Thursday, September 26, 2013

Breezy Autum

Thursday: (09/26) Rather breezy still. Not good for spraying paint. All painting today was by brush. I spent the morning doing the wall on the other side of the fireplace, the afternoon doing the front section. Home fried potatoes, sausage and eggs for breakfast. BBQ ribs with potato salad for lunch. I finished the second and third areas so the areas I'm painting all have their first coat of primer. I returned to Palo Alto and had a late dinner of what had been a tri-tip roast cooked as sauerbraten. Evidently Lou and Dawn had enjoyed it because there was very little meat and lots of stewed onion and raisins. I topped that with some dried apricots and glazed pecans.

Friday: (09/27) Granola with yogurt for breakfast. This morning I took Lou to a doctor's appointment. She's doing fine. After the appointment we stopped at a nearby Chinese buffet for lunch. I planned hikes for the next tw0 Friday's and posted them for my hiking group. Some of Lou's chili beans from the freezer for dinner.

Saturday: (09/28) Today was National Plug In Day so I went to the 41th Annual Electric Vehicle Rally at De Anza College in Cuprtino. SOme very interesting home built and manufactured electric vehicles on display. I was very tempted by the Think Electric cars on sale for $15,700 after all the rebates. It's built something like an old Saturn with a plastic body on an aluminum tubing frame.  There was a very nice converted VW bug as well. I was very impressed by a portable solar array on top of an electric motorcycle racing tams van. I provided about a 16'x16' array.  Buck wheat with yogurt and honey for breakfast. Ham, cheese and tomato sandwich for lunch. Pork chops with rice and asparagus for dinner.

I received a call about 1840 from our tenant in Sn Jose that the garage next door was removed and their dog was gone when they arrived home. The reason the two go together is because the neighbors garage accounted for about 25 feet of our side yard fence and the dog is an opportunist. I collected some wire and EMT conduit and headed down to install a temporary fence for them. I was back home by 2100.

Sunday: (09/29) We mostly relaxed today. I did take Dawn on and errand and we also walked over to Fry's Electronics for a stroll. I also cleaned out the pond water. It collects leaves and stops flowing. I also helped Ernie while he washed out his holding tanks.  Ham eggs and home fried potatoes with onions and green peppers for breakfast. Grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. BBQ ribs with Baked French fried potatoes that Lou and Dawn made with broccoli slaw. About 7pm I headed down to San Jose to the apartment.

Monday: (09/30) I painted to second coat of primer today. Maple bar for breakfast. Ham and cheese sandwich with carrots for lunch. BBQ ribs with rice for dinner.

Tuesday: (10/01) A short walk through the San Jose State University campus for breakfast burrito at La Victoria restaurant. When I got back to the apartment I grabbed the Jeep and went to Home Depot for some supplies. About 11am I finally got to work painting. Lunch was my usual ham and cheese sandwich with some carrots. That was followed by more painting. I completed the third coat of primer about 6pm. A quick shower and I walked back to La Victoria for a chili relleno dinner.

Wednesday: (10/02) I painted about 2/3's of the walls with the color coat. It Looks pretty good as long as you don't stand too close. Granola for breakfast. A carnitas torta from Super Taqueria for lunch. Dinner at the China Wok in Sunnyvale on my way back to Palo Alto.

Thursday: (10/03) Dawn and I headed down to San Jose early stopping for breakfast at La Victoria Restaurant. I had my usual bacon burrito and Dawn had quesadillas. I painted the rest of the house and touched up the part i painted yesterday. It was really windy so I didn't do a second color coat. Lunch was a bowl of chili with some leftover fried potatoes. I finished painting about 2pm and then cleaned up early. I hope next week has less wind. Dawn returned about 4pm and we headed up to Palo Alto with a stop at LUU Noodle house to pick up dinner, the usual combination chow fun and a pad Thai and some egg rolls.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hikers Potluck Dinner

Wednesday: (09/25) Granola for breakfast. I started my day by installing more masking so I could spray some paint today. I stopped to attend a 10am webinar about building mobile applications. After the break, I had an early lunch of some leftover stuffed peppers and some yogurt before heading out to work. I had finished the masking before my break but almost didn't start painting because it was quite breezy. I decided to paint anyway. I setup the paint sprayer and tried it out on a piece of scrape plywood. It worked OK so I tried it on the house. It turns out it isn't too good for painting the eves, it doesn't spray up well. I did get one side of the fireplace and most of the fireplace primed before I had to stop and clean up. I had to go up to Palo Alto to pick up a Iranian chicken salad Lou and Dawn had made for me to take to a potluck dinner with my hiking group. I got to meet the founder and other organizers I hadn't met before. Interesting food, deserts and people. This was an end of summer get together. The hosts, Bob and Sharon will be leaving next week to go to Slovenia.  Bob and I alternate leading our hikes so I'll be doing hikes again starting next week. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get the first full days work in in a while.  Lots of distractions recently.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Lou Graduates

Saturday: (09/21) Dawn and Courtney headed down to Hollister t the Renaissance Faire at Casa De Fruita. For breakfast, leftover stuffed bell peppers. Morning tea in the arbor before it rained. Lou has graduated. She gets to take her first shower in a couple of weeks today. Before the day was done we had had over 1/2 inch of rain, a deluge for us. Leftovers for lunch. I had BBQ ribs with Chinese noodles, Lou had a papaya and chicken. Green salad with chicken tortilla soup for dinner.

