I’m So Excited

Every now and then I go absolutely nuts (happy type, not psychotic) over something relatively minor.

This one’s going to have half of you scratching your heads, wondering how much of a life I have.

(None, OK? I thought I made that clear)

Tonight, on TV, is….

Indiana Jones – Raiders of the Lost Ark

W00t! I haven’t seen these movies for years. If they’re not damn good, I’m going to be damn annoyed. Because I got so excited when I found out that I burbled all about it to hubby, who was trying to play Civ4 at the time, but was having trouble due to the big bouncing burbling female on his lap.

So don’t expect me to be around tonight. I got stuff to do.

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German Streusel Cake – Recipe

I’ve finally gotten hold of my mother’s streusel recipe! WOOHOO!

I’ve modified it slightly, because in my humble opinion, the ratios are a bit off in Mum’s version. And my version is vegan. If I don’t post any more after this, you’ll know that Mum reads my blog 😀

German Streusel Cake

Cake

2 cups S R flour
¾ cup sugar
2 handfuls sultanas
½ – 1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch mace (or nutmeg)
pinch salt
1 cup soy milk (or dairy, if you prefer)
50 – 60 g margarine (soy margarine or Nuttelex if you’re making this vegan)

Heat the soy milk and margarine in a saucepan over a low flame until the margarine melts. Mix the dry ingredients well, then add the warm soy milk and margarine mix. Stir well. Spread cake mix over base of a slab or lamington tin.

Topping

1 cup plain flour
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg

Blend in enough margarine – approx. 50g – with hands to form a moist crumble.

Spread topping evenly over the cake mix (I pat it down a bit too) & bake at 180 deg for 40 – 45 minutes.

Variation

Leave out the sultanas and spread a thin layer of pureed, cooked apple over the cake mix before adding the topping.

Notes

Have you baked this cake? I’d love to get your feedback!

Increasing the temperature to 250 degrees for the last 5 minutes sometimes gives the topping a crispy crust. Quite nice, if you can manage it.

See my other recipes

Thoughts About ANZAC Day

I know it’s well past ANZAC Day now. But I’ve been thinking about it, and I might just have my thoughts in enough order to post them, now.

Ever since I got old enough to distance myself from the group hype around ANZAC Day and really think about it, I’ve been ambivalent. Very. See, my father’s a Vietnam Vet. And like all Vietnam Vets I’ve come into contact with, he’s got a few weird habits. Pecadilloes, maybe. For example, an image of a Vietnamese person on TV can trigger an anti-asian diatribe from a man who tends to believe more in ‘live and let live’ than racism. He can switch in a moment from ‘happy’ to loud, near-violent anger. And I think the military – and the war – did that to him. Sometimes it’s like looking at a graffitied masterpiece – some bits obviously just don’t fit.

So I can’t help wondering what it was that our veterans really fought for, and sometimes – whether it was really worth it. Regardless, I can only offer appreciation to the men who died to protect their country, doing what they felt was right. Because no matter what my ethical take on the past might be, I wasn’t there, and I didn’t put my neck out.

It’s My Birthday!

W00t!

I love birthdays.

Maybe a little too much at times. In some ways I’m very childish about my birthdays.

But who cares? That’s the whole point of a birthday, in my humble opinion. It’s the one day of the year that’s (theoretically, anyway) all about ME.

Here’s my wishlist (none of which is at all likely, but that’s OK – it’s a wishlist, not an expectlist):

  • A new wardrobe (pregnancy-stretched tops are SO not a good look)
  • A pair of sexy but walk-on-able heels
  • A sewing machine
  • Enough black, washable 8-ply wool to make a cable-knit jumper with
  • The beads, fixings and know-how to complete my dream necklace
  • The latest Katharine Kerr book
  • A couple of weeks on Stradbroke Island, catered
  • Babysitter for the above
  • An Asus Eee
  • Inspiration for my writing
  • A new job which pays $15k above market rate and lets me do whatever I want
  • A domain name
  • A year’s website hosting

There, is that ambitious enough? 😀

Christians, Newlyweds and Sex

While I was running the Christian Women Blogzine (now defunct) – and ever since I wrote a post on here about what to buy a friend of mine who’s getting married soon – I’ve noticed that a lot of people are searching for basic information about sex. So I thought I’d compile some of the basic advice along these lines that I tend to give to young couples who’re getting married. It’ll mostly apply to couples where one or both partners are young, or virgins. But it won’t hurt to give it a quick read-through just in case.

Know Thyself

First, you need to know a bit about yourself and your anatomy. Go to Wikipedia and read up on your sexual organs so that you know where things are and what does what. Find a hand mirror, and take a look at your own sexual organs.

Know Your Partner

It’s not necessary to check out your partner’s sexual organs. But at least read up on Wikipedia about their sexual organs, too.

Find a Manual

See if you can find a book in your local bookstore (many christian bookstores do stock this sort of thing) which has some information on basic sexual techniques for you to try on your wedding night.

