Archive for November, 2020

Cut a rug

Posted on Monday, November 30th, 2020 at 9:44 am

I replaced the kitchen entry rug with a new one, a little wider and a tad shorter. Myka is starting to get used to it, after being leery, as she is of new things in general, especially big new things. It’s on the dark side, a muted dark blue and earthy grays, easy on the eyes next to the clean floor. The new one means that I can clean the old ones at my leisure.

The kitchen is clean, top to bottom, from the stove top to the floor. My chores are done for the nonce. All that is left is the eating. “I’m not hungry,” is not an excuse. The fridge is packed, the freezer even worse. Eggs, pork loin, potato, cheddar, avocado is breakfast when I get myself in gear this morning. (They would put large avocados on sale again.)

The rain is gone, replaced by the cold north wind. A low in the high 30s this morning, it could freeze tonight. I have decided to get an alpaca blanket this month. Also a couple more folding aluminum tables like the one I have. Note that neither is designed for making noise. Pay day is tonight.

I am wondering whether I should cancel the dowel order, or just wait to hear back. Waiting to see how finances work out, potential checks and stimulus payments making for pondering before acting. If I’m going to get a new MacBook Pro, it will change the dynamics. And potential raises next year is another variable.

The end of the month was a flurry of activity, and now I’m settling back down as the temps drop. It was a fabulous autumn weather-wise. It will be at least ten days before the windows might possibly open again.

Truer words…

Posted on Saturday, November 28th, 2020 at 11:28 am

Glop – what you get after you drain off the stock from boiling down a carcass, once the major bones have been extracted. Tiny bones, skin, fat, other stuff mixed in with a fair amount of meat that is too much effort to remove with a knife. It’s a serious effort to separate the boiled meat from the glop, but if you don’t like wasting food, it’s a common chore.

The turkey is all but done, and the casserole begins as soon as this chore is completed. Everything for the casserole has been prepped, measured, and staged. The breasts and wings are in the freezer, the legs and thighs and carcass pickings are in the fridge. Dishes are washed and put away. Just the glop is left.

Got my script refill this morning, topped off the truck. Last acts of the month. Last of the mad money. It was raining lightly, so a good time to make the run, minimal crowd.

So the focus now is on December. Nothing much upon which to focus. One celebration, a permanent exemption from jury duty. The rest is just December, waiting for the days to start getting longer, avoiding people with seasonal depression, and this year, more so on the avoidance.

It will be cold, but I have a cat to happily warm my feet. We need a freeze for the mosquitos.

The dressing turned out perfection. The caramelized honey in the stock made the flavor divine. And the good news is that I have enough stock for a second batch. This is one worthy of TRD.

The dishes are washed and put away. Still a few chores: laundry, litter box, mop the kitchen floor, move a few things in the fridge to the freezer. But the turkey is finished. A two day project, not counting thawing, but worth it. A memorable non-Thanksgiving turkey.

The rain continues, a soggy Saturday.

Black Friday Turkey

Posted on Friday, November 27th, 2020 at 6:20 pm

Having a turkey back strap sandwich. Myka approves wholeheartedly.


I still need to debone and package and boil the carcass for stock for the dressing. So the work is not done yet. It’s almost cool enough to grab sharp objects.

Not bad for a Black Friday. Got started about noon when I felt up to it. It came out of the oven before dark. Then the remaining bacon got roasted (bacon gouda sandwich).

Time to let the steel fly.

The stock pot is simmering. The turkey is packaged and in the fridge. Dishes are washed and put away. Phase 2 starts tomorrow. Freezer shuffle, casserole, mop the kitchen, eat food!

bird day

Posted on Thursday, November 26th, 2020 at 3:25 pm

I think the turkey will get cooked this evening. It seems thawed today. Haven’t touched the jambalaya yet, but the block of boudin is gone, and half of the dinner rolls. One slice of pork loin in the fridge for egg tacos. Unopened tamales. Not a big appetite today. But I will have plenty to eat when I get hungry, especially after I get the turkey/cornbread dressing casserole made.

But none of this until after I soak in the tub. It’s mid 70s, windows open, and the weather is pointed toward a nosedive at the first of the month, maybe a light freeze. So I want a good long soak before the rains come to pave the way for the cold. Heat does not leave Texas without a fight.

A quiet bird day. Next door was about normal, but the rest of town in the background has been pretty low key. Suits me. Valsartan not as bad as it was yesterday, but I’m still sleeping more than my share.

