Monday, May 31, 2010

Sunday's Dinner

BBQ at Renee-Mae and Jean-Carlos'. Too much fun was had...even Luna seemed to enjoy herself! For those of you who don't know Luna she is a little black puff of a cat that can take you down with one swipe. Not last night though, she and Jax were almost friends!

On the menu was an assortment of thinly sliced salumi and cheese. Grilled and sauced chicken breasts. Sliced yellow beats with Chevre and potato planks. Finished up with biscuits with blueberries and raspberry's topped with whipped cream. NOM!!!

See, Renee,I didn't trash you! :)

Note: I apologize for my short entry today. As usual, we drank some very NOM wine at Renee-Mae and Jean-Carlos' and since it was my goal to sleep in today, I took a sleeping pill before I went to bed. I woke in the middle of the night to find Poppy in the spare room. Seems she couldn't wake me up to stop the snoring. Now I feel like a woozy, drooling mess of the person I was the day before. Sigh...

Pretty girl:

Have a swell day!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Saturday's Dinner

After seeing the movie Food Inc., Poppy and I decided we would try to only eat meat and poultry that was raised organically, cage free and grass fed...aka, happy meat. That said, if we have a party and you're invited you won't be getting happy meat. Not that we don't love you, we just can't afford that much happiness to feed the masses.

Anyhoo, yesterday was spent on our bicycles. Our first stop was to order all the accessories for our scooters and then hitting the Goodwill store to look for scooter jackets. No luck! Then we headed toward home. I wanted to have something nice for dinner so we decided to get some nice looking happy meat from Marina Meats on Chestnut Street.

Wouldn't you know that after we finished our shopping A16 was just opening. So we stopped in for a glass (or two) of wine. Had very nice conversations with Wine-Tenders Michael and Aidan. Wine-Tender Michael and I exchanged blogs. His is Check it out.

Okay, so on Le Menu besides the happy meat was grilled corn-on-the-cob and grilled apricots stuffed with Chevre. Oh, I also had a few roma tomatoes laying around so we stuffed those with the Chev. INFINTY NOM!!

So Poppy just can't seem to get over the way I eat my corn-on-the-cob. Here is a pic of her cob and mine. You'll note that I have two pretty large front teeth so you can probably figure out which cobby is mine...I don't eat it that way on purpose, it just happens. You might also think that I eat it up and down and not left to right. Not true, I eat it left to right and still I get those weird rows. Interesting? Probably not.

Well, it's another beautiful day in the hood. Hope you get out and enjoy it!


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Friday's Dinner and Many Reasons to Celebrate!

As you know from Poppy's message, yesterday we had many reasons to celebrate and boy, howdy, that's what we did. Started at our Kickass-Agent-Lynnea's house for some bubbly and then continued to The Peaks bar for a beer and then off to find food. We ended up at a tapas (no, not topless) place called Contigo Kitchen & Cava. INFINITY NOM!! Not just the food either, the entire experience. Just like the first time we went to A16.

Since we were celebrating, we decided to throw caution to the wind as well as our wallets and bought a $64 bottle of sherry...that's a 375ml of sherry. Worthy every penny!

It's called Apostoles, Palo Cortado Muy Viejo. It's a Manzanilla sherry that didn't cut the mustard so it was aged in oak for 30 years. Poppy can tell you all about the grape and how it's made. Very cool stuff.

We had the following:

Jamon Iberico de bellota "Pata Negra", acorn fed, aged 36 months.
Garden Lettuces with cherries, cana de oveja, toasted hazelnuts and px vinagretta.
Wood roasted local sardine and avocado toasts with pickled onion
Tripe with chorizo and chickpeas from the wood oven
Coca (flatbread) of broccoli rabe, caramelized onions, chili flakes and manchego. To that we added a farm egg and fatted calf bacon

Here's how good it was...

And just for fun:

Well, I've made myself hungry all over again.


Friday, May 28, 2010

A Special Message From Poppy...

Just writing to let you all know that Kelly and I have had a banner day today. We officially closed on our new house at 3325 Rivera Street in the Sunset District, just 4 blocks from the ocean!

We won't be moving in for another month or so since the sellers need time to finish their purchase elsewhere, but we're super excited nonetheless. This is the first time I've owned a home!

Also, after nearly 7 years together, Kelly and I registered today as Domestic Partners, which will afford us the same rights, responsibilities, and protections as married couples in the state of California. It's a very important step in establishing our ability to take care of one another and our estate in the eyes of California law.

Have a great long weekend!

Thursday's Dinner

NOM NOM Pizza Orgasmica! And why did we have pizza last night?...Let's talk a little about Feline Hyperthyroidism.

Now, I know you've all been thinking about our family given all that's been going on. You might have even said to yourself "Gee, they sure are dealing with a lot." Okay, maybe I'm projecting but anyway, here's one more thing. You remember a while back when Roger-The-Escapee went "camping" for 3 days, came back and it looked like something had gnawed on her paw? Well, while I was up in Minden with Dad, et al., I talked to Poppy one night and sure enough, after watching Roger-The-Escapee's paw for a couple of weeks, it ended up with a raging infection. Poppy had to give Roger-The-Escapee antibiotics twice a day. No easy task either...Her hands are almost healed now.

While our little Roger-The-Escapee was at the Vet, they did some blood work. Her thyroid levels were a wee bit off, so they did a more detailed test. Sure enough, our little Million-Dollar-Roger-The-Escapee has Hyperthyroidism. Shoot me now, why dontcha!

Wouldn't you know there are a few different ways to treat this. We can give her a pill twice a day. Not a viable option for us since we need the use of all our fingers. We can put a pill in a tasty flavored pill skin and give it too her. Again, not a viable option cause she ain't stupid. We can give her tuna-flavored liquid meds. (Jean and Kathy, this is for you) I can do that! There is also the option of radiation where they blast the thyroid gland and you're done with it. Again, not $$ a $$ viable $$ option $$ for $$ us.

