Entries Tagged 'food-ish' ↓

More Bullet-Points

  • Since I’ve been more than a bit remiss in posting . . .
  • Robin passed the difficult 2/3 of his CDL test two weeks ago. I supplied fundage for couple more hours of driving practice, and this morning he re-took the road driving portion and passed. Yay!
  • MuseCon is dead. I have feelings about this. They’re complicated.
  • There are still brush piles in the backyard, but the still-growing stuff (some of which is grass, most of which is . . . not) has been trimmed to a reasonable level. I think I’m just going to buy a fire ring after all.
  • Still playing both versions of “My Singing Monsters” despite getting repeatedly annoyed at the sequel. Ron suggests the annoyances are what keeps me coming back. He might be right.
  • Done some Otter Necessities stuff. More about that in the usual place.
  • After thrashing herself out of her enclosure and falling to the floor while attacking her food two weeks in a row, I have successfully learned how to feed Aurora the corn snake without so much excitement. She still gets excited and thrashes around, but I open the door enough to admit the rat and tongs, so she doesn’t have space to fall out. This is particularly silly as she doesn’t get live food.
  • Robin took the air conditioners out of the windows a couple weeks ago. There were many, many shield/stink bugs.
  • Robin and I investigated the new (as in moved) Schaumburg Dick Blick store. I had a not-too-large fail, and also got Robin some additional sketching supplies to take with him during training.
  • Ron has started woodcarving, as he needed a truck-friendly hobby for his downtime. Chainmail is too itty-bitty if when rings are dropped.
  • I now have a set of tube watercolor paints, some test bits of basswood, and two dwarf/gnome-ish figures to paint.
  • I left my iPod in a skirt pocket and it went through the wash. RIP iPod. And Apple has discontinued the Nano, now all they have is the phone-size Touch with a bunch of features I don’t want/need.
  • OTOH, I’ve determined that I can use my iPad to play music from my portable hard drive through my portable speaker, which accomplishes what I used my iPod for, without stuffing the memory on my phone or iPad with music. I found Ron’s old iPod and Xap found a cable for it, and then Robin handed me his green iPod Nano, which he doesn’t use any more. So, options, I has them!
  • I downloaded recent-ish purchases from iTunes to the desktop computer, and keep forgetting to update the music on my hard drive, and/or replace some of the music Robin likes on the green iPod with what I like. D’oh!
  • My new-ish co-worker is loud, and I don’t always want to have my door closed, which only does so much good anyway unless I shut it tight.
  • At least I promptly quashed the use of speakerphone in his open cubicle. Speakerphones are only for use in conference rooms or offices with DOORS, which should be SHUT when using speakerphone, dammit.
  • Last Tuesday morning at oh-dark-thirty Gimli insisted that he really needed out. He caught a rabbit. There’s a reason I keep my wellies in the dining room. He was reasonably good about giving it up, both the initial confiscation and after we played tug with it.
  • I got back to bed about 4 am. Then I had to try to settle a wound-up Tommy, who had missed most of the excitement by being on his cable and/or in the house.
  • I kinda slept in. Then I gave up and stayed home.
  • Since Robin was home and mostly-unoccupied last weekend, the weather wasn’t stupid hot, and it was a bonus long weekend for me, we made pasties.
  • Lots and lots of pasties. 90 of them. The freezer is not quite full.
  • This weekend I made something like onion soup with lots of meat and Italian-ish seasoning, put it over French rolls in foil loaf pans, topped with provolone cheese, then froze it, so Ron and Robin have very wet Italian-ish beef sandwiches to take with them on the road. I was restrained and the batch was only a six-count.
  • We also made a usual stupid-big batch of chicken macaroni salad.
  • This morning Ron left with pasties, chicken macaroni salad, and I’m assuming at least one beef sandwich brick, in addition to the usual supply of canned or otherwise shelf-stable food.
  • I think Robin has decided to go to work for Werner. No schedule for training, etc. yet.

