2-27-10 Saturday (Captain Broccoli Away!)

Here’s a video blog entry for today:

The paragraphs in green are covered in the above video:

Jim and I worked out pretty hard today.  With it being Saturday, we had a lot more time to do so.  We were able to take our time and do more than usual.  We’d do lots of arm exercises, working our muscles to failure.  We’d then do core which allowed for our arms to rest.  We then went back to arms, again working them till exhaustion.   The gym was nicely empty too but with enough eye candy to make it enjoyable.  {wink}

We came home and had a small salad to hold us over until after a shower.  With showers out of the way, we enjoyed some left over lasagna I made and froze a month ago.  As I was heating my portion, I called Jodi (she called while I was in the shower).  Once I mentioned the gym and lasagna she said my gym session was for nothing.  Well, it is a lasagna I made as low fat, low calorie as possible.  Her biggest objection was the carbs.  I know it.  When we have pasta, we eat whole wheat.  You know, I just can’t find a good whole wheat lasagna.  I haven’t exactly scoured the earth in search of it but I’m not worried, we hardly eat lasagna.   It sure was yummy.

It was a lot of work to make that video.  It was fun and perhaps I’ll do another sometime. 

I made the video in between cleaning the house.  I’d go clean something, come back, work on the video, have it process my changes while I went and vacuumed or whatever.  I wanted to be sure the bathroom was nice and clean for our house guest, Jodi.  She’ll be here tomorrow evening!


Jim spent the day burying conduit for the hot tub wiring.  He’s gonna attempt the whole project himself.  Perhaps by the end of the weekend we’ll be able to fill the hot tub and use it!

DIH - Ladder A year ago today, Jim blogged!  He was having some “house battery” difficulties in San Diego.  Good thing Scott was there to help him.  Check it out!

I used all by Q-Tips cleaning today and need to excuse myself while I run out for some more.  See ya!

2-26-10 Friday (Terms Of Measurement)

I started a job application with CitiFinancial.  Yeah, that’s the company Jim used to work for.  Their benefits are strong which is a good thing.  The online assessment was wicked.  If you want to see some of the questions they ask you can click on the small screen prints below.

17 1 2 7 9 10 11

Today was meal planning / food shopping day.  For my first stop – BJ’s.  Jim and I have complained to one other about BJ’s unit pricing.  In my opinion, unit pricing helps to compare products.  Price per tissue, price per package, etc.  Right?  Well, BJ’s inevitably lists different units of measure on like items.  So it’s impossible to compare the 2 without breaking out the calculator and getting all calculaty (if that were a word).  Once you’ve found the square root of pi to the nth power, then and only then can you continue shopping. 

So there I am, approaching the front of the Crystal Light mix.  Oh - as you can see I was able to continue shopping because I solved the mathematic equation above.  The answer was: blue.  Continuing: It would be great if they’ll put the unit pricing in quarts but I suspect gallons or something to make my life difficult.  Are you ready to see the unit pricing?


It’s only $27.96 a pound.  I’m afraid to price out the ground beef.  Perhaps the unit price will be by the inch.  How does one EASILY compare such dumb shit?  They have a deli on site.  I thought about going over and asking how much for a kilowatt of turkey.

After BJ’s I had a delightful shopping experience at Walmart.  I must say, any Walmart outside of Fort Myers, FL is typically a better shopping experience. 

Jim is officially done with training but they don’t have the desks/computers/whatevers ready for all the “graduates” so they’ll be in class for a few days more.

image We used up our cheat allowance tonight.  It’s Jim’s fault for suggesting it.  On the way home from the gym he says, “I wanna go out for dinner.”  As if he doesn’t feel like cooking or something.  We got home, showered and went to Red Robin.  We’ve only eaten at one while in Seattle and it was OK.  Anyway, we had a coupon and Jim was interested in a $5.99 “Prime Chophouse Burger” they’ve been advertising. 

Red Robin

image Oddly, I didn’t eat it all.  Not that I left very much, but nonetheless I had my fill.  I think I had gotten the deadly grease bite.  For me, I’ll be enjoying something but if I get a greasy bite, my stomach shuts down – I get disgusted.  It’s hours later that I ate it and just posting the photo of it makes my stomach turn.  Ewwwww.  Anyway, we still prefer burgers at Friday’s, Whataburger or Five Guys.


It wasn’t enough to have our cheat tonight.  I had to go over the top and suggest Cold Stone.  Perhaps it was the natural grease cleansing properties of ice cream that got me desiring it?  Maybe the rich in protein muscle nourishment characteristics of peanut butter?    That’s my story – I’m sticking to it.

