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4 Letter Words

1. krayker16 July 2010, 13:45 GMT +02:00

You can only change ONE letter, AND/OR rearrange the letters currently available. The first word is:

WINS

8066. Ayla8728 January 2013, 9:22 GMT +01:00

Indian cuisine is my favourite cuisine and I like it quite hot. Generally I think we have a lot in common, tastewise, and you wouldn't have to stay hungry if you visit us. Spices like caraway or aniseed are really helpful for my digestion and I like their taste very much, too. Food is so much more interesting with some fresh spices, isn't it.

Sorry to hear that the watermelon was a disappointment. And now with the R2E2s below standard I think it is a wise decision to stick to Kensington Prides whenever they are available. Only the best to you...

Oh yes, the cats are absolutely fond of the grass and chew it every day. They seem to have much fun biting into those halms, they nearly go wild when they rip at them (sometimes tearing the whole flower pot around the kitchen), it seems to be a bit like a

game

for them. The grass is quite expensive at flower shops, so it is lucky that Christa is so good at growing it from oat seeds. These are very cheap when you order some kilos on ebay, and supplies then last for a long time. Luckily we have a really large cellar where we can store all such supplies. The largest cellar we ever had (about 25 m²).

8067. xymonau28 January 2013, 10:01 GMT +01:00

We just don't have cellars in homes in this country. Basements in large buildings, but not usually in dwellings. In my home State - Queensland (the pointy bit on the right of the country) - traditional houses are high blocked and made of timber, to allow the cool air to circulate underneath. Times change, and the new houses are looking like everywhere else on the planet these days. Type "Queenslander Homes" into Google images and you'll see the common style. Many are very large, as families were large way back.

The town I live in now is full of classic Queenslanders, and some of those are very affluent and built by wealthy people. The wrought iron lacework on the verandahs is just exquisite. However, I still prefer lowset, modern places to live in. I can't climb stairs like I used to. My knees are much older than the rest of me.

In the southern states, where it gets a lot colder, you find a completely different style of house, which is much more European.

So do you use the cellar for storage only?

I like to

make

a peanut sate with vegetables (no meat) and noodles instead of rice. I usually use a jar of commercial flavouring, but I add my own little touches here and there.As for spices in food, well, sauces and flavourings are what make the difference between a good and a great meal.


8068. Ayla8728 January 2013, 11:17 GMT +01:00

Those Queenslander Homes look really lovely and atmospheric. Our climate conditions require concrete walls, preferably with a good additional isolation to save heating costs. We live on the ground floor, which is slightly above ground (6 steps). It is a raised ground floor (mezzanine) because of that cellar. That way there are small windows which allow some natural daylight in the cellar. On this photo you can see the red entrance door to our house. The tiny square window left to it is actually our bathroom window.
http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/mEpl8hM/

We use the cellar for storage only. Some people use their cellars as a fully equipped fitness room even with a home sauna. We are lucky to store lots of cat food there, fruit wine bottles and things like that.

Christa would usually

take

organic carrots (if the horses left some for us) to make a peanut sate with vegetables and noodles and she makes it quite frequently.

8069. xymonau28 January 2013, 11:59 GMT +01:00

That looks so nice. The bathroom window looks a bit of an odd height compared with the front door?

I'll think of Christa next time I make sate! LOL I

rate

it as one of my favourite meals. It's easy, quick, and freezes well. I always cook up enough for about three meals. I can't cook small portions. It always looks so sad! :o)

8070. Ayla8728 January 2013, 12:35 GMT +01:00

Perhaps we have to consider that the bathroom windows are placed a little bit higher for reasons of discretion, LOL They have blurred glasses anyhow. If you look at the photo again on the right hand side above the bikes you can see that the larger windows to the right which happen to be the sleeping room windows are above level with the bathroom window. The level of those windows has to do with the raised ground floor again, those 6 steps upward when you enter the house. Our own sleeping room window is barely visible on the absolute left side of the photo where you can see those branches of that purple hibiscus plant.
http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/n6MDSyG/
You see I didn't have to go very far to take this photo ;-)

Christa is happy that she has the opportunity to cook for two, and even then when she cooks pumpkin soup that longs to get us fed up for two days. Indeed pumpkins are among the things which we store for months in our cellar. Butternut squash and Winter squash are among our favourite. Christa also makes delicious pumpkin pancakes...

