Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Photo Challenge Updates

I am not sure about other parts of the world but at the moment we are having perfect weather for taking photos ... which is something I should therefore be doing lol. The days are fine and sunny (I can't say warm because it is winter after all) with crisp nights that warrant deep snuggling in bed.

But moving on from the weather report to what we are really here for. Our current themes:

This Friday (31 July): Away
Friday 7 August: Tasteful
Friday 14 August: Identity

Happy clicking :-)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dance Dance Dance

Holding on to anger, resentment and hurt only gives you tense muscles, a headache and a sore jaw from clenching your teeth. Forgiveness gives you back the laughter and the lightness in your life.

Joan Lunden

Photo: "Dance dance" by Urshastarx


I have my car back! And it all came in a little ($200) less in cost than I thought it might.

I have left the house for the first time in a week (yah). I have run errands. I have crossed things off my 'To Do' list. I have taken photos (none any good but I have taken them anyway).
I have seriously thought about buying one of those gopher vehicles this week (in principle more than practice) because without transport of some sort I am to all intents housebound.

But I have my car back so I will put off those thoughts for another six months or so.

Dance dance dance :-)

Photo: "To Freedom" by Ellie-the-dreamer

Monday, July 27, 2009

Growing Up

I do not want to die... until I have faithfully made the most of my talent and cultivated the seed that was placed in me until the last small twig has grown.

Kathe Kollwitz

Photo: "Spring is coming" by Eredel

Photo Challenge - Home

Pumpkin Risotto Soup

I made this for the last time The Lentil Club got together for a craft day (read a good excuse to catch up and drink coffee and chat for many hours). Actually I started it and then delegated to the wonderful Gabby and Robbie who did most of the work so I can't actually say that I made it lol.

It is based on a recipe from The Australian Women's Weekly's "The Essential Soup Cookbook".

To serve 8

2 kg pumpkin, chopped and roasted
1/4 C olive oil
large knob butter
2 onions, finely diced
4 t minced garlic
2 C arborio rice
1 C dry white wine
3 litres vegetable stock
2 litres water
1 C cream
1 C shredded cheese

Heat oil and butter in a large saucepan. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent. Add rice and cook for about 2 minutes, making sure that each grain is shiny and becoming translucent. Add stock and water and bring to the boil. Simmer, uncovered for about 20 minutes or until rice is cooked.

Cool, then stir in pumpkin.

Blend half of the soup until smooth. Combine all of the soup in the saucepan again. Add cream and cheese. Stir until hot.

Serve with crusty bread (we used a garlic sourdough).

Fake It Until You (I) Make It

I have had a revelation - avoiding people and being a hermit is not helping anything! Sometimes some things are so very obvious, so I am committing to be back blogging - including visiting other blogs every day.

General update: I am now officially "disabled" and this will be for the long term. I am struggling with finding things (that don't involve watching daytime tv) that fill in the day. I have been car-less for the last 10 days (my engine seized up) but that should be coming back to me in the next day or two (yah I will be able to leave the house). AND .... (drum roll) things are going to get better (insert music by D-Ream here) lol

Photo: "Cotton Candy Dreams" by mrcool256

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Photo Challenge Updates

It's photo time again - yah! This probably isn't the place to be telling my story but what the heck - I have struggled since I left work on so many levels (well not financially .... yet) and today I finally found my peace. Expect visits to blogs shortly :-)

Anyway, back to the purpose of the post, what we are photographing.

The theme for this week: Wisdom
Friday 24 July: Home
Friday 31 July: Away

Happy clicking!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Laugh and Be

Shared laughter creates a bond of friendships. When people laugh together, they cease to be young and old, teacher and pupils, worker and boss. They become a single group of human beings.

W Lee Grant

Photo: ".laughter'" by witchlady750

Friday, July 10, 2009

Another Food Bargain

I don't eat a lot of meat - and I think I bought about 6 months worth of steak this morning but it was a bargain too good to pass up - rump steak at $7.99 a kilogram. And yes it is local (from about 5 km away, and yes it is good quality - probably designed to be a loss leader from an advertising perspective).