Well, this entry comes to a close.  I must work on my grocery list for next week.  With all the math involved, I’ll need a head start:


2-25-10 Thursday (Rich In Iron)

I visited the RV today.  I couldn’t decide what I should bring it.  Some type of offering – ya know?  Oil?  Carpet cleaner?  Heat?  Damp-Rid?  So many options, I decided to bring it some casserole dishes that I swapped with the house stuff.  I giveth and then taketh away a fan for the bedroom at home.  Sometimes it gets too warm for me at night.  Hot flashes?  Probably not although if that’s what they’re all about then I feel mad for the elder women or those with thyroid issues.  Oh, the point of bringing the trip to the RV up – so as I drive into the storage place and stop to enter my entry code, I look over and I see this:


No strong dudes?  Funny.  Look again:


My ironing pile was… well - piled up.  I decided to tackle it.  It was time to break out my new ironing board cover.  You see, some shirts get a waffle imprint while I iron.  Below is some before and after photos of the blessed event known as “Changing of the Ironing Board Cover” (mark your calendar). 


It didn’t fit well.  I tried to iron with it.  I did.  I really did.  It just didn’t work out so back to the store it goes.


Dinner last night was delicious.  Jim has made this several times but much like his chili it seems to vary a bit each time.  Since this was the best it ever came out I wrote it as a recipe.  I made it this time but he directed me as to the ingredients so I can’t really take credit for it.

Bean Soup

1 lb pkg dry bean soup mix (discard flavoring packet)

1 lb ground turkey sausage

3 beef bouillon cubes or equivalent

1 large chopped onion

1 Tsp minced garlic

1 14.5 oz can Italian style diced tomatoes

1 C hot water

Soak beans in water overnight with plenty of extra water to allow for bean expansion.  Drain.  Rinse.  Fry/Bake turkey sausage.  Place beans, sausage, onion, garlic, and tomatoes into crock pot.  In a separate bowl, use hot water to dissolve bouillon.  Add bouillon mixture to crockpot.  Fill the crockpot with water that barely covers all the ingredients.  Stir.  Cook on low for 8 hours.

If anyone makes this, please let us know what you thought.

Insurance update!  If you remember yesterday I got a quote from Jeff,  of $831.  After discovering he was high he was going to “rework” the numbers to include that safe driver discount.  Today he came back with $595 from the same company (Erie).  I’ll need to share the quote with Jim and then decide.  This guy seems as shady as the the other place.  Decisions, decisions.

Tonight we had the left over Mexican Stew (I had previously frozen the left overs) and let me tell you, it got spicier since we first had it.  It was still uber tasty.  Have you ever noticed how leftovers sometimes taste better than when originally made?  I think this was the case with this stew.

As a Mitsubishi guy once said -



2-24-10 Wednesday (Dishonesty Is The Best Policy)

So recently Jim sought out new RV insurance.  He got a much lower rate with Victoria Insurance over Progressive.  Jim answered the agent’s questions honestly, one of which was about damage.  He explained about the partially missing fender skirt. 

2010-02-11 03 RV Insurance

image The insurance agency rep, we’ll call her You Have No Business Being In The Insurance Business Or Any Kind Of Business That May Require Customer Service.  OK, fine, we’ll shorten it up to X.  So X calls me and says the insurance company wants pictures of the RV all around and shots of the interior.  Be sure to include a close up of the damage.  Done.  X calls ands asks when we’re planning to have the damage fixed.  I replied I don’t know – why?  X says a lot of the time, Victoria insurance won’t insure us until it’s fixed.  ??????????  I told her to find out for sure and exactly why the damaged area wouldn’t just be an exclusion. 

image Days later X calls.  A mistake on the policy of listing me as married (her mistake) will cause a $76 for the year price difference.  She says that Victoria will cover us but will charge extra per month for the damage until we have it fixed.  I asked why.  She couldn’t answer that.  She didn’t know.  Why didn’t she ask them?  I ask what the surcharge would be.  X says she won’t know until the policy is put through.  If I don’t like it I can cancel the policy.  I can go back to Progressive with no lapse in coverage.  I took a REALLY big deep breath, resisted putting my arm through the phone to bitch slap her and I finally said (carefully annunciating each word and inappropriately grouped words into clusters as if I was struggling for air) “Do you – have any idea- just how ridiculous that sounds?”  X says she understood.  Bitch, if you understood you would have the answers.   I ask for the manager.  X says they’ll tell me the same think.  Angrily I tell her just wait till her dad gets home.  No.  I told her I’d be in touch.  More like my hand to her head but whatever.

