Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Princess Hair and a Party Dress

I think inside every woman is the little girl that was. There are times when I am 7 years old, times when I am 11 and times when I am 15. This morning I was up and showered early because today is the court's Christmas Party. (I know from a technical standpoint party should not be capitalized in my previous sentence but trust me on this one, it has to be.) Actually, it isn't really a Christmas Party because we cannot have a Christmas Party. For budgetary and political correctness reasons, it is an Employee Recognition Event but really it is a Christmas Party.

Well, since it is PARTY DAY, I took extra time with my hair to do it in what I secretly refer to myself as my Princess Hair. This involves plenty of smoothing hair product, a hairdryer, hot rollers, hairspray and my secret weapon for the Princess Hair, two tiny hair clips with silver stars affixed to them. After a certain amount of spitting and swearing (not really, Mom), I managed to subdue my superfine, unruly, burnet hair into two neat rolls pinned in place with the stars and a cascade of curls below. (At least that is how I tell myself it looks when I get done.)

Also since it is PARTY DAY there must be a Party Dress. When I was 7 my ideal Party Dress was anything with a full circle skirt, a ribbon tie at the waist and puffed or sheer sleeves. In my heart of hearts, that is still what a Party Dress should look like. However, at 37, I seriously doubt I could successfully carry something like that off so instead, I have a black dress with a blue design that my husband thinks looks like eyes and I think look like peacock feathers. It is a good cut for my figure (which at best could be described as Rubenesque). So now, with my Princess Hair and my Party Dress, I am ready to face the day.

My boss just warned me that if it starts to snow, the party will be cancelled.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Sourdough Thanksgiving

I just finished putting a double batch of sourdough in the oven to raise. In two hours, I will make it into rolls and let it raise for two more hours and then I will bake them into the MOST delicious sourdough rolls for Thanksgiving dinner.

I have been fascinated with sourdough starter since I was a child. My mother had both Herman cake and Amish Friendship bread starter fermenting on the counter and in the fridge as I was growing up. I was always very interested in the end result of those starters but since I've grown up, my obsession has been with sourdough.

I think it began with one of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books (By the Shores of Silver Lake, I believe) when Laura describes to a guest how to make sourdough starter and bread. From that time to this, I have hankered after having my own starter.

Recently, King Arthur Flour had a deal where if you bought their stoneware crock you would get the starter to put in it for free. I had almost bought the crock and starter several times before but it was a bit dear so I had resisted. Well, if they were going to offer me such a deal, I was bound and determined to take advantage of it. I tried to order it a few days later and the website said it was not available. Undeterred (a deal is a deal after all), I called the company directly and they said that they had pulled it from the website because the overwhelming response they had to the offer had caused them to run out. They kindly took a back order for me and in late summer my crock and starter arrived.

I carefully followed the directions and then left everything sitting on the counter to "proof". My husband wandered out into the kitchen a little later and picked up the directions and perused them. Then he called out to me and said "Honey, it says you have to feed the sourdough." and I replied "Yes." and then there was a long pause and a slightly worried voice call out "WHAT do you FEED it? Small villages? The cat?" Needless to say, I cracked up and then went to explain the wonders of sourdough to my husband.

Since that time I have used the starter to make quick breads (zucchini and banana), waffles, a tomato based sourdough bread, a sourdough bread with instant yeast and traditional sourdough bread. They have all been really delicious with an extra gold star for the waffles and the traditional sourdough bread. So go out and get yourself some starter or make some from scratch. I recommend the sourdough starter from King Arthur. They can trace its provenance from the 1700's. As far as I know you only feed it flour and water but you may want to watch out for the cat when the starter is out fermenting on the counter.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Minds of the Jurors

Today, I had to bailiff. When I first started working for the court, I loved getting to bailiff. Now, not so much. Banging the gavel is not the thrill it once was. Also, listening to arguments has lost its charm. Today, I listened to arguments on the finer points of contract, dependency and criminal law. After the criminal cases, I usually want to take my brain out and wash it. Today was no exception. In listening to the two attorneys try and make their case for what was in the minds of the jurors was enough to make you want to smack your head against a wall repeatedly. Unfortunately, they frown on you doing that while court is in session around here for some reason.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

John Denver & Friends

"Friends, I will remember you, think of you, pray for you and when another day is through, I'll still remember you."

I've been thinking about my friends a lot lately. My father once told me that I had the gift of friendship. He told me that he admired how well I kept track of my friends and it inspired him to be better about doing the same. It is one of the nicest things my dad has ever said to me which is really saying something because he says a lot of nice things. I hope that I live up to those kind words.

I will say, I have a lot of close friends and a lot of other friends too. At my wedding shower, someone commented when I introduced everyone that I also said something about each of them and they all fell into some group or other. I had friends from my current job, friends from my former job (like the group pictured), friends from church, friends from book group, friends from Curves, friends that are family and so on and so forth.

Now what, may you ask, does John Denver have to do with all this? I am a huge fan of John Denver's music. I know this will leave me open to ridicule but so be it. A lot of his songs have to do with friendship including the lyrics that begin this post. In Poems, Prayers and Promises and This Old Guitar and several other of his songs he sings about the importance of his friends in his life. I really relate to that.

One of the most difficult things that has ever happened to me is damage to a long standing friendship. I don't lose friends. I have drifted apart from friends due to distance or changing interests but I don't lose them. In fact, I have often gone to great lengths to maintain friendships and to keep communication flowing with a friend even when we disagree. I am loud and opinionated and so I do disagree with my friends on occasion but I don't end friendships over foolish things like that. For the first time since I was a child, I had what I believe to be a nearly irreparable break with a friend this past year. A few people really close to me know about it but I haven't generally talked about it. It has been painful.

