Quick and easy rolls

Posted November 6, 2014 By Ruth

I found this recipe here.

Ok, first off, despite the title of that recipe, they’re not 30 minute rolls.  If you actually follow the timing instructions you’re looking at a good 40 minutes from start to finish.  And mine took ALOT longer to bake than hers.  Could be my oven (though thats new and two different thermomters say its heating right), could be my pan (though I’ve now tried this with three different pans).  But give yourself an hour to make these.

Having said that, they’re still a very quick, very easy, dinner or small sandwich roll.  See the above link for the original recipe, below for my version of it

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast (yes, TABLESPOONS)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3.5 to 4 cups flour (AP is fine)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Thoroughly butter the inside of your pan (see below).

In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Allow the mixture to rest for 10 minutes or so, till the mixture is bubbly and foamy.

Mix the oil, 2 cups of flour, the salt, and the egg into the yeast mixture using a dough hook. Add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time.  It should be smooth and not overly sticky when its ready to go.

Shape dough into 8-12 balls and place in your pan. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.

Bake for 30 minutes or until tops are just golden brown.


Pans: she recommends a 9×13 pan.  After trying a couple different pans I ended up settling on my cast iron Dutch Oven of all things.  Setting it on top of the stove while the oven is heating (and for the “resting” time) warms it a bit.  To bake in the Dutch Oven, leave the lid on for the resting stage, and the first 5 minutes of the baking time.  After 5 minutes remove the lid, and let them bake till golden.  This produces a fairly high risen roll.  However they still took 30minutes to bake for me no matter WHICH pan I used.


I have to admit that we mostly use them for sandwich rolls, and infact these are the current running favorite for sandwiches in the house.  The fact that they’re very quick and easy to make helps with that.  The olive oil flavor comes through nicely and blends well with the sandwiches, though not so much if you just want a buttered roll.

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corner shower install-bleg

Posted November 3, 2014 By Ruth

There’s a long blog post coming on this, but has anyone installed a corner shower or similar type unit?  Is there SUPPOSED to be a 2×4 frame-work on the wall behind the shower sides?

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Mice and Rats and…..

Posted November 1, 2014 By Ruth

Probably the only thing I miss about Evil Kitty roaming the neighborhood is the way he kept the rodent population in check.  He was doing a better job at it than I realized.  He disappeared last winter, and this summer the mouse population skyrocketed.  

A couple weeks ago I started putting out traps in sheltered spots near the obvious mouse holes around the exterior of the house, as well as near the corners where we’d heard mice.

Almost immediately started catching mice.  Had to swap out several of the cheap wood snap traps for some of the sturdier plastic ones as the wood ones didn’t handle the wet well, but pretty  much every trap was catching at least one mouse a day.  We were having a few empty triggered traps, but not a lot.

Then I couldn’t find one of the traps…..finally found it a solid 10ft away from where I’d placed it.  It contained a mouse head.  No body, just the head inside the trap.  

Then I started getting ALOT of empty triggered traps.  And then traps started disappearing….

I set up the trail camera to watch the spot where a couple of the traps are and caught this:

0075INFORMATION_STRIP_ON__TAG 29.45 inHg 37"F  10/25/14 05:32 AM  MYCAMER1

Yah, your guess is as good as mine.  Current running vote is raccoon.

Then Thursday Arty suddenly went berserk at one of the windows.  I figured squirrel, but looked out the window to check…..thats a funny looking squir….THATS A RAT DAMMIT!  And its FRICKING HUGE!!  Something tells me that explains the empty triggered traps, and maybe even the missing traps (though it still doesn’t explain the bodyless head in the one trap).


Started looking at rat traps.  I’ll be picking up some huge snap traps this week.  But I’m also looking at some of the electric zapper traps, since they’ll absolutely kill anything that gets into them, and is marginally less likely to snap on a dog paw when I’m not fast enough to keep them away from a trap…..

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Posted November 1, 2014 By Ruth

Borepatch reminded me that I’d found an article by a guy who’s studied “Halloween Sadism” and then never posted it, so there it is.  I’d assumed that most of the freak out over poisoned candy was the media’s fault, but I hadn’t realized how much of it was….

A casual friend was upset when she discovered we didn’t hand out candy.  But then she’s never met Apollo in guard mode either.  Not that it matters if we wanted to hand out candy, we’re rural enough that we don’t even see Trick or Treaters passing us by.  Most of the kids in the neighborhood know that knocking on Apollo’s door is a good way to get your socks scared off anyway….

