Tuesday 30 June 2020

Miss Oswin makes the jump


Just to let you know: I am still here! According to Mara I am a bit of a lazy bones, but I do like to get out and about. But I don't like to be out and about when everybody else is out and about too. I prefer peace and quiet, me.

Like the other day. The weather had turned a bit. Over the last few weeks it has been hot and summery, but then it wasn't anymore. There was rain in the air and there was wind. I still wanted to go outside though. 

Oma and Opa have a fence to separate their garden from the Dalton brothers' garden. And that fence is perfect for balancing on. I don't often do it, but I knew Mara had a camera close by and thought I would give you a chance to admire me.

First I had to climb up some diagonal bit. Which I did absolutely wonderfully. Then I had to sharpen my claws on the straight bit. Mara was very good in taking photos of that. But once that was done, she went inside. Tsk tsk.

But Oma was still watching and I heard her call out to Mara: look at Oswin! Mara looked and then ran and grabbed her real camera. The next thing I know is that she is clicking away, just like I had planned. 

I was walking on top of the fence. Like a proper tight rope walker. Because that is what us felines do you know! It was a good thing there was some security though, for safety and to keep Mara from worrying. 

And then the fence came to an end. At first I thought it would be a good place to stop, but as I was there anyway and the other fence was only a short hop away, I thought that I might as well. 

Of course, you first have to get all your feet in the right position. Then you have to make sure your bum is sitting just right. 

Then you just let fly!

Of course I landed. On the dog's fence, but I think he was inside. I stayed there for a bit and then I made my way back home. To rest, as it is hard work this showing off!

Monday 29 June 2020

Moving about

The view on my cycle ride on Friday
Yesterday morning I was sitting in the living room. I had just had my breakfast and I just felt like I wanted to do some exercise. You read right: WANTED. The question however was: was I going to walk, or was I going to cycle. I looked outside and the weather was quite nice. Sunshine and wind. A fair bit of wind. Walking it was!

Don't get me wrong, I don't walk for hours. Not yet. At the moment I will do anything between 30 and 45 minutes, equating to about 2 to 3 kilometers. Which is fine. The main reason I don't do much more yet is that I want to get my pace up. Today I did just over 3 km (about 2 miles) and my speed was great. Just under 5 km/hour. I want to go faster than that before I add more distance. Building it up slowly.

That yellow sign is a bus stop sign
I also have to think of the knee. Several years ago when I still lived in Norway, me and my friend Pepperfly went out sledding. She hurt her finger (it still bothers her) and at the end of the day I fell quite badly on a stretch of ice. On my left knee. It hurt then, it still bothers me now. But I need to move it, otherwise I can feel it stiffen up. Which isn't good either. 

Cycling would be better apparently, as there is no weight on the knee then, just the movement. But I don't always want to cycle, I want to walk. See the bus stop right in someone's back garden. Enjoy the flowers in people's front yards. 

That is not to say I don't cycle. In fact, last Friday I did cycle. It had been boiling hot all day and I really didn't feel like going, but in the end, at 8 pm, I got up and went for a tour. I had the idea of going left, so I went right. I saw a small deer jumping away, a hare, several storks. Oh, and a gazillion flying creepies. 

I had several of those during the weekend.
Mmmmmmmmmmm and another reason to work out.
I will start cycling more. My goal is to be able to cycle to work and back every day (7,5 km one way). At least as long as I am working in this town. Chances are that come December that will be changed to a town about 40 km away. I am not cycling that! Not even on a nice sunny day. 

Sunday 28 June 2020

Photo on Sunday 2020-13

 Bee on Butterfly Bush.  

Pink flowering plant. Pretty in summer.

Wednesday 24 June 2020

I will find a title

And I will find something to write about. Like the fact that I THOUGHT I had gotten all of my summer clothes out from storage. But I don't think I have now. However, as the temperatures are only going up this week, I am so NOT going back to look for them. Because it would mean going in deeper and it being hotter. 

Or I could write about Miss Oswin who decided on Monday night that she was perfectly fine where she was thank you very much and didn't want to come in. She spent the night outside and then when she came running in at 7.30 in the morning, she went to her food bowl and then straight up to the wardrobe in my room to sleep the day away on top.

The parentals came home yesterday. They had had a nice time at the hotel. They visited some things in the area (even Germany) and basically enjoyed themselves. When they returned they even took some baking soda and baking powder back for me. Over here you can't get it, where they were it was in plentiful supply! Oatmeal cookies!!

Other than that: not much. The contract hasn't arrived yet. The Norwegian details haven't arrived yet or have not been dealt with yet, so still no unemployment pay. Rain will arrive this weekend when I am planning to celebrate my upcoming birthday (thank you Debby by the way), so that is not so nice. And that's it. I still haven't found a title though, so it will have to be the title it is now.

