Monday, March 4, 2019

Happy Birthday ...

Today would have been my mother's 91st birthday. 

Here we are weaving together .. probably from 2004 ...

I miss her.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Bread - #greatjonesandcobakeoff

So today was the second event of the #greatjonesandcobakeoff.  It was bread week.

My SIL had asked me to make Hawaiian bread so I decided to take a stab at it.  This is what it was supposed to look like.



This is what mine looked like.



It tasted okay -- not quite the way it was supposed to, but not horrible.  I think I'll try a different recipe next time.  I'm not great on these soft breads.

Here's the recipe I used.

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup canned pineapple juice (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup warm milk (100 – 110°F)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 whole eggs, lightly beaten
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) instant yeast
  • 4 1/2 cups (20 ounces) bread flour
I made a few mistakes.  One, that I seem to make a lot, is that I didn't read all the instructions or comments -- it would have saved me trouble and would have turned out better.  I didn't realize there was a difference between instant yeast and active yeast.  So instead of following the instructions to combine the yeast with the warm milk and juice prior to mixing, I mixed everything together.  It  took nearly 3 hours for my bread to rise.  Another mistake (again because I didn't read the directions thoroughly) was that I didn't brush the rolls with the egg/water mixture before the final rise.  I don't think it made a huge difference but again, another thing I didn't do.

Next time I'll probably use a different recipe since it seems many of the other recipes include ginger.




One thing I want to work on this year it baking better bread.  I need to step up my game, that's for sure.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Snow??

 Picture from the office ..


this was supposed to show the snow capped mountains ... but you can't see the hills.  Ah well.

Monday, January 28, 2019

#greatjonesandcobakeoff

I received a text Saturday morning from my niece that it was the first Jones and Co bake off.  I had no prior warning (apparently neither did she).  Anyway it was to make a tart (or pie). 

I should have been adventuresome and tried a tart, but I checked with the peanut gallery and they wanted apple pie.  



I peeled and sliced six apples ...



I prepared a sauce for them and let them sit for 1/2 hour.


I then cooked down the sauce so it was not so saucy .. but thicker.


I cheated and used store-bought dough .. but cut the top and did a lattice weave .. notice that I actually wove it .. not just layered.


It turned out great!

The other entries were strawberry tart, raspberry tart and lemon meringue pie. 

Looking forward to the next challenge ..  hopefully I'll get more notice.  And, I promise to not cheat.


Thursday, January 17, 2019

Weekly Motivation - Goals and Whatnot

One of things that I want to do this year, that I didn't put on my list is to live healthier.  To make better choices -- eating-wise and exercise-wise.  I initially started the year doing Noom.  I think it's a good thing, but not for me right now, so I cancelled it.  It has some great ideas though, ideas regarding lifestyle change not dieting.

Anyway, I need to figure out how to get my walking/exercise in when it's yucky outside.  I need to commit to going to the gym a few times a week (until I have a treadmill I can use).  It's time.  It's time to make some short term goals -- plans. 

So my plans for this week (since it's Thursday, my week will run Friday to next Thursday):

1 - start one of the books on the list.  I'll start with the Great Gatsby.  I read it before, I think, when the movie with Robert Redford came out.  I'll read it again anyway.

2 - go to the library to get the Great Gatsby or Catch 22 (if the Great Gatsby isn't available).

3 - re-start knitting the blanket for EOW.


This isn't exactly motivational but isn't he cute?

Saturday, January 12, 2019

'twas the night before Christmas...

Here are the pics of the Night Before Christmas books that I got this past year.  I'll add them to my page as well.




It's been a quiet but busy week.  I haven't accomplished much. No sewing. Very little exercising.  Just hanging out. 

I think I need to make some plans.  How does that go, if you aim at nothing, you'll hit it every time ... anyway if I plan to do nothing that's probably what I'll end up doing.

I need to box some stuff up to take to my daughter's and get some sheets.  That's it for plans -- oh and make sure I have stockings for the party tomorrow night -- maybe a shawl or scarf or something ... we'll see.

Friday, January 4, 2019

2018 Wrap Up

So in 2018, I completed 20 of my goals and partially completed 6 goals.  So I did about half of what I had planned. 

