Thursday, July 31, 2008

Art for Today

Art: "Rain" by Crossie

Further Olympic Abominations

I wasn't going to rant on this, really I wasn't but as I live by myself this is my forum to vent until I come across a real live human being who is tolerant of my soap-boxing.

The IOC (International Olympic Committee) have been spouting for years about how these Olympics would be free from human-rights abuses and censorship, despite the reputation for just such offenses by the host country.

Now (overnight depending on where you live) they come out and admit that they knew all along that Internet censorship would be in place, heavier than usual, while the Olympics are on. And yes this applies to foreign journalists as well. That is on top of an increased number of people being arrested for "possessing state secrets" and the foiling of fake bomb plots.

It physically makes me sick at the hypocrisy, the lack of integrity, the lies - no not by the Chinese government - I expected nothing less from them, but from the IOC.

Even as I type this I wonder why I genuinely expected anything different about any Olympic farce, particularly the one that is being foisted upon us in a week. My cynical hat must have slipped off for a minute - my bad.... sigh ....

Eight Days and Counting

Yes the Olympics are getting closer and I think I am well and truly prepared.

The tv has gone back in the closet where it belongs. I have been solidly collecting podcasts so I have no need to listen to the radio (yes even my beloved Radio National, BBC and DW can't be trusted to be an Olympic free zone). There are cds in the car (long live Meat Loaf) so I have noise while I drive to and from work.

I know I can't avoid the abomination completely - I have a yahoo mail address so will have to visit there, there are news headlines on my homepage, I get the newspapers twice a week - but I am hoping I can extend it to maybe two or three days before I hear the first Olympic news and then maintain only a sporadic contact after that.

All of this training has to be worth it - I am going for Gold - and Olympic-free August!

The Books Are Growing

The spare floor in my dining-lounge room is now literally half-covered by piles of books. I have walk-ways but it is all getting a bit ridiculous. I know I need book cases but I am too much of a miser to buy new ones and I haven't come across anything else I like since I got my first two (and no they didn't even make a small dent in the piles).

So now I have two options. The first is to stop buying books, and clear out some of the ones I have - ROFL, as if THAT is ever going to happen!!!! So now I look at option two, moving the piles along the wall down the passage. I am going to try and limit the piles to about six books high (for as long at that lasts) and I have started with the reference books, or vintage books, that I know I won't be looking at regularly. I was thinking about just moving a few piles but I have more books coming on Sunday so I am not really sure I have the luxury.

Of all of the 'problems' in my life, this would have to be the absolute best lol

Sowing and Reaping

Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Art: "Fields of Gold" by olikel25

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Love Q #14

Should you have a joint account with your partner? And should you keep tabs on what he or she may be spending on?

I think there should be a joint account for all of the household items (rent, mortgage, holidays, bills,food, savings etc) that are budgeted for together (as a couple) but each partner should also have an agreed amount of "spending money" that is there to do with as they wish. This spending money (be it $20 per week or $200) does not go into the joint account.

Photo Challenge Updates

"Hello to all fellow photography fellows". Okay I have been listening to weird radio, and was typing that with an 80s dj crossed with a BBC presenter accent (note to self - get out more lol).

Anyhow, back to the point at hand - our themes (applause, applause, applause)

This Friday (1 August): Fuzzy
Friday 8 August: Friendship
Friday 15 August: Relaxation

My current list of themes collated from participants goes to mid-October so if you have any you want me to add to the end of the list, send them in :-)

Copycat Day

Lunch was a bit different today - we had copycat recipes. Yes they were popular, and yes we will be having 'real' food from now on. This was certainly a one-off :-)

  • KFC-style Coleslaw
  • KFC-style Twisters
  • McDonald's-style Big Macs
  • Oven Fried Chicken Nuggets with McDonald's-style Sweet and Sour Sauce
  • Vegetarian Subway-style "Sandwiches"
  • Rosemary Potato Wedges with Chilli Cream
  • Aussie Meat Pies
Surprisingly the lovlies struggled to get some of the recipes cooked in time but I blame myself for that - I complacently didn't pay attention to some of our more usually confident cookers. Sigh ... oh well ... life goes on ....