Tuesday 23 June 2020

Of pigs and lobsters

The inside of the container
Yesterday I decided to head out to my storage unit. I was sure there were still summer clothes there, I just needed to find them. Which is easier said than done as nobody was present at the unit itself when the movers moved everything in. It's all higgledy-piggledy in there. But, most of the boxes and crates reside close to the entrance.

Mind you, having them reside near the entrance doesn't mean that much. I knew that the clothes I wanted were in a box, not a see-through crate, which meant that I didn't know which box I needed. I never labeled them when I moved, just threw stuff in willy-nilly. Until it was full and then I closed it. To be opened again at my new abode, whenever that may be. 

The hat in question. Didn't help me from not getting red in 2013 either
I had to drag all the boxes out. Which is no easy feat as the temperature inside the storage building was high. Made all the worse for the work I was doing. I was certainly not transpiring, I was sweating like a pig! I opened box after box, finding a hat (which I stupidly didn't take), a bath mat (which I did) and several other things that I took. The clothes were untraceable however. 

Then my eye fell on another area. More boxes. Oh goodness, and behind that, even more boxes. Well, in for a penny, in for a pound, I got going. Fortunately the first of those boxes hit the jackpot. There they were. My lovely summer clothes. Which turned out to be fewer than I thought there would be. But, in the bag they went. The boxes were closed and put back and I made my way back outside.

Not a clue what this flower is, but I had the same colour
See also the photo above this one
The weather was glorious. Not too hot, not too windy. Perfect to make a tiny detour as I was cycling home. It would only be a kilometer or so more. Until it wasn't. Until it was about 5 kilometers longer. It doesn't sound that much. But as I said: the weather was glorious, which meant sun. It mightn't have been too windy, but there was wind. By the time I got back I looked like a lobster. I should have taken the hat...

Once I was in a chair and had glugged a lot of water down, the redness subsided. Turns out it was just the exercise. Today I might just take it a bit easier. Go grocery shopping. Run a hoover through the place. Make sure the place looks nice again for the parentals when they get home this afternoon. 

Monday 22 June 2020

Nom nom nom

The first batch of oatmeal cookies
Baking cookies is a dangerous business. The two main reasons are of course: fail or not fail. If they fail, you can throw the whole batch in the bin (did do, on two occasions). If they do not fail, you run the risk of eating yourself sick. Which, I have NOT done by the way. 

Let's start with the oatmeal cookies. The first batch worked out okay-ish. Even after cooling off, they were still quite crumbly. Good, but crumbly. So, I made another batch. This time with a combined recipe that did not work. At all. They would disintegrate on a look. Bin it was.

The strawberry cookie dough
Then I made strawberry cookies. I had high hopes for these. And the dough looked lovely and pink, just as it should. Unfortunately I think they were in the oven too long and instead of having pink cookies, they were light brown. And brittle. And a bit blergh. My idea of having a nice frosting on, didn't work too well either: too liquid, not a nice taste. Bin it was.

On Saturday though, I started afresh. Not with the oatmeal cookies as there is no baking powder to be had anywhere and I needed baking powder for them. Word on the street (eg comment list for the recipe) was that I shouldn't use self raising flour. So, the oatmeal cookies will have to wait until I can get my hands on some baking powder or decide on the self raising flour anyway.

Melting moments ready for the oven
Instead I started with Melting Moments. Those of you of an Australian or Newzealandian (that can't be right) inclination might know them, I learned about them through Martha Stewart (who is American). The basic recipe was quite simple with only four ingredients: butter, flour, icing sugar and custard powder. The result were slightly yellow (due to the custard powder) delicious cookies. 

But, that wasn't the end of it yet. Two of those cookies should be joined together by some buttercream. Which again called for four ingredients only: butter, icing sugar, vanilla extract and milk. Just to be different I added some ground freeze-dried red fruits. Definitely no bin for those!

The finished melting moments, YUM
So, what's up for the next baking session? Well, brownies, chocolate chip cookies and those oatmeal cookies. For my birthday this year I will not do cake, I will do cookies only. Stick them on a table and make sure they are all gone by the time my guests go home. With a massive sugar overload I hasten to add...

Sunday 21 June 2020

Photo on Sunday 2020-12

It's been about a month since I last posted a Photo on Sunday, but here I am again!! With a photo of our newest member of the family: Freddy the Flamingo. I couldn't resist, I had to give him a home...

