Friday, 28 November 2014

Slow Cooker ~ Irish Cream Fudge

....with knobs, glugs and a dash .

I am already on the naughty list so let the pendulums of fate swing wide (as my @ss will be if I continue to indulge).

I am going to roll some into little balls for the stockings ...

I eat food but I'll never be a food blogger.

I came across the Slow Cooker Fudge phenomenom nom - oh so easy.

1 tin condensed milk 
440gm of chocolate
35 gms (or a knob) butter
1tsp vanilla extract (dash)

Place all ingredients in the slow cooker for about 1hr on low (preheated empty on high) stir every 10-15min between instagraming and facebook updates until melted and all melded  together can see where the spoon has been.

You will notice it thickening as you stir and taking form. It's ready !
Finally , add 2 shots (glugs) Irish cream to the mixture not your mouth [I used Aldi's version - there is also Bailey's] and stir in well before placing into a lined / greased square tin. [It gives a good even height]
I just noticed they have white choc Irish cream now ...mmm.

Place in the fridge to set for as long as you can resist a few hours  or overnight .

I don't have time for stylin' - the ants will beat me to it. Have you any tips for getting rid of ants ?

I used baby slow cooker , you may need to adjust the cooking time.

(# 2 full blocks - I used whatever I had a mix of premium milk and white baking chocolate , regular choc and handful of milk buds - the mass is not critical and if you only have one block use less condensed milk and adjust recipe to suit) 

I only used one shot of liquor because I didn't want the kids to eat MINE. I sprinkled a dash of leftover coloured candy choc bits. Their version while it still tastes good is not as smooth and delish as the Irish cream Fudge.

Do you find cooking terms annoying or funny ...glugs, knobs and dashes !

Glugs are yes well pretty much self explanatory. thumbsup
Knob...such an amusing word .A knob of butter is defined as an isosceles right-angled tetrahedron whose adjacent is equal to half the height of the block of butter .Whatever ?
or some say use a male appendage for comparison.
Now a dash - isn't that a streak from the bathroom to the bedroom naked ...

You might feel that you can't resist . But then you find your inner strength, and realise you're capable of so much more than you thought. – Arthur Blank

I cut one piece into miniatures so I can nibble all day. Seriously.

Since the boys weren't home I also had to do all their dirty work and lick the bowl clean ...well I used my spatula , like a lady you know.

 What other combinations should I try ?


Thursday, 27 November 2014

Things I should tell you

Today, I came across a piece of writing written by a lady to her friend, on the friend receiving a cancer diagnosis . It nails it , in so many ways, everything I'd want to say to you.

*Trigger-warning*  - Death and dying.

Please note I didn't write this piece , it was found on a blog of a young woman after finding out a friend had been diagnosed with breast cancer: [If you are the author or know her - please let me know.]
I emailed her to say that some people, upon diagnosis, want to connect. Others don't. But no matter what category into which she falls, I'd be there to listen if and when she is ready. When we do speak -- after she's described her fears, after she's unloaded her burdens, and after we've toasted our mutual membership in this hellish club through a bitter tipple of tears -- then, and only then, will I speak. And this is what I'll say:
"I will tell her that she has to take charge of her treatment immediately, even though she may not be prepared to do so.

I will tell her that if she's like most women with cancer, she won't mind losing her hair all that much, although when her eyebrows and eyelashes -- which she will be surprised to discover are what give her face its depth -- fall out a little further into treatment, she will likely look into the mirror and find herself staring at an alien.

I will tell her that although it may not feel like it now, she won't stop laughing and in fact will learn to laugh at things she never before thought funny.
I will tell her that she should ignore all the horror stories she hears about how cancer destroys marriages, and that if she has chosen well her disease will bring her and her spouse closer together.
I will tell her that she will lose trust in her body. She will regain it in fits and starts, but perhaps never entirely.
I will tell her that sometimes she will feel a deep sense of shame even though she knows she has nothing to be ashamed of.
I will tell her that when the voices rise in unison with their monotonous, incessant platitudes about how she'll beat this, about how one day when she is 90 she'll look back on this as something that made her so much stronger, it will be okay if she tells them to stuff it -- if she tells them that their blind optimism can be dismissive, belittling, condescending, and defeating.

I will tell her that when people fawn over how courageous she is, they won't understand that she's simply trying to get through the day.

I will tell her that her relationship with God, if she has one, will either be strengthened or weakened, but it will not remain the same.

I will tell her that when people say, "I just can't imagine what you are going through," it is okay if she thinks to herself, you use that phrase like a talisman, but it won't protect you at all.

I will tell her that she should disregard the statistics she doesn't like and embrace the ones she does.

I will tell her that as jarring as her new cancer-centered identity is right now, there will come a time when the cognizance of her disease isn't surprising anymore -- a time where she will find that when the knowledge floats to the surface while she is in the middle of some mundane task, she will say to herself calmly, "yes."

I will tell her that through her disease she will meet both remarkable and unremarkable people, and that she should take note of them all.

I will tell her that cancer will fundamentally change who she is, and who she believes herself to be, but that also, and in so many ways -- so many important ways -- it will not change her a bit.

I will tell her that, ultimately, her experience with cancer will be different than mine and so she should dismiss anything I say to her as early and as often as she wants.

But mostly, and finally, I will tell her two things.

The first: I'm so sorry. I'm so f*cking sorry.
And the second: There is much hope for you, my friend. Much hope for you and I. For all of us."

This month - 
*One friend was diagnosed with a recurrence of breast cancer , not metastatic that I am aware. She is recovering from surgery.

