December 29, 2018

Oh, home made bread......

This morning's project....

We've been watching the British Baking Show ~ which far surpasses any American version of the same in our opinion ~ and we didn't have any bread, so I decided we needed some home made bread today.  I used to make bread all the time.  The past 5 to 8 years it's something I do only once in awhile.  I used a recipe I've probably only made once or twice.  So, although I used to have loads of confidence in my bread making skills, today I was worried that I "over proofed" it.  Turns out I didn't ~ its hard to see in the picture but the loaf on the left is really tall.  It would make a huge sandwich.  The one on the right is a bit smaller, but both rose much higher in the oven than I thought they would.  

Have you ever wanted to make bread, but felt intimidated by the idea?  I ran across a web site that takes you step by step with great suggestions.  The only thing you might not have is a scale that measures grams.  Everything else is negotiable, but handy.  I'm going to try his white bread recipe on Monday or Tuesday, because it looks awesome.
The "blizzard" sort of fizzled out, but when we first woke up yesterday the wind was blowing fiercely and it did have a blizzard look.  I guess.  I've never been in one before, haha.  But I told the auto shop that I wouldn't be venturing out to pick up my suv until Monday.  Today the roads look pretty clear, but the shop is closed on the weekend.  It's been an emotional roller coaster.  First it's just the stuff I mentioned in my last post, and then there was another "noise" that they attributed to my transmission.  They offered to replace my transmission filter to see if that clears things up ~ at no charge, which was a bit of a surprise.  I finally spoke to them yesterday afternoon and they said that they had replaced the filter and there is no noise on the test drive.  BUT they mentioned how dark the fluid was when they changed it, and asked me about the service I had done a couple of years ago.  So, there's some discrepancy, which is driving me nuts.  I remember the transmission shop telling me they did not want to change the fluid because sometimes it creates more problems in older vehicles.  But when the current shop called the other shop, the guy told them they did change the fluid.  But I distinctly remember him telling me they didn't.  So, shop #1 said that if they did, it was a problem for it to look so dark after 1100 miles ~ but if they didn't it would be normal.  Ugh.  And of course, the paperwork is in my glove box.  Romeo is really upset, because it implies that ~ in the worst case scenario ~  I have a transmission problem.  Which is a huge problem because it would cost more to replace the transmission than my jalopy is worth.  All I can do at this point is hope for the best.  Cross your fingers for me, will ya?

Love, 365

December 27, 2018

Nuisances of life......

This isn't my suv, but it's what mine looks like.  
I was surprised that I didn't have many photos of mine. 

When we lived in San Antonio (Texas, of course) I bought an suv ~ a champagne beige Isuzu Rodeo.  It was not a 4wd, nor did it have cup holders.  But I drove it until we moved to Albuquerque and ended up buying another Rodeo in 2003, complete with cup holders, 4 CD player, and 4WD.  It now has over 80,000 miles on it, which is really awesome to have such low mileage for a vehicle that old (almost 16 years).  

I've replaced the tires 3 times, had the oil changed regularly along with the usual filters, had the brakes done, repaired a leaky transmission line, had maintenance done on the 4WD, and had my radiator repaired. 

Recently it has been making noise that it shouldn't.  I knew I needed to take it in.  It's just one of those things you just don't want to do, because you know the outcome!  I could be an inexpensive fix, or not.  But the noise increased in volume and so I quit driving it until I could get it in.

****In the meantime, I somehow became terribly sick with the stomach flu or a migraine (sometimes it just doesn't seem to make a difference).  Beginning Sunday night I began throwing up and you know, the other end was throwing up too, so to speak.  I slept most of Monday and got sick again, and laid around all of Tuesday too ~ Christmas eve and Christmas.  Ho ho ho, very funny, Santa.  By Tuesday night I figured I was going to live after all, and could probably go into work on Wednesday, the same day I was scheduled to take in the suv.

So, yesterday I did hear from the shop, and the "ahem" grand total is 1325.00.  I had to have my timing belt, water pump, tensioner pulley replaced and a coolant flush .  Which at first made me feel like I'm an unlucky loser, then after I had time to think about it I realized that considering the age and mileage, it wasn't all that bad.  Do I have the money for it?  Hell no.  I will not go into the reasons why.  I will have to charge it, which is the very last thing I want to do.  But, at the same time I feel lucky to have the resources to pay, even though I would rather do cash.  I'm just afraid I'll need the cash I do have.  So, here I am.

But the good news was I received a call from the shop, and they figured it would be ready today.  And then guess what happened?  Verizon goes out all across the U.S. (don't you love the "United States of America" label?  For Pete's sake......

So, likely they tried to call me, but everything is going straight to voice mail that I can't access. 
No telling when the phones will be back up, might be tomorrow.  I hope. 

At any rate, I will go down there to pick up my suv, and hopefully I can call and find out if it's ready beforehand.  

Is this one of those "crap comes in threes things"?  

Love, 365

December 22, 2018

Simply Christmas

If you came by today, you might think the Grinch stopped by.  There is no tree (it's in the closet) or decor (also in the closet) nor are there lights or anything else.  

I didn't really plan it, or rather I failed to make plans.  I thought about putting up the tree and decorations right around Thanksgiving.  But then I needed to finish my final paper, and then before I knew it, it was finals week.  

I did bake cookies though.  I invited a friend to come over last Saturday to bake.  In preparation for that I did all the shopping and cleaning on Friday.  She texted me she would be an hour late, which was no big deal.  I started baking the cookies I had made the day before.  By the time she arrived I had a good head start on it.  

