Saturday, November 29, 2008


Finally arrived this morning after the 9.5hr flight to Auckland and then the short hop down to Wellington (1hr), got in around 10am. The hostel i'm staying at wasn't ready so we all went out for a short walk and some lunch before we could check in. Met up with two friends from Louisiana here for the meeting and a fun get together was had. 

We're about to head out to dinner too, I'm just about keeling over, so it'll be a short, quiet one.I knew if I didn't post now I would probably not manage it later. The hostel is nice, clean, friendly (the YHA Wellington City), I have a small private double room (shared bathroom) and the two students have a twin room downstairs. Been on the Skype with Stian already and plans are afoot for our New Zealand tour - woo hoo! 

The Te Papa museum - our reception tomorrow night is in there, so i'l try and go early and explore a little. Some fish and chips and a beer......mmmmmm.........good 'ole british food......:0)

And in keeping with British fish and chip tradition, a seagull waiting for leftovers......

Friday, November 28, 2008

I'm off.....

Heading out to Wellington, New Zealand this afternoon - wow that came up fast! Better get packing! 

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


My check went in today, I have been paid; I opened a Hawaiian bank account, no I do not need another bank account, but now at least I have a landing pad before my pay goes out to my real bank account; I finished up my Antarctic physical paperwork, all sent away; I came out of the dentist and did not want to cry, this is a first in a few years; I finally got the Purchase Order through to buy a printer cartridge for my printer from the University store (this has been a week in coming, yet the bookstore is just there!); I had a haircut, pedicure and drinks and dinner with Jenny and Doug. 

In short, I had a MUCH better day. In fact I had a GREAT day....:0)

Oh....and Grant.....Doug tested out the nappies, they're man approved......

Happy Thanksgiving one and all! 

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm being driven insane.....

And why is it the University only ever drives me insane when I'm about to go away, or there is a holiday looming (or in the case of now, both) and so need it to deal with things now?

My ever frustrating paycheck. The paycheck they can't possibly direct debit into my "world's largest bank" bank account, but no, they have to post my check to Chicago for someone to deposit it. Read the following with the knowledge that tomorrow is Thanksgiving (so everything is closed) and I leave for New Zealand on friday. 

I was supposed to have been paid on the 15th. I have still not been paid. I asked yesterday (after the 7 day waiting period) if my check had indeed been posted on the 14th (as the 15th was a Sat) as it was supposed to have been. I was told today (such is their willingness to look at this things urgently) after being passed to three different people - yes, I was then asked if I wanted to cancel my check. (purple is me)

"So how long would it take to get a new check if I cancelled it - can I be hand given a check by friday?" 
"I don't know" 
"Who could I ask who would know"
"I don't know" 
"Is there anyway to find out? I would really like a new check by friday, and if it means I have to cancel my check today then I need to act on that and get it done" 
"I could call someone down in the office that deals with checks" 
"Yes please" 
"Okay, so i'm going to call someone and cancel your check and see when they can get you a new check."
"No, please do not cancel my check - please find out if you can get me a new check by friday. If you can then I do want that check cancelled, otherwise I might as well wait and see if it turns up in my bank, as I won't be able to deposit it until I got back from New Zealand anyway" 

ten minutes later.......

"So I asked about canceling your check and they said you cannot cancel the check, your bank has to call them to cancel the check"
"My bank has to cancel a check it doesn't know it was receiving? A check that was addressed to me?"
"yes, it seems like it would be normal for you to cancel your check, but they said your bank has to do it?"
"are you sure?"
"Okay. How long would it take for me to get a new check, if my bank were to call and cancel it"
"They can't tell you, it would depend on how long it would take your bank to call and cancel the check"
"From the time the University was called up and cancelled how long would it take?"
"I don't know"
"I really need to know this, I need to get paid before I go to New Zealand on friday"
"I know, I just don't really understand this stuff"


......this has been my week so far (this is just an example of a whole handful of frustrations with UH over the last two days)...........NEA, that chocolate has really come in handy......

