no egg on this face

egg

Baking day. Eggless baking day. Petite Fille has an egg allergy and until her allergy specialist gives her the all clear, we shall eat eggless. To be more accurate, she is eggless and no sugar (parents choice). If we do use sugar, we use dextrose.

Daughter2 is dairy free, need, not choice, and gluten free as much as possible.  Add son in law who is a food technologist and knows all the horrible things that go into our food, and it makes cooking for a special occasion… well, let’s just say, challenging.

D2 is not home on Christmas day, so we can eat dairy, but eggless and sugar free. Today, I made eggless, banana bread and chocolate berry muffins. I also baked a batch of eggless chocolate muffins.

The Monday after Christmas , D2 will be home. In fact, we are hosting extended family, and that means the full menu is dairy free, eggless and no, or little, sugar. I try to avoid nuts and seeds due to my diverticulitis. Whew!

Others are bring food as well, mainly salads, but I always make sure I cover our family needs. I don’t ask others to meet our “standards”,  or requirements. I tell them to bring what they want to eat. Somehow it all comes together, but it is a bit of a juggling act and can be exhausting. Also costly.

It is hard to reconcile why “healthy” food should cost so much more than “unhealthy” food. I know, it is all about supply and demand, and economies of scale, but maybe some government help there, might trim the health care budgets in the long run.

Also, supermarkets don’t carry many of the items and that means a trip to the health food store, not an easy thing when one lives in the country. If I want chocolate I can get half an aisle of chocolate and lollies, but dextrose? Rarely, and when I do it is in the home brewing area!

Christmas, I know. I won’t get onto my soapbox… but it does deserve a “conversation” as the politicians like to say, don’t you think?

 

In which Flamingo Dancer realises that even fast learners can be slow to learn, sometimes.

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In bed, due to another bout of diverticulitis, I clicked onto a blog I follow and was introduced to the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kendo.

Hello, epiphany!

Yes, indeed the little grey cell lit up like a firefly. I have always considered myself a fast learner; prided myself on being a fast learner, but it has taken me a life time to realise that a slow, quiet regard for clutter cuts the strings of guilt when disposing of “stuff”.

Have you ever stood there, that white blouse that is still in great condition but no longer a favourite, textbook published in 1984, or ugly Christmas gift in hand and wavered in your decision to cast it from your life? I have, right to this very day.

Well, that was until I read Marie Kendo’s book and realised that a mix of gratitude, for and to, the clutter; feng shui and a zen state of mind releases any indecision or guilt. Thank the item for its service, for helping to bring you to this point in time, and then send it on its way. Hallelujah!

It’s only a short book, about 235 ebook pages with a long index at the back of the book, so it only took me a couple of hours to read. At the end of the reading I had to hobble from bed and find a garbage bag to stuff some clothes into; clothes that had survived two or three recent “declutterings”. Out went a couple of things I kept because a daughter gave handed them onto me, and the I might get something to go with that brown skirt that was really not a favourite anymore. Into the bag, thanks for the service and here’s to the future.

I am a born again declutterer. A guilt free declutterer. I have my resolution for 2015!

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pausing to care

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This day has brought Australia a second tragedy. Eight children have been found dead, in Cairns. A woman, assumed to be their mother, is in hospital with stab wounds. Reading between the media lines it is possible she has been the perpetrator of this tragedy.

This day, along with the siege that occurred in Sydney earlier this week, that ended in the death of two victims, has brought the Australian people to a sad place, just days before Christmas.

The world also witnessed the death of students and teachers in the Pakistan school attack. It is hard to pick up the Christmas spirit to celebrate after all these horrific events.

Hug your loved ones.

Bunny shadows, Santa and searching for a hit man in a shopping mall.

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Petite Fille, 22 months, sat shyly on Shopping Mall Santa’s knee and when asked “What do you want?” replied, “Change nappy”.

Perhaps a timely reminder that it is the simple things in life that are often the best?

 

We had stood in line for almost an hour, waiting to arrive at Santa’s sleigh. At one stage, I was using sunlight through the dome overhead to make shadow puppets on the floor to entertain our girl. The old bunny shadow still works, though she is an easy audience.

The situation was not helped by the young couple with a babe only weeks old, who insisted on having several rounds of photos taken and examining them minutely, trying to get the perfect shot with a baby who was too young to smile, or even direct his eyes. He was an ugly baby too. It was never going to happen.

The session was brought to an end when baby burst into screams. However, not before a certain FD Grandmother started fuming and wondering how much psychological damage she would cause to the assembled young if she beat the brains out of the new mother. I wonder if there is a “dial a hit man” service for that kind of thing? Christmas goodwill, bah humbug!

In need of caffeine, we moved onto a nearby cafe, where Petite Fille admired her own, and her Grandmother’s, beauty reflected in a glass door as she waited for a sandwich. A woman sitting at the next table sat watching us for some time before taking out a notebook and commencing to write furiously. She maintained this the entire time we ate lunch, only glancing our way occasionally. I had the weirdest feeling that I was being written into her novel plot.

International woman of mystery, femme fatale, international spy masquerading as a country grandmother? How do you think she created my character? Who am I?

First person to reply “drudge” is going to get it.

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A moment in time between a Flamingo Dancer and a bird of a different colour

Mr FD spied with his little eyes, one of these sitting on top of a basket of old blankets outside the patio door.

Tawny Frogmouth 1

Tawny Frogmouth

 

Except our photos are more like this :

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It was evening, hence why he was out and about

 

I just grabbed my iPhone to snap, but I wasn’t going to miss the moment just to perfect the photo.

The Tawny Frogmouth may have been a baby, as it was still rather fluffy. We wondered if it was the product of the fortification we witnessed between a pair of Tawny Frogmouths in the branches of a tree near the front of our block a little while ago… It seems to be a bit of a spectator sport for Mr FD and I, watching creatures fornicate. When we were a courting couple we arrived  home to see two cats fornicating under Mr FD’s share house, and one of the resulting kittens became a family pet, for the next 18 years! We also spied a pair of canoodling green frogs on our drive way not long after we moved into our Brisbane house a decade ago. We did not see another green frog until we moved to the country.

The little guy had settled on top of a basket of old blankets I was going to store in the garage to make forts with Petite Fille should ever the need arise. He flew away eventually, ending Augie’s dream of a tidbit for dinner (don’t worry, Augie Dog does not eat birds and was well enclosed in the house anyway!)

Another round of applause for country living.