Monday, June 30, 2008

Isn't it always the way...

Husband is on his way as I write, will be here any minute AND...

I just got my period.

It's like my wedding day all over again.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

I found this recipe here flickr but couldn't find it again which was frustrating as I never wrote down the recipe. So I had to google around for a chocolate cookie recipe, and then a peanut butter one and put them together. So what I have here is a vegan recipe but if you're not a vegan or, like me, have a kid with allergies to milk and eggs, then use butter.

Chocolate Cookie dough:

3.5oz vegan spread
3oz sugar
pinch of salt
2oz self rising flour
4oz of whole wheat flour
1/2 cup of cocoa powder (sorry I'm an Imperial girl living in a metric world - my wires get crossed)
2tsp vanilla extract

Cream spread and sugar together and then knead in the rest of the ingredients to form a nice ball of dough. Set aside.

Peanut butter dough:
(Now, I don't really have a recipe as I kind of winged it, but here's what I did)

1/2 cup of peanut butter
1/2 a cup of flour
1 tsp vanilla extract

Knead it until a soft dough ball forms. Add the flour is small amounts until the right texture is achieved, as in you can roll wee peanut butter balls.

Take a chunk of the chocolate dough and roll a ball in your hands, then flatten out to make a small cup shape. put a peanut butter ball in the middle and curl the chocolate around until peanut butter is completely hidden. Flatten out and add to a pan.

These came out really nice and a bit cakey. Crumbly and not too sweet. Absolutely brilliant with a cup of hot coffee or glass of milk.

This recipe made a dozen and I had extra peanut butter so I'll freeze it for another recipe.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Book MeMe

Taken from JMC

"The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they've printed."

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list in your own blog so we can try and track down these people who've read 6 and force books upon them ;-)

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien.
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman.
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (Several but not all.)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger (Did NOT love this one.)
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll (Did not love it.)
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell (Read in high school)
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood Unfinished.
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding (Read in High School and hated it. But reflect on it often so It made an impression)
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck (Never read Steinbeck again.)
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy (Hated it! Damned miserable story.)
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson (I find Bryson a bit dull as a travel writer)
75 Ulysses - James Joyce Started
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker (Amazing book)
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White (I read this as a kid and cried)
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery (Hated it! Little kids committing suicide? Great.)
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl (I've read most of his books to Sassy)
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

33 read. 10 TBR. Not bad really. I think Bridget Jones's Diary is a red herring.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Just some stuff...

First, my runners are getting worn down. I just bought them in April.



Second, the UK Big Brother let in this new house-mate after the obnoxious and toxic Alex was booted for aggressive behavior in under two weeks. They brought in Stuart, who is supposed to be Mr. hunk. Yes he's kind of cute, and he swears he doesn't wear mascara. I however don't find him attractive. Nope. In fact, I think he bares too close a resemblance to Kenny Everett. As much as I admire Kenny Everett, I've never found him attractive. Good thing really as he's gay.(Not to mention, sadly, dead.) Funny yes. Definitely funny. Someone who'd have made a great dinner and a movie companion. What do you think? Do they look alike to you?

Stuart_AKenny Everett

Here. Watch my Favourite Kenny Everett skit.

Come so far, long road still to go.

I'm diet frustrated. It's going well. Meditating, listening to my body, combating the anxiety that makes me comfort eat. I'm in control. For the first time ever I genuinely feel in control. This doesn't mean that voices of fad diets don't whisper to me - they do. So do the cream cakes and cookies. Jut not as loudly. I'm able to ignore them. I'm able to have just one and be content with that.

This has been a mixture of things. One is I'm following the advice in Paul McKenna's book I Can Make You Thin. Nowq first off, let me state that I think Pual Mckenna is a bit of a twat. He's a TV hypnotist, that's the very definition of a twat. His book was recommended to me by one of my GPs to try and help cope with the comfort eating. Here's Paul's plan :

1. When You Are Hungry, Eat

2. Eat What You Want, Not What You Think You Should

3. Eat Consciously And Enjoy Every Mouthful

4. When You Think You Are Full, Stop Eating

It's logic really. It's this simple. Eat when I'm hungry. Eat what I want. Enjoy it while it's there - no speed eating. Stop when I'm full. He also talks about meditating on the figure I hope to achieve, to visualize myself at my ideal. A dash of NLP. A twist of positivity. And a hypnosis CD that I can listen to before bedtime.

So that's taken a good six months to practice and make habit. I'm there now. The other thing that's helped is I've been taking Omega3 + 6 capsules three times a day for a month. It was on the advice of a fellow blogger (Cam Who is fun) who champions the work of Prof. Brian Peskin. I found his first book, Radiant Health on amazon market for cheap and thought it was worth a look. He's pretty much of the high protein, low-carb camp with a lot of essential fatty acid (EFA) supplementation. There was also some information that said he was having dealings with the Texas courts about his business and its validity) I figured it was worth a try as one of my lifelong problems is lack of focus and attention. Something EFAs are supposed to help with, or so the stuff I've read says. Now Peskin sells his own brand of EFAs but I can't afford them, not a chance. Kind of bugged me to read "Here's the holy grail of radiant health - but it'll cost you hundreds of pounds for three months supply." I don't care how accurate his research is, that smacked of scam. I looked around and found a supplier that worked for me. I did have to set regular alarms on my mobile phone or I'd never have remembered to take them. The thing is, I genuinely feel more relaxed. I'm sleeping better - which for this time of year is NEW and EXCITING as I've always suffered insomnia with the 17 hours of daylight. According to Peskin's book, it could take me three months to build up me EFA deficiency to the point that I can start losing weight.

Here's the thing: eating under control, daily calories average 1300-1500 struggle and craving free. Am I losing weight? Nope. Not that the scale says, but I do think my arms are changing. that could be the new weights routine though. I'll have to wait and see.

I'm not going to lose hope. I'll still go to the gym because I love it and it's fun and I love having muscle tone. I hate having a floppy Mommy-Tummy and cellulite down the back of my thighs and butt but as I approach middle age...maybe it's my trade-off for having so few wrinkles. I would rather have a chubby frame than a crevassed face. How vain am I? Well, when a woman told me the other day that "Once you hit thirty everything changes and the wrinkles arrive overnight," and I told her I was thirty six. She stared at me and asked if I was joking. I thought she was going to punch me. I figure a big bum isn't so bad.

Dream last night really pissed me off. Have you had a dream where you're watching yourself do thing you know IRL you'd never do?? Like sneak off with an ex and forget to pick up your kids after camp? I would never do that! Never never never. I'd take the oath of celibacy until my kids were adults before embarking on such things because me in a relationship that's not my Husband is just crazy talk. Husband and I have both said if we were widowed, we'd not marry again. Not that we're so crap that we've been ruined on marriage forever - the total opposite. I don't think I could ever be happily married to anyone else. So this dream - I have no clue what my subconscious is trying to tell me, but it's got its wired crossed. Annoyed me! I hate dreaming about an ex. all of my ex's are ex's for good reasons.

I need caffeine. Trying to cut back to two cups of caffeine a day, one in the morning, one in the afternoon. The morning one, if I don't have it early leaves me with the dreaded caffeine DTs. I hate that headache! Goes across my forehead and into my molars.

Right! Enough of this, I have to get dressed for the gym and head out for the day. Hope it doesn't rain, I have sheets on the line.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

No No Nooo!

So unfair. I'm getting sick. It's just not fair. I've had a great run of health as of late, this is no time for me to be sick. Fucking hell! Everyone else has been sick and I survived all their damned germs and coughing. No fair I get sick now. I'm just not going to believe it. Nope. Ignore the swollen glands in my neck, ignore my oozing left ear and sore teeth. I've taken a pain killer and dammit the pain will be killed. Squashed. Fucking tonsils.