Test the Equipment

Work out what feels good, and what doesn’t. Successful masturbation isn’t really what we’re after here… more a knowledge of how you might enjoy being touched. If you’re female, please do this next bit, OK? Check your vaginal muscles. If you can put in a tampon with no hassles, you should be fine. A lot of women skip this step, and some find their first few months of marriage difficult as a result. If the muscles of your vagina are tight and don’t stretch easily, sex will be painful. Like any muscle, though, the vagina can be taught to relax and stretch. It’s important to note that it’s primarily virgins who have this trouble, but they’re not the only ones.

Have Fun

Your wedding night is primarily about enjoying each other. So do it! Don’t take things too seriously, have some fun, and be kind to each other.

Further Reading

Wikipedia article on the human reproductive system

Getting Your Sex Life Off to a Great Start

Crises of Faith

I used to scoff, internally, at the idea of a crisis of faith where a person just can’t hear God. See, I’ve been hearing God from the moment I became a christian. God spoke, I heard, I recognised him, I followed. I’ve been following (with a few detours) ever since.

I thought that if a person truly opened themselves up to hearing God, he was bound to speak to them. And I think I do still believe exactly that. Except – sometimes maybe the path to hearing, or the hearing itself, is more complicated than I expected.

This crisis of faith – let me just clarify, I don’t mean ‘loss of faith’, I mean a crisis connected to my faith – started when I had my first miscarriage, I think. I talked about it a bit in an earlier post. I knew God was with me. I felt his love and comfort all through the bleeding and the pain and the etcetra. But it shook me up and forced me to take a good hard look at some of the differences between what I believe in my head, and what I believe in my heart. See, I’ve maintained for years that God doesn’t protect us from the physical and emotional evils in this world. That following a path of love doesn’t instantly make everything warm and fuzzy and happy. That God’s interest is in our capacity to love, and increasing that as much as possible.

I still believe that – in my head. But I guess I’ve always had this idea that I could rely on God for certain things. And I guess deep-down, I DID believe that God would protect me from the bad stuff if I just prayed the right prayers. Because now I’m a little adrift. I see other believers praying for healing for migraines, or back pain, and I’m touched with scepticism. Not in God – but in their prayers and the use of those prayers, I guess.

It’s hard to pray when you’re not sure what will be given and what won’t. It’s hard to listen to God when you’re not sure you want to hear what he has to say. And it’s hard to be interested in loving when you’re fighting just to cope with life itself.

WARNING: If you struggle with suicidal thoughts, you might want to avoid this next bit, OK? It could be a trigger.

For those who’re now worried about me after that warning, don’t be. I’m not suicidal, K? I know it’s easy to get stressed when someone on the internet starts sounding a bit ‘funny’. I just wanted to express some stuff, and I don’t want anyone finding their life harder just because of what I’ve written.

That said… one thing I’ve never been confused or lost faith in is heaven. Even before I became a christian, I knew about heaven and longed for it. Think about it – no pain, no tears, no sorrow… and no stupid bodies incapable of doing what we want to do. Unfairness stamped out. Beauty without ugliness. Life without death. Love without indifference and hatred. Joy without tiredness and listlessness. That’s what keeps me going, I guess. Knowing that there’s a point, even if I can’t quite see it right now.

Whoops, the Update!

Sorry, folks. Don’t you hate it when people leave you hanging?

The job interview… honestly, I’m not sure how it went. I was unsure how I’d fit into the company, and said so. I also said that they should have an idea about who I am now, and could hopefully tell better than I if I’d be a good fit.

The reason it was so difficult is that this seems to be a company which puts a strong emphasis on formal education (I done got none), and is necessarily farily rigid in some of its processes and policies. It also seems a little overly rigid in some ways. Yet the actual team that is advertising is quite unstructured and flexible. It’s enough to do my head in, I tell ya!

So, I suspect that my ‘meh, you decide’ response may well be interpreted as ‘she’s not particularly interested’. And I dunno, maybe that’s true. While my current job causes me to want to bite people on a regular basis, it’s not all bad. I’m not keen to move from having lots of control over some aspects of my job to having none. I want to move to a position where I have lots of responsibilty and the resources to do my job well. I frequently say in interviews that incompetency infuriates me… well it does, and I want to get less infuriated, not more!

Geez, at this rate I’ll never get a new job. I’m starting to think someone at my current job has hexed me, you know. I started looking for a new job two bloody years ago. I was keen on the first position I interviewed for. They liked me too, but liked someone else a tad more. Darn. I got pregnant (bit of a shock, that). I got the second job I interviewed for, despite telling them about the pregnancy during the interview. I loved them, they loved me. Then their company had some financial issues and the official job offer never came through. Sigh. Then the first company called the agent back – their first choice had been headhunted, was their second-best still available? Sigh. I told the agent that yes I was, but I knew their deadlines were tight – tell them I’m pregnant and get back to me. He never did. After I had Bubba Boy, the second company got back in touch – they’d finally gotten funding back and remembered that they’d promised me the job. Except… they only had funding for a contract, and the applicant must have solid experience in a piece of software that I’ve hardly ever used. Snot.

Lucky my self-confidence is in fantastic shape, right? Otherwise I’d be a snivelling wreck! 😀