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  1. Bacon-Wrapped Soft Pretzel Rods

    March 5, 2014 by Hannah Jane

    Bacon-wrapped Pretzels

     

    4.0 from 1 reviews

    Bacon-Wrapped Soft Pretzel Rods
     
    Prep time

    Cook time

    Total time

     

    Author:
    Serves: 10

    Ingredients
    Pretzels:
    • 4 cups flour (bread flour, or whole wheat flour, or a combination of the two)
    • 2 Tbsp wheat gluten, (optional but recommended if you’re using WW flour)
    • 2 tsp SAF yeast
    • 1½ tsp sea salt
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • ½ cup water
    • 1 lb bacon (not thick-sliced)
    Pretzel Boil:
    • 2 – 3 quarts water
    • 2 Tbsp baking soda
    • 1 Tbsp sucanat

    Instructions
    Mixing the Pretzels:
    1. Combine flour, optional gluten, yeast, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
    2. Heat water and milk in a small saucepan until lukewarm.
    3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and knead, using either your hands or a mixer with a dough hook, until dough is smooth and somewhat elastic. (This is a rather wet dough, so expect it to be somewhat sticky)
    4. Place dough in a warm spot and cover with a moist tea towel. Let rise until nearly doubled. (About an hour.)
    Shaping the Pretzels:
    1. Remove dough from bowl and divide into 1 oz. pieces. Roll pieces into 4 – 5 inch long sticks, then place onto well-greased baking sheets, leaving at least 3″ of space between pieces. Cover with a moist towel and let rise.
    Boiling the Pretzels:
    1. Place water in a large pan or Dutch oven and bring to a boil while the pretzels are rising. (I recommend also prepping the bacon at this time – see below for instructions on that.)
    2. Once the water is boiling, add baking soda and sucanat.
    3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. (F)
    4. While keeping the water at a gentle but constant boil, drop the pretzel pieces, one or two at a time, into the water for about two minutes, turning pieces over after about a minute.
    Adding the Bacon:
    1. Use a sharp knife to cut bacon slices in half, then separate the slices.
    2. Wrap bacon around freshly-boiled pretzels, securing with a toothpick if necessary.
    3. Make a few shallow slashes on the pretzels between the bacon.
    4. As each piece is boiled and wrapped, place it back on the baking sheet.
    Baking the Pretzels:
    1. Bake for about 15 minutes until pretzels are a golden brown.
    2. Remove pretzels from baking sheet immediately after taking out of oven and let cool on wire racks.
    3. *Don’t burn yourself on the bacon grease!*
    4. Serve while warm.

    Notes
    -The pretzels pictured were made with all whole wheat flour (+ vital wheat gluten)

    -Feel free to use brown sugar if you don’t have sucanat on hand.

    -If your baking sheet doesn’t have edges I would recommend putting something underneath it in your oven – you don’t want bacon grease to drip everywhere.

    -I’m not going to promise that the the ratio of bacon strips to pretzel rods will be perfect, but it ought to be fairly close. If you do run out of bacon, just bake the last few rods plain and serve them with butter or a condiment of your choice. And if you have extra bacon… well, you can probably figure out on your own how to use it.

     

     

    3


  2. Statism & Idolatry

    February 28, 2014 by Hannah Jane

    Most Christians I know are tired of our current ungodly, tyrannical government.  They are sick of seeing their country attacked by the very ones appointed to serve it, and they wish it weren’t tyrannical, bloated, and supportive of evildoing.  They are also weary of seeing our society gradually become more and more ungodly and immoral.

    Unfortunately, these some people seem to stumble when it comes to the concept civil government enforcing “good” things.  (Especially *ahem* when that government is filled with those in red ties.)  Why wouldn’t we want to have unhealthy food banned?  Why wouldn’t we want to have harmful drugs be illegal or restricted?  Why would someone oppose caring for the poor?  Why shouldn’t government help businesses and the economy?  Why is it wrong for government to monitor the citizens if they’re doing so in an effort to prevent another 9/11?  Isn’t it good for us to aid other countries who are fighting the “bad guys”?  Aren’t these laws based on good and Biblical principles and morals?  Keeping people safe and happy and healthy?

    The problem is, these folks don’t ask about whether or not these laws and actions are correct actions for the civil government to get involved in.

