I am working at home, grading, and watching the Mets. Later, the backyard needs a mow. Today, is one of the few dry days this week. After the rain yesterday, I laid mulch and added the final flowers. Pics soon...
The photo page has been updated. The photos from Busch and our hike were added.
"...I don't wanna fall in love, no no
Love cuts just like a knife, woo woo
You make the knife feel good, baby
I'll fight you to the end, baby..."
On Saturday, we planned for a ride at the lake but the wind was high so we walked. Then, we had Chipotle for lunch. I was surprised that Chipotle is having Teacher Appreciation Day on May 5th instead of Cinco de Mayo. I will probably buy a burrito using my faculty ID and drink my homemade Sangria.
For one moment on Sunday morning, there was nothing for me to fix in the house.
Saturday morning I worked in the yard and on Sunday morning I got out to Home Depot by 10AM for plants & mulch. My tomato and pepper plants are started. Plus, the front yard is mulched. Neale opted for a new plant to replace the one that died in the front yard. The front yard pots are also finished. Since I had softball practice, I did not work in the backyard.
Sunday night we had our first softball practice. My arm feels good, the equipment is fine, and my fielding was pretty good. However, I was pressing at the plate and swung at a few I should have let pass. If it was not raining I would visit the batting cages.
We rented "Australia" but we have not found time to watch it yet.
Yesterday, we went for a walk after I finished my workout. Then, to Sweet Tomatoes for lunch. The Mets game was at 12:40PM and I have not been to a ballpark that early in several years. Neale saw a woman she knew from the office that quit due to medical reasons. She is doing fine and Neale caught her up on the office. Our seats were to the the exact right of the home plate camera and it was a good section. Of course, we were the only Met fans and the guys behind us were good natured. The game turned in the Cardinals favor by the 4th inning and by the 7th we were heading to the gates. The concessions at the park were run by the Missouri Air National Guard as they are moving to KC and need money for a 'going away party'. Busch allows outside groups to come in and raise money through concession work. They pour a beer or serve nachos like a pro no matter who they are behind the counter in my experience.
After the game, we avoided sport bars and found our way to the Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood. Then, we went to dinner at Lucas Park Grill back downtown. They were slow but the food and service was excellent. Neale encountered a person she knew from Alton working as a waitress/server.
Neale was in the mood for a movie so we picked up "Role Models" and it had a few good laughs, which took the sting of being swept at the ballpark off my mind.
Today, the hike is still on.
Tuesday night the Mets blew a lead. Ugh. Homer's Landing was good spot but Neale is partial to the Left Field Landing. There is less foot traffic and she likes to see the scoreboard. Overall, good service in both areas.
My juicer arrived on Wednesday and it works great. My pulp has been dry in the two batches I have done and clean up is easy. The pulp can be composted and I will mix it in with my soil for plants this summer. The first juice I did consisted of the following: beet, yam, garlic, ginger, spinach, carrots, & celery. Today, the juice consisted of: beet, carrot, ginger, apple, and celery. Each made about 8 ounces of juice. Then, I add my kelp and spirulina. The juicer is pretty quiet considering what it is doing and all parts that touch juice can be machine washed if needed.
Our sink is fixed and kitchen is back to full operation.
The weather held and I got the front lawn under control. There were sprinkles of rain but it never amounted to anything more. Neale was happy when she arrived home as it was becoming a jungle. We lost a bush under the bedroom window so I am thinking a piece of lawn art from the Bug Shop or Chico Joe's might work. The two other bushes flank the spot so it would or could be a nice add to the yard. Then, we went for a walk and I worked out.
Today is Neale's last day of work for the week. On Wednesday, she is meeting our plumber as our kitchen sink will finally be fixed.
Hiking is still on fir Friday. However, I have the Honor's dinner at night so we cannot go too far.
Steve & Joan, who are basically vegetarians these days (some fish), are taking us to HOP when we visit Portland.
