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Old 04-13-2016, 12:24 AM   #2201
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A suggestion for your black tank...the next time you dump, add two gallons of hot water, a half cup of tide, and a cup of borax. After a few hours of driving your tank will even smell nice.
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Old 04-13-2016, 07:08 AM   #2202
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Thanks for that tip, Vince.

I put two oxy-chem pods and a couple of gallons of water in there yesterday, to clean things thoroughly while I next drive.


I've been watching a couple of "House of Cards" episodes every evening....flash to current news...and Dennis Hastert. Isn't that called "art imitating life"?

I know, no politics allowed here, but it's not really politics I'm speaking of, it's politicians...and this...State.

Nothing...surprises me.


Heading out this morning for an overdue haircut, and to drop off my pile of prayer shawls.

My haircut lady, a fabric-of-my-life relationship....there for me for many years, and over time she cut Doug's, too....thru many things...hair of varying lengths, she knew just how to cut its short and layered professional self, to get it to lay right....her absence in extended retirement travel being the reason I grew it out.

I like low-maintenance hair.


Spring seems to have re-sprung, the winter cold that set back in lately letting go for sunny days and heading toward highs of 70 later this week.

I like. Makes me want to putter in the yard, use my new firepit, plant some flowers.


Maggie
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Old 04-13-2016, 09:07 AM   #2203
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All I can say about E & S is WOW!

We drove through some of the Amish countryside to get there. Impeccably kept farms. Even saw a gentleman plowing with his 8 team of horses.

Found my Castile soap at E & S. Stocked up on it, as well as a vegan bullion product I have only ever found at Whole Foods. It was a lot less expensive at E & S.

Thank you for telling us about this store!
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Old 04-13-2016, 11:15 AM   #2204
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E&S Sales is pretty fun.

A much smaller version lies near Kolona, Iowa, and I will be stopping in there when I do the Iowa run the end of this month.


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Old 04-13-2016, 11:55 AM   #2205
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Hi Maggie.. sounds like you are enjoying being home again.. I have a fire pit and love it... not only does it take care of fallen branches and such, it's great for friends to gather around... pats for Lily... Keep having fun!!! gail
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Old 04-13-2016, 12:11 PM   #2206
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I am enjoying being home.

I love my Interstate, but also my little house, family and friends here.

Going to have the first fire in the morning, when I begin to tackle the yard.


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Old 04-14-2016, 12:12 PM   #2207
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Yard tackled, more tackling will wait til tomorrow.

Raking, schlepping, blowing, digging, pulling, Preen-ing, and then Gorilla Cart-ing to my new, gargantuan, fire pit several heaping loads of downed branches and similar debris from my tree line....where my yard guys toss such things when they come to do whatever, and which did not get ridded out end of season last year due to early onset of snow and other inclement weather.

There was lots.

The fire pit is going to be a very efficient rid-er of dry, burnable debris...so much so that I was half listening for sirens, fearing the level of flame and heat generated might elicit a call from someone not a near neighbor...thus unaware of what I was doing, at which time I would have to explain to the authorities the small inferno on my patio.

Only a couple of small, 1st degree burns later, the mountain of debris hauled was reduced to ashes....with my careful tending so as not to ignite my nor my neighbors homes, and no fire engines came careening down my street.

3 1/2 hours of very hard labor is enough for me for one day. Hot tea and I are having a sit.


I have finished through Season 4 of House of Cards. If you have never watched this Netflix series, but like edge of your seat thrillers, it fills the bill quite well.

Once I began, I was uninterested in anything else on TV. Rather like being at the end of the game Whiplash, where you are pulled, jerked and thrown in uncontrollable directions.

You can only let go of your end when you stop watching, tho your mind continues to reverberate long after. At least, that is how I have experienced it.

Seriously, it is riveting, and I don't say this about much. It is also crude and very brutal in areas, not for the faint of heart...but really, really good and very well acted. Complex and flawed characters, few of whom succeed in standing up and doing the right thing when push comes to shove.

I'm glad I'm done with the series so far, as the last half dozen episodes have left me feeling a bit ragged and traumatized....partly because it shows politics at its very, very worst, something I have seen up close....tho that didn't affect in the slightest my driving need to see the next episodes.

My psyche will now have a much needed break for R&R, as there is not even a premiere date set for Season 5. Good.

Weather here is sunny and spring-like, and going to be 75 over the weekend.


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Old 04-14-2016, 02:12 PM   #2208
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Maggie, you did that huge fire and did not roast a hot dog or marshmallow?
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Old 04-14-2016, 02:32 PM   #2209
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I did not.....but I did reduce all of that branch and debris to just a small amount of ashes.


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Old 04-14-2016, 08:19 PM   #2210
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Yeah, hard labor sort of gets in the way of fun...and you did accomplish what you set out to do! I'm sure you must have a good feeling of satisfaction of job well done!

I called Safelite today and they came and did the repair on "Goliath" windshield. They didn't even let me know they were here...just did it and left. I hated that he had his first Ding. But at least it is over and repaired at no cost to me.
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Old 04-15-2016, 01:42 AM   #2211
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Morning Maggie,

So I was reading the spring edition of Mother Earth News and to my delight an article titled "No Knead Crusty Bread". Hmm I think, sounds good, and it proceeds to give a recipe from the New York Times for Jim Lahey's bread which I have affectionately dubbed Maggie's bread 🍞😊.

