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Showing posts from March, 2018

Blu tak Low Cost Easter

I'm drinking a hot soy chocolate, in my Keep Cup, before I head to bed.  Like a café experience for people who like to stay in their pyjamas. Not that pyjamas stop some perfectly healthy people from going out for a coffee somewhere expensive but low key (completely understand very ill people).
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I had a fun day catching up with family.  Although it was a lot of rewarding work.  Arts, crafts and attention seems to have been the order of the day (and chocolate!).

Having made full advantage of the little free and safe parking I could find the other day, I may spend more money on strapping tape fixing my ankle.  I've just run out today and will probably have to strap it for the next week.  It did occur to me though that I might be able to use it to patch my bed up as it's strong and flexible with material and adhesive.

Since I wrote that sentence about a strapping tape fix possibility I decided to try something with what I had.  I strategically placed blue tack and cardboard …

I won't be giving up coffee

I'm onto my fourth cup of tea today with only one weak coffee under my belt.  That may change though as I am typing this close to my coffee machine.

When I think of the news that coffee may cause cancer I am even more tempted to have a cup.  The risk is incredibly low and the science either way appears to be inconclusive in my opinion.  Worst case scenario, it's still minimally risky and has other benefits in my opinion.

Make up your own mind though:
Legal case regarding cancer warning on coffee 

Science behind cancer warning

NCBI: Coffee and cancer risk - medical review

For a bit of light reading, I will keep my coffee and sanity along with New York residents until someone can convince me otherwise:
Give up coffee? That's a firm no from NY City

Quote from the above article,
"The view of the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer on coffee and cancer, updated in 2016, is that there is “no conclusive evidence for a carcinogenic effect”.
Th…

A cup of chocolate

Well, I slept like a log last night.  Alright, if I am going to be honest with you, the truth is I slept well this morning just as the birds were waking.  And it's not like I didn't bother going to bed well before midnight.

It's time for bed and I again feel sleepy.  Whether or not I sleep is anyone's guess.

I did have a late start today but I managed to get quite a bit done once I got up.  Cheap and cheerful things I did today:

Made myself a cup of hot chocolate with low cost quality cocoa, soy milk and hot water.  Mmm!Thought about going shopping but did not want to because it's a public holiday, it's the Easter period and it turns out the shop I nearly went to was shut.  In the end I found what I wanted in my arts and craft box (small box with all sorts of small things and pretty paper in it).The traffic was maddeningly busy and driver behaviour has been shocking lately so I have tried to only use the car when needed.  Or I try and run errands when I am alrea…

Five stages of new tech

I'm typing this on my new netbook.  This is the first actual task I've done on the thing even though it was delivered well over six hours ago.

It took six hours and my sanity to set the thing up so I could use it.   I went through all the predictable stages of buying a new PC or other tech:

First stage: excited - lasted about ten seconds
Second stage: patience.  This actually lasted about four and a half hours because I knew it would all take a while to set up.
Third stage: a computer reboot - just taking far too long to do anything so I switched it off and on again and it started to cooperate.
Fourth stage: a few seconds of shouting and hitting the nearby table. Just when it seemed to be working it told me it needed to do one too many updates.
Fifth stage: defeated and resigned but happy it's finally working.  Expectations low.

 I was stupidly banking on having free MS Word.  Thankfully, for all I want to do and given it's not terribly important, I can use Google Docs…

Tax office interested in holiday homes

ATO is cracking down on people making deductions on houses that are non rental properties in reality.  This article is worth a read if you have a property you claim any deductions on.  Particularly if you own a second home for holidays:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-28/holiday-home-tax-deduction-rorts-targeted-by-ato/9593834

12 Months off Yaz/ Levlen ED ( birth control pill )

I figure it is about time I write a twelve month status update for being off hormonal birth control.  As readers of my previous posts will know I was on Levlen ED for around eight years and gradually found the side effects made its use untenable.