I suppose it is now slowly getting

late

for you and time to go to bed?

8071. xymonau29 January 2013, 8:01 GMT +01:00

Almost time to go again! LOL

The floods are much worse than last time. I had to find a way to work this morning. A whole section of the street where my workplace islocated is an ocean, and the streets leading into it are also flooded. I finally found a street on higher ground. By the time I get a camera, it may have dropped. The water is receding now, thankfully. We have had the great bread hunt happening today. Because roads are blocked north, south, and also the western roads from New South Wales, nothing is going to get through, and there has been panic buying of groceries. Last time there was nothing fresh left on the supermarket shelves for a couple of weeks. I have a lot of people to cater for at work, so we found a bakery that still has flour, and bought up big from them. Hopefully it will be enough to get through.

There are so many cars and people just looking at the flooded streets. The bridge in to town is completely submerged - again - but a lot deeper this time. We are so lucky we didn't have the tornadoes. It's a bright sunny day and all is well with the world except for the changed landscape, where the river has now become a

lake.

I like butternuts, but my preference is Kent or Jap pumpkins. (I'm not sure if "Jap" is a colloquialism short for "Japanese", but it's just another name for Kent pumpkins. They are often even sweeter than butternuts. Australians eat a lot of pumpkin. We call butternuts pumpkins, not squash.

8072. Ayla8729 January 2013, 11:06 GMT +01:00

Where has your camera gone? Obviously it pays off now to have no cellars. They are of course always the first rooms to get flooded. We live on a slightly high ground here, the danger of getting wet feet is not too high. Our nearby lake in walking distance which is called "Krumme Lanke"
http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/neHKoN0/
was formed by Glaciers rumbling around during the last ice age.
It even has an own wikipedia page
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krumme_Lanke

But I hope your

fake

lake will soon be a river again. It would make me nervous to see the powers of nature coming so close and so mighty...

We love to top our pumpkin soup with Pumpkin seed oil
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumpkin_seed_oil
very, very tasty...

8073. xymonau29 January 2013, 12:13 GMT +01:00

I'm so jealous that you have so many lovely things to photograph. The lake must be spectacular in all seasons.

I managed to get some photos of the inundation after work. (My camera was at home.) I was eaten alive by mosquitoes, I might add. The water is beyond belief. Everyone I talked to said they were astonished at the extent of the flooding compared with the last one, mostly because we had no rain - or only a few days of light rain, anyway. The water has come from elsewhere.

Houses in the next block from my work are half under water. It's going to take a massive cleanup once the water goes down. Neighbours have been helping each other. I spoke to some today whose house is dry, and who helped the people opposite, on the river side, to move their things to higher ground.

People had placed rubbish bins across the road to stop the cars as the council ran out of warning signs and barriers.

The city centre has been blocked off in most places as there is water everywhere.

The pumplin oil sounds nice. I like pepitas, so I'm sure I'd like the flavour.

8074. Ayla8729 January 2013, 13:36 GMT +01:00

Yes, the lake is quite spectacular and it is an attraction for many people to travel all over the town to visit it, so we are lucky to live nearby. I like it most at autumn and winter, though, because those are my favourite seasons
http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/mjmrjSm/

You are a tasty lady, I think I can understand those mosquitoes. We have some stock photos of floods online already, maybe you can add something now on that subject?
http://www.rgbstock.com/images/flood
I think this is getting a more and more common sight all over the world... We had some quite large floods here in Germany, too, and I have the impression that they are happening now over and over again in shorter intervals. Nature's revenge...

The pumpkin oil tastes very strongly, even a bit smoky, I'm sure you'd be surprised.

8075. xymonau29 January 2013, 21:43 GMT +01:00

The world is wearing out, sadly. We've bombed the life out of land and water, dug holes all over the place and we wonder why there's so much volcanic activity.

That winter photo is beautiful.

I realise I didn't put a four letter word in my last post. What was I thinking? :o)

I will have to visit you one day and partake of your delicious

fare.

But I've been partaking of too much delicious fare and I'm as fat as a pig right now. I am going to have to bite the bullet and improve my diet. It's having the commitment and motivation to get started that I lack.

