Friday, March 30, 2007
My food thinking is actually doing me good. The more recipes I read, the more I remember how hard cooking is, well not the cooking, all the chopping and washing up is tiresome and this is keeping me to the diet. (apart from yesterday's delicious little slip up)
Since it's coming on to soup season I bought a carton of Campbell's REAL STOCK, vegetable. All ingredients are listed on the side which has confused me a little. This carton contains, water, vegetable stock (?) 3% (water, carrots, celery, beetroot, parsley, lettuce, watercress, spinach), food acid (citric acid) natural flavour, sugar, soy sauce (contains soy and wheat), salt, onions, garlic, vegetable paste (contains milk products) herbs. So the way I read it, I have bought a carton of vegetable stock which contains vegetable stock as one of its ingredients. I'm glad I didn't buy a bridge.
I also grabbed the free magazine that Safeway uses to shamelessly plug all manner of packaged chemically enhanced natural food. This little gem caught my eye. It's another use for those morsels of patriotic delight, Anzac biscuits. You soften them in the microwave for 30 seconds, then while they're soft, press them into muffin tins (sounds very prOn) and hey presto, when cold you have little cases to fill with caramel and cover with chocolate. I would like some with chocolate mousse, lemon curd even or a liquer truffle mix, lovely but labour intensive. I'd have to stand up a lot to make them and then make coffee to have while eating them, then wash the cup and all the utensils etc. but if the Anzac fairy leaves any on the doorstep, they'll be appreciated. HINT.
If anyone is thinking of using the new Ajax superdooper bathroom cleaner, read the directions first. You don't want to go spraying it around then find out that it's a level 8 corrosive, to be used only with gloves and don't breathe the fumes. It's not a bathroom cleaner, it's a chemical weapon of mass destruction. I'm still hacking up bits of lung and that's after I poured it down the shower drain with cold water. I figured it would probably dissolve all that red hair that the drain trolls weave into gold in the pipes.
That finishes the shopping report for this week.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
I left home at 8.30, 20 minute walk to the bus unusually slow but then I was crippled by searing pain in one foot. Two buses to get to the doctor's and joy, my blood pressure is down so no pills. I almost made it back to the bus stop but I have to pass by the BohemiancakeshopwherethegenuineViennesealmondcreamcroissantslive. I couldn't help it, they banged on the window like puppies in a pet shop saying, 'bite me, bite me, bite me'. So I did, but I had a long black without sugar so it counts. Anyway I only go to the doc's every three months and it helped me negotiate the 2 million tonnes of chocolate covering Westfield for Egg Sunday.
My sister and I have a system. I top up my mobile then transfer credits to her phone and she gives me the cash. It's worked well up to now but optus have a new website but I don't find that out until half an hour later when I ring customer service because I'm still trying to transfer money in a black hole. I had all the details for the poor wage slave at the call centre except my own number which is on the phone I'm using to talk to the call centre. I don't call me so how am I supposed to know what the number is. This has taken me nearly an hour of internet time and mobile.
I finish the day as I started it, the slave of the cat. Three cans of food and a bowl of milk later he decides to sit on my foot to get warm. Wrong foot, #*&@* cat!
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
The little kid running up the stairs to find her bedroom is a brick wall because the insurance company wouldn't cough up enough to build it. Have you looked at the size of the house? And not a stick of furniture in the joint.
That Magnum ad with good old botoxed to the hilt Hurley. Swans down the red carpet in a dress that's almost there and grabs a bloke's ice-cream and EATS IT! Who are they kidding? That woman hasn't had a decent meal let alone a chocolate covered ice-cream in the last ten years.
And since I'm totally obsessed with food at the moment and my only comfort is the numerous food blogs I visit, here's one I particularly like http://theoldfoodie.blogspot.com and I hope he won't mind me nicking his quotation for the day.
"The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for 30 years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found."
I can relate to that. The Brick Outhouse is always amazed when I take something out of the fridge and make a meal from it. I've converted him to putting sliced roast meat in batter or layering it with onions and gravy to simmer in the oven with or without a topping of fried breadcrumbs with cheese or mashed pototoes. It's even easier now that gravy comes in liquid form ready to microwave. He did remember a recipe I used to make when they were little and I'm surprised I wasn't arrested for child abuse for giving them sausages cooked with baked beans, pineapple, green pepper and onions.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Who in their right mind diets just before Egg Sunday? Normally not a problem, the chocolate in these eggs was always terrible but not now.
Safeway have a recipe for a Rocky Road egg. All the ingredients are on the page, ready to buy in your supermarket aisle. It looks gorgeous but I'm strong, skip that page.
