Archive | July, 2012

Cheese Update, July 29

26 Jul

It is with regret that I report my efforts in making hard cheeses were not a success.  And I had such high hopes, especially for the smelly Picking Cheese!

It was hard waiting the month before checking it, but I did.  I had marked on my calendar when to check it.  I waited and waited.  And at last came the day.  So you can imagine my disappointment when I examined it this week and  found it had completely molded!  Even the cloth I had wrapped it in and the inside of the pan I was using as a drain shelf was covered with mold.   I had to throw out the cheese and wrap.  The pan needed a through scrubbing and bleach.  I’m sure the problem was because I didn’t store it in a cool enough place.   It would have been best if I had an old refrigerator or maybe even if I had used a cooler and continually added ice.    It may have been better if I had used a cheese mold and press.

The Cornish Cheese is ok.  Certainly not great.  Very crumbly and dry.  It tastes only acceptable.  I tried some plain and it was ok, but very bland.  One day I added some to an omelet.  I won’t do that again.  I was able to eat it, but can’t say I enjoyed it.  I am debating whether to keep it or throw it out.

On a brighter note, the fresh cheeses were great!   I was able to use the lime cheese until a last week, when I noticed mold.  The other fresh cheese (I didn’t label it so don’t know if it was the ricotta or the mozzarella) lasted quite a while too.  And the Feta is still very tasty!   I imagine with it being in brine, it will last indefinitely, just get more salty.  Unless I use the Feta as the salt for a dish, it needs rinsed before eating.    I shared the fresh cheeses with my daughter-in-law who loved them.

One interesting thing in my cheese making venture was what to do with the whey.  Since I never want to waste anything, I froze it, thinking I would use it later in one of the ways I had seen online.  Well I found a use for it this summer.  Homemade gator aid!  With all the hot weather my daughter and I had talked of the need for electrolytes.  She mentioned she had seen recipes online.  So I looked.  What I ended up making was a combination of several recipes.  My gator aid consists of baking soda, salt, sugar, lemon Koolaid, whey and water.  I used amounts listed in the recipes, then adjusted to taste.  The result was a refreshing, low cost yummy hot weather drink.

So to sum up my cheese making efforts, I’d say it was an adventure.   Will I try it again?   Definitely on the fresh cheeses.   I will probably want to find other fresh cheese recipes to try also.   As for hard cheese–well I know I’m not ready to invest in cheese making supplies. However, I  would really like to try  the Picking cheese again.  I do love a challenge and t is just quirky enough that it intrigues me.

Computers and blog technology

25 Jul

I have finally learned how to add tags to a published post.  I had tried several times with no results.  Even read the wordpress how-to but still couldn’t seem to grasp it.  So thought maybe I needed to do it on the laptop instead of IPad.  Well, after playing around with it awhile, I succeeded!  I think (hope) I will remember how and will be able to do it from my IPad too. (Note-No luck with the IPad).

I have also learned that the ‘Preview’ button takes me to a page where the post I am working on is displayed as you, the viewers, see it.  When I found that, I was like “DUH”.   Sometimes I feel really stupid.  But at least now I know.  And it is amazing because even though I proofread the pages I’m typing on, I usually find mistakes on the View page.  Sometimes I see a comma needs to be inserted.  Other times, I read it over and decide it doesn’t need one.  Often, while reading I think of another way to say what I want, or another word that would better convey what I want to say.  Kind of like getting feedback from someone else.  Sometimes, I come up with something to add.  I now switch back and forth from typing to viewing, correcting and rewriting as I go.  After some trial and error, I have found I do best correcting as I go, paragraph by paragraph.  If I try to read it all, I tend to forget what needs corrected and have to go back over.  Then, when I have finally finished editing, I reread the whole post, checking for total content flow.  I’m so glad I finally noticed the Preview button and was curious enough to see what it did.  For being such a simple concept, I find it an invaluable tool!

When I think of technology my first thought is usually computers.  We first got a computer in the 80’s, mostly because one of the teachers recommended it for my son.  Ir was a Comodore 128.  The latest model.  It had drives for both the larger old (floppy) floppy disks as well as the newer solid smaller disks.  It was amazing!    We weren’t on the web, of course.  The teacher told us something about broadband, but that was too advanced for me.  We were just thrilled at all it could do.  And of course we loved the games.  We subscribed to a computer magazine which listed programs that we could type in and run.  I never had much time for that by my oldest son did.  I worked with it when I had time and was able to created a spreadsheet to do my books, which saved so much time!