We decided to go the tuna liquid route. She'll get that twice a day for the rest of her little cat life. We've already done the math...okay, Poppy and Jax-The-Cheese-Connesewer already did the math and that will cost about $13 a month for the meds, plus a blood recheck every few months. The Hyperthyroidism can also mask kidney disease and you know, when I hear kidney disease, that's all she wrote for me. I refuse to go the whole medical route of keeping a kitty alive when they've got the kidney disease. It's expensive, and not very fun for the cat.

So I gave Million-Dollar-Roger-The-Escapee her first dose this morning and it went without a hitch and I still have all my fingers. Sweet!

Speaking of Hyperthyroidism...this brings me to a little story about my Seester Kathy. Some years back, oh, I think Lucas was probably 3 so it was a good 20 years ago, Seester Kathy was diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism. She'd always had the shakes pretty bad, but then she started dropping weight and her eyeballs got all buggy. They didn't give her as many choices of medication routes as Million-Dollar-Roger-The-Escapee. Her only choice was to be radiated to blast the thyroid to smithereens. The kicker with this is that she couldn't be around people or animals for a week cause she was glowing like Chernobyl. So Dad got Lucas and, lucky me, I got Ashes her evil cat.

It was really very cute. Dad would bring Kathy McDonald's for dinner. He'd have Lucas with him and they'd talk to each other through the apartment window. I on the other hand, had to endure regular blood lettings from Ashes-The-Evil.

Fun times!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wednesday's Dinner

Chicken soup at 9 f_ing 30! Why you ask? Because we were on the phone with Ginger-The-Tax-Lady going over how much we should withhold on our taxes to make the most of our $$'s. We both had a headache after that call. We came to the conclusion we need to talk to Ginger-The-Tax-Lady in person cause math is just too stinkin hard over the phone. Poppy could understand it but she's visual (not to mention, spacial) so she wants to see it worked out in front of her. Me? Well, since I flunked basic math (see that's what happens when you're a Terra Nova graduate) so I just sat there and drew pretty pictures.

If you look on the left side of the doodles you'll see what appears to be calculations. They're not, I was just trying to look like I knew what she was talking about. Sometimes, it's hell being me.

Here's Jax-The-Cheese-Connesewer helping Poppy with the calculations. Math has always been so easy for her!

So, let's check in with the LIFE AND TIMES OF DAD. I've had a couple of referrals to check out The Atria in Daly City so Seester Kathy and I have an appointment on Tuesday to go look. Mr. Bill said that because of Dad's Alzheimer's, he should probably go to the facility in Burlingame because they have a memory center there and specialize in Alzheimer's. He said that Dad could live at the one in Daly City if he isn't a "Wanderer". Did you ever see the movie The Wanderers? Well, this is a different kind of wanderer. But Dad isn't a wanderer just quite yet so we'll see.

Here's a nice picture of the facility in Daly City. Nothing more relaxing for the elders than playing a cut-throat game of poker! Notice how Marge has all the chips and is looking at Jerry's cards? All Jerry wants is to get in Marge's pants, so he's letting her win. Poor Bob...he doesn't have a clue.

That's it for today!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tuesday's Dinner

Leftover NOM NOM NOM chicken.

Nothing much to report today. According to the "YES, you're probably DYING" wheel, I may have pancreatic cancer but it's probably a tummy ache.

Gee, how about another exciting episode of KEEPING UP WITH THE KECKY'S! I have been thinking a lot about my and Poppy's old age. Given we don't own children we wonder who will take care of us when we're old, can't feed ourselves and need help in the potty palace. Seester Kathy already laid down the law with Nephew Lucas and told him he gets the job, but I don't want to do that to him since he'll have to do it for Seester Kathy and Bro-n-Law Darryll...and you know the way our luck goes in the family and how much we like the Two-Fer so poor Nephew Lucas would probably get stuck with all of us at the same time. That said, I can see he'd be a kickass patient advocate.

I could ask Niece Ashley. She's really good with Dad. We'd always have cocktails, a gluten free diet and she knows celebraties!

I thought about asking Boss Karen. She's got two kids, Sydney and Annie. I've watched them grow up. That's almost like being a parent...only different. Must be worth something. Plus, they're both educated so, presumably, they can do math and dole out the drugs correctly.

There's Netty-Mae's son, Jacob. He loves Poppy and me, he's sooo easy on the eyes and just plain fun!

Then there's co-worker Mollie's two kids, Jack and Kate. I've been their emergency contact for years so they owe me. Hmmm, might want to rethink these two.

What about Friend Laurie's two kids, Matt and Meghan? They are considered family and I've watched them grow up. Matt's an artist so we'd always have pretty pictures to look at. Meghan is a nurse and that could really be a Codsend at a time like this!

Well, I guess the reality is Poppy and I will probably end up in some nursing home for angry, hairy old lesbians. Hope I can ride my Hoveround there!

So long!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

As Dad once said to me "Wow, you guys are Homo-Owners!"

Last night we signed many loan documents and the $$ will be funded by Friday and we'll get keys by the weekend. We're hopeful the sellers will be out by mid-June.

Here are the celebrating faces of cash-poor Homo-Owners...

Jax-The-Cheese-Connesewer is tired from all the celebrating!

What a not-so-fun experience this has been and I didn't even do half the work. Special thanks to my Poppy for crunching all the numbers and setting it all up. Without her, I'd rent for the rest of my life.

Say, that brings us to another fine segment of THE LIFE AND TIMES OF DAD! When it comes to my life, you gotta keep on your toes cause it's ever changing. Seester Kathy checked in on Dad last night after I got a call from Sister Missy about Dad's blood test. His blood is at a "critical" level so they've pulled him off the Coumadin. One of the side-effects of the Coumadin is bleeding internally which is what Dad might be doing. I doubt it since he seems to feel just dandy. They'll redo his blood tomorrow and see what his INR levels are. You will recall that I asked one of those nurses at the hospital what INR was. She asked if I was a nurse or a doctor. I said "no". She replied "You wouldn't understand then."

