Thursday, March 31, 2011

Writer's block: 140 characters style.

So, I finally joined twitter. I sent out my first (and so far only) tweet last night:
And now I find myself with some crippling writer's block. What do I have to say. Why am I even using this medium? What is happening? Help me! So anyway, I am on twitter now and I'd love to be talking to you!

Not surprisingly the first person I followed was Ellen. I have some important questions I want to ask her. And I thought this would be best way to be heard. So anyway, Twitter. So far, it scares me.

Lemon tree update! Our little lemon tree is sprouting some new growth. I am so excited about it. When Inspector Climate told me about the growth (because remember the tree lives with him), I assumed it would have little greenish yellow sprouts, but when I stopped by to visit it yesterday, I was totally surprised to find the growth to be purple! Ah, LEMON TREE. You are amazing my little friend.
So, I am going to post another recipe today, but sadly not the recipe that you all asked for in the comments yesterday. But don't you fret none, the Enchilasagne recipe will be posted this weekend. I promise. Today I am going to share with you an upside pineapple cake that comes from the The Gluten Free Canteen. Her recipe can be found, here. Now if you want to make this recipe yourself and you aren't gluten free. I'd just substitute all purpose flour for the gluten free flours and go! Got it?

So You'll need...
  • handful of chopped pecans - we crushed ours in a paper bag with a rolling pin. If allergic to nuts, leave these out. No harm no foul.
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • large can of crushed pineapple drained
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted (topping)
  • 20 grams Almond Flour/meal
  • 157 grams of all purpose plain white wings gluten free flour. (in total this is about 1.5 cups of flour).
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon really good salt
  • 93 grams superfine white sugar (about 1/2 cup)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted (yes, again – for the batter)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon of pineapple juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon buttermilk
  • 2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 155 C, fan forced.

Butter an 8×8 round cake pan.

Place the pecans and brown sugar evenly over the bottom of the pan. Melt 4 tablespoons butter. Drizzle the butter over the sugar/nut mixture. Add the pineapple on top and make sure to spread it to the edges. Try to not disturb the layers, and set aside.

Meantime, whisk together dry ingredients. Whisk the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.

Pour wet stuff into the dry stuff and whisk no lumps remain. Spoon over the pineapple mixture.

Tap the pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles and place onto the middle shelf of the oven.

Bake at 150 fan forced for about 15 minutes and then crank the oven up to 170 fan forced. Bake for about 20 minutes more or until a toothpick comes out clean. After 18 minutes keep an eye on it. It took ours much longer to bake, after we turned up the oven, it remained in for another 30-40 minutes. I am not sure if this is because Inspector Climate's oven is not calibrated correctly. Or what.

Before removing from oven, get your serving plate ready. Then remove cake from oven. Gently using a butter knife, go round the edges of the cake pan to take the cake away from the oven. Using potholders, place the plate on top of the hot pan and in one single quick motion flip the whole thing.

I wish I had a camera after I flipped the cake over and it slid easily out of the pan, because Inspector Climate's face was full of awe, shock, and of course the ever present disbelief that we can bake things that work.

While the topping is still warm, scrape any leftover deliciousness off the pan and smoosh it on top of the cake. Let it cool for a while. It can be served warm or keep it in the fridge for a 4ish days.

This makes my 6th recipe out of 100 for my life list. Let me know if you try it!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The alphabet...Decoybetty Style

I've seen this going around, but mostly recently saw it over at Teacher Girl...

A. Age: 25.

B. Bed size: Full.

C. Chore you dislike: Vaccuuming. It hurts me.

D. Dogs: I've had dogs since I was about 6. I miss my puppies back in the US all the time.

E. Essential start to your day: Blog reading.

F. Favorite color: yellows and oranges.

G. Gold or silver: I'm allergic to gold. So silver (although I am allergic to some silver).

H. Height: Perfectly average. (ok, so this a joke between Inspector Climate and I, he's 6'3 and I'm 5'4 and 3/4s but he insists that I am tiny and I insist that I am perfectly average...because I AM! There are people taller than me...and people shorter than me. RIGHT?).

