Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Contractor contractions.

Yesterday I handed over a deposit to a contractor for the work next door. This guy was the only guy that didn't make it abundantly clear he was on crack when he gave me the estimate. I just hope and pray he works out. The estimate was reasonable, he was personable and professional and didn't smell like B.O. We NEED to get this house on the market and sold- fast. The albatross is getting heavy. Ok, done worrying/complaining/obsessing.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Shortest distance/ longest move ever

So we just moved next door but you would think we moved to Siberia considering the amount of time it is taking us. The basement of the old house is still full but since Mike's Dad and Uncle both came this weekend and took truck loads of stuff we now have room in the basement here for all of it (hopefully).
Lets see, there's Mike's Happy Hippie Hole stuff: drum kit, miniature painting stuff, band memorabilia, etc. Then there is his tools, his tools and oh yeah- did I mention his tools? There is Christmas, treadmill, stationary bike and weight bench- all only used once a year. Last but not least, my glass studio. I really don't look forward to moving LARGE sheets of EXPENSIVE irreplaceable glass up and down stairs, not to mention all of my equipment. All of this is what we will be moving this weekend. Yup, this weekend. 90+ heat and humidity make for perfect moving conditions (if you are a glutton for punishment as apparently we are).
Our neighbors from down the street and our old gayhbors will be helping us. They are all related and make this street what it is... awesome. This will be the second or third time they have helped us move. This will be the first time they will actually be moving our stuff, the previous times it was moving Granny & Pa. I will have to think of something nice to do for them. Maybe get Denny and Rose a gift certificate to a local restaurant and get Dennis and Lee some Broadway shows on DVD, I don't know. What do gay men like other than show tunes?
This week however; will be spent getting ready for the weekend. We have some rearranging here in the basement and conquering the linen monster. I think there are about a dozen quilts downstairs in need of washing. Funny how old people like the smell of mothballs.

Friday, July 27, 2007

18 wheeled drug fest

I don't know what happened but I think an 18-wheeler rolled through our bedroom last night and hit me. At least thats what I feel like happened. I awoke with the cold from hell, if anything referred to as cold could come from there. I can only, sort of, breathe through one nostril, my head feels like its going to explode and I keep fighting the urge to hurl whatever keeps running down the back of my throat. Gee, I hope you haven't had breakfast yet, sorry! I took some medicine already so I will either feel better soon or be so stoned I don't care that I don't feel better. Thanks to all those toothless, inbred, meth-heads for making the government take away all the sinus medicine that worked for me. I hope you get clean, get a job and suffer like the rest of us tax payers. Ooh, bitterness so early in the morning. I may have set a new record.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

After dinner craziness

Look at me, I'm a monkey!

Those are Mike's genes on display.

I thought it was poignant (and a little creepy) to have a cemetery as a backdrop.

Round 967

Today is the last day I will be getting bids on the work to our old house. I've got two guys coming this morning, then we get to sit down and play 'Pick the Contractor'. Its not as fun a game as it sounds, believe me. Its part luck, part feeling and a whole lot of praying. Now y'all know I don't have the luck and my feelings are usually off so if you get the chance put a murmur in God's ear for me.
Today is also the last day for Day Out until September. That means that my schedule gets put on a Tilt-a-Whirl and won't stop until I puke. Luckily, we found a little playground behind a local church that is within walking distance. Its right across the street from my friend Robin too so keep on the lookout for us, girl! We will be stalking you like celery! I'm thinking this may be a good morning activity for us. It will give me some exercise and hopefully get Gryffin tired enough to take a nap. I'm also going to squeeze in some crafty time for him. I want to keep him on the same schedule as his Day Out program just for ease of transition when it opens back up.
Good thing we have weekend visitors coming in because today will also be the last chance I have to scrub down the house for a while. I hate cleaning, but I hate filth more. Being allergic to dust and mold is crappy but at least I don't take the old egg-donors way of dealing with it. She just lets it lie, undisturbed and growing. Her feeling is that if you don't clean it and kick it into the air, it won't bother you. Maybe that is why she is always sick (mentally/physically/take your pick).
Off to slug down the coffee and meet a contractor. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Those who are more woman than I hope to be...