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Positively spacious!

Welcome to Grodnick! I finally measured my tiny house the other day, and it comes to a positively spacious 323 sq ft! Actually much larger than I had thought, having the separate kitchen is a definite bonus here and a decent size (not to mention new!) bathroom. Remembering that I moved here from a 2 bedroom house with garden (and from that an even larger 2 bedroom apartment!) it is still a small space for me, but one I am really loving. Yes I would like a separate bedroom, yes I would like a spare bedroom, i'd even love a kitchen I could actually turn a circle in, but I am really enjoying finding ways to make this small space work for me, not to mention the $$'s i'm saving over most places here (though remembering i'm paying almost what I paid for the 2 bedroom house on the cape!).

So I thought i'd take you on a tour, now that i've actually been here for a long stint and have things pretty well set up.

So - the view from my front door (by the futon) -

My desk/TV area. Computer, printer and the TV which is actually a monitor, so doubles up when I need extra desktop space. I recently bought a bracket to hang my TV/monitor on the wall, which has cleared up a bunch of space, and it tilts, so it doesn't matter that it's high, I can still see the screen.
The view from my backdoor (by the bed) -

The bathroom (I can't squeeze in there enough to take a good photo of the shower unfortunately). So this recently got redone, and although it is super nice, I actually lost a lot of storage space when they redid it, so i'm hoping to find some suitable shelves for the wall. I used to keep all my bedlinen in here as well as all my towels and laundry soap and the usual toilet items. Now there is no room for the towels (if only they had made the drawers deeper!) or my linens, so they have moved to my closet.
View into my kitchen, so nice for a studio to have a separate kitchen!

View the other direction. Counter space is so small that I often use the cooker top as an extra surface, which is nice that it's a ceramic top! The cooker is slim so I still get the cupboards and things on the ceiling and wall.

The wall opposite in the kitchen - my "pantry" well organised and in canisters (left over from the cape where mice were an issue, and now good for ants and cockroaches!), the black bins are my recycling, all my gardening things are in here too on the floor tucked in the corner.

The best thing for a small kitchen - get things up on the wall!

My princess bed.....:0) Yes, the mosquitos are still biting......The bed is unfortunately on a box spring, so doesn't have much "under" room, but I do have two underbed boxes which have "present" supplies in and some pictures that won't fit on the walls here.

My large closet. This houses basically everything except my larger luggage which I have in plastic boxes under the house. So all my camping gear is in there, all my cruise gear, my clothes, my crafting supplies, my laundry and probably a few other things. It needs some major reorganization otherwise I would have taken a photo inside. I love this closet, and am so lucky to have such a large one in such a small space, otherwise I would be pretty sunk for storage...

And my way of disguising my clutter.....put it behind the chair....:0) This is part of my yarn stash, just the stuff I am using now for my many crochet projects.....

Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Penny pinching....

Today I took all my loose coins (in my piggy bank, from my desk at work and out of the car) down to the Coinstar machine (I don't have a bank account on the island, so couldn't change them in a bank) and made two big scores. 

First I had way more than I thought - having done some internet research I discovered that you can use Coinstar machines and get vouchers for things like Amazon and iTunes and not get charged for it counting your pennies. So i'd decided I would come away with probably a $20 amazon voucher, threw my money in there. I had $88 worth of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters - woo hoo! So I paid the fee and ended up with $81 in cash - not the way I was going to go, but at this point $81 cash was more appealing than $88 on Amazon. Way to go desk drawer.

The second big discovery was Star Market - my god, how had I not walked in one before. It's a supermarket, but had way more choice than the local Safeway. They actually had a British section. I loved it, didn't buy much as I go away next friday, but enjoyed wandering - a good selection of organic foods too, average prices for Hawaii, but just having the choice is good. 

So I bought myself a few goodies (tofu, curry sauce, chocolate....the basics) and headed for a drive through the wet weather. Even down on Waikiki was wet, plenty of tourists wandering around in $1 clear plastic ponchos. It stopped raining about an hour ago, not sure if it's a lull or that was that. 

