Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Well, that was twice.

And by that I mean,  "first and last time". 

I mentioned on Sunday that there was this "pick-up order" that had been ordered at one of the local grocery stores.   And originally,  the delivery date was two weeks off,  and as a result,  this order had been started some two weeks ago.  And that's kind of OK,  as you can add to it right up until the day before the scheduled delivery.   Oh and,  these folks had been doing this long before the pandemic,  by the way.

T.C.  wanted to do this,  as Daughter Number One had put in an order that she picked up a week ago,  and her Mom had added things to that order.

So like I said,  it was our turn.

Eventually,  late in the afternoon,  T.C. got a note,  and I got the "OK,  we have to go pick up our order!"  command from T.C., so off we went. 

The deal is,  when you arrive at the store,  you call them,  tell them in which parking spot you are located (they have a designated area) and they bring your order out and place it in your trunk.
As I was sitting there,  I kind of wondered,  "what the heck do you do if you don't have a phone?"  but I guess everyone and their dog has a mobile phone so,  dumb question.

Naturally it was raining.   And,  thinking that someone would be out somewhat expeditiously,  I naively popped the trunk. 
And waited.
Of course,  a gust of wind came up and opened the trunk all the way up and,  thankfully we don't keep much at all in the trunk,  because whatever was in there was getting wet. 

Now,  first of all,  let me tell you a little story.   See,  when I was all of 16,  I worked in a Lumber Yard.  It was OK in the summertime,  but I also chose to work Saturdays throughout the winter.
Man on man,  you don't know cold until you've had to pry a few snow covered two by fours out of the pile on a cold winters day.   But my point is,  in no time at all,  not only did I know all the different products,  but was operating the towmotor,  cutting bridging on the bandsaw (it was huge!)  and doing deliveries.   And not just the "trim truck",  for some reason that to this day remains a mystery,  I was also sent out with the big truck to deliver framing.
Oh and,  this was all "pre-gps"!  There were some cryptic instructions,  let me tell ya! And,  once you were out for delivery,  you were really on your own.  No cell phones either. 

And then,  skip forward to my last year of High School,  when I worked in a small grocery store within walking distance of school.  Within a very short period of time,  I certainly knew all the products.  Now,  maybe because I spend a few early years on a farm,  I have a bit of an advantage when it came to produce?   But I doubt it.

And where the hell am I going with this?

Question: How do you end up getting radishes in your order,  when you wanted beets?    Did someone say,  "just gimme some of dem red things"? 

It's like some sort of "Grocery roulette." 

That situation might have been even somewhat more tolerable if either of us could stomach radishes.  I've tried them.  Don't like 'em.

Now,  the bonus of the "grocery roulette" situation?  Well,  we did get an extra container of bread crumbs,  as well as a third ball of pizza dough.  No extra charge.  So that kind of makes up for the time we had to waste having to go back to the store and wait for some kid to come out with a bunch of beets.

And yes,  they got their radishes back. 

The produce?  Well,  even *I* can pick out better produce.  And I'm always given stern warnings about how to pick out produce.  It would seem you're at the mercy of whatever blind employee is saddled with the task of picking out your cauliflower (with just a few too many brown spots)  along with the sad,  sad looking lettuce.
It's encouraging to know that they're willing to hire the handicapped.  But having the gift of sight is what I would consider a priority when it comes to picking out groceries? 
Just an observation. 
And even that requires sight.

I just said,  "Well,  if it's painfully average produce that you want,  I can get that at the "Food Basics"  down the street."

T.C. muttered something. 

We may just have to live without lettuce.

In other "news",   I did bake another banana bread. 

May as well.   Certainly more satisfying than any kind of shopping. 

And that,  sadly,  is the extent of the excitement in our lame little existence.

Thanks for stopping by.

Keep your stick on the ice,  and wash your hands.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Down to my last Q-tip.

OK, "cotton swab" if you prefer.  And,  maybe I have some more in another closet.  Not sure.
Just one of those minor annoyances where you go, "Oh crap,  forgot about that".   Because,  you know,  one does tend to "shop for the basics".  At least I do.  There were a few nitwits loitering about in Costco that last time T.C. and I went.  So much so that,  getting past this one particular dimwit on her phone was neigh on impossible if any kind of "social distancing"  was to be observed.

There was one moment a few days ago  when I was in the Food Basics down the street,  and some guy was on his phone (texting with his wife for grocery ideas? )  and I couldn't get past him,  so in a voice that was certainly loud enough,  I said,  "HAVE YOU MADE A DECISION?"   And this was after I had (politely,  I might add) given him a good minute to figure out just what the hell to do.  He apologised and moved along.   Of course,  the apologising thing is supposedly the Canadian thing to do.   In the States I might have got shot.  Hey,  the Yanks think we live in Igloos,  we too have our ideas that may or may not be quite accurate.

Anyway,  I'm not here to talk about cotton swabs.

Life is pretty normal here at the Ponderosa.   T.C. and I made Perogies yesterday,  which is something we do from time to time.  And yes,  when I say "we",  I don't just mean "she".   She did mix up the goop for the innards (a mashed potato and cheese mixture)  rolled out the dough,  while I put together the Perogies.   Keeping ahead was the challenge,  so there were times when she put down the rolling pin and made a few by hand.

We did have a couple tools at our disposal.

Sometimes it's all about the tools.

