• KJ's Kitchen

    Cooking to a Latin beat

    Cooking can be hard work. Look around any busy home kitchen and it is not long before the dishes pile up! Take the Banana and Date cake I made yesterday. On two occasions I started with the wrong size bowl. Therefore, that added two more bowls to the washing up. It was a new recipe and it looked great when I put it in the oven. Before long, I heard my One&Only (O&O) calling out ‘your cake is falling all over the side of the loaf tin and dripping into the bottom of the oven!’ I removed it from the oven and placed a tray underneath the cake tin. Before…

  • Life Day By Day

    The Backyard

    In my lifetime I have lived in many houses, all with a backyard. I live in Queensland where we have perfect weather to spend time outdoors. Therefore, it is no surprise to me that our Premier wants to keep our backyard, Queensland, free of COVID-19. While tourism is feeling the pain of the lockdown, there could be more pain ahead if Queensland opens its border too early. Even though New South Wales and Victoria borders remain open to one another, they are the worst affected states. On the Darling Downs, where I live, we have not had a COVID-19 case for over 40 days. I do not want to see…

  • Enjoying our COVID-19 recreational drive.
    Out and About

    Our COVID-19 recreational drive

    After hearing the news we could take a recreational drive up to 50 kilometres, we planned our first post COVID-19 outing. My One & Only (O&O), Matt and I talked about where we would go. As the topic a few days earlier had been around fishing spots near Toowoomba we decided to go to Lake Cooby (37 kms away). The lake is stocked with silver perch, golden perch, and Murray cod. We wanted to check out if this was a good place for my O&O and Matt to hook a fresh fish dinner. On Wednesday morning we were extremely excited about the outing, a longer trip than the few kilometres…

  • KJ's Kitchen,  Life Matters

    Cabin Fever and COVID-19

    Spending too much time alone or confined indoors can bring on cabin fever. The term cabin fever is not a medically diagnosed illness, however it is a recognised condition. The lockdown we are experiencing in our homes due to COVID-19, apart from going out for essential services, can bring on cabin fever. I believe most of us are aware of the importance of following the COVID-19 regulations, including social distancing, to keep us all safe from the virus. That is, apart from the young woman at the supermarket, when I asked my One & Only (O&O) to step back at the checkout, told me it was all a load of…

  • KJ's Kitchen,  Life Day By Day

    The Power of Flour

    More people during the coronavirus lockdown have discovered the power of flour. There is so much you can do with flour. Now that people are spending more time at home they are experimenting in the kitchen and making their own bread, cakes, pasta, or pizza. If you have young children you can also use flour to make play dough. I made it for my son when he was young (he is now in his 40s)! The tactile experience of play dough is good for children. It enhances their fine motor skills, is very calming and develops their creative skills. It is an activity that grandparents could do with grandchildren, but…

  • Life Matters

    The coronavirus classroom: Cardinal George Pell

    We are all part of a social experiment due to the coronavirus (Covid-19). Our lives have significantly changed. Living in a free-market, capitalist society, we could always choose how to live our daily lives. But this choice has been taken away by the coronavirus. We do not know what will be our ‘new normal’ that is weeks, months or a year away. Given our new way of living is this an opportunity for learning? For me, I feel like I have been placed in the coronavirus classroom – a new place of learning. All of us, in our digital age, have an opportunity to acquire new skills. There are self-help…

  • Life Matters,  Self-Sufficiency

    And the birds still sing

    There have been many changes in our lives over the past couple of months and we are all making adjustments to life – at home. Despite this, some things remain the same. The other morning when I awoke I heard the sweet melody of birds outside the bedroom window. The birds continue on with their lives as usual. They are unaffected by COVID-19. They have no restrictions on their activities. And yes, the birds still sing. What’s up these Easter holidays As the birds still sing, others across the world are joining in, singing. Well known entertainers are live streaming their songs and encouraging others to ‘hang in’ during the…

  • Life Matters,  Out and About

    Courage mingled with vulnerabilities (CV)

    What a difference a few months can make. No longer do we have control over where we go and what we do. The coronavirus, COVID-19, CV for short, is controlling us. I am now controlled by the government and the rules of movement and social behaviour. But I do not mind, these are in place for my protection and to protect those I love. Therefore, I have to face the world with another form of CV – courage mingled with my vulnerabilities. The level of control and the change CV has bought into my life was evident to me yesterday when we visited the pharmacy and the supermarket. We arrived…

  • Life Matters,  Live Simply to Simply Live

    Welcome to our world

    About 30 years ago my One & Only (O&O) and I travelled to Sydney from Brisbane to catch up with my mother (Valma) and the new man in her life (Kelvin). My father had passed away. Some years ago, I wrote an article about Valma and Kelvin and how they married 44 years after they first met.  Believing they were too young as 20-year old’s for a serious relationship, Kelvin’s mother hid Valma’s letter from him. He was heart-broken, but he had to get on with his life. When Valma spoke to Kelvin on the phone over four decades later she said to him ‘you broke my heart.’ While both…