Day 276, I hear the rumbling of Summer..

This Spring has been about four to six weeks early here in New Jersey this year.  We all know how nice it’s been. But, in today’s visit to COSTCO I think even they are ahead of the curve. In the picture below, prominently displayed, are air conditioners. Really  in March! I guess next month the will have the Halloween stuff out. We went for really nothing and spent 75 dollars. We did get to eat a few interesting snacks. Most of the items we bought we would have had to purchase at the Shop Rite, so the expense was just moved from one store to another.  We also received our coffee for the month from Orleans Coffee Exchange today. The FedEx truck delivered at 4 pm on a Saturday. And, we paid for regular delivery rates! Not bad.

Today’s weather was crappy. Grey and rainy, good Scranton weather. We (DW and I) did some household stuff, watched Virgina beat Maryland in lacrosse on ESPNU. We now have the U in HD in our area. It has made watching the games much more enjoyable. Lunch was fried bologna. Dinner was cheeseburgers and breakfast potatoes. I bought french fries from the store but got the wrong kind. My DW is trying very hard to go as gluten-free as possible and these fries had a coating that included wheat flour. Oh well, I will have to cook them when the kids are home.

Today I started on another Easter tradition from when I was growing up. My mother used to make Farmers Cheese. The recipe is titled Lithuanian Cheese. It basically is cottage cheese and sour cream that is mixed, de-liquified and pressed to make a soft cheese. I have taken many pictures of the process and will probably devote most of one night this week to the making and the finished product. The cheese can be eaten by itself, on a cracker or small piece of bread. We also would have room temperature (soft) butter to put on the cheese if we wanted. Not exactly a heart healthy snack considering the that the recipe calls for the “liberal salting” of the exterior when the cheese is done being pressed. More on this later in the week. 

DS1 had the day off, he is working this evening. He won’t know until next week about the possible job. DS2 was kinda quiet today. We will see him and have (hopefully) some time to catch up tomorrow. DS3 is at Fort Dix with the ROTC for the weekend. I imagine tonight he is cold and damp from being outdoors all day. Hopefully they are sleeping indoors tonight.

Tonight’s pictures are from our trip to COSTCO and of the coffee I got for my morning latte. It is USDA Organic and Fair Trade. Have I turned over a leaf or what?  This variety is a new one for me. We made espresso before dinner to test it out. It was real good.  Enjoy!


Day 275, Mixed bag of a day..

Pretty fair assessment of my day. Not a bad thing, just kind of ok. We will start with me today. I worked from home. Fortunately I was busy doing my own work and only minor problem. That problem is related to yesterday’s problem and now will be a Dilbert meeting on Monday, problem. Everybody is excited, nobody has the stones to stand up and deliver.  At lunch time I went to McD’s for fish and chips. There will be a picture at the bottom. Calling my lunch fish and chips is a stretch.  After lunch I went to Home Depot where they have black mulch on sale. The regular price is 3.74 a bag, this weekend they are 1.74 a bag )plus tax of course). I made two trips and now have 40 bags in the driveway waiting for a friend. There is a motivational picture at the bottom of this. The motivation is for my children to stay in school and not do landscaping with their father.

My DW had a decent day. This must be nurse’s month since a doctor and a drug company bought them lunch this week. Today was the drug companies turn. She said the food was decent. Small sandwiches and salad. Go figure, no burgers, fries or wings. You figure it out. It seems pretty obvious to me.  She and I went to Calloway’s for dinner tonight. We had coupons that cost 10 dollars and paid 20 dollars towards your bill. Not a bad deal. We would have gone there anyway. The boat that we sailed on in the fall has another Groupon offer for this year. We will probably avail ourselves to this again. We really enjoyed our three-hour cruise to no where.

DS1 spent the night at his (she is not my girlfriend)s house last night. He was back home at 8:30 am. He worked all day delivering pizzas. Tonight he took a dip in the hot tub. A funny thing is that he was at the same restaurant as we were but about two hours later than us. He said the band tonight was too loud. He must be getting old.

