I had trouble sleeping last night and really got no quality sleep. I felt sleepy when my alarm went off and realized I should not teach today. So, I used my first ever sick day. I have never called off class during the regular semester. I called off once during the summer but that was weather related. A sick day every ten years is probably pretty good. Overall, I chalk up the sleepless night to a fluke. Occasionally, I will have a situation where I get up in the middle of the night and something will pop into head. I have to attempt I don't use the best advice about sleeplessness: 1) I drink alot of water...easily 1-2 gallons a day and 2) I never get up and move to the couch for some late night TV. But, I will be changing the staying in bed situation. I am also going to try the warm milk cure too.
I worked from home and got many things done. I also cleaned up the house. We are going for a walk when Neale gets home. It is 72 here.
Yesterday, we went a walk on Grant's Trail. People stopped us to pet Ellis. Then, we made it to Frank's Market, which is this small market a Big Bend we always drive by. Then, I built the smoker, sanded & stained the doors. The peppers smoked for 6 hours. Tasty.
Today, we went for a walk. Neale went to Sweet Tomatoes. I started my chili. I stained the doors. Then, I washed the curtains in our living room. I never liked the landing in our front door because the previous owner/home abuser got paint on it. So, I removed the metal strip, sanded it, and stained it (Pine). I started a brew. I am doing a hefe today.
I decided to make smaller batches of Mead. I made another on Friday. They are gallon batches.
"...I never want to be old
And I don't want dependants
It's no fun to be told
That you can't blame your parents anymore..."
The soup turned out well. I decided not to add any pasta or rice. Neale had Fortell's pesto cheese for dinner despite carving the newly reopened after the fire House of India.
We are going for a walk soon and I am going to sand the doors. Also, I am gathering supplies and building the smoker today. About 5PM, I am going to pour a tall beverage, listen to Prairie Home, and smoke my peppers.
Heat the oil and water in a frying pan. Add onion and salt. Cook onions until translucent. Add curry and flour while stirring constantly. Cook flour for a minute before adding stock. Add stock and stir to combine. Reduce heat and allow to thicken. Stir occasionally for 15 minutes. Add cooked penne and coat.
On my ride home on Wednesdays, the KDHX program "Juxaposition" has a weekly curry recipe of the week. The pasta dish was the recipe of the week.
~ 11:02 AM ~
"...I want a cheeseburger....I want a hot dog...I want a milkshake..."
It is a cloudy day here but Ellis and I will get a walk in after I workout. I also have some grading to do.
The single burner I order arrived so the smoker project is a "go" for this weekend. I will pick up the can with lid, grills, wood chip box, thermometers and chips tomorrow. I am smoking my homegrown jalapanoes, some red jalapenos, some poblanos, and some habaneros if they are available.
I made a cream of aspargus soup for dinner. I do not agree with the recipe on the handling of the asparagus. First, I would have roasted the tips. Second, water? Adds no flavor so why use it? (Yes, thanks to Emeril...I watched the show in 1999 for that...has it changed? Ah, no) Third, hot milk? C'mon some cream is needed. Since fall is here (ok, it was 81 today), I am in the mood for soups. The smoked chiles from Saturday will become part of the chili this weekend.
My new drill (Ryobi 18V) arrived Wednesday and it is really nice.
I have mowed the lawns for the last time this year. But, I will reseed. I may plant in the new backyard beds this weekend. I have to check to see what the selection is at the local box store.
Neale went to Chico Jones and the Gardens with Dolores. I vacuumed the backyard and sanded another door. Neale was worn out from last night so she took a nap when she got home. We went to Balaban's with Dolores and Joe for dinner. We had not been there since New Year's and they are under new management. The desserts were great.
We turned the heat on. Well, Neale turned the heat on. I could and do stand lower temps in the basement. It is 57 in the STL right now and getting down to 41. My jalpanoes are still outside but they are hearty plants. I will bring them in soon and start them with a grow light over the winter. The tomato plants were not a success due to not knowing the nature of their enemy (the squirrel) but I have had good heat from my pepper plants.
I got out Neale's slanket. There was much rejoicing. She has had the slanket for over a year and half thanks to the Firefox extension....StumbleUpon.
I did the shopping for our party today. Almost done.
Neale went to find hinges, wall decs, and door rugs. I installed another blind and cleaned it. Another coat was applied to the screens in the main window. I cleaned the couches and furniture in our back room. Next, I worked on the tables we will use at the party next weekend. I didn't get a chance to use my Ryobi reciprocating saw. I have realized my Makita (10+ years) cordless drill is dated. So, I have searched Ebay for a replacement.
Neale has a new layout for the room. Debbie is coming by to look at it. We are going to an APAMO event tomorrow.
Yesterday, we painted and I finished most the electrical work. Since our ceiling fan cannot use a dimmer, we need to use a regular switch. The ceiling fan operates on a remote, which is a nice feature. Then, we went to the Taulbee Family Reunion with Steve and Joan. After that was a visit at Judy's new loft in Alton.
