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Old 11-20-2022, 06:25 AM   #7641
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I finished this book last night, “The Magdalen Girls” by V.S. Alexander, and it was excellent.

https://www.amazon.com/Magdalen-Girl.../dp/1496706129

About the very real Magdalene Laundries, in existence around the world/in the U.S. for almost 250 years, the last one closing in 1996!

I had never heard of these, which Joni Mitchell apparently sang about decades ago, and which were what amounted to slavery-disguised-as-rehabilitation for women determined to be of “ill repute”, for one reason or another.

Complete with mass, unmarked graves.

https://www.history.com/news/magdale...d-asylum-abuse

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magdalene_asylum

There have been documentaries made, and I intend to watch at least one.

Astonishing, really, that these existed until almost the end of the 20th century.

It is good to be informed about the past.

Maggie
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Old 11-21-2022, 12:30 PM   #7642
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Picked up the turkey thighs I ordered last week, already roasted in the oven as Lily circled my little kitchen, nose in the air.

And decided I would take some roasted, salted pecans for Thursday…as a nod to my Mother’s Mississippi roots, something she always served with the pumpkin pie.

Fresh pecan halves and butter in a cast iron skillet, add salt when roasted and turn out to cool.

Will provide a nice opening, too, for a little story-telling with the grands.

We’ve had a very cold few days, after being in the 70’s last week, which is good as I still have a few yard chores needing dealt with.
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Old 11-27-2022, 11:38 AM   #7643
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It’s been a busy week at the little house, with the holiday and that prep, plus finishing up the last of into-winter yard chores.

Sweet son came by yesterday and helped me with a couple of final things, so just a small bit more raking and debris removal will see the end of it.

Tried a new soft roll recipe on Thanksgiving, which was delicious but needs a little tweaking, so am going to make it again one day this week and then will post it.


Weather has been rather mild, we had a good and badly needed rain last night and then temps are going to drop later in the week

Picked up the new coach battery and dropped it off at Don Owen, who will hold it for me til my appointment next week to install…after which I will top off the propane and the fuel tank.

Then, we are road ready.


Lily needs her checkup and vaccinations, I need to see the chiropractor, and a month from now we should be heading south…god willing and the creek don’t rise.

Nothing exciting going on here, just checking in.

Hope everyone had a bountiful and pleasant holiday, and that a good Season awaits you.

Maggie
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Old 11-28-2022, 08:57 AM   #7644
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I’d been feeling for several days that I needed to go into TJMaxx, that I was being nudged, and that there was something I was supposed to find there.

Wanting to absolutely not be in the crazy, after Thanksgiving shopping, I decided to stop in there yesterday morning on my way to Best Buy…where there is a Geek Squad kiosk that could replace the failing battery in my phone.

And here these were, this 2-pack of hair clips, what I feel certain were meant for me to find, and reduced to clearance price, no less…I mean, could these be more me???

If Doug had lived, a week or so ago we would have celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary…undoubtedly doing something special, perhaps someplace we had never been.

I thought of him that day, wished him Happy Anniversary, and felt that he was close.

I don’t believe Doug is out there somewhere, creating items with roses on them , but I do believe that he at times leads me to roses…and to hearts…to remind me he is there, in spirit.

I believe.
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Old 11-28-2022, 10:03 AM   #7645
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I made these rolls again this morning, from start to finish in about 3 1/2 hours, but you can do the first rise overnight in your refrigerator.

The recipe I found, reportedly an old “Joy of Cooking” recipe, called for baking these at 375 degrees, but they didn’t brown well and so I increased the temperature to 400.

Quantities of milk, sugar and water were also missing, so I have added those.

The recipe suggested one means of shaping, into “pan biscuits”, which is what I made here.

These are not “biscuits”, to me, as they have yeast, but they are a very simple way of shaping into rolls.

I patted and rolled this dough out onto a greased, rimmed baking sheet, then used a bench scraper to cut it into rectangles. Couldn’t have been easier.

I used a full sized jelly roll pan, but will drop down to the next smaller size next time I make them, and have thicker rolls.

But, they are light, delicious, and easy.

Yes, these are a lot of rolls for one person, which is why they will go into the freezer and be taken to my sons next time I go for dinner.


Soft Yeast Rolls

3 1/2+ cups white flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature

1 packet active dry yeast, softened for a few minutes in 1/2 cup warm water with 1 tsp sugar

Warm the milk slightly, add the butter cut in pieces, stir to soften and melt the butter. Add the sugar and salt. Beat the egg in a large bowl, add the milk mixture, then the yeast mixture.

Beat in the flour, 1 cup at a time, using a heavy whisk for the first two cups. This will get the gluten going and reduces kneading time.

Mix in the last 1 1/2 cups of flour, using a heavy spoon or spatula, mixing by hand as dough becomes more stiff.

