Last night, Beta spent half an hour out on the deck. She was wearing the wool cape I got her last Christmas. She had her new noise-cancelling headphones that block so many of the sounds that bother her. She used the new family telescope to check out the Pleiades.
I got a fish tank a year or so ago. It’s one of those Back to the Roots garden tanks that support a betta and three plant buckets. We had an alge problem, so we added a snail. He gets around a lot, so we call him the SpeedSnail.
(The fish is Fish Stick. It’s what was for dinner the night we brought him home.)
Yesterday, I noticed that the tank walls were getting a little brown. I decided today was the day to clear the counters and do some maintenance on the tank. The first part of that maintenance is to take out the plant pots.
So, I take out the middle pot. The roots are a little long, but not bad. Take out the far left pot. That one is ew and I may need to invest in new growth rocks. Then comes the one with the spider plant in it. This was an experimental plant. I look in the pot and notice one of the rocks looks strangely smooth. And round.
We collect shells. I have several snail shells from various beaches and our yard. So the obvious first thought is, “who put one of the shells in there?”
Then I look at the tank, and all the alge. I look at the tiger-striped shell in my pot. And SpeedSnail took a quick trip back into the tank.
He must have climbed up the feeding tube, gotten across the rocks, and discovered there was no water up there. He sealed himself up, and waited for the water to come back.
I watched him for a while before I left to meet Quinn for lunch, and spotted him sneaking a peak from inside his shell. When I got back to the house, he was busy hoovering up alge as fast as he could.
So, the snail had an adventure. The tank will get nice and clean again. FishStick can make aggressive moves against a tank-mate that can’t care less about what he’s doing.
diced peppers (two colors, at least, for the pretty)
What is a glug, you ask?Tip over the jug, and stop pouring when it has made the glug noise the stated number of times. Yes, it is a technical term!
Pre-heat the oven to 350.
Mix all 12 eggs and the cream in a bowl using a whisk or a fork. It should get a little frothy, but not too bad.
Pull out a muffin pan, and either spray the cups with cooking spray, or use cupcake papers (which is what I do because my muffin pans are ancient and rusty).
Pour a roughly equal amount of egg/cream mixture into each cup.
Drop some of the peppers into each cup.
Drop a good-sized pinch of Mexi-cheese (or the shredded cheese of your choice) into each cup.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
Understand – these are all guidelines. You don’t need to use peppers (asparagus is yummy), or Mexi-cheese. If you can’t handle dairy, coconut oil is a great substitute. Try things! Make mistakes! Enjoy!
Use metal cookie sheets, not a baking stone. You’re going straight from the fridge to a nice hot oven. The stone will not survive the transfer.
Use plenty of flour on your cutting surface.
Cut the dough into pieces of about a third of the dough each, and only pull one of them out of the fridge at a time to roll out and cut.
You are going to use so much plastic wrap with this recipe.
Its totally worth it.
To get the different colors of frosting, I usually get the biggest thing of vanilla frosting I can, and food color bits of it in sandwich bags. Cut off the tip of one corner and hey-presto decorating bags!
6 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 c softened butter
1 c brown sugar, packed
4 tsp ground ginger
4 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 lg eggs
1 c unsulphated molasses
Sift together the first three ingredients in a side bowl (not the one you plan on mixing everything in, you will regret that if you try)
In a mixer with a big bowl, cream butter and sugar
Add spices & salt, then eggs, then molasses
Slowly add flour mixture (not kidding about the speed – try to do it fast, and the whole thing explodes into a powdery mess)
Combine everything at low speed
Wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap, and chill for an hour
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Put down parchment paper and flour it really well
Roll to 1/8 inch thickness (WHO ACTUALLY DOES THAT? I usually do 1/4)
Cut with cookie cutters, and place them on the cookie sheet
My knitting mojo is back! I guess the job was making me more nuts than I realized. So glad I found a new one!
I cast on Scopes again. I love the pattern, it is super easy, and it looks amazing. I wanted to use up stash yarn (I’m not quite SABLE, but it’s getting close). Found yarn that refused to be a Christmas stocking, and cast on.
Looking at my color choices later, with the big, bold stripes, I realized something.
“I think I’m making a flag hat by accident.”
Quinn, who is sitting next to me surfing Reddit, looks at the hat, and starts googling for flags with white, red and green.
Depending on where you are in the pattern, a case can be made for the flag of either Hungary or Bulgaria. I still love it. I’m just going to call it the Hungary Bulgarian hat on the project page. ?
So, I do this thing. I go outside at night to spot satellites.
Tonight, I went out with my tea and a plan to spot at least one satellite, despite a wicked bright moon, before bed.
I spotted one right off. It was really bright, the brightest I’ve seen. And it was moving really fast, too fast to be a plane. I yelled for Quinn and told him the International Space Station was passing by.
We waved at the astronauts, I spotted another three satellites (one flared twice!), and we called it a night after the kids yelled at us.
If you want to see the ISS, check here. Spot the station will give you times it will pass overhead!