siglinde99: (Default)
I'm trying to catch up on cleaning and I keep getting sidetracked. There is so much I want to do, but today I just can't break it into manageable chunks and actually finish something (anything!).
How do you do your cleaning?

[Poll #2050710]
siglinde99: (Default)
I love summer, but OMG the garden and my CSA basket are exploding. And I can't resist a bargain... Yesterday's adventures included the purchase of okra because it was on sale. Which meant I needed to buy chicken and look up a recipe for frango com quiabo (chicken with okra, a traditional recipe from Minas Gerais, Brazil). I also have beets cooking up for a cold borscht. I finally sauteed my swiss chard to eat with rice and beans (I hate chard but can't let it go to waste; I have been using all sorts of other greens while waiting for my collards to grow big enough to use, so I figured the chard might work too). Tomorrow I need to get down to the serious business of making pesto, as my basil is exploding. I have discovered that carrot tops make a decent pesto, so I may experiment with adding them too, or I could just sautee them. Usually I just pitch out the green tops, but this year I am trying to learn to use everything.

My freezer will be nicely filled, but I will also have a lot of other foods I need to use up. Summer is the time when my craving for coleslaw kicks in every year, so I bought a cabbage which I haven't had time to use. Last night's CSA basket included a second cabbage, so I will be making cabbage roll casserole for the freezer, just to make room for non-freezable vegetables in my fridge.

How about you? Do you live where summer bounty changes what you eat? Do you prefer old favourites or do you like to experiment^

I'm ready!

Jul. 15th, 2016 10:22 pm
siglinde99: (Swimming in Varadero)
Except for packing my stuff. Tomorrow is Bring on the Bay, a 3km swim in the Ottawa River. I have promised myself that if I finish in about an hour, I will sign up for the Riverkeeper 4km swim in two weeks. That one is much more challenging, as it is across and slightly up the river; tomorrow's goes into the centre of the river for part of the way, but then turns so you get to take advantage of the current. My ride will be here at 6:50, so I'm off to bed very shortly.

Aside from picking up my race kit across town, tonight has been all about using up seasonal produce. I am learning to put all kinds of leaves into my salad, but tonight it was all about soup and a pot of feijoada. The soup has carrots, celery, beet greens, and green onion (plus the chicken and orange sauce left over from my last cooking class, and some barley). The feijoada has all kinds of scapes I'll be sauteeing beet greens to go with it, at least until I get up to the garden to pull some collard greens. I also need to sort through my bag of miscellaneous greens to find the cilantro I completely forgot to add. It will be nice to have some stuff for my freezer again.
siglinde99: (Default)
1.How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

2.Which is worse, failing or never trying?

3.If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?

4.When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

5.What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?

1. Probably somewhere in my early 30's. Old enough to know better, but not yet old enough to behave all the time.

2. Never trying.

3. Who is this "we" you speak of? I do things I need to do for a bigger reason (clean house, financial solvency), but I do an awful lot of things I enjoy. If they stop being fun, I find something different to do.

5. To quote "Miss Congeniality" I would like world peace. No more poverty, inequality, unsustainable living, extinctions... Obviously, it's not going to happen, but that's not for lack of trying on my part.

Copy and paste to your own journal, then reply to this post with a link to your answers. If your journal is private or friends-only, you can post your full answers in the comments below.

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siglinde99: (Default)
But first, I will say that I wasn't very sore at all following my unplanned swimming adventure. Today I had a massage and that has released some of the sore spots I did have - best though, was that my therapist worked on my old lower back injury. For the first time in months, she actually worked at the tight muscles instead of just trying to release the fluid build-up. It has all left me feeling very sleepy, though. I have only been sleeping 4-5 hours a night, which isn't nearly enough.

Tonight I will retire to bed three hours early, with another new book. This one is called Vantage Point, written by Patricia Filteau. She is a local writer, former diplomat and open-water swimmer. Her story combines three of my very favourite things: Canadian content, a murder mystery, and open water swimming (in fact, the crime scene is Meech Lake, where I go most often with my swimmy friends). I'm too tired to read it now, but I will gloat quietly as it rests beside me on the bed.
siglinde99: (Default)
I went swimming with friends this morning. It was cool and cloudy, but not rainy. We thought we had a plan. Apparently we did not all have the same plan. That's what happens when we make the plan in the late evening, and then go swimming at 6 am. We parked at the boat launch, which is near to the mid-point in the long narrow lake and headed out for the first loop. There were four of us, with a fifth person planning to join at 7:30. A sixth person who said she was coming never showed up. When the first folks got back after the first 3 km loop, they headed out for the 2nd loop (5 km). Unbeknownst to the slightly slower swimmers, a seventh person arrived without advance warning and joined the faster group. Michelle and I, the two slowpokes, had decided to go part way and then head back a bit earlier so we would all end at the same time.

