Eccentric and Bent

Come on a fantastic voyage in the backwaters of my mind.

Category Archives: Random

Craft Time


I’ve been on a jewelry kick lately: not wearing it but making it. I’ve had a great deal of fun setting up my improvised work bench, selecting tools, selecting materials and playing with fire. My husband purchased a torch for my 40th birthday but I didn’t use it until after this last birthday. I tend to get tools and materials but then my frugal cheap side kicks in and makes me just hoard things because I’m hate to waste anything. I finally bit the bullet because I was tired of just playing with my micro torch. I’ve made some rather lovely (if I do say so myself and I do) flame “painted” copper pieces. I’ve always loved copper as a good Arizonan should (it’s one of the 5 C’s of our state: citrus, copper, climate, citizens and something else that I can’t remember right now.) I’ve been working with it as the main element of my jewelry for a few years. I started with different gauges of wire but as the pics will show I have graduated to sheet and tube copper. (My next goal is to work quality turquoise and lapis lazuli into my designs.
The majority of the components in these pieces are handmade, from jump rings to the closures. The only portions that were ready made are the stringing material, beads and felt used for backing. I still have a clasp to make for the necklace but I’m feeling pretty darn accomplished. I wish I knew how to keep the flame painted colors vibrant. The initial colors are beautiful but as you work with the pieces some of the patina is rubbed away revealing subtly elegant coloring. It’s beautiful too but I’ve never really been the subtle type. I guess that’s part of the fun though; never knowing exactly what you are going to get. I guess it’s a lot like life in that respect. Some of my most beautiful moments have happened because I went full tilt even in uncertain situations.
Since I am writing this from my phone, the pictures will be in another post called Craft Time Pics. Hope you check them out.
Craft Time Pics
https://aresthegoddess.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/craft-time-pics/

Craft Time Pics


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Craft Time
https://aresthegoddess.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/craft-time/
My phone decided that I should do two posts instead of one. So if you would like the explanation behind these pictures,click the link.

Traveling Life


In life we will travel many paths and roads. Some of them will be smooth and you’ll be able to see far down the road. Others will be rough and pitted; they could cause a bit of damage. Some will be heavily populated but others will be infrequently traveled. Stop occasionally and check your map to be sure you are headed in the right direction. Stop and enjoy the scenery because you may not ever see it again. In other words, find your purpose and joy wherever you happen to be traveling; the journey is where life actually happens.

Peach syrup


image
Peach syrup in a recycled jar.

image What it should look like when it is time to begin stirring and mashing.

image The finished product after chilling for 2 hours. It was still slightly warm.

Today, my daughters and I (later, my sons joined in too) went on a culinary adventure. The 13 year old has been wanting to make “plastic bag” ice cream all summer. We bought the rock salt and cream but we just never got around to doing it. Well today we did. We decided on an ice cream base using cream, milk and sweetened condensed milk. We found a technique for ice cream making without an ice cream maker/freezer. (I will update with links to the recipe and technique we used.) We modified the recipe to make chocolate for the kids. We also modified the technique to work with the size of our home freezer. I wanted to try the ice cream without additional flavorings mixed in, but wanted the option to add a topping. I had some peaches in the fridge that were getting soft. The light bulb came on…because I opened up the fridge of course. Anywho, I had three that needed to be used immediately.  That led to me coming up with a peach “syrup” based on the proportions of simple syrup, or at least what I think they are. I am not a real exact cook, which is good for my quick dessert recipes but not so much for quick dinners.
The recipe I used is as follows:
3 whole fresh peaches; pitted, finely chopped, but leave the skin on.
2 cups of sugar
1 cup of water
The juice of 1/2 lemon
A dash of salt (1/8 teaspoon or so.)
*Optional: cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or vanilla extract*
Put sugar and water in saucepan, set on stove aisle but do not turn it on.
Chop peaches and add to saucepan. Stir. Cut lemon in half and squeeze juice into pan. *squeeze over non-dominant hand to catch any seeds.*
Stir. Add dash of salt. Stir. Cook over medium heat without stirring until sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to bubble moderately.  (See the second picture)  Begin mashing the peaches while stirring. Cook and mash until the peaches are a fine pulp.  When you raise a metal spoon or rubber scraper out of the liquid, and there is a thin coating left on the utensil, remove from heat. (20 mins- 45 mins. The longer you cook it, the thicker the final product will be. ) *Add any optional spices or extract you chose now, and stir to fully mix in* Let cool in pan for about 10 mins. Then pour into a clean heat safe container. Let cool at least 2 1/2 hours before use. Store in the fridge.
This can be used anywhere you would use a syrup: ice cream, pancakes, biscuits, beverages, oatmeal, grits, etc. Mix it in a class of your favorite lemon lime soda, and you have an instant spritzer. Mix it with iced sweet tea for a southern themed quencher. For those that drink adult beverages, substitute it for simple syrup. As you can see the possibilities are endless. I would say that for beverages, it may be easier to use if you cook it for a shorter amount of time. You could also strain the pulp out but I couldn’t imagine why you would want to.
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Photos of the ice cream base. One is being mixed with cocoa powder and chocolate syrup while sitting in an ice bath. The other stayed vanilla flavored.

