Thursday, December 30, 2010
How have you been spending your break?
Friday, December 24, 2010
Only the Muppets are able to pull off this level of schmaltz and still be entertaining! But I must say I do like the message, and I do think it's applicable no matter what festival you celebrate at this time of year. At least now we know too what Kermit and Miss Piggy's kids look like!
Hope that you have a wonderful festive season and I wish you every good thing for 2011. Thanks for stopping by in the Yellow Wood! x
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
Must be a bit of nostalgia in the air...the 90s today with a bit of Riot Grrrrrl fabulousness from Veruca Salt.
I am hoping to make this cake over the weekend (pre-Xmas hoo-hah not withstanding). Sounds yummy, huh? I'll report back!
2 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot water
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
1 large egg
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger (optional)
In a medium sized bowl, sift and thoroughly mix together flour, baking soda, and spices. In a small bowl, whisk together hot water, molasses, and honey. In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, and egg. Add the wet and dry ingredients alternately. Whisk your batter well after each addition. Mix in the crystallized ginger if you so desire. Pour batter into a square 9 inch pan that has been buttered and floured. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Let cake cool for 10 minutes and serve with a dollop of softly whipped cream.
[From Hex magazine]
What're your plans for the weekend? Cooking up any Christmas/Solstice goodies?
Thursday, December 16, 2010
I have been pretty much nose-to-the-grindstone lately, writing some short stories (with a hopeful view to publication!) and immersing myself in a completely new field of research which I hope to start writing on next year. For roughly ten years I focussed on one particular subject area while I worked in academia but now, out of academia but still wanting to research and write, I have gone in another direction altogether. It's fun but a lot of work!
My reason for telling you all this is to primarily explain why there's not been a lot of action here in the Yellow Wood. To make up for this, I give you two gems of 80s music (!) - The Blow Monkeys "It doesn't have to be this way" and Aztec Camera's "All I need is everything". I loved these bands way back when and I even won The Blow Monkeys album in a radio competition. And I had more than a passing fancy for both Dr Robert (TBM lead singer) and Roddy Frame (AC lead singer). Ooh...that floppy fringe!
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
I have never had a lot of pets - I had a couple of fish and birds when I was growing up - but I love animals, especially cats. There is a cat who lives next door to us here, I've mentioned him before. He has been wandering through our garden regularly for some months but he has been very reticent about being touched in any way. In fact he would dart away if you approached him.
I have been leaving little treats out for him - some cat food, some kibble, fresh water, milk - and slowly he has begun to trust us. The last couple of days he has allowed me to pet him and scratch him between his ears and it has just been lovely to be permitted to do that. For him to essentially say 'Ok, I trust you to come into my personal space'. Now he will present himself for a tummy scratch without even the promise of food!
I am worried about him, though. He is thin and he has fleas but no flea collar. Do you know of any way I could surreptitiously treat him for fleas - which are obviously causing him distress - without his owners taking umbrage?
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
(http://tinyhappy.typepad.com/tiny_happy/) So much so that I have returned to trying my hand at a bit of crafting. I've made a couple of felt brooches (love felt) and some little notebooks I am calling 'memory books' - just to stick in little bits and pieces like photos, ticket stubs, pressed flowers and so on. It's been fun - I haven't done anything like this for awhile. If you're interested, I will also be posting these bits and pieces in my Etsy shop -
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
I have always been an extremely shy person - although I am getting better with that - so I think some of my need for aloneness stems from that. Added to the shyness, I am an only child so my earliest memories are of making my own fun rather than relying on the input of others. Whatever the cause may be, now I find that even an hour or two of quiet solitude is just the ticket for calming any feelings of anxiety or angst I might be experiencing or for just getting myself back into my own rhythm, rather than jogging haphazardly along to the rhythm of others.
Apparently one can be diagnosed now as a 'highly sensitive person' and I think I am perhaps leaning in that direction - dislike of crowds, aversion to loud noises and bright lights, need for peace and solitude. I also know it's important though to balance that need with regular interaction with the rest of the world lest one goes a little hermity and weird. I do think it's good to be able to recognise and respond to one's feelings, though.
Are you a 'loner' like me or do you love to be surrounded by people 24/7?
Monday, November 29, 2010
PS Sorry to make you think of Christmas in November :)
Thursday, November 25, 2010
I like to have a good cry. Don't misunderstand me - I don't like to be unhappy - but I like a good cry when it's not for real - that is, when I'm crying over a sad movie. Why? I'm not sure. It's an opportunity to release emotion, I guess, which sometimes I have a tendency to repress. My mother tells me that even when I was a baby, hearing another baby cry would set me off. So maybe I'm a sympathy crier? But why am I telling you all this? Because today I've picked out three truly blubber-worthy clips - first, The Bridges of Madison County, second Brief Encounter and third, An Affair to Remember. Oh my. Especially Bridges. My DH is embarrassed to watch that one with me. Do you love a good cinema sniffle?