Then things got disorganized. Michelle decided she had done enough before I was ready to head back (my clothes were locked in Nadine's car, so I wasn't keen to stand around waiting for the faster folks to get back). Therefore, I kept swimming. When I could see the others heading my way, I turned around, figuring they would catch up with me about the time I hit the boat launch. Instead, they were still quite a ways back, and the only person who caught up was Laura (the seventh, surprise swimmer) who was wearing a hot pink floatie just like Nadine's. I mistakenly thought it was Nadine, Laura and I both missed the boat launch, and things went downhill from there. Laura's partner spotted her, so he drove to a spot where the road was close to the water and she hopped out. I saw this happening but was so tired and without glasses that I thought I must be hallucinating because Nadine had somehow gotten skinnier and switched into a black bathing suit. So I kept swimming. When I spotted the beach at the far end of the first loop, I knew I had really messed up.

The water had been quite choppy so I blamed that on my tiredness, not the fact that I ended up swimming a good 1-2 km further than planned. I felt a bit panicked that I had no idea where to find my friends and I was starting to get a bit chilly. I did not relish getting out and convincing someone to give me a lift (though I could have done that). I did not want to blow my whistle and signal that I needed help (though I was darned glad I had it with me).

I turned around, and things went very well. I was no longer fighting the wind and waves, and I got a second burst of energy so I could do front crawl instead of breast or backstroke. I spotted the boat launch easily (it's much easier to see from the north than it is from the south). One of my friends was on shore in a bright red shirt, and that helped too. She called the others who had headed off in their car to see if they could spot me.

We had a good debrief afterwards and will be putting new guidelines in place for future swims. I swam about 7.6 km, my second-longest distance ever, so not shabby for someone who rarely swims more than 2 km a week any more. I'm a little sore and I was very tired in the afternoon, but now I'm looking forward to going swimming again tomorrow - in a pool, where I definitely won't get lost. Now that I'm getting more comfortable with longer distances, I want to build up my endurance and speed with shorter swims before work each day.

Here we are at the beginning, when it was still all smiles:
siglinde99: (Default)
Do you use other blogging sites apart from LJ or have done so in past?

I use Wordpress for blogging about my medieval arts research (mostly cooking, some costuming and other stuff). It's at Siglindesarts.wordpress.com, should anyone want to check it out.

Do you play any musical instrument or have done in the past?

I studied piano for many years, and did part of a music degree at university. I also played oboe, flute and tuba in high school (and oboe at university). I was the soprano recorder player in a medieval/renaissance group for about a decade - mostly we played dance tunes. I still play the piano from time to time, but not nearly as often as I would like.

What were the children's TV programmes you watched as a kid?

I didn't have access to TV until I was 7, and then there were only two channels. Mr. Dressup and Romper Room or The Friendly Giant when I was on holidays, and Saturday morning cartoons (Flintstones, Bugs Bunny, and Scooby Doo, plus a few weird things like Hercules, Space Ghost and The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show).

What do you think about GM food or organic food?

I think GM food has great potential to reduce pesticide and herbicide use, and possibly to reduce malnutrition (eg golden rice which is rich in vitamin A). I'm not sure that is always how it is used. I would like to buy or grow more organic food. It is so easily at risk though - recently, there was unannounced spraying for giant hogweed not far from here. It may have wiped out local organic farmers as a result.

Where did you grow up and have you been back there?

Military brat. I have driven through a few of the towns in Ontario where I lived. I was happy not to stop. I would like to go back to Europe though. While living in Germany the second time, I did go back to where I had lived in France and that was great. Germany was definitely better the second time than the first.

TAGS just wondering
8 ADD COMMENT
siglinde99: (Default)
1. Do you like smiling?
2. Would you call yourself a happy or solemn individual?
3. What was that last thing that made you smile or laugh?
4. Do you believe that laughter is the best medicine?
5. Are you smiling now?