Rain! Yes, it is raining and the game was called. It has moist all weekend and was wet overnight. There are puddles in the yard. We will make it up later in the season. However, my other plans are also canceled. I was hoping to mow the front yard and spread mulch. It is also a good time to start my plants (tomatoes & hot peppers again). So, I have some painting to do. When I replaced the ceiling tiles, I spray painted the metal rails in the ceiling to a brilliant white. I taped the walls to control over spray. Well, the taped pulled up some wall paint. Despite the fact that the walls will be drywalled this summer, I really don't want to look at the missing paint spots. It will just take a minute and I have the time.
I have the Mets streaming from the laptop to the TV. The Mets are in town this week. We are seeing Ollie on Tuesday and Livan on Thursday. We saw Ollie is a playoff game three years ago and he had a great night. This season he has been merely ok.
Neale went into work. She is taking time off this week and wanted to finish a few things.
After a slow morning, we went for a late bike ride. I did actually. Neale claimed it would start pouring so she walked and I got in 10 miles. A slight rain did arise but it was bearable. I had to put the bike rack on Neale's car as the Prius does not accept it. But, we will purchase a tow package from U Haul and a bike rack from the shop in Webster. Oddly enough, our bike pump is missing so we pumped the tires at a gas station. After the ride, we went to Panera for a late lunch and then to the Town & Country Whole Foods, which is new and big. Neale wanted cheese soup for dinner so we selected wedges of Manchego (12 mons.), Gouda, and an English Cheddar. The soup turned out well and she requested green beans almondine as well.
My homemade bay rum aftershave was not received well. I like it though.
Yesterday, I had to give Neale a ride home.
During my haircut, Dan and I discussed tomatoes. He gave me a bag of hair to spinkle on my tomatoes to keep rodents away. Yes, I have a baseball sized bag of hair from a salon in our garage. We'll see if this works. I have not started the plants yet.
Tomorrow, my softball league starts. My gloves were soaked in shaving cream last night, wiped this morning, and are currently resting with a softball in the pocket wrapped in rubber bands on the drying rack. My shoes received a break in and my batting gloves are ready. The problem? Yes, it is fore casted for rain tomorrow. Oh, bother. Also, at age 36, I am the old guy. Ouch.
On Thursday, we ate dinner at Cyrano's and listened to Erin Bode for about 2 hours. She has a great voice and we arrived early for a front row table.
Steve and Joan comped our room the Nines for the wedding. Three days. The day of the wedding Neale is having a spa day and I am hanging at Powell's Books. Twittering of the weekend will be done. Theme?
Around 2AM this morning I woke up and I was fully awake. After just 4 hours, my mind turned back on, I guess. I tried to get back to sleep and I did not want to take anything since I planning to get up in just three hours. Needless to say, at 4AM I called in to have the department assistant post a cancellation notice. I have used 2 sick days this year, which is unusual for me. The first 4 years I never used one. I slept in and got some sleep but not that "deep REM" style. I was able to work from home and I did some online grading.
Since my hand is healed, I am back to the Soloflex. Yesterday, I was unable to workout since I was helping with a faculty seminar. I did about 20 minutes on the sociology of fitness. The students liked the overall event and gave us genuine positive feedback but I felt it was not my strongest effort. I had never done anything like that before so I was nervous.
I am attempting to make a dish that I have never made to my complete satisfaction. I am making vegan no-meat loaf. The main ingredient is tempeh not lentils. The raw mix that I tasted was pretty good. There will also be miso gravy.
After three hours of yard work there is at least another three hours left. The Mets game was on and I had to listen to the Florida Marlins radio coverage. I went to Penn Station for dinner and there was coupon in the mail for them as well.
~ 03:27 PM ~
"...I don't deliberately humiliate myself..."
I finally saw "Talk to Me" last night and it was really good. Don Cheadle should have gotten an Oscar nod for that performance.
Saturday baseball is back and John Buck is welcomed back. Tim McCarver is still employed by Fox for a reason I cannot understand. Despite my attempts, I have yet to run into John Buck at the Ladue Pharmacy.
When I get caught up on the laundry, I plan to work in the yard. I want to clean the gutters and the new ladder will help with that.
"...if it is happening to me, it is happening to you..."
