Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What's up

Caitlin is recovering from her second bout of viral infection since the last post two weeks ago. That's why I've not had the time or mood to write anything here the past two weeks. She had the same symptoms as the first time, i.e. sore throat and fever. But this time the fever took longer to break. It finally did today, the fifth day.

I've put off writing for pleasure or pocket money for the time being. Apart from my blogs and my fortnightly 'column' in a newspaper, I've just been busy keeping house, pet and garden.

There was no fanfare for E's birthday on the 19th which was a Monday, a school and work day. We had initial plans for a small gathering at home with his and my side of the family the day before (18th, Sunday) but both his siblings and their families were not able to make it. That brought down the quorum by 50% so we decided to call it off. On Monday night, C and I got a small cake with one candle for him. C put some snacks, and candies in a small basket and decorated it like a hamper and stuck a note to it as a present for him. We also got him a new coffee tumbler as the old one was already cracked.

I got some help for my garden when my brother-in-law's helper came to live with us for a week while they were on vacation. She did a good job tidying up my flower beds and even put up the plastic decorative fencing for me. She took two mornings before the sun came out in full force to complete the job. If it were me, I'd have taken months. Coming from a farming background, I guess she's more experienced in working the soil.

I finally set up the earthern tub that had been overturned in the garden for months. I got a somewhat matching 'stand' for it. The stands at the gardening shops were too low for my liking so I got a flower pot, turned it upside down and sat the tub on it. I also don't want it to be too low as I know Rusty would surely stick his paw into it or take a drink from it. True to my thoughts, Rusty did attempt to find out what that new 'structure' was. He stood on his hind legs and took a peek over the rim with his two paws after I set it up. So I now have a purple water lily growing out of it, and some fish swimming around to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in the tub.

Easter came and went too and it inspired me to try my hand at making hot cross buns. But instead of the candied peels and currants, I used the dried cranberries I had in relative abundance. Unfortunately the buns didn't turn out soft and fluffy. Somehow the dough did not rise enough despite following the recipe to a 'T'. I believe the yeast I used were not of good quality or kind of 'dead'....I went through the recipe again and checked if I missed out anything in the process or whether I used any wrong techniques, but did not find any mistake. So we had hot rock buns instead. Cooking is always an adventure for me, trying out recipes and concocting my own and seeing the results -- tasty or not. We've also made pizza (using frozen base and personalised toppings) and roast chicken again. The only 'problem' with roasting a whole chicken is we'll have leftovers for the next two days. We then turn them into chicken porridge, chicken pasta, fried rice and stock (the carcass).

When C is back to school and healthy again, I might re-evaluate my writing 'hobby' and indulge in some others like gardening, catch up on the tons of books to be read, training Rusty (that I should and must do in fact) and taking pit stops to do no-brainer stuff like watch tv and go window shopping (so unlike me!). The writing I do for pocket money has become less satisfying somehow. The jobs are erratic (my fault as I don't actively go looking for them) and deadlines 'uncomfortable' and subject matter dry and uninteresting. I actually wonder how I ever did so much corporate writing in the 14 years of my career in the past. I guess I didn't have too much distractions (home, kid, garden, cooking, pet) then and had to work for the elusive dangling carrot....

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