This is the best salsa I've ever had and it's so easy to make. Just load up your food processor with tomatoes, fresh cilantro, red onion, jalapeños, garlic, lime juice, and kosher salt and pulse it until you get to your desired consistency. This recipe made enough for two pints of salsa, which we poured into Ball jars and refrigerated, after pulling out some chips for immediate consumption, of course.
Friday, September 18, 2020
Thursday, September 17, 2020
We spotted this collection of imitation barnyard animals on our way home a few weeks ago and just had to turn around to take a picture. Makes you wonder what the story behind this could be. Maybe the owners moved from the country to the city and missed having animals. Perhaps this lockdown (they are chained) is the result of the COVID lockdowns and these animals would normally be entertaining little kids at fairs and festivals. Maybe it's their prized collection bought by scouring garage sales for the beginning of a unique nativity scene. Or perhaps they are just cleverly disguised cameras keeping an eye on the neighborhood.
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Only time will tell if the self-sharpening technology inside the sheaths will actually perform as advertised, but they are decent knives and only $15 total for this 6-inch and 4.5-inch lengths. Each time you pull the blade out or put it back in, you hear a little grinding noise, just like a sharpening stone makes. Worth a try.
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
I'm creating recipe cards for one of my retirement projects and decided I wanted to print them out on sturdy card stock. I found these thick, 4"x6", blank index cards that work perfectly in my inkjet printer, although they occasionally get stuck in my laser printer. The real trick is taking a recipe and shortening up the verbiage to fit with the larger font I like to use, which avoids needing to put glasses on while I'm cooking.
Monday, September 14, 2020
Having to swap out a bad cable box/DVR and losing all current and future recordings is bad enough, so when I found out I was getting a brand new box, with a new remote, with a new layout, I was not happy ... at first. The new remote (on the right) is a bit smaller and has only 34 buttons. That compares to 63 buttons on the old remote (on the left), and yet everything I need is still available. It's like an engineer put together the old one and a designer built the new. So much easier to use.
Friday, September 11, 2020
If you haven't come across Bird Eye shreds, and you're looking a something-different side dish, check them out. I really like the white cabbage and carrots pictured below, but there are also carrots and broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, and potatoes and sweet potatoes with broccoli & cauliflower. While you can microwave them, do your taste buds a favor and roast them in a skillet.
Thursday, September 10, 2020
Truly, I put together our new Porta-Pop 10'x10' portable tent by myself in under 10 minutes, which includes a few one-time setup tasks. Next time it will take two minutes at most. The key is this lever (first picture) in the middle that you push up and takes a half-expanded frame and transforms it into the finished product (second picture). At 5'9", I was just able to push it high enough to lock in place, avoiding a trip to get a step-stool. Wasn't the first time I've wished to be 6'0", like my Dad.
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
The western neighbor of Pearl's Fen (see yesterday's post) is Oakes Quarry Park, which couldn't be more different. Formerly a limestone quarry, it bought by the Oakes family in the 1990s and donated to the City of Fairborn in 2003. You can meander its 190 diverse acres using a 2-mile hiking trail or 1-mile horseback trail. If you're looking for something unique to explore, this is it.
Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Pearl's Fen, located just east of Fairborn, is the newest addition to our region's collection of parks to explore. The boardwalk pictured below runs for about 300 yards and a few feet over the fen, packed full of wonderful sights and aromas. Try walking very casually, and breathing only through your nose, to capture all there is to offer. A separate dirt trail takes you through a dry portion of the fen, mostly shaded, and keep your ears open for various birds and insects as they call out. Great job Greene County!
Friday, September 4, 2020
Thursday, September 3, 2020
When our new HVAC system is installed, hopefully in October, it will be paired with a new Google Nest Learning Thermostat. While there are a number of nice features, the one that will save us on our energy bills and allow us to return to a properly comfortable home is Home/Away Assist, which uses location information from my smartphone to know when to drop or raise the temperature of the house. It tells I'm far away, crank it back and when I'm traveling back home, crank it up.
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
It ticks me off when a really handy feature is introduced over a year ago and I just now find out about it. Such is the case with Alexa Guard, a security feature that can notify you when your smoke/CO alarms go off or it hears the sound of glass breaking. It can turn lights on and off at dusk, assuming you have compatible lights or smart plugs. There's also an option that integrates it into a security system.
After it's set up you can activate it by saying "Alexa, I'm leaving", deactivate it using "Alexa, I'm home" or use the Alexa app.
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
Although the exact date isn't known yet, sometime in the next month or so Geez Restaurant will move from its current, somewhat secluded, location in Swiss Village Shopping Center on Far Hills Avenue just north of Whipp Road, a quarter-mile south to Washington Square Shopping Mall and into the former Ruby Tuesday building. So if you find a closed sign, don't panic, you're two right turns (south on Far Hills, right into the parking lot) away from their new place and it's easy to spot this location from the street.
