Monday, 31 December 2012

Ending 2012

I'm sorting things for the garage sale.
Well, it's New Year's Eve, and I'm lying on the couch and not planning to be awake for midnight.

It seems a good time to look over my resolutions from New Year's Day this year, and see what I achieved.

I won't go through them individually.

Well, I did save some of my own energy, and the household energy.  I did leave the kids to be a bit more independent - and one of them even left home.

I slipped up on the healthy diet and exercise.  Once I got sick, all of that fell apart - along with anything that involved my work in any way. So I didn't get the book about baptism written, either, although I did write a couple of new books this year.

So, I did OK with some things, but not so well at others.  Lupus got in the way.

Anyone want a 25 year old wedding dress?
At the moment, I'm so busy, I don't think I will be worrying about doing any new resolutions for 2013.  If I manage to survive the garage sale and move, I will think it's enough of an achievement for the year.

My big goal for this week is to be ready in time for the garage sale my kids and I are having this Saturday - to get rid of the excess items my daughter wasn't able to take to her new house, and my son and I won't fit in our new flat.

After the garage sale, comes packing, moving and cleaning the house up.

I'm already exhausted, with lots more stuff to be sorted through, but it should get easier after the garage sale. If we manage to sell everything, there won't be a lot left to pack up.

Much of the stuff I want to sell, I've had for years, and carried with me through numerous house moves.  From here on in, I need to reorganise my entire life, so everything is easier - including any future house moves.

Friday, 28 December 2012

And On To The Next Thing....

lupus.cheezburger.com
I hope everyone had a good Christmas.

I did.  After church a friend came around, and my daughter and her boyfriend visited.  We had a nice lunch, before the kids went off to my ex-husband's place for dinner.

A bit later another couple of friends came around for a while.

I had planned to go to another friend's house for dinner - but that's where the plans came unstuck.  I slept instead.

Then I slept through Boxing Day. I really needed that sleep.

Yesterday, I read a couple of novels I had on the shelf and had never got around to reading.  That means they can go for the garage sale. That's the next big project now that Christmas is done (well, technically, Christmas is 12 days - and the garage sale will actually be in that time.)

 I'm looking at everything around the house now, thinking: "Packing? Garage Sale? Throw out? Give Away?"

I had started with the idea of what do I want to get rid of?  Then realised that it's more than a matter of getting rid of things.  I'm going to a significantly smaller home. I have to think of the space I'm moving in to, and decide what I want to keep. I only have room to take things that are essential, or that matter to me a lot. Out of the essentials, I'll take the best of everything.  I'm getting rid of mismatched mugs, and glasses that are the last of a set.

I'm keeping the recipe books I actually use, giving a few that I used to use before I had to give up gluten to my daughter (some of her favourite things are in them), and the other 20 or so are going out to the garage sale. I'm keeping some of my professional library - but most is going, because it can be easily replaced with electronic versions that don't require bookshelves. I'm getting rid of clothes that have been mended too many times. Even my wedding dress is going.

There was a time, I thought it would be painful to throw things out, sell them, or give them away.  I grew up being taught to hang on to things.  But it's actually freeing. It's also physically tiring. I'm starting to consider whether I do need to hire a removalist and maybe even a professional cleaner to clean up the house after I leave.  A good friend gave me some "moving money" for Christmas, and another has offered me a long-term loan.  It's given me the option of looking at whether I should spend money to save my physical energy. (And that of my family and friends.) I'll get quotes from movers and cleaners, to see how far the available money would stretch - remembering I still have to get out of this lease, and that will cost money as well.

When the doctor first said it was time to move somewhere smaller and easier to manage, it had seemed like the end of everything.  But it's another beginning, a chance to start out fresh again, to take a good look at my life and see what's important, and to get rid of the things I don't need.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Happy Christmas

lupus.cheezburger.com

To Everyone who Reads Sometimes, it is Lupus,
I hope and pray you will have a wonderful,
joyous, safe, and pain-free Christmas.
Much love from Iris.

Relient K: I Celebrate the day.






Friday, 21 December 2012

The Miracle Continues

lupus.cheezburger.com
Since yesterday's post, I have been overwhelmed with offers of help - from people I know well, and from people I've only ever met online.

I have received offers of: a loan for the moving expenses; a ute and driver; packing boxes and bubble wrap, etc.

