Halloween Begins

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Thursday and Shit

I would have blogged earlier but I had to clean up a spill in the refrigerator that David made and didn't tell me about. Then we lost power for a couple of hours this morning. Then the power company came by and they were changing out electric meters. Maybe they were behind the lost power? Who knows anymore. Anywho, we are still hitting triple digits on the heat but not until almost 3 pm so I'm safe without power for now. 
David is taking my car to work every day now. Not because the air conditioning is better but because his truck is kaput. He said that if he comes to a stop at the light or stop sign the truck dies. I say it's the fuel pump or the fuel filter. Most likely the pump. He will be driving my car for the next few weeks until next Friday. the garage he takes it to is full up. I like this garage too. They don't try to cheat you. They take good care of their customers. Also, it's only a hop skip and a jump down the street from us. 
So David will have my car for the next few weeks, not that I go anywhere, mind you. It will cut down on the need for bail money though. I'm still looking for a partner in crime. Not taking applications anymore. Too much wasted paper. Everyone has to list their priors and such. So I'm just taking online resumes. As always you have to pay for your own ray gun and I am the only one that gets to wear the cape. Also, I can't offer medical insurance anymore because it's getting too expensive. Yeah, you'll just have to bite the bullet and endure the excruciating pain from falling off tall buildings and such. SO, that's it for today. Until I get the car back, I'm stuck here playing mommy to two adorable little Bostons.
All y'all have a magical day.

Monday, August 26, 2019

It's Monday - Thank Gawd

Last week around Tuesday or was it Wednesday, anywho, I messed up my left foot.
The redness  on the outer side is almost
 gone but it's still swollen
My thinking of how was that I might have slammed it against the bed railing which is hardwood. The 2 1/2 inches of it surrounds the waterbed. I thought at first I broke the thing because I was having trouble walking on it. By Thursday it was black and blue with blood-red undertones. Nasty looking. I was having to walk with my old walker to get around. I was in a fuck-load of pain up until Sunday. Friday I put a mugwort wrap on it and most of the black and blue was gone by Sunday. I'm walking okay now but the foot still has a bit of the red left from where I whopped it. Other than that, I had a decent week. 
Variegated ficus now in a pot three times the size of the old one.
Yesterday, David helped me move some plants outside. I had to get the azaleas out of the hot sun and move them to partial shade. I repotted my variegated ficus that I have all summer long out on the front porch. It was in a small pot for almost four years and I finally moved it to a larger pot. The thing had no soil left, all root. I also repotted a parlor palm that I've had for about three years. The poor thing, I know I heard it sigh when it hit new soil. I got rid of all the broken plastic pots and threw them in the recycle bin for pickup tomorrow. I then cleaned out the gardening shed and that is when David came and got me out of the sun and brought me inside. He finished the work by making me sit under the patio umbrella. I was drinking some iced cold water and letting him know what had to go and what stayed. He really hates it when I get a bug to do things outside. But this had to be done before the weather gets cooler and the rains come.
She's working on her egg sack
Last night before the sun was completely down I went out with Lucy to see if anything else had to be done in the courtyard. I looked up while I was standing in the backyard porch doorway and the spider was making an egg sack. it was as if she was blowing up a balloon. It was a translucent white. Nothing was in it but she was really busy with it. I was guessing a wild beehive nearby had been bothered because bees were buzzing around me like crazy. I never got stung though. They were just nosey.
She quickly wrapped one of the bees
A couple of them had gotten caught in her web and she was quick to stifle them so they wouldn't tear up her web and then she went back to her job of getting things ready for the babies. We finally went indoors and the bees were not so happy about me leaving. They kept trying to get through the glass door. David said it's cause I'm so sweet. This morning I went to check on the spider and she had quite a few ready to eat packaged bees in her web all nicely wrapped. There were two on the ground. Empties. I looked for her egg sack but couldn't find it. I guess she hid it well in the upper eaves of the house away from the harsh elements of the coming winter.
Well, I have laundry to get to. I would have done it last week Friday but shit happens. Y'all have a magical day.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Oy, It's Tuesday