Target, on the other hand, have an egg I'm going to have a lot of trouble with. A Jessica Walker totally indulgent nut egg. Caramelised macadamia nuts coated in milk chocolate and formed into a 600 gram egg, with a ribbon. It's on special, $24.99, I save $5.00 but even at $24.99 I'd want Ioan Gruffudd naked, with a ribbon, to deliver it.
I could go for the Rocky Road egg with 9 Rocky Road clusters or the Ernst Hillier Liqueur Creme and I definitely have to buy a Fair Trade Egg to be fair.
Or I could just eat the page.
But it was one of his commenters that had me going back over my dealings with various counsellors over the years. How do you know when it's finished? What is the cut-off point to go it alone? With me, it was more a case of when do I start trusting these people to help me instead of fighting them. It was only when I saw a female psychiatrist who asked if I had problems with men in authority positions that cathedral bells went ding dong boom. My other two shrinks and hypnotherapist, males, authority figures which meant the drawbridge went up and the moat filled with piranhas.
She was good. I always left the session with a question she put in my mind and by the next week, I usually had an answer and another step on the road. The question was important because it showed that she was not only hearing what I was saying in words but also listening to the gaps in between.
It took a little over a year before I uttered the one sentence that had been locked away in a dungeon in my mind. I thought I'd be struck by lightning for that but instead I burst into such hysterical sobbing that I ended up in hospital for the night. It wasn't the great 'I'm cured' breakthrough but it was the start of me being able to do the hard work for myself.
The New Age gurus say every phase of our life has to be completed in order to move to the next challenge and survive it. I survived everything that has been thrown at me over the last 12 years. My father's cancer and death, my son's month in intensive care and watching him die, my granddaughters being taken far away, my husband's infidelities and our eventual divorce and now my mother's slow decline. I'm down from 40mcg of medication a day to 3. The battle with my other drug, food, is now being fought.
I don't mind growing old. For every year I live my mind expands more not less. Youth is wasted on the young, hand it over kids, I won't waste a minute.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
TheMuriels, Kelly and Samantha have passed the first trimester of their pregnancy.
The nuchal fold ultrasound showed a perfectly healthy baby.
There is an extremely low risk of Down Syndrome.
BabyMuriel has a normal skull and abdomen and is 5.24 cm long.
Of course, this means the end of civilization as we know it.
Two lesbians in a 13 year relationship, having a child will bring down fire and brimstone on every hetero family in Australia. Johnny told me so, and Abbott and Costello too. I won't get hurt, I have a tinfoil hat.
Go Team Muriel. I'll dance at your wedding yet.
2. Open 15 cans of cat food, a day, for notoriously fussy geriatric pain of a cat.
3. Walk to the shop for milk whenever the snivelling swine of a cat wants it.
4. Build up biceps by turning pages of cake recipes and wiping drool from chin.
5. I'm all for spectator sports. Anything that walks past me in tight jeans will get mentally stripped and in case you're wondering that strengthens the eye muscles.
6. I dance very gracefully, it's the fat that wobbles. (don't come looking, nekkid dancing is over, summer's gone)
7. I ride horses, ice skate and climb mountains. (try proving I don't *blows raspberry*)
8. I'd like to swim, but whaling season, you know. I'd like to surf, but shark season, you know.
9. I lift weights, these artificial knees weigh a ton and the body ain't made of marshmallows.
10. I walk kilometres, to the fridge, the computer, the coffee shop, the pub.
I tag anybody who can tell lies better than I do.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
My scales are nearly a kilo out so I was 138 kgs when I started last Monday so that is a good result.
3kms to the hospital and 3 back in the pouring rain. I walked in the back door straight into a hot shower, clothes and all, to try and shave off frostbite.
On Thursday, I staggered home trying not to succumb to heatstroke.
Thanks to all who are supporting me, especially Cellobello who, in a noble gesture of sacrifice, ate only a small packet of chocolate chip tiny teddy biscuits. *sobs* I love tiny teddy biscuits.
Don't mention exercise, I can do enough damage walking. I've been catching buses, good, cracked my spine on a bus seat, not good.
Last night I had to figure out how to attach the two sticky paddles of my TENS unit to a spot between my shoulder blades. That's really hard with one dodgy arm but I'm a woman and female brains are wired for just this sort of problem. I measured my back, measured the chair and pinned the paddles to the exact spot, sat down and leaned back, brilliant.
Now to get through Sunday without cappuccino, croissants and chocolates. I can do it, I can do it, stop thinking tiny teddies, don't think tiny teddies, crush the tiny teddies. *sobs*
Friday, March 23, 2007
The image was taken from the International Space Station in 2006 and shows the layers of the atmosphere and that beautiful crescent moon.