Neale is almost in Louisville by now. She left around 11AM. We had breakfast at First Watch before she left.
I am watching "The Doors" for the second time since I saw it in theaters back in '91. Jim Morrison was simply annoying. However, I am considering "Dazed & Confused" next.
It has been wet all day. If the sun shines and the rain stops this weekend, I want to start refreshing the yard. The rose bushes are growing nicely. But, a bush in the front yard may have not survived the winter.
My hand is almost healed. My new batting gloves arrived on Wednesday and I highly recommend them.
Met v. Reds is on. MLB TV is much improved from last year. I have the option for this game of FoxSports Ohio or SNY TV to watch the game plus radio. Since I have XM in my car, I can listen to the game as well. It is much easier to be a fan of a team that is not in your town these days.
Rained overnight and had some flurries/snow showers on my way to work. The winds are up so I may take the day off. I am still a little sore. I think my recovering left hand is going to keep me from the Soloflex as well.
I do not have media on my phone as it is an additional $30 a month. However, Neale's Iphone has it so the Twitter updates will come from her phone mostly.
Yesterday, we went to the batting cages, played tennis, and went for a walk before the Final Four games. I did not have any batting gloves at the cages and after 5 sessions, I ripped up my left hand. I would post a pic but it is unsuitable for minors. I ordered a pair of batting gloves from Stash Quik Mitts since they seemed the most durable from online reviews.
We played tennis for about 45 mins. and it was not game where we kept score. We did not play last year. Despite the time off and the winds, it went well.
After the batting cages, I am sore. But, I am happy as I know I did something yesterday. Softball practice was canceled due to overnight rain. The afternoon was clear but windy.
We went for a walk at the lake and then joined people at our niece's soccer game. At home it was sunny but at the lake it was overcast and windy. My decision to wear shorts was regretted quickly. I was able to suffer through the hour game as the wind was relentless. Afterwards, we stopped at La Salsa for dinner.
Baseball is here! I am watching the Phils & Braves. Is it possible for both teams to lose? When Brett Myers is on the mound his wife is safe at least.
Yesterday morning, I graded online and had to attend a meeting at LC. For new faculty, LC has a committee that consists of new faculty so they can cover details of the job. If I remember correctly, it was everything from legal aspects of our profession to general social support. With two other faculty members, I was available to answer questions and provide information on how I manage a classroom. It is hard to describe an individual teaching style because everyone has their own and your really cannot borrow another person's style. Like guitar playing, Gilmour, Clapton, and Muddy Waters sound like themselves from the first note. However, it is helpful to hear what other people are doing and that inspires me. I appreciated the offer and I hope someone walked away with something. One instructor teaches math and I teach sociology. You could never run a math classroom like I do a sociology classroom. But, maybe if someone did for me, I would have had better math scores. I don't know.
Today, Neale is taking it easy. She is very happy with the progress she has made with her new eating habits. I am impressed that she changed her choices as well. Last night, we walked and had dinner at Chipotle. I am visiting a nearby batting cage to get my softball swing down and the Mets are playing an exhibition game this afternoon at CitiField, which looks amazing and is playing 'huge' like the glorious Polo Grounds. The Mets are not in a matchbox sized field like the lowly Phillies.
Tomorrow, I am attending softball practice if the weather cooperates. We have an AM rain/t-storm watch and wind/snow in the evening. Neale was planning to attend our niece's soccer game.
In June, I am planning on doing a liquid fast and detox diet.
On Monday, I started a batch of refrigerator pickles. Also, I made two small batches of cider using a new recipe. One bottle was the standard recipe and other I added honey & sugar. It should be ready in a few days.
Yesterday, we went over to Alton to visit Judy. Clayton and Stacy were there as well. After some wine and a conversation about the meaning of life, we had dinner at Gentelin's, which is know for its steaks and pasta. But, they had a pan seared sesame encrusted tofu dish and it was quite good. Judy joined us and it was another good conversation. Since I was in downtown Alton, I managed to see two former students and we chatted for a moment.