I've had people retweet and share about my garage sale and about my search for someone to take over my lease on the current house.

In the past 24 hours, I have either been in tears or close to tears endless times, just amazed by how generous people can be.

God has truly blessed me with the most amazing people in my life.

To everyone who has prayed, or offered practical help, thank you so much. I don't know how I can ever repay the generosity of so many wonderful people.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

My Christmas Miracle

The house I'm leaving....
I'm getting ready to move house.

I can't afford to do it, and if I don't sort out someone to take over my lease here I'm in trouble, but I'm doing it anyway - because the new home is perfect, and it becoming available is nothing short of a miracle.

Less than a month ago, my doctor told me to put in an application with the Housing Department, because I couldn't continue to live in the house I'm in.  It's too big for me to look after now, and the rent is too much for me now that I'm not working.

About a week ago, a friend contacted me and asked if I was still looking for a new home - because the granny flat under her house is going to be available next month, her current tenants are moving out.

It's much cooler than this house - because it's insulated by having a whole house on top of it. It's the perfect size, being big enough for my son and me, but small enough for me to be able to clean it.

There's even a cat-flap for Bumpy. And I can afford the rent.

It's perfect, and it's available now that I most need it.  I'm accepting that as a gift from God.

lupus.cheezburger.com
When I found out about the costs of breaking my current lease, I almost decided against going. But then I had my fortnightly check up with my doctor.  I am a fair bit healthier than I have been lately, but still suffering a lot because of the heat. Her recommendation was beg, pray, do whatever it takes to get out of the lease - but move to the new flat.

So I've asked the real estate agent to ask the owners to waive the fees for breaking the lease - after all, I've been here for years. And I'm asking everyone I know to ask around and see if anyone they know might want to take over the last few months of my lease here.

Financially, it's going to be a shock to the system - not just getting out of the lease, but the cost of moving.  I honestly can't afford it, but am trusting it will all work out somehow.

Physicially, moving is going to be exhausting.

We're going to have to cull a number of our possessions, so I'm throwing out things, and setting things aside for a garage sale. Hopefully, as well as cutting down the number of things we have to move, the garage sale will make us some money to cover the expenses of moving. I'm trying to start the packing and throwing out, while still getting ready for Christmas.  I have to keep a balance still, sleep as much as possible, and do minimal things through the heat of the day. It's a challenge - do do everything in time, and yet not push myself to the point of becoming more unwell. It's especially challenging in the heat of a Queensland summer! (Heat leaves me exhausted to start with.)

lupus.cheezburger.com
Going through what I want to keep and what I want to sell/throw out/give away is an interesting experience.  For me, it's quite a spiritual experience, realising that the material things I've gathered around me are not all that important. Getting rid of things that no longer have a use, assessing what I really want to keep, helps make me more aware of my priorities.  (If you want to see what it's like: look around your home, imagine you were moving to somewhere half the size, and decide what you need or want enough to keep and what you can live without.)

Then there's packing and moving.  I suspect I won't be able to afford a removalist, so it will be a matter of hiring a ute, the same as my daughter and her boyfriend did for their move. I will be counting on the family, and any friends who have time and energy helping.

And after the move, is cleaning the house.  It's a job I've been struggling with while living here. I hope it will be easier with the house empty. Again, I'll probably be looking for help.

After the move, and the clean-up, I'm going to need a lot of rest to recover.  Hopefully, as this flare is starting to ease, it won't come back and hit me as a result of the move. But, I'll have a cooler home that's easier to care for to recover in.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Gluten-free Christmas: Christmas Cake

Step 8: Decorate the top of the cake with nuts.
500g mixed dried fruit
quarter cup orange juice
50ml sweet sherry
25ml brandy
2 teaspoons golden syrup
2 tablespoons peanut oil
3 eggs
80g dairy-free margarine
quarter cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons caster sugar
drop Parisian essence
quarter cup brandy (extra)

1 1/2 cups gluten-free plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
half teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon mixed spice

