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OMG, you gotta see this one

This:  post from Margaret & Helen  is an absolute must read.  Go do it now.

And if you’re nice and tell me how much you loved what she wrote, I’ll share some pics of the grand kids in their Halloween costumes.

Oh – did I mention that grand #4 is officially percolating?  Had the gender reveal a couple of weeks ago.  I got a phone call from Cecily (3 year old grandkid #3) one evening.  After the “Hi Poppy’s” and “how’s my Matilda” (Cecily can’t hear if you ask her to do something.  But if you call her Matilda, she’ll turn around and announce “I’m not Matilda!”  Then she’ll actually do as asked. It’s a work in progress.) I asked her if she was getting e new little brother or sister.  She was so excited she squealed “I got a PINK present!!  I’m going to have a sister!”  Due right around Easter, plus or minus any inaccuracies in the storks flight plan I suppose.

Bowling has started for the season too.  I think the bowling alley is on a budget for lane oil, cuz geeze Louise, are they being stingy with it!  It’s that or the pattern is just different and I’m finding all the dry patches.  It’s forcing me to learn to trust a shot where one must throw the ball from the center out towards the gutter 20 – 25 feet down the lane and pray that it actually turns back towards the head pin.  In theory, it works fine.  In practice?  It’s HARD to intentionally throw your ball towards the gutter (cuz bad things happen over there).  But if you trust it and get all the little details right, it does work.  Just scary as hell for a while.  By the time I get comfortable with it, they’ll increase the oil budget and all that struggle will be for nothing.

I’m also finding that 3 advil about an hour before bowling starts helps immensely with what is either sciatica or arthritis in my left hip.  Well, it help until Friday morning, then the payback starts.  But!  in a move mandated by my need to burn up what remains of this years vacation days (use it or lose it), I am not working Fridays for the remainder of the year.  So Friday’s first order of business may be sipping a cup of coffee while getting a hip massage in the hot tub.  That won’t suck too bad at all.

What WILL suck?  Getting the yard cleaned up this weekend.  Saturday looks the best weather wise – 48 degrees and only 20% chance of precipitation.  Leaves, mowing (last time), getting the perennials put to bed.  The camper is winterized plumbing wise, but still needs a wee vacuuming & a quick mop.  Outside of the camper needs a bath too, but that can wait till spring.

Go read Margaret & Helen.  Now.



Day 4756

That’s one duration – 4,756 days or 13 years and 1 week – how long its been since I quit smoking.  For real.

Here’s another one: 21,440 or 58 years, 8 months and 12 days – how long I’ve been hanging around in this life time.  Significant only in that it is also the same amount of time my dad had before he passed away.  Massive heart attack that was really a complication of diabetes.

There’s another duration, length as yet unknown.  That is how much longer I’m going to put up with a certain persons poor choices when it comes to drinking.  I need to get my butt back to some Al Anon meetings.  The ones I frequented before were all on the west side of our county.  I live there, worked there, found meetings close to work & home.  It helped.

Now, I still live in the western side of the county, but work has been re-located to the far eastern side.  On a good day it’s a 30 minute commute, not the 5 – 10 minute jaunt I had become used to (or the 25 minute bike ride that was such good exercise!)  The first meeting I ever found started at 5pm, took me 15 minutes to get to and was easy to pass off as “working late”.  Now?  Not so lucky.

Maybe I should just say the heck with it and go back to the group where I spent the most time.  Meets at 8pm.  I’ll just have to tell that certain person I’m off to a meeting.  That cold hard slap in the face might actually help her.

To publish or not to publish?  Eh, she doesn’t even know this places exists.  Publish.


Good ol’ Winter Storm Stella seemed to start a little slowly.  Or maybe just late.  But that gal had some staying power.  Our area had just recovered (almost) from a one day windstorm where the measured peak gust topped out at 82mph.  Here in western NY.  Over 100,000 customers without power.  That’s about 1/3 of out county.  We were spared  from that and actually hosted our son and his clan for a day before their power was restored.

