Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Size 8. Topaz and garnet.



 

11-29-22

W: 336.0

To-Do:

  • Wood & Fire
  • Meds
  • Pharmacy
  • Taxi duty
  • Chickens
  • Dishes
  • Laundry
  • Groceries
Ring for the daughter.


This year my eldest son ghosted me.  Facebook, text, whatever.  Just suddenly unresponsive without explanation.  Hurtful, but he's a man and makes his own decisions.  I bring it up because I just realized his ghost act will save me biggabucks this Christmas.   I think I'll take that money and put it to good use.  I know some families that are struggling.


Monday, November 28, 2022

4-28-22

W: 334.8

To-Do:

  • O2
  • Chickens
  • Shatoya 
  • Wood
  • Torch hoses
  • Bench work
  • ?


My gift for the best man.

She wished for a plain silver wedding band....






Sunday, November 27, 2022

4-27-22

W: 333.0

To-Do:

  • Dishes
  • Laundry
  • Wood & Fire
  • Chickens
  • Vacuum
  • Fuel?
  • Cook things?
  • Binge a show?
  • Bench work.

Feed the woman breakfast


The first hammered silver plain band I've made in... 10 years?
I re-learned some basic lessons on this one.  The next will be better, and the next even better.

Meanwhile, I have this handmade band, so.....





Saturday, November 26, 2022

4-26-22

W: 334.6

To-Do:
  • Wood & Fire
  • Chickens
  • Trash
  • Dishes
  • Vacuum
  • Laundry
  • Fuel car
  • ?


Good girls! 


Friday, November 25, 2022

Waste not, Want not...

 


The turkey remains (Plus some other bits I've been saving) went into the pressure cooker this morning.  It yielded four quarts of primo turkey stock, and enough more picked meat to make another meal.

That fourteen-pound hen gave us a feast and enough leftovers for four more meals, plus the stock to enhance even more meals deeply.

I'm already planning a 'Turkey Bake' with dressing, turkey, and gravy made with stock.  Baked as a layered casserole, it won't last long in this house.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

11-23-22

W: 333.8

To-Do:
  • Taxi
  • Laundry
  • Groceries
  • Dishes
  • Boozemart
  • Drugmart
  • Flashfoodmart
  • Wood & Fire
  • Chickens
  • Shoot out back?
  • ?
25 degrees last night, and the house felt COLD when I got up.  I ran the furnace for 20 minutes to break the chill, as the fire came on.  Back to frugal normal now.

I just realized something.  If I died tomorrow, there would be no reason for anyone to delete my browser history or cell phone memory.  This is not the wild and crazy retirement I thought it would be.



Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Have you ever...

Felt a non-social time period of your life coming on?

Yeah.   That. 

11-22-22

W:  334.4

To-Do:
  • Fire & Wood
  • Chickens
  • Dishes
  • Vacuum
  • Taxi
  • Trash
  • Smoke peppers
  • Pay bills
  • ?

53 degrees in the house this morning.  I was sorely tempted to let the furnace take the chill off while I lit the fire, but I stayed strong.  We all move a little quicker when it's brisk, anyway.


A few weeks back I made a shiny thing.  For a friend to give to a lady. 

Getting a bit chill in the shop, but I still have projects that need doing.




We had a bunch of peppers coming up on USE NOW, so I smoked/grilled them.
They will be going into chili tomorrow, or most of them will anyway.

As long as the grill was hot....


A strip steak fell on it, for my lunch.  Nom nom.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Cash is king?

Just noted:  Berkshire Hathaway (Warren Buffet) has piled cash $130,000,000,000 deep and is still piling it on.

In a time where inflation is killing cash value every day, that means cash is a safe but *negative* holding.  It doesn't earn money... it loses money.

Why?  Why is the man who is arguably the smartest investor of all time clinging to cash even when it's losing him money?

11-21-22

W:338.0

To-Do:

20 degrees outside last night, and 50 in the house when we got up. I didn't hear the furnace kick on yet, so..... okay?  Guess I better check it today.  I cleaned the stove out a bit before lighting it this morning, and it was a bit more smokey than usual on start-up.  Time to check the chimney.
  • Bank
  • Taxi
  • Dishes
  • Laundry
  • Wood & Fire
  • Move some wood?
  • Meds
  • Get chicken into the marinade
  • Shot
  • ?