Bullet-Points, we got Bullet-Points

  • The brush piles did not get ground up this weekend, for boring reasons.
  • I did get cleaning done in the dining room, and Robin worked on the spare bedroom, since we weren’t out dealing with brush.
  • We found floors!
  • I got pictures of Buford the very shy snake with his enclosure door open. He did not approve.
  • Baljeet the snake seems to have resumed eating after the trauma of mites and mite treatment.
  • Caudimordax was pretty good about getting a snake sauna and having stuck shed removed from his head.
  • Tommy earned himself the name “Mousebreath”.
  • Kajura the snake was fed on Thursday, as the mouse they were supposed to get on Tuesday “mysteriously” disappeared.
  • Pumpkin pie spice mix is appropriate any time of year, and yummy, on baked apples.
  • Baked apples would have been even better with Granny Smiths than Honeycrisps, and could have used a tiny pinch of salt.
  • Another round of baked apples, happened, because a bag of small back-yard-tree sweet apples of unknown type appeared at work. Cut in chunks, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar, butter, baked, then topped with salted caramel coconut milk ice-not-cream was yummy.
  • Chicken fricassee-like stew made with coconut milk instead of cow milk is pretty good.
  • Not sure the little new potatoes in it are usual, but I put them in anyway, and don’t regret it.
  • Leftover Minimalist Potato Salad is pretty good for breakfast.
  • I need to pick up more eggs, potatoes, and mayo next time I get groceries.
  • Lummy the tortoise doesn’t care if other tortoises think prickly pear cactus is wonderful, he wants his greens, dammit.
  • I prefer the original “My Singing Monsters” to the “Dawn of Fire” sequel.
  • I blame Robin for Singing Monsters infesting my iWhatsit.
  • I need more keys to buy more Dibblers!

More Stuff Accomplished

Let’s see, since I last posted almost two weeks ago…

My sister’s closing did happen on the Nth scheduled date. Robin drove to Escanaba on Wednesday (before Labor Day), helped her move Thursday, and instead of coming home on Friday stayed until Sunday – he and my (step) Mother helped get things in place on Friday, Robin hung art; they showed Robin Gladstone, where my Dad grew up), and visited the family farm on the Stonington peninsula. And then Robin gave his grandma a ride to the ferry in Manitowoc, as her car was having issues.

Which left me wrangling beagles on cables, because fence. On Labor Day Robin cleared brush along the back/east fence line, accidentally taking out the neighbors’ internet line in the process. And a little later Gimli charged the door when I was dealing with Tommy and escaped. Fortunately, the back neighbors snagged him. Over Labor Day weekend I worked on Otter stuff, more natter on the Otter blog.

Last week was fairly routine. Ron got home Friday evening, yay! Yesterday he had to go to the Gary terminal to swap trailers and pick up tire chains. While he was doing that Robin and I measured the east fence, and got ground contact-rated pressure-treated lumber. After lunch Ron and Robin trimmed the lumber and Gimli-proofed the fence. And there has been much beagle rejoicing, as they’ve been able to run loose.

While they were working on the fence I cleared off “my” end table and added a narrow section of shelving where it was sitting. I filled the shelves with junk that was on the end table, in front of the snakes by the desk, and stuff that had ended up piled on the desk. So now we have a nice-looking usable table, and less mess.

Today we did some Otter-ish stuff, and later in the afternoon I went grocery shopping. This evening I ground up a big chunk of beef and chopped up a bunch of onion in the food processor, then cooked it all. I was planning on grinding 2/3 of the beef for tacos and chili, and making stroganoff with the last third. Normally I use chunks of beef for stroganoff, but I decided on laziness for the win and ground all the beef. So now I have a bunch of beef and onion ready to finish making dinners tomorrow and Tuesday, and had tacos tonight with the last bit.

Wait, What?

How did we get over halfway through March?

Vests came out pretty well, except for a minor issue trimming one, which pressed out. I wore them to the floodplain managers’ conference, and one of them to a meeting last week. In other sewing news, I also made a couple sorta-scrubs tops, one of which turned out fine, and one of which had to be rescued from a failed attempt at a boat-neck. And I looked at fabric at Spoonflower.com, and have a rather large wish list.