I ordered the script refill, though it won’t be grabbed for a few days, maybe Sunday, weather and traffic level defining. Top off the truck when I do. Paid the internet bill. So the last details of the month are set. Finances are good.

Once again, I feel blessed not to own a TV. No Christmas commercials this year.


Posted on Wednesday, November 25th, 2020 at 6:09 pm

Chicken/pork loin/shrimp/bay scallop jambalaya is on the stove, covered, and simmering for another 20 minutes. Yum yum. I didn’t get it started before dawn, so that the stinky stuff could out with the trash. But I got it made before dusk. I rinsed as much as I could. I may need to dump the bag in the bin on Saturday at mid cycle if the aroma gets too strong to bear. Depends on the turkey timing.

Turkey is still in the fridge. I haven’t tested it this afternoon, but I assume that it’s still a little too cold in the core. Maybe tomorrow or Friday. 1.0 spicy chicken in the freezer, 0.5 in the fridge.

Made a store run last night. More pork tamales, some aloha rolls, and toilet paper. I wasn’t that needy for TP, but the reserve package had been emptied and the shelf space was bare. The shelves at the store were almost bare. I got $50 cash back and brought the mad money down to within a script refill and gas for the truck. Sunday, Monday, after the holiday madness.

The valsartan gave me quite a kick last night, and it wasn’t until afternoon that I had any notable energy. I slept off and on quite a bit. The first day isn’t as bad as the second, and the shift from morning to evening dosage reset the cycle. I may need to go to 160 mg.

Okay, the jambalaya is setting on the stove. Hadn’t even started cooling before Myka started begging for shrimp and scallops. And she’d eat the pork and chicken too.

Having boudin. It was a little too much for a single serve, so I split it and went light. The jambalaya will keep. The boudin is the last of the needs to get eaten. Myka is not thrilled with the bait and switch.

Bank run

Posted on Tuesday, November 24th, 2020 at 1:15 pm

I made the bank run to Navasota this morning, and I returned with 1.5 spicy chickens from Popeye’s. Overcast day, so the drive was easy on the eyes. Smooth run. Truck ran well, got the injectors blown out.

The turkey hasn’t thawed yet, ice crystals can be felt inside the bag, the fridge too cold. No hurry. It’s not a Thanksgiving bird, just a cheap one. I still have plenty of stuff to eat. Boudin, tamale, gravy, fried chicken, etc. I am aiming for jambalaya tonight, as trash goes out in the morning.

Things are going pretty well. I had a full digestive purge yesterday, without any medical assistance. So I’m in good shape, things are moving on their own again. I’m down to three meds, now in the evening. BP is looking good. Side effects manageable.

Still no word on the dowels. It’s been two months since I made the order. I guess I need to spend some mad money. I could have hit up the ATM, but I didn’t bother. Six days, no problem, other than it being a holiday and Black Friday… If bad goes to worse, I could always get a portable guitar amp or something similar from Musician’s Friend.


Posted on Sunday, November 22nd, 2020 at 7:44 am

As mysterously as my WP editor disappeared from my browser, it has returned. Now I don’t need to post with my tablet and Bluetooth gear. I am not even beginning to guess at the cause, zero clues. Just glad to have it back.

TRD would be winding up with a few awake this morning. Mid-60s, would have been the perfect morning for the ladies’ choral. I guess I can hold out one more year. Three years without is not easy.

Gravy was made last night. One more option before the jambalaya and turkey. Having a time working around the turkey in the fridge. I need to thaw the bacon. Tamale breakfast.

We’ve had 160 new cases reported in the county in the last 14 days. It is not a time to be out in public. I am holding out well enough, hanging here. I miss jamming and partying, but I manage to make the days roll by.

Chores are done except for folding laundry and washing the gravy skillet that has been soaking. It’s a time for building steam for the cooking ahead.


Posted on Saturday, November 21st, 2020 at 1:28 pm

TRD Not this year.



Posted on Friday, November 20th, 2020 at 3:11 pm

The blood test results were almost identical to last time. Doctor reported very stable. Only the triglycerides were off and not by much. Two half pound bacon gouda burgers, pulled pork, shrimp alfredo, etc, might have had a little to do with that. Everything else nailed it. All told I’m in very good shape. Got the lisinopril changed to valsartan, 320 mg, which is pretty strong. A bit of a kick for an hour or two.

Bought a 14 lb turkey last night. I figure it was the right size for my intentions, freeze the breast and use the rest to make turkey cornbread dressing. The carcass will make the stock for the dressing. It should be fridge thawed by Tuesday.

