A Gay in the Life

Every weekday morning at 6:00AM, our iPhone alarms go off, and we crawl out of bed to start the day, with Harvey leading the way. Rita Mae stays in bed for at least another 30 minutes, sometimes a good hour or two, before getting up.

Jeffrey gets the coffee going on our Keurig – we both prefer dark roasts – while I turn on the local news or weather channel. He makes scrambled eggs every morning for breakfast and always asks if I want some, too. Sometimes I’ll join him for eggs, sometimes I’ll have yogurt. When there’s OJ, we’ll have that, too. On VERY rare occasions, we’ll have a piece of toast or split a bagel, but those extra breakfast treats are usually reserved for the weekend or holidays (along with bacon, sausage, pancakes, or anything more complex than eggs and juice.)

After we have breakfast, a cup of coffee, and listen to the latest local news (rarely good), he heads to shower and dress for work, and I make my rounds. I clean up from breakfast, let the dogs out again, open the blinds, get some light instrumental music playing on the home pods throughout the house, (usually piano, jazz, or classical) then head downstairs to my basement office to log into my work computer and get set up for the day. Once logged in, I head upstairs to say good-bye to the hubby and pet my dogs one last time before heading downstairs to work.

I set alarms for my breaks and lunch, and do my best to take them when possible. Morning break is usually occupied with deciding on dinner for that day. I check available ingredients, then look at my list of recipes or look for new ones. Crock pot meals get started immediately. (I usually know the night before if I’m doing a crock pot meal, and will actually start it in the morning before work.) For any other meals, I pull out the non-perishable/non-refrigerated ingredients and put them on the counter for later. I also grab a pickle and or sip of pickle juice for a snack.

At lunch, I usually have something to eat (most often ramen noodles these days), check for packages or mail, then sit with the pups and read e-mails, blogs, and texts, and catch up on games on my phone. “Friends” is usually on in the background for company.

After work, I check for mail and packages again, then start dinner so it is ready for when Jeffrey gets home from work. While various things are cooking, boiling, or simmering, I do other little chores (laundry, dishes, garbage, vacuuming, etc.) and restock paper goods (TP, Napkins, Paper Towels) around the house.

Once or twice a week, I do laundry during the day. The washer and dryer are only 10 feet from my work desk in the basement, so it’s easy for me to do while I’m working. Once a week I place an order for a grocery delivery.

Jeffrey and I often text throughout the day, depending on how busy either of us is at work. Sometimes it’s to advise about chores done, orders placed on line, dinner plans, or packages/mail received; sometimes, it’s just to send each other silly pictures, gifs, or notes to say “hi”and “I love you.” I will also, occasionally, swap texts with the BFJ either before or after work, or during the day.

Once Jeffrey is home, we catch up on our days and I serve dinner awhile we watch some episodic show on one of our streaming services. (We are currently working our way through “Frasier” – man, that character is such an obnoxious, pretentious asshole.) At some point, one or both of us might have a cocktail or glass of wine. (We try not to do so every night, and I less often than Jeffrey, for health reasons.) Last week we started something new: having a bit of sherry before bed. I was not keen on it the first time we had it, but it is growing on me, and I enjoy the small nip of it nightly.

Around 830 or 900, we begin the process of heading to bed. Doors are locked, lights are turned off, dogs are let out a final time, and we all head to bed as a family to watch some animated show or another until we fall asleep. (Jeffrey can go to sleep pretty quickly in darkness and silence, me not so much. I need the images and noise to distract my thoughts until I nod off.) And the next morning, we do it all over again. All other adventure is saved for the weekends, holidays, and vacations.

This is our weekly daily routine we’ve settled into during our pandemic-induced isolation and, aside from periodic health problems, doctor appointments, or the occasional run to my Mom’s to help her out with various things, there is very little deviation from the routine, and I’m totally fine with that. It’s comfortable and pleasing to me, and I am happy to live such a serene and tranquil life with my husband and dogs.

It may not be for everyone, but it’s near perfect for me.

Menu Venue

Now that I’m back to (relative) normal, I’ve returned to my place at the kitchen counter to take up my whisk and wooden spoon and started making dinner again. I’ve recently made Crock-pot Shrimp Scampi, Fish and Chips, and Sesame Chicken and Rice.

It feels great to be back in the kitchen, trying out new recipes, and having dinner ready for Jeffrey when he returns home from work. (Not to mention getting to enjoy eating dinner with him again, as well.)

The list of recipes I’ve collected grows every day, and I can’t wait to try each and every one. I don’t know what I’m going to try next, but I have a recipe for Bacon Pasta that sounds scrumptious so that may be dinner tomorrow.

I also think I’ll try tackling some soups next week.

Viva La Velouté!

Before Decor

Here are a couple pictures of the plants we planted yesterday:

I can already hear the groans that are about to occur when I mention what we did today:

We started prepping for post-Halloween holiday decorating. (November is just one week away, folks!) I pulled out the bins with holiday curtains, linens, and pillows we will swap out for the current year-round ones, so we can get them all dry cleaned. Then we reconfigured the furniture to make room for the main tree. It was the first time we converted the Lovesac furniture we bought earlier in the year, and it was a piece of cake. Now, instead of a sofa and love seat, we have a sofa with lounges on either end, which allowed us to move the two small recliner arm chairs from in front of the living room window to the space where our loveseat used to be. I love how it looks and may not go back to the original configuration after the holidays. And we now have a clear space in front of the living room window for the main tree.

