Saturday, December 29, 2012

Recipe #199

I made this just before CHRISTmas and we just finished it last night...lots of veggies in this comfort food!

1 and 1/2 turn of extra virgin olive oil
1 white onion diced
about one third of a green pepper diced
2 carrots sliced thin
4 oz mushrooms sliced thin
1 rib of celery diced into small pieces
3-4 cloves of garlic diced
1 pound ground beef
4-6 oz of pork loin sliced into bite-sized chunks
3 medium red potatos diced
2 cans Brooks chili mix with beans
3 cans seasoned diced tomatos
1 can 14 oz tomato sauce
1 can 6 oz tomato paste
12 oz beer
2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
tbs chili powder
tsp basil
tsp chives
tsp garlic powder
tsp onion powder
cumin to taste

Serve with:
shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream
corn chips

I like to start in my 4 quart Cook's Essentials non-stick pot on medium heat with the oil, garlic, and vegetables until they're soft, then add the beef. Add seasoning to beef while cooking and cook til almost entirely brown then drain excess grease.
Meanwhile in non-stick T-Fal fry pan, heat the pork and potatoes in oil until cooked through, about 15 minutes.You may season these also at this point...i like to use montreal chicken season on my fried potatoes!
In 6 quart stockpot, combine contents both cooked pans along with other ingredients and bring to boil for about 5 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for as long as you need to. Lid if you don't want to lose moisture, keep uncovered if you want to reduce water content.
Serve over chips covered with a dollop of sour cream and some fresh shredded cheese...we enjoyed it for lunch and dinner for many days...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas, Mr. Scrooge, in keeping with the situation!!

The cheesecake is chilling, the meatballs are warming, the last batch of Magic Cookie Bars are in the oven, the cheese is cut, the spice coffee is warm, the fire is warmer, the dishes are done, A Christmas Story is ending (for the 14th time), Les Miserables opens at our local MJR theatre in two hours, the dog is lying at my feet, and kitty is watching it all unfold: It is a glorious Christmas morning on Lamb Street (and elsewhere I'm sure!)

Hark! The herald angels sing: Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth, and mercy mild; God and sinners reconciled.
Joyful all ye nations rise, join the triumph of the skies
With angelic host proclaim: CHRIST IS BORN in Bethlehem!
Hark! The herald angels sing: Glory to the newborn King!

Hail! The Heavenly Prince of Peace
Hail! The Son of Righteousness
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays his glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth!
Hark! the herald angels sing: Glory to the newborn King!

Sweetie and I took a quick trip to see little sister in Port Huron on Sunday. Yestreday she rang middle of the day and I worked a little Santa gig in Brighton. We got a few quick inches of snow that covered every little thing and caused havoc on the expressways. We spent a quiet Christmas Eve evening together amidst baking and packaging and I triple dog dare ya. Already out early for a Christmas cappuccino; the roads are still slick so be ye full of care.


Saturday, December 22, 2012


Saturday night in Whitmore Lake. It's cold and clear and the waxing gibbous moon is high in the sky. Miracle on 34th Street is on AMC yet again and my bride is on her way home from work. We are going out dancing tonight, because we feel like it. We have both worked long hard weeks and we will tonight enjoy each others company.
Tomorrow is Sunday and then Monday is Christmas Eve. Tuesday is Christmas Day and Les Miserables.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Our hearts are sad, blood has been shed...

Lord of Heaven and earth,

Great is Your Name and greatly to be praised; You are worthy of all praise. To You belong blessing, honour, power, and glory. Your righteousness shines like the sun, Your holiness like a thousand stars. You are before all and during all and after all...YOU ARE!
I confess my sin to you this hour LORD, and I confess the sin of the whole world. We are a selfish lot, we are short-sighted and unwise. 
Lord have mercy
Christ have mercy
Lord have mercy
Forgive us by the power of the blood that was shed for our good; forgive us, please forgive us.

You are all Good, all Mighty, all Wise; in You is our hope, our faith, our trust.



Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Our Aunt Sue, Susanne Marie Randall/Luckritz/Baldner, went home to be with the LORD at 11:16 this morning. I am sad...

God our Father,
Your power brings us to birth,
Your providence guides our lives,
and by Your command we return to dust.

Lord, those who die still live in Your presence,
their lives change but do not end.
I pray in hope for my family,
relatives and friends,
and for all the dead known to You alone.

In company with Christ,
Who died and now lives,
may they rejoice in Your kingdom,
where all our tears are wiped away.
Unite us together again in one family,
to sing Your praise forever and ever.


Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon her.
May she rest in peace.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

...and He shall reigh for ever and ever.

King of kings!
-forever and ever, hallelujah, hallelujah!
and Lord of lords!
-forever and ever, hallelujah, hallelujah!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

First Advent Post...


Rudolf on tonight
Chicken patty sandwiches and salad tonight, burgers last night
$2.99 lights on the deck from Target
Installed a valve for the outside water; still need to insulate and replace skirts
Server at the office just stopped working
Rooted for the Lions to lose on Sunday
Sister Nancy got her picture taken with Virginia Patton (Ruth Daiken Bailey from It's a Wonderful Life)
Saw A Christmas Carol - The Musical on Friday
Went to mass at Old St. Patrick in Ann Arbor on Sunday

I just don't like to make toys

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A lament for Gandalf, ...I have not the heart to tell you, for me the grief is still too near

