Thursday, February 26, 2015

Citizen's Police Academy

I am really thrilled with the Citizen's Police Academy that I am participating in for eight weeks.  We are learning so very much about the workings of our town's police department and the criminal justice system.

Being a gun enthusiast, I really liked the night they showed us their firearms.  You may remember in a post from last summer where I told about the police walking up my driveway with a shotgun in his hands!  I walked out the door and said, "Is this about the rabid fox in our neighborhood?"  They found it in my yard.

Another night, our county's District Attorney and the Public Defender spoke to us.  I didn't know that the DA's office has outreach programs to reach inner city youngsters at an early age to hopefully start them on the right path so that they never end up in the criminal justice system.  The idea is to encourage reading and to let the children know the police officer is their friend.

Recently our two town judges spoke to us.  Another new thing I learned, these two judges are on call 24/7 to be called in for arraignments.  The first question someone asked, "Why do you have to do an arraignment at 2:00 am?  Why can't you do it later that morning?"

The judge responded, "That's what my wife asks everytime the phone rings in the middle of the night!"

When someone is arrested on a felony, they need to be brought into court immediately to be told what they are charged with.  Our town police department only has a holding cell.  There is no way to provide for a prisoner.  Therefore, they need to be arraigned and then carried to the jail downtown unless they can post bail on the spot.

In an upcoming class, we will see the police dogs used by the City of Rochester.  I will have to curb my natural tendency to walk up to them and put my arms around them!  These dogs are not meant to be cuddled and played with!

Many police departments hold these classes, so check with your area to see if they are offered.  I highly recommend them.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

It takes all kinds of people. . .

to make this world.

I had to take my Honda Civic in for its 20,000 mile check up.  Can you believe it, the car is three years old and it doesn't quite have 20,000 miles on it.

Anyway. . . they told me it would take three hours.  I was going to ask for a loaner car, but decided instead, I'd take the book I'm currently reading and wait in the customer waiting room.

I arrived at 8:00 am.  There were only two or three other people, all involved in either a book or their kindle.  It was quiet.  That's what I wanted.

Just as I was settling in with my book, a large woman came barging through the door.  "WHERE is the coffee?" she demanded.  Everyone ignored her.  "WHERE is the coffee?" she asked once again, in an irritated voice.

"I'm not sure, ma'am," I replied.

She wandered around until she found it, then came back into the room and sat down near me.

"I don't like this waiting room," she said, to no one in particular.

When no one even looked up to acknowledge her, she seemed to settle down somewhat.  Secretly, I was hoping she was only there for an oil change and would soon be leaving.

After a short while, a man from the Service Department entered the room and called her by name.  Her reply, "Oh, God.  This can't be good.  AM I GOING TO BE UNHAPPY?" she demanded of the poor man.

Ignoring her question, he proceeded to tell her she would need a new radiator.  They both left the room and she never returned.

It was a rather pleasant wait from then on and they finished with my car in two hours instead of the three they initially estimated.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Learning to use my new oven!

I've never had a convection oven before.  In fact, I even asked the sales person why I needed a convection oven!  The new oven can be used either as a conventional oven or as a convection.

So I opened the owner's manual and followed the directions.  But no matter what I did, the convection oven came on (that's my side of the story).  Finally, I sent an e-mail to the sales person at Charlotte Appliance.  She responded, giving me the same instructions as I had been following.

"What am I doing wrong?" I asked myself.

When I turned the knob for conventional baking, I immediately heard a sound that I swore was the fan for the convection oven.  Only this time, I opened the oven door and stuck my hand inside to "prove" that the fan was on. . . except that the fan was not on!

I can laugh at it now, but I was getting really frustrated for awhile. 

I cooked a roast, using the convection setting one night this week.  It turned out great.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Yes, it's winter!


This is the beginning of yet another storm headed our way.  Can you see the big puffy flakes in the picture?  We are under a winter storm warning through Tuesday.


This is a view down my street from the side of my driveway.  Yes, it's pretty.  But by this time of year and with all the snow we have had to deal with, we are tired of it and are anxious for Spring!  You can click on these pictures for a larger view that really shows the snow flakes falling.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Here it is!



Here is my new range and microwave!  (Should have removed the oven thermometer before I snapped the picture!)  A major step up for me considering my old range was 18 years old and the microwave not far behind.  The microwave was actually free - part of a promotion.  I'm especially thrilled with the front left burner.  It is a dual burner for either simmering or full blast for stir frying or boiling water rapidly.

Monday, February 2, 2015

A new stove!

A short time ago, I was baking a cake in my oven and when the timer went off, the layers weren't even near being ready to take out.  I got an oven thermometer and discovered my oven is off by 35 degrees.  No wonder lately my pies have taken long than usual to adequately brown.

Do I replace this 18 year old stove or do I get another repair on it?  My friends encouraged me to get a new one. "As much as you like to cook and bake, go get a new one," one friend said.  Another friend pointed out the advancements in appliances since my old one was bought.

So I ventured into Charlotte (pronounced shar-LOT, to those outside Rochester!) Appliance, where I have bought all my appliances in the 40 plus years I have been in Rochester.  They are a family run business that has been around for 70 years.  You go in and ask questions, tell them your needs, and they will listen and make suggestions.  And they don't know the meaning of being "high-pressure." Delivery is free.