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Photo dump

Posted October 27, 2014 By Ruth

Been a while since the last time I posted photos (and even that was mostly garden stuff)….

IMGA2669a IMGA3987a IMGA3989a IMGA5988 2014-08-27_20-28-37_438 2014-09-15_09-06-12_225 IMGA6566 IMGA6593 IMGA7378 IMGA7091a IMGA7251a IMGA7820a IMGA5731a IMGA5749a IMGA6286 IMGA6702a IMGA6814a IMGA6837a IMGA6847a IMGA7228a IMGA7319a IMGA7468a IMGA7511a IMGA7658a IMGA7681a IMGA7708a IMGA7816a

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Posted October 26, 2014 By Ruth



He is the first NGSD to ever hold a Barn Hunt Instinct title!

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Barn Hunt

Posted October 26, 2014 By Ruth

At some point in the last year I’d heard about a “new” canine sport called Barn Hunt.  Its basically a simulated rat hunt in a simulated barn setting.  Lots of “simulated” in there, but the idea was to work terriers as if they were barn dogs, charged with keeping the barn free of vermin.  But the sport isn’t just open to terriers, but to any breed of dog.  I thought it sounded like something that Arty would enjoy, and since I’ve been on the lookout for something I can do with him to get him out and about more I looked up local clubs.

No luck, the closest club was 2.5hrs away.  Not to far for competition certainly, but far enough that I wasn’t keen on dragging him out there for practices.

Then over the summer I found out about a new club starting up about 45 minutes north of me.  MUCH more feasible, location wise.  So I signed up Arty for practices.  And he LOVED it.  

So I went to register him with Barn Hunt so he could actually compete.  And that’s where  I ran into a problem.  Barn Hunt doesn’t care if the dog itself is register-able with any kennel club.  But in order for their breed to be listed with Barn Hunt the BREED must be register-able with one of the major kennel clubs (to keep the breed list from becoming a mess of -doodles and the like).

There’s something like barely 300 New Guinea Singing Dogs in the entire world.  Less most likely though I don’t have the current numbers.  And a fairly large number of those are owned by zoos, and research facilities, or in “group” settings.  The number owned by the private person, like me and my Arty is quite small.  Which just isn’t enough to get most KCs to be interested in recognizing them.  And two of the KCs that USED to recognize them no longer do.  I know what happened with one, but no one I’ve talked to knows what happened with the 2nd.

Barn Hunt refused to make an exception.  I was pretty peeved, for all that I understand the reasoning, there was no appeal process or anything.  I could have registered him with them as a “mixed breed”, but frankly the only thing I needed to register him for was actual competition runs.  I could still do practice sessions and “fun hunts” without registration.  So I refused, and so did every other Singer owner I talked to who was interested in Barn Hunt.

Then I discovered the IABCA lists Singers!  And Barn Hunt was willing to accept the IABCA’s listing!  Woohoo!  

That was 3 weeks ago.

Today Arty ran his first official trail.  He got his Instinct Qualification.  And his first (three are required) Novice Qual.  And although he wasn’t the fastest in the ring by any stretch, he did it with time to spare.  

There’s another Barn Hunt trial coming up the end of Nov, I can’t wait!

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Its still one of those years….

Posted October 25, 2014 By Ruth

2014 started out less than stellar, and its pretty much continued on the same vein.  I’ve resisted griping about it, because it really could have been ever so much worse (…..we still have the house, we’re still married, our own health hasn’t been affected…..no fate, thats not a challenge, k?), but the whole year has been pretty much a regular stream of”lets kick Ruth’s family again, one of them might go squirrely this time!!”, and it has very definitely affected my temper and general stress level.

Among other things a specific online community has helped keep me sane, I’ve been a member there for almost 3yrs, I’ve got friends there, and even most of the ones I don’t consider friends I know well enough to have a pretty good idea of how they’re going to react to things.

Till this week.  This week I discovered that several of the folks I considered friends weren’t.  Experienced an extremely personal attack that had nothing to do with the disagreement at hand, which two mods to the community apparently sanctioned and participated in, had another friend rather blatantly lie while she assisted in the personal attack, and then watched one of the previously mentioned mods take the personal attack out into the general board, while creating an environment that has the potential to do serious harm to the atmosphere of that community (as it already did serious harm to the mental state of the person who’s original quest for help triggered the above disagreement).

Obviously I don’t know some of those folks as well as I thought I did.