Let the night never cease to call you
Let the day nevermore be the same
Though you've gone where we cannot find you
In each heart you have set your name
Mithrandir far you wander
And long may your name be sung
Through kingdoms of starlight
And realms of the sun
Mithrandir though you're hidden
We're still guided by your light
You're walking beside us
A friend in the night We were lost when the dark descended
And the light gathered into a storm
You appeared like a sunlit morning
At the winds of a world at war Mithrandir far you wander
And long may your name be sung
Through kingdoms of starlight
And realms of the sun
Mithrandir though you're hidden
We're still guided by your light
You're walking beside us
A friend in the night Mithrandir rising through the shadow
Like a star shining deep in its home
You will dwell in our hearts forever
Nevermore will we stand alone

Friday, November 23, 2012

Important Dates

14 December 2012 The Hobbit opens

25 December 2012 Les Miserables opens

Nobody shouts or talks too loud, not in my castle on a cloud

My wife and I are finally (after 17 years) at the place where we are able to spend these wonderful HolyDay celebrations with our respective families without each other and be good with it. Yestreday Thanksgiving 2012 was a most wonderful day.
I got to sing most of Les Mis with niceces and nephews Ramon, Carlos, Isabelle, Alexander, and sister Nancy. I got to eat tons of food with my family. AND, I got to play football in the yard with neices and nephews and brother Gary and sister Nancy. What a wonderful day it was!?!?!?! More desserts than one get-together should be allowed, endless LOTR and The Hobbit conversations, football, Les Mis, warm hugs, and warm food. God be praised!!

Christ, the Life of all the living
Christ, the Death of death, our foe
Who, Thyself for me once giving
To the darkest depths of woe - 
Through thy suff'rings, death, and merit
I eternal live inherit.
Thousand, thousand thanks shall be,
Dearest Jesus unto Thee.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

another day in the life...

Brought in dollar 'cookies' from cvs to dunk in my coffee this morning; the pot is a strong one and I am thankful: up at 4 am and wide awake but the 620 alarm was not very welcome i can tell you.
Made the coffee, lit the candles, checked email: nothing super-urgent, rebooted because it was slow...
Still slow and the server is beeping...WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?!?!
Checked on chumley appraisal and there's no word on the new comps supposed to be done...
Printed wife's supplement so only one condition left. LO (may he live forever) wants to close Friday.
Asked the closer at IMCO why when we agreed on a 2:00 closing for Needles the closing package didn't get to the title company until after 5:00...
Hannah is finally 'submitted' to IMCO and we await UW conditions.
Zilwaukee is closed and disbursed and (now that I've again driven to Land) we have our closing package for the file. For the file?
Now, to help organize old files...
Locked Zilwaukee after being unable to access the United online system for the better part of an hour.
Back to the organizing...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Week!

I watched the Grinch last night on tv. Now, it must be said, that i've already watched Charlie Brown Christmas twice, It's a Wonderful Live thrice, Rudolf once, and I've listened to Handel's Messiah several times in the past month. It's all good. I love the season. My sweetie has already decorated the house and I made some simple meatloaf tonight.

Simple, yo, and the only thing i added not shown above was about a pound and a half of ground beef. The hour's almost up and the house smells pretty darn good.

Some fall feeder pictures:


Thursday, November 15, 2012

At the end of the day you're another day older...

My wife rings a bell for the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign. She started yestreday, Wednesday the 14th of November, and she will ring six days a week until CHRISTmas eve.She picks up her bucket and gets her assignment at 9 in the am, then drives to her destination, and starts ringing, ... and doesn't stop ringing until the driver picks up her bucket at around 8 in the pm. Other than quick bathroom breaks, she rings and greets and wishes God's blessing upon the shoppers in Livingston County for over ten hours a day in whatever kind of weather (frightful or not!) She got home last night with a red face just like Mrs. Claus, hungry and tired. We shared a quick supper and she told me she was ready to lay down. I kissed her good night and within about a minute i could hear the peaceful-slumber-breathing (not snoring!) from the bedroom and I was left to finish watching The Maltese Falcon on TCM by myself.
I am quite proud of her. I know I couldn't do it.
This is her third year and she often rings at the Wal-Mart that we love to shop at. It's the busiest door in the county and she gets to ring there because, for two years straight, she's rang in the most dollars. The Salvation Army has a nice banquet after CHRISTmas for all the ringers and then gives out a nice prize. She's humbled by the big hearts of the people of Livingston County
I'm so proud of her...

CHRISTmas carols on Pandora

Monday, November 12, 2012


Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head
Found my way downstairs and drank a cup
      and, looking up, I noticed I was late....

Actually it rarely happens that simply; to-day it certainly did not:
Woke up, got out of bed, dragged my fatass across the floor to let out the dog at 3 in the a.m. It was getting colder and I was so glad I was home with my snuggle sweetie. Ah another several hours of dreams...
The first alarm went off at 6:20 and this was much too early. Set the snooze for and hour and 7:20 inevitable came and I was still not ready to get up. My sweetie, on the other hand, was, and she went off to her favourite gas station to score a french vanilla cappuccino. I rested until i was rushed and shaved, showered, and dressed in record time. My darling made me a french bread sandwich, leftover meatloaf, and three little packets of m$ms lunch with a love note on the paper towel (-8 and I was off!
Expressway traffic is not bad at that hour and I found my favourite parking spot was waiting for my little white ranger.
Found my way upstairs and turned the lights, copier, computer, and coffee pot on, only to find that the server was not accessible. Did what I could but it turned out necessary to call the big techno dogs for a house call for the fix. An hour later I was golden and saw to the business of the day. Scheduled another closing for Wednesday and am very close to about three more done deals.
Left the office a little after six with the songs of Les Mis on my brain. So I got home, had my second dinner, and found the trailer to watch several times. Then Rufus doing Hallelujah and Schnappi by the little German girl, then Miss Saigon and Cats, just to feel well rounded.
Sweetie is embibing in DWTS as I finish this entry. (And, finally, Across the Universe by Rufus)

Found my way downstairs and had a smoke, and somebody spoke, and I went into to a dream...

