Monday, August 20, 2007

when will I have time to update

My sidebars are so out of date. I need to update both those slideshows but that means I have to upload all those thumbnails first. I did get the other sidebar done though. I want to do a more autumn color scheme to. Just don't know when I might get to it.

What I have done so far today

2 loads of wash
cleaned the living room
swept & wiped up the kitchen
went to the gym
baked a loaf of cheese bread
refereed about a dozen quarrels
planned meals for the week
did the one grocery run
wrote a newsletter article
sewed 5 buttons on 5 pairs of pants
paid bills/updated online banking

still need to
go to DS1 school orientation
make dinner
call about childcare

I have no desire to scrap right now. I'm not feeling very inspired right now.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

not smarter than a 5th grader

You are 60% Smarter than a fifth grader.

You got mare than half right, atleast. It's 50% for your information, since you're still stupid. A fifthgrader is smarter than you.

are you smarter than a fifth grader?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

I'm fairly sure I never actually knew if polar bears eat penguins or what South American country is the largest by size. I also don't know now because the quiz didn't tell me what I got wrong. :)

went for a picnic

DS1 wanted to go on a picnic yesterday. He wanted to go to the park, ride his bike & then have a picnic. So we decided to go early and have a late snack picnic. we left the house at 10:30am  He rode his bike, they threw rocks in the lake & climbed on the equipment. In between we spread out the picnic blanket and had crackers & juice and at one point DS1 and I got stuck in the ladies bathroom and I had to kick the door out. I had though the deadbolt wouldn't open completely but after I kicked it open I think the metal had expanded and the door itself was just stuck. DH and DS2 are no where nearby & can't hear me kicking & pounding on the door. And if it is actually locked I have no idea who'd we call about.  While I am considering the situation I am imaging the call DH would have to make to 911 "Hi.  My wife & son are locked in the ladies room at the lake park."  It's not like there is a phone number anywhere and I'm guessing the county Parks & Rec are probably closed on Saturday.  But I did manage to kick it open.

The park was our only plan when we left the house. But then DH & I decided we wanted lunch & as long as we were there I wanted to swing by Lowes & price outdoor storage. So we drove into town.  Lunch took forever as the place just reopened & are still dealing with staffing issues.  Then there was a long wander at Lowes and some wishful looking at washers & dryers. Lowes didn't have the right size pipe insulation I wanted (to protect the kids from the sharp edges of the woodstove we never light) so we went to Wal Mart.  I forget what we then decided we needed that sent us to Target, by then it is past 3:30 and we were in Target for almost an hour.  The boys got new shoes.  DS2 has outgrown his and DS1s pair, while new, is both lace up and Pirates of the Caribbean themed.  He is showing no progress at tying which makes them a PITA for me.  Also his school has restrictions on stuff on clothing - no cartoon characters, no Harry Potter or wizard/magic themed stuff  (yeah, pagan parents send their kids to Christian schools) . Pirates doesn't actually fit in those restrictions (which puts the school in the odd position of banning Care Bears but allowing Jack Sparrow) but I thought it might be better to just get a pair of plain velcroed shoes.

While in Target DS2 announces he wants to go to Chili's for pizza for dinner. DH & I have no better suggestion.  But Chilis is a cross the street and it is only 4pm.  We live almost a half hour away, so going home & coming back later is a waste of time.  To kill time we went to Pet Smart, next door to Target and looked at the fish, birds, hamsters and cats. Then to Office Depot to price laptop power supplies ($70!) and I got some new earphones for my Zen. Finally it was 5pm and we drove over to Chili's.  DS2 ate 2 slices of his pizza and promptly fell asleep in the booth and remained asleep until we woke him up at 6:30 when we got home.

Today DH is going back with the boys to get the storage shed we found at Lowes (but couldn't fit in my car) and possibly this side table that goes with our outdoor picnic table.  They only had the floor model left and it might have been sold because it was marked way down. It too would not fit in my car.

I've got a meeting from 11-3 and then have to leave for bunco at 6:30, so that'll be 2 days with no real chance to scrap.

Friday, August 17, 2007

some new layouts

I just finished up a 6 week class at DSAG. Intro to Typography & Journaling by Stacey J Stahl. These are some of the layouts that I completed in class. For credits see my DSAG gallery

Monday, August 13, 2007

My Favorite Muffins

Finally something baked came out right! Possibly because I used the bread flour from the fridge instead of the regular flour in the bin on the counter.  I have over soft bananas so it was time for Banana Yogurt muffins.  I love this muffin recipe.  It's delicious! My only problem with it is I always end up needing 1.5 bananas & what do you do with half a mushy banana? I made a smoothie out of it but that isn't always an option.

This makes 12 muffins

Preheat your oven to 375 and set paper liners into 12 muffin cups.

Combine these ingredients:

1 2/3c flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

Then cut in,using 2 forks or a pastry blender until crumbly:

1/2c soft butter

Then stir in:

2/3c bran (I prefer oat, but wheat works too)

1/2c mini chocolate chips

In a larger bowl mix together:

1 egg

2/3c well mashed bananas

1/2c yogurt plain (vanilla is good too)

1/2c brown sugar

1 tblsp molassas

Then add the dry ingredients and mix until just blended, don't overmix.

Scoop batter into the paper line muffin tins. Bake about 25 minutes.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

making yogurt

When I tell people I make my own bread & yogurt I get all sorts of responses, mostly involving the time & effort. Honestly, if either took much time or effort, I wouldn't do them. Bread needs 5-10 minutes of actual effort on my part, most of of the time involved in making bread is spent waiting around - for the mixer to knead it, for it rise, and rise again and to bake and to cool. But you can do other things, even leave the house, while most of that is going on.