I've been in a steady denial since I woke up this morning, but I've just gotten a fever and now...fucking bastard germs. I want to go to the gym today! I have things o do there - all this work on my arms will be postponed and that bugs me! No way. I'm going. Sore head or not. No tonsil with an agenda of its own is keeping me away from what I want - and I want to go to the gym. Fuck sitting on my butt feeling sick all day.

Vitamin C, lemon tea, lots of water to ensure I pee. I will not be sick.

I need a beach I can swim at. I need to go on vacation with Sarah. Speaking of whom, I had a dream about last night. But it wasn't a nice dream which I found disappointing because Sarah is all things nice. But in my dream she'd invited me over for a weekend, and I was really excited and then she was kind of short tempered and harassed because she was planning a party and was behind schedule for getting ready, so I helped her get ready, and then we were all at the party. where I only had one drink because I don't like to get drunk at parties, especially if I don't know everyone and then I was sick on her carpet! I was so embarrassed! She was obviously fuming, and I cleaned it up as best I could. the next morning Sarah was up early in a panic because her landlord was coming over to inspect the property pre-lease renewal. (I have no clue if they rent or own or whatever - this is a dream!) I ran around clearing empties, and wiping surfaces, pulling the vacuum around etc. When the landlady showed up, she homed in on the sick stain on the carpet - I told her I was going to the dry cleaners for a carpet shampooer this afternoon so not to worry. She looked at me like "yeah right" and walked off. What should've been a wonderful visit with a wonderful person, tuned into an exercise of "How small can we make Lyvvie feel?". Didn't like it. Then I do remember saying to Sarah in my defense wafter I was sick "I've not thrown-up since 1994! I don't know why now!"

Now I know. Damned subconscious trying to inform me: You're sick. Just so you know.

I need hand weights at home. I could do my arm, chest, shoulder, upperback routine from here and skip the cardio. But I don't have any. Maybe I'll do that anyways, just go to the gym for the weights and leave the run and X-trainer out. Logic states I should do things the other way around. My body won't feel as strong and won't respond to weights as well as normal and the cardio would help keep my body temperature up and kill more germs - I have no clue if that is true or not but it makes sense to me.

Crap. It's raining out now. It's looking like the world is stacking the deck against me. Fuck You! I'm going to the gym and you can't stop me.


I will not be tired!

Monday, June 23, 2008

T is for Trespass by Sue Grafton

I've read all of the Alphabet Mysteries by Sue Grafton. The first one I got free with a magazine and was hooked. I love her main character Kinsey Millhone and have reviewed and raved about her before. She's a single, independant, strong-willed, and very clever Private Investigator.

I've felt the last few books haven't had the oomph that the earlier books had. You have to wonder if back in the beginning Grafton signed a 26 book contract and is now kicking herself for having to be tied to the same character for so many years. I worry she is getting bored. Please don't get bored.

T is for Trespass wasn't the easiest read at the beginning. There was an unusual amount of back story. Now, Grafton often has to put back story because she's often referring to things that happened in earlier books, but this time she put an annoying amount of back story in, and at weird times. I think Grafton even thought Kinsey's mental wandering was frustrating because at one point after a long and action interrupting flashback she says something along the lines of, 'that long flashback, for all its detail about being a proud orphan, only lasted long enough for me to take the stairs to where the real action is'.

This book was slow in the beginning. Really slow. Kinsey is dealing with multiple cases; serving eviction notices for a slum lord, investigating a car crash for a lawsuit and interviewing witnesses and helping her grouchy neighbor Gus who's been injured in a fall and needs home help. The grouchy neighbor ends up falling victim to a woman who has stolen the identity of a real nurse and has a history of milking the elderly dry of all their savings and assets and then killing them.

Once we get past the flashbacks and setting up of the stories and challenges for Kinsey, the flow gets much better and soon I wasn't paying attention to the turning of ages and passing of time. Reading happily and engrossed enough to force myself to sleep at 2am. The pace gets very exciting and there's a thrill to see who will outwit who, Evil "Nurse" or Kinsey. It's a safe bet who wins though. Oh, and icky way to dispatch of one's enemies there, uh, Kinsey. Death by Mustang. Nice. No really I'm not giving much away with that.

My problem, my niggly problem with this book are the loose ends and frustrating moments where I was saying, "This is where you should call the police." But she doesn't. Not even the level headed confidant Henry thinks the right time to call the police was twelve pages ago. And there's this bit where Nursie manages to get control of Gus's estate via legal means orchestrated by her brother and nothing is ever mentioned about him again. Evil Nursie's Brother the Bad Lawyer - ok his bit in this story is about 5 pages so I'm not sure if he's bad or stupid - is essentially abetting this fraud and nothing is ever mentioned about him again. So I must have missed something there because it's not like Grafton to leave a loose end. Or maybe it's just me who thought the Brother should've had another mention. There was a lot of set up about Evil Nursie's past including her mother, many step-siblings etc. Finally, she ends chapters with ominous hooks that take me out of the now and is the physical equivalent of tripping upstairs. like "I hung up feeling satisfied with the job I'd just done. What I had no way of knowing was that I'd just, unwittingly, put a noose around Gus Vronsky's neck." It's a mood killer. It's like a garlic burp while making out.

You know, now that I'm thinking about it, and I really should do these reviews the minute I finish a book or post-it mark the hell out the book while I read, Kinsey really bugged me in this book. She was so judgmental! She was jumping to conclusions and acting like, a hotshot. I was thinking, get over yourself, you smug cow and listen to folks for a change - what's wrong with you? Granted, it's a personality trait of hers to not be humble. But the bit where she was serving eviction notice on folks who'd not paid their rent to the slumlord, and were telling Kinsey about the awful state of the place, broken everything, nothing fixed and that they were holding out on payment - I would've expected her to say something like "Get a lawyer, contact so-and-so. I know the landlord guy's a dick, but I have my job to do. Good luck" But she was judging them as scum for living in a scummy way when really they'd had no choice. When it came time for Kinsey to get served with the TRO, I was cheering a bit because that was karma. I can see perfectly that this was how Grafton wanted me to think and feel, so she really is brilliant isn't she?

Two other things that struck me funny; when Kinsey was asked by another woman "Do you have kids" she replies with "Nope. Not entirely sure I'm the type." What?? Kinsey has always maintained a fierce no kids rule. This makes me think she's been wondering. She also has warm fuzzy feelings for her ex at one point that could just be booty-call feelings as opposed to an awakening biological clock (She is 37, after all and hormones are wicked things). The other was when Evil Nursie was describing Kinsey to us (How weird is that?) she says she has straight hair. Kinsey has never had straight hair. She's always had unruly curls that stick out all over and is why she cuts it with nail scissors. Have I been wrong about that too? Identifying myself with Kinsey and giving her my curls - actually I've always thought her hair was curlier than mine.

I look like a nitpicker now.

Also, when Kinsey needs to go to court to answer to the restraining order Nursie sets against her, I thought and hoped for a big court scene where Nursie pleads her case, and then Kinsey comes out and says that the restraining order is for Solana and thiswoman before you today is not Solana. This (enter real Solana) is the real Solana and this woman (points to Evil Nursie), your Honor, is a Faker! Then another woman stands up and says "She killed my Grandma!" and then the Brother stands up and says "How could you, You are dead to me now! Wait till I tell Dad." And then the gavel hits, and the police swarm in and arrest Evil Nursie who wails and cries her innocence immediately followed by hollow threats. Kinsey just smiles smugly and then treats everyone to QP's with cheese and a small fries. But I have watched an awful lot of Perry Mason. Actually, in my scenario, her son is still out there. He's an enormously fat, bad tempered, lazy, smelly "simple" guy.

As it goes, I did enjoy the story, much better than the last two which were a bit maudlin with a hint of preachy. This story gets right back to where Kinsey Millhone should be; pushing boundaries, testing limits and taking risks. I prefer the stories where she's dealing with her locals and even better when her distant relatives poke in as Kinsey's mental dialogues are fabulous. Looking forward to the next one.

