Welcome to my little ol' blog. I'll be upfront about it: I don't blog very often any more. If you found your way here because you read my book "Trailer Life," have a gander! But it's easier to keep up with me on Instagram or on my Facebook page. I have this long, drawn out theory on why I'm a terrible blogger, but that is a story for another day. Enjoy the ramblings of my life from the last 8 years or so.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

One Hour-ish Bread

I got this recipe from the Internet, somewhere. If I come across it again, I'll post who gets credit for it. I've only ever made up one recipe in my entire life...and this isn't it.

But, it's fast, easy, and delicious. You can sub whole wheat flour for white, and I when I do that, I sub 3 cups whole wheat with 2 cups white. Great texture that way.

Mix these dry ingredients (I use my stand mixer with a dough hook): 5 1/4 Cups flour, 1/4 Cup sugar (or honey), 1/2 Tablespoon of salt, 1 1/2 Tablespoons yeast.

Stir those up for a minute, and then add 2 Cups hot water (not too hot...you don't want to kill the yeast), and 3 Tablespoons oil. I get my hot tap water and then add the oil in with it before I pour into the mixer. Turn the mixer on while adding it, and just pour it in a steady stream while mixing.

Mix for 5 minutes. If your dough is wet and not forming a ball, add more flour, a little bit at a time. If it's not coming together into a ball because it's all powdery up in there, add a teensy bit more of hot water. I add this tip because in the summer when the coolers are on, our humidity level in the house is a lot higher than in our extremely dry winters. Sometimes I have to add more flour. Sometimes it's just right. If I have to add more water, that probably means I measured wrong.

Anyway, mix for 5 minutes, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and pretend to knead it. It's mostly kneaded by the mixer at this point, really. Shape it into two loaves, place in sprayed loaf pans, cover, and put in a warmish place. In the winter, that usually means the inside of one of my cars. Let rise for 25 minutes. While it's rising, turn your oven on to 350 degrees (325 for a convection).

Take off the plastic wrap and bake for 25 minutes (18 convection...and remember to cover with foil the first ten minutes). I always check on my baked good about five minutes before they are supposed to be "done." When I use my convection, it's earlier...that thing cooks fast.

OPTION: add vital wheat gluten if you have some. I use a quarter cup or so...when I have it. The last six months I've been without and the bread is still great. I get VWG from the bulk bins at Winco. This was not in the original recipe, but is my own tweak.


5.25 cups flour
.25 cups sugar
1/2 Tbsp salt
1.5 Tbsp yeast
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Cups hot water

Mix dry ingredients. Add oil and water. Mix 5 minutes. Spray bread pans with nonstick cooking spray, add shaped dough into pans. Cover and let rise about 25 minutes. Bake at 350 for 25 (regular oven...convection do 325 for about 18 minutes and cover with foil the first 10 minutes or so).

Friday, January 10, 2014


A whole week went by, and here it is, Friday again. Funny how that happens.

It was the first week back to school... and it was just "okay." For all of us. Just when I got my house all spic and span...we started some construction projects. All projects are majorly awesome, by the way. I'll post a whole bunch of photos when we are finished. The projects are baseboards and window trim, trim around the stove (if you can call 6x6 posts trim...that seems pretty hefty for trim), a finished TV wall, and a finished pantry! Woo-hoo!

Today Will came in from outside with a parrot stand that he made himself. Wood scraps and some nails...and it's totally self standing and looks LIKE A PARROT STAND.

We don't have a parrot.

Jessie told a boy in her class that he was going to be arrested this weekend because he wasn't doing what she told him. He was scared. Jessie is a "table leader" and also a tyrant, I guess. I reassured him that he was not going to be arrested this weekend, or ever. Then I leaned into Jessie and whispered in her ear that if she ever said anything like that again to anyone, I would take her outside and spank her butt.

And then, after five minutes, she started to cry. So I went back over to her table and asked her what was wrong...and she was worried that I was mad at her. To which I replied, "I'm not mad at you. I am unhappy that you told him he would be arrested. That's not true, and you shouldn't threaten people with that. Just don't say it again, and it won't be a problem." Then I gave her a hug and we called it good.

