Showing posts from November, 2014


I am still recovering from the flu and taking the antibiotics, which is not bringing out the best in my personality.  I managed to get over 12 hours sleep last night and drank my calming herbal tea which does appear to have centred me. 

I am eating frozen soy yogurt using commercial soy yogurt as the starter as my yogurt adventures lately have gone strange and need some kind of tweak on my part.  I think I just need to open an new sachet of starter culture.  Today, I drank many cups of tea, ate glory buns for brunch and soup for dinner.

During the day, once I woke up and made the bed, and drank my pot of tea, involved having the house to myself so I did a little gluten free and dairy free baking.  Pottering about made me feel a bit better.  I grated up some carrots that were disintegrating in the fridge and turned them into biscuits with some brown rice flour, gluten free baking flour, tiny amount of molasses, ground ginger and cinnamon and a splash of water.  They were delightful.  …


Not being from America, my family, and the community as a whole do not tend to celebrate Thanksgiving in Tasmania.  Knowing retailers though, they will be looking to add this to the sales calendar if they think they can increase retailing.   Given competitive business conditions I can understand the temptation of retailers. 

This is one holiday, celebration day where I think retailing should not be the main focus.  The basic tenant of Thanksgiving, to be grateful for what you have been blessed with, is one that I try to have as a recurring theme in this blog and in my life.

Today, I am grateful that I live in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

I am grateful for food, clothes, shelter and a safe car.

I am grateful for parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and all the other people that make up my little family clan.

Today, I am thankful for cups of tea and clean drinking water.

Today, I am grateful for an education, the ability to read and write.  I am grateful for…

Write off

Today, was in business economic terms a bit of a write off.  My natural instinct to stay in bed and rest, was overridden by some false sense of duty.  The world would have been better served today probably if I'd rested and got a bit better. 

That's just the way life goes some times.  I am feeling completely overwhelmed but how much that is to do with my thoughts, and how much that is my body on antibiotics fighting a flu and eye issue, it's hard to say.  The difficulty is that the medication can in rare cases cause a level of depression.  Also, the flu itself can cause a level of depression.  If I was concerned, I would be straight to the GP.  I am told that viruses mess with our hormones, and serotonin levels, so feeling out of wack is to be expected.  I'm not quite myself, which is no fun at all.  Then again, I am yet to meet someone with the flu or a cold that is the life of the party!

Other than being over wrought, and out of sorts, I did do some things well toda…

Thrifty Tip/Reminder

Go forth to your nearest public library, and treasure the resources available.  It's one way to supplement a traditional education, and engage in life long learning.

Today, I followed my advice and borrowed some best sellers on personal finance, music CDs to listen to, two DVDs to watch and five magazines.  A treasure trove, particularly when time rich, and financially strained! 

Tea for one hungry woman

There's something about a cup of milky tea that I find incredibly filling.  Tea and soup are my go to fillers when I know that my figure is getting a bit too curvy in all the wrong places.  And, when I know I have eaten enough, but I just want to eat to explosion point.  If I want to throw off a kilo or two, I drink tea, and make soup for lunch, sometimes breakfast too.  The cool weather today, made soup, even for non-soup types like me, a definitely comforting option  (Well, apart from my Vanilla Slice Jealousy episode).

It is easier to lose weight when I work, I find.  Then I only have limited time to eat, and limited energy at then end of the day to worry about it.  Limited access to a kitchen can have definite advantages.  Then again, I know what it's like to work, be stressed, and eat stuff you would not normally touch, so there's no point blaming circumstances.

Anyway, The Tea and Soup Diet, a best seller, or what?

Glory Buns - Gluten & Dairy Free, Wholegrain

I've made my second batch of Glory Buns, inspired by this recipe here:

The 1940s experiment blog has some inspiring ideas, and Carolyn, it's creator deserves to be recognised for her courage and inspiration to others.  I highly recommend having a look at her blog. 

My recipe is similar, only I used the following ingredients (mine are more like Glory Bun muffins, my mix works best in the muffin tray):

2 tablespoons brown rice & tapioca sourdough mix
3 cups brown rice flour
1/2 cup of plain gluten free flour
1/2 cup soy milk (more as needed to bring to muffin consistency)
1/4 cup of soy yogurt
1/4 cup of sultanas/ raisins available dry fruit
3 small apples grated
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon of sunflower oil

Method: mix together in a bowl until wet cake batter consistency.  Grease muffin tray, add mix to muffin tray, heat oven, bake in medium oven and take out when cooked.  Takes about 20-30 minutes t…

My Country Cousin The Supermodel

Apparently, when I decide to go on a mini health kick, and people dare to buy, with the plan to consume, Vanilla Slices, I get a bit tetchy.  I did a mini lecture on said subject, before casually walking away (only because I did not have the energy for a flounce) and shutting the door quietly and respectfully (again, lack of energy).  Yep, a bit silly, but a healthy bowl of nourishing soup for breakfast and being faced with a professional pastry of generous proportions, can do that to a person.