If there was a God, I'd thank him for inventing the internet cause it's kept me from spending the rest of my life stoopid...INR means International Normalized Ratio. Your INR should stay between 2.0 and 3.0, with 2.5 being ideal. If it's less than 2.0, your blood is too thick and you have the risk of blood clots and stroke. If it's above 3.0, your blood is too thin and you have the risk of bleeding to death.

See? I should have been a doctor!

Alright, so after Seester Kathy and Dad talk about that, Dad confesses to Kathy that he wants to go live in an assisted living community. I'll be starting my research on places in our area. Sure hope I can find one he can afford!

Home is wear your heart is. Chow!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sunday's Dinner...and Stella my Stella.

Last night's dinner was one of my standards: NOM NOM NOM Chicken. I served it with roasted potatoes and sauteed greens. Here's the recipe:


6-8 chicken thighs (skin on) or any kind of chicken parts you want
3-4 sprigs rosemary
sea or kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
4-5 cloves garlic
1 large onion or a couple of shallots
Olive oil
White wine, Beer or Marsala (I like Marsala best).

1. Spread the rosemary around the bottom of a baking dish.
2. Put the chicken on top, skin side up.
3. Liberally pour olive oil all over the chicken so it also drips down into the pan.
4. Take your alcohol and pour it into the pan so you have about ¼-½ inch of liquid in the bottom of the pan.
5. Liberally salt the chicken…and I mean liberally and sprinkle with some pepper and Italian seasoning.
6. Turn the chicken over and repeat #5. Turn the chicken back over skin side up…and yeah, repeat #5.
7. Peel the garlic and give it a whack and stick it all round the chicken
8. Peel the onion and cut it into chucks and stick it all around the chicken

Bake at 400 in the middle rack of the oven for about an hour. If the skin isn’t crispy looking by then, I move the rack to the broiler and broil for a few minutes until the skin is at your desired crispiness.

This recipe is very versatile. As you can see, when I made it last night, I butterflied the chicken and lined the pan with the herbs.

Time for another exciting episode of KEEPING UP WITH THE KECKY'S! You will recall that Poppy got the STELLA model scooter and I got my Buddy. Well, after indecisiveness, I'm going to call the dealership and change my order to a STELLA. I'm going to get the La Crema and she will be called Bianca.

Vroom Vroom!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Saturday's B-Day Weenie Roast and Hey Stella, Who's Yer Buddy?

First of all, can I just say what a gorgeous day it was yesterday! Days like this you realize why you live in the Bay Area.

These kinds of days are also Jax-The-Cheese-Connesewer's favorites...

As mentioned, yesterday was Nephew Lucas and Niece Ashley's Birthdays. As usual, a fun time was had by all! Seester Kathy made her INFINITY NOM potato salad and Bro-n-Law Darryll grilled up about 4 different kinds of sausages. I'd made a Muffaletta topping to go on the dogs, but I think I'm the only one that ate it. I thought it was NOM! I know I've asked Seester Kathy to share the potato salad recipe with you, but has yet to give it to me. Me thinks she wants to keep this a secret! Niece Ashly also made some gluten free carrot cake cupcakes. Very NOM!!

Let's have a little check-in with THE LIFE AND TIMES OF DAD! I was talking to Dad yesterday and he says "Well, I've got one more night here." I reply "Yep, then soon you'll have a lifetime here." He looked at me and said "But what if I find a someone up there (Minden) and I want to stay?" My mouth about dropped to the floor. Then Poppy tells me later that Dad told her he had been talking to some gal at the Club and he's smitten with her...but he doesn't know if she's married or not. Can I just say that this is really messing with the grand plan? He can't live alone and Sister Missy ain't gonna spend the rest of his days up there taking care of him. I dunno, maybe we need to check into some assisted living place up there. I guess the bottom line is, we need to figure out what he really wants.

Forgive me for thinking out loud here but if you ask me, Dad has always looked to others for his happiness. Seems if he doesn't have a woman, his life he doesn't feel complete. I think that's the way he was raised. Yet, he's always had a Mom and then Shirley but he's always been so unhappy. While I think it might be too late, but I think he needs to look inside himself for his happiness. Maybe we need to have a sit down and have a talk with him. I dunno, I need to talk to Seester Kathy about all this...I was up all night thinking about this stuff. Argh!

Okay, so lets have another exciting episode of KEEPING UP WITH THE KECKY'S! I always want to write "A Quinn Martin Production" every time I type that. Well, as I said yesterday, Poppy and I went to test drive the Stella (and you have to say that like Marlin Brando too). I'm afraid that STELLA was a little too complicated for my tastes at this time in my life, but Poppy dug her! She's a 4-speed vintage-like (just like my Poppy) scooter. Poppy said STELLA is a little clunky, just like her. :) Poppy did end up with the Slate model.

As you also recall, this is another step in the direction of my kickass-crotchety old age on the Hoveround, so I decided on the simplicity of the Buddy. She's also the Slate colored model and she's also known as the "San Tropez". If you're from Pacifica, you know the correct way to pronounce San Tropez! Reminds me of a jingle...Bain de Soleil for the San Tropez Tan... Oh, wait, I was just looking online. It's Saint Tropez!! Never mind.

My Buddy is just a sit and go bike. My Buddy will go just as fast as Poppy's STELLA but without all that bulky shifting and clutch stuff. STELLA also has a rear brake on the floor and Buddy has the simple brake lever system just a bicycle. The only difference is the brakes are the opposite of how a bicycle's brakes are. This could potentially create a small problem of what we now call "Parking at Speed".

So the girls will be ready to pick up in a couple of weeks and Poppy, Jax-The-Cheese-Connesewer and I will be motoring all over the City. We can't wait! Today we get to pick out all the fun accessories that will adorn the girls.

