Archive for May, 2022

it’s all gravy from here

Posted on Sunday, May 29th, 2022 at 8:04 pm

The sausage gravy is in the fridge, with cheese risotto and eggs ackley. Brisket and Popeye’s chicken just went from the sink into the fridge for tomorrow. Add pate and provolone sandwiches for the heat of the day. My diet is set for the rest of the month (a little over 2 days) and then some.

Dishes are washed, the 12″ pan put away. Ice bin filled, floors swept, et al. I just fed Myka her wet food. I am done for the day.

It was too hot for me in my current condition to make the party. I’m not up to packing the truck for a party in this weather. I need to stay home and vegetate, to sleep at all hours of the day in the AC. I got all the chores done, so that I can now engage medically in napping, dozing, snoozing, dawdling, whiling, piddling, frittering, loitering, kicking back, lounging, day dreaming, and reposing.

I made some changes in the gravy making, specifically cooking the tube of sausage. Cut off the wrapper, chop in half. Use the large pancake flipper to press the halves down flat, side by side, filling the pan with an even sheet. Chop the surface with the star chopper until well covered. Cook to done on the bottom, then flip the halves over and inside out and cook until uniformly done. Using two melamine spatulas, cut the sheets into parallel strips, then chip them into small pieces, like busting up a concrete slab. (Warning, this part makes it more labor intensive, but it cooks more uniformly, and everything flours better and sits under the gravy’s surface.) It makes the sausage more 2D, a slab puzzle instead of irregular chunks. I attribute the idea to the burger press made sausage patties. Cooks quicker and more evenly.

Also the silicone spatula was perfect for getting every bit of gravy out of the pan before washing, none wasted. And the silicone sponge pad washes the pan like magic. A great trio of cooking technology.


Posted on Saturday, May 28th, 2022 at 11:15 pm

Myka is wearing the flea collar. She didn’t want to, but the element of surprise caught her off guard, and it was on before she could scramble to a cubby hole. Die, fleas!

Cheese risotto is sitting on the stovetop, waiting to cool enough for a container. I made it before the gravy, so that I could pour away making gravy without fear of using too much of the milk. The gravy might happen tonight. I have a little momentum going for me, and gravy is pretty easy, a little labor intensive, but not rocket science.

A new bag of ice today. While using up the last of the active bag to top the ice bin, I heard the neighbor discussing the property with the landlord, no doubt the security deposit. The house is now dark, the yard is empty. They have vacated before the end of the month, the day after school let out. I wonder who is next.

Chores are done. There will be dishes to wash from the risotto, but the sink is clear and clean. No laundry, floors are done, Myka has been tended, including litter box, I am ahead of the curve.

I was outside a short while around sunset, and the mosquitos were so think, I had to take a benadryl.

It doesn’t look like I’m making Sam’s party. I’m just not up for it this weekend.


Posted on Friday, May 27th, 2022 at 5:47 pm

Blood test was good today. Doctor was pleased. A fine way to celebrate 10 years since my AAA surgery. The fast has ended, though not too ambitiously. Bread and gouda. A few chips.

The pork loin has been diced. The avocado is ready, one tiny hint of softness, no bruises. As soon as it quits being mid-90s, eggs ackley begins. Sausage gravy begins when it begins. It will happen at the proper time. Brisket and Popeye’s thaw on Sunday night.

Nothing is scheduled this weekend. The calendar is mine, I’m off the leash, and the truck runs. Lots of quick food. Go with the flow or lack thereof. Be as lazy as I like. Next week too.


Myka on the catwalk.

The eggs ackley are done. Whew! 7 eggs, 0.6 lb pork loin, it will last awhile. Now eat the avocado, do dishes, and then sausage gravy. Some time in the near future. Spoilage has been avoided. For the nonce, I sit.

Slow pokin’

Posted on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022 at 8:21 pm

Except for an occasional ping from the throat, all side effects are now background. That doesn’t mean that I’m peppy, though. But at least it was a mild vax reaction. Chores are getting done, but there are still chores to do. Everything happens at the proper time.

The chili is gone, all spud, no dogs. So is the turkey. The pork loin is going into eggs ackley. Two pieces of cornbread left to go. Then I can move on to the next phase, with sausage gravy, brats, tamales, cheese risotto… Brisket and Popeyes for the holiday.

Fasting starts tomorrow night for Friday’s blood draw. I’ll be glad to get this annual physical behind me.

It’s nice to have the truck back in trim and roadworthy. The confidence of having transportation on call is reassuring.

Had two batches of rain in the last week, about 1.75″. Temps in the 70s and 80s have been a nice break. It looks like we go back to the 90s tomorrow.

