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The Dog Door v. The Clean Freak

December 7, 2011

I may not always keep my house tidy, but there are a few things that I am a little OCD about and one of those is a clean floor. I am usually barefoot when walking around the house, and I can’t stand a dirty floor under my bare feet. In addition to this, my autistic daughter has pretty bad pica and if dirt, leaves, and or foliage are laying on the floor, she will likely put it in her mouth. Now that we are in the “new” house, I have come face-to-face with a Clean Freak’s enemy, The Dog Door. Mix that dog door with two high energy dogs, and well it’s a recipe for a really CRANKY ME.

High on my spring priority to-do list is cleaning up the backyard and making sure we get some happy healthy grass growing. I need to find a decent and large rug to place on the inside of the door where their little paws can get a good self-wiping.

If you have ideas or wisdom on how to keep the dirt-traffic down, please feel free to share those!



Balls in the Air

December 5, 2011

Did I mention I am a “jack-of-all-trades”? (master of none? LOL) Mom, student, daughter, girlfriend? Hmmm, yeah… I recall many years ago my mother warned me that the baby years were the easiest and that as the kids get older they end up needing you more. Well, as usual, my mother was right. Seems like every year my kids get older there are more and more responsibilities and obligations. Soccer, homework, ballet, etc. The past year has been balls-to-the-wall (yes, I am female and yes, I can use that phrase!) heavy with chauffeuring kids around town and all-the-while keeping them healthy, clean, fed.

Tonight, Olivia had a little tantrum. Like my usual autism-protocol, I ran through the possible causes. I took Olivia to the bathroom, fed her AGAIN, gave her more DRINK, cleaned her up, offered more of whatever she wanted. All that was apparently not an instant cure for her meltdown. I thought, well maybe she’s mad because her brother is not here tonight…. maybe she’s mad because I went into my bedroom without her. I tried to cajole her into calming down, unfortunately that was without an effect. Finally, I just laid her in her bed, and snuck away to the opposite side of the house. It’s been about 20 minutes, now, and she’s finally quiet. Phew! Now, it’s time to torture myself with some wildly interesting journal-reading for my genetics class.


This is how I feel about THAT:

"Just do it, just do it, just do it...."


Giving Up is Easy To Do

December 4, 2011

I give up. sigh, I guess I will start over.


The Irony

December 4, 2011

The irony in my inability to start this sourdough starter is that my undergraduate research has been developing assays for characterizing a yeast reductase (enzyme), which includes optimizing the conditions for the enzyme to break down sugars. AND the enzyme is from baker’s yeast! Talk about a major face-palm!

Growing or Killing a Beast, part II

December 4, 2011

I discarded about half of my starter this morning and replenished it with fresh all purpose flour and bottled water. It’s been about 5 hours, and the surface of the starter is dotted with bubbles. I’m still not convinced, however. I still think it’s dead.

This pic was taken after I stirred it and removed approx 1/2 C for dough

I removed a ladle-full of starter and mixed in enough all purpose flour and some kosher salt to make a dough. I guess I’ll just see if it’ll rise! I’m crossing my fingers!

My small ball of dough. Maybe she'll rise.

Growing or Killing a Beast?

December 4, 2011

I started a wild sourdough starter last monday night. I have grown a starter in the past but used commercial yeast in the previous starter and as a result, I never quite achieved the tangy flavor I was looking for. Monday afternoon I decided to try to go 100% wild. I combined 2 C of flour and 2 C H2O and a few tablespoons of sugar and let the mixture sit out over night. By Wednesday it was a happy robust bubbling brew that looked like this:

wild and happy yeast

I stirred the beast down and gave it a feeding and after about 10 hours it appeared I was going to need a bigger boat:

I gave my happy Saccharomyces a bigger boat on Thursday, and a fresh feeding of rye flour and now it appears it has lost it’s will to live.

I realize in the above photo, the starter still appears bubbly and that is because I took this photo while it was still happy. Yesterday morning, I moved the starter to the fridge and removed 1 C to make a dough. I think I also threw some out and re-fed it to see if it would continue to ferment. The dough I made never rose. I let it sit all darned day, and it never grew. I took the starter out of the fridge and let it sit out on the counter too to see if I could revive it, and nothing seems to have happened. It’s currently in the fridge. I poured off the liquid this morning. I don’t know what to do. Maybe I’ll try to make some dough again today.

Daily walks are a Must

December 3, 2011

Otherwise, you’ll end up with a terror of a terrier. See for yourself:


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