Raw nuts (own choice) to decorate top of cake



  1. Combine fruit, juice, sherry, brandy, syrup and peanut oil in a bowl, mix well. Cover and leave in refrigerator overnight.
  2. The next day: Preheat oven to 130 deg C. 
  3. Line a medium cake tin with baking paper.
  4. Cream the margarine and sugars, add Parisian essence, then add eggs one at a time.
  5. Add the margarine mix to the fruit mix and combine well.
  6. Sift dry ingredients and add to the fruit mixture and combine. (Don't over-mix, gluten free flour becomes tough easily.) 
  7. Pour into prepared tin, and spread evenly.  (I find it's easiest to use wet hands to spread the cake mix and even out the top.)
  8. Decorate with assorted nuts.
  9. Bake for about 90 minutes. Until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  10. Remove from oven. Pour over the extra brandy.  Cover the top of the cake with baking paper, and wrap in a towel. Allow to cool, wrapped overnight.
This cake will keep for a while in an airtight container - but it's not as long-lasting as regular fruit cake.  If you're going to store it more than two or three weeks, freeze it.

Recipe is gluten free, and lactose free.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Business Directory Business of the Week - Bracelets, Beads and Bling

This week's Lupus Business Directory Business of the Week is Bracelets Beads and Bling.

Annie makes lovely bracelets - I have a gorgeous lupus awareness bracelet she made, and also had the cutest little bracelet made to order for a young girl for Christmas.

It's worth a look at her page, if you're looking for unique and gorgeous gifts.






Bracelets Beads and Bling

Handmade Jewellery by Annie Taylor (Lupus)







Saturday, 15 December 2012

Moaning About Money

lupus.cheezburger.com
(No, this is not Mr Bumpy - who uses home brand
cat litter, and does not have to make his own.
When he shreds paper, it's for fun.)
Every now and then something circulates on email or social media about how someone who is well-dressed, have make-up on etc, asks for a pensioner discount. The self-righteous people who pen these missives then claim that this proves our pensions are too high, or that we're helping people who are wasting money and using it badly.

I'd like to answer these things - (feel free to copy and paste freely as needed.)

Dear person who thinks pensions are too high,

I would like to suggest to you that if you can't tell the difference between:

  • Your $30 a time professional manicure that lasts two weeks if you're lucky, and my $5 bottle of no-name brand nail polish that lasts me six months or even more,
  • Your $150 hair style, and my home hair cut done with a $20 pair of hair cutting scissors that has lasted me five years, (and my six-monthly treat of a $15 home hair dye),
  • Your $50 per 200ml bottle of expensive moisturiser and my $5 per litre (or less) bottle of sorbolene,
  • Your $20 make-up remover, and my same bottle of sorbolene,
  • Your clothes that are discarded and replaced every season or so, and my clothes that were bought on special (I try not to spend more than half the original price), and then cared for so they last,
  • Your $25 eyeshadow and my $5 eyeshadow (and prices are similar for foundation, lipstick, etc),
  • Your expensive shoes, and mine, bought on sale and repaired numerous times,
  • Your $5 shower gel and my $1 cake of soap,
  • The home-made snacks I carry in my handbag, and the ones you buy at a coffee shop,
  • Your dog's professional grooming, and my dog's home bath, hair cut and nail clip,
  • Your name-brand everything, and my no-name brand everything,
  • Your things that are thrown out when damaged and mine that are repaired, reused, recycled wherever possible,
  • The things you bought new, and the things I was given second-hand,
...then I really have to agree with you. One of us definitely has too much money, and is clearly wasting it.

Kindest regards,
A disabled pensioner.

Christmas Chaos

The Christmas tree is finally up.
I'm usually super-organised about Christmas.

I have presents all bought before December starts (I like to minimise the amount of time I spend at shopping centres when everyone else is doing their Christmas shopping.)

The Christmas tree always goes up after church on the first Sunday of Advent.

All of the family's favourite Christmas treats are baked well ahead of time.

And I've usually written Christmas services a couple of weeks before Christmas.

This year?

Well, I'm not doing Christmas services - I'm not working at all. But having less to do is not helping, because I'm still exhausted most of the time and trying to recover, from the flare that stopped me from working.

Add to that a couple of 39 deg Celsius days, a couple of catch-ups with friends (which I chose to do and enjoy, knowing that my energy reserves were depleted) and you can guess what has happened to my super-organised Christmas.

The tree didn't go up on the first Sunday of Advent, because I was driving the ute for my daughter to move to her new home.

The baking is way behind schedule, as is the housework.

This week, my son and I decided that if we didn't put the Christmas tree up soon, there would be no point, so we just got in and did it. As I lay on the couch recovering from that, my son asked: "Er Mum, what are we having for dinner? Bearing in mind that we have no clean dishes to eat off."

