How quickly life changes! Yesterday I had a job interview at a local university and today I started work.
Thursday, 30 April 2009
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
"Apple pie should be covered with puff or rough puff pastry, and should not be
ornamented. Brushed with white of egg or water, sprinkled with sugar before
baking. A little castor sugar dusted over it as it goes to the table.
All fruit except apple should be covered with short crust (either plain or
good), not ornamented, brushed with egg white or water; sprinkled with
Rabbit or Mutton Pies should be covered with short crust. They are decorated
with roses and leaves brushed over with egg.
Meat Pies should have a hole made at each end, and in the centre, and if not
to be used till next day, a serving of the crust should be removed and placed on
top to allow the air to get into the contents."
from Everylady's Cook-Book, Edited and Compiled by Miss Drake, 1925.
Monday, 27 April 2009
The recipe for banana bread comes from Gran's old copy of the American Ladies' Home Journal Cookbook (1960). I know she went on a cruise to America in the 1960s; I wonder if she bought the cookbook while she was over there?
This banana bread keeps beautifully for days in a sealed container -- if it lasts that long, and is a popular lunchbox treat here at our red house.
Anyhow, here's the recipe. I have added my own variations at the end.
1/3 cup shortening
Cream the shortening with the sugar. Add the mashed bananas and eggs. Sift the flour with the salt and baking soda and add to the creamed mixture, alternating with the milk. Stir in the nuts. Bake in a greased loaf pan, 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches, in a moderate oven, 350 degrees, for an hour. Turn out and cool on rack; wrap in aluminium foil. this bread slices better the second day. Yield: 1 loaf
- This recipe is much better if the bananas are very over-ripe
- I usually omit the salt
- I use butter instead of shortening.
- I usually substitute self raising flour for the flour and soda
- I don't usually include the nuts
- Cooking time will be about 10 minutes less if you are using a modern fan-forced oven
For more kitchen tips visit Kitchen Tip Tuesday at www.tammysrecipes.com.
Sunday, 26 April 2009
The Cutest Blog on the Block: The largest number of free backgrounds in one spot, mostly in bright, cheerful designs
The Background Fairy: I have only just discovered this site and I love it. These designs are perfect for the blogger who wants a subtle, pretty backgrounds that doesn't overwhelm her blog.
Cute and Cool Blog Stuff: Funky and whimsical, an absolute delight.
Aqua Poppy Designs: More bright and beautiful designs, although at present they are all for 2-column blogs
LeeLou Blogs: Lots of free layouts for Blogger blogs
Simply Chic Blog Backgrounds: More pleasing designs. Some of the earlier ones will not cover a widescreen monitor fully, so please check when you install them.
Free Digital Scrapbooking Materials
Redesign Your Blog #1: DREAM
Saturday, 25 April 2009
Dulce Et Decorum Est
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori" is a Latin quote from Horace meaning "it is sweet and fitting to die for one's country."
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Over the past year, with all its stresses, uncertainties, and changes, I have been thinking a lot about happiness and what it means. It is so easy to dwell in self-pity and resentment when life changes in ways we can't control. Believe me when I say that I know this first-hand!
Even prayer, if it is self-focused, can fuel the misery. Do you remember how, in On the Banks of Plum Creek Laura and Mary are taught to pray for others, not for themselves? So instead of asking for Christmas presents for themselves, they pray that Pa will get Christmas horses. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with praying for our own needs, but God-focused prayer and prayer for others are essential parts of the mix. (If you have never read the Little House Books, I thoroughly recommend them. Without being preachy they provide great lessons in making the best of hardship and finding happiness in simple things.)
Without being an expert on psychology, I have concluded that there are four different kinds of happiness.
1. Having a happy nature: We all know people like this; nature's born optimists who smile at difficulties, whose boats float smoothly over the sharpest rocks, and who see the best in everyone. We also know others who are the opposite; who are negative and critical, who envy others their good fortune, and whose glasses are always half empty. Most of us fall somewhere in between. And while the Pollyannas of this world can be irritating to those not equally gifted, we can all learn from their attitude.
2. Having happy circumstances: Studies have shown that people in prosperous nations report greater happiness than those struggling in third-world poverty. There is even a "Satisfaction with Life Index" where all the countries in the world are ranked. Most of us think deep down that if our financial problems were taken away and we had as much money as we could want, then we would indeed be happy. But what about all those wealthy heirs and heiresses who ruin themselves with drugs and desperate behaviour? Clearly, money isn't everything, but some money does help.
3. Happiness that sneaks up unawares: Even when life is grey and ordinary, happy moments can strike us unexpectedly. A baby's smile, spring flowers, witnessing a sunrise or sunset, an act of kindness given or received; can all bring a glimpse of happiness. If we learn to foster and encourage those moments and treasure them, then we can bring greater happiness not only to ourselves but to those around us.