    Should we seek to be healthy?  Avoid harmful substances and foods?   Should we be charitable?  Is it good for us to seek to have healthy, prosperous businesses?  Should we seek to be safe and avoid trouble before it comes?  Should we seek to help those in trouble?  The answer to all of this, obviously, is a resounding yes.

    However, it is not the responsibility of the civil government to keep us healthy, to care for the poor, to make us prosperous, to prevent anything bad from happening, or t0 help other countries in their struggles.  The state does not have the authority to get involved in such matters, and when the do so, they usurp the power and jurisdiction of others and become tyrannical.

    When we expect the state to care for us, to ensure that we have a smooth retirement, to keep us healthy, to educate us, to protect us, to prevent anything bad from ever happening to us, to tell us whether or not such-and-such food is healthy, to rescue us out of every bad situation, to make sure we drive safely, to tell us when to do what, to dictate for us our consciences, etc., etc., we have made government into a god.  These  are not the roles of a just, Biblical, Constitutional government.  In setting up a government with these duties or powers we set up a tyrannical government which usurps the role of the Almighty.

    The state is not responsible for making sure that our needs are provided for.  The family and individual are responsible for that, and if circumstances render them unable to do so sufficiently, the church steps up to help.  Ultimately, however, our needs are met by God, and we rely on Him for our sustenance and well-being.  When we turn to the state for this provision and care instead of turning to God we spite Him who gives us our lives and breath, trusting instead in imperfect rulers.

    Do we not remember God’s reaction when Israel sought a king?  YHWH stated, “…they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.”  Yet we now seek to make our government more powerful and almighty than even the kings of Israel were.  Tyrannical as they were, those kings at least didn’t have the NSA or the TSA or a “See Something Say Something” campaign.  (So far as I am aware, anyway…)

    God is the one who takes provides for us, who sustains our lives, who keeps from danger or gives us the grace to go through trials, who gives us the wisdom to make decisions and His Word to guide our lives.   He delegates various areas of authority to various governments (self, family, church, and civil are the main types) and these governments are limited in their power.  Only God rules over all, and He is the one who will ultimately judge all actions of all men.

    Let the state fulfill it’s God-given role of punishing those who harm others; obey it in all things lawful – but never let it replace God or other God-given types of governments.

    800px-Gadsden_flag.svg


  3. Me vs. “Convenience” Food

    February 24, 2014 by Hannah Jane

     It should have been an easy task.  Make crescent rolls?  From a can?  Why would that be hard?  I was babysitting, the five year-old was hungry, and she requested “cressies”.  Well, why not make them for her?

    After all, I can make rolls from scratch without batting an eyelash.  From freshly ground wheat?  Of course!  Collect the eggs from the chickens outside?  Sure!  Knead the dough for almost-forever?  Why not?

    So then, what was so hard about opening a can of crescent rolls and sticking them into the oven?

    I grabbed the can and pulled out a can opener before realizing that this might not be so easy as it sounded.  This can was definitely not the type one used a can opener on; it was made partly of cardboard and there was no lip on the metal for the can opener to grab onto.

    Concentrated juice is often put in similar cans, but those cans have pull-tabs on them.  It didn’t take me long to figure out that there was no such thing on this contraption.

    I stared at it and decided to do what people always say should be done first: read the directions.

    Only, there weren’t any.  Not regarding how to open the silly thing up, anyway.  I read the entire can at least thrice, hoping that I’d somehow missed some gem of wisdom.  But alas, there were no helpful instructions anywhere to be found.  “Remove dough…” Duh!  That’s what I’m trying to do!  ”Roll up triangles…bake on cookie sheet…”  Hey,  I can figure THAT out on my own… but HOW DOES ONE REMOVE THE PACKAGING?! 

    At the point the five-year old was getting concerned and impatient.  “Do you know how to bake, Hannah?”

    “Yes!  Of course I know how to bake… just… be patient for a minute!”

    I vaguely remembered mom opening on of these things years ago, and suddenly recalled that the cardboard was supposed to come apart somehow.  I started tearing away at the paper label on top until all that was left was a sticky, blank, cardboard surface.  Ah, yes.  The seams were supposed to pop open, right?

    After finding that the seams weren’t snapping apart no matter how much I twisted the contraption, I started banging it on the counter.

