June 29, 2005

Ever have a klutzy day? I did today! I nearly fell flat on my face on the wet granite outside of work today. I recovered and entered the building, clearly shaken. I regained my senses in time to nearly trip the same person twice! I dropped a hanger and forgot to bring my umbrella home. It's just one of those days....

Maybe it had to do with the compliment I got whilst voting to keep taxes from rocketing out of sight. (I’m not exactly sure of the correlation but it must have something to do with it.) While walking down after voting to the little table, before I even opened my mouth, I was greeted with "You're old enough to vote??!". I smiled. "Yes!". Still smiling sweetly, I said "I'll be 21 in August". While stating my name etc and putting my ballot into the box, this same person said I didn't look old enough to drive. I know I don't look my age but please, I'm not 12!


On another note Happy Late Birthday Peter! (aka Fern) Fourteen is a good age to be. Among other things he got a cool dvd of Taylor Mason. Yeah! Thanks for letting us watch it with you. Oh and ice cream cake mom made was delectable! Good thing she made two.

June 28, 2005

We had an 'oasome' (or awwwsome, just think New York). Gotta love those accents. Several things I learned on this trip. Number 1 - make up on a wrinkly, dried up, sweating face does not look good. Don't do it. Two, jean minis are in. Ugh. Three, I never want to live in Long Island. Too congested. Quite a few of our relatives speak Italian, which is very neat. We've learned a few words since my grandfather has come to live with us, but nothing to use in conversation. We started the day off with breakfast to order and New York Bagels! Those things are, excuse my New Englandishness, wicked good! I have to figure out how to make them like that....probably full of dough conditioners. We went to a nursing home that morning, which went off well. The only problem is the boys get way too relaxed in that kind of setting, which leads to mistakes we normally don't make. Back to the party for lunch...food, food, food and more food, all afternoon until 6:30 pm. In between all the food Bonnie got thrown into a pool (fully clothed I might add) and our family tied, with two other groups for the fava bean shelling contest. Vincent and I already had our names on the trophy so Bonnie and Peter were next in line. We headed home with more desserts than we had brought, Bonnie's death by chocolate cookies were all gone!! At least we were able to sample about half of the batch the day before. :) We spent a quiet but steaming hot night in the bus in NJ. We visited a parts bus in a parking lot with the intent of swapping some tires. BUT, the new ones had big holes in them, only visible after you remove them from the bus!!! Pain in the neck. We got some great deals on other parts so I can't complain too much. Then we're off to visit a family of ten in New Jersey. Nice people. We only got to meet three out of 10 in the family but it was still fun. Maybe we'll get to meet more of them someday. Back home Monday night....*yawn*. I had a reallly full day today catching up on all the work I missed. No bagels yet this week...I want to try pasta next. Too bad Bonnie used the pasta machine for clay! Oh well....

I'm glad so far everyone thinks this is an inaccurate test. I took it twice. I didn’t know if I pick fights over little things, so I asked my brother (probably the wrong person to ask) and he said yes. I don't think so. The other country I came up with was the UN. Wait, that's not even a country!!

You're France!

Most people think you're snobby, but it's really just that you're better than everyone else.  At least you're more loyal to the real language, the fine arts, and the fine wines than anyone else.  You aren't worth beans in a fight, unless you're really short, but you're so good at other things that it usually doesn't matter.  Some of your finest works were intended to be short-term projects.
Take the Country Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid

(I don't know what's up with this html, I can't get it to look right.)

Of course I took the animal test too....

You're a Peacock!

Always eager to impress others, you've spent a great deal of time working on your physical appearance. The result is that you do manage to impress some, but you're also very blue. You cover this sadness with an air of looking down your nose at others and even tend to strut about when in a crowd. Some people have trouble saying your name without giggling or at least smirking.

Take the Animal Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

I hope both of these tests are inaccurate!!! Please don't tell me I'm like this.

June 24, 2005

Another day another bagel....I found the Bagel Bible at the library! Cool. This recipe is is MORE work than the last one. Kneading by hand for 15 minutes is a long time, at least for me. They are in the fridge rising, haven’t baked them yet, so we'll see if it's worth it. I also added a secret 'ingwedument'*.