4. Happiness that is a choice: Interviews with the long-term happily-married show that the happiest, longest marriages are not those with the most ideal circumstances or the most ideal couples, but those where the partners are loving and forebearing, willing to overlook minor faults and build on their partner's strengths.
This attitude of choosing happiness can be applied to life in general too. Yet misery and passivity can seem a much easier path. However, if we didn't choose our present circumstances (and many of us have suffered setbacks in the last year or two) then we can choose how to approach the future. We can choose to greet each day with a positive attitude, to treat others well, to work hard at whatever tasks befall us, to pray earnestly, and to seek changes that will improve our lives in the future.
What makes you happy?
Monday, 20 April 2009
There are moments when time seems to stand still. When an hour feels like a minute, yet the minutes seem to go on forever.
Easter Sunday was like that. My brother and I sat quietly, watching the sun go down over the Spencer Gulf. We had so little time to spend together, only one short weekend, and we hadn't seen each other since our father's funeral two years ago, yet the time while the sun set felt like a year in a day.
Having been raised on the east coast, I had never seen the sun set over the water before. It was a treasured moment, a taste of eternity.
Sunday, 19 April 2009
You Are Blissful
You are passionate about life and thrilled with the world.
You aren't just feeling good... you're feeling great. Happiness comes easily to you.
You are a truly radiant person. People feel your warm, jubilant vibes.
You truly make the world a happier place. And a better place too.
Saturday, 18 April 2009
I am not sure if they belong to the daisy family, but they do have daisies' round, happy faces and golden centres.
My brother gave them to me when he arrived for Easter. They are a cheerful way to remember a happy weekend.
Thursday, 16 April 2009
Monday, 13 April 2009
I had a "Happy Easter" blog post planned, but it didn't happen. Life and family activities got in the way. Which is just as it should be.
Easter, that most holy, sad-then-joyful time in the Christian calendar has been very busy. My youngest brother and his girlfriend drove all the way from Sydney to spend the weekend with us. A little brother who will drive over 18 hours in each direction to spend one weekend with his big sister, niece and nephews, is truly a wonderful being. His girlfriend is wonderful too.
In addition, some dear friends from Melbourne have been in town and we have enjoyed their company immensely. The children especially liked spending time with a family of their old friends.
We spent the weekend:
eating: way too many chocolate eggs, home-made hot cross buns, and chocolate cake decorated with Easter eggs, and chocolate self-saucing pudding with Cadbury's turkish delight ice cream.
playing: Blokus, Trivial Pursuit, chess and Wii Fit, brought by my brother (and sadly taken home by him too, though he did very generously offer to let us keep it)
walking: through the Adelaide Botanical Gardens and along the Torrens River in glorious autumn sunshine
watching: the sun set over the Spencer Gulf at Henley Beach
Friday, 10 April 2009
For the last couple of weeks I have had an exciting little secret: "Our Red House" has been invited to feature in a newspaper article!
A few weeks ago, John Harris, who writes the "Technofile" column for the Independent Weekly, asked if he could interview me about my blog.
And yesterday, the paper was published, so now I can tell you about it.
is a link to digital version of the paper. You have to click through to page 31.
And here is a link that will (hopefully) take you straight to the right page. You can zoom in to read the article on the bottom right-hand side. If you can't zoom, try clicking on the article and it should enlarge.
Tuesday, 7 April 2009
Sunday, 5 April 2009
And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way.
And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord:
Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.
And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve.
Friday, 3 April 2009
Wednesday, 1 April 2009
Computer as Envisaged in 1927, Illustration to the Thought Machine by Ammianus Marcellinus
Ever since I began blogging I have wanted to learn html. I even borrowed a copy of HTML 4 For Dummies
from the library but it didn't help much. I guess I'm just too dumb. Or perhaps the ancient edition was the problem.
(For those unfamiliar with html, it's the language that you write a web-page in. Your web browser reads the html and 'Voila!', a web page.)
Although Blogger does most of the html for me, there are times when a greater knowledge of html would be very useful; for example, if I wanted to design my own blog background or increase the number of columns without deleting all my other information.
Just as I was beginning to think that html might be beyond the grasp of lesser blogging mortals such as myself, I read on Life in a Shoe that Kim's young daughters are taking html lessons on the internet.
This, I thought, requires further investigation. I followed the link on Kim's blog and found a website dedicated to teaching all sorts of computer information. It even looks straightforward enough for me, the queen of all Luddites, to understand. Best of all, the tutorials are free.
Here is the link to the html tutorials.
Well, tickle me pink! I'm gonna go learn me some html. Bye for now!
Postscript: My teenage son (and family technology guru) just told me about another useful web tutorial site called http://www.tutorialized.com/. It has tutorials for Photoshop and lots of other programs.