If I cooked each generous piece as a steak I get 20 large/huge serves at about $1 each. If I use them as a casserole, curry or whatever (ie bulk them out with other ingredients) that will change to 30 - 40 serves. And that could be just 5o cents a serve.

And who said that being in the Lentil Club was going to be doing it tough lol!

Dance Dance Dance

My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I'm happy. I can't figure it out. What am I doing right?

Charles M Scultz

Photo Challenge - Fence

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Yah It's Costco

Now sometimes I can get all up-in-arms about globalization and the greed of multi-nationals but this time it is different - it is Costco - and it is coming to Australia (dancing wildly!).

Now I have told most of my travel stories from when I was in Dallas but one of my favorite outings (which we did more than once ... in fact I think Miss Weasley took me there nearly every day) was heading to Costco.

Now there are supermarkets and there is Costco. This place sells everything - food, clothing, tyres, furniture, electrics and, and, and. Although it sounds more like a department store than a supermarket (and it is), and the prices are great blah blah blah - you go for the food! This place had taste testings at least once in every aisle - you could go there for lunch and still not get to try everything. And while many of the products are just regular dips and things you get at the regular supermarket, there are also the extra/ gourmet/ different things - like proper pies, dried mango (drool), vegetarian treats, different sausages, breads, drinks - that I only saw at Costco.

And now they are starting up in Australia - and I can go on holiday every day lol.

btw the photo is of me and another Aussie I found in Dallas - and isn't meant to indicate that I have any problems I haven't already shared lol

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Photo Challenge Updates

Whoops, I made something of a little mistake when posting last week's themes - I had down this week as "Fence" when previously I had suggested "Juxtaposition". So how did this travesty occur if the themes were set at the beginning of the year? My mistake and I am here to confess.

When compiling the themes, I put all the suggestions in a jar and then pull them out one by one and record them on the relevant dates in my diary. The exceptions are words that are "pairs" like light/dark and town/bush in which case if they are drawn out they are allocated for the next two weeks. Then I assiduously throw them out before repeating the procedure.

Obviously there is a flaw to that process because I had "domestic" recorded twice in quick succession. Desperately looking for another theme when I was positing the themes a couple of weeks ago I wrote down "fence" because I was randomly looking at the fence while I thought. I then decided that that might not be fair so I grabbed the dictionary and did the open it randomly, hence "juxtaposition" which I duly typed in the post.

Why I wrote one and typed the other I am not sure but we have two themes this week - or you can juxtapose a fence in some way if you would prefer.

So, to get to the point, the themes we are working on:
This Friday (10 July): Fence/Juxtaposition
Friday 17 July: Wisdom
Friday 24 July: Home

Happy clicking!

And Don't I Know It

Part of what makes us human us what we mean to other peoplem and what people mean to us.

John Scalzi

Photo: "the friend fight" by m0thyyku

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tell Me A Tale

Who you are moment to moment is just a story.

Chuck Palahnuik

Photo: "Smile" by vaggelisf

Who Do I Think I Am

okay the question obviously got bigger than just about me and my body. and this is the answer. i am a backup, a ring-in, a number 3. i am not designed to have or to be a partner. when you need a babysitter, or want to try a new restaurant, or need a shoulder to cry on, or you want to have sex with no strings , or need help with a recipe ... or need a friend for anything then i am the one to call. i have many good features but i am not the one who will make someone's toes curl. i am well loved by all who are in my life, but i am not, nor have i ever been the love of someone's life.

when i was in school i thought it was because i was way too smart and spoke my mind. when it was in my early twenties i was politically active and flat out. when i was in my late twenties i was too independent and busy ... i guess what i am trying to say is that i thought it was because i was too big and have been blaming my body but really it has always been that way - it is me. yes i know there was 10 years of john but that was so un-conventional on so many levels it fitted in.

and really that isn't going to change - i am too jaded, too hurt, too pig-headed to let anyone in now. and, on a more positive note, I have created a life that i love - i laugh, i learn, i live, i create and i am loved. i paint, i photograph, i study, i garden, i hang out with friends, i live in my own patch of heaven, i can scrub up real well, my list can go on.

but if i am not going to be the one that makes the sun shines in another's day, if i am not going to be setting off far-off orchestras in their mind, if i am not going to start someone's heart a-fluttering then i may as well get on with the business of other ways of living.