Friday, June 20, 2008

So annoying...

Remember I said I bought the Excell 10 Loriel hair colour because my stylist said if I'm colouring my hair darker then it won't be damaging, but better for it, so I went to the drug store and bought this stuff? Well it sucks. It's awful. It didn't colour the greys the same as the normal hair and it was extra staining on the skin - so I have patches on my skin that look like bruises, and the bottle used to apply it gets really slippery and I fought with the damned thing the whole time - thinking I better hurry up and get this shit on my head before the 10 minutes are up. Too damned stressful! then as the colour was developing I noticed it was purpleish - that means it's turning my hair red. Fuck! I didn't want reddish hair - which is why I bough chocolate brown. Dark chocolate brown. Not auburn, not mahogany, not even fucking cherry chocolate brown - chocolate fucking brown! And I now have brown with red and I hate it.

So Loriel excell 10 is a complete waste of money.

And the conditioner smells bad too.
Me: new glasses, new hair.Me: new glasses, new hair.Me: new glasses, new hair.Me: new glasses, new hair.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My Garden 18.6.08

My Garden 18.6.08, originally uploaded by Lyvvie.

My Garden 18.6.08

My Garden 18.6.08, originally uploaded by Lyvvie.

This rose bush is weird. If you follow the rulebook and prune it, train it, touch it at all; it'll pretend to die. It's done it a couple times. So last year I told it I was done with it. I ignored it. and last year it bloomed for the first time. This year, I continued to ignore it and look at it! Huge blooms.

Sassy Bento 18.6.08

Leftovers bento - including the Birthday napkin as I have tons so she'll get them for a while. No point in waiting for the next birthday, which is mine to come as it's in January.

Top has shortbread cookies and the joke of the day.

Middle has leftover naan bread pizza (Video demo), cocktail sausages and babybel cheese (Darnnit thing is upside down!)

Bottom has apple bunnies (First attempt), cherries, orange pepper and sugar snap peas.

She gets a chocolate soy milk drink and a mini Mars bar as a snack.

A Few of you lovely folks have been saying you're interesting in making bentos yourselves - and to you I say Hooray! I'll not look like the only food obsessive freak anymore! For you I'm including a link to My friend Maki's site, Just Bento, and her post about how to pack a bento box the traditional way. Just to get you started on the 4,3,2,1 ways and where to put it all. Enjoy!

***Edited to add this I nicked from JMC's page:


As a 1930s wife, I am

Take the test!

...She only got a -19. Minus 19?! How is that possible?!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Naan Bread Pizza

Happy Birthday SassyFace!

Birthday Girl!

Sassy is 9 years old today. Yay!

My alarm went off at 7am this morning and she bounded in, fully dressed for school, bouncing up and down singing "I'm nine! I'm nine! I'm NiIiIiINe!" and completely full of beaming joy. Then she rushed downstairs and opened her presents which kept her suitably occupied that she never even looked at the nintendo DS.

She's wearing her new Baby-G watch, and this picture was taken with her new camera. I'm now rather jealous as her camera is way more posh than mine. She's had a cheap digital camera since she was four and it still works, she still loves it so we decided to splash out on a Fugi Finepix for her. She also got books, a Legend of Zelda t-shirt, wee build it yourself remote controlled robot, The Golden Compass, Pokemon card set and a new Pokemon bento box.

Unfortunately she did leave the house in tears, pissed off beyond belief because evil Mommy refused to let her go to the bus stop with a chocolate bar. She figures because it's her birthday I'm going to break the rules - I'm sure her teacher really wanted a surly sugar addled kid in her class at 9am. Not going to happen. We've been having trouble with her behaviour lately - being disruptive in class, tantrums, generally immature and bratish. So no way she was getting a candy bar at 8:30AM before school. I'm pretty sure there's not been a birthday where she's not been threatened with having her presents taken away if she didn't shape up and behave herself. Usually it happens later in the day when she's tired and crabby, I wasn't prepared for the pre-coffee fit.

I'm now going to make her a birthday cake, have pity on me. My kid is sugar intolerant, and I have to make her a cake. *sigh* Maybe a birthday ham should be implemented in our house instead of cake?

I hope she has a great day in school, that she's brightened by her new pokemon bento which will be a lunchtime surprise as I didn't wrap it or tell her about it.

Sassy Bento

This is a small bento, suitable for a small child's appetite but may be a struggle to get enough for a growing nine year old. It's the Pokemon that important though. We got it from e-bay.

Top has two heart shaped sesame furikake riceballs, red pepper bites, sugar snap peas, turkey bites.

Bottom has four cherries, a marshmallow sweet and a mini bag of Milky Way stars.

I added in an extra apple, granola bar and juice. For after school, we made goodies bags for all of her classmates which have three sweets and a balloon so she - and the other 27 kids in her class - will be a hyped up sugar junkie by 3:05 this afternoon. I'll be popular with the other parents, no doubt.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Why So Lame??

I despair at TV sometimes. There's some right awful shite on there, and forgive me, please, but a lot of it comes from America. The problem I see, is that a lot of good ideas for shows are ruined by having boring, annoying typical everyday Americans on it. Case in point: The Biggest Loser. I've heard lots about this show but haven't seen until very recently and I have to say; I don't get the appeal. It has cliche after cliche boring gang/bully/high school taunts and tough talk that drive me mental. People who spout off how tough they are, how they won't take any crap, they're going to show you what for if you cross their paths and blah fucking blah. I hate it. Hate It.

This hyper competetitive, poor sport way of talking shows Americans in the worst possible light ever. I was cringing in shame when I saw the USA version of Hell's Kitchen - which is a show I love because I love Gordon Ramsay - but the back room tough talk, the "they're going down" bullshit is so tedious! Most of those people couldn't tough talk themselves out of...oh for fuck's sake why tough talk at all? It just shows insecurity and a lack of intelligence and serious deficit in maturity. It's high school talk. It's posturing. It has no backbone, it's just hot air, and I fucking hate watching it. I can't stand to listen to it in reality but to have to watch it on TV too? Gee wizz. When Gordon Ramsay tough talks, you feel the genuine threat behind it - he's serious. These other dweebs, with their shifty eyes, sweaty faces and hands that can't stop twiddling threads on their aprons: full of shit. Not that I think Gordon Ramsay is some paragon of correct behaviour - quite the contrary. I respect him though for the successes he's had and the way he's had to gain that success and I don't think any of his staff, once they get used to his methodical ways would ever say they didn't respect him. I simply use him as an example of someone with true grit versus the wussbags on the shows.

It is just those reality type shows that get me, the ones that show real people in a competitive way. I love most other shows from America. Chuck is a current favourite, CSI - although not the Miami one because Caruso and the coroner who talks to the corpses creeps me out, Project Runway where I'm glad it's more bitch-talk than tough talk because can you imagine? "If she crosses my path I'm going to show her what these scissors can do..." I dunno. I don't watch too uch TV, and it's a good thing too. I don't watch talk shows, because we don't really have any talk shows - no good ones. UK talk shows are pretty dire, Americanesque style where the host picks on the poor and ingnorant people type of shows. The only show where that works is Judge Judy. All other Judge shows suck: There is only Judy.

So, I don't think I'll be watching any more of The Biggest Loser because it's full of twats. And the hostess, Alison Sweeney - would look a million times hotter if she had dark hair. She looks ridiculous as a blonde. Ok not ridiculous, but fabrique au plastique.

I'm done. Rant over. Tonight is Chuck and Boston Legal. Why do all Boston lawyer shows have the lawyers singing in dancing in bars? If I'd known that was what Boston Lawyers do I'd have gone to law school. First Ally McBeal, now BL. It's got to be a missed opportunity on my part.

never did clean the kitchen...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

What do I do now?

