chick digs words

Sophie-dog has a sad

Sophie-dog has a sad
We went out for a walk tonight, the first walk we’ve gone on in a long time without The Roommate. It was a good walk and the work on “loose lead” did a great job of wearing Sophie out, but it didn’t take long before Sophie remembered that her favorite person isn’t here tonight. Poor, flat puppy-girl has taken to sleeping by the front door, so she doesn’t miss it when The Roommate returns, but The Roommate won’t be back until tomorrow evening.

At least Sophie came down to check on me when the earth shattering kaboom sounded. She wasn’t scared. Just came down, licked my toe, and went back to her post. I have no idea what the sound was, but it wasn’t that far off and was followed by the soothing sounds of EMS, so I’ll be checking out the news tomorrow to see if it was actually newsworthy.

Television Worth Watching – The Skhoot Edition

In early preparation for the upcoming fall programming (or maybe because I’m so far behind on my general television viewing) I went through my “series to watch” list and culled every that I have no intention of actually catching up on.

Still Watching:

Agents of SHIELD

Status: Behind
Stalled out two episodes before the season 2 mid-season break. Skipped to the Age of Ultron tie in right before going to see AoU because I just didn’t have time to catch up then. Hoping that August has more viewing time in it for me so I can catch up right before the season 3 start and avoid that annoying end of season cliffhanger without immediate resolution. Yeah, I know – I have no patience. To quote Inigo Montoya, I hate waiting.

Agent Carter

Status: Current
I enjoyed this so much and need to rewatch it before it returns. I liked that it resolved the story arc and that Peggy Carter is the badass who taught Cap to fight and you can see it in the way they stage her fight sequences. I love that they’re exploring the Red Room. I love her ridiculous Carmen Sandiego hat.

The Blacklist

Status: Behind
I got turned on to this show right before season 2 started, so I ended up binge watching this all the way to the season 2 opener and then bought the season pass on Amazon, but just couldn’t keep up trying to watch it “live.” This is all queued up now and ready to go. Avengers: Age of Insane Mecha-Reddington was good, but I need my real Reddington fix.


Status: Behind
Series was on shaky ground at the end of last season because I found the direction Irisa’s character arc takes kind of annoying. Hopefully she gets over the poor me crap this season because this show has some really nice things going on with it and I want to support anything with Graham Green in it. For the record, I’d totally spend a Saturday night watching Edgar Montrose blow a fully grown Douglas Fir tree clean over the lake, so there’s some bias here.

The Librarians

Status: Current, including extended material.
Why isn’t it fall now? Why?

No longer watching:


Status: 2 1/2 seasons behind
It got too dark for my roommate and I lost momentum for solo viewing because the protagonist characters kept doing things that didn’t make sense. I started rooting for the Brotherhood of Assassins because of it. I still love you, Malcolm Merlyn. I just can’t sit through the Ollie parts of the show to


Status: A little under 2 seasons behind
Lost momentum somewhere after Nick became a zombie. Why won’t Adalind die? Why does Nick keep falling for the setups for Zaubertr√§nke? Why won’t Juliette stay sane? I’m pretty sure I saw the same plot on General Hospital when I was 12.

I, Zombie

Status: Stopped after episode 9. 4 episodes behind
I like Liv. I adore Ravi. Major’s kind of a twit for thinking he can lay down some vigilante justice. Shouldn’t Clive be getting some kind of clue? I just don’t think Blaine is smart enough to be the big bad he’s portrayed to be and it’s annoying to watch him continue to get the best of everyone. Maybe Nick Burkhardt needs to take a trip up to Seattle to help get the Zed problem under control.

Dead before queued


Status: Never started
I just never quite got around to watching it and when I couldn’t get back into Arrow, it seemed king of pointless.

Orphan Black (US Version).

Status: No interest
Couldn’t get the roommate interested in this one and lost enthusiasm to check it out.

Orange is the New Black

Status: No interest
I know it’s amazing for the diversity of the characters. The premise just doesn’t appeal to me any more than the premise of Oz did.

Still in the running

Assuming I can make the time, Daredevil and Sense8 both have strong reviews and good potential. The problem is making the time with all the other things I want to do in a week.