Here are the goals that I completed:
  • Visit Buffalo
  • make quilt for my #5 grandchild
  • attended Gallifrey One  
  • travel to Arizona
  • StoryCorps interview with grandsons
  • Send Birthday cards to my children and grandchildren 
  • Participate in the AtoZ Challenge
  • Birthday blog posts ...
  • Visit Seattle
  • Road trip (to Arizona for Thanksgiving) 
  • 1SE  (one second everyday) project
  • Work on decluttering 
  • Add to Night Before Christmas collection
  • Go to a minor/major league baseball game
  • Put money in emergency fund
  • Visit the redwoods
  • Go to Napa/wine tasting
  • Watch a sunrise

  • Go on a date with my husband to the movies (just the two of us)
  • Make a list for 2019
Here are the goals that I finished partially
  • finish WIPS (only two)
  • Blog 2x a week(I did a lot more than last year but wasn't consistent)\
  • try something new/different each month
  • Complete "Couch to 5K" (at least once)
  • Take 12 Saturday morning walks
  • Send out Christmas cards
Here are the goals that went nowhere...

1.  Go to Wales
5.  Knit a blanket for grandchild #5
7.  Continue reading 12 biographies (still in the middle of #2)
11.  Get headboard for beds.
17.  Replace grill and hubcaps on my car
19.  Have a 150,000 step week
20.  Make a dessert souffle
21.  Watch the original Star Wars trilogy
26.  Make 6 new soups
27.  Make 6 new breads
28.  Go to Nevada with Nevada??
30.  Add to Judy Bolton collection
32. 1400 FitBit miles
33.  35,000 step day
34.  Make pillowcases for me
35.  Make a photo calendar
36.  Make malted waffles
37.  Make doughnuts
38.  Organize sewing room
39.  Cover living room pillows
41.  Do something spontaneous
42.  Go to a museum
43.  Go to the beach
46.  Dinner party?
48.  Watch a sunset
51.  Get two different scotches

Pretty good.  Hopefully, 2019 will be even more successful.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

First Bread of 2019

I want to learn more about bread -- about making / baking bread.  That's why I have this as one of my goals this year.  My first loaf I made following the directions from the Tassajara Bread Book.


This was the book my uncle used and I referenced it in an earlier post.   I made a batch (two loaves) in September when we got back from my aunt's memorial.  This time I tried to follow the directions exactly.


 I started with a sponge.






Here are the finished loaves. 

Everything Changes ..

So, there are a few things that have been going on with me that I have not written about.  Mostly because I didn't know how things would turn out and I wanted to wait until they were resolved.

One of those things was work.  At the end of March, I was told by my company that the office was going to close its doors.  My bosses were looking to move, hopefully together and hopefully bring me along.  They didn't know what would happen (obviously) and they wanted me to be aware of the situation.  When I first started working, if you worked well with someone and they moved to a new firm, you went with them -- you were a team and that's how it was.  It's not that way today.

So, I started looking for a job.  I've been a legal secretary for 26+ years (working at an Intellectual Property ("IP") firm).  I've been an Office Manager for 10+ years (also at an IP firm).  I've been doing paralegal work for much of that time (also IP).  It was hard for me to get interviews -- whether it was age or just not the right set of skills (or perhaps my resume wasn't what it needed to be).  I was working with several recruiters.  I looked on Indeed,  I looked on LinkedIn.  I had several interviews and nothing was panning out.  I was very discouraged -- and stressed out.  I need to work.  It's not quite retirement time.

So, maybe in early July, one of my bosses let me know that the office was closing and we needed to sell the office furniture.  I put an email out to the association I belong to, asking if anyone was interested in any furniture.  I ended up talking to one of my colleagues and got an interview with her firm -- it wasn't exactly what I was looking for -- but it seemed an interesting option.  Long story short, I met with her people, they seemed great -- but they needed to interview some more.  I lined up a couple more interviews and then received an offer from the interesting option.  I was thrilled.  I accepted and started working with them at the beginning of August.

Everything is new.  Everything is different.

In the meantime, my former employers/bosses ended up going together to a different place, but there wasn't a position for me.  So, my getting this other position was a very good thing.

Now, the sad part of this is that for the past 26 years, I have worked for/with the same person.  He and I were not just co-workers, we were/are friends (and that obviously won't change), but when you have seen/talked with someone for just about every day for that length of time and then it just stops, just like that, it's hard.  It makes me sad.  I'm very happy where I am, but I'm sad that he and I aren't working together any more.

The other thing going on was with my father.  In May, he fell and broke his leg. Because he was unable to walk, he could no longer live in our home.  He was in a nursing home/rehab facility and refused physical therapy and at that point we decided that he needed to live near one of my other siblings .. he went to live near my sister in Oxford, Ohio. That was a great relief for me and my husband.  However, things did not go well.  He was in and out of the hospital -- in a few different nursing facilities and becoming more miserable, physically and mentally, all the time; steadily declining.

On December 23, my sister called to let me know that he had died.  He had died in his sleep.

I feel bad that when he left I was really angry with him and never saw him again to apologize or leave things on a better note.


Here's a picture of my dad from last Christmas.  His 90th birthday.

Notre Dame