Okay. I gotta go cook dinner before the family revolts. I don't wanna be in trouble. I might get arrested!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

I'm Fancy! (And gift cards are the best!)

Look at those aqua gel nails! 

Here's the scoop: I've never had gel nails before. I usually do my own nails, which means they are either bare or chipped up in differing shades of dark purple or bright green. My mom got me a gift card to the nail-doing place, and instead of saving it for a summer pedicure like I usually do, I went in there, got my eyebrows waxed, and asked for a manicure.

I don't like the nail place. I mean, I like this one: it's clean and stuff. They do a good job. But I feel so out of place there. It was like an alien planet, and I was fascinated with the fake fingernail process going on around me. I found out I can't just sit there for an hour while someone does my nails. Seriously- what a time investment for those ladies! I went in there with my chipped up polish on, and the girl gets out what looks like a Dremel tool with a sanding head on it. I say, "I don't want fake nails." I was a little panicky. She said something about gel nails, and I was like, "No, just a regular old manicure. Wait. How much is gel polish?" It was $25 and totally within my gift card, so I went for it. I had about 250 options of colors and styles, and when in doubt, go with the color of your first car, right? Aqua it is. I am so curious to see how long this lasts...and if it lasts a month or more, I could get into it. Like, I could save up $25 a month to have my digits look put together! Maybe. And I'm still tripping out about the Dremel and the Easy Bake oven with the lights that you stick your hand in. I do LOVE how the polish is all dry when you are finished. I hope I didn't ruin my nails by doing this type of polish.

At least I knew no one was talking about my feet. I don't understand the workers when they launch into their native language, but I get all insecure that they are secretly making fun of my feet. Or saying something like, "She's so gross! There is this hairy patch on around her ankle she forgot to shave!" Plus, pedicures just tickle too much. I'll just do those myself at home.

I was able to meet Amy for lunch yesterday...also on a gift card! How sweet is that? I haven't seen the girl forever! It was a good visit. We need to get together more often. 

I went to Target and shoe shopped. I know what I want, and they didn't have what I liked. That's okay. I'm thinking I'll just order some Converse All Stars online. Target had Converse One Stars,  and I have to say, they were a little different. I don't know what it was. They were a good price, but they were... different. My Vans are looking dirty and trashed. My slip on Mocks from LLBean are awesome, but sometimes I was something a little more dressy. (Yes, I think Converse are dressy. Plus, they are an athletic shoe. So I can launch into a sprint really easily if I need to...)

I was so girly yesterday! Sure I felt out of place getting my nails done, and sure I was in the men's department looking at shoes. But I did it. 

And at least my nail polish isn't looking so horrible anymore. I'm so curious to see how it wears off...

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

I love the New Year. I think it's because I'm a goal oriented type of person, or maybe I like official "start" dates. But one thing I do know, it that I love the New Year! It's a time to:

-reflect on everything that has happened and how far we've come

-look ahead and see all the options before us, and decide where we want to go

-organize some stuff

-count your blessings of the past year

-forge a path for the new year

Yup, that's me. A path-forger.

Not really. And looking back over the years at this blog, I have realized I have set many goals and have had many ideas. A lot of them were quit...sewing business anyone? Hello! I don't even remember how to use my serger. Reality sometimes bites me in the butt and reminds me of what is really important, and I think in my sleep deprived younger motherhood years I wanted to be ambitious and do it all. Now I know I can't. And, that some talents are easier than others...and let's face it, I'm an ever-evolving person who is still finding her niche in life. I think I've got it, and it only took about 15 different people over a few years to repeatedly remind me of some things.

Here's to a New Year!

Fun Conversation of the day:

Jessie (age 5 1/2) was picking at her big toe nail. I ask her, "Are you picking your toe nail?"
"Eww. That's gross," is my reply.
"Well, at least it's not with my mouth."

She's a little gross. She's also the one who saw my tile scrubber in my shower and asked if that was "a special scrubber for Dad, so he can clean his hairy armpits?"