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Sunday, March 21, 2021 No comments

Take our best shots

Fire away!

Charlie and I have been chucking our golf discs around the house when weather permits (and it permitted much of the last couple weeks). Of course, Charlie is a fiend for going outside, and he realizes I like doing this, so he tries to entice me with “throw disc?” Not when I’m working, unfortunately, although I should probably take a short health break in the afternoons. The problem with taking Charlie outside for a short break, though, is that he doesn’t want to have a short time outside. If I don’t have a call right after lunch, though, we might do a round.

He’s improved a LOT in the last couple of weeks. It used to be, he could barely get five feet out of a throw. Watch him now:

Meanwhile, I started taking a serious poke at getting the wife and I vaccinated, so we can Say No to the Ro for good. The Georgia Dept. of Public Health has a page that helps. My first attempt was fruitless, but on the second try (last Thursday), I got an appointment for this Thursday! The only drawback was, it's in Marietta. Oh well, people have been driving to Alabama to get vaccinated, as they had some looser requirements than Georgia for certain segments (teachers and clergy) until recently. Mississippi and the Cherokee Nation are both offering vaccines to all comers as well, which leads me to wonder if vaccine tourism is going to be a thing for a while.

I put both the wife and myself in pre-registration, thinking we might end up at the mass vaccination site in Clarksville. The wife pointed out that we should stagger our appointments, in case we both had to spend a day in bed with two kids running loose, and told me to get mine first. But she never got an email, so I ran her info through again. I immediately got her an appointment for tomorrow afternoon, in the next county over! So although I got my appointment first, she’ll get her shot first. I took Thursday and Friday off work, one day for the drive down (wow… I’ll be going somewhere!) and the next in case I need to rest up for the day.

We spent much of yesterday digging through the stuff stacked in the garage. Wife was getting inconvenienced at the narrow clearance between the stuff and her van. I found many things she was missing, filled a large garbage bag with trash, and stumbled across a cooler full of Caffeine Free Coke Zero and Diet Mountain Dew. It must have been The Boy’s, which means it was sitting there for well over a year. Several of the cans had lost pressure, and the cooler had a couple inches of yuck-colored fluid in it. I kept the good cans and put them in the fridge. The Coke Zeros are Mason’s, the others are mine.

With the van backed out, Mason decided to take up his dad’s skateboards. I showed him a video of how to do an ollie, and he was “that’s gotta be CGI or something.” I assured him no, I’d seen his dad do it, and explained the physics of it as best as I could. After an hour or so, Mason was able to get at least a little air!

So everyone is taking their best shots at FAR Manor. And I tell you, I will never be so happy to be stuck with a needle as I will be this Thursday.

Friday, March 05, 2021 No comments

Up too soon

Image source: openclipart.org
As Daughter Dearest has to be at school at way-too-early a.m., she drops AJ off at our place through the week. Wife gets the baby, she squawks on and off—sometimes waking me up, sometimes I integrate the noise into my morning dreams.

So the wife arbitrarily decided that I would get AJ on Friday not-quite-mornings. I didn't agree to that, or anything else, but whatever. Not that I would have said no if I’d been consulted about AJ in the morning, but nobody bothered to ask.

Thus, her 6 a.m. alarm went off. Some mornings, she’s in the living room recliner (having been put to sleep by the Hallmark Channel). Some mornings, she fumbles for the phone in our bed. And… on occasion, the phone goes off in the bathroom, while she’s in the living room, and I have to silence the mofo and give it to her.

But this morning, she was in bed, with her phone within easy reach. After a few minutes, she said, “AJ will be here any minute.”

Dropping plenty of F-bombs, I threw on a pair of long johns and a T-shirt, and staggered into the living room as I saw headlights drift by the window. I flipped on lights and got to the door in time for DD to bring Granddaughter Dearest in.