50% off on strip steaks.   Yeah, I'm a bargain shopper for sure.  I left just as much there for other people to get lucky on.


Sunday, November 20, 2022

I realize and accept why some people will never care for me.

Do you have a 'side'? Did you choose it, or was it simply shoved over your head like a kidnapper's pillowcase? Do you accept a label? Are you okay with being dumped in the XXXXX box by people who think they know you?
Is there even one labeled tribe that's not dishonored by the evil its leaders do in its name? Can you name one?
I promote and encourage the joy of being singular, tribeless, and without labels. I display for you what it means to think for oneself, rather than regurgitate the tribe's latest self-serving lies.
It's time to bring this old essay to light, as it stands even more firmly today than the day I wrote it:
Human beings like things to fit. Fit in a place, fit within an idea, and most of all... fit into that little box in their head. Be it person, place, thing, idea, notion, animal, mineral, or vegetable... we humans will study it, classify it, regulate it, mold it, and beat it up till it fits that box in our head we have prepared for it. Far too often, the box is built by someone who has decided how it profits them to look.... and then they tell everyone "Hey! Look at this box! YOU ARE AN IDIOT if you don't use this box as your own!".... and people, generally being idiots, agree and use someone else's box.
Once we have a bunch of nice, neat boxes.... we use them to build our world. For far, far too many people... their world is built of boxes someone told them to use, because they really are too lazy, stupid, or greedy to build their own.
Well.... guess what?
I..... DON'T..... FIT..... IN..... THE.... BOX. Stop trying to shove me in it. Any box. Yours... his... theirs.... not even my own.
I'm not a Republicrat, nor a Demican. I'm not Libservative, and I'll never be a conserveral either. I am never going to join your religion. Don't worry... I won't join theirs either. I'm never going to adopt your party line, nor will I ever adopt theirs. I don't want or need your understanding, sympathy, disdain, respect, love, or hate in order to exist. Whatever your label of the moment is... it won't stick to me... nor do I really care what it says.
Whatever shape the box is in your head where you want me to fit... IT'S WRONG. I don't really care why you keep trying to shove me into that box.... whether it's laziness, thoughtfulness, or some kind of agenda.... forget it. Your box will not fit me, no matter how much you want it to.
I live in a me-shaped hole in my life. It changes from moment to moment, and day by day. People I care about who share my world.... live in their own them-shaped holes which change as often as mine does. I don't try to shove them into cramped little boxes, and that means I don't have to get my feelings all hurty when they climb out of their box and turn back into human beings.
I suspect this attitude of mine is why my list of friends is rather limited. I am myself... a living, breathing, changing human being. I allow myself to be this... and don't expect anything else from my friends but the same. This means that we don't fit in boxes... and that frightens the sad little people who can't deal with anything that doesn't fit.
So be it.
The only box I will ever fit in is the one they lay me to rest in.

11-20-22

W: 334.8

Sunday To-Do:
  • Blueberry pancakes
  • Dishes
  • Vacuum
  • Fire & Wood
  • Chickens
  • My clothes away
  • Fire the furnace, T-stats to 50
  • ?
30 and windy last night.  Herself restocked the wood stove sometime during the night and then fell back asleep on the sofa.  House is comfy today :-)   She shall be rewarded with blueberry-buttermilk pancakes when the snoring is over.

Going to 20 degrees tonight, and windy.  I think I better turn on the furnace and set the T-stats to 50 as a backup.


LOLOLOL..... Musk reinstated Trumpies Twitter account, and he allowed the decision to be made by popular vote.  Suddenly the very 'special' people are screaming about how dangerous voting is to Democracy.

Read that again.... they say 'Voting is dangerous to Democracy'.






Saturday, November 19, 2022

11-19-22

W: 336.4

To-Do:
  • Meals out, so extra lasix
  • Fire & Wood
  • Dishes
  • Vacuum?
  • ?

27 outside last night.  House was 57 at 4:30 am when I got up.
Livable.  Fire lit and coffee made.

Heating oil dropped to $4.95 a gallon yesterday.  That's a drop of more than $1 a gallon in a week.  But, it's still over twice what I paid less than a year ago.