The thing on the right is this roller thingy for making perfect little circles of dough, a rolling-circle-cutter  and the clam shell thing on the left is kinda self explanatory.

I swear I didn't prompt T.C.  to take my picture.   So fine,  I'll throw it in here.  We ended up making 95.   This time around,  we boiled them up first,  then they went onto the trays after brushing on some melted butter,  and then they went off to the freezer.  They have to be frozen individually.  Then I'll do the "seal a meal" thing. 
There were maybe five or six "duds",  and we put in a few extras to make eight,  and had them for supper.  Fry up an onion in butter,  put in the Perogies,  and serve with sour cream.

And maybe you're thinking,  "Why 95,  and why would you need to know?"   And,  we probably would have made it to 100,  except that we ran out of mix.  Had to turf out the left over dough (hate doing that,  but you can't use it)  And as to "why"?   Well,  it's maybe due to T.C. being a retired CPA?   Mind you,  it's good to know just how many you'll end up with,  but a rough guesstimate would have worked for me.


I'm not anywhere close to the point where I might have to go to any other store other than a grocery store.   I'm still farting around with stripping the table out in the "shop".  Can't say it's fun.   And I suspect I'll have to get a little aggressive at some point,  as first of all,  it's not an antique,  and my niece has mentioned that she wants to change the colour anyway.  So,  there won't be any attempts to "keep the patina"  or any of those things you try to do to preserve the value of an antique.  And yes,  I've seen a few antiques just get completely ruined as the result of "good intentions".
Now mind you,  I think the term "antique"  has taken on some sort of hidden meaning in that,  somehow there's the understanding that it's somehow "special".   A piece of furniture might be old,  and considered an "antique",  because that's the term we use,  but it may very well have been a piece of junk when it was put together.  We have a couple of those.  And I keep them more for function over their supposed value.  We have a "wash stand"  that looks like it was put together by a blind badger.  Seriously.  It's horrid.  But,  it's stayed together all these years,  and functions perfectly well as a night stand in one of the spare bedrooms.


Anyway,  I've heard various reports when it comes to the new "curb pick-up" efforts that some places are trying to do.   Hope Despot comes to mind,  but here in Canada we also have Canadian Tire and Home Hardware.
So,  Home Hardware is kind of like "Ace Hardware"  I suppose,  and Canadian Tire has evolved into well,  just about everything.  They've gotten huge.  There's a couple links if you want to move your eyes back and forth.  Canadian Tire
And,  Home Hardware

Saves me a lot of typing...

Now,  a few years back,  for shits and giggles,  I ordered something or other from Home Hardware and went to the store to pick it up.   Somehow I was expecting a situation similar to Lee Valley,  (don't you just love all these links I'm putting in?)   where they have an area inside the store that's kind of off on its own,  where you go to pick up your stuff. 
Not Home Hardware.   
I had to walk the the very back of the store to "Customer Service" where,  they didn't really have a clue.

So,  I was a little surprised to hear from one of the "Zoomers"  a few days back that Home Hardware were really doing a good job when it came to the "Curb side pick-up" thing.   Who knew?

Conversely,  Canadian Tire?  Um,  no.   Reports are,  they haven't figured it out.  And Home Despot?  Again, reports are that you'll get your order in a timely fashion once you get notified that it's ready,  but that whole "getting ready" part can take days.

Well,  that makes sense.

For years now,  places like Lowe's and Home Depot very much depended on the customer doing all the work. You bring in a cart from outside,  load it up,  take it to the cash,  and then load your stuff into your vehicle by yourself.  Unless you ask for assistance and then have to stand around waiting for some "help" to show up. 
And recently,  "for your convenience"  they've added "self check-out". 
I don't do "self check-out" .   The last time I operated a cash register,  I was getting paid to do so,  and was the one training the staff on just how it all worked.   So unless I'm on your payroll,  or you're giving me some incentive,  it's not happening.
The quandary then is,  do they have the staff available to fill all those orders? 
Of course not.  And this is why a lot of places are crying for more employees.  They've been trying to screw everyone out of a job for so long,  that now they are the ones getting ever so slightly buggered.

And here's another "funny one". 
Some time today,  T.C. is expecting to get a note saying her grocery order from Fortinos is ready for pick-up.   I haven't really checked their website to see how it works,  to be honest,  but T.C. tells me that she had to pick a "slot",  and a couple weeks ago,  there were no slots available for ....two weeks. 
So fine,  Daughter Number One had already put in an order and T.C.  was able to add some things to it,  and it was picked up last week.   Today will be our turn.   The curious thing?   Now there are boatloads of "slots".   Ha!
Do you think maybe folks just decided it was too much hassle to wait two weeks to get some groceries?  Hm? 
Plus,  folks didn't really know what to expect.  Because yes,  you CAN go to the store.   You may think it best to wear a mask.  Keep your distance for the stupids.  Or tell them to get the fuck away from you.  But it is possible.  And surprisingly,  there is in fact,  toilet paper available.  Along with flour and most everything else.   Hair care products?   Don't know.  Don't care.
Have you seen my head? 

Although,  I may have to try and convince T.C. to come to grips with my hair clippers one of these days.  I think there's a pun in there somewhere.

Thanks for stopping by.

Keep your stick on the ice.   And wash your hands.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Don't be fooled.

