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Amongst other things, this is a love story.... the theme changes occasionally... this year it is fitness and learning to love yourself.

29 August 2013

The eight natural doctors.

Go for a walk,
in the sun.
Take a deep breath.
Drink a glass of water.
Prepare a fresh meal.
Hug someone you love
laugh a lot or at least a little.
Rest and Repeat.

Thanks Free Range Stock

Fresh air

22 August 2013

Just add salt.

The first year I started cooking for my bonus kids was tough.  They seemed so afraid of some of the new foods I made that they would cry and even gagged a few times...they were used to their Dad cooking simple meals or buying them 'treats'.  I did my best to try and please them but there was no way in my lifetime that I was going to let these kids eat hot dogs, pizza and chicken nuggets as a staple on my watch.  Junk food was no longer to be considered a treat, and a whole lot more salad, vegetables and home made food was going to be on the menu.

Four things I did to introduce new foods.

1) Make a dish they have learned to love. The day before I make them something they never used to like but now do. I reminded them how they used to hate it, and praise their maturing taste buds. "When you were babies you only liked milk, now you are growing up and enjoy lots of new foods"... I encourage a conversation about the first time they tried something and the first time they liked it. I remind them that the food is the same as always but their taste buds are different.  I promised them that we only make them eat healthy, fresh food because we love them. If we didn't care about them we would let them eat all the rubbish they wanted and they would end up being unhealthy and most likely unhappy adults. I shared a few 'little known facts' based on my own experiences, like you only have to try a food 17 times before your taste buds learn to love it. The kids love reporting that they like a food before the 17th taste, though we never really keep count. It goes something like this. Child says "Ida I love celery now and I have only tasted it 9 times."  I say "wow you are growing up fast, soon you'll be asking me to cook mushrooms!"

Thanks Keli Nina Perkins

Add lots of salt and/or sugar.  If your kids love fast food and highly processed rubbish, all the real flavours come from salt and sugar.  I add extra salt to new dishes and let them add more salt, until I'm sure all they can really taste is the salt. Of course each time I cook the dish again I add more of what we like and a lot less salt. One chilli seed at a time (not the whole chilli) to build a tolerance. I introduce new flavours slowly, for example, I chop or wipe onion or garlic over the board then chop the other vegetables, so the subtle flavour of onion is on everything but you can't see it, then occasionally a few finely chopped pieces make it in to the dish... oops! It took a little time but now I don't have to keep onion in a separate dish for the adults, we all eat onion in our salad.

Keep them a little bit hungry and they are more likely to eat a new dish. This,I learned from a Grandmother who raised her 9 children, on a farm by herself after her husband died in his early forties. Serve a small breakfast and lunch and no snacks throughout the day. When the mid afternoon munchies arrive I offer them some water, if they don't want water then they are not really thirsty or hungry. If they are 'starving' I remind them that poor kids are lucky if they eat once a day, and they will survive the two hours until dinner time just fine.  No sweet drinks on the table, but plenty of water (for all that extra salt!).  Prepare the new food alongside a small portion of one their favourites. Give them too many choices and they are not going to try something new.  They are more likely to taste and appreciate a new food if they are hungry.  I also encourage them to help me in the kitchen and do little taste tests along the way.

Give them information.  What makes people unhealthy and fat, what vitamins make people's bodies grow strong, brains smarter and skin glow?  What is really in a hot dog and what is candy really made of.  I make them aware of how they are always hungry an hour or two after a pasta meal but rarely after a well balanced meal. I planted seeds and we watched them grow and tasted our produce with and without salt, accompanying other foods and decide what tastes better with what.

There were some meals where nothing seemed to work, so they ate a hefty serve of rice or potatoes, but with a bit of persistence they have learned to introduce almost everything into their diet, they even ate a mushroom and a brussell sprout each the other night, without complaining.  They ask me to make salads and flavoursome soups now, of course they still always ask for pancakes or burgers and I've heard them coaching their cousins about trying new foods, because they have learned that life is so much more interesting when your taste buds aren't boring or afraid of new flavours.

20 August 2013

Dog or no dog?

Reasons for and against and what type of dog.

I need to exercise. I feel obliged to take a dog out for a walk, but I don't honour myself the same way. Coming to terms with that might make a difference, one day.

It's hard enough work looking after house plants.
We go on at least two long holidays every year.  One is usually local that could include the dog.  The other is international, travelling with a dog is out of the question.

The children's Mum and Grandparents have agreed that they can keep the dog at their houses when we are away.