It must be raindrops

Posted on Sunday, May 22nd, 2022 at 8:11 pm

It rained an inch last night, plenty of boom and flash in the distance. Temp dropped about 20°F overall, about 35°F change total. It’s diluted air from Colorado’s snow fest. It should last the week.

I broke up the fused bottoms of three bags of ice before getting a new bag today. It’s the only time this weekend that I dared to venture out of the driveway. Side effects have been increasing at times, so I haven’t driven anywhere else. Traffic was almost non-existent.

The side effects have been up and down, nothing really intense and nothing specific. They have been more general, tiredness, lack of focus, blahs, hints… It’s not stopping me from doing things, but it makes sitting still and doing nothing a whole lot easier. It hasn’t been like past ones, at least yet.

I got the Seresto collar for Myka today, FedEx, but I want to give her an examination to make sure that she has fleas before I unpack it. There are clues, like mini-scabs, scratching. But I haven’t identified fleas proof positive yet.

Still making efforts on the fridge, though the ambition isn’t as energetic as it could be. I’m good for the week, at least. I had chicken and rice for lunch, and a turkey sandwich for dinner. Another chili spud tonight. I may do something with pork loin and eggs for breakfast, possibly eggs ackley.

On the Warm Side

Posted on Saturday, May 21st, 2022 at 6:19 pm

Got to 97°F at the airport today, I saw 93°F in the window before the sunlight hit the thermometer. 92°F in the hall. It’s been snowing in the Denver area. Needless to say, even without the jab, I’d be idle. The rain starts tonight, and we go to the 80s for a few days. We could use it.

The arm has been a tad sore, but I moved it a bunch and worked out the worst of it. I can feel a little of this and that, but nothing intense thus far, more a general low grade nag. Haven’t needed any pain killers yet. It’s a week before one can honestly assume the worst is over. But so far, other than a little funk and lack of focus, so good.

Appetite has been off, mostly the heat, but partially the dinner rolls. Haven’t touched the chili yet. I had pork loin tacos for lunch, still better than half a pound left uncarved. I’ll cut the cornbread in a bit. I’m looking at chili cheese spud and chicken/broccoli/rice after dark. I have room for it. Eat! Eat!

Guitar pads can handle playing again. I stopped at the right time. Egee was pretty out of tune, coming back into climate control.


Posted on Friday, May 20th, 2022 at 1:38 pm

(Myka just erased the paragraphs I had written, and then saved it, when she flopped down on my laptop’s keyboard. I could not recover it. Grrrr. I will reconstruct as well as memory permits.)

I just got my second Moderna booster (#4) this morning. I scanned the card (I was issued a second one) and sent a copy to my PCP. I have the next six days free of any scheduled activity to give the side effects time to come and go. I’m starting to feel them already.

There is no need to make a store run (except maybe to get Myka a new flea collar, she has them again). I am fully stocked from the three store runs I made in the last couple of days (I missed a few things on sale on the first run). There is plenty to eat here, to put it mildly. Opened in the fridge: chili, chicken (for rice), pork loin (spuds), smoked turkey (bacon, provolone). And there’s pan sausage (gravy), brats, tamales, dogs (for the chili) waiting to be opened. I’ve almost finished off the dinner rolls, having made a run on them, getting my bread fix. Cornbread is next. I need to eat like it’s winter.

The truck is running well. No complaints. Shifting, brakes, etc, all proper. Injectors are a tad rough running on the low end when the engine is cold, the only druther, and that will clear up with a can of Sea Foam.

There is a little shine on my guitar pads this morning, a little sore when I play, so I’m avoiding it. Not feeling very musical anyway.

Made a run to the store at 10 pm to get a Seresto flea collar for Myka, there weren’t any. None in town. Got paper plates and bowls, paper towels, and napkins, as the reserves were shifted recently, leaving gaps. I ordered the flea collar online.

Myka has decided that she likes sitting on the desk with the fan blowing on her. A dangerous habit.


Posted on Thursday, May 19th, 2022 at 11:38 pm

I made the jam tonight, first time in 11 weeks. Enjoyed it. Quit when my pads got sore, but only the pad on the middle finger got shiny. Brought home the usual tub of brisket chili. (Plenty of spuds, dogs, and cheddar to go with it.) Plenty of competition in the fridge, I won’t need to thaw anything for a while.

Caught up with shopping, with a little padding. Everything is fully stocked. Plenty of bread (sandwich, dinner rolls, cornbread). Dinner rolls are getting hit first. Chili (dogs and spuds), chicken/rice, pork loin, sausage gravy, tamales, smoked turkey, and more options, some needs cooking. I need to eat more.

The neighbors are moving out at the end of the month, heading to New Mexico. Time will tell who will replace them.

Moderna booster #2 tomorrow at 11 am. Nothing planned for the weekend or early next week, ready for side effects.