DS2 traded a few texts with me today. Nothing of much importance today. He has a concert Sunday afternoon and his first recital Monday night. He will do just fine. He is in the process of figuring out classes for next year. I still have not asked about roommates. Maybe I will remember on  Sunday to ask him.

DS3 posted a picture on Facebook today. The Scranton University Office Parents relations also posted about the pictures. Here is their link Here is the link to DS3’s picture.  I think I am going to get a printed copy of this. I like this picture.  Other than this he has gone radio silent since he is on base at Fort Dix for the ROTC Spring Field Training Excercise.   Currently the temperature is 42 degrees. I hope they are not sleeping outside tonight. This group does not necessarily belive in creature comforts (like sleeping bags, tents and pillows).  I hope to see some pictures and get some stories from him Sunday night.

Tonight’s pictures are as advertised.  Enjoy!



Day 274, A simpler time..

I had a stressful day at work. How I hate to even say that. The worst part of my day was eating at my desk and working at the same time while being pressured to drop what I was in the middle of and take care of somebody elses problem. Well, I finished my work first, then I solved their problem. It was sunny and reasonably warm for the end of March and I was stuck in the office all day. Tomorrow I am working from home so they will have to try a little bit harder..

Tonight I am going to post some pictures from 2003. It was a simpler time in all of our lives.  The captions will explain what the pictures are of. The pictrues from Florida are from when we rented a  house on Pine Island (Gulf Coast, west of Ft Myers) for two weeks around Easter time. I hope you enjoy the glimpse to a simpler time. Boys, enjoy!


Day 273, Fresh fruit tonight..

Tonight’s snack has nothing to do with eggs. We purchased a Honey Dew melon at the Shop Rite on Sunday and it has sat on the counter for three days ripening. I smelled it after dinner tonight and it smelled like a .. (not a duck egg), like a melon! Yahooo, time to eat. I cut the melon into irregular cubes and placed it in a container on the kitchen table for all to share.  A nice and healthy snack. The only problem with that? My DW and I are the only two people home tonight.

DS1 is working delivering pizza. Today he had a second job interview. He said the interview went well. The one possible problem is that the manager is looking for someone with experience. DS1 has none in the industry. He pointed out to the manager that he does not have any bad habits or baggage from working in the industry. We will see what happens.  He was pretty excited after the interview. I hope it works out for him.

DS2 got his room assignment for next year. He will have a room in the same building, just closer to the front door. He was excited about this. I asked why would being closer to the front door be exciting? He said that when you move in (and I guess out) that you are closer to the door. Ok, I said.  I forgot to ask about a roommate for next year. I will ask him on Sunday. I found out today that he has a concert Sunday afternoon at 4 pm. It would appear that I will be in Scranton on Sunday. I said to my DW that we will need to start paying more attention to the concert schedule now that concert season is approaching.

DS3 said that this weekend is his Spring FTX (Field Training Excercise). This will be held at Fort Dix which is in New Jersey and about 30 minute west of our house. He will be quite busy. He has a paper to finish. And he is working hard this week to get it done before he goes away. He will be too tired to work on the paper when her returns Sunday night. He was very tired in the Fall when he returned from that FTX.

Me, I worked, visited my friend at lunch. She fell while out walking three weeks ago. She broke her right wrist, left elbow and her nose. She skinned both knees. She had pins and stuff done last week to put her back together. She will find out tomorrow how long and what will need to be done  from here. She was in surprisingly good spirits despite the uphill journey into the wind ahead of her.

My DW worked most of the day. She sent a care package to Scranton for DS2.  This was before we found out that we would be there this Sunday. Oh well.  Dinner tonight was Salsa Chicken. Basically baked chicken covered in salsa. We also had vegetables and a salad.

Tonight’s picture is of the melon that I cut up for snack.  Enjoy!


Day 272, Made fudge brownies..