Spent Saturday morning at their house cleaning up some ash trees that fell.  The largest took out a swing set we had just built last summer.  Clearing out the rest of the ash trees is high on this springs to-do list.  The Emerald Ash Borer is wreaking havoc here.  After that, the swing set will be re-built.

Then came Stella.  Slow, steady and with the endurance of a marathon runner.  Tuesday morning, not so bad.  Tuesday night?  Less than great.  Got home to 12″ in the driveway (I love my 4WD truck, yessir!).  Got the driveway cleared out, came in and collapsed.

Wednesday morning got up early so I could clear another 10 inches out of the driveway.  If you’re keeping score, that’s 22 inches in about 30 hours.  Made it to work fine.  Schools closed, many businesses closed.  Traffic was wonderfully light and our road crews here kick some serious butt.  Sure, there was some snow in the road, but for the most part you could find clear wheel tracks to ride in.

I’ve been providing rides to a colleague at work who is up visiting from Florida.  She’s helping me clean up some work that got delayed by another client flexing some muscle and re-arranging my schedule.  She got a front wheel drive car but hasn’t driven in snow for years.  Her hotel is also having trouble keeping the snow from drifting in over their driveway.  My truck gets in & out fine, no way her car would make it.

So.  Wednesday night I drop colleague off at her hotel.  Drive home – house is cold-ish.  Dropped to 60 or so.  Turns out the furnace vent got drifted in and the controller won’t run the furnace with a clogged vent.  Went around the side of the house, cleared out a 4 foot tall snow drift from around the vent.  Furnace is fine & we were back up to a toasty 68 in a couple of hours.

There are another 4 or 5 inches of snow waiting for me in the driveway – I’ll get that in the morning.  That makes our total snowfall from Stella 26 inches in about 42 hours.  Not a record for here by a long shot, but it was nearly double the forecast.  Oops.

Thursday?  Back to normal.  Roads were actually pretty clear coming home tonight, morning rush ought to be back to usual.  That’s too bad,  I was actually enjoying driving on the nearly deserted roads during our local travel advisory.   Guess normal is all relative, eh?


New favorite dish for my top 10+

Tried a new to us dish recently that got added to the list of favorites.  Probably get added to the regular rotation too.

The recipe I started with is here:

Smitten Kitchen


It is a Puttanesca style Eggs in Purgatory that is suitable for anything from breakfast to dinner.

I doubled the amount of tomatoes & sauce ingredients and use the extra sauce the next day on what ever leftover pasta is laying around in the fridge.  Couple of nights ago we did Linguine & white clam sauce.   Had some clams & linguine left over after that, so today I’m having linguine & clam sauce a la Puttanesca.  Pretty fancy name for something being eaten out of a re-cycled lunch meat container while sitting at my desk typing this.  Another time?  Bangers & spaghetti.  Oh – don’t get me going on Bangers & sauteed cabbage.  That’s some good eats!

Now for the bad news.  While eating my second forkful of this lovely fusion feast, I thought perhaps I bit down on a piece of clam shell.  It happens in this kind of dish.    Alas, that was one expensive clam shell.  Turned out to be a crown.  Didn’t swallow it, but I need to find a little miniature baggie to hold it in.  The only good news out of this is that there doesn’t appear to be any extra sensitivity on that tooth (yet).  Gotta call the dentist and see when I can get in – but he’s not messing with bowling tonight.  I am out of here at 4:10 and headed straight to beautiful AMF Gates Lanes for me weekly thrashing of the pins.

2 years ago we set a record for the month of February.  That month had the coldest average temperature on record EVER for our city.  That month we averaged something like 12.3 degrees.  Fahrenheit.  I had on old FB post pop up about sitting at the gate at work @ 8am.  Gate refused to work and it was -6 degrees.  That kinda number right there is going to pull down your average.