I became one of the few parents who had any computer skills.  Everyone thought I knew so much.  I just kept telling them they shouldn’t be afraid to try it.  If you make a mistake, you can learn something.  I’ve learned at lot from some of my stupid mistakes-and not just with computers!

My son learned to program computers and is doing that today.  He kept up and advanced with technology.  I did too a bit until around the turn of the century.  Then I had other things going and technology wasn’t that important.  But it resurfaced, briefly later.  I applied and was offered a job that needed someone with computer skills.  I was amazed (appalled really) that offices and the people working in them still wasn’t up to date on computers.  But I was able to use my computer experience plus my love of learning and teaching in that job.

Since then, however, I just haven’t had the inclination to keep up with technology.  When I purchased my laptop, I wasn’t up to date and had to research to find what I wanted.  But I do like it.  A pretty dark blue Toshiba.  We call it ‘my blue cpu’.  I still find the mouse pad very sensitive.  I am always touching it and the page goes crazy.  But I am learning.

Another technology I haven’t kept up with is the smart phones.  My grandson is always telling me about the latest and what it can do.  He also tells me about my phone (Iph 3) and all it could do that I’m not using it for.  I tell him I just want a phone.  Then he reminds me that I used to think texting was silly, didn’t ever think I would use it.  Now I use it 95 percent of the time!   So I have to smile and tell him ‘I know’.   I do enjoy the camera on it.  I am finding more and more uses for it.  In my last art lesson, my teacher showed me how to take a screen picture.  That’s cool!

Most of the time when my family tries to show me something technological I have to have them slow down.  I need to be showed, not just told.  And ideally it would be better if I could read about the subject too.  That is how I learn.  But don’t expect me to learn by looking at pictures without words!  I hate it when the instructions to put something together comes only with pictures.  I never can understand how to do it unless everything is shown.  I don’t know why they can’t tell me how to do it and show the picture.   My youngest son does best with just the pictures, but not me.

I have also learned how to post photos in FB.  I just don’t do it often enough to remember how in between times.  And I succeeded in finally figuring out how to change my profile pic.  My grandkids say that Grandma is on FB but really doesn’t do it.  And they are right.  I am on it mostly to see friend and family photos.  And of course now to advertise my blog!

According to my blog stats most visits are links from FB.  I don’t understand enough about FB to know if it is from people who see my FB posts or from a search.  I know a person can search FB, but don’t know exactly how that works.  I often see business websites with “visit us on facebook’.  I guess there is usually a link to click, but don’t think I’ve ever followed it.

Well my day beckons.  Going to be another hot one here.  So dry that the trees are dying.  The brown grass crackles under my feel.  I have bee watering in the early mornings some.  I’ve heard it is better to water at evening, but it has still been so hot then.  It seems to me the plants need the refreshing in the morning to make it through the day.

Cosas leo

21 Jul

Para mi aprender español asisto una clase.  En la clase leemos los libros para niños de el  Children’s Library International en el Internet.  Que tenemos que hacer una búsqueda en Internet porque no es posible para accedar a el sito web directamente.    El libro leyendo se llama  “Una aventura con las animales”.  En la clase algunos estudiantes saber mas español que otros.  Cada uno de nosotros lee una pagina, aprender unos de otros.

Tambièn, tenemos acceso a el sito www.123teachme.com.  Usamos este sito sobre para traducir las palabras.  Aveces usamos el sito para hacer los ejercicios.  En otros ocasiones usamos el sito www.translate.google.com.

Después de la clase, cuando el regreso a casa, practicamos leer el libro en el Internet.   Varios de nosotros usamos el libro se llama “Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish”.  Este libro tiene ejercicios hablar y escribar.

Visito la penisula de la Yucatán en el ano 2001.  Voy a Campeche, Valladolid y otros ciudades y las regiones.  El viaje fue una clase de los negosios de la Yucatá, una clase de la universidad.  Hemos visito las regiones marina que las torguas ponen sus huevos.  Hablé con los funcionarios de este servicio.

