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Questionable Recipe

Friday, March 04, 2011

We have been having great weather, even warmer than average for this time of year - around 80 every day and 60 at night. I took the dogs with me to the bank yesterday morning, but Ralphy was dragging when we got home. I didn't have to carry him, but walking 2.6 miles is a little far for him, so we went for a 1.75 mile walk today, and it was just about right. We started at 9:00, and it was just 60, but was up to 64 by the time we got home again. It was a great day for a walk, and I didn' have to start before the sun came up.

I did deliver the dictionaries this morning, and asked if they had a hand truck that I could borrow because John Kiker said that he had borrowed one last year. At Lake St. George they said they did, and a guy was bringing it up for me. When he got there, he wanted to come out and pick them up, I guess so he could take them to some distribution area. It was great - not only did I find a place close to the door to park, but he took them off my hands right at my trunk. Last year I had to park almost at the end of the parking area, then make three trips back and forth to get them all in. It's obvious that I didn't ask enough questions, but now I'm educated.

This afternoon I took the BW shopping at Sweetbay to redeem a coupon for $10 off if you spent $40. It wasn't any problem to spend $80, so I got the discount, and part of the stuff was some Key West pink shrimp so I could make Chef Meg's Shrimp Creole. I had never done that sort of dish before, so I followed her directions precisely, except that I wound up cooking everything three times as long as the recipe said would do, and all the vegetables were still crunchy. Afterward I looked up another Shrimp Creole recipe, and it called for boiling stuff for three times as long as Chef Meg. Not only that, the recipe was only supposed to make 5 cups of finished Creole, and after two servings (half the recipe's yield - a total of 2 and a half cups) I still have more than 7 cups left. I put it all in two containers and stuck them in the freezer. After everything freezes to break down the cell walls, I'll put it back in a pot and boil it for a good half hour.

The final problem was the recipe called for a half teaspoon of cayenne pepper, which I did put in, and the BW thought it was way too hot. I offered to wash off the shrimp and let her eat them with shrimp sauce, but she's willing to give it another try.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TWOTIMESS 3/5/2011 2:11PM

    That must have been quite a disappointment to have the shrimp dish turn out like that! I hope your leftovers will taste good!

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    I love cayenne pepper. There was a stretch where I used it every day in my rice and beans. I have the same problem at my house with sensitivity to spice. I'll throw in a pinch of this and a dash of that for flavor. I can barely notice it, meanwhile, the rest of the family is calling the fire department.

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MS.ELENI 3/4/2011 10:47PM

    It was nice that you have help with dictionaries.
I have never used cayenne pepper. It is suppose to be good for you. I love the way you are always trying new recipes.

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MRDPOLING 3/4/2011 9:00PM

    Oh no... never the cayenne... never never never

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Two Lost Days

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Tuesday I snarfed up a total of 1785 calories, 450 of which came from a small danish, a two ounce muffin, and a cinnamon roll. Yesterday I totaled a bit over 1800 calories, but about 1000 came from pastries of one sort or another. The class went fine, but the snacks got to me and I had a danish and three muffins, then more sweet stuff when I got home. Today I have had supper and my total is just 670. Thursdays I have to eat a little light, and I still gained a half pound since last week, but I am still well inside leeway.

Tuesday there were 11 people signed up, 10 of them showed up, and four walk-ins came to make a group of 14 people in the seminar. I always have a few extra books because you never know how many will actually be there. I made it through the first day in only 3 hours and 20 minutes, went straight to the surgery center, and picked up the BW at 12:40. She said they were getting pretty antsy having her sit there for about 35 minutes after they were done with her, but they always want everything their way. They could have let her sit in the waiting area, but didn't want her to walk until I was responsible.

I went through the entire second day and finished about two minutes late - 1:02, with a nice big hand from the group. Then I did the paperwork and got the stuff in the mail to California and Oldsmar. After that I had a little free time to do little chores, and then the Kiwanis meeting went two full hours before the board meeting, and it lasted another 40 minutes. I got home just before bedtime, with 116 dictionaries and 120 stickers. I drew Lake St. George Elementary for my school, so I spent this morning peeling stickers off of the page and sticking them inside the dictionaries. Tomorrow I'll call the school and deliver the dictionaries. One of the things we do is give a dictionary to every third grade student in North Pinellas County, eleven elementary schools, with a few spares for kids that transfer in. That takes 1200 dictionaries, and nearly $1,600. It was second only to Feast for donation amount, but this year it passed Feast. (Spoken like a treasurer.)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALEXTHEHUNN 3/5/2011 8:48AM

    It's difficult to be in a closed situation with all that food and avoid having any at all.