1. Mother's who have multiple children
2. Mother's who home school
3. Those who do their hair to go get their hair done
4. Those who get manicures, pedicures and facials religiously
5. Drag Queens
6. Women who bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan
7. Spotless housekeepers
8. Female athletes
9. Day care workers
10. Again, Drag Queens

Here's a shocker... I hate people.

We had our electical inspection by the city today. I don't know how bad we failed but just by the amount of stuff the inspector wrote down in his handy, dandy notebook I can guess it was by a long and expensive margin. From what I understand about our city's electric inspection/permit process, if the work isn't done by one of the city recommended electricians you might as well hand over your deed and wallet. I love this little town but I hate a few of its quirks.
I've also spent most of the day on the phone trying to get contractors out to pry estimates out of them for the work that needs to be done on the place. You would think that if they took the time to come out, measure and write crap down they would call back with the estimate. Apparently they just like to waste their time and mine. A pox on them and their beat up trucks!
I'm tempted to just throw a Fix-It-Up Party. I'd hire a babysitter (or two), invite all our friends and supply them with power tools, paint rollers and beer. Beer only after the power tools are put away though, some I wouldn't even trust with tools sober. I would give out awards like: Best Plumbers Butt, Most Likely To Cut Off An Appendage With A Power Saw and Best Painter With Two Ears. Thats a reference to VanGogh people. I would order pizza and hire a midget on a pony. Ok, maybe not the midget on a pony but you get the idea.
I'm just to the point where I want to be completely moved and done and get that place sold. Its beginning to feel like a really expensive storage shed with a custom kitchen and fireplace. Maybe I should just convert the whole damn place into my studio and teach stained glass classes out of it. Oh wait, the city would never let me do that. They don't even like the idea of me installing my own ceiling fan. Surprised I don't have to pull a permit to change a light bulb.
Your right, I better check my bitterness at the door.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I always knew something that could clean your toilet and eat the corrosion off your car battery just couldn't be good for you. But kicking the habit is hard. I gave up soda while I was pregnant. It was a bi+ch. Being that heart issues are prevalent on both sides of our family I suppose its time to put the bubbly, sweet, yumminess down and take up water.

Some packing tubes and paper with a strategically placed piece of painters tape and dum-da-da-dum...

Its Gryffin in his Super Robot Suit!

He can scale the highest crib, fly over the big red sofa and bring a smile to anyone!

Today is chockful of stuff I'd like to chuck and just goof off but...
For some reason we haven't been getting ANY mail since changing our address. The bills and junk I could care less about but I'm waiting for Harry Potter to cast his spell upon my household. I don't know if any of you have figured this out but I'm not very good at waiting. So today I'm off to the Post Office to go well, postal!
Then if I don't do laundry soon we will all be breaking some major laws if we want to go out in public.
Last night Mike was such a doll. He picked Gryffin up at my audiologists office, took him home and fixed dinner. Mike is a really good cook. Now if I could teach him another method besides frying. The country fried cube steak, home fries and creamed corn was really good though. Tonight its honey mustard glazed pork chops, brown rice and broccoli. Yeah, I'm cooking.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Purple Haze

Sorry folks, no purple. I asked Donna, my stylist, if she had any semi-permanent purple and she didn't. Otherwise I would've totally rocked it, on the underside. I officially got 8 inches off the back and 6 off the front. I asked Donna for a really choppy, layered drastic swing bob. I don't think Donna does choppy or drastic so I ended up with a bob. If I thought for a moment I could pull off some Betty Page bangs I would cut them myself, but bangs and I just don't get along. The important thing is Mike thinks it cute and I don't look like a soccer mom. I'm somewhere in between soccer mom and Claire Danes. But that is 'my so-called life'.

Another boring post, sorry.

