i slept early last night so was able to wake up early as a result. because of 2 days of rain, i haven't done any paint prep work since monday, so i was ready to get back to it. i made myself some moka pot coffee (can you believe it been more than 3 weeks since i last had coffee? definitely not an addict) and one of my fancy breakfast sandwich: egg & prosciutto & goat cheese & arugula on a whole wheat english muffin.

i drove to the cafe, since i figured if i had time i'd go to belmont and do some yard work before the rain this weekend. i helped my 2nd aunt back up all the photos from her ipad onto my macbook pro. she also told me what she needed from the supermarket (bean sprouts, avocado, diet coke twisted mango). i checked on the progress of the plum wine in the basement. it seems to be the perfect place for fermentation: dark, dry, warm. i'm still surprised there hasn't been any mold growth. the black plums have reduced to the point where they're almost completely submerged by liquids. by the time my parents return mid-november, i think the plums will be completely submerged.

i started by sanding down the patched areas from monday. i then started cutting the molding with the miter box. there's definitely something wrong with the box, it seems to be incapable of making a straight cut, but instead slants the cut so the corners don't match up correctly. after i cut my 4 pieces, i nailed them onto the column. i learned to nail at the thickest region of the molding otherwise it's liable to crack. afterwards i used the nail set to drive the nail heads into the wood. i then took the wood filler and filled up any nail holes. i also patched the gaping corners. while the filler dried, i helped my sister dig out her dahlias. even though her flowers had very tall stalks (6+ ft), they only made very small tubers. compared that to the two dahlias we had growing in belmont, where it had full sun all day, which resulted in giant tubers.

back on the front porch, i sanded down the wood filling. i was happy to see that the corner gaps could be sanded down so they virtually disappeared. once painted, they'll look like i made perfect molding cuts. all this work for some little detail that very few people will notice, but let it not be said that i went i work on a project, i get close to near perfect as possible. once everything was sanded, it was finally time to caulk. i hate caulking because it's so messy but it's a necessary evil. i was afraid the caulk had dried (it's been 2 weeks since i opened the tube), but nothing i couldn't clear up with a bamboo skewer. the first few passes were ugly, but once i got the hang of it, the caulk strips looked pretty good. i don't expect to paint tomorrow; just an inspection and patch up any details i might've missed. i'll finally begin painting next week, when we have several consecutive days of dry warmish weather.

i returned home by 4pm, no time left for belmont (that'll be tomorrow). my sister got my some more soft pretzels. driving down linnaean i noticed a police car parked in one of the adjoining streets. at first i thought it was a speed trap, but then i realized the police was there to protect elizabeth warren's house.

instead of driving, i biked to market basket to get the few things my aunt had asked for. when i got back, i went to the dollar store to get some 9v batteries for my sister's smoke detector. i also went to star market for some honey crisp apples.

a few packages were waiting on my doorstep: clear enclosures for raspberry pi w's, some uniball air pens, and a pair of taotronics TT-BH07 bluetooth earbuds. i already got a taotronics noise-cancelling over-ear headphones. they work very well, but noise-cancelling technology is too scary to be used when walking the streets, so i wanted to get a set of normal bluetooth headphones. i got these for $19.49 with a coupon (though with my amazon points i actually paid nothing). they work pretty well, and sit in my ears rather comfortably. armed with these earbuds, i might be tempted to take up running again.


2 instant pie crust
3 tbsp butter
1/3 cup flour
1 can chicken broth (2 cups)
1 cup milk
1/3 cup white wine
1 lbs. cubed chicken
2 cups frozen vegetables
1 medium onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup parmesan

it's been almost 2 years since i last made a chicken pot pie. i usually go with the standard pillsbury recipe (since i am using their ready made pie crusts after all), but i found a different recipe that had some intriguing steps. for one thing, it asks to poach the chicken breast in a chicken broth plus milk soup. second, this particular recipe adds some white wine and parmesan cheese, both tasty additions. i decided to go with this new recipe combined with the pillsbury recipe.

as for the final result, the filling was simply too runny. i know if i leave it overnight the filling with solidify, but i was hungry now and i had two "slices" that was essentially like eating broken pieces of crusts in chicken soup with a fork. second, the filling was bland. i was worried since i didn't add any salt, but i figured the 1/2 cup of parmesan would provide the sodium. as often the case when i cook for myself, i leave out the salt in order to be healthy (plus, you know, my high blood pressure condition), and the thing i end up cooking turns out very bland. also note to self: when i lay down the bottom crust, don't roll the edges into the filling, since i won't be able to seal the pie later when i add the crust. i should've learned from my past pot pie recipe, where i added a potato to thicken the filling. i think i'll do that for next time. plus: add more salt!