Husband left at the awful hour of 2:50am this morning to go to the airport fr his day of flight over to Oregon. He's going to be exhausted when he gets there. Poor guy, I don't envy him a wick. Ok maybe a wick - maybe a few wicks. He gets two weeks solitary time in a hotel with a gym and a pool and as the new guy, the "Foreigner" he'll get taken out and paraded to everyone, drinks bought for him, and and all he'll have to do is brogue up his Scots a bit. (Click Continued to read the rest and see icky cleavage pictures...)

But what am I going to do now? I'm going to be so bored. And frustrated with the suddenly less interesting conversations of my kids. I love them, I do, but I can only take so much pokemon before I want to scream.

I'm going to be so lonely. Bored and...impossible. I'll become impossible. I'll go slightly mental. I can see it starting already.

I want him back already. Really for the safety of us all. He keeps me steady, now I'm wobbling.

I had to go back to the shop to get my glasses fixed: already! I had them less than 24 hours and broke one set - the expensive ones. The Calvin Kleins. I thought the screw had fallen out of the hinge, but it appears that the head broke off and the post of the screw was still locked in place, so They have to order up new frames and pop the lenses into them. I had my second pair of glasses readjusted because the were eating my face. They have flexi-hinges on the side so the hug your head, but these had a death grip that left grooves at the back of my ears and made it impossible to cry because the nose bits were crammed up into the corners of my eyes. I'll have to go back later this week to collect the replacement frames.

I had haircut, and it was quite a pleasant visit for a change. I was told my hair was in great condition considering I'd shaved most of it off with a 2 inch guard back in September and haven't been to anyone since. The length is almost, all one length all around now and I wager it'll be a good eight months before it's down just past my shoulders and all one length and in suitable ponytail stylings. My stylist, her name was Dawn, told me that I should stop stop STOP using pantene as it's the shittiest filth ever because it kills the hair with tons of silicone. She then asked what the ton of regrowth was on my head and I told her I was giving up colouring to which she pishawed and said that was a dumb idea, "You're too young to show your greys," she says - you see why I liked her, and tipped her a tenner. She says if I'm colouring it a darker shade then it actually helps my hair as I'm adding, er, stuff to the hairshaft and that strengthens it, as opposed to going lighter, where there's stuff stripped out of the hair. Made total sense to me, So I went and bought a box of chocolate brown dye (Yeah, the same one in this vid!) to add into my locks later on whenever I'm desperate and beyond bored for something to do other than sort summer clothes from winter. Although, this is a colour that only takes 10 minutes, so I'll still have to sort the clothes. Darn. I also bought new nail polish for we three girls to share on fingers and toes, and new eye shadow for me as for some reason I'm feeling very vain of a sudden. Anxiety is a bitch.

I may have to go to the gym every day over the next two weeks to maintain some sanity and to wear me out a bit and help shut the noise in my head from driving me batshit mental.

Pedicure tonight while watching Big Brother. Yes, I also hate "Dickhead" Alex, the girl who calls everyone a dickhead and then goes mental if someone calls her a dickhead. Seriously - what a dickhead.

I can't even think about a further ramble.

OH WAIT! Yes I can! When we were coming back from the mall we missed our train and had to wait an hour for the next one - and for a while I was debating walking back to the mall for Starbucks, but then decided no and we just hung out at the train platform - no station just platform and a small shelter, and play I Spy and bird watch. Then this teenage girl came along and Oh My God. My eyes people, my eyes. Full of new glasses and perfect vision caught this creature who was determined to punish me with her many cleavages.


I stood for an hour at the South Gyle train platform with this girl who was determined to show me everything she's got. She only put the hoodie on when the rain started, before that it was white tee-shirt and neon green bra for all. Note the tan line across her chest.

Arg The Revenge!!

She got bored with showing the wall her butt crack and decided to show all of us in the rain shelter her assets instead.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Thus Begins The Weeknd From Hell...

This is going to be a hard weekend for our family. Today is preparation for Husband's business trip, he flies out at 5am on Sunday morning - the poor bastard. He's out getting a haircut, books for his 12 hour flight to Oregon, assorted amusements that a techie guy; like him must have - like headphones and computer magazines and batteries...I don't know.

Saturday we have swimming lessons, which I may cancel because shorty is still sick and Sassy is now starting to cough and may be coming down with this bug too. To be honest the not swimming would be a blessing in disguise. I already told Grandma Betty we may not be seeing her this weekend - and consequently for the following two weeks as I don't drive and getting into Edinburgh and going all over the city via bus would be expensive and time consuming and she understands.

The girls and I are getting our hair cut as well and Husband is treating. I've not had a haircut since September when I had the tragic mullet cursed upon my head. Why the hell to stylists insist they know how to do a razor cut when they obviously - as my mullet showed - don't. She cut chunks of my hair at two inches long, and then the back was six inches long - it was a fucking mess. After a couple days of trying to figure out how to style it, I ended up taking out the clippers and a 2inch guard and taking all of the length out the back myself - I actually did a better job than she did. So good that as it's been growing out it's not looked bad at all. It just looks like long layers growing out. I do despair at what the stylist is going to think when she sees what I've got for real on my head. I've decided to grow it out to my shoulders so I can have it up in a respectable ponytail most of the time. I find with short hair, my gym time and walks my hair is always wet from sweat and I look awful. At least if it's in a ponytail I can still manage to make it look fashionable and I won't be soaked all the time. Plus I hate jogging and having my hair stick to my face. But as it's been so long since I've seen a stylist, it's needing a trim to get the dead bits off and put some shape into it so it'll grow easier. To be honest, my hair has never lasted this long and remain healthy. Not since I was a child. I've also stopped colouring it and have a good two inches of silver blended into the brown, mostly at my left temple. I've been debating some high-lights to make the re-graying look less rootish.

So, Husband leaves on Sunday and he'll be denied his Father's Day, so we'll have to do something tomorrow for him. Sassy is really depressed about him going, she gets anxious and is probably thinking about all the bad things that could happen with him not here. She'll be hard work for the next two weeks. And, her birthday is on Tuesday and she's upset he'll not be here, so I may go ahead and make birthday cakes now so we can have a wee family party together. They've both said they'd rather wait until Tuesday to open Sassy's presents - yes, the child wants to wait until the 17th to have her pressies. I'd have been "Gimmie gimmie!" but not her. If it wasn't for the fact she looks so much like me I'd swear she was a hospital swap.

I get my new glasses tomorrow. I have to buy supplies at the Chinese market, and return a blouse I bought because the sequins keep falling off.

I think Sassy will end up sleeping in my bed with me; she'll need the comfort, and I hate sleeping in the big bed by myself. Maybe three of us in the bed. Maybe two of them in my bed, and I'll take one of their single beds. It's going to feel strange and lonely without Daddy home.

Contest Help!

Hello friends! Another Bento Babe friend of mine, PikkoPots is running a contest on her blog to vote for the best bento. I've entered (in the final ten from 53 entries) - and there's a lot of strong competition! I ask that you jump over, and cast a vote. I won't beg you to vote for me (OK maybe a little), although the prize is an amazing assortment of Bento Booty that wold make me very happy - but for the fun of it cast a vote and make someone's weekend.

Hope you all have a great weekend yourselves!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Flickr Bento Challenge: Summer

Bento Challenge: Summer, originally uploaded by Lyvvie.

Tossing in my entry for the bento Challenge which is Summer. I made sushi rice, wasabi furikaki - well it was supposed to look like a distant woodland hill. Yeah. And a quail's egg yolk sun with egg white rings and gulls. Imitation crab waves and boats. Quail's egg Cap'n and water skier. I left some of the shell on the eggs to look like hair. Red pepper skis.

I really wanted to have the water skier being chased by a shark's fin but couldn't think of how to make grey food, and then ran out of room. So just know - Jaws is in the depths.

As soon as the picture was loaded, SassyFace went and ate it. So no one ate this for lunch after all.