We also ordered a few supplemental holiday items:

Gift bows, 2 white fuzzy throws to match our holiday pillows and coffee table runner, gold magnetic tiebacks to use with the white holiday curtains, a holiday giraffe shower curtain for the giraffe bathroom upstairs, and another pre-lit 7″ pencil tree that we need for our slightly reconfigured holiday decorating floor plan. I want to have everything we need to hit the ground running when we start decorating the first week of November. (We don’t do Thanksgiving at home anymore, so there’s no reason to wait until after Turkey day to get started.)

I’m excited to have gotten the ball rolling. Now, to get this house cleaned top to bottom and corner to corner before Operation: Xmas Vomit begins.

Fun with Flora and Photos

We ran some errands today, then came home to plant some trees in the front yard that we had ordered last week and received yesterday. We now have five Sky Pencil Holly Trees spaced along the front of the house and two Magnolia tress planted on opposite sides of the yard. I hope they take root and survive the winter.

Here are some photos I took throughout the day.

Today’s purchase from Hallmark. LOVE!
Today’s mail delivery. Had fun singing through some of these.

Phoney

We upgraded to a new phone this week. We used to upgrade every 2 years, but we waited 4 years his time. My favorite new feature is text recognition with the camera. It recognizes texts in images and allows you to copy and paste it into other documents and programs. This is hugely helpful for me, because I collect recipes from all over the interwebs, often by screen shot, since many apps and sites won’t let you copy and paste, and I had to retype them manually into my recipe section of my Notes app. What a time saver this new feature is.

Here are some photos taken with the new and improved camera. I am not a photographer, and probably don’t use my phone cam features properly to get the best shots, but I do play around with settings to see what they do.

I don’t even know what color my beard is any more.
My unwilling model.
Maybe more willing than I thought?
Girl is giving me mad-profile.
A little seasonal decor for the mantle.
Ooooh…spooky!
My new bedside wireless charging station – charges my iPhone, earbuds and Apple watch. (I think I like the new charger more than the new phone.)

Pickle Me This

I’ve always loved pickles and pickle juice, but lately, in particular, I’ve been craving (and consuming) copious amounts of dill pickles and dill pickle Juice. It occurred to me that I do not have a favorite brand of dill pickle, so I decided to find out if I have one. To that end, I bought every brand available at my local grocery store and did a taste test.

6 Brands. See one you like?

I did a sampling of a spear of each pickle, with a water cleanse between. To my surprise, I factually did like one above all others. I found my favorite of this selection was Vlasic Kosher Dill.

One of thee things is not like the other.

I will note a few caveats:

* I do love other flavors of pickles, too, but this test was all about dill pickles.

*I ordered almost all pickle spears, but I prefer whole pickles. They keep their stiffness and crunch better.

*I did the taste test while they were all still room temperature. I much prefer them refrigerated.

*Some flavors were so starkly different, it was like comparing pickled apples and pickled oranges.

I also ordered 4 brands of dill pickle juice. Of the three I’ve tried so far tried:

Try not to late the iridescent color scare you. It was good.

…the Picklesplash is the only one that tastes exactly like pickle juice from a pickle jar. I have a gallon of another brand I have not tried yet.

Finally, I tried a dirty (Tanqueray gin) martini with pickle juice instead of olive juice. Honestly, it wasn’t bad.

One thing I discovered about pickle juice I never knew before: it relieves muscle cramps almost immediately. Athletes have known this for some time, apparently. I am prone to cramping in my feet and calves when I am suffering from dehydration and malnutrition (which I have been a lot this year.) When I recently got a case of foot cramps, I tried some pickle juice. Within seconds after sipping pickle juice, the cramping stopped. The more you know…..

I am going to continue to try other brands as I come across them.

Do you like pickles? Do you have a favorite brand? Do you ever drink pickle juice from the jar? Have you ever made home made pickles? Do you like other pickled vegetables? Do you ever use pickles in recipes for other things (like macaroni salad or tuna fish)?

Work Attired

As I continue to enjoy the luxury, convenience, and safety of working from home full time, I have eschewed ties, dress shorts, and slacks for more comfortable attire. Sometimes it’s boxers and a tee, but some times I step it up a notch, like so:

Sassy Sponge Bob

True, a brightly colored Sponge Bob shirt, in and of itself, does not convey an elevated level of dress, but when you wear the whole ensemble, that’s a different story.

The carpet matches the drapes.

Who says I don’t make an effort anymore?

Stank-cation

My weekend visit in CT with the BFJ ended abruptly and painfully, thanks to another kink in the bowels. Jeffrey had to come pick me up in CT in the wee hours Sunday morning because I was in too much pain to drive.

Fortunately, my GI was able to get me in last Monday for the same procedure that helped me just 2 weeks ago, which worked again (thankfully) and I have spent the week slowly recovering.

Deja Vu!
Maybe I should get one of these permanently installed.

Recovery takes longer and longer after these episodes, but as long as I am improving, I guess that’s all that matters.

My emotional support and comfort companions hard at work.

I have a consult with my surgeon this Monday to discuss options for preventing this recurring mechanical failure, if any exist. If he has no ideas, my GI will refer me to specialist at either the Mayo or Cleveland Clinic.

Not the most restful time away from work, I’m afraid. Bummer, that.