Duck egg brownies to be precise. My brother and sister-in-law shared some more information about duck eggs. They wrote about the benefits of duck eggs and how they are prized in the baking world.  So tonight we made fudge brownies using those eggs. The brownies taste like… umm, brownies.  What would you expect them to taste like?  I’m still weirded out by them, but I guess disguised in baked goods they are all the same.  Thank you for helping me spread my horizons.

Work was slow. I have a project scheduled for the morning so that should give my day some structure. At lunch time I am going to visit with a co-worker who fell at her home is will be out for a few months recuperating. I don’t have many details about her fall. I guess I will have a better understanding tomorrow afternoon. We are going to the Windmill for two for one hot dogs!  My favorite. She will get to ride in my van which has 239,000 ish miles on it. The car is getting a little rough (ok, a lot rough), but it still starts and stops. When you have three kids in college at the same time, something has to give.

My DW had a busy day. She was on the early shift so she got home at a decent hour. DS1 worked part of the day and then went to the gym. DS2 continues to shop for guitars. He sent me this possible choice today (in red). He posted something on Facebook about playing a song on the recorder today. He enjoyed the experience. By the time he graduates he will have experienced playing quite the variety of musical instruments.  DS3 has a paper due soon and seems to be procrastinating. Dude, just get it done!  There you go, my parenting advice for the night.  My brother the weather man said that my shin splints were probably either from too much to soon or the wrong/bad pair of shoes. I would agree with the too much to soon thought. 

Short and sweet tonight. Here is a picture of the brownies.  Enjoy!


Day 271, Eggs are what is for breakfast..

Maybe, maybe not. As I wrote last week my brother in Oregon and his wife sent us a dozen duck eggs. Due to the ducks not paying attention to the order sheet, there was over production.  I made a cheese omelet with two of them Friday morning. Here are my thoughts.. The yolks were huge!  The omelet seemed “yellower” (is that a word that means more yellow?). I ate the omelet. It was not as light and fluffy as a chicken egg omelet. 

I have to admit I am irrationally weirded out by the eggs.  Why? I don’t know. I guess it is a good thing that I don’t live on a farm.  Even though I pretend to live on one. At the bottom of this blog will be pictures of the ducks and their eggs. Are you interested in farm fresh duck eggs shipped to you home? I’m not sending mine. but my brother and his wife would be happy to send some your way. Go here for their website. While I did not immediately find the eggs listed for sale, I’m sure using the contact form will solve your problem.

Tonight was lacrosse night. DS1 came out and played with the old people tonight. Actually the median age is quite younger than it was when we first started. I had mixed success. I did score one goal. I had a shot that the goalie stopped with his feet.  I missed the goal a few times. I caught some, I missed some. I am happy with the way the night went. Last week while walking my shins started hurting. They have not hurt like that since I started running track back in high school. They feel like shin splints. Tonight the left leg really started hurting towards the end. I may take a few days off from walking at work. I did not walk today due to the cool temperatures and the very brisk wind.

My DW was busy at work today. She got her evaluation for the year today. She did quite well. She will find out in April how much the merit raise will be. She went to yoga tonight while I played lacrosse. Tomorrow night we have adult school yoga. That will make three nights in a row doing yoga for her.  DS1 had class today. He is looking forward to finishing up his class. DS3 texted me for a few minutes this afternoon. I guess he was reading in the blog that he had not been communicating with his parents enough.  He took care of that today. Nothing real special or hard-hitting, just a check in.  DS2 (or his friends) continue to post pictures on Facebook from their trip to Baltimore. I will add them to the bottom.

Tonight’s pictures (as advertised) are below. The captions should tell the story.  Enjoy!


Day 270, Naps are always nice..

Aren’t they? A nap is a guilty pleasure stolen from the people that promote productivity in the world.  Today is Sunday, March 25, 2012 here in New Jersey. I guess adding the date to this blog now and then will make it easier to figure out where and what was historically going on when this blog was written. Who knows, some civilization far in the future might be studying the ancients (us) and this blog could provide a glimpse into the life in 2012. Or not.