A wet Waikiki...

Sandbagging the university, which does lie on a low spot....

Friday, November 21, 2008

Flood Warning...

I find it pretty amazing that the one time it's not raining we're put on Flood Alert......:0)

On a more serious note, the rains are coming, some big storms set for tonight and tomorrow, they're thinking as large as the major floods of 2006. I haven't experienced it yet, but have been told it's not unusual for Manoa valley to loose power during such storms (we're up high enough flooding is not an issue for our house), so i'm pulling out the camping stove when I get home tonight! 

Happy Weekend everyone! 

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Gimme 5

Just came across an interesting article about recycling Brita water filters and that led me through to the Gimme 5 program. Many food packages are made out of #5 plastic that is not recycled in most states - here in Hawaii we only recycle #1 and #2, and depressingly little else......though at least curbside is coming soon! Common $5's include yoghurt and humus tubs and medicine bottles. 

The Gimme 5 program is putting recycle bins in Whole Foods and also has a mail in program for #5 plastics to send them off to be recycled. Apparently they've done the numbers, and even with people sending things in it's still better than #5 going in the ground. 

So check them out and see if a bin appears in your neighborhood! 

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Congratulations to Jenny and Doug who have made it to mid-way pregnancy, and just found out they're having a girl! All we need is for cousin Elen to have a girl too and it'll be three for three! 


One thing I enjoy as much as receiving parcels is wrapping up parcels! And it is that time of year! Here is a pile waiting for just a few more additions before I take them down to the post office. The post office has such annoying hours here it's worth waiting and taking them all in one! 

And, i'm finally feeling better! Though maybe my cold travelled through the ether to NEA and family - get well soon guys! 

Monday, November 17, 2008


Shower Soothers - yes they're a gimmick, but the couple of hours of uncongested-ness they give me in the morning are worth it

Emergen-C and Gatorade (powder) make great popsicles for rehydration and nutrients when it's hot

TigerBalm - Not just for sore muscles, a little on the back of the neck works great at clearing the head, and an all natural alternative

I'm sure i'll think of more.........

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tuna Casserole

An "at home day" today, i'm feeling less congested, but decided not to go on the hike. I got into cleaning up the house and didn't want to stop. I did lots of useful house things, so that was definitely good, and my house is now way more organised than it's been in weeks. I cleared out clutter, took the recycling to the recycle center, finished up a few more christmas craft projects, started to repair the swingseat, packaged up a ton of things i've been meaning to send to people, cleaned the kitchen, cleaned the bathroom, sorted my quarter collections, made my 3rd attempt at lye soap, made bread and made tuna casserole (I can hear Stian going 'yuck' all the way from Antarctica....:0).

Tuna casserole is one of my favorite low cost, low prep, good nutrient meals that I love when i'm feeling coldy or if it's cold outside. I've been eating this version of it that works out to be less than $5 (would be less in any other state!) and lasts for 4 or 5 meals -

2 cups of whole wheat pasta
1 can of cream of celery soup
1 can of corn
2 cans of tuna
1/2 cup of frozen peas, broccoli or other vegetables (frozen or fresh)
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
tsp butter

Boil up pasta, put tuna, corn and vegetables in casserole dish, preheat oven to 450F, mix in hot pasta, mix in can of celery soup, fill soup can with water and add that in. Mix together well and put in oven for 15 minutes. Mix melted butter into breadcrumbs, sprinkle on top of casserole and put in oven for a further 15 minutes. Take out and serve.

Call for Quarters....

Since I moved over the Atlantic 5 years ago (5, time flies!) I've been collecting the state quarters for a few people and pulled them out today to add in my latest finds. I realised that i'm missing some of the earlier quarters, so I am posting to see if anyone out there has any of the older ones lying around in jars, piggy banks or jeans pockets that they'd be willing to part with.

Does anyone out there have -


I'm also missing some of the ones from this year, but figure they will turn up in the next few months - Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Hawaii and Alaska.

Thanks for checking those nooks and crannies!