Aprendé mucho en mi viaje pero me olvidé mucho y así  lo que es necesariamente para practicar mucho.  En el IBooks de mi IPad tengo los articulos y los libros en español.   En el sito http://www.seduma.yucatan.gob.mx leo de proteción para las tortuas. También leo el periodico se llama “El Sur” en el Internet en el sito www.elsur.mx.  Esta periodico es de las ciudades Campeche y Carmen.  Uso el sito  “123Teachme” mucho para escribar en  español.

Random thoughts of this week

20 Jul

As I drove to the city today a lot of thoughts were going through mind–things I wanted to write in my blog..   I found myself wishing I had a tape recorder with me, so I would be able to post them when I got home.  But I didn’t have one, so hope to remember at least some of them.

I still seem to be in the writing or communication mode.  If I get this and another post I am working on completed by tomorrow that will be five posts this week!  A record, one I probably won’t keep up as I seem to go in spurts.   And according to my blog stats this week was a record high for the number of views my blog received.

I’ve been thinking how everything is really all connected.  I noticed a strange thing recently.  I was staying at a home that has enamel sinks.  One was really stained.  I wondered if some Comet and scouring would clean it.  Then one morning while brushing my teeth, I noticed that there were clean spots on the sink.  I realized it was where my toothpaste had dripped.  So I tried rubbing other areas with some toothpaste and it did seem to clean it.  But it cleaned best when the toothpaste sat on the spot a bit. This triggered a memory that I have heard, that using too much toothpaste can take the enamel off our teeth.  Well, it makes sense when I think about it.  I guess enamel is enamel.  I’ve never been a science whiz, but as I understand it our body’s are composed of minerals, etc.

Another thing I was thinking about was the title for this post.  One of my first post’s title is Musings for today.  So I wondered if I should have a different title for each post.  Then I thought that instead I think I will have some post titles that I use over and over.  Since I’m interested in so many different things, some people may like to view just certain content in my posts.  Using the same titles will be a way for you, my readers, to choose those posts you most enjoy.  I don’t know enough about blogs to know if this is common or not.  But I remember my sons telling me “it’s your blog, you can do what you want with it”.  I like that.

You have probably realized by now-at least if you have been reading my posts for awhile-that I’m an individualist.  (Some people would call it stubborn or worse.)  But the fact is I like to do things my way.  As I write that it sounds like a bad things.  And it can be if I would be pushy about it.  But I think (and hope) that I also give others the same option–to do things their way.  So it seems to me that not being afraid to do or try something, to be a little ‘different’ can be a good thing.  Someone mentioned today that God made us all different and yet we try so hard to all be the same.  We talked about how much better it would be if we could all except ourselves and others as we are and treasure the differences.

Someone brought up the movie about Temple Grandin.  It is a true story about an girl/woman that has an autism condition and became famous, She insisted she could understand how it feels to be a cow and experience harsh treatment from humans.  She advocated for humane treatment of animal and demonstrated alternative methods of accomplishing tasks involving animals.  Many of her methods are used around the world today.  She didn’t let her ‘difference’ stop her.  I like that.

You know it’s been hot when it’s 93 degrees and it feel nice!  So different from several weeks of over 100, and many days with high humidity too.  I can take the heat a LOT better than the humidity.  Humidity just saps my energy level and I feel I can hardly breathe.  I guess with so much air conditioning around everywhere it is hard for my body to adjust to the heat.   But so glad we have the a/c!

Today, again, I noticed the beauty of nature. When I went outside this morning I felt the cool breeze on my cheek.  On my drive  I loved to see the huge bales of hay in the fields.  The few spotty rains we’ve had lately have done an amazing job of greening up some areas.  As I look out the window just now I see the leaves blowing in the wind, casting shadows one place and then another.  And I wonder is it possible to draw in a way to show the breeze?  Even if it is, it would only be just a copy, never as good as feeling the real thing.  But still stirring, if drawn well.

Then again, who’s to say what is drawing well?  Different things speak to different people.  To me it seems we need to find what stirs our hearts and then fill our life with it.  So what stirs you?

Websites and Ideas

20 Jul

I seem to be in a writing mood.  This is my thrid post this week.  I tried to do this post a few weeks ago, but got discouraged with my knowledge (really my lack of knowledge) of technology.  But since then I’ve had a bit more practice I’m going to try again.