We are having our first house guests this weekend. Mike's uncle is coming to (hopefully) pick up the furniture of Granny's that he wanted. I'm hoping that Mike's dad will also come into town and pick up the appliances he wants. I may be close to having a garage to park in, YEAH!!!!!
Yesterday morning we went to a new park. Gryffin loved it! It had castles and pirate ships and tunnels. Bad mommy that I am, I forgot to bring the camera. Scrapbookers would gasp in horror and move that I be excommunicated from their society, if I were a part of it.
Today just the same old Monday kind of stuff. Laundry and a batch of granola bars. I've also got an appointment to re tune the old hearing aides and get a haircut tonight. We saw Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix over the weekend and after Mike spyed Tonks he mentioned that he wouldn't mind if I dyed my hair purple. She was hot. Now a few of you may remember the last time I dyed my hair. It was supposed to turn out a dark mahogany red and came out black with purple undertones. I liked it, and not just because the egg-donor shrieked with horror at the sight and cursed. However, having naturally red hair poses a big problem when dying. If it doesn't turn out right I cannot have it dyed back to my original color. For months upon months I looked like a sun burnt skunk while I grew it out. I don't want to go there again. A bad hair day I can handle, a bad hair year not so much. I could definately handle maybe having the underside of my hair dyed a crazy color so when I put it up it would show though. We will see.
I'm kind of picky about the style of my hair too. I would love to have it short-short, pixie style but Mike might make me wear a wig until it grows out. I would also love to go back to my drastic swing bob where it was shaved in the back but long in the front. Kind of a dyslexic mullet. But that took more than air-drying and three squirts of hairspray. If I can't do my hair in 5 minutes max it just doesn't work for me and I end up in a baseball cap. Or I just might turn chicken and do what I've done for the past several years... just a trim.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Soundtrack for the evening...

Gnarles Barkley
The Smiths
Amy Winehouse
Grateful Dead

Yeah, I'm in a weird mood.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Yard sale was a success. We made more than we thought, got rid of more than we thought and even had a little fun. Thankfully, my MIL made it out and watched Gryffin which REALLY helped out. Now Mike is off to nap, Gryffin is napping and screw the filth of my house because I'm going to lay down on the couch.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Yard Sale

Did I mention we are having a yard sale tomorrow? Did I also mention we are totally unprepared? Nothing is priced or cleaned off, we have no signs posted and no permit. I'm getting the permit today and will try to make some signs. I'm leaving the pricing up to Mike as these are his grandfather's things so the money will go to Pa. When I have a yard sale I price things pretty low because there is no way I'm hauling unsold junk back into the house.

Uh-oh, I think I just heard Gryffin climbing out of bed. Gotta run!

I'm back with coffee. I've got to kick it in high gear today. I was a real poop-head last night to Mike. I've been exhausted for a over a week, cranky- ok, down right witchy and have a headache that just won't go away. It will all go away in a couple of days, it better. Last night Mike was saintly, you could even see his halo light up and angels singing around him. After having to work late (again) he came home to Grumpella and Gryffin who decided to have a meltdown at dinner. After dinner he sent me off to a bubble bath. Hadn't had one since we moved, they used to be a nightly ritual. Anyway, it helped but I still felt like passing out. So I did. Bless Mike's big heart, he was even quiet and let me sleep in this morning. I do feel better, if I could just poke out whatever it is in my head that thinks its at a rave. Thump thump music is good, thump thump in my head is not.
Ok, second cup steaming maybe that will help. When I first sought help for my depression my doctor asked me how my energy level was. My reply was what was energy. The only time in my life I can remember having energy was in the early 90's. It was chemically induced from being pumped up on diet pills. No, I wasn't taking them to lose weight. I was taking them because I was working 2-3 jobs at a time and had a psycho room mate that made me too scared to sleep. Anyway the good doctor hooked me up with antidepressants and was still amazed that I didn't have any energy. With the dose he prescribed I should've been like cleaning like a meth addict. Since going off the drugs my mood, except during a certain week of the month, has been good and energy still nonexistent. I'm thinking that the only other option I haven't tried yet is the hardest and most evil of all... exercise and a change of diet.
We eat pretty healthy around here. An occasional bag of chips and a walk up to the ice cream shop but no deep fried, chocolate covered, gravy smothered Twinkies. We have veggies at every meal and they are usually steamed. Every cut of meat I buy is lean. What do I change there?
On the exercise side of the fence, we have an entire gym next door in the basement. Stationary bike, treadmill, weight bench- all dusty and neglected. I actually trained like an athlete for pregnancy. I was getting in the best shape of my life so I could have a shot at a decent body after. It worked but now the thought of going back to that regiment is ridiculous. When do I have time to walk three miles a day, do yoga and Pilate's? Shouldn't chasing a two year old all day account for something?
I've got to figure something out though because just the idea of having to get up and do something is getting to be draining. Eh, maybe its just the monthly misery talking too.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Caffeine is my friend...

