Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

I can't believe it's Thanksgiving!

It's actually been a quiet day.  Our big family dinner is on Saturday so today was spent with some laundry, a little cleaning, and a frozen pizza for dinner.  Yeah, that's how we roll!

So, dinner on Saturday at my nephew's house.  We've split up the cooking duties and on my list is:

1.)  Make City Chicken.  My idea . . . I have a hankering!
2.)  Make Stuffing
3.)  Make carrots
4.)  Bring applesauce
5.)  Bring gravy
6.)  Pick up birthday cake (My sister-in-law's birthday!)

I hope that's all on my list because that's all I have written down! Anyway, I need to tell you about the gravy.  That should be one of the easiest things on my list!

One thing you should know about me.  I am not a fan of gravy.  Don't know why, it's just not on my top 100 list.  We are having 14 people for dinner, I don't eat gravy, so I needed enough gravy for 13 people.  Simple math.  I figured I'd need . . . two jars!

I told my brother Mike that I was going to pick some up gravy at Fligner's last Saturday when I stopped there to get the meat for the City Chicken.  I was all over Fligner's and could find NO gravy.  I texted Mike to tell him I'd pick it up during the week from Giant Eagle since I couldn't find any.

Well, he was at Giant Eagle last Sunday and picked it up for me.  When he came to work Monday, he put it in my car since I'm the one that still needs to heat it up.  For real!  It's on my list!

I got home, unpacked the car and wondered what in the HELL Mike handed over to me!  Was there a frozen turkey in these bags?  They were heavy!  Here's what I had:

TEN BOTTLES of gravy!  Are you kidding me????  Did I mention that there are at the most 13 gravy eating people?  And turkey is NOT our main protein!  And there are NO mashed potatoes on our menu?!?!?  WTH!!

So, I'm still going with we only need two bottles.  I'll carry them all over, and I've been told to heat up five or six of them.  Talk about over kill.

Stay tuned for a gravy drama update!  I am guessing we'll have enough gravy . . . for a couple of years!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Have Tools, Will Travel

Due to circumstances, I need to bring in a hired gun to help me with some stuff around the house.  My hired gun is my brother, Michael!

Michael is the go-to guy for a lot of people.  He is so good at this that his van is always packed and ready.  Some people pack a lunch, some pack an overnight bag, Michael packs a tool bag!

A few months ago, my kitchen sink started spewing water everywhere!  What a mess I had to clean up that day.  Michael came over after work, seriously, spread out so many tools he took up my entire counter and went to work on my sink.  Come to find out, a hose just came loose so he didn't need any of his tools but better safe than sorry.  He came prepared!

So now I put all of my odd jobs onto a list and when the list gets big enough, Michael is nice enough to donate an afternoon to my odd jobs.

Today, Michael came over and unloaded a goodly amount of his tools.  This included a cool multi level, multi positioning ladder, a power drill, more drill bits than I've ever seen and boxes and boxes of different colored and sized mollys.  I swear he giggles a little laying out all of his tools.  This was just the tip of the iceberg!

But it was a successful fix-it day.

I have a glider on the front porch that turns into a shelter for my outside cats for the winter.  We wrap it in a tarp, bungee cord and strap it all together, fill the underside with straw and call it good.  We had tarped this glider about a month ago, but it wasn't "right".  So first thing was we unwrapped what was done previously and futzed with it until it was perfect!  Then I put a bunch of fresh straw under neath and they will be as warm and dry as I can make them.

On to my dryer.  This took an additional trip to Home Depot.  No home repair is complete without at least ONE trip to Home Depot!  Living in my first home, there is still so much for me to learn.  My dryer really hasn't been drying well and my friend Chuck had come over to tell me that the vents coming out of the dryer were sooooo clogged.  He cleaned out what he could from the first part but the second part was just going to be easier to replace than to clean out.  Michael took over the repair on the second part and got that vent replaced for me.  That sounds easier than it was.  I think the worst part is this vent goes through the old coal room in the basement to the vent outside.  I hate that coal room!  You have NO idea how many spider webs are in that coal room!  That means it's also full of spiders!!!  See why I never want to go in there?  Anyway, Michael has no fear of spiders and he got me all fixed up.

He shut the water off to my outside water spigot, and we weather protected the spigot for winter.

I've blogged recently about changing the batteries in my smoke alarms to find out the smoke alarms were outdated and needed replaced.  I have four new smoke alarms plus one new carbon monoxide alarm that needed installed.  I spent a little more but these new smoke alarms have lithium batteries that are supposed to last the 10 year life span of the smoke detectors, so no more changing batteries.  Sweet!