I love to search the web!  Seems like there is always something new, or different that I haven’t noticed before.  I tend to visit the somewhat quirky sites-to see things a bit different from the norm.  Some of these sites I return to over and over.  I’ll try to list a few.

Since I have moved to a smaller house I love to browse ‘Apartment Therapy’.  www.apartmenttherapy.com/   This is a site filled with ideas for living in small places. fugal living and more.  I usually get an idea of something I would like to try.  Many times they are just ideas-I never really do it.  But I really enjoy the idea of it.

Another is www.digsdigs.com  Again, really love this site.   And how about www.freshome.com where I can find ideas by rooms or search.  Often I will click a link from a site which takes me to another link and from there I go on and on.

One idea a really love (idea only as I think a lot of these ideas are way out of my budget range) is a circular kitcehn.  It can be freestanding or in a corner.  It is very compact and can be completely closed off. This would be great for those of us who don’t clean up our messes quickly.  I don’t remember which site I first saw it on, but I find it again from time to time.  Another idea (this one is a bit quirky) for a kitchen is the Flow kitchen and Flow kitchen 2.  I think I found it on www.studiogorm.com   Such a neat idea.  After washing the dishes, by hand, they are hung to dry in the place in which they are stored.  The water dripping off waters the plants underneath.

Flow kitchen 1

And it looks so streamlined!  I love the look of minimilism.

Then there is the bathroom.  I want to remodel mine.  It is arranged in a way that it is very close quarters.  One day my granddaugher was using the facilities and started yelling “Grandma, my hair is caught.!”  She had leaned forward with her head on the sink cupboard and her hair was caught in the cabinet knob.  Funny, but it shows a remodel is needed.  So I have been searching for ideas.  I”ve found plenty.  My bookmarks are imense.  And I clip pics a lot.  I like to look at the google image site.  Often I will click on a site from there.  I usually have several tabs open at once.  And many times several windows too.

One small bathtub is the Ravak Avacado  www.rafvak.com

Avacado

Just think, a really small comfortable tub.  I love to take long soaks.  My present tub is not at all comfortable.  It is too long and the back doesn’t slope enough.  I have tried to find a bath pillow, but haven’t been successful in finding what I want.  In the few times I’be taken a bath–I take showers now–I use several towels.  But still not very comfortable.  A friend told me to search for ‘world most comfortable bathtub’.  I did and guess what came up?  The Ravak ‘YOU’.  It has a really sloping back and arm rests and is deep!  Even has a headrest.  I have no idea how much it costs or if it is even available in the USA.   A lot of the sites I visited for smaller bathroom fixtures were in Europe.

For my laundry/bathroom I purchased a tiny sink locally.  I bought another to use in my main bath.  But some of my kids think it is too small for the main bathroom.  So I am still looking.  I may return it, haven’t decided yet.  I found one I like at Ikea  www.ikea.com , the Lillagen.  It is narrow which is good as it would be best if my sink didn’t stick out over 12″.  The problem with the little sink I purchased is that is is wall hung and there is no place to put soap, etc.  This Ikea sink has an insert to hold a few items and it has clips on the side for towels.  Or I could get a bowl type sink that sits on a counter/shelf.   We will have to remove the cabinet and I really like the look of shelves.  Maybe with baskets?

I want a beach theme.  On one site I saw a pic of a clock with sand and waves. I liked the restful feel.  I have a shower curtain, white with  lengthwise blue stripes.   It has a restful beach feeling.  I could put my huge straw tote on the floor to hold towels.  Then maybe hooks for wet ones and robes.  And some shelving.  I also have a special cabinet for my aromatherapy, but it needs something (a shelf?) to sit on.  I will keep getting ideas until I find something that works.

I have changed my bedroom two or three times already, but I really like the way I have it now.  I made the other bedroom into a library, office, craft, sitting room.  It has a loveseat futon for a guest.  I would add a photo, but can’t with my Ipad and don’t have the photo on my laptop yet.  I wIsh the pics in this post looked better.  Althought I centered them, I think  they woukd have looked better either on left or rig side.  I don’t know how to edit photos yet, if it is even possible.  So it will have to do with this for now.