1. I do. I feel my mood changing for the better the moment I remember to do it.
2. I don't think of happy and solemn as being opposites. I think of myself as mostly happy, but I don't often express my feelings by smiling. I know this is true because when I'm feeling particularly joyous, people comment about my huge grin. The rest of the time, I have to force myself to avoid a frowny face, even though I don't feel unhappy.
3. Someone's silly description of a killdeer playing injured (OMG dying, both wingsbroken, possibly legs tooo) as her son followed the killdeer to adifferent nest. Not cool mama killdeer, but very funny.
4. No, but it is good complementary medicine.
5. Yes. But mostly on the inside.
siglinde99: (Default)
1. How many close friends do you have?
I'm not sure I have any. To me, close friend implies a mutual bestie relationship. I have several people I am fond of and I think the feeling is mutual, but I am no-one's bestie.

2. Do you make friends easily or more slowly?
It depends on the person. Usually slowly, but every once in a while I click instantly.

3. Who is your friend of longest standing? How often do you talk to him/her?
Probably [livejournal.com profile] emortimer or Jennifer. I am friendly with some people from high school (thanks to FB)but those are mostly very casual relationships.

4. Do you think that your closest friends today will be your closest friends ten years from now?
I expect so. I know most of my friends through a club I have been involved with since the early 1980s. As long as it's around and my friends haven't died of old age, not much is likely to change.

5. What's the best basis for friendship: shared values, shared opinions, or shared activities?
For me, it's shared activities. I have friends with significantly different values and opinions to mine, but our shared interests keep us going. The diversity of opinions and values add interest.

Copy and paste to your own journal, then reply to this post with a link to your answers. If your journal is private or friends-only, you can post your full answers in the comments below.

If you'd like to suggest questions for a future Friday Five, then do so on DreamWidth or LiveJournal. Old sets that were used have been deleted, so please feel free to suggest some more!

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siglinde99: (Default)
1. If you could, would you be a movie star or a rock star?

2. Have you ever been in the media (TV, Radio, Papers)?

3. Do you know anyone who's been on a reality TV show?

4. Have you ever met anyone famous?

5. Who would play you in a movie?



1) I wouldn't mind being a star, but in a much smaller way - say, first oboe in a symphony orchestra.

2) Yes. I think the most fun was when I was in northern Brazil and had to be rushed from one TV studio to another, and then to a radio station - all to do interviews in my rather primitive Portuguese. Apparently they don't get many foreign official in Natal (which was a lovely place). The most embarassing was the time I rushed to the opening of an art show in El Salvador, and gave the welcome speech for TV and the papers, only to discover after the fact that I had on two different coloured shoes (curse my habit of buying multiples when I find something that fits! Thankfully, one was black, the other was navy, and the lights were low).

3) My son's hockey coach tried out for Canadian Idol a couple of times. He didn't get on.

4) Lots of political famous people, but the only popular famous person was Christopher Reeve. He came to a reception to celebrate the banning of driftnet fishing when I was working at the Canadian mission to the UN (it was one of my files). My colleague and I had a very grown-up conversation with him about protecting the oceans. When it was over, we hid behind a potted palm so we could swoon like schoolgirls. He was every bit as handsome and charming as one would expect Superman to be.

5) Angela Lansbury, back when she was playing Jessica Fletcher (middle aged, likes to travel, takes no guff, and doesn't worry about being perfectly dressed). Failing that, Amy Schumer (though she's younger than me, I like her smart mouth, the fact that she is comfortable in her own skin, and takes no guff).
siglinde99: (Default)
Tonight I riffed off one of http://www.midcenturymenu.com/'s rhubarb round-up recipes. The original Lemon Rhubarb Cake used a cake mix, but the original recipe seems to have come from a Strawberry Shortcut Cake. I sort-of combined the two, as follows:

Grease a 13 x 9 inch cake pan, heat oven to 350F
Sprinkle bottom of pan with about 2 cups of miniature marshmallows (or all the large marshmallows I happened to have on hand, cut into quarters).
Mix together:
2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c sugar
1/2 c solid shortening (or approximately 1/4 c shortening and 1/4 c margarine because that's what I had)
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c milk
about 2 Tbsp lemon juice
3 eggs

Blend at low speed until moistened,then at medium speed for about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl from time to time. I only have a hand mixer, so there was just one speed. Pour over the marshmallows.

Combine:
3 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb (it's what I had handy, and any more would have made a huge mess in the bottom of the oven)
1/2 c sugar
1 package raspberry jello powder

Mix thoroughtly, then pour over the cake mix.

Bake for about 50-55 minutes.

