Thursday, February 28, 2008

WHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My darling beloved Mac laptop is down. It's got the sick, the gray screen of death with a funny clicking noise. And my husband thought he was taking today off to watch our youngest daughter (who was sick, but recovered). Not so, he was home to nurse Mac. I despise phone calls, especially to tech support, so I cajoled him into making one. They came to the conclusion that no home remedies would work for my beloved. We must wait for the packing box to come in the mail; the computer needs to go back to get worked on.

In the meanwhile, I get to use The Dinosaur, an ancient computer of questionable stability, and guarenteed wait time. I'm surprised at how large the print on all the websites look on Explorer, compared to Safari. I had made the font on my blog larger, I had trouble viewing it on Safari on my Mac. It's HUGE on Explorer! My husband made some comment about me being old now and needing larger print, whatever.

At least I have a back up for a while, even if it is hit and miss, and takes forever....... At least I can still feed my internet and blog interests (addiction). And I don't need my bifocals (just kidding!).

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Hey Mom! Look What I Can Do!

(My computer has a built in camera.)

I heard giggling coming from the other room: delighted, ornery, little girl giggles. Someone was playing with my computer.

This is the ornery grin that says, Look what I just figured out!



Next the experimental stage:







Note Little Sister's head coming into view. She heard the giggling too.



Then, the irritated, and annoyed look as little sister pushes her way in front of the computer. The round thing is her baby's head.



She's reconciled herself to sharing:



Dad heard the giggles from both girls. He comes to investigate. Of course, he thinks this is hilarious as all get out.



I deleted the annoyed picture of me when I saw what took place.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Collection



This post is an entry for Sarah's contest about special collections.

I don't collect many things but I do have a special weakness for my cookbooks. They are worn and marked with post it notes. There may be a dusting of flour on the pages of my favorite biscuit recipe. Each one holds meaning for me.

I pictured some of my favorites:

Dom DeLuise- given to me from my mom. Some of my first dinner successes as a married woman came from this book. And Dom makes dinner such a hearty, warm event with his wonderful stories.

Cooks on Vacation- purchased in Florida while my husband and I were visiting my Grandpa. It had some fun, old fashioned recipes. Grandpa loved the egg salad recipe. I made a big batch just for him, probably the only thing I ever made for him to eat that he liked. I still hadn't come into my cooking prime before he passed away.

Cooks Illustrated, Bound magazines from 1993-2007 and The Cooks Bible (christopher kimball)- The most perfectly possible recipes ever, all researched out and reasoned for you, the cook. For those who wish to cook sinless, without fault or blame. Or for those cooking hyprocrites, like me, who devour the magazines from front to back, for the sole purpose of possessing The Knowledge, so we can say, like all good engineers, the stock for whence I came: This is the way it's supposed to be done!

Sometimes I do practice what I preach, when I can find the specific ingredients. Guess I'd have better luck if I would do my grocery shopping in someplace other than Super Walmart.

Penzey's Spices and King Arthur Catalogues- make superior cooking and baking possible by mail order, even to those whose grocery saavvy is limited to a giant discount chain store. Thank you Penzey's, I love you xxxxooooo.

Saving Dinner- see all the blue post it notes sticking out of it? Saving Dinner is my saving grace, when I can't cook faultless and without blame. It does not require me to stand on my head and mix the batter with my toes because that is the best and most delicate way to do it. It meets me where I am (at walmart) with easy to find ingredients, and simple procedures, to create some of the best (and healthy) meals I have ever eaten, let alone made with my own 2 hands. I have discovered a love for Kale, squash, and other foods that I, picky eater, never thought could be possible.

I am utterly ruined for restaruants, because those meals are so darn good.

King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversy Cookbook- Baking is my true passion, bread, cookies, cake, scones, crackers, it's all here, and I love it. Yes, I have make my own crackers, more than once. It's fun when I have time.

Yep, good feelings when I look at my cookbooks...they all have wonderful stories.

I've been tagged

I've been rescued from writer's block, maybe... Julie has tagged me:

1) Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2) Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3) Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4) Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.


I'm not going to name anybody, but I offer an invitation to anyone to play along.

Facts about Lydee:

1. Lydee is not my real name.

2. When I don't take my meds I turn child-like. (immature)

3. I had some fun with a (15 page) mandatory survey we were forced to take at work. I forgot my meds that day. I can only imagine when they get the results: who do we have working at our school who does this? Whoever it is, they're been working here for 40+ years, and they're of an unknown race... I did feel the slightest bit of shame later.