For me it was initially life saving as it fixed my monthly heavy bleed.  I would never simply tell women to not go on it particularly those on the journey I was.  To start it saved my life and gave me the space to heal.  Once I was on thyroid medication, with heavy bleeding being a major symptom of Hashimoto's thyroiditis, the side effects of the pill got worse.  Thankfully, as I am on thyroxine I have not had a return to heavy bleeding or really bad pain.  I now take a pain killer once a month on average due to cramps and bleed for four to five days.  Pre pill and pre thyroid disease diagnosis I was taking pain killers for a week or two with an eight day heavy bleed.

So, now I am on thyroxine what do I think of being off the pill?  I am…

Sneaky Frugal Fish Cakes for Him Who Won't Eat Sardines

I'm not quite sure that the resident fussy eater has yet realized that I fed him sardines tonight.  In the guise of fish cakes I managed to get him-who-won't-eat-sardines to eat sardines.

Made fish cakes from (enough for three filling servings) the following:

Left over mashed spuds (would have had a splosh of olive oil in it)
AND

Added the following to a food processor, then to the mashed spuds in the saucepan:
Can of olive oil infused sardines;
herbs from the garden;
four olives;
home pickled beans;
fresh beans;
and onion
plenty of salt and pepper.

Added two eggs to the mix, a little soy milk and a little gluten free flour.

Fried in olive oil until cooked and served with parsley sprinkled generously on top.   Mine were a little crisp because I was focussed on this blog but the rest were perfect!

I forgot to add that Him Who Won't (Knowingly) Eat Sardines does not have an allergy.  I am good about looking after people with food allergies.



A few changes

I would like say sorry if you have been on my blog today.  As you can see I am playing around with the layout until I am happy with it.  Normal service will resume soon.

If you like a constant change then I guess this could be a good day for you!

GFC mark 2 risk factor

A risk marker for the GFC has reared its ugly head again:
One concern is that higher U.S. borrowing costs, if they persist, could tighten financial conditions and potentially reduce how aggressively the Federal Reserve raises rates.
The same could be true for the euro area as tighter U.S. financial conditions spill over into Europe, possibly delaying the European Central Bank's timeline to exit stimulus. A firm euro has already contributed to tightening euro zone financial conditions faster than the ECB would like.
"The longer it goes on, the more pronounced the effects are going to be," said Charlie Diebel, head of rates at Aviva Investors. "It complicates the efforts of policymakers because in Europe we still have QE (quantitative easing), but we have some sort of tightening coming at the same time."
Indeed, Commerzbank says the sharp rise in dollar Libor rates could be seen as one additional rate hike since the Fed's December meeting.
Quote from Reuters a…

We Can Do Better!

I have just written to the State Minister for Housing and the Federal Minister of Social Services who holds the housing portfolio at a Federal level.  I would again encourage any other younger person, (well, fast middle aged at thirty something!) to implore their political representatives to do better.

I congratulated both members on their appointments and then suggested some work need to be done.  Poor things!  I proposed the problem which is glaringly obvious to me but I have been reading about economics and finance for quite some time.  Then I proposed some solutions so they are motivated to help us all.

Here's more research that shows the depressing trajectory of home ownership for under fifty fives.  We must do better!  Please think about spending a few minutes and writing an email.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-17/home-ownership-in-australia-declines-for-decades/8677190

Young women left off housing ladder - Australia

I've just written to a federal MP to encourage the government to support home ownership over housing investment. The only way to make housing affordable is to reduce private investment and speculative buying behavior, along with tightening lending which the Royal Commission into banking will lead to.  I would encourage my readers to take a few minutes out of their day to implore their local representative to look after young people.

Without a change in government policy the cost to the government will be immense.  Civil unrest is likely where a whole generation's basic needs are ignored.  I believe in solving these problems in a civil manner.  However, unsustainable debt and price increases will lead to economic hardship in the long run to the community as a whole.