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
This is a beautiful depiction of the craziness that is social networking. I say this having lately started to get very into Facebook. I won't be tweeting, though. 'I just had breakfast'. 'I am watching telly'. Who cares??? Is anyone else on Facebook or Twitter? What do you think of it? Seriously, I do find FB rather fun - so long as it is kept within certain boundaries. I can see how it invites all sorts of pitfalls for young people though, with cyberbullying and so on, as we were discussing a few weeks ago.
PS Please take a moment to pat Kumiho, my virtual pet. He won't bite!
PPS If you are at all interested in all things vampiric, I have started a new blog at http://zeronikolaivampire.blogspot.com/ Would love to know what you think :)
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
It is a touching day, irrespective of your views of the rightness or wrongness of these wars, given the awful anguish and pain that comes for all of those participating in conflicts of such magnitude.
But I think it also needs to be remembered that as dreadful as the soldier's lot is in war, there are many other people not directly involved in fighting who suffer terribly too. I am thinking especially of women who are raped in war. I never cease to be shocked and appalled by this common notion that women are somehow part of the spoils of war. You burnt down our village, therefore we get to rape your women. As though a ruined house and a 'ruined' woman were two equivalent objects to barter. As though women were the possessions of men to be given or taken.
There was a group in Australia during the 1970s and 1980s called Women Against Rape (WAR). They tried to march on ANZAC Day (another Australian memorial day), to make the point that raped women were as much a part of the wartime experience as anyone else. They were blocked at every turn by officialdom and members of the public alike. They were insulting the memory of the war dead, they were insulting the returned soldiers, it was claimed. Even when they made it clear that that was not what they were doing by laying wreathes at war memorials, even the wreathes were given back to them, unwanted.
Acknowledging the suffering of everyone in war does not insult the soldiers. Soldiers in war do an extraordinary job that many of us could not even begin to attempt, so acknowledging the depth and breadth of wartime suffering in fact makes their efforts even more remarkable. Not every soldier is a rapist. Of course not. But it needs to made more clear that war is hell for men and women. It is not an exclusive experience. It is a tragic blight on all of humanity. And the realisation of this, that we are all people - not possessions - in the face of such horrors is something to truly remember.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
It is this sort of organisation that makes me realise two things - (1) I am very wise to be scared of ants and (2) It is pointless to be scared of ants, because they are obviously smarter and more organised than me anyway :)
Summer at last seems to be on its way - 26 degrees today, 29 tomorrow and 32 on Friday. We turned the overhead fan on in the living room for the first time this year last night. I always have mixed emotions about this time of year - for every delightful 25 degree day, there is a 45 degree one waiting for me in February. But for now, it's November and it's pleasantly warm.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
The week has ended quite well, with me making tentative moves to take off in another direction academically. I have moved largely out of the academic sphere, officially speaking - that is, I'm not teaching anymore - but I am still keen on writing and researching so it's been wonderful to come across a new topic and make solid moves towards working on it. My previous research interests I've been working on for ten years or more, so it's quite lovely to start afresh. And that's how it feels - fresh - everything else was getting pretty stale! It's been a pretty tumultous couple of years for me professionally and personally for me, so it would be good to think some of it was sorting itself out.
The weather is so nice at the moment too - just warm enough (without being hot) and with gentle breezes wofting through. All in all, not a bad note on which to end the week!
What have you been up to this week?
PS Just had to post the above clip - perfect for anyone who's self employed!
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Started making some wristbands for my Etsy shop which involved me successfully using my sewing machine. Woo-hoo!
Saw a massive redback spider in our backyard - very poisonous - and my DH saw a brown snake at his work. They are the second most venomous snake in the world. Now, who wants to come to Australia for the summer! No?
Friday, October 15, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
I am doing some reading about Poland at the moment for the writing I'm doing and I have just been reading about the town of Zalipie, where the women of the town do folk art paintings both out and inside the houses. Lovely! I love folk art and I am slowly amassing a little collection of it (mainly from Russia), so I would love to visit this town one day.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
I have been having some fun fiddling around with my new(ish) camera and the computer. The photo on top looks to me like something from a hyper-exaggerated Willy Wonka world with its bursting colours while the second one looks like an old photo to me - 60s or 70s - taken on a Polaroid. My husband thought it looked like something taken on another planet!
I have to show you this beautiful neck adornment made by my grandmother (I think) many, many years ago. It's made of black beading to look like (I presume) the popular Victorian material, Jet. Having said this, I wonder if it isn't in fact older since my grandmother was not even an embryo, let alone making jewellery in the Victorian age! I'll never know for sure now but I found it languishing in an old tin in the sleep-out. I now have it on display on my dressing table.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
David Bowie has been my soundtrack this last day or so as I've been having a little burst of creative energy - doing some writing and making some new cards. I especially love this song - "The Man who Sold the World". I was hoping to find an original 70s clip of it but this one is pretty good anyway. I had no idea either that Nirvana (another fave of mine) had done a version. So here they are :) Love that opening guitar riff!
I am also reading The Fairy Tale Series of books which are adult rewritings of traditional fairy tales. Tam Lin by Pamela Dean is my favourite book ever and I found Briar Rose by Jane Yolen and Fitcher's Brides by Gregory Frost in the thrift shop yesterday. I love the surreal world of fairy tales so I am thoroughly enjoying these. Do you have a favourite fairy tale?
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010