Air molecules scatter blue light making the sky clear blue for ground observers and the horizon blue for astronauts. The molecules are deflecting the moonlight making the lower part of the moon appear to fade. The black at the top of the photo shows the increasingly thin atmosphere.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
In November 2006, atmospheric scientists started to look at chemical emissions from ocean phytoplankton and how those chemicals could influence cloud formation and reduce the absorption of sunlight.
Discovery of this link came from efforts to explain the increased cloud cover over an area of the Southern Ocean where a phytoplankton bloom was occurring. This part of the world normally has relatively few particles around which cloud droplets can form. The hypothesis was that air borne particles produced by oxidation of the chemical isoprene which is emitted by the phytoplankton contributed to the doubling of cloud droplets.
Dimethyl sulfide (DMS) which is also emitted affects the formation of clouds by increasing the number of sulphate particles to form cloud droplets. Isoprene may enchance the affect of DMS by not only increasing the number and size of the particles but chemically attracting more moisture. The more droplets in clouds, the brighter they are and the more sunlight they reflect back into space.
The Southern Ocean is ideal for this type of study. It's largely untouched by pollution and has relatively steady temperatures and meteorological conditions during the seasons in which phytoplankton blooms. If this connection is confirmed by field studies it will be added to global climate modelling.
Atmospheric scientists believe that increased cloudiness partially mitigates the effects of global warming. Now they're looking at the role of oceanic biology on cloud formation and how it can alter the impact of greenhouse gases. They have to identify all the chemical components in the aerosols then estimate the amounts of these and other gases rising from the organics in the oceans.
I don't know why we are making so many plans to plant our ecological bootprints all over the solar system when we know so little about our own planet. It took a year before anyone knew about the Ayles ice shelf by looking at a satellite image, it's the same with phytoplankton and clouds, another satellite image, another new hypothesis. Scrap 'a man on Mars' mission and stick to Earth.
I love Dawn French and I agree with her views on Chocolate.
Q. Is there ever a circumstance under which you would share chocolate?
A. "No. There is none whatsoever. No matter who you are or how much I love you. Chocolate is not to be shared."
Every December, New Scientist has a competition. This year it was to compose a text message in no more than 160 characters, sent by an alien who has just arrived on our planet. This wasn't a winner but I loved it.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Time 6.00 pm. and home from Mother's.
Drop bags and run in case it's a telemarketer and I miss slamming the receiver down on the wage slave.
Mother: When did the doctor say to take the pills?
Me: Every four hours for the past 12 months.
Mother: When should I have taken the last ones?
Me: Three o'clock.
Mother: Am I late taking them now?
Me: Just a tad.
Mother: When's the hairdresser coming?
Me: She'll ring me tomorrow and come next week.
Mother: The blood people are coming on Wednesday.
Mother: Now I've got it all straight, the doctor came today, the blood people come Wednesday, the hairdresser comes next week and I take the tablets every four hours.
Me: What's today?
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Yes it's in very small letters, as it drops I'll make the letters bigger.
Tomorrow the fat lady starts to drop weight. My goal for the week is 1kg.
Posting weight day will be next Sunday.
Ultimate goal for the moment is to drop the 10kgs I've put on last year.
So you lot get to play Bob or Gillian.
You get to insult, encourage, abuse or shout the fat lady into losing weight.
You may leave comments but only on Sundays, go for it, I have a broad arse and I can take it.
You can't see me cry anyway.
It's got to the stage where I can't look at the biggest loser and think 'I'm not as big as that'.
I can no longer throw insults at 'fat hanging over their trackies' bogans.
I can only see the scales by breathing in, a lot.
I have one item of clothing to judge if the diet is working. It's the petticoat I wore on Friday night, the one I thought had caught on my bra because it wouldn't pull down. It was caught on the Firestone retread that's appeared around my waist.
Now if you lot don't help me with this, I'm going to have the ultimate revenge.......I'll post photos.
It won't be pretty.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
A highlight of the evening was the Brownie and I descending the staircase in our best elegance school way, that is, sideways, crawling down the banister, watching that our grannyboots didn't slip and slide but still talking and laughing at the same time. We're still the tops, Paris, eat your heart out. But next time Brownie, when you see me opening a door you know is the gents, give me the nudge, bloody woman was too busy laughing.
