SSSSsssss

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The air is coming out of 2018. My social obligations (using the term lightly) have come to an end. It’s been an active year in many ways, but the rest of it looks to be bland and sedentary. That is a blessing. I can sit back and recover. Aaaahhhhh.

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The solstice party was a hoot, though the music was a little loud at times. Not that it wasn’t good, it just got a little rowdy. But it was fun and then some. Lots of smiling familiar faces. An excess of food (many doggie bags were seen). I should have eaten more, but alas. I did put down a few shrimp, so I wasn’t exactly fasting. I actually brought brownies home. I probably should have put them out earlier. It was good seeing everyone. That is what makes for a good time.

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But all is well, despite the aches and stiffness. I have been looking forward to some unbroken rest. It usually stacks up in excess during January and February. But I am looking forward to a spell of idleness, let my body get back to status quo.

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Wondering if I can make space for more rib eyes. I’m down to the last one, and tomorrow is the last day of the Christmas sale. I’ll try.

Sassage gravy

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Just made some sausage gravy from the Brookshire Brothers market pan sausage.  It’s another comfort food for me, taking me back to the market sausage at Mariel’s in Montgomery.  I’ve got plenty of biscuits, gold potatoes, and wheat bread for the accompanying options.  So no store runs for items on which to pour it.  A couple of spuds cooking now.

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I have scrapped the boudin balls, as they didn’t meet my expectations.  So I decided to make a double batch of my fudge brownies on Friday, and the ingredients are in hand.  It’s been a long time since I cranked out a bunch of those yummy sugary mega-bombs.  It will be a less fuss for me at the party Saturday, more time for playing music.

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I’m not bummed about the multi-cooker purchase.  I can use it to fry fresh, skin on, gold potato fries with sea salt.  I even got ketchup today.  I know I will nuke far more spuds than fry, but the option is nice, as well as frozen foods that can be fried, like shrimp (another comfort food) or scallops.

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Having a bit of edema, gaining fluid weight at a steady pace, and I have sock bevels on my shins.  BP is also a little high.  I dread making a doctor appointment, but I might after the 25th if it keeps up.  Grrr.  My diet has been pretty good.  It’s the irbisartan, I’m pretty sure.  Kind of reminds me of the clonidine bout I had in the winter of ’14, but not as intense.

Birthdays

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Jill’s birthday was a lot of fun.  Plenty of friends there, and the music was fun.  The gumbo was impressive.  We had a good time.  Erin was the surprise star, a master on the fret board.  But still I had plenty of local exposure, and the Egee was well received.

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But I am tired again.  Not a deep tiredness, but tired nonetheless. I will rebound fairly quickly.  I didn’t seriously overdo it on anything.

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Solstice on the horizon now.  I expect that will be a hoot.

Fryer

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Got a 2 quart deep fat fryer (actually a small electric multi-cooker) to fry boudin balls for solstice.  The one thing that I need to order is a french fry cutter, the sliding tray type that has crossed blades.  I had one of these made back in the 60s, but…  I need to get a new one.  Until then, knife and cutting board.  Need to cook fries to deflavor the oil after cooking.  Starting with a gallon of peanut oil.  I have glass spaghetti sauce jars (large) to hold the used oil.  So I’m set up to fry some boudin balls tomorrow, as it’s too late to venture there tonight.

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Jill is having a birthday party tomorrow afternoon at the brewery, and I am invited.  So is the Egee, so I’ll be playing, among others.  Sam will be one of the musicians there, so I won’t be over-taxed.  I’ll probably have a short slot, if there are slots.

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Warming a little, 60s and 40s after tonight.  Not terribly inclement either.  Easy to get through.  If I can get rid of this lingering headache…  Not bad, but enough for ibuprofen.

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Decided to forego the fry cutter.  Everything that is under $70 is garbage.  $70 buys a lot of knife use.  I don’t plan on frying all that much.

Sedentariness

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The warm weather (75°F) has blown away.  I managed to bathe at the peak of tropical influxion, a nice long warm soak.  But this has gone with the wind, literally, 15 -20 mph, gusts to 30.  Currently 45°F, a 30 degree drop.  Good reason to snuggle down and cease excess activity.

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I have decided on boudin balls for solstice.  I’m thinking 3 dozen.

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Finally getting around to putting together a batch of my Mexican rice/refried black bean/avocado/cheese tacos.  I swore not to thaw anything until I made them, and I have eaten most of the ready alternatives.  Rice is on the stove.  I need an avocado or guacamole, so a store run tomorrow.  The list is fairly long to take advantage of some store coupons.

