Where’s Harvey?

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Nothing like a cute guy with a nice ass

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Let me see…

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Yep, it’s still pandemicy out there…

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A breath of fresh air

Friday’s cake was a big hit. We finished it up for lunch yesterday.  It was a little dry, but not as dense as other gluten free baked goods. Next time, I’ll add mayonnaise or apple sauce to try to moisten it up some.

Saturday I woke up feeling much better and uncharacteristically energetic. Harvey, not so much:

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The weather was beautiful so, after some coffee, cereal, and cartoons, we headed outside to do some yard work. First up, clearing of the porch. This what it’s looked like since we packed it up it for winter:

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I pulled all the furniture out and hosed it down so it could dry in the sun.  I did the same for the grill, then washed down the patio and the siding on the back of the house. It was great to be outside in the sunshine and fresh air, feeling the cool wisps of hose spray wash back over me. Since we couldn’t do more until the furniture dried, I headed inside and washed all the windows inside and out.

We also cleaned out the gutters and tried to rake some of the moss and tree debris off the roof over the pavilion.  Jeffrey got most if it off using a rake while perched on a ladder. I decided to climb out the window of the guest room and scooch over to get the remaining moss of…which is when I discovered I am, apparently, terrified of being on (let alone scooching across) an eaved roof, and was unable to move past the spot I first climbed out onto.  Oh well. I cleaned the outside of that window so the terrifying experience wasn’t a complete waste.

Next, I shampooed the upstairs guestroom (aka the giraffe room and my current home office.) That about did me in, and we ended our very productive day by celebrating with a pizza (delivered, not homemade), a cocktail, and video chat with friends.

I did not sleep well most of the night and, by the morning, I felt exhausted, bloated, gassy and uncomfortable. Although we ordered a gluten free pizza from a place we’ve gotten one before, I think I got glutened, possible from cross contamination. I took some gluten cutters, charcoal,  and digestive enzymes and went back to bed and slept another couple hours. Jeffrey woke me up when he got up, and I was still feeling very drained and listless, but my guts felt a bit better. After an unfortunate accident involved a weeks worth of sorted pills spilling out onto the bathroom floor – twice – I had some frustration to work out and headed upstairs to put the giraffe room back together. Then I threw some laundry on before heading out back to check on the furniture. Everything was dry, so we set the patio up for summer. Although we had the patio all cleared off of leaves and a debris, a wind came along while I ran in to get my phone for an “after” pic and covered the porch in leaves:

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We also put out our two-person mesh rocker lounge on the apposite corner of the yard:

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I think it looks very good, and I’m happy we have some outside space to enjoy again. We can’t take all of the credit, though, because Harvey was supervising the whole time to make sure we got it right:

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I headed inside to shower off the day’s labor, and have my afternoon Facetime chat with the BF, Jim. Then we had our inaugural cookout, enjoying the newly re-assembled patio and afternoon air. While waiting for the chicken sausages ti finish grilling, we noticed one of the four birds nests built in the rafters was full of little birds and watched as the mother flew in to feed them.  It was an amazing sight that I tried to capture in a photo, but I only had my laptop with me outside, so had to try to use Photo Booth app and the corner of the pavilion the nest was in came out pitch black (bummer):

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Still, I’m glad we got to see it. After dinner, we headed in to watch some TV and end the day snuggling on the couch with the pups.

It is the most normal I have felt in two months (gut issues aside, although that is pretty normal for me, too) and it was nice to have a weekend of projects, outside time, and (mostly) good experiences to distract us from the you-know-what, even if only for a little while.

Stay Safe, everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cakewalk

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It’s been a rough week. How I survived it is anybody’s guess. Work has reached new levels of hell and we have had some house issues that won’t be cheap to resolve. Also, I appear to have a cold…It started coming on a day or two ago and I feel like crap. Hard to feel sick at all these days without a little paranoia creeping in, but I don’t have fever or cough, and I can smell and taste fine, just some body aches, funny gut, listlessness and a little irritability,  so here’s hoping this a good old fashioned, run of the mill spring cold. It hasn’t helped that it’s rained every day this week to dampen the mood.

Jeffrey made dinner and built me a fire to make me feel better. After dinner, I got a craving for cake and, although he offered to go get me one, it was not a necessity and I didn’t want him out and about unnecessarily, so I “thanked but no thanked” him and tried to let it pass. No such luck, though.  I decided I needed cake after all, dragged my achy ass off the couch, and made a gluten free pound cake and some butter cream icing to frost it with. I t’s cooling now, so we haven’t tasted it yet, but here’s the recipe for those interested in such things:

Vanilla Coconut Pound Cake

1 cup gluten free all purpose flour
1/4 cup organic coconut flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup coconut  oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
12 oz vanilla or plain coconut yogurt

Preheat oven to 350°
Spray 9 x 5″ loaf pan with nonstick spray.
Sift together flour, baking, powder and salt.
Cream sugar and coconut oil until well blended.
Add dry ingredients to sugar mix, alternating with yogurt and mix until well combined.
Pour into prepared pan smooth top and bake until lightly golden and a toothpick comes out clean about 40 to 50 minutes.
Cool completely before slicing.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

(Makes 2 Cups)

Ingredients

2 sticks butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
4 Tbs milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Cream butter until smooth in a medium mixing bowl. Add powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Mix, on low speed, until smooth.

Notes: I misread the recipe and accidentally put in 1 cup (instead of 1/4 cup) of organic coconut flour, so I scooped out about a half cup of the coconut flour and skipped the 1/4 cup brown rice flour.  I also added a little bit of coconut extract to up the coconut flavor.

For the icing, I zested a lemon into the butter cream to give it that little oomph that only lemon flavoring can provide.

I don’t feel good, the house is falling apart, the world is in crisis, and I have to go back to work Monday but, dammit all to hell, there will be cake!

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Family Time

A post work cuddle session in the sun before dinner, cocktails, and some virtual piano bar time.

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What makes a successful relationship

Communication like this:

Sean: “Shabbat!”

Jeffrey: “Shalom!”

Sean: “Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!”

(Laughter and high five follows.)

Find someone who’s crazy matches yours!

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Rita & Papa Cha Cha

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If only…

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Don’t give me that look…

What does one do when quarantined, bored, and in receipt of a new set of hair and beard clippers? Why cultivate a 70’s porn mustache of course.

Meh. It’s a look. Might keep it around for a bit for fun.

Someone else got a new look today, too:

Another fabulous Spo-riginal for my huzzzzband. Thanks, dear Spo!

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