Monday, 30 November 2009

From Elf to Pixie

So, for the last two months, I've been plagued with migraines- some terrible, and some light enough to allow me to function like they weren't really there. I've tried everything- washing things without scents, non-scented soaps and shampoos, vacuuming and dusting till all little bunnies ran away, walking, no coffee (which made things worse), and everything that I'd learned from that study I did back in senior year of highschool.

Nothing helped. I tried different ways of wearing my hair, which sometimes alleviated the stress on my head for a little while. But still, no go. I talked to the doctor, and after we tried a few pain killers and other stuff, he simply told me that perhaps it was time to chop off my hair.

Sunday night, I remarked to my friend Joia that I should cut my hair off. She just looked at me. "If you want, I could do it for you..."

"I'll have to tell my mom." Next thing I knew, I was calling her. She said okay. I told Joia. Well, we had already agreed to get together to eat rice at five this afternoon.

"I'll bring scissors. How much?"

"I think I want to donate. So, like a foot?"

Well, it ended up a little over that. Thirteen inches, in the longer part, a little over twelve inches in the shorter sections. And then of course, the trimmings to make it look even.

I really like it though!!! As I get a few more photos tomorrow, I'll show you how it really looks.

And sorry, my hair's not really this dark! All lights but my desk lamp and computer were turned off when I took this photo, and the flash was being silly. And the kitchen light is notoriously dark, I've had people assume that I have dark brown hair when they've met me in there, and half the lights in there aren't working right now.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Black Friday

So, for the second year in a row, I have braved the craziness that is Black Friday. We spent yesterday (actual American Thanksgiving) with my uncle and aunt, and this morning, Gramma stayed with my little cousins.
Merry and I went with my uncle and aunt to the stores. Starting at five in the morning. That's right. I was dressed, cleaned up and had two cups of coffee before four forty-five in the morning. It's a good thing that Black Friday is only once a year because there is no way I'd ever do this more than this.
However, I did get some good deals at the stores, so I'm happy.
And yes, the prize buy: $20 for a hard-back edition of the complete works of Shakespeare.
I am happy. And tired. So now I'm off to bed. Tomorrow I have an early family birthday-party!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Over the Hills and Far Away

I've been listening to this a lot today as I pack... Yes, I know. It's hard to imagine that I am a European symphonic rock fan, but I am. (Nightwish won me over.)

This song makes me think of Le Comte De Monte-Cristo, that or Dunsany's book Over the Hills and Far Away. Both of which make me very happy.

Monday, 23 November 2009


Well, today at three, I got out of my last class for the whole week. That's right, it's American Thanksgiving now!

Merry still has a class and some work tomorrow, so we won't be heading to my wonderful Gramma's house until after seven. But all the same, I'm excited about going "over the river and through the woods".

I've had a busy weekend, full of plays, homework, friends and going to an Ethiopian restaurant.

Oh yes. I'll have to blog about that. Lovely people, delicious food, all on a Sunday afternoon. Even though I'd have preferred Asian food to African, we still had a wonderful time. And I loved the tastes of the spices and the meat and the flat bread, which reminded me greatly of chapatis.

I'm not sure how much I'll be online at Gramma's, but I will at least post a short update at some point. ^_^

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Favourite Things: Shakespeare!

Last night was closing night for The Comedy of Errors. It was hilarious, fun, and sad. Because now, I won't have a house to run. Or crazy, slightly stressed actors to hang out with. (They're back to just being students...)
But I have lots of memories. And several hundred photos.
Huzzah for Shakespeare making my week so much fun!

Monday, 16 November 2009

For Theophilus

Look what I found on youtube today while I was studying...

Donald, Where's Your Trousers

Just for Theophilus. I thought he might enjoy that. It certainly brings back memories for me... back to Freshman year when we tore down our house and listened to this on the record player a LOT.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Remembering to Slow Down

Bare feet.
Crunchy leaves.
Remnants of a frost.
Soft woolen sweaters.
Long warm skirts.
Talking with dear friends.
Admiring the beauty of the world.
Wondering at the simplicity of nature.
Wishing for the wildness that I remember from Alaska.
Evenings spent with friends.
Hot cocoa and relaxing piano music.
Resting and taking time to listen to God on this day set apart by Him.
Remembering to thank Him.

These are the days that I need to remember. These are the days that give me space and distance to see what my life is. The days that allow me to think and reflect. The ones that give me energy, motivation and remembrance of what it is that is important.

Bloggy Thoughts

As I sit here, battling day who knows what of a migraine, I find myself thinking about this blog. For a year and a half, I have written here, and changed greatly through that writing. I've realized much about myself, about others, about what I want in life. Also, it shows me how I live the life I have.

And living in a dorm setting, I've come to see how much I really want to have a real house soon. How I love kitchens (and cooking), crafting, and all of the things that go with homes. (Including cleaning... who'd have thought I'd ever miss washing dishes?) I try to find ways of living the 'down-to-earth' lifestyle while still being here rather than just dreaming. It helps that I'm not really on the meal-plan and so am cooking for myself.

However, I still find that my most recurrent dream is that of living in my own home. I suppose my mind has a built up ideal, Willowcliffe Cottage, if you will. And so often, I see this blog as being tied to my desire to grow in the "down-to-earth" lifestyle. It is where I write about cooking, crafting, and those things which mean "home" to me. I no longer teach music lessons and run my own business, thus making "Willowcliffe Studios" passé. So what am I to do with the blog name?