Friday, November 18, 2022

11-18-22

W: 337.0

To-Do:

  • Fire & wood
  • Dishes
  • Laundry
  • Vacuum
  • Move summer clothes crate upstairs
  • Taxi?
  • Chickens
  • In-laws in town, do stuff.
  • Butcher for bones?
  • Make French onion soup and a salad

Doing French onion soup for dinner, along with salad and a nibble board.

That meant a trip to the butcher for soup bones, the grocery store for fresh greens and assorted onions, and pulling out the pressure cooker.   I wish I could share what this home smells like...






Thursday, November 17, 2022

I am NOT running the furnace till it becomes necessary.

In the basement to put away some Lily roots, I decided to check the heating oil tank while I was there. The gauge reads 3/4th of a tank. At today's price, that equals $1100.00 worth of oil. If I actually used the furnace to heat the house we would get a little over a month of heat from that. Maybe a month and a half (estimated).


11-17-22

W:  338.0
To-Do:
  • Curtains...
  • Chickens
  • Dishes
  • Laundry
  • Booze store, again
  • Beef stew and cornbread to feed everyone
  • Shatoya at 1-ish
  • Firewood out front
  • Propane
  • Fuel car (Maybe tomorrow. Not low enough yet to use my 90 cents per gallon discount)
  • Thing at 6 pm, and family dinner at 7 pm.

Flexibility is LIFE.

Up at 4am.  Needed to get the stove going and the house warmed up, and also.... the brain kicked into worry mode.  Mulling over things I need to deal with, but can't fix.  

Okay, my primary blood-sugar med is turning ghost.  The pharmacist says it's 'problematic'.    Doc wants to switch to Ozempic, which friends tell me is in the same class of hard-to-get.  Several regular diabetes drugs (Actos and such) are off-limits with my heart issues.

Short of a crash diet and/or going on insulin, I'm not sure how this will play out.   Either way, I'll have to do the 'Stop eating everything' game.  Also the 'Stop drinking the booze' game, which I hate the idea of.





Wednesday, November 16, 2022

11-16-22

W: 338.0

To-Do:

  • Chickens
  • Vacuum
  • Laundry
  • Dishes
  • Wood from pile
  • Taxi service
  • 9 meet
  • Polish and finish earing
  • Sharpen kitchen knives
  • Sweep porch
  • ?

The pharmacist tells me a diabetic med I take is unavailable and on backorder.   The maker says 'Unavailable due to increased demand'.  The drug dealer further reports that they (National chain) are running into a lot of drugs in short or no supply.





Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Braised beef short ribs...

 


I began with the prep work, and then....

In a cast iron dutch oven, I rendered about 8 ounces of bacon chunks.  The chunks were strained out with a slotted spoon and set aside.

In the hot bacon grease went the beef short ribs, in sessions so the pot would not be crowded.  To prep them, they were dried and rubbed down with kosher salt and black pepper.  The short ribs were browned on all sides, and then set aside.

Into the hot pan were dumped the prepped veggies and mushrooms.  Two medium sweet onions- diced, 6 small carrots- diced, 8 ounces of Shitake mushrooms in largish chunks, and the bacon too.   All this was tossed and sweated in the hot pan till softened, and then two heaping tablespoons of AP flour were stirred in till well mixed and browning.

As soon as the floured veggies began browning, I dumped in two cups of Cabernet and started scraping up the goodies stuck to the bottom.   Once well scraped and back to temperature, in went two cups of beef stock.  Stir again as it returns to a simmer.

Now the browned short ribs go into the pot, nestled into the braising liquid.  I laid a clump of fresh-cut rosemary and thyme to one side for easy stalk removal later.  Lid on, and into a 325 oven for two to two and a half hours.

When it gets close, I'll make garlic smashed potatoes to serve under the beef short ribs.  Braising liquid and veggies will be spooned over the whole dish.

NOTHING will go to waste.   Even the bones will be saved and frozen till I have enough to make stock.



Huh, whodathunkit.

Jeff Bezos:  'Now that the election has been dealt with, we can start talking about our crap economy still getting worse'.

Monday, November 14, 2022

11-15-22

W:338.0

To-Do:

  • Pharmacy
  • Dairy
  • Booze-mart
  • Laundry
  • Dishes?
  • Taxi duty
  • Rake and mow?  Nope
  • Burn brush pile?  Nope
  • Chickens
  • Kitchen table.  Nope
  • Braised beef short ribs
  • Deal with jacked-up toilet

Great news!  Heating oil price has dropped from $5.99 a gallon to *only* $5.75 a gallon!  Rejoice!