Guess thats what I get for thinking…..

At any rate I think I learned my lesson, participation in such online communities has been severely curtailed, and I’m cutting back my “I’m bored lets browse online” time.  I’m hoping this means I’ll actually end up blogging more, but don’t count on it…..

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How to piss off your whole community

Posted October 21, 2014 By Ruth

Get a 911 call that “aggressive dogs are terrorizing a lady in a car

Send officer out to look things over. 

Officer allows one dog to be captured by a neighbor of the owner.  But when he attempts to call the other dogs to him they act aggressively so he has to shoot them for his own safety.

Owner calls BS on the “acting aggressively” part and FOIA’s the video from the officer’s lapel cam (yay for wired police!).  Police release a 22second bit of video that shows the officer shooting the dog “for his own safety”: http://www.cleburnetimesreview.com/news/article_7e920210-5646-11e4-a670-8fe5949ce1ca.html?mode=video (warning, the video does indeed show the dog being shot, its not the goryest thing ever, but some people will be bothered regardless).

Cue public upset in 3…2….

Additional video from before the shooting: http://www.cleburnetimesreview.com/video_b174524a-5647-11e4-8c6a-cb8bcb24f91e.html

and after the shooting: http://www.cleburnetimesreview.com/video_cee9af92-5646-11e4-8ae5-0b544247bb8a.html (very clear shot of the dead and bloody dog)


I can’t comment on what happened with the dogs cornering someone in their car.  Its not on video.  I can certainly see how a friendly, excited, reasonably sized, dog bouncing on the car door in an attempt to say “HI!!” could be scary to someone who’s not good with dogs. 

In the video from before the shooting I can hear a lady talking to the officer and stating that one of the brown dogs snapped at her.  I can hear the officer telling another resident that the black and white dog (who at this time he’s ignoring) was the one acting aggressively.  Officer allows the owners’ neighbor to catch and contain the black and white dog.

There’s a gap of at least a few seconds, and possibly longer, between the first video and the 22second video.  According to info from the police department the two remaining loose dogs growled at the officer during this gap.  Not sure why we don’t have a video of it, releasing that info would go a long way to supporting the officer’s side of the story.

In the 22second clip, you can see the officer approaching the two dogs, who are sniffing a drain pipe and ignoring the approaching human.  Tails are slowly wagging, a sign that whatever else is going on the dogs aren’t highly agitated.  Whiny barks can be heard, no growling or full throated barks can be heard.  Officer points his gun at the dogs, chirps to get their attention, they look at him, and he fires three shots at one of them.  Its hard to tell with the officer’s hands in the way of the video, but I saw no sign of either dog actually even moving towards him after he chirps at them.  The other dog runs away.

In the final video the officer can be seen repeatedly pointing his gun at the remaining dog every time the so much as looks in his direction.  The dog is still not acting aggressively.  At this point the ACO finally arrives and takes over, at the ACO’s approach the remaining dog shows every sign of being happy to see a friendly human, and even rolls over on his back for belly rubs.  The ACO is able to walk the dog away without so much as a leash to contain the dog.

Now, I certainly have no idea if these dogs are regular escapees.  Or how much they’ve terrorized the neighborhood.  But nothing in the videos shows aggression, or anything else to cause the officer to fear for his own safety….

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Posted October 19, 2014 By Ruth


I keep seeing lots of “why are you scared of Ebola when your chances of catching X disease are 20times higher!!!” or “death from obesity/violence is 10 times more likely!”.

Here’s the thing though. 

Sure, my chances of catching the flu are way higher than my chances of catching ebola.  But my chances of DYING from the flu are WAY smaller since I have a nice and healthy immune system.

And you can’t catch obesity from the guy sneezing next to you on the plane or bus. 

And if the guy next to you on the bus gets shot down by an out of control cop (which yes, was one of the meme’s circulating) a couple hours later you don’t have to worry about whether you caught your own death or not.

In the over all scheme of things I’m not overly worried about my risk of catching ebola honestly.  At least not till it spreads further.

Though I have to say that with the ebola mess, on top of the news that most register receipt tapes contain BPA that can rub off on your fingers, I’m really happy I’m not working retail right this moment.

But when I saw the news that one of the hospitals in Syracuse had been picked as one of the major response centers for potential ebola patients I really wasn’t pleased.  The “human factor” has been just to much of a problem with this particular ebola outbreak.  There are to many things going wrong, frequently by people who REALLY ought to know better……