Shower- check
Soft comfy robe from Mom Sherry- check
Coffee started- oh crap... ok- check
Our coffee maker is new so Mike is still getting the hang of it. Yesterday he thought he programmed it to start at 6, but he didn't. Poor guy had to go to work without coffee! And this morning when I went in there to start coffee for myself, Mike's idea of coffee is something black, tar-like and requires chewing, I discovered he forgot to put a filter in. Today he will have coffee but it will be crunchy. This new coffee maker is a grind and brew so it takes whole beans. I really didn't thing the flavor would be all that different but it is. I like coffee. Ever since I was 15 and started working in a donut shop I've been addicted. I like truck stop coffee, latte, cappuchino, espresso, pre-ground stale Folgers. Heck, in the old house I even picked the counter top based on how well it would hide coffee spots!
The other day I went to the Abbey, its a coffee shop here in town. I splurged and got my self a small latte and a scone and nearly choked when the teenage pop princess behind the counter said it would be nearly six bucks! If I pay that for something I want a dude in a white apron bringing it to my table, calling me miss and giving me free refills until my bladder explodes. Yeah, I know. I'm cheap. Damn proud of it too. Seriously, I think I will stay home, make my own and not have to hear conversations revolving around American Idol or golf while I try to read and enjoy my coffee. Because if anything will ruin a good cup of coffee, its American Idol.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Things I've learned from HDTV:
Gordon Ramsey isn't sexier life size
The show Dirty Jobs is even grosser
Celebrities have really bad skin, apparently Proactive isn't pro-active
the concerts are even better because you're so close you can see individual beads of sweat on the musicians without paying too much for seats or jockying for position among drunk divas hoping to fling their thongs on stage.

Happiness is the best revenge

MIL just left. I checked, anti-sibling pills are where I left them. I just can't stop giving her a hard time. She justified her craziness by telling me that I'm such a good mom that I should be a good mom to more kids. Bless her, flattery will get her everywhere- but there. I find it weird that there are those that think my mommy skillz rock. There are days where I'm tempted to call DCFS on myself. I know every mom has those days, especially when their kid is between the ages of two and twenty-two. I guess considering the example I had I'm damn good. I make sure Gryffin always has healthy food and a healthy habitat along with outside play time. I don't leave him alone for several hours a day or with a babysitter who beats other children in her care. I make sure to always kiss boo-boos and say 'I love you' way too much. I follow through on my threats of 'time outs' and make sure the punishment fits the crime. My egg-donor/muther/El Loco, whatever I call her at the moment, never really did any of that. She occasionally bought groceries, but never milk- she didn't like it. The state of the home would've made a health inspector gag, outside was the place you went to get away from the yelling and punishments were usually making me hug my brother. Affection as punishment, yeah that didn't play a psychological number on my impressionable young mind. For the most part, I guess I'm just like everyone else. I've overcome my childhood, mostly. Moved on to bigger, better and brighter things and make the conscious decision to do so everyday. Damned if I'm gonna let her win because happiness is the best revenge.