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Had an episode with the I/O on external drive 501, so I backed it up on 4002.  I’ll be doing a burn day before long to clean a sizable chunk of that off the catch all, before it gets too big to manage a failure.

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Plenty to do when the impetus hits me.

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P.S.

Got $9 off on coupons this morning, dropping a $49 basket load down to $40.  And I still have room in the freezer.  (Got bay scallops to boot, along with boudin balls, etouffe, cheesecake.)  But the guacamole will make the bean and rice tacos sing.  ♫

One more

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Another year under the belt.  Hasn’t stopped me yet.

Clear

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The rain stopped and moved on, now the cooler temps move in.  Myka’s grass is back inside, which means she’s on the desk staring me down politely.

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The days are moving toward solstice, still shrinking, sunset earlier, sunrise later.  Looking at a 60s/40s thing for the next few weeks through solstice.  Ran across the song Don’t Get Up from The Gong Show Movie.  A good tune for this holiday season.  It was earwigging, so I learned the chorus.

C G C C7 F Fm C A D G C

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The zipper on the alpaca is fixed.  (I am prone toward an emoticon of ecstatic bliss here.)  I now have a zipper repair kit that won’t stop.  Now I can forget the logistics that brought it together.  Ugh!

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I’m digging in for the winter.  Time will get me through to the spring.  I am well prepared for the cruise.

WET

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Texas is wet.  A Pacific mass has wandered across Mexico and is dumping rain over 70% of the state.  It’s pretty much a constant moderate rain.  A couple of inches is what I expect, maybe a bit more.

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WordPress 5.0 released today.  Did all the backups, including the entire website.  I’m not sure that I like it.  It’s a little too modular for my taste.  At least the theme still works with it.  I will survive, but I’ll probably grumble a bit.

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Myka has been fixating on the LZB whenever I’m not in it.  The only time the chair is empty is if:

  1. I get up when she is in deep sleep.
  2. There is food or oat grass being served or the perception thereof.
  3. She is up running through the house from room to room.
  4. She is bored and pestering me.

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Go figure

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Yesterday, in frustration over the zipper sliders in limbo, I ordered more from a different location.  This morning, the original order arrived in Brenham from Houston, where it had been hanging out for a week, rent free.  Go figure.  Don’t see any way to cancel the order.  Oh well, it was only $9 for a 75¢ item.

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In the 30s last night.  I brought the remains of the sprouting oat grass inside, and Myka has been pestering me to no end.  Grrr.  Rascal.

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Not much else to convey.  Store run later for batteries (pre-paid pick up), prescriptions, and other stuff (including frozen Belgian waffles).  I will wait for it to warm up a bit.

Jambalaya night

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Got a batch of chicken, shrimp, and bbq pork loin jambalaya resting on the stove.  The weather is turning cooler, so it will be a nice warming dish for the next few days.

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Kitty attacked the planters with Myka’s oat grass, taking out at least 60% of it.  I’ll need to bring it in for the next few nights, so I may end up replanting, at least the small aluminum tray.  It got hit worst by the dirt digging cat.  I’ll probably sacrifice what remains of it to Myka and just start over fresh.  I was lucky to have a wire basket over the big one as a leaf shielding cage, which prevented total devastation..

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I broke down and ordered new zipper sliders, this time from Seattle, on the far coast.  Hopefully one of the two will eventually reach me.  Not particularly happy with USPS now.

Rustless

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I sanded down the rust spots on the truck (cab and hood) and sprayed them with converter.  One step closer to a waxed truck.  I don’t think I’ll get to polishing and waxing this weekend.  The weather is right, but I’m not quite up to the whole job in the next day and a half.  I need to do some more stripping with Purple Power, and that will probably be tomorrow at the car wash (again).  This is mostly for the roof of the cab and the camper shell, ladder work.  I need for the rust converter to set before I do that.  I may give the truck a once over with the car wash spray wax to seal it until I can get to the polishing.

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Zipper sliders are still in postal limbo in North Houston.  *Sigh*

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Risotto and sloppy joe in the fridge, plus a thawed bbq’ed pork loin section.  Plenty to keep me going.  The kitchen is fully stocked.  Jambalaya coming up next week for the cool snap.

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Enjoying the opened house.  Currently 75°F outside.  Myka is parked by the front window, taking in the view with full audio.

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The first of the oat grass sprouted.  Should be some leaves to feed Myka within the next few days.

Warming

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The next six days will have highs in the 70s (maybe even 80s).  *Sigh*  I may even get a chance to detail the truck.

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Zipper sliders I ordered are in USPS limbo.  They showed as arriving at the North Houston station, awaiting approval, two days ago.  They should have been delivered yesterday.  Grrrr.