All recipes are available on Yes We Can Cook.


You declare you see me dimly
through a glass which will not shine,
though I stand before you boldly,
trim in rank and marking time.
You do own to hear me faintly
as a whisper out of range,
while my drums beat out the message
and the rhythms never change.

Equality, and I will be free.
Equality, and I will be free.

You announce my ways are wanton,
that I fly from man to man,
but if I'm just a shadow to you,
could you ever understand ?

We have lived a painful history,
we know the shameful past,
but I keep on marching forward,
and you keep on coming last.

Equality, and I will be free.
Equality, and I will be free.

Take the blinders from your vision,
take the padding from your ears,
and confess you've heard me crying,
and admit you've seen my tears.

Hear the tempo so compelling,
hear the blood throb in my veins.
Yes, my drums are beating nightly,
and the rhythms never change.

Equality, and I will be free.
Equality, and I will be free.

Maya Angelou

Art: "Black" by corazondieuridice

Wellness Wednesday

Looking after your mental health is just as important as our physical health. Do you know the symptoms of depression? And did you know one in five people experience depression at same stage of their life - that would have to be as common as a broken leg!

Things to look out for (in you or someone you care about) could include:
  • moodiness that is out of character
  • increased irritability and frustration
  • finding it hard to take minor personal criticisms
  • spending less time with friends and family
  • loss of interest in food, sex, exercise or other pleasurable activities
  • being awake throughout the night
  • increased alcohol and drug use
  • staying home from work or school
  • increased physical health complaints like fatigue or pain
  • being reckless or taking unnecessary risks (e.g. driving fast or dangerously)
  • slowing down of thoughts and actions.
If that sounds familiar, why not talk to your GP about treatment options available. Medication is a possibility but it certainly is only one in a wide range of options available so don't be put off.

Want more information - check out the Beyond Blue website

Reference: Beyond Blue


A friend is someone with whom you dare to be yourself.

Frank Crane

Art: "Weird" by Margriet

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Random Photo

Not sure what to do with this so I am putting it here :-)

Health and Wellness

I have really been enjoying Abbey's Wellness Wednesdays.

I have a great doctor and I wouldn't change that but so much of our 'health' is based on things that we can and should do for ourselves.

Eating well, relaxing, feeding the soul, looking after our metal health, having great friends and other support, fitness ... well the list goes on. They all form crucial parts of our overall 'wellness'. And the best part is that so many of these things are little things we can introduce into our daily routine - costing little money and taking up little time.

An easy and important investment to make for each and every one of us.

Heads or Tails


I love my ABC (Australia Broadcasting Corporation). Have I mentioned that before lol.

The sound of the news starting takes me back to brown bread and butter in Grandma's kitchen.

Philip Adams' dulcet tones croons me to sleep while exciting my mind.

My pod is filled with exclusively ABC products - philosophy, history, politics, ethics, art, literature - that rotate every few days as more becomes available.

And today, Fran Kelly is back on Breakfast. Actually she came back yesterday but technical difficulties (network problems on the computer at work) prevented me from tuning in. Steve Kinane did a great job but it wasn't the same. Today my world is at peace again, Fran is back in the chair.

Philosophy for Breakfast

I have been meditating on Abbey's post on Loni and forgiveness ever since it went up and find the whole concept of taking into account the 'offender's' motives both challenging and exciting.

Well this morning I was treated by the delightful sound - literally, he came in playing music - of Loni coming to work

A brief discussion on the philosophy of the forgiveness followed. I do say brief (20 minutes) because his answers were so succinct and salient and I had just finished night-shift.

I left with my soul well-fed and plenty more to think about. What a way to start a day :-)

Pooh Bear Tuesday

My spelling is Wobbly. It's good spelling, but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places.