I. Instruments you play(ed): I played the flute. badly and briefly.

J. Job title: Blissfully unemployed.

K. Kids: Unless we are talking about goats, no thanks.

L. Live: In the land down under. Where the women go and the men plunder.

M. Mom’s name: On this blog, she sometimes goes as Oats or Parsley but mostly as My Mom.

N. Nicknames: Decoybetty in fact is one.

O. Overnight hospital stays: Once when I was like 18 months old, I had to get a double hernia.

P. Pet peeves: People who take up the whole side walk and walk super slow so you can't pass them.

Q. Quote from a movie: "If you want to be taken seriously, you have to have serious hair" - Working Girl.

R. Righty or lefty: Righty.

S. Siblings: Two brothers.

T. Time you wake up: I used to get up at 5:30 every morning. But recently, I've been sleeping in until 7.

U. Underwear: Victoria's Secret basic cotton bikinis.

V. Vegetables you don’t like: Eggplant. It's a deadly nightshade, people.

W. What makes you run late: Inspector Climate. To be fair, we nearly always get where we're going on time though.

X. X-rays you’ve had: I had just had the normal teeth ones, until i decided immigrate to Australia and since then I've had a few chest xray. They're very concerned with TB.

Y. Yummy food you make: Enchilasagne (a combination of enchiladas and lasagne), Parmesan cakes with home made tomato sauce, soy orange tofu, and cake!

Z. Zoo animal favorites: Basically anything cute and furry and non rodent like. what can I say, I like me some fuzzy animals.

Monday, March 28, 2011

As it turns out, I knew more about Poop and Recycled Water than previously thought...

Last week my post at Love Without Training Wheels went up, here. Just in case you missed it.

Ok, so I'll admit when I wrote this post I already knew I was going to the interview. I had cried, I had thrown tantrums, and let's not forget the large amounts of whining. And even after all that wasted emotion I knew that I'd feel guilty for not going.

And so, I put on my interview outfit (as seen here), and started my long trek to the outer suburbs of Melbourne. I stopped for chocolate at the train station knowing that no matter how this interview went I was going to need a pick me up afterwards. But promptly ate half the chocolate bar before even getting on the train (points for saving half?).

And then I got to the interview and was ushered into a meeting room. 160 people applied for the job and I was one of the 6 that they decided to interview. Which of course immediately made me want to ask "why?" The woman interviewing me explained right away that she understood that I didn't have a lot/any experience in Poop and Recycled Water and then the questions started coming. About my work experience, my education, how I prefer to work, if I excel in team or independent environments...fairly standard stuff. Until the questions on Poop and Recycled Water started coming up. I had to admit that I didn't know the answers to many of them, and this didn't seem to alarm them!

Did I bomb the interview? No. I didn't ace it either. And if they were to offer it to me I'd have to consider long and hard before I'd say yes.

As for if going were the right decision...I always knew I'd end up going. In this job market where the opportunities aren't coming hard and fast, I have to exploit the ones I get - even if they are Poop and Recycled Water orientated. And even if I don't want the job in the end.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Should I? I shouldn't. Should I? I shouldn't...wait...Should I? I really shouldn't. Or Should I?

That title pretty sums it up.

For the past 36 hours, I've been struggling to make a decision. See, I have a job interview tomorrow. A job interview that I don't particularly want to go to because the location isn't great and the job revolves around recycled water and poop (true story). For the record, neither of which light the creative fire within me.

So basically, I don't want to go and I am lazy. However, who am I to turn down a job interview? What if this is the only job I get offered? What if this is it?

I also don't want to go. I don't really know anything about the aforementioned poop and recycled water job. I have no qualifications that would make me knowledgeable about this subject, and frankly I think this is going to turn into another job where I end up embarrassed because surprise surprise I know nothing about what they are talking about.

