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A light winters mist surrounds the trees in the distance. The damp from a gray lit window tries to chill me through, but I push it off with sips of hot coffee from the mug clasped in my sleep swollen hands. A treasured guest from the auld sod drove down to visit a spell, but they haven’t woken yet, so other than an occasional gleeful yap from one of the mutts and happy clicks, buzzes and burbles from the budgie, the house is hushed.
My sous vide salmon was a disaster. Not sure what I did wrong. I should have broiled it like a proper salmon instead. But live and learn goes the cliché.
Other than comments pro and con of a rather insulting Gillette razor ad, the news is muted this morning. I expected videos of Federal employees standing in soup lines and selling the children’s Christmas presents this morning, but there was little to be said. I suspect the Democrats sun filled soiree in Puerto Rico was a little too off putting for the media to cover, so we get … fluff. But I’ll take that. Fluff is a product the American media is skilled at. As left-wing partisans, they kinda suck.
So the family rouses …
And waffle day rolls around again with temps in the high 30’s but feeling like it is freezing. But now that I am acclimated to this feral land, anything below 70° is freezing weather. Snook is feeling much better today and says her body is working normally. I guess that is why we say ‘see a doctor’. She saw a doctor and immediately felt much better. Saint Peter has nothing on doctors. His shadow had to fall on people for them to heal.
I think that is often the case with me. The time to see a doctor is at the onset of symptoms, but my first thought is to wait a week to see if the malady improves. And often by then it has, at the cost of days of misery.
My annual check the caboose day is looming in February. It is never a fun experience. Both doctors and men long for the medical breakthrough that eliminates the digital ‘walnut’ exam. I don’t get much sympathy from Snooks on that one. She says I know nothing of the indignity of a pelvic exam. Maybe she’s right, but I don’t think I’ll submit to one just to say I know.
This Sunday morning is a day of normalcy in the household. Thinking of a friend in recovery from heart bypass surgery. The first time is really the pits. Not that the second one was a walk in the park for me either, but at least I remembered the out of control emotions, irrational fear that my chest would explode if I coughed, fear that I wouldn’t have the energy to get back home from a walk.
And another friend who just moved into assisted living. She kept her home for well over a century, then suddenly had to give away many of her possessions because they wouldn’t fit in the apartment. It is not an easy thing to do.
The sun rises another 15° in the cloudy sky, the second cup of coffee is safely tucked inside, it is time to put this up on the website and do my Sunday chores.
Tuesday. Not much to be said for this day. But I haven’t posted anything in a while, so I’ll set in front of a blank page and put down my usual stream-of-consciousness meanderings. Tiw, the one-handed god of the day apparently stuck his hand in the mouth of a wolf and lost it. That is a rather stupid thing for a god to do, so a minor day of the week is his reward.
Talk radio entertains me and the bird this day. Budgies thrive on noise and battle, but people probably shouldn’t. So now I am caught up on the political hate for the week. I feel so .. informed. It is easy to see a persons political affiliations by their use of memes and narratives, and just as easy to ignore the words that follow them. I am more curious to see who wins the pissing contest than I am whether the wall gets built or not. As a nation, I believe that we passed the point of no return a long time ago, and the natural course is a downward spiral. The best we can do is slow the inexorable helix to destruction. It will come.
So with those cheery predictions, I wander on.
The weather has been warm for the last few days, and the air-conditioner has come on in the afternoons, but that trend will likely end for a week or so. But spring here can’t be afar off. It is already time to start tomatoes indoors. If I was going to start tomatoes. I really haven’t had much luck with them.
The day has marched on, the coffee cup is empty and so is the pot. And it is time to stop the blather.
Still 44° as I slowly awaken to Preparation Day. But later in the day, it will warm to the mid 60’s for a week, then the winter rains return, albeit somewhat warmer than the December ones were. I am sure glad to see the sun. It has been awhile.
The public holidays are done, thankfully. No Christmas music, cute Santa’s peddling merchandise, midnight fireworks or frazzled shoppers for awhile as sanity returns. Just the slow rotation of seasons and the ever-growing patches of weeds and wildflowers out my window. It will be a month or two before the wildflowers pop, though.
