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Because I always find myself looking for a recipe.

150g butter
3/4 cup sugar (brown if available)
1 cup nut meal
3/4 cup plain flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
200g chocolate chips
 1/2 cup+ nuts (walnuts or pecans?)

Oven at 180, cook for about 14 minutes. 
rain_and_snow: Image of a Victoriana style butterfly (old butterfly)
Inspired by mont_joye, (and the cheap good strawberries available months earlier than I'm used to) made jam this evening. 

600g strawberries
400g sugar
~80-100ml lime juice
1tsp jamsetta

I'm not used to needing to use extra pectin, but I wasn't getting a set at all. Worried it'll be too solid - will see tomorrow. 

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Oven at 180oC

90g butter
3/4 cup sugar (I think we eventually did half this)

- melt in double boiler, stir until well combined.


120g currants
90g cranberries
90g figs (~7)
120g slivered almonds (inclined to think we doubled this)
40g pecans (think we doubled this too - probably 100g)

Chop cranberries and figs (~ currant sized), mix fruit and nuts all together, and toss with

2tbs of flour (30g)

Take pan off heat, stir in
pinch of salt
2 tbsp double cream

Stir all together, make into little biscuits, or a slice, or whatever seems to work. USE SILICON BAKING MATS. The sugar/butter combination forms a penetrating, potent cement in conjunction with baking paper.

Aldi 40% 200g block + 2 x 70-80% 100g blocks seems to be the right ratio of chocolate (1:1).



Trying to have a kid put on further hold since the ectopic in November; did our karyotyping bloodtests today. + 6 weeks.
rain_and_snow: Image of a Victoriana style butterfly (old butterfly)
 I never thought I'd make it to 25.


I did fill in the 2014 in review at the end of 2014 - I think I was in Budapest at the time, and it was approximately Christmas. It didn't post, though, so I'll try again, but for 'partway through 2015'.

1. What did you do in 2014 that you'd never done before?
Traveled alone. Spent lots of time with myself, out and about.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Certainly didn't manage to leave the house each day. Aiming to play piano more now it's arrived. Daily is the goal, but weekly is realistic.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? 
Yes. That was difficult.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Nanna H still feels recent, but the two year anniversary is on Mothers Day this year. That's also the one year miscarriage anniversary, so at least my absolute reluctance to go makes some logical sense.

5. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
As last year, an addition to our family. More of a routine would be nice too. I was getting one going before Festival, but my sleep and energy patterns have changed now, and I haven't caught up to what works yet.

6. What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Days, rather than dates. Losses, learning I was pregnant, mum's cancer, meeting dad's new partner.

7. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Traveling. I got from Berlin to Krakow on my own, with my own bag, and I felt capable. That was pretty awesome. I started just trusting things would work out - I had bought an emergency KitKat as dinner, and just hoped things in Krakow would fall into place. Turns out they did, and G was wondering if I was still the same person.

8. What was your biggest failure?
A lack of faith in myself.

9. Did you suffer illness or injury?
LOL. I have that diagnosis I was after last year, though, and several others to go with it.

10. What was the best thing you bought?
Other than flights? I got a nice ring from Gdansk, and that chair on Monday!

11. Where did most of your money go?
Rent, medical expenses, travel. Also food.

12. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
I was really excited about Festival 2015, the weather put a bit of a damper on that. It also took us a few days for some members of the campsite to 'realise' we were camping there, but once we'd all worked out who was who it was quite nice
The Bialowiezia forest and the Vienna cemetery were some of my highlights of the trip. I saw snow fall from the sky. I saw different kinds of snow fall from the sky. I understood that some snow was good for making snowmen, and some was not. SNOW.

13. What song(s) will always remind you of 2014?
Teen Idle - Mariana and the Diamonds; There She Goes - The La's; Sights (especially the Andy C remix) - London Grammar; The Hanging Tree (from Mockingjay (Hunger Games)?); Take Me to Church - Hozier; OneDirection - 18 and Live While We're Young; Taylor Swift - Shake it Off and Blank Space; Riptide - Vance Joy. Radioactive - Imagine Dragons.