Regardless of how much the children want a dog I will end up being it's primary carer. I was aware of this before I planted the seed-

Vet bills, grooming and the necessary accessories are expensive.

We can't securely fence our property.  It snows in Winter here.  Whether it's for toileting or walking, like it or not, the dog will have to be accompanied when it's let out.  (Refer to point 1, this could also be an advantage).

It has to be an older dog. There are plenty that need new homes. It's fun to play with and train a puppy but dogs live a long time.  Small dogs can live for 18 years, ask a child to imagine still taking care of the dog when they are 30 years old. Also older dogs are likely to be toilet trained.  Do you think it's cruel or wise to consider that an older dogs lifespan fits in better with our future plans of possibly moving overseas?

It needs to be a small dog (not to small because the snow can get deep here) but big dogs means big poo, and I will enjoy daily or twice daily short walks, but I couldn't exercise a large dog properly.

We live by a fjord and a forest with great walking paths, but there are no designated leash free play areas in this town (or Denmark in general), this doesn't seem to be a problem to other dog owners I have spoken to, but I think it's mean.

After my last dog died I said I wouldn't get another one- I also said I wanted to be an eccentric old writer that lived in my tiny apartment in a big city, be single forever and never have children.  I have since become engaged to a man with two boys, and moved to a provincial town (on the other side of the world). I'm guessing that I was probably wrong about the dog too.

We met a man the other night who says his friend has a poodle that needs a new home. We should know by the end of the week if we are the right people for that dog.  There is also a 6 year old long haired daschund, named Buster, that has been living in a kennel for over a month because his owner is sick. We will visit him a visit too.

This is not going to be an easy decision. I will weigh up the pros and cons and eventually do what feels right.

16 August 2013

A comedy duo. #Australia's got Talent, #Dash and D'Bree

Dash and D'Bree, are like a cross between Patsy and Edína from Absolutely Fabulous and and Kath and Kim the iconic female comedy duo from Australia.  Their dedication to their dream is starting to pay off, and I want to support them. You can find out more about their origins on Dash and D'Bree's website. They are friends of mine, talented, intelligent, and provide an interesting insight into the attitudes and minds of the post X-generation. I can't remember what that generation is called... Is it the, I want to be famous and I'm not afraid to make you know why I think I should be famous generation. Dash and D'Bree are shop assistants that want to be famous and aren't afraid to reveal some youth truths as well as try and make everybody look and be as fabulous as they are.

Here''s a link to some of their uploaded videos, where you can see lessons in walking like a model, tv performances, stage shows, singing and other productions.

Their performance on Australia's got talent gave birth to the idea of a television show, the judges loved them and Danni Minogue said she just wants to hang out with them.

Check out the clap rap video from their first audition.. (Did you spot me smiling in the audience?)

Here's a link to their facebook page... 

and their twitter is here https://twitter.com/dashanddbree

They are in the process of raising some money for a new web series.  This  is a rags to riches story I want to see come true. I believe they only need a few hundred dollars to reach their modest goal. This a shout out to them and their hard work, the world will be a funnier place if more people meet their talent.  Even if you have absolutely no intention of handing over a single cent, click on the link for a taste of their humour and skill, and like or join their fb or twitter. I love their 'you can't say that' comedy a lot,  mostly because they do say and even sing about it.

Click here if you want to learn more about their appeal.

14 August 2013

When Abstinence becomes Indulgence.

 I have mastered the art of indulgence and rarely chosen, or adhered to, abstinence. So I used my ability to twist things around in order to make sense of it all and asked myself how to make abstinence an indulgence?

Instead of indulging an insatiable appetite The Captain and I have abstained from re-filling our plates with 'left overs' and started indulging a desire to be healthier and happier.

Abstaining from late night television and cuddling on the sofa means we have indulged in more sleep and better moods.

Abstaining from pasta and potatoes means we  have indulged in more colourful vegetables, beans and salads.

Abstaining from sugar has re-introduced fruit as a naturally sweet indulgence.

Abstaining from extra salt means indulging in herbs and spices.

Abstained from spoiling each other with immobilising treats, indulge in long walks in the forest.

Abstain from back hunching hours on the computer, indulge in lengthening stretches that give birth to long forgotten endorphins. .

Abstain from a sedative lifestyle, indulge in skipping ropes and racing heart beats.

Abstain from wasting money, save instead for indulgent holidays.

Abstain from talking too much, indulge in words of new stories you hear.

Abstain from controlling, indulge in spontaneity, at times it's the other way round.

Abstain from criticising  yourself and begin to indulge a desire to be loved - by you.