Also got pork tamales, the big gourmet ones. And milk and pan sausage for gravy. Bread, spuds, butter, etc. I am well stocked. Jamalaya will be made before the turkey breasts are frozen, so as to make room in the feezer.

Weather is still nice. 80°F outside, windows open, light breeze, sunny. No complaints. Well, I wouldn’t mind a freeze to kill the skeeters.

I saw a couple of fleas on Myka, and she has been scratching. Her ears are a little gunky too. So she just got a dose of Advantage Multi. She is not in the least bit happy.

Not a whole lot happening today since I got home from the pharmacy. A day to let the week sort of settle. And that is okay by me. I need to start laundry, that’s about it for now.

Clickity clack

Posted on Wednesday, November 18th, 2020 at 12:51 pm

The two pair of tigerwood spoons arrived a short while ago. That completes my collection of clickity clacks. They’re not the same as the Lark in the Morning spoons, but close enough in the way they play. They are pretty.

Pairs: tigerwood, padauk, ebony / cheaters: mulberry, rosewood (2)
Minstrel bones: boxwood, birch, tun, padauk, sisham, ebony, tigerwood, rosewood
Flat bones: padauk, tigerwood, ebony / Irish: rosewood (2)

Finally emptied the fridge. Thawed the 2 lb boudin block for sandwiches while I make up my mind what to cook next. I think I have the turkey logistics down now. They’re still on sale this week, as expected.

Doing well, all around. No major complaints. Doctor appointment tomorrow, flu shot will throw me off my game for a day or two. So the bank run will be next week.

Mid 70s, sunny, windows open.

Wind shift

Posted on Sunday, November 15th, 2020 at 4:50 am

The wind is swinging to the west as the cool front approaches. The string of days with highs in the 80s has closed, and it will be about 15° cooler for the next four or five days. I have washed the denim shirt and aired out the alpaca in prep for the temperature drop. It has been a very nice week of weather. I will miss the open windows.

None of the bones that I decided against ordering have sold out. Just as well. I don’t need more bones.

Store run Thursday night. Got 5.5 lb of ground chuck that is now in the freezer. So is the fajita chicken, fish, and popcorn shrimp. The freezer is full. Made a burger (gouda bacon) with another on the way, from the pound I thawed. Thinking about the logistics of how to get a turkey while they’re cheap. I think I can put the breasts of a small bird in the freezer and make turkey dressing with the dark meat and stock from the carcass. It doesn’t have to be ready for Thanksgiving.

Feeling pretty good, no major woes to mention. A few minor ones, but that is usually the case. Doctor appointment this Thursday. Flu shot and see about going back to valsartan.

Bills paid, mad money settled if the bill for the dowels arrives. Thinking about a bank run this week.


Posted on Thursday, November 12th, 2020 at 12:46 am

I had a rather disturbing digestive woe today, one that hasn’t resolved completely. It had my head spinning, clockwise. My only option was to sleep it off. It has taken a while since I woke to stabilize my balance. But it has improved. Again, I am processing toxins out of my system, taxing my organs. Not sure what brought it on but it was preceded by my lymph nodes complaining. So it’s bacterial, probably something I ate.

The rosewood bones are in town, they should be here around mid-morning. It will be the first Pea Patch bones in the collection.. They look nice, but they are more expensive. I don’t think I’ll be buying more. They have a lot of options I don’t have, but I’m happy with what I’ve got. I got these because rosewood is a traditional wood for bones, along with ebony. I am happy with the collection, the voice range proper.

I didn’t get to cook the penne alfredo today. I was in no shape to cook, despite prepping everything last night. I still have the eggs ackley and pulled pork on hand. I had a chicken pot pie for dinner, quick and easy on the digestion. I may cook tonight, may wait until tomorrow. Depends on when I get sleepy.

Windows remain open during the day. Still great weather.

Got the rosewood bones today. I like them. Loud, bright, and massive, a good set for loud sessions. They’re easy to keep clicking. I like them.

I also ordered two pair of tigerwood spoons, 6” and 8”, from Bone Dry via Amazon. They were a planned part of the collection, and Pea Patch was the only brand that had them available. The mad money was there.

Th option I didn’t follow was four more pair of minstrel bones from Bone Dry: maple, red oak, walnut, hickory. Three were down to 1 or 2 left, so I’ll probably not get the chance again. That might be a good thing.

Going to start in on the penne in a bit.

Hubba hubba

Posted on Tuesday, November 10th, 2020 at 2:33 am

I am back up to full steam again, finally. It has been six weeks since I felt this good, and I was partying at the time. I have managed to knock the chores down in succession. Finally back in the game.