3:30 wake up call

I thought I was dreaming. Like the time I dreamt Java was blue only to wake up and find he had eaten a blue ink pen- in the middle of the living room rug. His muzzle and paws were blue for days! Anyway, I digress. I was awoken at 3:30 this morning by Gryffin, not from the monitor but by him standing next to the bed asking for his 'Robot drink'. That's a sippy cup with robots on it. What in the holy name of all holy's! He had climbed out of bed (again). I stumbled into the kitchen to get him his milk only to discover he had pulled a chair across the kitchen and up to the counter, had been playing in the sink and had gotten his beloved 'Robot drink' out of the cupboard. I love that my son is so smart but I hate the fact that he is getting to be smarter than me! This came only after and evening of 'cage the savage beast'. He climbed out numerous times, once he climbed to the top of the shelves in his closet and got down a box with a stained glass window hanging I made for him in it. Oh yeah, a toddler playing with glass. Geez, they should just throw me back into the trailer park with the toothless mothers who let their kids get a hold of the matches and guns. Today I guess I get to put a latch on his closet door and convert his bed to a toddler so he won't have to go all monkey boy to climb out. Then I'm getting the safety gate from the old house and putting it up so he can't make midnight snacks. Hey, maybe it will keep Mike from making them too?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

From psychotic to serene

Can you believe that this was the guest bath pictured in a previous post ('I don't joke about ugly'). The neon peach and blue are now a brilliant white. Along with a new mirror, light fixture and shower curtain its a whopping makeover for less than $200. Couldn't beat it with a stick- and you better not try because I just cleaned it! It really turned out nice, thanks to Mike's hard, sweaty, fume-filled work.

Hopefully more pics of the rest of the house to follow. Give me a break, I'm tired.

Payback time

We have never had a problem getting Gryffin to go to bed. Usually just do the jammy-jam, read a book, hugs & kisses then tuck him in and he was down for the night. There were even times he would ask to go to bed. Not so much anymore. We had to buy a monitor because we just couldn't hear him in his room. Now that we can hear him we have discovered he can climb out of his bed. When we hear him we go in and put him back in bed only to have him climb out several more times. He can climb out so quietly that even the monitor doesn't always pick it up.
Last night I thought I would get all MacGyver and solve this problem. Our friend Chris had bought Gryffin this little play mat that is a piano and when you step on it music goes off, so I put that on the floor infront of his crib. He was caught not ten minutes later to the tune of Bach. So a couple of more attempts and he wasn't caught getting out, no- he was caught going back in for his milk after playing in his closet for awhile! Back in bed and we thought it was the last time so I snuggled up in bed with a book and one chapter in guess who, in the company of his father, pays me a little visit? Apparently someone had tried to turn his monitor off which set off the mobile unit's alarm. If there were any more escapes last night I didn't know about them. I left Mike in charge and promptly passed out.
I guess this means it really is time for a big boy bed, eventhough I don't want it. Mike almost bought a big boy bed for him the other day. It was a short platform bed with a hideout underneath and a slide. Thats just asking for a trip to the ER at this point.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Oh Paula...

Paula Deen has never done us wrong. From blueberry biscuits to bacon and brown sugar wrapped chicken. That is what we had tonight. It was a really easy recipe, I adapted it from an appetizer recipe of hers. I wrapped chicken breasts with strips of bacon and coated them in a brown sugar and chili powder mix. Next time I am going to add just a touch more chili powder, salt, pepper and make sure to use thinner bacon. I usually buy the thick stuff so it didn't crisp up like I would've liked but it was still darn tastey. I served it with some steamed carrots which was a nice accompaniment. I would've taken pictures but we were too hungry to wait, sorry!
Here I sit, coffee in hand, thinking about what all I need to do today. Its a little overwhelming. I have to return a cable box and argue with Charter, I have to make a menu and list and hit the grocery, along with Sam's and return an item at Walmart. Hopefully, if I get organized I can do it all before lunch. Ok back to reality, I'll do Charter this morning and the rest after Gryffin's nap. If he takes one. He's been fighting them lately. Yesterday he finally took one around 1 pm, we started trying at 11 am. He has mastered the crib escape. I guess my little baby isn't a little baby anymore.
We had the city inspection on our old house yesterday, not pretty. Just add it to the list and get cracking I suppose.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I slept with a clear conscience...