It's a job interview. It must be embraced.

I don't want to.


I don't want to go.

Do you see how this is going? For 36 hours. I woke up thinking about it. I thought about it on the way to the train station. I thought about it while I brushed my teeth. I thought about while I bought orange juice for tonight's dinner (soy orange tofu, Moses it's good!). I cried on the phone last night while Inspector Climate and I went around and around on whether I should cancel the interview or not. And then again while we emailed each other back and forth this morning.

I am going to go. I have to go.

But that doesn't make it any easier to stomach that I am going to take 4 hours of my day to travel to this suburb, get asked a bunch of questions, I don't know the answer to, and finally leave feeling down on myself and, as if it's even possible, more frustrated with the job search than I am now.

But I am going.


No I am. Maybe.

I mean Poop and Recycled water. REALLY?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

On being Jane and Mr. Bingley.

Gluten Schmooten just posted a review I did of one of my favourite restaurants in Melbourne go check it out here

Yesterday, as I was trying to distract myself from the pain that is my eyes (it's back, bitches, it's back) and not focus on the job applications I have due because they're for jobs I am not sure I want. I do what I always do...Watch episodes of How I Met Your Mother (Ted Mosby hair) and read blogs. Not at the same time. Usually.

One of the blogs I read Hooking Up Smart is talking about "shit testing" which frankly, I didn't even know what that means. And after reading her post, I was pretty sure that I don't do that with Inspector Climate. Susan commented back that she wasn't surprised, and she compared our relationship to that of Jane and Mr. Bingley (and if you don't know who they are, perhaps you should stop reading this come back! It's ok, I am sure we can still be friends. Maybe).

Jane and Mr. Bingley. Boring. They're the most boring couple ever, or are they? It started me thinking on what I thought my Relationship would look like before I was in said relationship. And basically it involved a lot of cooking dinner together, camping together, sitting and reading our respective books together. Of course I was hoping that the nameless He would inspire and challenge me - but never in the fiery argumentative fashion (do people want that kind of relationship?). But that sweet, simple, and, to some probably, boring relationship is exactly what I've got.

I tell him I love him at every possible moment because I simply can't not tell him. There are no arguments or ridiculous bickering because we've both already decided to make the other person happy. We're not compromising ourselves, but allowed to be the best possible versions of each other.

The truth is the dream all along has been to have a 'boring' relationship where the important part is just being together. Sure there are some things that my 'dream' included that my real relationship doesn't encompass. I always thought my guy would wear lots of plaid...Inspector Climate refuses to even consider wearing plaid - and yes, this is a sore spot.

In all seriousness, Inspector Climate pushes me in the most subtle way possible that still makes me feel safe and secure even when trying new things that scare the bejesus out of me. And if the simplicity and ease of our relationship makes us Jane and Mr. Bingley...Well, I'll take that over Mr. Darcy any day.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Writing Gig: Love Without Training Wheels.

Two weeks ago, I was travelling around The Kingdom of Blogs and found Love Without Training Wheels. A blog with a group of writers that talk about every aspect of their relationships except one part: kids. Now, that sounds pretty awesome to me because you know I don't really want children. So, I applied to be part of the writing team and lo and behold got the job (apparently it was this picture of me that swayed Ashley into accepting my application:)

Oh, how I wish it was that simple with job applications. Which by the way, there are not a lot of being sent out lately because suddenly the sustainability and environment sector seem to be on some hiring hiatus (I mean, they just aren't posting new jobs there isn't like some job freeze going on -- at least not that I know of).

The point is I am so excited to be part of the Love Without Training Wheels (LWTW) team. I've recently been craving a place where I can gush about Inspector Climate (which I will continue to do here...don't you fret none) but no one likes to hear how incredible someone else's relationship is for EVERY post on a personal blog. You know?

