August 17, 2019
How great it is to wake up on Saturday morning with no alarms....and few plans. My first loaf of bread is in the oven ~ it didn't quite rise as much as I expected the first 20 minutes, but it will be tasty. I still struggle with the intricacies of artisan baking ~ I guess I need to watch a few more you tube videos....the struggle is to find the right one. ***Oh, yeah, I forgot to preheat the dutch oven, which probably accounts for the lack in rising. =sigh= The second one was over-proofed (while I'm waiting on the first loaf to finish cooking because I only have one dutch oven. Still tastes good, but I want it to look a certain way....it's all in the details, in an OCD sort of way.
Today is my oldest sons birthday. It is days like this that I wish I lived in Texas. Watched a video that his wife filmed while they all threw water balloons at each other, which is a tradition his Dad started. It's hard not to be jealous. I could solve the problem by moving there. Only problem is, I don't want to put up with their weather, and I would miss the desert and the mountains. He has his own life....I just wish I could be more of a part of it.
Well, I need to do other things other than sit here and feel regretful! I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend....
August 12, 2019
Backyard gardening.....(not mine though)
Even though most kids went back to school today here in Albuquerque, it's still summer. The temp's this week are in the low 90s, and this evening is the first where we didn't get any rain in about a week ~ which is really unusual here, which I mentioned in my last post. Even though summer gardens are starting to wrap up, its just now that tomatoes are really producing. There's tons of green ones on the vine, and that urban gardener is looking at those plants and calculating that very soon there will be way more than they can eat. Even if tomatoes are your "nectar of the Gods", and really there is nothing like a homegrown one, there is a limit to how many your family will eat in one day. That's when neighbors, co-workers, family and friends get to share in the bounty. When our OM brings in her excess, everyone in the office comes up and snags a bit to take home.
I don't know about your friends, family and co-workers, but almost every one I know has a garden, or at least a few potted tomatoes. Well, except me. I didn't quite finish up with college soon enough to prepare my little plot of open space for a garden this year. I can't put potted plants on my back patio because the sun is so intense that it literally cooks anything that isn't in the ground. Believe me, I tried every type of pot available ~ clay, glazed clay, plastic....nothing can hold back the power of the sun to suck every bit of moisture out of it. By the time I get home from work I can see the severe wilting. After a week of that, it simply gives up. I discovered that although I can't container garden, my small garden area can produce quite a bit. In years past I had tomatoes, tomatillos, herbs, etc. Once I tried cantaloupe and discovered that I didn't plant it soon enough. It was not much bigger than a softball, and never ripened. I didn't try those again, haha.
The prompt to this post is the Netflix show Cooked. Michael Pollan is the host (& apparently a cook book writer) who explores cooking through the inspiration of the four basic elements ~ fire, earth, air and water. It's really quite a good series. Of course I watched the one on bread first, and I learned something quite new about sourdough. Fermentation apparently increases the nutritional value. So, although you can't live on simply flour and water alone, you could ~ although it wouldn't be too much fun ~ live quite awhile on certain kinds of bread, and sourdough in particular. Fermentation also increases the digestibility ~ and therefore the nutritional value ~ of foods that we routinely ferment. After watching it, I realized that I will never look at a store bought loaf of bread in quite the same way.
By the way, my sourdough did revive, and quite nicely. I apparently wasn't paying attention to what I was doing when refreshing it (which needs to be done once a week ~ bakers never refrigerate their sourdough, because they use it every day) and I apparently added twice the water I was supposed to. I was just relieved that it came back so strongly. It even leaked a little out of the crock I keep it in.
And you guessed it, I made two loaves of bread today. Romeo has already had 3 pieces. We'll see if there's any left by the end of the day tomorrow. :-)
August 10, 2019
Monsoon season usually means evening showers. But lately we've had rainy mornings too, which is not at all common. There are many more pros than cons here, I recall a few years ago when we hardly got any rain during the monsoon at all. Lots of folks lost trees that had been on their property for years. I am not really complaining about the rain which has given us a delightful break from watering. It's the humidity that we aren't used to. Those of us with evaporative coolers suffer a bit, but this morning the temps were in the 60s....no complaints there.
