Sunday, October 31, 2010

Spooky Spooks

This weekend I had lots of company in costume, but not many trick or treaters. I had three groups of them in all - not much compared to the 100 or so I used to have in Bethany. It was lucky though because The Evil Wild Dog of the Prairie got my treat bowl and ate all of the Almond Joy and either ate or spoiled about half of my Mike & Ike and Hot Tamales. Such a bad dog, and so resourceful.

Samantha had taken Vivian out to the local mall for a holiday event, then came over here with the idea of trick or treating on my neighborhood. Sadly, there were almost no houses with their lights on. They were so few and far between that it was not worth dragging a three year old down the street to visit the few available stops. We just went back to my house and played around for a while until Sam had to take Vivian back to Daddy. Sam went on to meet up with some friends at a club.
I stayed up past midnight to make sure the Sooners did not choke while I slept.
Aunt Rita went to church with me, then back to the house for a treat of fast food and a laundry session. We watched Iron Man 2 on Pay Per View and hung out. I'm sure glad I did not pay to see that.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Rally on the Mall

I can hardly believe I missed the news coverage of this rally all day. I think maybe I missed the greatest party of the year. Here's a little clip to whet your appetite (don't worry, the add is short):

Friday, October 29, 2010

It Gets Better

In case anyone is living under a rock, there is a project started by Dan Savage and his husband to encourage young victims of bullying to hang on in the certain knowledge that high school ends and then you can be free. There has been a string of suicides by young gay men who did not know that. Being a late-to-the-party lesbian I did not suffer that particular form of bullying, but I did suffer ridicule from my undeniable oddness. I was embarrassed and ashamed and did not know that those jerks had no right to make themselves feel better at my expense. I did not know that would not last for the rest of my life. Luckily I did have friends to share good times with (some still with me through the magic of the Internet - Hi Emma!, Hi Pam!) and I did find that the time comes when you realize that nothing holds you back from being your true self once you are an adult. Except biology, that is. I am still unable to see the physical resemblance between myself and Penelope Cruise. In celebration of this program there is a very nice video by the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles that brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my face. Maybe you will like it too.

And if you should know a young person who is being bullied, or does not know that high school does not last forever please tell them. Tell them it gets better.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Message from the bathroom wall

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Beach at Sandwich, Storm Coming In

Today Shana I and took a little drive to Sandwich Massachusetts, the oldest town on Cape Cod and one of the oldest in the United States. Some of Shana's local acquaintances had suggested that it was one of the better towns to live in on Cape Cod. We took a quick peek at it and had to agree. It's as cute as the proverbial bug's ear, has a lot of outdoor activities near to hand, and is very happily situated. It's equally close to Shana's mom (in Falmouth), Yarmouth, and Plymouth (two towns where Shana is likely to work). It's convenient to most other places we would need or want to visit on the cape. So far it's our front runner. It fills all of Shana's criteria - she really wants to live in the Cape in a small town on the water and it's about 20,000 people on the water. I like the looks of the place and the available outdoor attractions, but it has no public transportation at all. Nearest T stop is 18 miles (apparently there is some political problem making T service to the cape impossible). No local bus service, and nearest bus service to Boston seems to be in Bourne, about five miles away.

In other news: Shana's mother is still recovering well and is hoping to back in her own home on Saturday. I'll be baking a few items for her freezer tomorrow, then back to Oklahoma city in time to hit the ground running Monday.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The News From Boston

IMG_7532.jpg, originally uploaded by cinderellenk.

I'm still in Boston, getting ready to head out to the cape for the rest of my stay. We've been mostly visiting Inace at Brigham and Women's hospital of course, but we've taken afternoon breaks to visit a few local museums. We've gone to the Isabella Gardner and the Boston Museum of Fine Art: two very different kinds of galleries. The Gardner is very personal. It's laid out as the founder herself wanted it, with no alteration allowed. The BMFA is much more changeable and more what you expect a museum to look like. Both were interesting, and I'll be viviting both again in future.

Inace has improved greatly over the last week - a great relief to all of us and a testament to her strength of will and determination, and to the excellent care she has received at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

I've only taken cell phone pictures this week, as the camera I brought with me is completely unresponsive. I hope it's the battery, but one never knows. Fortunately the iPhone has a pretty good camera so I do have a few posted over at Flickr or tweeted. We were not often out sightseeing anyway, so it doesn't really matter.