It would also appear that I have Country Style Green Monster Disorder.  I get CSGMD because all the people in Australian Country Style seem outrageously good, wealthy and nice people.  All their good stuff is just plain sickening.  You know, like Jane who is 32, just bought an acreage where she runs a successful yoga studio, trains for marathons for fun and is married to finance executive James, who is outrageously good looking and likes to cook.  They have two point five children who are no tr…

Look for work on the cheap!

Ah yes, the joy that is looking for work!  And, it's not particularly a cheap exercise at times.  It does tend to depend how long you are left looking for work.  I read the other day the average length that people are unemployed for in Australia, according to the Union for the Unemployed (yes, there is such a thing in both the US and Australia) is around 4 years.  I'm not sure about the figure, because last I checked with the ACOSS (Australian Council for Social Services) the average was 2 years.  No doubt it depends how figures are interpreted.  It is definitely tough out there!

About three months ago, I was watching the US PBS news special report on unemployment there (where conditions appear to be improving overall since) is that the difficulty at the moment for people without work, is that there is a lack of mobility in the labour market.  In other words, people are scared by the downturns in recent history and are acting accordingly.  They think in general that it is safe…

Found frugal groove!

Yesterday, I said to my mum, The Head Gardener, that I had lost my frugal interest.  I just wanted a break from thinking before purchasing and having to be reasonably disciplined.  I was probably more exhausted from pain, than anything else.  It's harder to be disciplined when you do not feel well.

Mum suggested I figure a way around it, and then write a blog entry about it.  She suggested that when one feels like that, and we all do from time to time, that we should go looking for positive, good things that will inspire us to continue being focussed and disciplined.  Generally, inspiration requires action.  I'm yet to get it from sitting around waiting for it to smack me in the face.

Still feeling uninspired, I went out and picked up my library holds.  That, in itself started to cheer me up, magazines and DVDs on hold for no cost.  Then, I wandered in the sunshine for a little while and went into a local op-shop (second hand goods) that is well presented and the staff are fri…

Thrifty tip (not on Tuesday)

I owe my readers a Thrifty Tip Tuesday, only Tuesday went by without me writing one. 

How about this:

Buy a water bottle you love, and keep on refilling it with filtered water.  Good for you, and good for your wallet. 

I use a plastic commercial water bottle because I have found it to be the most cost effective and useful way for me to drink filtered water.  I find that I tend to let non-plastic water bottles turn to goo, and I prefer this commercial water bottle.  It's an environmental compromise.

I recommend researching water filters, there's so much information out there.  For a low cost solution, I found Brita were competitive for at home basic water filtration systems.  There are companies out there now that offer solutions that meet requirements for developing countries for travellers or remote areas. 

Once you get used to filtered water, it's difficult to drink treated tap water, at least without letting it sit for a day or two for the chlorine gas to leave.  I a…

Get your geek on!

Irritated to action

Yesterday, I had the unfortunate opportunity to engage with someone who somehow stumbled into a role where communication is integral.  This receptionist managed to keep me on the telephone for five minutes and not answer a simple question.  Their lack of competence left me feeling depressed an blue.

Today, a similar level of stupidity, had the wonderful effect of inspiring me to action.  I was so incensed at the unnecessary patronising of someone whose role is supposedly in human resources that I hit the phones in order to secure employment sooner rather than latter.  I am optimistic that if I keep on keeping on, someone lovely will employ me and I will be sipping soy lattes at a cafĂ© sometime soon!

Woman at work

One of the things that I know I need to work on, is giving energy to things that take my energy away.  Things that are a total waste of energy.  It's more than tired, or exhausted from a necessary evil, it's about managing emotional energy, so that my physical energy is in tact.

Some of the things that I am doing:
some kind of exercise every day, even if it's just a 10 minute walk along the beachget out of the house for a little while and get some sunshinelimit my exposure to media, particularly news, or daft articleslimit/eradicate my need to educate the whole world.  Other people can learn like I have, from experience, courses, mistakes, therapists.  In short, spend time and money and figure it out. The whole eradicate the need to educate the whole world is probably the most important one.  It seems to be the one I need to work on at the moment, followed by a little more exercise.  It's so hard for me to not get involved, to just refer people, to switch off, to think …

Better to be prepared

There are some times in life when I love, LOVE, to be wrong.  Hard to believe perhaps given my generally opinionated writing.  Still, how dull would it be if I sat on the fence all the time.  Not to mention, uncomfortable for me, all that fence sitting would give me a cramp in the tush!