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DIASTER 3/4/2011 1:07PM

  How nice to know that you are real, and still have an occasional slip up. Do you suppose any of us are ever free from this problem?
You sure do have a crazy busy schedule, we are so fortunate to have people like you in this community, wonder how many retired people sit at home feeling so lonely.

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MRDPOLING 3/4/2011 6:53AM

    Lot of carbs!

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S3XYDIVASMOM 3/3/2011 9:53PM

    It seems like I need my daily quota of pastries as well. Someday, I'm going to give them up. Well, maybe.

I've been in the classrooms when the dictionaries arrived and I can vouch for the kids'enthusiasm. At least for a while, they enjoy using them. Thank you and the Kiwanis for tis service project.

Comment edited on: 3/3/2011 9:53:38 PM

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MS.ELENI 3/3/2011 9:46PM

    I love that you give out dictionaries.So many kids today don't even know how to use one. I have one out here and one in living room.
Those sweets will get to you for sure. Just one won't do it.

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DJ4HEALTH 3/3/2011 9:40PM

    That's allot of pastries. emoticon

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Busy Day Tomorrow

Monday, February 28, 2011

I guess it was worth going to Ruth Eckert Hall last night - the BW was very enthusiastic afterward, and loved it to pieces. I thought it was sort of long, and didn't really have a good time until about 65 minutes into it, when they started playing with the one 15 note phrase that I associate with that music. It started quietly, and traveled to various sections of the orchestra, and finally wound up with the whole chorus (more than 100 singers) blasting it out. That did choke me up a little. The last 20 minutes made the evening, as far as I was concerned.

Tomorrow I get up at 6:00, get over to Coral Oaks, and try to get through a four hour presentation in as close to three hours as possible. The BW will drive herself to a local surgery center by 9:45, and should be ready to be picked up by 12:00. She will take a book, so I don't have to be there by 12, but I don't want to get there by 2:00 either. I got everything ready today and put the materials in my trunk, and I won't put out any pass-outs until Wednesday so I don't have to pick them up.

After I get her home I'll get a ride from our house back to the surgery center with Jack so I can pick up her car, buy him a couple of beers, and then do the certificates and get ready for Wednesday. The BW should be just fine then, and I'll spend another day with a table full of goodies in the back of the room.

Then I get to weigh in again on Thursday. The clock keeps running.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MS.ELENI 2/28/2011 7:04PM

    Glad that you had a good time at Ruth Eckerd.
Tomorrow does sound busy but you are always busy. Hope everything goes well with A.

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MRDPOLING 2/28/2011 4:09PM

    Tick Tock Tick Tock! hehe Sorry couldn't resist a lil poke.

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TWOTIMESS 2/28/2011 3:40PM

    I'm glad the symphony moved you. Your day looks terribly busy! Stay away from the snack plate, LOL!

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A Little More Progress

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I painted the mirror frame today, but first there was a short delay while I glued the bottom piece back where it should have been. When I was putting the thing on a combination of the saw and a folding table, I accidentally took hold of just one of the long sides, and the bottom piece broke loose. The plastic backing held it to the other pieces, but it folded back loosely. Fortunately, I mixed up some more 5 minute epoxy and got both ends to seal tightly to the side pieces. Then I painted the back, and later the front. Now it rests for two or three days, and when the paint is cured I'll stick on the velcro strips. One day later we hang the thing and it's done (I hope).

Tomorrow we are going to Ruth Eckert Hall to hear Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 preformed by a combination of the Master Chorale of Tampa Ban and the Florida Orchestra. The do it Friday in Tampa, Saturday in St. Petersburg, and Sunday in Clearwater. We got a bargain on the tickets - the BW said she wanted to sit in the back row, and the only back row seats were $67 each. She said "Forget it" on the speakerphone, and the guy said "Wait!. He came back with on offer too good to turn down - two tickets for the price of one, so we paid only $73 dollars for two tickets after adding the tax and service fee.