Thank you, LORD, for a wonderful day
For the work I was able to do, and for the after-work time at home with Sierra the Malamute, Otis the Quat, and the Bride of my Youth.
And i love You, too.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

At home...

Friday: after work to Walmart for insulin and pop, then KFC for a bucket o great chicken. Tough to drive all that way home without tearing into a breast or two...

Saturday: up real early to do laundry, have quick shared omelet, get some lumber from Lowes, and then home to build a wall in the back bedroom; also hung a door on the front bedroom.

Sunday slept in a bit and then worked outside: put in some perennials, got stuff put away in the shed, blew some leaves, ... it's about 70 and real windy. Kitty just got up from his fifth nap and is watching leaves blow by outside. The sun is low in the southwest and it seems like it's like 6 or 7 pm- it's not even 4 yet and i'm ready for my first nap.

Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth, peace, goodwill to men.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

At work...

Parked in my favourite spot, unlocked door and came upstairs. Turned on the lights, made the coffee, turned on the copier and radio, unlocked dual screen Dell desktop. No email. Never seen that, not even a fax notification telling me i could get a cheap Bahama cruise.
Checked United pipeline: no lock status on Zilwaukee, no news from the underwriters on Hannah, no status changes on any loans at all. Checked IMCO pipeline: status update on Jarjar and Needle. Needles appraisal was yestreday so we should be hearing from the AMC soon. Met Mr. and Mrs. Jarjar yestreday also. Nice people to be sure. Wishing nothing but the best for them.
First phone call was from Drogo Zarubabbel, the Senior Underwriter from United. He told me that EVEN THOUGH we went through a costly and time-consuming credit rescore on the Harper loan, the case was still not approve/eligible because of the ratios. AE T-Roui recommended going to a 20 year loan as hes' seen AE-I ineligible go to approve/eligible by switching to 20 year. I presented this to the loan officer (may he live forever) and am waiting for his direction. Boss called and is involved in some sort of court drama or other and won't be in until late morning.
10:25 and i grabbed my first cup of coffee. started typing up some notes for the Boss also, 'cuz you're a good typer'. He's a nice guy - i like helping him during this stressful time in his life.

The next sequence of events is hard to summarize without the help of Steven Spielberg...
Loan officer (may he live forever) sends an email to me showing what he had just sent to his 'assistant' who is finding him loans regarding a client of theirs.

2:30 now, and the last four hours have been hectic....let's see...the loan officer (may he live forever) showed up in the office to sign some documents which had not arrived yet so his visit was in vain. Subsequently, we began discussing the Harper deal and the car allowance that is figured into his six-figure salary but which had not specifically been counted as income. So I collected appropriate documentation and provided it to the underwriter (as well as our loan officer ((may he live forever)), the Boss, and the AE), and I am eagerly awaiting a positive reply. Spent almost an hour trying to get an approve/eligible in FNMA's Desktop Originator for the Harper deal going with 20 years in stead of 30. But this would require a Change of Circumstance with United and all the associated

Typed some more for the Boss, checked on our facsimile server which is not apparently working to-day... and we can send faxes (we never need to do that, we scan and email everything) but not receive them...Submitted a bunch of stuff yestreday on the JarJar loan and the bank is acting like they never got anything...the lock on Zilwaukee is confirmed but we forgot to request the escrow waiver...called the AE on that one and left a message...
Checked IMCO pipeline again and nothing i am going to do with those to-day. I'm going to check into licensing with NMLS...

Got a list of conditions from the Lender for the Chumley deal so I am all over this before quitting time!!!

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Recipe # 18: Lasagna

We had this ton of shredded mozzarella cheese we got from my mom and i had been thinking about a frozen pizza just to use it up but my beautiful bride had a better idea...

Set cheeses out so as to assemble at room temperature.

2# mozzarella cheese

2.5 # ground beef
1 white onion diced
1 red onion diced
Several dried basil leaves crumbled up
3 cloves garlic minced
1 tbsp fresh Italian parsley
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Add 45 ounces of Ragu Old World Style Smooth Pasta Sauce Flavored with Meat
3 cans of diced tomatoes (one of which is Meijer Italian Style Diced Tomatoes with Oregano and Basil)
1 little can of tomato paste
2 cans of sliced mushrooms and bring to boil.
Reduce heat and start cheese sauce.

For the tomato sauce, preheat your big pot and give the bottom two turns of EVOO. Add onion, garlic, parsley, basil, pepper and meat; cook meat until almost done. Add tomatoes and mushrooms and bring to a boil then simmer while you build the cheese sauce.

Combine the following in a mixing bowl:

1 pint ricotta cheese
1 pint cottage cheese
½ cup Parmesan cheese
Several sprigs of rosemary
Several dashes of oregano
Several twists of fresh ground black pepper

Layer sauce, noodles, cheese and mozzarella until you run out of room. Cook for 45 minutes at 350 covered and then add some mozzarella to the top and cook another 15 uncovered.

This much actually made two pans three inches thick but I ran out of cheese sauce on the second one. I don't think you could use too much mozzarella. Make sure to leave room under the foil so that when you take the foil off, you can put tons of cheese on top.I would have added diced green/red/orange/yellow peppers to the sauce if we'd a had some. Fresh mushrooms are great also, we just happened to have the canned in the pantry. Also, you can add zucchini, carrots, or whatever the heck you want.

This turned out pretty darn good. My wife loved it and we made enough to share with family tomorrow.