Today, I cleaned up our cooler, filled the hole for Mr. Slim with foam, filled the last edge of grout, primed the fill spots, demoed the basement bath and painted two doors. Neale finished one window. She was at a soccer game, returned Judy's Bose Radio (there was a flaw), and picked up some stuff at Home Depot.
I am waiting for the carpet guys. Last night, I painted and Neale did some after her affidavit. The room is coming together as small things like vents and outlet covers. Today, I want to install the ceiling fan.
As for the Mets, things are not good. There is still time but it has been brutal to watch.
Neale painted tonight. I needed a break. Tomorrow, I will paint though before I leave for class. Mr. Slim (our heater) gets reinstalled. The wall where it is located is done. I have Thursday to get all the brown done. The brown is over half finished. The windows and the doors are last pieces really. On Friday, the carpet is installed so we want to be done with the painting. After the painting, there is the last grout and electrical work.
Ismael is done. He worked for 45 hours. Today, we did the trim and finished the grout. One tile moved over night so it was reset. The funky brick we use to have was not the best surface and we learned how to do that better in the future. I was chaulking the trim edges and using wood filler. Ismael uses an air nailer so the trim is well placed.
We are taking it easy for a few hours and then heading out to dinner.
Today is the anniversary of our first date. I asked Neale out for dinner and we went to Mogger's, which became our regular spot in Terre Haute. At the time, it was probably the best or second best place for a good meal in that town. We are going to Miso tonight. Neale knew I was an "ok guy" when I wanted to get a drink after dinner (their beer selection is excellent) and we talked about few things. Needless to say, she did not leave my apartment until late and we stayed up talking. She said she knew that night I was the guy she was going to marry and I was convinced a few weeks later.
Ismael is here and we had to reset one tile. He is doing the trim right now.
I am painting today. I am finishing the prime coat and starting to paint the finish color. So, I am painting in two shifts. The prime needs about 4 hours to dry but we have a fan and the sun on our side. Next Wednesday Mr. Slim comes back and the carpet goes in next Friday.
Yesterday, I demoed the doors and Ismael installed the new ones. Neale chalked the corners and I primed a wall. I also got some of the ceiling primed but the prime was sucked up by the walls. Neale is picking up more prime today. We should have the painting done early next week. Next Friday, the carpet is being laid. Everything is going to plan and we should down to just detail work soon.
We sanded the back room. Neale left at 4 for Ed's birthday party. I probably put 2.5 hours into the sanding. Then, I cleaned the front yard, the gutters, and the roof. I need to repair the flashing around the furnace vent. I mowed and trimmed too. There were a few limbs that needed to be removed from the tree in the front yard. Neale got back around 7 and said the party went well. Britt and Kelly's new kitchen looked good. I gave Ellis a bath. He enjoyed it.
We mudded and taped yesterday. Ismael mixes a drier first coat that sets fast so we could do two coats. I learned a little about mudding and I was better than last time. But, the drywalling was better so there was no gaps and the screws were set. Maybe in the future, I can do the work myself.
We knocked off around 2 and rested for an hour before heading to Jazz Fest. Nice turn out is Webster and we had a spot down by stage right. So, we were next to the trains but in an open parking lot. Ellis got his share of attention and did well.
After the music, we were hungry so we stopped at Dewey's for pizza and ordered "Fracture", which was not that good. The reviews seemed positive but I fell asleep.
In another late night cooking adventure, I made a hearty vegetable soup in the slow cooker.
We are sanding today. Probably riding soon. Kelly and Britt are welcoming viewers to their kitchen and we are celebrating Ed's birthday.
I had a rough day at work. An event we planned had to be rescheduled to another room and it creates anxiety. It worked out in the end. But, I feel totally responsible for the small confusion. We will try to minimize that (or hopefully, eliminate it) in the future. LCCC is getting use to having events like other schools so we have a learning curve to work around.
Ismael insulated all and drywalled half of the back room last night. He will finish today and start taping/mudding on Thursday I believe. It looks great. Neale is shopping for tile tonight. I am meeting the carpet guy this morning but he is running late.
We slept in, went for a family walk, and then to the Saint Louis Art fair. The food was ok and art was expensive. So, pretty much an art fair. Then, we went to Whole Foods for supplies. As we were walking in a woman had the child carrier she had perched on top of her cart fall. The kid took a 3 foot drop but was uninjured due to the clam shell shape of the child seat. Everyone, including us, were shocked by what we saw. Luckily, everyone was alright. We found some cheese for more pesto later this week and a great sheep's milk truffle cheese for snacking. I made Neale a flank steak (quick marinated with soy sauce, salt, pepper, and thyme) with a wine sauce (cab sav, butter, green onion, and salt/pepper). I seared the steaks in olive oil and then under the broiler to cook.
Ismael was over again. He could not make Wednesday because he got a promotion at his job. Tonight, we continued the blocking and should be able to drywall the ceiling tomorrow. I have to remove the interior door tomorrow, cut the hole in the ceiling for the electrical box, and move a light switch.