For the first time in a very long time (and it may be that brain fog caused me to leave out an ingredient), the chocolate pudding my son loves was an absolute failure. My daughter took it back to her place as a treat for her pet rats. So now I'm worrying that the plum pudding and the Christmas cake may taste terrible even though they look OK.

From a brief discussion on the Sometimes, it is Lupus Facebook page, it seems that other lupies are having similar issues - not enough energy for the things they'd like to do for Christmas. With Christmas, as with everything, we have to set priorities. Which things are so important they absolutely must be done? Which things would be good to do, if there is enough energy left? Which things don't matter so much after all?

Ultimately, although it would be nice to bake everyone's favourite treats, and have the house looking presentable, what's most important is that on the day, I have the energy to enjoy going to church and to enjoy spending a day with family and friends. Anything else I manage is a bonus.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Fatigue

awesomeanimals.cheezburger.com
My darling son graduated his Diploma in IT (Networking) last night.

I can't show you the photo, because he doesn't like his picture appearing on the internet.

He said he looked like someone out of Harry Potter in his academic gown, but I thought he looked very nice.  Especially as we'd had to rush out and buy slacks and a button-up collared shirt. (He discovered at the last minute that metal band shirts and torn black jeans did not meet the dress code.)

I must confess to being exhausted today - and being in a bit of pain.  Yesterday, I met a friend for coffee in the morning, then had the unexpected trip clothes shopping, before the train ride and short walk to the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

It does not take much to tire me out now.  But I do have to go out again today for a while - I have a house blessing to do this morning, and I need to go to the chemist. Beyond that, the house work is well and truly out of control, and the Christmas cake still not made. So there are things I must do today.  I'm also going to have a couple of very long naps.

The big challenge of life with a chronic illness is that basic things, that other people would not find particularly tiring, are exhausting. So everything either gets done far more slowly, or remains totally un-done. Meanwhile, my to-do list grows at the same rate as anyone else's (things just don't get marked as "done" too often.)

At least my Christmas gift shopping has been done!

Did you buy any of your Christmas gifts from the businesses in the Lupus Business Directory?

I'd love to be able to share your reviews/recommendations of businesses from the directory.  Please email me, with your comments about any of the businesses, so we can share them with everyone.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

When Not To Go To Ikea

icanhascheezburger.com
Well, it's been a busy few days, and I've been busy not actually achieving much. But I've learned a lesson.

Yesterday, I was going to go to Dreamworld with a friend.  The first problem with that was the weather report: rain, storms and partially sunny. We decided to head towards the Gold Coast anyway, and if we encountered the rain and storms, we'd find something to do indoors instead.

We headed towards the coast, and failed to find the "partially sunny".  A decision to go to Mount Tambourine instead was aborted when we discovered we couldn't even see the mountain through the rain.

So we turned back towards Brisbane and stopped off at Ikea.  It was time I ate so I could take my tablets, and my friend wanted to buy a reading lamp, so it seemed a good idea.

It seemed like a good idea - and we did get a meal, and my friend did get his lamp.

We also got a long walk on concrete.

Oh, I didn't mention, I've been having problems with my hips for a couple of weeks.

I know Ikea's an interesting place to visit. There's lots of odd things to look at. They've added a couple of "shortcuts", but because neither of us had been there in a long time, we took the long way. I felt OK at the time, and thought I could handle it.

By the time I was home, I realised it hadn't been a good idea.  I fell on the couch and passed out.  I was exhausted, and both hips (the good one as well as the bad one) were killing me.

I'd intended going out again in the afternoon to buy some things we urgently needed from the supermarket (we're out of cat food.) In the end I decided to find out if the cat would accept lemon-pepper tuna instead - turns out he loves flavoured tuna and I'll probably never again be able to eat it in peace.

So I've learned something: do not go to Ikea when my hips hurt.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Budgeting Energy

lupus.cheezburger.com
I've been thinking a lot about all the things I had planned over the next few days.  And I've been assessing my energy levels - which have been very much depleted by Brisbane's heatwave this week.

The only logical conclusion was to set priorities, and decide which things are most important for me to do. That means I've given my apologies for today's outing, so I can handle the weekend.

Honestly, having done so, I feel a sense of relief.