Somehow we both had a taste for a Bloody Mary and I could have sworn I had a recipe already. I do not prefer prepared Bloody Mary mixes as they typically contained too much salt and Worcestershire sauce, both I avoid. The drink consisted of the following: vodka, 5 oz. tomato juice (low sodium), lemon juice, Pickapeppea sauce, celery seed, horseradish (for mine), and hot sauce.
Today, Neale is working. It snowed overnight but it has melted. It has been quite wet so the ground in soaked. Luckily, no flooding here.
On Thursday, Neale requested a pesto. We just saw the episode of Good Eats where Alton used pistachios and fresh herbs rather than the traditional basil and pine nuts. It turned out great. Today, we are trying the cashew sauce over chicken for Neale and I will use it on tofu.
My dealership wants to encourage me to visit on Wednesdays for maintenance. In their email, I learned they offer nitrogen air fills for tires. I had never heard of this and after research, I really don't see the benefit for me after I pay $49.95 for the fill on all four tires. Knock that price down to $10 for 4 tires and I'll consider it.
I just saw "88 Minutes" and that was a terrible film. But, it makes film "A Mighty Heart" even more enjoyable as it is really good.
Word of advice: make sure the screw on cap that attaches the actual corkscrew on a Wine Rabbit is tight. My pinky finger has a gash to remind me.
The Monday after a vacation...a joy. Actually, I got several things done but spent about a half an hour doing PC maintenance. If I don't have a PC, I can do almost nothing in my office. If we lose our phones, we might as well close the campus. Same goes for the electricity, which I have realized I am no longer turning the lights off in my classroom like I use to do. I have my schedule for the fall set up and I accepted my summer online teaching assignments.
I have drained my stock of hot sauces with the exception of my homemade habanero (aka Sunshine Sauce) and a bottle of green El Yucateco. I am taking a break from Pure Cap and want to try 357 Mad Dog.
But, I stopped at Whole Foods where I found a bottle of piri piri mombasa sauce. It has a gentle heat and is very good.
"...Karl Malden is still alive. Happy Birthday!..."
It is my last day of spring break. Neale is working on a case and I enjoying the look of a clean house. Of course, we are taking time to watch basketball as I could only watch a few minutes of spring training baseball. Neale's final four is Louisville, Memphis, Pitt, and NC. I reached the same conclusion. My messiest region is the the Midwest as Siena & Utah surprised me.
Last night, we ate dinner at the Stable and it was quite good. Also, it was packed on a Saturday night. It is in the Lemp Mansion complex and the restaurant is part of the old stable. The patio where we ate was covered and appeared to be an area for wagons to be stored. Salad was very good, the pizza was great and their beer list is incredible. I had a Bell's that I never seen in six packs and it was delicious.
"..."Rich people buy assets that put money into their pockets, poor people only have expenses, and the middle class they buy liabilities that they think are assets, liabilities take money from their pockets." - Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad Poor Dad..."
We went to Arcelia's for lunch. For a Mexican place to serve vegetarian enchiladas and do it well is a pleasure to eat. They also did it without the typical overload of fajitas vegetables. Neale had the mole. On our way to the restaurant, we passed a place called "Four Muddy Paws" so we were curious and stopped in after lunch. Ellis ate his last piece from the current bag of Dogswell Vitality treats so I bought another bag and they had a another product from Dogswell. It is a piece of dried banana wrapped in a piece of dried chicken breast. Needless to say, he was happy to see me.
The only upset in my NCAA bracket is the Butler/LSU game. I had give the Bulldogs a chance despite losing to the Vikings. I went with the Tar Heels despite my suspicon that Memphis will surprise a few teams.
The sound of air hammer woke me up this morning as a swarm of men, machines, and concrete landed on our block. A neighbor (who spoke to me once to tell me the power was out) had a water main or pipe blow beneath her driveway over the winter. They replaced her lower driveway and were gone by 10:30AM.
Yesterday, I spray painted the drop ceiling framing back to gloss white and let it dry. Then, I replaced the tiles, which was a dirtier job than I expected. After 7 hours, I had the tiles hung and had to clean every surface in the basement. I hadn't throughly cleaned the basement since winter so it was refreshing. Over the summer, we are handing 5/8" drywall over the lovely paneling and putting down new carpet. Plus, my current 'home office' is becoming a walled space, which will be a sleeping area for the sale.
