Monday, October 28, 2013


I vacuumed today.  I sure did.  And I cleaned two of the bathroom counters, AND I showered.  Sometimes this is a sign of a good day.  Sometimes it means that I did something I knew I should, even though I didn't want to.  But in actuality, these are things normal people do on a regular basis.  So, normal is relative.  I've known for some time now that I do not fall into this category people call normal.

I love that.  I don't like to be just like everyone else.  I like to show my individuality in the way I dress, though only in subtle ways.  I tend to enjoy activities most people in my phase of life are not interested in.  I get slightly obsessive over my hobbies and go and go until I totally burn out.

Random thoughts late on a Monday night.  There ya though anybody even reads this.  Why do I enjoy having a public journal?  I have no idea.  I'm a little twisted.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Artisan Bread

I've had a few requests for my Artisan bread recipe.  Ok Ok.  Here y'all go:

3 Cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 Tablespoons salt
1 1/2 Tablespoons yeast
6 1/2 Cups flour
*Optional: 1-2 drops Rosemary oil, or any fresh herbs you desire

You'll also need corn meal when it's time to bake.

Mix the water, yeast and salt together, then add all the flour at once.  Mix until evenly moist, but do not knead.  Cover loosely (with a thin towel or lid, not airtight) and let the dough rise for 2-5 hours.  I usually can't wait more that 2.  Once it's about double in size it's good to go.

Split the dough into 2 sections.  Using your hands, round each section into a ball by pulling the top of the ball down around to the bottom until the top is smooth.  Place dough on a floured cookie sheet (upside down so it can slide off easily, you will bake the bread on a cooking stone or a separate cookie sheet) and flour the top of the dough ball liberally.

After you have floured the dough ball, slash the top with a serrated knife.  Let the dough rise for about 40 minutes.

While the dough rises, preheat the oven to 450.  Place the stone (or cookie sheet you'll bake the bread on) in the oven on the center rack so it can get good and hot.

When the dough is ready to bake, take the stone out of the preheated oven and place it on a hot pad.  Cover the top of the stone with corn meal and gently slide the dough balls onto the stone.  Careful, it's HOT!  Place a pan (I use my broiler pan) with 1 inch of water on the bottom rack in the oven.  Place the stone on the center rack.  The steam from the water will make the bread a little crispy on the outside, but it will remain very moist inside.

Bake for 30 minutes.

When you remove the bread you will hear it crackle a little as it cools.  I love to dip it in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, make bruschetta, or slice it up and make garlic toast.  It's delicious!

Conference Weekend

Conference weekend is always a favorite for me.  This time around I did something I don't think I've ever done before.  It's kind of a big deal.  Are you ready to hear it?!  Ok, I Stayed Awake!  The entire time.  It's been a goal of mine for years and this time I did it!  Granted, I only watched half of the Saturday afternoon session because I actually tackled the laundry pile that sat on my floor for 3 days.

I enjoyed so much about conference.  The time at home with my family was (mostly) enjoyable.  There are always the times when all 3 of them need something at the very moment I need to be left alone.  The kids and I made some Conference Bingo cards for them to use as they listened.  It helped them listen and I felt the Spirit very strongly.  Mostly due to the fact that I let my 5 year old play games on my phone most of the day.  I'll pay for that tomorrow, I'm sure.
I was especially moved by Elder Holland's talk (said everyone) for multiple reasons:

  1. The first reason is that I just barely, I mean like 2 days ago, finished "Heaven Is Here", the book Stephanie Nielson wrote of her experiences with life threatening trials.  She is the author of the popular blog  I have been bawling on the couch for a week as I read this book.  It is so inspiring and motivating to do all I am capable of.  She has inspired a renewed hope in me.  What an amazing woman she is.  And her husband.  Oh my.  He's just an angel.  Elder Holland spoke of her family, her trials and her ability to rise above the darkest moments of her life.  
  2. The second reason is that he clarified in a very matter of fact way that depression is, in fact, a thing.  It's very real.  It's not something people make up or something that one can just will away.  It's difficult to live with, understand, manage, and talk about.  And I suffer from it.  It was validating for me to have him normalize it a bit.  It's nothing to be scared or ashamed of, but it needs to be recognized and managed.  I am lucky enough to be surrounded by very loving, supportive and understanding people who help me when I need it most.  I hope to get to a point where I feel "myself" soon, whatever that means.  For now, I take the breaks I need, work hard when I can, and try to keep busy.
  3. The third reason is simply that Elder Holland ROCKS!  He's a fantastic speaker and always delivers his messages very well.

I felt God's love for me this weekend.  I am grateful for the reminders of the things I can do to be happy.  God's love is what makes me happiest.

Here are a few pictures of some of the things we did during the breaks:

I made some rosemary artisan bread that we love to dip in oil and vinegar

This is pretty much what Man did the whole time...this or the phone.

I found Syd bathing Dallas without being asked!  What a sweetheart!  He's not a fan, but he smells much better now.

How was YOUR weekend?