Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving America

Happy Thanksgiving wishes to the land south of us here in Canada. This photo was taken a month ago when we celebrated our Canadian Thanksgiving. The leaves are mostly gone now. Today turned cold with a rain that acted like it wanted to go sleety. Early this morning, the bit of sky not obscured with leaden clouds glowed pinky-red. It seems like snow will soon be on the way.

(Photo: The Pond at The Farm. Sorry this post got up late today - sick boy. Just hope he doesn't get worse.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

November Painting

My mother purchased it from a shop somewhere in the American southwest while on her honeymoon in 1950-something - back in the days when honeymooners took four to six months of traveling across the continent. She went in to purchase some dishes she saw in the window and came out with this. It has a Group of Seven appeal and the colours make me feel warm and cozy on an overcast November day.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

So How's Your Week Going?

It's been a long week and I'm tired. I've only posted once and that, about the treacherous but now deceased Sandra.
It's raining and it's dark and I've been running around it seems every day. My feet hurt. I've put weight on thanks to discounted post-Halloween chocolate, chip dip and late night TV with Alexander Mundy. Wasn't he just the coolest thing?
I chopped off more of my hair and it's still flippy.

We had a gang out for Kid's Bible Club last night and they seemed to have likewise been into the Halloween candy. We are loosing a teacher to the five-year olds.
I thought we would have a picture of Buff to put up tonight. Swimming. It would explain why we call him Buff. But that didn't work out either.
The scans of a family book I keep emailing out to a genie (genealogy) friend across the lake keep bouncing back.
Over breakfast this morning, Fun talked about his ratty adventures with Speedy the past few nights. Seems Speedy's little basement apartment has visitors creeping about in the ceiling.
Shopping. I have no idea how you guys in The States handle two huge holidays so close together.
I couldn't find anything in the shops to fit Geek Guy's Mom. So I bought her stuff that doesn't matter but makes all the difference. Things she likes. Tapestry angel hanging and I gussied it up with some ribbon and poinsettia and an enameled butterfly. And I found a little Christmas tree and a wooden king with very bad teeth. But I can't find The Nutcracker - it's here somewhere - can't find any of the other Christmas decorations either. I've been back in the kitchen retesting recipes after someone wrote they got hockey pucks making my bread. It turned out just fine so I'm still not sure what would have happened.

My car is leaking rad fluid.
I got tangled up with the neck strap and dropped my camera. Cracked a filter. It now makes a clicky sound. GG wants to send it away to get fixed. I said "no."
We have a hole in the floor by the front door going through to the sump pump room. If you fall in, it will be into a huge thing that is sort of like a crockpot.
I made a church lady turn red in the cheeks today when she asked after the boys and I forgot to not mention about the one working at
the winery.
GG dumpster dived a wicker rocker - actually he got it from the cat lady across the road. I would have snuck out there in the dark and taken it. He boldly went and asked her husband in broad daylight. GG fixed it and stained it and I found a needle point cushion to accent it but I have no before and after because Fun sniped the camera for two days running and disappeared to a cow farm.
There are now cow pictures on my camera. And little dead sparrows.
Fun's sick. I'm keeping him plied with Elderberry syrup which for some reason comes from France.

And GG is at work and the tea kettle just whistled. There should be a poem brewing too on such a night.
Each one of these things is enough for one post but I'm tired so have thrown it all into one and I've not taken any pretty photos this week except of all the bent pins I keep finding in the pin box after Fun has been sewing and Leila's apron, which is nearly finished...
And a note on the fridge when I got in tonight from Town said a massage therapist will run anywhere from 70.00 to 100.00 per hour.
Would a hot tub work any better?(Cow photo by Fun.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Meet Sandra

Sandra was this despicable little creature whom Violinist took a liking to. Sandra lived in an aquarium refitted to house a tarantula. At first the aquarium was in Violinist's bedroom lodged between All Creatures Great and Small and A History of the English Speaking People. Sandra lived there entertaining mostly Buff's friends and she was fed every now and then with crickets from the bait shop in Town and other vermin Violinist kept locked up in little plastic bags and trays and boxes. That is until, Decadent Housewife while busily vacuuming and dusting and picking up dirty socks one morning, noticed two hairy legs sticking out from under the aquarium lid and extended over the exterior glass. Instinctively I reached to suck her up but hesitated thinking she might clog the line. I screamed instead, threw a book at the hairy legs and ran from the room slamming the door shut. "Tarantulas can't climb glass, Mom. She'll be safe in here," he had said.

