Monday, July 30, 2012

Point Taken

I don't know where to start exactly, I think with Nika..

She's starting kindergarten this year - it's so frightening to me.. she's quite looking forward to it actually. I'm consistently worried about how she'll socialize, whether she'll fit in, how she'll get on with her teachers..

I have no choice but to deal, though.. because my baby is all grown up, I've known this for a while, but until the start of kindergarten I can go on happily not acknowledging it just yet.

I think in many ways this is going to mark the new start of many things for us - the wedding planning is full-blown in motion.. Getting closer to the big day, looking forward to it (but more on that later).

I think also, we're (Fiance + I) pin-pointing a few things about the future that we want along the way.. you know, not just wedding-related aspects, but things like children, home-related stuff.

Should I be completely honest - I'd really like to talk about these things in lieu of coming to a realization 'on the go' in mid of many other things, but that's okay, sometimes things just happen like that. I think that's what causes a lot of my uncertainty though. I've always been uneasy about the future, so I take anything related to that very seriously.. which leads me to over-think or over-analyze, or psyche myself out. I'm trying not to, though.I just don't think I'm managing this all the right way. I guess, the most important thing is that I'm trying.

I'm trying a lot of different things: I don't want to have a lingering feeling of dread about something bad happening all the time. I don't want to believe that I'm worse or better than anyone, just that I'm myself.. and people I love, love me for just that, too.

I'm a little odd, kind of goofy. Easily scared, but very aggressive at the same time. I get hurt really easily but I never tell anyone, so people wouldn't even know; which leads them to believe that I'm a really strong person, but really.. I'm not. I'm really honest and I stand by what I believe. I think if I met me.. I'd like me.

I'm really lucky, and I never forget how lucky I am, not even for a day, not even when things aren't so great.  I think I had been very nervous about this last week because I didn't know what to expect, having had a few warnings, I was sort of dreading it - I know this is a bit cryptic, sorry.

I don't claim to have all the answers on how to make a relationship great, I don't even know if I'm making the right decisions about certain stuff - I just try to do what feels right, but more than anything, what I believe will make not only myself happy, but the people I love. I try to think about their happiness more than my own, because they're what makes me happy, it's all interlinked.

I knew I should expect some anger and frustration, maybe even an argument or two - but none of that happened, which in itself is great because it proves that being that little bit extra nice when things are difficult goes a long way, and doesn't go unnoticed.

Which brings me to a more difficult note:

I'm very easily emotionally manipulated, this is hardly news to anyone who has been even remotely emotionally close to me - I find it hard to break away from the bonds I've formed with people and often find myself manipulated into doing things for said people even long after there's no relationship of any sort going on, and say, even if there hadn't been friendship, communication or any tender feelings for a while.

I don't know why I do this, for lack of a better conclusion, I'll say it's because I'm a nice person and having once cared for someone deeply, I find it hard to turn my back to them, even if said person had let me go, left me alone - knowing I don't have any guidance; no devils, no gods, no family and at the time, not even friends.

'A person in need, is a friend indeed'. Maybe it's not all selfless, but the majority of my actions have been.

I need to change this about myself, and focus on more important things, and people.

I try to never go to bed upset, and never wake up upset, either - I also realized that I'm making a few mistakes along the way and at the moment I'm not sure how to correct that or prevent it, but it's something for me to work on.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

(Relatively) Quick Breakfast Muffins

 I got the original recipe from here

But I didn't have a few of the ingredients the recipe called for, but luckily, I had enough creativity to get by.

I'm supposed to be watching what I eat.. but I tried one..a
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used my SO fancy flour, because we were out of the stuff that I, non-pro, regular mortal usually use!)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (we only have peanut oil.. but I've substituted the two before, and no biggie, only a hint of a nutty taste, which is hardly tragic)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
For the topping:
  • 2 medium peaches (I also used some raspberries)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (usually, we've got this lying around in the fridge, but not this time! Had to leave this out all together)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 500 degrees

For the topping:

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, add the sugar and grated ginger and cook until the sugar is dissolved.  Add the peaches to the pan and cook until they start to release their juices.  Set aside to cool slightly while you prepare the batter.

For the muffins:

Place the cup of oats in the milk and let soak for at least 15 minutes (you can soak them the night before if you want to make them first thing in the morning).  *I soaked for 20 min for no reason at all. 

 Mix together the flour, salt, cinnamon and baking powder. *I used a sift, just to be sure everything mixed well.  Add the eggs, vanilla and oil to the milk and oat mixture then pour the wet ingredients into dry ingredients.  Mix just until combined, don’t overmix or you will have tough muffins.  *I used a small whisk to lightly fold in.

Fill cups of a lightly greased muffin tin (*I used a silicone form, it's all we've got) two-thirds to three-quarters full. *I over-filled, whoops, but no biggie, mine didn't rise too much.

 Top the muffins with 2 slices of peaches and spoon any remaining juices over the top.  Place muffins in the oven and immediately drop the temperature to 400 degrees.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until muffins are golden brown and firm to the touch.

* We had some raspberries I wanted to put to a use, so towards the end of the baking time, I quickly popped the muffins out, threw the raspberries on and used some of the left over peach syrup.