"Home ownership among Australian women has plummeted. Figures published in the latest edition of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) study show rates of home ownership among women hav…

Egg sandwiches and iced coffee

Eating an iced coffee confection complete with yogurt as I have run out of soy or coconut milk.  I made a coffee confection with coffee, xantham gum, a little sugar, last of my vanilla essence and splodges of coconut yogurt as it cooled.  Quite yummy and complete with yogurt bugs.

Quickly made up some curried egg sandwich filling for my mum when she comes home.  Using my mum's recipe: a couple of eggs; half teaspoon curry powder; butter (about three heaped teaspoons); salt and pepper.  Mix and crush together and add to buttered bread.  Place in fridge if you are waiting for people to return.  You could use dairy free mayo to make it dairy free instead of the butter.  Then cut up greens finely and add.

Also made two litres of normal dairy yogurt for my mum.  Apparently the weather is supposed to get bad soon.  There's a severe weather warning current for my area of Hobart.  This time last week a severe weather warning was current when a house lost a roof so it really can be sev…

Reading while it rains

Outside the weather has gone all rainy and a little cool.  It's certain to test the resolve of former Sydney siders moving to Tasmania.  This is the weather my parents would traditionally have the wood firing going in.  My mum would probably be making pumpkin soup on the stove and I'd be ensconced in a book.

Instead I am drinking coffee and trying to find inspiring things for you to read.  Anything to avoid unloading the dishwasher I just filled up a few moments ago.

This kitchen transformation just using decorative pieces is worth a look:
https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/kitchen-decor-ideas-bohemian-rental-before-after-256952

Anyway, better get off my buttocks and go empty that dishwasher!

John Alexander :Houses for living in?

While the word inequality is overused and tends to grossly oversimplify issues it seeks to solve, this move by John Alexander, to reduce investors is a good sign for young people.  I was gobsmacked last night to read of a suburb in Tasmania near town that has reportedly gone up 49 per cent in a year.  If that isn't a sign of speculative spending I do not know what is!  Given most of the houses are old and in poor repair this left me a little flummoxed.

Meanwhile newer suburbs ten to twenty minutes drive away are faring less well and moving into negative growth territory.  The first quarter of this year makes for some interesting reading and a reversal of growth in outer suburbia.  Though bizarrely some of these places have newer housing stock and should maintain value.  Then again, the commute to these places can be utterly exhausting.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/mar/25/john-alexander-on-why-australias-housing-market-risks-grotesque-inequality

Coffee, night mares, gratitude.

While I am incredibly grateful for this iPad, it's inability to do what I want on a semi regular basis is exasperating.  As is recovering from the flu.

What isn't exasperating is the perfect espresso in my room when I can not cope with people too much.  For 67 cents per cup, I decided to buy some more capsules for my machine as it's cheaper than therapy and the coffee store.  Half the time I drink plunger coffee but this is my one regular indulgence at the moment.

I've taken to having the odd nightmare lately and it's put me off going to bed a bit.  Honestly my sleep pattern is rubbish what with the stupid flu, grief that hits me often at night or in the middle and night mares that give my heart a work out.  I know it will all pass except the grief.  I am thankful everyday for my dad even if he's not able to see it.  The grief gets easier I guess.  I remember that my loss is a privilege but, oh it hurts.

Mint tea and contentment

I'm drinking mint tea with honey to help my head cold go away as fast as possible.  After discovering I was out bid on my puny post for a new phone I was relieved.  The phone was great except it had a Windows operating system and I was not keen on that.

After thinking about and nearly buying a new phone I decided to wait.  At the moment if I keep the apps to a minimum and regularly charge my phone it seems to behave itself enough.  Every time I think of buying a new one my phone decides to behave,  The thought of having to sort out a new phone gives me a headache.

So, I am aiming for get another year out of my smart phone and then buy something I want for a reasonable sum (less than $200).

Can't smell & grumps

My ears and nose and eyes are all congested.  Other than that, and a total lack of energy due to a stupid cold or flu virus I feel lousy.  Stupid flu vaccine not out yet either.  I would be properly grumpy but I lack enough energy to do so!

