Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Carpe Diem #1791: Bare Branches

bare branches
a painting against the blue sky
leaves under my feet
crunch foretelling coming snow
chill breeze blowing through the air

bare branches like claws
reach into the great unknown
hard winter ahead
too little snow or too much
the wind chills me to my bones

the blue sky turns gray
the snow begins to fall down
blown by the cold wind
I retreat inside the house
the cold tries to reach me there

the leaves are long gone
to the earth or raked away
nothing can linger
things that lose their youthful shine
are hidden away from view

unforgiving sky
tells of foul weather to come
thankful for warning
I plan my week according
to the weather prophecy

chill breeze cuts through me
its cruelty refreshing
brutal honesty
the winter shows no mercy
to anything in its path


The Hokku of the first verse was written by Yozakura the Unknown Haiku Poet. The rest can be attributed to me.

Carpe Diem #1790: Sunset Flowers

seen for a moment
in the last of the sunlight
sparkling wet flowers


Here is the poem by Matsuo Basho (1644 - 1694) provided for inspiration.

in the twilight rain
these brilliant-hued hibiscus -
a lovely sunset.

The Ornery Old Lady's Tackle It Tuesday: Best Bread Machine Buns

If you're tired of overpriced grocery store burger buns and have a bread machine, this very simple recipe is for you. If you don't have a bread machine, Grover can hook you up with one here in his General Store. This inexpensive investment will save you a lot of time in the kitchen!

This is a slight variation on the original recipe from Food.com using honey instead of sugar. With a small substitution of honey for sugar, there is no need to reduce the volume of liquid. If you are wanting to substitute larger amounts of honey for sugar, this handy conversion chart from Billy Bee will help you.

And now, without further ado, here is the recipe.

1 1⁄4
cups milk, slightly warmed

beaten egg

tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons of honey

teaspoon salt

3 3⁄4
cups bread flour

1 1⁄4
teaspoons active dry yeast

Place all ingredients, except butter, in pan of bread machine according to manufacturer's directions.
Select dough setting.
When cycle is complete, turn out onto floured surface.
Cut dough in half and roll each half out to a 1" thick circle.
Cut each half into six 3 1/2" rounds with inverted glass as a cutter.
Place on greased baking sheet far apart and brush with melted butter.
Cover and let rise until doubled, about one hour.
Bake at 350° for 9 minutes.
Note: Oven temperatures vary so check after 9 minutes to see if done. Some reviewers baked these anywhere from 12 to 30 minutes.

Ornery Notes:
When it's time to let the buns rise, I put the buns uncovered in the oven on the "keep warm" setting (145 degrees Fahrenheit). I have a dual oven, which is very handy. If you don't have such a thing (I never did before, it was left behind by the previous occupants of the Grover Hotel), or if your oven's lowest temperature setting isn't low enough (I wouldn't recommend anything over 175 degrees at the outside because then the dough will start cooking) it's perfectly fine to use the traditional rising method.

You can experiment with different types of flours to get different flavors. I'm planning to do a wheat-white blend. At this point, I just have a big bag of all-purpose flour and it works fine.

I use reconstituted powdered whole milk. It's shelf-stable and, unless you have family members who drink milk, it's a better investment than milk from the dairy case. I cook with dairy milk but don't drink it and there would be times when it would go bad. With powdered milk, the problem is solved! I use whole milk powder because skim milk doesn't work for making pudding.

If you have family members who are allergic to eggs, don't despair! Grover always has egg substitute here in his General Store.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. It's really easy to make, it just takes a little time to let the buns rise. They taste so much better than store-bought buns. There's just no going back!

If you order products from Grover's General Store at the end of the post, we earn a small commission to keep the lights on and the kitchen cookin' here at the Grover Hotel!

~Cie the Ornery Old Lady~

Monday, December 2, 2019

Baked Oatmeal - Lou Lou Girls

Baked Oatmeal - Lou Lou Girls: Start Your Morning With Easy Baked Oatmeal, It Is The Perfect Healthy Breakfast And Will Keep You Full For Hours! Make A Big Pan And Reheat All Week!  Lisa came home from school one day and told me that one of the cheer moms had made this amazing baked oatmeal recipe and she was pretty … Continue reading 'Baked Oatmeal'

Cie the Ornery and Hungry Old Lady Sez:
This would also be faboo as a cobbler topping. Just pour a can of pie filling into your 8 X 8 or 9 X 9 greased pan, top it with this, and bake as directed in the recipe!

Battle of the Poems 2019: Day 1

Image by Andrew Martin from Pixabay

The rules are simple! Leave a comment telling me which poem you like best.