It's a tough choice - and I know lots of other lupies are with me on this - to have to decide between things I really want to do, when I know that I can't do everything. It's an ongoing challenge - to make the most of life, while budgeting my energy wisely. I also know that for healthy people, the things I had planned over the next few days would not seem so monumental.

So today, I'm staying home, doing that bit of housework that I had to do whether I stayed home or went out, and relaxing as much as possible so I have energy to enjoy the weekend.

If you're doing your Christmas shopping on-line, you're running out of time to get it delivered in time!

Please check the businesses in the Lupus Business Directory - there's some great gift ideas there.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

I Have A Social Life (When Did That Happen?)

lupus.cheezburger.com
Last Saturday, a friend asked me if I'd been out much lately. I hadn't, and we went out to see the new James Bond film.

This week, with the heatwave, I've had lots of invitations from friends who have air-conditioned houses to visit, even if they're not home. Instead, what I've done is turn on my little portable air conditioner and gone back to bed for the hottest part of the day.

Now, I look at my diary and apparently I'm out every day until Monday.  Tonight is weight loss group, tomorrow I'm going to a movie with another friend, Saturday is a Lupus Association Queensland get-together, Sunday afternoon is a concert with another friend, and Monday a trip to Dreamworld with a friend.

I'm quite awed at the fact that I seem to have acquired a social life somewhere.

I'm also a bit concerned that I may have bitten off more than I can chew.  Usually I'm more careful to turn down invitations if I am already committed the day before or after.  Did I seriously agree to all these things? Well, yes. I just didn't until now connect up that I would be leaving the house five days in a row. And, in fact, I want to do all of them.

That calls for careful management, and lots of naps.  So if you don't hear from me much over the next few days, don't worry.  I'm just resting between social engagements. If I do get sick, well, there's lots of people expecting to see me at various places, so someone will be checking if I don't turn up.

Unless, of course the world is about to end, which apparently it is. I'll give you the official announcement by the Prime Minister (it was a joke she did for triple j radio - awesome that our PM would take time out for that). She says it means she doesn't have to do Q&A any more.  For me, it means no more lupus! Sounds like a good deal!.



If you haven't finished your Christmas shopping yet, you're running out of time.  Remember to check the businesses listed in the Lupus Business Directory for gift ideas.  All of the businesses listed are owned by people with lupus or other chronic illnesses. Buying from them helps with the financial burden of living with an illness.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

A Lupus-Less Christmas

If I could have anything
under the tree,
I'd love to find there
a lupus-less day just for me.

To not get sick
from going out in the sun
Would give me a chance
to enjoy the day's fun.

I'd eat gluten and lactose
without ill-effects,
And not have to ask:
"So, what's in this?"

No matter the weather,
hot sun or cool rain.
I wouldn't be worried,
about fatigue and pain.

I'd cook a great feast,
and have energy left,
so I could enjoy
the time with my guests.

For one whole day
I'd forget about pills,
and not for a moment
think of specialist's bills.

No rashes, no itches,
no painful sore joints.
No headaches, no nausea,
no dry eyes and mouth.

Santa, please bring it
I'll send you a map.
I won't be awake,
I'll be having my nap.

Christmas can be difficult for people with lupus and other chronic illnesses. There's extra effort to cook and clean if guests are coming, and the energy and cost involved in the shopping. Add to that extremes of temperature (summer heat in Australia, winter cold in some parts of the world), and you get a major challenge for someone who has limited energy to begin with.

While you're doing your Christmas shopping this year, please think about how you can help people who really are struggling at this time of year.  One way you can help is to buy some of your Christmas presents from businesses listed in the Lupus Business Directory.  These small and micro businesses are run by people with lupus and other chronic illnesses - often selling items we have made as therapy.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Do You Have The Lupus Book Yet?


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You can click through some of the pages in a preview of the book here.

Want to buy a copy? It's available here.

New in the Lupus Business Directory

New addition to the Lupus Business Directory today:



Ginger Lee (Lupus) has handmade crafts, painting and vintage items.

There's a fascinating variety of things to see at Ginger's Etsy Store.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Lupus Business Directory Business of the Week

This week's Business of the Week is Misty's Blaming Lupus - Lupus Gear.








Blaming Lupus - Lupus Gear T-shirts, stickers, fridge magnets etc. Misty (Lupus)





And find the Blaming Lupus blog here.