    Whap!  Whap!  WHAM!

    The five year-old was definitely worried at this point.  “Hannah, do you want to call somebody and ask them how to make crescent rolls?”

    Ha.  No, I most definitely did not want to call anyone at this point.  I do have some amount of dignity, and asking how to pop open a can of crescent rolls would be far too humbling.  This was supposed to be something that even kids could handle, right?

    I glanced down and realized that the seam between the metal and cardboard was starting to come apart.  A-ha!  Victory!  I grabbed the two edges and yanked them apart, revealing the dough inside.  I grabbed the dough with my fingers and started to pull it out of the side of the can.

    It started to stretch.

    I pulled, it stretched…  and I realized that the can still wasn’t opened enough.  The dough was stuffed in so tightly that trying to pull it out of one end was simply impossible.

    Out came a butter knife, and I banged the seams and finally managed to demolish the can completely.   Success at last… that is, until I realized that I didn’t know how to turn their electric oven on.

    *headdesk*

    Our oven has two knobs.  Just two.  One of the stays on “bake” 99% of the time, and the other simply needs to be spun to the desired temporature to turn the oven on.  Their oven had at least a dozen or so buttons, and not a single one of them was labeled “350″.  -_-

    <enter panic mode>

    For the record:  I did finally get those crescent rolls made.  They looked and tasted fine, but I was understandably somewhat miffed when the five year-old hardly even nibbled at them.  Pfft.  When she requested them again a week or so ago I had almost no trouble making them, so… I guess I’m not totally hopeless?  Of course, making popcorn in the microwave for the first time was also rather daunting, and I may have nearly panicked when I had to make not-from-scratch french toast…

    At least I know how to turn brownie mix into brownies…

    :P


  4. Finished Project {Envelope Wallet}

    February 15, 2014 by Hannah Jane

    I’m the type of person who likes lists and charts and organizational stuff, so the Dave Ramsey envelope system has always appealed to me. At this point I really don’t have enough expenses to make it needful, but I’ve been using it anyway. But after stuffing ugly paper envelopes into my wallet until they were nearly falling apart, I was getting tired of the less-than-lovely appearance. A quick Google search brought up multiple envelope wallet tutorials and ideas, and this is what resulted.

    Closed

    Envelopes

    I used this method to print on fabric – I was originally thinking to print fancy text labels on each envelope, but decided to use various graphics and such instead – that way, if I want to change up my categories I can do so easily.  To me, the graphics I chose for each category makes sense (e.g., a vintage sewing machine for crafts) but I could switch them around if I want to later.

    Most wallet tutorials had the envelopes stitched into the wallet, with zippers to secure them better.  I didn’t have zippers on hand, I don’t like sewing zippers when I don’t have to, and I wanted to be able to remove the envelopes – so I just made simple pockets instead.  They’re tight enough that my money isn’t going to fall out, and the button on the main wallet is more than enough to keep everything tightly secured when it’s all put together.

    Open

    Inside the wallet is a cardholder/mini pouch – this was the most confusing and frustrating part of making the wallet.

    (Oh, and for the record:  I don’t live in Pell City.  If I did, I’d have removed the library card before photographing this; I’m not going to publicly announce my location for any creepy people to find.  *ahem*)

    DetailThis is a closeup shot of the button.  (Duh.)

    I don’t like hand sewing.

    I really don’t know why I’m giving you a closeup shot of my lame hand sewing.

    O.o

    Oh well.  Whatever.

     


  5. Spider Bark

    January 15, 2014 by Hannah Jane

    J

    Now, before I give you the recipe, I need to give you an explanation of the name, lest any misunderstandings occur.

    For years, one of my favorite homemade candies was “spiders” – chow mein noodles and peanuts covered in chocolate and butterscotch.  The name was derived from the shape of the candies, as their misshapen appearance vaguely ivaguely suggestive of a spider.  Now, we don’t often stock up on chow mein noodles, so it wasn’t surprising that I didn’t have any on hand on a certain day in 2012 when I was craving this candy.  I ended up improvising, creating my own version of the candy – a lumpy nut-and-coconut-filled chocolate-and-butterscotch-covered… lump.