Took Metra and Amtrak to and from Springfield for the conference. From now on I’m paying the extra for Business class on Amtrak – slightly nicer seats, more legroom, priority boarding, and access to the something something club at Union Station – a nicer waiting area with snacks and drinks (including alcoholic, at certain times of day).  You can access the mumble club and get priority boarding by paying for it, which is what I did, and accidentally making 2/3 of the trip in Business class.

There are four more snakes in the house. Two weeks ago we went to the local herp/exotic animal show, and a Corn Snake and Irian Jaya carpet python followed us home. Yesterday we went to a big twice-yearly show, and almost made it, but a King Ratsnake and Water Python jumped out at us. I was also admiring Reticulated Pythons, but they’re tooooo big. And smart, from what I understand.

Today I went to Ikea and got some more shelving, triggered by evicting various things from shelving we had to make room for three of the four new snakes (My water python baby in a half-size Cambro tub (9″x12″-ish as Kajura (sex unknown) is so tiny).

The biggest chunk of shelving is on the second-story landing, replacing the laundry hamper, and holding new hamper bins. I don’t know why I didn’t do that years ago, much more useful than a hamper with unused space up above. The other pieces are under the windows on my side of the room and Ron’s.

Made a small rib roast for dinner, with new potatoes boiled, drained, cut into chunks, and added back to the pot they cooked in, where onions had been cooking in butter/margarine, seasoned with Penzey’s Fox Point seasoning (salt, alliums alliums alliums, and green peppercorns). Yum yum yum.




Natter, Not Politics

Posting seems to have gotten irregular again, eh what?

I voted last week Thursday, so I can enjoy my day off (one of the actual perks to being a Mind-Numbing Bureaucratic Ghoul is getting General Election Day off, which IIRC is every other year). Aaaaand, that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Braising a cut-up pork shoulder roast for dinner. Still haven’t gotten the big oven repaired, so I’m doing it on the stovetop in my big enameled cast-iron dutch oven.

After a week of having a 6-ft table set up at the end of the living room I was ready for finding a better table/stand/something for Lummy. Friday a week and a bit ago I on-line shopped Ikea, then did a commando attack on the way home. I got an Ingo table, which is a fraction of an inch under 4′ long, and about 30″ wide, so a decent fit for the 2′ x 4′ stock tank. I also got an Ivar chest of drawers to sit under it, and an Ivar shelf for the chest to sit on, since it is designed to sit on/in an Ivar shelf unit, not directly on the floor, so has no bottom-edge clearance. The light-wood Ikea-ization of the living room continues!

That Saturday morning Ron assembled the table and chest, while I “read” the directions, and Robin cleared off his desk. Then we moved things into position, including Lummy and his hardware. Much better. The desk will be going to Windycon to be Mongol-expressed to a new owner. The 6-ft table is still lurking around the living room, but at least in a folded-up state. I think that was the major accomplishment that weekend.

Last week was a week. I got fed up waiting for my order of seeds for Lummy-food and ordered from a different place, so now I have two batches on the way. Oh well, some can be saved to seed his outdoor pen come spring. I also started researching materials cost for an outdoor pen. Currently, landscaping timbers are winning (vs. retaining wall blocks) in terms of not breaking the bank, or our backs. Given our gravel-pit excuse for a yard, the pen will bear a certain resemblance to a raised garden bed.

The most recent past weekend I did . . . Not a lot.

I started making a CAD drawing of our yard, working from our Plat of Survey and measurements for things not shown on the plat. I’m also going to include the septic field. The year of the Plumbing Catastrophe on ACen setup day I scanned the sketch we have of the septic field (made when the house was built and the field installed), but it doesn’t seem to have transferred over to the new computer. The old desktop is in Robin’s room, when he gets home from work I’ll find out if it would be less effort to boot that machine up and (hopefully) get the scan off of it, or dig the original septic field drawing out of the safe and re-scan.