I got all the fixin’s for a winters beef stew. I try to get the cheapest stew meat available, brown it really good, the pressure cook the snot out of it until it almost falls apart. And a turnip, some red spuds, carrot strips and peas. I normally cook the spuds separately and add them to the stew before serving so they don’t get so mushy. I’ll probably start that Sunday … but a good stew improves with age, so I’ll make enough for five or six meals, and freeze it in servings to be gently rewarmed in the slow cooker. And yeah, I cheat a little with some cornstarch to give it a body. Served with hunks of sourdough and I am happy …
That is about all there is to say here in my dull retirement paradise. I never thought that I could appreciate dull to the extent that I do. Excitement is the enemy of serenity …
And coffee is the friend of slow risers …
The second day of the Gregorian year, but a rather nondescript day on the Jewish and Chinese calendars arrives gloomy, cold and wet. I don’t know what had happened to Tic, our latest canine addition, but he jumped onto the bed and was trying to hide from something that happened to him out in the rain. He probably climbed the fence, and a big dog chased his arrogant little butt back across the fence. So I arose before I was totally awake. But Mr. Bladder was slowly awakening too, so I had already given up trying to snooze late. All that never happens to me on nice days when waking early is a pleasant surprise.
I bought an Amazon mini a long while back when they first came out. You probably know them as Alexa. But here in the wilds, internet is spotty, and it didn’t work well. I then tried the google mini and it worked very well even with the poor internet connection. So I left the Amazon plugged in, but seldom use it for anything other than a paper weight.
It recently started glowing green, and I didn’t know what all that was about until I received an order from Amazon. Then it happily clicked and quit glowing. Aha! Amazon is reminding me that I have an order arriving! I get a lot of stuff from them these days. I love not having to schlep into town for an electric plug to repair a broken one, and some gourmet items that l love are also available from them.
But it is a little unnerving to hear it go “Cleeplunk!” and start glowing on delivery day. As a geezer, I am not so worried about privacy much. I am sure that some nefarious government agent is noting my aversion to stewed prunes and my problems with various bodily functions, but I really don’t know what evil can happen to me if the government finds out I have a slow gut.
The google mini has become my birds entertainment, and it also serves to let me know when meals are ready. Snook has learned to use them to call me to the table leaving her free to guard the food from the beagle. I have three set up, one in the kitchen, one in the bedroom by Snooks computer, and one in my studio. Ah! Brave new world!
So the rainy day unfolds. But a warm coffee cup seems to mitigate the gloom and the birds early morning banjo music. It just might be a good year after all.
OK … the celebrations are over, and it is back to the same old stuff that we celebrated the passing of. Mutts are finally at rest. We didn’t expect our newest neighbor would be a fan of fireworks. He has pets of his own.
But starting at sundown and going to midnight, his weezers, zingers, bangers and sparkling chirpers lit the back yard in monotonous succession while four frightened mutts in my house tried to find something to crawl into. He must have spent two-weeks wages on the damned things, and he lives in a double wide.
And the extra large helping of black-eyed peas and corn bread at dinner didn’t help the old stomach ulcer, and it made life miserable until sunup in retaliation.
Gray skies and late night rains in the forecast with temps in the 40’s. A rainy week ahead it seems. But it is winter, and I don’t go out in it anymore. So as long as I got power, I’m good. Snook was up much earlier and got the banjo playin’ going for the spoiled budgie. So its coffee, fiddles and banjo’s bringing in the New Year. Just like it did the old year.
Good morning, and hope your New Year is still happy …
Waffle Day rolls around again. The first day of the week. Today is new toy day too. My sous vide heater is all set up to cook rosemary chicken for dinner tonight. Fresh sprig of rosemary sits in the fridge with the thawing breast. A little salt, a little pepper, some olive oil.
I was going to brown the breast in a skillet because I didn’t want to get a propane head for the torch, but one genius mentioned that he used an electric heat gun. Viola! I got one of those in the tool chest, sitting unused all these years. Who knew a tile tool was a cookery item!
My new kitchen island is set up, and we are migrating some kitchen utensils over to it. But it still reeks of linseed oil and I have set up a box fan to air it out. So far it has been airing out for a day, and it is still stinking up the house, albeit a little less today … either that or I am getting used to the stench. But we desperately needed the counter space, and when the stink is gone, it will be a fine addition to our kitchen.
I got stuff. Lots of stuff. And I need to get rid of stuff. I wonder if I could just give it to a flea market seller and split the take. If I trusted a flea market maven, that is … and that is the problem. I don’t want to sit out in a lawn chair all day while people pick through my stuff.
And I have a mirror cut into a magen David that needs to be remounted over the mantel. It somehow fell off the hook, but only damaged the wood parts that I could repair. I need to make a more secure mount for it yet. Maybe this week it will get done.
And new metal numbers for the mailbox. The neighbors got the kitchen island, and hand carried the 200 lbs of material over to my yard when the delivery man left it at the wrong address. That will be a priority to get them mounted when they arrive later this week.
But for the moment … there is coffee and a computer keyboard …