    Not surprisingly, the similarly-flavored candies also ended up being called spiders, though they no longer bore any resemblance to any sort of insect.  I eventually got tired of trying to spoon the mixture into similarly-sized lumps, so I chopped up the nuts and smoothed the mixture into a slab, making it into a sort of bark.  Despite my attempt to give it a more appealing name, however, my siblings didn’t miss a beat and started calling it “smooshed flat spiders”.

    *headdesk*

    Anyway.  If you want to, feel free to think up your own name for this candy.  And if you don’t, rest assured in the knowledge that a spider’s bark is better than its bite.  :P

    A

    The first step is to melt a bag of chocolate chips.  If you have a microwave, you could do it in there.  Otherwise, the stovetop works fine, especially if you have a double boiler.  If you don’t have one, you’ll have to watch carefully to make sure you don’t burn the chocolate, but it’s still quite doable.

    Oh, and you really must use dark chocolate.  Milk chocolate is sad.  So.

    B

    Next, measure out two cups of nuts.  I used pecans and almonds, since they happen to be my favorites; you can use whatever type you like or have on hand.  Raw, roasted, salted or not – all work fine, and it’s really an issue of preference.

    C

     

    Chop up those nuts in a food processor until most of ‘em are smaller than pea-size.  Larger chunks make it harder to chew and break bark into pieces, and smaller would make the nuts disappear in the chocolate and result in a loss of that delightful crunchiness.

    (The camera battery died after I took the above photo, and I had to use our old low-quality backup camera for the next several photos.  Pardon the not-so-appetizing quality of these pictures, please.)

    D

    Stir those nuts into the chocolate, along with (unsweetened & toasted) coconut flakes and butterscotch-flavored chips.

    E

    Pour the mixture out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.   (See how the butterscotch isn’t totally mixed into the chocolate?  That’s good.  We don’t wish for it to disappear – though we don’t want its flavor to be scarce, either.  Adding it in last helps keep it slightly distinct, but the heat of the melted chocolate will still be enough to make sure it melts a bit.)

    F

    Then, place another piece of parchment paper on top and smash it until it’s flat.  A rolling pin helps if it’s being stiff and lumpy.  When it’s flattened enough, stick it in the freezer.  And then wait.  And wait.  And try not to think about how good it’ll taste.  And keep waiting.  I know, I know, waiting… it isn’t easy.  But when it finally hardens, pull it out..

    H

    …and snap, smash, crush, or break apart in some way or another.

    J

    That’s it!  Now all you have to do is guard it from any family members who think it’s okay to claim it all for themselves.  ;)

    I

     

    Spider Bark
     
    Prep time

    Total time

     

    Author:

    Ingredients
    • 12 oz chocolate chips
    • 2 cups chopped nuts
    • ½ cup coconut flakes
    • ½ cup butterscotch chips

    Instructions
    1. Melt chocolate in a double boiler.
    2. Add other ingredients.
    3. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    4. Pour mixture onto parchment paper and cover with another piece of parchment paper.
    5. Use your hands to smoosh the chocolate mixture into a thin layer between the papers. A rolling pin may be helpful if the mixture is being stubborn.
    6. Without removing the parchment paper, transfer the baking sheet to the freezer. Chill until hardened.
    7. Remove from baking sheet; peel off parchment paper. Break chocolate slab into small pieces.
    8. Enjoy! :D

     

     

     


  6. Turtle Cupcakes

    December 4, 2013 by Hannah Jane

    27

    Opening my email this morning, I found a lovely missive from the Pioneer Woman’s blog which contained a recipe for Pretzel Turtles.  Can you say, “Yum”?

    Unfortunately, we’re out of mini pretzels and we haven’t purchased caramels in a long time.  Pretzel Turtles were unobtainable, at least until we go shopping again.  But that didn’t stop me from wanting something turtle-inspired.  My brain began to search for alternative ways to indulge in lovely mix of pecan, caramel, and chocolate – and I suddenly remembered all the salted-caramel frosting recipes I’ve been seeing on Pinterest lately.  Surely, this was the way to get the caramel portion without any actual caramel candies on hand.

    The next logical thought was that the frosting had to be on something.  Chocolate cake was the first thought which came to mind, but I discarded that idea in favor of chocolate cupcakes – and the pecan part? That could be sprinkled on top…

    A few hours later, I had gobs of little-bitty cupcakes.  And though I might be slightly biased, I honestly think that they’re some of the best cupcakes I’ve ever had.  From the way they’re disappearing from the counter, I think my family agrees, too, so the recipe needed to be written up – and since I had to type it anyway, I thought I’d share it here.

