Monday, June 30, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Labels: Ranting and Raving
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Let's just say that for a fairly simple surgery, there sure was a lot of morphine handed out afterwards.
Vern's final surgery, while successful in the end, did not start out or end up too smoothly. He was so dehydrated that they simply could not get a vein for his IV. It was pretty excruciating to watch and much more so, I'm sure, for him to go through.
They wheeled him away to surgery and shuffled me off to the waiting room . . . and then played the hurry up and wait game while an emergency or two took control of the operating rooms. The surgery itself was delayed over two and a half hours.
He was moved into the intensive care unit after surgery both because of the late hour and also because of his pain level. I think there may be a nurse or two there that learned a few new words tonight, and we may owe the hospital some money for the destruction of some of their furniture. They finally got Vern under control by shooting him full of morphine. Four doses of it later and he was purring like a kitten.
And then they sent him home for me to deal with.
But the good news is that the damn stone is gone. Gone, gone, gone. Or at least as much of it is going to go. He has one final procedure to remove some hardware that will take place in the doctor's office in a couple of weeks and then he will be on the road to recovery.
It's been a rocky road, a bumpy ride, and an expensive trip.
Just like the toll roads in Illinois.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
I love baking bread. There's something very nurturing about turning flour, yeast, and a handful of other ingredients into something warm and nurturing for my family. Something magical about watching the dough rise. Something therapeutic about punching it down and watching it rise to life again. And then there's the smell of bread baking in the oven and the simple pleasure of a slice of bread warm from the oven covered in fresh, real butter. 6-7 cups all purpose or bread flour The original recipe called for dividing the dough in half and making only 2 loaves, but each loaf was so large that it wouldn't fit in my bread keeper.
I've tried a lot of different breads with varying results, but currently this is my favorite for a plain, white bread.
Amish White Bread
¼ ounce dry yeast (1 pkg)
½ cup water
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups water
2 ½ tablespoons shortening
1/8 to ¼ cup butter
Dissolve yeast in ½ cup warm water (about 110 degrees). Combine sugar, salt, 2 cups water, and shortening. Stir in yeast mixture. Gradually add flour to form a soft dough. Mix with KitchenAid for 15 minutes with dough hook (speed 2). Let rise for about 2 hours. Punch down and divide into 3 loaves. Let rise higher than pans (about 2 hours). Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and brush with melted butter.
I use my KitchenAid to knead the dough, but there's no reason you can't do it by hand if you are a traditionalist. Or by bread machine if you are more modern.
Myself? I like the combination of using a stand mixer for the heavy work and my oven for baking it the traditional way.
I should note that the last time I made this bread, I wrapped two of the loaves in waxed paper and put them into the freezer (after the first rise, but before the second rise). I was then able to just take out a frozen loaf, let it thaw and complete the second rise and then bake for a fresh loaf of bread - - - straight from the freezer.
Mmmmm. That loaf should be just about cool enough to eat now. A cup of tea, warm bread, and fresh butter. It just doesn't get any better than that.
6-7 cups all purpose or bread flour
The original recipe called for dividing the dough in half and making only 2 loaves, but each loaf was so large that it wouldn't fit in my bread keeper.
Monday, June 16, 2008
I've been told that you are all waiting for gory pictures. Unfortunately, I don't have many gory pictures that are safe to share.
Two more surgeries and a few more weeks, and he'll be back to work. Someone clean off the couch for him, okay?
Work continues on the "wall o' lumber."
Not everyone got the dress code memo, but Lincoln and Jackson tried to help anyway.
Loaded and ready to go.
A plywood rack still needs to be built, but I have been guaranteed that, once completed, Vern will be 100% more efficient.
Come visit the blog again when you have quit laughing about that one.
Who doesn't have t-shirts in their closet that they don't wear for one reason or another? This one has a stain, that one is too short, there's a hole in the front of the other one. You know the drill, I'm sure.
I have a few of those shirts, and it occurred to me that I could make one good thing out of two not so good things.
Enter Exhibit A (too short) (By the way, the necklace that JoAnn is wearing isn't my taste, but it was one that I gave my mom when I was much younger. She always thought it was the coolest thing - she was a professional seamstress - so JoAnn wears it proudly in her memory.)