We get these things from various companies from time to time,  usually letting us know when their shareholder elections are coming up, and just how a person can go about voting.
This is pretty standard stuff. 
I've never, ever even entertained the idea of going off to some city in... (insert State or Province) to vote for some Board of Directors.  AND,  I've managed to tick the boxes enough times to no longer get these silly notifications.   Except for a couple.

Now,  I probably should let them know that we don't really need to read an annual report,  but it's still a pretty good read. 

Like I said,  "Don't be fooled".

These aren't the really pricey shares.  These are the cheap ones. 

Curiously,  they have a fair amount of money invested in Airlines.  I wonder how that's working out for them. 

I'm just going to now put in some random pictures,  as I have very little else to say.  Well,  except that, after taking T.C. to just one more store yesterday,  we probably needn't crawl out of our abode for another six weeks.  Some sort of "ground hog" syndrome.

The other night,  I cooked up some burgers,  and was thinking of George Yates.   Even before his untimely death a while back,  it seemed that he always came to mind every time I fired up the Weber.

T.C. wanted a picture of her daffodils.  Not sure if this will do.

There's not too much else happening out there,  and she's waiting patiently for the weather to warm up just ever so slightly so she can start messing about with her roses.

It's been a cold,  windy and sometimes wet April so far. 
And just you wait,  one day it'll blast up into shorts weather,  and we'll all be wondering just what the hell happened.

On my end of things,  my nephew dropped off a table that I said I'd strip for them.  I remember this table from when he and his new bride lived in our basement apartment back in the early 90s.   It's definitely showing the signs of having raised three kids,  along with a few cats and dogs.

It's been sitting out there since Saturday,  and I only yesterday decided to slap some stripper on one of the leaves.  Just have to do it.  I'll plug away.

I like to pretend that I'm "busy",  but that fits in with the theme of this missive.

They're not in any hurry for it (well,  they'd better not be!)  as they're moving to a new place in May which,  admittedly is coming up pretty soon. 

I guess that's all I got.   We'll be having a little Zoom session this afternoon with our usual Pub bunch,  so we'll see how that goes.

Thanks for stopping by and moving your eyes back and forth.

Keep your stick on the ice.

And wash your hands.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

OK so, it's SNOWING!

Note: This was actually yesterday's post,  but somehow (somehow?)  I got lazy and didn't finish what I started.   BUT,  it's snowing again this morning. )

I wanted (like, really) wanted to put the "F" word in there.  But I think you get the drift.  That,  and of course the wind is blowing.
It's flippin' April 21st.

(No,  see above....)

That's about all I have on my mind at the moment. 

Well,  and I did just order some "stuff"  on line just now.  "Free delivery",  or you could order for pick up,  and they'd bring it out to your vehicle.   But then I'd have to,  I don't know,  drive there?

Mind you,  gas is so cheap right now,  that just driving around isn't such a huge deal, but why?  We've been so programmed to try and make every trip count,  and not run around aimlessly,  that it somehow just doesn't feel right to "go for a drive".  I know there are some who do,  and I do appreciate the need to keep from going bonkers,  so I'm OK with that.

Just not my thing.

Now,  speaking of making a trip for nothing,  I did the trip to Costco this morning.

First of all,  Costco has set it up so that "Seniors and those with mobility issues"  can come in on Tuesday,  Wednesday and Thursday from between eight and nine.

Well,  even though the streets of Burlington seemed relatively calm and I dare say deserted,  that was NOT the case this morning at Costco.  And this was at about 7:45.  Somehow I think that every flippin' senior in town was lined up to get in to Costco.   I mean like,  they were lined up around the building. 

And as we well know,  it's a BIG big building.

First of all,  my left knee has been giving me some grief today (weather related?  possibly)  so without a cart to lean on,  that was reason number one why this wasn't the place for me.   The reason number two?   Number Two.
Let me repeat that.   Number Two.

Early in the morning?  Old guy?

I do vividly recall shitting myself when I was about four, maybe?  That sensation of having a nice warm turd just hanging there right below the crack of yer arse is something that one tends to remember for a long,  long time.

Needless to say,  it's a memory that'd I'd prefer to not revisit.  Once was enough.

Now,  I realise there may come a day,  maybe twenty,  thirty years from now?   Let's not even think about it.

Anyhoodle,  T.C.  and I made a little trip to see each of the Daughter Units to drop off some Muffin Mix (it's a Mom thing) .  Plus,  Daughter Number One had been lamenting the fact that,  normally she only makes coffee at home on the weekends,  as she's one of those commuter types,  and she's been going through her really pricey fancy coffee,  so I took her some of the cheap stuff.  I just drink the cheap stuff.    No cat pooped coffee for me.  (There's a bit of a poop theme going on here.)

These deliveries took place some time around three in the afternoon,  so we thought,  "Why not at least drive by the Costco and see how it looks?"   It didn't look that bad!
So we went in.   You can't just wander in.   They're only allowing so many in the store,  but we were maybe only number 10 in line.
Of course,  there are still a few boneheads who still haven't cottoned on to the procedure.  One old guy was either trying to cut in to get a cart or whatever,  and was informed by the staff that he had to get in line and they'd give him a (freshly sanitised) cart.   He then walked past me,  said something or other,  and touched my shoulder!   What the actual fuck!?
That coat is hanging up out in the garage.   Don't fucking touch me! 
Even when there's no Goddamned Pandemic,  don't touch me!