I feel so...well...Italian. Chow Bella! I Au revoir Belle!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Friday's Dinner

UBER NOM!!! When Poppy and I were at Costco, we bought some Rocky Chicken Spinach and Feta Sausages. So not entirely sure what I wanted to do with them. I called in the expert, Netty-Mae for a Food 911...She was thinking the sausage would be good as a sandwich, or a warm pasta salad. Of course the German in me was thinking sauerkraut, mashed potatoes and a side of mustard. Then we started talking pasta. Here's how it came out...I got a red, orange and green bell pepper, a red onion, a bag of Euro greens and a box of Campanelle pasta (looks like ruffles on one of those tuxedo shirts from the 70's). Oh, and as a special treat, I picked some Nasturtium from the backyard. Stuff grows like weeds. Tastes like Peppercress.

First I steamed the greens a little cause Poppy hates, hates, hates bitter greens. Then I browned the sausage in a little olive oil and Kecky's Mushroom Infused Olive Oil. Then I sauteed the peppers, onion and garlic in the same pan that I'd browned the sausage in...uh huh! I added a little chicken broth to the pan just to get everything all moving off the bottom of the pan and mixed with the peppers. I added some of Kecky's Italian Seasoning, Kecky's Herbed Red Wine Vinegar, salt and pepper. Have I pimped the Kecky products sufficiently yet?? Right before it was done, I added the greens and a healthy dose of capers and more chicken broth. Simmered for just a minute or two and VOILA! If only I'd bought some parm to shave on top. Poppy thought that a little fresh feta would have really brought it out. She is right!

Time for another exciting episode of KEEPING UP WITH THE KECKY'S! Today is fixing to be a very exciting day! Not only is it Nephew Lucas and Niece Ashley's Birthday's (I know, weird they have the same birthday), but Poppy and I are going to go test drive hers-n-hers scooters.

These scooters are what scooters were before Vespa. I can't remember the manufacturer name, but Poppy knows. This model is called "Stella". They used to be available here years ago, but they were a 2-stroke variety scooter, which was outlawed sometime ago in California. So now, they've made a 4-stroke scooter that would be perfect for Poppy and I...oh, and Jax-The-Cheese-Connesewer to get around town. As you can imagine, Poppy and I are very, very excited since it's been a couple of years since we've been on motorized two wheels. I really think that once you've had the thrill and freedom of riding a motorcycle you can't get it out of your blood. Poppy and I talked about this and it's something that we've both been missing. I haven't seen Poppy this excited about something in a long, long time.

You know, there's a whole culture around the Italian scooter set so this is going to open up a whole new world for Poppy and I...oh and Jax-The-Cheese-Connesewer. There's even a Women's scooter club. I can't remember the name though...story of my life, I tell ya! One of the best parts of the scooter culture for me is the clothes!!! Everything is soooo matchy matchy!

Are you wondering how we can afford basically $10,000 worth of scooters while we're just laying out thousands for the new Kasa Kecky? Well, as luck would have it, Poppy and I can get a very low-interest loan though the bank so the payments would only be $100 each a month. We're paying off our truck and that's going to free up $400 a month. We originally had planned on buying a house upwards of $725,000 but instead bought for $690,000. Once the Tax Credits hit, we pay them off. So it all works out.

Here comes the justification...Originally, I was thinking of the scooters as a luxury item, but after really thinking about it, it is somewhat of a necessity. The bike ride to work is going to be a hefty hour commute. On those days that either one of us don't feel like riding our bikes, yet we don't want to drive the truck, nor do we want to bother Seester Kathy or Friend Laurie to pick us up, we can take the scooter. This is also a fine plan for when both of us have doctor's or dentist's appointments given that those are both located in the land of no parking. Why it just makes sense...and is just an automatic segue into our old age...

Some of you know my old-age fantasy that when I'm too old, fat and immobile to care what people say or think, I'll be sitting on my Hoveround (that pal, Jeannie's son has painted flames on) wearing my Sea Foam velour jogging suit, bitching and moaning about all my aches and pains, running over little kids and small animals while throwing up a fist yelling F__CK YOU! Oh, old age is going to be fun!

Okay, off to my shower cause I've got a truck load to take to the Presidio Spring Clean!

Amy-Mae, II...I'll be thinking about you tonight when I'm singing "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" on Rockband!

Have a great day!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Thursday's Dinner

Awesomely deliciously NOM!!

But before I tell you about it, let's check in with KEEPING UP WITH THE KECKY'S! As of yesterday, all our ducks are in a row and we're ready to close. The seller's have asked to move the close up because they put an offer on a house and want the $$. We're fine with that because that will get us in the new Kasa Kecky sooner. We signed an addendum that will give Seller's 70 days after close to stay at the new Kasa Kecky and pay us rent. That's fine by me because it'll give us time to go through the old Kasa Kecky, plus take care of Dad's house and all belongings.

So the Presidio Trust is sponsoring a "Spring Clean" with the Salvation Army on Saturday. They will be taking household goods and e-waste. Poppy and I cannot pass up this opportunity to purge, so we spent last night culling the kitchen and the shelves in the porch room. I've got two T.V.'s and about 10 bags of clothes and dishes sitting in the back of the truck. It's almost like I've lost weight...only different.

That brings me to dindin...Even though we went to Costco last week and stocked up, I find that we're out of food. In the fridge, were leftover roasted potatoes, two florets of broc and two eggs...oh and some "aged" cheddar cheese. It didn't start out as aged, but it's been in the fridge for so long it's aged itself. It's really NOM too and it's one of Jax-The-Cheese-Connesewer's favorites!

Okay, so I put the potatoes in my 10 inch cast iron skillet and stuck them in the oven on 375. I cut up the broc and tossed it in olive oil, Kecky's Herbed Salt and pepper and stuck that in the oven too. Meanwhile, my trusty assistant, Jax-The-Cheese-Connesewer and I grated the cheese. Once the potatoes were warmed through, I topped with the cheese and kicked up the oven to broil. Then I fried the eggs. By the way, I fry my eggs in olive oil. Once the potatoes and broc were done, I plated them, topped with the egg, and served with a side of the yogurt dipping sauce I had made the night before. Uber NOM!