***I can't believe that my post is about the rain. I must find a little more excitement in my life I think......
Not sure if all the rain is responsible, but my sourdough starter seems a bit sluggish today too. I had planned to start the bread this morning, but I think I will wait until noon. See how it does. Not sure what I will do if it doesn't get more bubbly. Probably wait longer, haha. Or give up for today and shoot for Monday instead.
Not long ago I joined a FB group called "forbidden archaeology". Probably because they search out the bizarre and then attempt to fashion their studies to suggest that aliens built and inhabited, for example, Machu Picchu. Mostly they are using the "elongated skulls" as their main DNA evidence. There are already suggestions that the buildings were built with alien help, since they don't believe that earthly human beings were capable of constructing such incredible feats of engineering during the 15th century.
Although I do not discount the idea that life exists elsewhere in our universe, I just haven't been able to buy into aliens living here on earth and directing the construction of the pyramids, Machu Picchu, Gobekli Tepi, Chichen Itza and others.
There seems to be little logic in the claim ~ my case in point: the continued search for Yeti. No skeletal remains. No structures. Only grainy films where you can't tell what you're looking at, and "footprints" in snow and mud. I can't imagine someone spending their entire life looking for Yeti, although I know there are many who look. Maybe they need a more exciting life too.....
August 9, 2019
Here's another photo taken in NM....I plan on taking a class or two so that I can figure out how to take photos like this one..... Hello Milky Way!
I knew this would happen. One day I would sit here and despair at the ideas I had are gone. I no longer have college experiences to write about. Work is boring. By 10-11 am I have completed most of my regular tasks, so all that is left is greeting patients and filing insurance claims. B.O.R.I.N.G. I really need to look for a new job that is a bit more exciting.
My trip to San Antonio is now exactly 3 weeks away. Last night I searched for a hotel for my sister and I while we are visiting the kids/new grandson in Austin. Motel 6 was the only one I could find that was close to their house that had two beds in one room, at a reasonable price. I don't care about the free breakfast. And hey! they will leave the light on for us ~ lol. Many of the hotels I looked at were at least 95 per night, and the second bed was a "sofa bed", and the few times I've slept on one of those was no fun at all. So, most of the details are set. Next week I'll get out the luggage ~ I prefer to add stuff as I think about it ~ less likely to forget something important (you know, like contacts). I texted my sis about the hotel reservation and she said she hopes it's a little cooler when I come because "it's hotter than 3 blazes of hell" right now. Oh, I do so love visiting in August. :-(
Otherwise there is nothing of interest going on. Zip. Zero. Nada. I have made a tiny little bit of progress on tidying up my closet and my office. Although if you asked Romeo, he'd probably say I haven't done anything at all, it's still a vision of chaos. :-)
I'm going to go with "a messy desk is a sign of genius"
And you can't stop me (giggling)
August 4, 2019
When I first saw this photo, I had a tough time believing it to be in New Mexico.....
I'm going to have to go and check this place out.
Carrizozo Community Lake.
Beautiful! I told the photographer that it looks more like a fantasy.....he agreed.
Have an excellent week, ya'll.
August 3, 2019
Last Sunday I sold the 2002 Rodeo to my co-worker. She had known for over a month that I planned to sell it when I was ready to buy a replacement. Actually, I had mentioned that I would trade it in because I know it has some mechanical issues despite the maintenance and repair we heaped on it over the past 17-18 years. But she offered to buy it. We agreed on a price. All I had to do was decide when. Two weeks ago on a Monday I told her that I would be dropping the price on the Rodeo because it was making a new noise. I took $600 off the price. She drove it at lunch, and said she was still interested in buying it. So, last Sunday after I bought the Rav4, she and her boyfriend came buy and bought the Rodeo & drove it off. On Wednesday last week she told me they had to tow it to a shop.
