Slightly Irregular Conformity

And… I’m back!

It occurred to me that, since I’m about to ditch Windows and return to a linux system, thereby embracing all things open source (well, mostly), returning to an open source blogging platform might not be such a shabby idea.  Rather than starting all over again, I’m being a good wee geek and doing a bit of URL recycling.  Instead of a brand new blog, I’m resurrecting an old one.  It’ll probably be much like it’s previous incarnation as a random spot for me to spill the stuff that I don’t quite know what else to do with, but that’s fine with me.  And if you’re here, and reading this, then it’s probably fine with you too.

I’ve been using Blogger for the last while.  It’s all nicely integrated with Google+, which I love, but… I like change, and I like the idea of maybe NOT having everything under Google’s umbrella.  We’ll see.

In the meantime… here I is.

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On The Move

I’m on the move, again.  It seems to happen every year or three, when I realise that I’m not posting much and decide to blame it on the awkward platform I’m using.  Wordpress has a great service, but it’s geared towards people running it on their own servers.  I’m much too lazy for that, and while I was looking at an old blog of mine (a book review one, found here), I found that Blogger has had a major overhaul.  And I like it!

So my new blog is to be found here.  If you follow this one, please hop over and follow that one – I don’t know if I’ll be posting much here any more.

Confession Time

I have this little problem.  I go through phases of being interested in something (cross stitch, art journaling, photography…).  I get really excited about them, announce that I’m starting some grand project, then lose interest and quietly hope no one asks how I’m going with it.

So, it’s with a large amount of trepidation that I have a confession to make.  This time, I’m hoping that having an audience – even an imaginary one – will prod me into living up to it.

I’m fat.  Well, I’m round.  My mother says that I can get away with it because I’m tall, but the fact is, according to the BMI system, I’m past fat and into obese.  Which hasn’t actually bothered me all that much in the ten years that I’ve been this size.

Except, for some reason, I’ve decided that I would rather be smaller.  It would be nice to be able to go shopping for clothes in an actual store, instead of mail order.  It would be even nicer if my pants didn’t wear out where my legs rub together.

I don’t have big issues or hangups about my size – but I’m starting to take steps to change it.  I joined a gym and got a program from a trainer there.  I’m tracking what I eat (boy has THAT been a revelation!), and I’m dragging the bathroom scales out to peer at them suspiciously each day.

Why am I confessing this now?  Because I like the idea of people knowing what I’m doing.  I figure it’ll give me that extra prod to do better.

So there’s a new ticker, showing off how much or how little I’m managing to achieve.  I don’t have a goal weight in mind, really; at this stage I’m counting little victories, not big ones.  Starting with the fact that, even though I’m going to overshoot my daily calorie intake for today, I’m still munching on carrots instead of breaking out the chips and beer.  Yay for me!

Mind. Blown.

I’ve just finished reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman.  Literally, just finished, I closed it about ten minutes ago.  I usually think about a book for a day or so, then write some stuff down to help me remember it.  This book, I’m not so sure I’m going to get very far past ‘ohmygodthisbookisamazing’.  Maybe I’ll just cover the rest of the page in little love hearts to emphasise the point.

The point being, I don’t think I can hold all of this book in my mind all at once, so I can think about it logically.  The scope of things, the range of people, the expanse of the landscape, is enough that I’m sort of sitting here like I’ve been brained with a very large hammer.

I have managed to grasp a couple of points, and have added about ninety things to my mental list of things to read more about, and I’m happy that there are author’s names in the acknowledgements, so I can start hunting down some new-to-me books.

I think what I’ve ended up with, at the end of this journey, is a vague feeling that I’ve learned something about the nature of people, and of gods, which can’t be a bad thing.  Once again, living at the bottom of the world lends a definite feeling of distance to proceedings, so it seems more fantasy to me than it would to someone who lived in Minnesota, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing either.

Better Than Potato Salad

I have a feeling this recipe came from rec.food.cooking, but I can’t recall exactly.  The group is still going, having been adopted by google – click here to check it out.  As with any usenet group, beware – there’s a lot of spam around, but I’ve found some real gems there over the years, including a massive FAQ that gives you weights for every measurement of food you can think of.

Anyway, onto the recipe:
The background and string are from freebies from Scrap Girls (I really recommend signing up to their daily newsletter, it’s fantastic even for a non-Photoshop user), and the font used is called Cinnamon Cake, by Brittney Murphy Designs.
The recipe itself is really good for taking to barbecues – it makes a ton of salad, so you’ll need to use the biggest bowl you can find.  It’s also good for taking to work during the week, but if you’re planning on doing that it might be a good idea to add the radishes separately each day, as they tend to discolour and look unappetising.

Feijoa Sauce

My cookbook has been getting new pages lately, but they’ve all been boring, non-foody things like how to store vegetables properly, and ingredient substitution charts.  All those things that the other women in my family all seem to know already.  Guess I’m a bit of a slowcomer to the whole housewife / efficiency thing.