The upstairs at the Exford wasn't bad except for the music. Now, I know that we're a bit loud in a mob but raising the sound to override us doesn't work, anything you can do we can do better. The seating was good, comfortable and I nicely fitted into a two seater lounge, I'm dieting on Monday. Thank you Sedgwick for that delightful photo of my double chin. If the bar staff had any brains, they'd have turned the sound down and sent a boy out for Chinese take-away and we'd probably still be there.
I haven't been into the CBD since this time last year so I'm still amazed at the crowds of people and the places to eat. Flinders Street Station, (still called that is it, I mean it hasn't been tizzied up like Spencer St., has it?) is so full of light compared to the old days of dirt and grot that it's a pleasure to stand there waiting for the late train which was absolutely filthy. I love the escalators instead of walking down a slope that rivalled the Matterhorn and I used to do that in high heels. The only bit of trouble was when three goons spat over the windows at one station, on the outside fortunately.
If the government want a bit of extra cash, how about hiring out a tram with a bar that stops at various food venues and after we're all seriously mollythemonk drops us off where ever we need to get home. A little sign on the front that says 'Bloggers' and low rise steps and we'd be in business. Take that on board Kosky.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
That's a lot of work they're putting on my shoulders. Isn't that what Sol's getting the big dollars for? Aren't they, up there in the ivory towers, supposed to be working for the good of the customers? Is there going to be pensioner discounts for the broadband? It doesn't mention the cost of this wonderful high speed broadband. How much did this little advertising campaign cost me to tell me to do the company's work?
In today's mail, I received a questionnaire. If I don't fill in all the details and get it back to them by 26th April, they're cutting off my pensioner discount for phone calls. That's a great way to get me on side, Sol.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
I wouldn't trust a bloke to put on a condom the right way round. The thought of stripping off and letting him buckle me into a bungee harness for a bit of slap and tickle after jumping off a very big bridge is not something I want to think about.
I mean Bungee Sex......Bungee jumping is insane but Bungee Sex!!!!
What would happen if he kept going down (stop that thought) and she whipped up, fast. She'd sort of be left holding the ...um...bungee as it where.
Monday, March 12, 2007
"For years and years, I wanted to be a missionary. Unitl one day my friend - and here's a bit of a name drop - Tim Robbins said to me, "Well if you want to be a missionary so badly, why don't I come over to your house tonight and rearrange your furniture. That will give you a taste of what it's like to have a missionary come in" It was one of the best things anyone's ever said to me because I don't like interfering with people's lives. I like integrating."
Best definition of a missionary ever. Why am I posting this? Because we're coming up to Easter and the Godbotherers are out in force already. I prefer my Easter images to be of fluffy bunnies not nails and thorns, put it down to the goddess in me.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Saturday, March 10, 2007
I am making a list of these mannerisms in case it's just seasonal, like anniversary time, divorce, leaving home, birthdays. It's hard enough to break free of the mould (not a typo) of marriage without looking for jetsom and flotsom washing up in my mind. I don't care to remember him at all because I can't remember anything nice and you know what Bambi's mother said. He was never violent or anything just a walloping great twit with mannerisms.
The anniversary means it's my annual beat myself up for not having the courage to leave him at the Altar. For not having the courage to live according to my life plan. I've had to acknowledge that I cared about him but he came a long way down the list after kids, cats and dogs. We probably both look at each other now and think, "what was I thinking". Maybe not since he was pissed most of the time and I was the only one doing any thinking for most of those years.
My sister ran into him the other day. Funny how I knew who she was talking about when she said, "I saw that fat-arsed pinhead on the way home". That image floated out of my brain immediately. See what I mean about flotsom and jetsom.
Friday, March 09, 2007
In February this year, Monash University, the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine along with the governments of Australia, Singapore and Indonesia started to develop a program to deal with disaster victims identification. This is a specific plan to train the Indonesian emergency services and communities.
Senior Lecturer of the Monash Indonesian Studies Program, Basoeki Koesasi, who is helping to establish the program, was in Aceh after the tsunami and saw the devastation. He knows what it means to families to be able to claim and bury their dead.
Indonesia is a country where natural disasters occur frequently so working out a way to properly identify bodies quickly is vital. Professor Stephen Gardner, Director of the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine and Head of Monash University's Department of Forensic Medicine, has also played a key role in establishing this training.
The Indonesians expertise and practices have been basic but now procedures, such as pathology testing, taking photographs of victims, identifying their location, personal markings, labelling belongings, are being taught to professionals and community leaders. The idea is to have a system in place before a disaster happens to start the identification process as soon as possible. As we've seen this week, the region will need the program all to often.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Kutch is virtually an island in a corner of the Indian state of Gujarat. It is bordered to the south by the Arabian Sea and to the north by vast salt deserts.