The tortoise pen is planned for the top tier of the back yard, but we haven’t decided north or south side. South side means trundling material farther by hand/cart/wheelbarrow (no driving across septic tank/lines), but is more screened from neighborly attention by shrubbery. North side is easier to get to for materials, but room has to be left for septic-tank access, and there’s less visual screening (or shade).

I had a short attack of new-guitar lust on Sunday, but it was beaten off with a trip to Barnes and Noble. Where I didn’t buy anything, as it happens, but Ron got a Lego Wall-E. Yeah, I went to a bookstore and didn’t get any books. Shocking, I know. Blame e-books.

When Robin gets home from work I’m going to run out to PetWhatsit and get some more coco coir substrate for Lummy, so he has more burrowing depth. Seeds are expected Thursday, so I need to get more substrate in Real Soon Now. He’s also got a different UVB bulb and fixture on the way, the spotlight UVB bulb isn’t getting a lot of the tank, and a number of keepers have had issues with the compact-fluorescent bulbs messing up tortoises’ eyes. The fixture holds two tube-style fluorescent bulbs, and comes with a couple daylight-color tubes. The plan is to run one UVB bulb, and one light-only bulb, plus the ceramic heat bulb in the spot fixture. A lot of people like mercury-vapor bulbs for UVB and heat combined, but I’d prefer to control heat and light separately, and the MVBs are still a spot-type bulb.

How odd, even though the door is open, I have all three dogs on the couch with me. Must be nap time. Which reminds me, I hate time changes, even the fall-back get an extra hour sleep one.

Long Weekend with Nesting Bullets

The weekend was good. Not too busy, but we did get some things done:

  • Clipped dog claws
  • Got the first spots on the new couch
  • Need to get another cushion/pillow or two for the lounge side
  1. Or make stuff/compression sacks for one or both spare body pillows
  2. And make covers for the blue bolsters that absolutely don’t go with the blue couch
  3. I worked on books (see Google+ for pictures):
  4. Three books completed (including tail end of last week)
  5. A squeegee works better than the brush I’ve been using for glue for large areas
  6. And results in less glue loss than the mini paint roller I tried previously
  7. Obtained a small plate for a glue palette (yoghurt lids are a bit small for the squeegee)
  8. Buying one small plate that isn’t a replacement confuses Crate & Barrel clerks
  9. Used my sewing frame for the first time
  10. And the second time, after some hardware tweaks that improved things
  11. Ace Hardware staff (not just Modelmaker) are used to us shopping for unusual projects and are rarely confused by said shopping
  12. Making progress on adding new techniques
  13. Started using my bookbinding press
  14. Thinking about getting yet still another type of press
  15. Bought some paper which is somewhat outside of my usual color/pattern comfort zone – pastel teal with elephants
  16. But not the paper with cutesy pink elephants and glittery red hearts
  17. Successfully worked with off-white book cloth without getting it grubby
  18. Discovered that text weight paper from Papersource differed in weight between two colors
  19. Made the Halloween book with it anyway
  20. Need a second tube to keep rolled paper/book cloth in
  21. May liberate a cardboard tube from work, until I get to Dick Blick for a nicer one
  22. This will not be a problem – every so often we thin the herd of empty tubes and other packaging that the office packrat has stockpiled
  23. Thinking of making a portfolio/folder to keep smaller flat pieces of paper in
  24. Which may require purchase of some larger plain paper
  25. And follow-up to a smart-aleck comment that Ron made will require purchase of thread
  26. Have three book blocks (interiors) ready for casing-in, and paper, cloth, and board cut for cases (covers)
  • Straightened up the bedroom while changing water in the aquaria:
  1. Beagles were napping in the sun and had to be coaxed in with snacks
  2. Put bins in the attic stair closet
  3. Was sensible and removed Nageswari’s water dish before moving shelves to get to said closet
  4. Put other bins on shelves
  5. Moved dog crates off register
  6. Brought my white drawer unit up
  7. Put garb “away”
  8. Other general straightening-up in the room
  • Cooked a ham in the crock pot:
  1. The “Cook on low for 8 hours” found repeatedly on-line is excessive – meat was a little dry
  2. But there was plenty of liquid to help
  3. OTOH, the bone just fell right out, so that was a plus
  4. Need to obtain split peas for soup
  5. Do not add ham to the soup until *after* applying stick blender
  • Got the AC units out and taken to the storage locker, and:
  1. Sandbags put in Mongo
  2. Retrieved my bookbinding books
  3. Improved labeling of some boxes of books
  4. Forgot a table and some other odds & ends
  • Issola brand gluten-free mini gnocchi are pretty good. Buy again
  1. (Didn’t buy because they were GF, noticed that when making soup)
  2. In the refrigerated case above the eggs at Eurofresh
  • Survived the monthly tedium call this morning
  1. Chocolate. Chocolate would have helped
  2. Chocolate because alcohol is not allowed at work
  3. Drat, forgot to break out the conference call bingo card a co-worker made
  4. Some day I’m going to work from home on conference call day…
  5. …and use the bingo card as a drinking game guide…
  6. …and get stupendously drunk
  • Achieved minor office hero status for dealing with a stench.
  1. I won’t subject you to the details, but I have smelled worse things in my time
  2. One of my super-powers is Taking Out the Garbage