Since I had lunch/dinner around 3:30 yesterday, I have not felt my best. I did not anything unusual but Neale was also having similar problems with a congested head. She is congested today but feeling a little better. My stomach is still not 100% so I skipped my workout & walking. Neale & Ellis attempted to walk but the rain came and drove them back. I have had two pretty bland meals and I feel a little better. I plan on making my night class and Neale was able to work at home.
The building inspector surprised us this morning as we were expecting him this afternoon. But, he had good news. The only surprise was the lack of depth in the firebox. From the back of the hearth to the front edge of the brick needs to be 16 inches minimum but 20 inches is preferred. Since we are covering the existing brick with drywall and new tiles, we can easily add some width with more bricks or cider blocks and add some framing. The inspector liked our insulation idea (foil wrap) and wanted us to consider the electrical. We do not need anymore outlets so the wiring will stay the same. He spotted a crack between the two foundations (garage & living area), which he encouraged us to fill in. I filled the gap with some chaulk and took care of the old lighting fixtures, which we will not use. The new lighting will be from the new ceiling fan. I also cleaned the area and fixed a board from last night.
~ 07:37 AM ~
"...don't drop it..."
Ismael started work last night. We replaced or fix the blocking in the room. We also applied liquid nail to any surface that would take it. The first inspection is today. I have to fix one board and finish securing the old wiring.
Ellis' dog swim photos have been posted on the photos page. He liked the interaction with other dogs but can take or leave the actual swimming.
Dachau KZ photos were also added. I have a student that is a WWII buff and she wants to see them. I forgot to post them sooner.
We went to the dog swim and tried to find dinner. I recommended House of India but they are closed due to a small fire (happened late July/August), so we went to Olympia (Greek), which was closed. The next option was Del Taco but Las Margarita was the choice while watching "Legends of the Fall".
~ 12:58 PM ~
"...waste your life..."
We are taking Ellis is a dog swim in Hazelwood. This year I am wearing swim trunks so I get in the water with him.
We played tennis at the courts in Saint Louis Hills' park. Neale won 6-2 but most games went to deuce. Then, we went to Mom's Deli, which does not have a website, does not care it does not have a website, does not want to be listed in Sauce, or accept Visa. Yes, it a cash operation and DAMN IT they like it that way. Great bread, staffed by young ladies exclusively, and they do not mind if your dog comes in. I had the cheese on wheat and Neale got a turkey on white. The potato salad is on the "mustard side" so she passed and I thought it was ok.
We came home and went back out to Lowe's in SOUTH South County because Ismael had seen fireplace mantles there. We found them and their price was doable to the person that decides about the prices (i.e. Neale). The stuff from Home Depot was 5X higher and takes 21 days to order, which is not in our time frame. We also checked out interior doors. Since we took the scenic MapQuest route to the Lowe's we saw alot of South County, which is usually not our area. On the way home, we stopped at the batting cages and I hit three rounds of slow pitch softball in preparation for the off chance I get to play this year. I also did a round of slow baseball. Nice cages but the slow pitch was coming high and the baseball low. Neale spotted in three swings how much of a pull hitter I am and challenged me to hit some to the right side. The stance that was working for me was a "Moises Alou" style with no real stride.
Then, we played adventure golf at the Concord Bowl, which had the batting cages, rock climbing, beach volleyball, and bowling. Neale won with 43 strokes to 51 on a 37 par 18 hole course. We stopped at Dierbergs for some libations and we ordered some Chinese food. Neale watched "Snatch" and had a better impression of it. I have 3WK streaming and "The Natural" on AMC on mute.
Overnight, I made barbeque sauce in the slow cooker since I did not have any and I really do not like eating corn syrup, which is food in most store brands. Recipe:
2 tablespoons red pepper flake
1 large Onion -- finely chopped
2 14 oz. cans of organic stewed tomatoes
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon salt and pepper
vegetable stock to thin
~ 11:17 AM ~
"...pictures to prove..."
I have had 3WK streaming for 24+ hours and it is pretty good. I am hearing things I have not heard in years, some stuff that I originally passed on (later REM, for example), and songs I have never heard (Catherine Wheel...Shocking). But, I have realized that it seems like they play from some artists more than others. U2 is on now and I never heard them before on 3WK but I have heard alot of Catherine Wheel and REM. I made them a donation.
I worked in the entertainment room for 45 mins. and the backyard for less than a half an hour. I vacuumed the room, flattened some nails, and filled the crack in the wall. Neale checked out the mantle options.
~ 03:26 PM ~
We met Ismael at 10AM and went to Home Depot for supplies. After looking at the walls we decided on using a thinner insulation. Plus, we checked with Webster and we do not have to frame in the room. We decided against that because of the size of room too. We also went to Lowe's for a few things. I also picked up a multimeter and glow sticks for emergency situations. Our door person came at 2PM and we discovered that the doors do not need to be custom made. The demo exposed the existing frames and we found out they were standard doors, which saves money and time.
The Mets are on but I do have plans to accomplish today.