Winnie the Pooh


Never look down on anybody unless you're helping him up.

Jesse Jackson

Art: "Hand" by Destroth

Monday, July 28, 2008

Happy Mountaingirl

We did the grocery shopping for work this morning.

I say we because I had a helper but there was only one, instead of my usual team of two. And my helper was a newbie at shopping with me. Nonetheless, with heads down and bums up we got to it .... and with no extra effort at all finished three minutes under our previous fastest time, and $7 under budget.

Dance dance dance ... doesn't take much to get me in a happy mood does it :-)

Study of a Leaf

Click each image for full detail....

It's In the Attitude

A pessimist only sees the dark side of the clouds, and mopes; a philosopher sees both sides and shrugs; an optimist doesn't see the clouds at all--he's walking on them.

Leonard L Levinson

Art: "Walking in The Air" by Dezera

Night Shift

It is 1.20 am and the night is moving on. Everyone is finally in bed.

I am putting together recipes for the lovelies this week.
I am listening to philosopher John Gray on my MP3 player.
The heater isn't quite doing its job.
The world is quiet.

I feel like singing Meat Loaf at the top of my voice.
I feel like dancing.
I feel like celebrating life and all that entails.

I blog instead :-)

While this photo might not be exactly a portrait of the physical me, it is an exact replica of what I feel like on the inside at the moment.

Art: "dance" by shuka

Sunday, July 27, 2008


I am not altogether comfortable with arguments but have got to a healthy place with conflict (most days anyway).

When I was growing up my folks never fought - they just didn't speak to each other for days. I remember my absolute shock when I physically yelled at John for the first time and the world didn't end. Yes he yelled back and shortly afterwards the situation was resolved. But anger was ok, and even felt healthy.

As time passed we developed some "Rules for Fighting" (not that they were ever 'fights', just periodic disagreements, or things that needed to be said that might not make the other person happy - you know what I mean). They worked really well until he began to lose his memory lol.

  1. Know exactly what you’re upset about - "you are a bastard" is not a starting point
  2. Stick to the current subject only
  3. Say how you feel, say what you need and if you have something to say, then say it but use respect
  4. Take responsibility - not everything is his/her fault
  5. Own your own feelings - this means starting sentences with ‘I feel’, not ‘you make me feel’
  6. Don’t talk each other down
  7. Don’t bring up past fights - it is low and a waste of time
  8. Have a time out to think if you want (or need to)
  9. Listen to what the other person is saying
  10. Know that this is not the end of the world
It was a really healthy thing for us to do, and worked really well. And I realize that most people I know kinda stick to something like this list.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that a friend doesn't play these rules - not that we ever discussed them, I just took it for granted being that most everyone else plays by them. Old stuff was brought up, there were lots of 'you' statements, talking down seems to be the norm. I realize how ridiculous it is trying to have a conversation to resolve things - ears are shut, defence mechanisms are waaay up, and yes, everything is my fault.

Funny thing is that I was suggesting we spend less time together - and this is a very easy way to make sure it happens lol.

Magic Moments

I was lying in bed yesterday morning, almost asleep, listening to the gardening show on ABC Local when I thought about my lemongrass bush - now 12 +feet high and in seed. Should I cut it back? When would I do that? The next question asked on the radio show was about a very big lemongrass that was in seed and the gardener wanted to know if they should cut it back? Co-incidence, karma, synchronicity? Not sure but it made me smile :-)

I have decided to offer Mr Linky to anyone who is doing the Magic Moment thing - share your smiles for the week.


The right to be let alone is indeed the beginning of all freedom.

William Orville Douglas

Art: "Gold" by Crossie

One Hit Wonders

You just gotta love the 80's - well you do if you are my age lol. I am not sure if it had more one hit wonders (1HW) than any other era but it sure had a few.