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One more bowl of soup left.  It helped me get through the cool snap.  I have enjoyed it thoroughly.  A shame that I can’t repeat it without making more turkey fajitas, which is not likely in the hear future.

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Enjoying the lazy spell.  Not getting anything done, but my body appreciates it.

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I’m back on the ice making routine, having run out of bag ice from the party.  It was nice while it lasted, but having the extra freezer space is nicer, not to mention needed.

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The AA batteries I got back in 2011 for the wireless microphones are finally running low.  I still have half of them in the package.  Using AAA far more often.  Only change is the new blood pressure monitor uses AAs.  Got a good deal on 48 AC Delco pack, delivery expected Monday.

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I could go to Music School today, but I think I’ll be lazy.  Maybe next week, I’ll be more prone to drive to play music.

Soup Saturday

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Turkey vegetable rice soup is on the stove.  Not yet seasoned, as I want to taste what the fajita injection did to the legs (which took a while to debone and dice properly) after it cooks awhile.  It will be in excess of a gallon.  Veggies are carrots, peas, green beans, corn, and baby limas.  And I got the right amount of rice this time.  A pretty good meal for cool weather, and a good use for part of the turkey stock (the part that wouldn’t fit in the freezer).

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I got the freezer rearranged today as well.  Everything is clumped.  Chicken leg quarters are the only thing I need to dig to get.  It is full, an excellent and balanced selection, and I have a lot of coasting to do before I shop for stuff to put in it.

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Besides laundry, nothing else happening.  Enjoying being lazy.  Doors and windows are open, savoring the last of the warm spell as it freshens the house with a gentle breeze.

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Planted some oat grass yesterday for Myka.  Along with the main planter, I am using the pound cake pans to make smaller trays that I can sacrifice to her splurging whim.  I will seed them periodically, since I have plenty of seed and pans available.

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Soup is very good, and a touch warmer as an aftertaste (cayenne) than expected, which is a good thing.  Unusual flavor, but quite an appealing mix, it works very well.  I’ll be grabbing seconds forthwith.  I will have no problem polishing this one off in short order.

Black Friday

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Hanging close to the vest, avoiding the commercialization binge, being a lazy recluse.  Not getting too excited about much.  Time to plant oat grass for Myka.  Ordered some Ceylon cinnamon.

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Pretty much recovered from the party.  Time to start dialing back the diet. Got a digital scale, much more accurate than the cheapie spring one.  It will be a battle of the freezer burn, eating everything while it’s still good without going overboard.  Thinking about a turkey vegetable soup, putting some of the stock to use to avoid needing to freeze it.

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Staying warm.  The alpaca is doing its job.  Drying up this weekend.

Happy happy

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The 2018 card.

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Post-partium

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Well, I held my own for almost 30 hours.  I probably wold have stayed longer if not for my dentures wearing on my gums.  I needed to get them out of my mouth.  But I was tired when I got home and left the less valuable stuff in the truck to be unloaded this morning.  Fortunately, the load was light.

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Saturday was sunny and warm.  Sunday was wet and cool, but the sweater and poncho was more than a match for the weather.  I didn’t do a whole lot Saturday, being worn out from the turkey duties.  But the bands were good, none were too loud.  So I was pretty lazy and talked to friends and caught up on the news.  I waited for Sunday to do the fajitas, which I heated on George’s grill, a perfect solution.

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I didn’t eat as much as usual, since there wasn’t a good place to rinse the dentures after eating.  So I ate in spurts and missed out on a lot of good stuff.  I ate enough to sustain myself and tasted the best stuff, but I arrived home with a little room to spare.

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The freezer is full again, but that is mostly from the leftover ice, which should be used up in two or three days.  I need space for the turkey stock.  Maybe I can make a soup, which would help.

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There were a number of notable absences, especially musically, most of them related to health issues.  It is to be expected with our advancing age, but that doesn’t make it easy to take.

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It was a good party, but not up there with the best of them.  Definitely better than staying home.  There was plenty of fun, and it was good seeing everyone there.  So no complaints.  I played and sang plenty, but I didn’t wear out my fingers or vocal cords.

Turkey Fajitas WIP

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Thaw and inject fajita sauce in the bird, stuffing is saute’d sweet onion and bell pepper strips, wrap in bacon, cook, remove bacon and stuffing, and carve bird in strips.  Serve turkey, bacon, and stuffing on flour tortillas with pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream, and Mexican mix shredded cheese.

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Saute’ing the stuffing in butter and a touch of marinade.

Turkey with stuffing.

 

 

 

Bacon wrapped in the oven.

Brazed for fajita sauce infusion, @ 2 hours.  Tempted to snitch bacon.

