B, Beer, Burgers, Barbecues

Tonight,  when it came time to call it a day  when it comes to our workday, we fired  up the grill..

Had some fun, while waiting. 🙂

Listened to the NPR

Had Burgers for Dinner

Plain ones too!

Then we watered our plants and  then buzzed over to the neighbours house to water theirs while they’re on holidays. And, along  the way we wondered why the house across the street didn’t sell. It’s cheap.

When we arrived,  we watered purple flowers

Well, OK. B watered the flowers – I documented the event.

But we watered green ones too.

 

And brought refreshments in case we got lost

Red ones got watered

By B, not me

and before you know it – it was quitting time

and home sweet home

 

Chicken Thursday

You know, the older smarter I get, the less stuff I need. Sure, B would love to move to Paris in a heartbeat, but I’d like to think we’re quite happy here on our little corner of the world . I mean,  if nothing else – we eat well:

Every night B saunters over to me and whispers in my ear those two words every man wants to hear: “Dinner’s Ready!”.

(actually, in reality it’s more like “Jim!, set the table!”, but that didn’t really flow with my story, so I exercised a bit of creative license here in the telling)

And you know, we may not agree on buying a car  or what size water heater, but I have to tell you  it’s true what they say about the way to a man’s heart. I’ve come a long way from plain pasta and toast (still not fond of the eggplant though)

We have an arrangement, B and I. I help her get her day started with coffee and she does the dinner and I do the cleanup.(The blog is called tidy husband for a reason) This isn’t a rule set in stone and there’s been days I cooked. (cheerios) and she’s cleaned but we’ve worked it out that this works better if she does the cookin’ and I do the cleanin’.

And, did I mention that I eat well? And, no eggplant tonight, thank goodness 🙂

Houston, We Have Flowers

For the past six weeks, every night we go out to inspect the garden and every night B complains and goes “ awwwwwww… I don’t have any flowers yet, my neighbors have flowers – how come  I don’t have flowers?”

And like clockwork I remind her that it’s only been a month and these things take time and patience, patience..

Well, as you can see from the photo above we now have a flower in the front yard. The fun part is we have no idea what this thing is other than well, orange. So if any of you can help identify this thing,  we’re curious.

Some days  it’s  just a day where you work hard and look up and it’s dinnertime and today was one of those days: You eat a lovely meal, inspect the garden,play with the dog a bit, come in and blog for an hour (yes, it takes me that long to bang this thing out) and then for me anyway,that’s about the day.

One reason I started this blog was to document the every day. Because the time goes fast and I want to remember that even a day  where the most exciting thing that happened was that  we had chicken –  is still pretty cool.  No trips to Paris needed.

Happy Chicken Thursday 🙂

 

 

 

She Wants To Buy a Mazda CX-5

“Jimmy, come here” !

I think I’m going to change my name to this eventually, it would just be easier.

A few weeks ago, I was I dunno where, but out. And my phone rings (maybe I should change the ringtone to “Jimmy come here”) Anyway, I was out and about and when B called and said “ I  found our next car!!”. I’ll save you the suspense. It’s this:

 

The Mazda CX-5

You’ll note the democratic process that proceeded  getting to the dealer to check out the car. We scoured the best car websites, weighed pros and cons, measured wheelbases vs storage space vs mileage of other competing cars in this class and  so on…

No, wait.  This is how I would shop for a car and I shop for other things this way like her big honkin’ engagement ring, which she didn’t seem to mind my particular shopping skills then thankyouverymuch.

But, With B, things just get decided. “We’re getting this one. It’s new and has a good motor. Also, there’s  room for the dog.

Tire Kicking, We Go.

B has, in her pretty little brain – connected the dots that because the air conditioning on our current car is toast, that means the car is dead and must be replaced tout de suite. In reality, it just means that we’re not going to cough up the  dough for a repair, roll down the windows and enjoy the summer breeze.

I will be honest. This is not the car I would buy. It’s OK I suppose, and  seats 4 and a dog and has all the other amenities such as all wheel drive and sunroof, etc. But, I dunno – it feels like it has an identity crisis and doesn’t know whether it needs to be a SUV, a wagon or a Ford Focus.

