Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sometimes Ridiculous Measures Are Needed

Lately,  have been making lots of new things for my Etsy shop. I don't know if it's the change of season or not, but I've been hit with a serious craft bug (but not with the Christmas craft bug quite yet), and I've been busy in Batman's little workshop modge-podging and stamping away!

But now that all these goodies are completed, do you think Mother Nature is being cooperative? NO! Of course not! So in my attempts to compete with her cloudy and very rainy skies today, I have come up with a very ridiculous set-up so that I can take photos.

Ta dah!! I present to you, cat stand photo gallery (complete with front door, empty computer box and confused cat who wants to play).

To see the newly listed item (pictured above), check this link out:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sticky Pants

Sketch - about halfway done

This afternoon I went for a little stroll down the road to one of the 'beach' accesses. In this neighborhood, the shoreline is quite rugged and rocky so there are lots of little docks floating on the water with boats beside them. There is also lots of vegetation on the sides; ivy, shrubs, coniferous and deciduous trees, etc.

I did a quick little sketch of the shoreline while I was there. It's not anything spectacular, just something to get the creative juices going again. It's a very relaxing activity.

Anyhow, while I was listening to my music and sketching, I managed to sit in some very sticky pine sap. Arrrgh! So sticky! And I had been doing laundry earlier, so I was wearing black dress pants. Double arrgh!

I've never had to try to get pine sap out of good clothing before but after some quick Googling, I tried rubbing alcohol and a microfiber cloth. It seems to have done the trick! Yay for Google! What was my life like before Google? (Oh wait I remember, World Book Encyclopedia...1989 version)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Apple & Blackberry Chutney

This chutney goes well with goat's cheese and crackers.... just sayin'

Well, it's officially autumn which means I have an abundance of summer fruits in my freezer and at my doorstep (literally, the apples are falling off of the tree on to my doorstep). I only have a tiny fridge freezer so in order to start making some room, I have been trying the old art of canning - for the first time might I add.

My first experiment has been  with some chutney. Because it is quite acidic, there is less of a chance of things going wrong (rancid). Obviously, the recipe I chose would need to use apples, so I chose a recipe from BBC Good Food and tweaked it to my own liking. I love that website!

Apple & Blackberry Chutney
(makes approximately 5 x 500ml jars)

8 cups apples (peeled and chopped)
1 very large red onion (450g) (sliced)
1 thumb sized piece fresh root ginger (peeled and finely grated)
    -for a little more kick, add more ginger
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup white wine vinegar

3 cups blackberries

-put everything except the blackberries into a large stock pot
-bring to a boil (uncovered) and then let the mixture simmer for about an hour until there is no watery liquid left
- add berries and cook further until berries have softened but not burst and no watery liquid is left.
-spoon into jars (leave some space at the top) and wipe the rims
-seal until finger tight
-boil in water (make sure water is at least and inch above the tops) for 5-20 minutes depending on your altitude (not attitude)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Citizenship Continued

I finally have all the needed documents to apply for my Dutch Citizenship. I know that first I have to e-mail the assessment to the Dutch Embassy in Washington, DC first. I was about to do this when I caught the notes at the end of the assessment form saying that it had to be accompanied by supporting documents. I need to email my birth certificate, my parents marriage certificate, proof of my mom's nationality at my birth and proof of my dad's nationality at my birth.

I was so excited to finally send off my assessment form but this is just another stop in the road that I have to contend with. I'm off to find a scanner that will scan to PDF.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

'Van' the Netherlands

In Dutch, the word 'van' means from. It's quite common to see it as a prefix in Dutch last names: or 'van der' meaning 'from the' is also common.

My family heritage is Dutch but up until October 2010, I couldn't apply for dual citizenship. Despite my father's Dutch heritage, the fact that he became a Canadian citizen at age 22 and was not a Dutch citizen when I was born (even though my mother was a Dutch citizen at that time), meant that I could not apply for citizenship. Citizenship was through the paternal line and not the maternal.

There was a push in Holland that this sexist rule be changed and in October 2010 there was success. People like myself can now apply for citizenship through their mother's heritage under the special title of 'Latent Dutch' ('Latente Nederlanders'.

This process has not been simple and I just at the beginning of it still. I'm hoping that my blog posts might be able to help other people who might be wanting to apply as Latent Dutch also.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Walking Around Cast Free

Batman got his casts off about a week ago and he's doing great! The first few days were a bit rough though. He was in a lot of pain. He meowed alot and also hissed and growled and took it out on Fatty (Robin) a bit too. The vet didn't want to send home any pain medication because she didn't want him to do something stupid because of it. Better for him to feel pain and be careful.

It was quite obvious that he needed to strengthen his legs again. The joints looked very "rounded". He has been managing to strengthen his legs on his own quite well by playing with his toys & Fatty and jumping and trying to scratch on his cat stand (gripping and scratching things seems to be the most dificult for him). He has also been stretching his front feet alot- I'm sure they bother him. The bones were not perfectly aligned when they healed, but on the whole, he is doing awesome. He was even the Pet of the Month at our vet office!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Utterly Beautiful

I finally have a spare minute to blog! Fortunately the craziness of my life has simmered down. The busyness hasn't quite yet though. I have 3 more 6-day work weeks and then I get to have a vacation! Yay!

Good thing I like my jobs! I found this beautiful yellow rose at work today. I only have a few planters at my place so it's nice to be able to work with all of these other beautiful plants. Too bad I can't include how wonderful this rose smelled!

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