September 17, 2019

Getting out of town soon....





In a few short days, I will be heading off to Texas ~ meet the new grandson, visit with my ailing Mother, staying mostly with my sister and her husband (whom I mentioned had a terrible fall off a ladder and is recuperating from the complicated surgery to repair his broken fibula and tibia). 

I am spending more $$ than I originally hoped, due to the fact that I will be renting a car.  The plan was for my sis to pick me up and then I would borrow her car....but now she is home bound with her husband.  She has become quite the nurse.  Now I can be more relaxed about the time schedule.  I've added a few side stops along the way.  A church I want to visit, and the outlet mall outside of San Marcos...which I will have to limit myself to an hour or two.  To put it mildly, it is ginormous! 

So, my friends, this will probably be the last post until the end of Sept.  I am really ready to put some distance between myself and work.  I wish Romeo could go too, but truthfully, I think he's looking forward to some quiet time to work on our night stands and a small table he wants to build. 

Vacay, here I come!!

Love, 365

September 13, 2019

Preparation & alarming texts......

Only one more week before I meet this little lovey....

I am entering the home stretch before my trip.  My brother-in-law was finally released from the hospital yesterday ~ he had been there for a week.  It seemed like something came up from one day to the next, so it's a big relief for all that he's home.  The drive to the hospital was an hour, so my sister might be able to get some rest.  Unfortunately she won't be able to go to Austin with me to meet the little guy, it's just too soon.  Truthfully, it will be nice to have time to myself in the late evening and hopefully I will sleep like a log.  

Son #1 ~ father of the above cutie ~ texted me, asking if he could leave little Frank with me while he takes his wife out for an anniversary dinner, but after lots of consideration I asked if they could wait to do that on Sunday so I could have a day to get to know him (the baby, you fool).  He texted me back that if I wasn't comfortable it was OK, and that Roxanne didn't think I would want to do it.  So if he's baiting me, I'm just going to ignore that.  It's MY vacation.  And as I pointed out to him when he first asked, it's been a very long time since I've been around a 2 month old.  Like over 30 years.  And I don't live nearby, which if I did, I would have been around him as much as they would let me.  I won't bore everyone with the conundrum of moving back to Texas ~ the biggest pro on that idea is spending time with my grandsons, and to be brutally honest I'm not sure that's enough to give up all of the pros of living in New Mexico.  The love is there.  The desire to endure seemingly endless hot and humid days, with little difference between the seasons doesn't appeal to me.  If that makes me a bad Grandma, well then so be it.

I have two boys, with two different Dads.  Two different personalities.  Son #2 and I are close.  He knows he can call me anytime.  Son #1 and I not so much.  He calls his Dad ~ which makes sense, he lives about 2 hours away.  Whereas I live 13 (or more, depending on traffic)  hours away.  We've all done those one day, one way drives to visit family far away, right?  And on that long and boring drive home, the one where all you want to do it snack to break the monotony, you vow never to do this again.  When I retire, well, doing that drive over two days sound doable, but I don't want to waste my vacation time driving driving driving.  I simply don't have enough of it (vacation time).  So, I feel sort of guilty that I didn't reply with "Yeah!  I want to meet him for 30 minutes, and then let you crazy kids go to a nice restaurant for 3 hours while the baby ~ who you swear is the easiest baby ever ~ screams and cries the entire time you're gone and when they get back they have two sweaty, tear stained and stressed out humans.  Just the tiniest bit of guilt. 

Love, 365

September 9, 2019

Adventures in baking........

Freshly baked this morning.....roasted garlic & rosemary sourdough.

We waited the obligatory hour to slice the bread ~ something Romeo finds irritatingly difficult. :-)
It was really delicious when your bite had a bit of the roasted garlic in it, but I was a tad disappointed to not get much flavor out of the rosemary.  Which I love.  Maybe I need to put in more next time.  

This recipe was from the cookbook I ordered ~ Artisan Sourdough Made Simple, by Emilie Raffa.  And I just discovered that if any of you readers are interested, you can download it by pdf here...
I am not sorry that I bought the cookbook though.  The pictures inside help with techniques (obviously I need more practice scoring).  It could be that the pdf contains photos and everything.  I didn't download it because I don't need too.  Haha

The next recipe I want to try is the chocolate chip loaf.  Which the author loves.  

If you do want to try this type of baking ~ which is ultra easy, I must say ~ there are a few things you don't need for your first attempt.  You don't need a banneton, (also called a proofing basket).  You just need a bowl and a towel that you don't mind getting flour all over it.  A sharp knife will work instead of the lame (a razor blade in a holder, and there are plenty of cheap alternatives).  

What you absolutely need is a good size cast iron dutch oven.  Parchment paper.  Sourdough starter which is easily purchased from King Arthur flour (unless you want to make it yourself, which I never had any luck with), and a good quality bread flour.  There ya go.  
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The roof is completed!  Romeo and I scrambled up the spanish tiles that are part of the roof to look at it this morning.  I was unimpressed, but Romeo was happy.  I was also surprised at how many of my neighbors haven't taken the plunge.  These homes are about 25 years old.  The tar paper and stone the original roof are made of have come to the end of their lifespans.  I was kind of surprised that roofing companies don't do those types of roofs anymore.  But, hey, what do I know of roofing?  