But, the price is right and at present I don’t drive enough to get all hot and bothered about car selection.  It’s all about do what she says compromise, this being married stuff I am learning.

B likes the Mazda because of the agressive design and I guess this is the way a lot of cars are going, to a ‘sport cute’, if you will:

I’d prefer either an SUV or something else, but I’m told by the resident car expert  that the motor and the mileage is what makes this  little number sing, and with 4 dollars plus for a gallon of gas,I guess an SUV would  not be the most  prudent purchase. Besides, this is all pie in the sky right now anyway as there’s oh, 24,0000 reasons why this car is still on the lot and not in our driveway:

The mileage, at 29MPG is pretty good.

Also, I am told with this car, it’s all about the motor. I could care less as long as it has one, and it starts reliably (which our current car does now) but again –  according to the resident car expert the SkyActive motor  is where it’s at:

I’m sure this is just marketing, and truth be told I’m more impressed with the

turn signal lights on the rear view mirrors and the

aluminum  alloy wheels on the Mazda C-X5

The  debate is still ongoing about whether we need sunroof  or  all wheel drive. We are in buffalo after all,so the four wheels actually producing power  could come in handy in the winter months.  We have some other  fiscal priorities that rank higher than a new car because  our current car, despite the complaints by the purchasing dept is a fine car that has loads of miles on it already.

My suggestion is to wait until we absolutely have to buy a new car, but who wants to bet sooner than later I’ll have a post here titled : We Bought a New Car ?

But, for now, the Mazda CX-5 is the top choice here according to those in the know.

Zoom, Zoom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s Do Something

Sunday am.

I’m on coffee number, oh…we’ll say eleven and am having a lazy lazy morning online when I hear it:  B rustling out of bed.

I do my husbandly duty of coffee delivery and think I can go about my day –  but nope. A few minutes  later, with her coffee fully ingested  and she’s awake, I hear :

“Hey Jim! come here!” .

This, dear readers is never good to hear as it can mean I am painting or laying sod or some other duty that does not involve fresh coffee and internet access and general laziness

This time, this translated to the today’s title: “Let’s do something”. It was nice out,  and  she was right  we should do something and go outside because it’s summertime now and won’t be for long. Before we know it  – it’ll be winter again in no time.

At first, we thought berry picking might be kind of fun but realized that due to our her late start it would be mid afternoon so we are saving that adventure for next weekend we think. And then we found it:  a rib festival at the Erie County Fairgrounds.

Perfect, we thought.

After we parked the car, and on the way to the gate a woman approached us and asked: “Are you going to the fair?” I think the giveaway was we were the only couple walking to the gate from the parking lot, but I’m not sure.

Anyway, she had some coupon that got four in for ten dollars, so she couldn’t go or something so she wanted to sell it to us for five dollars, as she had paid ten. It sounded fishy to me and if I were alone I would have just told her no, not interested but when the financial advisor is with me, I do what I’m told and just paid this stranger in the parking lot five bucks. I’m thinking this is a scam and I’m out five bucks, but whatever.

We get to the gate and hand this sad looking printout to the gatekeeper and what do you know?

We’re in.

We’re Here For The Ribs 

The other stuff like hemp tattoos and petting zoos didn’t really interest us and we sure as heck were not going to fill up on cotton candy when we can get a rack of ribs, but  we did see a few things at the fair like:

Home made jam

and  harley’s

and some things with a little less horsepower

but we wanted one thing: food.

And when we say the above we thought “oh no! closed!”

But we kept walking and then we started to see a few hints that we might be getting closer: (great name, I think)

so we kept walking, and there it was:

The sign from above.

and when they display pig trophies, you know the food is good

and it was.

And I put the camera away and well, ate a rack of ribs, and when we were done we felt like:

and  just wanted to go home and have a nap:

But instead we left with a song in our heart

And a spring in our step.

The End.

 

 

 

 

Hedging My Bets

It never ends, this home improvement stuff.

You’d think that being Saturday and all I would get a day off for good behaviour but nope. Today I used this:

to take care of this:

As you can see our hedges were starting to look the same as when I get a haircut. ( there’s even the same bald spot in the middle) an needed a trim. Unfortunately you can’t send them away to get them trimmed you have to either do it yourself or have somebody do the lawn work for you. Guess what option was picked?