My first post is up at LWTW, so please go check it out, here. Have a bit of a peek around and I hope you enjoy it!

Friday, March 18, 2011

You ask and you shall receive...

Last week, I wrote about waiting. And amid all that waiting I may have mentioned my "interview outfit"...and a bunch of you commented that you wanted to see it. I tried to take a second picture so you could see the polka dots, but they're very small. And it's hard to believe, but yes, I did just iron it.

So behold.

Also. Ted Mosby has hair. Lots of it. True Story.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

There is some crazy shiznit going on in the world right now, so let's take a moment to be seriously silly.

You'll have noticed that over the past few months I have not mentioned the following: Floods in Queensland, earthquakes in New Zealand, nor the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan. There are reasons for this, first and foremost, there are thousands of other bloggers who write far more eloquently about such disasters than I can and secondly, it's times like this when I need to take a break from the news and focus a little on the absurd. The silly. To take my mind off the tragedy and horrifying destruction I try my hardest to embrace a wee bit ludicrousness in life.

And, I need your help. Now I normally don't dabble in the likes of the "funny search terms" because my blog doesn't really get hits using profanity or *ahem* vulgar searches (Penis! - ok, well now it might. I couldn't HELP myself). And the searches it does get, while they can be silly, are usually just not that funny. I mean, I am not The Bloggess. However, since being unemployed, I've had a lot of time to do so some stats analysis (not so much analysis really - more like looking at pictures of puppies and Ted Mosby (and Ted Mosby's hair)) on search terms for this blog:

I get a lot of searches for Ted Mosby and his coif (that's Ted Mosby's). I mean A LOT. In fact, if you use google I'm third on the list. THIRD. On the one hand, very impressive. On the other hand, only third? Lame. I mean, that's just mediocre. Poor effort, Decoybetty. Poor effort. So, if you have a moment and feel like helping me reach google stardom in the lamest possible way - do some googling. I mean no pressure or anything.

Also, I realised on a previous post that I used "inlargen" as a word - which is just embarrassing because enlarge is an ACTUAL word. And I am pretty sure I meant embiggen. I wish I could blame this head cold, but I am afraid I cannot.

(I apologise for the ridiculous use of parenthesis in this post. But if I am going to go down as the lamest Ted Mosby Hair authority on google...I got to put in some know?)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lemon tree and 5/100.

I'd like to apologise in advance if this post makes no sense. My head feels like a balloon and it's floating about 2 feet out in front of me and a little bit to the left which is to say I have a head cold. Woe is me, right?

Our lemon tree is doing well, thanks for asking. We've now had it for three weeks and after getting some more potting soil for it and some citrus food we're hoping that its roots are growing and it has enough nutrition to keep producing its one lemon. I forget who asked when I talked about the lemon tree previously, but the lemon is now at full size and weight we're just waiting for it turn completely yellow before picking it! So here it is...Our Lemon Tree...

(I'm hoping it's kind of like pregnancy, you know the first couple of weeks you don't see a huge change but when you go back to look at it 3 months from now when we're going to say, Whoa our lemon tree is ginormous look at all that new growth!).

In other news, Inspector Climate and I have one conversation at least once a week which goes something like this:

him: you need to bring a snack what do you want?

Me: I won't need a snack I'll be fine.

Him: are you sure....