*Another friend was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in her lungs and chest wall.She almost died during the lung biopsy from complications. She told me she yesterday she was so glad she can spend more time with her family. How long ? No-one knows. The cancer is inoperable and she can't have radiation , last word is she'll start a Chemo tablet. Not a cure but time *
No - one knows why it came back - her original breast cancer diagnosis and treatment (Mastectomy , Chemo and radiation) was over 10yrs ago.

*A beautiful lady and mum, only 39yrs - who I don't know personally (only from a FB group) passed away this week from Advanced breast cancer (also called Metastatic / secondary / Terminal / stage IV - stage 4). She was a trail blazer amongst Breast cancer survivors and instrumental in setting up an online support group. They knew her last days were coming but it was still a heartbreaking shock - today is her funeral. I am gutted especially for her young sons, similar in age to my own.

*Two other dear friends are living with Terminal - stage IV Cancer diagnosis-es - one with Breast Cancer diagnosed not long before me. It is still one hellish club.

*Another friend sent me a sms today to say her mum has pelvic cancer  and her sister Ovarian cancer (had) ; my friend awaits testing.

What do I say ...

The first: I'm so sorry. I'm so f*cking sorry.
And the second: There is much hope for you, my friend. Much hope for you and I. For all of us."

The truth - it is estimated that 20-30% of all breast cancer cases will become metastatic. [O'Shaughnessy, J. "Extending Survival with Chemotherapy in MBC" The Oncologist 2005:10] - early diagnosis or not. That's not to dismiss that many out live the 5yr milestone - post diagnosis that is so celebrated.

It's scary and depressing ; if I let the facts consume me I feel overwhelmed every moment of the day. The stats for sarcoma are even worse  I could get it again in the same leg or anywhere due to the genetic condition I have. 

I am mostly stable, they are watching one tumour ? likely benign in my neck.My chest (breast-less) is clear . So far (as they can tell) while I have residual nerve damage, numbness and pain - my leg is okay.

In the near future I'm considering a hysterectomy and having my ovaries removed due to fibroids and to reduce the risk of uterine cancer or oestrogen igniting the breast cancer (which is one explanation for my friend post 10yrs though she is in early 50's)

Why do I feel like I'm dodging bullets everywhere ? I doubt I will ever work outside of the home again. I just don't have the confidence or mental capacity. Chemo brain is real and affects executive functioning. Fatigue is a factor as well.

I'm not idle . I keep as fit and active as possible . I participate in my community and I enjoy living. I also embrace the sheer determination to wring as much life as I can out of my life. 

"Find a bit of beauty in the world. Share it. If you can't find it, create it. Some days this might be hard to do. Persevere." Lisa Bonchek Adams (Stage IV Breast Cancer)

Lastly  -

*(Nov 28th - my friend's update - Dr's told her worst case is 4 months , or up to 40yrs if the new drugs work - imagine living like that !)  

So what bit of beauty in the world did you find today. Please share it with me.  

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Wordless Wednesday : Finding His Zen

a Spontaneous moment - "Look Mum I can meditate , it makes you calm - can you take my photo and put it on Facebook !"
Children are natural Zen masters; their world is brand new in each and every moment. ~ John Bradshaw
Now if I could just find where I left my Zen ! Feeling mentally and emotionally drained ; so I'm slow blogging and commenting. Tomorrow is a new day xo




Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Wordless Wednesday : Hardest thing I've done

I will explain later.

OMG - hardest thing I've ever tried.

Almost to top !

I didn't die , doubts were had on the way up.

The Helicopter ladder to the left was a piece of cake ! This was 2nd easiest !


Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Live like you were dying .

Blogging has been the furthermost thing from my mind of late. I've been away 3 weekends (plus extra days) in a row, had scans and Oncology / Dr's appointments in between too.

Firstly. Me - so far so good , I recently had another round of CT scans and I see the [3rd] Oncologist in a month at Westmead. Oncologist 1 & 2 are pleased everything is stable.

I take each day as it comes. Gratefully well enough.

I plan on having as much fun as I can.

Last weekend away I saw things that shook me to my core , plus the news a family member was diagnosed with a new cancer and a close friend with metastasis of her breast cancer to her lungs (as far as they know). Their future is uncertain.

Also, my hub's elderly aunt passed away on Sunday. She had a full life but was incapacitated after a stroke a few years ago that limited her mobility and activities.

At a family camp we attended I met two incredibly brave little girls almost 5 and 11 both recently diagnosed with brain tumours , going through chemo and they had a port like I do . They were joining in all activities and living as normal a life as they can.Their challenges are great but their resilience and inner strength reminds me we are all capable of so much when we have the support of family and friends.


Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Wordless Wednesday : Pan Pacific Masters Games - If you think a minute goes quickly

Not #PPMG14

 My Gold Medal

Paddling with this Cancer Survivor team (plus ringin's)

This was Great Grand Masters 10's (not my race) 500m
1st 500m Race Cancer Survivors Team #PPMG14

Sorry, I missed you all last week I was away 5 days - paddling !  

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Wordless Wednesday : Oh what a feeling ?

Ever wish life had a rewind button? not because of regret, simply to enjoy those moments you cherish just one more time.
I've been scrolling through my old photos - so many memories. My cheeky boys have sure grown !

Totally a random capture and pose. He was wearing the helmet because the boys rode their bikes and I walked the dogs.

January 2010

The car is soon to relocated for posterity - being the farm it was retired on has been sold - lucky it is not far from our property.

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