I'm thinking of doing something in terms of the homing aspect of the blog, yet I'm not sure if I want to abandon the "Willowcliffe" part since it is so intrinsically linked to my dramatis personae. I'm tossing around ideas with "cottage of dreams" or similar titles. A new blog layout would likely go along with a new title.

Most likely, it will be "Dreams of A Place Called Home", or some similar derivation. I'll post before I change anything.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

A Day in My Life for November 2009

It's been a while since I've done this... but I haven't really forgotten it completely.

This morning, I woke originally at about five thirty, to eat a quick breakfast and take my medications. Since Merry was still sleeping, I went to the floor's study room and read for a little while. (Psalms, for Katana's sake, and because I'm probably going to have to write another paper on them for Biblical Literature here soon.)

However, I was still pretty tired, so at about six thirty, I went back to bed. I ended up sleeping until about nine thirty, at which point I decided to make another apple cobbler. This time, I made the large pan, but with a different recipe, and then the small pan with my regular recipe. I find that the newer recipe made the top be really crisp and brown, so I don't think I'll be making it again. But I have plenty of guy friends who will likely not care a bit about that and eat it all for me. :)

Much of the morning was taken up with paring and spicing the apples. Then, around noon, my grandfather dropped by for a few minutes with some of my warm clothes that I got thrifting two weeks ago and my Gramma had altered for me. (Thanks Gramma!) I did a little bit of work for calling from about 12:15 till maybe ten minutes before one. After I'd finished with that, I went back to the dorm kitchen and baked the cobblers. After they were both finished, I cleaned up the kitchen, then went back to my room to let them cool.

Since I'd had a crazy busy week, my room was in a state of entropy. I rectified that and then settled down for a lovely Saturday afternoon nap. Around four thirty (my life revolves around 'thirties' for today...) Teodor called me, waking me up. I headed over to the third floor of the library (which isn't really the library, it's the religion and philosophy department) to meet up with Teodor, Nora and Ben (and JC came later) to watch V for Vendetta. I took the cobblers, and Nora brought some other food.

We invaded the professors lounge and set up all of our stuff. After the movie was over at seven thirty, we all went into the hall and splayed our things everywhere. We stayed there talking until about one in the morning.

And that is just a day in my life here. (Not the staying up till one, necessarily...)

Friday, 13 November 2009

Favourite Things: Friends

So, I had another Favourite Things post all prepped, then realised that I really ought to post something else. Of course, this is more of a thankful thing than a favourite, but it still applies...
My friends here at HC. Teo, Stephen, Nadea, Nora, Ben, Henna, Emy and Carter. Just a few of my favourites.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Favourite Things: Nadea

I thought I should share a bit about Nadea.
She is one of my favourite 'things' too... though I feel like I should break from tradition and say "favourite person" instead.
She's there for me when I'm stressed, sick, silly and every time in between. She reminds me to smile and to keep going when times get hard.
Maybe later, I'll post a photo, if she's okay with that. ^_^

(Edit: She was okay with it, so I decided to add this photo!)

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Apple Cobbler

Some of my friends decided to give me a bunch of apples. What was I supposed to do with them was left up to me. So I choose a few of them...

And then I cut them into eighths! I had an idea building in my head of what I wanted to do...

I cut them into little bitty pieces and then sprinkled lots of spices on them. (The spices hadn't been added at the point in which this photo was taken...) And then I let them sit for awhile.

Next step was to make a cobbler topping and then a sugar glaze for the top, and bake it.

Last of all, I took it to the Campus Centre, and shared it with my friends who donated the apples (and the spices!) in the first place.
The cobbler didn't last long, and by the next day, I had even more apples in my room again. Looks like this process is going to be repeated sometime soon!

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Remembering to Hope

Miserere Mei, Deus - Westminster Cathedral Choir

I think this may be one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. So peaceful, so stilling. It fills me with longing and remembrance.
And it reminds me that in the darkest moments, there is still hope.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Favourite Things: The Spice of Life

My dear Nora had her sister visiting over the weekend, and she brought me a bunch of spices. Needless to say, this made me very happy. And my room kinda smells a bit like a spice cabinet now.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Favourite Things: "Jhaniel"

In keeping with my rather hectic, less than peaceful, and slightly (okay, more than slightly) traumatic week, I think FT posts are winning out on my mind. I've been singing the song all day to remind me to smile; and as I drank my trillionth cup of tea, I settled on my Favourite Thing for the day.

Meet "Jhaniel": my tea kettle. She heats up water beautifully, brings happiness (and warmth) and just is so pretty that every time I look at her, I smile.

Huzzah for tea, hot water, and kitcheny items!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Favourite Things: Cardamom Cookies

I have no photos right now of cardamom cookies right now, but I thought, due to a comment from Mythopoeia, that I ought to post the recipe for them.

1 cup butter
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon cardamom
2 cups flour

1. Cream butter and sugar, add egg
2. Stir in cardamom
3. Add baking powder and flour
4. Make dough log, wrap in wax paper, chill in refrigerator
5. Cut into 1/4 inch wedges and bake for 8-10 minutes at 375 F.
6. Cool on rack till firm.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Favourite Things

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad.

Recently, I decided that I needed to remember what things made me happy and focus on them, or bring them back into my life, whenever I'm feeling down. So, over the next few weeks, I'll be posting about my favourite things.
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