Sola Deo Gloria

Friday, November 2, 2012


There, out in the darkness
A fugitive running
Fallen from God
Fallen from grace
God be my witness
I never shall yield
Till we come face to face
Till we come face to face

He knows his way in the dark
Mine is the way of the Lord
And those who follow the path of the righteous
Shall have their reward
And if they fall
As Lucifer fell
The flame
The sword!

In your multitudes
Scarce to be counted
Filling the darkness
With order and light
You are the sentinels
Silent and sure
Keeping watch in the night
Keeping watch in the night

You know your place in the sky
You hold your course and your aim
And each in your season
Returns and returns
And is always the same
And if you fall as Lucifer fell
You fall in flame!

And so it has been and so it is written
On the doorway to paradise
That those who falter and those who fall
Must pay the price!

Lord let me find him
That I may see him
Safe behind bars
I will never rest
Till then
This I swear
This I swear by the stars!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Thank You, Father in Heaven, for the food and water You provide for us. Thank You for a fire in the fireplace and shelter from the cold winds.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Game 4

Inning the First1
Pagan K
Scutaro FO
Pablo K

Jackson  some sort of out
Berry GO
Miggy BB
Fielder K

Inning the Second2
Posey K
Pence 2B
Belt 3B Pence scored
Blanco 4-3 Belt to third
Theriot FO9

Delmon Single up the middle
Andy FO8
Jhonny out
Omar groundout

Inning the Third3

Crawford I1B
Pagan FO9
Scutaro FO8
Pablo 1B, crawford to third
Posey FO8

G-Money some sort of out
Ajax BB
Berry sac bunt pablo great play to get the batter
Miggy "...and he's gonna run out of room!"
Fielder 6-3

Inning the Fourth4
Pence out
Belt four pitch walk
Blanco strike em out, throw em out double play

Delmon out
Andy out
Jhonny K

Inning the Fifth5
Therio out
Crawford out
Pagan 4-3 (thanks baby, for that one)

Omar bloop single
Gmoney bunt pop up
Ajax FO8
Berry 1-6-3 out with a head-first dive

Inning the Sixth6
Scutaro E-5
Pablo K
Posey 2 run homer 3-2 Giants
Pence K
Belt FO7

Miggy K
Fielder little fucking stupid ass popout
Delmon Homer to right
Dirks single
Jhonny long fly ball to left almost at the fence (3-3)

Inning the Seventh7
Blanco single to right
Therio ground out, Blanco to 2nd
pitching change: Smyly
Crawford FO8
pitching change: Dotel
Pagan 4-3 (3-3)

Omar 6-3
G-money Popped up to first
Ajax shitty atbat strike out

Inning the Eighth8
Dotel walks Scutaro on four straight pitches
Pablo 3 ua. Scutaro out 3-6-1. Two out.
Posey K!!

Pitcher for SanFran Jeremy Affeldt causing
pinch hitter Avisail Garcia: BB
Miggy K
Prince K
Delmon  K

Inning the ninth9
coke pitching...
pence CK
belt  K
blanco k

Dirks K
Jhonny FO8
new pitcher
Omar hit on the hand by Cassila asswipe; Worth takes first
G-Money ground out

Inning the tenth10
Theriot single to right
Crawford sac bunt, Theriot to second
Pagan K

I think it's beyond our control...

We've tried it all... new gray Tiger shirt, old blue Tiger hat, score the game, add to the kitchen Tigers shrine, old blue sleeveless Tiger shirt, watch the pregame, don't watch the pregame, yell at the tv, don't yell at the tv, beads, no beads, plug in the orange Tiger lights, leave them unplugged...I even ask God to help them win.

Bottom line is, the offense has been on a union break, and they need to punch back in.

Above the gas range, our Tiger shrine

Friday, October 26, 2012


worked late and brought home Guidos pizza and their famous GuidoBread with that unbelievable cheese dipping sauce omg. sweetie and i watched the video of my mom and dads 50th anniversary shindig...another omg.
I made a fire to warm us up and now i'm listening to les mis and she's watching tv. i'm going to attempt for the third time tonight a 2 suit spider solitair game.
I will win it: third time pays for all, as my old gaffer used to say.
Pizza and GuidoBread after work: $21.49
Getting my wife's PT Cruiser out of the shop: $348.90
Spending a Friday night with her, Sierra the Malamute, and Otis the Quat: priceless

Sweetie says no doubters in the house tomorrow night; only the faithful will be allowed here to cheer on the boys of summer. i am not too optimistic about this endeavour.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Autumn Blessings!!

Glorious day to-day; sunshine, leaves falling and blowing around, near 80 degrees, the smells of the leaves blowing and the leaves burning are everywhere, Glory to God!

I have an abscess and it hurts. I went to have an orthodontics guy clean it out to-day and he filled it with some medicine and i get to back to see him next month.

5:00 and I just woke up from my nap and it's still beautiful out!! My sweetie is cutting the grass and the Quat is watching diligently. Sierra the Malamute is lying somewhere comfortably, and I hope the Tigers are taking their vitamins. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

American League Champs!!

The Tigers beat the Yankees in the ALCS and await the Giants/Cards winner to compete to be MLB Champs.

Are you my kitty? It certainly appears so.

Cool here in Whitmore Lake and rain rain rain ... all the moisture we would have liked to have had in the summer is appearing now it appears.

In the fourth game, their ass goes down.

Doing a pork loin to-day, MSU @ U-M and this is the year that MSU can mess up Nard-dog's decent season so far...