Sassy Bento 11.6.08

I know I said yesterday that I was only giving Sassy a single tier for the rest of the week, but I couldn't fit what I wanted to give her for her lunch into one - and it would've been a wee bit icky I think - so she gets two

Top has seed brittle and raisin cookies and the edible joke for the day.

Middle has grilled sausages and omelette - two eggs, tbs of cream cheese, dash of soy, dash of mirin and whisked until the cream cheese was mostly mixed in. Yes it did look a bit sickly in the pan, but tasted awesome - with broccoli garnish.

Bottom has carrot shapes, raw broccoli, babybel cut in half and imitation crab bites with curried garlic cream cheese for dipping.

Crap, just noticed I left out the word "are" in the joke. Ah well.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

It must be that other time of the month...

My head is full of romance and possibility and wonderment and joy so I must be ovulating. Isn't it funny how we women can go from a "Don't touch me!" to "Touch me everywhere and Now or else," in a matter of minutes hours weeks days? Seriously, we're screwy. I could never be a lesbian because women wear me out mentally and emotionally. Some women send out an energy that is like neon, blinding, alarming plaid and I just have to turn and walk away before the headache hits me. Think Cyndi Lauper, 1986 and a case of Jolt Cola where she starts the conversation with "Let me tell you about my mutha..." and then descends into a vagina monologue. With a strobe light in your eye. and a flea in you knickers. And your bra is too tight. So are your shoes. (Click Continued to read the rest...)

Non sequitur - You know when the same weird thing happens more than once and you think to yourself - this can't be a pattern because it's so completely random it would be the equivalent of winning the lottery and damn it - Did I just wasted my chance card on this obscure nothing coincidence sequence rather than winning the lottery? I'll be seriously pissed off if I did. you've thought that haven't you? Well, My random weird thing is; I bought this book from my local library years ago, it's called English Literature From 1785. It's a college textbook, well more like a Cliff Notes synopsis collection, but I liked it so I bought it for 20pence. The weird thing is, every time I open it, I open it to the same page. Now, it's not got a cracked spine, dog ear or anything that makes it flop open automatically to this page - it just does. If this book were alive it would be saying "Will you read this fucking story already!! I mean geez, how many times do I have to show you this page before you figure out I'm trying to show you something, you fucking dishit! Read it! Read it now! Arrrrrrggg!!!" (Because my book has a possessed by Sam Kinison feel to it for all it's Eng. Lit. from 1785) (Kind of weird really that my Sam Kinison book is going to tell me a love story. Considering) The story is the real life love story of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett. Did you know their romance was a love story all in itself?

In a quick paragraph (taken mostly from the book, of course) because my CTS is acting up, Robert admired the poems of Elizabeth, a semi-invalid who rarely left her house. He wrote to her and asked to meet her; when he did he found her very attractive. Her father was a tyrant who forbade his daughter to marry, but in 1846 Barrett eloped with Browning and escaped to Italy with him. they lived there for fifteen years, and she regained her full health, and they had a son.

Isn't that great! I just love that wee story - can you see her sitting in a chair chaise lounge, quilt over her legs, occasional cough from possible TB or more likely allergies and asthma, and then this dashing city poet man comes into her home and flood, rush, crash: In Love. The wicked Dad says no you can't marry my daughter - no one will marry my daughter! And the couple plan an escape and run away together to sunny Italy and live HEA and have a son...And this is real life! Not fiction at all. I suppose, what we call it is history.

So I wonder why this book kept opening to this page as if insisting I read their story. It's barely a paragraph, and yet I can't stop thinking about them. I see them fleeing in the night to escape from Elizabeth's father who, oddly, forbade any of his twelve children to marry. How can someone have twelve kids and still think marriage is bad? Was it a duty bound thing? Did he hate himself for liking sex? Did he love his wife a whole lot and was sickened by the anxiety, worry and fear of her dying in childbirth - twelve times! - and couldn't bear the thought of his kids going through the same? Was he just a dick?

The mind is just buzzing!

I met a woman yesterday, new to the area. She says she's from London and she's a freelance. A freelance what I ask - she never answered me. I now will have to badger her to death until she tells me. You can't just say "I'm a freelance" without saying what you freelance in! It's like saying "I'm a painter" and not clarifying house, canvas, erotic body paint, decorator etc. Oddly enough, and trust me this is odd, she approached me and asked me about where certain things are in town. She said she saw me walking around town earlier - I was on my way to the dentist - perfect teeth BTW if you were wondering - and it turns out we live a few houses away from each other, our kids are in the same class...and I just want to fucking know what her freelance fucking job is! So I'll have to invite her for coffee one morning and ply her with caffeine until she dishes the story about herself. Or I'll Die. We may become friends, I'll just wait and see. She was asking about nanny agencies and how we folks manage out childcare so I'm cautious that she wants to arrange some kind of kid swap thing with me.

You all think I'm crazy now don't you...well. I blame the hormones.

Bentos for 11.6.08

Poor Husband, he was on a work night out last night. Got a bit tipsy... (Click Continued for full post) Feels a bit queasy this morning. Nothings better for a mild hangover than a lunch full of greasy meats and cheese. MMmm.

Left has a salad with rocket (arugala), sugar snap peas, red pepper and radish flowers. Two nori wrapped quail's eggs and a wee bottle of sweet sesame and soy dressing.

Right has mini ham and cheese sandwiches with curried garlic pickle, four meatballs, cherry tomatoes, mini salamis and a wedge of camembert to spread onto oat crackers that I'll put into the lunchbox with a plum and an apple muffin.

Sassy is only getting one tier for the rest of the week. She's not eating her lunch and it's getting very frustrating for me. She keeps saying she's not hungry. I can't see how that's possible so now I'm wondering if she's coming down with a cold or something.

Two mini ham and cheese sandwiches, two meatballs, two mini salamis, radish, cherry tomatoes and sugar snap peas.

She'll get a couple small cookies and her vitamins, a juice box and a plum.

The thing is she's starving by the time I pick her up from school and he's scrounging my pockets for an apple and moaning about how hungry she is non-stop until supper time. Nothing more annoying than a kid who won't eat all day then bug's the crap out of me while I'm trying to cook dinner.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sassy Bento 10.6.08

Sassy is having a "Fitness Week" at school this week so they're out for one period a day, and twice on gym day, to do sporty fun fitness things. Lucky for them (Or unlucky depending on the kid's attitude) it's been gorgeous weather for them. Not too hot, lovely breezes to dry a sweaty brow. So, she needs a higher calorie lunch that doesn't look like more food - which would freak her out. But without sweets. Oooo challenge!!

Left has sugar snap peas, a couple plum tomatoes, two mini salami a stack of honey ham.

Right has baby corn cobs, strawberries, a babybel cut in half (hard to see) and an onigiri with smoked hot dog inside.

The lid, which I forgot to photo, has two seed and raisin brittle cookies, two vitamins. Plum and a juice box.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Dinner on the cheap.

Tonight's dinner was chicken teriyaki and sticky rice with sugar snap peas and edamame (soya beans). It was awesome. And cheap. Hence the title. Here's the recipe:

(Click on "continued" for the recipe...) Six chicken thighs, deboned. (Do this yourself and save more money then cook the bones for chicken broth)

Half cup of Soya beans (I use frozen)
Six or seven sugar snap peas per person. (Oh yes I count them!)

1.5 cups of Japanese rice (Or whatever rice you want)

For the sauce:

4 tbs of soy sauce
2 tsp of sake (I didn't have any so used dry white sherry instead)
1 tsp of sesame oil
1 tsp/thumb grated ginger (freeze it first, makes it easier)
1 clove of garlic
1 tbs of mirin
1 tsp of sugar

This is a very quick meal once you get it all on the stove, and the thighs deboned. Preheat the oven to 200C. Get a cooking sheet out and place the deboned thighs on the sheet, skin up and sprinkle in salt or chicken seasoning. Put in the oven for ten minutes, then under the grill for 5-10 until the skin is really crispy.