2 hours later...I'm crying on the corner some where unable to find gluten free food and have gone past hungry to the State of Irrationality. Lovely. When I have finally gotten food into my system, I realise that we need something stat that we can put into our bags that will be nutritious and delicious. So I started searching the internet for the gluten free granola bars, hoping I'd come across ones that were easy to make and oh so tasty. I just googled "gluten free granola bar" and Smitten Kitchen's recipe for thick, chewy granola bars popped up. So, I started looking for gluten free oats which I figured were going to be the hardest thing for me on the list of ingredients to find. Oh, how right I was - in fact anyone who I asked said "but oats have gluten in them..." And so, I adapted the recipe to this:

1 2/3 cups rolled quinoa flakes
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup Almond flour
1/2 teaspoon salt - I used salted butter, so I left the salt here out.
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 to 3 cups dried fruits and nuts (total of 10 to 15 ounces)*
1/3 cup peanut butter or another nut butter - I used crunchy peanut butter.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons agave syrup (so in the original recipe it calls for corn syrup - but I didn't have any of that so I used agave instead! No harm done).
1 tablespoon water

* I used three cups and I divided it thusly: 1 cup sultanas, 1 cup chopped dried apricots, 1/2 cup sesame seeds and 1/2 cup shredded coconut. Other things that would taste amazing: any dried fruit, pepitas, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, pecans, chocolate chips.

Step 1. Preheat oven to 155 degrees C fan forced. In a square pan put a layer of baking paper (depending on how thick you want the bars to be, vary the size of the pan). Then, mix all the dry ingredients together.

Step 2. Mix butter and honey and agave syrup together and vanilla. And while you're at it the peanut butter.

Step 3. Mix them all together and get something that looks like this:

Now, I think that we could have probably used 2 cups of quinoa flakes and 1/2 cup of almond flour as our final product was delicious but quite wet. Pour onto prepared baking pan and smoosh down until it is spread evenly and there is a fairly flat surface on the top. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until brown around the edges, just slightly brown on top but it still looks a little wet and doughy. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for EVER. I used the baking paper as a sling to get the bars onto a cooling rack and I think I removed them too early as they began to crumble immediately. Then I'd recommend placing them in the fridge for 20 minutes so they glue together a bit more and then cut into desired sized pieces:

Consume many and often. In fact, I am going to go have one right now.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Well, while I am waiting I might as well blog...right?

This morning as I was doing my morning rounds in the blogosphere I came across this meme from Lil Mrs Housewife, and I thought well, Moses knows I've got some time on my hands.

For some reason I've always been fairly self conscious about my hand writing. Like when I wrote Inspector Climate his first card, I felt like he would be able to read deep into my personality by my inability to write in a straight line and my weird q's and z's (how often do q and z come up anyway?). But I also LOVE hand written notes and letters. I am a fantastic pen pal - I think there is something so much more personal and real about a piece of paper that has travelled across land with strange little scribblings on it. Maybe I am just crazy. It wouldn't be the first time someone has called me that.

So, although I've told you intimate secrets about my life this some how seems much more revealing. My Handwriting. Be nice to it - it's had self confidence issues since I switched schools in 5th grade and they were appalled that I didn't know cursive.

Also, funny thing about how I write q's. I write them like that because of a physics teacher I had in college who used to always write her q's (and ampersands for that matter) like I do now. And when I was copying off the board, I wrote them like she did because I thought that's how one was supposed to write them in the physics world (Ahhh, naive little first year that I was). Now, it's just how I write.

Please click to inlargen (technical term).
And now I tag you! Yes you. Only if you want to participate of course.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Don't mind me...I'm just waiting.

Two weeks ago I applied for a job that I thought was it. It was The Job. I was qualified for it. I was excited about it. I could answer all the questions on the application form. Which let me tell you right now I am hardly ALL those things for any one job. Sure if I am super excited about it, I am probably unqualified for it. Or if I am qualified for it, it's not a job I really want (I am looking at you admin role where it was "desirable if sustainability is an interest").

I asked everyone I knew to visualise me working at this place. To visualise me getting a job and walking into the office building. Even though I didn't know where the office building was and half the people I asked didn't even know what the company did. I didn't care. Visualise I said.

So when a few days later I got an email saying that unfortunately they didn't even want to see me for an interview, I was shattered. The highs and lows of unemployment are the hardest part, and yet in some ways the only way. Sure, it'd be nice if I could maintain that level of pure anticipation the this is the job! The one I am going to get. The one that is going to be IT. This is the one! I know it feeling. I write my best cover letters when I am under that anticipation glow. I write my worst ones after getting rejected, again, and trying to climb myself back into a frame of mind where I can even begin looking for "the one."