Knead lightly to incorporate all the flour, adding a little more as needed until smooth and elastic.

This is a soft dough, but should make a nice mass with just a few minutes of kneading.

Coat the dough lightly with vegetable oil, cover and let rise til doubled, about 2 hours or in refrigerator overnight.

Punch down, shape as desired and let rise again til double. Brush with melted butter, bake at 400 degrees til lightly browned and done, 10-12 minutes.
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Old 11-30-2022, 09:07 AM   #7646
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Very cold and windy today, after temps were almost 60 yesterday with a rainstorm overnight…tho it could have been snow, and I’d be digging out.

Woodstove is doing just what it is supposed to, including drying the newly washed innards of my vacuum cleaners.

And, yes, I hauled all that firewood in this morning.
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Old 12-01-2022, 06:57 AM   #7647
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G’morning Maggie, we had the same weather yesterday. It started out at +10C with heavy rain that quit around noon. Then a strong north win with light snow by 2:00. By 8”0 it snowing hard and -5C. The roads were awful because the warmth from the pavement melted the bottom before it froze into ice. Glad you’re warm and safe. I need to shovel today but at least it seems to have quit.
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Old 12-01-2022, 07:04 AM   #7648
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Hi, Gerard, and good to hear from you!

Be careful with that shoveling, and may you and Laura have a safe and happy holiday season.

Maggie
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Old 12-02-2022, 11:11 AM   #7649
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Maggie, I’m just seeing your post for the first time .Like you , I lost my husband suddenly in 2015 and got off the forums as well as stopped doing almost everything we enjoyed doing together. I sold so many of my belongings that reminded me of him . I even sold my airstream to my son ( who never actually paid for it and gave it back recently,thankfully) I changed so much about my life trying to escape the memories but now I’m glad to get these reminders back . I imagine you too enjoy life reminders of your life with your husband.I’m so sorry for your loss and I hope you are enjoying your airstream again as well.

Amy
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Old 12-02-2022, 11:18 AM   #7650
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Good morning, Amy, and I am sorry for the loss of your husband.

You know, I kept on traveling after Doug died, beginning with driving home from the Georgia coast the day after his death, and it was very difficult in the early months and years.

He was literally in every pore of that Interstate, so constant reminders, but I also felt very close to him when I needed that the most.

We all carve out our own path forward, and I hope you find yours, and peace.

Take care, and stop in here any time, and/or email me if you like.

Maggie
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Old 12-04-2022, 09:39 AM   #7651
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I finished this book the other night, and it is one of the best I’ve ever read…The Second Life of Mirielle West, by Amanda Skenandore.

https://www.amazon.com/Second-Life-M.../dp/1496726510

About a young, wealthy mother from California who suddenly finds herself involuntarily quarantined/imprisoned in a leper colony in Louisiana in the early 1900’s…which is what was done and how leprosy was treated back then.

Like nothing I have ever read, rich in historical detail about the time period and area, as well as the particulars of treating, living with, surviving, and dying of leprosy.

Pretty fascinating, eminently believable, and very well written.


A loaf of bread is in the oven, and butter softening to make a batch of dough for cut-out cookies…a new recipe, off the bag of my Montana Wheat flour, and which uses sour cream, baking soda and baking powder.

Much different than my mother’s, that I have always used.

I’ll divide up the dough for the freezer, and make some up with my little mini cookie cutters…Christmas cookies for one.

If they’re good, I’ll post the recipe.

Back when the grands were growing up, we always set some dough aside to make cookies with them after Christmas, when they would come and stay with us several days.

I would cover the dining room table with a plastic cloth, they would decorate, make a mess and have a great time.

We loved the time with them, and it gave their parents a few days all to themselves.

Time well spent.


Got a wreath for my front door yesterday, and but for a scented candle that will be the extent of my decorating.

And, it’s okay…life changes, we adapt, adjust, and keep on going, right?

Maggie
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Old 12-04-2022, 11:15 AM   #7652
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You simply cannot buy better bread than what you can make yourself.

This one has a half cup whole wheat flour added, and 3 tablespoons ground flax meal.
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Old 12-05-2022, 10:07 AM   #7653
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Took the Interstate in to Don Owen this morning, where Jon is going to install my new battery and do a road check for me.

I also talked with him about maybe replacing the starter…now, if it seems warranted at 105,000 or so miles, or in the spring, as pre-emptively dealing with something that otherwise becomes a sudden failure wherever one is just seems wise.

It is a 16-17 year old vehicle, after all.

I am soooo grateful for him and this local business, who have brought such stability to mechanical issues I just struggle to wrap my head around.


And the cookies from the Montana Wheat Flour bag are delicious.

The dough is rather soft, but just a small bit of flour in rolling out prevented it from sticking, and it was very easy to work with.

Kinda fun, to do something different.