So that was enough for one day.  Unfortunately for Michael, my list just keeps growing.  As long as we're at Home Depot, I always have to look at chandeliers.  I have hated the chandelier in my dining room since I bought this house.  I keep looking for a replacement and I think I've finally found it!  That's now on his next list!  I also hate my kitchen faucet so I'm always on the look out for one to replace this one.  It will be on the list soon!

Thank you my brother.   It was a fun afternoon (for ME anyway!) and a lot of stuff was knocked off my list.  I'll let you know when I recharge my Home Depot card and I'm ready to shop again!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

As Long as I'm Complaining . . .

I gotta tell you, all of this bitching about a Starbucks cup is beyond asinine.

Here's the story as I know it:

Every year during the holidays, Starbucks changes their regular looking coffee cup, whatever that might be, with a "holiday cup".  This year's cup is . . . are you ready???  RED.

A RED cup.  And people are offended that it's not Christmasy or Holiday enough.  Seriously??

It's a red cup.

It's a business.

It's a business with a red cup.

No matter how I rearrange the words, I can't find anything that offends me.

Starbucks made a business decision to make THEIR holiday cup theme this year . . . red.  That is creating hoopla.  You have got to be kidding me.  Idiots are actually offended by a red cup for the holidays!

Here is my opinion.  Starbucks is a business and they are within their rights to make decisions about their business in whatever way they choose.  If they want their cups to be red, white, blue, have a Christmas tree, some holly, a menorah, a horse, a dog, a rainbow, a partridge in a pear tree.  It's THEIR decision.  If this offends you, don't go there!

Personally, the price they charge for a cup of coffee offends me.  My response is that I just don't go there.  I don't give a crap what color their stupid cup is or what decorations are on it!

If this really offends you, just don't go there.  And once you're done having your hissy fit, open your eyes, read a newspaper, watch the news, just look around.  There are real things happening all too often out there that are way more offensive that what color cup your overpriced coffee comes in.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Hey Time Warner Cable, I've Already Fired You. Now Please GO AWAY!

One of my guilty pleasures is my love of my television.  I spend a lot of money on my cable bill because I LOVE my DVR! 

The only thing I watch live on TV is sports.  Baseball games, football games, boxing.  Anything else, I want to tape it and watch it later so I can fast forward through the commercials.  I know, it's the little things that make me happy!  This is one of the monthly bills that I happily pay and don't complain.  I get what I want and I'm willing to pay for it.

I'm sure I've blogged before about my issues with Time Warner Cable.  My ex used to work out of the house and he was online all day long.  The internet used to go out on a daily basis which made it very difficult for him to work. 

My DVRs would NOT record.  For every 10 programs I set to record, I'd be lucky if one of them actually recorded. 

Their customer service department is famous.  They are famous for how horrible they are at service!  I hounded them and hounded them.  I have had more technicians here and all of my equipment has been replaced more times than I can count.  Finally, I fired Time Warner Cable and replaced them with Direct TV.  One of the best things I ever did.

To get the internet portion corrected, I had to go to a town hall meeting at City Hall and explain in front of City Council to a representative of Time Warner Cable all I had gone through to try to get them to fix their crap.  I went on and on with all of the appointments, all of the replacement of hardware and to that day the internet was still going out on a daily basis.  That finally got SOMEthing done.

In a few days, I had numerous Time Warner Cable trucks parked up and down my street.  There was more than one employee up a pole checking on their lines.  Finally, after all that time, they found a problem with THEIR equipment on a pole down the street. 

The fact that I was continually complaining and making them come to the house to check it out didn't make it important enough to actually fix it.  It took a town hall meeting to get action.  Ridiculous.

Anyway, TWC is now going balls to the wall to try to get my business back.  I am receiving letters from them every 10 to 14 days.  They are very official looking, stating to be "from the desk of Michael Diamond, Senior Vice President, Marketing".  Fancy, huh?

Mr. Diamond gives me more information that I need, except for HIS phone number or ANY address.  It's a sales pitch and the only number on the business card attached or in the letter itself is the number to call to activate service.  No where to call and ask them to leave me alone.

I did call that number they provided probably two or three letters ago.  I explained very nicely that I was not happy with their service or product.  I asked them to take me off of their mailing list as I was not interested.  Even though I was assured they would stop the letter campaign, their word is as good as it always was.

So, here is my response to Mr. Michael Diamond, Senior Vice President, Marketing:

Mr. Diamond:

I fired Time Warner Cable years ago.  Your service is unreliable, your products didn't work.  I am thrilled with my service from Direct TV to the point that if your cable was FREE, I would not let you back in my house.  Please just go away.

A much happier customer now that I'm an ex-customer

Monday, November 09, 2015

Thank You St. Anthony!

Even a fallen away Catholic remembers old prayers in time of crisis.