Friday 19 June 2020

Home alone

It's lovely being home alone. It has been a long time since it last happened and it feels absolutely great right now. Yesterday I went shopping for ingredients for my cookies. I had some of it already and took it all out to put on the kitchen counter (nearly full), but there were other things I needed. 

I had planned to start with the strawberry cookies. I had found a great recipe on an American site (working with cups and such, what is wrong with grams?) and wanted to try it out, but by the time I started it was already after dinner and it had to rest for several hours before baking. So, oatmeal cookies it was...

The oatmeal cookies (there were six)
Which by the way tasted great. Not something I had expected as I had mixed and matched two different recipes and then added some ingredient not on the list. In the end I had a fairly crumbly oatmeal, raisin and cranberry cookie. Still room for improvement though, so today I will try one of the proper recipes with my adjusted ingredients as I don't want nuts.

Plus I will try the strawberry cookies as well. The basic recipe will be the one I found and then I will finish them with a slightly different, but in my book better, finish. It calls for egg-white and sugar, but I am going for a sugar frosting. Hopefully that will work the way it does in my mind. 

There is another recipe I would like to try, but for love nor money can't find the recipe of. It was made by Martha Stewart and contains peppermint in the filling but no chocolate. The only thing I can find however is with chocolate. I have now come up with my own version using shortbread cookies, peppermint patty filling and a white chocolate dipping on half of it. To me it sounds absolutely delicious.

Then of course there is the chocolate chip cookie, the carrot cake muffin (basically carrot cake in muffin forms instead of a large tin) and brownies. Goodness me, this loosing weight thingy is going to be harder than I thought...

Thursday 18 June 2020


The teenage me
I feel like a teenager today. As in: I am home alone for the next few days. No parents around, just me and Miss O! It's bliss. And it was very necessary as well. For me as well as them I think. 

They were due to travel last Monday, but unfortunately that was cancelled. But they are not caught for one hole and found a hotel for a short stay. They left this morning and now the music is on and the cookie recipes are out!

Today I also got some really good news, which to be honest is the birthday present I really really wanted. No, it isn't my birthday yet (end of the month), but there is no law saying presents can't be early. 

Public transport in Florence, Italy
The good news relates to the job and today I found out when I start. July 12th. Which is still over three weeks away, but it finally is a set date. The only thing now is the contract which I should receive in a week or two.

But now: lunch!

Monday 15 June 2020

Cakes and stuff

The past week wasn't as busy as the week before, but the weekend was definitely not quiet. For a start my father celebrated the fact that he turned 75 on Saturday. They had invited several people over to celebrate with them and they all came. Fortunately the weather was good so the distance was able to be kept. 

We had a bunch on Saturday morning, then late afternoon into evening. Then on Sunday there were some more people who do have health issues and preferred to really come alone to be able to keep their distance. It was all fun and cake filled as every time I got another piece.

Yesterday afternoon the weather changed. It had been overcast all day, but at about 4 the first drops started falling. We had one of those party tents up, but it's not waterproof, so we had to make our way indoors. A couple of hours later we were outside taking it down. In the rain!

This morning I was pleasantly surprised when the tax money was in. I knew it was coming, but didn't think it would be today. Very happy though as my unemployment money has stopped coming (the details from Norway are still not in apparently), but I do still have bills even if I live at home. 

There is still no word on when I start the new job. I would prefer right now obviously (as do the others), but so far: nothing. I do try to get in some exercise every day, although the past three days I didn't. I don't walk far, only about 2 km, but I do at least get out. Due to the cakes I will have to be a bit more rigorous again though. I gained some I had lost last week. 

So, that was it. I leave you with some insects in the new lavender. That butterfly was incredibly skittish, the bee couldn't have cared less...

Tuesday 9 June 2020


Goodness me, another week has flown by And it has been busy as well. Because last week there wasn't one entry in my diary, but two!! I had to be really careful, otherwise I might have become stressed out.

The first entry in the diary was the hairdresser. What a joy to have my hair cut again. Then on Thursday I was to collect my new uniform. I have already ordered the new uniform that is to be worn from December onward, but between now and then I will need the current uniform. 

Playing the fool in 2015
On arriving there were a few others waiting as well, so we sat down in the coffee area and had coffee/tea and chatted. Then it finally was our turn. Unfortunately there were no trousers that would fit me, so I will continue wearing my own. I have done for years now and I have never had a complaint. 

The shirts had to be one size bigger than what I normally wear and the jacket was downright ridiculous. Snug around the waist, but with my hands hidden well within the sleeves. I mean well within the sleeves. With the winterpart on as well, I look like a little girl dressing up in mum's clothes!