We (DW and I) just got off the phone with DS2. He called and told us about his trip to Baltimore and  Washington, DC this week. He really had a great time. I think this was his first convention.  He was very impressed and interested in a presentation given about the use of the iPad in Music Therapy. There are apparently many apps available for the iPad that can be used in the clinical settings. It would seem from talking to DS2 that an iPad is fast becoming a useful tool for his profession. He will talk to his grandmother over Easter and maybe she will take care of that for his 21 st birthday in May. Dude, you are going to be 21 in a few months!  Wow!

Dinner tonight was fresh Halibut steaks from the Shop Rite. I guess that the Halibut are in season (as it were) or the Shop Rite would not have it and they would not look as good as they did. I found a recipe Googling “fresh Halibut Steaks”. The first one was for barbecue (we skipped this one), the second recipe was for zucchini, tomatoes, garlic, basil and feta cheese, baked in the oven. It was delicious. The topping is adaptable to almost any kind of fish. While the Halibut was expensive, it tasted good. My DW wanted lobster tonight but they are just too expensive this time a year without a sale.

My DW finished up her first Master’s of Nursing course through Drexel University online. Her final grade was an 88. She is very excited. She is unsure about the  next step because this course with difficult since there are no classes. You read, write papers, comment on a discussion board. She grew up (as did I) in a time where college was in a classroom with teachers and other students. She is going to take this eight week period off to give the experience some thought. I am very proud of the hard work and the hours she devoted to this endeavor.

Me, made breakfast, went grocery shopping.  I took a nap this afternoooooon.  We went to a new yoga place tonight. They had a free yoga session if you donated to the Barnegat Food Bank. The session was interesting. This makes the fifth different yoga instructor that I have studied with. Again, 2 males and 15 females.  My DW and I were comfortable with the session. This teacher at the end put a tissue and a scented “eye pillow” on your eyes while in the final meditation. That was interesting, but I had to wash my face when I got home.

Tonight’s pictures are a mixture from the weekend.  The captions will hopefully explain. Enjoy!


Day 269, Painting worked on..

Not a picture. I am painting ceilings in the house. This is an ongoing project that was supposed to be completed last month. The schedule was set by me, so I can procrastinate (to some extent) all that I want. Two weeks ago I put two coats on all the ceilings on the first floor except for the room that DS1 sleeps in. Today I went back and put one more, final coat on those ceilings. I have to go around with a brush and do the edges. At some point when we get his room straightened out, I need to paint in there as well. 

DS1 spent the night in Philadelphus with a high school friend. He went to see his old college team play Chestnut Hill in lacrosse.  His old team lost 10 to 9.  He said that the team had a bad second quarter but played well the rest of the game.  DS2 arrived back at school after his music therapy conference. He had a great time.  We are looking forward to maybe talking to him tomorrow night to hear more about his adventures. DS3 was quiet today. I saw some silliness on Facebook, that is it.  My DW and I were off from work, this being a Saturday in March.  The weather was sunny in the morning, grey in the afternoon.  We enjoyed the empty nest for a day while DS1 was at his friends.

Dinner tonight was Veal Francese. My DW makes a good kitchen assistant. She loads the dishwasher and can read and follow the recipe. She helps gather the ingredients and put them together. There are leftovers that will be really good for lunch if DS1 does not see them. He is not a big leftover eater unless he is broke and hungry.. Go figure.  Today I planted six brussel sprout plants. I like them, but have never grown them (not recently at least). My mom used to grow them.  My DW has decided that pan-fried with some bacon chips is a way that she will eat them. We will see.

Tonight’s picture keeps with the theme of food. DS2 sent this picture on Thursday of his lunch. The focus on the picture is fair. I asked what he was having, he replied “Sashimi”  Enjoy!



Day 268, Work from home Friday..

I had a rough commute this morning.  Really, I had to get out of bed, stumble into the kitchen. I put the laptop on the kitchen table and logged into work. I was working. Heck, my eyes weren’t even focusing correctly that is how short the commute was. I made a nice hot latte and I started to get on an even keel.  My extension at work had three messages on it first thing this morning. Who invited these people to call so early?  Two were from the same person that decided at 5:30 last night to reload his computer and wanted to know if I was still in the office. Not likely. I am a ghost at 5:01 pm if at all possible.