Violinist moved Sandra to the basement, where she hung out all winter until spring when Violinist said, "All spiders like to be outside. I'm taking Sandra outside." So she stayed out of the way on a corner of the deck with a heavy clay pot clumped onto her roof. That is, until Violinist said, "Sandra is molting. Look how beautiful, large and pink she is now. I think Sandra needs some sunshine and socialization." And he began leaving the lid of her aquarium off and I - moi - Decadent Housewife, quit taking coffee break outside and began slipping into Fun's motocross boots every time I went to hang up laundry beneath the deck rafters.

It was one of those times - hanging laundry when I noticed Violinist had forgotten to replace the lid and had gone off somewhere. Sandra was not at home so I screamed. GG came running and said, "Well, she won't make it through winter." This was June. Three days later - there she was - Sandra - very furry and ugly, quite fat, I assume from all her socializing and tautly pointed in my direction. She had come back and stood between me and the door and I shouted and GG came running and I noticed he had no shoes on and I screamed for him to get some shoes on and that's when Sandra made her move and I heard a sickening crunch and GG smushed Sandra into the deck boards. Once. Twice. Grind. The greasy spot she left remained all summer, eventually fading beneath the autumn rains. I confessed to Roll Kuchen how Sandra had met her end, but not to Violinist - until now.
Sorry dear.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Six Things

A gorgeous award showed up a few weeks ago from Sue over at Living and Learning. Thank you Sue. Sue is a very sweet girl living in Japan. The award comes with strings attached - tell six things about yourself, that no one knows (or cares) about. Here goes:
  1. I have no desire to visit Antarctica.
  2. When a preacher says, "Don't read/see, such and such," I make note of the title and read/see, such and such.
  3. I let the air out of Philip Gradey's bike tires when we were both around ten and disconnected the battery in his car when we were both around sixteen.
  4. While packing peaches bound for Montreal, I lost the ruby ring my grandmother gave me.
  5. I plan to invent a dessert and name it Pavarotti in Heaven.
  6. I saw "Hair" in London's Shaftesbury Theatre in 1970-something.
There. Earth moving revelations, I know.
And, like those chain-letters prepubiscient girls sent to one another back in 1960-something, which everyone said were illegal, I'm supposed to pass this on to six more blogs. (Were they actually illegal?) And it's up to those bloggers if they wish to keep the chain going. It was tough - but here, each for their own unique reasons and in no particular order, are my choices for Gorgeous Blogger Award.

Jeanne's Bliss Blog overflows with love, poems, songs, happy thoughts.
Anglesey Allsorts - Vicky always has a cornucopia of all sorts doing in her little Welsh cottage.
Pollywog Creek - Patricia - clear-headed writer, amazing photographs, loves up her grandbabies.
Caution Flag, at the Human Race 600 keeps us breathless in her daily drive through life.
That British Woman - You just never know what's up next with Gill.
Cait O'Connor - Quiet, restful, thoughtful - I can hear the clock, tick-tock, tick-tock.

(Photo by GG: Autumn windsurfing on Lake Erie, something I've never done - nor will.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

When We Remember

See their soft dewy faces lying in the mud.
Hear their anguish through heavy air.
Is thousand upon thousand broken hearts not palpable yet?
Turn away from this monstrosity.
Remember the dead.

Touch their strong smooth bodies, shattered, still.
Taste their sorrow bleed eternal.
Is there no one to say no more, I say, no more?
Plead for the future they never had.
Remember the dead.

(Remembrance Day, November 11, 2009)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

When God Is Silent

"Where was God when that bad thing happened to you?" asked Sunday's preacher. The message addressed the subject of God's people suffering, while He remains silent - the text: Romans 8:28, "All things work together for good to them that love God." It has never occurred to me to get angry at God, when rightly, humanly speaking, I could be - or at least, be perturbed even in the hardest situation. Whatever the bad thing - He is there. Why I've been blessed in this way I do not know. The pastor cited for illustration the stunning true story of David and Svea Flood. They did not experience the same, but their story shows that God was there.
(Photo: Apple orchard after harvest at The Farm)

Friday, November 6, 2009

No-Knead, Whole Wheat Egg Buns

Since discovering that bread dough doesn't need kneading to produce wonderful bread, I've been working with some of my own Yes-Knead breads turning them into No-Knead breads. This whole wheat with the addition of eggs consistently makes it into the lunch bags here now. I've been dividing the total amount of dough in every batch, into three even amounts and then each amount divided further into 8 individual buns needed for lunches. At Thanksgiving, each of the three amounts were subdivided into 12 rather than 8, providing a daintier dinner roll. If in a hurry or short on freezer space, I just make one pan of rolls and put the remainder of raw dough back into the fridge to use the next day. When left another two days, the dough develops a distinct sourdough tang. The eggs can easily be left out. If omitting the eggs just use 3 full cups of water in the recipe.