Just after you put the chicken in the oven, wash your rice throughly. (I rinse it out about four times) and then fill your pan with water and measure your water using the finger method. note, she doesn't wash her rice enough - and she runs a cooking school, sheesh! I will set a timer for 12 minutes as I find any longer and I risk burning the rice. When the 12 minutes are up I commit a crime against rice - I take the lid off! Then I toss in the sugar snap peas, cover again and let them steam for the final 10 minutes.

So how it should work is; you put the chicken in, you start the rice. Twelve minutes later you swap the oven to grill, and then turn off the rice for it to steam for ten minutes. Then microwave the soy beans in water for three minutes or until hot and edible.

The quickest way to make the sauce is to cheat and toss all the ingredients into a mini food processor and puree until smooth, then put in a sauce pan and heat on medium for about five minutes until the sugar is well mixed. If you don't want to cheat, or can't then freeze your ginger first, then grate it smooth with the garlic and then toss it all in the saucepan etc.

Load up your dom bowl with everything and impress the family with your mad culinary skillz. Oh, and this whole meal for five (One leftover for lunch tomorrow) cost me less than £5.

How I torment my Husband...

09:02 Mine. All mine Muahahaaaaa!! *blink* *blink*

09:03 Hey!

(Click "Continue" for full torment)
09:03 *chomp* *chomp* *drool* *slurp*

09:03 Stop it!
09:03 So cruel.

09:04 My Mommy loves you best.

09:04 Can't think why.

09:05 me either I might save you two.
09:05 She sent me a bag of cornbread flour.
09:05 And the dishes from her airplane bento

09:05 Good. Serves you right for torturing me.

09:06 They smell so treacly, peanut butter, yummy nom nom...
09:07 I have to go now. This torture session was brought to you by Mary Janes and the letters X and T.

09:08 Ah. The Sesame Street branch of the CIA.
09:08 Nice.

09:09 Bye for now - I love you. You know, if you kissed me now, you'd taste Mary Janes. And you'd like it.

Bentos for 9/6/08

Click "Continue" for the full post! Sassy forgot to give me her usual Happy Balloon bento so we had an interesting science experiment going on in there. that means she gets her little sister's strawberry candy bento. To be honest, as it is a wee bit smaller it may suit her appetite better.

Top has her edible joke, three crispy cookies of mixed seeds and raisins and a couple chewable vitamins.

Middle is seasoned crispy turkey steak on furikake rice with carrot and radish flowers with sugar snap pea leaves.

Bottom has a babybel, baby plum tomato, a couple red peppers, some baby corn, sugar snap peas and a couple cocktail salamis.

The flooers, they be bloomin' and thars a sweet smell o'life and the sea abound, arrr! As I live in Scotland, It's quite easy to talk like a pirate. All the time. It makes life fun.

Anyways...Husband's bento for today has cheerful flowers in it, because dammit - I know those menfolks like flowers. Even if they're made of carrot. Sure, salami flowers are probably preferred but we can't spoil the fun of a salami flower by having them everyday.

Top tier has seasoned crispy turkey steaks on furikake rice with carrot, wasabi (for gluing the wee bits) and radish flowers, sugar snap pea leaves.

Bottom tier has red pepper - really sweet and juicy right now - radish sakura, extra sweet baby plum tomatoes, cocktail salami - aren't they the cutest! you can et them skin and all - and sugar snap peas.

He gets a packet of roasted peanuts, an apple and a plum in his lunchbox.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Like water through my fingers...

That's money lately. Can't seem to keep a hold of it. As hard as I try something comes up that urgently requires my finds. I've even had to dip back into my credit card - the damned thing I keep for emergencies but sincerely despise having a balance on. But holes in my jeans, stained tops and an overall scruffy appearance that had me getting anxious about whether my Husband may forage in pastures far for something a bit prettier (Not that he ever would, and he's be insulted if he read that as he is the fiercely loyal type) I spent £106 £129 £180 on new clothes and summer coats. I only like about 30% of it and, No New Shoes, sigh. I've also been struggling with headaches from eye strain so I went and had an eye exam yesterday. Got two pairs of new glasses with proper anti-scratch, anti-reflective lenses £275/$540. Yikes. I'll show you what they look like when they arrive next week, one are black and lime, the other are metallic red and black frames. But these are the first new glasses in five years so I suppose if I wait another five years they'll have paid for themselves. Glasses are no longer a "just for reading" thing - I'll need them all the time. Just about. I'm still ok for going out and about, can read a license plate at 20 feet and all that. But reading, computer, watching TV; after a while my eyes get really tired and everything goes a bit blurry at the edges.

(Click "continue" for the full post)

I just spent £80 on groceries - and that was a mixture of Aldi (A discount food store) and Tesco for essentials like soya milk. I'm going to have to rethink how I shop, organize meals etc. Reduce waste. Ideally I would shop for meals on a day-to-day basis, but it doesn't end up saving me much money. I've tried it. If it works out as I've planned, the groceries I've bought should last almost two weeks, unless the family takes to scavenging and snacking like locusts - which happens all the time. I'll have to top up on fresh veggies and fruit but the basics are in place.

Here's the dinner plan:

Monday: Boned chicken thighs grilled in teriyaki sauce, salted crispy skin strips with seasoned rice, edamame and green beans.

Tuesday: Spaghetti and meatballs with tomato sauce and garlic bread. I'll make the meatballs myself with beef and sausage meat.

Wednesday: Spring rolls and "special fried rice" I make all of it myself. The rice is made with one chicken breast, six shrimp and two slices of bacon all finely chopped after cooking with a mix of veg and a cup of cooked rice fried in sesame oil and soy sauce - this feeds all of us and leaves extra for lunch the next day. Spring rolls are cabbage, carrot, red pepper, spring onion, sesame seeds and Thai 7 spice wrapped in bacon and then wrapped in rice wraps. It says to deepr fry them, but I prefer to coat them in sesame oil with y hands and roast them.

Thursday: Turkey and veg pie with mash potato and gravy.

Friday: Chicken and veg curry and rice.

Saturday: Chicken stir fry with rice noodles.

Sunday: Cook's Day off - I make sandwiches and whatever I feel like eating myself and want to share. They don't like it, they can go hungry. Sunday I rule the house.

The week after will be easier because it's just the girls and I as the Husband is away to America for a business trip. I'll need to make a cake on Tuesday for Sassy as it's her 9th birthday.

So yeah. Money is great when you have it, frustrating when everyone else wants it. I suppose the thing that's getting me down about it is everyone else seems to be rolling in money just now. the kids are getting money from Grandma Betty every week - every week! They'll soon have so many toys they'll have no where to sleep. It's very spoiling and I'm not best pleased with it. I want them to save their money, or where will the fun of getting presents on Birthdays and Christmas come from if they just go and buy everything they want themselves? Husband is earning tons from overtime and getting some well deserved treats, like his Macbook and we're getting a new TV and I struggle. My fault really but I'm not the sort to ask for help. I'm sure some find it weird that Husband and I maintain separate accounts, but it's how it works for us. It worked better when I was in full-time employment that way neither of us had to make accountable the other for what we wanted. But now, I feel like those small luxuries I used to enjoy are gone now. I also feel like the hired help. Yet, I hate that feeling that I'm owed anything. I'm too proud to ask to be bailed out, and would feel guilty if anyone did. It's complicated. Well not really - I just have to stick to my budget in order to pay off debts and I'm getting jealous of everyone else's affluence. Which makes me surly company most of the time.

The thing is, sure Husband is great and takes us out for meals, and buys books and he really does a lot for us - but I don't want things bought for me - I want to buy my own. I want my own money. I hate hate hate being reliant on someone else. I'd be the worst "kept woman". Or the best depending on the keeper's view. I certainly don't want to paint him as stingy - he's absolutely not. He's very generous. I'm just proud and bossy.