I won't describe or go into detail here about what happened. The bottom line is I wouldn't give in to something a friend wanted me to do for her and, instead of respecting my decision, she whined, complained and let loose a steady stream emotional blackmail and abuse that has continued for months. It has grieved me as much as if this person had died. It is now to the point that even if she does eventually apologize and we move back into friendship, I will not trust her again and our friendship has been forever changed. (She is not in the picture above by the way. )

Yet with all that, I still think of her as "friend" and so:

"Friends, I will remember you, think of you, pray for you and when another day is through, I'll still remember you."

Friday, November 14, 2008

So Much Water

Is there anything worse in the entire world then stepping unexpectedly onto sopping wet carpet in stocking feet? If there is, I don't want to know. This morning after feeding the fish, I decided to run into the spare room and check email before getting ready for work. I stepped into the doorway of the room and the carpet went "squish". I took another step "squish" and two more "squish, squish" and the water soaked through my socks. I turned and RAN for the telephone and used the intercom to call the landlords (aka my parents) to come down to the apartment immediately and help me trace the source of so much water.

Fortunately, it turned out to be a leaky hose leading the to hot water heater and not the heater itself or a burst pipe or some other awful and expensive problem. The hose was spraying water and appeared to have done so for several hours but nothing was terribly damaged. It did make me a tad late for work. I ran the steam cleaner to pick up the excess water. By the time I stopped, I had filled and emptied the tank five times. It was extremely fortuitous that I had stepped into the spare room at all this morning as we would have had a disastrous mess by this evening if I hadn't! As it is, the spare room carpet will likely smell like a wet yak has moved in there for a week or two. Thank heaven for small mercies.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Breakfast and Books

My favorite breakfast these days is peanut butter and honey oatmeal. Get yourself some Quaker quick oats. Bring about 3 cups of water to a boil and add just under a cup of oatmeal and a pinch of salt. Don't let it boil over! Boil gently for about 2 minutes. Pour into strainer and strain off excess water and nudge the oatmeal into a bowl. Stir in a generous tablespoon of smooth peanut butter and top with a generous serving of honey. Then EAT IT!

My book group is reading Love Over Scotland by Alexander McCall Smith for our December meeting. I listened to it and then went back and listened to the first book in the series 44 Scotland Street and the second book in the series Espresso Tales. I have read several of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series also by Smith but I really prefer the Scotland Street series. It was originally written as a serial for The Scotsman in Edinburgh and owes a big debt to Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City. It follows the various residents that live at 44 Scotland Street and their friends and neighbors. It has wonderful characters including, Matthew (the art gallery owner), Pat (his employee and now girlfriend formerly of Scotland Street), Angus (the portrait painter), Cyril (his dog), Big Lou (owner of the coffee bar), Domenica (anthropologist and Scotland Street resident), Bertie (a precocious 6 year old) and Irene & Stewart (his parents, also all of Scotland Street) and a cast of many others. The stories tend to be slow moving but not slow. I am especially taken with Pat and Bertie for their sweetness and innocence. Anyway, I recommend the series if you are wanting a light and easy read.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Pumpkin Butter Cake

So I made Paula Deen's Pumpkin Butter Cake last night. I have to say, this is a serious crowd pleaser anytime of year (if you like pumpkin). We are having a little Halloween celebration today at work. They are so popular that I get requests!
See link for recipe:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


John is at home sick with a cold. I have it too but I seem to be on the mend while he is just coming down with it. I fixed him hot cocoa and oatmeal, fed him Tylenol and Alka-Seltzer Cold Medicine before going off to work myself. I imagine we are in for a few days of moaning and groaning until he is well again.

This is my second cold this fall. ENOUGH ALREADY! We got our flu shot so hopefully, we will be healthier the rest of the season.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Song Lyrics

I’m Sadie, Sadie, married lady,
Bow when I go by.
I’m a corporation now,
Not me, myself and I.
Oh how that marriage license works
On chambermaids and hotel clerks.
Oh, sit me in the softest seat,
Quick, a cushion for my feet.
Do for me, buy for me, lift me, carry me,
Finally got a guy to marry me!
I do my nails,
Read up on sales,
All day the records play.
Then he comes home, I tell him
Oy--what a day I had today!
I swear I’ll do my wifely job,
Just sit at home--become a slob!

Funny Girl

I have been considering starting a blog for a little while. However, having read the blogs of others, I hesitated to get caught up in the great blogging whatsit. Some are very, very good and therefore, intimidating; some of them are incredibly boring and therefore, cautionary. I think I can strike a happy medium and so have decided to give it a try.

On April 26, 2008, I married my best friend much to my surprise. I had always enjoyed being single. I knew John when we were children. I was his Sunday School teacher when he was a teenager and I was in my twenties. We lost touch for a few years and then we got back in touch in August, 2006. It was at a time when he needed a friend. So we started doing friend things together. After six months or so, he wanted more but I didn't so he waited patiently for two months until I did. By October, 2007 we were engaged. We've been married six months now.

Part of my hesitancy to get married was the prospect of having someone else around all the time for the rest of my life. But, since it is John, I am okay with it. As schmaltzy as it may sound, I am a better me with him. We love each other very much.

The title of my blog comes from the movie Funny Girl. The day after John and I were engaged, I went to my friend, Muriel, and said "I am going to be a Sadie." She immediately sang out "SADIE, SADIE MARRIED LADY!" bless her. I have moved from being a happy singleton to being a happy Sadie.