Story 14Oct2022

The morning started with a slow start as it is Friday, and I can sleep in as I do not need to be in the office for an 8AM meeting. We are also installing an upgrade over the weekend, and I will be working all weekend–likely just monitoring and a few texts. So I was ready early and waiting. The status meetings went as usual, and soon I was showered and dressed. Breakfast was coffee, Fare Exchange liberal, and cereal with milk. I checked in a few more times and tried to install some software on my laptop. Nike has the machine locked down, so simple things are usually hard to do.

I put aside the installation for another day; I made lunch. Another ham and cheese sandwich appealed to me. This time with cheddar cheese.

The afternoon arrived, and I boarded Air Volvo and headed across Coopers Mountain. The mountains were covered with morning mist and smoke, mostly smoke. The air smells like a campfire, and my throat is always irritated. The coughing and breathing issues return here and there. I am trying not to focus on it, as worrying about it makes it seem worse. Unfortunately, the maps show it getting worse in the valley. Smog and smoke.

I reached the hummingbird house and spotted Beaverton’s Finest had moved to a small section of my travel through their jurisdiction. A motorcycle cop with the cutest radar gun hidden at the base of a hill. This seemed hardly fair play, and he did cause a traffic jam. I ignored him and drove the speed limit at +/- 5 mph.

I reached the hummingbird house without any police entanglements, and Susie was waiting in her recliner. Jennifer, the nurse aide for today, popped Susie in her wheelchair, and we headed outside. We traveled through the park and called Leta, and after some re-calling, we managed to chat with Susan’s mother on FaceTime for a while.

I felt exhausted and did not understand how bad the air was until I could see the smoke in the light in the park. You cannot usually see the light in the trees. I needed to stay indoors!

Susie had a pleasant visit in Metzger Park, next door to her house and adult foster care, and saw some of the usual suspects. We also saw a few more vans that were gypsies stopped at the park between driving trips–not Roma but folks who seem now to just work where their laptops are. They travel from park to park and rest in their vans.

I returned Susie to Jennifer’s care, and with a kiss, I headed out in Air Volvo. I turned the wrong way and decided that the German place needed a visit downtown, if you can call it that, Metzger. There is a German-style deli, and I got some sliced ham, potato salad, port chops–smoked, and some sausage for dinner. It was my first time there, and the prices matched Whole Foods–not cheap. I put my new acquisitions in Air Volvo cargo area (the floor in the backseat) and started on my way back.

Ignoring Beaverton’s finest, trying to increase compliance with hill management, I drove on to the pharmacy. Only to find a long line, and the wait made my right leg hurt again, and when I reached the cashier, I learned that they still had not filled my prescription after two days–they were eight days behind. The corporate decision to close the nearby Rite Aide and move us to the smaller facility on Farmington has not improved service. I picked up some other items, including toothpaste, and headed, limping, to BASICs, the new grocery store next door.

I picked up some bananas and items I had run out of, such as milk and some scones. I then drove the rest of the way back to the Volvo Cave without issue. I remembered to take the back way as 209th is in construction.

Work continued, and I fought with the installation on my laptop a bit more and then rested a bit. The travel, standing, pain, and bad air required me to slow down. I made a few suggestions at work that we agreed upon, and soon it was time to consider dinner.

Mariah was busy unpacking, so I was free on Friday and happy to stay home and make dinner. I had collected the ingredients for a sausage, not seafood-based, Paella dish. I had the pan. Never made it before. So I chopped onions, the crying seemed to clear my head and green papers. I found fresh garlic and chopped that. I opened cans of tomatoes and artichoke hearts, and that, too, was chopped (and unneeded, I think).

I baked three types of spice sausage in the oven. I would stop and check work here and there. I heated two boxes of chicken broth with saffron in a deep pan with a ladle at the ready. I cooked the onions in the Paella pan. I had trouble controlling the heat level (more practice was needed) and had to be careful not to burn anything. Next, I added the green peppers. I followed the instructions on the bag of rice and added the artichokes. The garlic was added to the can of tomatoes, but I think it should have been cooked with the onions and its green flavor was in the final product instead of being in the background. The grain was next, and the pan was nearly overflowing. This I ladled with the broth, hot and seasoned with saffron. The pan started to burn or stick, so I had to drag the ladle over the pan, and this spilled a bit, but not too bad.

I pulled out the hot sausages, let them cool a bit (temperature of 170F+), and went back to the work laptop a few times to check and follow along. I had my iPhone, and it would report on any messages in Slack channels I follow. I cut the sausage, put them in, and let everything cook more.

I added some fancy peppers as garnish (also on the recipe on the bag) and removed the Paella pan from the heat. I covered it, again as instructed, with foil for 15 minutes.

It was mainly cooked. The rice was not entirely done, but that changed in about fifteen minutes as the rest of the chicken broth was absorbed. The flavors were not quite balanced, and the salt level was too low for most tastes (unless you have high blood pressure like me and refer to salt as white death), but the sausage was good, and the flavors were more balanced as the rice finished cooking.

Next time, some salt–maybe, and no artichokes but green beans, the garlic cooked more, and two cups (not 2 1/2 cups) of rice. Maybe more saffron. The heating will have to be better watched, but with less rice, I think that will be less of an issue.

I watched the final episode of the season of Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. The reveals were finally done, and I was surprised and happy, crying and laughing with the main characters. I expect the next season will skip forward in time. I recommend the last four episodes, or if you really love LotR, you can do the whole season.

After that, I finished the laundry I had started: Friday is laundry day. I then wrote more of my adventure, drinking some tea to keep going, but at 11ish, I was falling asleep while trying to write even with the tea. The day with the air and the pain was hard on me. But I remember my friend telling me to slow down, so I stopped instead of drinking more tea and pushing on to the early morning. I took my pills, including some painkillers, and went to bed. I then got up and got out Cthulhu Wars rules, the Omega Book–yes, there are so many add-ons there is a 1/2 think hardcover rule book now and reviewed how to play. I hope to play at least one game in October–while the stars may not be right, the calendar is for spooky board games.

Well, thank you for reading. I am trying not to overdo it now and let my strength return on its own. I cannot make myself better.



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