I went here and found the nesting bowl technique, http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-ice-cream-without-124210 ,unfortunately all of my mixing bowls are too big to fit the narrow freezer of my side by side refrigerator. So we started in mixing bowls in the first step, then transferred the base to a rectangular storage container and the ice/salt combo to disposable roasting pans. I doubled the roasting pans for strength. The ice cream base came from the same website. It is their sweetened condensed base; found here, http://www.thekitchn.com/easy-recipe-extraquick-nocook-106539. Just omit the Meyer lemon juice. Add 2 teaspoons of vanilla for a basic base.
My kids decided that they wanted chocolate, so when we took it out of the freezer for the second mixing they added 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder and two heaping spoonfuls of Kroger brand chocolate syrup topping for ice cream.

And the saga continues


I wrote about losing my phone. I told you how I was disappointed to lose pictures and information. I don’t remember if I told you about trying to remember my passwords to change them to new passwords. But I had to do that too.
I have a new phone. I have new passwords. What I don’t have is complete control over my email address. Someone has been sending out mass amounts of spam in my name. I have changed the dang password several times due to not being able to access my mail from my phone. I changed it on the 28th and actually restarted a paid account. I tried to open my email today and could not. I went to the desktop site and saw that my account had been suspended due to suspicious activity. I then was able to set up another password.
My issue is why can’t AOL suspend my account without me being a paying customer? Why does $6.95 a month make such a huge difference? Does the “hacker” now have my credit card info? Losing my phone was such an small thing but the ramifications can be huge. I am frustrated by the lowest common denominators of society. If they want people to buy their crap, be honest. Because as PT Barnum purportedly said, there’s a sucker born every minute.

Dragonflies


thoughts flitting through my mind 
like dragonflies
skimming over the surface
scared 
of what’s underneath
If I get to close 
will I drown
bog down
’cause my wings are wet
just hovering
making me nervous
I can see
into the depths
not into the unknown
here and back
there and here
around and around
just skimming the surface
wishing 
I could dive
but I am scared
of what’s underneath

Quick Tip: Stay Regular


Quick Tip: Stay Regular.

Blogging is like exercising, in my opinion. Some days I am highly motivated. Other days it’s a fat day. (Disclaimer: I do not have a structured workout scheduled. I leave that to those peppy cheerleader types. So my comparison comes from the comments of others about their workout routines. Heck, I chase a 2-year-old around for 15-18 hours a day and horseplay with the others from 5PM – 9PM most evenings. Who needs a structured workout. )
As a result there is no real schedule above trying to post at least 2 days a week. I typically don’t get on the interwebs on the weekends because I am fully focused on family time then. I also post less frequently during school vacations because there are 7 people in line for the desktop. Once I get a new laptop that will change. If a good blog is like a healthy colon then my blog is probably more like a college kid’s colon, healthy enough but subject to occasional abuse. This could result in constipation, diarrhea, and hemorrhoids. Constipation of the brain may cause me not to post as frequently. That is why I created the Ask Me Anything…Seriously page. Your questions may be the laxative needed by me. If I suffer from diarrhea of the blog I will post until the situation remedies itself. Hopefully this blog never suffers from hemorrhoids because I will shut it down. I will try to maintain a healthy blog because I don’t want to bore you. Just understand that, like you, I live a real life and that is my most important task.

Hello world!


I am a social (media) butterfly who flits here and there. You may have seen my name on FB, Google+, Twitter, Tumblr, Huff Post, or even Blogspot. If you have seen any of my previous posts, you know I am not quite right. I am mostly Left.  I am a mother, wife, sister, daughter, and aunt. I am not PC. I am happy being just the way I am. If you are easily offended, are republican, or don’t like talk about race relations in America and the world, I suggest you don’t follow. Also if you expect me to be a regular poster (as opposed to a Farrah Fawcett Poster), you will be disappointed. I will only write about those things that really get my dander up which may be frequent or far apart. There will be no theme to this blog other than what is on my mind. I am just forewarning you so that you won’t be disappointed or cursed out. If you are still here then I happily extend an invitation to take this voyage with me.

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