Monday, September 28, 2009

I See a Potential for Needing Bigger Jeans!

The bread...awesome! It's so easy to make that I could easily bake (and eat) a loaf a day. The problem is not with the bread as much as it is with the buttah. (for those of you who don't get the New York Jewish accent, that's butter) I love a nice chewy, fresh-baked bread with a glob of buttah on top!

Here's the photo play-by-play of the No Knead, Dutch Oven, Crusty Bread..............

The Rising Dough...looks like a science project...oooh bubbles! Add Image

The Risen dough...I used 1/3 whole wheat flour for this loaf and dusted the top with wheat bran (because I just happened to have wheat bran in my pantry for one of Dan's many diets :-)

This is my Romertopf clay oven. It was a wedding gift (that I registered for, I can't imagine why). I used it once, 10 years ago. I baked a chicken in it. I must not have been impressed because I haven't used it since. Until today...I've used it twice today to bake my bread. I don't have a heavy dutch oven, but I do have this and I have to say, it's like having bread baked in a brick oven. Outstanding! I can't remember who gave this to us but I'm so glad they did!

The End Product...

which all 3 kids, and my beloved loved!

Look at those holes! This bread looks like it came from some centuries-old family run french bakery in Paris.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I Might As Well Face It...I'm Addicted to Bread!

I've never been a big "sandwich" bread person, nor have I been one who requires bread with every meal. However, I've discovered the "medicinal" effects of bread. A nice crusty loaf from Panera with some above-average sweet cream makes everything better! Well, almost everything. But, at $2.45 a baguette. and the trek to Panera...I needed to rethink my new "medication."

My friend Kris told me about a bread recipe that is very easy and turns out a nice loaf of artisinal bread. The bread doesn't require any kneading. Huh? Bread that doesn't require making a huge mess of flour all over the counter? This can't work. If it does, it can't be bakery-quality. I had a chance to try the bread recently and it truly was bakery-quality. A nice crust on the outside, a good hearty chew on the inside. Check out the recipe at this link:

I haven't baked it myself dough is currently "resting" on the kitchen counter. I'll be baking tomorrow and I'll post the results...if I can get an internet signal.

Speaking of internet, there has been a crew of workers down the street for the past couple of weeks. They've installed additional telephone poles, I also saw that they've buried some kind of new lines. I have my fingers crossed that these lines are for DSL. One can only hope.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Coyote Hunting...

It's 7:30pm and I'm sitting in my upstairs room huntin' coyotes. It's a long story, but the short of it is that the coyotes ate 5 of our chickens last Sunday evening and we've been watching for them (with a loaded rifle by our side) ever since. I have to say that with all this family "stuff" that's been going on the past week I'm in the mood for shottin' somethin'. Not very Christ-like I suppose...what can I say, I'm a work in progress.

I haven't seen anything yet and I'm not too squimish about shooting one of those rotten animals...since they've eating about 2 dozen of my cickens over the past 4 years. I just hop that if I do get the opportunity to "take one out" I get a good shot and it's a quick and painless death...although I don't imagine my chickens' deaths were neither quick nor painless.

Ok, enough rambling. Ever seen that show from the '60s, Green Acres? Some days I feel like Ava Gabor. I never imagined I would be on a coyote stakeout, with rifle in hand. Good times!

Just Stay Out Of It...famous last words!

You have to read my last post to understand this one. The plot thickens...I'm trying to stay out of it, but I think the Lord has some things to say...which have all been encouraging, but not for my sister. I haven't been able to talk to her...she won't answer my calls. We all know the darkness hates the light for the light reveals what's hiding in the darkness, and there's shame in the darkness.

I have some kind of genetic defect that causes me to want to fix all things that cause anxiety for me because I think that by fixing the problem the anxiety will disappear...but, when can we ever fix someone else's problems? NEVER! I know this and still I forget to remember it.

Thanks to a wonderful workshop at church this past weekend, I am encouraged about my walk with the Lord. I feel confident in who I am in Him. I am reminded to TALK TO HIM about all of this rather than myself. I just need to do some spiritual "vomiting." Those of you who were at the workshop know what that means...those of you who weren't, check out this link: and on the left, click on Freedom Workshop and download it to your computer or Mp3 and listen to will change your life!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Head First Into Dark & Murky Waters

What better for my 100th post than to tell everyone...I've done it again. I jumped into the pool, with very little skills to save the person I'm trying to save. Where do I begin? First of all, God has given me the gift of compassion...I'm still trying to figure out the "gift" in this gift, because gifts are supposed to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Mine doesn't. I often times find myself filled with tremendous anxiety because I am so filled with compassion for someone that I want to fix whatever their problem is and we all know...we can't fix anything.

