Showing posts from September, 2014

The grown ups

Do you ever feel like you are acting as an adult?  I'm not sure that being brave, and taking calculated risks, and doing new things ever get easier.  Mind you, it never stops being rewarding, and always, even when incredibly hard, provides a type of satisfaction.

I'm not talking about particularly dare devil tasks.  I'm really not inclined to looking for adrenaline fuelled tasks.  I avoid some markets, because I do not like to be around big crowds, I don't like rock concerts for the same reason.  That, and I really, really like the peace and quiet (well, most of the time).

I'm just talking about, talking up, and defending things that you know are worth speaking out about.  It never stops being daunting.  I went through life not realising just how much "the grown ups" were acting.  Acting brave, and feeling terrified, and still doing what needs to be done.

I rang a media outlet today to complain about something that I felt was not appropriate, and that the ed…

Better soy yogurt!

I've just updated my post about making soy yogurt after I discovered a couple of tweaks that give you the yogurt flavour that I crave.  Really yummy!!!

I would like to buy some vanilla paste, or quality vanilla beans to give me more of a hit.  However, I am very happy with the result of my tweaks.

Essentially, add small amount of both yogurt and probiotic cultures.   Leave for 16 - 20 hours to create really dense, tart yogurt taste (up to 24 hours, depends on your personal preference).  Add a splash of vanilla essence when the probiotic cultures are added.  Of course, you could keep it plain, I just prefer a lightly vanilla flavour.

Edited post, here:

Op Shop Rule

Yesterday, I stumbled upon a clearance op-shop (second hand) with nothing over $3 for sale.  My kind of op-shop!  I managed to get some lovely, great condition, name brand clothes, some that I need to alter slightly, for $20.  Quite a few tops, summer denim skirt, a pair of jeans that have obviously never been worn, and a surf brand and high end lounge wear brand, piece.  I came away feeling very proud of my purchases. 

When I went to wash them though, I discovered that it took two washes in the washing machine to rid the clothes of kept-at-the-second-hand-shop for a bit too long, dank smell.  Now they are hanging, and airing out, I look forward to wearing them.  I guess that's the op-shop rule, the cheaper the items, the longer and bigger the clean.

I even bought a second hand book I enjoyed reading for 50 cents.  Now if that isn't the very definition of low cost entertainment, well, I don't know what is!  Except something free ;)

My recipe for soy yogurt

How I make soy yogurt.

I finally figured out how to make thick, commercial quality soy yogurt, without the buy-it-at-the-supermarket-price.  And, the process, once you figure it out, is actually quite easy.

Kitchen tools:
medium sized saucepanwhiskyogurt thermos (I use the easiyo system) Ingredients:
UHT soy milk - good quality preferred - I used Sanitarium So Good, full fat regular1/2 cup tapioca starch1/2 teaspoon guar gum2 table spoons raw sugaryogurt & probiotic cultures - dairy free - I bought mine from drops of quality vanilla essence It's important when making yogurt that you follow the instructions from the yogurt culture manufacturers, and are careful about keeping a sterile environment.  If in doubt, throw it out.

I place all the ingredients in the sauces, heat and whisk until thick.  I allow the mix to cool in the yogurt storage container and when cool add the culture.  Add hot water to thermos and wait for 20 hours to get whey, and …

Escapism from an armchair (book review)

I've nearly finished a book I placed on hold from my state library collection.  How lucky am I that I can get books that will be deposited close by, and then can waltz in an grab them?  It's a great way to supplement my need for new, and novel, reading material!

The book is called 'The Big Tiny: A-Built-It-Myself Memoir' by Dee Williams.  It's written with the reader in mind.  So even though it touches some of the most intense experiences that people deal with, it does it in a way that I can read even while feeling exhausted. 

I found myself laughing, and feeling compassion for a woman who had the courage to turn her life upside down when faced with congenital heart failure.  It's about her journey building a very small house, with help from friends, family and acquaintances.  Really the book is about our priorities and the choices we make.  It's thought provoking, and a very easy read.

One of those books that is difficult to put down, and I know I will be sa…

On my toes!

So there I was, feeling a bit silly, for not going to the doctor sooner.  I was taking my time muddling about at the service station on the way home. 

When I picked up the paper for something to read, because I am desperately remiss in getting to the library I found myself chatting to the check out woman, and commiserating about feeling lousy.  Even I was surprised by her news that she was tired because she had blood poisoning, probably from an infected tooth.  The bruises on her body were something else. 

You know, I have a bad habit of walking in there and getting everyone's medical history.  Which is fine, and interesting, and we cheer each other up, but I was just going in there to get petrol.  My point is, I don't mind, it's just an unnerving habit I appear to have picked up without trying. 