Over the past two weeks, I've been applying for lots of jobs and trying to remember to not get too excited to just hang out in the middle - in the nice safe, level-headed frame of mind. I've applied to jobs days and weeks in advance. And now I just have to wait. Wait until the closing date arrives and wait to see if I'll get a call asking me to don my green polka dotted collared shirt tucked neatly into my black pencil skirt for an interview.

Until then I look at the same 6 job sites hoping to find a new job description or one that I missed. I read your blogs. I play the comment game where I click on one of your commenters and comment on their blog and then click on one of their commenters and comment on that blog...I watch How I Met Your Mother until I've memorised all the lines and, I am slightly embarrassed to admit it, the commentary as well. I go to yoga. I cook, I watch Ellen, I leave my phone on my bed as often as possible hoping that if I am not near it, it will ring. I wait.

Monday, March 07, 2011

It's time to get stuff off your chest

I've had this idea tumbling around in my head for months now. This is idea of an anonymous blog swap. I needed a place to vent about the horrors of my job and I just couldn't quite figure out a way to write about it on my blog without getting in trouble. Of course, by the time that I had gotten around to inviting people to join me in this endeavour, I'd stopped working there and my heart had healed from the panic attacks and my lungs could breathe easy without all the anxiety I was carrying around. Don't you fret none, I still have a lot to get off my chest.

So without further ado, these are the lovely blogs that are hosting Anonymous Blog Posts this week (the posts should be up on line today! That's Monday! I think, the time change is hard yo!):

Teacher Girl Blogs
The Cooking Campaign
One Kind of Me
Snide Commentary

Please go visit these blogs and support these brave writers who are just writing about what they feel. I'd like to remind you that in this case, support is asked of you and not advice.

If you're interested in writing an anonymous blog post - please send it (it being a post, questions, or anything else you desire to tell me) through to me at the email address located on the side bar to your right.

And if this whole anonymous blog swap thing isn't your cup of decaffeinated tea than I give you...a slightly scandalous photo of my leg where Inspector Climate fell asleep on my lap and drooled a heart shape on my pants. Now that's love, bitches.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

I'd like you meet someone...Sadly, not a puppy.

This glorious specimen is our newly acquired Eureka lemon tree:

I left off here, after the festival Inspector Climate and I took the train to the nearest nursery to talk about getting a lemon tree. Inspector Climate wanted a Eureka Dwarf lemon because it is a more pure variety of lemon with thicker skin for zesting (ok to be fair, he probably didn't care about the zesting function of the lemon tree - he just liked that it was a purer form of lemon). And we needed a dwarf variety because we are going to keep it in a pot. The nursery we went to didn't have one so we had to wait until last weekend to meet our lovely new friend.

I know what you're thinking...a LEMON tree is how you're starting your path down urban gardening (actually, I have no idea what you're thinking, but I'd love for you to share). It seems like it would be much more useful to be growing some varieties of lettuce, tomatoes, herbs, pumpkin! And all that is very true. But Inspector Climate and I don't live together (yet), and growing a garden with herbs and pumpkins and other delicious things takes time and lots of attention. I am embarrassed to admit how much time I've spent on line looking at how to properly care for our new lemon tree, researching the pros and cons of different varieties, and looking into what is the best kind of pot for our tree.

But the real truth is that lemon trees make me EXORBITANTLY happy. I did a little happy dance all the way to the nursery and I sing a little song that goes like this: LEMON TREE-eeeeeee. And seeing its one little lemon fills my heart.