So I'm going to make a loaf here at home this weekend for some breakfast company and I would like to add freshly finely chopped rosemary. Would I add that in the very beginning of the bread mixing process.

There was also a recipe for sweet home made butter. Sounds really great but maybe to ambitious for breakfast company. Usually best to try out those kinds of recipes before company to get it right.

Thanks for any hints and tips.
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Old 04-15-2016, 07:07 AM   #2212
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Yep, Jim Lahey was my mentor for this bread, and I credit him for it in the pdf document I give out.

A few changes to his, gleaned from other sources, and I worked up all of the variations, including the with-charcoal method, but his basics and the process are the same...I also substitute parchment paper for a flour coated towel.

Who wants to have to clean flour and sticky dough bits off a kitchen towel, when parchment paper does such an outstanding job.

On the subject of gluten, I have read or seen on Dr. OZ a couple of different authorities recently speaking to the gluten-intolerance sweeping the country.

Both highly espouse the nutritive value of whole grains for the human body, which our ancestors relied on to nourish them for thousands of years, saying the problem is not bread or gluten, but how bread is commercially made in our new-fanged world...quick methods which don't allow gluten to adequately develop, thus causing digestive problems.

Breads used to be made with long-rise methods, such as sourdough....which gives an entirely different end bread result, and one which allows gluten time to develop.

The no-knead, Dutch Oven method allows gluten to develop over 18-24 hours, and the end result is an old style bread more friendly to one's digestive system. And, it couldn't be easier.

I did bake bread twice for potlucks at Alumalina, folks raved about it and several asked for the recipes....I like to think I am spreading the joys and nutritive value of good bread around the country.

I found an interesting pan bread recipe that I may try at Moraine View...it is baked on a griddle, which we could do over a fire, if the weather is hospitable.....we'll see.

I think it would be fun to try it, need a group to eat it.

Any who want my pdf document for DO bread, if you send me a pm with your email address, I will send it to you.


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Old 04-15-2016, 07:22 AM   #2213
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I would add your fresh rosemary at the mixing process, Hittenstiehl, perhaps cutting back a bit on quantity as the resting process will allow it to permeate the dough

When I do rye bread, the caraway seeds go in with the other ingredients, and the end result is such a beautiful, flavorful and aromatic loaf.

You could then sprinkle a bit more Rosemary on top of your dough when you put it in the oven....it would be beautiful, and smell heavenly.

Post a picture!


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Old 04-15-2016, 07:41 AM   #2214
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Evelyn, there will be rock chips and a few dings here and there....hard to look at, initially, but eventually they become evidence of well loved use, and you will not notice them as much.

I have a couple of windshield dings that I need to have repaired before I head west this summer...I am so looking forward to that trip.

I was tired and achy when I went to bed last night, but fine this morning. Am going to feed plants and shrubs this morning, then tackle more of the back yard...going to transplant some things and take care of a few other labor intensive chores out there.

The grands will be here overnight next weekend, and I will be ready.

Me, digging a flower bed for lily of the valley along the north side of my little house yesterday....I did it, all by myself.

The ground is very soft right now, so this is the time to do it...with Doug's shovel.


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Old 04-15-2016, 10:14 AM   #2215
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Johnny Breadmaker.....
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Old 04-15-2016, 10:45 AM   #2216
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A matter of personal preference, but never have I ever used a bread maker.

I like having my hands in the dough....it is a living organism that I am turning into something delicious....and, I like.

Speaking of which.....I had a jar of sourdough starter in my freezer since sometime before Doug and I left on our last trip together in January 2014.

I have frozen starter for a year or so before, pulled it out and successfully revived it.....never for this long, but it is thawing in my sink as I speak.

I'll let you know what happens.


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Old 04-15-2016, 06:22 PM   #2217
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Starter thawed, stirred thoroughly, then all but 1 cup down the toilet.

It smells very yeasty, which is a good sign.

I added 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup warm water.....and I think it's alive!.

I have found a no-knead sourdough recipe that is the same principal as the bread I make, just uses 1/2 cup starter instead of a bit of yeast.

This will need to regenerate for a couple of days, then I will try it out.


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Old 04-16-2016, 09:41 AM   #2218
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I poured off the liquid afloat on top this morning, gave it another small feed....and it is definitely working!

It will take a couple of days to get it active enough to where I can use it, but I am excited!


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Old 04-16-2016, 09:48 AM   #2219
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I'm going to make pavers like these to border a shrub bed in my back yard....not in squares, but I think hexagons.

I love the idea of preserving those beautifully colored, Edisto shells in something permanent and decorative.

Are these not gorgeous?

It seems a relatively simple process, pressing shells into the surface....and I have several bags of concrete left from the fence the neighbor and I put up two years ago.


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Old 04-16-2016, 12:50 PM   #2220
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Maggie, that does seem to be a very novel idea and also a nice, permanent way to preserve some lovely memories. Good luck in your endeavor. It looks to be hard work, but, with your craft talent, it will be well worth it.
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