    Now, before I give you the recipe, I ought to note two things.

    •  First: these can not be classified as health food.  They won’t do as much damage to your well-being as many baked goods, perhaps, but they still aren’t healthy.  Which is why I made them in mini muffin pans.
    • Second: I realized after I made this recipe that it made a ton of cupcakes, and I ended up putting the second half of the batter into a 8×11 pan and making a cake – so I halved the amounts when typing it out here.

    The first step was to make the caramel sauce, which was a far more straightforward process than I’d imagined.

    1

    The sugar is heated in a pan until it melts – it got rather “crunchy” looking before melting fully, but then soon liquefied completely.  The directions I read stated that it should be whisked constantly until it melts, and that it should mostly be left alone after that until it reaches the temperature of 350 degrees, but I found that there was almost no time whatsoever between the sugar liquefying and reaching that temperature.  (A candy thermometor came in quite handy for this step.)

    2

    As soon as the sugar reaches 350, the butter is added in all at once and the mixture whisked until the butter melts.  The sugar will bubble, which is why a small saucepan should not be used.

    3

    The most annoying part about making this was not the recipe itself, but the whisk.  We just bought two new whisks a few weeks ago, and I was using one to stir the (still melting) sugar when the handle suddenly broke apart from the whisk part.  I glared at it and tossed it into the sink, grabbing the second one to replace it.  Not thirty seconds later, that handle popped off too.  AUGH!  I ended up using the whisk part without any handle – thankfully, there was enough left for me to grasp without burning my fingers.

    Anyway, after adding the butter the pan is removed from heat and the cream is slowly stirred in until combined, and the salt added.

    4

    After the caramel had cooled, I measured out the amount needed for the frosting and then put the rest into a handy-dandy squeezy bottle we had on hand.  I think it was originally intended to hold ketchup or some similar item, but it worked perfectly for drizzling the caramel later on.  :)

    8

    Next up to make was the cupcake batter – coffee and cocoa powder are whisked together and allowed to cool.

    9

    The dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt are sifted together.  I’ve recently started measuring flour by weight instead of volume, and I really do feel that I end up with more precise and consistent results.

    10The butter and sugar are creamed, and then the eggs and vanilla are added.

    11

    The cocoa mixture and the flour mixture are added to the butter mixture, starting with the flour (which is added in fourths) and then the cocoa (which is added in thirds).

    12

    Adding the last bit of flour – then the cupcakes are baked.

    13

     

    While the cupcakes are in the oven, it’s time to toast the pecans.  We have a toaster oven, so I simply spread them out on the little tray (I had to do it in two batches) and toasted them.  Literally.

    14

    I put them into our food processor with the chocolate chips, which weren’t mini-sized.

    15

    As you can see, the chocolate didn’t really chop up all that well, which wasn’t a big deal, though I do recommend using mini chocolate chips if you have them on hand.  Next up: the frosting….

    20

     

    The butter and cream cheese are mixed together first, and I really recommend that you let them warm up a bit before starting on the frosting – I didn’t, and it took some extra mixing to compensate.

    21

    The vanilla and powdered sugar are added next… I always forget how much powdered sugar poofs up when mixed, and it always makes a mess.  Tsk.

    22

    Then the caramel sauce is added in… and a bit more sugar added, until the consistency seems right.

    23

    I really could have gotten away with simply smearing the frosting unto the cupcakes using a knife or rubber spatula, but decided that I’d go the “fancy” route instead.

    24

    *ahem* Note the broken cupcakes on the left – that’s what happens when one tries to remove the cupcakes from the pans too soon.  

    26

    I tried to group the cupcakes as closely together as possible when sprinkling on the topping, but much of it still landed on the counter top – so I simply picked it up and re-sprinkled it again.  (No fear, the counters were clean.)

    25

    Then the caramel was drizzled on top… mm…

    27

    Yum.

    29

    This was the cake I mentioned earlier – I might add more pecans later on if I feel like it, but it’ll taste fine even if I don’t.