Poem 1:
Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time
I dreamed
once upon a time
he was
but now there's nothing left
except the misery
as summer disappears
and the barkers burst the colorful balloons
and take down the faire
players only love you
when you bring them money
gas, grass, or ass
no-one rides for free
little boys grow up
become corrupt
use and throw away
stupid girls
once upon a time
I believed in something
once upon a time
I thought someone waited for me
now I know the truth
the only one waiting 'round the corner
to put his arms around me
is death
that no matter where I am
I'm just two steps ahead of that man
some days I'm philosophical
some days I'm scared out of my fucking mind
and some days I'd welcome the bastard
with open arms
once upon a time
you were mine
you loved this wretched, broken thing
but like a leaf on the breeze you blew away
some things are too corrupted to love 
I thought I saw you coming back to me
but then I woke from my dream
the fairytale disappeared
in a puff of smoke
like Little Jackie Paper
you snuffed out your dreams of Puff
dragons aren't real
magic only exists in fairy tales
and love is nothing but a lie
once upon a time
I believed in happy ever after
now I only believe
that dreams vanish
and hearts break


Poem 2
Alpha to Omega

all alone adrift
boiling bad blood brew
chewing cyanide capsules
drinking death's draught
exhaling exotic excitotoxins
feeling fancy-free
gladly grabbing green
hoarding hazy hemlock
incinerating incriminating images
jaded joy juxtaposed
kicking kaleidoscopic kings
love long lost
makes me mad
nothing nice nevermore
only old offerings
placate pagan poltergeists
quietly quaffing quince
rebellious rogues repel
sweetly singing satyrs
thrilling tap-dancing troubadours
unique undines undulate
vanquishing vicious villains
while winsome warblers
xor xanthic xenophobes
yesterday's yearning youth
zap zingy Zambonis

Which one do you choose? One or two? You can leave an explanation, or just say which one you like.

Remember, whoever participates the most often will receive a $5 Amazon gift card. In the event of a tie, I will invoke the mighty coin, dice, or what have you.


Sunday, December 1, 2019

We're back!

What Lunch Looked Like

How y'all am are? I was not expecting to be back so soon, but, as fate would have it, I'm here and so are you! So, let's do this!

After spending a freezing night without power in the old Grover Hotel, the Ornery Old Lady (that's me) and Sonny Boy headed to Greeley to gather up some supplies in case we were looking at another night to a week or more of this. We stopped at Taco John's, a place I haven't been to in some 35 years. In fact, that's where I made my last post from!

I was glad to find that Taco John's still tastes the same, but the price about knocked me out of the ballpark. Twenty bucks for a chicken quesadilla, a stuffed taco, Potato Ole's, drinks, and some guacamole, queso, and sour cream. Honestly, it's not that bad for today's prices, but I can remember when I was in high school and would go to Taco John's instead of eating the cafeteria swill. I'd have five bucks on me and get a whole meal and still get change back. Well, so it goes.

We went to Home Depot and bought a propane-powered space heater and looked into getting a backup generator. We picked up a snow shovel, which I thought was steel. It was aluminum and it bent easily. Not a winner there. We got a flashlight and a mini lantern. Then we headed to visit my son's second cousins on his father's side. They said that if the power was going to be out for a while, we could bring the cats and stay with them.

We hit the King Soopers to get some nonperishables like crackers and tinned kippers and then headed for home.

My son was reading the instructions for the space heater and I was getting the snow shovel out of the car when he came running out in an excited mood. The power was back on! I looked down the street to see the blinking red light just beyond the general store, and it never looked so beautiful!

It's still colder than a well-digger's ass in the old Hotel, but the furnace is back on and the temperature is rising. I've got salmon, potatoes, and corn in the oven. I also have (I hope) a fun opportunity.

I am going to need help deciding which poems to put in my manuscript for the November PAD Chapbook Challenge. So, for the next month, I will be having a Battle of the Poems. I will put up two poems, and I would like readers to decide which of the two they prefer. You can give me a reason, or just say "I like number (one or two) best." 

There will be a prize as an incentive for helping me. 

The person who comments on the most poems will receive a $5 Amazon gift card in their email. In the event that there is a tie, I will use a coin, dice, or Random Number Generator to help me choose.

I think this will be fun, and I hope I can get a few people to play along.

The first Battle of the Poems will appear tomorrow!


Saturday, November 30, 2019

Friday Flashback: Inbox Dollars Tips: Search with Inbox Dollars

Young Richard Tracy knows that using Inbox Dollars search will earn him easy money for doing something he was already going to do.
(Free image from pixabay.com)

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This post was originally published on 29 November 2018 on Aunt Cie's Attic (formerly Deliver Me.) 

Disclosure: I am a member of and affiliate for Inbox Dollars. I am not going to get rich finding people to sign up for Inbox Dollars using my link. I will make a small commission. 
Inbox Dollars is one of the longest-running GPT sites. It is legitimate. You are not going to get rich signing up for Inbox Dollars. You will make a few dollars here and there. The payout is at $30. 

I've been taking surveys with Inbox Dollars for several years, but I only recently explored all the other ways of making money with Inbox Dollars.

One of the easiest ways is by using the Inbox Dollars search page. When you log into your account, there is a menu bar at the top of the main page. Choose the search option, and, voila, you will be earning for searches you were going to make anyway. It's that simple!

I find that the Inbox Dollars search works better on my computer than my phone. The page sometimes takes forever to load on my iPhone's Safari browser. So I generally play the mini-games on my phone instead. Yes, Inbox Dollars has games that they pay you to play! Who knew?

I'm currently stuck on level 23 of the bubble monkey game. Those stupid skulls suck, and so does my manual dexterity, let's be real.

The search page and the games (especially my beloved bubble monkey game) are just two reasons why Inbox Dollars is my favorite paid survey app. It's much more than paid surveys, and it is a legitimate survey company, unlike some I have had the misfortune of dealing with.