See ya!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wednesday's Dinner

PORK!!! I bought two "natural" Duroc pork chops yesterday.



The only seasoning on the pork was salt/pepper and then Poppy grilled them on the stove. The broccoli was tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted at 400 for about 20 minutes. I cubed up some potatoes, tossed with chopped onion, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted those at 400 for about an hour and fifteen minutes.

I made a little dipping sauce for the potatoes:

1 cup Fage Greek style yogurt
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Kecky's Southwest Seasoning
1 teaspoon Agave nectar

Mixed it together.

For the pork...nothing better than sweet, hot and salty for the pork. I put a some apricot preserves in a little sauce pan, added some red wine, balsamic vinegar and red chili pepper flakes. Simmered it to burn off the alcohol.


Oh alright! Here's the recipe for Kecky's Southwest Seasoning...

Kecky's Southwest Spice

2 tbls chili powder
2 tbls paprika
1 tbls ground coriander
1 tbls garlic power
1 tbls salt
1 tbls dried oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar.

I use this pretty much as my go-to all purpose spice. It's great on veggies and eggs too!

Okay, see ya!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tuesday's Dinner

Was mini roast beast sandwiches at Seester Kathy's. NOMMY!

Ready for another mind-blowing addition of THE LIFE AND TIMES OF DAD? I am. I went to Seester Kathy's yesterday afternoon to spend some time with Dad. Bro-n-Law Darryll and Niece Ashley were there so that was a treat. The sun was out and I found Dad on his chaise lounge eating his cheese, ham and Ritz Crackers. Of course he was eating this laying down so there were cracker crumbs everywhere...but not to worry because this was a job for Jax-The-Cheese-Connesewer!

So while I'm sitting there I can hear this weird little clicking noise. At first I thought it was the pine cones opening up on the pine tree, but no, it was little yellow-jacket bees eating on the bamboo fense. So weird. Bro-n-Law Darryll says they use it to make their homes. Very cool!

Let's see how it's going with another fine episode of KEEPING UP WITH THE KECKY'S! After visiting with Dad and Seester Kathy et al., I went on my merry home. I retrieved our mail and found an envelope from The Presidio Residences. Now, The Presidio Residences is The Presidio Trust's residential property manager. I like to think of them as the Trust's bitch.

When we get envelopes like this, it's never good news. Upon opening the envelope, I see that our refuse service is now going to be billed through the Trust's Utilities Department. I'm wondering what kind of service charge the Trust will charge for that? Anyhow, the letter states that we need to sign the Residential Utility Service Agreement and check the box showing what kind of refuse cans we have.

On this "agreement" is some very fine print that you would need a magnifying glass to read. It states "I agree to pay all fees and charges for utilities service to the Premises within 30 calendar days of the date of each bill or invoice, which fees and charges may include, without limitation, fees for monthly service, and fees for repairs, inspection or maintenance. Any amount not paid within 30 calendar days of the date of the bill or invoice shall be past due. Once an amount is past due, I also agree to pay interest, administrative charges and fees which will accrue at the then-applicable federal debt collection rate and terms. I agree to pay for continuation of services until a written request has been received by the Presidio Trust Utilities Department for disconnection of services. My failure to pay the Presidio Trust the amount billed within the period specified on the bill or invoice at the address specified on the bill or invoice shall constitute a default under that certain Residential Lease for the Premises by and between the Presidio Trust, as landlord, and me, as tenant, dated ________________________________, 20______."

Now you don't have to read the whole thing cause it's boring, but check out that little bold part. To me that says that Poppy and I are responsible for paying any fees associated with repairs, inspection or maintenance of the utilities. According to this agreement which I believe would include our electric, water, sewer and refuse. I interpret this to mean, for example, if the sewer line in the street busts, Poppy and I would be responsible for paying for it's repair, inspection or maintenance. This would also then apply to anything electric, water and refuse related. Let's say that sewer pipe is 100 years old...why would I be responsible for paying for that? What if the 50 year old electric meter breaks? I'm not paying for that.

As you can imagine, after 7 years of living here and being model Presidio live/work tenants, Poppy and I can't wait to get the H.E. Double L out of here!!!

Also, I took Jax-The-Cheese-Connesewer for her walk this morning so she could make poopy. She does this at the native plant nursery on the bark. Sometimes I have trouble seeing today. Never did find it. Not until I got home and saw it on the bottom of my shoe.

See ya!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Monday's Dinner

Wouldn't you know, I forgot to take a picture of the dinner!! But here's what it looked like when my body-double caught it.

Poppy pan-seared him with salt and pepper. I sauteed spinach in garlic, shallots, a little chicken broth, Kecky's Herbed Salt and pepper. I also made a wasabi sauce to top the salmon. I used:

1 cup Fage Greek Style Yogurt
1/2 cup mayo
3 tablespoons prepared wasabi paste (the weird looking green stuff in the tube)
1 tablespoon chopped shallots
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 water

I put the soy sauce, water and shallots in a small sauce pan and simmer it for about 10 minutes. Let it cool Then I mix the yogurt, mayo and wasabi paste. Once the soy liquid is cool, I fish out the shallots and about 3 tablespoons of the liquid and add it to the yogurt mixture. Mix well. If it's not soy-ee enough, add more liquid.

Uber NOM!!

Time for a segment of THE LIFE AND TIMES OF DAD...As most of you know, he's been staying with Seester Kathy, et al. He's been spending the week taking walks, watching movies and sitting on his chaise lounge with his vodka tonic. Seester Kathy has been working out his finances and I've been trying to research Social Security to see if he can get Shirley's benefits. I've also got the Power of Attorney ready to go that will give Seester Kathy control of his financial life. Heh heh heh... We bought him one of those hearing amplifiers since the hearing aid he wears doesn't fit right. When he eats, it shoots out his ear. So instead of investing some $$ into custom-fit aids, we bought him one of those "as seen on TV" amplifiers. Yeah, the one that the old lady sitting on the bench is wearing and she can here the gossip from some neighbor 5 blocks away. Seester Kathy called last night to say it worked great! When I bought the amplifier, I also bought a book "How to Care for Aging Parents". Bet that's going to be a page-turner alright!