Last night I was standing at the bathroom sink and noticed something was missing. My anti-sibling, aka birth control pills, weren't where I usually kept them. 'Ok, don't panic', I thought 'probably just stashed them somewhere because my MIL was coming over'. I looked in the obvious spots, then the not so obvious, then the just plain ridiculous. No sign anywhere. Then I really started to panic because the terrible thought of Gryffin getting a hold of them and thinking they were candy hit me. I came into the family room and cautiously asked Mike, 'You don't think your mom would hide my pills, do you?' He looked at me like I was crazy and seemed almost insulted that I could come up with the scenario. 'Of course not, she would never do anything like that', he replied and kindly helped me scour the place in search of them. We found them, under the heavy glass and metal jar we keep the Qtips in. 'Hmm', I thought 'no way Gryffin could have put them there'. I kept this thought to myself as I didn't want to insult Mike again. About an hour later we get a call from Dianne. Apparently her conscience finally kicked in and she fessed up to putting them there for fear of Gryffin finding them. Yeah right! We all know how much she wants us to have another kid. Now, don't read this the wrong way... Dianne is not a conniving, scheming scoundrel. We all got a laugh out of it and she lost the privilege of Mike always sticking up for her. I'm just going to have to remember that when she comes over I need to hide them myself so I can find them again. Now I think I will give her a call and make her feel even more guilty, its fun!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Chewy Granola Bars, as requested

Look out Rachael Ray! I promise when I get my show it won't be annoying.
Chewy Granola Bars
2 cups quick cooking oats
3/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 T butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds

optional ingredients: a handful of chocolate chips ( I think I used about 1/3 a bag), or handfuls of dried fruit ( I've used a blueberry, cranberry, cherry mix) or raisins

Spray an 9x9 glass pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 350.
Spread oats and wheat germ on an edged baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, stirring often. This gives the oats a toasty flavor and brings out the sweetness in the wheat germ. In the meantime, combine the remaining ingredients in a small sauce pan and cook over medium-low heat until sugar is completely dissolved. When the oats and wheat germ are done remove from oven and turn down to 300. Add the oats and wheat germ to the sugar, add any optional ingredients and stir to combine. Pour into glass pan and press down. Bake at 300 for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in pan completely. Cut into squares and wrap individually in foil. They will be a little crumbly but will firm up if stored in the refrigerator. But save those crumbs 'cause they would be awesome over ice cream! Or store in air tight container for up to a week, if they last that long.
(adapted from Alton Brown's recipe)

Monday, July 09, 2007

Its Monday, time to rest.