And that's not to say I wanted to knock him on his ass or anything.  I think he was just trying to be friendly.  Plus,  knocking him on his ass would involve having to touch him. Gah!

Well,  out weekly "Meeting"  with my breakfast group is about to start.  So that's it for me.

Hope y'all are well.

Thanks for stopping by and moving your eyes back and forth.

Monday, April 20, 2020

One job a day.

Sometimes it's more than one,  but I figure if I can do one "job" a day,  then well,  that'll have to do.

You'll note that I put "job" in quotes.  I haven't actually had to go to an actual job in.... *thinks* twelve years now.
(and if I were still working,  I'd bet anything that I would have been laid off by now...yikes!)

Well,  it'll be twelve coming up in May.  I vaguely recollect that I left my job on May 8th of 2008.  In hind sight,  I sort of wish it had been May the forth,  and I'll let any Star Wars fans cogitate on that one.

Sometimes I count making the bed as a "job".

A wee bit lame,  I realise.  It depends on whether I might have any thoughts of actually doing something that day....

I'm not one to jump in a vehicle and go out for a drive,  just because I can.  However,  on Friday I think it was,  T.C. asked me, "When was the last time you drove your truck?"  And I couldn't actually come up with a day.  I think it was at least a couple weeks ago,  when I ventured off to Costco. 
I'm mustering up my courage to once again go to Costco tomorrow morning,  and I can't say I'm exactly looking forward to it.
Hopefully, 1) I won't have to stand out in the cold too long and,  2) They'll have everything on our what is now a somewhat lengthy list.

Like I said.  Not looking forward to it.

So,  as the truck had been in fact sitting in one spot for over a week,  I figured I had better go for a little drive on Saturday.  Just up to the plaza and back.  Probably all of five kilometres.  Maybe.  I guess.  Who knows?

Long enough to warm up everything,  and check on the situation at Home Despot where they are bringing stuff out to your vehicle after you order it on line.  They had the parking lot blocked off part way with stacks of skids,  forcing folks to only be able to go in one way,  and it looked as though you had to have something along with you letting them know you were there to pick something up.  No loitering.  No going in to "look around".  Probably the way it should have been all along.

Now,  here's a curious thing.   A couple years ago,  I very naively was looking for something or other on the Home Despot website,  and when I got to the store,  I couldn't seem to find the thing I had seen on the line.
 When I asked what the heck was going on,  I was told in no uncertain terms that,  "What's on the website isn't necessarily in the store."  Huh??   I'm pretty sure I was looking at whatever they were supposed to have AT THAT LOCATION,  as I had to first "Choose your store".   I suspect they had to step up their game in light of recent restrictions,  or nobody would be gettin' nothin'. *

I'm not a huge fan of Home Despot.  Just because well,  they do tend to run roughshod over other small businesses.  I can give a couple examples,  but those ships have sailed long ago.

Anyhoodle,  my "big job"  for today,  was cleaning out one of our chest freezers.  I specifically bought a 7 cubic foot freezer, not long after we moved here back in the 90s,  rather than have some gargantuan thing into which you could put an entire half a cow, so that it would be much easier to manage.   That is to say,  keep clean.

It's worked out pretty good so far.  No left over wedding cake,  or dried flowers,  or anything else other than food that's hopefully going to be consumed before ye olde freezer burn takes over.

I didn't take any pictures,  but basically it involves having some place to put the contents (a freshly cleaned out tote with a lid)  along with a number of ice packs (that were very conveniently already in the freezer)  and a heat gun.  Or,  you can use a hair dryer. 
The thing is, the freezer is going to take way too long to thaw out after being unplugged,  so the whole process needs to be sped up with a little persuasion.
There had been some Lasagna  in there that had been a little too generous in the sauce department,  so that was fun.  That of course,  was my own damned fault,  as I'm the one who would have put the Lasagna in there in the first place,  so I must have been somewhat less than careful,  and the thing leaked out a bit.  Gah!

But the exciting news was,  there was just ONE MORE peach pie filling left over. 
And here we thought T.C. had used the last one a couple weeks ago.


Speaking of "my own damned fault",  now the stupid squirrels are waiting patiently outside the back door just about every time I go out,  as we had a bag of walnuts that "didn't taste right",  and had to go.
So over time,  I fed the lot to the squirrels.

They still do get the odd heal off a loaf of bread,  but in these tougher times,  I've been known to actually eat the heels, rather than throw them to the squirrels.

Selfish of me to actually eat the food I paid for,  I know.

He's waiting!

I'm sure he can go off and find a nut out in the yard some place.  I'm forever seeing holes in the lawn where they've been digging.

Oh,  and in the 'job' department,  T.C. made some more noodles.

I realise I normally don't mention too much anything that T.C. might have done,  but I gotta say, once you've had home made pasta,  eating "store bought"  just kind of loses it's appeal.

Thanks for stopping by.

Keep your stick on the ice,  and wash your hands.

*All grammar mistakes are intentional.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

OK so, big deal sez you.

I've done this before,  a number of times.