Sunday: (09/22) I spent some of the afternoon and all evening doing a task I have delayed far too long, our taxes. Computer problems and my general dislike for doing tax returns caused the delay. I had mostly completed the return before the deadline before the file failed. Then the computer failed and wouldn't even run the program. I eventually bit the bullet reinitialized the computer and re-installed the program and then couldn't put the task off any longer. They should now be ready to mail tomorrow and only five months late. Raspberry pancakes with ham for breakfast. Peaches and various leftovers for lunch. Dawn made a buck wheat casserole for dinner.

Monday: (09/23) Ham, eggs and potatoes for breakfast. I had planned on going down the San Jose last night and resuming painting today but There was enough going on that I decided to delay going down until today. The tax returns were signed and mailed today. I helped Dawn in delivering more books to the bookstore for recycling. Lunch was leftover tortilla soup. In the late afternoon I did some grocery shopping before returning home and having dinner of some of Dawn's buck wheat casserole. Then I took Dawn down to  San Jose for an appointment and myself to the apartment. Tomorrow I'll finally get back to painting, hopefully.

Tuesday: (09/24) I picked up Dawn and we went to breakfast at La Victoria Taqueria. Dawn then headed home and I started to prepare for work. But first I stopped by the hardware store and then the market. That used up the morning. Lunch was some egg rolls and an avocado smoothie. Since I haven't been here for two weeks I started with some cleanup. Someone dropped a bag of rock salt and it was in the path into the backyard and to Dawn's apartment so I swept and vacuumed it up. I then did some sanding, filling and masking. For dinner I had some chili beans.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Stuffed Bell Peppers, Microwave Style

Here is a variation on stuffed bell peppers that we haven't tried before. It turned out really well and is pretty quick. Sometimes when we bake them the rice is not always finished cooking when the peppers are well done.


  • green peppers

  • 7 oz can of mild Herdez Salsa Casera

  • 12 OZ can of V8 juice

  • 2 packages of Uncle Ben's Ready Rice

  • 1/2 lb of hamburger

  • 1/2 lb of pork chorizo

I prepared five peppers by cutting off the cap and removing the core and seeds. Five is the number of bigger peppers we had ripe. They were nicely formed and had big cavities. They also filled the dish I used so they stood up nicely. I started by cooking the peppers in the microwave for about 6 minutes to give them a good start on cooking. While I was doing that I cooked up a 1/2 lb of hamburger and a 1/2 lb pork chorizo in a frying pan. When that was done I added in two packages of ready rice. Normally you just microwave it for 90 seconds but not for this dish. I added the rice to the meat in the pan and poured in a can of V8 juice and about 7 oz of mild Herdez Salsa Casera. I just warmed up the whole concoction in the frying pan and then filled the peppers, topped them with the pepper caps and added the rest of the mixture around the peppers. I then covered the peppers with some plastic wrap and put them in the microwave for 15 minutes or until the peppers are cooked as desired.

The dish turned out perfect, rice and peppers tender, and only took about 30 minutes to prepare.  This experiment turned out well.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Knee-dleing Lou

Friday: (09/06) I dropped Lou off at the hospital for her surgery at 5am. All went well! We stopped in to visit about 11am. She was feeling well but not enjoying some nausea she was feeling. Dawn and i had breakfast at A Good Morning Restaurant sharing a Denver omelet with a pancake. After our visit Dawn and I visited Costco and Walmart for some shopping needs. We returned to the hospital about 6pm for a visit. On the way home, Dawn and I stopped for a late dinner at Chevy's Fresh Mex Restaurant sharing a Super Cinco combination plate.