Well, I guess Ive run out of steam.  I will probably add more sites on a later post.

Starting Drawing lessons

18 Jul

Last week I had my 2nd drawing lesson.  I have read/looked at many books and articles on perspective, but never really understood it.  But on my way home from the lesson I was seeing the countryside with new eyes.  I could now see how everything could be drawn.  To me, that is amazing!

But I’m finding out that just because I now know how to draw things, I have only started to learn to draw.  I need so much of the old ‘practice makes perfect’.  But I am trying not to get discouraged. Even if I can’t make things look exactly like I want, they are certainly better than I have ever drawn before and I UNDERSTAND what I’m doing now.

I am also learning how to shade objects to give them a 3D look.  We touched on the direction of light.  I realized I that I am better at the 3d than the light aspect.

I have been interested in art-drawing, painting, etc- for a long time.  At one time I took a Bob Ross wet on wet oil painting class at Hobby Lobby.  I enjoyed it and did a few other paintings at the time, before becoming discouraged because I couldn’t make things look ‘right’.   More recently I attended two pastel painting classes.  I really enjoyed that.  However I realized that if I ever wanted to be any good I needed to learn to draw.  That is what painting is based on, at least it seems so to me.

However I am finding that I love drawing for itself, not just as a step to painting.  There are three things that I’m yearning to draw well–rocks, shadows, and water.   I hope to consentrate on them later.  For now I am practising with still life, shapes and perspective.

Hey, all  you beginning artists (and also the experts) let me know what you are doing, ok?

Practico español

18 Jul

Entiendo los verbos presente pero aprendo los verbos pasado.  Trato usa la configuraciòn en mi IPad ‘Spanish’.  Pero el IPad configure en el verbo corecto y no entiendo las polabras.  Entonces, leo en el Internet que cuando apreto  las tecias del el IPad, las lettras el marca acento aprece.   Una problems usa este mètodo es el iPad corecte las polabras automatice y es necesario escribo despacio y con cuidado.

En esta semana voy a la granja de mi hija los màs jóvenes. Ella y la familia vamos en la vacaciòn.  Cuando en la granja doy de comer de los granos a las animalas.  Las animalas de mi hija son las gallinas, los gallos, los patos, los gansos, los caballos y una canejo. Me gusta voy de la granja de mi hija pero mi gusta mas cuando las tempuratura no es tan caliento.

Yo solicito las correciones en esta carta, por favor.

Latest Knitting endeavor

9 Jul

Knitted with Love For my youngest granddaughters

Just finished knitting halter tops and skirts for my two youngest granddaughters.  Next I will be working on a pink and white halter top for the 5 year old .

The skirts were a lot harder than I expected.  I had to start over many times.  Finally I decided just to finish them-even tho there are mistakes.  Hopefully they will still have fun playing dress up with them.

The halter top is a from www.freepatterns.com and the skirt is designed by Cathy Campbell for Crystal Palace Yarns.  I got both from a link off www.knittingpatternscentral.com.

I’ve been trying to insert the picture into this post, but no luck yet.  I was able to get the pic into my photo gallery, but don’t know how to get it to appear in the post yet.  I’ll try again later.

Just figured out how to get the photo inserted into the post.  Yeah!

Cheese update, July 1

1 Jul

The Feta is very tasty.  I think the goat chease recipe has a pronounced lime taste, so I may not have added the correcct portions (I made 1.5x recipe).  But it is still very good.

The Cornish cheese seemed very crumbly when I went to wrap it.   Strange because I thought I followed the direction on that recipe closer than I did the others.   It said to put it on cool spot, and the only place that is cool here is my fridge.  So I put it in veggie drawer.   I forgot to put the basil leaves on it.  I thout of it today so unwrapped it and tried to rap some leaves around  the cheese, but it is still very crumbly.  It, and the Picking cheese should be ready to sample by middle of July.   The Picing hardly smells at all now, so I’m really glad I didn’t throw it out early on when it smelled so bad!

I haven’t made any manicotti yet, but been using the cheese on top of  omelets and baked potatoes and it tastes very good.  I got too busy to make the ricotta and my freezer got too full for any more whey, so the rest went into the compost pile.  I thought of using to water garden, but luckily saw on one of the ‘uses for whey’ sites that it can burn plants if not diluted.

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