01Feb23: dialysis day…

Yeah, there are needles involved. Two of them, one for arterial blood and the other for venous.

There’s the machine that takes the blood, cleanses it, then returns it back to the patient. The process is painless unless you get cramps.

Mostly, you can hit the heat button on the recliner, enjoy the warmth of that and the blanket they put over you. Sleep if you wish or…

…turn on the television that is available at each station. I usually watch the television.

There is that time, though…

…when your four hours are almost up! That’s when the clock stands still! Some people have longer times than others, and some have shorter times than others. Four hours seems to be pretty much typical.

When I turn the key and open the door at home, Andy comes running to greet me.

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My kalanchoe plant is blooming right on schedule! It gives me a winter show every year even though all I do for it is water it when I notice leaves are falling off some of the stems. It is my kind of greenery!

31Jan23: palm tree…

Andy was just standing there and it struck me…

…his tail reminds me of a palm tree. Must be brought on by the miserable, cold weather!

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This is a 2020 photo taken shortly after Andy came home from a 30 January 2020 grooming session. The cut is called a teddy bear cut. Compare the top photo with this bottom photo. See why I prefer the teddy bear cut over the lion cut? His fluffy tail didn’t get trimmed except a little (not noticeable) near his little “pooper” as part of the hygienic trim.

 

30Jan23: Slurp!

Slurp! Slurp!

Slurp!

Purr! Slurp!

Slurp! Slurp! Slurp!

“Hey, you!”

“What’s the matter? Never seen a cat clean his precious before?

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Ugh! wind chills predicted to be down to 20 below zero tonight. That’s -29 degrees C. I hope the old jalopy starts Tuesday morning. I probably need to take a short road trip to charge the battery up a bit, though there hasn’t been much strain on it since the last really cold spell. Got new snow yesterday. I haven’t checked outside today. 

 

 

 

29Jan23: Chunky or not?

What?

I think I see it.

Andy’s getting…

…a bit of a tummy!

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Just in time to eat up that Social Security cost of living increase, my landlord sent a “because of the rising cost of utilities, etc.” letter notifying us living at Serenity Lane Apartments (sic) that our rents are going up by pretty much an amount equal to the Social Security increase.

I shouldn’t complain. Since the current owner bought the place a few years back, the rent hasn’t changed. The previous owners increased it annually, with the letters coming out in time for Christmas.

The new owner is giving us till April to adjust to the increase. “Adjust”, that is, check to see if we are eligible for public assistance on rent at a time our Republican Congressmen and -women are threatening to chop off those agencies that help the poor and elderly if we want them, the said Congressmen and -women, to approve increasing the debt ceiling.

Ain’t life a breeze?! I think I’ll be ok, though I feel a bit exploited. Of course, when my sister in Seattle tells me what she pays for rent…. Whew!

28Jan23: sad kitty…

Andy’s sad because I’m not getting up and catering to his every whim. Sorry, kitty, but if I get up every time you want to get kitty treats, you’ll never eat your prescription chicken pâté kitty food. I noticed you are a little chunky lately, too, not a good thing in an older kitty. Those “puppy dog eyes” (sic) won’t work on me, bub!

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I baked a cherry pie for yesterday’s Class of 1966 monthly luncheon. I still have flour and butter I got to make shortbread for the December luncheon. I really need to do it, make that shortbread, before the butter (which is in the freezer) goes bad. If I make it for myself, I know I’ll make a pig of myself on it.

My Scottish grandmother use to make it as a special treat for the family, with one half of it for my Dad since he really, really, really liked her shortbread. After she died, I found her hand-written recipe in a recipe book she had. I tried my hand at making it. It’s a simple recipe, just four, sugar, and butter.

The magic is in how thin or thick you press it into a baking pan, how long you bake it. The slightly burnt, well, “brown” edges are the best part since the sugar is caramelized there, and texture is important, too. Good shortbread is more like a thick pie crust, flakey, a light texture but with a bit of crunch.

Getting the proportions of the three components is important, too. My grandmother’s recipe is a bit heavy on sugar if you don’t convert the pounds into cups more conventionally used in American recipes. My first effort had twice as much sugar as needed! Whew! Bad guess on what a pound of sugar is converted to in cups…!

I adjusted the sugar by half and the result was “…as good as your Grandmother McKenzie’s shortbread”, per my Dad! He was the shortbread connoisseur. His word told me I’d cracked the code, figured out how to make it like a Scottish grandmother! Well, my Scottish Grandmother McKenzie at least. I can’t speak for the whole world of Scottish grandmothers. 

