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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Photo 50 - Immunization Day

Immunization Day. I don't know that I'm ever this relaxed before a doctor appointment. I had an appointment at the same time. Happy to report my A1C was down to 7.1.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Photo 49 - Pre-School Haircut

Pre-School Haircuts. Short Person got a really cute A-line cut. Frames her face perfectly.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Photo 48 - Our New Truck

We bought the truck.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Photo 47 - My Office (Almost Done)

My office mostly put back together.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Photo 46 - Doggies Wearing Shades

Sometimes it is better just to not ask questions. I came home from shopping to find my daughter valiantly trying to affix sunglasses to our dogs.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Photo 45 - Charlie's Birthday

Charlie's birthday party. A few of my favorite people.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Photo 44 - Short Person Returns from her Aunt's

Short Person came home from December's. She cried for an hour because she wanted to go back. "December treats me better!" she said. I decided it was an evening for ice cream. Sometimes things can only be cured with chocolate.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Photo 43 - More Office Remodeling

I was not the only one affected by the chaos. We had to move the main office into the Council chambers so that the ante-room could be painted and prepared for new carpet as well.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Photo 42 - Office Painting

Painting begins on my office.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Photo 41 - A Water Leak

The hole that Mel dug. Very proud of myself for locating the water leak. No idea how to fix it, but at least I found it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Photo 40 - Floor Replacement at Work

...and work on the office rejuvenation/redecoration begins. There were broken spots in the flooring from moving the heavy fire-safe cabinets. Those spots had to be pulled out and new joists put in.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Photo 39 - Short Person at Aunt December's

Dropping Short Person off at December's for the week.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Photo 38 - Painted Plate Necklaces

Another day at "The Painted Plate" to work on Christmas gifts. Short Person is painting necklaces for the cousins.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Photo 37 - Safety Camp Graduation

Short Person's last day of Safety Camp. This is just prior to her receiving her graduation certificate.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Photo 36 - The Enormous Phone

Short Person has been attending "Safety Camp". She was really excited today because they gave her an enormous phone to practice dialing 911 on.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Photo 35 - Work Computer Problems

This would be the man that said "Uh-oh" while working on my computer to install the update that would only take 15 minutes... but wound up taking 4 hours. Snuck the photo in =)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Photo 34 - A Sleepy Short Person

Short Person fell asleep on the couch. She rifled through a bunch of really funny positions, including her legs high up on the back of the couch. Of course, by the time I got my camera, she looked almost normal.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Photo 33 - Scooby Doo Van

Once upon a time, Short Person saw a kangaroo in our driveway.
Once upon a time, Short Person saw a fish in the bookshelf.
So, you can see why I'd be skeptical about her going on and on about seeing The Scooby Doo van in someone's driveway.
Until one day, I saw it too. When I did, she looked at me and said, "So then they MUST be real mom!"

Julia Child, I Am Not

I subscribe to a blog called Dozen Flours. It's written by a woman named Julia who is, as best I can tell, a genius when it comes to baking. I got pulled in a year and a half ago by dreams of her yummy creations and haven't left. Unfortunately, as a diabetic, I also haven't tried cooking any of them. Until now.

You see, back in May, Julia posted a blog about the website Oh Nuts, which had graciously offered to let her sample anything she wanted to try from the site. After perusing the numerous delicacies offered, she chose the Mint Cookie Malted Milk Balls. After, I believe, eating a fair amount on their lonesome, she took the rest and turned them into brownies and posted the recipe and photos on her blog. Photos that would make your mouth water prior to tasting them, they looked that good!

Once Julia had made her selection, Oh Nuts offered her something else. The chance to award her readers with one pound of something from their website. One pound of anything the winner wanted. In order to sign up, you needed to respond to the blog and then post what you'd choose. Given the photos, my drooling lips, and the desire to try baking something, it was easy to say that I'd want the Milk Balls so that I could try the brownie recipe.

Unbelievably, I won, and a few weeks later my very own package of Mint Cookie Malted Milk Balls arrived at my doorstep.

I printed off the recipe and set about gathering the items I would need, among them good, unsweetened chocolate- specifically, not Baker's brand, which took a bit of shopping- and Peppermint extract, which I kept forgetting I did not have in the house. (Actually, I did have it, but was unable to locate it until two weeks after I purchased the new. Murphy's Law.) Finally, I had all the pieces, but it took a bit to find the time.

Time hit me full force Sunday afternoon and I finally got my chance to try baking, Julia-style.

I grabbed the recipe, read it three times through, pulled all the ingredients and put them on the counter, and set out to assemble. First up, melting chocolate with butter and beating eggs with sugar.