I used to do it all the time when I worked as a receptionist.  You would not believe the things that people will tell you if you are a natural receptionist.  It can not be taught t…

Professional patient

I've had a funny kind of day today.  I knew I was really feeling lousy, because if there had been a medal for compliant patient, at the doctor's surgery, I almost would have been in the running.  Not quite, I'd have to be really bad to be that compliant!

Had some tests run, turned into a pin cushion with my 3 monthly B12 injection, and requested a dairy free, gluten free thyroxin script.  Hopefully, I won't have to change the dose, although given my current symptoms, that may well be necessary.  It doesn't pay to predict blood test results, they have a nasty habit of surprising me when I do.  I'm not sure I will be too surprised mind you.

I was feeling a bit sorry for myself on my way home, because I think I left the jab/ check up just that bit too long.  I was feeling a bit silly, really.  I should know better by now.  But with some of these autoimmune diseases, they tend to sneak up on me, and I forget how bad they can get and ignore them until they have a orch…

Gluten free donut bites

I inadvertently have made slightly addictive donut bites.  I was aiming to make coffee biscuits, all dull and yet satisfying.  Instead, I appear to have light fluffy addictive donut bites.  Not a bad problem at all.  If there is a problem it's stopping eating them!  Go on, make them, and stop at one, I dare you! Ingredients for gluten free donut bites: 1 cup soy yogurt (mine is home made and contains tapioca starch and guar gum)1//2 tea spoon guar gum2 cups gluten free self raising flour (I used woolworths brand select)1 heaped tablespoon of instant coffee granules (any brand should do, I used homebrand) 1 teaspoon of cinnamonfew drops of vanilla extract2 eggs1 desertspoon molasses1/2 cup sugar1/4 cup sunflower oil To make: mix together in a bowl until happy with the consistency.  It will be quite a sticky mix. Spoon teaspoons onto greased tray. Put in pre-heated moderate oven for 6-12 minutes, or until baked. Throw in cinnamon sugar, and try and stop at one.  I bet you can't!…

Trade in

Tempting to trade up my head, for one that works as well, but does not ache!!! Ouch.  Anyway, if what I am not doing is working, it's best to go for another approach. 

I knew there was a little bit of dairy lactose in my thyroxine (standard thyroid medication) and I am just wondering whether that is part of what I am experiencing.  So, I am chancing that my standard GP practice will be happy to write a script for compounded thyroxine that is both dairy and gluten free.  I was on the phone this afternoon, and they think it's possible.  I hope it is, it saves me money if I can do my scripts in a standard consult. 

The script itself will cost me more, which is infuriating when so many people are dairy intolerant.  It really is about time the local drug companies offered more medicine choices to thyroid patients in Australia.  I would do something about it, but I am not fit enough at the moment.   

I'm also lowering my coconut consumption to see if soy yogurt and generally mor…

Presentation, presentation, presentation!

Isn't easy to forget how much joy can be easily added to simple everyday rituals just by adding a little care?  Even I feel more special if my apple is cut up nicely for me to munch on.  How can I not feel that much better by drinking my herbal tea from a favourite cup?  What's not to love about bright florals in a jar?

My sister, The Arty Fairy, caught me out with quality fake flowers some time ago.  Not that it mattered, they did what they needed to do, and cheered the place up!

I'm sitting here munching elegantly cut up carrot pieces, having finished a beautifully encapsulated cup of decaffeinated green tea, and contemplating the next week. 

I've had another proper migraine and will be seeing if I can reduce the risk by changing my diet a little.  Been on pain-killers all day, because even I have my limits!  And off to the doctor this week.  Clearly, I need to make some tweaks to my current approach.

I have soy milk yogurt brewing and will think about writing a recipe …

A slight flaw

Now, tell me Ladies and Gentlemen, is it just me, or is there a slight flaw in my migraine treatment plan when I use strong coffee late at night?  I guess there are other people that would knock themselves out with pain killers and try sleep, but then I never did like to follow the crowd.  How very dull my life would be!

Naturally, I've had an exciting time wondering what my body would throw at me next.  Hopefully, I will figure out what it wants one of these days.  Cups of tea, even with evil soy milk, and evil coffee seem to be going down rather well.

And then of course, there's evil glucose and sugar that seems to be helping me with what appears to be in part not well managed hypoglycaemia.  My body has ideas of its own, I'm telling you!