8076. Ayla8730 January 2013, 9:39 GMT +01:00

If I were Mother Earth I think I'd begin to fight back, too...

One of our first winter photos was taken by Christa near the bank of that Krumme Lanke lake even before we lived there
http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/mfjtMNg/
And I would

dare

to say it triggered our interest in photography all the way back in 2005.

What were you thinking to leave out a four lettered word? Perhaps your mind was flooded, too? The flood is all over the news wordwide, they show it on German TV, too, explaining that Bundaberg is hit especially hard and that there are the first casualties... About 700 km flooded coastline are truly a vast area... This sounds like it will take some time to recede because of those large dimensions.

Apropos large dimensions - I am no friend of diets, I have no great success with dieting. This is the time of the year where my appetite is hard to put on the brake. I am a few kilos above my usual level and I think it will take a while to get them melted away again. I can't really start to do something different from one day to the other. What works best for me is to gradually try to eat a little bit less and to eat less titbits between meals. I'd be afraid of the yo-yo effect, so I have never really tried a diet.

8077. xymonau30 January 2013, 13:20 GMT +01:00

I don't diet. I have done so twice in my life, andall the weight came back and more. All the medications I have been on cause weight gain, so I'd be mad to fight it too hard. I was always very thin until my thirties. I couldn't put weight on and ate like a horse. Then I got a desk job! LOL I didn't get fat until my late thirties, so I don't feel fat or even consider dieting. But I did lose weight as a side effect of my vegan diet. that wasn't why I started to eat well, but it was a good effect. I have been overweight for years. Not healthy, but I live alone, and I don't care all that much. If I'm going to be miserable over food, then life is just too hard. I have to get back in the swing of preparing nice vegan food. When I got sick, my life changed.

Queensland is big, but it has been a big flood. The water has gone down a lot today and the inner city clean-up begins. I used to live in Bundaberg. I raised my son there (for 12 years), and we lived on the north side, which has had the most severe flooding. It was flooded badly two years ago, but this one was huge. I always liked the town. But I moved to Brisbane to have carreer opportunities. I don't like where I am now - it's okay, but it's got problems, like not enough doctors - but I'm awfully glad I wasn't in Bundy. I lived in a lot of different places around the town over the years, and I lived at both Bargara and Burnett Heads, which were two of the places hit by tornadoes. They are both a lot bigger now. I was there in the late 70s.

Still, it's all part of what happens regularly with nature, although it seems more frequent these days. I still don't believe in global warming. Say it enough and people will accept it. I think the planet is damaged but the science for the global warming theory is faulty, and it simply isn't getting hotter. Australia had record temperatures recently, but we didn't. It only got to 36 here. That's hot, but not extreme.

I have

read

a lot for the argument against the theory.

8078. Ayla8730 January 2013, 14:11 GMT +01:00

Okay, we can make a deal. You get back to preparing tasty vegan food and then you keep telling me about it. Since I don't cook I can tell you a bit about what Christa is preparing so that you have a comparison, does that sound interesting?

To make a start, yesterday we had white lentils in tomato sauce on noodles. The noodles were absolutely green. Tagliatelle spiced with basil, organic, of course. And I think they were made from spelt and without eggs, as are all those noodles we buy. Christa tries to avoid noodles made from eggs to spare those chicken some work. So you can see, if possible we try to eat not only vegetarian, but even vegan food. but we are not too strict about that. We drink milk from happy organic cows without having too much of a bad or guilty conscience.

Do you think you would have a chance to move and still keep within good reach of your workplace? I think it is very important to feel well at home and it would help, too, to become healthy sooner again if you feel comfortable and relaxed all over. A move wouldn't get easier with older age, so it is better not put too far in the future so that you have a good chance to enjoy your new home for a long time.

Christa and I consider to move again when I won't have to work anymore and am not so dependant on a short train connection to my work. But it may well be that until then our crazy loud neighbour has moved away and we are happy all over here and have no more reason to look for something else.

I have the feeling that global warming does take place because statistics say so. It is nothing that is easy to prove, but anyhow. mankind will continue to

raid

this planet, and before everybody can really be certain that the misuse was too much I'm hopefully dead already. We don't have children (we didn't want to), so there is not too much for us to really worry about aside from possibly more and more uncomfortable wheather conditions over the next decades. But I hope that won't be too obvious.