But the thing is,  when I was making banana bread in Vienna,  I didn't have a mixer.  I know!   How lame is that?
I mean,  I looked at mixers in Europe,  and man oh man,  were they ever expensive.  I found out too late that I could have ordered one on this Continent that was wired for 220 volts and 50 hz, and had it shipped with our stuff.  Didn't realise we'd be missing something like that so much.  Oh well.
Of course,  then I would have had to figure out what the heck to do with the thing when we moved back home.  I did manage to sell our washing machine,  but any of the other 220 appliances,  we gave to charity.

Here at the Ponderosa,  we have a "stand mixer",  which is simply a wonderful invention.  Just....let the thing run.

I'm not sure why I hadn't been doing this more often.  I suspect laziness might play a huge part?

I really,  really didn't want to talk politics today,  even though there are some really,  really stupid things I could go on about.  You know,  Orange Head,  Kelly Ann Conway,  the Governor of Florida etc.   Oh and, Bishop Gerald Glenn.  You probably heard of him.  And I mean,  he probably has a mother,  and maybe friends who will grieve his passing,  but really? 
Just don't be saying stupid shit.  Because you just never know.   Well,  I'm sure he's in "a better place",  or at least he thought he was going to one.   That's all that matters.

There's been a couple pastors that have...wait for it...passed on.   See what I did there?

That's about all I got today.   We did do a little road trip this morning,  first for a "porch pick-up"  of some sewing supplies for T.C. and then to drop off a birthday present and some masks at one of T.C.'s sisters.   Keeping a safe distance of course.  My only slight concern?   I'd have to make sure that my bladder wouldn't be nagging me at any point in the journey,  as any of the go to stop off places would be off limits.  All Tim Horton's and McDonald's only have their drive throughs open,  so there's no going in for what I like to refer to as a "McShit".   And of course,  there was no using the facilities at the sewing place,  nor at the sister's-in-law. 

Coulda got ugly.

As a side note,  any time we were in a foreign location when we lived in Europe,  I would always look for the "Golden Arches",  as I knew there were toilets available.  You might have to cough up fifty Euro cents for the privilege,  but at least they were clean.

And with that thought,  I'll bid you a pleasant evening.

Keep that stick on the ice.

Thanks for stopping by.  And wash your hands!

Monday, April 13, 2020

As the banana ripens.

So by that,  you might guess that I just might make some banana bread.  But that won't happen until tomorrow. 
I did manage to "step up",  so to speak,  and put dinner on the table,  but after T.C. and I polished off a bottle of wine,  I dare say that baking at this point might be ill advised.

Meanwhile,  and not wanting to somehow be left out of the whole "baking at home due to the virus"  situation,  Daughter Number One has dipped her toes into the bread making milieu,  with her first offering of sour dough.   The word is that she's bringing over some "starter" later this evening for her Mom. 
I try to stay out of it. 

We do however,  have some "spare" flour sitting on the counter ready for her to pick up.  I dare say that D.N.O. is one of those who rarely uses flour in her life,  and therefor didn't really have copious amount in the house for her baking adventures.

Just a hunch.

Both daughters are pretty good cooks,  but I do have to say that,  something went terribly wrong with that generation,  as they never really cottoned on to the notion of baking for ones own needs.  I suspect it wasn't due to some lack of interest,  but more like the lack of time needed to do that sort of thing.  If you're not getting home from work until some time in the evening,  you are NOT going to then have the motivation to whip up a loaf of ....whatever.

And really,  this was true of T.C. and I,  back when we were their age,  so maybe I should just shut up about that.

Anyway,  that was tonight's offering.  Shepard's pie.  Although,  actual Shepard's pie is made with Lamb,  so I suppose it's some sort of hybrid,  or bastardisation.  Whatever,  it's one of the few things I can make with relative confidence,  so there.

We wolfed it down.

What I had actually thought of earlier today,  and that I was going to comment on was just how the US is now NUMBER ONE!   Yay! 

Um,  not in education,  or quality of life,  or (God forbid) health care,  but the US is now Number One in the world when it comes to the number of cases of this new Corona Virus. 

As the French would say,  "Bien Fait".    It doesn't mean what you think it means*.

Awesome to be Number One at something.   Maybe just not THAT thing.

Of course,  as in the case of our own number,  I think the actual number of cases is somewhat higher.  First of all,  not everyone can get tested,  even here in "socialist" Canada.  But moreover,  even with Orange Head's huge relief bill,  even those with health coverage are somewhat fearful of going to get tested,  as they can get a "surprise bill"  from the hospital.   You know what I'm talking about,  don't you.
Plus,  there simply aren't enough tests.  Don't get me started.

See,  for Canadians,  the idea that you have to have a "Health Plan"  is as foreign to us as the need to have a hitching post for our horses.  There are horses in this country,  to that I'll admit.  However,  they're not needed for every day transportation,  so there's no hitching post needed here at the Ponderosa.
Or a carriage house.  And news flash,  we don't live in Igloos.  Just wanted to point that out.

Anyway,  we're all "covered".   No money need exchange hands whenever you go to the doc.  Now,  there are certain tests that,  if you decide you just HAVE to have one,  you just might have to pay.  The only example I can think of is the PSA test.  If the doc orders it,  it's covered.  However,  I was willing to pay the fifty bucks a couple months back to have that particular test done.  It's free once I'm sixty-five,  but maybe I want to know now whether there's an issue with my prostate. 

I suspect the biggest expense we have when/if going to the hospital,  is paying for the damned parking!   It's like,  seventeen bucks a day!   But the visit is free!
Just make sure you walk there.  That's my only beef.