The Captain saw 14 shooting starts last night, I asked him if he wished my wish, be fit. He answered if that will make you happier then I wished it 14 times.


This from the man that  loves decadent meals.

Me: What, no cheese?
Him: Not today.


Me: I bought you a present.
Him: Chocolate?
Me: No. A skipping rope.
Him: *finds you tube clip on how to skip rope - starts skipping*
Me: *Wipes dust off my rope.*


This from the Captain, after a night shift, whose favourite dock has always been his own bed.

Me:  It's windy and raining, perfect day to spend in bed.
Him:  Mmm - I'll make you a coffee but you have to be dressed by 11.00. We're going for a walk.

Complaining is an indulgence I might just abstain from too.

12 August 2013

The Anti-Blogfest Gary Fest

Anti-Blogfest Gary Fest!

In honour of Gary (and special mention to Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar) 
Gary at Klahanie is many things including lover of animals, enchanted forests and humans, especially the people that live outside of society's perfectly formed cubes. He is courteous, wise, funny and one of the first bloggers to make me feel welcome in blogland.  If you visit him and share his virtues you will be welcomed too.  He also whinges a lot, about blog hops and blogfests especially the #atozchallenge which he anti-supports to such a great extent that I am sure many people have joined the challenge just because of him... 

This is the  Anti-blogfest Gary Fest, created in his honour for (i'm guessing here) '(less) shits and (more) giggles' and is hosted by:

Mark "Madman" Koopmans
Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh
Rockin' Robyn Engel
Life is good Tina
Morgan Shamy.

The rules: Create the titles of three PG-13 blogfests you would never join and then add a descriptive sentence or two

1.  Abstinence and Celibacy blogfest.  No blogging for one month - not even a 'this is not an official post' posts - and no reflections post or you will be disqualified from participating for up to 3 years depending on length of the post and how much you whined. Also taking holiday's doesn't count.

2. The look at moi look at moi i'm so great and have really really great products i want you to buy and i don't care how great you think you are just read my blog and buy my products and leave a comment so everyone can see that you think i'm great too.......but don't expect me to reply to your comment or even read your blog and there is no way i will ever comment on your blog .......ever..... but I will email you and try to sell my products.....grammar anarchy blogfest. Rule number one: the only acceptable punctuation is lots of ellipses. Rule number two: Just read my blog and buy my stuff.

3. The A to Z bigot list. Lists must be in alphabetical order: you may choose one minority group and list 26 things you hate about them, or 26 minority groups and one thing you hate about them.  Technical point... there are more women than men on the planet so they are no longer a minority group. 


So there they are, 3 blogfests I would never join and I am sure Gary would never promote... though I'm thinking grammar anarchy on it's own would be one he might support in it's own right. Check out his blog here, I never know what to expect but I'm always glad that I took the time to read something he or Penny wrote.   

Dear Gary I hope you have fun on your day.

I wish I knew how to add the linky list to my post... check out the hosts pages to see the list of other participants

9 August 2013

NaNoBloPo - Didn't hot used to mean stolen?

I have to admit that while NaNoBloPo has give me a reason to blog, the prompts for the 'HOT' theme aren't inspiring me in a positive way. Need I remind you that there are no rules even suggesting that you have to use the prompts, you don't even need a theme to join, so with no-one left to blame, it's time for me to have a positive attitude check. This week's prompts and the reasons I've avoided them are:

Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Would you want to be known as hot?
Admittedly my social life, since moving to Denmark, is somewhat limited to family, classmates and the local pub (which, coincidentally is owned by a fellow Aussie woman, that has lived here for 20 years.) She has become a friend and my mentor and the only reason I visit the pub as often as I do, which isn't often, but I'm on a first name basis with all the regulars!  One of them recently asked me why I don't have any tattoo's, because he thinks they are hot. The only part of my body he could see was my wrists and neck. No I don't want to be known as hot.  I also don't want to know if the other regulars think I look hot, pregnant... or not, and I tire of the ass and breast comments every time my friend or I wear anything other than wet weather gear or practical uniforms. Paris Hilton popularised the word hot, anything from a car to a baby is labelled hot, once upon a time a hot car meant jail time.  Hot or Not is what stops me leaving the house some days, I can't be bothered putting on a costume and my house clothes are either too hot (i.e very little) or just too daggy to be seen by the general public, some people would think me walking around the house without a bra on is hot, others will shudder at the image.  I don't want to know if anyone thinks I'm hot or not, but I love that the Captain thinks I'm beautiful.  

Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Is someone hot forever once they're labeled hot? Or is hotness fleeting?
Ok so Sophia Loren is hot, isn't she?  Are great weddings hot even after the marriage has fallen apart? Are couple's hot for getting back together or is never breaking apart even hotter, what about those cold nights? Is it hot to be liked by everyone, does that make any of us hot?  I guess the easiest way to answer this question is to keep asking questions.  
Thursday, August 8, 2013
Gina Lollobrigida declared 40 "hot." What do you think is the "hottest" age for women?
Her image is hot...but I can't even picture that now. She was an actress right? I'm guessing she has dark hair and if I google her I'm sure I can find a photo of her in a red dress. I think every woman has potential to look her best towards the end of every decade, energetically by mid-late 20's, 30's, 40's etc, we have embraced a decade of change and released the fear of getting a decade older. We haven't started worrying about the looming next decade yet, the peak has been reached. Gina Lollobrigida must be hot because the last three letters of her name are.
Friday, August 9, 2013
How is a red hot second different from a regular second?
More questions. Were you closer to first or third?  It's still second.  Second in charge (2ic). I am a two person, born on the second, and my initials are IC.  I am an natural 2ic. If hot meant funny I would think that's hot. 

Ok, maybe I have been in a 'not so positive' mood all week, but I really think that these questions require too much thought or they are just so cliche and simple, that I couldn't be bothered putting too much thought into them.  On the other hand there isn't much thinking going on around here about anything else I could be writing, so I procrastinated then ended up doing the prompts.  Hopefully there is a shift next week.  
If my surprise visitor on wednesday night was any indication, then there are going to be some changes on the way.  
My surprise visitor flew silently into the house after midnight, at first I thought it was a large moth. The second time it flew past I thought it was a very quiet bird. By the time I woke up the Captain and he stood up, we both realised it was a bat.  In many cultures Bat is a symbol of rebirth.
Thanks domrador.

5 August 2013

What makes a woman hot? NaNoBloPo

Today's prompt for NaNoBloPo is What make a woman hot?

Well all I can think of for now is how hot I was on Friday night at a double 40th birthday party I was at.  It was over 30 degrees, no air conditioning and no sign of a cool change as the night heated up.  I was wearing a black outfit and yellow shoes, the Captain thought I looked hot but he is incredibly biased.  There was lots of hotties partying all through the night. It was so hot the next morning I decided to have a nap on the hammock outside because it was just too hot to sleep inside.

Other hot things on my radar this past month have been:

 My friends Ode to Aphrodite facebook page, it's for the wild woman at heart.

The 2011 movie Hysteria that I watched the other night.

A fascinating article or blog post about the wisdom of females, their genitals and the etymology of the terribly misused C word.

This clip about the first female runner in the Boston Marathon

and another clip that has been doing the rounds on facebook recently.

Reclaiming power, facing changes, overcoming challenges all these things are hot, and curry, which happens to be simmering on the stove right now, the Captain is pouring the wine and it smells ready to eat, so ciao for now.

4 August 2013

Have you ever Nano...ed?

In November 2012 I became a Nanowrimo winner for the first time... google it if you are interesting in finally committing to a writing a novel, the goal is to write fifty thousand words in a month.  Many people have successfully published books as a result of their Nano efforts, and it opened up a whole new world to me.

This month I've decided to joined the NaBloPoMo challenge tomorrow is the last day to join here.

I am already a day or three behind.  There are prompts here, if you choose to follow the prompts the theme is hot, otherwise you can write about whatever you want, it appears weekends are not counted.  There doesn't seem to be any rules or regulations, just some usual blog hop courtesies etc... 

The first two prompts are...

Thursday, August 1, 2013
Do you like hot drinks such as coffee and tea?  
Yes and Yes.  I love coffee so much that I get annoyed if it isn't made properly.  I am yet to taste a well made cafe latte in Denmark, unlike France  and Melbourne my hometown has a great reputation for perfect coffee.  I like espresso too, no sugar thanks. The Captain makes me coffee with steamy, frothy milk shaped loved hearts on them.

I never get tired of them, though I know he would love to get more creative eventually.

Friday, August 2, 2013
How do you like to warm up when you're cold? 
I never understood what really cold was before I moved so close close to the north pole.  In these parts of the world nothing quite warms you up as good as sensible layering of clothes and the famous Danish coffee punch.  Warning I did not say it tastes good.  Strong black coffee, two spoons of sugar and a generous dollop of Danish Akvavit (a herbal infused vodka type liqueur).  The new floor heating and a hot spa bath downstairs works wonders too!

That's it for now see you Monday