    Turtle Cupcakes
     
    Chocolate cupcakes topped with salted caramel frosting, sprinkled with toasted pecans, and drizzled with salted caramel sauce.
    Author:

    Ingredients
    Salted Caramel Sauce
    • 1 cup (7 oz.) white sugar
    • 6 Tbsp. butter, cut into small parts, at room temperature
    • ½ cup heavy cream, room temperature
    • ½ Tbsp sea salt
    Cupcakes
    • 1 cup (hot!) coffee
    • ½ cup cocoa powder
    • 1 3/8 cups flour
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • ¼ tsp baking powder
    • ¼ tsp salt
    • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
    • 1¼ cups white sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • ¾ tsp vanilla
    Pecan Topping
    • 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
    • ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
    Salted Caramel Frosting
    • 6 Tbsp butter, room temperature
    • 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
    • ½ tsp vanilla
    • 1½ – 2 cups powdered sugar
    • ½ cup salted caramel sauce (recipe above)

    Instructions
    For the Caramel Sauce:
    1. In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the sugar over medium high heat. The sugar will seem “crunchy” while it is beginning to melt, but will quickly become liquid. As soon as it reaches the temperature of 350 degrees, dump in all the butter and stir until it is melted.
    2. Remove pan from heat, slowly pour in the cream. Whisk until well combined and smooth, then stir in the salt.
    3. Set sauce aside to cool.
    To make the cupcakes:
    1. Whisk together the coffee and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Let cool completely.
    2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    3. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
    4. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until well blended.
    5. Add eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla. Beat until fluffy.
    6. Add the flour and cocoa mixtures to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture (in fourths) and alternating with the cocoa mixture (in thirds). Stir until just blended after each addition. Do not overbeat.
    7. Spoon batter into well-greased mini muffin pans, filling cups about ⅔ of the way.
    8. Bake for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool in pans for a few minutes before removing.
    For the pecan topping:
    1. If the pecans are un-toasted, place them on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast in oven for a few minutes.
    2. Chop in food processor (or however you want to chop them), add chocolate chips.
    To make the frosting:
    1. Beat together the butter and cream cheese, add vanilla.
    2. Mix in 1 cup of the powdered sugar.
    3. Add the caramel sauce, then blend in remaining sugar until desired consistency is reached.
    To assemble:
    1. When cupcakes are cool, spread or pipe on the frosting. Group them closely together, and sprinkle on the pecan topping, then drizzle on some of the remaining caramel sauce. Keep cupcakes fairly cool for best results.

     


  7. The Affordable Coffee Act?

    December 3, 2013 by Hannah Jane

    A short spoof on the logic (or lack thereof) of Obamacare.


  8. The Unaffordable Care Act

    November 11, 2013 by Hannah Jane

    It’s been 42 days since the website for Obamacare went live on October 1st.

    A whopping total of six people signed up on that first day, although they didn’t exactly pull out that number and brag about it – instead, they listed the number of people who loaded the site, claiming that the website had millions of hits.  Hmm.  Maybe, but, I wonder, are they as unreal as 19.5 million of Obama’s twitter followers?

    This webpage shows a graph of how many insane gullible folks have signed up for Obamacare thus far, although there are definitely holes and less-than-certain numbers given in some places.  However, this is the most thorough list I’ve been able to find so far.  Update: This website also has a lot of sign up numbers on it, most of which seem to be lower than the other site I linked to.  Interesting.

    Interestingly enough, it seems that the statistics listed most commonly on the web are those of New York, California, Maryland, Oregon, and other states with relatively high numbers.  The states with only a single-digit number of people signed up for sure aren’t exactly being publicized far and wide.

    At this point, the total of signups, not including those for Medicaid, is 373,196, which is just a little more than 0.1% of Americans.  (If you add in those for Medicaid, the number jumps to 962,144, which is roughly 0.3% of Americans.)

    Setting up the website for Obamacare ran up a staggering bill of $634,320,919.  I want to know, HOW DO YOU EVEN SPEND THAT MUCH MONEY? You’re setting up a website!  Did they feed the developers imported caviar and civet coffee? Give them multiple Obama-style vacations?  AND THE WEBSITE DOESN’T EVEN WORK!!!  AUGH!!

