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I am going through changes...not like when a girl grow boobs, but changes like working out how to schedule myself with a great sea of time that needs to be filled and huge amounts of "things" to fill it. Wondrous things that I have always wanted to do, finally being able to do them and batting people off whilst they try to fill them up.
Finally a mind free to be able to use and time available to do what I want to do! My mum asked if I was going through a mid-life crisis...I thought that I was too young (I still feel like that 20 something year old in a slightly older body), so the answer to that would be a great big fat NO! I have just decided after all these years to finally give myself the time that I want and need to do want I really feel passionate about. Writing. This takes time. And discipline. Lots of it.
At the moment, I feel like my cat that I used to have (called Woosey - she really wasn't one, she was always picking fights and coming home scratched up) turning round and round and round, trying to get comfortable, sorting myself out, clearing my head and my space, sorting my brain and thoughts, my scattered threads out, drawing them together, learning how, and where I can work. Retraining myself and putting some rules up for myself, throwing some goals out there... Trying not to sit in the pantry eating or lie in bed resting!
When I'm not berating myself to go back to work, I've got study to do, family to feed, and a small part time job still...life goes on to hopefully stop me going completely bonkers and just wearing 6 jumpers to keep warm and looking like a crazed woman as the kids walk in the door after school.
When we found out that my youngest son was allergic to a whole bunch of foods including eggs at the grand old age of 7 months I had to find recipes that would work for us. Eggs, I found, turned out to be quite difficult to replace in baking, so I have hunted high and low and made up recipes along the way. Here is one of them.
Sultana, Cheese ‘n Oat Bars
This is one of my mum’s recipes that she often made with the kids when they went down to her place for a play. They would come back with plastic containers full of it to feast on. Savoury, yet sweet.
1 ½ cups plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar
185 g butter
3 tablespoons apricot jam (you can use any jam and homemade jam is really yummy)
125g grated tasty cheese
1 cup sultanas
Preheat oven to Sift the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
Rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the oats.
Press half of the mixture into the base of an 18cm x 28cm slice tray.
Spread the jam over the mixture in the tray.
Sprinkle the cheese over the jam.
Sprinkle the sultanas over the jam.
Spread the remaining crumble mixture over the filling, pressing down so that the oats will not flake off and become dry.
Bake in a moderate over 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool and slice.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
I initially began to read this as I had bought it for Frank for class (grade 6) and the girl in Readings bookshop suggested that due to the themes inside, I may wish to read it as well so that we could discuss it.
The story is of the Nation Panem in the future where an annual TV reality show is about to take place. Twelve girls and twelve boys are selected each of the Districts (a pair from each) and they must fight each other to death until there is a winner.
The "game" or The Games" as is it is known take place in Capital where there is wealth and glamour and people appear to be ageless.
The Districts provide the Capital with everything that is needed and they are all comparatively poor.
The story focuses on District 12 (each District is known only by number), one of the poorest of the Districts and Katniss, who is a very good (illegal) hunter in the adjoining (out-of-bounds) woods with her friend Gale. Most people of the District work in the Seam (coal).
Katniss' sister and Peeta (the Baker's son) are selected for the game and Katniss volunteers to go instead of her sister as she had always protected her mother and sister since her father had died. Peeta and Katniss have to learn whether or not to trust each other as the controllers, or the Gamemakers, manipulate them during the game, and they learn a lot about themselves, the others in the games and each other and the extent that humans will go to in order to save themselves.
This is a story of struggle for identity and survival. It is at times horrific and frightening and truly dark. This is not much sense of hope in this story for the reader. Appropriate for the 11 year old age bracket that is on the back of the book? I am not really sure about that. I think that this book is a little dark for this age bracket. I think that that this age group needs more hope to hold on to.
I have 3 boys and I don't like violence.
I have always kept guns away from my boys, yet they have managed throughout their short lives to find guns and "killing games" in their fingers and with their imagination and with sticks. I have tried to distract them with, when they were younger, playdough and craft, sandpits and active play, yet, there was always a way for the fighting and killing to make a way back in. This was particularly evident when playing with other boys.
Still, at the ages of 12, 11 & 8, they still had no guns (if we didn't count the one that came with the Elastic Making Kit for shooting rubber bands that has been used many times for other purposes).
Today after much begging a pleading, my husband was coerced into taking them to Kmart to spend their saved up pocket money on Lego. Much counting up had been done prior to going, and much waiting, and cleaning of the house had to be done first.
Needless to say I was incredibly surprised to find 3 boys walk in the door with an armoury of guns. One shot gun, two pistols and a rifle. Nerf guns. Ri-ight....
Now, I know that they are "toys", but, I am wondering (only 3 hours later) as I watch the boys constantly loading and reloading them with such intensity, how good these toys are. It does scare me to see boys behaving this way. I cannot imagine a girl getting a toy like this and finding such enjoyment. Being a mother of boys is a constant eye opener for me. They really think completely differently to me. I look at it and think of the child soldiers in Africa, yet they are just (I hope) having fun. Maybe as a mother, I am thinking too much about this. Baah....Let's hope they break soon.
This is what is currently on my bedside table:
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder
Keep Him My Country by Mary Durack
Women of the Outback by Sue Williams
Sons in the Saddle by Mary Duraack
The Last of the Nomads by WJ Peasley
Why Weren't We Told by Henry Reynolds
Guantanamo my Journey by David Hicks
My 3 finished journals from my trip around Australia
Shadow by Michael Morpurgo
My book review notebook
My visual journal
NIV Study Bible
My current Journal
Glass of Water
Glass of Water
2 Foil Sculptures (one made by my son John & other by my son Peter)
Jar of Vicks
Pair of Scissors
My Pindan rock
Vick inhaler stick
Card from son Peter to Get Well
Seven Studies on the Holy Spirit Pentecost 2011
Yep, a little overloaded, and no, I am not reading all at once, they are all on my "to be read" list. The Hunger Games I have just finished (will do a review) and is waiting for me to finish the review, and next up is The Last of the Nomads.
What is on your bedside table?
A few words...I'm back. I not only survived travelling (read about it over here) with my husband and 3 boys in the close confines of a car and tent for 9 months, but grew as a person out of it. My silence has been part of this growth. Part of inner reflection, trying to understand what it all means and what to do with these changes.
I read only one book last year (other than the Hema Map of Australia) and that was Barack Obama's book, Dreams from My Father (great by the way, a real insight into the leader of the biggest first world country) due to so many other things to do and lack of lighting at night.
I am making up for it this year and in my tiny spare moments, reading until my eyes shut themselves.
My plan for this blog is a little revamp, more opinions, thoughts here and there in addition to updates on the books I have been reading, the occasional bit of prose...
Feedback as you wish.