This month?  Our average temp is 31.7 degrees.  The record high for February is 33.2.  The last few days we’ve had highs in the 60’s (it’s 64 now at lunchtime) and it looks like we’ll get barely below freezing at night.  That record may be in danger!

Welp, that’s about it from here.  Got to go find a container for my crown!


1373 days till Donnie is a lame duck president.  Unless he gets impeached first  (fingers crossed!)

645 days till the mid-term elections.  Maybe we’ll see a shift away from the right in both houses of Congress.

One can only hope.  Already tired of the ill considered, half-baked, knee jerk reaction “executive orders” that have been spewing out of the white house.  I really, really fear for the environment.

In other news, the spousal unit and I had a fun Saturday night.  Decided to do a few laps in the hot tub before dinner. Felt wonderful, all that nice hot water and the (very) cool winter air.  Came in, changed into dry clothes and went back out to grill pork steaks for dinner.

Cindy went out for a butt, I was collecting tax forms on line.  I heard a big “Thud” come from the back porch.  By the sound, I knew it wasn’t good.  got up, went through the kitchen to the back door and saw her sitting on the porch floor holding her head, blood dripping down onto her shirt.  I pulled her hand away and found a LOVELY split on her forehead.  Started about an inch above her left eye and went straight up into her hairline.  She was asking if I could just put a band aid on it.  Hah.  I grabbed a handful of napkins, that lasted for about a minute.  Loaded her up with another handful and took off to get my act together. Changed out of my flannel pants in to some real clothes, brought the steaks in off the grill (AND remembered to shut it down), turned off the oven with the acorn squash roasted to perfection and off we went to the ER.  Amazingly enough, on a Saturday night we got in and out of the ER in 3.5 hours.  Even wedged in a CT scan looking for internal bleeds (Xarelto, you know).

Bottom line?  11 stitches, sadly against the grain of the skin.  Going to leave a killer scar, might rival the one on my arm from my biceps tendon repair.  No concussion, no cracked skull.  Looks like she slipped on a patch of ice and caught the handle of the sliding door with her forehead on the way down.  Going to put a bigger rug in front of the door, that will cover more of the wood planks and offer better traction.

What a fun Saturday night.



Joyeux Noel


From my family to yours, Merry Christmas to one and all.

Found this in New Orleans 6 years ago, corner of Dumaine and Royal in the French Quarter.

Well, that’s over . . .

Day 4663

I don’t generally wander into politics or religion here.  Everyone has their own opinions and we are not likely to change each others minds on either topic.  That being said, ‘let me say this about that’ . . . – At least the sun came up this morning.  I went to bed around 11 with the general notion that Trumps lead was likely insurmountable unless HRC benefited from some late reporting urban counties – and a LOT of them.

I wasn’t terribly surprised to learn that Trump was in fact declared the president Elect in the wee hours of the morning.  Disappointed?  Yes.  Seems that Trumps major following was the non-college educated white male.  Trump did say he loved the uneducated, and now we know why.  He bullshitted enough of them to get his ass elected.  Now what?

I will also confess here that I really didn’t care for either Trump or HRC, but figured that the country could likely weather 4 years of Clinton better then 4 years of Trump.  No political experience, no experience serving anybody, bankrupt several times, and hasn’t paid income taxes in how long?  Not to mention that he just doesn’t have the disposition or demeanor to work and play well with others.  And good ol’ Hillary has had shady dealings going back to the Rose Law firm in Arkansas some 30+ years ago.  Too many times caught skirting the edge of the law, but as first lady, senator and Secretary of State at least she had political experience.

I really saw her as the defensive vote – the lesser of two evils.  But in my home state it mattered little, HRC would have won without my vote.  Florida & Pennsylvania were the real swing states this time and Trump apparently appealed to enough non-college educated white males in each state to carry the win.

What’s going to be painful is watching Trump struggle as he learns just how much he can’t do as president.  I’m also curious about just what his plans for change are because none of them were made apparent in any of the “debates”.

Ah well, like I said-  the sun came up again today, we’ll just march on.