I like the sisham bones. They have a feel that I like, solid mass, good tone, plenty of speed. A good rhythm mate for the tigerwood pair. The Pea Patch rosewood pair are currently in the St Louis USPS hub.

Starting to see room in the freezer. Thawed pulled pork, boudin, and a chicken quarter (penne alfredo). I’ll be sandwich oriented during this warm period. A few days into a week of highs in the low 80s. Very nice.

Gave Myka her new scratch pad. I put the old one from the office in the living room, at the point of ”ear central”, where everything inside and outside the house can be heard. Myka has parked herself on it, her new favorite spot. She ignores the new one.

Pick ups

Posted on Saturday, November 7th, 2020 at 11:31 pm

An eventful Saturday. AP called Biden president elect today. Tonight, pick up trucks are being revved out all over town, a primal scream of denial. I am staying home. I don’t want to be out with that much unbridled angst.

It was also the day I got the new 8” spoons (ebony and vermillion) and new minstrel bones (tun and sisham). I split the bone bag in two, minstrels and flats. I also ordered a pair of Pea Patch wide rosewood minstrel bones. Ebony and rosewood were the primary bones of the 19th century, and the collection felt shy without them, even if these are big honkers.

The great spice purge and replace took place Friday. Around 20 new containers in the spice box. It hasn’t made me want to cook. But the ackley and soup are sufficing. I’ll use them soon enough. The last month has dominated the kitchen with an “as needed” mentality, cooking the item needed next in line to achieve recovery. It wasn’t about taste, though I managed to keep it acceptable. Now that my body is back to nominal, it’s difficult to shift focus to taste and nutrition as the primaries. The mood to prep hasn’t returned yet.

Still no word on the dowels.

Ignoring the news

Posted on Thursday, November 5th, 2020 at 2:09 am

I have been limiting my exposure to the news today. Basic facts and a quick scan has been it. I don’t need the anxiety.

I have been sleeping as much as I can to flush the toxins. Not sleeping long enough to get a full flush, and I woke with a headache. The kidneys will do their job.

I got the eggs ackley and baked potato soup made. I need a third dish to balance the nutrients. Considering shrimp/chicken penne alfedo. Not in a big hurry, though. I need to do some whittling on the two I’ve got in the fridge. Plenty of alternatives in the freezer.

I have decided to do a spice culling. A lot of the rare use items are too stale or spoiled and need refreshing. I won’t replace everything, a portion I’ll toss and wait until I need it again, but some will.

USPS tracking is the pits right now. Not surprised. Not in a hurry for any of it, so I just wait.



Tha Day

Posted on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020 at 5:05 pm

In 60 minutes, results of the election will start becoming public. The mood will begin to change.

I ordered a couple of pair of bones today, the last two wood options in stock, Tunwood (red cedar) and Red Sisham (rosewood variant). The tun is soft and light, a muted tone for quiet sets. The sisham is vibrant and crisp. So my collection of minstrel bones will be as complete as possible. Working on the mad money early this month.

The WP editor quit working in Safari, and it doesn’t publish in Firefox, so I’m having to switch to the iPad to post. Nothing to my knowledge has changed in terms of settings since yesterday, so it’s puzzling. I even tried reinstalling WP. As far as I can tell from the console, it’s a javascript in includes not jiving with ports. Only the editor is affected. Everything else works.

Feeling better today, not a full 100%, but getting close.

I killed off the pastrami. So either I make baked potato soup, eggs ackley, or I eat out of the freezer.

Eve #2

Posted on Monday, November 2nd, 2020 at 4:32 am

Tomorrow is Election Day. The results are pretty obvious, except to one side that refuses to see the writing on the wall. Hope springs eternal. (Alexander Pope, 1734) It’s going to be messy afterwards.

Made a number of purchases on the first. USB hubs, Merino wool/cotton socks for winter, a tub pillow (thermal insulation so I can lean back on cold days), two pairs of 8″ wooden spoons (ebony, vermillion), and more. Made a moderate dent in this month’s mad money.

Still waiting on a bill for the dowels.

The secondary effects of the expulsion are fading. Otherwise, I’m doing well. I will get back to 100%, eventually. My patience has been thoroughly tested.

I need to cook. I need to thaw a package of pork tenderloin for both recipes. I’m hoping that I feel up to it today. I’ve been doing chores, but cooking just wasn’t in the cards. Had my celebratory pastrami/gouda sandwich.