So, my sister has seemingly (only my observation) decided that she wants to live the life of a single 23-year-old. Which is fine, except she's not single and she has a 6-year-old child. There are a lot of details which I won't bore you with, but the biggest and most devastating detail is that she has ended a long-term relationship with the father of her child, and he is just devastated.

I'm rootin' for the underdog here. I'm so upset with this whole situation. I'm struggling with the "active love" in this. She has a few single girls that are not being a good influence on her right now and the only voice she hears is theirs.

Larry would tell me not to get pulled in...well, I didn't get pulled in, I jumped in. Head first! Lord, help me...and her.

The Lord has blessed me with a bold voice to comfort my brother-in-law and counsel him in making decisions that will benefit him. See, I talk a good talk. I'm learning to walk the walk.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Little Manic Redecorating...

I decided awhile back that Adam needed to be in his own room. So...much to my sentimental-sadness, I separated Adam & Katie. I moved Sophie into Katie's room and Adam into Sophie's room. Yeah, well...that didn't work out. Bedtime was brutal with the two girls together. So, I decided to move Sophie into the playroom, which used to be Adam & Katie's room before May of this year. Yeah...I've had ongoing children's bedroom issues for a year now.

Last year at this time I decided to paint Adam & Katie's room yellow, a nice non-gender-specific yellow. The one mistake I made...sending Dan to the paint store to buy that perfect shade of yellow. When I was finished painting, the room looked like a bottle of French's mustard exploded all over the walls. I dealt with that for about 6 months, then I decided to move Adam & Katie out of that room.

So, now I've had to revisit that "Frenchy" room. Last Friday I decided I just had to paint that room so I could get Sophie out of Katie's room ASAP. Well, the first step was to paint the whole room with primer so the pink paint didn't turn orange on top of that yellow. 8 hours later...the room was two lovely shades of pink...much to Dan's obvious, and stated disgust when he walked in from work.

So, I have Sophie's room almost put together, just a few more accessories... :) Adam's room is complete, except that I need to find a dark wood headboard for his bed. Now, Katie...poor, poor Eyore, I mean Katie. Now Katie is very upset that everyone has a "new" room but her. I had every intention to "create" a lovely little-girl room for her, but...I've run out of steam. I know that if I don't want to jade her for life (as I myself have been jaded by my own mother's lack of enthusiasm for pretty decor) I have absolutely got to get myself re-motivated to decorate her room! Katie like to have something to complain "poor me" about...that's why I've nick-named her Eyore! So I guess I can let it go till next week. I've been a little under the weather the past couple of days so I need to let my body rest.

Well, I'm off to visit my local Home Cheapo, Habitat for Humanity thrift store, and a few other places to complete these projects. I hope everyone has a great day!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Crazy Busyness!

Look at how much taller Katie is than Adam! Maybe by the end of the school year Adam will have caught up to her a bit...I hope! Although Adam is "average" for his age. Katie is in the 90th percentile for height! WMBA here we come...only if Katie could walk a straight line :)

Ok, I really thought that once Adam & Katie got off to school that I would have "time" to get "caught up." Yeah, not. so. much. It's been two weeks...My internet is hit or miss...the only options I have for internet are 1. dial up and 2. satellite...which is only twice as good as dial up and mucho dinero. I'm waiting for Comcast to do a "serviceability" check for me to see if they will run their cable up our road...oh, the joy of country living!

The kids' first two weeks of school have been great for them. They don't complain. Well, Adam does when it's time to practice writing...doing homework with that kid is B-R-U-T-A-L! It's so sweet to drop them at school and watch them hold hands and walk in together!
They are in separate classrooms, but just next door to one another. The only bad thing about being in separate classrooms is that the rewards from each teacher are different. One day Adam will come home with candy and Katie will freak out. The next day Katie comes home with candy and Adam freaks out. A good lesson in graciousness...although they aren't really gettin' it!
I have been absolutely inundated with form after stinkin' form every day for the past two weeks! I realized that I, now have homework. Wait a minute. I thought I finished school. What's happening to my ideals?

Anyway, I better wrap up before the internet fairy cuts my connection.