image In the meantime, I feel like I don’t trust the insurance agency.  I feel like something shady is going on.  I don’t like it.  I check with a different agency who said that all of that was ridiculous.  Was he just saying that to get my trust?  We’ll call him I’m Not Sure If He Should Be Trusted Just Yet or Jeff for short.  I told him we were paying $900 for Progressive and that Victoria was coming in at $560.  He calls me back later with a quote for another company just shy of the $900 for $831.  I then realize that I told him about the price we paid in FLORIDA not here.  Progressive would be $651.  He says he’ll rework the numbers with the safe driver discount?  Ummmm, he had our license numbers.  He knew we were safe drivers.  Shouldn’t that already have been calculated in the price?  I didn’t ask that, we’ll see when he calls back.  I don’t know what to think.

I’m craving fat food.  Sigh.  I’ll go have a 1 oz pack of peanuts.  170 calories.

image This weekend will be exciting.  I’ve gotten news that Jodi will be making the drive from New York to her condo in Florida and we’ll be a pitstop for a couple of days!  Oh, she’s the one with the big blue arrow over her head.  If you want to see the posts from my December visit with Jodi, Michelle and Carolyn, start here.  I think we might need to take her to Crave The Dessert Bar.  Also to Zio’s for good Italian.  Jim and I came up with several places to go for food.  It’s all about the food.

image Above: We had to move all the furniture out of the way for a clear shot of Jodi on her tippy toes.

Time for the gym and then for dinner.  Dinner.  Mmmmmm, I’ve been smelling it all day.  Bean soup.  I know it’s going to be delicious.  I have to rewrite the recipe and then I’ll post it tomorrow.

2-23-10 Tuesday (Prepare To Be Boarded!)

I spent the entire day working on my laptop.   I have found one of the problems on the internet with several solutions that haven’t worked for me.  I’m going to try a little more today and then contact my personal computer guru friend, Dave.  Great, now he won’t answer the phone.  Maybe I should call him first, post later.

DIH - Dreamer A year ago on this day, my Mom was released from the hospital.  My Uncle Alan has been admitted to Hospice.  He’s doing terribly.  My Grandmother is obviously distraught.  This will be her second child she’ll lose.

I found an interesting recipe in another crock pot cookbook that we have.  This book hasn’t gotten as much use as our other.  The recipe is very strange (click the photo to enlarge):


The verdict.  I thought it was OK but needed “something” for some more flavor.  Jim said it was flavorless and not to bother keeping the leftovers or trying to tweak the recipe.  LOL.

The job hunt?  Don’t ask.  Oh, you didn’t.  Well, I’ve followed up with the lead that I thought went well and I think it’s dead now.  I emailed and called the director on February 12th.  He replied “Yes you are still a candidate Garret, we are still interviewing prior to making a decision.”  

I was impressed with a letter I got from the president of Larry Jay Mitsubishi.  Check it out (click on the picture to enlarge or get a magnifying glass or stop getting old or whatever):


CareerBuilder sent me my list of potential job matches.  Check out this page:


I always wanted to be a pirate, 2nd only to my astronaut accomplishment.  I clicked on it.  It’s a direct marketing company. 

Back to messing with the laptop, followed by the gym and then some TV.

2-22-10 Monday (Gobbling Meatloaf)

At 8:01 am, I awoke to thunder and lightning.  This may have been the first time I’ve heard thunder here.  I normally get up at this time anyway.  I looked outside and the soft rain didn’t match the thunder.  It was more “talk” than action.  That’s OK by me because I have a couple of errands to do today.

Since we left Jacksonville, the steps to the RV have been broken.  Jim took the old broken part off this past weekend so today with part in hand along with the stairs owner’s manual, I went to the RV parts store.  The linkage was in stock.  $40 


Next errand was BJ’s to make a return, and fill Jim’s car with some fuel.  Jim wanted some notebook type organizing stuff for work so off to Walmart I went. 

I fought with my laptop almost all day.  It had start up issues, then this and that wouldn’t work and finally I got the damn network card to work.  One problem lead to a domino effect. 