Tons more pictures of the clinching night at, thanks!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Game 3 American League Pennant

My sweetie and I both worked til 3 and rushed home in anticipation. I had found online the place we were going for dinner before the game, and all the reviews said 'get there early'. We fed the dog and let her out, i reminded the Quat to be good; we grabbed an extra long-sleeved shirt and away we sped. There were very few tables with people when we strolled eagerly into Nemos in Corktown. Sports Illustrated had recently named this establishment one of the three top sports bars in the US of A.Not for its food, I can tell you (the burger wasn't bad, it was just the only thing seriously on the menu!), nor for the promptness of the shuttle bus that takes you to and from the game, but for the antiquity of the building and the Detroit sports stories that cover the walls.
We enjoyed conversation with people from all over as the restaurant and tables outside filled up. Busses not unlike the one below, one at a time, filled up with revellers and left, replaced by ones of similar kind and likeness.

We toasted the Tiger's fortune one more time and hopped aboard a bus parked in front on bricked Michigan Avenue that looked not a bit different from the one above and made our way to the park The driver let us off right at Gate B and we were in a festive mood so we walked over to the huge parking lot turned into pre-game party just east of Chelli's Chili bar. We hung out there for a while, listening to the music by some dj right there live and loud and then headed into the park. I tried to give the guy the wrong tickets (whiched caused a bit of stress for us during the Anthem and introductions) but we finally ended up at the highest top of the stadium you could be in, foul territory, right field.
We decided after about 2 innings to take our chances in lower level land and walked miles trying to find a standing room spot where we could actually see the game. We ended up in bleacher land for an inning or two until i got hungry so we went clockwise (our favourite direction) towards first base. Stopped where we could see a little bit of the batting area and infield....right behind the terrace seats behind first base. It was convenient there for several reasons. One, we weren't up in the stratosphere. B, we were within sight of restrooms, pizza, kick ass Italian sausages with mucho aroma, and miller lite vendors. Plus, we were immediately next to a portable refrigerator holding Leinenkugel kegs which served as a table for me to lay my score book on. Plus, plus, the vendors on both sides of us (Leinenkugel and Tiger Gear) were the nicest folks you could ever want to share a Game 3 with.
JV pitched into the 8th, and was relieved due to pitch count, not circumstance. He was not getting the strike calls that he enjoyed in the Oakland series. In fact, he threw 18 pitches in 3 ball counts and did not walk a batter. That set some sort of record or other.

From Elias: Miguel Cabrera has at least one hit in each of his 16 career League Championship Series games, moving out of a tie with Pete Rose (1973-1983) and Manny Ramirez (2003-2007) for the longest hitting streak in LCS history.

Anyways, Phil Coke pulled off the two-inning save, and not one person left that park until the final out in the 9th. Great fans Detroiters are.Everyone was waving the white towels...not in submission mind you, but in revellry...which is where we started this shindig.
Our bus back to Nemos took forever to arrive and I suppose if we would have not been NemoVirgins, we might have enjoyed being downtown enjoying the revelry. We finally loaded and got back to Corktown. We made a final visit inside before piling into the Grape and heading home: Michigan Ave west, right on Rosa Parks, left on I-75 (south) and a quick right onto I-96 (west). 

It was a great outing with my sweetie, and one of the best birthday celebrations i can remember.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Cold and drizzly here in Whitmore Lake but it's a beautiful Saturday because
i) God loves me infinitely more than I could ever love myself
ii) I am home with my sweetie and Sierra the Malamute and Otis the Quat
iii) I don't have to drive up north for work tomorrow
iv) The Tigers start their alcs in new york tonight, and we're going to the first home game on tuesday
v) I don't have to drive up north tomorrow
vi) We are blessed with a home, food, water, a toilet and shower, gas for heat and electricity for light
vii) TCM is on as I put together some white chicken chili

Sunday, October 7, 2012

50th Celebration, part 2

Our Heavenly Father blessed this day for so many of wonderful to see nieces and nephews, cousins, 2nd cousins, distant relatives and friends of mom and dad whom I hadn't seen in years. Music and comments/memories provided by the grand-kids, home-cooked thanksgiving dinner for all, many tears and much laughter.
I was the after-dinner emcee and if i would have had Tolkien's 'I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.' down, I would have used it. As it was, my little brother gave an absolutely professional, prayerful history of the family entitled 'God Knew'. (As it becomes available, I will reprint [with permission, of course] in this forum).

Thank you, Father, for my family - far from perfect and even contentious at times -  and for the time that You've given us together here, this side of eternity. 


Saturday, October 6, 2012

The 50th Celebration

So for mom and dads 50 anniversary party (which mom has decided will be a Thanksgiving feast for 80 of their closest friends and family), i asked if i could make the cranberry sauce. Turkey, stuffing, etc had already been doled out by the time i volunteered so I jumped on this opportunity.
I found what I thought was a good recipe, and then multiplied it (NOT 'timesd it') by 8. Here it is, in its entirety.

12 oz cranberries
3/4 cup orange juice
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
2 oz gold rum (optional)

SO, i adapted a bit off of this. I used the juice and zest of one orange instead of the 3/4 cup of juice. Then i added a pinch of nutmeg, a pinch of cinnamon, and the juice and zest of one half of a lime for each four-ple of the recipe. (I made two batches, each with 4 times each of the above amounts.)
I added about an ounce of spiced rum to the second batch.
The flavors are incredible as it is cooking...

Monday, October 1, 2012

It's October!!!

My wife asks me questions like 'can i give the dog some cheese?'. I say, no don't give her my precious cheese, give her some damn rice from the Chinese carry out from three nights ago that no one's going to eat anyway. She gives the dog cheese anyways.
Are these types of questions rhetorical? Am thinking so.

The Livingston Argus took more money out of our checking account to-day. This event was not unlike my wife's question and answer debacle: 'can i take money out of your checking account without your authorization?' No. And it's gone. So I angrily called tonight to give them a piece of my mind and (as God would have it) there was no one there to bitch at. So I will call tomorrow, when I'm in a better humour.