I felt really bad. To be fair, I texted her on Saturday and explained that if she had cold feet, or had changed her mind and didn't know how to back out of it, I had an offer from my neighbor across the street. Not for her, but her boyfriend wanted it (and he doesn't live with her, so I wouldn't see him often). But she insisted they wanted it, so there you go. I shouldn't feel bad, I was upfront with her about everything, but I still do.
I am thoroughly enjoying my new ride. It feels so ~ reliable. Cool with the a/c. It's been great using the phone hands free. I'm getting hang of parking it too.
Now for the photos of our beautiful state ~ these were all taken here in New Mexico. I don't have the photographers names except for one, but all have taken some beautiful photos......
It is not unusual to view a cloudburst like this over the mesa.....
These are rare, but I've seen one before ~ the "Halo Rainbow"
We've had a lot of storms lately.....But wow, this is cool.
Night time Albuquerque from Sandia Peak by DL Photography505
Have a wonderful weekend....I need to get a few things done while my bread is rising....
July 26, 2019
You guessed it.......someone tried to use my credit card. :-(
While at the gym on Wednesday, I kept getting notices on my Apple watch (the one I bought for $100 from a friend who didn't like it) from my bank. I finally checked my phone, and read the messages in horror......that there had been apparent fraud on my bank account and credit card. All of the credit card charges were blocked....thankfully. My bank (USAA) shut down access to my account ~ even to me ~ until I could get in and change EVERYTHING. Including the email I have listed on the account. I was both freaked out and grateful that my bank was so quick to react. None of my money was stolen....not sure why, but really grateful. I admit my bank is awesome......they do have great safeguards, probably because many military families use it, due to their many moves. I was surprised that someone was able to get in to my account ~ they changed my login!! I even have two step notification on my account, and yet they were still able to get in and change things. Added phone numbers. Added e mails. Changed my security questions. Good grief.
The bank representative recommended I change the e mail on the account and to change all my e mail passwords. And to do that every 3 to 4 months. I admit I am not happy about that, passwords are such a pain.... (see link for previous rant)
But, despite all of that shenanigans.....Great News!! I have a new suv!!
But, despite all of that shenanigans.....Great News!! I have a new suv!!
I know this is a crappy picture, but it's raining and I didn't want to get wet, Lol.
Yes, despite the fraud attempts I was able to finance the above. A 2016 Rav4 that was leased by a couple that live in California and Santa Fe....it had only 11,000 miles on it. I got a great deal ~ I negotiated it myself!! Since it has been so long since I've purchased a vehicle, I didn't realize how long it would take. We arrived at the dealership at 8:45 and didn't leave until 11:40. I can use my phone hands free now, and the air conditioning is absolutely fabulous. I know that I was stressing on saving up the money, but this past week ~ when the Rodeo started making a new noise ~ I suddenly realized I could close out a small investment account that I had started with the intention of saving for a vacation. That along with the $1200 I sold the Rodeo for, gave me a nice down for the Rav. Luckily my payments are very reasonable, and I received a nice low APR as well.
Funny, something horrible and something wonderful happening in the same week. Ok, well, not really funny. More strange than funny.
I'm going to have a really fabulous weekend. I hope you do too!!
July 21, 2019
@ the Lavender Festival yesterday, a lovely water garden with a bubbly bit of dry ice fog....
One of my racquetball friends invited me to go to the Lavender Festival yesterday. I thought it was held at Los Poblanos, but it's actually across the street, in a field. So, no real tree shade to speak of. It was incredibly hot. I wore a hat, a white shirt and took my cooling scarf ~ but it was so hot that it didn't really seem to make much of a difference, although if I hadn't brought those things with me, I'm sure I would have been convinced that those items would have made a huge difference. We didn't stay very long ~ it was too uncomfortable.