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Yup, I have a cold. Alison upstairs has one too, she looks way worse, so i'm dreading it getting like that. At least today has been mellow, did pull myself out of bed and go to pottery this morning, that was really nice, then a trip to Whole Foods to get some comfort food on the way home. 

Tomorrow I want to go hiking with Jenny and the Geology Club (yes I know i'm not a geologist), so i'm hoping it keeps moving over. Not feeling too bad, just tired and stuffed up. 

When you live in temps of over 75F for most of the year, shouldn't it be called a "hot"?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Happy Weekend!

I finished up teaching! Woo hoo! So glad about it, feeling more up today, though my house is in total disarray, so think I know what i need to do this weekend. This space is too small to clutter!

So here is the reason I didn't walk in this morning! And no, it's not unusual!

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Running low.....

Starting to feel run down today. there's a cold going around and to be honest i'm just totally overwhelmed with stuff this week. Teaching has been fun, but I can't wait until tomorrow is done and i'm off the hook for anymore. It's just taking up so much of my time not only getting the lectures ready, but also thinking about getting them ready. I'm also trying to do too many things at work as usual, trying to get a bunch of TEM work done both for a publication and also to talk about in New Zealand. I also have some student training to do next week and I really need to get cracking at a proposal soon too, starting to worry me i'm going to run out of time. I think i've also been drinking too much coffee this week, which although gets me going in the moment, makes me feel like crap after a while. 

I'm starting to feel job stressed again too, I have just 14 months of funding left, which means either - 
a) I need to write a bunch of proposals and soon, and (much harder) I need to get them funded
b) I need to find another job, which means I have to start applying for jobs again

Sucks, feel like i'm just getting settled and already I have to think about moving on. 

On the good side, I'm really enjoying pottery, it's proving to be a real stress reliever. Here are some of my creations drying. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The elephant in the room.....

I set my graduate students a reading assignment for monday, we then spent 2 hrs talking over the 3 papers I had set. All were about corals declining - one was on deep water corals and the effects of ocean acidification, one was on shallow water corals and how fisheries were causing the major decline in reefs and the other was a policy paper that suggested tackling all the problems at once and stop messing around with the small stuff. None of these papers really tackled the big issue, all skirted around the root and only talked about the damage that root was doing. But my students totally got it (which I was impressed by!) and we had a long and exhaustive conversation that several after told me they really enjoyed. And it's relevant to not just coral reefs either, it's relevant to everything around us. 

The main threat to humanity is humanity itself - Population

Yet no-one wants to talk about population control, except China that is. And I applaud their efforts, only they forgot to deal with a very large cultural problem first - inequality of the sexes - that is now coming back to bite them. No country wants to tell people how many children they should have, but it's a fact we have to deal with if we want our children to continue to live on this planet in the future. Increasing population is the root of overfishing, is the root of ocean acidification and is the root of impending energy crisis - it is something we need to deal with now.

I personally don't think anyone has a right to tell anyone how many children they should or shouldn't have, but I think governments globally need to do more about helping our population make informed choices. Is having "17 kids and Counting" really good for our future on this planet? Is having another child because you like children or because you want both sexes in your family going to cut it in the world to come?

Quoting Barak Obama "The truth is we can't solve climate change because I changed light bulbs in my house. It's going to be because of something collective". 

I wonder if he is going to address that elephant by name or keep hiding it in the corner......

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The blue explained......

Having come home today with yet another streak of blue on my face, I had to do some investigating into this mystery. It appears it's blue histology dye that is getting on my fingers as i'm washing slides. At somepoint i'm smearing it across my forehead, and then with repeated washing of my hands, eliminating all culprits. Interesting. 

"Why did the bacteria cross to the other side of the microscope?"
"To get to the other slide!"

...well, it made me laugh......:0)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Goals - week 8

Well, it's hard to think i've actually been here long enough to say "week 8" to anything, that has to be a record (with of course a week out in the 'Hole in there). And another 2.5 weeks to go to before I head to NZ (gulp, 2.5wks!). 

