Today is Day 46 of shelter-in-place.

A couple of days ago, I got a bee in my bonnet about making First Watch’s Pesto Chicken Bowl. It had long been a staple of my morning commute when I worked in Beachwood – I would order as soon as I left the house, stop in Macedonia and pick up my takeout order, and take it into the office with me and eat it for breakfast.

photo by First Watch.

(Side note, I also miss the hell out of Bruegger’s Bagels smoked salmon breakfast sandwich. The one from Cleveland Bagel Company might be on my list of breakfasts to get post-quarantine.)

I made it a few times, but could never get the binding right. I ended up finding a recipe that Rosetta Stone’d it for me: equal parts pre-made (jarred) pesto and Ranch dressing.

Given my propensity for taking liberties, I switched Ranch dressing for hella thick Greek yogurt, and as they say – Bob’s your uncle!

I think the part that makes this a true winner is the fact that Charlie not only ate it, but he loves it.

Bob love him: I’ve expanded his palette quite a bit in the 18 years we’ve been together (he’d never had takeout Chinese food before we met). However, when it comes to his daily meal planning, his default setting is meat-and-potatoes, where mine is a lot more “let’s eat all the exotic foods!” So, this being one of my “weird” dishes that I make that he loves (read: “completely inhaled”), I’m gonna call that a win.

…But I think I’m also going to have to hide it in the back of the fridge when I make it if I want to actually eat any of it.


Charlie and I celebrated 4 years of having Made it Legal on the 16th. So, I upgraded his computer to celebrate the occasion, and he got me a new record.

Since Ada bought his new house and showed off his sweet, sweet vinyl collection, both Charlie and I have been upgrading our setup.

He took the record player in to get re-balanced (or some such thing — I’m not nearly the connoisseur), got a record cleaning brush, a new needle, and needle cleaner.

(Fun fact: the Google reviews for that store are 100% on-the-nose – they did acceptable work, but the shop is just their hoarding storage and they are total assholes.)

This is my second record for our collection. The first being The Hazards of Love, which my in-laws got me for my birthday.

Secret Garden

It should come as a surprise to absolutely no one that I did not inherit my mother’s green thumb. Plants come to my house to die. My home is Stalag 17 for plants.

Charlie, however, takes after his father, who I’m certain planted his garden over a radioactive waste dump last year, and grew a zucchini as big as a cudgel.

Club Zucchini
Photo shamelessly stolen from my friend’s Facebook timeline.

Usually, we’ll do our own zucchini, and some green beans, peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, and last year, as a total vanity project, a whole box of pumpkins.

They pumpkins all got eaten by bores.

It was very sad.

This year, the garden has had a slow start. Just didn’t get things started in time.

Sad, nearly-barren garden boxes, with ANnie being of no help whatsoever.

Charlie is dropping in some Aloha Pepper seeds, from a couple of weird ones he picked up from Aldi the other day.

I have a feeling this garden is going to be the laziest garden in Apiary history.

Even lazier than the one pepper plant we accidentally grew with one of our succulents because Charlie cut peppers too aggressively one night at dinner, and a seed landed in the planter.

Until I have more updates in the garden, enjoy these photos from gardens past.



Complete Disasters


I seem to have developed an ear infection out of nowhere – probably picked up from Typhoid Charlie and his exposure to kids.

Both Charlie and I are complete disasters at the moment: me with my ear infection, and he with his terrible cough, general sinusitis, and recent development of Hairy Eyeball. (He thinks he’s got a cat hair stuck in his eye, I wonder where that could have come from?)

I’m hoping that I don’t feel so poorly that we won’t be able to make a sojourn down to Cincinnati to see The Brothers, including my brother, who would be coming up from Louisville.

If I find that I will, in fact, live through this trying time, I’ll have updates from my mini-vacation.


Author’s Note (May 27, 2018) : I had strep throat/ear infection, and Charlie had pink eye. We stayed home like a couple of bubonic shut-ins.


Friday 5 for December 30: Forward

It’s been, what — 17 jillion years since I did a Friday5? Let’s remedy that.

It’s the end of the year, and I still think I’ll do the end-of-the-year survey meme, since I was quiet on the blog front, and a whole lotta shit happened in 2016. But for now, this will suffice.

  1. What are you looking forward to in your personal life in 2017?
    I’m looking forward to deepening my lady friendships, and to also finally shed the excess I-hate-my-job-and-I’m-stressed-all-the-time weight.
  2. What’s something you’re planning ahead for?
    Just the day-to-day stuff at the moment. Though a thought that keeps flitting into my head is what the summer Family Vacation will be. Last year, I missed most of it. I’d like to repeat the Dedrick’s Take Dillon Vacation, but I’d also like to see the Ziffels Hike Ohiopyle, too.
  3. How intense is your to-do list for the last days of the year?
    Not at all. With Charlie home for Winter Break, he’s had a few things done, one of which has been knocking the IKEA RAST Nighstand Project off the list. I also need to do Round 2 of going through all of the Old Job detritus I hauled home when I left, but that’s a smaller task.
  4. What’s something you’d like to jump past, between now and the end of the year?
    I’d like to get out of New Year’s Eve festivities, if I could get away with it. I love the company I’ll keep (my in-laws), but I’d really rather just be snug in bed and passed out when the ball drops.
  5. How will you ring in the new year?
    As mentioned, probably dinner, games and ball-dropping with my in-laws at the Wee House. Would rather be asleep.
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