8079. xymonau31 January 2013, 9:57 GMT +01:00

The best I can come up with right now is mango and cornflakes for the evening meal last night! LOL I hate cornflakes, and I'm not sure why I boutght them - probably on sale - but with my warped tastebuds, they are tasting okay right now. Not much health in those! I have soy milk with them. I dare not admit what I had for lunch, and I didn't have any breakfast today. That's really odd for me, but I was running late. Hence, I bought horrible take-away food for lunch. Tonight might be cereal, as I have had to deal with a flat tyre after work, and I also went to get my bin. This is a distance the length of a large block, because the trucks don't come into the gated community. There's no room. That all took time and I don't feel like cooking. I think I'll have a bowl of Weetbix.

http://www.weetbix.com.au/products

I like the original and the wholegrain. Fabulous whole foods. Aussie kids really are raised on Weetbix - although some still feed on Kellog's sugar cereals. My son is 35 and he would die without his Weetbix.

The stores have had supplies in today, and even though food is a bit scarce, it's a lot better than the last flood. the water has gone down a lot, too. They tell me the bridge is visible again.

As soon as I get my act together, I will

dare

to take up your challenge. I don't think I've tried lentils with pasta. I have had them in pies as a meat substitute and they work quite well with brown gravy. I must give them a go. Does she cook them from fresh or use tinned?

8080. Ayla8731 January 2013, 11:31 GMT +01:00

A female mind - a big mystery. It is interesting that you hate cornflakes and still buy them. I'm aware they have a lot of calories but I do still eat a large plate full of cornflakes every morning at workdays for breakfast, decorated with some spoons of muesli and some spoons of oat bran and some chocolate sprinkles. So you see I need quite a lot of energy to get me started for the day. All of that is covered with warm milk. And then I have to hurry to eat it before the younger cat spots the milk... But I would never go out of the house without having breakfast, except when a doctor expects me to be empty-stomached for a blood test or something like that.

I do know Weetbix very well under its british name Weetabix.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weetabix
I was fed with them when we visited good friends in London in my childhood and I find them very tasty. They are easily available in one of our famous large Stores here, the "KaDeWe" which has really large food supplies from all over the world. It is the second-largest department store in Europe; trumped only by Harrods in London. No wonder they do have Weetabix.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaufhaus_des_Westens

I'm lucky to have that within reach from my work. 10 minutes drive by subway, good for a short trip during my lunch break when I want do do some shopping. I have lunch together with Christa later after work. From my new office the distance may be a bit larger, depending on the location of the new office...

I found that your photos of the flood on facebook with all those reflections have a lot of beauty to it. I had expected to see more mud there. But for the houses all the water is still hard to bear...

Christa cooked the lentils fresh and with quite a lot of tomato sauce to make it all nicely spicy and juicy. The purpose may be like in your case as a meat substitute (a bit like in the italian spaghetti bolognese sauce).

Yesterday we had butternut pumpkin pancakes topped with

dark

sugar beet syrup.

I hope all goes well with that flat tyre. I am no technical genius, my manual skills are not very great. But as we do not own a car and currently not even a bike there are some challenges that we are able to save ourselves. But I help Christa in the household wherever I can. Bringing the waste out is my cup of tea for instance, but I have to carry it only 80 metres along our cozy way which you have come to know already
http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/mEpl8hM/

8081. xymonau31 January 2013, 13:03 GMT +01:00

The store looks amazing!

I often wondered if Weetabix was the same. It's a different shape, but looks the same. I love them with honey. As a child I'd pile them high with powdered milk, then add sugar and water or milk and I loved the creaminess of the powdered milk. Now I just can't have milk, but I enjoy them with soy milk, particularly vanilla flavoured. The whole grain ones have five other grains - puffed wheat, coconut, etc. It's very nice.

Yes, the late afternoon light and clear sky made the water look lovely. The mess it has left behind isn't so lovely, though. And I suspect something from the flood wrecked my tyre, as I drove down the now dry street today. The water went away from that street rapidly, but is still at flood levels.