Shortbread looks pretty plain, sort of like crust without the pie. If you don’t know what it is, you might skip it when looking at the dessert selections at an event. (Mind you, as someone who knows what it is, I don’t might having to take most of it home! LOL!) A big mistake: good shortbread is made with the best quality butter, never margarine or something with “butter flavor” like commercial “shortbread” often tries to pass off as shortbread, and this simple product bursts with an oven-created brown butter flavor that turns three things into a crunchy delight.

You want to share that with others, but hope they pass when you put it out there among the ooey-gooey chocolate brownies with chocolate chips and chocolate frosting, sugar cookies with heaps of butter cream frosting and sprinkles, pecan pie with twice the recipe’s pecans and chocolate chips-because-why-not?, and the lemon bars made more lemony with the zest and juice of two Meyer lemons. Yeah, shortbread gets lost in that “forest”!

Embellish it with chocolate or pecans or lemon zest, and you get a nice variation, but it seems less authentic to me. My Grandmother McKenzie’s shortbread never had embellishments because it was special made with just the three ingredients. 

Yum! I think this weekend will be a good time to make that shortbread! It’s been a few years since I made it last – Dad died in 2008, and his enthusiasm for it was the main reason I made it. I hope I can recreate my success with it because I intend not to share it and the recipe makes a pig-satisfying amount of it. LOL! Maybe – like, sure! – I can keep some out and freeze the rest.

27Jan23: Andy’s Friday agenda…

“What’s on your agenda for today, Andrew?”

I guess that was a no brainer. 

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Looking forward to getting together with my little group of friends who get together for lunch each month! Today is our day. First, we’ll get together downtown for lunch, then over to Donna’ for dessert. We got together earlier this month to make up for skipping the December lunch because it would have come at Christmas time, so January is a very social time for us! LOL!

Lots of snow days predicted for the coming week, though it doesn’t look like lots of snow accumulation.

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The US Postal Service has delivered twice to me the same piece of mail to me that is clearly addressed to another address on the other side of town. It has the same house number as mine but there is nothing similar in “Toluca” and “Lane 2”, the streets where the addressee and I live. If it gets delivered to me a third time, I will hand deliver it the US Postmaster at the post office and ask if they’ve started hiring illiterates. Sadly, it is a sympathy card. I recognize the name of the family and they recently lost their husband, father. I am baffled that my address was selected out of dozens with have the same house number between my apartment and the home where this card is supposed to go.

26Jan23: expanding Andy’s world…

Andy really likes to roost on the ottoman since I unfolded the newspaper and more of the lapboard is covered!

Of course, the more time he spends… 

…on the ottoman…

…the more “scritches” he gets. Mrow!

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I spend lots of time on coming up with kitty satisfying modifications to the apartment. Most modifications make the apartment a mess to the casual visitor, I’m sure, but this is all about making a kitty happy! Fortunately, I rarely have visitors here, and those who visit usually are family who have their own cats to make happy or a business that involves putting out the newspaper that Andy love, love, loves to roost on.  

25Jan23: Andy eats it up….

Andy stops by…

…to get a nice “scritching”!

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I decided to put the newspaper on the lapboard on the ottoman. As you who’ve followed this blog for years know, the ottoman was Andy’s late brother Dougy’s territory. After his death, Andy still recognized it was all Dougy’s, as if the ripped-out corners didn’t signal that to the world! Once I put the lapboard on the ottoman, Andy felt comfortable snoozing and resting on it.

The newspaper? It gives Andy just one more layer of comfort. He spent most of his sleeping time on the newspaper on the lapboard on the ottoman the first day I added the newspaper to the late Dougy’s fortress! While on the newspaper, Andy made sure his body totally touched it, no overlapping onto the lapboard or – heavens! – the ottoman surface itself!

 

 

24Jan23: the bloody mess…

Yesterday, the first thing I heard on the news was some axxhole in California killed ten and wounded ten more. What? There have been 33 mass killings in the USA since January 1st. There is an answer to this madness, but no political will to apply it. There are more firearms in the USA than people. Hunh?! Did you know that the gunman in the California murder spree was disarmed by a guy who wrestled him for over a minute and a half till he got the gun? It doesn’t always take a good guy with a gun to end a shooting, just a good and decent person with the resolve to do the right thing.

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To those of you outside the USA, the whole business of the Second Amendment and unchecked firearm murders is a mystery that defies commonsense and understanding. Here’s a look at that issue. It still makes no sense after reading it, but I guarantee I, as an American, don’t get it either. Australia and New Zealand figured it out, but that solution would cause fits and insurrection if applied here.

Second Amendment | Text, Meaning, Definition, & History | Britannica

23Jan23: the “snake”…

Minding his business…

Andy is interrupted…

…by a “snake”!

 Curious! This “snake” sticks its head into that gizmo on the end table!

Andy is perplexed!

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Wouldn’t it be fun to see things the way animals do? I can guess Andy finds things baffling sometimes, but what else does he think?