Friday, December 29, 2006

Overdevelopment

  When we first moved here, it was absolutely gorgeous.  Only 1 other neighbor (who we never really saw), the whole driveway covered on both sides with trees, trees which actually buffered the noise from town!  It was like not even living in crap-ass Killeen anymore.  The air was fresh and wildlife roamed free.  At one point there was actually a deer who made it's way into the yard next door.

  Then, people moved in to the other empty trailers.  This I didn't mind so much.  It takes a certain kind of person to live out here.  We all keep to ourselves and mind our own business unless it's an emergency of some kind.  Still, we enjoyed a few years of isolated bliss before the bulldozers came in.  Right next to us to the North they put in a big ol' cul-de-sac of apartments.  Fine.  Whatever.  We still have some trees to block them.  At least a little bit.  But this was only the beginning. 

  Now, they've bulldozed the entire south of us!  From our driveway clear to the autobody shop.  They've put in survey stakes and it's only a matter of time before our privacy is lost forever.  I could sit and whine and moan and complain until I'm blue in the face (as I have before), but I figured I'd share with you some of the un-recognized victims of this overdevelopment.





  This is what it used to look like out here.  See that big dead tree in the center of the picture?  That was a comforting site out here for me.  It used to be twice as big before a big storm knocked off a huge chunk of it.  I couldn't be mad at that.  lol  It had steps nailed up the front of it and a big ol' base where a treehouse was once nestled.  Now, from this very same spot you have a clear view of the houses lined up on Stan Schleuter Lp. 





  This right here is the ugliest cat I have ever seen in my life.  No one knows where it came from, but we all take some time out to feed it and give it water if it doesn't rain.  This cat is a helluva survivor.  Right now it's fairing better than the tree, but for how long?!  If you're reading this and you live here, then you know what kind of people move into these apartments.  How long before one of their asshole kids terrorizes and torments this poor ugly kitty?  This cat who has done harm to none and only asks to be left alone. 

  It's been nearly a year (when the first demolition of land began) since I've seen a hawk fly around here.  Mice are making their way into our homes because they've nowhere else to go.  The rains no longer bring frogs to view . . . what happened to them?!  No more rabbits either.  Where once I gathered wildflowers is now only dirt.  No more bluebonnets, no more thistle or sunflowers.  Only dirt waiting to be built upon. 

  I hate what has become of my neighborhood.  I can no longer feel the energy of the land here.  Leaving the house has become a depressing affair.  I hate this stupid town, and I hate it more every day.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Chocolate Crinkles (cookies)

One of my favorite holiday memories has to be sitting around the kitchen baking cookies.  No mixers running, no frozen dough.  All from scratch and all by hand.  We were in Germany during Desert Shield/Desert Storm and my mom, my sisters and I made 30 dozen cookies to send in the care packages.  This recipe has always been one of my favorites:


Ingredients:
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsps vanilla extract
4 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate (melted and cooled)
4 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup powdered sugar

1. In large bowl, mix granulated sugar, oil, vanilla and chocolate.  Stir in eggs, one at a time.  Stir in flour, baking powder and salt.  Cover; refrigerate at least 3 hours.  (More won't hurt)
2.Heat oven to 350F.  Grease cookie sheet with shortening or cooking spray.  (Lining it with parchment paper works even better)  Place powdered sugar in small bowl.  Roll about a tsp of dough into a ball then roll around in the powdered sugar.  Make sure it's not caked on there or that's all you'll taste when they're done.  Place about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.
3. Bake 10-12 minutes (takes 15 in my oven) or until almost no indentation remains when touched.  Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.  Cool completely about 30 minutes.
They should be almost cake-like.  If you don't like 'em.  Oh well.  Neither does Aaron, but that's not gonna stop me from making 'em!  ^_^