Poor Bundaberg is in ruins. I don't know if you can get this link.

http://au.news.yahoo.com/queensland/a/-/newshome/16037860/qld-damage-bill-to-top-2011-floods/

If so, watch the video at the top. It's so sad. Bundaberg is a nice town of about 50-60,000 people, and a friendly place. I always liked it and felt like it was my home, even though I'm not from there. It was a great place to raise my son, relaxed and easy to live in. They have a lot of work to do with all the horrific damage. And people can't go back to their homes yet.

I've just realised your sugar beet syrup is the same as our golden syrup, but we get all our sugar from cane. It's grown around here and Bundaberg. I don't mind it, but I prefer maple syrup on pancakes. Extremely expensive here, but it's so nice that I buy it sometimes. And a little goes a long way. It will flavour the other syrup with just a small amount. Christa sounds like a great cook.

I'm about to

drag

the doona over my feet, crank up the air conditioner, put the ceiling fan on full bore, and go to sleep!

8082. Ayla871 February 2013, 10:11 GMT +01:00

I hope you did have a good night. "Doona over my feet" sounds as if you belong to those species - like Christa - who will always have cold feet and who would never be ashamed to admit that they consider a hot-water bottle to be one of their best friends.

The internet has an answer to your question and tells us that Weetbix and Weetabix are not the same product. They do taste definitely different.
http://www.avalonsguide.com/anab/2012/04/weet-bix-vs-weetabix-part-2-the-taste-test-2/
I have also observed that even products of the same name are delivered with different taste in several regions of the world, obviously to do the different taste or preferences of the people there (or their habits) justice. So there are slight variations in the local recipes of the products.

I couldn't get the link at work, it was obviously suspect for our firewall. But back at home we had no problem to watch it. Poor Bundy looks truly ruined. That will take quite a lot of time and money to restore, but the good news is always that afterwards it will look even more brilliant and shiny than before because everything is freshly refurbished.

Most of our (white) sugar is from sugar beets, but we can also get brown cane sugar and I like it. Maple syrup is a real delicacy, but I'm not very sparing when I have opened a bottle. I think that was the reason why we have turned to the cheaper golden syrup.

Yesterday we had butternut soup topped with pumpkin seed oil and the same menu will be served again today. We have observed that the soup tastes even better on the second day, maybe the spices need a little time to pull through for optimal flavour? So the same one butternut pumpkin keeps two persons busy (and filled) for three days.
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/butternut-soup/
I'm

glad

and lucky that Christa is such a great cook and finds pleasure in cooking. I'm not sure if I would have the patience. Cooking takes so much more time than eating...

8083. xymonau1 February 2013, 11:58 GMT +01:00

I don't always have cold feet, but I find with the airconditioner they definitely get cold. Mostly because it blows through my dooe onto my feet! I wear warm socks to bed in winter now - gosh I'm becoming quite the old lady, aren't I? but on a warm night with no fans, my feet are just fine. I do like a hot water bottle if it's really cold, but I haven't used one for years. I get dressed up in alpine gear on those cold winter nights and pray that no-one will shout "fire!" or they'll see what I wear to bed!

I don't know the price over there, but even honey is getting a lot more expensive these days. As a vegan, that was one thing I would eat. I like the various flavoured honey, from particular plants. Some of our Australian native plants make wonderful flavours in the honey. They carry the hives to certain forests at certain times so the bees will feed only on those trees. Our native Australian bees have been decimated by the European honey bees. Ours don't sting, and they make a really nice honey, but not much, as they're a lot smaller.

I fasted overnight as I had to have a blood test, which I have been putting off for several weeks. Finally got there and they had to dig for ages to find a vein, as usual. Later, I had to buy and fit a new tyre. The other one was damaged beyond repair. And work was generally busy and intense. So I'm glad the day is over. I have been tired this week.

As for food, I'm going to cook up a mess of vegetables tomorrow - broccoli, carrots, zucchini, potato and pumpkin, and have them with some brown gravy. Even though I use the frypan for the potato and pumpkin, I use no oil, just a little water. The pumpkin gives the potatoes a really nice flavour. I love sweet pumpkin, particularly if it's roasted.

I think that article about Weetbix was interesting, but unfair. Sanitarium makes great food. I love their Nutmeat and Nutolene - sliceable tinned savoury loaves. Nutolene is soft, but Nutmeat can be crumbled and used in spaghetti sauces, or fried rice - it's divine in rice with cashews and pine nuts. I have a real taste for pine nuts cooked in food lately. But they are very expensive, so I don't have them very often at all. With a bit of sesame oil, they're wonderful. I love sesame oil.