Here's a picture of the little chickens my Dad made a few years back. Not sure if you've ever seen the very expensive French ceramic chickens. He copied them using styrofoam balls, toothpicks and wood filler. I love them!!

Say, how about we check in with a new season of KEEPING UP WITH THE KECKY'S (formerly known as THE HUNT FOR KASA KECKY)! As of this morning, all conditions have been removed and we're sitting pretty for our June 4 closing. We could very well close sooner than that. We're now waiting for Poppy's TSP loan to disperse into our account. I know I should be really excited, but with everything else that's been going on plus all the hoops we had to jump through to get to this point, my excitement has kind of fizzled out. I'm sure as we start down-sizing and packing I'll perk up.

That's all I have for today!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sunday's Dinner

Meatball sandwiches!!!

Well, back at work after a week and a half off. Need to start researching things like long term care, home care and social security for Daddy-O. He's doing okay, but life would be so much easier if he could see!


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Pain and Suffering...

This is the email that I sent to several folks at the Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center:

Dear Sirs/Madams:

I wanted to write to your establishment about the services we received at the Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center.

Both my Father and Mother were admitted to your hospital the week of May 3, 2010. My Mother was admitted for what turned out to be blood clots on her lungs. She also has been suffering for years with COPD. My Father was admitted for what turned out to be a small stroke.

My Sister, Missy lives with my Father and Mother full time so was here to see them both to the hospital. My other Sister, Kathy and myself, Kelly live in San Francisco so we came up here Wednesday, May 5.

Upon our arrival we found both Mom and Dad on the third floor of the Medical Center. Not long after our arrival, my Sisters and I talked to the nurse and doctor (Dr. Carter). We were given some information, but it seemed pretty sketchy. In other words, we were having a hard time getting an answer from anyone. The only helpful people we found were the Certified Nursing Assistants who were on duty. At one point my Sister and I went to the nurses’ station to find out when Dr. Carter would be making rounds. We were told that Dr. Carter was very “random” and only sees patients who are being discharged. This went on the entire time Mom and Dad were there until Dr. Carter showed up and said they would be discharged.

After a few days of much confusion, both my parents were sent home. That was on Friday, May 7. Upon getting them both home and comfortable, my Sister went to the pharmacy to fill their prescriptions. Two of the prescriptions for both Mom and Dad were injections of Lovenox that were to be administered by your fine institution on Saturday, May 8 and Sunday, May 9.

On Saturday, May 8, we brought Mom and Dad to your Infusion Center with the injections of Lovenox prescriptions. We were promptly told that it was hospital policy not to take medications from patients and that the Infusionist would need to put in an order for the Lovenox injections. How odd, since it was the doctor at your hospital that gave us the prescriptions for the Lovenox. I would also add that in addition to my Mom's COPD, she also suffers from two broken vertebrae so getting her in the car for the journey to the hospital was no small feat. So, since I have given my cat injections before, we decided to take our parents home and administer the injections ourselves.

Later that morning my Mother woke up with excruciating stomach pain. We called paramedics who brought her back to your fine institution's emergency room where she was seen by Dr. Tillitt. Dr. Tillitt was very up front about my Mom’s condition. He would do a CT Scan to see what was going on. The diagnosis was she was bleeding from her spleen. Since she was not a candidate for surgery, that left little for the doctors to do. We were then consulted by Dr. Craig Rau. He pretty much let us know the options. Mom chose to not take any invasive action and that she would be made comfortable with no pain or suffering until she died. Dr. Rau guessed that to be within days. So back to the third floor Mom went. You can imagine our hesitation of wanting her to go back to the third floor's care at your hospital.

Dr. Rau put my Mother on “comfort care” which he said she would be given pain medications and anti-depressants. Again, to reiterate, that she would not be in pain or suffering. Once she got up to her room the pain kept coming. I talked to one nurse and tried to explain what Dr. Rau had told us about keeping Mom pain free. Right away the nurse became defensive and asked if I was a doctor or a nurse. Actually, I was asked that more than once…which in my mind has no bearing on wanting my Mother to get the proper dosage of pain medication so she would not be in pain or suffering.

The next day, Dr. Rau came to visit. He is a very kind and compassionate man, which is more than I can say for most of your nursing staff. He asked Mom if she was in pain and she said yes. He told her that she should not be in pain and needs to let them know. We all simultaneously said, "WE HAVE BEEN". Then we find out that in addition to the pain medication she has been getting by injection, that there was a standing order for her to receive a Morphine drip that would keep her on a steady flow of pain relief. To say the least, Dr. Rau was embarrassed and apologized that his orders had not been followed.

By day three, Mom was still having pain. Dr. Rau visited again and was quite irritated that the nursing staff still had not been following his orders. All this time she was not supposed to be in pain, nor was she to suffer. I can not tell you how helpless my Sister's and I felt to have to watch my Mother's horrible pain and suffering!

Again, we were visited by Dr. Rau. Evidently, he went and had a talk with your nursing staff because my Mother was finally given what she needed to relieve her pain. This was by accomplished by the Morphine drip. She was also to get a pill by mouth if her pain spiked, but only if she could swallow.

On the evening of May 10, I received a call from my Sister who was staying the night with Mom. She said that a nurse, Suzanne, came in with the pill, Mom was obviously sleeping with her mouth open. The nurse tossed the pill into Mom’s mouth and yelled “SWALLOW, SWALLOW” and then left the room. My Sister had to fish the pill out of Mom’s mouth and wake her up so she could take the pill with water.

I do not know the last name of this "nurse" Suzanne, nor do I care. I am horrified and shocked at the actions of this nurse. I can only think of her behavior as cruel and inhumane!

Our Mother died in your hospital the morning of May 11. To know that most of the time she was supposed to be made comfortable and pain free, she spent suffering because of your inept and uncaring nursing staff. This is the memory we are left with.