Go Tigers!!!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Cool saturday...

...but life is good because I'm home with Sierra the Malamute and Otis the Quat with Michigan State on the television, the Tigers on the radio, and beef stew in the slow cooker. Sweetie works til 6 and i will have a the home cozy with a roaring fire and our pumpkin candle! Today, the first day of Autumn, is football weather to be sure. Cloudy, cool, ... with the smell of wood fires everywhere.

Helped up at the plant stand this morning preparing for the pumpkins, corn stalks, and hay bales. Visited the Hartland WalMart several times and have syringes, huge clearance 15" inseam shorts, and some cool workboots to show for it. Also Krogers in Brighton on the way home but I don't like that one as much as ours. For one thing, many items are in the wrong place. For another, there's much less meat to select from AND not hardly as many Manager Specials as ours in Lakeland.

We closed three loans this past week at work and they were three deals from hell. All of them began way before I started with incomplete, unorganized, thick files. I am wholeheartedly enthusiastic about this new career and all the opportunities to help people realize their dream. For the last 20 years, very few people thanked me for helping them realize their dreams, I can say with an hundred percent assuredlyness.

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow
Praise Him, all creatures here, below!
Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts!
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.


Saturday, September 15, 2012


I no longer teach.

I have never said that before, but I have not-taught during different times in my adult life.
The first was when I graduated university. The time was the roaring 80s. I had just moved in with my parents in Westland and sent letters of application to all the districts in the area. A few interviews here and there but I did not have even the remotest clue on how to do that effectively so I got on the sub list of two districts and earned my $35 a day for two years that way. In a way it was nice because I had no planning or correcting of papers to do, and I was able to work other jobs in the evenings and on weekends.
Then, I moved to Cousin Bob's place out a ways and did some other things for money: made pizza, did phone surveys, abated asbestos, counseled summer campers, bowling alley mechanic and counter boy.
In 1993 I responded to a tiny classified ad in the Livingston County Argus for a high school teaching position at a tiny Christian school. I stayed there until 1999 when I accepted a position as an alternative ed teacher in Big Rapids. We bought a house in nearby Stanwood in 2000 but in 2005 our school was shut down.
I found another alternative job in Shepherd, MI and I will not even soil the 'Net with commentary on that foul place. Suffice it to say it was like working in Mordor.
The following year (2006) I tried subbing again and working home-bound jobs but it was too little. In late January 2007 (around Super Bowl time, as I remember sadly) I went south to look for work. Little sister has a house in suburban Detroit that she let me stay at whilst I again got on the sub list and worked minimal part time jobs. Selling insurance did not pan out during the summer (I sucked) and in the fall I again found a job teaching but it was even farther up north than Big Rapids.
So, for the last five years I've been renting in Onekama, teaching during the week and driving home to see my sweetie on the weekends. In 2010 I was cut back to half time and lost my benefits. We made it work for a year but all this past summer I was dreading the long drive north without my bride working so far away for such little pay. But I didn't know what to do. I applied to all kinds of jobs during the summer and never heard anything.
Until Thursday the 23rd of August, when I got a voice message that I didn't return until the following morning. I got the message regarding the opening, called the boss and met him at McDonalds for a pretty informal interview. I called him that night and accepted the position as a loan processor about 12 minutes away from home, not 4 hours away. So, on Monday the 27th of August (The Feast of Saint Monica), I began my new career in something other than teaching.
I am vested, and I will have some sort of pension when I'm quite old, for which I am thankful.
But I no longer teach, and I'm ok with that.

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow
Praise Him, all creatures here below
Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Twelve Bullets for Tuesday

One. I had a terrible dream last night
Two. I couldn't sleep very well after that dream
Three. There were issues with our water over the weekend so I couldn't take a shower in the morning
Four. I got a cup of coffee on my way to my new job
Five. Former students texted me asking where I was
Six. My boss was late for work but I was there early diligently attending to the business of the day
Seven. My sweetie told me she was proud of me
Eight. Our God is an awesome God
Nine. Did some laundry after work
Ten. Did dishes after the laundry because the water issues are no more
Eleven. The Tigers are losing at home to the damnable Indians
Twelve. We are both tired from a long day and from rooting for our beloved losing Tigers

Monday, September 3, 2012


I am thankful because I don't have to pack up and leave my sweetie to-day - Labor Day in the US, Labour Day in Canada. I don't have to collect my toothbrush, shave cream, pillow cases, school shoes, snacks and salad dressing... and then say a very tough good bye to my bride. I am thankful that I don't have to drive north while trying to find a station airing the Tigers game, ever aware of when the next McDonalds will be available. I am thankful because the next forty or fifty conversations I have with my wife will not be over the phone. I am thankful that I get to close my eyes next to her tonight, and wake next to her in the morning.

Jehovah-Jireh, all praise and glory and honor belong to You. I thank You for what you're doing in our lives, in our hearts; thank You for this time of year and, in particular, this year this time.
And we love You, too.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Recipe #114: Early Autumn Chili

Saturday of Labor Day weekend, the Spartans won last night as did the Tigers, and we've got family to feed! My sweetie thought my chili would be just the ticket, even though it's not really chilly enough yet for chili (imho:).

Here's the ingredient list:

1 1/2 # ground chuck
1 1/2 # boneless regular cut pork chops
1 30.5 oz can of Brooks Quick Chili Mix (beans)
5 medium potatoes
1 cup ketchup
1 tbsp spicy brown mustard
12 oz beer
1 sweet onion
1 green pepper
8 oz sliced mushrooms
4 cloves of garlic
3 cans (14.5 oz each) of Meijer Diced Tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh oregano
Chili powder, crushed red pepper flakes, ground black pepper, and salt to taste
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tbsp soy sauce

Brown ground chuck in evoo with diced onion and garlic. When meat is almost cooked add diced green pepper and simmer for a few more minutes. Add to slow cooker set to Hi.

