Friday, July 28, 2006

bread & tea

I spent yesterday baking bread. I suddenly felt like making peach preserves, but I was out of pectin. That is the worst part about not having a grocery store in town. I knew that by the time I drove the twenty minutes there and came back home the mood would have left me. So I decided to wait until after I do my grocery shopping, which I drive forty-five miles (one-way) to do every two weeks.
The bread didn't turn out as good as usual. It tastes delicous, but the crust didn't get as brown and thick as I like. My oven (cob) has sat through a few rainstorms uncovered in the last few weeks. I think I need to do some patchwork on the doorway to stop so much heat from escaping.
Crusty or not my normal breakfast of toast with strawberry jelly tasted extra good today since it was not just a normal slice of store bought bread.
While I was making my tea today, which was Earl Grey, I remembered a scene from a few years ago. My brother was over in the evening and I offered him a cup of green tea. He hesitated and turned it down. Then he added he only liked green tea if it was made just right. I answered "Not quite boiling water, which has been filtered, and steeps for three minutes and no longer?"
"Sure I'd like some then," was his reply. What arrogance to sit in my kitchen and not have faith in me to make a decent pot of tea. I say this in fun my brother is a great guy and his arrogance is part of his charm. Well, most days anyway.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Julia Child gives me hope

For the last two days I have been reading My Life In France by Julia Child. She was in her thirties before she started to learn cooking. She was in her late thirties when she attended Cordon Bleu. I have spent the last five years trying to decide what I want to do when I grow up. While I still haven't decided, I have narrowed down the possibilities, and came up with a list of things I could not stand. No full time office jobs, I can't stand to be trapped inside every day. Nothing that will have me doing the same thing all the time. I need a field where I can always have questions to research and learn about. Flexibility is also a must, I can't stand to miss things because of work. After reading this last book I also know I could never be as involved with food as Julia.
I love to cook and try new recipes, but not at that level. The amount of time and research she put into writing her cook books was phenomenal. I will be the student, but never the teacher. I do realize how lucky I am to have the time to think this out and try different things. I have been given the choice to stay home with my kids while they are young and I never take that for granted.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I haven't abandoned this project, I've been on vacation. We picked up Princess and Curly top in Wichita and went to Kansas City. Ironically another family from our small town had planned the same vacation. Including stopping in Wichita to see his sister. They didn't pick up any extra kids thankfully, we had eight in the group all together. We met them at K.C. and went to Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun as a group. With that many kids we had no fighting and only a small amount of whining. We also took them all the The Rainforest Cafe, complete with the chocolate volcano.
One night we left all the kids at the hotel to go the casino. Lee is fourteen so he babysits if we ask nicely. Since I have given up on trying to like gambling I took a book along and got over halfway through it that night. The book was Snappers by Roddy Doyle. It was very funny and I recommend it much more than gambling.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

age of exercise

Turning thirty was never a big deal for me. On my twenty-sixth birthday I remember thinking 'I'm closer to thirty than I am to twenty.' It took me a few minutes to come to terms with that thought, but in the end I realized my life was better than it had ever been. I had been acting more like a woman in my thirties than in my twenties since I turned twenty so no big deal. I always think of the years from twenty to twenty-five as the dealing with your childhood age. When ever I talk to somebody bemoaning the mistakes their parents made I remember how old they are. If they are in their twenties I cut them some slack and listen. This behavior is perfectly normal for a person of their age. If they are older than that my eyes glaze over while I think 'get over it already'. Somebody once said, and I wish I could remember who it was and give them credit, "whether your childhood was bad or good, the best thing about it is that it's over."
Now at thirty-two I am at the exercise age. I try to walk three miles every night and have been playing with the idea of running. Last night while I was out walking I saw a friend who is a year younger than me out running. All of the people I have seen on the streets in the last few months flashed through my head. They were split into two groups. One being kids who couldn't catch a ride. The other group were people out walking, running, or biking for exercise. All of the people in that second group were thirty or over. This is the exercise age. Whichever age I'm at, I still have to say six years later my life is still better than it has ever been.

Monday, July 10, 2006


Baseball season is over. That leaves almost a month of summer vacation left to enjoy. We have not got to the lake yet this summer. Last summer we only went once. Someday we are going to get back to going a couple of times a month from May to September.

Jason won our pool when Germany took Third. I came close to picking Italy, because I sometimes choose my team on countries I would like to visit, damn those patriotic feelings that took over that day. I never did decide who I was going for in the final game I just sat and enjoyed watching both teams play. Now I can't see enough footage of that headbut. That was one hard hit.

I have been on a fantasy reading kick for the last month. I've read the second and third Pendragon books, the first in the Bartimaous trilogy, the first in His Dark Materials, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, and am now on Eragon. I may need to switch to some classics soon.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Seven Bags of trash!

Seven large trash bags, that is how much trash we hauled out of our yard and the surrounding area on Tuesday morning. Monday night we had our annual block party. Since this is such a small town an actual block party would only be about 16 people, so we block off the streets and invite everybody. It was eight hours of fireworks, food, and drinking. There was something for everybody. The next morning besides all the trash we found a twelve pack of beer, two jackets, three blankets, and a half full baby bottle. There were only a couple of tiny glitches with the party. One was the rain. It sprinkled all night, and flat out rained twice. We carried the food inside during the rainy spots, but for the most part we just stayed out and enjoyed the rain. We don't get moisture often enough in these parts to every wish it away.
The other minor glitch is my husband's jealous nature. Thirteen years ago when we first moved in together I thought it would go away when he realized I was too lazy to have an affair. Unfortunately it has gotten worse as time goes by not better. By the time it raised it's head only the die-hard partiers were left, so I wasn't as embarrassed as I could have been. Without noticing it I had sat too close to a single guy. Without giving out all of the mundane details I'll just say that a good number of the partiers decided to leave with him to a house around the corner. It was already late so as usually happens at a party when one set leaves everybody else decides they should head home to bed also. As the crowd dispersed I walked around to the other house. After grabbing a beer I called some of my friends f**ckers for ditching my party and coming over here. They knew it was all in fun, I completely understand how uncomfortable one jerk can be at a party, he really was killing all of the fun.

After all the excitement on the third it was nice to just lay around on the fourth and watch France beat Portugal. The last two teams from our pool were Germany and Portugal, so the third place game will decide who gets the ten dollars. I was sad when England was put out. Now with these two both being out who will I root for in the final? Any reasons why I should choose either France or Italy?