I'll let you chew on that.

Thanks for stopping by.

Keep your stick on the ice.

And wash your hands!

*even though "Bien Fait"  looks like it would mean, "well done",  it's a Frenchman's sarcastic way of saying "Well done,  idiot".   Like that.    Usually with a condescending tone.

Friday, April 10, 2020

The Good Friday routine.

You know when you're sitting in some random restaurant washroom (OK, "restroom"  for you Yanks)  and you notice how the partitions are held together with these really weird fasteners?   Well,  no matter the fastener,  I've got that bit!
And it wasn't a job related thing either,  although I could understand why you would think that,  in light of that whole "Caretaker"  thing.
No,  I have this thing about,  I don't know,  being able to disassemble just about anything.  Or maybe there are certain tool sellers who rope me in from time to time?  Not sure what it is.

Re-assembly is another story.  But thankfully,  most of the stuff I take apart isn't "rocket science".  Good thing too.

So,  where the fork am I going with this?

Well,  the "routine" on Good Friday is,  T.C. makes "Bean soup",  for her,  and anyone one else who might be here,  as she observes the whole "no meat Friday"  thing.  Only on good Friday.  Although,  admittedly, there have been times when we've picked up fish and chips on the way home from the pub on a random Friday night. 

Ah yes,  the pub on a Friday night.  (sad face)

I will eat the bean soup,  although admittedly it isn't my favourite.  She likes to cut it with a wee dram of vinegar,  and by leaving out that one ingredient,  I can eat it,  and enjoy it.   Helps to be ravishingly hungry too.

The other thing she does on Good Friday,  is cook the Easter Ham.   I didn't think to take a pic of the Easter Ham,  but let me tell ya,  it's mighty yummy.
There's a certain irony there I realise,  as she's cooking something that she cannot eat.

In my case however,  I don't do that whole,  " no meat of Good Friday"  thing.   I was willing to make a peanut butter sandwich,  but when I mentioned that I was still hungry after the bowl of bean soup,  T.C. suggested that I try the ham.  I do think she came mighty close to trying some,  but she resisted.

So here's the thing.  Apparently, if you baste the ham with apple cider,  the ham flavour somehow intensifies.   I have no clue how this works.  Maybe something to do with the acidity in the cider?   All I know is,  mighty good ham.   I'll be having more come Sunday.

The only slight trouble is,  if you happen to get a little carried away with the ham basting,  and squirt cider onto the back of the oven?   Ruh-roh!  No bueno.

BUT!   I sorted it out! 

This is where the whole,  "weird ass fastener" comes into play.  The back panel is held on with Torx screws.   Now,  maybe that's not all that exotic,  but it sure is if you don't have the proper sized bit.

It's so much easier to clean parts when you can do it in the sink.  And surprisingly,  it just wiped right off.  I'm sure the oven was hot,  but whatever.

OK,  maybe that's not that exciting.  But hey,  I was pretty darned stoked.


In other "news",  Daughter Number One,  who now has a whole whack of extra time on her hands,  made us an Easter Egg,  and brought it over today.

Well truthfully,  she knows her Mom has a collection of eggs that she brings out at Easter,  so really it was for the collection.  It had very little to do with me I'm afraid.

Now,  I realise I should have separated it out,  but the black one in there is the one D.N.O made.

We were slightly slack jawed.  It's...kind of awesome.

When she brought over the Egg,  she let us know what the latest was concerning her job.  Seems she was hoping to be laid off (huh?)  but that didn't happen,  but instead,  she's been cut back to four days a week.   All benefits to continue,  and she can still work from home.   The whole working from home already gives her an additional three hours a day that she no longer has to waste having to take the train in to Toronto.   Same goes for her hubby.   They seem to be able to stay out of each others hair,  and have arranged some sort of "home office"  set-up for each of them that works.
Oh and,  she let us know that she put on a pair of jeans for the first time in three weeks,  and they STILL FIT!   Whoohoo!

Not sure if they'll ever want to do the commute again,  to be honest.  I did it once upon a time,  and can't even fathom ever doing it again.  There are many things that I cannot fathom ever doing again.

Working for a living comes to mind.

Anyhoodle,  hope this finds you well.

Thanks for moving your eyes back and forth.

Keep that stick on the ice.

And wash your hands!

Thursday, April 9, 2020

I see dumb people.

What was that movie where the little boy kept saying,  "I see dead people"?    "The sixth sense",  as it turns out.

Anyway,  today T.C. and I had to go out.  Not to be taken lightly,  but there was need for a few things for the weekend.   One of the stores that we have around here is a place called "Denninger's".   It's actually "Denninger's Foods of the World",  but we only use the shortened version.

There are only five locations around these parts,  and they have their own manufacturing facility where they make a lot of their own products,  such as sausages etc.

Most times I think one pays a little more than maybe at a regular store,  but the quality is always there.

I naively thought she was going on her own,  but I was sadly mistaken.   There was the possibility of calling in an order and having them bring it out to the car,  but that would have meant that someone on the other end would have to pick up the damned phone. 

Besides,  T.C. said she wanted to pick out her own stuff anyway.  So fine,  I waited in the car,  and in she went.   And by the way,  that whole "I waited in the car and in she went"  protocol would be exactly the same whether there was a pandemic or not. 