Saturday: (09/07) Dawn had quinoa for breakfast. I tried to have granola for breakfast but there was no milk in the house. Then I remembered that I had brought some home in a soft cooler Thursday night. I had forgotten it so I brought it in and disposed of  a half gallon of now cottage cheese, four eggs, and about a quarter pound of cheese. Not much of a loss, fortunately. I dashed out to Sprouts to resupply milk and a few other things then had my breakfast. Dawn had gone out to a Tai Chi class after her breakfast. I then went over to visit Lou for  a while. She had PT so I went out to return some stuff at Home Depot and stopped by the San Jose house to pick-up some primer and paint to paint Lou's steps. On the way back I stopped at Super Taqueria for a burrito. Then I stopped by to visit Lou. When i returned home I emptied out the Jeep of some debris and the table saw and raised the rear seats. It will be Lou's chariot home when she returns. I also gave the two platform steps their first coat of primer. Dawn and I dropped off some recycle cans and bottles and i vacuumed the jeep. Dawn had some food that our neighbors dropped off for dinner. We then went over to the hospital for an evening visit. When we returned home I had some of the leftovers, chicken, potatoes and green beans.

Sunday: (09/08) Dawn made a smoothie and I had some donuts for breakfast before we went over to the hospital for a visit with Lou. She was just finishing PT and was cleared to go home. We had come in the wrong car to take her home. The Hyundai is too low and has too small of a door for someone with a knee that doesn't bend too much so we returned home. I dropped Dawn off an a craft faire and then returned to pick-up Lou in the Jeep. We were home before noon. Lou is doing well. I made a green salad for Lou and ham, tomato and cheese sandwiches for Dawn and I. Lou keeps me busy. For dinner we had more leftovers of chicken, pesto zucchini, green beans with onions and roasted potatoes.

Monday: (09/09) Lou had yogurt with peaches and I had granola for breakfast. Lou had a green salad and I had a ham cheese and tomato sandwich for lunch. Dinner was corned beef and cabbage. Dawn had an appointment and Lou and I were busy at home with the occasional walk and stretch. Lou also had a visit from the home visit PT person.

Tuesday: (09/10) Yogurt and grapes for Lou's breakfast. An Ernie apple nectarine tart for my breakfast. That was supplemented by some chipotle sausages.  We enjoyed our morning out in the backyard. Lou's busy doing her exercises. My lunch was a ham, tomato and cheese sandwich with a fresh heirloom tomato from the garden. Lou had some roast chicken.

Wednesday: (09/11) Lou and Dawn had muffins and pastrami red cabbage soup for breakfast. I stopped at McDonald's while on a quick trip to Walmart and Sprout's Market. Lou had roast beef and baked beans and I had baked beans with  something? In the afternoon we took a walk around the neighborhood. That is, I walked and Lou rolled in her scooter. For dinner I had a Subway BMT sandwich and Lou and Dawn shared a ham and provolone salad.

Thursday: (09/12) Today Lou had a PT visit. Our tomatoes are in a lull but in a couple of days we're going to have a half dozen 4-8" tomatoes ready. We had spinach and ham omelets for breakfast in the back yard. Lou had a peach and some ham for lunch and I had my leftover Subway BMT. sandwich. A nice spinach salad with apple, oranges, corn, and black beans for dinner.

Friday: (09/13) Wow! I hadn't noticed the date before it was all but gone and I was writing this part of the post. Fortunately, the ominous nature of Friday the 13th did not present itself today. My breakfast was some of Ernie's apple nectarine pie. Lou and Dawn enjoyed some fresh peaches. Of course, breakfast didn't go the distance so I prepared an early lunch very similar to a breakfast. Pork chops, eggs and home fried potatoes with fresh peppers from the garden.  In the afternoon we took a little drive and visited the hospital for an ultrasound of Lou's leg. All was well. On the way home we stopped at the Grocery outlet for a little shopping. This was Lou's first outing since her surgery. Enough excitement. For dinner I warmed up some leftover lasagna and prepared some broccoli slaw with pineapple.

Saturday: (09/14) Breakfast in the backyard. i dug up and potted a dying camilia that Lou requested. In the afternoon we took a walk and roll around the neighborhood. An exciting day. Apricot blintzes for breakfast. For lunch I prepared ham, tomato, spinach and cheese sandwiches for Dawn and I. Lou had a spinach   ham and tomato salad. Dinner was tacos.

Sunday: (09/15) My big accomplishment today was repairing the hinges on our two compost barrels.  and eggs for breakfast. Tomato and red cabbage soup for lunch. My famous popcorn in the afternoon. And for dinner I prepared rice, black beans and roast beast.

Monday: (09/16) Dawn and Lou had Dawn's smoothies and I had an apple fritter for breakfast. Tomato, ham and cheese sandwich for my lunch, salad for Lou. KFC chicken and corn dinners.

Tuesday: (09/17) Lou met with her PT  rep about her knee. Peaches with yogurt for Lou and Dawn and a ham and cheese biscuit for my breakfast. Tomato soup for lunch then later tomatoes with ham and cheese. For dinner Dawn made a chicken green salad.