    *ahem*

    Okay, ranting aside, that means that so far, only counting the costs of the website itself, Obama is approximately paying $1,700 per sign up (not including the medicaid sign ups).  Oh, wait.  Obama isn’t paying that, you taxpayers are.  Sorry.

    But wait, $634 million is small potatoes when compared to the billions spent in federal funding thus far.  As of April 2012, the total was $12.1 billion, and I’m certain the number has since climbed much higher. (At the moment, April 2012 numbers are the most recent that I can find.  Maybe I’m just too tired?)  There are plans for spending over $100 billion before 2019.  I don’t even want to figure out how much it’s cost per person using those numbers.

    When you look at some of the individual states, the numbers are even more staggeringly ridiculous.  In Delaware, $4 million was spent – and 4 people have signed up so far.  It is also interesting to note that New York and California account for about half of the sign ups.

    Obviously, as more people continue to sign up these numbers will change somewhat – and yet, it should be painfully obvious to everyone that Obamacare is a flop in so many different ways.

    I haven’t yet even touched upon the fact that the “affordable” insurance Obama isn’t even affordable on the individual level.  All it takes is a simple google search to find that people seeking to get Obamacare are shocked at what it would cost them.  Countless other people are losing their jobs or at least a portion of their paychecks, and others are learning that their insurance has been dropped or will cost them much more.  “If you like your insurance plan, you can keep it”?  Yeah, right.

    Then there’s the fact that Obamacare is tyrannical.  Government isn’t supposed to be involved in such issues.  We can’t afford to have our Constitution undermined in such a manner.

    Oh, and extra taxes and/or inflation?  Can you afford that?  Doesn’t matter, you’ll have to find a way.

    Affordable Care Act?  I think not.  There is no way that we can afford such a thing.

    Oh, and don’t tell me that we should’ve elected Romney and avoided this mess.  He wanted to “replace” Obamacare with “Romneycare”.  We would have ended up with a disaster nearly identical to this, though “Conservatives” would be the ones shouldering the blame and pretending that everything was okay.  It’s time for a R[3VOL]UTION, not just another paradigmagogue with an “R” by his name.

     


  9. More Kitchen Mishaps

    November 5, 2013 by Hannah Jane

    First it was mayonnaise.  Then sourdough.  But that wasn’t enough for me, folks.  I have to come up with some creative way to humiliate myself in the kitchen rather often, it seems.

    Three days ago, I needed a teaspoonful of coconut oil.  It needed to be in liquid form.  Since we don’t store the coconut oil jar in the oven, it was not liquid.  At all.

    In the past I’ve melted small amounts of oil by simply running the jar under hot water for a while.  Feeling rather impatient, however, I chose to grab a spoon, fill it with the oil, and hold it over the stove.  After it had melted, I dumped the oil out of the spoon.

    That was when my brain decided to stop functioning properly.

    I looked at the spoon and realized that there was still a wee bit of coconut oil left upon it.  So I brought the spoon to my mouth, completely forgetting about the fact that I’d just held that same spoon over a stove burner.  I’m such a doofus at times, people.

    It was only when I heard the hot metal of the spoon touch the moisture on my lip and sizzle that warning signals started flashing through my mind.  Oh!  Yeah! It’s HOT!

    Thankfully, I was able to pull away the spoon before getting seriously burned.  Mom thought my brain lapse was utterly hilarious, and started snickering every time she thought of it.  I walked around with an ice cube wrapped in a wet paper towel for the rest of that evening, which constantly helped her remember said brain lapse.  (Really, I wasn’t seriously hurt at all; every trace of the burn had vanished by the next morning.)

    Two days later (er, yesterday) I found myself in kitchen once again.  Mom was having trouble with a can opener, and asked me to help, since I’ve met others’ complaints regarding the can opener with skepticism in the past.  

    With some amount of effort I was able to get the can mostly opened, but there was no way I’d be able to get the last inch, given the rather warped and sorry appearance of the can at this point.  No problem – I’d just bend back the lid and pour out the enchilada sauce, right?

    Bending back the lid proved troublesome, however, and I realized that just opposite the intact-inch there was another sliver intact – also out of reach of the can opener.  But it was tiny enough that it would be easy to break.

