Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Entries from August 1, 2010 - September 1, 2010

Entries from August 1, 2010 - September 1, 2010


Life Takes Precedence Over Blogging....Sigh

I have to take a blogging break, so A Second Cup is on hiatus. I need some time to think, organize, plan and regroup. If you just happen to drop in, there is an extensive monthly archive listed on the right...enjoy!


Aging With Adventure: Netflixs: The Rules

My son has gotten Netflixs. Evidently it is legal to use it on more than one device, so I can legally use his account. Legality is a big deal to me. Not so much to the younger generation.

He has rules for my use of his account. This is a role reversal. Usually I have rules for using my stuff.

Rule 1: Use on demand viewing only

Rule 2: Do not put anything (not even the whole Alien Nation series....sigh) into the queue.

Rule3: Do not comment on his movie choices.

I plan to follow these rules with the same diligence he gave to mine when he was a teen.

Thank you son!

Have you experienced any role reversals with you adult children?


What Would You Do?

My sister (whom I may disown) has posted pictures of our family, that include me, on Facebook. I do not take a flattering picture. My kids are tagging me (I may disown them also). Let it be know to all family members, that I have some of those old high school pictures of you and I will learn to use my scanner if I have to.

I feel better now. I guess I better lose a little weight.

Have any of your siblings committed a disownable offense?

(I have posted posts I though were funny that had my sibilings wondering if I was mad and venting to the blogosphere. For the record I am not mad. I just am running out of blog ideas..... again.)


Baking With Fresh Milled Whole Grains: A Second Cup Suggestion

I have been baking bread since the kids were toddlers. It often saved my sanity back then to be able to show my husband that yes indeed I accomplished something today. I still bake because it is so satisfy to make a loaf of bread. Since I stumbled on the no-knead method of bread baking, the quality of my loaf has improved. Now I am baking with fresh ground flours.

The homeschool co-op we are in is peopled by healthy eating types. They love us even though we are full of preservatives. The kids love us because at my house you can get real junk food. These women have been baking with whole grains for years. They will their grains themselves. It was never a project I wanted to take on. Then The Grain Mill Of Wake Forest opened down the road a bit. I can get fresh milled grain easily. Baking with whole grains is now a doable project.

First off the bread is wonderful. Secondly if you are experienced baking with regular flour, fresh milled whole grains is a different breed of vegetable (grain is a vegetable right?). First you must make the sponge. Secondly I have to add gluten flour or I wind up making bricks of bread instead of loaves. Adding gluten flour is controversial in the whole grain bread baking world but I prefer loaves to bricks so I add it. You must to use small bread pans to get that nice curved top and you need to bake the bread at a lower temperature, 350 instead of 400. It helps to take a baking class.

Find more information at The Grain Mill of Wake Forest. Dave is a natural born teacher. He will be more than willing to answer any questions you may have.


Aging With Grace: Some Things Are Worth the Extra Expense

I am knitting (more or less) a pair of toe up socks on 2 circular needles. One set of needles are Addi Turbos and the other is a set of Crystal Palace Bamboo needles. Each set was about $13.00. I could have bought cheaper needles and probably would have if I had found them in my local knitting stores. Finding size 0 circulars locally instead of ordering them off the web is a blog post in itself. As it was finding 2 size 0 needles from the same manufacturer proved difficult, hence the 2 different manufacturers which worked out well because I mix up my needles far less than I would if both sets looked the same.

To the point: Knitting with these needles is a pleasure. The difference I imagine (I imagine because I don’t think I have ever been in a BMW) between traveling a long distance by Honda or in a BMW. Both will reliably get you where you are going but how you experience the process of getting there is different.

For the increased pleasure these needles bring to the process of knitting they are worth the money. Even though I tend to the frugal side and I automatically will try the store brand first, some things are worth the extra cost. Named brand plastic wrap is infinitely easier to use that store brands (at least the store brands in my area). A good quality pen is also a pleasure to write with. I never buy them because they tend to go walk about in my house but once the kids move out I hope to purchase a nice pen and actually be able to use it. Fresh ground wheat is my latest passion. It is more expensive per pound than store bought flour but oh my gosh the bread I make with the fresh ground flour is sublime.

What do you enjoy that you think is worth the extra cost?

Entries from August 1, 2010 - September 1, 2010

Entries from August 1, 2010 - September 1, 2010


A little Light Reading: Skyler’s Reading List

Skyler is homeschooled. School for her starts Monday. All her older siblings went to public high school. I was not overly impressed with their educational experience. Skyler was invited to join a homeschool co-op when she was in 7th grade. She has developed a great circle of friends from this group of kids. This group of moms is determined to give their kids an excellent education. I helped with the co-op last year and am doing some teaching this year. Below is Skyler’s reading list for history and British lit. It is an impressive reading list for high school.

The Church History (Eusebius), Confessions (St. Augustine), The Hobbit (Tolkien), The Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien), On the Incarnation (Athanasius), The Creeds, The Nine Tailors (Dorothy Sayers), The Dragon and the Raven (G. A. Henty), The Ecclesiastical History (Bede),The Rule of St. Benedict, The Gospel of John, The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood ,Beowulf, The Song of Roland(Howard Pyle) A Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare) , The History of the Kings of Britain(George of Monmouth), Winning his Spurs, The Two Towers (Tolkien), Macbeth (Shakespeare, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Henry V (Shakespeare), Richard III (Shakespeare), The Divine Comedy: Inferno (Dante), The Canterbury Tales (Chaucer), Ephesians, The Return of the King (Tolkien) and last but not least The Bondage of the Will (Luther).

When does your child start school?


Since I am Waxing Poetical

Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith "A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!"

by Robert Browning

I have this poem framed in my bedroom. A friend made it for me 22 years ago. We had been married for about 5 years and Browning's poem captured for me all the hopes and dreams of the life we were building together.

Fast forward 22 years (time does go faster than one can realize) after my mother-in-law died, I read this poem from a whole different angle. Then it was the first few lines that entranced me. Now the last line still captures for me the hope and adventure of life:

Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!"

Do you have a favorite poem?


Death And Taxes

My mother-in-law died last month. She was 84 and in failing health. I think Dylan Thomas had it all wrong when he wrote of his father, a man in his 80s, formerly a giant of a man now in failing health:

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

I have never seen someone die before. I am so glad she did go gentle into the night. Rage would not have helped, nor would it have returned her health. It would have wasted those preciouse few hours when her mind was clear and she could interact with her husband and her boys. I always liked Thomas' poem until I watched someone elderly and in failing health die.

Have you ever been at the death bed of a loved one?


Parenting Semi-Adults: Shel Can Bring A Smile To Any Situation

While looking for an image to post with The Fling, I came accross a Shel Silverstein poem. I used to read his poems to the kids mostly for my pleasure. Enjoy!

Messy Room by Shel Silverstein
Whosever room this is should be ashamed!
His underwear is hanging on the lamp.
His raincoat is there in the overstuffed chair,
And the chair is becoming quite mucky and damp.
His workbook is wedged in the window,
His sweater's been thrown on the floor.
His scarf and one ski are beneath the TV,
And his pants have been carelessly hung on the door.
His books are all jammed in the closet,
His vest has been left in the hall.
A lizard named Ed is asleep in his bed,
And his smelly old sock has been stuck to the wall.
Whosever room this is should be ashamed!
Donald or Robert or Willie or--
Huh? You say it's mine? Oh, dear,
I knew it looked familiar!

Happy Birthday To ME!!!

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