Categories: Uncategorized

Pause . . . Resume

Not too bad a pause this time, I suppose.

Been doing . . . not a lot. Apparently a lot of my productivity the past couple-few years has been trying to keep my internal monologue quiet. And now that I’m on meds (anti-depressants) that are keeping the monologue under control, I don’t feel the drive to knit/do leatherworking/printing/bookbinding to keep it quiet.

To be clear, the internal monologue is not “voices in the head” kind of thing, it’s more like a self-narration, occasionally a conversation with myself, that I assume most people have. It’s been running all my life, but most of the time it was only occasional. But at some point it got . . . more and more so. And it got to the point where sometimes it Would. Not. Shut. Up. But because it has always been there, and got worse slowly, I didn’t realize how noisy it had gotten. But now I have quiet in my head when I want it and that’s really nice.

So, I haven’t been doing much to speak of. I got some new yarn and knitting patterns after Christmas, but haven’t gotten around to doing anything with them yet.

Ron and Robin got the Star Wars X-Wing game after Christmas, and have been having fun with it. I think it was just after New Year’s that I picked up Star Wars Armada. X-Wing is basically a space dogfight game, Armada is fleet battles. I’ve played two games against Ron, playing the Imperials. The first time was close, yesterday I beat him. The front batteries on the Star Destroyer are really nasty. The ship is a pig for maneuvering (and I was calling it “The Pig” the whole game), though.

Today I went on a cooking binge – I defrosted a beef brisket that was in the freezer, and a chunk of pork roast, and ground them in the food processor. I also ran a bunch of onions through it. From the straight beef I made a big batch of red sauce with meat, tacos that we had for lunch, and chili that we had for dinner. From a mix of pork and beef I made meat loaf, that went into the freezer, and kibbeh, which is essentially a middle-eastern stuffed meat loaf. I’ll use the red sauce to make a batch of lasagna tomorrow (state holiday – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day).

Normally I make kibbeh with beef and/or lamb, but I had beef and pork today so there we are. Instead of crackers/bread crumbs it uses cracked wheat for a filler (and onions, garlic, and spices). It goes into a wide baking dish – a layer of the meat mix, the filling, and then another layer of meat, with a good coating of olive oil on top. Bake at STP until done. IIRC the filler is typically straight labnah, I do a mix of labnah and feta. That’s in the refrigerator for baking later.

Last week I had a state car break down on me – I stopped for gas and smoke started coming out of the vents. Fortunately, I was at a gas station, so the wait for the tow truck and the rescue party from the office was not a big deal. Turned out the A/C compressor burned up (and spewed bits of metal around in the process), but the rest of the engine didn’t catch fire. Soooo, I finished the inspections I was going to do that day on Monday. In my own truck, since they were all in Lake County, and I didn’t feel like driving to Bartlett, getting in the state car, driving around Lake County, back to Bartlett, then back home. I did some inspections, had lunch with Ron, finished up, then went home and spent the rest of the work day dealing with my inspection photos.