One of those times was today.  I was just, just, JUST about to sit down and write a very measured business like email when I heard the first two sirens.  When the third and fourth started playing past, I thought it might be worth checking emergency services to see what was going on.

Then, I discovered there was a fire incident reported and if my map reading was correct it was close.  Being on my own at home, but The Head Gardener, close, I rang and let her know.  She was not impressed with the whole idea, and I said I'd call her back if things got worse.  And, things got worse.

Now, having prepared the house, and worked up quite the sweat, I am surrounded by my things half unpacked, from my being p…

Chocolate and other good things

Applied for a few jobs that took my inspiration.  Went for a solid exercise this afternoon.  I am good tired and very grateful.  Beautiful day with the sun shining, took full advantage and put three loads of washing out to dry.  Enjoying the summery weather!  Still, a bit flu-y, more rest, fluids, zinc supplement.

Made exercise recovery dessert for when I am done pounding the pavement.  Just soy yogurt and chocolate drink mix, put together.  About three teaspoons chocolate mix and 1 cup soy yogurt.  I like mine premade and frozen, yum!  Should be good for muscle recovery.

Put books on hold at library, drinking delightful decaf-pomegranate and green tea and hoping my week, and yours, is peaceful and enjoyable!

Grateful for coffee

Today, I am grateful for coffee, well written television programs, a beautiful coastal location to live in, a vegetable patch, green tea, more coffee, and that I am safe, and well fed.  My finances might be looking stretched but I have all that I need, and more, and I am grateful.

And my head, is playing migraine with me, so I have countered it with coffee which for the most part has worked.  Having slept my migraine off though, now it's time for sensible people to sleep, I am  wired.  Tired but wired is indeed the story of my life.  Hitting my head with much chamomile tea, enough for a small circus of elephants, in the hope that will work.

Nearly burnt my car to smithereens by being lax with looking after it, and the IT Guru, who can be a car whisperer came to my rescue.  I was thankfully not silly enough to think I could deal with it on my own today, and singlehandedly ate an entire humble pie.

I am trying to get excited about a future for me, but I find it almost impossible to …

Two week rule

Have I told you about the two week rule?  The Two Week Rule (because it looks much more fancy-pants with capital letters) goes something like this.  The first two weeks of massive changes are the worst, after that, if they are reasonably survivable, you can see where things are.

The TWR (Two Week Rule) does not apply to everything, and for that matter really isn't a rule, it's more of a guideline for life.   The first two weeks of a job, even the best job in the world, even the job that you end up loving rather than loathing is normally the hardest. 

Okay, sometimes for reasons of hierarchal insanity, and instability, and the wrong job fit we leave earlier than two weeks.  I've heard of people leaving within two hours of starting, and no one could accuse them of misleading management with their intentions (I'm gone! Get me out of here!)!  It does generally take two weeks to feel vaguely stable, and not completely lost in any new environment.

The same with a new skill,…

Much Chamomile Tea

This flu, is being incredibly persistent.  I keep thinking I might have nixed it, and it comes along and reminds me of it's presence with a rather impolite, badly timed cough, or sneeze.  It's most inconvenient. 
I am now in ignore and desist phase of treatment, which means I throw lots of good food at it, plenty of minerals and vitamins, citrus fruit, and try and carry on.  I keep hoping it might understand that I have better things to do than sleep it off.  It seems to quite enjoy giving me weakness and fatigue, coughs and sneezes and shows no great enthusiasm for latching on to another unfortunate host.
I am drinking enough chamomile tea to sink a small elephant, so hopefully, I will be well rested in the morning.  If nothing else, I can at least be a well rested flu patient if nothing else!

Expensive entertainment

Followed the advice of one of the family elders and contacted the manufacturer of the car products for advice today.  Was directed to the local body works who ended up being highly entertained by my escapade and told me what the cheaper, but no longer available option would have been. 

I will not make the same mistake again!  All I could think on my trudge home was that it would have been as cost effective to burn a couple of hundred dollar bills.  Still, I guess it's one way to get some exercise and ensure that I get out and about.  Managed to get some new books from the library to read and went for a wander at the beach in the sunshine with The Head Gardener.  An expensive but highly entertaining day!

Paying for frugal insanity

I am paying for frugal insanity with my time, tears of frustration and tomorrow money to pay for my mistakes.  Honestly, I should have listened to the little doubting voice in my head.  Some things are best left to the experts.  With skills like mine, car maintenance is nearly always something I leave to others.  I am repenting at leisure.

Tomorrow's plan, off to get my car cleaned and polished properly and cleaning products to clean my clothes that now stink to high heaven!  Ooooffff!  Over DIY at the moment.

A day of frugal insanity

There's no disputing the DIY glow.  Once you've had it, you want it again.  Sometimes in order to get the glow again, we lose the plot.  Today, I went a little awry, and committed DIY idiocy.