Wednesday: (09/18) We dropped Dawn off at the train and did a little shopping in the morning. I also "attended" a webinar on programming. I did go off on a Youtube odyssey looking at information about aquaponics. Aquaponics is a closed loop gardening system where you grow fish and the fish water feeds your plants by flooding them in their rock growing basin. It's somewhat like hydroponics but uses fish poop instead of oil based fertilizer. The plants feed the fish and the fish feed the plants. It uses about 10% of the water a garden uses and other than the little water you basically just feed the fish. I'd love to try it but it wouldn't work well with our long absences. Buckwheat cereal with peaches and yogurt for breakfast. Tomato, ham and cheese sandwich for my lunch, A chicken green salad for Lou. For dinner we had BBQ ribs with garlic mashed potatoes and squash.

Thursday: (09/19) Morning tea in the backyard. I picked a bunch of tomatoes and peppers and distributed them to some neighbors. Leftover garlic mashed potatoes fried as patties with ham and eggs for breakfast. Tomato cabbage pastrami soup for lunch followed with a fresh peach ice cream that Dawn made. Leftover corned beef and cabbage for dinner.

Friday: (09/20) Scrambled eggs with chorizo, onions and tomatoes for breakfast. Today was a shopping run morning.  We visited Walmart, the Milk Pale and Sprout's markets. I guess Lou really wanted to get out because she left me at Walmart to do the shopping and rode her scooter over to Sprout's market, about a 1/4 mile away probably enjoying the views and fresh air along the way. Dawn and I finished up at Walmart and stopped by The Milk pail for some cheese before meeting Lou who had collected most of what we needed from Sprout's. More leftovers for lunch. Lou made a chicken green salad.  Then Lou had her PT session where the tech removed her staples. She can now take her first shower tomorrow, something she has been anxiously awaiting. For dinner I make stuffed bell peppers from our garden. I tried a new method using the microwave for most of the work. The peppers were served with baked potatoes and sliced tomatoes with sugar (desert).


Sunday, September 1, 2013

A Little Holiday Work

Sunday: (09/01) I fixed a eggs and a sausage hash with onions and some  green peppers from our garden. i helped Ernie to install a top to his work table. Lou installed some LED lights on the big bird cage which I then had to run power to. The i went over to Home Depot and bought a piece of plywood, which I had them cut for me since my table saw was in San Jose. Lunch was leftover Chinese fried rice and some grapes. After lunch I built two platforms for the steps into the house so Lou can more easily enter with her walker after her knee operation. Dinner was BBQ ribs with noodles and cauliflower. After dinner  Dawn made some banana ice cream, non-dairy of course.  I packed up and drove down to San Jose. Even though this is a holiday weekend, I need to get some work done and I'll be taking two weeks off soon to stay with Lou after the operation. After I got all my stuff into the apartment I returned outside because I had been hearing  a great band playing at the block party just South of our block. Of course, the music stopped just as I came out to listen. On the way home, I saw one of the best sunsets I've ever seen here in the valley.  I only got to see it in my rear view mirror but it was very impressive!

Monday: (09/02) The title is correct, just not what i planned. I did very little work. I did get some organizing, cleanup and other tasks done in the apartment. Chorizo with onions and eggs for breakfast. Ham, tomato and cheese sandwich for lunch. Pastrami with leftover hash for dinner.

Tuesday: (09/03) I continued stripping around the window up front. It's the one I rebuilt and today i stripped around it, sanded around it and reinstalled the window. Unfortunately, I managed to break two of the little glass panes on the rebuilt window when cleaning off the excess paint from the glass. This should teach me that it's easier to use masking tape than a razor blade. Not really a problem. I'll replace the broken panes later when I replace some other broken glass. I'm debating, with myself, whether to use the next two days to paint what I've prepared or continue stripping more wall. I don't want to be part way through two coats of primer and a color coat and have to remove my masking for my two week hiatus. Leftover chorizo and eggs for breakfast. Ham, tomato and cheese sandwich for lunch. Chili rellenos for dinner at the La Victoria.

Wednesday: (09/04) I did some caulking and spackling today. Later i started removing some siding to be replaced and some paint stripping. Granola for breakfast. Ham and cheese sandwich with some cherry tomatoes for lunch. Cottage cheese and fruit and a chicken pot pie for dinner.

Thursday: (09/05) A bacon breakfast burrito at La Victoria Restaurant started the day. I started my work day by installing some new siding pieces at the front of the house and finished it with some paint stripping on the porch area. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. I finished up early and went by Harbor Freight to swap the bad sawsall for a  new one. The old one would hold on to it's blades. For dinner I met Lou, Dawn, Courtney and Ernie at the Black Angus Restaurant in Sunnyvale. They are the only place that has prime rib on Thursday and Lou anted some for her "last" meal before her surgery tomorrow morning.