I'll stop blathering on about that crap now. I did have to fix the toilet seat today, which quite honestly is Man's work and the man is utterly preoccupied with work, his CV and emigration that I got fed up with waiting for him to fix it - so I did. And I cussed a lot. Fucking toilet seats are a bitch to fit. And then my next project is fix the problem that's arisen from "The Devil makes work for idle hands." And those hands have been given a smack. What started as a small ding in the wall has been worried by those idle hands into this:

The Hole on the wall

There's about four layers of paint that easily just peel off the main wall which tell me that the folks who first owned this house were idiots and had no frigging clue how to properly prime the wall. Funny enough, the ceiling is also peeling and needs redone. At this point I'm near ready to get the whole frigging bathroom refitted. Frig. I will admit - I'm really temped to pick a big strip of the paint off myself. I'm in that frustrated, destructive mood.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Sassy's Sports Day

Today was Sports Day at Sassy's school. She always gets a bit anxious about sports day because she's not the fastest, she's not competitive and she gets embarrassed. We can add this in with the writing and acting anxiety - running in front of her whole school also stresses her out.

To her credit though, this year she wanted to prepare. She told us three weeks ago that Sports day was coming and she didn't want to come in last again on the 30 meter relay race. (I think it's 30 meters. It looks 100 feet to me but fuck me, I'm awful at metric) So I told her we would practice every night, go out for a short run, do some sprints and build up her endurance and speed. She was all for it. So most nights We've gone out - mostly Sassy and her Dad - and run a course and done sprints with a stopwatch. She's really loved it. So when this morning came, although she was a bit anxious, she was also looking forward to the races.

Well, isn't it awesome when hard work and determination gives results?

Sassy's Sports Day

That smile is worth a million. A hundred million. Nah, it's fucking priceless.

I won't have stretch!

I despise stretch jeans, What a heinous invention. Utterly vile, completely ugly, unflattering and a waste of money. They are cheap shit. Why is everything fucking "stretch" right now??

Last weekend I went and bought new jeans because my current ones are getting holes in them - time for new jeans. I went to many shops and couldn't find any I liked; too low waisted, cinched ankles - there's a look for women! Ass crack, muffin top and let's show off heavy thighs and a big butt with calf tight trousers. Fucking hell people! Who's designing this crap? Here's what I wanted: just below the waist but not showing pubes waistline, boot cut, 100% cotton, stonewash.

Apparently I'm old fashioned now but that is the formula for long lasting jean joy with me. Jeans on the waist make me look like I have twelve foot long legs but a one foot long torso, below the waist has me checking for panty exposure every ten minutes so just below the waist works best - also if I wear a belt it means the buckle isn't poking my lower ribs when I sit - I hate that. And the dye washes are scary too - I'm sick of reading "Dye may tranfer to clothes and skin" That is not a selling point! Do your fucking processing and dye washing properly before giving this to the end customer. It's not rocket science. Would you buy a sandwich with a slice of bread missing? No! Because it's not finished. Neither are these dark wash jeans that turn your legs blue and make you look like a corpse.

I mean stretch jeans? Elastic all through the demin. What happens after several months wearing and washing? You know don't you. The elastic breaks down and leaves these puckering bits of denim around where the jeans get the most wear - for me that's the crotch and the knees. (don't be gross) Because that's where jeans get the most friction. (I mean it!) So you shell out your $50 for these jeans only to have to toss them six months later because the basic structure of the material is deteriorating. Such a mug!

Also - they fit nice when washed and all the cotton fibers are tight, but once they're worn a bit these things...well stretch and I find by early afternoon I'm spending every two minutes hiking my jeans back up because they're slipping down my frame. They fit me that morning! And, there's no hiding anything in these things - belly bulge (A gift of my two children who demanded a lot of space in utero) looks twice as big. There's no smoothing of these faults like a 100% cotton would give. There's no soft denim corseting. There's only stretch and accommodation and...eventually they just fall down. Also, no denim penis. I love my denim penis - when the zipper bunches and sticks up. Stretch jeans deny me of that blue erection, they're just snuggly there over the pubic bone. Flat. Flaccid. Soulless.

So I'm going to have go back out there and spend more money on something I actually want to wear, that will be flattering and will actually stay put. To the Gap I go and I know those fuckers have also decided to drop all of their waistlines on the women's range to pube and crack exposing levels. Thanks Gap - you've redefined your fashion lines to coincide with your brand name. Bravo. Thankfully the men's department will have what I'm looking for. So here I go, breaking the 2006 New Year's Resolution to not wear men's clothes anymore. But really - fashion has left me no alternative.

Happy Days.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

The way of kids...

Tonight Sassy has homework. Homework and Sassy are always a frustration; if the Dog Whisperer guy were here he'd say I was sending out anxious energy which made Sassy react in a hostile manner. He'd be right. I've had years of her homework tantrums - she has to blow up before she'll sit down and do it. She has to over exaggerate everything before settling in and getting the job done. I hope she outgrows this soon because I can't imagine what high school or employment would be like for her. Can you imagine her having a tantrum, screaming, crying and shouting "I Hate You!" every time her boss gave her a project? I can. It would be nice to have her vent that frustration at someone else for a change. But then that's not good karma now is it?

So the tantrum came this time because she has a writing assignment - ah see, there's going to be judging on creative writing. This and acting sends her in a tizzy. My kid is the best in her class at maths, but she struggles with spelling and writing. I was the total opposite, but completely understand how it feels to have such a weakness; you want to forget it, put it aside and convince yourself you can through without it. I have numbers dyslexia - rather mild but enough that I had to take algebra I four times and yet I excelled years beyond my grade in reading, writing and spelling. (Not typing however so don't nitpick my typos) So when I explained that she'll need to do a rough draft first to make sure all of her spelling is right before putting the story on the paper she'll hand in, Sassy went nuts. "You're making me waste my time writing it twice!" Oh, friends, if you could see her spelling you'd understand. I'm trying to show her that she has to go into the world prepared and that her teacher is worth her best efforts and not something that contains mistakes. It's called respect.

So while Sassy is at defcon 4, Shorty thinks; hey this is fun watching my sister get in the shit! heh heh heh. Going so far as to ask "Is Sassy getting grounded Mommy? She should get grounded!" So I tell her to get lost go outside and play to which she screams "NO!" and plops her ass in the middle of the staircase so she gets the best view of the action. Then she continued screaming No every time I told her to go out, go to her room, go to the corner! I had to pick her up and sit her in the corner then go back to Sassy - who by this time thought her sister's tantrum was quite amusing and missing the whole point that Shorty is copying her! ARG! So I had Sassy on the naughty step, and Shorty in the corner and I was itching for some gin. It's all sorted now, both are fine and I was Supreme Ruler and I managed it all without shouting, spanking or even getting the gin.

I am, however, still despised for banning all TV and Nintendo for 24 hours for both of them. Seems only fair I be rewarded with what I want to watch, don't you think?

Husband and Sassy bentos for 5/6/08

Sassy gets her first Pokemon Bento today. I saw someone else do this on a Japanese site and thought - how freaking easy is that!! So had to do it. This is Pseudo Woodo, in case you're not up the 'Mon, mon.

The rice is a mixed furikake and leftover grilled turkey juices. Pseudo Woodo is a cooked hotdog - to give him that gnarled bark wood-look with, hands. Cheese and nori eyes and a nori strip for a mouth. Red pepper and mooli flowers, hot dog flower things and eds held together to look like a heart, a quail's egg and some carrot sticks and left-over red pepper bits from garnish. A strawberry school bar and a sectioned tangerine finish off the meal. I hope she'll be psyched.

Now - just between you and me; we've gotton the SassyFace a *whisper* Pokemon bento box for her birthday in two weeks Shhh! She'll pee her pants when she opens it.

Well I guess this is the protein bento. Husband will appreciate, I'm sure.