This coming week I go to Springfield by train Thursday evening, inspect levees a couple hours from Springfield with one of my Springfield co-workers on Friday, and then take the train home Friday night.

Snakes keep growing. I expect to hear Real Soon Now that the next new Animal Plastics T8 cage has shipped. When it gets here, we’ll probably move Caudimordax and Haku into it, and then move Morimi and Wadjet (the baby ball python girls) into bigger cages.

Got Morimi and Wadjet switched to frozen/thawed with relatively little difficulty. I think our first attempt was probably foiled by new surroundings more than anything. Which leaves only Kiyo on live, so I’m just stopping and picking up her food on feeding days, instead of keeping the Mouse TV colony. We have a plan and are trying to switch her slowly to frozen/thawed, but that’s on hold at the moment since she’s in shed (eyes get very cloudy, so vision sucks to non-existant, so not even bothering offering food).

Today I computed 10% and 15% of all the snakes current weights and compared them to the weight ranges for the frozen rats and mice we buy, to see if we’re still feeding appropriate sizes by that method (we’ve been going by a bit bigger than the largest body girth). That pretty much agreed with what we were feeding or thinking we needed to move various animals up to. Then I re-did the feeding chart that lives on the freezer. Which was really getting to be a mess:


And now it’s time to get colubrid mice and rats out of the freezer, and get ready for bed.

After-Christmas Report

Wow, blogging *again*!

Christmas dinner was yummy.  The dogs got their shank bones in the afternoon. Pippin eventually came in; the beagles came in when I went out and confiscated the remains.

Saturday we did some running around doing boring errands, with more interesting stops at Games Plus where Ron and Robin got X-Wing games, and I went down the block to Mosaic Yarn Studio and got a new knitting project (colorwork socks). Then we stopped at Target to look for a new card table, as the one we have is probably 40+ years old. We wanted a plastic one, like our banquet tables, but struck out. I decided to just exercise my Google-Fu, and found a 48″ diameter round table on-line, and ordered it. Yes, that’s larger than a card table, but Robin frequently uses a 48″ square for miniatures games, and extra space is good.

While I was table shopping, Ron and Robin were playing a game of X-Wing. Fun was had.

Saturday afternoon, while playing guitar, things started feeling odd. This is why:


Kiyohime decided I needed help practicing.

Yesterday I finally got around to making the noodle kugel I mentioned Friday. It was yummy. I also made shepherd’s pie out of the leftover roast beef and gravy. It was also yummy.

This morning I started to go to work, and by the time I’d gotten to the intersection of Ela and Palatine decided that I’d had enough and turned around at a church just to the west of the intersection. Palatine Rd. was not in good shape, nor was NW Highway, and I was driving the Explorer, which is 2WD. And I lacked motivation. So this was my view on the couch a little while later:


And now Pippin has switched to the other end of the couch. I expect dogs-on-couch is going to be the order of the day, unless I exert my rights and evict them, temporarily.

I should know that the weather is horrid when the husky sticks his nose out the door and says “no thanks” – horrid in a cold and wet way, that is. If it was cold and *dry* that would have been a different matter.

I went upstairs Saturday to get the last three mice of the latest batch for Kiyo and the baby girls, and discovered a litter of babies. We’d already defrosted pinkies for Wonambi, Shai-Hulud, and Danger Noodle, so some of the bigger snakes took care of things for us.

Henry shed about a week ago, and Fezzik shed Saturday. Here’s a picture comparing their scale sizes:


Fezzik’s shed is the top one, Henry’s is the bottom. Henry is probably close to fully-grown. Fezzik is about half Henry’s length, but his scales are *much* finer. He has plenty of growing to do.