Embroidery here is for personal, social and spiritual expresson and traditionally, embroidered articles formed an integral part of a girl's dowry. There are 16 distinct styles, vigorous, bold shapes, designs from mythology, curvilinear motifs of peacocks, parots, scorpions, elephants and flowers, geometrical counted thread and the use of tiny mirrors stitched to the cloth.
Chanda Shroff has a teaching diploma in crafts and started by providing 30 women from one village with raw materials and assistance with designs. Today Shrujan has helped 22,000 women from 120 villages across Kutch. The craftswomen primarily use silk and cotton to create high quality work and each craftswoman is encouraged to stitch her name into each piece. The national recognition and the income from the sale of the embroidery have brought the women respect in their communities. It allows them to invest in land, pay for health cae and improve nutrition for their families.
The second phase of Shrujan is to inspire younger craftswomen to keep creating. In 2004, 1,200 hand-embroidered display panels representing the different styles were made. Each panel, measuring 90cm by 120cm, took between three months and a year to complete depending on the complexity of the design. About 600 rural craftswomen took part including 85 year-old Parma Balasara who was one of the first to join Shrujan. The co-operation of these women also began to break down the caste system still operating in the rural villages.
Chanda Shroff is using the money from the Rolex award to fund a mobile resource centre which will take selected panels to craftswomen, many of whom are not permitted to leave their villages. A preliminary collection of 50 panels has already been taken to nine villages and self help groups are training the women to assume the roles of designers, saleswomen, entrepreneurs and teachers. There are also plans for informal craft schools to overcome the social isolation of women. Small groups would attend the schools for a three-month cycle.
Shroff was chosen as a laureate for her plan to ensure the survival of an art form flowing on to create a sustainable source of income. In her own words, "a support system for home-based women, as well as a reminder of the creativity and potential inherent in all women". Her aim is to bequeath a legacy that she hopes will survive for thousands of years to come.
The Rolex Awards for enterprise were initiated in 1976 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the waterproof oyster chronometer and to encourage human endeavour.
Michael Zimmerman is the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Butler University in Indianapolis. He is also the founder of Evolution Sunday where Christians hold special services to celebrate Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.
To Zimmerman, the biblical account of creation is allegorical. "Creationists fear that if you believe evolution, you're an atheist," he says. But he believes that trying to prove God exists by using the intelligent design argument signifys lack of faith.
"If you have enough faith, you don't need science to prove God exists, and science can't prove this anyway," he says.
That's exactly what religion is, faith in something you can't see or touch, faith in a God that can exist only by people believing that a God exists.
I don't believe in anything much except that we have the ability to take a leap of faith and believe in ourselves.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Happiness is finding art imitating life. Does everyone remember the Simpsons' episode, "Whacking Day"? I was looking at the Tristan Da Cunha Times to see if there was an update on the stranded oil rig I blogged about last year. Instead I came across one of the major events on their calendar, Ratting Day.
The men and boys go out with dogs and mouse traps to hunt.
The women follow later with refreshments.
Prizes are awarded for most tails, 2nd most tails, third most tails and there's a booby prize.
Prizes are awarded at the dance after the hunt.
Unhappiness is moving the furniture to find it doesn't fit and having to move it back.
Unhappiness is cooking a cockroach in your toast.
Saturday, March 03, 2007
I get to keep the fruit trees but all in nice little brick walls so I'll have shade but no grass. My mower man nearly had a fit but he weeds and prunes and I'll be rich enough to make him an offer he can't refuse.
Another show I was glad I didn't miss was the first part of 'Not all Tea and Scones' about the Country Women's Association. Hard working, good cooking, very large ladies, not an anorexic in the bunch. I was impressed by the fact they sang the National Anthem at their meetings and knew all the words. I mightn't share their politics but I admire the hard work they do and I'm looking forward to the next part of their story.
I loved all the films and St. Trinian's is about to be re-filmed with Rupert Everatt as the Headmistress (rumour) but I can't think who they would get to replace George Coles as the bootboy turned bookie. Would it be as good in colour? Some of those old films seemed to be perfect in black and white. Time will tell.
I can understand Sun to make flowers grow.
I can understand rain to give the trees a drink.
Won't somebody up there think of my hair. I woke up this morning looking like a demented squirrel with its paw stuck in a power outlet.
I can't help sweating the little things, it takes my mind off the important ones like my television finally dying. Thirty-one years of devoted service and it had the nerve to die on me. Thankfully I had a spare which is only half that age and it took the Brick Outhouse 15 minutes to hook it up and get it running through the VCR remote. I was back in business for Veronica Mars.