4. I made a paper airplane out of the "you must take this survey" memo and stuck out my tongue at another teacher.

5. This was the second such survey in less than a week. I threatened to create my own survey and send it out. "This is a survey about surveys..."

6. I've been accused of being anal about peeling (and destringing, and deseeding) my oranges. I argued that peeling an orange is an art form and has theraputic benefits, at least for me it does. Besides, I said, you should see me wrestle with a raw turkey. If you thought I was anal about oranges, you ought to see me around raw poultry...

7. I love my Mac laptop. When I pulled it out at a local coffee shop, I honestly believed that everyone around me had "Mac" envy. White &Nerdy is my theme song. It's in my itunes. Weird Al is my hero. And, I like Kirk.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

writer's block

Have you ever had writer's block? I have it, staring at this create a post page. What to write....what to write....

Sarah is running a collection contest, which I would love to place an entry in, but I'd have to drag out my camera, and load the pics, and I'm just to lazy to do that right now. Perhaps when I get home later today. Work just gets in the way, LOL!

Tammy is also running a contest about embarassing moments in your life. I did enter that one.

The difficult thing is deciding: which embarrassing moment to write about? Which collection to take a pic of? What to write about today?

Maybe the root of my problem is *indecision*. Yes, perhaps that is the real problem. So, what to do...what to do?

I Don't Know!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

YES!

I'm feeling better, finally! I felt awful the past few days. I had images of some rare throat disease and all sorts of awful things that had to be wrong with me.

Off to work I must go (good feelings gone, LOL)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Star Trek

So, when I met my (future) husband (a decade ago, my b-day still smarts), I gave up my nerdy ways. Yeah, ok, not quite, but I did give up granny underwear, button up shirts, loafers, and my star trek addiction. I loved star trek; I watched all of the original shows as reruns. I watched the new generation when it was still new. I asked for the movies for christmas. I may or may not have had a secret crush on Kirk.

Anyhow, the Star Trek VHS's followed me through many moves, and hubby and I would occasionally indulge in one. Who could not love the Wrath of Khan?

I was still surprised a few weeks ago when hubby found an original star trek on tv and watched it. Whoa. So I suggested we watch again last night. The Trouble with Tribbles episode was on. We watched, and laughed. And I'm hooked, again. And so is he.

I guess, so long as we stay away from granny pants, we'll be ok.

Scotty (after he beamed all the tribbles aboard the Klingon's ship): ...why, Captain, it was no tribble at all.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Another Morning Baking tip

My voice is sloooowly returning from it's sabbatical (probably from someplace warm with sun and sand). I have a sinus infection.

Thanks for all of your comments about my tip. I have another today. I'm making another loaf of bread. I grew up with my Mom kneading and baking bread all the time. When I was a teenager, she switched over to a bread machine. Somewhere along the line Mom decided to let the bread maching do all the kneading and raising, then she would shape the dough and put it in a bread pan and into the oven.

When I moved into my first place (a dumpy trailer), my aunt and uncle gifted me with my first bread machine. It served me many years. I used it so much, I finally wore out it's bearings. Mom bought me my second bread machine a couple years ago, a Zojirushi. Now the Zojirushi will bake up a fine loaf of bread, no meddling needed. But I still enjoy taking the dough out after it's done kneading and raising, and shaping it myself, putting it into the loaf pan of my choice. Wal-la! Fresh baked bread.

I created this recipe when I was sleepy once and added too much water. I caught the mistake before I started kneading, and added a few extra ingredients.

Lydee's Honey Wheat Bread:

Put in bread machine in the following order:

1 1/2 C of warm water
2 Tablespoons vegatable oil
2 Tablespoons of sugar
2 Tablespoons of Honey
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
4 Cups of Flour (I use 3 C of white and 1 C of wheat, but you can use any combination)
2 1/4 teaspoons of instant yeast, or 1 pkg of dry active

Allow bread machine to knead dough, check after 10 minutes to make sure it's mixing properly and to check flour/water proportions (if it's too sticky, all a little more flour. If it's too dry, add water by the Tablespoon)

Allow the bread to raise in the machine or in a greased and covered bowl. Raise for 1 hour, punch down, and raise for an additional 30 minutes.