Music is one of the things I feel like I was missing in 2014, and I've really been making up for that over the last 9 months or so.

14. Compared to this time last year, you are:
More cautious.

15. What do you wish you'd done more of?
 
Handwriting/calligraphy, being outdoors, interesting cooking. Identical to last year.

16. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Flopping in front of the internet, rather than a notebook. Identical to last year.

17. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Mariana and the Diamonds.

18. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Nothing I can think of. Possibly nothing, actually.

19. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
It would be really nice to have a social work-y job. I guess that's why I've picked up the volunteering this year.

20. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

Still Nana clothes. I did buy some new ones online while I was away, though. Trying to go back to the black a bit, but I mostly got purple.

21. What kept you sane?
Distance, and G. As last year. Also, going away. I've not been seriously depressed (except after work, like clockwork) since we got back from Europe, so that really helped too.

22. What political issue stirred you the most?
. Head in sand.

23. Who did you miss?

Mum.

24. Who was the best new person(s) you met?
The couchsurfers who stayed with us here, and who hosted me/us while we were away (one of them was even the same person, and that was so good).

25. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014:
Often, I actually can. I have lots of feelings, and that's okay. Sometimes they are even predictable. Sometimes predictable things alleviate them too.


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1. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?
Moved into my/our own place, made pickles, lots of public speaking (willingly, too), made a terrarium.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't usually do resolutions. Last year I was trying to do one nice thing for myself each day (at least), and didn't manage that. This year I hope to leave the house at least once each day. Maybe 50% success rate so far?

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? 
Nope. I guess that's a relief, in some ways.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Nanna H.

5. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
An addition to our family; a diagnosis.

6. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Nothing too specific this year. 24, 26th November and 9th December from last year.

7. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Hard to decide between making this place liveable before we moved in, getting it to a pleasant state, or getting a job.

8. What was your biggest failure?
Not managing to do something nice for myself each day.

9. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing different to usual (tired and sore). Diagnosed with Vitamin D deficiency; no apparent thyroid problems; possible genetic issue, but I don't have the results from that test yet. My sister tested positive at the end of 2013 though.

10. What was the best thing you bought?
Laptop

11. Where did most of your money go?
Rent/bills, food, clothes. Nothing particularly exciting beyond dresses and bras that fit.

12. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Bra fitting! Going on holidays! Pickles! BEING FINISHED WITH MY DEGREE OFFICIALLY!!1!eleventy!

13. What song(s) will always remind you of 2013?
Cups - Anna Kendrick (When I'm Gone); Royals - Lorde; Miley Cyrus generally - Jolene, Wrecking Ball, We Can't Stop; Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke; Lana Dey Rey generally, especially Summertime Sadness, Bel Air, and Young and Beautiful.

14. Compared to this time last year, you are:

15. What do you wish you'd done more of?
 
Handwriting/calligraphy, being outdoors, interesting cooking.

16. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Flopping in front of the internet, rather than a notebook.

17. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Nothing this year, really. Getting more into Lana Dey Rey and Tom Dickins.

18. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
23. Nothing I can think of. Dinner with my mother, sister, and G at her local Japanese restaurant.

19. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Being on speaking terms with my father? Knowing what on earth was going on there would be good. Seeing friends. Leaving the house. Maybe even leaving the house to see friends.

20. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

Clothes. On. Nana-clothes. Probably because I got a bunch of Nanna's clothes from her in the first six months of the year.

21. What kept you sane?
Distance, and G.

22. What political issue stirred you the most?
The election, conservatives, and people who decided Abbott was better than the alternative.

23. Who did you miss?

Friends.

24. Who was the best new person(s) you met?
The WordPress community. They're pretty cool.

25. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013:
I got much better at working out what I had the energy for, and scheduling around it. I also learned that I can pull on future spoons if they are really necessary.