Just wanted to let you know.

I shop,  or she shops.  We typically do not shop together.  Just...a thing.

Interesting arrangement.  The store that is. They had squirrelled away most of the carts,  so that there were only enough carts for as many people as they were going to allow in at any given time.  What that number was,  I have no clue,  but I was quite surprised that T.C.  didn't have to wait outside,  the way it seems to go with most places right about now.  There was a cart available,  freshly wiped down,  and off she went.

Then of course,  I get to watch all the clever folks coming out.  Some wore masks.  Some wore masks and gloves.  Masks I'm OK with.  You want to wear a mask?   Go for it.  Just don't touch it.  Don't touch your face.  So there's this one old guy (OK fine,  maybe he's my age,  but I'm sure he was older)  He comes out with his bags of stuff,  he's wearing gloves and a mask.  And I'm thinking,  "Well there you go,  good for you."
He gets in the car after putting his stuff in the back seat,  and THEN takes off the gloves,  and takes off his mask.

And you might be thinking,  "Well,  so?". 

See,  once upon a time,  when we were trained on cleaning up blood and "blood products" (not sure what the hell that was supposed to be,  but whatever)  we were trained in a special way as to how to take off gloves so as not to get the contaminant on your person.  There's a trick to it.  And,  if you're NOT wearing gloves,  you need to wash your hands or use sanitiser BEFORE you touch anything.  Or get into your car,  touching your steering wheel,  and so on.   Alternatively,  you take off the gloves before getting into the car etc. 

Not only that,  but then he proceeds to touch his face.  Like,  wipe his nose with the back of his hand.  And I'm just sitting there shaking my head.
I managed to not yell it out,  but I'm sure I said,  "Dude,  you just missed the whole point!" 

There were more examples,  but I'm starting to get really agitated here.

In other news,   T.C. saw a "bug".    Well,  really it was some tiny little moth like creature that was flying around up in the office,  but somehow it was in our food. 

Some how.

I heard this...rustling and crinkling of plastic,  and thought maybe I'd investigate.

Right.  Everything had to come out of the pantry. 
The good news is,  we did get rid of some Couscous and Quinoa from,  I don't know,  years ago.  Along with some other mystery packets of rice.   Oh and,  these tiny little packets of gelatin.  Gelatin?  Huh?

And? No bugs.

You have to understand that,  one cannot simply dismiss this sort of thing.   Best to go along.  I made sure I was checking the cereal as instructed.  It too was bug free. 

I'm reasonably certain that the little moth like flying thing has more to do with springtime on the way,  and not something we brought in from a store.    Or that is lying in wait with his multitude of friends,  ready to take over the house.

Hope y'all are staying safe. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Don't touch your face,  until you....

Wash your hands.

And of course,  keep your stick on the ice.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Dinner, wine, and a saxophone.

 So,  I had slapped a pic over on The Book of Face and thought,  "hm,  why not write up a few words here abouts?"

And here we are. 

Every so often ,  Travelling Companion gets these ideas,  that she wants to drop off dinner for the "kids".   I think the idea is,  when she was working, coming up with dinner every night was a wee bit of a chore.  (this would be 'sarcastic font',  by the way)  Of course,  the major difference was,  she had two kids,  a husband who,  at the time,  rarely got home before eight at night,  and was studying for her Honours Economics degree.
So ya,  not the easiest.

Admittedly,  back in the days when we were poor as church mice,  the kids did go without from time to time, but never offered a hint of a complaint.  To this day,  Daughter Number One never did get her "Green Machine",  and I'm sure has forgotten all about it.   Of course,  it still bugs her Mom that we couldn't afford a "green machine",  so she could be out there with the neighbourhood kids.

But hey,  that's the way it was.   We came out unscathed.  Although,  I think the lowest point was when we actually got a "care" package from the Church.   It's funny the things one remembers.  It wasn't the "best of times".  And let's just leave it at that.

Now,  in light of the whole "social distancing" thing,  we haven't seen much of the kids at all.  And in this case,  dropping off food basically means keeping our distance,  and just exchanging pleasantries.

We've done this before however,  this time around,  Daughter Number One asked if we could spare a bottle of wine,  and could she perhaps borrow my saxophone?   I figured,  what the hell.  I rarely pick the thing up,  so why not?  I doubt that she has any of her own reeds,  but I don't really care.  I'm sure she'll tire of it in a few days.   And yes,  I have a saxophone.  And no,  I won't be putting anything on YouTube.   I suck.
Once upon a time,  I was reasonably proficient,  if I do say so myself.   But not having picked the thing up for well over forty years can do a bit of a number on ones abilities?  Shall we say?

Please note the proper "social distancing".

Just wanted to point that out.

So,  Daughter Number One and hubby have been working from home for a few weeks now,  and it seems to be going OK.  She works in interior design,  and at the present time,  all construction has ceased in the Province of Ontario,  so she's going to find out at the end of the week whether or not she'll be getting laid off.  Getting "laid off"  here abouts means still getting some money,  depending on the number of years of service one has.  She's been at this same firm for over 10 years.   Seems to me,  that's one week of pay for every year of service.  You can correct me if you think you know better.

Either way,  they'll be fine.  She's quite looking forward to getting laid off,  but of course, with the Pandemic lurking about,  it doesn't mean she be gadding about any time soon.  So,  kind of a bummer.