    Placing my thumbs against the lid of the can near that errant sliver, I pressed downward.  Mom glanced toward me with at concerned expression and, “Hannah, I don’t think that’s -” at about the same instant that the tiny piece of metal broke.  Green chili enchilada sauce erupted out of the can and spewed forth onto my hands, the counter, and floor.  I may or may not have also gotten some on my face.  Which looked like this, but with green chili enchilada sauce:

    Grumpy Cat

    Oh, and I’m also not a cat.  That should be obvious, but I thought I’d clarify just in case. 

    I guess I won’t doubt those who say that we need a new can opener, anymore.


  10. Creative Space: My Desk

    October 21, 2013 by Hannah Jane

    Shannon over at Thoughts and Thimbles is hosting a “Creative Spaces” link-up.  I’ve decided to join in the fun, not so much because I have a terribly interesting creative space (A.K.A. my desk) but because I needed some extra motivation to finish organizing and spiffing up certain areas which *ahem* needed a little work. ;)

    Although my fabric stash is stored in boxes in a closet halfway across the house, the vast majority of my sewing and crafting is done here, at my desk.

    P1050810

    It’s small, somewhat scratched-up, and there is almost no storage space in or near it.  Nevertheless, I am really grateful for it (especially because my parents gave it to me for free!) and I love the freedom of not having to work at a table which has to be cleared off for every meal. :)

    Since my working space is quite small, I try to keep the amount of “permanent items” on it to a minimum.  It ends up looking rather spartan between projects, but most of the time I’m working on something or other and I’ve got papers, notebooks, fabric, my sewing machine, or some other items covering the top.  A basket full of “vital” various papers sits on top, along with a candle, which is my sole decoration at the moment.  Barely visible in this photo is my apron, which hangs from a thumbtack on the side of my desk.

    CandleThis candle was a souvenir from a vacation to Gulf Shores.  The leaves are hiding the fact that the bottom half of the candle is covered with shells and such.  If you look carefully at the wall, you’ll see that the paint on the wall is scratched – letting the previous layer of paint show through.  I don’t know who decided to paint the room baby blue before we moved in, but I’m glad we re-painted it.  :P

    before (Pardon the blur, please.)  This was my top drawer before I spiffed it up-

    after

    And this is after. :)

    Although I’ve been planning to re-cover these boxes and such for quite some time, it was one of those things which didn’t happen until I had some reason (read: this blog post) to get it done.  All I really did was print out a couple interesting patterns/pictures (chevron stripes, sheet music, world map, and part of the Bill of Rights), wrap them around the boxes, and add the labels.  Simple, but it makes me happy.  :)

    P1050797The top left drawer -
    The boxes in this drawer were wrapped up several months ago, though it wasn’t until recently that I labeled them.

    Middle drawer

    This is the left middle drawer – it holds my Bible (which is currently in need of a new Bible cover) and a couple other notebooks, my garden seeds, and memory flashcards.

    bottom drawer

    And finally, this is the bottom drawer, where I keep my latest sewing project(s).  Right now it holds my semi-finished quilt top, which I’ll hopefully complete and turn into a quilt in a month or so.

    Unfortunately, my desk doesn’t always look this tidy.  When I’m working on it, of course, it is a “productive mess”.  But even when it’s not being used, I’m afraid it tends to collect all kinds of items if I’m not careful to constantly weed out the unnecessary items.

    For example: I had to pull a cow out from underneath the desk before taking these photos.  (Err… no, not a real cow.  Just a four-inch plastic one.  I don’t invite real cows into the house, that would be silly.)

    Eventually, I’d love to have a larger area with more storage space and room to work.  Right now sewing something requires me to collect items from all over the house, as the fabric, ironing board, and iron are all kept in totally different areas of the house.  It’s not a big deal, but it would be more convenient to have them all right at my fingertips.

    I also love the way Shannon has mini fabric bolts organizing her fabric.  My fabric is currently stuffed in boxes, and despite my good intentions, those boxes are always messy – there isn’t any way to find fabric other than to rummage through the box, which inevitably leads to a mess.  If I had a bookshelf – or even just a shelf - I’d love to adopt that idea, but at the moment I’ll just have to file the idea away and hope that I can use it someday.

    doilyI’ll finish up this post with a photo of this doily, which I made because I love the way pineapple patterns look.  What I didn’t realize, however, was that each point was crocheted one-at-a-time, which meant that this little coaster-sized doily took me far longer to complete than I expected.  :P