Last night dipped to 27 degrees.  The night before to 29 degrees.

How well is the wood stove keeping up?  Well, I had to resort to opening one air vent.  One out of four that feed the fire.

OTOH, our ancient stove is anything but airtight.  I can usually roast the house with just its normal air leaks to the firebox.


Warming breakfast for a chilly morning.  Steel-cut oatmeal with baked apples, cranberries, and walnuts.  Bit of buttermilk to stir in too.

11-14-22

W:  337.2

To-Do:

  • Dishes
  • Groceries
  • Firewood
  • Taxi service   (Bitch pulled her usual Monday bullshit)
  • Leaves
  • Clean-arrange kitchen side table
  • Pharm
  • Meds
I know I'm setting my sights high, but there's a lot to get done this week.  Doing my best, for what it's worth.


So, any word on politicians returning the $40,000,000 in political donations Bankman-Fried made with stolen money?  Now that they know it's stolen, doesn't that make them criminals in receipt of stolen funds?


Cool.  Just had a nice telephone call.  I refi-ed my car loan and the interest is now 1/4 what it was.


Sunday, November 13, 2022

 


Noms...

 


We have a bunch of apples wanting used, so baked apples it is.  Using a complicated and very traditional recipe I just invented, the sliced apples spent an hour at 350 before they were joined by a cast-iron pan of cornbread mix at 400 for 20 minutes.

Apples, cranberries, and walnuts mixed with cinnamon, butter, flour, and buttermilk.

Nom nom!


Now Old Smokey is doing her thing, cooking potatoes in a foil packet (bathed in butter) and there are chicken thighs to go next. They have been marinating in peach BBQ sauce since yesterday.

More nom noms!

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Lily time...

It's that time of year when folks who live in the colder zones need to pull their lily bulbs and dry them before cool storage in the basement over winter.

I began this Spring with 10 or 12 bulbs purchased from the Amish nursery.   The roots propagated into maybe twice what you see here.  I'll have enough next Spring to plant 3 or 4 good lily beds, for some beautiful displays around the house.

Doing this is an act of faith.  Faith that I will still be here in the Spring, and still be able to do the work (even if only 20 minutes at a time).

Now that I have access to chicken bedding, I may do the lilies in permanent beds, coving them in the fall with a deep cover of mixed leaves and chicken bedding to keep them from freezing.  



Heating oil price... a bellwether?

 


I've taken to checking the price of heating oil every day.  It's not that I intend to buy any at that price, but I've come to regard it as an indicator.

You see, heating oil is for all intents diesel fuel.  The differences are very minor, and they can usually be swapped in use.

Now, diesel fuel.... our entire economy runs on that.  We have a diesel-powered economy, and the price of everything is going to follow diesel up and down.

Is heating oil pricing a bellwether for our economy?



11-12-22

W: 337.0

To-Do:

  • Take her out to breakfast
  • Shooty time for skills  (Nope, neighbors out back)
  • Firewood
  • Chickens
  • Laundry
  • Can the Citrus-Tequila jam
  • Bench work?  (A little)
  • Cut/dry lily bulbs
  • Butter chicken finally?
  • Vacuum
  • Bank
  • Make guac
  • Dishes
Yeah.... like I'm going to get ALL this done.....lol.
Damn, I'm tired....breath.... breath....

 


I need to put away the hose, snug the window locks, and carry in a stack of wood.  OTOH, bugs will die by the millions!


Interesting thought.  The recent election seems to have hit a perfect midpoint where one side is not screaming about rampant fraud, and the other side is not screaming about Russian interference.




Bargain buys over the last few days have blessed us with more fresh fruit than we can eat (Apples, oranges, lemons, limes, pears) and about a dozen avocados that wanted used NOW.

So, the neighbors got a box of fruit for their kids and some avocado, and mama-san here is getting a big bowl of fresh guacamole.  Half to the freezer and half to herself with a bag of chips.


Also finished today....

9.5 jars of Citrus-Tequila jam.  One pint jar went straight to the neighbors, still warm, as a traditional way to return a jar, plate, or pan.  Always send them back full of something good!

The 'recipe', such as it is...

Slice enough citrus fruit to pill a large pot.  As we had a bounty, I used grapefruit, lemons, limes, and oranges.  Add a cup of water to get the party started, and simmer for about three hours with the lid on.