In a little less than 2 weeks I take of for Texas to visit family and this little guy:

Cute as a button!  He has grown so much! 

Love, 365

September 7, 2019

And so it goes.........on and on

An old photo...but it is corn season!

As I sit here ~ waiting for the oven to heat up for my bread today ~ there are foot falls, thumps and bumps going on above me.  The roof was not finished yesterday.  I don't know exactly why, but I suspect that they quit before the heat became to intense.  So, mostly yesterday was spreading the adhesive for the material they are currently putting down.  

I finally posted the photo of the bread from last week.  For some reason the photo didn't immediately show up in my photos on the computer.  It turned out fantastic, exactly as I hoped!  So I ordered the cookbook....although I try to avoid buying more, cook books are one of my weaknesses.  Some I use often, others sit there for awhile before I pull them out again.  Some are completely out of print, and I feel so grateful to have them, even if I don't refer to them very often.  

Someone posted this photo on FB, but I had to share.......so funny :-)


And this one......

Apparently this is a rare atmospheric occurrence.  I wish I could remember what they called it....all I recall is it is partially the result of ice crystals.  Whatever it is, it's beautiful!

I just took the lid off of the dutch oven, and the bread looks fabulous.  I can't wait to taste it!

Love, 365


September 6, 2019

Adventures in roofing........


Third day of roof replacement.  It sounds like we're about to have a thunderstorm with all the stomping and other weird noises coming from above.  The dog is going crazy ~ which is making both of us a little crazy too. 

The first day they worked on the parapets.  We have a flat roof like the house pictured below:

The parapets are the raised edges along the roof.  Basically they stuccoed them on Monday.  The next step was the preparation for the new roof.  They had to remove all the tiny stones and power wash the roof, which they did yesterday.  It was quite a process, which Romeo sent me pictures of the equipment and the huge pile of those stones, which was surprising.  Then we hit a snag.  The roofers wanted to remove the evaporative cooler before they apply the roof material.  Whereupon Romeo became very stressed and grumpy, because he installed it and knows how it is attached to the roof.  They would have to take the whole thing apart in order to remove it.  I had to listen to his frustration and irritation that the roofers have no idea what they are getting into, but they agreed to leave it after he explained what would be involved.  His biggest concern was that we wouldn't have any a/c (wow, that's really become a thing around here) for two days.  But since they aren't removing it, we are ok and won't have to spend another night without it (oh, that's a whole 'nuther story).  Love the man, but sometimes he drives me absolutely bat shit crazy.  Ladies, does that happen to you too?  Where you have to patiently listen, knowing that all you have to do is let them work it out.  No input is involved.  But if you do, get ready to hear much, much more.  :-)

Supposedly they will finish installing the roof today, with tomorrow involving only an inspection, after the material has "cured".  I will be glad, just to give me a little peace and quiet from my man.  Perhaps by noon tomorrow, we can return to our regularly scheduled program.

Love, 365

September 2, 2019

If at first.....



I am trying a new artisan sourdough recipe today ~ I noticed the you tube video and thought, wow, that looks really easy!  So, it is in it's final rise today.  I will add the pic after it comes out of the oven, and give a taste review.  One of the things I liked about this recipe is that it's for one loaf, so I don't waste a lot of rather expensive bread flour to make it.  And 2 loaves is just a bit too much to make weekly, which became obvious after the second of two loaves I made recently ended up growing some mold.

It is still high summer here, although to be fair, we had a very long and cool spring.  I am looking forward to my favorite ~ and our shortest ~ season: fall.  Where the temp's are in the 70s and 80s and it's really just so perfect outside that you only go in when you have to.  Or, you're working.  I have a little bonus today, since this is our normal workday.  Since next weekend is my 4-day-weekend, I will enjoy a short work week this week.  I have a very odd schedule.  Tuesday - Friday, then Monday - Thursday.   Repeat.  So I have 4 days off every other weekend.  Although I love love love the 4 days off, I'm not sure if it would be better to have a 3 day weekend each time, or do this crazy every other thing.  When I first started working at this office we were off every Friday, but because we have quite a few patients who work at Sandia Nat'l Labs who are off every other Friday, it was decided to accommodate them.  So there ya go.

Otherwise, all is going along.  I have just shy of 3 weeks before my trip to Texas....which seems like a very long time considering I was originally supposed to be there right now.  At the end of October we'll be spending a few days at a cabin in Jemez.  I am really excited about this trip for the reasons below:



I foresee long dog walks, barbecue, beer, and reading on the agenda. Because Romeo doesn't want to board the dog, I had to find a place where dogs are welcomed.  And at a mere $10 extra for the dog, it's a bargain.

Well, I better go preheat the oven!

Love, 365

The downward slide......

My hollyhocks last year....this year they are twice as big! Well, my Mom is back in the hospital.  She collapsed ~ on her first day back hom...