Meatless Monday – Fontina Mushroom Polenta

Photo taken on July 13, 2015 at 07:02PM just before popping it in the oven to melt fontina cheese on top (via
We’ve started having Meatless Mondays as a way to start a journey toward a more plant-based diet and as a way to try out new dishes to see what we really like before we start having more meat-free days. Today was our first official Meatless Monday/new recipe day and we went with a pick from the roommate: Fontal Polenta with Mushroom Sauce.
Overall, the recipe was a success. There were some minor issues, though.
We couldn’t find the instant polenta in the recipe, so I used regular polenta instead. Looking at the amount of polenta called for in the recipe, I figured I needed half of what the recipe on the bag would make up. I measured enough water to make a half batch and then my hand shook while I was measuring the polenta itself, which is how I ended up with a full batch of polenta. Next time: measure the polenta separately or make a double batch of everything.
I couldn’t find the thyme in my spike rack. It apparently went into wit-sec or I used the last of it making za’atar. Either way, I substituted za’atar from the 101 cookbooks recipe instead (though I substituted lemon zest for the sumac). Since I did that, I left the salt out of the dish.
About 8 minutes before the polenta was done by the bag recipe, I poured it into my 1.5 Quart casserole dish, poured the mushrooms on top, sprinkled the reserved fontina cheese on top, and tossed that bad boy in at 350 for about half an hour.¬† It came out nicely set, though if I’d put it closer to gas at the top of the stove, I could have gotten the cheese to caramelize.
I think we’re going to make the following changes next time. The za’atar is staying in. It adds an extra lemony punch that’s nice. We’re halving the amount of polenta (because it’s just too much polenta) and doubling the mushrooms: half to stir directly into the polenta and half for the top. I’m only cooking the polenta to about grits consistency (5 – 10 minutes) on the stove top before pouring it into the casserole dish to finish in the oven (like this recipe) so I don’t break my arm stirring like this time or nearly drop my large saucepan onto my casserole dish because the polenta’s so thick.

Now I am 46

I missed my birthday this year. I mean, I had one. I took the day off work and had lunch with my friend, Tina, at NewBo, including a German Chocolate Cupcake from That One Cupcake Place. It was a lovely lunch – both the food and the company.

My roommate got me the new Pebble Time (via the KickStarter) which arrived within a few days of my birthday, even. I recall we went out to dinner. It might have been to The Lost Cuban, but don’t quote me on that.

As birthdays, go, though, I just really didn’t register it. It was a non-event. It didn’t rain, which of itself should have made it an event – not just because we’ve gotten so much rain this year, but also because it almost always rain’s on June 4th. I pay attention to these things, after all. Just not this year.

So, yeah, that’s my observation for the year. I had a birthday. It was pretty much happy. I really didn’t notice.

The contractors are late

Here is a photo of my black iris in bright sun instead of my new counters.


My favorite blanket

My favorite blanket is starting to show its age. It may be time to make myself a new one.

Johnny Cash recites Cremation of Sam McGee

I have something of  a taste for the macabre and this particular recitation of Cremation of Sam McGee with Johnny Cash as the perfomer is nothing short of perfection. I memorized this particular poem for recitation to creep out Mrs. Wiley, my second grade teacher, because she made us memorize a “long poem” to recite in front of the class.

This year the winter turned bitterly cold earlier than usual and stayed there for longer than expected and my arthritis flared up fiercely. I’d been complaining about the water heater since we moved into the house and the poor thing finally gave up the ghost and we had to replace it back in the March time frame. When I took my first “post new water heater shower,” it was like heaven and all I could think is “Since I left Peachtree down in Tennesee, it’s the first time I’ve been warm.”

Kitchen? Smitchen!

At this point, all we’re waiting on is the counter tops. They are going to be two weeks late and $1400 over estimate and we didn’t change anything in our build to account for nearly double the estimate in actual cost. I can only assume that in this case “estimate” meant “I dunno. Tell them what we tell everyone.”

The issue has already been dealt with on this end, but we’re still at the point where all we can do is wait for them to actually manufacture our counters and then install them. So here I sit, in a half renovated kitchen, typing on my phone as I update. It’s a privileged person’s problem, I know. I have a half-renovated kitchen. I have a phone. Some people don’t have either.

It’s not that I’m not grateful for what I have. It’s just that I want the chaos of renovation to be done.

The kitchen update summary

The kitchen remodeling projects are trucking along at top speed. Since Monday, we’ve gotten can lights installed and the old tile taken out. It’s not the most exciting part of the work being done, but necessary.

The new drywall is up and ready for skim coat tomorrow and paint soon after. I think we’re going white, which makes me very happy. I’m oh so fond of a white and cobalt blue kitchen and white walls are the first step. Monday or Tuesday of next week the new floors will be laid.

The cabinets are confirmed to deliver on Thursday April 9th, right as originally scheduled. Things get exciting after that. Cabinets hang and then they come out to measure and make templates for the new counter top. The house originally had beige laminate, but we’re upgrading and I can hardly wait to see it in place.

Today is April 1

Trust no one.
Believe nothing.
Verify the facts before you act.

and for humor’s sake: