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I Hope You Dance

They don't call it dance music for nothing folks! Sitting at my work table,  finishing the prints from my previous order, I had music blasting away in my office. More specifically, this:
I can't remember doing it before, or at least it's been a long time, but by golly, I got up and danced around the room! You know what? It felt good too.

I'm getting ahead of myself though, the dance moves came after my bike ride, bread baking, and a few other kitchen chores. Waking up before sunrise today I decided to get my bread going first thing. Well, not before tea and orange juice, but soon thereafter. It takes about three hours of being around to make bread, in case you're wondering about the time commitment.

The mixer makes it incredibly easy I'll tell you that much. So, I followed the same recipe for white bread (gasp!), oiled it up, covered it for the first rise, and went for my bike ride. I'm happy that it is getting light earlier, and today it was so warm I wore shorts and a t-shirt. In fact, it is so warm and HUMID that I may have to turn on the AC so I can vacuum. Then again, perhaps I can put that off until it gets cooler?

While hunting for the eagle, I came across something even better. Two old friends who live in the area were out walking. Kathy Lagambina and I go way back--she helped me pack when we moved to this house, so you know that's a long time ago. She walked, I pedaled slowly, and we chatted. She tells me there is an owl to be seen in Harbor Island, giving me something else to be obsessed with! As we were finishing our conversation, who should start walking her two beautiful dogs, but Maureen McDirmit, another old friend. I took their picture, but as fate would have it, the quality was not worth sharing. That's another photographer's secret I'll let you in on--we don't always take good photos--you only see the ones we want you to!

Both of us are world class chatters, which means I spent way too much time away from my rising bread. The moment the bike was put away, I was punching the dough down, and forming the loaves. Not very well, I might add. Earlier, I'd made a cinnamon mixture to use for one of the loaves, which is all well and good if you know what you are doing. So, here they are in the oven a little later.
I may have rushed the second rising--don't really know as my experience is limited. So, you see those messy tops? That's exactly the way they looked coming out of the oven 35 minutes later. I must improve the loaf forming that's for sure. Even though they look a little funny they taste delicious.  I cut right into the cinnamon loaf and was sorely disappointed.
Actually, I waited until it cooled off, but there are huge gaps which will be a disaster in the toaster. I see French toast in the future. :)

The other loaf, despite having a lumpy top, turned out nicely.
I like that the loaves are more user-friendly than lots of the bread in the supermarket. As is the case with most things, they are often way too big. This is just the right size for a sandwich, or it is for me anyway. Grilled cheese for lunch was yummy.

One of the other things I did before my ride is make some salad dressing with a new emulsifier.
See that thing in the left front? That is a new fangled, or at least it is to me, salad dressing mixer. You squeeze the green handle and the dressing allegedly mixes. I say allegedly because it seemed to me that most of the mustard stayed on the bottom of the jar; really, no better than if I'd shaken it. Oh well. For Christmas Bill gave me a $100 gift card to William Sonoma which took some doing to spend. Mostly I bought new baking pans---loaf, 9x9, that sort of thing. Oh yeah, and a new pizza pan. This was my first attempt:
I made another one over the weekend which looked quite similar. I cranked the oven up to 475, only to discover later that the pan is not meant to be used that hot, however, there seemed to be no damage, so all's well that end's well!

Have I shown you my Paper Whites?
Please forgive me if I've already done so, but I'm pretty darn excited! Bulbs are new to me, and   already I can see I like them very much. :)

Most of the rest of the day was taken up with sewing. Good grief Gail--stop already! Actually, I'm going to start using a larger table for my booth, meaning I need a new tablecloth, which is now done and ready to use. I'll wait until Bruce sees it before I show you because it's a bit of a stretch color-wise.

Look who is still sitting funny? Not to mention needs a hair cut ASAP!
Don't be fooled by the shadows--the sun shone for only about 30 minutes all day long! I'm ready for a blue sky I can tell you that much. How people live under gray skies for very long is beyond me.

This article from the "New York Times" photography blog reminds me very much of "The Family Fang", a crazy book Liza recommended last year. If you are looking for a good read, it's a winner, albeit strange.

So, back to the prints. I think there were about 40 to label, sign, and package--definitely not my favorite activity. People often ask me how I keep track of the numbering and here's how I do it:
I know--very old school. Despite repeated attempts by several people to convince me to put the titles into a spread sheet, I stick with my composition notebook because it's easiest for me. Maybe their way would work better,  but I can't see how. The titles are in ink--the numbers in pencil. I put it together one very slow day at the Winter Garden market, and it has worked beautifully ever since. Sometimes old school is better than you might think. Observant readers will see that the Tiffany mug has followed me to my office! The titles are one of the most important parts of my photography business. I can't tell you how many times people have purchased something because they can relate to the title. How I can keep coming up with them is a real mystery. Between my blog and my photography--that is seriously a lot of titles! Which reminds me, I've yet to title this post.....

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