I remember the first time I learned that sugar came from beets. It was astonishing. I thought the whole world ate sugar cane. I guess it's like my friend in America who thought pineapples grew on trees. She actually said to me that pineapple trees must be very big to grow such large fruit! I had to find a photo to prove to her they are grown on the ground. Speaking of which, there is an amazing fruit. It takes two years to grow to maturity. What a lot of time and effort must go into ensuring an annual pineapple harvest from a plant that doesn't grow annually!

That will

lead

me to ask - do you like pineapple?

The recipe sounds delicious! The best pumpkin soup I ever tasted had chili in it - just a hint - and it was to die for. I don't often make soup. Sort of thin, one-pot stews is a better description. Not much water, mostly solids, but with enough mixing of flavours to make it nice. I generally use onion and garlic, a tiny bit of nutmeg, and sometimes a vegan stock cube. Sometimes I'll use leeks or shallots for the flavour. If I am calling it soup, then I'll defintely add swede and turnips, as I think their flavours perfectly compliment soup.





8084. Ayla871 February 2013, 13:24 GMT +01:00

Thanks for your long post which gives me a nice

load

of subjects to answer. Unfortunately I'm running a bit out of time now because I have to leave off work shortly. I can't resist Christas pumpkin soup, you know. But I promise to come back to those open questions. I prefer to do so unhurriedly on monday. Over the weekends time is always a bit short. I don't like to sit at the computer too long at home.

Can you guess where I spent my lunch break today? I was at the KaDeWe. With that said it should be clear what I couldn't resist to buy. Now I told you this store is large. I actually had to bother five employees (one asked the next and so on) before the they finally succeeded to locate where the Weetabix can be found. They have only the british version(so we get no comparison again), but they have quite large quantities of it. Being a 95% wholemeal food this is very healthy for my migraine brain. It is especially rich of carbohydrates which are very good for this head of mine. And - as I mentioned, it tastes full of childhood memories. I nibbled the first one dry without any milk already.

Yes, I do like pineapples, they are one of the ingredients of our christmas pizza. There we use the tinned ones. But I have to be careful with fresh pineapples. My teeth don't like too much fruit acid. A little bit is okay, though... And the taste of the fresh ones is the best, of course.

8085. xymonau2 February 2013, 12:05 GMT +01:00

I'm sure Weetabix taste more malty and maybe firmer, so they would be nice. Ours go soggy almost immediately, but that's half their charm. Are they expensive?

You

deal

with your weekend. The computer is not important. We all spend far too much time on computers, phones, etc these days, and miss out on the real world. I'm thinking of taking up knitting or something to do with my hands, just to be constructive. I'm a terrible knitter - my sisters all could make exquisite things - but I need a warm scarf for winter. I find my neck and shoulders feel the cold as I get older, so If I start now, I'll have it done by 2015. (Not necessarily exaggerating!)

I hate peeling pineapples. It's a real chore.

8086. Ayla875 February 2013, 12:53 GMT +01:00

sorry that I'm so

late

with my next four letters, I am ill and still barely can type. Lying in bed all the time with influenzal infection acommpanied by a fever, which is not often the case with me. The height was on Sunday with 39,4 °C, it's much better already, but still hard to breathe. Unfotunately Christa has got it, too (which was of course nearly unavoidable)... Well, back to bed now... We only get up a little bit to care for the cats and are happy that things are slowly getting better. Off work till the end of this week.

8087. xymonau5 February 2013, 13:59 GMT +01:00

Oh, you poor things! I hope you get plenty of rest and that you are feeling well really soon. The 'flu is always serious and unpleasant. I hope the cats are being good while you're unwell. I'll talk to you when you're up to it. And here's a word -

tale!

8088. Ayla8710 February 2013, 16:07 GMT +01:00

I'm slowly

able

to look at a computer again, as you can see from some new photos. Tomorrow I have another regular day off to see my traditional healer who practises ayurveda. This old indian herbal medicine hay ways to calm me down which other heavy pills can't reach as well. Currently for Christa and me the fever is gone completely. The coughing is still quite bad and it is not easy to breathe, especially at nights. I will try to go to work from tuesday again, anyhow.