Yesterday, I was going to do some housework but I have been reading The Reckoning by John Grisham. It's not the page-turner that I was hoping for but it was good enough to pique my interest. I hate reading the last chapter to find out ahead of time what happens in the end. Anywho, I could barely put it down. I was on the last three chapters and I wanted to finish it so I put up my "I'm Reading" meme. I wasn't being lazy per se. I just wanted to finish that book and it was well worth it. I finished the book at around 10:30 even though I had a few interruptions with the puppies and then David calling me to ask if I heard about this or that on the news. Yeah, he gets bored when he runs out of work and things are running smoothly.
Anywho, I decided to go outside when I finished reading and water the lemon trees and my few remaining flowers. I have got to go get new plants before winter sets in. So, I went online and couldn't find anything I wanted. I went to Etsy and found a few small flowering plants just the right size to take care of through winter and then introduce outside in the spring. Oh, my kingdom for a proper greenhouse. Anywho, I will be getting my plants sometime either the end of this week or next week. We will see. Now I have to go break out the pots to get the right sizes to sustain them through the winter.
After all that, I did do a few housewife thingies. I cleaned the refrigerator out and then took out the trash. I swept the kitchen floor and then mopped it. I made a new batch of iced tea and took out stew meat from the freezer to defrost in the sink. At around 2:30 in the afternoon I made stew and then let it sit on a low simmer Before dinner. David loves my stew.
After dinner, I got online and went to Amazon and preordered the next Grisham book, The Guardians. That one will be out in October. Just in time for my winter reading list. Can't wait. I also preordered a few more books that I had on my wishlist.
Well, that is what I did yesterday. Y'all have a magical day.

Friday, August 16, 2019

More Fuckery and Fryday

Yesterday, I let Lucy out the back door to do her thing and I noticed a long skinny twig floating in mid-air just above the steps of the porch. What the shit! What fuckery is this? So I reached up and tugged it down and it was of coarse attached to a spider web. The spider in question is a Golden Orb Weaver. You can tell from the zigzag stitch in the center of the web. 
Anywho, this all started last week when I had an appointment with my knee doctor. When I came home, pulled into the driveway, I saw that this little girl (spider), well she's about as big as my hand, had built a web near the driver's side in the open-air garage. I took a long twig and brought it down so I wouldn't walk into it. She skittered away to live another day and I believe she was pissed because she had worked so hard and her web was so perfect.
SHe's still above the doorway near the steps
When I pulled the floating twig down today it occurred to me that she was telling me, "I know where you live, bitch." She dangled that twig on purpose. Spiders are sneaky I tell ya. They hold grudges. I say Nuke them! Nuke them all from space!
Waiting and watching for David
Today is Fryday. That's what we call it here at home. At lunchtime, David calls MickyDees and places his lunch order so all he does is swing by and picks it up and pays. I allow him only one fast-food lunch a week. If he doesn't get his fix he gets cranky on me. Soooo, daddy comes home with a kids size fries for the dogs and I have to feed them. The minute she hears the pick-up truck's door slam shut, she knows it's Fryday and she does her "I love you daddy but I love fries more" dance. Oh, one of these days I'm going to surprise David on Fryday by dressing Lucy in a little pink tutu and pink booties on her feet. I found a website that has tutus for dogs and the shoes to match too. She's going to be a star someday. She dances so divinely too.
Y'all have a magical weekend.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

My Cinnamon Bun Recipe

Important notes: I use certain products from King Arthur when I bake and I have stuck with them for years because it works for me. I like to use SAF Gold Instant Yeast  for sweet bread dough and I also have the SAF Red for regular bread dough, because I can store them in my freezer forever and it still works fine and I don't have to let it come to room temperature. I've had this yeast for almost 18 years and I've kept it in the freezer until I need it. It never goes bad. NOTE : This is not a plug for their products, seriously, I'm not getting anything out of this from the King Arthur Flour company. I'm just telling you what I use here in my kitchen. So, if you have something that works for you, go ahead and tweak my recipe to make it easier for whatever works better for you.
Yeast proofing in the bowl -
halfway up the bowl at 3 minutes.
It almost filled the bowl at 7 minutes.
First, before you get things started, proof the yeast. This is most important because if you want a nice rise from your dough you will want to proof the yeast to wake it up so it starts to do it's magic right away. This recipe calls for 2 1/2 teaspoons of active dry yeast. So in a small mixing bowl add the yeast to 1/4 cup of warm water, about 110 degrees F. If the water is too warm or hot it will kill the yeast. You need to feed the yeast so add 1 teaspoon of sugar to that and stir. Let this sit for about 5 to 10 minutes while you get the dry and wet ingredients together and prepped.
Second, you should know this for all baking of bread recipes, sweet bread dough rises a bit slower than the usual bread dough because of the higher sugar content. So let the dough rise and don't rush it. Just let this dough rise until it's double in size in a warm place, covered with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel.
This recipe makes 16 - 1 1/2 inch thick cinnamon buns or 20 - 1 inch thick rolls.