Graduating

Sep. 12th, 2013 12:41 am
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I found out yesterday that I would be graduating with first class honours.

It seems noteworthy that this is the first time I have felt more than satisfied with my academic performance. It is also the first time that there was literally no higher award I could get in a particular course of study.

Properly realising that my standards might be a little high has been a bit weird - I've always considered that I've done 'well enough', but never actually 'well'. My high school results were 'well enough' to get in to the course I wanted, I've done 'well enough' in classes/music. Even last week going through some of my old school assignments and test results, I would look at the results and see only the marks that were missing, or the 'Very Good' rather than 'Excellent', which was exactly how I saw them at the time. I was always able to explain away any musical success (scholarships, orchestras, solos and so on) by considering that I was playing an unusual instrument, rather than because I had any skill with it. My family celebrated scholarships as successes, but of course S got hers for year 7, and it was for year 11 that I got mine, which was always a bit painful.

In contrast to my past experiences, though, it was really nice to think "heck yes, I want to celebrate tonight". So we went out for dessert at Koko Black after G had finished teaching. It was tasty, and I was pretty pleased with myself. Hooray!





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I gave Zombies Run a go today.

I only went for twenty minutes, and walked more than I ran. I think my feet have blisters anyway!

I was amused by the song selection on shuffle - your first wave of Zombies? Mama (We're All Gonna Die).
Followed by I'm (Not) Okay.
Then for searching the hospital, Helena by the Misfits, which is entirely about cutting people up, and also love.

It was to the point that I wondered if the app knew the songs already, which really just comments on the voiceover, I suppose. The radio operator sounds like Alistair from Dragon Age Origins, which was a bit creepy, really.
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 Knitting a secret thing for the birthday on Friday. 

Cast on x + 30
Knit 1
Purl 1
Cast off 30
Knit 1 Purl 1 
Knit 1 Purl 1
Knit 1 Purl 1
Purl 1 Knit 1
Purl 1 Knit 1
(Knit 1 Purl 1)etc...
reduce knit row by 3, at cast-off end
reduce purl row by 3, at cast off-end
reduce knit row by 2, at cast-off end
reduce purl row by 2, at cast off end
reduce knit row by 2, at cast-off end
*reduce purl row by 1, at cast off end


at this stage, knit from the tail (cast-off end), and purl back towards it.  
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This yields more than a standard takeaway container - which I think is 750mL. So I'm guessing it would make closer to 800 or 850mL. When I made it, I found it a little too strong - I might use more water next time, or at least less peel! (My housemates thought it was good, though?). This is how I actually made it, based on this recipe. Well, a 'fixed' version - the first try resulted in cold lime cordial, rather than sorbet - leading to the conclusion the core was not cold enough. 

2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 cup lime juice
Juice of 1 lime
Zest of one lime

Cool the core of ice-cream maker for at least18h beforehand, on coldest freezer setting.
On the stove, dissolve sugar into water
Stir in the zest, and boil, then take off the heat. 

Stir in the lime juice, and refrigerate (at least one hour, we did overnight). 

Use ice-cream maker to make sorbet (or do it manually). 

This defrosts very quickly, so store quickly, and eat quickly!




Links (from a while back)

About Carrier IQ:

... and how to test if you have it. Something I should do now.


http://gaychristiansurvivors.com/

http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2011/10/marriage-according-to-bible.html
Image of different relationships as presented in the Bible.

rain_and_snow: Image of a butterfly in an ice-cube (butterfly)
I read the comments on this piece. It was totally worthwhile. One of the OPs responses was this:

"Uh, Lucy? Conscription is gone from the USA. Haven’t had a draft in nearly 40 years. That’s a classic men’s rights activist red herring, undercutting the other points. And the “women and children first” policy is one of chivalry designed by men, not women.

And it is men who devised the social rules that leave men choosing suicide, when men are victims of violence, it is almost always at the hands of other men, and men who generally run the economy that has left so many men unemployed and under-employed. If it’s misandry, it’s misandry that’s internalized by men and not foisted on them by women. The suffering is real. But the cause wears a male face."