Anyhoodle,  hope y'all are hanging in there. 

I'm not at the point yet where I'm yearning for the building supply stores to reopen,  although that day may come soon enough.

Thanks for stopping by.

Keep that stick on the ice.

And wash your hands.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Well, I had to do it.

Go out,  that is.

I think there was a slight welling up of panic when I realised that the coffee container that I was about to empty was not the second last one,  but the last one!

Gotta step up my game when it comes to knowing what I have in store,  as I thought I had a spare.  I always have a spare.

So,  I sucked it up and went to Costco.   And I must say,  they've figured it out.

First of all,  I did have to go out early Monday morning,  as we were getting down on the bread end of things,  and the store down the street had an hour set aside for "old folks"  from seven to eight.  AND,  unlike the store where T.C. had to go to last week,  these guys had a security guard at the entrance way,  sort of eyeing everyone on their way in so as to make sure they were in fact seniors. 
Apparently,  I qualify.   No need for I.D. 
Not sure if that should sadden me or not.
And it was not crowded in the least.
I made sure to profusely thank all the employees for being there that early.

Anyway,  Costco also has an hour set aside before they open,  from eight until nine on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for seniors but unfortunately,  I didn't get that memo in time,  so I went for normal hours. 

Not a huge deal.

I naively grabbed a cart from one of the corrals to take in with me,  but that wasn't needed,  as they were sanitising all the carts just as you went in,  so no need for the gloves or wipes on my part.  AND,  they had two distinct areas/lines set up,  divided by piles of skids,  so as to separate those going in,  from those coming out.  We did have to line up,  with everyone far enough apart for proper distancing etiquette.   Plus,  there was a bit of a wait,  as they were only allowing a certain number of shoppers in at once.  I read somewhere that the number was 50,  but don't quote me.

Then it was pretty much easy peasy from then on,  as they had everything that was on my list.  And no,  I didn't need toilet paper,  although I did see that they had boatloads. 

Then,  coming out,  there were two distinct lines to get up to the check out area,  with hash marks on the floor as a reminder of proper distancing etiquette once again.  It was very orderly.   Didn't have to put my groceries on the belt.  Had a spot to stand as it was being rung up,  the cashier scanned my Costco card from about six feet away (a bit of overkill I thought)  and I only really had to come in contact with the payment terminal,  which her assistant had just wiped down.  I had sanitiser with me and gave my hands a going over after all that as well.

Oh and,  they didn't do that whole checking off your crap against your receipt thing either.  I never did understand that.  Like they're able to tell if you've got all your goods?  Really?  Or that you somehow miraculously were able to slip an extra huge bag of flour onto your cart?

They had removed one of the terminals at each end of the line of terminals in order to make extra room.  This was a welcome change from the way it had always been,  where your cart goes one way,  and you're forced into an area next to the other member behind you.  I never did like that.

And,  as I said to the cashier,  I've never liked it when fellow shoppers get too close to me anyway,  so I was completely good with the whole situation.    Like,  beyond happy.   Thinking up catchy T-shirt captions,  that sort of thing.*

I think I first started to notice folks being too close to me when we lived in Puerto Rico,  as fellow shoppers were forever getting well into my comfort zone.  Thankfully,  I'm taller than most Puerto Ricans,  so I never got any of the head colds that always seemed to be going around.  That's also probably where I really started to become a bit of a Germaphobe. 

Or maybe even before that?   Not sure.

Oh,  speaking of which,  and this was the only time I actually spoke with another shopper,  while standing in line,  I couldn't help but notice what I think was a lady who,  for what can only be due to paranoia,  was basically covered from head to toe in plastic.   She had plastic bags on her feet,  some sort of plastic bag on her torso.  Plastic bags on each leg.  A mask,  and the obligatory plastic bag on her head. 

I so wish I had taken my camera.

Oh and,  she was lining her cart with newspaper!   Newspaper!

Because apparently them spraying down all the carts just before they give you one wasn't enough, and somehow you can get a virus through your feet?
The floors were so clean you could eat off them.  And I dare say,  as a result of some of the over the top efforts of just about any place you can think of,  floors in public places these days are probably cleaner than most people's houses!

So,  the guy in front of me saw this at about the same time as me,  turned to me,  said not a word.   But I had to say,  "OK,  there's being prepared,  and then there's being paranoid."

But hey,  whatever floats yer boat.   I mean,  you can cut up an onion,  put it in your bedroom,  and as long as you never leave your bedroom,  you'll never get sick. 
It probably works just as well with watermelon,  but they'd need to be in season.

No plans to go anywhere for a few days again,  as I'll head to the wine making place to pick up our new supply on Tuesday.   I was going to go today,  but let me just say,  it's surprising just how often one relies on one's back muscles for the simplest things?

No big deal.  I've done this before.  Just happened to bend down the wrong way,  and ouch!
I'll be better by Tuesday I'm sure.  Just...putting on socks this morning was....a chore. 

Annoyingly,  I have a few things in the house that need shifting around,  which normally T.C. and I could manage together,  so that's out the window.  Plus of course,  I can't even call on one of the Daughter Units or Sons-in-law to come help,  as we don't want to have anyone come to the house. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Keep your stick on the ice.

And wash your hands.

*I'm thinking of a caption like,  "Now I can say it.  Get the f**k away from me!"