And Exhibit B (what was I thinking - every time I wore this I had to answer questions about what it meant and besides, I don't scrapbook anymore so it was rather irrelevant to my current life.)
I usually layered the two shirts, but the constant pulling and tugging just wasn't working for me since the white t-shirt is REALLY short.
Enter my unlimited imagination and limited sewing skills.
I cut five inches off of the bottom of the black shirt and stitched it to the bottom of the white shirt. There were a couple of ways that I could have done this, but since I am essentially lazy (just keeping it real here), I simply stitched over the double stitching at the hem of the white shirt, catching the top of the cut off section of the black shirt.
Hmmm. Good, but still not quite right. Now it just looks like I added a band of knit fabric around the bottom of a white t-shirt (imagine that!)
On to the neck. I really didn't need any extra neckline since this is actually one of the few shirts I own that don't expose my boobs to the entire world. However, I thought it would add a little bit of continuity to the layered look. I removed the tags on both necklines to reduce the bulk before stitching (again, right over the double stitching of the neckline on the white t-shirt).
Yes, much better.
Wash, rinse, and repeat the above steps with the sleeves. That served two purposes because the sleeves on the white t-shirt were just a little too short
to cover up my flabby arms for my taste anyway.
There you have it - the no cost, low effort way to expanding your wardrobe and making more room in your closet.
Lazy and cheap. It fits me to a tee.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Vern has been off of work for three months. We spoke to the doctor and got the schedule for the final (hopefully) two surgeries that he's going to need to have as well as his recovery period. He should be off work for another month or so.
He called his work trade partner to let him know when he would most likely be returning to work.
Today, he received . . .
A notice for jury duty.
For the week he is supposed to return to work.
Honestly folks, I couldn't make this stuff up.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Since Jesse is here for a while, Vern decided to use his help to get his shop into shape. Vern can't do much heavy work right now, so having a couple of extra hands and a strong back is a big help.
Their first order of business was to build a lumber rack. They are basing it on a design found here - Lumber Rack.
They spent a couple of days drywalling and painting and then were ready to start the fun part.
Cost of materials to build lumber rack - $220
Time to build lumber rack - 1 week
Time to myself while they are in the man cave - Priceless.
Labels: Man Cave
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Sorry - just a couple more changes to the blog just to confuse everyone.
I'll leave it alone now.
Unless I decide to change it.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
He's back. Like a bad penny.
Jesse stayed with us for two weeks and went on to his new home in Indiana last Wednesday.
On Sunday, he called and asked if it would be okay if he came back for a while. Apparently the flooding is so bad in southern Indiana that they were evacuating the area where he was living.
So, he returned on Monday. A mere four days after he left. We barely missed him.
Oh well - it's not like there isn't a ton of stuff he can help out with around here! Jesse isn't married, but that doesn't stop me from giving him a "Honey Do" list.
Honey, can you trim all the trees? Yes, even the really high branches.
Honey, can you put the branches you trimmed on the fire?
Honey, can you help drywall the shop? And then you can paint it.
Yes ladies - he's single. But he comes partially broken in. And with his own bucket truck.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
There must be something in my past that makes me incapable of following rules.
I mean, I read directions. I just refuse to follow them.
I don't know why I do that. The results are almost always bad, and I end up saying "I don't know why I don't follow the rules."
But, alas, I don't.
My herbs and vegetables were growing so well that I was infused with a sense of
confidence overconfidence. I bought a couple of small herb planters today while I was shopping wasting time at Menards with Vern. (It was his first trip out since he got out of the hospital; I had to indulge him a little.)
The directions said to mix the dirt with water and then plant five seeds from each of the three packets of herbs included in the kit. Wait. What? FIVE seeds? Five tiny little seeds? Each packet had at least 30 seeds. I'm supposed to pick out five teeny, tiny little seeds and plant just those?
Screw that. I sprinkled the whole darn package and called it good.
I expect great things. It doesn't mean I'll get them, but I expect them.
Labels: The Great Outdoors
Monday, June 9, 2008
You're at the right place.
I'm just doing a little housekeeping and brightening up for the summer.
Sometimes you just have to take out the trash and freshen things up a little.
Labels: Seriously Stupid Stuff
Now for the grow.