Is it the only step we will take? Of course not. This week I went to the markets and bought organic produce for my salads. I am constantly thinking of how to incorporate little potted plants into my life that won't take up too much space and will provide us with nutritious delicious food. As winter approaches, we will need to think about winter crops like winter pumpkin and broccoli for Inspector Climate's sister's planter.

But most of all, I like that this baby lemon tree is ours. His and mine. And that is what food should be about: building community, sharing ideas, trading produce, and cooking delicious meals that we share together. And when our lemon is ready, I can't wait to share with you what we are going to do with it!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Having a Buchan Good Time.

Over the weekend, Inspector Climate and I travelled east to the town of Buchan. The Buchan Caves have Stalactites and Stalagmites (calcium deposits that come from the water droplets) and are really quite spectacular. However, my photography skills were only slightly lacking.

Exhibit A.

A fantastic picture of some chicken wire fence. Fabulous!

I got a little bit better though.

Some phallic deposits. That's what she said?

That sea creature dude from the Pirates of the Caribbean was behind us! You can tell by the look of surprise in my eyes. Inspector Climate doesn't seem worried at all....

In other news, I got worse at tennis (trust me, I didn't think this was possible either) and I have totally forgotten how to drive on the left (driving a stick shift on the left side of the road is absolutely terrifying...I shift into the wrong gear constantly, which I can honestly say has only happened to me ONCE in the US).

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

On trying new things and deciding to believe.

I wrote in this post that I've been skeptical about traditional doctors for a long time. I think that's in part because they always look at the symptoms and hardly ever dive into the cause. In my experience, I haven't had a doctor who looked at my rash-y skin and once linked it to food I was eating or asked why is her skin rashy. They just gave me topical creams or strong antibiotics in hopes that one of those things will just kick in and solve the problem. And that's not to say that they don't do good work - but when it comes to my body I need an arsenal of different types of doctors and medical professionals and voo doo specialists to treat the whole kablamy.

Which is a little background into to why I went and made an appointment with someone who does Reiki. All I know is Reiki is something to do with the energy in your body. Look I am not into researching - sometimes you got to dive in and hope for the best.

Last year was emotionally and physically REALLY difficult for me. I had a serious allergic reactions to the pill which caused a full body rash, and several episodes of crying every single day (I've only mentioned this like a floppity ka jillion times). And I had a job that made me have panic attacks in the morning before going to work and then I'd cry myself to sleep most nights. Not ideal. I felt like I needed some way of letting go of all that negative energy and that I was holding on to it and getting quagmired (is that even a word?).

And so I went to get cleansed. Luckily one of my friends from that nasty old job has a Reiki practice and so I had someone who was familiar with me and also knew first hand what I had to put up with.

When she first put her hands on me it was like I forgot how to breathe, each inhale was a huge amount of work and my whole diaphragm would tighten spastically as I forced it to perform. It took a probably 10 or 15 minutes for me to be able let go enough to breathe naturally.

She told me that I have a lot of things that I need to say and not the forum to say them in and that perhaps I should write a series of letters and then burn them (or perhaps use the anonymous blog swap!).

Then she told me something so totally out there that my logical mind told me that perhaps this was a too cockamamie even for me. She told me that my great grandmother wants me to know that women in our family have an abundant amount of inner strength and ability to forge our own paths. My great grandmother who is on the other side...

She and I were very close before she passed away when I was 13. She was in her 90s and so hip and forward thinking and yes she forged her own path. She began a charity where she bought antiques from Jews fleeing Nazis so they could have money to start a life in a new place. And then sold the antiques to raise money for those families. She ate pounds of candy and never had teeth problems. She was funny and smart and believed in manners and kindness. She had gorgeous jewellery and fabulous clothes and she wore them and didn't worry about losing a giant diamond ring or staining a velvet dress.

Do I believe in ghosts and spirits and that my great grandmother stopped in to visit to tell me I can forge my own path and I just need to live in the present and stop worrying so much about my future...I am not sure. But it definitely was exactly what I needed to hear - and what's the harm in that?