Now - thanks for your kind words. It is so great to have you as a friend. I find you extremely attentive and warmhearted. Thanks for your understanding. I did not enjoy to leave you alone for such a long time.

We find one of the cats - the older one - a bit harsh when she tries to "educate" the younger one and also quite dominantly shows who is the chief among the cats. She tricks the young cat out of her bed (pretending to play or something) and then occupies it for the rest of the night. I dont find that very gentlemanlike, but then of course, she obviously is far from being a gentleman. There is quite a lot of hissing and chasing going on between the two, not always playful. But we have learned this is still part of their finding their roles. We also suspect that the younger cat was separateed at a very young age from her mother, so that the poor thing couldn't be properly trained in cat's body language and things like that. We see that she misunderstands even friendlier approaches of the older cat, like when she tries to lick her. This only seems to be disturbing to her, which is a pity. Now that was a long answer to your short question, if the cats were being good while we were unwell.

Is Weetabix expensive? A box of 430 grams costs 3,95 Euros in the KaDeWe, which lies above the price of usual cornflakes but is still affordable. They go soft in seconds when you pour warm milk over them, but I don't mind. Not much work to chew something, then, but still very tasty. Good to eat when you have no teeth left, Weetabix will still work fine. They served me right these days because I have lost quite a lot of weight during the last week (well, at last about 2 kilos).

Many bee populations are dying out over here because of some pesticides which are harmful to them (even though everybody has promised this shouldn't happen). A serious problem not only to the honey production (with steadily rising prices) but for the fruit growers as well. Who is able to fructify anything when there are no more bees?

How is the result of your blood test, is everything fine? Christas veins are related to yours, they are also great experts in hiding whenever they see a needle approaching.

For me it is always hard to fasten for a blood test, because I get up early at 04.20 and often have to wait till 09.00 because the doctors open so late.

Your mixed vegetable pan sounds delicious. Is the brown gravy made from yeast? Christa doesn't like the taste of yeast and tries to avoid it.

8089. xymonau11 February 2013, 7:00 GMT +01:00

Cats often lick each other prior to being aggressive, so the younger one might just know what's going on, do you think? The young one will grow bigger, hopefully, then assert her rights.

I'm glad you're starting to feel a bit better, but I wish it could all go away rapidly.

The blood test showed dreadfully high cholesterol, which has cured me and gotten me back to a much better diet. It has never been that high before. I refuse to take statins, though. I'm also very depleted in vitamin D - this in our sunny environment. I even take D tablets every day. I don't go out in the sun much, so I'm sure that's why. So I have to try to remember to get some sun every day. That's difficult, as I have no outside chairs at home. I might buy a fold-out lounge chair or something. My biggest problem right now is a lot of pain, which might be tenosynovitis. I had it years ago, but was on antiinflammatories for so many years that I never felt it. Now they have stopped, I'm really struggling. The doc has referred me to a rheumatologist in Brisbane. I go on March 1. I dread the drive again, but I'll see my granddaughters that weekend, so it will be worth it. I don't have a lot of faith in rheumatologists, but I can't keep this up. Some days I can hardly comb my hair or lift anything heavy. Fortunately, my back pain is a lot easier right now. That means it is healing. But the doctor can't tell me why I had the fractures in the first place. Then I had to have another blood test and wrist xrays on Friday. They jabbed both arms looking for blood this time. *sigh* Krista would understand!

No, the brown gravy is made from flour browned in the pan, although I have found a dairy-free packet one that's okay. I think I ended up having satay. LOL It's always my preference. I tried a Singapore satay sauce the other day. Nice, but it seemed to have almost an Indian curry flavour to it.

Re me eating cornflakes - I really dislike them, but my tastebuds have changed enough for me to feel like eating them at present. This, too, shall pass. I have always found their flavour to be just not nice. I don't mind them at present. I want to say to you that eating anything with milk while you have the 'flu is going to make you cough more. I'd put some margarine with butter on the Weetabix and eat them dry like cracker biscuits. They taste nice mixed with nuts, sugar, maple syrup and golden syrup, vanilla and cinnamon (not too much of the wet ingredients) and baked in a slow oven until the sugar melts. When it sets, you hack pieces off and it tastes really nice. The weetabix should taste similar to Weetbix used in the same way.

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