So I think this is the point where I stop blogging on my goals, except for the odd rant and rave here and there I'm sure. I think I've proved to myself that I can indeed eat better, relax more doing social things and most of all, exercise more. Though i've never met all of my goals at once, i've done enough of a smattering of all of them, that I'm happy where I'm at. I still need to keep on doing all these things, but I think they've now become habit enough that i'm happy they'll continue without too much effort. Especially the taking lunch into work the majority of the time, I can't tell you how much happier I am doing that, both in health and wealth. 

I do feel much fitter than when I started this, nowhere near where I want to be, but i'm on the right track, it's now become habit walking into work a few times a week, going swimming on a weekend, going for a run occasionally and taking a class, which is what I wanted out of setting myself these goals. If I fall off the wagon badly, i'll be up blogging about it again to get myself back on track.....

Packed Lunches - 4
Walk to work - 1
Swimming - 1
Exercise - Aerobics class, and 2 mile run
Social - Pottery - and loving it! 
Soda - a few......need to find a new iced tea jar....I broke mine! 

Ann Curry in Alvin

Just in case you missed it.....Ann Curry dives in Alvin with Bruce and Jeff............ 

I personally think Ann Curry got away lightly........on my first dive, while I was down....... desk and computer was "secured for sea" with a whole 2 rolls of tape..... less than 10 buckets of ice water (with lumps of ice in!) were thrown on me......

........I was then thrown in the pool....... shoes (which you leave back on the ship) were frozen in the -80C freezer.....and (which I don't have a picture of) all my clothes were removed from my cabin, dipped in water and wallpapered up in the -20C walk in freezer......all with a National Geographic camera crew onboard! 

But it was worth it. June 1st 2002, Galapagos Rift. 

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Wrap N Mat and more....

Well, i've been trying out the Wrap-N-Mat for a few weeks now, and have to say, I love it! I've not had a single stale or soggy sandwich (and I was worried about soggy), and have actually liked it for a reason I hadn't even thought of when I bought it - space. It ends up much smaller than my usual plastic box, so has fitted into my lunch box much easier, it's also more flexible so fits into tight corners. 

Can wrap up the smallest to the largest sandwiches. To wash up I throw it in with my dishes and wash it first, hang it up to dry and it's ready to go the next morning. 

I really like that it gives me more space in my lunch box - it means I can throw a second cold pack in there too, which in Hawaii has been a real bonus. Enough room for sandwiches, apple and homemade yogurt. Yum! 

So what other things am I loving around the house right now......

My Tupperware Quick Shake - I've had this for a few years and love love love it! My mum always had one at home too, so when I saw one in a store a few years ago I picked one up. When you don't have (or have room for) an electric mixer, this little gadget is a lifesaver. I've always loved it for making cake batters (also good for pancake and waffle), but recently i've been using it to make up my dry milk in - no lumps and fits nicely in the fridge door! 

Don't know what to do with all those left over soap scraps? Make yourself a little scrubby bag with double stitch crochet - scrubs and lets the suds through, and when you put in a new bar, just leave the old pieces in there too and they'll be all used up. This one is made from bamboo fiber, so is also naturally anti-bacterial. 

My beloved Easy Yo yogurt maker. This is from the UK (though they're made in New Zealand). There are alot of makers out there and ways to make yogurt in your oven or on a heat mat, but the reason I love this so much is that it's basically a thermos - so no electricity or constant warming needed and you can throw it up on a shelf while it's cooking away, so no extra counter space needed either. And so easy.....put the ingredients in the yogurt tub, mix well, put boiling water in the thermos up to the level inside, put the yogurt tub in there, screw on the lid, leave overnight and the next morning - lots of yummy FIRM yogurt! They also have some really yummy packet mixes you can get (Stian sends me a few now and then from NZ when he's there!), but it works just as well with totally from scratch too!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Nappies, Diapers and Aunts!