Gluten-free Christmas: Chocolate on Chocolate Crackle Slice

4 cups gluten-free rice cereal (I use Freedom Rice Puffs)
1 cup pure icing sugar or gluten-free soft icing mixture
1 cup desiccated coconut
half cup cocoa

250g copha (white vegetable shortening)

375g gluten and lactose free dark chocolate



  1. Line a 25cm x 35cm baking tin with baking paper.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Melt copha, add to dry ingredients, and mix through.
  4. Pour into prepared baking tin. Refrigerate.
  5. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot (but not boiling) water.  
  6. Spread melted chocolate over the top of the mix in the baking tray.
  7. Refrigerate until set.
  8. Cut into squares.
Recipe is gluten free, lactose free, and vegan friendly.


Heat and Fatigue

lupus.cheezburger.com
Well I survived the big move yesterday.  By the end of the day, my "good" hip felt almost as bad as my "bad" hip - and I was exhausted.  But I'm glad I was able to do a little to help my daughter and her boyfriend.  (All I did was drive the ute - the hire company wouldn't allow a young driver to do it. The kids and my ex-husband did all the lifting and carrying.) There was a time I would have had no problem with lifting as much as anyone else.

I've also seen (having moved out some furniture that's been here since we moved in) just how dirty the carpet  at my place is. So I think that over the next little while I have a new project. My vacuum cleaner is also a carpet washer - and the carpets are long overdue to be washed.  I'm not going to try to do the whole house at once, but will try to do a little patch once or twice a week until it's done. That really is a big challenge.

Our Queensland heat wave is about to reach its peak tomorrow, so today I'm trying an experiment, one that I know will do terrible things to my electricity bill, but I hope will make life tolerable. I'm leaving my little portable air conditioner on all day, and turning on the evaporative air cooler in the lounge room and leaving it on - shutting whatever doors in the house I can so that I'm trapping that coolish air in as small a space as possible and seeing if I can actually keep the house tolerable for the day. If that fails, I'll turn everything off and retreat to a shopping centre or a City Council Library.

Really, if I can avoid going anywhere today, that would be good, as I'm still recovering from yesterday.

Stay cool, whatever you're doing today.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Stay Cool

The last few days here in Queensland have been hot, and the next few are predicted to be pretty awful as well.

I've been posting information as it comes out from Queensland Health about heat stress and staying cool.

What I've personally been doing to try to avoid the heat is to leave home in the hottest part of the day and go somewhere that is air-conditioned. Generally, I've gone to our local Hungry Jack's. They've got free soft-drink refills, so I buy a diet coke, and read their copy of the Courier Mail, or my Kindle for a couple of hours.

Yesterday afternoon, I went to the movies with a friend to see the new James Bond film.

I'm thinking for a change this coming week, I might visit a couple of the City Council libraries in nearby suburbs.

The big concerns in extremely hot weather for me, and probably for many other lupies, are to stay cool and to stay out of the sun.  Heat makes the fatigue of lupus much worse for me, and sunlight not only causes rashes but also makes me feel incredibly sick.

Beyond that, we have the same issues as everyone else. We need to stay hydrated, wear cool comfortable clothes, and be aware of the symptoms of heat stress.

Oh, and as all the reminders on ABC radio are saying, don't forget your pets.  Make sure they've got plenty of fresh water and somewhere at least shaded to stay.  (Our household has discovered that pet rats love ice cubes and frozen vegetables.)

Today, I'm helping my daughter move house. (No, I'm not doing the lifting - just driving a ute for them, the ute hire company doesn't let young people drive their vehicles.) I'll be making sure I have a ton of sunblock on, and will be staying in the cool as much as possible, and taking a bottle of water with me.

Whatever you're up to today, stay cool.

Gluten-free Christmas: White Christmas

4 cups gluten-free puffed rice cereal
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup pure icing sugar (or gluten-free soft icing mixture)
1 cup mixed dried fruit
150g coconut milk powder (or soy milk powder)
200g glace cherries
125g glace ginger
250g copha (white vegetable shortening)


  1. Line a 25cm x 35cm baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Mix all ingredients except copha in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Melt copha in a small saucepan over very low heat.
  4. Pour melted copha into dry ingredients and mix through - mix will be fairly dry.
  5. Pour mix into prepared tray, and press down evenly.
  6. Cover with baking paper and refrigerate until set.
  7. Cut into squares.

REcipe is gluten free, lactose free and vegan friendly.