Swords in the stone, Stavanger, 2017
On Friday it was my turn to cook and I made a moussaka. It was good. I went for seconds and so did my dad, which says enough I think. On Saturday my brother and his family were due down and I decided to make gnocchi. Fortunately I had my mother to help as it was a big job. Bigger than last time as I then made for 3, this time I had to make for 8.

They all enjoyed it though. Being a bit cautious for the first serving and then going back for second (fuller) servings. That counts as a success in my book. Even the mushroom one was loved. Which for me is brilliant as I hardly taste my food and definitely not mushrooms. So my mum was called in to taste and say when it was seasoned enough.

And now the new week is already two days old. And during those two days we have been working hard. I have new carpet in my room and so do my parents, but my mum needed new carpet in her hobby room as well. So, that came out yesterday and then I (foolishly) said the walls might need painting. My dad didn't think so, but me and my mum got to work yesterday to do her room and then today the few bits she really wanted done. 

The rest of this week is empty as yet. But that doesn't mean I don't do anything. I walk about 2 km a day. Not much, I know, but I have to start slowly again and not overdo it. I have also lost some weight, not much yet, but enough to feel I am doing the right thing. 

Wednesday 3 June 2020


My mum's offering of snert (thick pea soup)
We take it in turns here to cook. Well, not under normal circumstances, but during Corona we do. At my mum's insistence, as she didn't want to do all the cooking. Mind you, it isn't all bad: the one who makes dinner, doesn't have to help with the dishes. Usually.

My mum is the cook who decides what we eat. Mostly. My dad is the cook who uses my mum as his armchair cook. I am the cook who will try different things. Some with great success, others ... not so great. 

I might have to try and recreate this pizza I had in a Roman restaurant
Yesterday it was my turn. First I had to make dinner for my dad. He was going back to work in the evening and needed to eat his dinner at lunch time. He got boiled cabbage. Last night I had to make dinner for me and my mum. There was some leftover spaghetti and I had seen a recipe that required spaghetti.

The recipe called for goat's cheese, ricotta and parmezan. I added some bacon, although next time I will keep it original I think. It was done within 15 minutes and it tasted great. Definitely a repeat performance at some point in the future.

However, now my dad has started work again, which means his turn will mostly be taken over by either me or my mum. I am always on the lookout for other dishes. Not necessarily vegetarian, but low in carbs (ie no or very few potatoes or pasta). 

This is so yummy!
I try to swap mashed potatoes for mashed turnip and carrot (on the Hairy Bikers fish pie, mmmmmm). I try to find other types of rice (cauliflower or broccoli) to cook with, although so far haven't tried it. 

Basically: if anybody has a recipe for a lovely meal (low carb/vegetarian/regular): yes please! Oh, and don't worry: Yam's mock oxtail and Yam's pumpkin soup are already in my new cookbook! 

Tuesday 2 June 2020


After several days of migraines and headaches (they are different, but both terrible), I finally am able to say that I am feeling lots better today. The last pill I took really did the trick. Although yesterday it wasn't completely gone yet, it didn't come back again which is good.

Something else good is that today is Haircut Day! The last time I went was sometime in February I think, so a long time ago. Right now my hair is long and unruly and not how I like it and my mum's is the same. Long, unruly and not how she likes it. But this afternoon it will get the chop! Whahey!

Plus I was able to write something in my diary for this week. I get to collect some new clothes for the new job. Still not sure when that is going to start though, I hope the end of this month. I really hope the end of this month, because no other company is going to hire me for only a few weeks. Very annoying, but that's how it is.

Other than that, the garden is good for some photos. There are bugs and beetles, moths and ladybirds. Oh, and a cat pretending she is a goose!

Monday 1 June 2020

A new month

A big moth at the front of the house.
A new month doesn't necessarily start off in the best possible way. The original plan had been to finish the old job and start the new job today. Thanks to bankruptcy and Corona, the old job finished in March and the new job will probably start in about 4 weeks' time. Fingers crossed!

And there was something else which didn't make it the best of starts of the meteorological summer. I have a stinking big migraine attack. Have had it for five days now as well. The amount of time I spent in my room over the past few days is staggering and the only thing I can say about my stay there: I am glad my room was done before and it now is a lovely calming place to be. 

Because I didn't have the medication ready on Thursday, I took it late, which then means it doesn't take effect as well as it should. I had to take another one. On Friday, the pain was back in force, which meant another two. On Saturday I stuck to one pill, on Sunday none, but today I took the last one. Early enough this time I hope to knock it on its head completely.

As I said, it wasn't completely good this start, but on the other hand, things are looking up. My room did prove it was nice and calming and lovely to be in. The weather is nice, although farmers probably will disagree strongly with me. And I should start work in a couple of weeks' time. By then the migraine should be gone as well...