In our plumbing saga, a owner of a local plumber company had searched 7 plumbing supply retailers and come up empty. He is contacting the local rep for the company for us. Neale has proposed replacing the entire hardware.
A coworker's of Neale threw a call out for interest in a softball team and I said 'yes'. In other news, Saint Louis' ballpark village (the space of former Busch stadium) will no longer be a lovely sinkhole and become a softball field for a period of time. The plans to make it a shopping and condo/apartment complex have not come to reality.
"...Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts..."
First official day of spring break for me and I have nothing planned. Later, we will probably go for a walk. I am making a Moroccan chicken soup for Neale so a trip to Trader Joe's is needed. I may sort the Goodwill pile as well.
Tomorrow, I am painting the upstairs main hallway. From the nicks to scuffs from the dog fence, it needs to be freshened up.
Today, we are expecting a high of 67F so the windows are open. If it stays nice next weekend, it will be time to starting working in the yard. The checker at Ace Hardware said they are not setting up the outside plant section until April 15th.
Last night, we watched Will Farrell's "Bush" performance. He did well. I would have laughed harder if it wasn't true.
"...Trying to forget someone you love is like trying to remember someone you never met..."
Neale had to work today but we did make time to visit Mom's Deli and go for a walk. At Mom's, we ate on the porch. Eating there was negotiation as we had planned for pizza tonight. However, our plans to watch our niece play soccer in the afternoon were removed when Neale decided to work as she needed the afternoon. By the way, if you are calling to hear her take on the 'Employee Free Choice Act', please take you answers from previous calls. In the afternoon, I fixed our dryer vent connection and replaced the light over the garage door. The garage door light failed over a month ago and it was a failure of the unit after taking it apart. The replacement light is a flush mount and a better unit.
Ellis and I played ball in the yard after his dinner. Charlie joined the fun. Ellis got to run so his day was fulfilled.
Yesterday, I started my homemade Bay Rum recipe. It was one bag of Schnuck's bulk Bay leaves ($2.49), half bottle of Bacardi dark rum (the other half), and the following: peppercorns, rosemary, ginger, & cloves. In a month, we may have something.
Today's random bet: It's Torrid not Hot Topic. Chris wins.
Butler made the tourney. Second round and out.
Neale's coworker, Matt, has offered a spot for me to join his softball league. I am interested and ready. They play on Sundays.
Neale witnessed Ellis' hair pile after being brushed with the Furminator. The spring shed has begun.
Neale made it home safely and is at work currently. I am cleaning and prepping her carnitas. The meat is coming to room temperature.
It is a nice 56 degrees here so we plan to walk when she returns. Ellis and I did a 45 min. walk through the neighborhood yesterday afternoon. It was not our usual route and I was surprised that someone decided to place a Nordic Track in their front yard.
Unbeknown to me, our neighborhood made some news last night. Webster police got to chase someone.
I am on spring break once again. I was up early to see Neale off as she is heading over to Alton after work. Sometimes she is not home before I call it a night. Her illness has passed. The weather this week has been cold again. But, there will be a warm up early in the coming week.
She requested deviled eggs last night so I made Alton Brown's recipe. It was my first attempt at the recipe. Tomorrow, I am making her carnitas as I was able to find pork shoulder at Baumann's Meats. They have a great store and know their meat. We also buy our Thanksgiving turkeys there.
I saw two films this morning while working on small work related projects. "Intacto" was an odd film about luck and "Picnic at Hanging Rock".
Ellis and I will go for a walk this afternoon. Next week, I will take time to finish two projects for the house. The ceiling tiles in the basement are getting an update and I have a wall to paint.
Funny cat or dog videos on YouTube are manna for the soul.
We went for a walk and I discovered that if I gain 500 pounds Neale will leave me. We were up late last night on TLC they had a show or two about really overweight people (as in can't stand up kinda big). Neale stated that the care I put into eating healthy and exercising is a trait that she loves about me and if I was 700+ pounds, it would be a sign that I had lost control. We also considered that being 700 pounds would probably be a qualification for disability.
