6/30/2011

How heavy is a glass of water?

The young lady confidently walked around the room while leading and explaining stress management to an audience. 

She raised a glass of water, and everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, 'half empty or half full?'  But, she fooled them all. 


"How heavy is this glass of water?" she inquired with a smile.
        Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.
        
She explained, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it. 
"If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. 
"If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my arm. 
"If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. 


"In each case it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes." 


After a pause, she continued, "and that's the way it is with stress. 
"If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, they becomes increasingly heavy, and we can't carry on.
       
 "As with the glass of water, you have to put them down for a while and rest before holding them again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on--holding stress longer and better each time practiced.
        
"So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down.  Don't carry them through the evening and into the night. 
Whatever burdens you're carrying now, let them down for a moment.  Relax, then pick them up later after you've rested. You'll be surprised how well you can manage them."

6/22/2011

Rerun 8/08

I wrote quite a few lines before my blog got the benefit of actual readers and followers, so I thought I'd repost some things that you might find interesting.This is a post from August of 2008. Keep in mind that it's winter in our neck of the hemisphere.



It's still winter here and I'm so tired of rain. To keep from total boredom, I've been thinking about the garden  and trolling throught photos. Here are some thoughts on yet another rainy day...

If you got my email updates that preceeded the blog, you might remember that I fell in love with purple carrots. After some research by the googlemeister hubby, it seem that all carrots were originally purple. According to the fine folk at the carrot museum, http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/history.html , they are making a comeback all over the world! So, if you see some in the grocery store, try them!



I don't recall ever seeing a sink like this in the States. They make perfect sense for those small places. Mostly, I find them in public toilets, but also in houses with a tiny guest bathroom (ok, it's not actually a place to take a bath, as hubby points out, but it sounds so much better than 'toilet'). They can have a tap at each end and serve their purpose well.



I miss having a decent fried egg with sausage patties or links. Breakfast eggs are more like poached than anything else I can describe. When it comes to pizza, a decent substitute for Italian sausage is fried ground pork with Italian seasoning. I have looked up recipes and the main ingredients seem to be fennel and anise, but I can only find fennel. How sucky is that!

It seems that the dominant male duck for this year's pond rights is a polygamist. He has shown up with two females for a couple of months now. Since ducks mate for life, I'm guessing that the 'other' female has lost her companion somehow and this pair have allowed her to be a part of the family. Kinda nice to think about it that way, I think. If he is, indeed, this year's winner, I wonder if there will be two sets of ducklings.

All in all, in the last few months--since hunting season, anyway-- there haven't been nearly as many ducks as in the past. It makes for a quieter day, but the females are still bold enough to peck on the window when hungry. For some reason, that makes me giggle each time they do it.  Can't beat it for a cheap laugh!

WOW!! The sun is out!! I'll take advantage of the weather and look around the garden. I have lots of plans, muahaha.

6/17/2011

French Silk

I haven't tried to make French Silk in years, but I thought I'd give it a try for my chocoholic son. Being that I don't ever remember to buy pie crusts, I just serve it in a bowl like a mousse dessert. It takes a lot of mixing but was a smashing success! 


     French Silk Pie
   
·               1/2 cup butter, room temperature
·               3/4 cup white sugar
·               2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled
·               1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·               2 eggs
·               1 prepared 8 inch pastry shell, baked and cooled (optional)


Cream butter in a mixing bowl. Gradually beat in the sugar with an electric mixer until there are no sugar granules detected when tasted (at least 10 minutes). 

    Stir in the thoroughly cooled chocolate, and vanilla extract. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating 5 minutes on medium speed after each addition. Spoon the chocolate filling into dessert dishes or a cooled, baked pie shell.

    Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving, overnight is better.


6/14/2011

Land agents and hot water-take 2

Last October I wrote this post about the trials of trying to get hot water over the weekend. As it turned out, we decided to let the landlord know about the lack of help from his agent and he was as shocked as we were.

A few days later, I got an email from the land agent informing me that 'procedures' have been put into place to avoid such problems in the future. The 'procedure' was to call the owner of the land agent company.  It seemed like a plan. The landlord also called us to apologize and gave us his own number in case of another calamity. It seemed that everyone was on the same page.