I should know better than to try and reduce carbohydrates in my diet too much.  My body tends to have a fit.  And, then I feel lousy, and what's the point of that?  I should know better, that Coeliac Disease includes fat mal-absorption…

Reality Check

While The Head Gardener (my mum) wends her way around travelling, and I keep her indoor plants, and outdoor plants alive, there are bound to be dramas.  The other week, as you may have read by now, I nearly had to evacuate due to a fire threat, which was a good way for me to figure out my priorities, fairly quickly.  It is also inspiration to stay reasonably organised, and enjoy my "best things".

If like me, you were brought up with "play things" and the distinction of "things for best" you can sometimes find yourself forgetting to dust out and enjoy your best things.  When raised frugal there is a bit of a natural tendency to become super pack rat like, and miss the point that things are to be enjoyed.  Of course I advocate children being taught that distinction, and it's one that I've always used.  For example, I have always had work clothes, and at home clothes, and going out clothes.  That's important because it saves me money in the long…

A little bump in the road

I've been progressing overall, but am experiencing what I can only hope is a bump in the road to better health.  This found me putting the bins out for the garbage man this afternoon in floral comfy flannelette pants.  Now, if that isn't the very definition of confidence then I don't know what is!

Drinking tea from a pretty mug and feeling less than fabulous seems to be the theme for today. Making a very healthy mince and vegetable sauce to add to noodles for my dinner. Wishing I could be well enough to be out and about and working.  I really miss working and feeling like I am more a part of the community.  I guess this is just part of being where I am.  I accept it, very begrudgingly when the weather is this fine.

Short and sweet

A very short and sweet post today.  I want to go for a long walk, but my body demands rest, so I am pottering about.  I even got the slow cooker out and made a meat and vegetable casserole which I do not feel like eating for dinner.  It smells good though, so I might decide I am hungry later.  That makes all the difference.

Drinking a very civilised cup of pomegranate flavoured green tea in a floral cup, waiting for the rain clouds to water the garden for me, and dessert prepared for a small sweet treat later.

Chocolate coconut yogurt treat 


coconut yogurt about 200 ml1 teaspoon molasses2 teaspoons sugarfew drops vanilla essence1 teaspoon good quality cocoa powderMix and freeze
Eat in front of something that makes you laugh, and enjoy!

A lesson in less

I've still got adrenaline pulsing through my body, despite two cups of sweet tea, good food and trying to switch my brain off.  Not surprising, as I spent the afternoon dealing with the very real possibility that my mum's home was under threat of fire.  Thankfully the local brigades got the fire under control and rain is expected tonight.

I made the decision pretty early on to be prepared for the worst case scenario, and hope for the best.  I'm very proud of my effort to get important paperwork, basic clothes, basic supplies and photos together, and keep my head fairly level given the circumstances.

One of the reasons that I am still feeling stressed, other than it was a genuinely scary scenario to deal with, however minor it turned out to be, was my neighbors' lack of concern.  They all seemed to expect the fire department to perform miracles.  While there is no question to my mind that our firies are world class, they are not miracle workers.  Every time there is a ma…

Confessions of a blogger

My inspiration for the title of this blog is the book 'Confessions of a Male Nurse' which I am about to take to bed with me, and either lie awake wondering about the medical system, or slip into a comfortable slumber.  Knowing me, my response to the book could go either way.

Anyway, yesterday I had a pretty good day, today I paid for it a bit.  Still, I managed a little clean, a little nap and a little declutter.  The imps were at it with the baseball bats today, now, I just ache.  Actually, I managed to get out and do a bit of watering, weeding and general garden odd jobs for a little while today too.  Quite proud of that effort, given the temptation to spend the day in bed and do little else!

Taking the Chronic Fatigue Imps, and their bats, one day at a time.

Alphabet soup

Had a wonderful day out and about.  Dropped a few items off from a quick declutter and went to the library to pick up some new books I had on hold.

Found a few wardrobe updates from the op-shop and had a catch up chat with someone I worked with in the past.  Went for a small walk in the sunshine and came home and puddled about.

Made some healthy chicken and corn soup.  There's some brilliant recipes to inspire you online.  Mine was quite tasty and certainly filled me up.  Now, I'm going out again for a short while.

More decluttering tomorrow.

3 minute challenge

To stop life from becoming unnecessarily dull, and to appreciate a rather simple life, and find the joy in everyday, I like to set myself little challenges.  I don't know about you, but I know that I have a tendency to procrastinate.  It's something that I am learning to change. 

My little 3 minute challenges are a way for me to achieve the things I need to do.  It stops me getting overwhelmed, when I just do not want to do a necessary task.

So, I will decide that I will do something just for 3 minutes, and then if I want to stop, that's fine.