Done, removed carefully from oven.

Stripped of bacon and stuffing, dry pan.

The sides, bacon and stuffing.

 

The carcass is in the stock pot on the stove.  All other parts that were in the oven are in the fridge.  Pretty much on the schedule I envisioned, which is pretty slow.  I will be done by midnight.  Dishes are next.  Got a pretty good nibble cleaning the carcass.  It is yummy and pretty consistent on the fajita seasoning, tasty but not overpowering.  I would have no problem with this as a freezer staple.  I will keep the last cleaning, which is a fair portion of a quart ziplock.

Turkey fajitas

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The first injection just took place in the thawed bird, and it sits under foil in a roasting pan in the fridge.  Tomorrow, the stuffing and the bacon wrapping and the roasting, followed by disassembly, carving, packaging, and boiling down the carcass to stock.  It will be a fairly full day to prep it for transport.  I have the kitchen ready for the process tomorrow.  The 7 hour cook time should give me ample time to prep and stage for the road.

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Departure will be Saturday, as soon as I can get things packed and rolling.  With a single overnight, packing will be minimum.  I figure 30 hours there and an hour transit each way.  Friday night will be too cold to play and sing, so a Saturday arrival before noon should work.  Fajitas and second serving on Saturday, music on Sunday.  Second serving is either tamales or cheesecake.  I’ll figure that out on Saturday morning when I get the guacamole.

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The cold snap is easing slowly.  It froze enough to nix the bugs and mosquitos.  So we don’t need any more of that for a while.

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I look forward to the party.  I also look forward to emerging from post party recovery. I am ready for a prolonged rested lazy spell.  Nothing quite like sitting around, doing nothing, by choice.  One or two events in December, maybe three.  I’ll just have to see how ambitious I get.

Unpacked

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The house is finally back in order.  Took long enough.  Everything is unpacked, all moved stuff is back in place, the floors are clean.  I have one box of stuff from storage that needs filing away, old photos and documents, but that is a project in and of itself.  As of now, I’m moved back in.  I can be lazy.

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Had a heavy train of thunderstorms roll through, so I haven’t gone shopping for fajita turkey stuff as planned.  But I can start a thaw in the sink and finish it in the fridge without worrying about salmonella.  And I won’t be attending on Friday because of the low temp (can’t sing and play music outside on a cold night), so I can move cooking back one day.  So the schedule has flex, as long as I get it by Tuesday.  No hurry for anything else.  Well stocked.

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Learning to use the new microwave, meal by meal.  I like the sensor reheat.  I’m impressed by how well it heats without having to guess a time, based on steam release.  Very clever.  I’ll be using it.

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I have a few days to be lazy, do what I like.  Not much to do except get ready for TRD.  I can live with that.

Cold front

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Well, the warmth has been blown out.  -20°F in North Dakota as an arctic mass blows south across the central US.  Won’t be freezing here, but close enough for my tastes.  The frontal rain is almost over.  At least it will suppress the bees.

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Still not done with household chores and unpacking, but I’m going to make an effort today to get it all done.  Not that much left to do.  No chance now to do the truck shine.  But there will be chances ahead, after TRD.

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I’ll also be cooking a few things, like a chicken alfredo and risotto.  Haven’t had a big appetite, but it will rebound with the cool weather.  The new microwave is in service, but I need to tackle the learning curve to get the rest of the functions down.  Getting pretty good at guessing new times for common items with the more powerful unit.  It is quick.  I’ll eventually quit having to convert as the new times become commonplace.  Haven’t had a chance yet to try the sensor reheating.

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Got the instrument microphone from Musician’s Friend.  I probably won’t be using it until after TRD.  But the option is now there for capturing the Egee to hard drive.

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Got most of the shopping done.  I still need to get the stuff for fajita turkey, which will be Sunday, considering thaw time, marinade, cooking, and packaging for reheating.  But I don’t need to spend any more large amounts of money otherwise.  I’m pretty well set for the rest of the month.  Just bread and little stuff like that.

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Myka has settled in pretty well.  The cool weather has her running about the house (scoochin’).  And she is claiming the LZB as her sleeping spot when I’m not in it.  And if there is a blanket over me, she will warm up between my calves hammock style.  I need to fix her box castle, as she gets rowdy inside it and pops the box binding tape loose.  She’ll have a new banker’s box when I switch a couple of worn standard travel boxes to new boxes.

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Well, back to chores so I can get them behind me.

Micro waving

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The decades old Kenmore is history, the magnetron fried, dropped off at the local mission thrift store.  The new Panasonic 2.2 cf 1250w is in the house, still in its box.  I need to pack up the mini and make room (lots of room, it is a honker).