After three hours, strain the solids from the liquids, and return the liquid to the pot.   After the big mass of solids has finished draining and cools enough to work with, go through it a handful at a time and remove any seeds, grapefruit rinds, and tough chunks.  The rest gets a good bunch of whirls in a food processor till it's well chopped up.

Return the chopped solids to the pot, and add about two pounds of sugar, a half cup of honey, a half cup of tequila, and enough water to loosen things up a bit.  Continue the simmering (lid on) for another few hours.  If it needs to be thicker, then leave the lid off and allow it to reduce.  I let it cook the rest of the day, and finished the project the next day.

It will begin the second simmer tasting kind of bitter-ish, but will calm down a lot while it cooks and the flavors meld.

Can it as you would any acidic jelly or jam.  I removed the largest pieces of rind before canning.

It tastes sweet, with a citrus bite, and a very complex flavor.  I'm looking forward to using it on pork chops, French toast, and biscuits.  Maybe as a glaze on grilled chicken too.




Friday, November 11, 2022

More on the 'Flashfood app...

This morning's Flashfood haul, since I was running to the booze-mart in that direction anyway...




All that you see here: two boxes of fruit plus all the citrus I sliced up and set to cook..... $14.

Having an embarrassment of citrus we will never eat in time, I'm making Citrus Tequila Marmalade.  That will cook all day now, and probably get finished tomorrow.

Gave me a grand excuse to add tequila to the booze list!



Shiny things

 

A few weeks back I assembled a pendant for Herself.  She was happy, and the crowd sighed in pleasure.

Well, today I made her a ring to go with it.

Maybe tomorrow, the earrings.


11-11-22

W: 337.0

To-Do:

  • Dishes
  • Laundry
  • Taxi the girl  (Mom dealing with the creature)
  • Bench work!
  • Bank  (Closed, duh)
  • Butter chicken?
  • Start citrus-tequila marmalade


Do you have a change jar like I do?  I think it's been a couple of years since I took it to the bank and ran it through their counter. 

Change jars are semi-fun.  It's a simple little joy to look at it accumulate and think to yourself 'That's my vacation fund!' or 'That will be a case of ammo!'.

The reality is with inflation what it is, that change jar is dumping value by the day.  I'm taking mine to the bank, and then using those funds to get something that holds value.


Thursday, November 10, 2022

Weather knee? I'll see that knee, and raise you....

Yeah, I have a weather knee.  I had it installed about 3 years ago.  Haven't missed a prediction since.   BUT... I keep it attached to my 'Storm Body', which also is a perfect prediction tool.

The weather guessers are calling for heavy rain all day tomorrow and tomorrow night.   Huh, I could have them that without the radar and fancy degrees.

Ugh.  The whole bloody carcass is FUBAR.

11-10-22

W: 337.5

To-Do:
  • Doc checkup
  • Taxi the girl
  • Groceries
  • Laundry
  • Dishes
  • Make dinner
  • Meeting about the girl
  • Bench work... (MUST)
Doc stuff.  Not good, not bad, so I call it good.  Some numbers are better, some not, and a couple of small med changes as a result. Got an as-needed med for gout, so cool. 


Built a buddy a shiny to wave at a woman he's gaga over.  Hope it does them good.


I'm rather pleased with myself over this.  The ring required using some skills I haven't practiced in about 8 years. To top it off, there was a time crunch and only ONE setting on hand. If I'd muffed the soldering, it would have turned to slag in a heartbeat.  So yeah... one chance to get it right the first time, or tank the project.

I've got my next two projects lined up, and since tomorrow is supposed to be a solid day of rain...



Wednesday, November 9, 2022

More cheap eats....

As discussed in the previous post, I have begun using the Flashfood app.  Today's haul included quite a bit of 1/2 price beef.

Well, here is about $5 worth of lean steaks given a 30-second whirl in the food processor, along with a teaspoon of magic seasoning.

ShaZaaam!   Suddenly it's 1.5 pounds of 90% ground beef which sells in bulk for $5.79 a pound just now.

This is so lean I'll have to mix in butter to get a spectacular hamburger from it.

Allow me to get this out of the way right now.


If Ron DeSantis chooses to primary against Donald Trump, I will donate to, campaign for, and vote for Ron DeSantis.