These are some of my 'favorites':
  • Joey Scarbury - Believe It or Not
  • Bow Wow Wow - I Want Candy
  • Charlene - I've Never Been to Me (aaargh my ears still hurt to think of this one)
  • Bertie Higgins - Key Largo
  • Toni Basil - Mickey
  • Soft Cell - Tainted Love
  • Waitresses - I Know What Boys Like
  • Taco - Puttin' on the Ritz
  • Thomas Dolby - She Blinded Me With Science
  • Kajagoogoo - Too Shy
  • Haysi Fantayzee - Shiny Shiny
  • Moving Pictures - What About Me
  • Dexy's Midnight Runners - Come on Eileen
  • After the Fire - Der Kommissar
  • Big Country - In a Big Country
  • Nena - 99 Luftballons (do we count the translated "99 Red Balloons" and remove it from the 1HW List?)
  • Musical Youth - Pass The Dutchie
  • Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Relax
  • Twisted Sister - We're Not Gonna Take It
  • Limahl - Never Ending Story
  • Harold Faltermeyer - Axl F
  • Georgia Satellites - Keep Your Hands to Yourself
  • Doctor & the Medics - Spirit in the Sky
  • Boys Don't Cry - I Wanna Be a Cowboy
  • Sly Fox - Let's Go All the Way
  • Timbuk 3 - The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades (and you can count the Corey Hart version as another 1HW)
  • Patrick Swayze & Wendy Fraser - She's Like the Wind
  • Buster Poindexter - Hot, Hot, Hot
  • Club Nouveau - Lean on Me
  • Climie Fisher - Love Changes (Everything)

Anything you want to add, any fabulously wonderful 1 HW that you want to share????

Cookie Woman

It was time to bake cookies again - as a reward for my "Shopper of the Month" at work.

This time it was (as in the photo) Peanut Butter Cookies, Triple Choc Cookies and Coconut Craisin Cookies. Recipes below.

Peanut Butter Cookies
125 g butter
1/2 C smooth peanut butter
1/2 C brown sugar
2 Tablespoons honey or golden syrup
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 Cups SR flour, sifted
1 C unsalted peanuts

Cream butter and peanut butter together until well combined. Beat in sugar, honey, egg and vanilla. Fold int eh flour. Add the peanuts. Place heaped teaspoonfuls on a greased tray. Bake at 1180 C for 10 - 12 minutes until golden.

Triple Choc Cookies
125 g butter
1 C sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 3/4 Cups SR flour
1 Tablespoon cocoa
3/4 C chocolate pieces
3/4 C choc chips

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg. Mix in flour and cocoa. Add chocolates. Roll into walnut sized balls and place on baking tray. Bake at 1180 C for 10 - 15 minutes until cooked.

Coconut Craisin Cookies
1 C SR flour
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C dessicated coconut
3/4 C craisins (dried cranberries)
125 g butter, melted

Combine the dry ingredients.Stir in butter and mix to combine. Place heaped teaspoonfuls on a greased tray. Bake at 1180 C for 10 - 15 minutes until golden.

Based on recipes found in "Better Baking" from the Easyfood Library.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Oh Dorothy!

I might repeat to myself slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound - if I can remember any of the damn things.

Dorothy Parker

Art: "Laughter" by lifeless-silence

Onya Big Kim!

Former Labor leader Kim Beazley has been appointed chancellor of the Australian National University (ANU).

Professor Beazley is currently working at the University of Western Australia where he took up a post after retiring from politics last year.

During his 27 year political career he served as deputy prime minister, defence minister and leader of the Opposition.

ANU vice-chancellor Ian Chubb says Professor Beazley will be an asset to the university.

"Kim Beazley has made a remarkable contribution to Australia through public office and is now set to continue that record in his role as chancellor of Australia's leading university," he said.

He says Professor Beazley has many strong attributes including his commitment to the education sector and to universities.

"He's very intelligent, he's very well connected in the political, bureaucratic and business world, a lot of the things that you need to add value to the university through a job like that are things that he can bring," he said.

Professor Beazley will take up the appointment at the start of next year.