Remember How They Make You Feel

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.

Mark Twain

Art: "fade into the shaded blue" by willko

Monday, July 6, 2009

So Who Do You Think You Are?

A friend asked a question last Thursday and it still has me in a tail-spin ever since. I should add that it was an innocent question, it was a simple question but it does boil down to "so who do you think you are" and that is not simple.

At first I was trying to stop all of the emotions getting in the way so I could come up with a practical, objective answer (so far as that is possible). But too many buttons were being pressed and all the practice this Mountaingirl has had at personal growth this year wasn't helping.

Then I just thought I would wait for the answers to rise to the surface - but that just meant I had found an easy way to run and hide.

Today I think I have found the answer - it isn't conventional as such, and I am sure it isn't the answer that my friend is waiting for, it certianly isn't what I was expecting. But I find peace in it.

I am going to sleep on it and if I feel the same I will share it tomorrow.

Art: "Warm Dossouye"by mattahan

A Matter of Perspective

Life shrinks or exapnds in proportion to one's courage.

Anais Nin

Photo: "Strawberry Swirl" by girltripped

Lentil Club Update

My first week of official membership has been a triumph (well so I say anyway). At this stage I am working on a weekly grocery shopping budget (including all food as well as cleaning products, tissues and the like) of $50.

I made meatballs using 500g mince ($4) with onion, breadcrumbs, herbs and seasoning and got 20 golf-ball sized meatballs. I cooked them in a baking dish topped with a jar of spaghetti sauce. I had 4 for my dinner (served a cob of corn that I got for 50c and mashed potato) ... well 3 plus one left for a midnight snack. So that works out to be 4 serves of meatballs left over for another time - and all at less than $1 a serve!

I have made four serves of Cauliflower and Blue Cheese Soup - all are in the freezer. I just boiled the cauliflower ($1.69), pureed it, added the cheese ($3) and homemade chicken stock and seasoned to taste. Just over $1 each serve (plus I will need some crusty bread when it comes to eating time).

The chicken stock was easy - a couple of roast chicken carcasses that I was saving for just such an occasion with an onion, a couple of bay leaves and herbs from the garden. I probably used 1 litre for the soup but I have managed to freeze about another 3 litres. And I am saving vegetable off-cuts to do a vegetable version. Total cost - negligible ...

And I am rediscovering the joy of oatmeal (porridge) for breakfast - warm, filling, healthy and less than 10c a bowl!

I also managed to jag myself a microwave from freecycle. On the way back from collecting it I dropped in to see Miss Abbey. 5 cups of coffee and about 5 hours later I was on my way back home. A big day out - I left home at 8 and got home at 5, which also included stopping in Coffs to run errands on the way up to get the microwave, came to about $15 worth of petrol (it was about an hour either way).

Apart from having Miss Abbey, Miss Kylie and Miss L to swap ideas with, the best part of my new life is that I don't feel like I am missing out on anything! It is just using my time better, planning more and putting all the other things I try and do (100-mile eating, cooking healthy on a budget etc).

Friday, July 3, 2009

So Wise

Never bear more than one trouble at a time. Some people bear three kinds - all they have had, all they have now, and all they expect to have.

Edward Everett Hale

Art: "Flying" by mindtuber

Photo Challenge

Sorry folks, missd this one big time .... there is always next week lol

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Photo Challenge Updates

What a week this has been! I have had an assignment to do so hence the lack of blogging - yes I am have had my "responsible adult" hat on. And now it is Thursday and my plans for my photo haven't paid off so I will have to come up with something quickly as Friday gets ever closer. Oh the trials of my life lol (definitely said 'tongue in cheek')

So, onto our themes:

This Friday (3 July): Finery
Friday 10 July: Fence
Friday 17 July: Wisdom