Top has carrots, cherry tomatoes, red and green peppers with a couple mooli (like daikon radish) flowers and some leftover bites of grilled turkey steak. A small bottle of soy sauce, mirin and sesame oil for dressing the veggies if so desired.

Bottom has mixed furikake - I don't now what it's called but it has everything in it - rice which I poured the cooked turkey juices into for extra flavour, two quail's eggs, salami, herbed Bavarian smoked cheese swapped cutouts.

I'm now hungry again. Damn.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Bentos for 4/6/08

Two days of sandwich lunches and Husband now deserves a proper bento.

Top tier has two mirin furikake filled inari that I folded over a bit to make fit and cut a quil's egg in half to make the two heads of eggs in the bath with prawn tails sticking out the end. I wanted to make them look like wee mermaids and planned on cucumber green cut to look like fins - but I ran out of cucumber. So they look kind of rude instead. Cherry tomatoes, salami flowers - What?! A bloke can have salami flowers! And a star onigiri.

Bottom has a grilled ham, carrot and pepper roll that I added Thai 7 spice and sesame. Shrimp, carrot and a heart onigiri.

Husband is Loved, and he is a Star.

Sassy says two onigiri are too much for her to eat at lunch, so although there are two here, I made them thinner because I need to fill the space up with something! Or else she'll have to get a smaller bento box. Now there's an incentive to get more gear if ever there was!

Top has bx of raisins, haribo and the edible joke for the day - which I love.

Two star mirin furikake onigiri with nori stars, two HB quail's eggs, raw broccoli and rocket leaves.

Bottom has ham and cheese wheels with hot dog flowers and crabs and carrot sticks.

Tell me; do you think it's weird this kid will happily eat raw broccoli but refuses to eat it cooked? She is a weirdo, right?

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Sassy Bento 3/6/08

The kids had school off yesterday so I didn't bother with bentos. Even Husband was sent to work with a boring old sandwich. I have no excuse except for laziness as to why he got a sandwich today too. - a roast chicken, stuffing, gravy and salad one! At least a fancy sarnie.

Today Sassy gets Haribo and a joke (The punch line reads "He over swept). Middle bit has two bear rice shapes in salt and sesame flavour. One has shredded carrot rolled on the outside - I was thinking it may look more tigerish. The other looks cross-eyed. Nori faces.

Two quail's eggs with cut outs - so much easier with quail eggs vs chicken eggs! - with sesame seed eyes and nori mouth. carrot flowers, broccoli bits and rocket salad underneath.

I was running out of time this morning - yes all done in the morning! No evening prep today...damn I was lazy last night. Anyways, the bottom has salami and cheddar with a roll of smoked ham and a babybel. I'm sure the ham didn't need to be there at all but the bottom looked rather empty, now it just looks dumb. Ah well.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Awareness makes me tired.

I've been a busy person and not had all the time in the world to do the blogging thing where words come and feelings are expressed. Observations beyond the point-n-click of my camera is just too much of my time. It's probably a good thing because the being attached to my computer gets lame when the sun is shining and the world is blooming and there's things to do, people to see and stuff to see and smell and be a part of. Don't get me wrong - the internet has it's fun too but it doesn't hold a candle to real life.

So real life has been finishing a Romans project with Sassyface where she had to re-create a Roman artifact. Sassy wanted to make a shield, so we bought bendy plywood, primer, red gloss and a rubber ball and got cutting, painting and today we still have the decoration to affix. The project is due tomorrow, and it's raining today. We really need a nice sunny, gusty day to ensure the paint is all dry for tomorrow! The kids have today off from school, and I forget why. There seems to be a Monday holiday every Monday this month. It used to be great when I worked in the bank. I'll put up a pic of the finished project.

I don't want it to look like we parents did it all - we didn't! Sassy's done a lot of it - everything that didn't include a jigsaw. But it makes me a bit annoyed really because there was a contest recently to create an elaborate hat or mask for the Scholastic book fair - and most of the first place winners were obviously "Parentally assisted" to the point I bet the kid was pissed off at not getting to play with the glue and paint themselves. Sassy gets a bit miffed at me for not doing her homework for her so she can win the contests - Can I get a sympathy groan please? She'll have a tantrum over it - "You do it Mom!" No way. I'll help but I'm not teaching my kid it's ok to cheat and pass off someone else's work as their own.

I remember a cake baking contest when I was in 4th grade and the winner - who was a stuck up snot of kid whose Mom was a hair dresser and sent her daughter to school with Bo Derek 10 braid extensions - had made a very pretty cake that looked like a carousel, complete with sugar horses and poles and a top. Store bought by Mom and passed off as their own. Everyone cried cheat, but she still won. Her smugness just got beyond worse from then. This was the same girl who wore Whitney Houstonesque curly perm extensions down to her butt to the senior prom. Ugh. So, because Kristy was such a spoiled, disgusting wretch of a girl - her Mom has a lot to answer for - I refuse to encourage such things in my own kids.

We've got veggies growing too - they're still just seedlings, but just about ready to be moved to the grow-bags and veggie planters I bought. I also picked up some other types of veg to get planted. A bit late in the season now I know but we'll see. We have tomatoes and pumpkins seeding just now, and I'm going to plant carrots, radishes and beets. I wish I'd thought to set up a climbing net on the fence as I'd have loved to grow cucumbers. Next year! I have Livingston daisies almost ready to move into the front flower beds. I love the neon colours of these flowers.

We spent yesterday down in Glasgow because Husband went to attend a seminar on Australian emigration hosted by representatives of all the Oz states and the Federal government. It was very informative and got us a to-do list that should see us on our way efficiently. Husband is a bit peeved that he's required to take some Australian computer science society competency exam - which is supposed to be really hard - when he's got a degree and 14 years work experience. But needs must as they say.

As the economy is taking a shift against us financially, and we're not getting any younger we're going to have to change our plans - again. We're planning the emigration direct to Australia and have to skip the Japan move. We'll go on extended vacations to Japan as it still holds a fierce fascination for us, but with the kids being just the right age to emigrate - Sassy may be a bit too old for it to be comfortable - and we're still in our 30's the big move is best done now in the next couple years. After we reach 45 it'll be really hard to get in and get a permanent visa. Once we do get one, who knows, maybe we will still pop off to Japan for a couple years. Plus, Husband can get dual citizenship. So could I, I suppose. The kids - well I don't know, could they have three passports? Imagine that. American, British and Australian passports. There has to be a law against such a thing, and yet I wonder.

While husband was at the seminar, I went shopping around Glasgow and bought summer clothes for Sassy, and a lightweight jacket for me. I got a lime green one and a lemon one - I love bright summer colours and do you know how many shops I had to go into to find a coat that A) Fit B) wasn't black? Dozens. Why are the shops selling nothing but black, navy and khaki jackets in frigging June?? No bright colours anywhere. I'd actually given up when I spotted these coats on my way to take Shorty to the toilets. They had coats in bright colours and in my size! Yes, I need to buy coats in a size 20 - shocking! But I have to have 21 inches across the shoulder and still button over the E cups. So my coats always look too big, but I can zip them up. I also bought two pairs of jeans and four tops. I kind of hat them all, but they were necessary as my old jeans have holes and all my shirts are for the gym...and it was getting a bit sad really. When I was young and thin and poor I'd spend hours shopping and coveting clothes. Now I'm older, have money and chubby and I can't think of anything more tedious.

Also, I got my new laptop - and I'm now able to play with it. On second thought, I should've done this post one it. Just didn't think to. It's a Hewlett-Packard mini-notebook. I know I said I was going to get an EEE, but this is so much better and it was only a wee bit more money. This is a proper laptop. the only pain was Linux didn't want to work well on it - it was flaky on linking up to wifi, so we ended up putting XP on it (Vista bites). There's quite a lot of positive reviews on the net and youtube if you're curious. I'll let you know in a month or so what I think about it.

So - anyone want a second hand Psion 5?