We are (mostly) moved and Mike is back at work today. I'm sure he is probably looking forward to a week of sitting at a desk instead of hauling, cleaning and fixing.
Gryffin has adjusted really well. He has only asked to go home a couple of times. The dogs are adjusting too. They are constantly under foot and not sure of what to do with themselves but they will figure it out.
Yesterday Mike put the second coat of epoxy on the guest bath tiles and it looks great! No more neon peach and blue, Yippee! It has to cure for three days, then caulk which has to cure for another couple and then we will have two, yes two, bathrooms. Something I have never had in my life. Can't you just hear 'The Jefferson's' theme song playing in the background?
Our new appliances are here and in use. I love my new Velos oven! Lets see, I've made BBQ chicken, roast potatoes and steamed broccoli, bacon and fried eggs, baked potatoes and corn and am currently baking some chewy granola bars. One feature that kind of freaked me out was that the exhaust fan comes automatically. I didn't know this when I was making spaghetti and thought that it was either broken or possessed. Now I'm used to it and really loved it when I was frying chicken last night. I guess I have no more excuses for not cooking anymore. I also love our new refrigerator. Its the french door kind with a freezer drawer on the bottom. Biggest con- less storage in freezer. Not a big deal considering we have a deep freeze in the basement. Biggest pro- lots more room in the refrigerator. I mean a lot! Back to the Farmer's Market next Saturday. After having to live out of a cooler for five days, I missed fresh produce.
I plan on taking some pictures later today and will try to post them but right now I have to explain to a certain little boy that chasing the dogs around the house in his Cozy Coupe is not nice.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Right now Mike and I are struggling with a very sad decision. We have come to the realization that we are not good parents. At least to our dogs. We are too preoccupied with Gryffin to give them the attention they need and deserve. Gryffin just can't seem to understand that just because the dogs are bigger than he is he still can't push and jump on them and that dogs do not play like little boys. Although, Mojo did look (and even tolerate for a few moments) cute in the hat Gryffin put him in last night.
Mojo is of course exempt from this as the only attention he demands is an occasional fritch behind the ear and to be left alone the rest of the time. He is old and tired.
Java on the other hand is full of energy and always wants to climb in your lap. At 80 pounds that is not an option. He also sheds, constantly and terribly. I dust and vacuum and not an hour later it looks like I haven't done it in a week. Since Mojo is so old, Java's level of assertiveness has risen quite a bit. This concerns us.
We have decided that we must find a good home for Java. Mojo will stay until he decides to leave us. Everyday I feel guilty about not having the time to devote to them as I used to but priorities have changed. I will feel guilty when Java leaves but that guilt will subside knowing that he has found a good home. Which brings us to the most difficult part of this situation, finding a good home for him. I will not let just anyone take him. He is a good dog, happy and playful with a very unusual personality. We have had him since he was 8 weeks old and known him since he was born. I do not take this lightly.
It just makes me so sad to know that I can't do it anymore, that I have failed as a doggy mom.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Thanks to my brother Roger and sister-in-law Ruth, we got a lot accomplished yesterday. Swingset moved, kitchen appliances out, washers and dryers switched. And oh yeah, new TV installed. We even made sure it worked.
As requested by Ruth, here is the recipe for the cinnamon rolls I made for everyone. I can't believe we still have enough left for breakfast today, but they are pretty rich.

Dough: 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 large whole egg, room temperature
2 ounces sugar, approximately 1/4 cup
3 ounces unsalted butter, melted, approximately 6 tablespoons
6 ounces buttermilk, room temperature
20 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 cups, plus additional for dusting
1 package instant dry yeast, approximately 2 1/4 teaspoons
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
Vegetable oil or cooking spray

Filling: 8 ounces light brown sugar, approximately 1 cup packed
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Pinch salt
3/4-ounce unsalted butter, melted, approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons

Icing: 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
5 1/2 ounces powdered sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
2 tsp vanilla

For the dough: in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk. Add approximately 2 cups of the flour along with the yeast and salt; whisk until moistened and combined. Remove the whisk attachment and replace with a dough hook. Add all but 3/4 cup of the remaining flour and knead on low speed for 5 minutes. Check the consistency of the dough, add more flour if necessary; the dough should feel soft and moist but not sticky. Knead on low speed 5 minutes more or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead by hand about 30 seconds. Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, lightly oil the top of the dough, cover and let double in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until well incorporated. Set aside until ready to use.
Butter a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently shape the dough into a rectangle with the long side nearest you. Roll into an 18 by 12-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the 3/4-ounce of melted butter, leaving 1/2-inch border along the top edge. Sprinkle the filling mixture over the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border along the top edge; gently press the filling into the dough. Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Firmly pinch the seam to seal and roll the cylinder seam side down. Very gently squeeze the cylinder to create even thickness. Using a serrated knife, slice the cylinder into 1 1/2-inch rolls; yielding 16 rolls. Arrange rolls cut side down in the baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight or up to 16 hours.
Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and place in an oven that is turned off. Fill a shallow pan 2/3-full of boiling water and set on the rack below the rolls. Close the oven door and let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy; approximately 30 minutes. Remove the rolls and the shallow pan of water from the oven.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
When the oven is ready, place the rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown, or until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, approximately 30 minutes.
While the rolls are cooling slightly, make the icing by whisking the cream cheese and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Add in the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Add just enough milk for desired consistency. Spread over the rolls and serve immediately.