Yogurt is the same way, but needs even less effort. Get a quart size glass mason jar, wide mouths are best. Fill it most of the way up with milk (not skim), microwave it for 6-7 minutes until it reaches 180-185 degrees. Stick it in the fridge for about a half hour (check at 20 minutes until you know for sure) until it cools to between 110-115 degrees, stirring occasionally.  You can also leave it on the counter for 45-60 minutes.  Add to it a quarter cup powdered milk, 2 tablespoons of yogurt from your last batch, or that you bought and a good squeeze of honey.  Stir it gently together.  Wrap the jar in a bunch of kitchen or hand towels and put in a 6 pack sized insulated tote or small cooler.  Fill the corners & crevices with towels/washcloths as well.  Wait about 8 hours (at least 6 hours for thinner, up to 10 for thicker).  Unwrap the jar & put it in the fridge, wait 8 more hours. Open and enjoy your yogurt. Seriously. The biggest problem you will have with this is finding enough small towels.

some new products at 1hourscrap

I'm worn out

It's hot & humid. I've been working a lot the past week (and will be for a few more). So the boys are desperate for attention & behave badly constantly.  It's like they forgot how to hear.  I have to grab them and shout to get their attention. And DH worked late 3 times this week, plus had to leave this morning at 5am to be some place & won't be back until noonish.  DS1 came in our room at 6:30 and spent 15 minutes just sobbing that Daddy is supposed to be home today & he wants his Daddy. <sigh>  I know a lot of it is the heat.  I spent a couple hours yesterday afternoon with some friends & their kids & their kids have forgotten how to hear too. By the end of the play date we were 3 women shouting "I said STOP THAT!" over and over.  But I do feel better knowing that they are going through the same thing & it isn't just my own bad parenting at play here.  We;re getting a sitter tomorrow and going out to dinner.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Bad, bad baking

I've had a run of bad luck with baking lately. My second to last loaf of sandwich bread did not go over too well with the demons.  I have to tread a careful edge on the whole wheat to white flour percentage with them. I thought I had found a good balance but then I tried with this loaf to add some oat bran to it. Apparently it added a barely noticeable density to the bread, which was just too much for them.  Their basis for comparison is Wonder bread, which admittedly I love too, so I know I am fighting an uphill battle on the texture front.   And I must admit, peanut butter on a slice of dense wheat bread is like eating spackle in my opinion (which i have not voiced to the demons, they arrived a similar conclusion completely on their own).  So I decided to make a different loaf of bread, a 'fluffy sandwich loaf' it claimed and it used a similar proportion of wheat to white that had been working ok for me.  This loaf had 3 rising periods, which is a pain if you are not around all day to check on it and despite that it turned out like a brick.  With DS2 repeatedly begging for 'san-ich, san-ich Mama!' I bought a loaf of Wonder bread. 

Then yesterday I decided to make a cake. I had some yogurt that I needed to use in the next day or so and a recipe for yogurt cake I wanted to try out.  I baked it the initial 40 minutes but it was underdone so I baked it a bit longer & the toothpick came out clean (I've been having that issue with my oven with everything lately.  I need to get a new oven thermometer, the last one got fried when DH ran the the 'cleaning' cycle) It smelled good and looked good.  It cooled & I iced it. Dessert time came around & I started to cut it.  I have never had to SAW slices off of a cake before but I knew when my steak knife was having issues sliding through it there was a problem.  The outer couple inches of the edges of the cake were overbaked & rock hard.  The inside was underbaked.  I cannot recall the last time I have spit food out, let alone cake, but I couldn't bring myself to finish chewing it.  The icing was ok,  but it was Duncan Hines. 

So I am on a baking hiatus.  The cake problem can possibly be blamed on the high humidity - there was too much flour in the mix. Also I am just hopeless baking sweets.  I can bake bread and make a delicious cobbler, but that is it as far as baking goes for me.   The bread flour is kept in the fridge at a constant humidity, though I suppose possibly the humidity did something during the risings...  or there could be a problem with the overm  I won't know about that for awhile. It's too damn hot to be using the oven now anyway.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Back to Blogging

It's August, the last VBS is over & school starts in 2 weeks, so it is time to get back to the routine.  That means trying to blog regularly again.

It was Lammas wednesday, the festival of the first wheat harvest of the year, the loaf-mass.  Given that i am so fond of baking bread, I naturally planned to make a loaf for the occasion & had considered a few of my favorites.  By morning I had decided that family dynamics required pizza for dinner so I would make pizza dough.  Well, the morning went by.  I took DS1 to VBS, did laundry, I did some homework, I read to DS2, & then it was time to pick DS1 up and no dough had been started.  I knew I wouldn't get home in time to start some for dinner so I decided to buy some, even if it meant going into the crappy Food Lion (I like most Food Lions, it's just this one that sucks).  As usual the Food Lion lived up to my expectations - no frozen dough, no premade crusts, not even Chef Boyardee Pizza in a box. I ended up buying crescent rolls, generic ones because they were out of Pillsbury, and using them.  I should have just made a biscuit crust but that didn't occur to me until after dinner.  So for Lammas we had 'bread' about as far removed from fresh ground wheat as you can possibly get.  My sabbat intentions always fall through.  However, last Sunday I prepared a feast for a dozen people that included hot flat bread grilled by me on open fire (ok it was a gas grill, but there was actual fire & I have the scorched arm hair to prove it).  everyone said the meal was delicious & satisfying & this sunday I am making cheese bread for our coven's Lammas feast.  I think that covers me.  I may not have celebrated on the exact day, but I did and will be celebrating anyway.