Animated-Turkey I forgot to tell you a little more about the meatloaf other than the rubber gloves.  Last night I made one of the loaves.  It was the first time I have ever used ground turkey and turkey sausage.  I also used stuffing mix instead of breadcrumbs which made it nice and firm.  I must say, all those turkey products – not bad.  Jim and I both enjoyed it.  A much healthier, low fat, less calorie meatloaf extravaganza. 

2-21-10 Sunday (Hide The Salami)

It was supposed to be on the menu for dinner one night.  Pizza.  We had nothing for lunch so I decided to make it.  I used a whole wheat Boboli crust, tomato sauce, 2% milk cheese, onion and diced up Bruschetta Tomato Basil Parmesan Boca burger.  I would have preferred Morning Star Farms Tomato & Basil Pizza burger but Target had none.  Anyway, it came out tasty.  I calculated the calories at 630 per 1/2 of pizza; 1260 full.  I ate half.  Fellow blogger, Norma, makes a pizza that is healthy as well but I wasn’t willing to got that far yet. 



Speaking of Norma, she’s a health food nut.  She’ll say no, but she is.  She’s a fitness guru too, and she’s been FAT so she knows what it’s like.  She linked this article which is definitely an eye opener especially about salami.

I went to BJ’s for bags of salad and broccoli while Jim dealt with the RV battery.  The main engine battery has needed boosting lately and with the weather warming, we might want to take it to a usable storage site soon. 

A short yet sweet entry.  A good place to stop. 

2-20-10 Saturday (A Crave For Rubber Gloves)

image I didn’t realize I had so much to say for yesterday’s blog entry.  Sometimes I feel like I’ve got nothing and it’s ends up to be pretty much nothing.  Other times, such as yesterday, I felt like I had nothing but ended up with too much.  I can tell when it’s too much. Comments are about only 1 or 2 subjects in the entry(remembering the blog is always about 900 subjects at at time) and mostly from toward the bottom of the blog.  The best solution I can offer is – oh there isn’t one.

I sometimes wonder if I should rename the blog something with the word digress or digression.  Wouldn’t it better fit the non subject matter?  But I digress.

I discovered a link/hyperlink problem this morning.  I had to go back about 15 entries and correct them all.  I’ll explain -

For non-computer literate readers (Like my Mom and Jim’s Mom): A link is typically underlined and when you click it a different webpage opens up.  Well, to make it real easy, I typically have it set to open a new page instead of overwriting the one you’re reading.  I discovered today that all links were just go over the blog and not making a new tab/window.  This sentence is a link.  If you had clicked on that sentence it should have taken you to the wonderful world of unicorns.  Awwwww.

For computer savvy readers: The links didn’t open a new window.  I fixed it.

It’s funny in a way.  Someone created a bunch of computer words but instead used existing words which created confusion.  Windows, mouse, desktop, icon, “move the mouse”, “open a window”.  Very strange.

Guess what time it is:


Take it easy Alix, it’s not another colonoscopy.  Click here for information on Alix’s first colonoscopy. 


I made meatloaf.  Actually 3 mini loaves; I froze 2.  Alix, doesn’t that put your sphincter at ease? 

I’m not sure if I ever mentioned it but I keep a separate pair of dish washing gloves in a Ziploc marked “Meatloaf”.   I used these when I mix and work with meatloaf.  It’s more sanitary, less knuckle hair in your loaf, it’s not as cold on my hands AND washing my hands/under nails is barely needed.  Now, doesn’t meatloaf sound that much better?  So remember, the next time you’re served meatloaf ask the chef if he/she wore gloves like Garret. 

We had a very early dinner at home and then went to the RV show again.  Once again we had fun!  I don’t know why it is, but it is.  I didn’t take anymore photos at the show but did take 2 walk through videos to show the kind of trailers we’re interested in.



On the way to the RV show I spotted a place called “Crave – A Dessert Bar”.  I emailed myself a reminder to check into it.  I did and it sounded yummy.  Click here and see their website/menu.  The website has some interior photos of the place as well.  They do wines, cheese platters, and sliders as well.  No dinner.  It’s more of a “before & after” place.

2010-02-20 07

Above: It was probably hard for Jim to smile after I screeched with delight that I’d be taking a photo and not to “ruin” the food.

 2010-02-20 03Above: This place takes reservations and was booked up.  They slid us in if we’d be out within 40 minutes which for just having dessert was no big deal.

  2010-02-20 05 Above: Jim and I both had the 2 cupcake dessert.  He got 2 completely different cakes so that we could sample one anothers.