Dough cutter is in Houston, due for delivery tomorrow.

Shifty character

Posted on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022 at 12:27 pm

The truck is mobile again. I made a store run, an ice run, and got everything put away before noon with 30 minutes to spare. And I was slow getting started this morning.

I got bread, of course. (And dinner rolls.) Also an avocado, spuds, fajita chicken, milk, pan sausage, kolaches, flautas, tamales, pate. I have chicken and pork loin diced and ready for a flame. Smoked turkey/bacon/provolone sandwich coming up for lunch. Sausage gravy coming up soon.

The shift is precise, efficient, easy. I like the new knob too. I’m thinking of getting extra retaining pins, just in case. Most of the parts were still good.

Broke the left thumbnail, at the base, as usual.

I’d be driving, if it was cooler than 86°F in deep shade. The concrete ovens are already well into triple digits. Evenings and mornings will do to tame my restlessness. Summer in Texas. Gas is over $4/gal.


Posted on Monday, May 16th, 2022 at 4:17 pm

Today, I saw Out for Delivery on the USPS tracking, then it said that it arrived in Bedias, TX, some 55 miles away. I called the post office to find out what was going on. Turns out that North Houston Distribution put it in the wrong carton after scanning it for here (the zip code is 2 less than here). So it will be here tomorrow.

I went ahead and postponed my doctor appointment a second time, to Friday May 27 at 8:40 am. I will need to fast for a blood draw, and it was just not convenient scheduling with truck repair (if it arrives here tomorrow). I played I Don’t Need No Doctor (Ray Charles).

I should have enough ice to hold me until the truck is capable of shifting again. I can hold out another day without bread, and the rest on the shopping list is not urgent. I am well stocked, to say the least.

I saw the full lunar eclipse last night. Skies were clear, enough holes in the canopy, had good detailed views.

So not in any hurry this afternoon. Laundry is in the dryer. Very few dishes. Ice bin to fill. Myka’s wet food. It’s peak heat of the day, nothing pressing, no hurrying here. Meh. I want my truck.


Posted on Sunday, May 15th, 2022 at 2:21 am

The rebuild kit is in Houston. It will be here tomorrow (Monday). The truck should be mobile in 40 hours. There is one piece of bread left, and it will get a slice of gouda this morning.

So, I shouldn’t have to postpone the doctor appointment again. But I haven’t filled out the online registration yet.

I am healing on my right ring finger that Myka slashed when she was jumping onto the desk, on the rear paw boost on my leg. The slice parallels the cuticle. At least I can still play guitar. It should be healed by the time I wield a wrench.

There is not much going on. I have avoided laundry because of the six power plants going offline at the same time. No blackouts, but there is a deficit for full capacity on the grid. The rest of the few chores are done.

tap tap tap

Posted on Friday, May 13th, 2022 at 2:27 pm

Still waiting for the rebuild kit to ship.

Peruvian lilies are blooming.



Posted on Thursday, May 12th, 2022 at 6:43 am

The shift lever and retaining bolt arrived and were perfect for the truck’s shifter. However, it turns out that the shift stub retaining pins are also broken. I ordered a shifter rebuild kit from San Antonio. I’m hoping that it will be here by Saturday. More money. More involuntary laziness…

The bread is still holding out, but the cornbread is gone. I can always order delivery. I have enough ice for a week. Spaghetti is gone too, but the chicken/broccoli/rice dish is half there. I’m not worried.

Hanging out, hanging loose, not much else to do.

The shifter rebuild kit is shipping today. Delivery tomorrow is possible, Saturday a bit more probable. It depends on the route taken.


Posted on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022 at 5:33 am

The lever w/bolt shipped from Nebraska yesterday afternoon. The delivery estimate was upgraded to Wednesday (tomorrow), provided it doesn’t get hung up in Dallas. I should be able to make it through this without an emergency loaf of bread.

Not a whole lot happening, just hanging out and slothin’. One more serving of spaghetti left. Ground chuck goes on sale tomorrow. I have a 2 lb bag left with a number of burger patties. Debating whether to buy a 5 lb tray and make a couple more 2 lb bags and more patties.

I need to break up the bottom chunks of ice from the last three bags and ziplock them for Igloo cooler bags. I put them all in one bag, getting ready for trash to the curb day. I need to thaw a quarter of recipe chicken for the rice dish. All of this to be done before it starts warming up. Dew point at 74°F. The extended forecast shows mid 90s all week.

Other than that, movies, video games, naps, cornbread and the last of the sketti, staring out the window…

2nd gear ice run

Posted on Monday, May 9th, 2022 at 11:54 am

I finished off one bag of ice (16 lb) in the freezer, and while I had a second one ready for use in filling the ice bin, I decided to make the run to the self-serve. I made sure to have at least 6 quarters, in case it didn’t accept my one dollar bill, which it didn’t. So I made the right choice in being sure. And I got the bag in the freezer, now at full capacity, good for at least ten days, probably more. Myka has become a heavy ice user too.

