in my mind, all I could think was "do what?"

I was on I-70. More semi's than cars travel that road. I have no idea how one would avoid them. Did he think I was going to pull over every time I saw a truck, or maybe I was supposed to outrun them? I still have no idea how to stay away from semi's on a main coast to coast trucking path.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Just Wondering

Insomnia had me roaming the TV channels. I wonder if Michelle Obama has ordered her commemorative Obama Chia Pet? I am a deep thinker ........