Totally knackered week! I wonder where I'm pulling up energy to do something as simple as breathe! Advice: never try to combine exams, kids on vacation, a husband with a chronic need to be out (preferably at the beach) and a desire/need to work on your stories, all of this in the same week! I think I've zipped through the whole island in the past few days, and my mind simply cannot keep up!
Utter madness! Thank goodness the exam went well, for once they didn't pull stuff out of thin air to ask you about in the two-hour paper. On another note, might be getting into a mess with the uni - seems like registration for 2010 closed on october 16, before even the exams were written! Waiting to see if the other students pick up on this - get ready for some drama there!
What else has been up in the past 7 days? Check down and find out!
- Kid on the Block
Extreme. I think that's a word that applies inherently with little boys and growing boys and grown men too. Why else would you literally feel the adrenalin rush inside them when you're just standing by their side and they catch on to something really extreme and break-neck and totally can-kill-you-in-a-minute?
We were at the beach yesterday, me grilling like a dry lizard under the nonexistent shade of the canvas beach-tent and trying to work on the new phone (more on that down!), and here comes the whoops and shouts and hollers. Mom, you gotta see this (son); have you seen this? (stepson); babe check this out (hubby). I'm like, what on earth is this that's so important I see? So there I look up, and some bloke is doing flips and whatever other figures with a kitesurf right there in front of us. Totally swore he'd break his neck every time he hit the water (he did land on his feet though, meaning he was an experienced athlete), and shiver when this comes up:
Son: That is so cool! think I could do that later?
Stepson: You gotta learn how to swim first, silly!
But the worst:
Hubby, addressing himself to me: We should try to check later on if there's some yacht club or something that offers training for kitesurfing.
I'm like, are you mad? Insane? Out of your head? Kill me already, why don't you - the worry will do it if you let the kid attempt that.
But of course, I say nothing - what's the point really? Boys and men will do what they want to do, when they want to do it... Join me in praying the kiddo doesn't figure out you can do all those kitesurfing figures with a skateboard on a u-shaped ramp!
Haha moment - guess what he asked for Christmas...?
- WIPed out
In a total moment of madness (yeah, that's the theme of the week!), I started work on the outline of my upcoming WIP. Maybe I was prompted by Willow, who since a couple weeks has been pestering with ideas how to make the male chauvinist hero less of a male chauvinist hero. So I sat down and took a look at the outline, and rehauled some stuff around. My mentor always told me - use your cast. This is what I've done, and I may have figured out a way to involve the heroine's kids in the story without going all cliche. Wish me luck - this one is expected to go into writing in the coming week! I'll have the progress report here next Friday.
- Perception Tunnel
The eyes of a child versus the eye of a grown adult. This happened to me on Monday when we went out to the natural history museum (place that I visited as a kid at school some two decades ago) and then we hit the coast and the beach (yeah, I have beach blokes at home. I'm sure we could start investing in an SPF 50 lotion company. Sigh...). We went to check out some places along the west coast, and there's this beach that I remember going to, again some twenty years ago. Both places have changed - museum's been renovated and new rooms and species added over the years. Fine, I get that. But the beach, well, had a strange perception issue waiting for me. It too has changed, better accommodation and the likes when this was pretty much a 'wild' beach so long ago, but I clearly recall me and my cousins making sand castles near a huge limestone wall on the beach. I remember we sat there with sand rubbing into our shins, the wall next to us towered above us and when we turned and looked at the sea, it seemed miles away from us.
Well, guess what - the wall is like, barely 5 feet tall, and the sea, like 5 metres away too. Okay, sea levels went up and all that, could account for the sea not being miles away any longer, but the wall?
That's what made me realize - distance and perception are different for kids. And another feature of this distinction between the adult mind and the kiddie mind, is how your imagination steps in to 'fill' in those huge perception gaps when you're little. Thus, the 'big' wall becomes the facade of the fort keeping 'bad' things away while the princesses on the safe side got on with creating their perfect little world.
Maybe we need to start thinking like kids again...?
- Back to the domestic goddess
I have a recipe for you today! And yes, it is edible! Guess what happens when you got blokes at home? They're hungry, and that's like, all the time! Now, we don't exactly roll in the moolah so if you were to buy cakes and packaged stuff for them, you'd end up spending your whole paycheck at the grocery store and that too only in the cakes and sugary goodies' aisles. The solution? Bake your own stuff!
That's how I made muffins this week. One batch was chocolate chip muffins and the other was dried fruits muffins.
Here you go, it's as simple as pie (okay, pie ain't simple, agree with you!)
2 cups (300g) self-raising flour
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
1 cup (250ml) milk
125 butter, melted
1 egg, beaten lightly
1/2 cup choc-chips/chopped dried fruit (I've tried dates and apricots)
Combine flour, sugar, chips/fruit in a bowl (can add a pinch of mixed spice or cinnamon powder when making the fruit ones).
Stir in milk, butter and egg.
As soon as it's mixed, stop and do not overmix (let it remain lumpy and coarse).
Divide into greased muffin pans, fill holes to 2/3rds.
Bake in moderate hot oven (200-210 C/400-425 F) for 15 mins or until tops are golden.
Recipe calls for three 12-hole small muffin pans. I don't have those and one batch such batter makes me 2 deep 6-hole muffin pans just perfectly.
- Reading Log
Went to the library on Monday, and got a whole batch of goodies waiting. Haven't had a minute to even glance at more than the back blurbs - will update this next week. I've got stuff like Husbands by Adele Parks, For Better For Worse by Carole Matthews, The Other Side of Midnight by Sidney Sheldon (finally got hold of that!! Yes Carole, you can jump around with joy!), Slow Burn by Julie Garwood, and a Regency Steepwood Scandals anthology.
The Between Places - Last weekend I trekked to the V Bar V Ranch for Summer Solstice. This little-known site, in the Verde Valley near Sedona, is one of the largest and best pr...