Which reminds me, I need to call Animal Plastics to pay off Robin’s birthday present skink cage (still in the waiting/design period, since it’s a custom size); and order another T8 for us, thank you parents!

More Blogging! More . . . Snakes . . . and CHRISTMAS!

Yes, another week, another blog entry! I’m on a roll! Or a chair.

A couple weeks ago I got a copy of “The Sand Boa Book”. The day I got Scatha I was also looking at a sand boa, so this is not out of the blue. Sunday . . . a sand boa did not happen. *Two* sand boas happened. Shai-Hulud and Danger Noodle (as previously posted, see G+ for pictures), both boys. They’re tiny, 10 and 15 grams each. For comparison, I just weighed some quarters, and two quarters are 11 grams; add a dime or penny to get 14 grams.

I got the boas from a breeder downtown, he had them in shredded aspen. I’d bought a box of sand at the pet store, but discovered on getting home it was not a recommended type – too dusty. So the boys were put in aspen. Monday morning I looked on-line, and determined that the sandblasting sand at Menard’s and Home Depot is coal slag, which although should be inert is not what I want. I then exercised my Google-Fu, after a hint from Berland’s, found a materials supplier in Wheeling, and ordered 150 pounds (minimum order) of clean, graded, screened blasting sand. Yes! More weird shopping!

The boys disappeared into the sand rather promptly. Ron and Robin have decided that “Shai-Hulud and Danger Noodle” sounds like a superhero team, with Danger Noodle as the sidekick. This is/was prescient, and Shai-Hulud seems to be the braver one – last night he was out on top of his artificial succulent (pics were blurry, sorry), despite being the smaller one.

Ron and Robin picked up the sand Monday afternoon. Ron was coming home early because still not feeling well. He is, however, finally slowly improving.

We all had or took yesterday off. Dinner was potato sausage (a Swedish thing, and kind of a Christmas Eve thing in my family), mashed rutabaga, and pecan pie. Robin did manage to leave some potato sausage. I pointed out that when I’m looking for dinner ideas that he could suggest it, potato sausage is not particularly a special occasion food. Last night I also made gingerbread.

Yesterday morning we went to Honeybaked Ham to pick up some ham for today, looked at the line outside the door, and decided to push ham off to New Year’s Day dinner, so we could get it when the store is not insanely busy. None of us had our hearts set on ham today, so it was an easy decision.

So on to Eurofresh, where I found a nice standing rib roast, instead, and picked up baking ingredients (I never said this was a chronologically coherent post!);  brussels sprouts, bacon, and blue cheese for last night’s dinner; and other sundries. Then we forgot to make the brussels last night, so Ron and Robin will have them today (I am definitely not a fan of tiny cabbage).

Currently cooking for lunch are Scotch eggs and spatzle. Breakfast was gingerbread waffles. Beef shank bones have been roasted and are cooling for the dogs. Also cooking are ox tails for gravy stock, and cranberry-apple sauce. We also have ingredients for sweet noodle kugel, which will probably happen tomorrow or Sunday.

My son got me a copy of “The Ugly Renaissance” for Christmas. He knows my tastes!  Got several other books and goodies.

Earlier this week we had a data issue in our reptile record-keeping app, related to a Dropbox synchronization failure, and lost about a month’s worth of data, grumble grumble grumble. Trying a different app, in which data lives on an Amazon-owned server, and which has lots of people who like it on ball-pythons.net. And now all the snakes have labels with their names, details, and QR codes on their cages.

And now, time for lunch.