I have nothing but good things to say about Dr. Rau, Dr. Tillitt and the entire staff of your emergency room.

There is nothing your fine institution can do to heal the wounds of my family, but I would appreciate some sort of response to my email.

Kelly Dallmann

So, maybe we'll get free healthcare for life...Ummmm, no thank you!

Friday's Dinner

Was at Limon in the Mission. So disappointing! We started with the oyster shooter. It was so over-salted we could hardly eat it. Ended up fishing out the oyster from the salty brine and eating it alone. Then we had the Ceviche de Pescado. We had no complaints about that, it was very good. We had the Empanadas de Carne, Scallops and the Ensalada Verde. Salad was NOM as were the scallops, albeit, over-salted. The most disappointing thing to me was that we spent over $100 for a meal that was substandard. I'm still upset. I've been reading reviews on Yelp and it looks like we were there at an off night but there's no way I would risk trying it again. Today I suffer the effects of the over-saltiness. My eyes are so puffy I can hardly see. My fingers look like Cuban cigars!

Yesterday was Costco day! We're all stocked up for the next couple of months. Yay! We've got toilet paper coming out of our...ears!

Seester Kathy and I have been checking in with each other to see how things are going with Dad. They got him a giant clock so he'll know what time it is and won't get up at 2:00am to take a shower. ;) She said things are going okay but he seems really depressed. Mostly because of his eyesight. Without his eyes, he feels there's not much left for him. He also doesn't seem to realize that he can't do things by himself, like take a walk. Seester Kathy said he wants to go walk around the park where they live, but she's afraid he's going to get lost.

So now what happens when he finally moves in for good at Seester Kathy's? Poppy suggested we check into a daycare kind of situation, but he'd hate that. Dad has never, ever been a joiner-inner. Maybe we can take him to Your Health and let him hang with the Russians! I know we're not the first ones to go through this...I wonder if there's a book?!

I will leave with another exciting episode of THE HUNT FOR KASA KECKY! We received an email from our Kickass-Agent-Lynnea yesterday that the house appraised at $690,000. This is EXCELLENT because it appraised $10,0000 over what we paid for it! So Poppy and I are high-fiving, cheering and hugging cause this is what we've been waiting for...Oh, but wait just a minute there Lil Miss! Kickass-Agent-Lynnea says that while this is excellent news, she needs to find out if there was a "field appraisal". WTF?! I emailed her back that this is some kind of torture! So here we sit and wait...

Bye bye!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Thursday's Dinner

Wasn't really dinner, but little snackies. Poppy had asked me the other day if I wanted to go to this after work thing Allison-Mae was putting together to celebrate the finish of the Presidio Habitat Art Exhibition. Figured I'd like to go and get my mind of some things. I wanted to bring something. We had one bottle of wine left and not much in the kitchen. I did have some frozen meaty things so I thought about making some meatballs in a little marinara that you could eat w/tooth picks. They were made from beef, pork, walnuts, and roquefort butter that I put through the grinder. I'd sauteed some onion and fennel too. Added some italian seaoning, salt and pepper and called it a meatball. For the sauce, a can of tomato puree, a can of diced tomatoes, a touch of agave nector, chicken broth, beer, a little red wine vinegar, onions and garlic. NOMMY NOM NOM!

Allion-Mae, Amy-Mae, II and Renee-Mae were there and gave me hugs so that was nice.

You know what? I think it's time for another exciting episode of THE HUNT FOR KASA KECKY! Recieved an email from Tim-Gimme-Your-Business-Higbee. Seems the appraisal is done, but he's having trouble getting he results. So we hang a little longer. I guess the bank we have our loan with is called AmTrust. Never heard of them...

Time to check in with Seester Kathy and Dad!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I'm home...

Sister Kathy, Dad and I came home last night. We tried to make Missy come with us, but she needs some quiet time to herself.

After I got home last night and Jax-The-Cheese-Connesewer stopped peeing on my feet, we went for a walk up to Fort Scott. I found more of that Presidio Habitat art exhibit up there:

Not art:


After our walk and waiting patiently for Poppy to ride up on her big blue steed...she did. It was a very nice homecoming. Then we gathered up Jax-The-Cheese-Connesewer and headed to the Tee-Off for some libations and dinner...and lots of crying. It was all good!

I talked to Sister Kathy this morning and it appears Dad got up at 2:00am and took his shower. Looks like they'll be getting him a big clock for his bedroom!

Talk to Sister Missy this morning too and looks like she's getting visits from some of her pals so she's looking forward to that.

I'm doing three loads of laundry and making meatballs and sauce for a little shin-dig Allison-Mae is hosting for all the folks that worked so hard on the Presidio Habitat Art Exhibition. Then I'll contemplating a nap.

Time now for another exciting episode of THE HUNT FOR KASA KECKY! I have no idea where we left off, but we're still waiting for the appraisal results. Kickass-Agent-Lynnea sent us this watercolor she had done. She said that she thought I'd like to show my parents our new house. Dad saw it, but unfortunately, Shirley didn't...but who knows, maybe she's looking down below and will see it once we finally move in. :)

Nap time!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ahhh...a new day begins.

The plan for this morning was to all sleep in. Well, except for Dad cause he gets up with the sun. I woke up at 8:30 and found that Sister Kathy was not in bed. When I came out to the kitchen, she was going over all of Dad's bills. I asked why she didn't sleep in. She said "Because I don't have earplugs!" I guess I snore a little. But I was wearing earplugs because, like my Mom, she moans all night long!

So while Kathy was doing Dad's bills, he walked out of the room. She looked at me and said "Give him a job!" I think he's repeating himself constantly.

That brings me to the Kirby...I guess a while back, the Kirby salesperson came to the door and without Shirley or Missy to watch over, Dad spent $1,300 on a vacuum. It's nice and all but it's got a regular vacuum cord that has been run over a couple of times so I see exposed wires. I'm thinking if you paid that much for a vacuum, the wires should be made of steel! His job was to tape where the wires were exposed. Sounds easy right? Well, first he had to find the electrical tape. He forgot once what it was he was doing then he came in the house with another one of those Hamms Beer boxes full of electrical parts and asked me to look for the electrical tape. Found it. I haven't checked his work yet.

