Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Dislocation diary: Day 38

I think for this first time, I'm actually confident that my arm is going to get back to normal.

It's almost entirely fully functioning now and for the most part, is pain-free and hassle free.

The only thing is that it's still not completely straight or can be completely bent, but I reckon there's only about a 3 degrees gap to bridge. It really is that close to being completely healed. It still hurts when I try to straighten or bend it completely, but only around the actual elbow hinge area. I do that a few times, just to stretch out the muscle and then give it a break.

Strength is back, but I still try to go easy on it. Sometimes, I do feel the strain and that's when I really ease back.

I am really eager for it to be completely healed, but at least I'll be almost fully functioning for our upcoming trek around east Canada and NYC!

Monday, 9 April 2012

Orange cowl

I started work on this way back in July last year, and only finished it a month before I left for Canada. Ironically, it's probably one of the easiest and mindless kind of pattern I've done in a while and could probably have been finished in a few days.

Uni started not too long after I cast on, but it wasn't only because I was juggling two subjects last semester. Ashamed to say the main reason was just sheer laziness - I took forever to buy a new ball of yarn after running out.

But, I finished it just before I left for Canada and boy has it been a treat! The 100% certified organic Australian merino wool it's made in makes it feel so incredibly cosy, warm and soft against my neck. I usually wear it only doubled-up, but when it gets really cold and windy, I triple it and it makes an incredibly difference. 

The wool makes it warm, but the merino part means it's not scratchy and I could wear it all day, which comes in rather helpful when you're out all day in a snow-covered environment!

Really like the fact that it's a cowl, so no loose scarf ends, which makes it so easy to handle and wear. Unfortunately, the design on the edging can't really be seen, largely because the cowl prefers to curl into itself. It doesn't affect the warmness, it just doesn't show the beautiful long horizontal lines it has.

Pattern here.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Potato scones

Yes, the mission continues. This time, in the form potato scones.

Honestly, I wasn't too impressed, even though D did like it. I think I was more impressed with the strawberry smoothie that I made. It was delicious and oh so pretty! We had frozen some strawberries whole. When they thawed out they were rather squishy and not so tasty. It tasted great in the smoothie though! I'll put the "recipe" for the smoothie below.

Regarding the scone, the main difficult was trying to convert all the metric measurement into American, seeing that I've only got American measuring cups and no weighing machine. I'm not sure if I got all the proportion correct, because I ended up having to put a whole lot more soymilk into the mixture just so that it would stick. I'm not sure if my problem was that I used soy instead of cow's milk as the recipe suggested, but it took more than the four tablespoons suggested to get the dough to stick together.

Even after that, it was still a little bit flaky and it was really a matter of just piling a whole bunch of flour on top of each other and putting it into the oven.

I may have made the dough a little too thick as I didn't feel that it was too cooked in the middle after I took it out of the oven, but D thought it was fine. If I do this the next time, I'll probably make it flatter and wider.

One thing though, it was surprisingly salty. Not bad salty, tasty salty, just when you look at the pale thing, you kind of expect it to be tasteless.

The recipe did suggest doing a milk/egg glaze over the top so that it would brown, but I was too lazy.

All in all, it's a rather quick and easy recipe (albeit slightly messy since you have to use your fingers to mix and knead and stuff) for a kinda tasty meal - so long as you cook it well enough.

Strawberry smoothie ingredients (for one serve)
Ice - about four or five cubes
Strawberries - about four or five big berries
Orange juice - half a cup or so
Honey - a tablespoon or so (or to taste)
(in a different concoction, I also added oats - tasted like a great breakfast smoothie)

-- blend --

Potato scone recipe here.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Dislocation diary: Day 33

Arm still feels a bit stiffer and less bendy when I wake up in the morning. However, after morning arm exercises, a lot of the mobility has come back. So much so that I forget sometimes that I'm still nursing a dislocated arm.

It's about 175-15 degrees or so now after the exercises, which is awesome. Bruising is way less visible, except for a very faint purple mark near the side of the forearm. The main area that hurts when prodded is the elbow bone area.

The right arm is almost completely functional now. I still try not to carry too heavy things, but the weight of things that I can carry is increasing. It's still a little hard to do yoga poses, especially dancer's move, and I can feel that some muscles are still a bit tense, but being able to almost completely straighten my arm is great!

Sleep is getting better. Arm hurts less throughout the night now, but can sometimes end up getting numb. Probably just because of the way that I sleep.

Can't wait for it to be fully recovered.

Oatmeal muffins

The bid to use up D's never-ending supply of flour, sugar and oats continues and this time, I decided to go the muffin way.

After watching Alton Brown's episode of Good Eats where he pretty much dismissed the need to use papers for muffins, I decided to obey and greased the cups in the muffin tray.

Unlike Alton, I couldn't simply tip my tray upside down and watch the muffins magically fall down after taking it out of the oven. However, all it needed was the help of a small plastic spoon. I simply slid the spoon down the circumference of the cups and the muffins popped right out!

The muffins are great to eat warmed up, but can be a little dry. There is a nice slight sweetness to it and there's a great oatmeal taste but not overpowering. I haven't tried it, but I reckon it might taste quite nice if you cut it in half and lightly butter it.

Recipe here.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Ken Duncan: An "Average" Photographer

Published in Signs of the Times, March 2012.

pdf available.

And if you're interested, my (almost) complete writing portfolio can be found here. 

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Oatmeal cookies

I'm still on a mission to finish up the 10kg of flour that D bought, but things came to a standstill when I decided to go dislocate my elbow.

The elbow is starting to feel a bit more like normal now though and so my mission continues.

D had a bunch of porridge oats and sugar lying around as well so I decided to make some oatmeal cookies.

Pretty simple recipe, not even too hard to mix with my munted arm!

Made several modifications to the recipe (mainly because I wanted to use up what we already had and didn't want to buy new ingredients since we're leaving in under three weeks), namely:

  • didn't use walnuts, pecans, dried fruit or chocolate chips
  • used margarine spread instead of unsalted butter
  • used normal white sugar instead of light brown sugar, and only 3/4 cup
  • didn't use vanilla extract
  • used vegetable seasoning instead of salt (yes, we have no salt in the house)
  • used porridge oats instead of old-fashioned rolled oats. I'm not sure what the difference is
  • drizzled some chocolate sauce over the dough before placing into the oven (which explains the darkish colour on some of the cookies in the picture)
The cookies still turned out pretty yummy though. Made so much D brought a batch to work to share.

Recipe here.

Monday, 2 April 2012

I Hate Your Face(book)

Published in Signs of the Times, April 2012.

pdf available.

And if you're interested, my (almost) complete writing portfolio can be found here.
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