My new range will be delivered on Saturday.  As part of a promotion the store is having, I also get a free microwave.  My current microwave was installed by my father and he's been dead 12 years!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Dogs vs. Cats

It's a battle that goes back centuries. . . dogs vs. cats.  I happen to be a "dog person."  If you insult my dog, you insult me and I'm going to make sure you know that!

Recently, my neighbors asked me to feed their two cats when they had to make an unexpected trip out of town for a family emergency.  They gave me feeding instructions and told me where to find the food.  Can a cat really survive with only a 5 minute trip inside the house to leave food once a day?

The first day (less than 24 hours after they left), I went over to put food in the cat dishes and make sure there was plenty of water.  Since there was ample food in the bowls, I left a little less food than my neighbors instructed.

The next day the bowls were licked clean, not a trace of food.  On the third day, same thing, only this time, one of the cats was pacing the floor when I arrived like it hadn't been fed in a week.  I quickly e-mailed my neighbors, "Am I doing something wrong?"

"No, that one is probably upset that we are not home."

The cat would have nothing to do with me.  But as soon as I walked away from the feeding bowls, it pounced on the food.  "Well, you could leave some for the other kitty," I said to it.  The cat ignored me.

When my neighbors returned, I'm told the cat ignored them.  It wasn't happy that they left it alone.  I never saw the second cat!  My dog would be jumping with joy all over me, even when I return home from work, even more from being gone several days!

I was relaying this story at work with another "cat person." 

"Cats have an attitude and they hold grudges," she told me.

The other difference between dogs and cats. . . My neighbors had emptied their kitchen trash can before they left but did not put another plastic trash bag inside.  So I put the first empty cat food can on top of the lid and left the house.  On my return, that can had been tossed all over the kitchen floor and licked totally clean!  So then I put the can and lid on the kitchen counter.  The next trip over there found several cans and lids of cat food scattered all over the floor!  I promptly took a trash can liner from my house and put it in the trash can, put all the cat food cans inside and closed the lid!

I know cats can have their loveable moments.  But God made me a dog person and I don't want to change!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Done!

Yesterday I had my last cataract surgery.  Done!

This time, and I don't know why, they gave me less anesthesia and told me I would be more aware of what was going on.  That is NOT what I wanted to hear.

Your mind can really do weird things to you on drugs.  They started to wheel me from the pre-op area to the OR and I immediately said, "You haven't put me to sleep yet."  Someone replied, "I just started the IV."

In the operating room, still wide awake, I said, "Please put me to sleep before you start working on me."  The drugs had started to take effect because people were talking to me but it was like they were speaking in a foreign language.

During the procedure, while I couldn't feel anything, I could see MUCH more than I wanted to!  I remember saying, "Are you almost done with me?"  Again, someone answered me in a language I did not understand!

I couldn't see people.  Instead I saw a mixture of all kinds of colors.  It's hard to describe.

The point of all my rambling here is, if you are told you need cataract surgery, you will probably want to run for cover, just like I did.  The night before my first surgery, two weeks ago, I slept very little from extreme anxiety.  To be blunt, I was scared to death.

All that anxiety was a total waste.  Cataract surgery is almost a walk in the park. . . really.  And the best part. . . I don't need glasses anymore!  Except for very fine print, I can see and read anything without glasses.  I went to Wegmans and bought a pair of readers to have "just in case."

Sunday, January 25, 2015

What to bring to an office potluck???

I have been trying to decide for a week what to bring for my Division's Potluck Lunch at work tomorrow.  It has to be something that travels well since I have quite a walk, in snow and ice, from the parking lot.  At a past event, I brought in a hearty crock pot soup.  But even in a zippered case with the lid supposedly clamped in place, it was kind of a mess!  Actually, not "kind of a mess", but "a mess!"

Finally, this morning I sat down with one of my Southern Living cookbooks, idly turning the pages to find inspiration.  Ahhh!  That's it!  Hummingbird Cake!  I've never made one but many people over the years have told me it is a real winner.

The list of ingredients would charm anyone:  crushed pineapple, mashed bananas, cinnamon, chopped nuts and a cream cheese frosting!

I want to put in a good word for the Southern Living cookbooks.  I have several of them and every recipe is a sure winner every time.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Nice day for a road trip

I had to drive to Erie, Pennsylvania yesterday.  Pennsylvania no longer recognizes my multi-state concealed carry permit.  Instead, I needed a Pennsylvania permit.

I had no problems with that except for the fact that in the winter that section of I-90 from Buffalo down to Cleveland can be treacherous and is sometimes closed due to snow and ice.  And I wanted to stay on interstate highway so going to another county in Pennsylvania wasn't an option.  Only certain counties in the state issue non-residents carry permits.

The weather and driving conditions couldn't have been better!  I could see Lake Erie from a distance and it had huge sheets of ice on it.  It was even warm enough that I didn't need my heavy winter jacket and gloves.

It was a simple matter to apply for the license, I was in and out in a half hour.  I was told I should receive the permit within a week, in plenty of time for my trip South this Spring.