Feeling like I was walking around in bad cloud of candy floss all day I did make myself be domestic. With the odd grump along the way but with no energy behind it.  My grumps were quiet protests more than anything.

Tomorrow I might do something useful also.  The temptation to grump in bed is strong. Ugh.

Updated tech for less

My laptop/ netbook gave up on me a few weeks ago.  I decided to take my time replacing it and have done well using a tablet instead most of the time.  While a tablet ( a gift) is fine for web browsing, it's not great at administration type tasks.  Nor is it good for writing so I've found myself being kicked off my mum's desktop one too many times.

Today, I spent time quietly questioning my sanity as I went through endless options.  In the end I stuck to my budget and warranty hopes.  I surprised myself by buying a refurbished netbook, minus the DVDs player I wanted idealily, for less than $150 with a 12 month warranty.  I would buy a new laptop but the warranties, even for the more expensive models are tiny.  Also the price of laptops lately made me shudder!

My first new laptop cost me $750 and was loved to death after seven years of extensive use.  My second felt good quality but lasted less than two years.  If all laptops lasted seven years I would happily buy new.  Adm…

Saving: Life saving hair cut, espresso & yogurt

Yesterday, my hair was showing up split ends and unattractive messiness.  After I had calmed down from my exasperating day and drunk three cups of tea and sunk into a bath I decided that it would be less stressful to cut my hair.

It took me fifteen minutes and no money to cut my hair and style it.  I was particularly careful and tried to pin the back so I could get it straight.  In the end I did separate the hair a little with pins but basically cut the back half blind. 

It will take a few washes to settle properly.  I always give a cut three days before I decide about it.  It's fine though as I did a blunt cut which is perfect for my fine hair and I did manage to cut the layers straight.

I checked with my Mum to make sure I had not made a huge error of judgement and she said it was a great improvement on my last hair cut (cost $30 plus petrol and temporary loss of sanity).  The back was perfect (I checked it was straight with a mirror last night) but the front is a little short.…

What the frog?!

Years after being diagnosed with thyroid disease, complete with blood tests in my hot little hands, I am thrilled to tell you all that I imagined it.  Apparently the diagnosing doctor, and the pathology team and all the professionals I have spoken to as well, imagined it.  The tone I am going for here is sarcasm.

My diagnosis of coeliac disease is questionable because I fail to see the point of having a camera stuck up my back side when the blood tests, symptoms, and blood tests all point to coeliac disease.  High risk, low return!

So I dealt with the news as badly as you would expect.  I ate until I felt sick,  Now I feel sick and slightly guilty (though all healthy stuff).  Then I had a bath which helped a little.  After that I checked I was not going insane on the internet (many doctors agree I do in fact have both these diseases).

Now I am drinking tea and glaring at the computer.

Hot lemon and easy tunes

Listening to Meant to Be by Bebe Rexha (featuring Florida Georgia Line) on Jango online radio easy listening music mix.  I do so love this song.  I normally hear it on commercial radio when I'm driving in my car.

I managed two and a half generous cups of tea and now I've had my fill.  Today I'm not sure I can face a cup of coffee.  My body seems to be recovering from a cold.  I'm past sneezing but the fatigue is still present.

I have not drunk much alcohol of late.  Probably averaging one glass of wine every three months.  That has not stopped me from wanting to just drink my pain away though.  That strong impulse to drink scares me and I refuse to drink when I feel like that.  That's one of the times lately when I put earphones in my ear from my smart phone and listen to tracks on Spotify app.

I will have to look at getting another phone this week as my battery is getting more unreliable by the day.  Such a faff.

Anyway, I've taken to drinking cups of hot wat…

Retirement and bankruptcy

Perhaps the bank should have refused these loans.  Had they done so, more of my generation could afford a home.  However, just like the GFC in the USA, and every other financial crash before it, people relying on debt and massive risk to get ahead.  The need to recognise their responsibility to pay back a mortgage or five.  Take on debt, buy multiple houses on the basis of things always being fine, and expect to get rich?  Good luck.