We dodged most of the storm here in Saint Louis. According to the radar, Chicagoland got most of the wind, noise, and water. It poured for about 10 minutes at 9:45AM, which reminded me to clean the gutters.
After the rain, a forgetful wife did not realize the time change despite me changing clocks last night. As I remember being younger and having to change multiple clocks, these days most of our clocks updated themselves. Only the stove, micro, and alarm clocks needed attention.
We walked at the lake despite the high winds. It was miserable as the wind was constant and even pushed Ellis around.
My French toast was enjoyed. The challah bread provided a firmer piece than the loaf of Italian bread. The challah was much denser and I could have cooked them alittle longer to suit Neale's taste. But, I went for the obligatory 'gbd', or golden brown & delicious. I used our electric skillet for even cooking in one batch rather than the traditional iron. The challah bread turned out well and I believe an old Jewish grandmother would have approved of my first attempt of braiding bread dough.
My key lime pie was good but somewhat moist as the can of sweetened evaporated milk was 14 oz. instead of the 12 I assumed it was. Baking is formulas and cooking is jazz. You don't mess with formulas.
The French onion soup I made last night was hailed as my second best soup in our repertoire. One of the last soups I ate before turning veg was a can of Progresso French onion and it was vile. The soup I made was a touch salty as I used salted butter. I rarely buy salted butter as I like to control the salt. Neale did not protest though and liked the flavor. Caramelizing onions is a beautiful thing to watch. It is up there with my 'steak house mushrooms', which mushrooms, salt, and butter. It can't help itself but be good.
Tonight, Neale has requested a red curry chicken as we found a bottle of sauce at Trader Joe's to help out. But, I am making a pancetta green bean dish as a side.
I am putting another coat on the window screen and it should be done.
"...What a waste. They had a bartender here, Kino, made the best rum cannonball I've ever tasted..."
Neale is under the weather so our plans to ride our bikes have been suspended. Might be a cold but it is just a genuine lousy feeling I am told.
I have the windows open again and I figure out where our last screen fits. I don't know why I did not think of it earlier as it fits the bedroom window. However, I painted the window shut when I painted the windows two years ago. So, I had to pry the window open, which took twenty minutes. Since it is nice today, I am going to paint the last screen.
For lunch, I made a wild fried rice and Neale liked it as well. Ellis is the only dog that likes raw tofu I believe.
Last night, after our walk, we had dinner at Growler's. Their service was unusually slow last night. Our dinners (portabella sandwich for me & stuffed chicken breast for Neale) took a half an hour. Plus, our server never returned after the initial order for refills or updates. They were busy but usually they operate smoothly in a rush. The fries were great as they are like McDonald's fries without the preservatives. Then, we watched "In Bruges". Neale saw it once before and I felt it was o.k.
Tonight, I am baking bread for French toast in the morning. I am making homemade challah bread. Neale has requested french onion soup and key lime pie. I also found a clone recipe for Chipotle's carnitas, which Neale loves so I will start that tonight. I am brining the pork shoulder first.
I am caught up on grading. However, my sink situation continues as the plumber did not have the part I needed and identified my sink as a 'new design'. So, the plumber is looking for the part now and I have more faith in them than my local plumber supply shop.
Neale was going to work after hours but her seasonal 'sore throat' has it since it is a warm 82 degrees. She is coming home to walk with Ellis and I.
With the warm weather, two guys stopped by to sell me mulch and I answered the expecting the plumber. I kindly said 'no' as spring is not here yet despite our warm day.
The soufflés were well received but Neale was stuffed afterwards. We went to Chipotle for lunch, AT & T for our new phones (Neale now has an Iphone 8 GB and I have a $9.99 LG Shine). Neale can use the iPhone for work and as her new Ipod. She is very happy. I am glad to have a real phone back since I have been out of action with a real phone since August. In August of '08, I dropped my Samsung phone in water and have been tolerating a T-Mobile 'pay as you go' since then. Yes, I have insurance on the new phone.