The Dough 
flour mixture and proofing yeast on the right side
While the yeast is proofing you can get things started. Into a large bowl sift 4 1/2 to 5 cups of all-purpose flour or bread flour, I like bread flour because of the higher protein content, along with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, 1 cup of sugar, **1/2 cup of powdered milk (1/4 cup for every 2 cups of flour) and mix this with a spoon.
wet ingredients added to dry
I mixed this mess with a spoon and then my hands
Next, in a small glass mixing bowl measure out 1 1/2 cups of milk and warm it in the microwave oven for 15 to 20 seconds. You want this to be lukewarm, not hot. To the milk add 2 room temperature fresh eggs that have been fork scrambled, add 2 tablespoons of canola oil OR 1 stick of unsalted butter, melted. Add all this mixture to the flour mixture along with the proofed yeast mixture and mix this up either in a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment if you have one, like I don't, yet, or with a sturdy spoon.
turned out dough ready to knead
After incorporating the mixture turn the dough out onto a clean work surface sprinkled with flour and knead it until it becomes elastic. You can add more flour as you work it if the dough is too gummy or wet. I usually have a bowl of flour nearby to dip into when I need it. Work the dough into a ball. 
Ready to cover and rise - this bowl is 15 inches wide
Now take a large clean mixing bowl and spray a little PAM or just grease it with oil. Place the dough into the bowl and turn it a bit to get it greased up. Then cover the dough with plastic wrap and a tea towel and place the bowl in a warm area for about 2 to 4 hours until it has doubled or tripled in size. I wrap the bowl in an old bath towel and place it on top of the dryer if I'm doing laundry. Hey, it works. I'm doing laundry and proofing the dough at the same time.
** This is an optional item. I use the powdered milk (not the Carnation powdered) because it adds richness to my sweet dough. Makes it taste exceptionally good too. 

The Filling 
While the dough is rising, take out 1 stick of unsalted butter and let it come to room temperature. Then in a medium bowl sift together 2 to 3 tablespoons of cinnamon (it depends on how much you really want, I use 2 tablespoons) and 1 cup of packed brown sugar. Make sure the brown sugar is flaky and there are none of those tiny hard nuggets. 
3 times the size I started with
ready to roll out
When the dough has doubled in size scrape it out of the bowl onto a clean large floured work area and flour your rolling pin and roll the dough out to a nice big rectangle. About 24 by 16 inches is good.
Spreading the cinnamon sugar over the butter
After you have rolled it out to the size you want, take the stick of room temp butter and mash it into a bowl with a spatula, if it is still not soft enough put the butter into the microwave oven for 2 to 3 seconds then add 1 teaspoon of vanilla and mix it as best you can and then smear the butter mixture with a rubber spatula onto the dough, covering the dough completely. 
Then pour the cinnamon/brown sugar mixture onto the buttered dough and move it around lightly so that it covers all of the butter. Use clean dry hands to do this. Don't worry about excess sugar mixture, just sprinkle it on top of each rolls before baking

Now The Fun Part
Now, wash your hands and make sure they are dry. start at the side left or right nearest you and roll and pull the dough little by little as you go down the line. Don't be in a hurry. just roll and pull slightly on the dough. When you have a one-inch thick dough snake, just roll the dough log until the whole thing is rolled up into a long tube. Pull the tube longwise just a little bit. No need to seal the dough along the roll when done rolling because you will tuck the ends under the buns as you cut them. Take a sharp knife and cut the ragged ends off and reserve.
Cut the dough log in half and then position the dough logs together like an equal sign and start making even width, cuts. However thick that you want the buns to be is what will be the final bun count baked. I like the buns I make to be 1 1/4 inches wide.
I measure out with 2 fingers and cut the dough
That's almost two of my fat fingers wide. Yeah, I like big buns and I can not lie. . . 
Okay, in a greased baking aluminum pan or deep glass baking pan,
on the left of the picture I have tucked the
end of the dough of each roll under to make it look nicer.
take the cinnamon buns one by one and tuck the end piece slightly under the bun and place the buns about a finger width apart because you will be covering them with plastic wrap and letting them rise again for 30 minutes to an hour in a warm place. They will get big.
before the final rise
If you want to wait and bake the buns the next morning or later in the day, just put the buns in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap. When ready take them out and let them come to room temp and rise in a warm place.
Now preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and take the plastic wrap off the buns and bake on the center rack in your oven for about 14 minutes depending on your oven. Keep an eye on them because they can brown fast which means hard crunchy rolls. They should come out nice and puffy but browned slightly.
baked for 14 minutes
Let them cool for about 15 to 20 minutes in the pan then take a knife and cut them out of the pan one by one and place on a serving tray or plate.

The Icing
adding confectioner's sugar

In a medium-small mixing bowl take 8 ounces of room temperature cream cheese, 1 stick of softened unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract and 1/2 to 1 cup confectioner's sugar and mix slowly with an electric mixer. You can add more confectioner's sugar depending on the sweetness you prefer. The consistency is soft and smearable without tearing the cinnamon buns.
I couldn't wait - I ate one of the end pieces
Ice the tops of the individual buns generously. place on the serving plate and serve warm or store in the refrigerator until ready to pig out. This is a really sweet treat so be advised if you are diabetic.

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