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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lot's O' Stuff

Hope everyone had a great Christmas, wishing everyone a safe and happy and prosperous New Year! Now with that done, here's an update on things. Last Monday, I did something I haven't done in a coon's age, (and just how long IS a coon's age I wonder...), anyhow I went to the big, big town, about 3 hours away, with a friend. My friend had a doctor's appointment about an elbow injury and didn't know if she would be able to drive home, so I went as a potential surrogate driver. Turns out that they didn't do anything on this trip, just x-ray'd her arm and told her she had bone spurs, her choice is to have surgery or live with it, she has to think about it and decide what she wants to do. Before we went to the doctor, we hit Pizza Hut, did the buffet, it's been so long since I've eaten pizza that I didn't make. Mind you, I make a pretty mean pizza, but getting to eat pizza from a restaurant is a major treat for me. I ate until I was absolutely stuffed.

After the doctor visit we went to Wally World, a super one, haven't been to one of those in a long time, I couldn't find anything! Oh I could see the signs everywhere for this and that, but I still walked around almost in a daze, all the people, all the cars (in the parking lot), it was almost too much for me to deal with, though I will say that for the most part I didn't run into any majorly misbehaving children. The adults were a different story, at least when I was in line, this goth-looking girl/woman was standing behind me, about 6 inches from me, I could see her out of my peripheral vision, she never actually touched me, but I could almost feel her breathing. Every step I took, she mirrored me. Eventually I started playing with her, I would move my cart a couple of inches and step up the tiniest step I could, she would step the same. Maybe she was trying to make me feel uncomfortable enough to find a different line, didn't work though, I finally stepped from between the baskets so that she would have to make some major moves to stand that close to me, problem solved.

While at the store, I decided to buy a comal, this is a flat, cast iron pan mainly used for cooking tortillas and doing things like pancakes, grilled cheese and such. This is something we eat several times a week, I have wanted a comal for a long time, so I took advantage of the situation and purchased one. This particular one is made by Lodge Logic, it's also pre-seasoned, this is important as seasoning a new cast iron pan takes a lot of time, effort, work and in my case, propane. Not to say it's not worth it in the end, but not something I relish doing, so the pre-seasoned pan is a major bonus for me. Of course it worked perfectly, I rinsed it with hot water, placed it on the burner and rubbed it with a light layer of Crisco, the first tortilla tried to stick, after that one, it worked like a charm. We ate tortillas, refried beans with a little cheese, hot sauce and sour cream, it was a good dinner.

I made my tortillas a little different this time, on occasion I add yeast, it makes a slightly puffier tortilla, depending on how long I allow it to rise. It also adds a yeasty flavor (which I really like), I just have to remember to proof the yeast before adding it to the flour, there isn't enough moisture in the dough for the yeast to really dissolve and develop if it's put in dry. This time I did it, but I didn't allow the dough to really rise very much, we were hungry and wanted to eat soon. The last two tortillas I rolled out, they had had more time to rise and develop some extra flavor, I made this thicker than all the rest, made it more like a flat bread than a tortilla, those were for me, LOL!

I also purchased more yarn, I have really gotten into this loom knitting thing, even though I have only made 2 hats to date, the hats turned out great and I want to make more. My MIL sent yarn for Christmas, she did a great job picking out the colors and yarns I like, but like any yarn addict, you can never have too much yarn, so I purchased more yarn, another set of knitting looms, Knifty Knitter Long Loom Set w/Hook &; Yarn Needle, 4/Pkg. and a pattern book called  More Knitting Wheel Fashions. The yarn that works best with the knitting loom is the thicker yarns, referred to as chunky, it's possible to use thinner yarns if you double or triple up on the yarn, (use 2 or 3 strands instead of 1).

My new favorite yarn is called bouclé yarn (pronounced boo-clay), it's a curly, fuzzy yarn, not necessarily thick, I use 2 strands instead of 1, that's what I used to make our hats. I'll post pictures of my hats and any other items I make soon. I am working on a new hat, just like the first 2 hats I made, this one will be for Bob, the only difference is the color, the first hats were made from a variegated bouclé in greens and other earth tones. This one is made from bouclé but in a charcoal gray color. Once I have that one completed, I'll make another for myself but with a little different look, yeah I know, pictures! I'm charging my camera as I write, it was dead or I would have pictures already.

It's been pretty cold, had wood fires every night, can't take the chance of breaking the water pump again. We have also had some big winds, as big (if not bigger) than how it was the first year we arrived here. It's been pounding everything, last night I had a hard time sleeping because of it, about the time I would be almost asleep, another gust would blast us, shake & rattle everything and wake me up. Once I heard something heavy fall over, it turned out to be a door that is propped up outside, I'm happy it wasn't part of the roof or worse, one of the solar panels.

Speaking of solar panels, for the last couple of weeks, we have had more cloudy or mostly cloudy days than sunny ones, it's made things a bit spare around here electric wise, we have enough of a system that if the batteries are full, we can go a day or two without sun, after that we have to really have to be careful about how much power we use for things besides lights. Having 1.5 watt LED lights really make a difference though, we can run them with little concern about how much they are drawing. (Thanks K!, You know who you are!).

I know this is a long post so I'll cut it off here, hope everyone has a safe and prosperous New Year! Oh it just started snowing with sleet mixed in, after such a sunny start to the day, oh boy, this is going to be an interesting rest of the day and night!

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properly pronounced wreetha, (included for the text reader),

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  1. Sounds like you had a good time off in town. It has to be a bit of "culture shock" to you. As to the rude goth..seems like there are lots of people like her out there. No one seems to value "personal space". I have recently started making them just as uncomfortable. LOL thanks for a new post idea!

    Happy New Year to You both!

  2. I appreciate your wishes for a good and happy New Year! I wish all the best for you, my friend!

    You can have my share of the snow...and the high wind! Hope you get a little sunshine soon...gotta get those batteries built back up

  3. A comal just went down on our list of things to get. Great post.

  4. Funny how the big city looks foreign to us after being away, huh? I have that same culture shock when we head back to where we came from... I do so like the peace & quiet of the mountain!
    Can't wait to see your knitting projects. I'm not a knitter, but would love to learn!
    Happy New Year Wretha!

  5. Happy New Year Wretha! The wind here has been strong..I normally have strong winds with the exception of August...during a storm the winds are UNREAL. They were so bad the other night I could feel the "cabin" shuddering. The sound kept waking me up. I have been keeping our wood stove constantly going too. Hope ya'll are keeping warm...


  6. HEY WRETHA!!!! Happy New Year too!!! I just had to add that I'm a LOOMER too!! Me and the kids enjoy doing it together! You can never have enough hats! :)


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