Today's fun is changing Dad's address on all the bills so they go to Sister Kathy and then once Sister Missy gets up and has her coffee, we'll go to the DMV to transfer Dad's minivan to her.

Okay, gotta get busy!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pretty Boxes, Pretty Boxes...

Among the many things we needed to take care of today was going to Fitzhenry's Funeral Home. Shirley wanted her body brought there because she liked the building. Honestly, it looked like a DMV so I'm wondering if we got the right place. Anyway, we go through the whole spiel about what they offer in the way of cremation. Missy wants some kind of urn or box to put Shirley. I wished I could have taken a picture of Dad's face. He gets this look on his face when he doesn't want to spend money. Kind of the same look Boss Karen gets when I ask for a raise.

So after looking at the urns and boxes Missy decides she can't decide on anything yet so Mr. Funeral-Man gives us a catelog and a price list. What we gather is Dad doesn't understand why she wants to keep a box if her Mother is going spread in the mountains. Dad wants to bring a box from home...he just said something about bringing his tackle box. Now Dad is wondering around the house looking for a box. At least he's got something to do! He just came from the garage with an old Hamms Beer box.

Here we go...

And her journey begins...

Shirley passed away at 6:30 this morning. Missy said it was very peaceful. We're all so relieved. I had made arrangements for hospice care last night so they were going to move Shirley home today. I don't think she wanted to come home.

We're all doing fine and now turning out attention to all the administrative things that will need to be done.

Once we get a handle on stuff, the plan will be to sell the house and move Dad in with Sister-Kathhy. Missy will stay with Dad until we get the ball rolling and sell the house. Then Missy said she'd come back to the Bay Area and stay with a friend for a while.

For the foreseeable future, all our lives are going to be influx.

Dad is doing well, but is worried about all the details and with his stroke is constantly repeating things. I can already tell that mine and Kathy's patience is wearing a little thin. Missy just rolls with it. We just need to remember that he needs to go through these motions so he feels a part of things. It would also help if he'd wear his damn hearing aids! He's very stubborn. He also can't sit still. Hmmm, I wonder where I get some of my traits? ;)

Okay, on to business. We've got a 3:00 appointment at the funeral home. Unfortunately, we keep having trouble remembering the name. It's either Fitzgerald, Fitzhenry or Fitzsimmons. There are only two funeral homes in Minden, so how can we go wrong?


Monday, May 10, 2010

Sunday's Dinner

Despite everything that's going on, we still have to eat. I had planned on making oven BBQ'd ribs Saturday but then all that hospital stuff happened. Now, I didn't want those ribs to go bad, so luckily Dad got tired at the hospital so we got home in time for me to make the ribs. INFINITY NOM!! I served the ribs with sweet Vidalia onions. Now, my Dad thinks that onions and garlic are chemicals but I decided to see if he'd eat the ribs w/the onion. So I told him that this is the way that Poppy eats her BBQ and that's how it's done in Texas. Not only did he like it, he asked for more onion. I think the stroke has effected his taste buds.

Pretty Jax-The-Cheese-Connesewer! I can tell by her eyes, she's depressed and missing me. Poppy is doing double time and Friend-Laurie is loving her up on her way home from work. Thanks again, Laurie!!!

So another day another cluster-f__k at the hospital/doctors. Today, we took Dad to get his blood work done. The ever-inept Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center told us that we could take Dad on Monday to his local lab (by his regular doctor) to get his blood done. So we did. We went there and they told us we needed to go to the hospital to have his blood done.

We kept on driving down I395 to the hospital. We were on our way there anyhow. We get to the hospital and Sister Kathy goes straight up to Shirley's room and I take Dad to the lab. Missy has been staying the night at the hospital and we had her coffee and breakfast. Okay, so get Dad to the lab and the gal says "It should be a long wait, you're on a 'stat'." After a 20 minutes of sitting, I'm starting to think what their definition of "stat" is. I thought stat meant "now" least that's the way it's portrayed on the tele. But seems you add a half-hour or so to the normal time things would take.

After we finished there, we went to see Shirley. When she was awake, she made sense. Wanted to know that Dad was eating. Then she started worrying whether we were all getting paid back for the money we've been spending. We've not been spending all that much and told her she need not worry about it. It's funny because she knows she's dying but she can't let go of the day to day routines.

Dr. Rau came in for another visit. Recall, he's the only doctor in the whole place that knows what he's doing. He said he was embarrassed by the care that Shirley is getting because she should not be feeling any pain or have to ask for pain meds. So we got that all straightened out and they now have her on pretty heavy doses of morphine. Finally!

The social worker, Joan came to see us about the hospice care. Our choices were Circle of Life or St. Mary's Hospice. We chose The Circle of Life because their brochure had things like sunsets, footprints in the snow and the ocean. St. Mary's brochure just had some old looking nurse tending to some sick person...not to mention, they're the catholics and Shirley ain't no catholic. :) After some time, social-worker-Joan came in to tell us that The Circle of Life is getting very small with cutbacks and they won't serve the Minden area so we have to go with St. Mary's.

We left the hospital about 1:30 to take Dad to his doctor's appointment. Before we got in the car, the lady from St. Mary's called. We set up a call for after 5 to talk about a meeting or set up another phone call. She didn't call yet...Nice.

Got Dad to the doctors. All is looking good. We told Dr. Jones we had to get the blood work done at the hospital. He said, I don't want you to get the blood work at the hospital because they don't know what they're doing. Wonderful! Fuel for my getting all Brooklyn on those people. Dad's biggest question for Dr. Jones was "When can I have a gin and tonic." Dr. Jones said go for it! Also, not dentist appointments but he can resume his regular activity. Good news for Mr. I'm Bored.

In other news...oh look, Snowmaggedon Phase 3!! What's up with that?

Okay talk to you later!