No-Knead Whole Wheat Egg Buns
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1st amount
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 heaped Tbsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. yeast
  • 1/2 cup white or brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • warm water to equal 3 cups when added to the 2 eggs
  • a handful of all-purpose flour, 2nd amount
  • all-purpose flour for dipping the buns, 3rd amount
  • cornmeal for the pans
  • lard for the pans
Beat the eggs until thoroughly mixed. Add enough water to the eggs to equal 3 cups of liquid. Pour this into a large container, preferably one with a lid. Whisk in the salt, sugar and yeast. Next measure in the flour and stir well. Let this stand covered until doubled or place in the fridge to use the next day.
When risen, the dough looks quite different from that of dough which has been kneaded. It is rippled and quite sticky to touch. To manage this excess stickiness, spread a handful of all-purpose flour around the top. Gently work around the perimeter with the flour to loosen the dough from the container.
The dough will begin to deflate.Tip the container upside down onto the work surface and let the dough slide out. Scrape off any remaining bits from the inside and add it to the dough.
Here is the dough. It has a spongy like appearance.
Gently gather the dough around the edges and fold that moist spongy part into itself.
Seal by gently pinching inward to itself, side to side and the ends. Turn it over. This is what we get.
Cut the dough into three equal size balls. Each of these weighed about 1 1/2 lbs. each.
Divide each ball into 8 smaller balls for lunch buns. Or 12 smaller balls for dinner rolls. Remember to keep that moist part away from your hands and toward the ball center. These will be a little more difficult to handle because of the high moisture content. Just dab them into the extra flour on the work surface.
Dip each formed ball into flour.
Set the rolls aside on pans coated with some lard and sprinkled with cornmeal. Let them rise in a warm place until doubled. Bake in preheated oven - 400 F x 15 minutes. Turn the pans half way through the bake time.
Correction: A reader wrote saying they got hockey pucks :/ when they made this bread. Thank you to another reader, Leila, who discovered that I neglected to include yeast in this ingredient list. It has been corrected. My apologies for this. The reader who had problems, however, did include yeast which should have been sufficient.

I've been letting the dough rise the first time until far more than doubled and no longer refrigerate the dough which changes the texture and baking consistency. Bake up all the dough at one time.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Autumn Pond

Poetry. See, hear, smell, feel, think, know. The camera shift produced blue water in the second photo. But the sky is still washed out. If I buckled down and learned that PhotoShop thing I suppose that could be changed. Is it allowed? To tinker with the photography?

(Both photos by GG. Decadent Housewife was sitting in the tangles by the pond's edge taking photos seen in the last two posts. Go to this post to see more autumn photos from The Pond.)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

October Review

October shaped up to be a month as full as every other. A few trips to utilize the Canadian Health Care System (Bow Down and Kiss the Earth), observing that my anesthetist looks more like Alfred Newman than Dr. Kildare, hearing a voice relay test results while registering zero to one consciousness, listening to strangers tell their unsolicited sordid medical histories, decisions about what colour henna to try next, waiting in the dark for Buff to get off work at The Chicken Place while observing the same gorgeous cat dumpster dive night after night and phone calls - phone calls from a particularly articulate English teacher discussing teen boys and how they function socially in a classroom setting - researching Boomers and something she called "hot writing" - I was tempted to ask her, her age. And too, there were the usual bevy of refrigerator messages -
"gone to town"
"gone to work"
"gone to school"
"no food in this stupid fridge"
"out of peanut butter"
"I need to see the dentist"
"call California Auntie"
"call One Old Man"
"call the English Teacher"
"call The Home"
"need gas money"
"ps love you"
"sign this-->"
I also made for the first time ever, a tuna fish pizza at Buff's request, of which I thought would surely make me barf, but honestly, once I got it past my nose, it was delicious.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The British Are Coming

Charles and Camilla arrive some time today in Newfoundland, Canada. No, Decadent Housewife won't be rushing down to the harbour front to greet them. Newfoundland is a very long way from here. Rather, this housewife has laundry to do and cooking and cleaning - despite having a few royals a way back in the family tree and a little old title. Oh. You want to hear about that? Really - it's nothing - maybe later. I've got men to feed.