I let mine go a smidge longer than I should have, but it is pretty darned tasty. Next time, I might use even less sugar in the topping. I like things a little more tart. I suspect my daughter will love it, though.
siglinde99: (Default)
1. Can you remember the first book you read?
2. What was the last book (electronic or otherwise) you read?
3. Do you read for enjoyment, work or both?
4. What is your favorite genre of book to read?
5. If you could visit your younger self, what book would you tell yourself to steer clear of?

1. The first book I really remember is "I Love My Grandma", a Little Golden Book that had a fuzzy sweater that grandma had knitted for the little girl who was the narrator. You could touch the sweater in most of the pictures.

2. Jhumpa Lahiri's "Unaccustomed Earth". It was a collection of short stories about Indian-Americans (primarily from Bombay). Most of the stories were set in or near Boston.

3. Both, andsometimes work reading bleeds into pleasure reading.

4. When I want to relax, there is nothing like a trashy murder mystery.

5. I can't think of any.

Copy and paste to your own journal, then reply to this post with a link to your answers. If your journal is private or friends-only, you can post your full answers in the comments below.

If you'd like to suggest questions for a future Friday Five, then do so on DW or LJ. Old sets that were used have been deleted, so please feel free to suggest some more!

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>
siglinde99: (Default)
I am way behind on testing new things this month. I put it down to having decided to clean out my pantry and cupboards. It has meant a lot of boring eating. Last night, my daughter said she had a craving for Hamburger Helper - I never buy the packaged stuff, and even my homemade version isn't something she never liked (usually her brother gobbled it all up).

After poking around in a few cookbooks, I settled on Hamburger Stroganoff from good old Betty Crocker (1964 edition). She almost never fails me!

Hamburger Stroganoff
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder or 1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp pepper
1 can (8 oz) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1 can (10 1/2 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup dairy sour cream
2 cups hot cooked noodles
snipped parsley

In a large skillet, cook and stir ground beef and onion in butter until onion is tender. Stir in flour, salt, garlic, pepper and mushrooms; cook five minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Stir in soup; simmer uncovered 10 minutes. Stir in sour cream; heat through. Serve over noodles. Sprinkle with snipped parsley.

Naturally, I didn't have all the right ingredients, but why let that stop me? I didn't have mushrooms (the girl hates them anyway), or cream of chicken soup, or sour cream, so I skipped mushrooms altogether, used dried onion soup mix with a bunch of milk and about a half block of cream cheese. I didn't have fresh parsley, so I threw in a whole bunch of dried (also to give it the illusion of having some sort of vegetable).
siglinde99: (Default)
These questions were written by spacefem.

1. Where does clutter pile up in your home?
2. How many junk drawers do you have?
3. What's an area you're proud to say is relatively organized?
4. How do you decide when to keep something and when to toss it out?
5. What are you keeping around that you don't use?


1. Anywhere I have craft supplies - sewing room, basement store-room, and beside my bed.

2. None

3. Overall, the main floor is pretty good. There are advantages to an open concept main floor.

4. When I can't imagine using it for anything, out it goes. As an inveterate crafter and repairer/re-maker, this can be hard. Sometimes I throw out a thing every day, just to get myself into the habit of decluttering.

5. I have a pasta maker and a krumkake iron, plus a few smaller kitchen gadgets and a spare lunch box.
siglinde99: (Default)
These come from [livejournal.com profile] feodora

1. Do you live a house, a condo, or some kind of apartment?

I live in a semi-detached house. The other half is three apartments. My house may also have been three apartments, many years ago.

2. Do you rent or own?

Technically, I own it, but I actually own a little over half. The bank owns the other half.

3. What’s one thing that you would change about it if you could?

I would refinish the floors. I have hardwood (beautiful maple) throughout, but life hasn't been kind to it.

4. Would you like to move?

Tough question. Some day, I might like to go on a posting abroad again, but for now I'm content to stay here. My location is perfect - great access to public transit, many shops, my workplace, and many amenities (library, swimming pools, my ballet school) within walking distance. Eventually, I'll have to admit it's too big and look at downsizing, ideally to a place with no stairs.

5. Do you read the answers of others before answering yourself?

Depends on the question. Sometimes I want to know how other people responded, and may not even want to comment. Other times, I can't wait to share my thoughts.

Copy and paste to your own journal, then reply to this post with a link to your answers. If your journal is private or friends-only, you can post your full answers in the comments below.

If you'd like to suggest questions for a future Friday Five, then do so on DW or LJ. Old sets that were used have been deleted, so please feel free to suggest some more!

