Cookies

Cookies

I’m saving this video for myself and anyone else who might want to see it.  It shows some easy ways to decorate cookies.  I’m not the most creative person on the planet (I have a right brain)…but I think even I can do some of these….

Hit him again, Smitty!!

Well, it’s Oscar night. It’s the night Hollywood hypocrites set aside to dress up in $20k dresses, pat themselves on the back and bash Donald Trump.  “Stars” I’ve never heard of win awards for movies I’ve never heard of.  Not really a surprise since I’ve kinda had it with Hollywood people forcing their stupid opinions on us.  I’m kinda with the guy, whoever that was, who said we should throw money at them and tell them to dance, show monkey!!   It’s probably obvious but I didn’t watch.

I did see 2 movies at the theater last year: ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindenwald’ & the last ‘Mission Impossible’ movie because it was free on my birthday.   I found Fantastic Beasts confusing and it will take several viewings to understand everything that went on but I still like the Nifflers.   MI is never as good as the 1960’s TV series, mainly because there is no Martin Landau.

I did tonight, though, go to the theater to see a movie–Roman Holiday, from 1953.  It is Audrey Hepburn’s movie debut and it is amazing.  She won an Academy Award as a princess who takes a break from her royal duties by sneaking out and having a day on the town.  Along the way, she unknowingly meets a journalist, played by handsome Gregory Peck.  She introduces herself as Anya errr…Smith.  He figures out who she is and sees a big payday.  He is joined by photographer Eddie Albert (a movie stealer–someone who outshines in every role).  Together the three of them tour Rome for the day.   I don’t like spoilers so I won’t go any further about the story but trust me: it’s wonderful.

Some other facts that I find interesting about the movie:

1. It won an Academy Award for it’s writer.  Thing is, the guy who won didn’t write it. It was awarded to a writer named Ian McClellan Hunter but the movie was written by Dalton Trumbo, who was blacklisted because he appeared on a list of Communists in the 1950’s.    Hunter fronted for him to get the script filmed.  Things were later rectified & Trumbo finally got credit.  Sadly, it was in the 1990’s, after Trumbo had passed away.

2. Gregory Peck was a big star and Audrey Hepburn was a nobody when this all started.  I don’t understand it all but apparently billing order is important in Hollywood and a name above the title is a good thing.  It was supposed to have just Gregory Peck’s name above the title but apparently after the movie was finished, he went to his agent & the studio & told them Audrey Hepburn’s name should be above the title too because, in essence, only an idiot would think he was the star of this movie.  It was a class act and the right thing to do.

3.  My post title comes from a line by Irving (Eddie Albert) missing the picture the first time Ann (Audrey Hepburn) beans a guy with a guitar.  “Hit him again, Smitty!”

4.  I own the DVD.  Yep, I still have the DVD’s and a player too.  I know with streaming they may seem out of date but I find streaming limited and love old movies.  I’ll keep them.  That being said, I paid $10 to see it on the big screen tonight and it was worth every minute.

5.  I used to go to the movies a lot but now find it expensive, full of children and frankly most of the movies are crap.  Even if there are good ones, I don’t want to support Hollywood mentality by giving them my hard earned dollars.  I will Red Box occasionally and have been known to pay for a stream but I get around my boycott by pretending that I’m paying Red Box or Amazon instead of Hollywood.  But even with all of that I find myself missing the movie theater.  In a movie called ‘The Majestic’ which started off pretty good and then got strange, there is a line from the aforementioned Martin Landau (love him, probably the reason I saw the movie) who is an old man that owns a classic theater.  I’m paraphrasing because I don’t remember all of the quote but its something like “Why would people stay home and watch a box when they could come here?”

6. If I were giving ‘Roman Holiday’ stars, I’d go with 2 million.

 

 

Cemetery

I’ve spent more time having cemetery conversations this week than any other time in my life.

Last week, on the anniversary of my mother’s death, I went down to put down flowers.  She’s buried in a family plot with my dad, my sisters and various others.  And I noticed there is a small marker, about the size of a shoe box, at the end of one of my sister’s grave.  It looks homemade and had initials JMS on it.  My sister’s headstone only has her maiden name (the m part) but not her married name (the s part).  Her husband killed her in 1970 and my mom purposefully left her married name off.  She had a 2 year old when she died so I assumed he’d put it it there.  But he didn’t.  After checking with the small town funeral home and cemetery association, where it came from remains a mystery.

Several years ago when one of my uncle’s passed away, my parents and one of my dad’s sisters went together and bought 16 plots.  12 of them are now occupied.  2 are reserved for me and my nephew.  And this started with my cousin who lived in New Mexico all of her married life asking about the 2 on her parents’ side.  Odd that she wants to be buried in my hometown (not hers) but she wants to be with family.  I talked to my nephew today to make it very clear that I would not be using mine.  I want to be cremated as cheaply as possible and have my ashes scattered.   I told my nephew he and his wife could go there …he could surprise her with that info in her Valentine’s card!!  I’m buying a small marker with a Texas Tech Double T on it to show I existed.

I hope this is our last cemetery discussion ever.

Bread

Not sure exactly when it happened but bread is supposed to be our enemy.  With low carb, Atkins,Keto diets bread is one of the many things we are not supposed to eat anymore. I try not to eat too much but bread is still my friend.