The weather is very nearly perfect, so I have great hopes of some pleasant walks on the beach this week when I don't have other projects claiming my time. I expect to be doing the outdoor chores needed to prepare the house for winter for most of the week. Hard work, but congenial.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

My Prairie Rye Bread

We'll be leaving for Boston soon to help out my mother in law during her recovery from surgery (no, burglars, this is not an announcement of availability of my elderly used junk. We will have someone house sitting).

In the mean time Shana and I are calming ourselves as best we can - she's grilling and I'm baking/knitting/reading/surfing the Internet (Yes, I am a busy person, why do you ask?). I am not only baking, but baking bread. I don't know anything else that provides the same heavenly smell and comforting taste as home made bread.

My favorite recipe is one I got from Bon Appetit, probably in 1995. for a while I could find the recipe on Epicurious, but lately I have been unable to find it. The only place I have it is in a cookbook put together friends at a former employer. So for posterity here it is:

1 Cup Raisins
Boiling water

Cover raisins with boiling water and soak for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

3 Cups warm water
1/2 Cup yellow corn meal
1/3 Cup unsulphured molasses
2 pkg. dry yeast
2 Tablespoons melted butter
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 Cups rye flour
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
6 Cups (scant) all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients except rye and all-purpose flours. Stir until yeast dissolves. Add rye flour, then all-purpose flour to make a soft dough. Knead by hand or in your mighty mixer until the gluten is active (you'll start to see the little stretchy strands that tell you it's ready) and dough is not sticky. Add raisins. Set aside to rise; when doubled punch down and form into two loaves, either in large loaf pans or oval loaves set on a cornmeal covered baking sheet. Slash the tops of the loaves, allow to rise again. Bake about 45 minutes. Loaves will sound hollow and release easily from the pan when done.

I find that the dough is kind of tight until I add the raisins. The extra liquid clinging to the raisins gets it to just the right texture. Don't use rapid rise yeast. It tastes awful. Don't leave out the salt - in most bread recipes the salt is necessary to regulate the yeast and help the loaves brown. You can cut it in half is you absolutely have to, but the taste will be affected.

And if that is not good enough: it's a very adaptable dough. The current loaves have half raisins, half cranberries, about 2/3 cup of coarsely chopped walnuts, 1/2 cup of ground flax and hemp seeds mixed in. I cut the flour to 5 1/2 cups to accommodate the additions I did not have any molasses so I used pancake syrup. It's delicious. You can substitute honey for molasses; you can use a little less rye flour if you run out. You can use bread flour for a finer crumb and a higher rise. You can put it in the fridge between rises and make your loaves when you are ready. You can use shortening instead of butter for a vegan version.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

A Valuable Lesson

In case the recent BP Gulf of Mexico disaster was not enough to show you the need for regulation of industry in the public good: here's some footage of the "spill" in Hungary. When profits are the ONLY good industry will not spontaneously act for the general good.

Sunday, October 03, 2010


This is the Oklahoma Texas weekend that we all look forward to every year in excitement and anxiety, depending on the state of the Sooners' Offensive Line. This year we did not know what to expect, except that Shana and I knew we were driving down to Denton Texas to visit the Humps. It's a shortish drive but far enough from home that it feels like a vacation. We're always glad to see them and it's always a relaxing and restorative weekend.

Matt took me to charming downtown Denton for a delicious ice cream on the square. I did not know that Denton had such a pretty downtown.
It's well worth a visit, and seems to be much appreciated by the locals. So many smaller cities have not been able to preserve their downtown and it's good to see one thriving. The scrumptious home made ice cream at Beth Marie's was just one of the appealing features. The courthouse in the middle of the square is beautifully restored and the center of a lot of activity.

The Oklahoma Texas game was a good one - lots of exciting plays (and some inexplicable plays). It was a lot of fun to watch, but seems to have done little to advance the Sooners in the polls. This is fine by me - I'd like to see a Big Twelve Championship. a ranking within the top ten, and a good bowl game at the end of the season without the stress of looking for a national championship. We caught parts of some other games as well - Alabama looks great, and the Oregon Ducks still have the single ugliest uniforms of any college team in the known universe. Like Boise State's appalling blue field I suspect Oregon takes great pride in their dreadful uniforms.

In addition to football we feasted on a wonderful brisket from Black's Barbecue, Katie's excellent chili, and s'mores by the bonfire after a refreshing walk around the neighborhood. Somehow we never got around to Nancy's banana pudding, but somehow I doubt that will be wasted. Shana took some home and Matt will claim most of the rest.