Cook pork in soy sauce (or marinate beforehand) and evoo just until white all through. Slice against the grain thin and then halve these pieces. Add to slow cooker.

Add Chili mix, ketchup, mustard, beer, tomatoes, oregano, and seasonings to slow cooker.

Meanwhile, dice potatoes into 1/2 inch chunks and boil for 10 minutes with salt and garlic in the water. Drain potatoes and add to slow cooker.

Cook on Hi, stirring occasionally, for at least 3 hours. If you cook longer, reduce heat to Low or even Warm. Add mushrooms about 1 hour before serving.
We like to add shredded cheddar and oyster crackers in the bowl.
Like I said, this is for nieces and nephews so it's pretty mild. For us at home I would add a can of green chilis.
My wife likes hers poured over a couple of hot dogs; I, in a big bowl with tons of cheese and warm bread.

God bless you all!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My wife wants a teardrop...

I had the blessing of cooking tonight for my sweetie and myself at the end of a long day. We had chicken  breasts marinated for a while that I fried in olive oil on the stove, we had yellow squash and green pepper from brother-in-laws garden fried with olive oil and just a hint of garlic, AND we had whipped potatoes with milk, ground black pepper, butter; boiled with garlic. Ohmygoodness we had the house smelling so good!!

Together, we are listening to Kenny Chesney thanks to the wonders of Youtube. I have Kelly Clarkson ready to spin when the hit 'Come Over' is over.

Father, thank You for this time tonight with my beautiful bride. Thank You for bringing us together over 18 years ago, thank You for keeping us together through all messes we have created individually and together; thank You for loving us so much.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


To-day, something special and wonderful will happen.
I have already informed my wife of this and she's a believer...

I am still looking for a job here close to home so I don't have to go up north next week and be away from my soul-mate for another nine months. We have reached an emergency level of household debt and only our faith in an almighty, all-loving Creator God has gotten us through together. Medicines for both animals and us, vehicle break-downs, our main truck being stolen, ... it doesn't sound like much when I look at the list (and to our Heavenly Father it is certainly not much) but nonetheless we seem to be buried with few options. The loss of health insurance when I was cut to part-time last year was huge, my quite inexpensive rental room i don't think will be an option any more as a result of landlords' romantic entanglements.
We pray for guidance and deliverance from this pile of debt. It's our fault; I'm not complaining nor do I shirk responsibility - this is our cross as we head into fall and 'back to school' time. God help us please.

My diversions at this time of year have always been the Tigers (not really always: there was a time - actually the entire decade of the '90s when I couldn't have named four or five guys on the team), football for sure - mostly college and most recently the Michigan State Spartan Footballers. See, we up in Big 10 country sure love our football. And I grew up root, root, rooting (along with the rest of metro Detroit, it seemed) for the leaders and the best: U-M. And the rooting did not seem so out-of-touch with what should have been: When I was a kid, the basketball teams were really good. The footballers seemed perennially (i know how to spell that word, now) locked in a fight to go to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl (back when there were like four good bowl games on New Years Day, and few others). But I've switched affinities of late and root, root, root for the Spartans now. Go Green!
When I was younger I followed the NFL but I've really grown tired of what I am made to watch between the plays - and I don't mean the commercials! Fast, large, strong men getting up from the ground and going back to their huddle while flailing arms, pointing to themselves, pointing downfield toward the opponents endzone, nodding thier heads violently, and joining others with the similarly-colored shirts and pantaloons in doing all these things in a congratulatory manner...
"LOOK WHAT I DID!!!!!!!",
pathetic little big men...

Almost can't stand it but I do enjoy monday morning small talk so I partake a bit.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Recipe #5: Dad's Bruschetta

My dad has told me about these snacks so often I finally decided to try making them myself....I used a loaf of Kroger French Bread but he prefers some good baguette.

In addition to the bread, you will need
some extra virgin olive oil
2 or 3 garden tomatoes
1/2 c. fresh basil
1 clove garlic
2 c. shredded mozzarella

Slice the bread and toast each slice. When the toast pops out, rub a clove of garlic all over each one. Just rub, dearheart, rub like there is no tomorrow. Then paint both sides with extra virgin olive oil, cover one side liberally with shredded mozzarella and let rest on a non-stick cookie sheet.
Meanwhile, gather about 15 basil leaves from the garden and two or three plum tomatoes and dice these up fine together. Dad uses a food processor but I don't have one so I use my sharp chef's knife. Mix well.
Broil the bread so that the cheese melts golden brown, about 6-8 minutes, then add tomato mixture to the top of each slice. Serve immediately and enjoy.

Thanks, Dad!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Saturday Zucchini Bake

To-day we're using fresh basil from the garden (actually it's in a pot with my rosemary and Italian parsley right on our deck outside the kitchen - how convenient is that?!!??) to make two dishes. The first is a modification of a recipe I found on Kalyn Denny's web ( and it looks pretty good!

I started with a humungous zucchini we got from Eastern Market downtown, sliced it, and cut each slice into 8 pizza slice shapes. This goes in a big bowl with:

2 tbsp fresh basil chopped coarse
A pinch of fresh thyme
1/2 of a red onion diced
1/3 of a green pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Toss together in the bowl to get a good mix. Spray the bottom of a 10x10 baking dish with Meijer 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil Nonstick Cooking Spray and add ingredients.

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, add a layer of mozzarella on top and bake again until the cheese is golden brown.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Recipe #173: Leftovers on the Grill

Tonight we are using our charcoal grill to cook potatoes, green beens, salmon and Kroger Beer Brats.