On the plus side, her husband drove us there and picked us up so that we didn't have to park and take the shuttle ~ in her 2015 Honda CRV. It was very nice. Great room in the back seat. So, although I have been leaning toward the Rav4, I will definitely keep the CRV in my sights. I suppose there are lots of those on the road for a reason!
Last week Romeo had to have a lower molar extracted. He has been having regular cleanings since I've been working there (4 years), and for the most part, seeing the same hygienist. After I finally made sure they took a panorex x-ray, it was obvious the tooth needed to come out. I was very disappointed that it took way longer to diagnose the problem (furcation, which develops as the result of bone loss) than it should have. Why didn't they take a pano? Why was the hygienist recommending he go to a periodontist (nothing saves a tooth that has furcation, at least not to my knowledge)? I am trying hard not to feel as though employee family members are not given the highest standard of care because there's no charge for it. I plan on speaking to our OM next week about it. It bothers me........as I'm sure any of you would feel the same way in my situation. Maybe I'm being too sensitive, something I constantly have to work on.
Today I made my last post on my other blog. Seems to make sense since I've graduated. Because it didn't generate much interest, I hadn't posted on it for a long time. I want to start another blog, but I am not sure if I will add it to this blog or begin a whole new one that isn't connected to this one at all. I need to think about my reasons for creating a whole new blog instead of just adding a blog like I did with the "college after 50".
Laundry calls.....enjoy the rest of your weekend!
Laundry calls.....enjoy the rest of your weekend!
July 19, 2019
You guessed it. Today it is 100 degrees outside. Yesterday it was 98 or 99, or something like that. It's supposed to be the same 100 tomorrow, and 98 on Sunday. I am very thankful that I have a/c at home, I couldn't even imagine trying to stay cool in this heat (like in Chicago, wow) without air conditioning. And I'm really only spending about 45 minutes to an hour in my suv every day. And the first 15-20 minutes is in the morning when it's much cooler. The other 25 to 40 minutes in it when it's really hot. When you get in it's like getting into an oven, then opening the window is like a convection oven. Lately I just want to cry, it's just so uncomfortable, but it's so hot the tears just evaporate before they hit my cheeks.
I still don't have the $$ saved. I was reading an article on when is the best time to buy ~ and it's the last day of December. If you need it before that, they advise you buy on the last day of the quarter, which will be September. Added bonus is the last day of September is a Monday, which is the "best" day of the week to buy (in addition to the other suggestions). I have no reason to doubt it. Hell, I haven't bought a vehicle in over 16 years! I need to wait, but it's harder and harder to do it.
No reason not to have a sense of humor though.....
By this time it's like being in a communal bath tub, right?
Well, I'm done whining about my 4 wheel drive oven for today. :-)
July 13, 2019
Yep, there's a story here.....
Last week my brotforms/proofing baskets arrived. I was so excited because they came on Friday instead of Saturday. Saturday is bread making day, mostly because it takes time, and I can do it while I'm doing laundry and house cleaning. Anyway, the instructions online suggested putting lots of flour in them. They are made of cane, and as you can see from the bottom example, it leaves a cool imprint of the cane on the bread. Plus, I can fit it into my dutch oven to bake (which removes the need to spritz the oven before baking).
So, last week I floured the heck out of those baskets. I was terrified the dough would stick, ruining the dough. But the bread did come out nicely, and was delicious ~ my only unhappy moment was all the flour that stuck to the dough, much of which wouldn't come off with a brush. I don't mind a bit of flour. The example above it just about right in my opinion. So, I decided to go a little minimalist this time.
Which resulted in sticking. The bottom loaf didn't stick too much, but the upper one was hard to remove from the basket ~ which resulted in a funky pattern that really looks a little twisted.
Well, regardless of how it looks, it still tastes great. But next week I'm going back to dusting those baskets within an inch of their lives.
#homemadebread #delicious #doesn'thavetobeperfect
July 12, 2019
May all of your sports equipment remain in good shape!
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