I finished painting a wall last night. I got everything away from the wall got my supplies and drop cloths down. I started looking for the paint. Not in the closet, under the bed, not behind the chair. Where did I put the paint?! I must have looked for an hour. After cleaning my closet to the floor I thought to look downstairs with the other paint. A HA! Crisis over. I was struggling with what to do with the trim. After I painted the window frame I thought the tan color looked too plain, so after it had partially dried I took a rag and took some paint off. Looks like patina now! Less harsh than just stark white and not plain tan. I'm going to finish off with some gold stencil at the top of the red wall. In my head it works, we'll see if it actually works on the wall.

*Tigger talk

June 22, 2005

These pictures are so neat! Thanks to my friend Beverly for sending the link my way.

June 21, 2005

I hope no one's sick of me talking about bagels! The bagel recipe is as follows. If you do try this recipe I'd love to hear how it goes. Leave me a comment!

1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
2 tbl. Sugar
2 tsb. Yeast
pinch of salt
1 egg
Enough flour to make it a moderately stiff dough
(Bread flour works best, also for a more healthy bagel add some freshly ground wheat.)

Boil the milk in a small saucepan, pour into mixing bowl and add butter and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Let the milk cool down until it's lukewarm then sprinkle yeast on top and mix. Let the mixture settle until the yeast bubbles up. About 10 minutes (?). Then add egg white and enough flour to make a moderately stiff dough, add salt in between flour. (I've been told it's best to add the salt after the flour has hit the liquids, something to do with the rising.) Kneed it into a nice smooth ball, takes approximately 7 minutes. Place in a bowl for 1 hour with a cover (plastic wrap works nice). At this point I get the water ready, it take a while for a big pot to boil. Also get two cookie trays greased. After the hour is up punch the dough back down and separate into 16 pieces. Make a rope out of each piece and form a circle. Make sure you get the ends pressed together well. They will come apart when you boil them if they are not firmly attached! After water is at a rolling boil reduce heat to a simmer. Place bagels in for 15 second or so on each side. They should swell. Use a slotted spoon to remove them from water. Place on trays and brush on egg yoke and roll bagel in the seeds of your choice. You can skip the seeds if you’d rather or put something else on like dried onion pieces. Bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.

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I took pictures of each stage of the bagel making process this morning. I'll up load them to a yahoo album soon and link.

June 20, 2005

I just don't get this. Why are they giving this guy air time!? Who cares if he likes Doritos? I sure don't. I suppose I'm just adding to it by bringing it up. *sigh*

June 19, 2005

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We saw this spot of rainbow on the way back home yesterday. Concert tonight, I think we're doing the same program we did last week. And like last week, they are feeding us, always nice. :)

Recently we seem to be finding a lot of families who sing and play blusgrass, The Cherryholms , The Doerful Family, and The Franz Family. Talk about inspiration! We had a great time last week listening to the The LaClaires.
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We're drowning in bluegrass!! ; ) I'm looking forward to getting back on the road..... new churches, old churches, new friend, old friend and new Wal-Mart parking lots. All those Wal-Marts out west have such beautiful sunsets!

I've been working on a new fiddle tune, Red Haired Boy. It almost sounds Irish, but I think it's bluegrass. I'm thinking of ordering some Helicores. Expensive but everyone says it's worth it.

June 16, 2005

Bagel Update

I used a new recipe today. They turned out softer like the ones you get in the freezer at the grocery store. The kids liked them better, but mom still prefers the heavy ones. I put only half cup a whole wheat this time, and used bread flour for the rest. Much different preparation, I only had to boil them for a few seconds on each side verses 7 minutes, they got to rise longer, and I started out by dissolving the yeast in warm milk. I also learned with this recipe to put the seeds on right after the brush of egg yoke right before baking them. I tried putting them on before the boil, like it had in the first recipe. lol I had very seedy looking water when I was done this time. Mom went to the library last night and came back with this book. You can put anything on a bagel, including a brick. It wouldn’t be very tasty, and you’d probably break your teeth but don’t think anyone would stop you. I can’t believe all the stuff this book suggest for dressing up your bagel. From ice cream to guacamole to goats cheese. The only variation I’ve done before which was in the book was locks (smoked salmon) with cream cheese. Now that is good. I’ve got to stop looking at this book, I’m getting hungry!