Fast forward to Sunday morning....

Yep! I went to take a shower about 9.30am and there was no hot water. I called the appropriate mobile number and got a message, so I left a message. In the message I heard, there was another number, so I left a message at that number, too. The lady at the second number called back within a half hour to say that she couldn't help but the first lady could and she should be contacting me soon because she 'checks her mobile constantly'.

*Insert cricket sounds here*

About noon I decided that I had waited long enough and called the landlord. I guess nobody is home on Sunday mornings except us, so I explained in a message what had transpired.

A few hours later, the landlord returned my call and got the process started to get us some hot water (It eventually took until Monday night to get hot water, but at least we got it.)

I guess the land agent doesn't understand what the word 'service' means because I never heard from anyone who Harcourts. Not that day or any other time up to now.

The landlord was, of course, not happy that the 'emergency procedure' didn't work so well and told me he was going to change agents.

There are two land agents that work out of Stratford besides Harcourts.. I'm glad I didn't have to tell him our brief-but-not-impressive encounter with McDonald's Realty because they manage another of his properties and he's not impressed, either.

The only other realty is Taranaki Farmer's Realty. They managed our last house. While they tried to deal with an absentee landlord  (we saw him once in 3 years and he wasn't about to invest any money whatsoever in the house), they showed up every stinking month to 'inspect' the property (glance around and ask if we had any problems) even though we took care of the property and didn't bother them unnecessarily.

So, is this a sign of the times around the world or is it just in NZ? Either way, it's not a very pretty sign.

**For the record, Hubby came in from work at 6am on Monday morning and made himself some bath water. Then made some for me, too, by heating water on the stove, in the microwave and in the kettle again to have some bath water waiting when I got up on Monday morning. How sweet is that?!

6/10/2011

Baked tacos

Otterboy doesn't care for plain flour tortillas, although the rest of us do. When we make tacos for a meal, he eats all the fixings without eating the shells.
When I was single, I would sometimes fry one at a time and they were really good, but I can't figure how to do that on a large scale, so I was looking for recipes that I thought Otterboy would like. I came across 'baked tacos' recipes and I'm happy to say, they worked like magic!

Using parts of different recipes, this is what I did....

Lightly spray one side of tortillas and fold. Stand them up, sprayed side down in baking dish and add a large spoonful of meat.  I used ground beef mince and chicken, separately.  Add a little cheese and bake in preheated oven at about  250C (450F) until edges start to brown, about 8-10 minutes.

Remove from oven and add more cheese and your usual taco toppings.

Now we can have tacos and everybody can be happy!

6/02/2011

white kiwi

White kiwi makes move to life outdoors

SHABNAM DASTGHEIB
Kiwi
MIKE HEYDON
WHITE DELIGHT: Manukura, a rare white kiwi chick, hatched at Pukaha Mount Bruce.
The white kiwi chick hatched in Wairarapa may be destined for a life in advocacy, having already attracted global attention for his species.
The chick, now a month old, was the 13th of 14 kiwis successfully hatched at Pukaha Mt Bruce this breeding season. After reaching the required weight and all the expected milestones, including eating on his own, the chick has been moved to a predator-proof enclosure where 12 other chicks have been raised this season.
Named Manukura, which means "of chiefly status", the white chick is the rare offspring of kiwi transferred to Pukaha from Little Barrier Island last year. He will stay in his new enclosure for at least four months.
Conservation Department area manager Chris Lester said it was not clear where the chick would go after this time but an advocacy role was an option.
"We will keep his best interests in mind but he has already contributed hugely. It is good for New Zealand and good in a conservation sense that the kiwi's story be told around the world."
Reports the white chick would be at greater risk from predators would only be true if the bird was out in the daytime, so it was possible he would be set free in the wild at some stage, he said.
Manukura has captured the world's imagination, with news stories about him published in Middle East, the United States and Europe. Visitor numbers at Pukaha wildlife centre have been considerably greater while he has been on display, with 200 to 300 people there at peak times.
"We have had good crowds through over the past week and there have been lots of comments from people who see it as a sign of good things," manager Kathy Houkamau said.
Though Manukura is being referred to as a male, "his" sex will not be clear for a few more weeks.