**Remember that we rely on you, our members, to help keep the community going. Also, please remember to play nice. We are all here to answer the questions and have fun each week. We repost the questions exactly as the original posters submitted them and request that all questions be checked for spelling and grammatical errors before they're submitted. Comments re: the spelling and grammatical nature of the questions are not necessary. Honestly, any hostile, rude, petty, or unnecessary comments need not be posted, either.**
siglinde99: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]I'm a milk drinker. Two cups of skim milk every morning for as long as I can remember. I started doing it to ensure I got enough calcium back in high school or university, but I always drank it even before then. Now I do it because that cold delicious liquid is just the thing to give me energy in the morning.
siglinde99: (Default)
1. What is your favorite food? Spaghetti and meat sauce.
2. What was your favorite food when you were a kid? Spaghetti and meat sauce.
3. What is the best tasting, quick to cook meal that you make for yourself? Spaghetti and meat sauce.
4. What is your favorite food to order in a restaurant? Often, some variant of pasta (but not spaghetti and meat sauce, because I get plenty of that at home).
5. If you could go anywhere in the world to any restaurant, what would you order for yourself? I have no particular favourites. I love to travel and really enjoy whatever is local, traditional, and very typical of the community. That means I eat lots of variants on pastas, rice, and beans. The surroundings are usually not very fancy, but the food is often delicious and the experience is amazing.
siglinde99: (Swimming in Varadero)
My Ex's grandmother made wicked rum balls. You could get drunk just smelling those puppies. I have her recipe in one of my binders full of paper recipes. This year, though< I decided to wing it a little. I had a bit of rum left from my summer stock (I buy a bottle each year for mojitos). I had some chocolate gram cracker crumbs left from the last time I made rum balls. I had some walnuts and ground almonds and coconut from previous projects. I didn't have any cocoa, but I had corn syrup for the planned experiment in making my own marshmallow fluff. So here's what I did:

1 c chocolate graham cracker crumbs
1 c shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 c rum
2 Tbsp corn syrup
1 c nuts (I used about 2/3 ground almonds and 1/3 chopped walnuts)
1/2 c Splenda (granulated sugar would have worked equally well, but I had Splenda I wanted to get rid of)
1/2 c confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Mix it all together and roll into balls about the size of a walnut, then set on wax paper to harden a bit. You should end up with about 25-30 balls of mid-century yumminess.

This recipe was milder than Grandma Moore's but quite tasty.

For Light

Dec. 19th, 2015 09:29 pm
siglinde99: (Swimming in Varadero)
By John O'Donohue from To Bless the Space Between Us
His poem (or blessing, as he called it) was used for an advent discussion at church last week. I haven't been going to the discussions, but they are included in the church bulletin so people can take them away. John O'Donohue was ordained as a Catholic priest, but he eventually left the priesthood to work on social justice issues and his writing. I thought it was beautiful and particularly apt as several friends are dealing with death and sorrow this winter.

For Light

Light cannot see inside things.
That is what the dark is for:
Minding the interior,
Nurturing the draw of growth
Through places where death
In its own way turns into life.

In the glare of neon times,
Let our eyes not be worn
By surfaces that shine
With hunger made attractive.

That our thoughts may be true light,
Finding their way into words
Which have the weight of shadow
To hold the layers of truth.

That we never place our trust
In minds claimed by empty light,
Where one-sided certainties
Are driven by false desire.

When we look into the heart,
May our eyes have the kindness
And reverence of candlelight.

That the searching of our minds
Be equal to the oblique
Crevices and corners where
The mystery continues to dwell,
Glimmering in fugitive light.

When we are confined inside
The dark house of suffering
That moonlight might find a window.

When we become false and lost
That the severe noon-light
Would cast our shadow clear.

When we love, that dawn-light
Would lighten our feet
Upon the waters.

As we grow old, that twilight
Would illuminate treasure
In the fields of memory.

And when we come to search for God,
Let us first be robed in night,
Put on the mind of morning
To feel the rush of light
Spread slowly inside
The color and stillness
Of a found world.
siglinde99: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]I have two favourites - swimming and ballet. Both require strength and precision. Ballet requires me to be graceful, which doesn't often happen, but it's something to aspire to. Swimming does make me feel graceful; I love the sudden surge when I get everything just right and suddenly power through the water like a fish.

What would I love to try? Some day, I would like to enter my horse in a dressage competition. Riding is more physically demanding than many people realize. Dressage is a great way to get your horse in peak condition, and it is mentally challenging for the rider. We're terrible at it (she's a middle-aged thoroughbred, not exactly a prime dressage horse), but I have fun pretending that we're in international competition, doing amazing things together.

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