As i've blogged about before in mid-Jan 2009 I am going to be an Aunt for the second time, and am so excited about it, my older brother and sister in law are going to be first time parents! They've also decided they want to do a mix of cloth and disposable nappies, so I said I would get them some from here and send them over to them, not a huge amount, but a few different brands they wouldn't get in the UK to try out alongside what they get. Luckily there is both a really nice small store here that sells such things, and a number of my blog-buddies have recently blogged about which are the best, so that has been really helpful. I now know more than I ever wanted to know about babies bottoms. 

It might seem like a weird thing to buy and send over, but a) they are cheaper here than in the UK (about half the price - you pay in pounds what you pay in $$) and b) it makes me feel a little closer and like i'm helping, when I'm so far away. One of the hardest things both about living abroad and this job is being away for such events. When Jack (my nephew of my younger brother) was born I was out in the NE Atlantic in a hurricane and didn't meet him for a month. Looks like I will be headed to the Antarctic and won't meet my niece for probably 3 or 4 months. 

One of the best finds though has been a black nappy cover! Yes babies, nieces and black don't seem like they should go together, but if you knew my brother and sister in law you would understand. Te he. 

Friday, November 7, 2008

Happy Weekend!

Well, i've had a G&T down and am now tucked up in bed, so I can truly say "Happy Weekend". Oh my, I was ready for it today. Tomorrow, bright and early it's time for Antarctic Physical blood work and chest x-ray, and then onto work to get some lab things done. Time is ticking for this trip to New Zealand, and I NEED to get some things off my list. 

So have a good one everyone! 

Props from the RV Ronald H Brown, taken in 2005 by the ROV Hercules whilst coming up from a dive to deep seamounts in the NW Atlantic Ocean. I like this photo, reminds me of a cruise I enjoyed, being called "Bob" for the entire 5 weeks because I sat in Bob Ballards chair for 8hrs a day directing where that ROV went and what it collected, and most of all sitting in a dark van between 4am and midday watching a robot scour the ocean floor for corals while singing directions in operatic baritones (to the tune of Phantom of the Opera) because we'd all been awake for too long.


Despite this being a 4 day week here (though I worked tuesday anyhow) I am so tired this morning. Had a bad day yesterday and think it was all on my brain last night. Didn't get a positive response on trying to get some $$ to do the Antarctic larvae work that me and K-Way want to do. Got an all round bitchy response from the program manager in fact. Totally sucks. And then I sliced into my thumb on the microtome (while trying to take my mind off strangling program managers), and i'd just about shed the stress when it was time to tell K-Way of what went down, so got all stressed about it again. And I hadn't finished writing my lecture for this morning at that point either (which was 10pm). 

Today I just finished my first lecture, and have to finish writing my lecture for 2.30pm today (which has the grand total of 5 slides in it right now), and the coffee filter just broke in my machine, so I have crunchy coffee. Bad things come in 3s, so i'm waiting for what tomorrow holds.....

So I just had an email this morning saying my little sub (well, not mine, but i've been in it!) is going to be on the NBC Today show on monday - 10th Nov between 7-8am (EST). Ann Curry got to dive down with some friends of mine, so be sure to tune in. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Baby Animals

This slideshow is just adorable.....

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Celebrating in style with the Watling's and a good bottle of champagne in front of the TV. I've never felt so connected to an election, but this one really held this aliens future in it's hands. And although the near future is still a little bleak, the longer term is looking way up now. Thank you America. 

And a hibiscus from our garden for Obama's grandmother, who never got to see it actually happen.

Go America....

Election day here, state holiday in HI (and not sure how many other states), good idea to get everyone out to vote. Just hope it works....not that there is going to be too much of a problem in Hawaii.........

Feeling pretty nervous about it, one way will result in a better future for science funding here, the other side doesn't even believe fruit fly research is important, let alone those rarely seen deep-water species. 

So lets see if I need to be looking for yet another continental move, and no, I really don't want to be..........

Monday, November 3, 2008

The simple things.....