"He has a commitment to higher education and a knowledge of it that's unparalleled and I think he'll be very very good," he said.

Labor frontbencher Bob McMullan says Professor Beazley also has three important attributes.

"He's got a great commitment to higher education, a profound knowledge of higher education and the leadership and public speaking skills that'll be a great sort of advocacy function for the university."

From ABC Online for the full story click the link.

Birthday Memory

I have never been a real fan of celebrating my birthday with other people - nothing to do with turning older - just that they never quite feel right. Maybe I have difficulty in accepting the love of others, maybe it doesn't work out just they way I wanted, maybe ....

Last year was great because I was with my Dad for the first time in forever but I now usually take the day off work and go and spend time with me, cooking something off my 'once a year list' and doing whatever comes up.

My other favorite birthday was an un-birthday I had with John. His plan was to give me my present, take me out to a posh restaurant and shower me with champagne. I was decidedly bah-humbug about it all so we decided to have an un-birthday. There would be no presents. There would be no birthday wishes, 'un' or otherwise. There would only be the two of us so I wouldn't accidentally run into someone who might know the significance of the day. Instead of a restaurant we had fish and chips on a beach (twice - lunch and dinner). Instead of champagne, we had beer. Everything that came up that might be birthday-related, we did the opposite.

It was perfect :-)


Project Gutenberg

or "Free Books Online"

Project Gutenberg is an online library that stores "cultural works" (ie books) that can be downloaded for free. It was started in the early 70's by Michael S Hart. The books are typed (or scanned in) by a word-wide team of volunteers. At present there is over 25,000 books as part of Progect Gutenberg but if you check out the website, you can find links for millions.

A true treasue chest :-)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Live Life

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Steve Jobs

Photo Challenge - Timeless

Thursday, July 24, 2008

When You Come

When you come to me, unbidden,
Beckoning me

To long-ago rooms,
Where memories lie.

Offering me, as to a child, an attic,
Gatherings of days too few.

Baubles of stolen kisses.
Trinkets of borrowed loves.
Trunks of secret words,


Maya Angelou

Art: "Tears" by deyn

Weather Report

It's raining today. Not storming, not cold, not drizzling just raining.

It is the sort of rain that if you are in bed makes you snuggle down that little further. It is the sort of rain that soaks the ground and waters the plants deeply. It is the sort of rain that makes you glad to stay inside and do 'inside' things. It is the sort of rain that cleanses the soul and makes you glad to be alive.

Art: "Rain" by hclemon

Photo of the Day

"The Garden" by Gustavs


I was born to learn, to grow, to expand, to love, to create, to enjoy, to see the beauty in all things including myself... But I was NOT born to be perfect.

Art: "become 4" by Debra Flanagan

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

It Makes You Think

The biggest sin is sitting on your ass.

Rose F Kennedy

Eat Right

I did a nutrition group today and it proved to be the catalyst for my post.

We can get some organ transfers but essentially this body is the only one we have - from birth to death - and feeding it properly can make the world of difference to not only our health but also our well-being. And if you make your food with love, it can nurture your soul as well.

So, eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, eat good oils, enjoy your carbohydrates, vary your proteins and luxuriate in the range of dairy products available.

And don't forget your treats - just make sure they remain 'treats' and not the basis for your way of eating :-)

Seasons Change

You saw them in autumn, now it is winter and they are different but still beautiful :-)

Wednesday Lunchtime

We went for soups again today - although I was trying to focus on more filling soups that could be served for a main meal.

Mexican Soup with Cornbread Muffins
Cream of Chicken Soup
Pea, Zucchini and Bacon Soup
Curried Lentil and Pumpkin Soup
Vegetable, Bacon and Risoni Soup

Cheesy Pita Toast Triangles
Potato Soda Bread

All recipes are on Yes We Can Cook :-)

And I was feeling a bit flat until I got lots of positives from the lovelies. Okay they are hard work some days but days like today somehow make it all worth while :-)