My grandfather was great in the garden and  would grow rose bushes and all kinds of beautiful flowers. I remember when I was a kid he’d always send the ladies home with flowers when they went to visit. He also had trimmed the bushes outside of his house in the shape of the three little bears.

I had no such aspirations as I just wanted to wanted to have the hedges trimmed, and preferably without the loss of body parts. I am happy to report that there’s success on both items and the after photo shows our front of the house looking much better thankyouverymuch:

This was the first time doing anything like this, especially with a power tool.

And they’re not perfect but I think I got things fairly straight today:

I wonder what’s next? Oh right, the fence.

stay tuned…

 

 

The Sod Project

Not to be confused with the front yard or  back yard projects we now have a side yard project. It never ends. This time, it involved grass. I am slowly becoming the king of lawn, methinks.

It  all started innocently enough. B was at the front of the house watering the front yard garden and then when we got to the side of the house she said, “We have to do something about this”. Now, I was minding my own business drinking a coffee on our front steps when I heard this –  so brave soul that I am, I asked…“um, We?”.  Of course, you know what the answer was.

This is where I should know better and I should have followed the rule, but I didn’t. You see, at the side of the house was for the most part, just tall grass along the house – and although it did do a great job of hiding the unsightly gas meter, it wasn’t the most prettiest and it hid these flowers which are very pretty further back:

Fantastic husband that I am, I volunteered to go get the hedge trimmers and cut the grass down. This would require putting down my coffee and getting off my butt, but hey – the sacrifices one must make – in sickness and in health, and all that..

About 15 minutes later my efforts produced this result:

Which not only gives  a great view of the gas meter,also looks loads better and cleaner than just tall grass swinging in the breeze.

Then we go inside and have tea and cookies. It’s a good life.

Now, this isn’t the end of the story. The next day, sod must be had. My beautiful wife has this project in her head and it must be done. So, later in the afternoon we go to the big box store that’s orange and sells pretty much everything, including sod – or so we thought. Turns, out  – they’re sold out.

What to do? I ask my phone, that’s what. I ask for directions to a garden center about 5 minutes away according to the  big G.  B tells me she’s never heard of this place and she’s lived here for five years yada yada yada. But optimist that I am, I fire up the GPS and off we go. Guess who was right? Yes, I get the billboard.

We pull up to the garden center that’s not supposed to be there and what do we see? SOD!  lots and lots of Sod! 

6 rolls of sod and enough fertilizer or lawn starter to last until the end of time, and wer’e back in the car and back home.

What we should have done was line the trunk with a blanket or garbage bags before tossing in half a lawn into the trunk, but we’re not smart like that so once we got home from the sod adventure, your’s truly vacuumed out the trunk after we got the sod out of the car.

After dinner,we both go out and begin to lay the sod. “Oh it looks GRRREEAEAT!”  says B as I a laid the first piece down. “It looks just like carpet!” she says.

It didn’t take us too long to get the rest laid down and as luck would have it we actually measured and estimated correctly how much we would have and there was not one bit left over  –  it all worked out great!

Of course, the best part of any job like this is the end result, so without further delay I present  this as evidence of our continued home improvement journey. I think the the smile pretty much says it all, don’t ya think?

Up next, that fence in the background gets painted… but that’s a story for another day..

 

 

 

 

 

Summer 2012 Backyard Garden Update.

Now that summer is officially here, I thought I’d better update all four readers  on how our garden is growing. And I am very happy to report that things are coming along quite nicely, with a few exceptions. If you’re new here you can read all about our first foray into growing a garden here, and if you’re a regular reader well, you know what we’ve been up to.

We haven’t done much as far as garden upkeep except hope it works and so far, it has:

Beans are coming along ..no actual sign of a bean yet, though

I have no idea when beets will be ready as they’re a root vegetable, but we’re growing some pretty awesome beet tops if nothing else.

Carrots, on the other hand seem to be taking their sweet time and the beans and beats are far out weighing the carrots so far. It looks like we may actually see a carrot this summer, but I don’t think there will be many.