This nurse could have retired young on a good income with one house.  Now she's looking bankruptcy clear in the face.  My generation are paying for these types of cases and will continue to as housing, and the prices, have been turned into a speculative sport.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-12/banks-lending-practices-questioned/9534010

I will just move to a tropical island

As oats tend to be fairly cost effective I made a batch of oat milk and oat yogurt.  The oat milk was palatable in coffee but I really did not care for it much.  In tea it was pointless for me.  I quickly added soy milk and slid into a seat contentedly.
In the event things get really grim financially I will just have to move to a tropical island so I can have coconut cream for yogurt!  I will quite happily have it made from coconut flour too.
I now have some oat, with coconut added, yogurt I will have to eat tomorrow.  Maybe it will transform itself overnight but I doubt it.  

A bit of a mess (and a coconut yogurt recipe)

I'm having a bit of a grief ridden day.  It's funny the things that make me cry.  Smells seem to be quite a trigger for me.

The smell of the hardware store got me good yesterday.  It brought back so many good memories of times with my dad that I just felt unbelievably sad that's he's not alive to share anymore with.

I'm not overly motivated today but did manage to get a few things done including a good cry and three cups of tea.

Last night I made some coconut yogurt with ingredients I had on hand.  I normally make it with coconut cream but only had coconut flour which is a bit grittier in texture but actually makes a good tasting yogurt with the following:

Mixed up hot water, coconut flour, one table spoon of raw sugar, gluten free corn flour and a tiny sprinkle of citric acid.  Let it cool to warm and added yogurt culture.  Added to clean container, left in coconut thermos overnight.  Had yogurt after cooling in fridge today.  I'm not sure of the exact quantit…

homemade oat yogurt link

I have not made this but it looks too good to not share!

http://www.laurapeill.com/2016/02/15/oat-yogurt/

Changing financial habits to survive

Good on this young woman changing her habits and paying off debt. Rest assured I will continue to buy most of my clothes from the op shop at less than $5 a piece.
Just this week I repaired my phone with three dollar nail polish!
Lissette Calveiro's quest for Instagram stardom left her in financial ruin http://www.news.com.au/finance/money/costs/26yearold-my-quest-for-instagram-stardom-left-me-financially-ruined/news-story/97fa477fa227aafc4826d461166e3db2 -- shared by Browser
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A funky flask and vibrations

I left ridiculously early for my appointment this morning and grabbed a flask full of coffee and a healthy but crumbly sandwich.  Not much fun with cars rumbling past, and parents dealing with errant children, as I got some good stuff into my system.  Ever pretty but ultimately practical I work a healed sandal for a couple of hours to do an appointment.  Once that was over I leapt into my sneakers for a long walk.

My step dad was horrified and shocked, I just grabbed the real estate guide (free, nothing to buy) and walked past the news agent and coffee shop.

Desperately want a sugar hit but managed to ignore the sugar laden good stuff for today anyway.

Head feels like there's an imp doing some drilling.  Body also has the odd imp drilling for migraine.  Feel like hurling but better than yesterday.  Now drinking tea at home, cheap as chips (cheaper)!

Wartime style steamed pud

WW2 style steamed pud - gluten and dairy free
Best enjoyed slathered in custard.

Went a bit domestic goddess the other day and made a steamed pudding to keep family fixing wildlife corridor.

Had gleaned fruit from someone's garden they donated.

One grated Apple (free)Four tablespoons heaped gluten free flour (a rough guess, I just tipped flour in)Mixed spice 1 teaspoonOne teaspoon jamHalf a cup soy milkOne teaspoon olive oilTwo teaspoons sugarBaking powder half teaspoon 
Mix all together, two teaspoons jam outside pudding basin to glaze.  Steam about twenty minutes.
Serve with custard.

Very filling, best eaten hot.

Carrot Museum

I stumbled across this post, about the importance of carrots to the allies health and UK population during WW2.

Also, had to share, maybe I have before, but CARROT museum!!!
How cool!
http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/history4.html