*I used a smaller 'star' shaped silicone form to make some of them, and got those out at 15 minutes, the others had to be left in until 22 min and then an additional few while I struggled with setting up the cooling rack

The recipe is not cloyingly sweet.. and will go awesome with coffee in the morning! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Phoenix Hanson's Story

 Petition for Phoenix


CBS: End the silence! Tell Phoenix Hanson's Story! On June 06, 2012, Phoenix Hanson, a five year old with ASD in Osceola county, Florida, was attacked by his teacher at Narcoossee Elementary in front of an eyewitness, the teacher's aid. This was not the first incident, according to the teacher's aid. Prior to that day, the teacher verbally tormented Phoenix and encouraged his classmates to bully him, both physically and verbally. Phoenix's parents, Craig and Nina Hanson, were devastated. There had never been any indication anything was amiss.

Charges were filed and everything was handed over to the state as an abuse case. The state attorney still hasn't decided whether or not to pursue charges. Craig and Nina contacted local news stations to help share their story and bring light as to what's becoming an alarming trend in special ed classrooms. Despite being given all the information regarding the case, none of the local media has picked up the story. It's been kept quiet, which is not only a slap in the face to the Hanson family, saying that their story does not matter, but it's a disservice to other families who have a right to know what is happening in their country, in their own backyard,  at one of their schools that perhaps their own children go to.
Help Nina and Craig get their story out! Tell Orlando media to stop the silence and tell Phoenix's story!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Tasha and Nika Bears Count Their Blessings

So the titled is inspired by the Berenstain Bear books.. but more about that in a moment.

What can I say? The title says it all.

I know I get frustrated, upset, discouraged, demotivated.. I'm grateful that I'm with a person who doesn't discard my requests for help or support. Who picks me up, dusts me off and encourages me to try again, but at the same time, doesn't push.

Sometimes I get really angry, disappointed or really sad - we all do, for different reasons, what's most important however, is that it's all a temporary occurrence.

How do I deal with it? I make the decision not to feel that way unless it's justified.

How do I decide whether or not it is? I think of the reason behind why I feel that way, and then I decide whether or not I can resolve things on my own.

If it's a spontaneous outburst, I seldom ever mention anything. If it's a build-up of emotions I have not been able to sort myself, I speak up.. sure sometimes waiting to talk about something results in me being far more emotional than called for.. but nobody is perfect. I make mistakes.. as do the people around me - I accept that.

Fact of the matter is, what temporarily upsets me one moment, is most likely not to even matter tomorrow, I try to admit if I'm really upset, but I also make sure it doesn't drag on longer than necessary for me to get it out of my system.

I've always wanted a relationship precisely like this: -

~ When you're not -completely- attached at the hip, but you secretly really miss each-other.
~ When you laugh at the same things and enjoy the passing time in a similar way.
~ When you needn't talk to each other -all- the time.. just being together is enough. 
~ When you don't have to be perfect, but just yourself - with all your strengths, weaknesses.. imperfections and distinguishments

The list goes on, but the most important point.. is that although some times are more difficult than others, this relationship is never a struggle.

What's there to say about Nika? She's the happiest kid you'll ever come across. She's showered with love, attention and affection.. and in return, she makes us smile and laugh at her quirky personality all the time. We adore her

Now.. onto the Berenstain bears..

It's not particularly easy to find just the right books for bedtime reading these days, not because there's a lack of them - quite the opposite actually, there are far too many!

Our personal favourite remains Dr Seuss, but we also enjoy Maurice Sendak and various others.

A bit too long for 'beginner' readers, but any parent can get through the books with a little bit of patience and 10 minutes devoted to 'reading time' each evening.

Even though some of the language is non-standard, the moral behind the story is always accurate and easy for children to understand.

The Berenstain Bears Learn About Strangers

I really recommend the 'Strangers' book, it's very educational and gives the child just enough information, whilst teaching them a lesson that you really need to be careful around strangers but it doesn't instill a sense of paranoia as of the other 'Strangers' themed books!

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Last Maltese Relic


Отрывок из ненаписанного романа (киносценария) «Последняя мальтийская реликвия».

Таормина. 1798 год.

Высокий человек, закутавшись в длинный чёрный плащ, шел по улочкам Таормины. Внезапно, оглянувшись назад, он резко повернул в сторону Palazzo Corvaja и, свернув в очень узкий переулок, он, вдруг, подойдя к одной из дверей, плотно прижался к ней спиной и замер в таком положении. Со стороны ничто не выдавило его присутствие, плотные сумерки скрадывали его фигуру в тёмном дверном проёме.

Но его манёвр и тревога были напрасными, простояв неподвижно около четверти часа, он окончательно убедился, что за ним никто не идёт. После этого, он резко повернул в другую сторону и, поднявшись, почти до самых Ворот — Porta Di Mezzo, опять резко свернул направо и снова проделал то же самое, неподвижно застыл в одном из дверных проёмов.

Последний раз, убедившись в отсутствии слежки, он быстро подошёл к одной из дверей, ничем не выделявшейся среди других, и негромко постучал три раза с определенным интервалом, чувствовалось, что это был условный сигнал. Дверь, в ту же секунду, быстро открылась.
Седовласый хозяин дома, одетый в длинную темную накидку, сказал: «Вот и последний из сегодняшних гостей….  Прекрасно, что все добрались с Мальты в Таормину и очень хорошо, что сегодня, не надо никакого друг другу представлять, и мы можем сразу перейти к делу

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