The melons are the saddest looking of the bunch, but B tells me that these take some time and won’t be ready until later in the summer.

Tomatoes are the big surprise here in gardening central, as our tomato plant started to look pretty sickly early on and then got uprooted in a thunderstorm so we thought that was the end of the tomato plant, but apparently we were wrong  as we not only have this big one starting to show promise..

There’s also a few others starting to show some signs of life as well.

Honestly I am amazed that we’ve gotten this far in about a month’s time since we started our summer 2012 garden project and I really did not have high hopes for this as the soil here is far from perfect garden growing, but apparently nature thinks otherwise and  will reward us with our efforts it seem.

And what is even more amazing in our gardening project is that the dog has kept her nose out of  it.  We thought for sure she would be in thee rooting around but she seems to care less and knows to keep away.

 

Summer’s Satorial Choices

Now that summertime is here, I get to make excellent satorial choices like the one above. It could be worse – it  could be sandals with the socks.

When B and I were first courting I tried to please my wife-to-be and wear sandals, because I don’t  know what it is with you ladies, but you like to be barefoot once the warm weather hits, but I  just can’t get used to sandals.

Personally, I  could live in the boots above 365. (or, maybe a nicer pair without paint splatters)

Over the course of eleven years of working from home and getting married I have become very lax in my wardrobe. There was a time I owned  a clothing store ( a story for another day) and yet now I toss on a clean t-shirt and a pair of jeans  and call it a day. I bet it’s due in part to getting older. Frankly, I just don’t care anymore whether I have a polo player on my shirt. I just need to dress relatively fashionable and be clean. Also, guys do have it  much easier I know when it  comes to choosing what to wear this summer.

You ladies have to dress nicely every day.

For example:

Look at the latest in summer wear for 2012 for women in the know. I hadn’t realized that neon was back in style already. 🙂  (I am in so much trouble for this – famiy members – please call to check on my health after posting this. These burgers could very well have been my last supper.)

As you can see, B and I are meant for each other. Our sense of style is impeccable. But enough of that..

Summer is Here!

When you’re done admiring my freshly painted deck  you want to  draw your eye to the burgers on the grill. Does anything  say summer more than a barbeque? Well, maybe this  but for yours truly I can’t drink so does not apply.

But, boy does it feel good to be able to turn the air conditioning on and yet at the same time it’s great to pop outside and feel the wall of heat that hits you as soon as you step outside.  After a very long and cold Buffalo winter (actually,  it wasn’t bad at all to be honest) it’s nice to spend more time outside than in  –  enjoying the warm summer weather.

We went out this evening for example, to water the plants and before you can say ‘tidy husband’, B had me pulling weeds and raking and stuff. I used to loathe gardening, but it seems that as my fashion sense improves so does my tolerance for outdoor work. I think it’s because we’re both invested in the project – whether it’s weeding or our upcoming water heater, each and every thing we do together improves our home and moves the needle forward just a tad every time we take on a task together.

Besides,  it’s great fun spending time with your wife outside in the sunshine. I hope you enjoyed the longest day of the year today and we get very little of this:

Tomorrow, it starts getting darker, enjoy the warmer weather while you can.

 

Fiskars 7870 Uproot Lawn and Garden Weeder Review

I’m going to do this from time to time and write about the stuff we use and love and is ‘husband approved’ 🙂 I’ve already done this with soap and some wife approved items as well, but today I want to show you the ultimate weed killer that is chemical free and all eco-friendly too.

This is the Fiskars 7870 Uproot Lawn and Garden Weeder and it could very well be the best $35 or so we have spent this summer as it has made weeding so easy. Now, that I’ve become Mr. Lawn I find myself tending to the lawn obsessively (the riding lawnmower is fun!) and until I showed up I don’t know what was going on here, but  there hasn’t  been a whole lot of weed pulling. I found this online at Amazon and convinced the purchasing department to buy the fiskars weeder on our next Amazon buy. (we always seem to have an Amazon wish list)

Using the Fiskars Upright weeder couldn’t be easier:

You place the weeder over your intended victim and stepping down closer to the business end of the weeder on the plastic foot, you push the sharp claws of the fiskars weeded down over the weed as above. Then, you move your foot back to the edge of the foot, and pull towards you **

The weeder will start to pull the weed up slowly as you pull the top end of the weeder handle towards you.