This page is one that I’ve just finished, since I have a bucket of feijoas sitting on the kitchen bench, and another half-dozen buckets-worth out under the trees in the back section.  I love these little fruits, and have always eaten them raw or in a crumble, but this is the first time I’ve thought to use them for anything else.  Should be interesting…
This recipe sheet is cheating, really, as it’s part of a quick page from Scrap Girls.  The font is called Throw My Hands Up In The Air, by Kimberley Geswein, and the recipe seems to be all over the internet.  I don’t know where it came from originally.

Inside my A5 Metropol

So, it turns out I’m a closet filophile – I’ve been obsessed with planners for a while.  I had a Filofax personal Mode, but kept getting annoyed with the texture of the tiny squares all over the outside.  I went to a personal sized planner made by a local company, that had a wallet part at the back, which was really good – but the paper size has been chafing me for months.  So last week I gave in and returned to the Filofax fold with a beautiful red Metropol.

I thought I’d taken this in good light, but it’s coming up much more pink than I expected.  The outside colour is much closer to how the inside photographed:
The cover photo is an image I came across at Stock Exchange that I really like, by a photographer named Yuman.
The pen is a nice, thick barrelled Parker with a ballpoint insert.  I really like the weight of these pens, they’re quite a bit heavier than usual ones.  I popped a gen insert into it for a few days, but it was too patchy to write much more than two words at a time, so I’m sticking with ballpoint.  I was thinking of getting a fountain pen, but anything that goes into my handbag has to withstand a bit of abuse, and I’d hate to bust one open over everything.
First tabbed section (behind the usual ff info pages and guff) is a Month to View look from Ray at My Life.  I love the elegance of his templates – much nicer than the dated ones from diyplanner.
These are the business day-per-page inserts that came with the filo, but I’ve been using them for a week and not liking them.  I thought I’d try using the appointment side as a food diary, but since I’m not trying very hard with my fitness, it’s really just a list of the junk I’ve been eating (pineapple lumps for afternoon tea!).  I’ve always used week-per-view, so will be having a go at creating some in A5 size over the weekend.
Bills!  I’m trying to survive with no credit cards, so have modified the columns to track which account is paying for what.  It’s not set in stone; more a reminder of what I can’t afford to forget.  Such as the last item – $2.50 for a fundraising chocolate bar.  Really important stuff, lol…
Next up is the book section, where I list what I’ve read, what I’d like to read and where I can buy it, and what is coming up in the book clubs I belong to.
I’ve started using the book log sheets from My Life All In One Place, which are making life much easier.  I’ve started to use top tabs here as well, so I can find the most recent page faster.
Lists for everything else come next, including a page from my personal that I didn’t want to write out all over again.  Mostly all that’s here so far is the list of items needed for a photo scavenger hunt I’d like to do.
A plastic pocket carries a couple of things I don’t want to part with – a photo of the spitfire my grandfather loved (I borrowed the image to add to the hymn sheet for his funeral, and ‘forgot’ to give it back.  I like having it with me) and a handmade postcard from an email friend, plus a few appointment cards.
I’ve got the A-Z index tabs, but haven’t started using them yet.  I only have about two dozen contacts, so will be putting them on a single sheet in with the rest of the lists.
That’s what I’ve got so far.  After a week, I don’t think that’s bad going!  It will definitely be getting some more tweaking, including swapping the diary pages out for something else, but this bigger size is more me than the personal size.
Thanks for stopping by to have a look!

New filo love…

Last week I spent a couple of days completely obsessing about upgrading from a personal planner to an A5 filofax.  Then  I found one on special, online.  Then I had to wait an agonising four days for it to arrive.  And now it’s here, and I’m being stymied by the dark winter evenings, so I haven’t managed to take a thousand photos of it – yet.

But, I have just discovered that other, more talented people than I have been sharing their filos on YouTube, so while I haven’t yet shared my spreads, I can at least indulge in a bit of planner voyeurism…

And as soon as I can, I shall introduce you to my new love, a lovely red A5 Metropol…

Pikelets

Pikelets are a kiwi staple, and one of the first things we’re taught to cook as kids.  It’s also about the only reason I have a few Edmonds cookbooks floating about the place – I can never remember the exact measurements, so have to dig a book out each time.  Every time I make them, I end up wishing that I’d doubled the batch size, so today I sat down and did this page for my cookbook, with double amounts of everything:

Image

The beautiful green wallpaper is from a kit by KimB called Freshly Elegant.  Embellishments are by Misstyscrap, and are from a kit called My Little Garden.  The heading font is called Candy Inc, and was designed by Billy Argel, and the body text is a standard linux font called UR Bookman.

Broccoli Soup

Another recipe that I have kept for years, and have no idea where it came from.  Why didn’t I think it was important to note sources?  This one is for Broccoli Soup, and I haven’t tried it yet, but it sounds delicious:

This is built from pieces of a free kit by Wilma, who designs for Digiridoo Scraps.  I love the colour combination, and I’m going to re-use this one for more recipes.  For the font, I’ve used one of the linux system default, DejaVu Serif Semi-Condensed.

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