Grease a bread pan to your liking (I like to spray oil in with my Misto and then sprinkle with cornmeal)

Remove dough from bowl onto floured surface. Knead a couple of times and shape the dough. I pat mine into a rectangle and roll up the dough, and or fold into thirds. Pinch the bottom and place bottom down into prepared bread pan. Allow to raise 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Heat oven to 375 degress (F). Slash top of dough 3 or 4 times with a sharp knife just before placing in the oven.

Bake for 35-45 minutes. Check bread after 20 minutes to see how brown the top is. If it's turning too brown, cover with foil for the remainder of the time in the oven.

Check to see if bread is done. I use an instant thermometer. When the temperature reads 190 degrees (F), it's done.

Remove bread from pan after 5 minutes, allow to cool before slicing. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

computer

Gray screen calleth
clickety clack, clickety clack

Information to behold
clickety clack, clickety clack

Hubby gets mad,
Too Bad.

clickety clack, clickety clack

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Thus, Bring on the Spring Activities

So, my b-day coincided with Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras. Ash Wednesday is today. Easter must come early this year. Goodness, Valentine's Day will be gone in a minute, St Patrick's day next month....

Still not comfortable with my new decade. Guess I'll get used to it. My daughter is so sweet. She bought me socks and slippers for my birthday; she picked them out all by herself. She loves them because they're glittery. Last night before I went to bed she put them on my feet. She could not wait to see them on me.

I'm feeling better. Still have a cough though. I go back to work today with a pocketful of cough drops, hoping to avoid those embarassing coughing fits.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Foggy Views from My House





Okay, so you gotta click on the pictures to see the contrast between gray sky and white wispy fog. But it was so pretty this morning. Granted, the swingset isn't so pretty. I'm working on gettting hubby to move it.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Saturday Morning Useless tip

Today is a good day for baking bread. It's cold, and spitting snow. And, I'm hungry.

Now, useless tip: Nothing is better on fresh baked bread than real butter. But, I hate how real butter is cold and hard to spread. And leaving it out on the counter for a few days gives it that off rancid taste that I despise. So a few months ago I succomb to buying the Land O Lakes spreadable butter. Mmm, tastes just like regular butter. Easier to spread. It cost an arm and leg though.

I look at the ingredients, butter, canola oil. Well, I have canola oil, and I have a stick of butter...I soften the butter, add 2 T of canola oil, blend well with a fork until the lumps disappear, scrape into the leftover spreadable butter container, and presto! Spreadable butter, just like the stuff from Land O Lakes. And it tastes like real butter, no off tastes! That's all I use now for toast and fresh bread.

Second tip (two for the price of one!): I use real butter when I bake. However I bake in spurts, and will go ages before I bake again. So my butter will go unused in the fridge for awhile. A few years ago, I opened up one of those sticks that had been in the fridge for awhile and spread it on my toast. Ugh! Gross rancid butter. That is one of the worst tastes ever. I began to store my butter in the freezer instead of the fridge. (I store the sticks in the freezer, not the spreadable butter. That stays in my fridge.) I buy my butter cheap by the pound, either at Sam's Club (4 lbs, all in sticks) or Walmart. When I need to use it, I'll soften it on the counter or in the microwave. I have stored butter in the freezer (for a few months at a time) until needed and never had a rancid stick again.

Frozen butter is great also if you are making a pastry such as pie crust, or biscuits. Simply use a box grater and grate the amount needed into your flour mixture. No need to cut into the flour, just mix until it resembles lumpy sand. Add your liquids and you're good to go.

Friday, February 1, 2008

I waited for the ice storm. It went north of us, bummer. I would love a few days snuggled up with blankets and books.

I've been sick and lost my voice while teaching today. This is a misery not to be endured, especially when one is a teacher. So I communicated with different colored scarves. Next time I lose my voice at school, I'll take the rest of the day off (fool). I don't feel terrible, just full of snot.

It's been tough at home too. It's hard at home to communicate that "clean up", means "CLEAN UP" when it comes out in a strangled voice.

Here's to the weekend and hot tea.

About This Blog

Hmm, seems somewhat redundant. I'm a mom of 2 lovely ladies. I'm the wife of a triathlete machine. I'm a general music teacher in a public school. I like to take pictures of things, especially things i consider beautiful. I like to share. As long as it isn't food. Enjoy!

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