Second gear and reverse are both pull to engage, and at the far corners (L&R), so it’s relatively simple to engage those two gears. Second will move from a stand still, top out at 40 mph, and reverse is only needed to back into the driveway. I took the precaution of waiting for plenty of clearance before pulling out onto Market St, twice. Otherwise, it was a smooth run.

The only thing I didn’t foresee was water in the cooler from the Bryan/College Station trip. I should have emptied and dried it over a week ago.

Otherwise, I’m hanging out at home, keeping my schedule intentionally slow and spread out. Zero hurry, zero anxiety. I can probably make it on the bread if it doesn’t mold too soon. I’ll be making a chicken, broccoli, and rice dish to follow the spaghetti, and there is cornbread as an alternative for the heat of the day. Tamales, chicken fajita tacos, pot pies, pizza, and more are on hand as filler without needing bread, in case I decide to forego a new loaf until repairs are made.

I may not alter the kashakas. After a little practice as they are, I decided that it may be best to just use them as shakers. I can clack them, but catching them with the little finger is going to be difficult, even with longer strings. It’s not a quick learning curve. And they are good, loud, double shakers, with wrist action. They’ll add to the toy box in good fashion.


Posted on Saturday, May 7th, 2022 at 8:39 pm

The shift level retaining bolt has finally become worthless in keeping the lever attached properly to the shifter stub, making it virtually impossible to shift while driving. Seeing how there are no junk yards in Brenham where parts are available, I resorted to eBay. $108 for a used lever with bolt and nut (I hope, the photo showed it). Delivery estimated for Friday the 13th. I get to sit around at home for a week.


30 year old engima

HEB delivers groceries for $5, if I run out of bread and the convenience store doesn’t have any. I can put the trans in second gear and make local runs, store, ice kiosk, Family Dollar. The trick is parking without needing reverse, like facing uphill or having nothing in front of the truck.

The spaghetti sauce has been made. The shift lever went wonky when I made a store run, at least coming home is mostly downhill, so I resorted to coasting home as I often do. But I got plenty of shredded parmesan for the sketti, cornbread, smoked turkey, tamales, replacement spaghetti, etc. I will not go hungry. I am well stocked. I just need to focus on tacos and rice/pasta/spud dishes that don’t use bread. No burgers, pulled pork, or brisket after the bread runs out, unless I get more.

Rib eyes are on special this week. I have too many in the freezer already and no space for them.

I bumped the doctor appointment back a week. Not in the mood to second gear it over there for that. No hurry for a routine visit.

Pulled a bunch of movies with Time in the title, seeing how I have plenty of it on my hands. Winding down today has not been easy, thinking of all the feasible options available for the warm week at home. But I have another five sedentary days to fill, and there is no sense in being in any hurry.

The kashakas arrived. I won’t discuss the USPS tracking adventures or the 14 hour local delivery. I like them, but the strings are a little too short, so I will be modifying them. I can clack them, but I can’t catch them. They will make nice shakers until I make the modifications.

Round about

Posted on Wednesday, May 4th, 2022 at 11:13 am

The kashakas I ordered went from Bakersfield, CA to Portland, ME on their way here. What is it with California postal workers? My shipments from that state are always screwy.

Semi-lazy. I’m getting chores done, but I haven’t cooked the spaghetti sauce yet. But it’s set up to roll. AC has gone on full time, more for humidity control and day sleeping than the actual heat. Dew point is 74°F.

Not feeling much ambition. I have things to put behind me, mostly away from the house, but the impetus is waning with the coming summer. Dentist, vet, Moderna booster #2… The storage run is not as urgent as it was, but still looming.

The city trucks are here to start cutting up the oak by the power pole.

Rib eyes went on sale. No way I can fit any into the freezer with five already there.

The city cut away anything that might fall on the utility lines. There are still limbs wholly on the property that will fall if not cut. With the exception of one limb, none will fall on anything of value.


Posted on Monday, May 2nd, 2022 at 1:51 am

Myka’s birthday has concluded. She got brushed several times, a new scratch pad w/catnip, two old scratch pads taped together as a floor bed, marinated pork tenderloin, ice cream, got to munch directly on the pan of oat grass, and lots of attention. I will pay for it today. (What do you mean, “My birthday was yesterday”?)

Summer weather creeping in. I managed Sunday without AC (but not Saturday). Dew point in the 70s. Windows are open full time. Things are slowing down for summer.

I ordered a pair of kashakas, large, for the toy box. (Inspired by YouTube…)


I need to refinish the purpleheart bones. Weather is just about right for it.