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Not much to do, otherwise.  Finish unpacking, repack a couple of stressed banker boxes, a little house cleaning, and rest for a few days.  Then, weather willing, start on the truck detailing.  I need some quality dead-time before I get active again.  The body needs the R&R.  A little cooking, test out the new microwave.  But no toting, no stressing, no adding to the body aches.

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Looking forward to some unobstructed laziness.

Downtime

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Went to Cheryl’s party yesterday.  It was a lot of fun and consumed the entire PM.  Lots of good music.  Left me 100 ±5% worthless today.  Lots of napping.

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No progress on the microwave.  The little unit has removed the desperation of its downtime, though some dense things it won’t handle properly.  The big hurdle is moving the old unit back into the kitchen for a hot test.  At least I know where to take it if it turns out to be DOA.

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Bees swarming here as they were in Elgin.  The rain has led them to assume it’s spring, and not finding blossoms, they are keying on the scents from the houses.  Have to be aware for the few who manage to find their way inside.

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Did I mention that I didn’t get much done today?

touchdown

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Well, not quite what I was expecting arriving home, but take what comes.  There was a bit of mold growing in active places (skin oils), but not enough to force evacuation.  The house is neater.  But it’s not completely emptied.  No bed just yet.

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The microwave died about 30 seconds into its first run, so the traveling unit saved the day a second time.  I’ll pop open the old one and see what’s what later today, and go get another if need be.  (It is 30 years old, and the thought crossed my mind when I bought the 0.7 cf unit.)  Looking at $160 for a Panasonic 2.2 cf, 1250w.

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It was a cool night, in the 40’s, first furnace run.  Myka enjoyed the company of my calves, hammocked between them.  She was a bit depressed to be back after being an outdoor cat.  But I played with her in the box castle and fishing and brushed her.  She seems to be settling in after sniffing everything.  The ride back wasn’t as bad as most, but it still required multiple cleanings of the carrier.  The paper towel bedding worked very well.

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Garbage out.  Most was from yesterdays shopping ($115) to restock the kitchen after the depletion in late September.  I brought some of the frozen stuff back with me, but not all of it by any means.  Not going to go hungry.

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Two projects for TRD.  1) Polish and wax the truck. 2) Fajita turkey.  Two weeks.

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Today is the last day of early voting.  I’ll be downtown this afternoon.

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Voting was easy.  Parked directly across the street in light traffic, no lines inside, nothing to delay the process.  Was in and out in no time, back home with a minimal time and effort.  Last day of early voting is the way to go.

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Now the nuke autopsy.

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Fuse blown in the microwave.  There was a buzz that I associate with electrical death, but there were no obvious blown components (smoke, heat, or chemical stains).  I think rather than hunt down a 1/4″ ceramic 250VAC 20A (314) fuse, which would cost less than $2 at Dealer’s Electric about a mile from here, I’ll just call it deceased.  Considering the age and death cry, I am prone to think it will not run properly if I put a new fuse in it.  I can sleep on it, and use the 0.7 cf unit until I fully make up my mind.

Wrapping up exile

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I’ll be heading home with Myka on Thursday.  Today is the last day here without chores.  Packing starts tomorrow, though there isn’t a whole lot of stuff to pack.  Most everything is in boxes already.

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Off to storage today to grab a few things.  It won’t take long.

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Been running a few tests on the truck, looking to clean, polish, and wax it before TRD.  I think I have it down as what to use for which function.

1) Strip years of dirt and funk.  Purple Power.

2) Rub out the oxidized paint.  Rubbing compound.

3) Wax it to retain the shine.  A spray wax for starters, a solid wax later.

I also have a spray on rust converter for the few places it need it.

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I have decided on fajita turkey for TRD, made beforehand and packed in an aluminum pan to be oven warmed.  It’s due an unveiling.

Settled

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Played a little music yesterday at Sharon and Andre’s for dinner.  It was fun.

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Pretty much settled back in at Grandma’s.  Found a couple of my water bottles (blue) at Walmart yesterday, added them to my collection.  I think I have enough now.  Maybe.  Depends on how long I live.

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Settled back in, dealing with connection again, but not critical yet.  Can’t complain.  Myka is happy, going in and out as she pleases during daylight.  It’s keeping her busy.

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Not much going on today.  I finished up the base editing of the recorded tracks before sunrise this morning.  (Normalize, equalize, echo, reverb to soften the small room bounce.)  I need to give each a critical ear and decide whether to post them or not.

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Today is supposed to be the last day of rain for a while.  Lake Travis continues to drop slowly from its near record rise (4th highest, within 1 foot of the record).