When I was a little girl, my mom made biscuits every day but when she discovered they came in a can the homemade’s went away.  And there was a standard loaf of white bread in the breadbox for sandwiches and toast.  So when I had a home of my own, that’s what I ate.  But as I try everyday to eat better, I try to eat less and better bread.  I used to laugh at my sister who always had multi-grain, brown gross bread full of crap but I’ve actually found a bread full of crap that I like.  But it does not fit everywhere.

So I have trolled Pinterest and found bread recipes and have decided from now on I’ll make my own.  What I’ve found mostly is Artisan breads, the loaves in the bakery section of the grocery that are $6 a loaf and turn green in 3 days.  And they are not sandwich breads but I don’t need to eat lunch meat either so that’s ok too.  I made a Rosemary bread which turned out really well except I found I don’t like Rosemary.

Today was an interesting bread day.  I found a great sounding recipe for Honey-Cranberry-Walnut No Kneed bread.  Looked simple enough.  7 simple ingredients. Top of the recipe says 15 minute prep, 45 minute bake, 1 hour, easy peasy.  So yesterday I think I’ll start.  But as I read the directions, in step 14 of 20, it says “after letting dough rise 12-18 hours…” and I’m like, um, what?  So at 10pm last night I’m putting bread together and leaving oven on all nigh so I can put the bowl on top hoping it will be warm enough for bread to rise.   I have to get the dough which is pretty wet out of the bowl, onto parchment paper and put a little flour on it to make the crust crispy & let it rise 45 minutes more.  Then I bake in a covered Dutch oven for the 45 minutes.    So it looks good and tastes pretty good although it’s chewy as hell.   And the texture looks strange but it seems done.

Normally, I’d try an iffy  recipe again but I don’t necessarily see that happen with this recipe.  Easy enough to mix but 12-18 hours to rise?  Seriously?  Maybe I’ll try again some day but probably not soon.

Funniest thing is one of the steps in the recipe instructions tells me to put on oven mitts before pulling a pan that has been in a 450 degree oven for 45 minutes out of the oven.

Next:  French Bread (normal rising time)

Jars

jars

I don’t consider myself a perfectionist but I do like my life in order.  I mean if the laundry doesn’t get done today, it will still be there tomorrow.   If my bed doesn’t get made (like today) that’s ok.  But there are parts of my life that I have put in a jar and put tight lids on.  And while sometimes the jars keep things safe, the lids keep a lot of things out too.

I’m hard on people.  I don’t remember always being this way but after some incidents where I felt taken advantage of, I’m slow to forgive.  I have many acquaintances but have a hard time making new friends. I have a really hard time in crowds.   I don’t know how to mingle.  Basically, no one gets close.  I try in some ways but it’s extremely hard for me. I’ve decided that if people don’t make an effort to interact with me, I don’t make the effort either.   It’s a jar with a tight lid.

BUT  I spend too much time alone.  When you call me, I’ll talk you to death because sometimes I have a lot to say and no one to listen.  If you invite me somewhere one on one I don’t say no unless I have something else to actually do.  My sweet dad was lonely after I made him move in with me.  When I needed to go somewhere he was already to go too even if he just sat in the car.  It’s a great fault that I don’t know how to fix.  It’s a jar with a tight lid.

I had a tough jar weekend.  I cannot go into every detail but it started early with cousins from my dad’s side.  Nice comfortable dinner with cousin and her husband of 40 years. And on Saturday a cousin from my mom’s side got married so I actually went to a wedding, a place full of strangers.  And another cousin from mom’s side & her husband came too so go to spend time with them too.   We had a meal.  We went to family cemeteries.  It was nice too.  But while I know the first cousin very well, 2nd cousin is a very sweet virtual stranger.   My sweet aunt raised wonderful, kind children and all have always been very nice to me but I have always felt out of place with them.  They all have great careers and families and live an around-the-world-lives while mine is more a trip to Dallas every year.   It’s me, not them.

I got back yesterday to a garage door malfunction that will be costing me money later this week.

And 16 years ago today my mom died.

The other thing that I won’t write about was very upsetting to me.  Like I have not slept in the last 2 nights.  It and the garage door are jars that have been knocked over and things have spilled out.  And today I had trouble dealing with spilled jars.

If I did not leave the house for the rest of the week I’d probably be ok.  And I always land on my feet.  So I’ll jet my jars lined up again soon, lids tightened, labels facing forward.

 

Dog Sitting

I’m not a dog person.  Or a pet person.  I’m not horrible.  I don’t kick them or anything but I also don’t like them jumping on me, licking me, following me around or looking at me.   To be fair, I’m barely a people person.  I like a discussion.  I don’t mind a 10 second hug by someone I like.  But let’s not get too touchy-feely.

I just spent the weekend dog sitting.  And he’s a nice dog but he jumps on me, licks me, follows me around and looks at me.  All of the time.  He wants to sit on the couch looking at me.  He jumps on the bed I’m sleeping on and won’t get off until I push him off and then I have to put him out in the living room to stop him from doing it again.  My cousin left me a list of “commands he knows”.  He should have written “none”.

I know he misses his people, who will be home tomorrow.  For Buddy and I it’s going to be a really good day.