2010-02-20 06 Above: For large groups/parties, they do a chocolate fondue, cheese platter, etc.  This guy was setting up behind Jim for the upcoming soiree. 

There won’t be any This Day In Our History for a few days. 

2-19-10 Friday (Trashy Food)

Sometime this weekend we’ll be going to an RV show.  Believe it or not, we’ve never been to one.  It’s not that we intentionally missed one, it’s just that while traveling we’ve missed the entire city while the show was in town.  We really have no business going to one of these shows, BUT Jim and I love looking at newer RVs.  We’ve talked about trading in the MoHo on something smaller and newer.  Now isn’t the time for that but I’m sure we’ll be tempted.  Never having been to a show, I’m not sure if we’ll be bombarded by salesman who want to make our camping dreams come true.  If they’re anything like the mall kiosk sales people, I think I’m fixing to be annoyed.

Animated RV 

Last night I started menu planning for the week.  I actually keep a Microsoft Word document in my computer with a list of meal ideas.  If I try something new and like it, I add it to the list.  Anal retentive – I know.  Well, I did it because it’s hard to think of things to make.  Having a list serves as reminders.  It’s like going out to eat and asking your other half where they wanna go.  They reply “I don’t know, where do you want to go?”  The list avoids that scenario. 


I think the list is pretty weak right now but as I think of stuff, I add to it.  Hey I try.  I pick a meal, assign it to a day and then write down the appropriate ingredients onto the shopping list.  This prevents us from over stocking the pantry, fridge/freezer.  When we moved into the RV we threw out so much expired food.  When’s the last time you checked all the crap in your pantry?

We have to be “good” this weekend.  We certainly over ate at the Chinese Buffet yesterday, so making smart choices this weekend is key. 

Dasher I gave Dasher a bath and washed all the pet bedding today.  He absolutely hates baths.  With each bath, I must get creative with my preparations.  He relates certain tasks with bath time.  Getting a towel, getting undressed (I usually get into the tub with him), etc.  If he spots a sign of a possibly bath, he runs for cover.  It was impossible for him to hide in the RV but in a house, it was under a bed or something.  He’s a butt-head.

DIH - Animated Arrow My Mom was finally (after so many hospital visits) diagnosed with C-Diff.  She has gotten the same doctor that our family has had a run in with previously.  Ugh.
*See last year’s post here.

Well my post has become inaccurate on several accounts.  We skipped the gym and went to the RV show this evening.  It was a BOGO for a Friday night with free reentry for Saturday.  We didn’t make it through the entire show.  We’ll have to go back tomorrow.

Jim and I enjoyed ourselves.  Who needed the gym anyway with all the up and down steps to go into RV’s.  We put our attention mostly on bumper pull trailers.  That might just be our next RV purchase.  They have some that even our Cherokee can pull.  Most likely, we’d buy a newer trailer (in the future) and trade the Jeep in on something a little larger.

The show chased us out at about 9pm.  We printed a coupon from our entertainment.com for a BOGO to a Cajun Restaurant in the Uptown area.  Parking.  Ugh.  In big cities it’s bit us in the ass before.  We have a coupon and end up paying parking.  That would have been the case tonight for $5!  I said forget it and off to a Longhorn in our neighborhood we went. 

image We were seated immediately (no surprise at 9:15pm).  We walked passed the kitchen where I thought I spotted food and garbage all over the floor.  I continued on to the table and then it hit me.  I told Jim about it, walked back over to the kitchen doorway and saw the trash along with what seemed like too many employees in such a tight space.  They trampled the trash.  Someone asked if I needed something to which I replied “the manager”.  The manager (a woman that I wish I could remember her name) came out quickly.  I had an audience going as I pointed out the trash and food on the floor exclaiming “that’s disgusting!”  She apologized and said she’d have it cleaned up.  I told her it didn’t matter, we wouldn’t be staying.  I “retrieved” Jim (he was at the table) and we left.  Jim agreed that for as disgusting as that was for what we can see… what can’t we see?

image We went to Five Guys Burgers instead.  Yum.  By the way, I looked up Longhorn’s sanitation score.  It was a 90 + 2 (education credit) = 92.  That’s not really that good.  Five Guys was 102!  I also copied a portion of this blog and pasted it to Longhorn corporate. 

Here’s some photos:

IMG_0001Above: I absolutely love that we’re 15 minutes away from uptown.  Here’s the skyline which can be seen just 5 minutes away from our house.

 IMG_0004 IMG_0006

 IMG_0007 Above: This was taken before we went downstairs and into the show.