And  the results are impressive as this little gadget yanks the entire weed – root and all out of the ground.

You’re left with a hole to fill and some grass seed to put down afterwards, but your lawn will be free of weeds in no time. The day the fiskars weeder arrived,  I attacked the front yard and pulled a good 30 weeds out. It looked like a bomb had hit afterwards with all the holes in the lawn, but I noticed a week or so later that the grass has filled in most of those holes without any help by yours truly.

Sometimes you buy an item with great expectations only for it to be a piece of junk when you get to use it, but with the Fiskars 7870,  my experience was quite the opposite and is the best $30 or so I have spent this summer.

** a warning to other husbands: there is one drawback to using the weeder and it can tend to slip if it doesn’t get a good grip on the weed on the first attempt. This  results in the handle slipping towards you when the weeder slips.  The height of the weeder is 39 inches. Your inseam might be, oh about 30-32 inches for most. When you factor in those two numbers vs the distance standing away from the weeder at approx 2 feet and the downward direction of the handle end towards you, the final results may cause harm to those unprotected. Use with caution, or have a bag of frozen peas at the ready for later use.

CheeseCake, And Make Mine Cherry

Sunday, we celebrated my good friend’s belated 50th birthday at The Cheesecake Factory here in town, and it was a first for all of us to go and we were not sure what not to expect, but we sure did not expect to find:

325 different menu items!! This count does not include beverages either.

As you can Imagine, it took a while to decide on my culinary delight for the evening.

I have a confessions to make: Big menus like this scare the heck out of me.  I’m slowly getting used to the bigger portions here in the US,  (I gained 2 lbs! – I blame the cheesecake) but for B, she reads the menu and gets all excited about the choice and selection where I’m at the other end of the table thinking on thing: help!!!

Back to my fear of menus: There is too much choice with this restaurant. There were three different  pages on the menu for salads. At first glance you’d see the handfull of salads in the appetizer section and all the usual suspects were here too – garden, greek, caesar etc, but then two page in and past the ‘small plates’ there are more salad choices.

I finally did decide to go with two small plates because the entree sizes looked like garbage can lids, not 8 inch dinner plates and that’s a whole lot of food for a skinny guy like me.

The food was very good. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much but the food and service were both fantastic at the Cheesecake Factory.  We had a really great time, until…

“You Don’t Want That” 

Finally, the time comes around for dessert – and of course, cheesecake! I mean the meal was just so you could get to the dessert at a dining establishment such as this – we didn’t  go to the salad factory (although by the menu items, you could argue differently)  or the burger factory – we were there for the cheesecake!

As you can imagine, the cheesecake selection was as long as my arm but   I only was interested in one flavor: cherry. And as soon as I announce I’ll have cherry cheesecake. B pipes up and simply states:

” You don’t want that”.

” I don’t” I ask?

” No, Cherry is gross –  why don’t you get the red velvet cheesecake? It sounds delicious!!”.

“Umm, because I.. want cherry?!!”

So the plan with the cheesecake I am learning (in real time, I might add)  was I was supposed to order the chocolate macadamia nut, or red velvet or anything but cherry, so I could share with my beautiful wife…

And I don’t know..maybe it was the euphoria of the cherry cheesecake anticipation or the overwhelming of my senses drying to decipher a 325 item menu, but I bravely said “no, I still want the cherry”.

Then of course what went from a simple choice and  announcement about my dessert selection is now, for lack of a better word – a ‘thing’. Now we have to discuss this: Am I to forgo my cherry so we can share and select one of her choices now that I am aware of what the cheesecake plan really is? or do I stand my ground and say “No! No sharing! We’re talking cheesecake here! Every man and woman for themselves!! “ ?

it seemed like hours went by as we entertained annoyed our friends across the table with our cheesecake showdown. At one point, I think we were arm wrestling…

The verdict: We shared the cherry, and B loved it too . Cherry Cheesecake is just one of  the many many things that’s just better with two, and it tastes much, much better than eggplant. 🙂