Sunday, I was outside raking leaves.  In my neighborhood, I never leave any doors open when I'm outside.  The door to the house is closed and locked.  The garage door also stays closed, even if I'm right there.  I keep the garage door opener usually hooked onto the front of my shirt.

I started raking in the back of the house.  I had gathered all the leaves up in a lawn and garden bag and when full, I carried it and dumped it on the tree lawn.  Supposedly, the city is supposed to come vacuum them up from there.

I had already carried one lawn and garden bag of leaves to the front and dumped it.  I've filled up the second bag, and I was just getting ready to carry that bag to the front.  Suddenly, I realized the garage door clicker is NOT hooked on to the front of my shirt.  Shit.

By now there is a good pile of leaves on my tree lawn.  I am overwhelmed and I don't know where to start.  I figured before I dumped the second bag into the mix, I need to go through ALL of the leaves out front and look for my garage door opener.

I grabbed my rake, and begged St. Anthony to help me find my garage door opener.  I had visions of someone walking by, finding the opener and emptying out my garage in 10 minutes flat.  Hey, someone had done it before, without the garage door opener.  I'm trying to figure out how to shut the electricity off to the garage should I not be able to find it!

"Please, St. Anthony, please help me find the garage door opener!  Please, I know you've helped me before, please come help me again!"  Like I said, even fallen away, I remember the go-to guys!

I moved that whole pile of leaves two feet over, a little bit at a time.  It took me a long time but right at the end of the pile . . . there it was!  Oh, thank you St. Anthony!!

Uh, St. Anthony . . . don't go too far away.  I'm not done yet!

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Just as Good the Second Time Around . . . And the Third . . . .Fourth . . .

I don't cook often but when I do, I cook a LOT so I have leftovers.  I love the idea that I can have dinner ready in two minutes during the week.  Ok, not everything I make is as good leftover as other things, but one of my favorites is meatloaf!  It's great on the night it's cooked and even better as leftover meatloaf sandwiches.

I made a lot of meatloaf last weekend and I ate it through most of the week some dinners, some lunches.  Thursday night I had a couple of pieces of meatloaf left, some mashed potatoes and some corn.  I wanted to clean up all of my leftovers so I'm not just making another sandwich.

A normal person probably would have put all three things on a plate, thrown it in the microwave and called it dinner.  I was trying to be creative.  I was imagining all kinds of things I could make with these three ingredients.  I thought I'd cut up the meatloaf and heat it in the microwave.  The corn was mixed into the mashed potatoes and I put them in a small frying pan with a little butter to make kind of a pancake.  I pictured a nice, golden brown pancake over my meatloaf.  I was thinking I needed something crunchy to put on top but after looking in my cupboards, I came up empty.

So there was my thought.  The picture in my head of my made up dinner was beautiful!  And I was sure it was going to taste great!

Then reality set in.

The good news is that the burnt parts really filled the need for something crunchy!

So it didn't look as good as I pictured.  Um, because of the burnt parts, the taste wasn't so great either.  Meh, it was dinner!  Not my best attempt but I ate it.

Tomorrow is Sunday, my day to cook.  I wonder what this week's meal will be!

I Love a Good Surprise!

One of my chores the other night was to wash all of my jackets. The spring/fall jackets and the winter jackets. I gathered them up, checked all the pockets and threw them in the washer.

When I took them out of the washer and I found TWENTY CENTS in the machine! I was feeling pretty sassy about that!

Later when I went downstairs to take everything out of the dryer and hang them up and you'll never guess what I found in the dryer! $8.37 !!!!!!! Bonanza!!!!!!

That was definitely a GOOD surprise!

Sunday, November 01, 2015

That Time of Year

You know what happens when we change our clocks.  We're supposed to change the batteries in our smoke alarms!

I'm anal about a lot of things.  Fire safety in my house is one of those things.  I have four smoke alarms and six fire extinguishers.  As much as I love firemen (and who doesn't!!) I don't want them showing up at my house unless it's a social engagement.  Just sayin'.

I grabbed my four new 9 volt batteries and set out to replace them in all of the smoke alarms.  You know what I noticed for the first time EVER today?  You're also supposed to replace your smoke alarms every 10 years!  Seriously!  Who knew??

The first smoke alarm I did had that sign inside.  With a place for you to write what year you installed it.  I think this alarm came with the house so it's at least since 2003.  Made me look harder at the other three.  Each of them are stamped inside with a date of August 2005 with the words "replace in 10 years" right next to it.  Yes, I guess I'm due!

So, my next time at Sam's Club I will be buying four more smoke alarms.  Then my project will be to keep the batteries, replace the hardware!

Be safe out there.  Please replace all of your batteries in your smoke alarms.  While you're at it, check the dates to see if your alarms need replaced too!