Last night’s fire, Heineken and pistachio nuts took their toll this morning. It was nice to spend some “mano e mano” time with my oldest. I needed that cup of coffee this morning. I have been treating Thursday night like a Friday night since I don’t drive to the office on Friday. Maybe next week a little more restraint might be in order. But, I “improvised, adapted and overcame”. Thank you DS3 for that quote.

This week DS2 has been outside of Baltimore at a Music Therapy conference. Yesterday he was part of a group that traveled to Washington, DC to meet with lawmakers about Music Therapy. He said the experience was great. My DW spoke with him the night before and discussed political action with him. She has done some of that “stuff” as a nurse working with their union.  He sent a few pictures that I will add to the bottom. I asked for a picture of the group or of him. I got neither, so far.

DS1 is off the Philadelphia this evening. His college lacrosse team is playing outside of Philadelphia tomorrow morning. One of his college teammates is coaching another college team that is playing later in the day nearby the first game. He plans on attending both of them. We (DW and I) are staying home. I have painting chores to work on. She has to write her conclusion and put her paper to bed. Tonight we went to the Olive Garden in Manahawkin for dinner. The food was good and they swapped the pasta for rice to accommodate her desire to stay as gluten-free as possible. 

DS3 wrapped up his school week. Last night he and most of the university went to the midnight opening of Hunger Games. He said the movie was incredible.  DS2 texted today that he and some of his music therapy cohorts went to the midnight showing of the movie near their hotel. He also enjoyed the movie. DS3 loaned me the book while he was home on break. I could not get past the second chapter. I may have to either try again of just see the movie.

Tonight’s pictures are from DS2’s trip to Washington, DC. Enjoy!


Day 267, More about ducks than you may want to know..

I got in the mail today a dozen duck eggs from my brother and his wife in Oregon.  No, this is not a common occurrence. For me, eggs are delivered by the milk man on Tuesday mornings, not the mailman on Thursday afternoon.  The eggs had a “19” written on them.  Three days ago I got an email from my brother suggesting that the package he shipped on Monday (3/19) should be put in the refrigerator. Since we don’t usually send each other stuff except on the holidays, this was an odd email. I naturally asked if the package was ticking..

Today I came home and found the package on the coffee table. I was concerned since my guess about his “gift” was that he sent us some snow since they are getting the snow and we are not.  My  DW opened the box and found two magazines and two six packs of eggs. They are quite large, in the chicken world they might be extra-large. I looked at a few of the eggs with the setting sun behind them, kind of candling them. I asked my DW if we were supposed to hatch them.

I sent me brother a few texts, thanking him for the eggs and asking for a little more background.  He called me and we talked for a while and I learned more about ducks than I may have wanted to.  These eggs are from Saxony ducks. These are good ducks to own since they are too fat to fly and keeping them local is an easier project.  My brother and his wife sell the eggs for hatching. I asked, What does that mean?  The short story of it is that people buy eggs from them to hatch Saxony ducks on their property. Since the ducks lay an egg a day and don’t care about orders or backlog of inventory, I got a dozen fresh duck eggs from Oregon in my refrigerator.

You know, reading my horoscope this morning I had not clue this was going to happen.  Friday is a work from home day for me. I will be having duck egg omelets for breakfast. My brother says that the egg whites cn be tough but if you scramble the eggs or make an omelet they should be fine.  He has not purchased many chicken eggs since they got the ducks.

What is really funny to me is that I intended to write about DS2 and his day as a lobbyist in Washington, DC.  Instead, I wrote about  ducks in Oregon.  I hope to be able write about eating duck eggs and/or Music Therapy tomorrow.

Tonight’s picture is of the fire (tonight  in out backyard).  DS1 and I shared a few beers and the fire.  Enjoy.


Nice, not a bonfire

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