Another Bullet-Point Update

I really don’t mean to keep forgetting to blog, but here we go again.  Since the last post, on January 22nd:

  • I have obtained a backpack for future short trips.  The next expected one is the floodplain managers’ conference in March, which will be two nights, in Bloomington, to which I am taking Amtrak again.
  • MuseCon grid build on the 24th was not going to happen, so I stayed home and worked on things for Military History Fest. Also did not attend the follow-up on the 8th.
  • Military History Fest was the 30th through the 1st, at Pheasant Run. Yes, the weekend of the big snowstorm. In 20/20 hindsight we should have packed up Saturday night, and taken the trailer, etc. home then. But we didn’t, see the Otter Blog if you want more natter about that.
  • Biffed a curb Sunday morning of that weekend with the Kia on the way to Pheasant Run, couple days later noticed a shimmy in the steering wheel and slight pull to the left.
  • Spent the 7th baking for the Capricon Cafe. IIRC it was 3 ginormous (4x) batches of bacon-cheddar scones, and 2 ginormous batches of Heath Bar scones.
  • For future reference, that’s the basic King Arthur Flour scone recipe, using sour cream for the dairy, and 1/2 of a big GFS bag of Heath Bar chips – 5-6 cups. Bake the at the same temp as the bacon-cheddar scones, for 25 minutes (5 less than bacon-cheddar). Total: 5-6 dozen scones
  • Heath Bar scones are really really good.
  • Robin made a triple batch of banana bread (5 loaves).
  • That took 5 pounds of margarine, a stupid-size tub of sour cream, and about 4 dozen eggs, about half of a 25-pound bag of pastry flour, a big bag of bacon pieces, most of a bag of shredded cheese,  and a big hand of bananas.
  • On Sunday we moved Elrond’s crate to the living room, since he’d stopped coming upstairs, and was getting more and more fussy if he couldn’t sit on the couch.
  • He only had to be shown where his crate was once, and remembered.
  • He still prefers the couch, but now has somewhere to go when he can’t have it.
  • Wednesday I dropped the Kia off at John & Scott’s (see above).
  • One rim bent, front tires worn to wear bars, one rear tire suffering belt slippage, so since they can’t match the other rear tire, that’s 4 new tires and a new rim. I’d probably have had them replace the 4th tire anyway.
  • Also need to replace (front) ball joint, and yes, need an alignment job.
  • And the oil change I requested.
  • They won’t get the rim until Monday, which is OK, since I have Monday off.
  • Ouch. I was pretty much expecting to need new front tires, but was hoping for just those, alignment, and an oil change. I expect the bill to be $850-ish.
  • Because of a scheduling issue on the part of the hotel, I helped set up the Cafe Thursday, since I had the day off.
  • Because of time off issues as a result of the ‘flu in December, I’m not taking any time off for Cap.
  • Last time we boarded Elrond, the dropping-off process was stressful, so not taking time off means the dogs can stay at home with me.
  • The scones, both flavors, seem to have survived freezing and subsequent thawing fine.
  • I had to work yesterday.
  • Today and tomorrow I’m working on the program book for the floodplain managers’ conference.
  • Last night I got an e-mail that I’m taking to mean that the conference chair had gone into labor. This was not unexpected, and AFAIK not an emergency. Hopefully labor is done and baby and mother are happy and healthy.
  • Will be taking a break tomorrow to pick up Ron, since I took the truck after helping with Cafe setup, and Robin will be going with Dave to help unload all the A/V equipment into Dave’s locker, which Ron would rather skip.
  • On the way home Thursday I stopped at Fresh Fields, at the corner of Dundee and Milwaukee.
  • I was expecting a Whole Paycheck-style store.
  • Nope, more like Eurofresh on steroids.
  • Escaped with just pork for stir-fry, polish sausage, and thin-sliced short ribs.
  • Made rice pilaf with the pork (because there were no reasonably-sized packages of chicken thighs) Thursday night.
  • Had the polish sausage last night, and some of the leftovers diced up in an omelet this morning (2 really big sausages – about 4 average-sized sausage equivalent).
  • Short ribs are marinating, to be something like Korean-style. Which I’ve never had, thus “something like”.
  • This morning Duckon announced on Facebook that there will be no Duckon this year, but working on 2016.
  • I have my doubts they will pull off a convention in 2016, but I wish them luck. Really. I’m sad/sorry that Duck has been having problems.
  • The dogs have taken control of the couch, and are sound asleep. Unless/until I move toward the kitchen, of course.
  • And now, I think it’s time to get back to the program book.