If I ever work in automotive customer service again I will take any complaints about the price of most services with a tonne of salt.  I think before complaining, do what I did today and try and do it yourself.  Two plus hours of cutting and polishing, and producing a substandard finish this afternoon had me questioning both my sanity and ownership of a car.  Cutting and polishing by hand, cost me around $10, but for $150 plus I would have my sanity, and probably an afternoon at the beach, which is where I should have gone, and then ordered chips for dinner.  Oh no, no, I spent it working a sweat up, and ending up with a half baked job.

Then, I spent three hours this morning making what can only be truly described as a very nourishing meal, and a waste of three hours.  For someone who li…

Still not asleep

I'm still happily procrastinating about going to bed.  While happily procrastinating, it strikes me that it's just as well back in the olden days when I went to university there was no Facebook.  More importantly though, I had limited access to a computer, for long enough to do anything other than ninja focused research and type up my essays. 

The internet then was glacially slow so I used it for practicalities only.  I believe my sister has been experiencing similar speeds where she lives.  She referred to her internet speed as "so slow I went and did the dishes" which if you saw her normal kitchen look, you would appreciate just how slow that is!  Sometimes, I think I would get more done with a type writer than a laptop!  I am very, very grateful for my laptop.  I still consider a laptop, coffee (of any kind) and my safe, if decrepit and slightly mouldy car, to be utter luxuries.  I've lived happily without them all, living with them is much better!  

Not asleep

I'm supposed to be in bed in 6 minutes.  It's a deadline I've attempted to give myself.  It's not working terribly well, as I am also procrastinating, and looking at ways to avoid going to bed. 

All the better if my procrastinating is semi-productive.  Writing another blog post falls into that category!  How many times I cleaned my bath when I had an essay looming at university.  I think the main thing one learns from a bachelors degree in humanities, is arguably, cleaning.  That, and arguing! 

It's remarkable how pressing a dirty bath and vacuuming is when a 3000 word essay is four to five days away from needing to be completed.  By day three it was panic stations, and no housework, other than copious quantities of coffee, toast with baked beans and cheese, the odd omelette for sustenance and the odd walk to deal with the panic from leaving things so late.

I love being in bed in the morning.  It's getting myself there in the first place that is the problem. …

Time is a great healer

I keep telling myself.  Just take one day at a time, focus on the future, not on the past, and allow time to heal.  Go for a walk, have a cup of coffee, smile, breathe, and repeat.

Stay calm even though you want to scream, even though you hurt.  Sit down and have a bit of a cry if you need to.  Get up again, and again, and again.  Do the little things that help.  Try not to indulge in too much food because you feel sad.  Accept that you feel like something the cat dragged in, kicked, and left.

Sometimes life hurts, sometimes we get worn out with our personal circumstances that come our way.  Being human we repeat the same mistakes even though we know better.  Sometimes that's stubborn hope and belief, and sometimes it's just flawed humanity at play. 
And then we grieve.  And, how it hurts!

Grief never seems to stop hurting with age like I hoped it would.  My reactions might become more in keeping with the situation, and I might have a better understanding of life and time but…

Four Seasons In One Day

It's a bit of a Hobartian saying that we experience four seasons in one day.  There's certainly some truth to that.  Today it was mainly sit-in-front-of-a-fire and stay warm, drink tea, and try not too much comfort food.  Yes, a little cool!

Still recovering from the flu, definitely beginning to feel a little better.  Honestly, I must be feeling vulnerable because I am a little teary and emotional.  I think my body has used so much energy getting me well, it does not have energy for cheerfulness!  I am doing my very best to be cheerful though, but the crying emotional spurts are taking me by surprise! :D Ah dear...

Apparently, there is such a thing as temporary flu virus induced depression.  So if you have the flu and your normal cheerful self appears to have disappeared temporarily, chin up, it hopefully will pass with the virus.  Make sure you look after yourself, plenty of rest, fluids and funny DVDs! 

Here's an interesting article I stumbled across in my internet land…

Dear Retailers

I feel pretty good other than flu recovery.  I am hoping it will continue in leaps and bounds.  That zinc is good stuff (I personally recommend having after eating, seems to be easier to take for me)!  Managed to get out and about and do some retail therapy, and it was refreshingly therapeutic!

I was thinking about it, and decided to send some positive feedback to both stores that did an exceptional job.  It was a refreshing experience and I will return to all the stores I visited today as they did a really good job of making me feel welcome and providing me with the information I needed.

Dear Retailers,

Make my store visit pleasant by being welcoming, providing me with accurate and helpful information and I will always do my level best to keep you in business!  Always.

Note: hire grumps and I will hesitate about ever returning.  I will probably give the store another chance but continue to hire grumps and I will never return, even if the price is as low as the gutter.