3 minute challenges that I regularly do:

3 minutes of stretches3 minutes of going through my paper in-box3 minutes of dusting3 minutes of de-cluttering3 minutes of cleaning the bathroom3 minutes of vacuumingAnd often, starting is all it takes to decide to do a bit more.  Or, I will go and do something else I want, and come back to the task.  
3 minutes is all you need sometimes.

Vow of silence

Have had a brief break from writing on this blog.  Sometimes I just need to switch off and go walk about. 

Not that I've done anything too exciting.  Managed to go to a birthday bash and not drink any alcohol, and that was fine.  I'm quite proud of that little effort.  

Admittedly I'm beginning to associate pain with alcohol, so that takes away any heat/temptation.  And, the whole point of going out is to meet people anyway, and have a chat!  Our society's reliance on alcohol to have fun is disturbing in the extreme.  That particular function was fine, but the reaction in the past when I have decided to skip the alcohol for any reason is enough for me to dig in my heels and stick with my plan.  It's time for professional help, in my opinion, when you "have" to have alcohol to "have fun".

I managed a good nights sleep last night which was truely blissful and went to bed at a reasonable hour.  Ah, me and my exciting Saturday nights!  Had the energy f…

Change is as good as a holiday smoothie

I've just made myself a fruit and veg smoothie.  I do not do this very often, and I certainly class them as a treat.  Effectively, once blitzed together the sugars are released and the fibre is destroyed, which is what stops your blood sugar surging when you peel and eat an orange, or eat an apple and throw the core in the garden hoping for a tree.  Anyway, once in a while I feel like a treat which has to be good for the soul.

Hobart Chic's
Change is as good as a holiday, smoothie!


1/2 cup water (purified if possible)
1/4 cup coconut yogurt
1 desert spoon of orange juice (I squeezed a bit in, and now I'm eating the whole orange)
I small carrot - peeled & in small pieces
I small apple - cored & cut into small pieces

Place in blender, as per manufacturer's instructions.  Blitz & enjoy as an occasional treat.

Yum!!!  Beautiful day in Hobart!  Lovely.

For dietary advice contact a registered dietician, and or relevant medical professional/s.

Good is underrated

The saying goes something like "Good is the enemy of perfect", and I'm not sure who this is attributed to.  There's this idea in our society, almost pervasive, that we are all supposed to be superhuman, and have huge houses, sports cars and perfect children.  I'm sorry, but I think it's a little crazy.  I'm human, I'm sick, and I'm beginning to accept that I have limitations as a result.

That's okay.  I'm also learning to be happy with small steps and achievements.  I don't need to "roar" everyday.  Quiet achievement is undervalued!

Today, I managed to do 20 minutes of gentle exercise, and very proud of it too!  I made low amine, gluten and dairy free savoury and sweet pumpkin scones.  Yummy, and solved the what-to-eat-for-dinner question relatively easily!  The Head Gardener loved them!  They were awfully easy.  Very proud of that achievement.

Then tonight among other things, I managed to do a few administrative tasks.  So n…


Just reading about the potential health benefits of Bicarbonate Soda.  As you do, when you have as exciting a life as I do!  Other people go night clubbing, I read about weird and wonderful possibilities of using things in the pantry.  Nightclubs are too noisy anyway.

Anyway, I knew that Bicarbonate Soda is a good occasional remedy for UTIs, and sometimes is able to clear them up without antibiotics.  Obviously, sometimes antibiotics are necessary.  So, I was interested to see if there was anything more to it.

Reportedly BiCarb Soda may assist in:

detoxifying the bodyclearing bladder infections (UTIs)an adjunct to chemotherapyalternative treatment for cancermay help with chronic fatigue Extreme caution should be used in trying any BiCarb therapy as prolonged use, or overdose can be dangerous.  Generally not advised for those with high blood pressure, unless under the strict supervision of a doctor.

Anyway, this is the article I found myself reading:…

Hyped, or not.

I found myself blushing for not real reason today.  I know myself well enough to say that I rarely blush these days.  Once upon a time, I would blush just for standing in front of a class room, beetroot red too.  Ah, 'twas an attractive look. 

I've since been told by male classmates that they were more focussed on my legs (I had to wait for over 15 years, and a bit of flirting to find that out.  If only I'd realised at the time).  I guess it could be worse.

Anyway, my point is, that I found myself blushing about nothing.  Which in itself is a little disconcerting, bordering on embarrassing.  I did what I always do in situations like this.  I ignored it.  And then, when it started to worry me, I went to internet land for an answer.

I learnt that reasons for blushing are many and varied.

They can include:
social anxietyit's related to the fight or flight response, so any kind of stress can trigger itallergies - generally there are other symptomsniacin overdose B3hyperthyroid…