Moderna Living

SARS-CoV-2 Fusion, David Goodsell, 2020—Bad News in a Protein Coat

Yesterday, Anne and I got jabbed. We are trying to avoid the scenario portrayed in the graphic above. We got our Moderna boosters at a CVS, which was located inside a Target. This pharmacy was head and tails above the Walgreens that we usually frequent. We were both in-and-out in a matter of minutes. Our only side affect is arm soreness, which may or may not be a side effect from the vaccine itself, but rather from the injection. I swear the med-tech jammed my needle almost to the bone. Our other goal at Target was a laughable failure. We wanted some lawn chairs to place on our front porch. After the shots, we headed over to housewares, where a clerk guided us to where the remnants of last summer’s seasonal merchandise still lay. There was not much still there. He pointed to rows of bare shelves, where seasonal merchandise is normally displayed, but it wasn’t the summer stuff that had just been taken down, but Halloween stuff. They were fixing to put up their Christmas displays. We were two whole seasons behind the game. Returning home, I ended up ordering a pair of red resin Adirondack chairs, with a matching table, from Amazon. They should all arrive here before Halloween next week.

When I was about to retire, the same question kept coming up, “What are you going to do when you retire?” My flippant answer was, “Travel until I get tired of not sleeping in my own bed. Fix up the house until I spent all my money and then make inane comments of Facebook to all of my friends.” After this wedding trip, it is time to move to phase two. Now, some lawn furniture will hardly break the bank, but we have bigger plans. After having recently visited some of our friend’s much nicer homes, we have been inspired to renovate. We are going to start at the top and work our way down. First up will be an upstairs bathroom. Not cheap, since it will require a dormer to fit. We also want to add a second heating and cooling zone for the upstairs so that it is more comfortable in the summer and winter. New skylights, new carpeting and a general de-boying of the upper floor. Sounds like a tall order? Well, there is always Facebook.

Glam Gal

New Toes and Old Heels

Joanie took Anne to get her very first pedicure today. Better late than never, I say. In truth, I once painter her toe nails, but apparently that doesn’t count. First, I didn’t have a salon and I’m not Vietnamese. She is seen here styling her new nails, while wearing some heels that she already had. Wearing these shoes makes her taller than me, but we’ll have to see if they make her taller than her sisters too. Speaking of her sisters, the bedazzled Chucks arrived today also. Thank you, Jay! Anne plans on wearing the heels for the wedding ceremony, but then switching over to the Chucks, hopefully before she falls over.

While she was out getting pampered at the nail salon, I was in the kitchen cooking. Yesterday, Caroline, our neighbor, came over with bag of her farm fresh produce. She has a farm in Illinois. I Cuisinarted the tomatoes and peppers that we got to make gazpacho, like I did with the last batch that we received. Only this time, I tried a different recipe, one that includes watermelon. I’m letting the gazpacho chill until lunch tomorrow. The other meal I prepped will be dinner tonight, pasta night. The one food group that Weight Watcher really seems to hate are starches, like bread, potatoes and pasta. Cruising the pasta aisle this morning, I happened upon a couple of Weight Watchers friendly pasta substitutes. One is a penne style pasta and is made from cauliflower and while not points free, it is certainly less expensive than traditional wheat pasta. The other type of “pasta” I got is a linguine made from hearts of palm and it is zero points. The prep that I did this morning, was to Cuisinart a huge skirt steak that we’ve been noshing on for several days already and was beginning to get repetitive, essentially making hamburger out of it. I’ll cook up the pasta sauce tonight and start with the hearts of palm noodles.


Driving the Big Dig

The Boston tradition of getting over height vehicles stuck apparently dates back further than we thought. High-loaded wagon hitting trolley wire.” The term Storrowed was born from the phenomenon of over height trucks which are often be cut open like a tin can by the low bridges on Boston’s Storrow Drive. In Ann Arbor, at the bottom of Washington, there is a railroad bridge that creates the same effect. We just never knew that there was a name for it.

We landed at Logan, where Maren and Dave picked us up and whisked us away. We went through the Big Dig, the most expensive road construction project. We also drove Storrow Drive. They dropped us at our hotel and then later we walked the few blocks to their place. They live in a nice neighborhood. They made dinner for us, while Puck their dog entertained us. Dave grilled salmon and asparagus, while Maren fixed a salad and then for dessert a cherry galette. It was all so good. After dinner they walked us back to our hotel through a route that seemed much nicer than the one Google had picked for us.

Maren’s Cherry Galette

The Happy Homemaker

The Happy Homemaker

Anne began clutching her pearls after she posed for this photo and realized that she wasn’t actually wearing her pearls in it. What kind of homemaker must she look like, doing her ironing, without her pearls on? The idea for this picture began as a way to show off her new ironing board extension. She built it and I helped. I was doubtful about the idea of it, but she made it happen.

Chris, our friend from Rochester, arrived by train last night. Frankly, I was amazed that his train showed up on time. We picked him up downtown at the train station and whisked off to his hotel, near our house. After he checked in, we went out for dinner at our local Greek place, the Olympia. Today, first thing, we met him at a nearby Starbucks. Then we all walked together in Tower Grove Park, which was one of Chris’s old haunts. Signs of last week’s big storm were still quite evident. After our stroll, we decamped back to Chris’s hotel, so that he could change rooms. We had lunch at also nearby Mai Lee, a Vietnamese restaurant that we like. After lunch we toured the Slammer, admired the Moroccan doors that he had restored and then toured the new Nubian exhibit. Well, maybe new isn’t the right word, since most of the artworks were thousands of years old. I’ll be fixing dinner tonight, so we’ll be staying in air conditioned shelter for the evening. It’s July. It’s Saint Louis and it’s hot, hot, hot!

Forest for the Trees

Sequoia Forest for the Trees

Today is weigh-in day. Anne lost two pounds this week for a total of more than twenty pounds and I managed to not gain any weight this week, having lost 25+ pounds in total. As a percentage of total weight Anne is way ahead of me and has probably hit her weight goal, while I still have further that I’d like to go. As is our wont, we went out for a celebratory feast after weighing in. After all, we now a full week to account for any excesses on Monday. The humidity has moderated some, making it possible to pleasantly walk outside again. We did the long version of our neighborhood walk, which has Kaldi’s Coffee located on De Mun at about the halfway point.

Anne snagged a table in the shade, although there were plenty still available in the sun. They also now have some inside seating, but it was way too nice not to sit outside. She had a latte and I had a cold brew with milk. We both ordered their avocado toast, which is my favorite version of this dish, the first avocado toast that I’ve ever had and what I have always used as the model for my own avocado toast. Kaldi’s doesn’t use as much avocado as I do, but their toast is extra thick, because it is served on hand sliced bread. They accent the plate with lines of the Siracha with mayo mixed in with it, which makes it a little milder than straight Siracha sauce and gives it nice orange color that looks quite appetizing along with the green of the avocado. They also sprinkle the dish with black sesame seeds, which we joked look like mouse turds. At least I hope that they are not mouse turds. Now that I’ve refreshed my memory with how Kaldi’s makes their avocado toast, I’ll have to revisit their recipe again, because I can see now that I have strayed quite a bit from it over time. I had to bus our table as soon as we each had finished eating, because the sparrows were both fierce and voracious, with no sense of the meaning of personal space.