And reading My Big, Fat Photo Spoof was great. 

Oh, and Portal is free on Steam until the 20th. Of course, I got it, and it doesn't work with my computer. I told it to try anyway, with the amusing results including rotating the display on my screen (and the functioning of the mouse) sideways. 
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 Wow.

How can my parents be so well meaning, and so incredibly hurtful at the same time. 


Here are some wonderful eggs from our hens!!!11!one! ... why didn't you make a cake?

No, you didn't do anything wrong, we just made this decision without talking to you at all, completely overlooking everything you try and do. Sorry if we offended you! 

No, you only count as part of this family sometimes. Like when you look after our dogs. 

No, your illness does not bear talking about, nor being taken as seriously as your sister's. Look, you're doing things! Also, my mother might blame herself, as she has depression too. Oh, we didn't mention it when we were trying to figure out if it was genetic? Whoops!

No, it's totally okay to scream at you on the phone, "WHY ARE YOU SO LATE". See point above about sometimes counting, and making effort. 


Seriously wondering if it would be better if I just didn't see them for a very long time. 

Another!

Aug. 31st, 2011 07:58 am
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Well, it is a video, but I liked it too.

http://youtu.be/nrNkNBjBR3o

Well, I couldn't work out how to make it embed. :(
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 Still in progress. 
After visiting Misty's Diner in Prahran a few months ago I've been thinking about trying to make buffalo wings myself. 

First attempt involved roasting the wings, which took around an hour on 200.
Sauce was based on a tablespoon of butter, 2 tablespoons each of Worcestershire sauce, and Tobasco sauce. Some vinegar (white, and apple cider), chili flakes, pepper, and paprika too. 
Not bad. Strong smell of vinegar. Not quite the same, though. And far too much butter, unless you're using it as a baste thing. Which is what we did the next time - covered the wings in the sauce after roasting them for around 15 minutes, and then roasting the rest of the 45 with the sauce on. Then the sauce on the table to give it extra flavour. This time the wings were nice and crispy. The drumsticks seemed to work particularly well, but there is less surface area for the meat to have the sauce and flavour. But the skin was really crispy. DECISIONS!


http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,191,157182-229193,00.html

http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/buffalo_wings/

http://homecooking.about.com/od/chickenrecipes/r/blchicken16.htm

http://homecooking.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.lowcarbluxury.com/recipes/recipe-snackhot01.html



rain_and_snow: Image of a Victoriana style butterfly (old butterfly)
 I had a marvelous time at the Showgrounds' Farmers Market on Sunday. 

I now have potatoes, celery, broccoli, onions, kiwis, and a chicken. 
Beef is well priced compared to the Footscray Market - $12 for grass fed, rather than $10 for standard oyster blade. 
The potatoes I got were only $2 per kilo.
So I paid too much for the chicken. I don't feel bad about the cost though. I'll be using the whole thing, and it's going to be good. 
I can make a chicken+cheese pot pie, and then use the carcass for soup. And have wings and drums for buffalo chicken.


Also now trying to deal with actually not being crap at things. Being surrounded for years by people who are as good as, or better than me at everything I do, I've not been convinced that I'm any good at anything at all.  

Holidays

Jul. 15th, 2011 04:05 pm
rain_and_snow: Image of a Victoriana style butterfly (old butterfly)

 We came back from Palm Cove on Sunday evening. It was well worth it, I felt good up there. The warmth was nice, I like the area as a place to stay, and we did some things I enjoy. Forgetting to pack my shoes meant a new pair of thongs. "These may be uncomfortable at first, but persevere and they will become your most comfortable thongs ever!", or words to that effect, were on the swing tag. I missed them. They weren't that bad to walk on, after the first try, it was standing still that was a killer. BURNING FIRE was the effect. By the end of the holiday, they weren't that bad in general. I'm not sure I'd buy another pair, though. 
The rayon patchwork-style wrap skirt was a better purchase. I just need some buttoned blouses to wear with it, now. 
Hartley's Croc Adventures... the attack show was excellent. I remember being amazed by pole feeding I'd seen in Darwin, but the attack show was different in that it was lacking a pole. It was impressive they could jump so high from such shallow water. 
Having been given a journal the day or two before we left, I thought I'd spend a lot of time practicing handwriting. It turns out that I kept a 'holiday diary' instead. Mum forced Sarah and I to write 'holiday diaries' up until about year 10. I hated it. I didn't see the point, and I was always behind. This time, I was doing it for myself, pretty sure that no-one else was going to read it, and not feeling compelled to write. It was so much better. 