Already, we had an issue. Since I'm diabetic, the two cups of sugar were going to be an impossibility for me-- unless of course I wanted to make them and then give them away, which I was completely unwilling to do. I'd only been thinking about them for months now! So, I had to substitute the sugar with Splenda. I was worried from the get-go, but as called for in the recipe, after five minutes of beating on high, light and fluffy they were.

The chocolate had melted nicely, and was cooling on the stove top. Short Person was greasing the foil lined baking pan, and I? I was a mess of hurried preparation. Did I mention that LJS was also barbecuing Salmon and Steelhead for dinner and that I was to make a salad and slice tomatoes to go with it?

Everything sat on the counter as I threw things together in cycles. A chop here, a stir there, I was feeling like Betty Crocker gone crazy! I was gettin' it done. I was the kitchen queen and pretty damn proud of it.

Lettuce cut, cheese on top, ham diced, I took a break from that, deemed the chocolate sauce cooled enough-- incidentally, butter and unsweetened chocolate do not taste good-- and started stirring it in slowly to the egg mixture, until finally, the concoction looked like a bunch of chocolate mixed with eggs. Not quite a cocoa brown. More like a cocoa brown with fleckles.

The next item on the recipe was to add the peppermint, salt, vanilla, and flour. Check, check, check, and slowly... check. I set it aside for a minute to chop the milk balls and then turned back to the mixture thinking, already, that something had gone horribly wrong. As I mixed in the milk balls, I noticed the batter had a very sticky quality to it. It reminded me of the type of batter used for drop biscuits and I thought that couldn't be good.

However, I had no photo to tell me that this wasn't how it was supposed to be, finished mixing, and then spread the batter into the pan, wondering all the while how I was supposed to smooth it around, on foil no less, to get it smooth. Then, I threw it in the oven.

We ate dinner, which was wonderful, and after 25 minutes, I pulled the brownies out of the oven to cool. They smelled WONDERFUL and neither Short Person or I could wait to try them. She'd been waiting all day since one of her groovy dolls was apparently having a birthday and the brownies were the closest thing to a cake we were making. She gathered her stuffed animals and sat in anticipation, asking every 10 seconds if they were cooled enough to eat.

After an hour, I said yes, and we went to sample a bite. I cut a piece of the corner off, opened my mouth, which was already anticipating the mint chocolate mix that would melt in my mouth causing instant mouth-gasm, and bit down. There was a mouth-gasm alright, of the horrified kind! Something had gone horribly wrong. There was a taste in my mouth that reminded me of gravy when the flour hadn't gotten dissolved all the way. They were awful.

I keep telling myself that the important thing to remember is that I tried. In reality, I think the important thing to remember is that Julia Child... I am not.

But I give a great amount of thanks to Julia of Dozen Flours for her scrumptious recipes and equal thanks to Oh Nuts for the opportunity to try their product, which I sampled a great many of prior to baking (if you can call it that). The malt balls were wonderful!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Photo 32 - Bad, Bad, Brownie Brown

A photo of the brownies that just didn't turn out. They looked and smelled SO good. Now, if only I were Julia, they may have tasted good too. Sadly, they wound up in the trash can.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Photo 31 - Grandma's Magnets

Finished projects at The Painted Plate. Short Person and I had a fun afternoon starting the long haul of making Christmas gifts.

Photo 30 - A Very Messy Car

I hit the limit on how messy I would allow my car to get. Sometimes that means that even the trunk gets cleaned and vacuumed. It looked damn nice when I finally finished-- and Short Person got a new booster seat out of the deal because I couldn't bear to put her filthy one back in. Recently, it got melted crayon all over it and was ruining her clothes.

Photo 29 - A Short Person Breakfast

Short Person made me breakfast in bed. Mini pancakes topped with a strawberry, surrounded by banana slices. She kept hugging me the entire time I tried to eat it.

(Incidentally, I missed a few days of photos, so I made up for it today.)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Photo 28 - sTori Telling

I started reading this book. Even though I was understandably wary going in about how well it would be written, I wound up absolutely loving it. Tori has a very engaging voice and is very unabashed about sharing her life.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Photo 27 - Possible New Truck

The truck LJS wants. The day I took the photo, no less than three other people were also looking at it. Short Person was freaking out that someone else would buy it-- which was a complete reversal of the day before when we mentioned we were looking at it and she burst into tears because she'd miss our other truck.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Photo 26 - Short Person's 1st Belgian Waffle

Introducing Short Person to Belgian Waffles. She loved them. Next time though, I think I will only get one adult order and split it with her. This was a lot of food.