After Mama, AJ’s favorite person is Grandmom (but not by much). Granddad is down in the long tail, especially at 6-effing a.m. So when DD handed her over to Granddad, she started howling. DD’s hasty exit did nothing to settle the situation… fortunately, I did have a bottle handy. After some continued howling, she decided to chow down on the milk.

But it was too late. Rosie, aka Doofus, aka Stupidog, decided something was WRONG and hustled down the hall to jump on the wife. Charlie, who had staggered into our room some time during the night (which is unfortunately typical), was already up and around (“Hi, AJ! Hiiiiiiii!”). So wife got to sleep in for maybe 5 or 10 minutes. AJ immediately started howling again when Grandmom didn’t get her right away, but she was busy getting breakfast ready for both AJ and Charlie.

Wife turned on my coffee maker, but I opted to flop back into bed once she had AJ. I could always reheat my joe in the microwave, after all, and that’s what I did. Then I made espresso, and that got me through the rest of the morning.

To be honest, I hope that’s the last 6 a.m. wakeup call for me. I’ve never been a morning person.

Wednesday, March 03, 2021 No comments

A glut of meat

As I’ve said, there were a few upsides to the pandemic (for us, anyway). Avoiding restaurants, for one thing, meant we made a dent in our overloaded pantry and freezers. So there was space… fortunately.

As Mik Dragonrider observed, cattle are born knowing all profanity, and gladly teach it to anyone around them. Like people, adolescent cattle like to test boundaries. In their case, the boundaries are usually physical (i.e. fences). Younger calves can (and often do) slip between the barbed wire strands—the grass is always greener on the other side, after all. Larger calves, and full-grown cows with a taste for adventure, have to probe for loose (or broken) wires. The SOBs are always finding—or making—holes in the fences.

But one particular bull calf took a different approach. Instead of finding loose spots, he just jumped over the fence. Whenever he pleased.

Devolved T-rex
A digression: the parents of the Evil Twins have a friend who works in a chicken processing plant (a magical place where evil chickens become good chickens). Over the weekend, they brought us a box of whole (processed) chicken—seven in total, around 30 pounds of bone-in poultry. Fortunately, we have a vacuum sealer, and bagged the bounty. Three of them went to Daughter Dearest. I offered one to the preacher, and he said “Bring two, I'll smoke them and give you one back.” Works for me!

Back to the calf. We have a holding pen, where cows going to market get diverted, and somehow the wife got Jumpy in there. With grain and alfalfa pellets, he decided he preferred it to jumping out to the pasture. The family who re-roofed the manor, and generally hangs out with us, went in halfies with us on the calf. It helped that they have a trailer and a 4x4 pickup (it has been seriously soupy in the pasture, with all the rain this winter). The wife wielded a stick, and Jumpy found himself in a trailer. He tried to jump out a couple of times, but only banged his head against the lattice over the trailer.

While we were waiting for the processors to do their thing with Jumpy, the other family gave us a few packs of venison. Most of it is ground, but there are some tenderloin “medallions” in there. I refer to the latter as “douche steak,” because the wife uses a vinegar/water marinade (then rolled in bread crumbs and pan-fried… it’s really good stuff).

We have steak!
Yesterday, while Charlie was at his therapy session, the processor let the wife know Jumpy was ready to come home. We had anticipated this, and I chucked all of our coolers into the back of Moby Yo (the great white minivan) before she left. Of course, the processor had already boxed up the packages, so the coolers weren’t necessary, but better to have and not need than to need and not have, right?

We ended up with two boxes. One was all the really good stuff: brisket, ribeye, strip, filet, flank steak, one roast, and a few other cuts. The second box was ground chuck, still good stuff, partitioned into one-pound packs (perfect for us).

So, Jumpy’s last jump landed himself in our freezer. I did half-and-half venison and ground chuck yesterday evening for tacos, and the wife kept raving about how good it was (she was really hungry, but still). There are leftovers for my lunch, which is even better.

With all the beef and chicken in the freezer, I expect the wife will be craving pork before too long…


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