I didn't feel overly tired, and I didn't feel depressed. I enjoyed cooking prawns and pasta salad, and a take on the shumi wraps I used to make at Martin's. It was good. I read a book - Shit My Dad Says. An easy and short book, but still a book, in about three or four days. 

The Reef was good. Colder than I remembered, and less colourful, with less variety in the coral. There were more fish this time, though, in both variety and number. I like fish, so this was a good thing. The operators this time were the same company, but with different staff. Last time the Maori Wrasse, Wally, was a feature, but he wasn't even mentioned this time. I was disappointed about that, as he was fascinating last year. I didn't get sunburnt this year 

Holidays can be good. 


Now we're sorting out the house. 
We did the garage a couple of days ago, and today the chook proof fence is being put up. 
The bedroom and study are the plan for this weekend, and I've spent bits of today sorting out the kitchen again. 

Well, my Field Notes stationary just arrived!

FREEDOM

Jul. 1st, 2011 04:46 pm
rain_and_snow: Image of a Victoriana style butterfly (old butterfly)
I just handed in my last essay. Only one day late. And this lecturer didn't put in how much we'd have taken off each day, so who knows. 
The last assessment for this semester, anyhow. 

Uni is being difficult with sorting out the placements, or it's the agency. Either way, there's a great big void where a lot of communication should be. I expect I'll get the placement I want, but people aren't talking to each other enough for me to finish organising it just yet. 

It's not been a great semester. I've done four subjects, and I'm definitely proud of that. 
The comments from the most difficult subject have been disheartening, as if she didn't really read what I had written. She suggested that I didn't read the readings properly, and that I wouldn't want to 'know more' if I had - I feel like this isn't a reflection of the work I've done, and that I want to know more because the subject is of interest to me, rather than because I've failed to engage with the readings properly. 

I'm really enjoying writing with real pens and paper at the moment, so I'm excited to be buying a new fountain pen, preferably tomorrow. And there are so many to chose from, it's almost overwhelming. 
I've subscribed to a company which is known for its fountain-pen notebooks, and so will get sent a bunch of them every quarter for the next year. I'm excited! (Oh, and a mammoth box to start me off... )
It's nice that this new obsession of mine doesn't require feeding, and takes up relatively little space. And that it's something I can already do (well, not calligraphy, but I can and do use journals and write). 

Off to my favourite place again tomorrow. I love the Reef. As much as I hate the sun, and heat, and water, it's sufficiently amazing that I just want to watch it forever. And going away where there is minimal mobile reception, and without my computer really does force me to take a break. That was the positive side to my incredible cooked lobster sunburn last year - I got to read, and I wasn't too tired to do so. In fact, I fairly well couldn't do anything else, and so had a chance to both relax, and read. 
rain_and_snow: Image of a Victoriana style butterfly (old butterfly)
 
I've been thinking about this post for a while. I've had a few different thoughts since then, too.
I thought, before, about how much I wanted to be religious - but then I got to thinking why. 

I want to be joyful.
I want to believe that this world is good, and is for good.
I want to be able to trust my worries to someone else, and just get on with it all.
I want to be loving.
I want to be that person who smiles.
I want to be the person whose door is always open.
I want to feel motivated.


I don't actually need to be religious to be many of those things. So, in the spirit of solution-oriented therapy, how about just living as if it were so?


Perhaps the others will come with it. 

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