I should be writing. Instead…playing on Labor Day.

Not in order of completion…

Exploring another feature of the iPhone/iPad app Clips.

And a visit to nearby Avery Park for breakfast and cruising the rose garden…

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And there’s the undying need to bake. This time: blueberry-cinnamon coffee cake

Photo to follow? We’ll see…

 

I should be writing. Instead…adding to the family.

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We liked the name ‘Milo’ from our previous searches, so ‘Haswell’ became ‘Milo’ today.

He had no problem taking the reins of jumping into the front seat. Uhhhh, no.

But he’s fitting in nicely. Lots of energy and seems happy with our backyard and likes to do errands.

 

 

I should be writing. Instead…lending a hand.

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An added bonus to assisting others…

I helped the owner of an over-the-fence rental locate her property’s water shut-off valve. Maybe this is a side hustle I need to explore.


Milo the One-Eyed Dog…an update. No sooner had the vet cleared him for adoption than he was snapped up by someone else. Hey, as long as he’s cared for in a loving home, that’s good with us.

 

I should be writing. Instead…the shelter dog search continues.

We met Milo yesterday.

He’s a true survivor.

A sweetheart transfer [not an official term ;->] from Maui, within a week’s time, he had his eye removed [optic nerve had failed], he was neutered, and he withstood and actually just shrugged off an injury from a vicious attack from another dog at the facility.

He needs to be at the shelter for another post-surgical week, but how can a life like this not burrow its way into one’s heart?

Milo the One-Eyed Dog…

Seems like he needs a good family of dog lovers…dog-obsessors, even.

I have no idea where I could find anyone like that, assuming I avoid looking in the mirror.

Photos from Heartland Humane Society

I should be writing. Instead…it’s time to adopt a dog.

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I’d take all three of these guys.

Yep, once he/she arrives, there will probably be umpteen ‘I should be writing’ opps.

boo retirement

Boo was my career counselor.

We lost Boo over a year ago and I usually need more healing time, but as the years progress, I realize I can’t be dawdling on this. I want a dog’s spirit, loyalty, and companionship in the house. Not to mention the entertainment value.

Note: My wife is actually spending more time on the local shelters’ websites than I am. Perhaps, just perhaps, it’s harder to live with a dogless me. 😉

 

 

I should be writing. Instead…blueberry muffins, with variations.

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I was going to launch a mini-rant against technology this afternoon [Safari and WordPress weren’t playing nicely], but I redirected toward wholesomeness. And comfort. And calories.

After all, frustrated writers don’t rant; they bake.

In my case, blueberry muffins. A new recipe. A simple one, since I just wanted something straightforward so we could squeeze in a little afternoon coffee. Never mind that the temps outside are in the high 90’s. When the need for ‘fresh-baked’ arises, I spring to action. [Well, not exactly ‘spring’. That would imply flexibility…agility…youth.]

Breaking news from the kitchen–[Hey, if CNN can do this 24/7, so can I.]…They’re halfway done and they’ve already earned the ‘They smell goood’ pronouncement from my wife and they look like they’ll turn out ‘normal’—a relative term in my kitchen.

What constitutes ‘normal’?

These muffins [here’s the recipe] will form fit to the muffin tin. That’s about it. Anything less than that, I add the word ‘mutant’ to the title.

Today, three of these little hummers are traditional, I’ve added a sweet ginger jam to two of them, and one of them has nary a blueberry. [Yes, a blatantly forced rhyme.] I populated it with ’60% cocoa’ chocolate chips. My wife…ever so subtle. When muffin fixins emerge, you can bet she’ll saunter by and plop some usable form of chocolate onto the counter.

Impressions

  • Good ‘blank canvas’ recipe. I will gladly reuse this as my muffin base. Add cinnamon, etc. for stone fruit muffins. Add peanut butter to join the chocolate chips. You get the idea. [Thank you, Joanne and Adam Gallagher.]
  • I used muffin-top tins today to shorten the cooking time. Again, I wanted quick results. In the future, I would use traditional tins for more moisture.
  • Ginger jam: Yep. I’d repeat this. The marriage of blueberry and ginger definitely worked.
  • Chocolate chip muffin: I bungled this one. The muffin was fine, but someone [me] turned out to be chintzy with the chips. [Divorce proceedings imminent…]
  • Everything tastes better when it’s served on my favorite ‘dog plate’.

I should be writing. Instead…hand pies.

Two-fisted hand pies, that is.

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In our kitchen, ooze rules.

We had considered the more elegant look of a galette, but we laughed that off once we rolled out the dough.

My wife and I just wanted to slap those babies on the preheated cookie sheet and get’em baking.

I started with a glance at a crust recipe of author Linda Lomelino [Book: Lomelino’s Pies].

She goes with 3/4 cup of flour and nine tablespoons of butter. No salt or sugar.

So I, of course, veered a bit–1 cup pastry flour, a quarter teaspoon of salt, a little more than a tablespoon of sugar pulsed in the food processor joined by a stick [cubed] of cold butter. Add the cold water by the tablespoon until the dough sticks a bit to the sides. Scrape the dough into a piece of plastic wrap, and, once wrapped, sculpt it into a disk. Refrigerate until it’s baking time.

We were pleased with the crust. I think the pastry flour makes a difference.

But it was a good starting point and the book offers quality advice, photos, and recipes.

Pie filling for today?

Pie 1: Canned dark sweet cherries, thoroughly drained, with a little sugar and flour and a syrup of a reduction of creme de cassis, brandy, vanilla, some sugar, and a little juice from the can.

Pie 2: The rest of the cherries and diced Granny Smith apple dredged in sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice.

We have actually decided to follow baking protocol and are letting the pies cool.

I know, that’s crazy talk. But every once in awhile, we are able to resist.

Verdict–on the count of not sealing the pastry borders: Guilty

Verdict–on the count of assembling a quality, comforting, repeat-worthy treat to chase away the Sunday evening blues: Guilty

Verdict–on the count of eating more than you should have: Guilty.

I should be writing. Instead…a little culinary decadence.

hot chocolate

Camped out at Bellden Cafe in Bellevue, Washington with family.

Revelation: Some of the best idea generation sessions take place are when author tools are nowhere in sight.

Conversation at the table yielded these possibilities:

  1. Why not create a journal of light-bulb moments in the classroom? [Both teachers’ and students’]
  2. The world could use a new business-speak glossary pretty much every year.
  3. Student artwork posted online should/could/might be accompanied by a short audio clip from the artist revisiting the process.