A phone call from Stian at 3pm left me smiling for the rest of the day. I should clarify, two 1 minute phone calls (in rapid succession after being cut off) from Stian who is out on the McMurdo ice shelf in Antarctica. They left for the ice over a week ago and have yet to have their communications set up, so this is the first i've heard from him since then. So even if it was two really short, really crappy reception, satellite phone calls, it was wonderful to hear from him briefly, and I still have a grin on my face. They are doing well, had issues with equipment and getting people working, but they are getting there. And it sounds pretty damn cold....:0)

Stian, you're awesome, even in two 1 minute bursts......:0) just looked in the mirror and at somepoint in my day I drew on my forehead in blue pen. I hope I didn't do it before I taught my grad class.........

Goals - week 7

Packed Lunches - 5
Walk to work - 1
Swimming - 0
Exercise - 1 session of aerobics
Social - Pottery! That was sooooo much fun, can't wait for wednesdays now! 
Soda - 3

Giving up on the total weight loss. If I loose even near what I want, i'll let you know! At the moment, i'm breaking even.......

As for eating better and saving more, i'm doing well, though i've been bad this week and skipped a few meals in lieu of chocolate. A bad habit I picked up during my PhD, and sometimes it's just hard to motivate cooking something nice for just one (even if I make enough and have left overs). I've only bought some fresh fruit this week, and haven't bought a loaf of bread in 3 weeks (i've been making, with varying success, need some new yeast, think mine is too old for fluffy loaves) or milk, i've been living off dry I already have to save some $$ for a few weeks. I've been making various things, from soap to wooly hats to mincemeat to keep my creative side in track. In fact my only other purchases this week have been things to make into items for others. I get a little sucked in with that stuff though and can end up spending a lot that takes a while to recoup, time to curb on the crafting supplies and use up what I have in stock. I enjoy that challenge too though. 

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Note to self....

Recipes that call for 2lbs of raisins might be a little too large to cook in Grodnick's kitchen......not to mention running out of pans.......:0)

But now I have lots of yummy Mincemeat for Christmas! Seemingly impossible to get in Hawaii, I decided to try making my own this year, they have to "mature" for a month before eating, but i'll let you know how it turns out! 

Yum yum! My first experience canning too, just hoping those tops 'pop' when the oven cools. 

ps.....Mincemeat for all those non-uk-ites out there is basically a fruit pie filling with raisins, cranberries, apples and lots of spices and brandy. Mmmmmmm


New Zealand and Christmas are coming up fast, so I need to get my lists in order. And you all know how much I love to write out my lists........

- Lectures  (8 in the next 2 weeks) - finish writing coral lectures
- Lab Class - organise corals, rooms, worksheets etc. 
- Lab - slice, stain, look at antarctic corals
- Talk - write keynote for New Zealand (gulp)
- Make poster for New Zealand
- TEM - Trim, slice and stain all larvae experiment samples
- TEM - get on the TEM to look at the sections
- Lab - Prep Kate's fish gonads, slice, stain and look at
- Reference for student
- Workshop report - finish edits
- Proposal review
- Write paper on antarctic larvae
- Edit paper on antarctic anemone

- Repot overgrown plants - soon!
- Finish christmas presents
- Buy Hawaii presents for NZ family
- Make mincemeat
- Try lye soap (again, first attempt failed!)
- Finish various crochet projects (I have 6 on the go at once right now....argh!)
- Purge stuff (always)
- Take down swingseat and repair/get rid of
- Spread Terro outside

Work to live or live to work? Not sure at this point.....

Green = Done! 

The best things come in packages!

I'm not sure which I was most excited about - the box of yarn or the drawing from Lala! Thanks guys, I miss you too! 

The is the front door Gecko (as opposed to the back door gecko), they were really going for it this evening, but I saw this one eat two flying things, so keep it up! 

Baby gecko on my light. This is the first time i've seen the babies inside (they are usually outside living in my crocs). This little fellow was just across from the front door Gecko, so maybe mamma was taking the baby for a walk. I then saw another baby behind my TV. Grodnick is suddenly becoming quite crowded.....