June 15, 2005

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I have been on a homemade bagel kick since Monday. Mrs. Wiebe, made some on Saturday for breakfast. It is quite a process! First making the dough, letting it rest for 15 mins., shaping them, rest for 20 mins., boiling them, and finally baking them. She used all whole wheat flour, which I can't do at my house. I would be banned from using the kitchen! I did use half whole wheat and half white for the cinnamon and raisin batch Monday. A little heavy but good. Bonnie thought I should try some bagels seed covered style. I used sesame and poppy for this batch. Please pass the cream cheese....

June 12, 2005

Meet our talented and dedicated studio guy and his family (who is also very talented). Meet the Wiebe family (http://www.wiebefamily.org/). We’ve been spending many weekends at the studio recording and mixing down. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and we should be wrapping it up soon. In fact if we couldn’t go back due to a time constraint or other problems, we could call it done. Mr. Wiebe has written several interesting essays including one on homeschooling. Certainly worth a read. Here we are giving the Wiebe children a ride home - we picked them up off the street somewhere along the way. Image hosted by Photobucket.com
The second pic is of the turtle that visited the studio. He was asked if he thought we had enough reverb in the mix. He seem it like it, so we went with it. I'll bet the snapping turtle they caught wouldn't have like it. He was mean looking!
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Thanks to the lovely Mrs. Lyman (Izzy) for adding me to the side bar of links at Homeschooling Revolution and for blogging the orange flower pic.

June 09, 2005

And the living is easy...
Officially summer doesn’t start until the middle of this month, but I don’t think the weather got the message. We’re sweltering! I’m wondering if seriously I’d like living in a cold place. Maybe Alaska, they say it’s beautiful up there. Nah, it gets too cold in the winter. New Hampshire seems like a nice place the older I get. I use to gag at the thought of living there….even though I was born there almost 21 years ago. I can’t imagine living lower than VA in the summer time. We were in VA last summer for a fun family reunion, and the pool and ocean were warmer than the air! Bathwater. You had to get out of the water to be cool - that’s just not right. The ocean up north is *never* warm. But, we really do have it great in America….no matter where you live. For most of the people reading this blog, clean running water, electricity, houses, cars, AC (well, some of us), computers, washers & dryers, paved roads, medical assistance, (almost) affordable gas and diesel are just a few of the luxuries we have. The Bible speaks of being satisfied if you have food, clothing and shelter. We have that and so much more.

June 06, 2005

First band rehearsal of the season was tonight. Actually, it was two weeks ago, but we didn’t want to leave dad all alone to eat his b-day cake, so tonight was our first rehearsal. Peter came with us. His very first rehearsal of his very young life. It’s always tough to just jump in, so don’t get discouraged Peter! I’m sure he’s going to be fine once he gets the hang of it. Vincent was able to sit next to him so that helped. Bonnie did an excellent job with 1st chair trumpet! I’m so proud of her. All that sweat and time invested is paying off. My poor lips were fine for the first few songs, but by the end I was hurting. And after hurting they just refused to play, they just collapsed. I guess practice couldn’t hurt at this point. (Haha, actually it will.) But, hey it’s not fun to practice an instrument reviled by your sibling. Peer pressure man. Plus my real love is the flute, but no one will let me play that in band since they found out about the oboe. Maybe I should have stayed a closet oboe player. Then I would be safe to play flute forever! I really shouldn’t complain too much. At least I have plenty of practice with solos, and of course leading the entire section! (That would be me and me.) The trumpet section was snickering about the new oboe music had to be ordered…..and I was thinking ….when a band doesn’t have an oboe the trumpets gets the part. That must be why they don’t like us, we’re taking away parts from them! A ha! That’s it. I’m never switching back to flute, I need to play oboe for as long as I can to keep those trumpet players from exhaustion. My rant is over - oboe is cool.

(And maybe trumpets too……)

June 02, 2005

Rain, Rain, Rain....
April showers do bring May flowers! I know it's June (already), but I took these last month. I've never seen an orange Mountain Laurel before. Striking. Image hosted by Photobucket.com

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Since the subject seems to be flowers - I played Blackberry Blossom slowly on my fiddle 25 times. Slow is the key to practicing! If only I could remember that. Anyway, I picked it up the next day and the A string unwound! Maybe it's sign......don't practice slow...lol. So much for that brand of strings.