I’m going to glaze these lightly with frosting and add some sprinkles, because they are Christmas cookies, after all.
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Old 12-05-2022, 01:02 PM   #7654
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They look great. I like the size.

I'm a better cook than baker as one requires more measurements and exactness. I always forget to chill my cookies before I put them in the oven and then they tend to run a little bit and loose their nice shape.
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Old 12-05-2022, 01:13 PM   #7655
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They are more tender than the recipe of my Mom’s I have always used, which are more firm and crisp, because these have the baking powder in them, but are still firm and decorate-able.

I like the instruction to mix the little bit of baking soda into the sour cream before adding, which must be part of this being an old fashioned recipe.

I actually just mixed it in with the dry ingredients, and it is fine.

If one wanted to just sprinkle them with colored sugar before baking, they would come out of the oven already decorated.

Maggie
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Old 12-07-2022, 01:55 PM   #7656
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The Interstate is now the proud owner of a new coach battery, has also had a thorough road check, tire pressure check and small leak in one tire replaced.

At 106,000 miles, Jon does not recommend replacing the starter, and reported that everything else looks good.

I feel in such good hands with these folks, who have become a fabric of my life relationship.

Topped off the diesel fuel and added 3 gallons of propane, ran the generator for a bit, and so now we are on the final countdown to leave right after Christmas.

My to-do list is shrinking, staging area is becoming organized…..

I’m starting to get excited.

Maggie
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Old 12-08-2022, 07:56 AM   #7657
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Reading the Washington Post this morning, which I have had an online subscription to for years, and is my first morning read after emails/texts , I came across a comment from a reader where she said “Groups involve attention to inclusion.”

I appreciated those words, and want to speak to this here, just because I can.

The situation prompting this statement doesn’t matter, what touched me was the writer’s implied expectation that there must be inclusiveness, as opposed to openly excluding members, for whatever reason.

I think these are words to live by.

Excluding someone from group activities, and endless, myriad, small ways of marginalizing, mistreating, making fun of others, etc., is just mean, the kind of junior high behavior one would expect be left behind by morally conscious adults.

This is a common group dynamic, however…I have seen it happen to others, and I have experienced it, myself.

I hate the nit-picking, gossip-mongering, mean-spirited behavior that groups can devolve into, and the resistance to abandoning those behaviors if they are brought to the group’s attention.

Why be so unkind???

Call on your better angels, be emotionally generous to people on the fringes for whatever reason, make their day better and yourself a better person by extending kindness, compassion and empathy.

Try every day to be a better person.

There, I said it.

Maggie
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Old 12-08-2022, 10:09 AM   #7658
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And while I’m on a small tear, here , let me just add that watching to see how their targets react to their behavior, and taking pleasure in it, is sadistic.

Maggie
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Old 12-09-2022, 11:04 AM   #7659
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We are having a dark and dreary spell here in central Illinois, with rain starting overnight and continuing as I type.

Tho, it could be snow, I tell myself, as is happening in Northern Illinois, and tho I would kind of like a little snow, rain is okay, too.

I hauled firewood yesterday, filling the inside rack and the wheeled one in the garage, so we are good to go.


Been cleaning and doing laundry, washing rugs, etc., at the little house this morning…it’s Friday, after all …and took my steam mop to all of the ceramic tile, just because it was time.

There is an immediate gratification element to cleaning and tidying, in my opinion, and it is an instant mood-lifter, for me.

Washed all the bedding, flipped the mattress…all by myself.

I don’t understand how some live in clutter and visual chaos, quite honestly, but many people do, quite contentedly, and my husband was one of those.

He loved piles of things here and there, organized chaos of a sort, as he always knew where to lay his hands on something when he needed it.

Our agreement was he could do this in the back bedroom, his den, of sorts, and that worked well for us.


Felt the urge yesterday to get online and check out the skating rink in downtown Chicago that we went to a few years back, just to make sure everything is open and running…as we don’t need any surprises when we land off the train.

And, a good thing, as the rink now requires online reservations.

A Covid thing, to restrict the number of people on the ice at one time, I’m told.

What hasn’t changed in the past two years, is the question.

Yikes, but I’m glad I looked, so if you’re planning a skating adventure be sure to check your rink, so you don’t arrive and find you can’t get onto the ice.

The kids are excited, weather looks like it will be be cold and crisp, and I am excited, too…and so glad they still want to go, as those days are numbered, I feel sure.

They will just age out of these kinds of things at some point, on with their own lives away from here…but, we’ll see what the next few years bring.

In the meantime, downtown Chicago is magical during the holidays.

Maggie
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Old 12-10-2022, 12:35 PM   #7660
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This morning’s endeavor…Cranberry Pear Conserve.

I’ve been making this for many years, now only every few years, as it stores in the freezer and keeps well in there…until it’s gone.

Pretty on the Thanksgiving and Christmas table, makes a great small gift.

I’ve posted this recipe before, I believe.
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