She started with putting together wedding cookies (which I don't like, although that isn't the point) by re-interpreting the recipe so that it would be gluten free.  I kept baking while she was putting it together.  She put that batch in the refrigerator to cool and then started out with the sugar cookie dough she brought with her, which was in two batches ~ red and white.  She explains we take a bit of each color, roll each into a 4 inch rope and twist them together to make a sort of 3D candy cane cookie.  Her first one looked pretty good.  But mine were awful.  I don't know if I over worked the dough, but when I started to twist the two ropes, one color rope would break.  I started again.  Same result.  We spent at least 30 minutes trying to get this to work, with pretty awful results.  I think if she hadn't put ground almonds into the dough, it might have gone better ~ and it was a good idea to give the dough a little texture, but it changed the consistency of the dough. 

Well, you don't really need a blow by blow of how the afternoon went.  She had come over at 11 am and a 4 pm I was exhausted.  As sweet as she is, I was ready for her to go home!  So I mentioned I needed to get to the post office before they closed, and she said "well, I should go then!".  In the end I had baked nearly all my cookies.  My kitchen was a total mess.  She didn't even offer to help me clean up.  And there will be no invitation next year.

Love, 365

December 15, 2018

Catching up.......

Yesterday was a whirlwind ~ racquetball with my peeps in the morning, the grocery store with my list in hand for today's baking extravaganza,  vacuuming and mopping along with cleaning the stove top and putting away miscellaneous junk, cleaning the counter tops, a quick dinner of salmon and salad, and then another couple of hours putting together cookies that need to be refrigerated before baking.    I was done by 8 pm, so we watched another episode of The Last Kingdom.  I think it's only on Netflix, but I'm not sure.  This is the story of the beginnings of what we now call England, and is based on the books by Bernard Cornwell.  He writes some ass kicking history novels.  Jeez, how did I go from busy to history?  It's like my mind just races from one place to another for no apparent reason.....

I invited *Barb to come and bake Christmas cookies today.  She asked me if I have decorating stuff, which I don't.  I've never done the fancy sugar cookies with icing as a decor.  In my family we always used those silly colored sprinkles ~ you know, the ones that fall off when you eat them?  I decided I'm not using those anymore and was content with plain ol' cookies, but apparently Barb has some skills.  Now I just have to find my bag and tips ~ I don't even remember the last time I used it.  I'm sure it's in my kitchen somewhere.  ;-/

I really need to get this baking done for the cookie gifts I give out, and with Christmas in 10 days, I need to get going!  And baking is always more fun with a friend.

Love, 365

December 10, 2018

Is it ever enough?

And the sun sets on another day.......

I am done.  Done with study.  The final is tomorrow & I am ready.  And sick and tired of all this nonsense.  

One more class & I will have the degree in my hand.  

I will dance with a lamp shade on my head, with complete abandon ~ somewhere where no one has to see it of course, lest it comes back to bite me in the ass on Facebook.  :D

Love, 365

December 9, 2018

Oh! The holidays.....

At least my blog has some Christmas decor

It is exam time.  My final is on Tuesday, so I have been studying & fashioning my note sheet going on 3 days now.  I did have fun last night at one of our racquetball parties, but I didn't stay very long.  At 8:30 I announced that I had to go which prompted a mass exodus of all but a few.  

The food was great & the ping pong games were highly spirited :)

Thinking forward to spring, when I take my last history class to qualify for graduation, I ran into a schedule issue.  I bet you aren't surprised.  I have complained about the UNM history department many times.  It is my minor, and I've put off taking many of the classes because they are all during the day.  No evening or upper division online classes for history.  But this time they had a class listed for 4:30, which intrigued me.  But no class description.  Just the dates and times.  So I sent a whiny e-mail to the head of the department, and the next day there was a class description.  Interesting, no?  I haven't registered for it yet though.  I want to wait a little bit to see if enough students will register so that the class happens.  1 out of a max of 40 just isn't going to cut it, but in the next 4 weeks I'm sure enough students will register for it.  I hope.

Well, back to my studies!  Ho ho ho
Love, 365

December 3, 2018

What happens at the end of a semester?

Well, here's a visual  :D

A CNM (Central NM Community college) professor posted this on FB, and I laughed, and then thought how true it is.  How eager and excited we are at the beginning of the semester.  How detailed we are with our assignments.  And, how that all changes when we realize that we have to take some short cuts and become less enamored toward the end, when all we want to do is finish.  And, that is where all of us student (and professors too I would imagine) are right now.  I submitted my final paper for The History of Christianity last night.  I had made quite a bit of progress on it before the weekend (imagine that!!), so instead of doing a marathon this weekend, it was only a few hours on Sat & Sun.  

My paper was on the Black Death and the impact on Christian life.  We had a choice between three different books ~ books that contain primary documents.  And wow, that was an eye opener.  The one that affected me the most was Giovanni Boccaccio's Introduction to The Decameron, written in 1340-1351.  He describes the horror of it well.  

I have always been fascinated by the Black Death, which changed our world so dramatically, but the previous books I had read were secondary documents ~ written by historians, usually much later than the events took place.  So The Black Death: The Great Mortality of 1348-1350 by John Aberth was quite enlightening.  It is relatively inexpensive if you are interested.  

One week from tomorrow is our final exam. As usual, our professor hasn't posted the study guide for it yet.  I hope it is not comprehensive.  

Well, I suppose I should start my day ~ I hope all of you have a great week!

Love, 365

I am tired.......

  See all that tsoureki?  We made the dough, waited awhile for it to rise, braided it, egg washed it, put sesame seeds on it, baked them, pu...