I set up the charcoal such that I'd have some room for indirect cooking.

Potatoes: slice into each one, smear with butter and fresh chives and wrap in foil. These go on the grill first and will take the longest to cook.
Beans: wash and snap; place in foil pouch and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to cover and add a couple of minced garlic cloves and a tablespoon of water. I closed the pouch and put these on the top level at the same time I started the potatoes.
Salmon: marinade for about a half hour in: 3 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp Dijon mustard, 3 tbsp soy sauce, and a clove of garlic minced. Grill for about 8 minutes (a thin fillet) on the skin side and about 2 after it's flipped. I am not a huge fan of soy sauce but I found this marinade recipe tonight and decided to try it. The flavor of that fish is unbelievable! Oh my goodness!!! Tender, moist, tasty. I will do this again.
To a 4 quart sauce pan I added 16 ounces of beer and my brats. I cooked them in a slow boil for about 20 minutes - poke little holes in each. These I put on the indirect side of the grill after I spread the coals out.
Timing was not much of an issue as my beautiful bride is not here but everything was indeed done at pretty much the same time.

Thank you, LORD, for this food. Thank you for the cool evenings and for loving us so much. Thank you for Jesus.

Charcoal tonight...

We have brats soaking up some beer right now and a slab of salmon to throw on the grill, thanks be to God!
Cooler and cloudy but it still seems so humid in the house...
No Tigers tonight; even they deserve a rest now and again...
Clothes are drying, the pets have eaten and all is well in the world.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tuesday in the middle of August
Where has the summer gone?
There is a fly in the kitchen I must dispatch (it quickly submitted to the Clorox green works natural glass & surface cleaner we got for US$.75 at Lowe's in the spring)
The ants have found the hummingbird feeder no matter were I put it.
Our Morning Glory annuals are stunning this year.

Two suit spider statistics this summer: 12-30 with a high score of 1184. Most wins: 3, most losses: 6.
Four suit spider statistics: 1-15.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

I love cheez-its and pretzels...

33 was my number when I played softball on the glass-littered diamonds at Detroit's Rouge Park, wearing the gaudy maroon and yellow uniforms of Greenfield Peace Lutheran Church mens coached by my dad.
Steve Kemp of the Tigers (1977 - 81, the same years I was in high school) wore #33.
Steve Kemp hit a triple and an inside the park home run in the same game on September 4, 1977.
Last night, Austin Jackson accomplished the same feat.
The last inside the park homer for the Tigers came off the bat of Curtis Granderson on August 26, 2007.
Curtis Granderson now plays for the New York Yankees.
Justin Verlander, in his most recent outing, struck out Curtis Granderson three times.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Recipe # 7843

This was what I made earlier to-day trying to be creative and use up some fresh stuff...

In a 9x13 baking pan i combined:

4 medium potatoes sliced
1 huge zucchini from Donahee farms sliced
1 sweet red pepper sliced
2 garlic cloves minced (may have been a bit much for this dish)
1 box Rice A Roni Broccoli Au Gratin Flavor Rice and Pasta
1 can chicken broth
a couple turns of ground black pepper
a couple of tablespoons of butter on top

and threw it in the oven at 350. Stirred it a bit after 15 minutes or so and let it go a total of 40 minutes. Made the house smell great and tasted pretty darn good.  My wife gave it a thumbs up when she got home from work!

oh so quiet...

Rain has moved through and the temps are in the mid 70s at 4:53 pm! We just set a record for the hottest July in the lower 48 since 1933; this is quite welcome. The air conditioners are off! The fans are off! The windows are open and the birds are singing but there is no other sound save my fingers on the keyboard (a dull thud-thud, not the ridiculous clackety-clack-clack that hollywood uses.)

Praise God in the quiet of the day!!
Praise Him from Whom all blessings flow!!

I was just looking at our utility bills...cable is the same every month but the electric bill, which is quite minimal in the winter, rises with the use of air-cooling devices. Our gas, which heats the house and runs the range and dryer, is high in the winter and goes down to minimal during the summer. It all works out!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

LETS go TI-gers; clap, clap, clapclapclap!

Meet, again, Sierra the Wonderdog. I am drinking coffee again to-day. Douglas Wildes Fister pitched a complete game gem last night for our Tigers. You're supposed to be able to water the spot where your dog pees immediately after and it won't turn brown.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Recipe #11

Dear LORD, thank You for the many provisions You always supply us with; thank You for this meal tonight, please bless it to our bodies. And we love You, too! Amen

Today, boys and girls, I'm making my spaghetti with  garlic bread. I start early afternoon frying up the pound of ground chuck, five garlic cloves diced, and about half a large red onion diced in EV olive oil.
I add a couple turns of fresh black pepper and about a quarter cup total of fresh oregano and basil diced up pretty fine. As the meat gets almost all cooked, I transfer the whole mixture to the crock pot and crank it up to high.
To this I add 32 oz (1 jar) of Tomato and Basil Classico red sauce, about a third of a green pepper diced up, a can of Hunts diced tomatoes, a can of Meijer diced tomatoes, a can of Meijer stewing tomatoes flavoured with garlic and oregano, and a couple of leftover tomatoes from my wife's road trip to Maryland. A few stirs and let it alone all afternoon, stirring occasionally.

I serve this over angel hair noodles with a good fresh salad on the side and some fresh garlic bread (meijer french loaf, tons of real butter, and garlic powder sprinkled on before broiling about 6 or 7 minutes. (-8


Hot Patootie, bless my soul, I really love that rock n roll!

When Eddie said he didn't like his teddy you knew he was a no-good kid