This is my kind of music - the stuff I have been listening to and playing since I was a punk kid. I think everyone else likes it too because today's paper had a little notice that yesterday's performance was sold out.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TWOTIMESS 2/27/2011 8:18AM

Music to soothe the soul... I hope you and your wife enjoy the performance (great news on the ticket prices!)

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MS.ELENI 2/26/2011 5:00PM

    I don't think punks listen to Beethoven's Symphony No. 9. Sounds great. I like Ruth Eckerd hall.

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MRDPOLING 2/26/2011 4:56PM

    You were a "punk"? I can't see it. hehe!

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More Than You Wanted to Konw

Friday, February 25, 2011

Yesterday I cut four pieces to the right size and shape, then started to carve out clearance niches for the mirror clips. I could only find a 1.25 inch wood chisel, so eventually went to Home Depot and bought a quarter inch chisel for about nine dollars. While there I noticed that the same company had chisels made in the US guaranteed forever unconditionally, and made in China (different color handle) guaranteed to be good when you bought it. An assortment of three (half, three quarters, inch) sold for $20 made in the US and $10 made in China. I donít know if the company makes the same profit on both sets, but it reminded me of the time when Hong Kong Air won a Navy rework job. Our wage rate was about $50 per hour (salary, benefits, productive overhead, and G&A overhead) and their wage rate was $10 per hour. I figured then that the open border idea would raise the standard of living in other places and lower it here.

Anyhow, once I had the quarter inch chisel, it went fairly smoothly. It was sort of fun making chips, and the garage looked like an old time carpenterís shop, with the sawdust and chips. The back saw made very fine sawdust, the cuts were like glass, and the chisel worked like a plane if you cut with the grain of the pine moldings.

Then, after I finished the second, bottom piece (both sides just needed to be cut) I tried it on the mirror and realized that it bowed too much to be held down by just Velcro, so I went back to Home Depot, bought another piece that wasnít warped too much (they all had some bow to them) and started to cut another piece. By then, along with everything else I had done, I was shot, so I stopped for the day only partly done with the first cavity.

Today I finished the second bottom piece, gathered up everything, and tried to glue the thing together with five minute epoxy. I had bought some of that because the one hour epoxy that I had planned to use in the beginning wasnít hard on the test piece after two days, and I didnít trust it. Unfortunately I didnít buy corner clamps, so it was supposed to go together on the floor and be held in place with bricks, one on each corner with a washcloth for padding.

My plan to measure the diagonal distances and equalize them didnít work because the BW wasnít up to holding on to one end of a steel tape Ė she kept grabbing the tape with her loose hand and pulling it far away from straight, and she couldnít reach the floor. We were messing around for eight minutes, the epoxy was getting mighty stiff, and we still werenít done. She finally got down on the floor, and I finally gave up and just put the corners together so they matched and put weights on them to keep them in place. Then I got three pillows for her to kneel on and helped the BW get up again.

Then I left things lie for an hour, took the assembly to the mirror and tried it out. It fit (I think) so I used spackle to fill and even the joints. One corner wasnít together enough to have the glue hold, but the plastic backing plate holds it together solidly enough to I can put it up. I may wind up spackling that joint again after itís up.

Now the frame is in the bathroom, waiting for a couple of coats of paint and carefully measured pieces of stick-on Velcro to go with the ones Iíll put on the mirror. After 24 hours (full strength after 24 hours) Iíll then see if the thing fits and looks OK.

Besides that, I took Jack to lunch today, got my class list from Coral Oaks, printed a bunch of P&L statements for the Kiwanis board meeting next week, and did a few other errands. Iíll get the frame done sooner or later.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TWOTIMESS 2/26/2011 10:03AM

    The smell of wood is wonderful - I'm glad you got it stuck together. A few layers of paint is very forgivng and I'm sure your frame will look great.

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MRDPOLING 2/26/2011 9:18AM

    Super Rex!

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MS.ELENI 2/25/2011 10:21PM

    Wow you do stay busy. I bet the mirror will look great but sure seems like a lot of work.
Have you tried that restaurant in Alderman plaza called First Watch.We thought it was a bank for long time. We had lunch there today

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S3XYDIVASMOM 2/25/2011 8:16PM

    Sounds like a day well spent. You've earned a good rest.

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