Monday, August 31, 2020
I'm now the proud owner of a National Parks Lifetime Senior Pass which provides entrance or access to myself and accompanying passengers in a single, private, non-commercial vehicle at Federal operated recreation sites across the country. If you're 62 years old or better and love the outdoors, this is a real bargain for $90 for the rest of your life. My first visit, in the planning stage, will be Fort Sumter in Charleston, SC.
Friday, August 28, 2020
Thursday, August 27, 2020
Let's get the party started!
These chocolate pudding shots are super easy to make. Fold together all the ingredients below, spoon into plastic cups, close them with lids and freeze them in a gallon-size bag.
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup Baileys Irish Cream liquor
1/2 cup vodka
1 container of extra creamy Cool Whip
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
I noticed this sign at a local restaurant and thought this couldn't be a QR (Quick Response) code as it didn't look much like the blocky, and frankly pretty ugly, version I've grown accustomed to seeing. But when I scanned it with Google Lens on my Pixel 2 it worked just fine, taking me to the web site with the menu. It took a bit of digging, but I found that there are a variety of ways and shapes that can be used to create these better-looking versions. One website you can try this out is at the link below.
This technique is about a decade old and this is the first I've heard of it, and I've spent a fair amount of time investigating QR codes. Sigh...
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
We bought this extra-large wood cutting board to extend the limited counter space in our kitchen when we're not needing the gas stovetop, such as when we're throwing a party and guests are bringing already-prepared sides to share.
Monday, August 24, 2020
I bought four 5/16" x 2" carriage bolts at Lowes last week and instead of waiting at the cashier stand while they searched through their book to find the right part, I just took a picture of it and showed it to them. They entered the item number and that was that, saving time for both of us. Sometimes is a matter of remembering the simple things.
Friday, August 21, 2020
Thursday, August 20, 2020
This isn't the cheapest squeegee you can buy, but the extra few bucks will get you the best performance of any we've tried. This is the 12-inch model but they also come in 10-inch and 14-inch options. It takes the job of cleaning our shower glass doors down to six swipes, saving at least half the time it previously took to accomplish this chore.
A big SHOUT-OUT to Grace for this home improvement!
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
We spotted this sign on Wilmington Pike recently and just had to loop back to take a picture. We don't know if the misspelling is intentional to attract attention, an accident the spell-checker didn't catch or maybe they really are selling people named "Hugh" or the person having the sale is "Hugh".
We didn't go check to see if the sale was "Huge", we were content with having a chuckle.
Tuesday, August 18, 2020
Now that our patio gate has been made shiny again, it's a bit appalling to see how bad it looked before. The frame, poles, and chain link were covered with Rustoleum Chain Link Fence Paint, which is the consistency of water (i.e. very messy), and the latch, hinges, and tension bars were replaced with new hardware. The paint only came in a gallon size, of which I have 95% of it left. If you're in the mood to do some touch-up yourself, I will happily share the leftover paint and save you some bucks.
Monday, August 17, 2020
Friday, August 14, 2020
Thursday, August 13, 2020
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
Monday, August 10, 2020
Friday, August 7, 2020
Thursday, August 6, 2020
Wednesday, August 5, 2020
Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Monday, August 3, 2020
Friday, July 31, 2020
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Triangle Park is located at the north point of the intersection of the Great Miami River and the Stillwater River, a location very prone to flooding, particularly before the construction of Englewood and Taylorsville dams in the years following the 1913 flood. You couldn't pick a worse place for a burial ground, and I sincerely doubt they were dumb enough to do so.
Monday, July 27, 2020
Friday, July 24, 2020
Thursday, July 23, 2020
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
But sometimes you just can't fix stupid.
Friday, July 17, 2020
Sausage Potato Casserole
2-3 lbs mild Italian sausage (browned, drained, and chopped)
2 lb bag frozen hash browns (partially thawed)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1/2 soup can of milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter and 1 1/2 cups crushed corn flakes
Grease casserole pan. Mix all ingredients except topping. Pour into prepared pan. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Cover tightly with foil and freeze the casserole. Deliver the casserole frozen and covered with foil.
Thursday, July 16, 2020
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Monday, July 13, 2020
Start by building four identical wooden frames from inexpensive 2-inch by 2-inch, 8-foot-long lumber. Each of the 16 boards used below was cut to a length of 23 inches, then assembled using a corner clamp (see my post on July 6, 2020) and two 1 3/4-inch wood screws per corner. The pair on the right is shown with the screen mesh installed, clipped from larger pieces, then stapled to the frame.
Friday, July 10, 2020